Sunday 31 March 2024

He must uncover the truth before evil strikes again.


By Simon Scarrow

Publication Date: 18th March 2021
Publisher: Headline
Page Length: 451 Pages
Genre: Historical Thriller

Berlin, December 1939

As Germany goes to war, the Nazis tighten their terrifying grip. Paranoia in the capital is intensified by a rigidly enforced blackout that plunges the city into oppressive darkness every night, as the bleak winter sun sets.

When a young woman is murdered, Criminal Inspector Horst Schenke is under pressure to solve the case, swiftly. Distrusted by his superiors for his failure to join the Nazi Party, Schenke walks a perilous line - for disloyalty is a death sentence.

The discovery of a second victim confirms Schenke's worst fears. He must uncover the truth before evil strikes again.

As the investigation takes him closer to the sinister heart of the regime, Schenke realises there is danger everywhere - and the warring factions of the Reich can be as deadly as a killer stalking the streets . . .

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Simon Scarrow

Simon Scarrow’s passion for writing began at an early age. After a childhood spent travelling the world, he pursued his great love of history as a teacher before becoming a full-time writer. His Roman soldier heroes Cato and Macro made their debut in 2000 in UNDER THE EAGLE, and have subsequently appeared in many bestsellers in the Eagles of the Empire series, including CENTURION, THE GLADIATOR and THE BLOOD OF ROME. Simon’s latest books, BLACKOUT and THE EMPEROR’S EXILE, are out now.

Simon is also the author of the novels YOUNG BLOODS, THE GENERALS, FIRE AND SWORD and THE FIELDS OF DEATH, chronicling the lives of the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon Bonaparte, and of SWORD & SCIMITAR, the epic tale of the 1565 Siege of Malta, and HEARTS OF STONE, set in Greece during the Second World War.

Simon has also co-written with T. J. Andrews three bestselling novels set in the Roman era, ARENA, INVADER and PIRATA.
Writing with Lee Francis, Simon is the author of the contemporary thriller PLAYING WITH DEATH.

Simon lives in Norfolk.

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Saturday 30 March 2024

Will the Church’s most valuable artworks fall prey to this massive conspiracy?

The Vivaldi Cipher
(Vatican Secret Archive Thrillers Book 1) 
By Gary McAvoy

Publication Date: 16th August 2021
Publisher: Literati Editions
Page Length: 300 Pages
Genre: Historical Thriller

During the election of a new Pope in the mid-18th century, famed violinist Antonio Vivaldi learns of a ring of art forgers who are replacing the Vatican’s priceless treasures with expertly-painted fakes. Desperate, the composer hides a message in a special melody, hoping someone, someday, will take down the culprits . . .

Nearly three hundred years later, the confession of a dying Mafia Don alerts a Venetian priest to a wealth of forged paintings in the Vatican Museum, and the key to their identities lies hidden in a puzzling piece of music. Father Michael Dominic, prefect of the Secret Archives, investigates, and is mystified when he finds a cipher in an old composition from Vivaldi. Desperate to stop this centuries-long conspiracy, he calls on fellow sleuth Hana Sinclair and Dr. Livia Gallo, a music cryptologist, to help him crack the code and learn the truth.

But the Camorra, a centuries-old Italian Mafia clan, won’t stand by while some interfering priest ruins their most lucrative operation. Along with a French commando and two valiant Swiss Guards, Dominic explores the dark canals and grand palazzos of Venice to uncover the evidence he needs to stop the sinister plot. Can he unearth it in time, or will the Church’s most valuable artworks fall prey to this massive conspiracy?

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The Vivaldi Cipher

Gary McAvoy

A native Californian transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, Gary McAvoy began writing early in life, first for a small-town newspaper and regional Southern California magazines, then in corporate communications for his own high-tech businesses and client projects, and on to published nonfiction books. Nurturing a lifelong passion of collecting handwritten history, in 1997 Gary founded, an online gallery of authentic signed letters, documents, manuscripts, books, photographs, and other memorabilia of historical or cultural significance. Those who share this passion know that few things compare to holding history in one's hands—a letter penned by Abraham Lincoln, for example, or one by Truman Capote discussing work on his book "In Cold Blood"—much of which informs Gary's own writing projects.

