Bookshelf

17th Century

ROUNDHEADS & CAVALIERS SERIES

Click on the book covers for information about individual titles.

Other 17th Century titles

18th Century

ROCKLIFFE SERIES

Rockliffe Box Set 1 – Books 1 – 3

Rockliffe Box Set 2 – Books 4 – 6

Brandon Brothers

24 thoughts on “Bookshelf”

  1. Hi Stella, I’m very pleased to see that you’re writing a series starting with Max Brandon. Always thought there was more juice available there 🙂
    Do you still think it will be ready for release by the end of the year?
    Also, I remember seeing a comment on here some time ago where you mentioned writing Toby’s story – potentially in conjunction with the restoration of Charles II. Is that on the back burner for now?
    Finally, I should say how much I enjoy reading your books. Occasionally I get a bit lost in the military detail, but the characters fairly leap off the page and the dialogue is always a joy.
    I read A Splendid Defiance when it first came out, I think… picked it up at a book shop. And still have it!

    1. A Trick of Fate (Brandon Brothers – Max) will be going on pre-order very soon now for release in October – exact dates still to be confirmed, I’m afraid as there are several factors to be taken into account. But I’ll be honest and admit that Max was deliberately written with an eye to the future and a step away from Rock & Co.
      Toby’s story remains on the back-burner due to (with the exception of the actual Restoration) a very unexciting historical background.
      I’m glad you enjoy my work – have you tried it in audio? Alex Wyndham is exceptionally talented!

  2. This is my summer for re-discovering the Roundheads and Cavaliers series, together with Splendid Defiance and Marigold Chain. Having listened to A Splendid Defiance while packing, in anticipation of The Black Madonna’s audio release, and to The Black Madonna on a trip through France, I am currently happily ensconced in Garland of Straw, while dodging the insane heat in the French Alps. The descriptions of cold, snow, rain and sleet in Yorkshire and London do help 😉

    1. I’m gathering that you’ve read the R&C series before, Sophie. But first, let me thank you most sincerely for your excellent review. It’s outstandingly good – one of the best, if not the best, I’ve ever received. You include so many important points and discuss the novel in depth, all without revealing the entire story/plot. This is a rare talent in a reviewer, believe me!
      It took a long time and a lot of thought before I finally decided to proceed with the Madonna audio. It’s a long book and therefore expensive to produce. Of course,there was never any doubt that Alex would handle the project brilliantly. But on this occasion, it helped that we had the chance to sit down and discuss it face-to-face well in advance. Early results (sales and reviews) are encouraging … so now the long process of consideration begins all over again with regard to Garland – for which, at present, we are still attempting to finalise the new cover.
      Too much information,I think. Like you, I’m on holiday – in my case, southern Turkey – and will be for a further week.
      BTW, if you want to continue to chat, e-mail might best. Address is stellarileyecw@gmail.com

  3. I have really enjoyed all the Rockliffe books and have listened to them over and over. Am now listening to Hazard for the third time. In every book, I become more and more aggravated by Madeline….would like to strangle her. And that’s a tribute to your character development, S.R. I do have a question….in which book do you tell the story of Rafe and his lady love?

    1. Yes, Penny – Madeleine is a pain. But I think she finally redeems herself when the chips are down, don’t you? As for Ralph and Lizzie … their story is mostly told in Cadenza. It couldn’t go further at that point because doing so would involve changing Ralph’s character and I draw the line at that. He’s emotionally shut-down and that will take time to change. But you will be happy to learn that I’ve included a brief, further installment in his development in my current work-in-progress – Brandon Book One, A Trick of Fate – which should become available later this year. Hope that helps!

  4. I stretched out Cadenza as long as humanly possible because I didn’t want the Rockcliffe series to come to an end. Please tell me there will be more books in the series, following up on such a wonderful assortment of characters. I would especially love reading more about Elizabeth and Ralph.

    1. So glad you’ve enjoyed spending time with Rock & Co, Karen. Although, at present, I don’t plan to continue the Rockliffe series, you will almost certainly be meeting some old friends again in the Brandon trilogy.
      Book One – A Trick of Fate – is already underway and I hope to finish and release it later this year. Lizzie and Ralph may make an appearance in it but at this stage in the writing, I can’t promise.

  5. I would greatly appreciate a little relationship chart for the Rockliffe series characters? Who is friends with who, what stories are told in what book :). So happy to have found such a great author through Audible!

    1. I’ll try to get around to this at some point, RJ – perhaps in my newsletter. But just at present I’m a bit tied up with writing Max Brandon’s story and preparing the audio of The Black Madonna. Thanks for your interest and so glad you’re enjoying spending time with Rock & Co.

      1. I too would love a family tree of sorts. I am only now starting book 4 and am already struggling to remember people whose name is familiar but I have difficulty placing. I do appreciate that it is better to leave the reader to go back, than to continually explain relationships or history and some authors do, in a hope that makes a book more a stand-alone. Your books are very enjoyable!

