Hallowe’en Series: Alison Stuart’s Soldier and Spy

by Alison Stuart

When you are next stuck in a traffic jam on Queens Road in Melbourne and find yourself looking at this old Victorian mansion (now part of a hotel), spare a thought for Albert whose restless spirit is still causing mayhem (by all accounts).

So, you ask, who is Albert? Settle down, pour yourself a stiff drink and listen to the sad tale of Netherby’s last resident.

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Netherby House c1999 The orderly room was to the right of the front door, officers mess to the left

 “Netherby” House, in Queens Road, Melbourne is one of the few remaining Victorian mansions that once lined that street. The building has a chequered history having been variously a private residence, a maternity hospital, ASIO headquarters and since the 1960s had been the home of the Australian Army’s Headquarters 3rd Training Group.  

When I was a young pay clerk (Army Reserve) at Headquarters 3rd Training Group in the early 1980s (don’t you love the uniform?) there were stories of boarded up cellars and secret rooms, reputedly a legacy of its use by ASIO (the Australian equivalent of the CIA).

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Alison in her days as pay clerk at Netherby – HQ 3 Trg Gp – 1981

Even while I was working there, staff posted to Netherby during those years complained of cold rooms and unexplained trips on the smooth linoleum floor.  I was just one of a group of youngsters and while we may have wasted time looking for the boarded up cellar and wondered why there was a room  (used as the Officers Mess wine cellar), secured with a safe locking mechanism that any bank would have been proud of, we never saw or experienced anything vaguely paranormal. 

In the mid 1980s a couple of members of the regular army staff, attending a late dinner in another part of the city, returned to retrieve a car one of them had left parked at the back of the building. To their surprise the hallway light was on and as they neared the building they saw a figure sitting near the window in the orderly room. The man wore what looked like a red checked shirt. Concerned about the security, the staff members unlocked the front door and, entering the orderly room, saw the PABX light on the phone in glowing red, as if the Commander was on the phone – unlikely as it was 1.30 in the morning. Thinking it had been left off the hook in his office, they went upstairs and found the phone in place on the hook. Back in the orderly room they noted the light still glowed red so they went back upstairs and this time found the phone off the hook. They replaced it, switched off the lights, locked the door and fled!

I had left Netherby in 1982 to do officer training (that’s another whole story – no ghosts!). In the early 1990s I returned as a student on a promotion course.  It had not changed at all, still the same linoleum floors and cold, dusty offices I remembered.  The chief clerk at the time was a mild mannered regular army Sergeant who in the latter part of his posting was quite often the only person in the building for days on end.  This is his story.

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Alison, seated front row middle, outside Netherby 1992

The sergeant lived quite a distance from Queens Road so he began the practice of sleeping overnight after the Wednesday night parade.  The first night he did this, he chose a small, quiet room at the rear of the building.  About 3.00 am he was woken with a start.  The room was icy cold, despite a heater that was still on.  Struggling to focus, he had the distinct impression of a figure at the foot of the bed staring down at him.  He leapt out of bed, switched on the light and with his heart in his mouth did a tour of the house.  The room and the building were deserted.  He never slept in that particular room again but chose instead another room affectionately called “Netherby Hilton Suite 69”.  

3 Training Group was in the throes of moving and this meant that during the day only one or two of the regular staff were present. One of the officers worked with him in the orderly room for company in the large empty building.  On one occasion the Major brought his dog to work.  The dog dozed contentedly in front of the heater.  Suddenly and without warning the dog leapt up, heckles raised and began barking and growling at one of the pillars which extended from the front verandah into the orderly room.  This continued for about 5 minutes before the dog returned to its slumbers in front of the heater.  Both men jokingly began referring to the third resident of Netherby as “Albert”.

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The massive front door to Netherby

Once the Major moved to the new headquarters building,  the sergeant was on his own during the day for the next twelve months and perhaps thinking the sergeant was lonely and in need of company, “Albert” began his haunting in earnest.  One fine spring morning while working in the orderly room (which was adjacent to the front door), the front door suddenly opened and slammed shut.  Footsteps were heard stomping up the rear service staircase to the area which would have been the old servants quarters.  Upstairs doors could be heard slamming shut and the footsteps descended the stairs again.  The front door, which I recall as being a large, heavy door (see picture), opened and slammed shut again.

