AUSSIE MONTH with ALISON STUART
Describe yourself in one word:
Tell us about Exile’s Return?
Exile’s Return is the third and final instalment in the GUARDIANS OF THE CROWN series which began with BY THE SWORD and revolved around the Battle of Worcester in 1651, a battle which shaped the future of three men: Jonathan Thornton (the hero of BY THE SWORD), KIT LOVELL (the hero of THE KING’S MAN) and Kit’s brother DANIEL LOVELL.
The year is now 1659 and Daniel is no longer the callow youth who went into battle with dreams of honour and glory. He is scarred (physically and emotionally) by years as a fugitive and a prisoner of war on the plantations of the West Indies and is after one thing… revenge for the death of his father. A fortuitous meeting with AGNES FLETCHER, a young woman who has been left with the care of two small children, sets them both on the same path, with different goals.
It was important to bring the ‘arc’ of the series to a conclusion. While Jonathan and Daniel may have had their own ‘Happy for Nows’ with Kate and Thamsine, the politics of the day meant there could be no real happiness in their lives until the King (Charles II) returns to England. All the characters need their ‘Happy ever After’.
What inspired this novel?
I have a passion for this period, plain and simple and this third story is long, long overdue! It was great fun revisiting many of the characters from the previous two books.
What are you reading right now?
I am revelling in the Uncivil Wars, a series set in the English Civil War and revolving around an ungovernable troop of Parliamentary horse by author M.J. Logue. Apart from capturing the period brilliantly and her knowledge of history, she draws the characters so well. Current read is THE SMOKE OF HER BURNING.
Number one thing to do on your bucket list?
I know what it’s not… jumping out of a perfectly good aircraft (unless it was on fire or about to crash into a mountain AND I was strapped to someone who knew what they were doing preferably with the body of a Greek god…) I would like to go back to the country of my birth, Kenya. Although I know it bears little resemblance to the country I left at the age of ten.
Best thing about being an Aussie?
Personally, I am an Aussie by adoption (see earlier remark about being born in Kenya) BUT my Australian roots go back to convicts in 1798 so I reckon that pretty much makes me Australian royalty!
What I love most? Australia… the amazing country that astounds and overwhelms me and the people, the homogenous society we live in. I love it all. Aussie and proud of it.
What you want readers to know about the romance genre?
People talk about the ‘romance genre’ but how long is a piece of string? Just about every book you read is about relationships, human relationships and what is more human than the ability to fall in love? It makes us what we are. Even James Bond has time for romance…
What have you got in store for your readers in 2016?
The last book in my Guardians of the Crown series, EXILE’S RETURN is released on 15 February, ending a chapter in my writing career that began with my first book BY THE SWORD coming runner up in the Emma Darcy Award for 1997.
After that… I have so many possibilities but I do know one thing, one way or another you will be meeting Harriet Gordon. The eponymous heroine of my Harriet Gordon mysteries. A ‘cosyish’ mystery series set in Singapore in 1910. Book 1 is written and at this stage 2 more are in the works. I love Harriet and her world and I hope my readers will too. Not a romance per se but the seed does not fall too far from the tree and I am sure there will be romance in the air for Harriet…
What were your big achievements of 2015?
2015 was a HUGE year! I think the major achievement was writing, submitting, revising and editing EXILE’S RETURN on date and on time. I feel exhausted just thinking about it!
The breath-taking conclusion to Alison Stuart’s English Civil War trilogy introduces a heroine with nothing left to lose and a hero with everything to gain…
England, 1659: Following the death of Cromwell, a new king is poised to ascend the throne of England. One by one, those once loyal to the crown begin to return …
Imprisoned, exiled and tortured, fugitive Daniel Lovell returns to England, determined to kill the man who murdered his father. But his plans for revenge must wait, as the King has one last mission for him.
Agnes Fletcher’s lover is dead, and when his two orphaned children are torn from her care by their scheming guardian, she finds herself alone and devastated by the loss. Unwilling to give up, Agnes desperately seeks anyone willing to accompany her on a perilous journey to save the children and return them to her care. She didn’t plan on meeting the infamous Daniel Lovell. She didn’t plan on falling in love.
Thrown together with separate quests – and competing obligations – Daniel and Agnes make their way from London to the English countryside, danger at every turn. When they are finally given the opportunity to seize everything they ever hoped for, will they find the peace they crave, or will their fledgling love be a final casualty of war?
Wanna win $1000?! Sure you do!
To celebrate AusRom Today’s Aussie Month, we’re giving one lucky winner the chance to win $1000 in cold hard cash!
All you need to do is pop over and answer 10 really simple questions here, leave your details on the survey and you could be starting the New Year $1000 richer!