Chris Kuzneski : Prisoners Gold (Review)

Chris Kuzneski attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he played football, wrote for three newspapers, and passed most of his classes. He earned a master’s degree in teaching, then taught English for five years before pursuing a career in writing. His first novel, THE PLANTATION, introduced the characters of Payne and Jones, and received rave reviews.

Prisoners Gold:

Buy a signed copy


Book three in the #1 bestselling action series


At the end of the 13th century, Chinese Emperor Kublai Khan gave an Italian merchant unfettered access to his kingdom. The traveler was Marco Polo, and his journey would become legendary. Aided by a special passport that protected him throughout the land, Polo amassed unbelievable wealth and hid it before his return to Italy. To this day, the location of his treasure remains a mystery.


The Hunters – an elite group assembled by an enigmatic billionaire to locate the world’s greatest treasures – are tasked with finding the missing fortune. Guided by firsthand accounts of Polo’s travels, they quickly discover there are hostile forces willing to do anything to stop them from taking the riches from Chinese soil. Before long, the treasure hunt becomes a deadly game of cat-and-mouse that will rewrite history while taking the lives of many.


As the danger mounts, will the Hunters rise to the challenge? Or will the team be killed before they find Polo’s treasure?


Chris Kuzneski has over the course of the Hunters series become a guilty pleasure, his characters remind me of the fun and enjoyment I felt when I first read Clive Cussler, and it was amusing to see he had emulated the man with a small cameo (I hope he keeps these up, they always give me a laugh).

This is book three of the Hunters series and sends our team once more on a seemingly impossible mission, first Nazi treasure, then the tomb of Alexander the Great, now they search for the treasure of Marco Polo. The team are still mourning the loss of one of their own when a new member is introduced adding a new dimension to the team, and much needed expertise on a search thats begins with rumour and worse than third hand knowledge. In the background Cobb is still trying to uncover why they are being asked to solve these great mysteries and why the Frenchman takes no credit for them, who is really pulling the strings and for what reason, and how much danger are the team in?

As per the rest of the series the book is an explosive action packed thrill ride, tempered with real laugh out loud moments, (usually courtesy of their resident sniper and weapons expert, you just can’t beat gallows humour). Many of this style of action adventure lack plot maturity, but that’s not the case with Prisoners Gold or the other books in the series, the plot has multiple layers and enough twists and turns to wrap you in knots, and yet a balance and flow that means you just cannot put it down, once again the author has written a sleep killer of a book.

Highly recommend this and cannot wait to see it on the big or small screen, because its perfect for either format.


Payne and Jones
1. The Plantation (2000)
2. Sign of the Cross (2006)
3. Sword of God (2007)
4. The Lost Throne (2008)
5. The Prophecy (2009)
6. The Secret Crown (2010)
7. The Death Relic (2011)
8. The Einstein Pursuit (2013)
Slipcase: Sign of the Cross / Sword of God / Lost Throne(omnibus) (2011)

1. The Hunters (2013)
2. The Forbidden Tomb (2014)
3. The Prisoner’s Gold (2015)

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Filed under Action/ Adventure Thrillers, Chris Kuzneski

C.C. Humphreys: Shakespeare’s Rebel (Review)

Author Bio

David Cooper Photography 2007

Chris (C.C.) Humphreys is an actor, playwright, fight choreographer and novelist.  He has written nine historical fiction novels including The French Executioner, runner up for the CWA Steel Dagger for Thrillers; Vlad – The Last Confession,  the epic novel of the real Dracula; and A Place Called Armageddon. His latest YA novel is The Hunt of the Unicorn. His work has been translated into thirteen languages. Find out more about him on his Website

Social Networking Links





Title: Shakespeare’s Rebel

Author: C.C. Humphreys

ISBN: 9781492609902

Pubdate: October 6, 2015


Shakespeare's Rebel cover

Buy Links

Amazon US

Barnes & Noble

Indie Bound

To be (or not to be) the man to save England

England’s finest swordsman and fight choreographer at the magnificent new Globe Theatre has hit rock bottom. John Lawley just wants to win back his beloved, become a decent father to his son, and help his friend William Shakespeare finish The Tragedy of Hamlet, the play that threatens to destroy him.