Frozen to his desk during this visitation and wondering if he was suffering from an over active imagination, the sergeant went to investigate.  Upstairs he found three office doors which had been left open were now closed.  The front door, which was kept locked to deter salesmen, was still firmly locked and could not be opened without turning the handle.

One Saturday evening after a mess dinner at “Grosvenor” (55 Queens Road- also haunted), the sergeant and his wife retired to Netherby to save the long drive home to Frankston.  Alone in the empty building, they made a cup of coffee and sat on the bottom step of the back staircase drinking their coffee and talking.  His wife removed her high heels and left them with the coffee cups on the staircase as they both retired to the “Netherby Hilton” for the night.

During the night they were awoken by the sound of a door slamming, but dismissing it as just the noise of an old house, they went back to sleep.  When they awoke the next morning, they found the high heeled shoes neatly placed at the foot of the wife’s bed and the dirty coffee cups back beside the urn in the Officers Mess.  

Shortly after this incident “Albert” began to show himself.  The sergeant described him as a grey shadow with a lot of detail.  He appeared to be Caucasian and although his facial features were not easily distinguishable, he was about 175 -180 cm tall and wore a long coat of the style of the 50s and 60s.  I recall the sergeant speculating that he may have been a Romanian “diplomat” who died while being “questioned” by ASIO.  “Albert” was also seen by the sergeant’s young son who was visiting during the holidays.  Both sightings were at the foot of the service staircase, over the sealed trap door that allegedly led to the cellars.

“Albert” was not without a sense of humour and would occasionally play tricks.  One Tuesday evening the sergeant and another army reserve member were moving a filing cabinet.  The sergeant recalls that the office they were moving it from was icy cold on this particular evening.  The two men picked the empty cabinet up and as they carried it towards the door, the other man stumbled and fell.  When he recovered himself, he grumbled that it had felt like someone had tripped him.  When the sergeant looked out into the corridor, he had a fleeting glimpse of “Albert”.

The telephone system in Netherby was a “PABX Commander” system.  At about 4.00 a.m one morning after a parade night, when the sergeant was quite alone in the building, the phone in his bedroom rang.  Blearily he picked it up.  The voice on the line was more of a grunt than anything else, so dismissing it as a crank call, he hung up.  As he closed his eyes, he realised that the call was an internal call made from another extension in the building.  He shot out of bed, turned on all the lights and did a thorough search of the building.  It was just as he had left it, locked up and secure and quite deserted.

Convinced by now that “Albert” had singled him out for special attention, the sergeant began to acknowledge his existence, greeting him cheerily in the morning and bidding him good night in the evening.  He even invited Albert to accompany him when he had to go out during the day, although whether he ever did is a question for speculation.  I rather like the idea of the spectral “Albert” occupying the passenger seat of an Army vehicle on little excursions.  

Once Albert’s existence had been acknowledged the sergeant found that the hauntings ceased and the building became noticeably warmer.  Not long afterwards, the last elements of 3 Training Group moved out.  Netherby was locked up and left empty for many years before being bought by the hotel next door.

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Netherby today

Interestingly, the story of Albert reached the staff at the hotel and some years later, the sergeant and I were invited by the manager of the hotel to lunch and to view the restoration of the lovely old house. Albert, it seemed, had not taken kindly to the disturbance to his home. The builders complained about their tools being moved and unexplained cold spots in the house. One member of staff was on crutches having broken an ankle after being, in his words “tripped”. 

Many years have now passed but I still think of Albert when I pass by Netherby and wonder how he has taken to living in a hotel.


23545From award-winning author Alison Stuart comes a stirring historical trilogy about soldiers, spies, and the strong women that love them. 

England 1650. In the aftermath of the execution of the King, England totters once more on the brink of civil war. The country will be divided and lives lost as Charles II makes a last bid to regain his throne.

Kate Ashley finds her loyalty to the Parliamentary cause tested when she inherits responsibility for the estate of the Royalist Thornton family. To protect the people she cares about, she will need all her wits to restore its fortunes and fend off the ever-present threat of greedy neighbours.

Jonathan Thornton, exiled and hunted for his loyalty to the King’s cause now returns to England to garner support for the cause of the young King. Haunted by the demons of his past, Jonathan risks death at every turn and brings danger to those who love him. Finding Kate in his family home, he sees in her the hope for his future, and a chance at a life he doesn’t deserve.