It was this last acquisition, in fact, that sparked the adventures leading up to Gary's book, "And Every Word Is True," a fresh look at the investigation of the infamous 1959 Clutter family murders in Kansas, heinous crimes chillingly portrayed in Capote's landmark nonfiction novel.

Gary's debut series “The Magdalene Chronicles,” features gripping, intelligent thrillers set in the Vatican and wherever its influence reaches. Both that and his current ongoing series, "Vatican Secret Archive Thrillers," feature Father Michael Dominic, a Jesuit paleographer—a specialist in ancient writing systems and deciphering historical manuscripts. Gary has long been fascinated with the Vatican and its legendary Secret Archive, and his books are filled with historical facts and locations woven throughout engaging storylines with international intrigue.

From 1999 to 2005 Gary worked closely with primatologist and animal ethicist Dr. Jane Goodall, serving as Seattle Base Camp Chair for the Jane Goodall Institute, managing Northwest fundraising efforts in support of the Institute’s global initiatives. In 2003 Gary convinced Jane she should speak to global food issues, and in 2005 they co-authored "Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating" (Warner Books) with Gail Hudson.

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Friday 29 March 2024

For all of them, the only way to survive is exile.

By Alison Morton

Publication Date: 27th February 2024
Publisher: Pulcheria Press
Page Length: 364 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

Exile – Living death to a Roman

AD 395. In a Christian Roman Empire, the penalty for holding true to the traditional gods is execution. 

Maelia Mitela, her dead husband condemned as a pagan traitor, leaving her on the brink of ruin, grieves for her son lost to the Christians and is fearful of committing to another man.

Lucius Apulius, ex-military tribune, faithful to the old gods and fixed on his memories of his wife Julia’s homeland of Noricum, will risk everything to protect his children’s future.

Galla Apulia, loyal to her father and only too aware of not being the desired son, is desperate to escape Rome after the humiliation of betrayal by her feckless husband.

For all of them, the only way to survive is exile.


[Galla Apulia narrates. They have started their journey into exile. They are making their first stop at one of Lucius’s colleague’s villa.]

Late Spring, AD 395

We didn’t reach the meeting point that evening but were received at the villa of one of Father’s senatorial colleagues, just south of Veii. Aulus Glabrus owned a vast latifundium, a giant farm, worked by thirty field slaves and another twenty in the dairy, threshing and processing workshops as well as a blacksmith’s forge, farrier and woodwork barn. Numerous gardeners must have kept the clipped hedges and herb and flower beds in the pars dominica grounds round the house in such pristine order.  

Glabrus himself came out to greet us. He made a beeline for Father. In truth, fatigue from the past few weeks and a full day in the saddle made me too tired to do anything but say a polite greeting when the rest of us were introduced. Grooms appeared from nowhere and took our horses which, by the droop of their heads and sweat-caked coats, looked to be as tired as we were. Glabrus ushered us into the house.

‘Welcome, welcome, honoured Apulius,’ he said effusively. ‘And of course, you too, Mitelus,’ he said as an afterthought. ‘Perhaps the ladies would like to retire to the baths and their rooms to change for dinner.’ A short blonde woman in a long red tunic decorated with copious lengths of gold embroidery appeared. She wore a gold necklace, bracelets and earrings and her belt glinted with gold panels. ‘Ah, Lysia, my dear. Would you escort the ladies to our bathhouse and show them their sleeping arrangements. Oh, and the children.’ 

He turned back to Father and Gaius, having shuffled off responsibility for us to Lysia, presumably his wife. But he’d omitted to even mention our households.

‘Excuse me, Aulus Glabrus,’ I said, mustering my strength. ‘May I know the arrangements for our servants? Where will they sleep and when may they use the baths?’

He frowned, then looked puzzled. 

‘I’m sure my steward will have taken care of them. We have extensive slave quarters.’

‘None of our servants is a slave. All are freedmen and -women.’

‘Really?’ He pulled his head back as a pigeon would. His face showed a mixture of shock and surprise. ‘How unusual.’

‘My daughter is correct and I’m pleased she’s reminded me,’ Father said. ‘Perhaps your steward would attend her so she may be sure of our people’s welfare.’

‘Well, if you think it absolutely necessary. Your daughter is very confident of herself. How modern.’ 

Lucilla took a step forward, her mouth opened, but I grabbed her wrist before she could say anything. I shook my head very slightly. She glanced at me, then shrugged.