But all is not fair in love and war. Dogged by his three devils—whiskey, women, and Mad Robbie Deveraux—John is dragged by Queen Elizabeth herself into a dangerous game of politics, conspiracy, and rebellion. Will the hapless swordsman figure out how to save England before it’s too late?

Brimming with vivid periodic detail, Shakespearean drama, and irresistible wit, Shakespeare’s Rebel is a thrilling romp through the romantic, revolutionary times of Elizabethan England that will delight historical fiction fans and Shakespeare enthusiasts alike.


“Buffoon!” John bellowed. “Whoreson dog! Do you think I have time to play with fools and children? I am going to pluck out your liver and eat it raw before your fading eyes.” Accompanying this with a great swish down through the air with his cutting edge, he leaped forward, seeming to cover a lot of ground while only taking a pace, then bringing his back edge fast up, steel whistling through the air. Next, he put himself into guard—­but not in a quiet way, for as he yelled again, he took the step back he needed for room, at the same time sweeping his sword up in a great stroke against the edge of his buckler, making the small shield clang. At shout and strike, the men before him again slowed, so once more he brought his sword hard down from the height, ringing metal on metal again, taking another step back. Then, with a final retire and his guard low, he jerked the sword tip hard up in an unmistakable severing of man’s most precious part. All winced as he then aligned his sword’s tip with his buckler, thrusting both forward, peering over the twin steel even as he stepped back once more.

It was a true swashbuckle. He had executed it well, perhaps lessening the memory of his previous slide to the cobbles. A cheer came from the crowd, drowning Silver’s “Oh, sir!” at this breach of English restraint. Yet both men knew also that the noise had caused a distraction. Both used it now.

John heard that swish of steel beside him, a first yelp of pain, the last things he heard. It was ever thus with him in a fight, the near silent place he went to, entering it even as he launched himself. Thought and action, one.

The main threat was in the middle, so he avoided it directly, slamming the blades on his right with both his own weapons, collecting his foe’s with a slight circle of his own sword, before knocking aside the first thrust at his side with a downward sweep of his buckler. The boy who’d delivered it recovered with a step back, taking guard again, giving John the moment to close right, keeping the rapier and dagger he’d gathered with his sword while sweeping his elbow up, driving it into the apprentice’s cheek.

His weight was behind the blow. The youth went down, falling into the butcher’s boy, blocking another advance—­which gave John the second moment he needed. As the apprentice on the other side lunged at his face, from the crouch where his elbow strike had taken him John swept his blade across and hard, knocking the weapon away, exposing the man’s face to the buckler, driven in like a fist, a metaled fist, straight to the nose. The youth cartwheeled backward, dropping both his blades as he went, and smashed into the

eel cart.

“Oy!” the stallholder screamed, steadying his stall, though not enough to prevent some of his produce from flopping onto the cobbles.


When i get to the end of a book im always eager to sit and write the review, to express my opinion and feelings of the work i have just finished. I think this is probably the first time i have been intimidated by the process, worried that i didnt have the right words or the eloquence to do justice to the book.

Yes the book is simply that good.

I have read many stories where the authors love of the subject is clear in the telling of the story. But this time its more than that its a passion for the tale, for the time, for the people and for the subject. This passion leaps from every word, every utterance of every character the very bones and soul of the story.

The synopsis will tell you enough about the plot im certainly not going to spoil a single line of it for you.  What my utmost desire is by writing this, is that you go and buy a copy.  Because this story has it all; a love story, a family story, History, mystery and intrigue, passion, sex, plots, fighting, infighting, backstabbing…the list could go on and on. Its is the complete package.

A book this good comes along only rarely and deserves to hit the bestseller list.

