Anna Chant – Kenneth’s Queen
My name is Anna Chant and I am the author of a series of historical fiction novels called ‘Women of the Dark Ages’. They are stand alone novels that can be read in any order. The first is ‘Kenneth’s Queen’ which takes place in ninth century Scotland and follows the rise to power of Kenneth Mac Alpin from the point of view of the unknown woman who must have been at his side. I love the Dark Ages, a fabulous period where history and mythology collide and am particularly fascinated by the part played by the often uncelebrated and unrecorded women who lived through these tumultuous times. My ambition is to tell the story of as many as possible!
She was present at the birth of a nation.
Her descendants sit on the British throne to this day.
But history does not even record her name…
In ninth century Britain, the Picts and the Gaels are fighting for supremacy over the North. In one of their rare truces Baena, a young Pict woman is reluctantly married to a Gael warrior, son of one of the great Chiefs of Dal Riata.
Leaving behind her family and the Pict lord she had hoped to marry she travels west to the household of Alpin, where she is viewed with suspicion by many of her new kin. As the truce collapses the indifference of her husband leaves her position in her new land increasingly vulnerable, as war breaks out once again. Forced to forget her Pict heritage, she fears the day when she will have to make an agonising choice between the victory of her husband or her father.
Her journey will take her from the splendours of the Fortress of Dunadd to the tranquillity of the sacred Isle of Iona, where even greater danger lurks as the terrifying Norsemen plan their own attacks. However it seems her hardest battle will be to win the heart of her husband, the brave, cunning and often ruthless Cinaed as he fights his way towards a destiny that could be greater than anyone imagines…
The man known to history as Kenneth Mac Alpin.
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Adam R. Mathews – Pap: A 21st Century Dystopia
Published in March 2016 by Arena Books of Bury St Edmonds, Pap is an 87,000-word dystopia set in the near future, which uses an all-encompassing corporation, PapCorp, to critique today’s society. The story contrasts the modernity of PapCorp’s home city of Manchester, with its Bio-domes and PapDrive Augmented Reality, against the poverty and desolation which has engulfed southern Spain. The plot’s two distinct threads, the celebrity Humbolts and the refugee Talavera family, are knitted together at PapCorp’s quite visible hand, leading (almost) everyone to question their hyper-normalised reality.
Adam R. Mathews is an author, editor, translator and teacher from the Black Country, who has taken the long way round in getting to Madrid, where he currently resides. When he’s not writing his dystopian novels, he edits the translations for a world-renowned orchestra and pens critical articles and speeches. At other times he can be found centre managing summer schools, giving public talks on economic, environmental and social issues, or riding his bike around the streets of some European city. Having spent much of his adult life living outside his native England, Adam has become involved in popular movements across Europe which have helped him develop the perspective that inspires his work. You can see more about him on his website.