(Excerpt from BY THE SWORD by Alison Stuart)
Jonathan lifted his hand to her face, tilting her chin so she looked at him. Her eyes swam with unshed tears. Tears he had caused.
‘So many deaths. Too many, Kate. Believe me, it’s not always easy to be the survivor. I may not be dead but I have lost all that is important to me. It’s a hollow victory over death.’
So many deaths...Marston Moor and afterwards, Oxford. He had run at life, stumbled into the path of innocent people, and he had survived while they had died.
‘Jonathan?’ She touched his hand. The merest brush but she may as well have branded him with fire.
Once upon a time a little girl went to visit an old house in an obscure corner of Worcestershire, called Harvington Hall. The house creaked and groaned with a history dating back to the Middle Ages. The little girl had never seen anything so old... so mysterious... and she began to imagine a world of people who may have lived in this old house called the Thornton family.
|AS aged 11 on her first visit to Harvington Hall in 1969|
|The original Seven Ways folder complete with illustrations!|
She entered it into a contest called the Emma Darcy Award run by the Romance Writers of Australia and it came second, so she began to think maybe this book wasn't a terrible story. She entered it into a big contest in England called the Catherine Cookson Fiction Prize and it was long listed... but alas none of the publishers she sent it was interested. "It's a terrific book," they said, "but its set in the English Civil War and we can't sell stories set in that period of history."
|Just in case you wonder what an actual manuscript looks like...|
Still the little girl inside the author dreamed about the old house and its imaginary family... Not just one story but the story of the house and the family on through the ages.
Then one day she mentioned it to her lovely publisher (Escape Publishing) and her publisher thought it was a good story and they had an idea to make three interwoven stories - THE GUARDIANS OF THE CROWN series.
So today, March 22, BY THE SWORD - that little story begun so many, many years ago, begins a whole new life as the first in a trilogy spanning the years of the Interregnum from 1650-1660.
It will always be the B-O-O-K of my heart... I hope you enjoy reading about Jonathan and Kate's adventures as much as I loved writing about them.
BY THE SWORD is available as an ebook only from all reputable book stores:
Barnes and Noble (Nook)
For a complete listing visit Escape Publishing