#Extract The Dark Earth by Gordon Doherty (Empires of Bronze #6)

It’s a pleasure to be joining the publication day celebrations for The Dark Earth by Gordon Doherty, the sixth and epic finale to his ‘Empires of Bronze’ series. Gordon is the author of the ‘Legionary’ and ‘Strategos’ series and, along with Simon Turney, forms the dream team behind the ‘Rise of Emperors’ series. Follow the links from the titles to read my reviews of The Blood Road (Legionary #7) and Masters of Rome (Rise of Emperors #2).

I’m delighted to be able to bring you an excerpt from The Dark Earth which you can read below. The Dark Earth is available to purchase now from Amazon UK and other retailers.


The Dark EarthAbout the Book

The time will come, as all times must, when the world will shake, and fall to dust…

1237 BC: It is an age of panic. The great empires are in disarray – ravaged by endless drought, shaken by ferocious earthquakes and starved of precious tin. Some say the Gods have abandoned mankind.

When Tudha ascends the Hittite throne, the burden of stabilising the realm falls upon his shoulders. Despite his valiant endeavours, things continue to disintegrate; allies become foes, lethal plots arise, and enemy battle horns echo across Hittite lands.

Yet this is nothing compared to the colossal, insidious shadow emerging from the west. Crawling unseen towards Tudha’s collapsing Hittite world comes a force unlike any ever witnessed; an immeasurable swarm of outlanders, driven by the cruel whip of nature, spreading fire and destruction: the Sea Peoples.

Every age must end. The measure of a man is how he chooses to face it.

Format: ebook (478 pages)
Publication date: 26th May 2022 Genre: Historical Fiction

Find The Dark Earth on Goodreads


Extract from The Dark Earth by Gordon Doherty

Darkness fell and the blizzard hissed over the col. The Hittite soldiers hunkered down around a fire, pinching their hands for heat. Prince Tudha moved around the edges of the sheltered camp, thanking each man by name for their swiftness in tracking down the cattle rustlers. It was a technique King Hattu had taught him – to show them that they were more than just soldiers, to forge a bond. He spotted the granite-faced one again – the one who had been acting suspiciously all day. He realised that – to his shame – he didn’t know this man’s name. The mountain of muscle sat in just his leather kilt – no cloak for warmth – re-braiding his three pigtails.

‘What’s your name, soldier?’

The man looked up, sour at the interruption. ‘Skarpi.’

Tudha noticed how he seemed detached from the others. A loner. ‘You did well today. I will not forget your part in things.’

‘Hmm,’ the man said, then turned back to his braiding.

Bemused, Tudha left him to it rather than make an issue of his demeanour. Yet as he strolled away, he was certain – certain – that the man’s eyes were burning into his back.

‘My prince,’ called Heshni from the edge of the camp. He was beckoning Tudha over, shooting concerned looks past him and towards the spot where Skarpi was seated.

‘Who is that man?’ Tudha asked quietly as he neared his half-brother.

‘Skarpi? A nobody – son of a prostitute, some say. Lucky to be part of the Mesedi.’ Heshni eyed the surly soldier again sceptically, then beckoned Tudha towards the edge of the col. ‘Come, I wanted to show you something. Lights.’

‘Lights?’

‘I saw a torch, out there in the night, shining damply in the murk,’ Heshni explained, guiding Tudha forward, round the base of the col and down a loose track. Outside the lee of their camp, the storm roared, casting their long hair and cloaks horizontal. ‘I think the cattle thieves have doubled back,’ Heshni shouted to be heard in the scream of the blizzard. ‘They mean to steal from you again.’

‘Could they be so foolish?’ Tudha said, the snow stinging his bare arms and face. He could see nothing out there. ‘Where are these lights?’

‘There, look,’ Heshni said, pointing into the whiteout. He stepped aside to allow Tudha past to see for himself.

Tudha stared hard, but could see nothing except speeding white snow and darkness beyond. ‘I see no lights, and even if I could, I cannot believe that those men would risk their necks again. They knew how close they came to death today.’

‘If only you were so wise,’ Heshni purred from behind, the words underscored by the zing of a sword being plucked from its sheath.

Tudha swung on his heel, horrified by the sight of his half-brother, rising over him, teeth gritted in a snarl, blade plunging down towards his chest.

Blood erupted, hot and stinking. Tudha fell to his back, coughing, retching. Snow and blood all around…


Gordon DohertyAbout the Author

Gordon writes: “I’m a Scottish writer, addicted to reading and writing historical fiction. My love of history was first kindled by visits to the misty Roman ruins of Britain and the sun-baked antiquities of Turkey and Greece. My expeditions since have taken me all over the world and back and forth through time (metaphorically, at least), allowing me to write tales of the later Roman Empire, Byzantium, Classical Greece and even the distant Bronze Age.”