Highest possible recommendation:



French Executioner
1. The French Executioner (2002)
2. Blood Ties (2002)
The French ExecutionerBlood Ties
Jack Absolute
1. Jack Absolute: The 007 of the 1770s (2003)
2. The Blooding of Jack Absolute (2004)
3. Absolute Honour (2006)
Jack Absolute: The 007 of the 1770sThe Blooding of Jack AbsoluteAbsolute Honour
Vlad: The Last Confession (2008)
The Hunt of the Unicorn (2011)
A Place Called Armageddon (2011)
Shakespeare’s Rebel (2013)
Plague (2014)
The Curse of Anne Boleyn (2015)
Fire (2015)
Vlad: The Last ConfessionThe Hunt of the UnicornA Place Called ArmageddonShakespeare's RebelPlague

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Filed under C C Humphreys, Historical Fiction

Sven Hassel & Jiordy Diago : Wheels of Terror Graphic Novel (Review)

Author (From his web site)

Sven Hassel (born Pedersen) was born in 1917 in a small town in Denmark called Frederiksborg. Here he was raised in an impoverished Danish working-class family that drove him to join the merchant navy as a ship-boy at the very early age of 14 to earn a living. Later, in 1936, 19-year-old Sven had completed the Danish mandatory military service.

After completion he found himself in the midst of increasing unemployment and an overall crisis in Denmark. He therefore decided to try his luck and moved to neighboring Germany in hopes of finding employment: “Germany was obviously not the right country to move to, but then again, you must remember that those times were chaotic and at that point there was still no war,” Sven related in hindsight.
Even so, his job hunt was unsuccessful and he therefore decided to join the German army(Wehrmacht) as a volunteer in 1938. In order to sign up, however, he had to take on German citizenship, which he was granted by falsely stating his father was of Austrian origin (to enlist in the Wehrmacht it was a prerequisite for a foreigner to have a father of German or Austrian descent). He initially enrolled in the 2ndPanzerregiment and later in the 11th and 27thPanzerregiment (both in the 6th Panzer Division). An unsuccessful attempt to desert landed Sven within the penal battalion of the 27th. It was here that Sven encountered the comrades that would motivate and inspire the novels to come.As a soldier on the front, Hassel was exposed to the dangers of fighting on various front lines and the injuries that came with it. He was wounded 8 times in total and during one of these stints he was temporarily transferred to theAbwehr (espionage) in Denmark for a few months (from December 1944 to January 1945). By the end of the war, Hassel had gone from enlisting as a volunteer to making the ranks of a lieutenant and earning the Iron Cross, first and second class.Nonetheless, when the war ended in 1945, as a consequence of fighting on the German side, he had to serve multiple prison terms in various camps as a P.O.W., which included Russian, American, and French. Afterwards and upon returning home to Denmark, Hassel’s German citizenship was cancelled and he was initially condemned to 10 years in Danish prison for treason (for serving in the German army), but in 1949 amnesty was granted to a great majority of political prisoners, having them hereby released. Hassel’s entire career in the German army was carefully written down in hisHeeresstammkarte (a card handed to each soldier to be carried on their person at all times) showing his rank, positioning, and whereabouts throughout the war.It was while serving sentence in one of these prison camps Hassel began writing his first book. The

Legion of the Damned was first published in Denmark in 1953. To this day, it is the only Danish novel that has been sold consecutively for more than six decades since its first edition. But it was not an easy start, and 12 publishers initially rejected the novel, prior to its first release. Also, he had to write under a pen name (Sven Hassel) because of the hostile feelings towards Danes who had served on the German side. “It was necessary to write under a pseudonym after the war when one had been convicted of German military service, you could easily get fired from work because of this. The fact that I used a pen name has been used against me on numerous occasions, but many writers through history have chosen to do the same,” Hassel explained.“Hassel,” however, was a protected family name in Denmark, and so his publishers changed it to “Hazel” in Denmark, Norway and Iceland – elsewhere it remained “Hassel.” In later years, Sven was legally able to acquire the name “Hassel,” but due to the popularity of his books the name continued with a “z” in the above-mentioned 3 countries.

Initially, post-war, Hassel had the intention of joining the French Foreign Legion, like many of his comrades, as that seemed to be the only option since the trade of a soldier was all he knew. However, and luckily, he met his future wife before enlisting, and that change of fate drove him to eventually become the writer we know of today. Sven married Dorthe in 1951 and together they had a son a year later.

Meanwhile, and despite of having released his first novel, Hassel continued to work at a Mercedes Benz distributor in Copenhagen, Denmark, among other jobs, to support his wife and son, as authorship was still not in the cards and certainly not a reliable means of income.

