The battle of Worcester in 1651 was the last great battle ever fought on English soil. Cromwell routed the forces of the young King Charles II and plunged England into nine years of a Rebulican experiment which ended with Cromwell's death and the restoration of Charles II.
The Guardians of the Crown series follows the fate of three men who fought beside the King on that day - Jonathan Thornton (BY THE SWORD), Kit Lovell (THE KING'S MAN) and Kit's brother, Daniel Lovell (EXILES' RETURN). Their stories will span the ten years of the Interregnum from 1650 until 1660.
I have often described BY THE SWORD as 'The book of my heart"... in later posts I will go into greater detail as to how I came to write it and the inspiration behind it, but for now BY THE SWORD was and always will be my first great love.
This was the book I started writing in a ski chalet all those years ago. It has been on a long journey with me... finalling in RWA's Emma Darcy Award (as it was then) and winning an EPIC Award for Best Historical Romance but it has never really found a home and people to love it as I do.
So a huge thank you to my wonderful publisher Escape Publishing for giving BY THE SWORD a new lease on life - re imagined, rewritten and re-edited. So even if you have read it before in an earlier incarnation, you won't be disappointed by revisiting this edition...
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ABOUT BY THE SWORD...
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?
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT BY THE SWORD
As one reviewer wrote:
"By The Sword was one of the most moving and powerful books I have read in a very long time. You could actually feel the struggle these two characters had to endure to be together. Alison Stuart really drove home how hard it was for people of that time especially woman to survive. Her book felt so real that I wondered if anyone living today could ever cope with the way life was back then. This book pulls at your heart strings and you hold your breath until the very end praying for these two characters." Coffee Time Romance (5 stars)
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