The Garden of Evening Mists visits The Queen’s Gallery

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 11.18.00A special book group event will be held at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace on Tuesday 15th September 2015

Spend an evening with author Lynda Waterhouse for a discussion of art and literature inspired by Tan Twan Eng’s atmospheric novel The Garden of Evening Mists. The novel tells a story of one woman’s struggle to create a Japanese garden in the beautiful highlands of Malaya.

This book club will include a special exhibition tour of Painting Paradise: The Art of the Garden by curator Sally Goodsir and a complimentary glass of wine.

For more details of the event, and to book your ticket, please click on the link here.

Laura Purcell kickstarts her author tour

Laura PicLaura Purcell started her author tour last weekend with a successful visit to Waterstones in Bury St Edmunds.

Laura is promoting her latest novel, Mistress of the Court, which tells the story of two remarkable women at the centre of George II’s reign.

“Laura Purcell is a wonderful storyteller, and Mistress of the Court a fabulous Georgian read!”

Lucinda Brant, NY Times bestselling author of Georgian romances and mysteries

Her first novel in the series, Queen of Bedlam, was shortlisted for Best Historical Romance 2014 and was Editor’s Pick, in Historical Novels Review.

If you didn’t get chance to see Laura over the weekend then not to worry as she’ll be continuing her tour next weekend.

Here are her remaining tour dates:

Saturday 15th August from 12 till 1 at Colchester Waterstones

Saturday 29th August from 11:30 till 1 at Chelmsford Waterstones

Saturday 3rd October from 11 till 1 at Lowestoft Waterstones

Summer Reading

MagExcellent to see two of Myrmidon’s latest releases in this month’s issue of Book Time: a free magazine from Bertrams that is distributed to indie bookshops throughout the UK.

Both The Horse Changer and Mistress of the Court are picked as some of this year’s hottest  summer reads. If you like your historical fiction then you can’t go wrong with either of these two enthralling and well-researched novels.


Tan Twan Eng: What Malaysia means to me

Twan IMG_2492-03Tan Twan Eng, author of The Gift of Rain and The Garden of Evening Mists, appears in the Malaysian edition of Elle magazine (August 2015).

Five acclaimed writers share with Elle readers just exactly what Malaysia means to them. For Twan, it was the small things in life that he remembers with clarity. The kindness of his mother, and the gratefulness of those less fortunate than himself, come across in this short piece of reminiscence.

‘… perhaps, every day all over KL, all over our country, people are doing such similar acts of unsolicited kindnesses, these small things, for complete strangers.’ 

If you’d like to read the full piece from Elle then please click here.


How history informs fiction

tigerhuntThe Japanese character in this picture is typical of many Japanese in Malaya before the surprise Japanese invasion like the characters Aritomo and Endo in Tan Twan Eng’s books The Garden of Evening Mists and The Gift of Rain – performing all manner of seemingly innocuous roles while secretly spying for their country.
This was one of the factors leading to the rapid sweep of Japanese forces down through the jungles and plantations of the peninsula and the swift capture of Singapore.
The Malaya campaign and its ferocity is captured in the forthcoming illustrated autobiography from Myrmidon: And the Dawn Came Up Like Thunder, a republished work by war artist and prisoner of war, the late Leo Rawlings. This revised edition contains over 160 illustrations, many of which are published in full colour for the first time.
For more information about this book please click here. Or to pre-order your copy, please click here.


Deaf, peevish old beast – Laura Purcell discusses her latest heroine

Henrietta_HowardAhead of the release of Laura’s forthcoming novel, Mistress of the Court, she gives an insight into the life of her book’s heroine, Henrietta Howard, and the affliction that haunted her life.

Laura discusses Henrietta’s deafness and how it was perceived by those in her court, and by those closest to her.

To read Laura’s full blog post please click here: You’ll also find an extra treat towards the end of Laura’s blog as she includes an extra snippet that she wrote to help her explore the life of her character in more depth.

Mistress of the Court will be published on August 4th 2015 and can be pre-ordered here.

Fancy a free copy? We’re giving away 20 copies of this extraordinary book via Goodreads. Please click here: to enter the giveaway competition.