His career could have been short-lived. In 1957, Hassel fell ill with a rare disease causing total paralysis and a dramatic weight-loss. He was forced to leave his job at the time, which left the family without earnings. It wasn’t until he was admitted to the

Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, in Hamburg, Germany, that they were able to discover the source of his illness – a rare fever originating in the Caucasus region – and thereby treat it. Hassel made a full recovery and was completely cured one year later. Shortly thereafter, his wife encouraged him to start writing again.Hassel went on to create a series of 14 World War II inspired novels, drawing from his own encounters and experiences of the war. The books take the reader on a journey following the trial and tribulations of Hassel and his comrades from the penal battalion:

Porta, Tiny, the Legionnaire, Old Man, Heide, Gregor Martin, Barcelona Blom and the author himself. The few to survive the war were Sven, Tiny, the Legionnaire, Heide, and Gregor Martin.

Gregor Martin became the owner of a large transportation company and proved to be a real entrepreneur. “Julius Heide became a major in the Eastern German army. I kept in touch with him, the Legionnaire, and Tiny for many years. The Legionnaire and Tiny both joined the French Foreign Legion, and eventually ended up in a home for retired legionnaires. But they all passed away a long time ago,” Hassel explained in his last interview in 2010.Sven Hassel’s 14 novels include:

The Legion of the Damned, Wheels of Terror (also a motion picture), Comrades of War, Marchbattalion, Assignment Gestapo, Monte Cassino, Liquidate Paris, SS General, Reign of Hell, Blitzfreeze, The Bloody Road to Death, Court Martial, O.G.P.U. Prison, and The Commissar. These novels have seen worldwide success with over 53 million copies sold, translated into 25 languages and published in more than 50 countries. In Great Britain alone, the books have sold more than 15 million copies.Hassel’s antiwar novels portray the ordinary soldier – showing us the flipside of the medals. These soldiers are not men who provoke wars, but instead are used as pawns forced to fight them. The novels are based not only on the author’s own experience fighting in WWII, but also incorporate fictional elements and plotlines, accentuated with a tremendously witty sense of humor. It should be noted that the books while based on Hassel’s experiences and those of his battalion, contain fictional elements and should not be considered autobiographical nor historical documentary pieces. His hopes are to warn younger generations against the atrocities of war, stressing that war is the last resort exploited by flawed politicians.

Sven Hassel peacefully passed away on September 21st, 2012, in Barcelona, Spain, where he had been residing since 1964

Author website


A graphic novel adaptation of Sven Hassel’s classic war novel, WHEELS OF TERROR, illustrated by Jordy Diago.

Stationed on the Eastern Front and now equipped with armoured vehicles, Sven Hassel and his comrades from the 27th Penal Regiment fight on remorselessly . . . All of them should be dead: life expectancy on the Front is measured in weeks. But Sven, Porta, the Old Un and the Legionnaire fight to the end, not for Germany, not for Hitler, but for survival.

From the blistering cold to the horrors of tank warfare, WHEELS OF TERROR is a sobering depiction of war’s brutalities, and the violence and inhumanity that the history books leave out.


Reading this authors books is always a sobering experience, i grew up reading Valiant, commando and similar comics, all of which told from the perspective of the allies and more often than not seeking the heroic deeds and outcome of a mission. Wheels of Terror is very unlike those tales. Told from the German perspective it gives a sobering  view of the horrors the average German soldier experienced and how they persevered and survived the war.

The dialogue translated to Graphic novel is sharp and insightful and still manages to bring each characters persona to life. The art work is from someone i have not read before.  He,  Jordy Diago manages to capture the darkness and horror of the text perfectly and infuses the characters with the personalities so well described in the novel.

This is an excellent book for fans of WW2 reading and Graphic novels in general.



Legion of the Damned (1953)
Wheels of Terror (1958)
Comrades of War (1960)
March Battalion (1962)
Assignment Gestapo (1963)
Monte Cassino (1963)
aka The Beast Regiment
Liquidate Paris (1967)
S. S. General (1969)
Gestapo (1972)
Reign of Hell (1973)
Blitzfreeze (1975)
The Bloody Road to Death (1977)
Court Martial (1979)
O. G. P. U. Prison (1982)
The Commissar (1985)


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Conn Iggulden: War of the Roses (Bloodline) Review

I was born in the normal way in 1971, and vaguely remember half-pennies and sixpences. I have written for as long as I can remember: poetry, short stories and novels. It’s what I always wanted to do and read English at London University with writing in mind. I taught English for seven years and was Head of English at St. Gregory’s RC High School in London by the end of that period. I have enormous respect for those who still labour at the chalk-face. In truth, I can’t find it in me to miss the grind of paperwork and initiatives. I do miss the camaraderie of the smokers’ room, as well as the lessons where their faces lit up as they understood what I was wittering on about.

