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The Perfect Christmas Present!

Searching for the ideal Christmas gift for someone with a thirst for Historical Fiction, adventure and intrigue? Looking for that something extra in a gift?

Look no further! Signed Copies available!!!

The first three novels in the Dorset Chronicles series follow the Davenport family through the turbulent late 17thCentury in thrilling tales of anguish, adventure and suspense set amidst the forging of modern England.

 

Signed copies – personalised message – no p&p for UK deliveries– hurry to ensure delivery for Christmas

Visit https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ChrisOswaldAuthor?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=742652720&ga_search_query=chris%20oswald

Make your selection, add your personal message and sit back as your signed copies go straight to their intended destination.

 

Christmas Deal – Limited Offer (while stocks last)

  • Choose your book:

Buy your choice of 1 – £10

Buy your choice of 2 books – £19

Buy your choice of 3 books- £27

  • Free Postage and Packing to any UK destination

 

  • Get your book(s) signed by the author with a personalised message of your choosing

Agnes and Vera Christmas Gift Display plus Book Signing!

A few months ago, Agnes and Vera in Sturminster Newton agreed to take copies of my Dorset Chronicles series. They leaped ahead of more regular bookshops in sales volume and I am delighted now that they have asked me to do a book signing on November 1st between 5pm and 7pm.

This is no simple book signing, however, It is set amidst a general display of the marvellous gifts that Agnes and Vera have on sale and they invite you to visit them at a special opening for the evening of Friday November 1st.

It gets even better than that, however. For they are taking over the coffee shop next door – Joshua’s – for the occasion and I will be doing my book signing in the gentle yet fun environment that Joshua’s offers.

What could be better for a Friday evening than late night shopping, coffee and the chance to look over the latest books in the Dorset Chronicles series – the drama and history surrounding the forging of our modern nation. These books are set in and around our ancient and beautiful town of Sturminster Newton.

I really hope you will make it and join me there for a fun evening with beautiful gifts (including my books!) and excellent coffee!

For more information see https://www.agnesandvera.com

See you there!!

1st Book in Chris Oswald’s series, ‘The Dorset Chronicles’

I Swear the Evidence I Give…

“is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.”

“You don’t deny you wielded the axe, severing his head from his body?”

“I did.”

“Was the victim known to you?”

“I am the victim.”

“Was the other party known to you?”

“Not until the night of the incident.”

“Yet you share the same surname.”

“It is a common enough name.”

“I understand you are a stranger in these parts?”

“My parents moved away. I returned the day of the incident.”

“Why?”

“I inherited the house, I wanted to see it before selling it.”

“You found the victim there and sought to enjoy yourself at his expense.”

“No!”

“Yet he lies now in the morgue with no head. No further questions.”

My court-appointed counsel rose, the other end of a seesaw as the prosecutor sat down. He smiled a weak smile; the smile of someone who will not push himself.

“You say you are the victim? Please explain to the jury.” He looked at the twelve as if a beggar seeking coin. This is the tale I told.

 

My parents left because their house was haunted. They would not speak of it. The house was empty for fifty years. The man was waiting for me, coming to the door just after I arrived. He was my great-great-grandfather, he explained, and he had roamed the garden for a hundred years, unable to enter the house. Long ago, when he was young, newly married and the happiest person on earth, he came home early one day and found his bride, my great-great grandmother, in bed with his best friend. They fought and the friend was killed when my great-great grandfather struck him with an axe. He was hung for this crime. But he told me he could not rest these hundred years. His wife had cursed him as her lover was beheaded.

“You will never rest until your head is likewise severed,” she had cried.

I asked my great-great-grandfather into the house but he could not enter. Instead, he pleaded for release from the curse, begging me to strike off his head. I spent hours remonstrating while he pleaded. He passed me the axe. Finally, I raised it and struck his head clean off. I remember his smile of relief as the head toppled to the ground.

 

“Can you explain why, if he passed you the axe, the only fingerprints on it were yours?” It was a good point. But I had the answer.

“Ghosts do not leave fingerprints. They are not of this world.”

