Extended Sneak Peek: The Alice Network!

I promised I’d share a longer excerpt from my forthcoming historical novel THE ALICE NETWORK, and here it is! There will be another excerpt (this showing my World War I heroine who alternates with post WWII Charlie below) coming in a few weeks, so be sure to check back!

 

 

Chapter 1
CHARLIE
May 1947
Southhampton
The first person I met in England was a hallucination. I brought her with me, onboard the serene ocean liner that had carried my numb, grief-haunted self from New York to Southampton.

I was sitting opposite my mother at a wicker table among the potted palms in the Dolphin Hotel, trying to ignore what my eyes were telling me. The blond girl by the front desk wasn’t who I thought she was. I knew she wasn’t who I thought she was. She was just an English girl waiting beside her family’s luggage, someone I’d never seen before—but that didn’t stop my mind from telling me she was someone else. I averted my eyes, looking instead at the three English boys at the next table, who were busy trying to get out of tipping their waitress. “Five percent tip or ten?” a boy in a university tie was saying, waving the bill, and his friends laughed. “I only tip if they’re pretty. She had skinny legs . . .”

I glowered at them, but my mother was oblivious. “So cold and wet for May, mon Dieu!” She unfolded her napkin: a feminine flurry of lavender-scented skirts among the heaps of our baggage. Quite a contrast to me, all rumpled and cross. “Put your shoulders back, chérie.” She’d lived in New York since she married my father, but she still sprinkled her phrases with French. “Do stop slouching.”

“I can’t slouch in this getup.” I was crammed into a waist cincher like a band of iron, not that I needed one because I was built like a twig, but my froth of skirts wouldn’t hang right without it, so band of iron it was. That Dior, may he and his New Look rot in hell. My mother always dressed right at the crest of any new fashion, and she was built for the latest styles: tall, tiny waisted, voluptuously curved, a confection in her full-skirted traveling suit. I had a frilly traveling suit too, but I was drowning in all that fabric. Nineteen forty-seven was hell for little bony girls like me who couldn’t wear the New Look. Then again, 1947 was hell for any girl who would rather work calculus problems than read Vogue, any girl who would rather listen to Edith Piaf than Artie Shaw, and any girl with an empty ring finger but a rounding belly.

I, Charlie St. Clair, was officially three for three. That was the other reason my mother wanted me in a waist cincher. I was only three months gone, but she wasn’t taking any chances that my shape might announce what a whore she’d brought into the world.

I stole a glance across the hotel court. The blond girl was still there, and my mind was still trying to tell me she was someone she wasn’t. I looked away again with a hard blink as our waitress approached with a smile. “Will you be staying for the full tea, madam?” She did have bony legs, and as she bustled away with our order, the boys at the next table were still complaining about leaving her a tip. “Five shillings each for tea. Just leave a tuppence . . .”

Our tea arrived soon in a clatter of flowered china. My mother smiled her thanks. “More milk, please. C’est bon!” Though it wasn’t all that bon, really. Hard little scones and dry tea sandwiches and no sugar; there was still rationing in England even though V-E Day had been two years ago, and the menu of even a sumptuous hotel still showed the ration-set price of no more than five shillings per diner. The hangover of war was still visible here in a way you didn’t see in New York. There were still soldiers in uniforms drifting through the hotel court, flirting with the maids, and an hour ago when I’d disembarked the ocean liner, I’d noticed the shelled look of the houses on the wharf, like gaping teeth in a pretty smile. My first look at England, and from dockside wharf to hotel court it all looked gray and exhausted from the war, still shocked to the bone. Just like me.

I reached into the pocket of my heather gray jacket, touching the piece of paper that had lived there for the past month whether I was in a traveling suit or pajamas, but I didn’t know what to do with it. What could I do with it? I didn’t know, but it still seemed heavier than the baby I was carrying. I couldn’t feel that at all, or manage to have a single clear emotion about it. I wasn’t sick in the mornings, or craving split pea soup with peanut butter, or feeling any of the other things you were supposed to feel when you were knocked up. I was just numb. I couldn’t believe in this baby, because it had changed nothing. Only my whole life.

