Thursday 30 September 2021

Blog Tour: The Coronation by Justin Newland @matadorbooks

Join The Coffee Pot Book Club on tour with…

The Coronation
By Justin Newland

January 24th – February 4th 2022

Publication Date: 28th January 2019
Publisher: Matador
Page Length: 216 Pages
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Supernatural Thriller

It is 1761. Prussia is at war with Russia and Austria. As the Russian army occupies East Prussia, King Frederick the Great and his men fight hard to win back their homeland. 

In Ludwigshain, a Junker estate in East Prussia, Countess Marion von Adler celebrates an exceptional harvest. But it is requisitioned by Russian troops. When Marion tries to stop them, a Russian captain strikes her. His lieutenant, Ian Fermor, defends Marion’s honour and is stabbed for his insubordination. Abandoned by the Russians, Fermor becomes a divisive figure on the estate.
Close to death, Fermor dreams of the Adler, a numinous eagle entity, whose territory extends across the lands of Northern Europe and which is mysteriously connected to the Enlightenment. What happens next will change of the course of human history…

Justin Newland

Justin Newland is an author of historical fantasy and secret history thrillers - that’s history with a supernatural twist. His stories feature known events and real people from history which are re-told and examined through the lens of the supernatural. He gives author talks and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio Bristol’s Thought for the Day. He lives with his partner in plain sight of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England. 

His Books

The Genes of Isis is a tale of love, destruction and ephemeral power set under the skies of Ancient Egypt. A re-telling of the Biblical story of the flood, it reveals the mystery of the genes of Isis – or genesis – of mankind. ISBN 9781789014860.

The novel is creative, sophisticated, and downright brilliant! I couldnt ask more of an Egyptian-esque book!” – Lauren, Books Beyond the Story.

The Old Dragons Head is a historical fantasy and supernatural thriller set during the Ming Dynasty and played out in the shadows the Great Wall of China. It explores the secret history of the influences that shaped the beginnings of modern times.  ISBN 9781789015829.

The author is an excellent storyteller.” – British Fantasy Society. 

Set during the Great Enlightenment, The Coronation reveals the secret history of the Industrial Revolution. ISBN 9781838591885.

The novel explores the themes of belonging, outsiders… religion and war…  filtered through the lens of the other-worldly.” – A. Deane, Page Farer Book Blog.

His latest, The Abdication (July, 2021), is a suspense thriller, a journey of destiny, wisdom and self-discovery. ISBN 9781800463950.  

“In Topeth, Tula confronts the truth, her faith in herself, faith in a higher purpose, and ultimately, what it means to abdicate that faith.” 

V. Triola, Coast to Coast.

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Tour Schedule

January 24th


Wednesday 29 September 2021

Blog Tour: The Girl from Portofino by Siobhan Daiko @siobhandaiko

Join The Coffee Pot Book Club on tour with…

The Girl from Portofino
By Siobhan Daiko

January 3rd – January 14th 2022

Publication Date: 30th December 2021
Publisher: Asolando Books
Page Length: 300 Pages
Genre: Women’s Historical Fiction/29th Century Historical/World War 2 Historical

In 1970 Gina Bianchi returns to Portofino to attend her father’s funeral, accompanied by her troubled twenty-four-year-old daughter, Hope. There, Gina is beset by vivid memories of World War 2, a time when she fought with the Italian Resistance and her twin sister, Adele, worked for the Germans. 

In her childhood bedroom, Gina reads Adele’s diary, left behind during the war. As Gina learns the devastating truth about her sister, she’s compelled to face the harsh brutality of her own past. Will she finally lay her demons to rest, or will they end up destroying her and the family she loves?

A hauntingly epic read that will sweep you away to the beauty of the Italian Riviera and the rugged mountains of its hinterland. “The Girl from Portofino” is a story about heart-wrenching loss and uplifting courage, love, loyalty, and secrets untold.

Siobhan Daiko

Siobhan Daiko is a British historical fiction author. A lover of all things Italian, she lives in the Veneto region of northern Italy with her husband, a Havanese dog and two rescued cats. After a life of romance and adventure in Hong Kong, Australia and the UK, Siobhan now spends her time, when she isn't writing, enjoying her life near Venice.

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Read an #excerpt from At Her Fingertips by Kellyn Roth @kellyntheauthor

At Her Fingertips 
(The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, Book 3)
By Kellyn Roth

Publication Date: 17th July 2021
Publisher: Wild Blue Wonder Press
Genre: Christian Historical Romance

She’s willing to do anything to follow her plan.