‘My sisters and daughters will be delighted and relieved to go to bathe,’ I said, ‘as will Maelia Mitela and her daughters, but I will stay here and wait for your steward.’ I looked him directly in the face, something this old-fashioned man would not have been used to from most Roman women. From the corner of my eye, I caught Gaius smiling behind our host.

‘Oh, very well.’ Glabrus ordered the young man standing at the side of the atrium to fetch the steward. 

We all waited in silence. Give him his due, the steward arrived very quickly. He was a man about Father’s age, but with more grey hair. He bowed to Glabrus, who pointed to me. 

‘Lucius Apulius’s daughter wishes to speak to you. But before you do, send somebody to mix us some wine. I’m sure we men could all use a drink.’

‘I thought Glabrus was going to have a seizure when you addressed him,’ Lucilla said in a low voice when we lay in the warm pool. Lysia was occupied talking to the children several feet away, but acoustics in small private baths were often a little too good. 

‘And I thought you were going to tell him exactly how rude you thought he was,’ I replied as quietly.

‘Well, he was.’

‘He was not only rude, but thoughtless.’

‘Typical new man.’ Lucilla snorted.

‘Typical man,’ I replied. ‘But sometimes you have to ignore it and curb your tongue in order to get what you want.’

‘Are our people well?’

‘Yes. Their steward was very patient and polite. They’ve all been fed in the freedmen’s dining room and rooms found for them. They will have to share, but at least they’re not housed in the slave barracks.’ 

‘I bet those places are as miserable as Tartarus if Glabrus is anything to go by.’

‘Basic, I’d think, but the steward seemed reasonable, so perhaps not as bad as on some latifundia. Anyway, the children are going to have supper and we must tidy ourselves up ready for dinner with the delightful Glabrus.’

‘I can’t wait,’ grumped Lucilla.

‘You have packed a long tunic, haven’t you?’ Surely Lucilla wasn’t going to walk into the triclinium wearing her trousers? Glabrus would have a fit then.

‘You should see your face, Galla. Of course, I have.’ 

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 Alison Morton

Alison Morton writes award-winning thrillers featuring tough but compassionate heroines. Her ten-book Roma Nova series is set in an imaginary European country where a remnant of the Roman Empire has survived into the 21st century and is ruled by women who face conspiracy, revolution and heartache but use a sharp line in dialogue. The latest, EXSILIUM, plunges us back to the late 4th century, to the very foundation of Roma Nova.

She blends her fascination for Ancient Rome with six years’ military service and a life of reading crime, historical and thriller fiction. On the way, she collected a BA in modern languages and an MA in history.  

Alison now lives in Poitou in France, the home of Mélisende, the heroine of her two contemporary thrillers, Double Identity and Double Pursuit. 

You can also find her on the following social media platforms:

#RomaNovaSeries #EXSILIUM #AlternativeHistoricalFiction #HistoricalFiction #BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub

Thursday 28 March 2024

In a grave, on the edge of a Roman battlefield, an ancient sword has been discovered. Legend claims it belonged to King David of Israel and carries a curse—those who wield it will tragically die—but not the chosen.


A Sword Among Ravens 
(Book 3 Of The Long-Hair Saga)
By Cynthia Ripley Miller

Publication Date: 9th December 2020
Page Length: 281 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction / Historical Thriller

In a grave, on the edge of a Roman battlefield, an ancient sword has been discovered. Legend claims it belonged to King David of Israel and carries a curse—those who wield it will tragically die—but not the chosen.

AD 455. Arria Felix and her husband, Garic the Frank, have safely delivered a sacred relic to Emperor Marcian in Constantinople. But now, Arria and Garic will accept a new mission. The emperor has asked them to carry the sword of King David of Israel to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem where Arria will dedicate it in her murdered father’s memory.

As Arria and Garic travel into the heart of the Holy Land, they face many challenges and dangers. A brutal killer stalks their path. Their young daughter is missing then found in the company of a strange and suspicious old monk. And a band of cold-blooded thieves is determined to steal the sword for their own gains. But when Arria confronts the question of where the sword should truly rest—old friendships, loyalties, and her duty are put to the test like never before. At every turn, Arria and Garic find themselves caught in a treacherous mission wrapped in mystery, murder, and A Sword Among Ravens.