Connect with Gordon
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#BlogTour #Extract Until We Can Forgive (The Derwent Chronicles 3) by Rosemary Goodacre @HeraBooks

Until We Can Forgive

Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Until We Can Forgive by Rosemary Goodacre. Until We Can Forgive is the third and final book in The Derwent Chronicles series. Rosemary sadly died recently; you can read a tribute from her publishers, Hera Books, here.

I was looking forward to sharing my Q&A with Rosemary but instead I have an extract from the book for you to enjoy. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting to participate in the tour. On behalf of Rachel and Hera Books, I’d ask you, if you can, to share this post and those of the other book bloggers taking part in the tour, in memory of Rosemary. If you are minded to purchase a copy of her book or the previous books in the series, even better.


Until We Can Forgive FINALAbout the Book

They survived the Great War, but will life ever be the same?

Spring 1919: WW1 is over and a fragile peace has descended over the country. Now living in Cambridge with husband Edmond, Amy Derwent is settling into her new life as wife and mother to little Beth. But the shadow of the Great War looms large, particularly as the injuries Edmond sustained at Ypres still take their toll on him today.

Edmond’s cousin, Vicky, has now grown into a fine young woman, eager to help her country. Throwing off her privileged background to train as a nurse, she spends her days tending to the many soldiers still suffering the after-effects of their time on the battlefield.

Meeting Maxim Duclos, a young Frenchman who has arrived in Larchbury, fills her heart with joy – but when it is discovered that Maxim may be hiding the truth about his past, Vicky is faced with an impossible choice. Follow her heart’s desire and risk her family’s disapproval or keep her family – but deny herself the chance of true love?

The war may be over, but Edmond, Amy and Vicky must all face a new battle, finding their own peace in a country wounded by loss.

Format: Paperback (336 pages)           Publisher: Hera Books
Publication date: 15th October 2020 Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance

Find Until We Can Forgive (The Derwent Chronicles #3) on Goodreads

Purchase links*
Amazon UK | Hive (supporting UK bookshops)
*link provided for convenience not as part of an affiliate programme


Extract from Until We Can Forgive by Rosemary Goodacre

‘Is this car all right?’ Amy asked as they set off for The Beeches for Easter.

‘It’s in good order,’ he assured her. ‘Don’t worry, darling! It’s all fixed and we can travel properly, with Beth and some luggage!’

‘You won’t need the motorbike any longer.’

‘Perhaps I should keep it for a while longer, just for emergencies.’ He had first ridden a motorbike in France, and she knew how he loved it.

There were around a hundred miles to travel, so they stopped the car at a modest inn just north of London for lunch. They continued, skirting the capital to the east and crossing the Thames by the Woolwich ferry before continuing into Sussex. By late afternoon they were driving into Larchbury. Now we’re back we’ll be staying with Edmond’s family, but we’ll be able to visit my parents too, Amy thought.

Soon Edmond was driving up the avenue of great beeches towards his family’s imposing stone house. On the hill ahead was the forest, mainly of pines, from which the family made their business. Back to The Beeches, Amy thought. How I used to long for us to leave there and get a home of our own!

For much of her married life Edmond’s mother and sister had been distant towards her. Not only was she not of Edmond’s class, but they disapproved of her pre-war involvement with the Suffragettes. She did not regret demanding the vote for women, but wished she had stopped short of joining friends in a provocative prank. They had broken into the cricket pavilion and scrawled slogans there, which had led to her having to serve a week in prison.

As Edmond parked the car in front of the house, Pa came out to greet them. Mr Derwent had encouraged Amy to call him Pa, and his wife Ma. He had been the first one of Edmond’s family to accept her, and she greeted him warmly as he said a smiling hello to Beth and looked over Edmond’s Ford car a little dubiously. It was clear that the bodywork had been patched up here and there, in some workshop where the mechanic was prepared to make a quick but adequate repair to keep costs down.

In the hall, Ma greeted them brightly.

‘You’re looking much better now,’ Amy said. She was no longer thin and drawn, as she had been after the influenza. However, her face still looked a little pasty.

‘I believe I’m almost recovered now.’

Beatrice, Edmond’s sister, smartly dressed as usual in a blouse and skirt which showed off her good figure, also hurried to greet them.

‘Auntie Bee-trice!’ cried Beth, happy to receive a cuddle from her.

Before long they were sitting in the wooden-panelled dining room and Cook was serving vegetable soup. In the middle of the table was a splendid arrangement of pink tulips, which could only be the handiwork of Beatrice.

‘Beth has grown so much since I last saw her,’ Ma said, smiling at the plump-faced little girl.


Until We Can Forgive Portrait Rosemary GoodacreAbout the Author

Rosemary Goodacre previously worked in computing and teaching. She had a novella published, entitled A Fortnight is not Enough, and a science fiction story in the anthology Telescoping Time.

Her father’s family came from continental Europe and Rosemary always loved languages and travel. In her spare time, she enjoyed country walking, bridge and classical music.

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