        1. I’ve considered your idea of a sort of family tree before, Danielle, but couldn’t see how to make it work since quite a few of the lead characters aren’t related at all. Yes, we have Rock’s brother and sister and eventually their spouses. But where do we put Adrian Sarre, Sebastian Audley, Aristide Delacroix or Julian Langham? And that’s just some of the gentlemen! The only other alternative is listing the characters, along with who is married to who and putting it in every book, along with current additions … and that seems a bit pompous for this style of novel.

  6. In the Parfit Knight, Robert Daker was sent away into the military. Since Rafe s got to become a better person, what about Robert? Did he become a better person from his experience? Did the war change him into a leader, or was he made weak because of it? What about Rafe and Elizabeth? Did their wedding happen or did her father interfere? Did Rafe say I love you out loud? And Max? Does he get married? I love your books and I would love to have more of these characters. Will we get to see the children grow up and find their own way? I feel so anxious because I want more of the Rockcliffes. Please say there will be more?

    1. Wow – so many questions! Starting with Robert Dacre … since he had no redeeming features when last we saw him, I doubt he’s improved but to be honest, Samantha, once he was off the page, I was done with him.
      Ralph and Lizzie – yes, the wedding happened. I’m surprised you thought Lizzie’s father might have been able to stop it – what with Lizzie being of age and Ralph being an earl. And no … Ralph never did manage to tell Lizzie he loved her in so many words but all the signs were there that he wanted to. Maybe we’ll hear him do that in the future – though I’m not promising anything.
      As for Max … I’m writing his story now and hope to have it finished later this year. Thanks for getting in touch. I’m guessing you listened to the audio. Do you ever review? If not, might you consider doing so?

  7. Hello Stella, Just seen the new cover for the Black Madonna, will kindle be getting an update so that the old cover is replaced with the new version? Hope so.

    1. Unfortunately, Amazon do not supply updates unless they have been done to correct serious flaws within the book. Their reason for this is that an update causes a reader to lose bookmarks and highlights. Personally, I wouldn’t consider that important and would much prefer to be offered the revised version. You could try asking them to over-write the version you already own with the new one. That might work – though I suspect not.

  8. I’ve finished all of your books (most recently your Civil War books) and now I feel that there is a huge hole where my “friends” were. I miss them so much! So, I’ll ask a question – will the Restoration, do you think that Francis and Ashley will return to England or meet Eden properly? I recall that Ashley meets Eden briefly in Scotland during Cromwell’s time but it seems to me that they must be destined to meet as friends. I understand that most sequestered property was returned to original owners after the Restoration so Francis, as just about the only living member of his family, and the current Viscount, could reasonably have come back – if only for a visit. Perhaps if you write an ending for Tobias a few “friends” could visit!

    1. Although I haven’t made any firm decision on it yet, the possibility of a 5th R&C book telling Toby’s story and ending with the Restoration has been on my radar for some time. At present, however, I’m still immersed in Rockliffe Six – Cadenza – which should be available for pre-order tomorrow. As for what comes next … watch this space.

  9. I really like the new covers for the Rockcliffe series and I have just completed buying all the audio versions of your books through Audible. I am looking forward to the next book in the Rockcliffe series.

    1. Thank you, Sandra. Yes, I’m pleased with the new covers – as you can probably tell, I’m not a great fan of the current fashion for bare-chested men and/or couples in a clinch. As for Alex – he’s brilliant, isn’t he?

      1. Stella, yes, Alex is great and I am in the middle of listening to The Black Madonna at the moment, having listened to A Splendid Defiance with delight. I love reading books, but the audio version, especially when read so brilliantly, brings out layers of nuance and characterisation missed when just reading it on the page. I do hope that the rest of the Roundheads & Cavaliers series manage to appear as audiobooks with Alex as the narrator. Historical fiction is undergoing a renaissance at the moment, which augurs well for you and other authors in this genre.

        1. Thank you,Sandra. Several other readers, newly come to audio, have made comments similar to yours regarding certain things standing out more clearly in audio than they did on the page. This is welcome news because – Madonna being so long and historically based – asking Alex to narrate it was a bit of a leap of faith on my part. I’ve also been surprised by the number of complimentary American reviews as I’ve always recognised that the ECW probably doesn’t appeal much in the US. What you say about a revival of interest in historical fiction is interesting. I wasn’t aware of it and wonder what makes you think so. As for the other R&C titles in audio … Garland of Straw is currently under consideration – I know Alex would like to do it. Time will tell!

  10. There are more characters un resolved in both series. Will there be more books in each series?

    1. With the exception of Toby Maxwell in the R&C series, I’m not entirely sure which characters you mean. If you could specify, I’ll try to answer your question. In the meantime, I am currently completing Rockliffe Book Six.

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