|This is UK author Tim Walker’s monthly newsletter. It can include any of the following: author news, book launches, guest author profiles, book reviews, flash fiction and poetry.|
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F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K
F O L L O W on T W I T T E R
F O L L O W on I N S T A G R A M
Happy new year to you all. The highlight of my 2019 was launching book four in my A Light in the Dark Ages series, Arthur Dux Bellorum, on 1st March. It was with some trepidation that I approached writing my version of the King Arthur story, aware that I was treading a well-worn road, and that my offering might be rubbished or shot down in flames by the legion of Arthurian fans. As it happened, it was well received, even in hardcore Arthurian Legend Facebook groups.
Since September I have been researching and writing the follow-up, Arthur Rex Brittonum, and hope to have it ready launch by May 2020 (progress has been hampered by illness that has negatively impacted momentum).
However, I’d like to sign off for the year and by thanking all those who read and reviewed Arthur Dux, and I’ll leave you with a handful of glowing review comments…
• I really loved this book. The characters come alive with Tim’s very descriptive writing. I really felt like I was there with Arthur and part of his life and events.
• The author has certainly done his research with this book as it covers all the old legends along with all the new information that has been found recently to make this the most up to date story based on Arthur that I have ever read.
As with the previous books the story flows brilliantly and the fight scenes are really well written along with the locations and characters.
• I enjoyed it – historical fiction with a smattering of magic – a really good read.
• An exciting journey. Into a wee world of sorcery, knights, battles and of course fair maidens. A great read, brilliant storytelling of the rise of Arthur as a warrior wielding his legendary sword Excalibur.
• Great storytelling, excellent battle scenes, interesting new ideas about the legendary Arthur and his impact on Britain in the Dark Ages. Looking forward to reading the next instalment in this series!
• Tim Walker doesn’t just begin this story with a boy and end it with a man. Arthur’s right of passage wasn’t served on a plate, he earned every man’s respect and grew with age into a legend that is still talked about. The story is mesmerizing, brutal and stunning. Loving this series.
• Arthur, Dux Bellorum is the sort of engaging historical fiction I’m always delighted to discover; this is described as book four of four but I hope there is more to come as I will definitely be reading any future books in the series and look forward to catching up with the previous novels.
Arthur Dux Bellorum buy links:- Kindle/Paperback i-books/Kobo/other
Dying to be Born’ is the third installment in Jane Jago and EM Swift-Hook’s entralling book series based on the Dai and Julia characters.
You see… In a modern-day Britain where the Roman Empire never left, Dai and Julia find themselves pitted against their most dangerous and implacable enemy yet, whilst still having to manage the inevitable family, friendship and domestic crises. The Third Dai and Julia Omnibus includes the three novellas ‘Dying on the Streets’, ‘Dying to be Innocent’ and ‘Dying to Find Proof’ plus several exclusive short stories.
Here’s one of the exclusive bonus short stories The Third Dai and Julia Omnibus by Jane Jago and E.M. Swift-Hook
“And what do you think Llewellyn?”
The voice of the Magistratus cut into Dai’s thoughts. He had been attending a meeting on the monthly crime figures for Demetae and Cornovii, a meeting which he usually came to armed to the teeth with relevant figures and ready to make a strong case for increasing the hours allocated to the crimes which affected the ordinary people and not those which impacted only the Roman elite. But this time he had turned up empty-handed and with only the vaguest idea of the figures which he had read through on his palmtop in the few minutes that elapsed between his arrival at his office in the Basilica Viriconia and the start of this meeting.
He became painfully aware of the over-sharp look he received from the other individual in the room, his opposite number and fellow Submagistratus, Agrippina Julius Valerius Apollinara. It felt like he had Divine disapproval since she was of the great reforming Emperor’s bloodline even only if a distant and forgotten cul-de-sac of that.
The Magistratus tapped a finger on the print-out in front of him.
“I am not so surprised you have no opinion, these figures are a little troubling. Whereas the team under Submagistratus Julius Valerius has been making great strides and inroads into crime on all fronts, your own teams seem to be failing badly. Especially that of Senior Investigator Cartimel, his clear-up rate has bottomed out at an all-time low. How would you explain that Llewellyn?”
It was hard to be sure from the perturbed frown on his face whether Magistratus Sextus Catus Bestia was genuinely more concerned about the poor figures or about there being some underlying problem which might explain them. Dai decided to try for the truth – tactfully.
“The cases we have been assigned are…”
“Ones I feel are best suited to your skillset – local knowledge, British crimes.”
It was hard to disagree with that. Bryn Cartivel stood far more chance of making headway with those on the lowest rungs of the social ladder than the man shipped in from the provincial capital to cover, on a temporary basis, the Senior Investigator role for Agrippina Julius. That had needed to happen following the tragic death in action of her previous SI. A death she still seemed to place somehow at Dai’s door. It was an eternal elephant in the room every time they were forced into professional contact.
The one person Dai knew who might have been able to resolve it all was Julia, his Roman born wife, but Julia…
He jerked his thoughts away with a near-physical reaction. He couldn’t let himself go there. Not here. Not now.
“Cartivel is doing a solid job,” he said quickly, “but the cases you are assign – I mean the cases he is being assigned are those which take a lot of investigation. They are anything but open and shut.”
“Really?” Bestia frowned down his nose at a line his finger had come to rest on. “So the fact that a spate of robberies that just happened to coincide with the return to the area of a known criminal from a sentence of three years hard labour for petty theft took a lot of investigation?”
“Gillie had an alibi for each occasion – rock-solid ones. The man has only just got back to his wife and children he’s not about to…”
“These people will always alibi each other, they can’t be trusted. No. Just tell Carnival to arrest the man and we’ll let the courts decide. See how many of his low-life alibis are willing to speak up for him under oath before the face of the Divine Diocletian.”
And that was the problem. Whilst most might be willing to speak to Bryn and tell him what they knew, none would have the courage to step into a Roman court with the knowledge that their evidence if dismissed, could result in a charge against them for attempting to pervert the course of justice.
“SI Cartivel has a strong line of enquiry…”
“Just do what I suggested, eh?” the Magistratus dropped an odd avuncular wink. “And then your SI can get on with something else a bit more important. His dithering around with these open and shut cases does make me wonder if he’s not really up to the speed of modern Vigiles work. He must be close to retirement now.”
“He has another five years before…”
“Exactly. This is a younger man’s job. Now tell him to make the arrest, it really is for the best. Then we can close the case, improve the figures and move on.”
Universal Book Link
EM’s author page
Jane’s author page
No poem actually, just a drabble.
What is a drabble? I hear you shout. Let me tell you…
It is a short story of no more than 100 words in length, a form at which the aforementioned Jane Jago is a master (or mistress, perhaps).
This one was written by me shortly after the apocalyptic images of Notre Dame Cathedral burning in April 2019 flashed across my television screen. I intend to put this and other short prose, together with odd verse, into a collection I shall call ‘Perverse’ and hope to publish in early 2020.
Morte de Notre Dame
The hoot of a barn owl was met by the stony glare of a gargoyle, fashioned by medieval masons to guard the holy building from evil. But tonight, they have failed.
A wraith-like figure danced down the aisle, glowing in the cavernous darkness, revenge on her mind.
Orange and yellow flames licked the inside of the monstrous granite cathedral, feeding off rows of wooden pews, torching tapestries and melting lead in stained glass windows that popped colourful shards.
Esmerelda smiled as she skipped barefoot through the barred oak doors, out into the silent square, past the scene of her murder.