I completely forgot. The third in The Long Journey of Joslin de Lay sequence will appear on Kindle in the next few days. It's called Hell's Kitchen. Joslin reaches Oxford on his long quest to Wales to search for his mother and is immediately plunged into an adventure even more terrifying than anything he has yet experienced.
A book which I admire tremendously and always wanted to emulate is Umberto Eco's Name of the Rose. Eco's is the version of the Middle Ages which has captivated me the most. So when I first planned Hell's Kitchen I aimed to write my own Name of the Rose, depicting a world of forbidden knowledge, books which must not be opened, death for any who dared to.
I wrote this book long before it ever occurred to me that one day I would live in Oxford. Inevitably because of my background, I then regarded Oxford as a place of decadent knowledge and possibly downright evil and so the obvious setting for the story. My view of Oxford has, I hasten to add, changed completely. However, it's the sort of place where nowadays people will discover, follow up and then present to the world notions which seem preposterous at first sight but then mysteriously come true. That is what happens in Hell's Kitchen, though in 1370 the notion in question runs completely and heretically counter to every concept the Church holds dear. There are men in Oxford prepared to kill to stop such ideas spreading. And they do. Doncaster College, Oxford truly was a hell's kitchen, locked in controversy, fear and the consequences of its own history.
Yet now, six hundred years later, these very notions have come true, not mysteriously but as a result of meticulous research and real daring and that, I suppose, is a sort of sub-text to the story. Anyway, Joslin has his work cut out to escape the coils of this mystery and I hope you'll enjoy following his progress.
I'm going to put Hell's Kitchen out free to start with and after a few days it will revert to the usual price. Meanwhile, as part of the Authors Electric World Book Night celebrations, Of Dooms and Death will be free from April 21st to April 25th and A Pact with Death will be free from April 27th to May 1st.
By the way, the cover of Hell's Kitchen is a sinister and entirely appropriate fantasy on the dreaded mandrake root, which plays a significant part in the story.
The title applies especially to Doncaster College Oxford