Sunday, 15 June 2014

Guest blog: Chris Westcott - 'In the Shadow of Tyranny'

When the Emperor Nero causes the death of his parents, Gaius sees his future dreams and aspirations brutally shattered. Unexpectedly thrown a lifeline by Vespasian, his father’s closest friend and a celebrated military leader, an offer of a role in the campaign for Judea, finds him playing a pivotal role in the epic battle for Jerusalem.

Summoned back to Rome by Domitian, the new Emperor and his lifelong friend, Gaius finds his friend a changed man, a man capable of cold-blooded murder, and Gaius is swiftly dispatched to distant Britannia with orders for the island’s legendary governor, Agricola.

Forming a mutual respect with Agricola, Gaius embarks on a campaign that will end in triumph and terror, as with the opportunity to expand the Empire within their grasp, Gaius will find himself facing a choice on which the lives of his family and the fate of an Empire will hang.

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I have been obsessed by all things Ancient Rome for the best part of a decade. Having lost track of the number of fictional novels and historical books I have devoured, I was determined to make my own contribution to the genre. I have recently finished having my first novel, In the Shadow of Tyranny, edited and have finally summoned the courage to release it. My second novel (title to be determined!) is nearing completion.

To keep in touch for updates including titles coming soon, search for 'In the Shadow of Tyranny' on Facebook or find me on twitter @CWAncientRome.

Chris Westcott

Wednesday, 11 June 2014


When Gisla hurls herself aboard Flane’s longship, she is desperate to avoid marriage to Karli Olafsson. Oli, Flane’s 16-year-old foster-son, thinks she’s the most wonderful girl he’s ever seen. But a Viking warship follows them home to Scotland. 
 Adventures, romance and magic meld in VIKING MAGIC to provide a fascinating tale of love, sacrifice and undeniable passion.

Flane woke with a jerk that set his heart racing. Listening for the sound that must have woken him, he heard nothing but birds singing and the soft sigh of wind under the thatch. He lay still, and turned his head on the pillow and gazed at his wife. One of the quiet joys of every day was to waken first and study her peaceful face as his mind slowly engaged with possible problems of the day. He admired her clear profile: the straight nose and long lashes. There was hardly a line on her face to show for ten years and two boys.

He withdrew quietly from the bed, dressed and went into the hall. A slave knelt by the fire. Smoke, blown on an erratic course by the draught from the door, curled up into the rafters. Skeggi, always one of the first to wake, stood between the open hall doors, yawning. As Flane joined him, the cool air of early morning struck his skin and drove away the last cobwebs of sleep. Outside, the loch gleamed like polished metal under a light blue sky, and reflected every shade of the green and brown vegetation that covered the opposite hillside.

‘They’re on their way.’ Skeggi nodded toward the mouth of the loch.

Flane followed his friend’s gesture. The longship, prow-beast still in place, snarled across the water. His stomach muscles clenched. ‘Get people up. Everyone’s to look normal. Wake Emer. Then come and join me on the dock.’

Flane shook his head. ‘No. If we can, let’s keep it friendly.’
‘What about the girl?’
Flane hesitated, and then said, ‘Get her out of sight.’

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Anyone who has read Far After Gold will find some familiar figures here. Oli is no longer  a child, but a headstrong 16-year-old youth and he's dizzy with love for Gisla, who clings to him in the hope he will save her from a disastrous marriage. He almost comes to blows with Flane over his choice...