Three Historical Novel Society Conferences: The Highlight Reel

I’m preparing for this year’s Historical Novel Society Conference, and I’m going as a seasoned veteran, with three previous cons under my belt. Each one was fantastic and memorable in its own right. But as I pack my semi-famous red stilettos for this June, I’ve realized it’s kinda fun to look back at my last three conference recaps. Here’s a highlight reel from year to year: what has changed, what has stayed the same, and what always makes it worthwhile to go!

 

CONFERENCE PREGAME

2011: Since it’s my first time at this rodeo, I spend hours agonizing what to wear. I pack approximately thirty outfits for two days, and nothing seems right. If I wear a suit, everyone is bound to be in jeans. If I wear jeans, I’ll be the rube in a power-suited bunch of professionals. Help!

2013: I’m speaking on panels this time around; cue the nerves. Having spent a week agonizing over my presentations and changing my mind yet again about which scene I would be trotting out for the Saturday Night Sex Scene Read-Aloud, I’m packing literally the last minute before my dawn airport shuttle arrives, flinging things into my suitcase with such random logic that my first thought on unpacking is always something along the lines of “Why did I pack a set of wind-chimes and an abacus, but no pants?”

2015: I’ve been to three conferences by now; why do I not have a nicer set of luggage?! My suitcase is missing a wheel, and my carry-on is a battered black backpack in which I could comfortably pack Dwayne Johnson complete with his helicopter from “San Andreas.”

 

OPENING RECEPTION

2011: I take a deep breath and head down for the introductory cocktail hour. I don’t get two feet before Margaret George (!!!) recognizes me. She’s tiny, about up to my chin, and probably wouldn’t outweigh a stack of her own books. We talk shop about Emperor Nero, and I manage not to faint.

2013: I run around shrieking greetings to people I haven’t seen, in some cases, since the 2011 conference in San Diego. I wear my red patent-leather stilettos; the 4-inch ones that turn my toes numb, but give me a Joan-from-“Mad-Men” strut. They’re my good luck charm from the last conference, which I attended as a tongue-tied fan-girl–they were by far the most memorable thing about me. Even more than my name-tag, people at the reception glance at my feet and exclaim, “I remember you!”

2015: My people, there you are! Donna Russo Morin in her spike-heels and Sophia Loren zest for life, Gillian Bagwell and Kris Waldherr, my “Day of Fire” mates Sophie Perinot and Vicky Alvear Shecter, Leslie Carroll and Anne Easter Smith . . . these are my tribe, and it’s delicious to be among them again. C.W. Gortner arrives and the party dials up to an 11.

 

CONFERENCE KEYNOTE SPEECHES

2011: Keynote speech by power literary agent Jennifer Weltz. Not only does she give a great speech on what exactly an agent does all day and what they’re looking for, she has fabulous black lace stockings.

2013: Anne Perry is our guest speaker, and she’s got the voice of a born story-teller: low, lulling, spooky; absolute mistress of the dramatic pause. She paints such a vivid picture of Robespierre in his tumbril on the way to the guillotine, I can practically smell the blood between the cobblestones of the Place de la Greve.

2015: Diana Gabaldon is guest speaker, and she wisely gives us exactly what we want: ALL the dirt on the new Outlander show, the television process, and of course Sam Heughan.

 

BEST PIECE OF ADVICE HEARD AT CONFERENCE

2011: I catch a morning bagel with Michelle Moran, who has about three feet of glossy dark hair, and would look sensational in one of those narrow Egyptian sheaths her heroines are always wearing. “What are you writing about after Rome?” she asks me. “You don’t want to keep doing the same historical era over and over in your books, do you?” It’s a light-bulb moment.

2013: C.W. Gortner during his lunchtime speech, saying Historical fiction is often the punching bag of the industry, second only to romances . . . but remember–we celebrate a genre that is time-honored.”

