Review: Wolf Wood, by Mike Dixon (& interview!)

SONY DSCReading Wolf Wood is like going back in time. That statement sounds really cliché, I know, but it’s very accurate. The book is extensively researched, and the historical accuracy (from what I could tell–I’m no historian, not really) was incredible.

I was intrigued by the dispute over the font, and how such a small thing could trigger such fury, and violence, and affect the entire community. These days the church and religious matters are not as important in the Western world, and I forget how essential belief was. And speaking of belief, the persistent idea that Alice (a woman working in an alms house, who was educated and a healer) could be a witch… Naturally, she was my favourite character. A spirited, educated woman in the midst of so much ignorance.

I haven’t read historical fiction in some time, so it took me a little while to immerse myself in the story. But once I became used to the world in Wolf Wood, the medieval way, the narrative kept my attention, and I had to read to the end. I’m glad to see that Part 2 is already out!

About Wolf Wood (Part 1): The Gathering Storm

In 1436 a dispute arose between the people of Sherborne and their abbot over the ownership of a baptismal font.  Before it was settled, the abbey was burnt down and a bishop murdered.  Some saw the hand of evil at work and blamed a newcomer to the town, accusing her of being a witch.  Others saw her as a saint.  Wolf Wood is set in the turbulent years of the late middle ages.  The old feudal aristocracy is losing control, a new middle class is flexing its muscles, the authority of the church is being questioned, law and order have broken down and England is facing defeat in France.  Wolf Wood is a work of fiction based on actual events.

Release date: June 14, 2013

Part One, ISBN 978-0-9875989-0-5.


On the author’s website:

Buy the book:

Part One URL:

Interview with Mike Dixon:

Q: What first bit of research or reading inspired you to write Wolf Wood?

A:  I was born in Sherborne and attended school there.  Even after the passage of five hundred years, the story of the Fire of Sherborne Abbey was still being told.  Why a priest should have shot a flaming arrow and burnt down the abbey was a mystery to me as a boy.  Many years later, on a visit to Sherborne, I started to research the background to the famous fire and discovered that a remarkable amount of information had survived.  That was the inspiration for Wolf Wood.

Q: Were you able to visit some of the locations in your book as a part of your research?

A: I went to school in France as part of an exchange scheme in which I stayed with a French family and their son stayed with mine.  I know the Normandy region well and have made a study of the sites that featured prominently in the final stages of the war with England.

Q: What is your favourite scene in the book?

A: My favourite character is Steven, who is entirely fictitious.  My favourite scene is the Battle of London Bridge when Steven solves the problem of having a homicidal uncle who poses a severe threat to himself and his parents.  The battle took place soon after the defeated English troops returned to England.  Commander Gough (more correctly referred to as Captain Gough, to use the title of the day) died attempting to block the rebels passage into London.

Q: What can we expect in book 2, and in your future writings? What are your next releases?

A: Steven and other members of his generation come to the fore in Part 2.  It is already written and is on sale for $0.99 as an ebook from Amazon.

I am working on Part 3 in parallel with a novel in my Hansen Mystery Series.

Mike DixonAbout the Author:

I was born in Sherborne (Dorset) and attended school there and (as an exchange student) in the Medoc region of France.  I studied physics at Oxford and received a PhD degree in astrophysics from the University of Cambridge.  Following teaching and research appointments in South Africa, Scotland and Australia, I joined the Australian Government Service and worked, for a while, as a ministerial assistant.  I entered the tourist industry through public relations and scuba diving and established one of Australia’s first backpacker resorts.  I have a keen interest in medieval history and I am a frequent visitor to Britain and France.

As a boy, growing up in Sherborne, I heard about the famous fire of Sherborne Abbey and was told that a priest shot a flaming arrow into the tower and set the building on fire.  The marks of the fire are visible today, over five hundred years later.  And there is a lot more to tell us what happened.

There was an inquiry into the dispute that led to the fire and the surviving documents tell of a bitter feud between the abbot and the townspeople.  It’s highly dramatic stuff and it inspired me to write my Wolf Wood novels.

My books are fiction.  Some of the characters are based on real people; others are entirely imaginary.  I have done my best to be faithful to the main course of historical events and fill in the gaps with the sort of things that could have happened to my characters.


Win a copy of MOONLIGHT & LOVE SONGS on Goodreads!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Moonlight & Love Songs by Alyssa Linn Palmer

Moonlight & Love Songs

by Alyssa Linn Palmer

Giveaway ends September 17, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

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It’s Official! An exciting announcement!

I’m delighted to finally be able to share my good news! I’ve signed a contract with Bold Strokes Books, and my first release with them, my novella ‘The Artist’s Muse’ will be coming out this year!

August 17, 2013 Press Release: New Title from Alyssa Linn Palmer

Bold Strokes Books is pleased to announce the acquisition of Alyssa Linn Palmer’s new erotic romance novella, The Artist’s Muse, scheduled for release in 2013 from Bold Strokes Impressions Editions.