In the aftermath of the Battle of Worcester, Jonathan must face his nemesis, and in turn, learn the secret that will change his life forever. But love is fragile in the face of history, and their lives are manipulated by events out of their control. What hope can one soldier and one woman hold in times like these?

 

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Try one of Escape’s Rising Stars of Romance – for Free!

Apple iBooks Australia is promoting the Rising Stars of Romance for the next two weeks, and many Escape Authors are featured. The best part? You can get the first book in one of their series for free!

Most of these titles are also free on Amazon AU. So check them out!

House on Burra Burra Lane – Jennie Jones

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Just ten days after her fresh start in the isolated Snowy Mountains, Samantha Walker trips over a three hundred pound pig and lands in the arms of Dr. Ethan Granger — and the firing line for gossip. It was hardly a ‘date’ but sparks of the sensual kind are difficult to smother in a community of only 87 people. Now there’s a bet running on how long she’ll stay and what she’ll get up to while she’s in town.

Ethan has his own issues — Sammy’s presence in his childhood home brings with it painful recollections of family scandals and a bad boy youth. When the gossip around them heightens, his life is suddenly a deck of cards spread on the table for all to see. Then Sammy’s past catches up with her… and it looks like all bets are off.

(iBooks)
(Amazon AU)


In Safe Hands – Lee Christine

8213

She thinks she needs him, but she doesn’t know the secrets he keeps…

Threatened with the publication of naked photographs taken in her law student days, defence attorney Allegra Greenwood enlists the help of former SAS Commander Luke Neilson, unaware of his involvement in her brother’s death in Afghanistan.

In a race to stop the photographs appearing on the Internet, Luke battles a hidden enemy, his growing feelings for Allegra, and his conscience, which demands he protect a fallen comrade’s sister. As the stakes increase and more sinister motives unfold, Luke not only has to fight to save her career, he has to fight to save her life.

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(Amazon AU)


Treasured Secrets – Kendall Talbot

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From Romantic Book of the Year winner Kendall Talbot comes an adrenaline-fuelled new series with sexy characters, exotic locations, and action-packed adventure.

The last place Rosalina expected the clue to a 700-year-old mystery to lead is back into the arms of Archer, the one man who broke her heart. But neither can solve the puzzle without the other, so together they set off on a new adventure, weaving from Tuscany’s underbelly to Archer’s luxurious yacht in the Greek Islands, trying to ignore the sparks that still fly unhindered between them.

Archer desperately wants to salvage the relationship he shattered years before, but fighting for Rosalina’s love soon takes a back seat to fighting for their lives. They aren’t the only one on the trail for the treasure, and their competition isn’t bothered by ethics and morals to achieve their goals. With evil close on their trail, and Archer wrestling with the remnants of a childhood tragedy, Rosalina begins to wonder if perhaps there are some secrets that were never meant to be revealed.

(iBooks)
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A Life Worth Living – Amanda Canham

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For lovers of Marion Lennox and Fiona Lowe comes a sweet, touching novel about secret desires and second chances, set in the intriguing world of sleep medicine.

Dr Cameron Lewis has been running from his past for a long time, so when a career opportunity opens up in his hometown of Brisbane, he takes it as a sign to move home and pick up the pieces of his life. But his vow to never have a child remains steadfast — it’s the one thing he can’t compromise on.

Nurse Stacey Carter has always craved a family of her own, and, following a bitter divorce and the death of her mother, she finally decides to make her dreams come true. She doesn’t need a man to help, but she can’t help thinking that the new doctor in the Sleep Medicine ward might be the ideal alternative…

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Bound By Her Ring – Nicole Flockton

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Luciano Morelli has perfected a plan to get revenge on his runaway wife; confronting her at the opening gala for her father’s hotel. What he didn’t plan on was the flaring of emotions the moment he sees her again.

Jasmine Anderson has no memories of her husband. Her only link to him is the wedding rings she wears. Luciano storms back into her life announcing he is her husband, demanding she join him on a business trip or see her father’s livelihood crumble.

Passion reignites as they rediscover what first drew them together. But more than just memories are lost. Can their bond be rebuilt or will secrets infect their already shattered trust?