Debutante Alice Knight is ready for her first social season in London. She’s determined to impress society and her mother with an affluent match, at last escaping her past and embracing a future of her own making.

Peter Strauss, an American reporter visiting England, isn’t exactly what Alice had in mind. However, his friendship proves invaluable as Alice faces the challenges of her debut. Almost immediately, she attracts the attention of a well-born gentleman—perfect save for the simple fact that he’s not a Christian.

The life she longs for is finally at her fingertips, but between her own heart and the convictions of her faith, she isn’t sure she ought to grasp it.

At Her Fingertips, a romantic women's fiction novel, is the third novel in Kellyn Roth's Christian family saga, The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy.

Alice Knight drew Athena to a halt at the top of the hill and leaned back on the saddle to wipe away the moisture gathering in the corners of her eyes. The harsh spring wind caused her to fear losing her hat.

“It’s not raining at least.” She leaned forward to pat her mare’s neck. “And we both needed the run.”

Athena shook her head and made a ‘brr’ sound with her lips, chewing at the bit impatiently.

Alice laughed. “I can tell you’re as eager to run as I am, but I promised Kirk we’d wait for him. I got an earlier start than I planned.” She hadn’t been able to sleep much lately; too many thoughts swirled in her mind to quite allow it.

Athena made no response, and Alice sighed. She’d have to find Kirk soon. As it was, she was a crazy woman talking to her horse.

“Let’s ride down to the gatehouse and visit with Nettie and her children.”

Athena started down the hill toward the gates at a slight movement. The wind tore at Alice’s face once again, but she laughed into it. The freedom of the blustering wind called her as nothing else did, and she felt compelled to enjoy the rush. At least her hat stayed in place, her hair still tucked up in a loose bun.

The ivy-covered gatehouse where Nettie and her family lived stood at the end of the drive leading to the manor of Pearlbelle Park. A neat little garden lay behind the building, and a set of steps led up to the living quarters at the side.

Alice always felt a rush of contentment, of coming home, when she approached this building. It was inexplicable, but she gave in to the familiar tug and ran into its comforting arms.

Alice dismounted and left Athena grazing on a short line. The kitchen door was unlocked, and she proceeded in without knocking.

Young Malcolm Jameson was bent over a schoolbook at the table. He looked up, a grin widening his chubby, tan cheeks, and his gray eyes sparkled in a familiar way. “Hullo, Alice.”

“Hullo, Malcolm.” Alice reached out to hug him. He drew back with a frown, so she opted for a handshake. She had enough little brothers to understand that sometimes physical affection simply wasn’t acceptable to little boys. “Where’s your mother?”

Malcolm leaned back and stretched his arms out, no doubt the same way his father did after hunching over something. “She’s upstairs. Debby has a stomachache, and Mama is trying to get her to take a nap.”

“Oh dear.” Alice slid off her gloves and dropped them on the table, feeling sorry for Nettie. Debby was a fussy child. Hopefully it was just her usual complaints, which lasted as long as her bad mood did. “I’ll go see her and then come back to help you with your history lesson until my friend arrives. I’m not good at it myself, but I’m sure I know something you don’t.”

“Perhaps.” Malcolm’s tone didn’t convey conviction. Alice had allowed the Jameson children to think of her as an older sister, and little siblings seldom fully respected older siblings. They knew them too well.

Alice just laughed and turned toward the stairs. Going up, she met Malcolm’s younger sister, Ella, her curls tied back in a messy plait. Nettie must be having a difficult morning, or Ella would be spotless. Nettie, Alice’s former governess, took great pride in keeping her children neat from head to toe. Alice should know; she’d been the primary focus of Nettie’s ministrations for many years.

“Good morning, Alice,” Ella said with a serene smile.

Alice squeezed the girl’s shoulder affectionately. Her own siblings had never developed manners to equal Ella’s, and it was never more apparent than when she greeted guests with a friendly yet polite manner. “Good morning, Miss Ella. How’s Debby?”

“Much better, I think. It’s good to see you here.” Ella gestured toward the kitchen, her poise—in those rare and inconsistent moments that she chose to adapt any sort of order—that which Alice could only aspire to.

Though Alice had been told she had a bit of natural poise. Just not as much as Ella, a six-year-old, apparently. Oh well. If she knew one thing about life, and she didn’t know many things, it was that one couldn’t win all the races one entered in.

“Thank you, dearest. I just want to speak with your mother for a moment. Run down and tell me if you see Kirk coming, won’t you? I’m sure he’ll stop when he sees Athena.”