2015: David Blixt during his sword workshop, complete with actual blades: “The groove down the middle of the blade is called a fuller, and it’s there strictly to lighten the blade. DO NOT EVER CALL IT A BLOOD CHANNEL.” We have all been warned.

 

FAVORITE CONFERENCE PANEL

2011: Four editors, talking about the selling and marketing of historical fiction. One admits she never wants to read another Pride and Prejudice spin-off; another says he’ll howl if he gets another manuscript about Anne Boleyn. I’m right there with him.

2013: Depicting Religion in Historical Fiction.” Mary Sharratt calls Hildegard von Bingen a power frau, Kamran Pasha skewers fundamentalists of all religions with a pithy “Fundamentalism stems from insecurity,” and Stephanie Dray brings down the house when asked when it is appropriate to critique religion: “Always, but that doesn’t mean it’s wise.

2015: What Really Happens During A Historical Romance Cover Shoot?” Kim Killion of the Killion Group walks us through it with the help of her amiable 6’8 cover model who has a set of eight-pack abs on which you could grate cheese. We giggle helplessly as Kim explains how the models start fully dressed for the Inspirational/Sweet Romance covers (the female model gets a dictionary shoved in her hand and is told “Here’s a Bible; think of Jesus”) and once the clothes start coming off, the Sexy/Erotica covers get shot. Male cover model strips down cheerfully to a kilt and boots, gets sprayed with Pam (grapeseed oil for the holistic-living models!), and is a very good sport about all the authors laughing hysterically as he smolders on cue.

 

 

BEST RANDOM HILARIOUS MOMENT AT CONFERENCE

2011: Diana Gabaldon toting a broadsword through the entire opening cocktail reception. “I promised I’d lend it for the costume show,” she explains, and later observes that any girl looking to pick up guys should just walk into a bar with a massive sword. She’s right: every man at the conference bounces up exclaiming “Oooh, can I touch it?”

2013: The costume pagaent, narrated by Gillian Bagwell/Joan, Lady Rivers. First prize is awarded to a hilarious Teralyn Pilgrim in a pristine Vestal Virgin outfit . . . worn serenely over her eight months pregnant belly. Her Vestal-in-denial routine has us all in stitches.

2015: The horror on the faces of 200+ writers as they walk into breakfast the first morning and see a wall of decaf machines. This is a writers conference; nobody drinks decaf! Decaf coffee is like a hooker that only wants to cuddle.

 

POST-CONFERENCE CONCLUSION

2011: I anticipated the great panels, the useful discussions, the industry tips. What I didn’t expect was the strange and wonderful zaniness of the people who write, represent, sell, and read the books in this world of historical fiction. As a writer, I work alone–I spend my days in yoga pants, curled up on the couch with a laptop in my lap, engaged in the solitary process of stringing one word after another. What fun to meet so many people who do the same thing; people who all give the same knowing nods when someone exclaims, “Don’t you just HATE it when the girl on your book cover has the top of her head chopped off?”

2013: HNS 2011 was my first conference, and it was an eye-opener: I’d been a professional author for less than two years, and I was going it entirely alone. It was in San Diego two years ago that I first found out what a wonderful community there is of writers, readers, and friends in this business. I don’t think I realized how lonely this job could be, when you don’t have that community. Two years later, and I couldn’t imagine being without it.

2015: The last few years have seen some sobering changes: the demise of brick-and-mortar stores; the Amazon-Hachette feud, and everything else that can have you convinced that writing is a tougher gig than ever. And it is–but what hasn’t changed is the weird and wonderful world of writers, readers, and friends in this business, nowhere more apparent than at the HNS Conference. This is a lonely job; my writer friends save my sanity on a regular basis. And as I unpack my red stilettos and my 16 new books, I already can’t wait for HNS 2017.

Sneak Peek Excerpt from The Alice Network!

I’m thrilled to share an excerpt from my forthcoming historical novel THE ALICE NETWORK with you!  I’ll be posting another longer excerpt on May 1st as well, so make sure to check back on that date.