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The Chieftain’s Curse – Frances Housden

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Nominated for the 2014 RITA Award for Best Historical Romance
Euan McArthur is a chieftain in need of an heir.

While still a young a warrior, Euan incites the fury of a witch. She retaliates with a curse that no wife will ever bear him an heir. As he buries his third wife and yet another bonnie stillborn son, Euan can no longer cast her words aside.

Morag Farquhar is a woman in need of sanctuary. With a young relative in tow, Morag flees the only home she has ever known to escape her brother, Baron of Wolfsdale, and find sanctuary in the MacArthur stronghold. Pronounced barren by a midwife, Morag is of little value to her family, but a Godsend to Euan, a lover he can’t kill by getting with child.

Years ago, chance drew them together, and tangled their lives in ways they could never have imagined. This time their destiny lies in their own hands, but it will take courage and strong hearts to see it through to the end.

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Insecure – Ainslie Paton

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The worst thing a man can do is not be with the woman he loves.

She could have him sacked quicker than licking her lips. He could ruin her reputation with an email.

Jacinta was the CEO in waiting. Mace was the geek from IT. She had an office suite on the top floor. He worked in cubicle hell.

She had power, influence, her life mapped out. He had big dreams, and an appetite for risk.

They had one hot night written all over them, except the city conspired to turn that night into a weekend of unexpected passion and deep connection.

Will love be enough when Jacinta’s star falls and Mace’s dream takes flight, or will ambition, expectation and insecurity pull them apart?

(iBooks)
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By The Sword – Alison Stuart

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From award-winning author Alison Stuart comes a stirring historical trilogy about soldiers, spies, and the strong women that love them. 

England 1650. In the aftermath of the execution of the King, England totters once more on the brink of civil war. The country will be divided and lives lost as Charles II makes a last bid to regain his throne.

Kate Ashley finds her loyalty to the Parliamentary cause tested when she inherits responsibility for the estate of the Royalist Thornton family. To protect the people she cares about, she will need all her wits to restore its fortunes and fend off the ever-present threat of greedy neighbours.

Jonathan Thornton, exiled and hunted for his loyalty to the King’s cause now returns to England to garner support for the cause of the young King. Haunted by the demons of his past, Jonathan risks death at every turn and brings danger to those who love him. Finding Kate in his family home, he sees in her the hope for his future, and a chance at a life he doesn’t deserve.

In the aftermath of the Battle of Worcester, Jonathan must face his nemesis, and in turn, learn the secret that will change his life forever. But love is fragile in the face of history, and their lives are manipulated by events out of their control. What hope can one soldier and one woman hold in times like these?

(iBooks)
(Amazon AU)


The Secret Diary of Lady Catherine Bexley – Viveka Portman

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In the vein of Portia Da Costa and Charlotte Featherstone, Regency England gets just a bit raunchy in this novella about a gently-raised lady who wants to feel like a woman…

“I have never seen fit in my life to divulge my secrets in a diary, yet now, after today’s proceedings, I do…”

Lady Catherine Bexley is new to marriage and the marriage bed, but surely there must be more to it than this? Her husband is proper and perfunctory — treating her with careful respect but leaving her aching for more.

When she witnesses a gentleman disciplining a maid at a house party, the ache explodes into ravenous desire. She finds herself no longer willing to wait for her husband’s stiff and passionless attentions — and soon develops a naughty plan to finally get what she wants.

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(Amazon AU)


Words Once Spoken – Carly Drake

19223

YA meets high fantasy in this lush series debut about a girl who never quite fit in — and the reason why…

Evelyn might not love the confines of her village life, but she takes her small freedoms where she can get them. But everything changes when her parents decide it’s time for her to wed. Suddenly she loses her tunic and breeches, her bow, her horse, and gains rigid gowns, restrictive manners, and carriage rides.

The best way to escape is through her dreams, but as they become more and more real, Evelyn begins to worry that she is losing her grasp on reality. It is only when she makes two new friends that the truth is revealed: she is destined for far, far more than even she could imagine.

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King Hall – Scarlett Dawn

18613

A fresh, meaty, sink-your-teeth-in-and-hold-on-tight new adult fantasy series kicks off with King Hall…

King Hall — where the Mysticals go to learn their craft, get their degrees, and transition into adulthood. And where four new Rulers will rise and meet their destinies.

