SLEEPER’S CASTLE by Barbara Erskine – published today in paperback by HarperCollins!

Today sees the paperback publication by HarperCollins of SLEEPER’S CASTLE – the latest novel by the Sunday Times bestselling author Barbara Erskine.

SLEEPER’S CASTLE returns to the setting of Hay, shared by her much-loved debut novel LADY OF HAY, which was recently republished in a limited hardback edition to mark its 30 year anniversary. Erskine was also presented with an Outstanding Achievement Award by the RNA (Romantic Novelists’ Association) in March this year.

 

SLEEPER’S CASTLE revolves around two women, centuries apart. One endless nightmare is tearing Wales apart – and only they can stop it.

Hay-On-Wye, 1400 – War is brewing in the Welsh borders, Catrin is on the brink of womanhood and falling in love for the first time. Her father is a soothsayer, negotiating a dangerous game playing on the mixed loyalties and furious rivalries between Welsh princes and English lords. For two hundred years, the Welsh people have suffered under the English yoke, dreaming of independence. And finally it looks as though the charismatic Owain Glyndwr may be the man legend talks of. In the walls of Sleeper’s Castle, Catrin finds herself caught in the middle of a doomed war as she is called upon to foretell Wales’s destiny… And what she sees, is blood and war coming closer…

Hay, 2015. Miranda has moved to Sleeper’s Castle to escape and grieve. Slowly she feels herself coming to life in the solitude of the mountains. But every time she closes her eyes her dreams become more vivid. And she makes a connection with a young girl, who’s screaming, who’s reaching out… who only Miranda can help. Is she losing herself to time?

 

Barbara will appear at the Charroux Festival in France on 24 August, to talk about her inspiration and her novels spanning the past 30 years. She will also be at the Wrexham Carnival of Words on 6 May.

 

Praise for Barbara Erskine and SLEEPER’S CASTLE:

 'Barbara Erskine's storytelling talent is undeniable.' - The Times

'The Queen of timeslip epics.' - The Bookseller

'Stephen King meets Ruth Rendell.' – Frank Delaney

‘SLEEPER’S CASTLE is a haunting tale, confirming that Barbara Erskine remains the mistress of the time-slip novel.’ - acclaimed historian and novelist, Alison Weir

‘Captivating . . . Beguiling ghosts that whisper to us from the past and seek to stamp their will upon the present.’ - Richard and Judy bestseller, Rachel Hore

‘Evocative and haunting, [I was] every bit as captivated as I was when I was swept away by LADY OF HAY.’ - Sunday Times bestselling author, Elizabeth Chadwick

 

About Barbara Erskine

An historian by training, Barbara Erskine is the author of 14 bestselling novels, beginning with the much-loved classic, LADY OF HAY, which has sold over 3 million copies. She has also published three highly successful volumes of short stories. Her books, which have appeared in 24 languages, demonstrate her masterful storytelling abilities and her fascination with history and the supernatural. She lives with her family in an old police station in Hay-on-Wye.

 

Visit Barbara Erskine’s website

Follow Barbara on Twitter

Barbara Erskine receives Outstanding Achievement Award from RNA

We are delighted to report that Barbara Erskine was presented with an Outstanding Achievement Award this week by the RNA (Romantic Novelists’ Association). This award follows HarperCollins’ publication last week of a special limited edition hardback of LADY OF HAY - Erskine’s beloved debut novel which was first released 30 years ago.

Her latest novel SLEEPER’S CASTLE is set to be published in paperback on 6th April, and returns to the setting of Hay. On its hardback publication last year, SLEEPER’S CASTLE spent many weeks in the Sunday Times bestsellers lists.

Members of the publishing world took to Twitter to offer their congratulations.

‘So well deserved!!’ said Hannah Gamon, Fiction Marketing Director at HarperCollins. ‘A wonderful author whose books have made the world an even more magical place’.

The RNA’s awards ceremony also took place on the same day that a memorial was held for Erskine’s former agent Carole Blake.

‘Carole would be so proud but also so busy saying 'long overdue'’ tweeted Lynne Drew, Publishing Director at HarperCollins.