Ella nodded and dashed off before Alice could say anything further.

Alice proceeded to a bedroom at the top of the stairs. She eased the door open so as not to disturb the invalid.

Nettie sat on the edge of three-year-old Debby’s bed. Debby had a fretful, restless expression on her face, but it lightened somewhat when she saw Alice.

Nettie glanced over her shoulder, a soft smile lighting up her countenance. “I thought I heard you coming up the stairs, Gracie.” The childhood nickname, strange as Alice now considered it, was also worth a smile.

“I stopped to talk to Malcolm and Ella a bit.” Alice gave Debby a sympathetic look. “I heard you aren’t feeling well, pet.”

The little girl scowled and shook her head.

Alice put her hands on her hips. “Now, Debby, don’t pout. You’ll be better soon! Your mother knows how to take care of sick little girls. She always took care of me when I was your age.”

Debby turned her eyes on her mother and cocked her head. Like the other two Jameson children, she had her mother’s eyes and ringlets, though her hair was a shade lighter than Nettie’s.

“Yes, I did.” Nettie returned her gaze to her daughter. “Now, you must close your eyes.”

A stubborn little chin jerked up. “I won’t nap!”

“I don’t care if you sleep or not, but if I catch you with your eyes open …” Her voice trailed off in an unspoken threat Alice remembered well from her childhood.

Nettie was still Alice’s chief advisor. There was no going against her; there never had been. Alice would sooner confront her own mother. But then, Mother lacked the staying power, the stubbornness, that Alice possessed.

Nettie, though? Nettie could stand head to head with Alice for hours, and she made it clear at once that she would not be the first to give in.

Debby snapped her eyes shut, and Nettie rose from the bed. Alice backed out of the room, and they walked down the stairs and into the kitchen together.

“Nettie, I wanted to ask you if you would come up to the house and look at a few new dresses.” She smoothed her hands over her simple green riding habit, already missing it. The dresses she would wear to her debut in London in just one short month would be a great deal less familiar. “Your taste is closer to mine than Mother’s.” Her mother knew fashion but not necessarily comfort.

“Yes, of course. Tomorrow, perhaps—or the next day, if Debby isn’t better.” Nettie smirked. “I think she ate too many sweets at her friend’s birthday celebration, so she should be well soon.”

“Oh, I’m glad that’s all.” Alice slid onto the seat at the table across from Malcolm. “How have you been?”

In the past three months, she’d spoken those words every time she’d visited. So far Nettie hadn’t actually spoken about losing her child, as if she should protect an eighteen-year-old from such hard realities. But Alice wanted to voice her support nonetheless.

Nettie gave away no obvious emotion, but Alice thought she saw the slightest flicker of a shadow across her eyes. “I’m well.”

Oh, Nettie, you don’t have to be well for me! But Alice knew better than to say that aloud. She wasn’t much of one for voicing her grief, either. “Good.” What else could she say? Alice had never lost anyone important. Not really.

Nor did she intend to. She’d keep her loved ones safe by sheer force of will, somehow. She must—every instinct in her said it was necessary.

“It’s a shame you can’t come when I go to London next month.” Alice slid her fingers along the smooth grain of the table. “I would love to have you near. A lot is going to happen, Nettie.” She slowly raised her eyes to her friend’s face. “I’m a bit nervous.”

Kellyn Roth is a Christian historical women’s fiction & romance author from North-Eastern Oregon who has independently published multiple novels, the most notable being The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy series. You should definitely call her Kell.

Kell lives on family-owned property outside an unmemorable but historical town with her parents, two little brothers, precious border collies, a dozen cows, and lots of chickens. She also possesses a classic, vintage aesthetic which does not at all speak to her country girl side, but such is life.

When not writing, Kell likes to blog, work as a virtual assistant for authors and other small business owners, and spend lavish amounts of money on Dairy Queen french fries. She also likes to talk about her books (and occasionally Keira Knightley) way too much. You’ve been warned.

Tuesday 28 September 2021

Read an #excerpt from Rosemary Griggs' fabulous novel - A Woman of Noble Wit @RAGriggsauthor

A Woman of Noble Wit
By Rosemary Griggs

Publication Date: 28th September 2021
Publisher: Troubador
Page Length: 423 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

Few women of her time lived to see their name in print. But Katherine was no ordinary woman. She was Sir Walter Raleigh’s mother. This is her story.

Set against the turbulent background of a Devon rocked by the religious and social changes that shaped Tudor England; a Devon of privateers and pirates; a Devon riven by rebellions and plots, A Woman of Noble Wit tells how Katherine became the woman who would inspire her famous sons to follow their dreams. It is Tudor history seen though a woman’s eyes.

