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Princess Taoshira of the Blue Crescent Islands is appalled when she is ordered to marry Prince Ramil of Gerfal. And he’s not too pleased, either. She is used to a life of discipline, ritual, and splendor. He is used to hunting and carousing. They hate each other on sight. But both of their countries are under threat from a fearsome warlord, and the only chance of peace is to form an alliance.
When Tashi and Ram are kidnapped, they fear there’s no escape–from their kidnappers or from each other. Can they put aside their differences long enough to survive ambush, unarmed combat, brainwashing, and imprisonment? And will the people they meet on their adventure–including a circus strongman, a daring rebel leader, a sinister master of spies, and the best female fighter they have ever seen–help them or betray them to the enemy?
About the Author
My journey to becoming an author has been a roundabout one, taking in many other careers. I grew up on the edge of Epping Forest and was that dreamy kind of child who was always writing stories. After reading English at Cambridge, I decided to find out as much as I could about the wider world so joined the Foreign Office and served in Poland. My work as a diplomat took me from the high point of town twinning in the Tatra Mountains to the low of inspecting the bottom of a Silesian coal mine.
On leaving Poland, I exchanged diplomacy for academia and took a doctorate in the literature of the English Romantic Period at Oxford. I then joined Oxfam as a lobbyist on conflict issues, campaigning at the UN and with governments to lessen the impact of conflict on civilians living in war zones – a cause about which I still feel very passionate.
Married with three children, I now live in Oxford between two rivers, surrounded by gargoyles, beautiful sandstone buildings and ancient trees.
My first novel, ‘The Diamond of Drury Lane’, won the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize 2006 and the Nestle Children’s Book Prize 2006 (formerly known as the Smarties Prize). I was also chosen by Waterstone’s in 2007 as one of their ‘Twenty-five authors for the future’. In the US, ‘Secret of the Sirens’ won the honor book medal of the Green Earth Book Award.
My latest series, which starts with Mel Foster and the Demon Butler, about an intrepid Victorian orphan who lives in a household of monsters, won Bronze in the Primary Teacher awards in 2015. The next part, Mel Foster and the Time Machine, has set the time-dial to arrive in 2016.