 

Praise for Barbara Erskine and LADY OF HAY:

'The Queen of time-slip epics.' – The Bookseller

'Stephen King meets Ruth Rendell.' – Frank Delaney

‘Fascinating, absorbing, original – all such praise comes easily when describing Barbara Erskine’s Lady of Hay. But perhaps the most suitable world is hypnotic.’ -- SHE

 'The author's storytelling talent is undeniable. Barbara Erskine can make us feel the cold, smell the filth and experience some of the fear of the power of evil men.' – The Times

‘Unusual, intriguing, cleverly handled and gripping.’ – The Good Book Guide

‘A record breaker whichever way you look at it…a rattling good romance-cum-thriller.’ – MS London

 ‘A most intriguing novel … very cleverly handled, and gripping. I couldn’t put it down.’ – Maidenhead Advertiser

‘A fast-paced passionate historical romance with the tension of a modern thriller…fascinating and memorable. – Ealing Gazette

 

About Barbara Erskine

An historian by training, Barbara Erskine is the author of 14 bestselling novels, beginning with the much-loved classic, LADY OF HAY, which has sold over 3 million copies. She has also published three highly successful volumes of short stories. Her books, which have appeared in 24 languages, demonstrate her masterful storytelling abilities and her fascination with history and the supernatural. She lives with her family in an old police station in Hay-on-Wye.

Visit Barbara Erskine’s website

Follow Barbara on Twitter

Barbara Erskine's LADY OF HAY returns in a beautiful 30th anniversary hardback

Barbara Erskine’s beloved classic LADY OF HAY has been continuously in print for 30 years and has sold more than 3 million copies. Today, to mark the 30-year anniversary since its original publication, HarperCollins publish Erskine’s record-breaking debut in a special limited edition hardback of 1,000 signed copies.

Erskine’s ‘fascinating, absorbing, and gripping’ LADY OF HAY has been described as ‘a fast-paced historical romance with the tension of a modern thriller’. It tells the story of Jo Clifford, a journalist in London who plans to debunk the belief in past-lives in a hard-hitting magazine piece. But her scepticism is shaken when a hypnotist forces her to relive the experiences of Matilda, Lady of Hay, a noblewoman during the reign of King John.

She learns of Matilda's unhappy marriage, her love for the handsome Richard de Clare, and the brutal death threats handed out by King John, before it becomes clear that Jo’s past and present are inevitably entwined. She realises that eight hundred years on, Matilda’s story of secret passion and unspeakable treachery is about to repeat itself …

The collectors’ edition of LADY OF HAY is available today, ahead of the paperback publication of Barbara Erskine’s latest novel SLEEPER’S CASTLE on 6 April. SLEEPER’S CASTLE returns to Hay again (where Erskine also lives) and spent many weeks in the Sunday Times bestseller lists on its hardback publication in 2016.

Barbara Erskine says: ‘In so many ways Carole Blake, my much-missed and beloved agent, was as much the author of LADY OF HAY as I am. She read my original 1,000 (at least) page manuscript, she spotted its potential, she moved heaven and earth to find a publisher for what was at the time a deeply unfashionable genre and she helped create what became for many people a legend. I owe her the most enormous debt of gratitude. I am so pleased she saw a proof of this lovely edition before she died – and thought it as beautiful as I do.'

 

Isobel Dixon of Blake Friedmann says, ‘LADY OF HAY was a novel that Carole was absolutely passionate about, and the story of how she sold it speaks of that passion and perseverance, a true lesson for any agent.  Kim Young at HarperCollins has done a brilliant job with SLEEPER’S CASTLE and with this special edition: the gorgeous emerald green hardback is a jewel in Barbara’s crown and will be a treasure for her many fans – and I know how extraordinarily proud Carole would be today.’

Barbara will appear at the Charroux Festival in France on 24 August, to talk about her inspiration and her novels spanning the past 30 years from her debut LADY OF HAY to her latest bestseller, SLEEPER’S CASTLE. She will also be at the Wrexham Carnival of Words on 6 May.


Praise for Barbara Erskine and LADY OF HAY:

'The Queen of time-slip epics.' – The Bookseller

'Stephen King meets Ruth Rendell.' – Frank Delaney

‘Fascinating, absorbing, original – all such praise comes easily when describing Barbara Erskine’s Lady of Hay. But perhaps the most suitable world is hypnotic.’ -- SHE

 'The author's storytelling talent is undeniable. Barbara Erskine can make us feel the cold, smell the filth and experience some of the fear of the power of evil men.' – The Times

‘Unusual, intriguing, cleverly handled and gripping.’ – The Good Book Guide

‘A record breaker whichever way you look at it…a rattling good romance-cum-thriller.’ – MS London

 ‘A most intriguing novel … very cleverly handled, and gripping. I couldn’t put it down.’ – Maidenhead Advertiser

‘A fast-paced passionate historical romance with the tension of a modern thriller…fascinating and memorable. – Ealing Gazette

 


About Barbara Erskine

An historian by training, Barbara Erskine is the author of 14 bestselling novels, beginning with the much-loved classic, LADY OF HAY, which has sold over 3 million copies. She has also published three highly successful volumes of short stories. Her books, which have appeared in 24 languages, demonstrate her masterful storytelling abilities and her fascination with history and the supernatural. She lives with her family in an old police station in Hay-on-Wye.

