So... ta da... the cover for Book 1 of THE FEATHER IN THE WIND SERIES - AND THEN MINE ENEMY.
All credit is due to my amazing cover designer... Fiona Jayde. We did loops and cartwheels when we found exactly the right image for Adam and Perdita. As I have probably complained in the past, I WILL write books set in the English Civil War and finding the right cover imagery is an extra challenge!
Needless to say the cover for Book 2 (NOW MY SWORN FRIEND) is equally stunning but you will have to wait for that one (and I have to finish writing the book!).
You may ask why the strange title? The titles of both books and also the title of the series comes from Shakespeare's THE WINTER'S TALE. It fits the story concept of a family divided by the civil war.
...He's all my exercise, my mirth, my matter,
Now my sworn friend and then mine enemy,
My parasite, my soldier, statesman, all...
The inspiration comes firstly from Perdita's name (also from the same play) and also because of the proximity of the principal location for this story - Stratford Upon Avon!
About AND THEN MINE ENEMY
England 1642: Hardened mercenary, Adam Coulter returns to England sickened by violence, seeking only peace, but he finds England on the brink of civil war. He has seen first-hand what that will mean for every man, woman and child and wants no part of it.
King or Parliament? Neutrality is not an option and Adam can only be true to his conscience, not the dictates of his family.
Having escaped a loveless marriage, Perdita Gray has found much needed sanctuary and the love of a good man, but her fragile world begins to crumble as Adam Coulter bursts into her life. This stranger brings not only the reality of war to her doorstep but reignites an old family feud, threatening everything and everyone she holds dear.
As the war and family tensions collide around them, Adam and Perdita are torn between old loyalties and a growing attraction that must be resisted.
READ AN EXTRACT...
A shudder of rain slewed across the sodden countryside, sending its cold fingers cutting through Adam’s already saturated cloak. He huffed out a misty breath and straightened his aching shoulders. Not for the first time he cursed his brother for summoning him to a meeting Adam knew would inevitably end in grief and recrimination.
The remote inn loomed out of the gloaming and led on by the cheerful light spilling through the front windows, Adam urged his weary horse forward. The miserable beast, the mud dragging at its every step, plodded forward.
A young boy ran from the stable, a sack over his head and shoulders. Adam threw him the reins e and, taking a deep breath, strode into the inn. He tossed his hat and gloves to the innkeeper, his numbed fingers fumbled at the ties of his cloak.
‘His Lordship’s in the private parlour.’ The innkeeper scowled as he held the dripping garb at arm’s length.
Adam pushed open the door the man indicated. The two men seated beside a cheerful fire that burned in the wide hearth rose to their feet. His half-brothers schooled their faces to a neutrality that Adam knew would not last. As they faced him across the room, a growing sense of despondency gripped him as he stood before them. Once more the cuckoo in the nest, always the acknowledged baseborn son but not even given the protection of his father’s name.
Denzil Marchant, just as Adam remembered him, tall and powerful, with a mane of tawny hair like his father, and his younger brother Robin, as tall but of a slighter, elegant build, his hair more auburn and sleekly curling.
‘Denzil, Robin,’ Adam acknowledged them as he stepped into the room. ‘I wish I could say, well met, but I would be lying.’
‘Adam Coulter.’ The deliberate use of his full name jarred, as Denzil no doubt intended. ‘I would scarcely have recognized you. Hardly the darling of the court now, are you?’
‘I found lovelocks and pearl earrings something of a hindrance to the life of a soldier.’ Without waiting to be invited, Adam poured himself a full measure from the bottle of wine that stood on the table, hoping that they would not mark that his hand shook.
The full extract of Chapter 1 is available HERE