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A Sword Among Ravens 

Cynthia Ripley Miller

Cynthia Ripley Miller is a first-generation Italian-American writer with a love for history, languages, and books. She has lived, worked, and traveled in Europe, Africa, North America, and the Caribbean. As a girl, she often wondered what it would be like to journey through time (she still does), yet she knew it could only be through the imagination and words of writers and their stories. Today, she writes to bring the past to life. 

Cynthia holds two degrees and has taught history and teaches English. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthology Summer Tapestry and The Scriptor. A Chanticleer International Chatelaine Award finalist for her novel On the Edge of Sunrise, she has reviewed for UNRV Roman History and blogs at Historical Happenings and Oddities: A Distant Focus and on her website. 

Cynthia has four children and lives with her husband, twin cats, Romulus and Remus, and Jessie, a German Shepherd, in a suburb of Chicago. On the Edge of Sunrise is the first in the Long-Hair Sagas; a series set in late ancient Rome and France and published by Booklocker.

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Wednesday 27 March 2024

Dive into a high-octane thriller where history hangs in the balance, alliances are tested, and one man stands against the darkness.

Mission Churchill
By Alex Abella

Publication Date: 31st January 2024
Publisher: Adler Entertainment Trust LLC
Page Length: 276 Pages
Genre: Historical Thriller

In 1933 Cuba, a deadly game of cat and mouse unfolds. An IRA sharpshooter, driven by vengeance and a relentless mission, has Winston Churchill in his crosshairs. But just as the assassin is about to strike, Churchill's tenacious bodyguard, Walter Thompson, intervenes, forcing the killer into the shadows.

Years later, amid the fiery rain of the German Blitz on London, Thompson locks eyes with a ghost from Havana—the very same assassin. But now, the stakes are higher. As Thompson dives deeper into the city's underworld, he uncovers a chilling conspiracy within the British government, threatening to topple Churchill and hand victory to Hitler.

Racing against time amidst the backdrop of a city in chaos, Thompson must decipher the twisted web of treachery to save his nation and the man he's sworn to protect. But at what cost?

Dive into a high-octane thriller where history hangs in the balance, alliances are tested, and one man stands against the darkness.

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Mission Churchill

Alex Abella

Alex Abella is a New York Times Notable Book novelist, screenwriter, Emmy award winning newswriter, and journalist.

Alex’s latest novel is Mission Churchill, a thriller involving assassination attempts against Winston Churchill—in 1933 Cuba and during the German Blitz on London. Churchill’s wily bodyguard, Walter Thompson, saves the Prime Minister, uncovering a wide conspiracy at the highest levels of British society to dispose of Churchill.

Alex’s first thriller, The Killing of the Saints (Crown), was a New York Times Notable Book, and was translated into twelve foreign languages.  Its sequels, Dead of Night and Final Acts (Simon & Schuster) were published in quick succession. The trilogy won praise from critics and prominent writers such as Michael Connelly, T. Jefferson Parker, and Robert Ferrigno. Paramount Pictures optioned The Killing of the Saints and commissioned Alex to write the screenplay. Alex developed original series for Warner Bros. and The Disney Channel.  His two-act play, Camelia, was staged Off Broadway at the Actors Ensemble Theater in New York City.

Alex also wrote The Great American (Simon & Schuster), a historical novel set in 1950s Cuba based on the life of William Morgan, a real-life, Ohio-born Marine who became one of the leaders of the Castro revolution. For years Alex has conducted dozens of interviews of prominent Cubans and Cuban Americans for an on-going project on the influence of Cuba in the U.S., A DARKER MIRROR.

Alex’s last non-fiction book, Soldiers of Reason: The Rand Corporation and the Rise of the American Empire (Harcourt), a study of the world’s most influential think tank, was long listed for the National Book Award. Alex’s other non-fiction books include Shadow Enemies (Lyons Press) a narrative account of a plot by Adolf Hitler to start a wave of terror and destruction in the United States. Alex has been a contributing writer to the Los Angeles Times, TIME Magazine, and a number of publications.