Visit Barbara Erskine’s website

Follow Barbara on Twitter

SLEEPER'S CASTLE by Barbara Erskine published today

Harper Collins releases SLEEPER’S CASTLE by Barbara Erskine today in a beautiful hardback edition. In this new novel, Sunday Times bestselling author Barbara Erskine returns to Hay in the year that marks the 30th anniversary of her sensational debut bestseller, LADY OF HAY.  SLEEPER’S CASTLE is published on the very day that LADY OF HAY celebrates 30 years in print!

Two women, centuries apart. One endless nightmare tearing Wales apart – and only they can stop it.

Hay-On-Wye, 1400 – War is brewing in the Welsh borders, Catrin is on the brink of womanhood and falling in love for the first time. Her father is a soothsayer, negotiating a dangerous game playing on the mixed loyalties and furious rivalries between Welsh princes and English lords. For two hundred years, the Welsh people have suffered under the English yoke, dreaming of independence. And finally it looks as though the charismatic Owain Glyndwr may be the man legend talks of. In the walls of Sleeper’s Castle, Catrin finds herself caught in the middle of a doomed war as she is called upon to foretell Wales’s destiny… And what she sees, is blood and war coming closer…

Hay, 2015. Miranda has moved to Sleeper’s Castle to escape and grieve. Slowly she feels herself coming to life in the solitude of the mountains. But every time she closes her eyes her dreams become more vivid. And she makes a connection with a young girl, who’s screaming, who’s reaching out… who only Miranda can help. Is she losing herself to time?

Barbara will be at History in the Court at Goldsboro books on Thursday, along with Blake Friedmann authors Elizabeth Chadwick and David Gilman.

Barbara Erskine is the author of 13 novels and 3 volumes of short stories, and her work has been translated into 26 languages.

Praise for Barbara Erskine:

'Barbara Erskine's storytelling talent is undeniable.' - The Times

'The Queen of timeslip epics.' - The Bookseller

BFLA Authors in best of 2015 lists

It’s that time of year again when everyone's sharing their ‘Best of’ lists, and we’re extremely proud that our authors have been included in many of them. Below is a summary of the great places they were included and the great quotes that accompanied their pick.

RECIPES FOR LOVE AND MURDER - A TANNIE MARIA MYSTERY, HarperCollins US, draft.jpg

RECIPES FOR LOVE AND MURDER by Sally Andrew

Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2015:
"A delightful debut, tender and funny. The mystery takes on the worldwide problem of abused women while revealing both the beauties and problems of South Africa. And the recipes will make you want to drop everything and start cooking."

Wall Street Journal Best Mystery Book of 2015:
“The exotic locale, the lovely patois and the heroine’s unique sensibility make Ms. Andrew’s “Recipes” a blue-ribbon winner.”

Samantha Gibb, Sunday Times SA Best book of 2015:
“The quintessential feel-good SA whodunit, complete with recipes and advice. A must read.”

LUNGDON by Edward Carey

 

 

 

NPR Guide to 2015’s Great Reads:
“A magnificently engrossing indictment of our late capitalist modernity.”

 

 

 

 

THE FETCH by Finuala Dowling

Margaret von Klemperer, Fiona Snyckers & Helené Prinsloo, Sunday Times SA Best book of 2015:
‘A sparkling comedy of manners, but under the froth there are serious issues, and it is Dowling’s sensitive handling of them that makes this such a lovely book’ – Margaret von Klemperer

‘Comparisons with Jane Austen are not misplaced.’ – Fiona Snyckers

‘The characters from THE FETCH by Finuala Dowling haunted my dreams. The story led me to a garden cottage in the deep south where I kept waiting to happen upon someone like William.’ – Helené Prinsloo

 

THE DARKEST HOUR by Barbara Erskine

 

 

Books Covered, Favourite Book Covers of 2015:
‘Tender, romantic, and earnest, just like the brilliant story within. The gold foil adds a luxuriousness without being flashy and the whole designs speaks of the era so perfectly. This is a standout cover in this area of the market.’

 

 

 

JELLYFISH by Janice Galloway

Zoe Strachan, The Herald:
‘Janice Galloway prefaces her new collection of stories, JELLYFISH (Freight, £12.99), with a quote from David Lodge: “Literature is mostly about having sex and not much about having children; life’s the other way round.” In fact she gives us plenty of both, but it’s the stories about mothers and children that really cut to the quick.’

