Defiant Unto Death

What’s it all about?

A LEGEND FORGED IN BATTLE: Thomas Blackstone must face an implacable foe as

the 100 Years’ War enters its bloodiest phase.

Ten years ago, the greatest army in Christendom was slaughtered at Crécy when Thomas Blackstone and his fellow archers stood their ground and rained death on the steel­clad might of French chivalry. Blackstone left that squalid field a knight.

Now, Blackstone commands a war band and has carved out a small fiefdom in northern France. But the wounds of war still bleed and a traitor has given the King of France the means to destroy first his family, and then the English knight himself.

As the traitor’s net tightens, so the French King’s army draws in. Blackstone will stand and fight –in the pitched battle and in single combat. He will defy his friends, his family and his king. He may yet defy death, but he can’t defy his destiny: BLACKSTONE: MASTER OF WAR.

About the Author

David Gilman was raised in Liverpool and educated in Wales. By the time he was 16, he was driving a battered 1946 Ford, ferrying construction workers in the African bush. A variety of jobs followed in different countries: fire and rescue, forestry work, JCB driver, window dresser and professional photographer in an advertising agency. He served in the Parachute Regiment’s Reconnaissance Platoon and then worked in publishing. In 1986 he turned to full­time writing. He has written many radio and television scripts including several years of ‘A Touch of Frost’. In

2007 his ‘Danger Zone’ trilogy for YA was sold in 15 countries. The first in the series – The Devil’s Breath was longlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal and won the French Prix Polar Jeunesse. He also writes for younger children. MONKEY and ME have been nominated for this year’s Carnegie Medal. ‘MASTER of WAR’ is the first in a series of HF for adults that follows the fortunes of Thomas Blackstone during the 100 Years’ War.

Links- find out more:



I think this looks a really interesting read and historical fiction is something I want to get more in to. I enjoy books that are educational too.

What do you think? Do you like historical reads?


The Dead Dog Day- Jackie Kabler

Today we have a guest spot from the lovely Jackie Kabler. I’m so excited to read her debut novel The Dead Dog- what a wonderful title! It sounds great too.

How gorgeous is the cover?

Over to Jackie:

I’ve loved books ever since I learned to read, and always dreamed that one day, I might see my own name on a book cover. Now, finally, that dream has come true…and what am I doing? Celebrating, drinking champagne, treating myself to new shoes? Well, there has been a little champagne, yes. But what I’m mostly doing is FREAKING OUT.
With the official publication day for my debut novel, The Dead Dog Day, looming on 22 October, it’s all about the fear…what if nobody buys it? What if they do, and then they hate it? What if my Amazon reviews are dreadful? What it, what if, what if….! From talking to other authors though, I’ve realised that all this is absolutely normal, so every time I get into a minor panic, I give myself a mental slap (or sometimes, an actual physical slap!) and tell myself to concentrate on all the positives instead. Imagine, seeing my book on a shelf in a book shop! Imagine going on holiday, and seeing somebody lying by the pool, reading my book!  It really is the most exciting prospect.
My novel is essentially what the publishing business calls “cosy crime” – it’s a murder mystery, but there’s nothing gory or hard-core in there, and there’s a lot of humour and romance too.
I was incredibly lucky, after the usual dozens of rejections, to finally land a three-book deal with Accent Press for a series of novels featuring the same characters. My heroine, Cora Baxter, is a TV news reporter whose boss is murdered, and she ends up getting dragged into the investigation in unexpected ways. In the second book, there’ll be another murder she gets involved in. My plan is to get all my fear out of the way on this first novel, so I can really enjoy the second one coming out, and I’m hoping the second will be easier to write too, as I now know the characters as well as I know my own family. So maybe I should enjoy the nerves and excitement really – after all, your debut novel is only published once! That famous motto, “Feel the fear and do it anyway” has never felt more appropriate. I’m feeling it, I’m doing it, and I’m loving every minute.
Jackie Kabler worked as a newspaper reporter and then in television news for twenty years, including nearly a decade on GMTV. She later appeared on BBC and ITV news, presented a property show for Sky, hosted sports shows on Setanta Sports News and worked as a media trainer for the Armed Forces. She is now a presenter on shopping channel QVC and her first novel, The Dead Dog Day, is now available for pre-order on Amazon ahead of its release on 22nd October.
Find Jackie on Facebook –
And on Twitter – @jackiekabler
And on her website –
This sounds so great. Thank you to Jackie for dropping by!