 

“Foreman of the jury please stand.” The judge looked tired, like he wanted a pot of tea and a bun. “Have you reached a unanimous verdict?”

“No m’lud.”

“Have you reached a majority verdict?”

“Yes but only by seven votes to five.”

“How do you find the defendant?”

“Guilty.”

The judge placed a black cap on his white powdered wig, turned to me and pronounced sentence.

Why A Simple Mistake?

This book is in final proofread and will be released on Thursday 16th August.

It is Book 3 of the Dorset Chronicles. The first two books, A New Lease on Freedom and It Takes a Rogue, dealt very much with historical fiction in my region of the world – Dorset. They had scenes elsewhere, for instance Bristol, London, Holland.

A Simple Mistake is a little different. Over half of it still relates to events in Dorset with near disasters and dangers looming for our small group of protagonists. But the history of 1689 really demanded another dimension for that year, and 1690, is all about Ireland. James Stuart, the deposed/ abdicated king (depending on your point of view!) landed at the bottom of Ireland in March 1689 and took most of the country pretty quickly.

I say most because Ulster held out and, within Ulster, Londonderry in particular. This is a fascinating time. The city was Derry until Elizabeth I sent planters over to settle the land. Londonderry, to me, means a younger cousin to London, or perhaps a child of the English capital. The siege of Londonderry was a momentous affair and Bridget Browne, a descendant of the planters a century earlier, lived through it in my imagination, just as I would have loved to experience it. Not the hunger, the fear, the bombardment – I’m far too much of a coward and creature of comfort to enjoy such conditions – but the fellowship both of determination and pride and the excitement of holding out!

This was war and very few wars have a clear cut right on one side or another. Some do, for instance nobody could seriously argue that the Second World War was not a just war, wit the allies standing up to the evil of fascism. But the war in Ireland in 1689-90 was not one of the few. Both sides had right and both sides had wrong. Young Bridget Browne could expect to live a life without being invaded, yet she, as an intelligent woman, could see that her types had literally been “planted” upon the native Irish. She concludes that the war she experienced was not so much about Catholics against Protestants, just as perhaps many of our modern day struggles suggest Muslims against Christians. Her conclusion was that it was greed, fear and ambition behind the cruelty she witnessed.

A chunk of the middle of the book is in Ireland, dealing both with the siege of Londonderry and with fictitious adventure surrounding this period. After all, Matthew and Thomas Davenport have to have reasons to go to Ireland.

But if you like the Dorset connection, do not fret! The story returns to Dorset where there is a momentous attempt to unseat the natural order of things in the north of the county, leaving the residents reeling from bankruptcy, intrigue and disaster. And here again, the prime motivations behind Parchman and his crew are jealousy, ambition and hatred. To find out whether they succeed, you will just have to buy the book! Out on 16th August  so make it a date in your diaries, settle back and enjoy the latest instalment of the Dorset Chronicles.

 

A Simple Mistake is Coming Soon!

Here’s the back cover write up to A Simple Mistake, book 3 in the Dorset Chronicles, Historical Fiction set when our modern nation was forged:

 

Anyone can make a mistake…

 

Believing himself spurned by the woman he loves, Thomas Davenport leaves Dorset, intent just to get away. He ends up in Ireland, at the height of the 1689 James Stuart invasion. He meets Tristan Browne, an Irishman born in Barbados, coming home to a land in uproar.

 

The Siege of Londonderry, like so much in the Seventeenth Century, puts countryman against countryman in a bitter war of attrition, starvation and resilience. Bridget Browne is caught up in it and writes a startling account, full of insight.

 

Unknown to Thomas, his brother Matthew is also in Ireland, wishing only to be on the pulpit in his native Dorset, but his sense of duty prevails.

 

Thrown together by fate, the four must flee Ireland when Matthew uncovers a corrupt scheme, the work of old adversary Parchman, who is also wreaking havoc back home in Dorset.

 

Can Great Little and Bagber Manor survive as we have come to know them, or will Parchman succeed and see his foes out on the streets, beggar bowl in hand?

 

As we move relentlessly towards the modern age, our heroes and villains have their own struggles, which build into the drama of an extraordinary nation in the making.

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