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The Rose Smuggler
A fairy-tale infused historical novel for adults set in the late 18 th century, moving
between Imperial China and France during the ‘Terror’ of the French Revolution, and
inspired by the true story of a quest for a blood-red rose.
The novel will draw upon ‘The Blue Rose,’ a fairy tale set in China about a quest for
an impossible rose.
The Lightning Bolt
Cover art by Jeremy Reston
Sussex was the first county secured by the Roundheads because of its iron foundries. Here in the Weald, the Smith tribe are working for Parliament, making cannons and weaponry.
They have prospered under Cromwell's rule, and have no interest in old gypsy charms. And it is here where Luka and Emilia must find the fifth charm, a finely-wrought lightning bolt, and amidst the smoke and noise of the Horsmonden foundry, the gypsy children run into old friends... and old enemies.
Once there was a gypsy queen who wore on her wrist a chain of six lucky charms. The queen gave each of her six children one of the charms as their lucky talisman, but ever since the chain of charms was broken, the gypsies had been dogged with misfortune. It is the fifth year of the Lord Protector's rule, and not safe nor seemly to love bright colours, nor music, nor dancing, nor magic, nor any of the things that the gypsies most loved, and which made them who they were.
But now life for the Finch tribe has gone even more horribly wrong. They have been accused of vagrancy and murder, and thrown into gaol with only three weeks to live. The only members of the family to escape are 13-year-old Emilia and her cousin Luka. They have been entrusted to find the six lucky charms and bring them together again. What Emilia and Luka do not realise is that there is a price to be paid for each lucky charm, and that the cost may prove too high...