Gov. LePage takes centre state in ‘craziest politicans’ book


FAT_BOY_LepageAnn Wood, Staff Editor at the Sun Journal, chats to our very own Brian O’Connell about his recent book, The Fat Boy with the Bomb and 299 more of the World’s Craziest Politicians.

Brian discusses how he chose his top 300 from an incredibly large list, how he originally wanted the book to be about American politicians only, and which American politician he believes is the craziest of them all.

To read the full article please click here:

The Fat Boy with the Bomb and 299 of the World’s Craziest Politicians can be purchased at:

Jeanne Gask is guest of honour in Calais

Nell and the GirlsJeanne Gask, author of the heartwarming memoir Nell and the Girls, paid a visit to Calais by invitation from the Calais Tourism Office. Jeanne travelled by Eurostar with her daughter and journalist, Marina Gask.
Whilst visiting Calais Jeanne attended a book signing at a local book shop called Librarie du Port – where the book is now in stock – and also attended a press conference. Jeanne was overwhelmed by the welcome and interest shown by the locals and the French press. It soon became apparent that Jeanne’s recounting of her experience of WWII in occupied France was not particularly well known in Calais.
The French press were very interested in hearing Jeanne’s experiences about the rounding up in 1940 of British nationals who were then taken to the Polish border, an account that was unfamiliar to them.
Jeanne’s father, Tom Sarginson was interred along with P G Wodehouse and you can read more about Tom in this wonderful account of his life:
If you haven’t yet purchased your copy of Nell and the Girls then please click here for purchasing options and more information about the book and the author.

Our new Princess Charlotte shares her name with one of the most beloved heirs to the British throne

CharlotteWe recently asked one of our historical novelists, Laura Purcell, to write a short piece about the naming of our new princess, and how she shares the name with one of the most beloved heirs to the British throne.

Princess Charlotte of Wales was born on the morning of 7 January 1796, following a ‘terrible hard’ labour. Her birth was much anticipated; despite raising a family of fifteen with his faithful consort, another Charlotte, George III had yet to become grandfather to a legitimate child. He was delighted with the arrival of this little girl, who secured the succession as third in line to the throne. ‘If the Prince of Wales is blessed with such a daughter as mine are to me, he will be a very happy man indeed,’ he wrote.

But all was not as it seemed. Princess Charlotte had arrived in the midst of a failing marriage. Her mother, Caroline, was living a life of slow humiliation. Her indifferent looks and coarse manners had estranged her from Charlotte’s father, who now paraded a mistress before her. Not that the Prince of Wales was without his own troubles. He had illegally married a Catholic widow before Caroline, and the birth of his first child caused a crisis of conscience. He spent the night of Charlotte’s birth writing a wild and passionate Will – one suspects under the influence of much alcohol. In this strange document, he made it very clear that he wanted his new daughter to be protected from what he saw as the evil influence of his wife.

To read Laura’s complete blog post please visit her website here.

Screen Shot 2015-05-09 at 10.58.11Laura’s next historical novel, Mistress of the Court, will be released on the 4th August 2015.

“Ms Purcell’s knowledge of the intimate life of the Hanoverians is stunning, and in this novel she has brought a remarkable, and unappreciated heroine to gritty, heart-breaking life.” Anita Seymour, author of Royalist Rebel

“Laura Purcell is a wonderful storyteller, and Mistress of the Court a fabulous Georgian read!” Lucinda Brant, NY Times bestselling author of Georgian romances and mysteries

For more information, or to order your copy, please click here.

Heartwarming memoir is released on the 70th anniversary of the end of WW2

Nell and the GirlsTeddington Waterstones will be hosting a private launch party for author Jeanne Gask this coming Thursday 7th May. Nell and the Girls is a remarkable, dramatic and heartwarming true story of a family told from the viewpoint of young Jeanne Sarginson, later Gask.

The book launch and publication day coincide with the 70th anniversary of the end of WW2 in Europe, making this a very fitting and special event.

Jeanne will also be back in the Teddington store on Saturday 9th May for a book signing event from 11am. Jeanne was born in Calais, France but now lives in Teddington. Nell and the Girls is her story of her family’s wartime experience while trapped in occupied France from 1940–1944.

For more information about Nell and the Girls, or to order your copy, please click here for more details.