Friday, 12 January 2018

New blog posts, new books, new website - so much to enjoy!

It's a Friday and I generally post on my blog on a Friday, but Christmas has disrupted the normal flow of things and I posted on Tuesday. Go and have a look at that. It’s got photos of fireworks and pretty pictures of snow.

I have also blogged as a guest on three other blogs this week. I do recommend them. I'm on Sandra W's blog outlining my plans for 2018 and then I pop up with Jennifer Macaire to talk about researching Burke in the Land of Silver. Finally (for now) Jenny Kane had me over to her place to talk a little about the real James Burke. That surely excuses me from writing much here today, doesn't it?

This flurry of activity is all because Endeavour Press are now republishing all of the Burke books, starting with Burke in the Land of Silver. Hopefully, some of the thousands of people who read this blog will shell out the fairly insubstantial £2.99 that is all that is being asked for the Kindle edition, now available on Amazon. (North American readers will continue to be able to buy their copies through Simon & Schuster.) If £2.99 seems more than you are happy to spend (really?), then the second book in the series is currently available to pre-order at a ludicrously cheap 99p.

I haven't just been writing blogs. Today's authors have to be multi-talented creatures, and I have been turning my mind to designing a website. It's not totally finished yet, but I suspect it never will be, so I am turning it loose on the public. Please go and visit it at and let me know what you think. You can even contact me directly through the site or by e-mail at 

For now, this blog will appear both here and on the new website (at Eventually I'm hoping you will all move to reading it on the website and new posts will no longer appear here, but old posts will be here as a sort of archived resource for anybody who is interested in reading what I've written about the Indian Mutiny or the Battle of Waterloo or, indeed, making new friends in a dance hall

So, even without my usual Friday blog post here, there is plenty for you to read and enjoy.

Happy New Year.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

New Year, New Books

A belated happy New Year to everybody.

New Year fireworks at Tignes

I've had a few weeks away from my blog because I've been on holiday for Christmas and the New Year. We spent Christmas in Wales, arriving after the snow that would have cut us off had vanished, leaving us with grey misty days that could have been dull but, where we were, were strangely beautiful. 

The snow returned just as we were leaving.

There wasn't enough to stop us coming back to London where we were able to enjoy an afternoon of dancing tango at the Royal Festival Hall before we were off again to see the New Year in in the French Alps. There the snow fell rather extravagantly, but when the resort wasn't closed down because of the avalanche danger, we had some lovely skiing.

I wouldn't normally apologise for taking a holiday during what so many people (admittedly mainly Americans) now call “the Holidays”, but it was an unfortunate time to be away as it meant that we were still in France when Endeavour press published Burke in the Land of Silver.

When Burke in the Land of Silver was first published, I didn't really understand how vital it is for writers to promote their books. I thought this was something I could leave to my publisher. I was wrong. Nowadays a good part of an author's life – any author, from bestsellers like JK Rowling to less well-known writers like me – is spent promoting their work. With their publication of Burke in the Land of Silver, Endeavour have given me a second chance to make a first impression. Perhaps being out on the ski slopes when that chance came along wasn't a great idea, but sometimes family commitments and the difficulty of organising everybody's diary so we can holiday together is arguably more important than getting my blog out on time.

Still, even if I haven’t been busy on my own blog, you will have had the chance to read things I have written elsewhere. Sandra W has kindly offered me the chance to share my hopes and plans for 2018 on her bookloverwormblog while Jennifer Macaire has allowed me space to talk about the research that goes into a book like Burke in the Land of Silver. On Thursday there will be a piece about the real James Burke on Jenny Kane’s blog ( and there will be other stuff coming soon – watch out for details on my Facebook page and Twitter. And if you have a blog and would like to write something (or would like me to write something for you), that would be just amazing.

Anyway, just in case you haven't worked it out, Burke in the Land of Silver is now available on Kindle on Amazon. It's a thrilling story based on the real-life adventures of James Burke who was spying for Britain in Argentina at the beginning of the 19th century. It's just £2.99 on Kindle. A paperback edition should be along soon.

The second book in the James Burke series, Burke and the Bedouin, will be published on 19 January. It is available to pre-order at the ludicrously cheap price of 99p. Get your pre-order in soon!

If you live in North America the books continue to be available from Simon & Schuster.

Anyway, that's all from me for now. Do look out for the posts that will be appearing on blogs all over the place and for news about my much promised new website, which really should be up and running very soon. Most importantly, do all have a very happy (if belated) New Year.