Born in Cuba, Alex’s family migrated to the United States when Alex was 10. Alex grew up in New York City, winning a Pulitzer Scholarship at Columbia University, earning a B.A. in Comparative Literature. Moving to California, Alex was a reporter for The San Francisco Chronicle. Switching over to broadcast media at KTVU-TV, Channel 2 News, Alex became producer, writer, and reporter, won a Newswriting Emmy (Group) and was nominated for an Emmy for Best Breaking News Story. Alex was a foreign correspondent in Central America and received a commendation from The San Francisco Press Club for his reporting.

Alex speaks five languages and has traveled extensively through Latin America and Europe.  Alex is married and lives in the suburbs of Los Angeles.

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Tuesday 26 March 2024

London 1671 - Where secrets end in death.

The Shadows of London
James Marwood & Cat Lovett, Book 6) 
By Andrew Taylor

Publication Date: 2nd March 2023
Publisher: HarperCollins 
Page Length: 454 Pages
Genre: Historical Thriller

The damage caused by the Great Fire still overshadows the capital.

The disfigured body of a man is unearthed in the ruins of the old almshouse, forcing architect Cat Hakesby to stop restoration work. It is clear he has been murdered, and Whitehall secretary James Marwood is ordered to investigate.

When the man’s identity is revealed, it’s clear that there are larger forces at play, and Marwood comes under serious pressure to solve the case. But an old adversary is attempting to stop him.

As Cat and Marwood follow the threads of corruption into the heart of government, the king himself is being distracted from affairs of state. A young, impoverished Frenchwoman has caught his eye – a quiet affair that will have monumental consequences.

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 The Shadows of London

Andrew Taylor

A highly-regarded British novelist, best-known for his historical novels and crime fiction, Andrew Taylor holds a CWA Diamond Dagger for excellence in crime writing and is the only author to have won the CWA Historical Dagger three times. A full-time writer since 1981, Taylor is the author of more than 40 novels. These include the historical mysteries The Silent Boy, The Anatomy of Ghosts, Bleeding Heart Square and The American Boy. Taylor’s most recent novels are a bestselling crime series following James Marwood and Cat Lovett and set in seventeenth-century England.

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Monday 25 March 2024

And in that moment, he is forced to make a choice as the gods look on – a choice that could, at worst, destroy him and at best, ensure his name lives on forever.

Riddle of the Gods
By Eric Schumacher

Publication Date: 25th March 2024
Publisher: Bodn Books
Page Length: 280 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

Riddle of the Gods is the riveting fourth novel in the best-selling series chronicling the life and adventures of one of Norway’s most controversial kings, Olaf Tryggvason.

It is AD 976. 

Olaf Tryggvason, the renegade prince of Norway, has lost his beloved wife to a tragedy that turns the lords of the land he rules against him. With his family gone and his future uncertain, Olaf leaves his realm and embarks on a decades-long quest to discover his course in life. Though his journey brings him power and wealth, it is not until he encounters the strange man in the streets of Dublin that his path to fame unfolds. And in that moment, he is forced to make a choice as the gods look on – a choice that could, at worst, destroy him and at best, ensure his name lives on forever.

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Riddle of the Gods

Eric Schumacher

Eric Schumacher (1968 – ) is a historical fiction author of multiple best-selling novels set in the Viking Age. From a young age, Schumacher was drawn to books about medieval kings and warlords and was fascinated by their stories and the turbulent times in which they lived. It is a fascination that led to the publication of his first novel, God’s Hammer, in 2005, and many subsequent novels thereafter.
Schumacher now resides in Santa Barbara with his wife and two children and is busy working on his next novel. 

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#HistoricalFiction #HistoricalAdventure #Norse #NewRelease #BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub

Sunday 24 March 2024

A spellbinding novel of World War II based on the little-known history of the X Troop.

The Last of the Seven
By Steven Hartov

Publication Date: 9th August 2022
Publisher: Hanover Square Press
Page Length: 368 Pages
Genre: Historical Thriller

A spellbinding novel of World War II based on the little-known history of the X Troop—a team of European Jews who escaped the Continent only to join the British Army and return home to exact their revenge on Hitler’s military.

A lone soldier wearing a German uniform stumbles into a British military camp in the North African desert with an incredible story to tell. He is the only survivor of an undercover operation meant to infiltrate a Nazi base, trading on the soldiers’ perfect fluency in German. However, this man is not British-born but instead a German Jew seeking revenge for the deaths of his family back home in Berlin.