Oliver and Jumpy Series- Werner Stejskal series


Today’s author spotlight is Werner Stejskal author of the Oliver and Jumpy series. You can find out more about the books here:

A little background

In 2012, while coming back from Europe, Werner watched a movie on board the plane starring Morgan Freeman: The Magic of Belle Isle. In this lovely little film Freeman is playing a down and out drunk writer, who spends time in a holiday village. In the neighboring house lives a lady with three kids. The younger girl would like to learn how to write stories. She asks the writer to teach her and finally writes her first story after learning to have “imagination”!

This movie left a big impression on Werner, and when arriving home, all worn out from a West to East flight, he had a sleepless night. During those hours “Oliver and Jumpy” was inspired and born. Next morning he wrote the first adventure story and the rest is history. With the all important help of several illustrators, this series of animal stories is finally providing enjoyment to countless little people.

If you’d like to read more of Werner’s (very interesting and somewhat unusual) story, you can do so here author bio

Who is the protagonist?

Oliver, the elegant tomcat, is a know-it-all individual, who thinks he is the best, but is always helpful to others.

What would you say is the protagonist’s greatest weakness or obstacle and why?

Oliver does not like to get wet, but generally does not have any obstacles.

What would you say is the main antagonist’s greatest strength?

There is no common antagonist in this series. There are occasionally witches, magicians and giants.

What inspired you to write your book?

There are lots of fairy tales and bedtime stories around and many of them are quite violent and unsuitable for young children. This made me decide to write something different. On a flight from Europe to Australia I watched the movie ‘Magic on Belle Island’ with Morgan Freeman, where Freeman teaches a little girl to have imagination and write her first story. This inspired me as well and the first stories with the two main characters Oliver, the elegant tomcat, and Jumpy, his kangaroo lady friend, made their appearance. It was my full intention to create something quite different and maybe even controversial at times. I prefer to treat children like adults within reason. 

Is there a theme or message that you want the readers to take away from the book?
 I hope children will react with delight looking at the sometimes complex pictures and learn the subtle lessons hidden in several of the stories.
What was the last book you read?
One of Nora Roberts. I forgot the title, since I have been reading about 70 of hers in a row by now.
Who are your favourite authors?
Margaret Mitchell, Nora Roberts.

Do you have any advice for new authors?

Produce a good product and persevere with promotion. Nobody will do it as well as yourself!

 Excerpt of the first Story

Do you like cats? Yes? I am glad, because I am a black cat with a white top hat. I have a few white spots on my fur too. Mum is white, you see! My name is Oliver. I am a very elegant tomcat with the shiniest coat in the world. I brush my fur every morning and always keep my nails trimmed! Of course, my hat is really refined too, which is another word for elegant.

Whenever you put on your new clothes, you can announce to everybody, “I am refined!” And everybody will think you are an elegant person. Well, enough of all that talk about me, although I can never talk too much about myself. I really think I am a cool cat. I love myself! Do you think this is naughty? You are probably right, but I can’t help it.

My best friend’s name is Jumpy. You guessed it. She likes to jump a lot, because she is a kangaroo! She is a great girl and she lets me ride in her pouch! I get in and Jumpy jumps away and away! That’s a lot of fun. I bet you would like to ride in her pouch too, wouldn’t you? You are probably a bit too big. I am quite small, so it is OK. I love it, but after a while I need to rest. All that up and down makes me dizzy. It’s a bit like being on a roller coaster.


Thank you to Werner for dropping by. This sounds a fun series.