Sara Crowley and Kaite Welsh, Bristol Prize Best Short Story Reads of 2015:
‘My most eagerly awaited publication of 2015 was Janice Galloway’s JELLYFISH (Freight) which I am reading very slowly so as to savour each brilliant word.’ – Sara Crowley

‘Galloway has hit a rich seam of imagination as she returns to the short story as a form. It’s perfect for her style – wry, slightly off-kilter and always returning to the theme of parent and child, the kind of subject matter that offers Galloway the chance to delve once more into the murky depths of human relationships.’ – Kaite Welsh

Scots Whay Hae! Best Books of 2015:
‘Janice Galloway has always been an innovative and playful writer, but never to the detriment of her prose… JELLYFISH is a timely reminder that she is one of the finest writers around. Each story, each sentence, is beautifully crafted by someone who cares enough to take such care… If you read a better book than Jellyfish this year you are a very lucky person indeed.’

THE NEED FOR BETTER REGULATION OF OUTER SPACE by Pippa Goldschmidt

 

 

Alice Thompson, The Herald:
‘In these stories, the powerful juxtaposition of scientific intellect and emotional frailty is played out engagingly. The stories also imply no matter how objective scientific genius is, the scientists themselves, like the rest of us, are subject to moral failings.’

 

 

 

YOU ARE DEAD by Peter James

 

 

Guardian Best Crime and Thriller books of 2015:
‘Peter James showed that a diversion this year into ghost stories with THE HOUSE ON COLD HILL had not diverted energy from his consistently impressive sequence of DS Roy Grace policiers, the 11th of which, YOU ARE DEAD (Macmillan), confidently combines a cold case with a very hot one.’

 

 

 

THE LAST PILOT by Benjamin Johncock

Isabella Costello Literary Sofa ‘My Year in Books’:
‘Ben Johncock’s debut has all the things I love about American fiction and he’s not even American. Gorgeous spare prose, authentic sense of time and place, a poignant story told with sensitivity and restraint – I have raved about this book so much it’s embarrassing.’

Reading Groups’ Staff Picks for 2015:
‘With echoes of Tom Wolfe’s THE RIGHT STUFF and Richard Yates’ REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, THE LAST PILOT re-ignites the thrill and excitement of the space race through the story of one man’s courage in the face of unthinkable loss.’

Ian Rankin’s End of Year Roundup

Utter Biblio, Top 10 of 2015

ICARUS by Deon Meyer

 

 

Financial Times’ Crime Books of the Year

Boston Globe's Best Mystery Books of 2015:
‘An ashleymadison.com-style website-related murder and a parallel plot that delves into the dregs of South Africa’s wine industry keep Benny Griessel and his cadre of Cape Town coppers on their toes.’

 

 

 

GREEN LION by Henrietta Rose-Innes

 

Ben Williams, Fiona Snyckers & Jennifer Malec, Sunday Times SA Best book of 2015:
‘And if readers missed Henrietta Rose-Innes’s GREEN LION (Umuzi) … they’d best not let 2015 expire without acquainting themselves’ – Ben Williams

‘Rose-Innes goes from strength to strength, refining her craft with each new book.’ – Fiona Snyckers

‘Masterful’ – Jennifer Malec

 

 

THE FOLLY by Ivan Vladislavic

 

 

Flavorwire’s 15 Worthwhile Books You Might Have Missed in 2015:
‘Praised by the likes of Coetzee and others — it’s not hard to see why…’

 

 

 

101 DETECTIVES by Ivan Vladislavic

Michelle Magwood, Jennifer Malec & Sophie Kohler Sunday Times SA Best book of 2015:
‘Mordantly funny, acutely perceptive and exquisitely styled, this collection of short stories is a definitive showcase of Vladislavic’s talents.’ – Michelle Magwood

‘Witty, enthralling and pleasurably disorientating.’ – Jennifer Malec

‘The stories are bewildering in their refusal to provide a clear resolution, but this is to their credit, in that each leaves a mystery to be solved.’ – Sophie Kohler

 

 

THE A WONG COOKBOOK by Andrew Wong

 Rose Prince, Spectator Best New Cookery Books 2015:
‘There is food in A Wong: The Cookbook (Mitchell Beazley, £25) for home cooks, but it is also a chef’s book. May every aspiring one buy it. If they did, Chinese food in Britain would go through a true revolution.’

Observer 25 best food books 2015:
‘At his Pimlico restaurant, Wong is keen to prove that Chinese food can be just as considered as other, more revered cuisines.’