Lily Ruckler is adept at one thing: survival. Born a Mystical hybrid, her mere existence is forbidden, but her nightmare is only about to start. Fluke, happenstance, and a deep personal loss finds Lily deeply entrenched with those who would destroy her simply for existing — The Mystical Kings. Being named future Queen of the Shifters shoves Lily into the spotlight, making her one of the most visible Mysticals in the world. But with risk comes a certain solace — her burgeoning friendships with the other three Rulers: a wicked Vampire, a wild-child Mage, and a playboy Elemental. Backed by their faith and trust, Lily begins to relax into her new life.

Then chaos erupts as the fragile peace between Commoners and Mysticals is broken, and suddenly Lily realises the greatest threat was never from within, and her fear takes on a new name: the Revolution.

(iBooks)
(Amazon AU)


Legend Beyond the Stars – SE Gilchrist

8867

Seeking redemption from a mission gone terribly wrong, Captain Alana Knight volunteers to aid a dangerous operation to transport colonists between Earth and alien traders. But on board the spaceship, she learns of a galactic war raging for power. A power that can be transformed into a terrible weapon.

When the colonists are betrayed and sold, Alana’s mission is re-defined. Nothing will stop her from keeping those in her care safe and finding a passage home. But her new captor is nothing like she expects…

Commander Tarak El Rajan is human, male and equally determined to retain his payload. With his race on the brink of extinction he is under strict orders to transport all females to the planet Isla for research purposes.

In a world of uncertainty, where the wrong decision could mean the death of an entire race, the last thing either of these two soldiers expects or needs is to fall in love.

(iBooks)
(Amazon AU)


Out of Rhythm – Shona Husk

23728

They might be one of the hottest up-and-coming bands in Australia, but the members of Selling the Sun have a lot to learn about life, love, sex, and each other.

Coming off a successful Australian tour and prestigious industry award nominations, Gemma Field’s life should be perfect. Instead her parents want her to get a real job, the second album isn’t coming together, and her best friend, Kirsten wants nothing to do with her.

Falling for her best friend was never going to make life easy. After an almost accidental drunken kiss almost six months ago, they aren’t even talking. Gemma can’t even talk about it with anyone – not her family, not her bandmates, not even the one person she used to share everything with. Instead she lives in a space of indecision and pain, and it’s affecting all aspects of her life, including the band.

Kirsten Vincent missed Gemma like crazy, but did she miss her as a friend or as something more? She’s confused and Gemma is hurt, and the consequences of a bad decision will affect more than their personal lives. Will another kiss, a sober kiss, a kiss with intent, do more damage, or could it be the start of something more?

(iBooks)
(Amazon AU)


The January Wish – Juliet Madison

19908

From Escape’s queen of ro-magic comedy comes a sweet, emotional contemporary romance about the pleasures of making a wish and seeing it come true.

When Dr Sylvia Greene makes an impromptu wish at the Tarrin’s Bay Wishing Festival, it’s the most out of character action she can think of. Hers is not a life of wishes. Hers is a controlled life of order, plans and preparation…of science and research and diagnosis and treatment. But her past has been weighing on her mind, and decisions made long ago have far-reaching consequences.

A week later, the daughter she secretly gave up for adoption at sixteen arrives in Sylvia’s small coastal town with secrets that can’t be shared. Between feelings of guilt, gossip, and a growing attraction to an emotionally unavailable colleague, Sylvia’s well-ordered life is soon thrown into chaos. She is no longer alone, and for the first time she feels as if her world is open to possibilities.

They say be careful what you wish for, but, for Sylvia, the unexpected consequences may be just what the doctor ordered.

(iBooks)
(Amazon AU)


Children of the Mist – Jenny Brigalow

19229

An original paranormal YA about an unconventional girl, an unconventional boy, their extraordinary transformations, and the secrets of the Scottish Highlands.

When skater girl Morven Smith turns sixteen, she develops boobs, acute appendicitis…and a pair of pointy teeth. While she is stunned by her metamorphosis into vampire, her best mate, the enigmatic Zest, is not. For the young werewolf, Morven’s transformation is an answer to his lonely prayers.