As the Allies advance into Europe, the young lieutenant is brought to recover in Sicily. There he is recruited by a British major to join the newly formed X Troop, a commando unit composed of German and Austrian Jews training for a top secret mission at a nearby camp in the Sicilian hills. They are all “lost boys,” driven not by patriotism but by vengeance.

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 The Last of the Seven

Steven Hartov
Steven Hartov was born in New London, Connecticut, attended public schools in New England and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Boston University. In 1973 he joined the U.S. Merchant Marine Military Sealift Command, beginning a series of adventures that would later inspire his non-fiction and literary works.

In 1977, he volunteered for the Israel Defense Forces, serving first as a paratrooper and later in a Special Operations branch of Israeli Military Intelligence. He subsequently served 13 more years as an IDF reservist and 17 years as an officer and task force commander in the New York Guard.

Hartov’s writing career began in the 1990s with a series of espionage novels based in the Middle East. His trilogy, “The Heat of Ramadan,” “The Nylon Hand of God,” and “The Devil’s Shepherd,” earned nominations for national book awards, top ten placements in the Book of the Month Club, translations into six foreign languages and a feature film. In 2003 he co-authored the New York Times bestseller “In the Company of Heroes,” followed by “The Night Stalkers,” “Afghanistan on the Bounce,” and the first two books in his new historical fiction series about World War II, “The Soul of a Thief” and “The Last of the Seven.”

He is the former Editor-In-Chief of the professional military journal, “Special Operations Report.” His works are recommended readings by the U.S. Army War College.

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Saturday 23 March 2024

As castle after castle falls victim to siege, the icy Fens ring with rumours of a madman, of murder - and of a small piece of parchment with a terrible secret to tell, the cost of which none of them could have imagined.

Winter Siege
By Ariana Franklin 

Publication Date: 9th October 2014
Publisher: Transworld Digital
Page Length: 450 Pages
Genre: Historical Thriller

It's 1141 and freezing cold.

Gwil, a battle-hardened mercenary, is horrified to stumble across a little girl close to death. She has been attacked, just one more victim in a winter of atrocities. Clutching a sliver of parchment, she is terrified - but Gwil knows what he must do. He will bring her back to life. He will train her to fight. And together, they will hunt down the man who did this to her.

But danger looms wherever they turn. As castle after castle falls victim to siege, the icy Fens ring with rumours of a madman, of murder - and of a small piece of parchment with a terrible secret to tell, the cost of which none of them could have imagined...

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Winter Siege

Ariana Franklin 

Ariana Franklin was the pen name of British writer Diana Norman. A former journalist, Norman had written several critically acclaimed biographies and historical novels. She lived in Hertfordshire, England, with her husband, the film critic Barry Norman.

Friday 22 March 2024

A quick read filled with friendship, love, and a deep adoration of coffee and muffins.

Escape The Choice 
(The Choice Series, Book 1)
By Ellie Yarde 

Publication Date: March 1st 2022
Publisher: Independent;
Page Length: 40 Pages
Genre: One-Hour Teen & Young Adult Short Reads

How do you make a choice when you don't want to choose?

Oliver's friendship may be important to Ali, after all, she's the only friend he's got, but that's all they will ever be – friends. When it comes to Noah, she can't help but hope their friendship will become something more. Her heart flutters when he is near, and her eyes always seem to find his.

Unfortunately for Ali, Oliver would make things very difficult if anything were to happen between her and Noah, and while Noah has never told her not to be friends with Oliver, his distaste for the man is quite clear. For Ali to resolve the ongoing dispute, she will have to choose between them. But how can Ali choose between the two men when her decision will mean she has to cut one of them from her life?

A quick read filled with friendship, love, and a deep adoration of coffee and muffins.

Only 0.99 on #Kindle
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Escape The Choice

Ellie Yarde

Ellie Yarde is primarily a reader and blogger. She writes short stories, which are published on her blog, Reading All Night, where she also shares her reviews. Escape The Choice is Ellie’s debut novel, and the first in The Choice Series. 

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It's 1968 in Whisper Haven, and 8-year-old Carl Pozzi’s world is about to change.


Covered in Flour
By Charles Presti

Publication Date: 10th October 2023
Publisher: Charles Presti
Page Length: 220 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

It's 1968 in Whisper Haven, and 8-year-old Carl Pozzi’s world is about to change.
For eight-year-old Carl Pozzi, 1968 begins like any other year—playing kickball with friends and enjoying the comforting aroma of Mom's pasta dinners in their predominantly white suburban Whisper Haven home. But when Carl's teacher introduces lessons about racial prejudice and injustice, his worldview cracks wide open.