 

Chapter 1

CHARLIE

May 1947

Southhampton

The first person I met in England was a hallucination. I brought her with me, onboard the serene ocean liner that had carried my numb, grief-haunted self from New York to Southampton.

I was sitting opposite my mother at a wicker table among the potted palms in the Dolphin Hotel, trying to ignore what my eyes were telling me. The blond girl by the front desk wasn’t who I thought she was. I knew she wasn’t who I thought she was. She was just an English girl waiting beside her family’s luggage, someone I’d never seen before—but that didn’t stop my mind from telling me she was someone else. I averted my eyes, looking instead at the three English boys at the next table, who were busy trying to get out of tipping their waitress. “Five percent tip or ten?” a boy in a university tie was saying, waving the bill, and his friends laughed. “I only tip if they’re pretty. She had skinny legs . . .”

I glowered at them, but my mother was oblivious. “So cold and wet for May, mon Dieu!” She unfolded her napkin: a feminine flurry of lavender-scented skirts among the heaps of our baggage. Quite a contrast to me, all rumpled and cross. “Put your shoulders back, chérie.” She’d lived in New York since she married my father, but she still sprinkled her phrases with French. “Do stop slouching.”

“I can’t slouch in this getup.” I was crammed into a waist cincher like a band of iron, not that I needed one because I was built like a twig, but my froth of skirts wouldn’t hang right without it, so band of iron it was. That Dior, may he and his New Look rot in hell. My mother always dressed right at the crest of any new fashion, and she was built for the latest styles: tall, tiny waisted, voluptuously  curved, a confection in her full-skirted traveling suit. I had a frilly traveling suit too, but I was drowning in all that fabric. Nineteen forty-seven was hell for little bony girls like me who couldn’t wear the New Look. Then again, 1947 was hell for any girl who would rather work calculus problems than read Vogue, any girl who would rather listen to Edith Piaf than Artie Shaw, and any girl with an empty ring finger but a rounding belly.

I, Charlie St. Clair, was officially three for three.

***

THE ALICE NETWORK releases June 6! But there’s a Goodreads giveaway if you want a chance to read early. Enter here!

My New Release: Songs of Blood & Gold

Twelve bestselling historical authors bring to life to the glory of the ancient world in three novels spanning golden Greece to blood-soaked Rome: three novels in one convenient bundle!

A DAY OF FIRE
(Authored by: Stephanie Dray, Ben Kane, E. Knight, Sophie Perinot, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter)

Pompeii: a lively resort flourishing in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius at the height of Rome’s glory. When Vesuvius erupts in an explosion of flame and ash, the entire town struggles to flee the mountain’s wrath: soldiers and politicians, villains and heroes, young and old. But who will escape, and who will be buried for eternity?

A YEAR OF RAVENS
(Authored by: Ruth Downie, Stephanie Dray, E. Knight, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, SJA Turney, Russell Whitfield)

Britannia: land of mist and magic clinging to the western edge of the Roman Empire. A red-haired queen named Boudica leads her people in a desperate rebellion against the might of Rome, an epic struggle destined to consume warriors and peacemakers, slaves and queens, Roman and Celt. But who will survive to see the dawn of a new Britannia, and who will fall to feed the ravens?

A SONG OF WAR
(Authored by: Christian Cameron, Libbie Hawker, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, Stephanie Thornton, SJA Turney, Russell Whitfield)

Troy: city of gold, gatekeeper of the east, a haven destined to last a thousand years. But the Fates have other planes–the Fates, and a woman named Helen. In the shadow of Troy’s gates, all must be reborn in the greatest war of the ancient world: heroes and cowards, seers and kings, innocent and guilty. But who will lie forgotten in the embers, and who will rise to shape the dawn of a new age?

Pick it up today–1000+ pages of reading for $2.99!

Amazon
Kobo
B&N

 

Teaser Tuesday

I thought I’d try something new here on Ave Historia. Every Tuesday I’ll post a teaser from whatever historical fiction novel I’m currently reading – and follow up with a review on Friday. For this week, enjoy a snippet from an old favorite of mine – a book that is my literary equivalent of comfort food.