My mother is Irish and from an early age she told me history as an exciting series of stories – with dates. My great-grandfather was a Seannachie, so I suppose story-telling is in the genes somewhere. My father flew in Bomber Command in WWII, then taught maths and science. Perhaps crucially, he also loved poetry and cracking good tales. Though it seems a dated idea now, I began teaching when boys were told only girls were good at English, despite the great names that must spring to mind after that statement. My father loved working with wood and equations, but he also recited ‘Vitai Lampada’ with a gleam in his eye and that matters, frankly.

I’ve always loved historical fiction as a genre and cut my teeth on Hornblower and Tai-Pan, Flashman, Sharpe and Jack Aubrey. I still remember the sheer joy of reading my first Patrick O’Brian book and discovering there were nineteen more in the series. I love just about anything by David Gemmell, or Peter F. Hamilton or Wilbur Smith. I suppose the one thing that links all those is the love of a good tale.

That’s about it for the moment. If you’d like to get in touch with me leave a comment in the forum or you can tweet me @Conn_Iggulden. I’ll leave it there for the moment. If you’ve read my books, you know an awful lot about the way I think already. There’s no point overdoing it.


Buy a signed copy

Bloodline  (The third book in the Wars of the Roses series)
A novel by Conn Iggulden

Winter 1461 – Richard Duke of York is dead, his ambitions in ruins, his head spiked on the walls of York city. King Henry VI is still held prisoner. His Lancastrian queen rides south with an army of northerners, accompanied by warriors from the Scottish Highlands. Margaret and her army seem unstoppable. But his death has unleashed York’s sons.

Edward of March, now Duke of York, proclaims himself England’s rightful king. Through blood and treason, broken men and vengeful women, brother shall confront brother, king shall face king. Two men may claim a crown. Only one can keep it.


The latest book from Conn Iggulden in his War of the Roses series and i have to say the finest in this series and quite possibly in his personal library of writing.  This book follows the next stage of the War of the Roses, Margaret of Anjou has killed Richard of York and defeated his army, but she makes her mistake by rubbing his son Edward Duke of March nose in it. She mounts York’s head on a traitors spike on the city gate. As nothing else this drives Edward to proclaim himself king, aided by his friend and mentor Warwick both of whom want nothing more than to defeat the killers of their fathers and retrieve their honour and heads.

Thus two great armies must meet on the great and bloody battlefield of Towton. If you know the history you know that this is a resounding win for Edward ending with the utter defeat of Henry’s forces, and leaving England with one strong king and thousands of dead bodies.

Throughout the entire lead up, battle and its aftermath Conn Iggulden tells his tale with an impartial insight and compassionate approach to viewpoint of the narrative. Margaret’s reasons seem sound when seen through her eyes, Edwards revenge vindicated, Warwick and the Neville’s decisions sound. even the reasoning behind King Edwards wifes persecution of certain nobels has a certain logic seen though her perspective. All of this leaving the way open for the reader to enjoy, be involved and interpret their own personal view of events.

I’ve always been a fan of Conn Igguldens style of writing, but this book is a new step in my opinion, one i wasn’t aware of the source until i read about his personal loss, something i think that has infused a certain extra depth and emotive layer which when coupled with the dramatic and extremely descriptive action packed style he has, makes this truly and exceptional book.

I doff my cap sir, i didn’t think you could out do wolf of the plains, but you prove me wrong again…. I look forward to you doing so again and again.