But they are unable to celebrate their mutual paranormalcy for long — there are too many dangers, too much suspicion, and too many questions. It’s only in Scotland that Morven can learn the truth about her past. But she discovers more than she bargained for when she meets her birth family — an ancient feud between vampires and werewolves. They may both be Children of the Mist, but only one species can survive.

(iBooks)
(Amazon AU)


Beckoning Blood – Daniel de Lorne

20835

A gripping,  blood-drenched saga about twin brothers, the men they love, and the enduring truth that true love never dies  — no matter how many times you kill it.

Thierry d’Arjou has but one escape from the daily misery of his work at a medieval abattoir — Etienne de Balthas. But keeping their love a secret triggers a bloody chain of events that condemns Thierry to a monstrous immortality. Thierry quickly learns that to survive his timeless exile, he must hide his sensitive heart from the man who both eases and ensures his loneliness…his twin brother.

Shaped by the fists of a brutal father, Olivier d’Arjou cares for only two things: his own pleasure and his twin. But their sadistic path through centuries is littered with old rivals and new foes, and Olivier must fight for what is rightfully his – Thierry, made immortal just for him.

(iBooks)
(Amazon AU)

March Madness – New Releases!

Books! For you! Available now!

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From ground-breaking, breath-taking author Ainslie Paton comes a new contemporary romance: She could have him sacked quicker than licking her lips. He could ruin her reputation with an email. But the worst thing a man can do is not be with the woman he loves.


23522From the best-selling Darkon Warriors series comes an enemy-to-lover story about a brother, a best friend, and the precious gift they leave behind. 


23660Not up-to-date on your SE Gilchrist, but love your romance out of this world? Check out The Darkon Warriors Bundle, four great books, one hot price!


23523In Children of the Mist, we discovered the secret history of the Children. Now, in the wilds of Scotland, one of them has come of age…


23545From award-winning author Alison Stuart comes a stirring historical trilogy about soldiers, spies, and the strong women that love them. 


All of the Housewives have revealed their secrets – have you learned them all?

SLAH_Camilla_FinalTo all of Sydney’s society, she’s just the upstart, gold-digging waitress that somehow managed to snare one of Australia’s most eligible bachelors.


SLAH_Darla_FinalIn the final instalment, Darla, our sad, funny housewife finds that being a little neighbourly can lead to so much more.

What’s Not to Love About Men With Long Swords?

By Alison Stuart

BTS_FINAL_GIFOn March 22, By The Sword hits the shelves of Escape Publishing, as the first in a three book series called The Guardians of the Crown, spanning the years 1650-1660.

This is not one of your better known periods of history, but it is a period of history I am passionate about – should I say passionate about. It spans the twenty years known as “The English Civil War and Interregnum” from 1642 to the execution of Charles I in 1649. The period from 1649 to the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 is properly called the “Interregnum” (translated as “between Kings”), although it is generally lumped in with the English Civil War period.

Perhaps it is best described in the romantic parlance of cavaliers and roundheads. The dashing cavalier with his long curls and wide brimmed beaver hat, and the sour faced round head with his cropped hair and puritan collar. In the 1930s a little book came out with a potted history of England called 1066 And All That in which the cavaliers are described a “wrong but wromantic” and the roundheads as “right but repulsive” which kind of sums it up!

alison-5My own love affair with the Roundheads and Cavaliers began when I was probably no more than about 8 or 9. My darling father would read to us every Sunday afternoon and one such book he chose was Daphne Du Maurier’s The King’s General, the story of an ill fated (and fictional) love affair between Sir Richard Grenville and his crippled mistress Honour. The struggle between King and Parliament, laced with romance and skeletons in secret tunnels had me in a thrall. I was lost!

edit 2So here are five reasons why I, personally, love this period….

  1. Family legend has it that I am descended from a “regicide” (one of the men who signed the death warrant of Charles I) . However no evidence has been found to support that claim but who ever let fact get in the way of a good family legend!

  1. The very idea of a Civil War throws up so many possibilities for an over active imagination: father against son, brother against brother, friends destined to become foes! Intrigues, plots, assassinations, revenge… What about the families… the wives, the mothers…the lovers?

  1. You may (or may not) have seen the latest BBC series of the Three Musketeers. What is there not to love about men with broad brimmed hats, lace collars and bucket top boots. It is pure swashbuckling… every pirate fantasy you ever had (without the pirates!).

