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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Meeting my Waterloo: A sale, a contest and a new story...

The pathetic piece of muslin did little to conceal the stench of unwashed bodies, blood, corrupted wounds and worse that pervaded the makeshift hospital. The price Wellington had paid for the victory lay crowded on filthy straw mattresses on the makeshift hospital floor of an old warehouse in Battersea.
Everywhere she turned the wounded had been crowded together, so many of them that only a curtain separated the officers from the other ranks. Pushing aside the curtain, the conditions for the officers was little better. At least they had cots, not straw-filled bags, but those who had survived the rapid evacuation to England were in a poor state. Most still wore the tattered remnants of the uniform they had worn in battle over ten days ago and it looked to Isabel as if the rough bandages over their wounds had not been changed in days. 
(Opening lines from LORD SOMERTON'S HEIR ... by Alison Stuart)

Waterloo June 2015:  It is hard to imagine these peaceful fields were once the scene of so much carnage... (20,000 casualties)

The battle site of Waterloo today

Ten years ago, my military husband and I made a flying visit to the battle site at Waterloo, en route to returning a rental car. (Needless to say in the days before GPS we then got hopelessly lost trying to get back into Brussels and nearly missed our train... but that's another story).  That brief visit was the inspiration behind my Waterloo story LORD SOMERTON'S HEIR which starts in the days immediately following the battle.

On our recent travels, booked in complete ignorance that June 18 2015 was in fact the bicentennial of Waterloo, we found ourselves accidentally on a Waterloo trail that began in London with a visit to the Guards Museum and ended at Waterloo - the week before the Bicentennial weekend of re-enactments. A little bit of better planning and we could have been AT the bicentennial! However as it turned out, we had the place pretty much to ourselves, apart from hordes of workmen frantically trying to finish the paving and put up signs and bleachers etc. 

Alison labours up the 200 steps of the Butte de Lion

The new Visitors' Centre had been open a week and it is a marvel of 21st century technology including animated paintings, detailed and lifelike wax mannequins and a 3D movie about the battle that has you ducking for cover while facing the charge of 8000 French Curaissiers! 

Napoleon's staff on the eve of Waterloo - Visitors' Centre

Needless to say I have returned with a Waterloo buzz and a suitcase full of Waterloo memorabilia so in conjunction with my wonderful publishers from the 4th to the 13th of July I have a very special offer... several very special offers.

A CONTEST...  The prize is a collection of Waterloo memorabilia including a full reproduction of The Times with Wellington's Waterloo despatch. To enter, you only have to participate in the RAFFLECOPTER at the end of this post or click HERE

A SALE Lord Somerton's Heir , my own 'Waterloo' story will be on sale on Amazon and iBooks for only .99c for this week only.

A NEW STORY And finally, in honour of Waterloo I have written a short story... a prequel to LORD SOMERTON'S HEIR, which I have titled SEBASTIAN'S WATERLOO, in which we share the events of the 18th June 1815 with the hero of LORD SOMERTON'S HEIR, Captain Sebastian Alder.  

This available is FREE to subscribers of my Readers' Group Newsletter... so you can subscribe here to either read the story on line or download it to your ereader.