1. The Gates of Rome (2002)
2. The Death of Kings (2004)
3. The Field of Swords (2004)
4. The Gods of War (2006)
5. The Blood of Gods (2013)
Gates of Rome / Death of Kings (omnibus) (2009)
Emperor: The Gates of Rome / The Death of Kings / The Field of Swords / The Gods of War (omnibus) (2011)
The Emperor Series Books 1-5 (omnibus) (2013)
Emperor Series Collection 5 Books Set (omnibus) (2014)

1. Wolf of the Plains (2007)
aka Genghis: Birth of an Empire
2. Lords of the Bow (2008)
aka Genghis: Lords of the Bow
3. Bones of the Hills (2008)
4. Empire of Silver (2010)
aka Khan: Empire of Silver
5. Conqueror (2011)
Conqueror and Lords of the Bow (omnibus) (2009)
The Khan Series (omnibus) (2012)
Conqueror Series 5-Book Bundle (omnibus) (2013)

1. Tollins: Explosive Tales for Children (2009)
2. Dynamite Tales (2011) (with Lizzy Duncan)
Wars of the Roses
1. Stormbird (2013)
2. Trinity (2014)
aka Margaret of Anjou
3. Bloodline (2015)
Blackwater (2006)
Fig Tree (2014)
Series contributed to
Quick Reads 2012
Quantum of Tweed (2012)
Non fiction
The Dangerous Book for Boys Yearbook (2007) (with Hal Iggulden)
The Dangerous Book for Boys (2007) (with Hal Iggulden)
The Pocket Dangerous Book for Boys: Things to Do (2007)(with Hal Iggulden)
The Dangerous Book for Boys Kit: How to Get There(2008)
The Dangerous Book for Boys Kit: Nature Fun (2008)
The Dangerous Book for Boys: 2009 Day-to-Day Calendar (2008)
The Pocket Dangerous Book for Boys: Facts, Figures and Fun (2008)
The Pocket Dangerous Book for Boys: Things to Know(2008) (with Hal Iggulden)
The Pocket Dangerous Book for Boys: Wonders of the World (2008) (with Hal Iggulden)
The Dangerous Book for Boys 2010 Day-to-Day Calendar (2009) (with Hal Iggulden)
The Dangerous Book of Heroes (2009) (with David Iggulden)

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Filed under Conn Iggulden, Historical Fiction

Nathan Hawke Gallow Guest Blog.


Nathan Hawke's picture

Nathan Hawke
UK (1968 – )

A pseudonym used by Stephen Deas
Nathan Hawke is a British writer of fantasy fiction. He has worked variously in the City, as a consultant to the police and to the services. He has travelled in the far east, worked for a time in Las Vegas, was briefly involved in video game design, and once skied off a mountain under a parachute for a bet. His current ambitions include rafting the Colerado River and walking the Milford Track.The Gallow series are his first novels.


I fought for my king for seven long years. I have served lords and held my shield beside common men. I have fled in defeat and I have tasted victory and I will tell you which is sweeter. Despise me then, for I have slain more of your kin than I can count, though I remember every single face.

“Perfect for fans of historical fiction who want a little more bite to their reading, this trilogy earned rave reviews from authors such as Conn Iggulden and James Barclay.
It’s been two years since my Gallow books were published by Gollancz. In the normal run of things the third book in the trilogy would be coming out about now and I’d be submitting the manuscript for a fourth (or not) having been contracted (or not) for more at some point over the last six months. But that’s not how we did this. If you’ve been reading the series then you’ll know that all three came out in consecutive months back in 2013. If you haven’t then the good news is that there’s an omnibus of all three novels and about a dozen little shorts…
book cover of Gallow
(And if you’ve already got the novels, the shorts are all available for free via a rather neat little interactive map thing at  ).
I wanted Gallow to be something a bit modern and a bit retrospective. I wanted the visceral grit of modern fantasy but with a more solid hero, less moral ambiguity (you want moral ambiguity? Go read Stephen Deas’ Dragon Queen). A formidable warrior in his day, Gallow has settled down to peaceful family life only to find himself torn between duty to his people, duty to his family and duty to his own code. Actually I think moral people can be a lot more fun to write, in that it’s much easier to put them into a really difficult dilemma. So yes, there are a few of those. He’s also an outsider among his adopted people, which doesn’t go down too well when his own kith and kin start swinging axes about the place, and no matter whether Gallow stands against them. Life gets as difficult as a heartless author can make it, but Gallow will generally try to do the right thing. That’s the hero I wanted to write back then and it’s the hero I want to write now.
There’s a down side to publishing three books in quick succession though. What’s happened since is . . . an awful lot of nothing. But here’s where anyone who wants to can actually help. See, Gallow did well enough that my editor at Gollancz is keen to do more. I’ve got outlines. They’re good and I really want to write them. But to convince the dragons of Sales and Marketing I need some help with the three shorts Gollancz published earlier this year.
Shorts? What shorts?
Exactly. THESE shorts.
You want to know what happened to the Eyes of Time? You want to know about the drowned tomb under the lake? There’s The Anvil, in which Arda gives Gallow a taste of his own medicine. There’s Solace, in which Mirrahj does Gallow’s job for him; and then there’s Dragon’s Reach, in which Oribas meddles with things with which perhaps he shouldn’t; and if none of these names make any sense, that’s because you haven’t read The Fateguard Trilogy yet!
I need the dragons of Sales and Marketing not to have an excuse to say no. Because I really, really want to write Gallow some more. I can’t promise Gollancz will go for more if the shorts pick up. I can’t say for sure they won’t if they don’t. I can say that here’s an opportunity to make a difference.
So: as they say… Buy My Book (or at least my shorts)! Gallow is, to an extent, in your hand.
Thank you.
– Nathan Hawke
From Parmenion:
I personally love these books, the artwork is some of the best in recent years for any fantasy book, and thats just a prelude for the brilliant contents:

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Filed under Fantasy, Nathan Hawke

Pen and Sword II LAST CHANCE


Latest update from Christian Cameron , also last invite to an excellent trip of a lifetime

Originally posted on With Pen and Sword:


On November 2nd, 2015, I will again lead a hardy band of adventurers through Greek history.  Well, and possibly some ouzo…

This year, following the recreation of the time of the Battle of Marathon at Marathon, Greece, (October 29th – November 1st, 2015) we will visit Athens for some great museums and possibly some examinations of the current refugee crisis; we’ll go to Corinth and see both wineries and fortresses (and the site of a coming Tom Swan adventure and a past Tyrant episode) and then we’ll take our beautiful and luxurious bus (it really is like traveling in a land yacht) through the Peloponnese to Nafplion.  For those interested, the Peloponnese is ‘Morea’ in my Red Knight books.  Nafplion has another superb fortress, as well as a fantastic museum full of Bronze Age through Medieval artifacts, great restaurants and is sometimes called the ‘Venice of Greece.’

We’ll also…

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Simon Toyne Solomon Creed (2015) (A book in the Solomon Creed series) Review

Simon Toyne

Author Bio (From the authors Web Site)

An introduction to me…

I’ve been hooked on thrillers ever since I picked up my dad’s dog-eared copy of Alistair MacLean’s ‘The Satan Bug’ and discovered there was more to life than Paddington Bear and Roald Dahl.  But the journey towards actually becoming a writer of such stories was a gradual one.

At first I wanted to be an actor, until a degree in English and Drama at Goldsmith’s College in London made me realise I really didn’t.  Actors told other people’s stories.  I wanted to tell my own.  So now I had a new dream.  I wanted to write screenplays and direct films.

To try and achieve this slightly ambitious goal I wrote and directed a few shorts and produced a couple of full-length screenplays that were designed to be my ticket to the big time.  To fund this work I also freelanced in television, starting as a runner in an editing facility in Soho making tea and toast for people, then gradually working my way up the production ladder.  My show-reel of self-produced, self-written, directed and edited films got me noticed and I suddenly found myself a director, aged 25.  The master plan was working.  Surely the step from TV director to feature film-helmer was just around the corner.

Fifteen years later and I’m staring down the barrel of forty.  I’m a fairly successful TV producer with a good track record, particularly as a scriptwriter, and a good job in a leading UK independent production company.  I’m married with two kids.  I’m not going to direct feature films.  But I still have the ambition to tell a big story.  But when am I going to find the time?

My eldest is about to start school and I know that once she does I’ll be locked in a cycle of school terms and holidays.  If I ever want to write something big – now is the time.  But not a screenplay.  A screenplay is just the beginning of something.  I need to write something that once written is a finished thing.  I also need to write something commercial.  I can’t afford to take time off from a well-paid career and turn my back on my responsibilities as a husband and father on some kind of self-indulgent creative whim.  We had enough savings for me to take a sabbatical.  After that the dream was over.