“Tell me – you asked a question, now I get one,” she said. “You speak so well, you must come from a good family. Why are you here alone? What makes you want to suffer pain and dishonor to join a world you know nothing about? You could be reading to your old father, or embroidering in one of those comfortable convents for rich girls . . .”

“Revenge,” I said. “There is a man I hate. She has promised to make me strong enough to destroy him.”

“Only one?” observed La Trianon. “My, you are young.”

— From The Oragle Glass by Judith Merkle Riley. Throw a crippled and intelligent young girl with a talent for fortunetelling into the snake pit of the Sun King’s court, add an outrageous con job and a dash of black magic, garnish with real historical figures like Louix XIV and his various mistresses, dust with arsenic and stir to a boil . . .

Read my review on Friday!

The Next Book!

YES! I can finally spill the news: my next book after THE ALICE NETWORK! Sale announced:

“Forthcoming THE ALICE NETWORK author Kate Quinn’s DARKROOM, taking place post WWII, in which a battle-haunted English journalist and a Russian female bomber pilot from the real-life Night Witch squadron join forces to track the Huntress, a Nazi war criminal gone to ground in America, even as a budding teenage photographer in Boston begins to suspect her demure new stepmother is hiding a very dangerous past.”

Release date still up in the air, but I am soooo excited for this book!

Top Ten Books of 2016

Nothing fits better in a Christmas stocking than a book. Here are my recommendations for your next shopping trip, ten of the best books I read in 2016 (though not all were published this year) and just who you should buy them for . . .

1. “Fingersmith” by Sara Waters

A taut, atmospheric, Victorian-era thriller with more twists and turns than a Whitechapel alley. At first absolutely no one is likable in this tale, which centers around a queasy scheme to lock an heiress in a mad-house and seize her fortune. But the plot whip-lashes like a snake, accomplishing the impossible in making us empathize deeply with characters we at first despised. And the tender romance that grows between two brutalized women is a heart-breaker.

Buy for: your thriller-loving bestie who has lived for morally-gray anti-heroines ever since “Gone Girl.”

2. “The Betrayal” by Helen Dunmore

Soviet Russia comes to life here in all its paranoid complexity, seen through the eyes of an idealistic young doctor and his quiet wife, both survivors of the devastating Leningrad siege. All they want is to enjoy the tiny pleasures of life allowed by the state, but the wheels of power have a way of grinding people like this into paste, and they both know the danger they are in when the doctor is called to treat the mortally ill son of a powerful party member. Terrifying and intense to the last page.

Buy for: that Marx-reading uncle who still drones on at Thanksgiving about how communism could have worked if only. Chortle silently as you introduce him to the historical reality.

3. “The Engagements” by J. Courtney Hall

“A diamond is forever.” A sharp-witted ad-woman pens the immortal line for Tiffany’s in the 40s, and launches four seemingly unconnected stories of love, marriage, fidelity, infidelity, secrets, and and marriages. Poignant character-building, diamond-bright prose, and witty observations about the insidiousness of the wedding industry make this one a gem.

Buy for: your wedding-obsessed office intern, the one addicted to “Say Yes To The Dress.” Get her thinking about WHY she wants that dress and that big sparkly rock–innate romanticism, or clever marketing?

4. “The Vatican Princess: A Novel of Lucrezia Borgia” by C.W. Gortner

One of Gortner’s most unique heroines. Unlike his other “bad girls of history” leading ladies, Lucrezia Borgia sees the capacity for violence rooted in her family blood as a concrete thing, not a product of the scandal machine. Her struggle isn’t against revisionist history unfairly painting her as wicked and corrupt; her struggle is not to BECOME wicked and corrupt. Inside the shell of papal politics and gorgeous Renaissance settings, this is an extremely personal story about a girl fighting to save her own soul.

Buy for: your psychologist neighbor who lives down the block or in the upstairs apartment. They’ll get a kick trying to diagnose the various Borgia family psychoses, neuroses, and manias.