As the daughter of a gentry family with close connections to the glittering court of King Henry VIII, Katherine’s duty is clear. She must put aside her dreams and accept the husband chosen for her. Still a girl, she starts a new life at Greenway Court, overlooking the River Dart, relieved that her husband is not the ageing monster of her nightmares. She settles into the life of a dutiful wife and mother until a chance shipboard encounter with a handsome privateer, turns her world upside down.…..

Years later a courageous act will set Katherine’s name in print and her youngest son will fly high.



“God’s blood!” the girl yelled as she slammed into the wall. He’d done it again; got there first! Only a few seconds ahead of her, but he’d already scrambled up to his favourite lookout point. She leaned against the wall, shoulders heaving, breath coming in jagged gasps. “God’s blood, Johnny, I’ll beat you one day!” she shrieked, glaring at the unyielding stones as a mocking chuckle drifted down to her. 

She stamped her feet in the dirt and beat her fists against her sides, fingers rolled into tight balls of fury. She’d never be able to climb that wall! “Fie upon these accursed skirts. Must they always keep my feet planted so firmly on the ground?” she screamed. “Ooh, ooh, ooh, all right, Johnny! So you think you’ve got the better of me, do you? We’ll see!” Without deigning to look up, she spun on one heel and stalked back down the path between the apple trees. Swish, swish, swish went the offending skirts. 

But her anger was short-lived. She slowed down, recovered her breath and let her heart calm its furious beating. By the time she reached the gate into the walled garden she was smiling. Everything looked fresh and new, shining in the sunshine. The sweet Devon air held a faint scent of newly cut grass; the gardeners’ first cut to clear the path. She stooped to examine the soft spears of chives growing in thick clumps at the edge of the herb bed; fat buds almost ready to burst. A blackbird was reprising his morning music while a wood pigeon kept time. Ru-hoo, ru, ru, hoo, he called. Ru-hoo, ru, ru, hoo. 

She straightened up and brushed the dust from her gown. So be it. Let him enjoy his moment of triumph. Even had she not been hemmed in by her skirts, Johnny would always be two years older than she was. He would always beat her. He was a boy. She was a girl. It was the way of things. 

Katherine Champernowne picked up the book she had cast aside when her brother had challenged her to yet another race and skipped back along the path. She flopped down under the spreading branches of an apple tree – the perfect spot; close enough to catch Johnny’s words if he decided to share what he could see. Lying back on the springy new grass, she watched the bees busy amongst the pink- tinged blossom. 

Her gaze drifted up and she lost herself in the clear, unending sky. Such a special shade of purest blue – even brighter than Eliza’s eyes, she thought, stifling a pang of envy. A lark rose and she closed her eyes to listen to its fluting song. Surely its little heart must be bursting with the sheer joy of this spring day! At last the long, cold months cooped up inside were over. She could enjoy the warmth of the sun on her face again. If Agnes caught her she’d chide her to have a care for her fine complexion. But Katherine didn’t care. Winter was banished at last. Johnny was at home. Best of all, tomorrow they would go to the fair. 

She raised her head and squinted into the sun. There he was, up in his eyrie, silhouetted against the sky on top of the wall that used to separate their home from the old Benedictine priory beyond. The French monks had left long before Katherine was born; before the world went mad and the Houses of York and Lancaster fought for the Crown of England. Her brow puckered as she struggled to remember what her father had told her. Ah, yes; he’d said that lots of orchards had gone to ruin after the people who’d survived the great sickness long ago had forgotten how to care for them. It was those French monks who had saved Modbury’s apple trees. But she couldn’t remember which King had sent the monks away and bestowed the priory lands upon his new school. It was probably one of the Henrys. There had been a lot of them. She did know that the school was many miles away. She could even remember its name: Eton College. Oh, Father would be so pleased with her! He was a stickler for that sort of thing. 

Excited voices, laughter, and snatches of song drifted over the wall; an insistent, infectious buzz growing louder by the minute. The people of Modbury were preparing for the annual fair when everyone made merry for St George.

Amazon UK • Amazon US • Amazon CA • Amazon AU • Barnes and Noble • Waterstones • iBooks • WHSmith • Foyles

Rosemary Griggs is a retired Whitehall Senior Civil Servant with a lifelong passion for history. She is now a speaker on Devon’s sixteenth century history and costume. She leads heritage tours at Dartington Hall, has made regular costumed appearances at National Trust houses and helps local museums bring history to life.

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