Book 1: The Castilians
Chill with a Book Award
Finalist Wishing Shelf Book Awards
1546 and Scotland is under attack from Henry VIII, determined to marry his son to the infant Mary, Queen of Scots. A few among the Scottish lairds are eager for this alliance too. They kill Cardinal Beaton, who is Mary’s great protector, and take St Andrews Castle, expecting rescue any day from England.
Local lad Will is among them, fighting for the Protestant cause. His heretical activities place his family in grave danger, forcing his sister Bethia into an unwelcome alliance. As the long siege unravels, Bethia and Will struggle over where their loyalties lie and the choices they each must make — to save their family, or stay true to their beliefs and follow their hearts
This debut novel closely follows the historical events of the siege of St Andrews Castle, and its dramatic re-taking.
‘Historical Fiction at its absolute best. ‘ Bookly Matters
‘By the end…I find myself hoping for a sequel, which shows how much I enjoyed this excellent novel.’ Historical Novel Society Review
‘The position of women in society, the different classes, the tug of war within religion, the volatile throne all comes to life. The intrigue and the difficult decisions having to be made by all the characters sweep up the reader and carriy you to the very end.’ Alison Whiteford
The Castilians is now available as Audio Book… listen to a sample here
Book Group Questions for The Castilians are available as a pdf to download. Don’t look at them now if you haven’t yet read the book – spoiler alert!
Book 2: The Conversos
‘WINNER Barbara Hammond Trophy
Europe 1547. The rising tide of the Reformation threatens bloody revolution. And the terror of the Inquisition grows, even for those who have converted.
Bethia, newly married tries to find her way in Antwerp, both the city and family she now belongs to a constant source of confusion – and sometimes fear. While her brother Will, enslaved on a French galley, doubts there will ever be an end to his torment.
Divided by faith, Bethia and Will each desperately seek a place of refuge from the looming maelstrom.
But there is no safe haven… unless Will denies his beliefs and Bethia surrenders those she loves.
‘This is good. The history is rich and thick without being lecturing, the setting completely convincing, the characters strong, real, complex people. There’s delightful detail throughout.’ Lexie Conyngham , author of Murray of Letho Series
‘An engaging sequel to The Castilians and a fascinating insight into the plight of Jewish converts in 16th century Antwerp.’ Award winning author Margaret Skea
‘Vivid and compelling. Bethia is a memorable character. Perfect for fans of the Shardlake series.’M Lynes, author of Blood Libel’
‘With this latest novel, on a little known subject, the author continues to enthral – gripping, entertaining and informative.’ Esther Mendelssohn
Book Group Discussion Questions for The Conversos are available as a pdf to download. Don’t look at them now if you haven’t yet read the book – spoiler alert!
Book 3 – The Apostates
‘One of those books where you forget you’re reading and feel you’re there.’ Lexie Conyngham
It’s 1550 and Bethia has fled Antwerp, with her infant son, before the jaws of the inquisition clamp down, for the family are accused of secret judaising. She believes they’ve evaded capture but her husband, Mainard, unbeknownst to her, is caught, imprisoned and alone.
Reaching Geneva, Bethia hopes for respite from a dangerous journey, but it’s a Protestant city state which tolerates no dissent – and she’s a Catholic. And why has Mainard not come?
Perhaps he’s already reached Venice where Jews can live openly, the Virgin gazes benignly from every corner and difference is tolerated, for the wealthy at least. Yet much is hidden beneath the smooth waters of this perilous city. Must they again flee to survive…
‘A series which never fails to get better and always leaves me wanting more.’ Esther Mendelssohn
Book 4 – The Familists
‘A worthy continuation of the Seton Chronicles, packed with personal, political and religious tension and intrigue.’ Margaret Skea, award winning author.
Italy 1555. Bethia and her growing family find themselves in the midst of the Inquisition’s vicious attack on Jews and Conversos. Despite Bethia’s commitment to her Catholic faith, her greater loyalty to her Converso husband forces them to flee onwards to Constantinople – but will it be any safer?
For Will, Bethia’s brother, it’s equally perilous to be a Protestant. Caught up in France’s religious turmoil, where many are burned for their faith, his choice is stark; fight or accept a martyr’s death.
Set amid the treacherous landscape of Reformation Europe, where faiths divide and shifting allegiances dictate survival, can the strength of family endure?
V E H Masters… firstname.lastname@example.org