5. “The Wrath & the Dawn” by Renee Ahdieh

Fairy-tale retellings are nothing new, but mostly we see European fairy-tales being told, and really, it is about damn time someone delved into the rich legacy of stories further east. This YA historical fantasy retelling of the 1001 Arabian Nights stars Shahrzad, a tough, clever girl determined to avenge her cousin, who was the latest victim in the parade of brides to march into the Caliph’s bedroom and out to an executioner’s garrote. On every page the jewels sparkle, the sand grits, the perfume intoxicates, the food is mouthwatering–and the end is a dark cliffhanger. Don’t worry, the sequel is already out.

Buy for: the teenage girl in your life, whether daughter or cousin or little sister, whom you’re trying to wean off Mary Sue heroines to more bad-ass role-models. Be ready for the excited discussion of how quick wits and a fast imagination really are every bit as bad-ass as being Katniss-Everdeen-quick with a bow.

6. “The Scent of Secrets” by Jane Thynne

For all the myriad novels written about the fight against Hitler, there are few that take place in the belly of the beast–in Berlin, rather than on the battlefield or in some sympathetic Allied nation. But the world of Nazi Berlin is exactly what we get in “The Scent of Secrets,” and it’s fascinating. Heroine Clara Vine is half-German and half-English, a Mitford-esque society girl making her living on the Berlin film scene as an actress . . . but secretly she uses her connections to Nazi high society to spy for England. The details of Third Reich weddings, bride schools where German girls are trained for marriage, and the shark-like waters where high-society Nazi wives like Magda Goebbels and Emmy Goring rule the roost make for some of the most chilling world-building I’ve read.

Buy for: your fiery feminist grandmother, who will drop some very ungrandmotherly expletives about the pernicious doctrine of Kinder, Kirche, und Kuche as she devours every page.

7. “The Summer Before the War” by Helen Simonson
Humorous, heart-breaking, tender, and tragic: a small English village with its cast of eccentrics, academics, intellectuals, and locals, all thrown into disarray first by the arrival of Belgian refugees fleeing the pre-WWI conflict in Europe, and then by the overwhelming tide of war itself.

Buy for: your mother, if like mine she swoons both for rural English novels and Wilfred Owen’s war poetry.

8. “The Fireman” by Joe Hill

Writing talent must run in Stephen King’s family, because the horrormeister’s son pens a thrilling tale here. It’s a familiar dystopian saga of a band of survivors hiding from the fallout of a strange incendiary plague–but the high-wire pacing, the sympathetic characters, and some truly detestable villains make this dystopian epic a standout.

Buy for: your brother in the fire department. He’ll get a kick out of the mysterious pyro-gifted hero.

9. “America’s First Daughter” by Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie

Sure, I’m good friends with both authors–but this was one of the break-out historicals of the year, coming 3rd in the Goodreads Choice Awards, so clearly there are plenty of readers out there who agree with me about the merits of this warts-and-all look at one of our most complicated, troubling Founding Fathers. Told through the eyes of Jefferson’s daughter Patsy, AFD examines themes of racism, slavery, politics, revolution, domestic abuse, war, and the secret legacy that all those influences has left in America’s past.

Buy for: your civics-minded dad who still can’t understand how the election turned out the way it did, and who has been reading a lot of American history ever since to figure out how exactly we got here.

10. “Before The Fall” by Noah Hawley

A private plane inexplicably crashes into the ocean fifteen minutes after take-off, and only two survivors emerge from the wreckage. Why? This deeply character-driven twister of a story unravels forward and backward from the central accident: the survivors limping ahead into the chaotic aftermath of the crash, and the dead who one by one tell the stories that brought them to the plane on that fatal morning. Who or what caused the crash? The answer will surprise and move you.

Buy for: your brainiac husband, who lives to untangle plotty whodunits. Bet him dinner at a 3-star restaurant if he fingers the right perp. Smile, collect your filet mignon and bay scallops, and admit you didn’t get this one right on your first read either.