  1. Seriously… do you realize that the events of these twenty years established the foundations of our own system of democracy, the concept of a standing army and many of our legal privileges that we enjoy today?

  1. Just the sheer drama… a King executed! Unthinkable and yet to be repeated 150 years later during the French revolution. What did this mean for the ordinary people of England?

So, if you are bored with regencies, medieval and blokes in kilts, try a dashing cavalier such as Jonathan Thornton the hero of By The Sword. Later in the year, one of Jonathan’s friends and comrades at the Battle of Worcester, Kit Lovell, has his own story in The King’s Man and rounding off the GUARDIANS OF THE CROWN series with the Restoration of the King, will be Kit’s brother, Daniel in Exile’s Return.

And if you’ve got a minute, check out the trailer!

What is the period of history you are most passionate about and what kicked off that passion? 

(By the Sword is available for pre-order now. Please note, this is a digital book)


23545From award-winning author Alison Stuart comes a stirring historical trilogy about soldiers, spies, and the strong women that love them. 

England 1650. In the aftermath of the execution of the King, England totters once more on the brink of civil war. The country will be divided and lives lost as Charles II makes a last bid to regain his throne.

Kate Ashley finds her loyalty to the Parliamentary cause tested when she inherits responsibility for the estate of the Royalist Thornton family. To protect the people she cares about, she will need all her wits to restore its fortunes and fend off the ever-present threat of greedy neighbours.

Jonathan Thornton, exiled and hunted for his loyalty to the King’s cause now returns to England to garner support for the cause of the young King. Haunted by the demons of his past, Jonathan risks death at every turn and brings danger to those who love him. Finding Kate in his family home, he sees in her the hope for his future, and a chance at a life he doesn’t deserve.

In the aftermath of the Battle of Worcester, Jonathan must face his nemesis, and in turn, learn the secret that will change his life forever. But love is fragile in the face of history, and their lives are manipulated by events out of their control. What hope can one soldier and one woman hold in times like these?

Books Seeking Readers

Books seeking readersDidn’t find your perfect match yesterday? Don’t worry – there are lots of lonely books out there. Here are today’s heartthrobs:

Matched set of dark, emotional romances seek reader who loves wolves, is up for adventure, and has faith in a meaningful happily ever after. Willingness to travel and put up with occasional brotherly bonding experiences a definite plus. Strong will, especially against attractive and charming men, highly suggested.

Meet your match here.


 

Book of hope, strength and healing love seeks reader with fetish for medieval Scotland, curses and men in kilts. Only those addicted to a Happily Ever After need apply.

Meet your match here.


Mild-mannered, unconventional romance seeks fun-loving youth for long walks to the spice shops and back, sojourns to secret vamp caves and patience with unresolved endings.  Must love tea, chocolate chip cookies and were-kangaroos.

Meet your match here.


Sparkly, sweet story set in the showbiz world seeks reader who likes quickies. It won’t take long to enjoy me, but good things come in small packages. If you like the idea of a moondance with your soul mate, and are open to a touch of magic in your life, I am your Love Angel.

Meet your match here.


Charming romance seeks reader who dreams of being swept off her feet in Paris. Must love food, sensuality and dizzying heights, including the Eiffel Tower.

Meet your match here.


Hot rock star romance seeks groupie who craves the limelight.  Access all areas backstage pass supplied.  No gender discrimination – the rock star is a chick.  Bonus points for strong interest in molesting the roadies.  Put your hands in the air.

Meet your match here.


Swashbuckling historical romance seeks readers with taste for cavaliers in wide brimmed hats with sharp swords for adventurous excursions, war-time drama, and deep family secrets. Courage in the face of certain death a bonus. A certain taste for military men a must.

Meet your match here.


Naive and innocent book seeks adventure and experience – but only with the right reader, not just anyone will do. A taste for rule-bending, unlikely attraction, and steamy nights essential. Curiosity about tent-based antics a must.

Meet your match here.


Have you been fumbling through the darkness, searching countless, pointless book relationships trying to find the story, yet only know the story exists because of the aching that has been left in your heart by its absence? Do you look at super-hot lead singers of rock bands and know you’re meant to read about them? Do you often long for the angst of a love triangle? If this sounds like you, then this sexy, deeply emotive story is a perfect match for you. But don’t try and find it, because it will most definitely find you.

Meet your match here.