Drawing Anglo-Saxon and Viking Treasure: Guest Post by Gilli Allan

To tie in with the release of the gorgeous new cover for Buried Treasure, I'm delighted to hand the blog over to author Gilli Allan: ...

Friday, 24 May 2019

Friday Featured: D

Continuing the new weekly series: Friday Featured. I'm publishing, working from A-Z, a list of authors whose works I think you should check out. Maybe I've read some of their works, maybe I've worked with them on various projects, perhaps their books are on my To-Be-Read pile, or perhaps they are friends of mine who have news that needs to be shared. The only rule here is that it is totally unsolicited. The authors don't know I'm going to feature them, and in that way you'll know that this is simply my honest opinion. If I haven't read their work yet I'll be candid and say so, but at least one book by each of these authors is either on my shelves, or on my Kindle; it might be that I just haven't got to them yet 😊

This week - D  (clicking on the names will take you to the author website; book titles will take you to Amazon)

Heather Darsie This is a wonderful - nonfiction - book about the woman more usually known as Anne of Cleves, or even the Flanders Mare. In Anna Duchess of Cleves, Heather Darsie explains the political and geographical background to the wedding between Anna and Henry VIII and her book makes for fascinating reading. You can see my review of the book here where I had to admit that a lot of what I thought I knew about this fourth wife of Henry was wrong. I had not appreciated that she, much like Katharine Parr, had a good relationship with her stepchildren, and I knew very little about the area of Europe from which she hailed and how the marriage was such a bad political decision for England. Ms Darsie has clearly done a lot of painstaking research and her love for her subject shines through. An educational but also light read.

Cathie Dunn Cathie Dunn's is one of those names that keeps cropping up across Social Media. People have been posting reviews, all of them positive, so I thought it was time I took a look at her work. A quick glance showed me that she writes across genres, with a medieval mystery romance and a paranormal Gothic story in her back catalogue. What caught my eye in this instance, though, was her Highland Chronicles, of which  Highland Arms is the first volume. I took a look at the sample, and bought the book. It's set at the time of the Jacobite rebellion, yes, which piques my interest, but the relationship between Catriona and her brother is clearly important and I like the way it is set up. The first pages are so good that I'm really looking forward to reading on. 

Wendy Dunn  I've read a lot of books about the wives of Henry VIII, but not too many which focus on Catherine of Aragon. Where to start though? Well, this one attracted my attention because of its Amazon reviews which are all, bar one, five star reviews (and that one is a four star). So I carried out my usual procedure, checking out the first pages and then downloading a sample. As with Heather Darsie's book, we get a glimpse of the woman and her life before Henry VIII dominates proceedings. Life in Spain in the court of Isabel and Ferdinand is skilfully depicted - years ago I read Jean Plaidy's series about these monarchs - Beatriz is shaping up to be an interesting character, and I'm relishing the prospect of getting cosy with a long immersion in this series of books.

Dorothy Dunnett Dunnett's books are not 'easy' reads, but nevertheless, are a wonderful reading experience. Two years ago, I was thrilled to hear that I was the winner of the inaugural HWA/Dorothy Dunnett Society Short Story Award, and part of my prize was the full set of Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles. I am slowly making my way through them but at the moment my favourite is still King Hereafter. The idea that Thorfinn was Macbeth is not universally accepted, but it completely works and certainly feels more 'real' than Shakespeare's version. The picture here is the new cover, and I prefer my copy, the original 1983 paperback version, but recently all her novels have been given a makeover. If you like historical fiction that makes you think, draws you in and holds you in the moment, and if you haven't come across her work, check it out.


  1. This series is going to cost me a fortune and I still haven't read the all books you've already 'made' me buy.