The Artist’s Muse Coming in 2013

Broke and desperate after her girlfriend leaves her for a man, Colette finds a job as an artist’s model. When she arrives for an interview, she’s surprised to meet a striking young woman, Lise Beauclerc. Her relief at not having to pose for a man turns to infatuation as she observes Lise during their sessions, creating fantasies in her mind during the hours she poses.

Colette has no idea if Lise would return her affections, and when she finally gets up the courage to ask her out, their connection is more than she’d ever hoped for. However, a few days later, Lise introduces her to Marcel, her former fiancé. They seem intimately involved, and Colette is devastated. Will her dreams of Lise be unrequited?

Cover Reveal! MOONLIGHT & LOVE SONGS, book 2 of the Le Chat Rouge series


When Le Chat Rouge’s pianist, Benoît Grenier, meets the club’s new singer, his world is turned upside down. He’d given up ever finding someone to love. His hopes and dreams of a life beyond the club are revived, while his heart heals.

Daniel Marceau has come from Marseille, looking to escape bad decisions and worse memories. He never expected to fall in love, and when his past catches up with him it could ruin the only thing he’s ever found worth living for.

Daniel’s fears and his reluctance to ask Benoît for help could cost them everything they’ve worked so hard to create.


“Gritty and romantic, Moonlight and Love Songs will steal your heart, sell it for drugs, and leave you with a song. It’s dark and sexy, an unflinching portrayal of two soul mates discovering in each other the foundation upon which all love depends—hope.” — Miranda Baker, author of the Come Again series

MOONLIGHT & LOVE SONGS will be released on September 17th, 2013, in paperback and ebook.


Review: Dancing With Paris, by Juliette Sobanet

Comment on the post to win one of 3 ebook copies of Dancing With Paris, the latest from Juliette Sobanet!

Having just finished Juliette Sobanet’s last book, Midnight Train to Paris, and enjoyed it very much, I couldn’t wait to dig into this one. And I was delighted to find out that, like the former, Dancing With Paris was a time-travel romance. (I’m not a huge fan of time-travel romances in general, with the exception of Outlander and The Time Traveler’s Wife, but I am always glad to find one that is well-written and intriguing.)

Naturally what caught my attention was that the book is set in Paris–or at least, the past is. Claudia Davis travels back from present-day San Diego into 1950s Paris, via a ruby necklace and a mysterious woman. Once there, she finds that she’s become a dancer named Ruby Kerrigan, and Ruby is wanted for murder. What Claudia doesn’t realize at first is that Ruby has had to prostitute herself, and has done so with several men. Not only does she have to find the murderer, but she has to sort out her love life…and she only has five days.

The twists and turns had me guessing, and I only put this book down under duress (work, sleep), wanting to know what would happen next. I loved the setting, the vivid picture Ms. Sobanet paints of the Parisian cabaret, and of Paris in general. It was a bit like watching a film. Her mix of suspense and romance is just right, and I look forward to reading her next book! (By the way, if you have some francophile tendencies like I do, you’ll enjoy her previous books as well, all contemporary romances set in Paris.)

Dancing With ParisAbout the book:

In Paris, a past life promises a second chance at love.

Straitlaced marriage therapist Claudia Davis had a plan—and it definitely did not involve getting pregnant from a one-night stand or falling for a gorgeous French actor. She thinks her life can’t possibly get more complicated. But when Claudia takes a tumble in her grandmother’s San Diego dance studio, she awakens in 1950s Paris in the body of Ruby Kerrigan, the glamorous star of a risqué cabaret—and the number-one suspect in the gruesome murder of a fellow dancer. As past lives go, it’s a doozy…especially when an encounter with a handsome and mysterious French doctor ignites a fire in Claudia’s sinfully beautiful new body.

But time, for all its twists and turns, is not on her side: Claudia has just five days to unmask the true killer, clear Ruby’s name, and return to the twenty-first century. To do so, she must make an impossible choice, one that will change the course of both of her lives forever.

Buy the book! It’s published by Amazon Publishing/Montlake Romance:

ISBN-10: 1477805915
ISBN-13: 978-1477805916

Juliette SobanetAbout the Author

Juliette Sobanet earned a B.A. from Georgetown University and an M.A. from New York University in France, living and studying in both Lyon and Paris. She worked as a French professor before turning a new page in her career, penning romantic women’s fiction with a French twist. She is the author of Sleeping with Paris, Kissed in ParisMidnight Train to Paris, Dancing with Paris, and the upcoming Honeymoon in Paris. Today she lives with her husband and two cats in San Diego, where she devotes her time to writing and dreaming about her next trip to France.



Last day for the Goodreads giveaway of THE PARIS GAME!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Paris Game by Alyssa Linn Palmer

The Paris Game

by Alyssa Linn Palmer

Giveaway ends August 03, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.


Enter to win