So, a couple of ideas in my head and the fear of failure lighting a huge fire beneath me, I quit my job and moved with my family to France for seven months with the intention of writing a commercial thriller.  We nearly didn’t make it at all.

Setting sail on the midnight ferry to Dieppe on Dec 1st 2007 a force eight gale battered the ship, destroying not only the entire contents of the duty free shop but also any hope we had of sleeping in our tin-box cabin.  Consequently we arrived in France, exhausted but relieved to be alive, with all plans of driving for eight hours to our new home flapping tattered in the wind.  We limped inland, to Rouen, where in the pre-dawn light, I saw the twisted spires of the cathedral rising up into the lightening sky, and a new idea started to form.

As it turned out I only managed to write a third of my novel during our time in France.  We returned, as planned, when the money ran out.

My little girl started school and I went back to work freelancing at the same TV production where I’d once held a nice, safe, staff job.  It took another year and a half of writing in the evenings and in between bouts of more paid TV work to finish the book, which ended up being called SANCTUS. To date it has been translated into 27 languages, published in over 50 countries, and was the biggest selling debut thriller of 2011 in the UK and an international bestseller – as were The Key and The Tower, the next two books in the Sanctus trilogy. In the summer of 2013 I signed a new five book deal for Solomon Creed, a new action-thriller series following a man with no past and no memories on an epic journey of redemption. He may even make his way to Rouen, or possibly Ruin. I haven’t decided yet. His past is unknown – his future, unwritten…


Buy a signed copy

Solomon Creed  (2015) (A book in the Solomon Creed series)
WHO IS SOLOMON CREED? The first in an electrifying new high concept series from Sunday Times bestselling author of SANCTUS, Simon Toyne A plane crash in the Arizona desert. An explosion that sets the world on fire. A damning pact to hide an appalling secret. And one man bound to expose the truth. He is Solomon Creed. No one knows what he is capable of. Not even him. When Solomon Creed flees the burning wreckage of a plane in the Arizona desert, seconds before an explosion sets the world alight, he is acting on instinct alone. He has no memory of his past, and no idea what his future holds. Running towards a nearby town, one name fires in his mind – James Coronado. Somehow, Solomon knows he must save this man. But how do you save a man who is already dead?


I always find it interesting that i enjoy Simon Toynes thrillers so much, his books are not my normal go to thriller type. This latest book is no exception, If i had to make a comparison it would be to say that it felt like a cross between Lee Childs Jack Reacher and Stephen Kings Colorado Kid.  Solomon Creed has all the power and presence of the action hero but the mysterious nature and slightly supernatural element of The Colorado Kid. I’m personally not a fan of either of those authors, yet this book works, it works really really well, i galloped through this book at breakneck speed.

Solomon Creed is introduced to us walking out of an inferno with no memory of who he is or why he is there. This book follows that search for self and purpose, but mixed in with it are multiple plots of dirty cops, drug cartels, town politics, murder, grief and the history of the town of redemption. Because Simon Toyne is not satisfied with all these twists and turns and differing perspectives he also needs to add an element of timeslip to bring in the creation of the Town of Redemption, all intrinsically tied up in the present of the town. You would be forgiven for thinking that this would make the plot complicated and open to confusion, but Simon Toyne has such an open flowing style, couple this with his very real and excellently imagined world and people, that you are drawn into the town and become part of the story.

My personal favorite part of the concept is the total blank slate of Solomon Creed set against the roiling pain and anger that is encapsulated in the leader of the Drug Cartel, then the whole plot being brought forth in what is essential a wild west town that has never really shaken off its frontier town conception.

The whole tale is an absolute thrilling success, and a mind blowing set of twists and turns from fist page to last, certainly a contender for thriller of the year.


Sancti Trilogy
1. Sanctus (2011)
2. The Key (2012)
3. The Tower (2013)
Simon Toyne 2-Book Bundle (omnibus) (2013)
The Sancti Trilogy (omnibus) (2014)
Solomon Creed
Solomon Creed (2015)
The Searcher (2015)

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Filed under Action/ Adventure Thrillers, Simon Toyne