Get thee hence to a bookstore and finish up your holiday shopping. Happy Saturnalia!

The Alice Network: Cover Reveal & Pre-Order!

Hurrah! Finally I can share the awesome cover for my upcoming THE ALICE NETWORK. I love everything about this cover and have been dying to show it to the world.

And not only is the cover out, but the pre-order page is up on Amazon. This book will be officially releasing on June 6, 2017, and you can pre-order it here!

“The Alice Network, which hinges on the unsung valor of female espionage agents in the Great War, perfectly balances a propulsive plot, faultlessly observed period detail, and a cast of characters so vividly drawn that I half expected to blink and see them standing in front of me. This is historical fiction at its best–thrilling, affecting, revelatory.”

–Jennifer Robson, international bestselling author of Moonlight Over Paris

“Both funny and heartbreaking, this epic journey of two courageous women is an unforgettable tale of little-known wartime glory and sacrifice. Quinn knocks it out of the park with this spectacular book!”

— Stephanie Dray, New York Times bestselling author of America’s First Daughter

“A ring of daring female spies known as the Alice Network left a legacy of blood and betrayal. Two women suffering the losses of two different wars must join forces, one to find her voice and her redemption, the other to face her fears and her oldest enemy. Kate Quinn strums the chords of every human emotion with two storylines that race over continents and through decades to converge in one explosive ending.”

–Marci Jefferson, author of The Girl on the Golden Coin

 

Happy Release Day for A SONG OF WAR: A NOVEL OF TROY

Today marks the release of the third collaborative novel I have ever had the pleasure of taking part in! First time around my co-authors and I explored the destruction of Pompeii; the second time around, Queen Boudica’s rebellion against Rome. For our third endeavor, the team (mostly the same lineup, with some delightful new faces replacing those too deadline-slammed to join this time around) tackled the Trojan War.

The result? “A Song of War: a novel of Troy.”

Our third collaborative was bigger, longer, and darker than either of our previous efforts–we like a challenge! And in the process of its creation, we had about as much fun as is legally possible to have while still calling it work. Approximately three million emails passed between the seven of us as we wrote, debating everything from the political complexities of the Bronze Age to the knotty issue soon known as “that effing Trojan fleet problem.” We’re all very proud of “A Song of War,” and we hope you enjoy it too.

Buy your copy here!

Amazon US (paperback and Kindle)
Amazon UK (paperback and Kindle)
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
iTunes

 

 

 

A Song of War: Pre-Order and Cover Reveal!

It’s here: the cover AND the Pre-Order info for the Trojan War project! We are all super excited how it turned out, and we hope you will be, too!

Title: A Song of War: a novel of Troy
Authors: Christian Cameron, Libbie Hawker, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, Stephanie Thornton, SJA Turney, and Russell Whitfield, with an introduction by Glyn Iliffe.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: October 18, 2016

Pre-Order here!

Amazon US (paperback and Kindle) | Amazon UK | Kobo

***

Troy: city of gold, gatekeeper of the east, haven of the god-born and the lucky, a city destined to last a thousand years. But the Fates have other plans—the Fates, and a woman named Helen. In the shadow of Troy’s gates, all must be reborn in the greatest war of the ancient world: slaves and queens, heroes and cowards, seers and kings . . . and these are their stories.

A young princess and an embittered prince join forces to prevent a fatal elopement.

A tormented seeress challenges the gods themselves to save her city from the impending disaster.

A tragedy-haunted king battles private demons and envious rivals as the siege grinds on.

A captured slave girl seizes the reins of her future as two mighty heroes meet in an epic duel.

A grizzled archer and a desperate Amazon risk their lives to avenge their dead.

A trickster conceives the greatest trick of all.

A goddess’ son battles to save the spirit of Troy even as the walls are breached in fire and blood.

Seven authors bring to life the epic tale of the Trojan War: its heroes, its villains, its survivors, its dead. Who will lie forgotten in the embers, and who will rise to shape the bloody dawn of a new age?

Archives

Trailer for THE ALICE NETWORK!