How far can innocence stretch before it snaps?

As Carl flips through the pages of his 3-ring binder, each lesson serves as a gateway to a journey of self-discovery and understanding. It's an expedition that not only changes him but reshapes his whole concept of family and justice—especially as he watches his father put on a police uniform during one of the most fraught periods in American history.

"Covered in Flour" is not just a heartfelt stroll down memory lane. It's a captivating coming-of-age saga that digs deep beneath the surface of suburban tranquility. It beckons you to reconsider long-held family values and confront the societal norms you've taken for granted. 

Written with genuine love, humor, and a tinge of sorrow, this story blends the nostalgia of tradition with the inevitability of change, offering a stirring mix that leaves you pondering long after the last page is turned. This book isn't just a delightful read; it's a catalyst for introspection, freshly baked and served for your soul.




July of '68 was a cauldron simmering with civil unrest and racial tension. The nation and our city were still reeling from the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr., the man who dared to dream of a different America, and Bobby Kennedy, a beacon of hope for many. It felt like the pillars of change were being knocked down one by one, and all that was left was a bubbling stew of disillusionment and anger.

That night was a long and violent night in our city. The powder keg finally exploded. Folks weren't just angry; they were desperate, feeling cornered. The clash between the cops and the Black Power group wasn't just bullets and fire; it was an outpouring of years of bottled-up frustration, now intensified by the void those two men had left behind.

At home that night, we saw things through the lens of a police officer's family. Dad stood before the full-length mirror in the hallway; his reflection caught between the light and shadow that filtered through the curtains. He adjusted the stiff collar of his dark blue uniform, its buttons fastened meticulously, each grabbing a glint of sunlight. The rustling seemed to echo a little too loudly in the silent house.

He made his way to the family room where my sisters and I were waiting. Mom appeared, her face tight and lips pressed into a thin line. She carried a thermos and a small bag, her hands trembling as she handed them to him. 'I made you some coffee...and sandwiches. Just in case.'

'Thank you,' he replied, setting the items beside his gear. He looked at Sandra, then at Sofie and Anna Marie. 'Girls, listen to your mother while I'm away.' Then he looked at me and said, 'That goes for you too, Carl.'

I nodded; my throat suddenly tight, unable to muster a word. After what seemed like hours, with fingers clenched, I dragged my feet closer to Dad. 'Is it going to be bad out there?' I asked, standing in the doorway, my eyes searching his. He paused, his hands on the helmet. 'Let's hope not,' he finally said, avoiding my gaze.

With a deep sigh and a final glance back, he reached for the white helmet resting on the table, turning it in his hands before placing it over his head. Each snap of the chin strap seemed to underscore the gravity of the situation. With the visor casting a shadow over his eyes, he stepped out, closing the door behind him with a subdued click. The house seemed to hold its breath, as if bracing for the uncertainty that awaited us all.

Pick up your copy of
Covered in Flour

Charles Presti

Charles Presti, emerging from the sun-drenched shores of Pensacola, Florida, crafts narratives that echo with the richness of his varied life. His journey from a USF College of Medicine graduate to a storyteller is as unconventional as it is inspiring. Drawing from his days as a physician and informatics specialist, Charles infuses his writing with a rare blend of scientific precision and heartfelt emotion. His debut novel, "Covered in Flour," is a vivid tapestry of his Italian-American heritage, his experiences in the whirlwind era of the 1960s, and his personal journey as a gay man. These elements converge to create stories that not only entertain but resonate deeply with themes of family, discovery, and the delicate dance of life's everyday moments.

Charles's passion for storytelling is paralleled only by his commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion. Alongside his husband, Mike Bruce, and their beloved Wheaton Terrier, Zoey, he is a vibrant force and founder of "Sunday's Child," a local charity dedicated to nurturing inclusion and empowering LGBTQ+ and  other marginalized communities through grants to local charities. A pillar in the Emerald Coast Writers group, he continually explores the nuances of identity, heritage, and a sense of belonging. Discover more about Charles's captivating world and "Covered in Flour" at, where each story is a window into a life lived fully and authentically.

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