Hello to followers of my blog. This is the sort of thing I send out in my Newsletter to let people know about my books, and to keep in touch with readers. You can join the newsletter and my company of readers by clicking the main link on my website.

New Release Newsletter:

Thank you to all of you – you are the people who have supported my writing by buying or borrowing books, giving feedback or leaving reviews, and also by replying to my newsletters so I feel connected to my readers. Thanks to you, The Fortune Keeper is already a ‘Hot New Release’ on Amazon. So you might need oven gloves if you pick it up today! The ebook will stay at 99p/99c until after the weekend then go back to its regular price.

Here it is at last – Publication Day for The Fortune Keeper

I’m celebrating! The Fortune Keeper is available now in paperback and ebook, and Diana Croft is recording the audiobook which will be out soon.

You can buy the book HERE: https://mybook.to/FortuneKeeper


Count your nights by stars, not by shadows ~ Italian Proverb

Winter in Venice 1643

Mia Caiozzi is determined to discover her destiny by studying the science of astronomy. But her stepmother Giulia forbids her to engage in this dangerous occupation, fearing it will lead her into trouble. The ideas of Galileo are banned by the Inquisition, so Mia must study in secret.

Giulia insists Mia should live quietly out of public view. If not, it could threaten them all. Giulia’s real name is Giulia Tofana, renowned for her poison Aqua Tofana, and she is in hiding from the Duke de Verdi’s family who are intent on revenge for the death of their brother. But Mia doesn’t know this, and rebels against Giulia, determined to go her own way.

When the two secret lives collide, it has far-reaching and fatal consequences that will change both their lives forever.

Set amongst opulent palazzos and shimmering canals, The Fortune Keeper is the third novel of adventure and romance based on the life and legend of Giulia Tofana.

‘Swift has an almost visceral understanding of what makes history worth reading, and she is also the perfect tour-guide to take her readers on a trip back in time to a dangerous past … a must-read for fans of quality Historical Fiction.’ Coffee Pot Book Club ★★★★★

The Cutting Room Table

Writing a book is a long process, and the book has been a year in the making. During the process many alterations and changes take place, which is why you need a good editor who will pick up any inconsistencies and plot-holes. Richard Sheehan, my editor, is great at picking these out, so I’m really grateful to him for his invaluable help.

Here is a chunk of text I cut out in order for the narrative to move more quickly near the end of the book. You are the only people to see this, as it doesn’t appear in the final version of the book. If you get the book, you will soon see where it would have fitted!

Unpublished Extract from The Fortune Keeper

Giulia stumbled ashore from the fishing vessel at the port of Pescara, in the Kingdom of Naples. She brushed down her habit and tried to stand upright, though she was weary and the journey had taken three and a half days, far longer than she’d hoped.  She had refused food from the fishermen, who had taken pity on her when no boat was to be had further up the coast. They had taken her aboard, hoping a nun would bring them luck, and persuade God to give them a good catch.

Unfortunately it meant waiting whilst they filled their nets, when all she wanted to do was get nearer to where Mia was held hostage. She sent up a prayer for her to Santa Olivia. Please, give her protection. Let me not be too late.

Her sea-legs almost gave way as she staggered up the stone slipway to the rough-rendered town. The sun was hot now, and her face rimed with spray. She scrubbed it away, feeling the taste of salt on her lips.  She had been at sea so long and her stomach had deposited its contents into the water too often. Now she was weak, but determined to find a carriage that would take her to Venice. She gazed at the gulls enviously as they screeched and wheeled above her head. What she wouldn’t give for their wings right now.

At the main square she asked directions and there was a post with the times of the carriages chalked upon it. She stared at the times aghast. A carriage had departed an hour ago, and there was not another until tomorrow. She almost wept.  And the hardest part of the journey was to come – through mountain passes and long plains.

She had to get there somehow. Lifting her bag of essentials, she headed for the church. The priest was unable to offer any solution, except to loan her a mule, and the services of his serving man, who would guide her to the next town.

Giulia remembered the feeling of being alone and running away all too well. Only this time she was running to something, and not away from it.

Thank you for reading!

Get in the mood for the book with an atmospheric 4 minute Video trip to Venice


For writers:

Many thanks to those of you who came to my History Quill Class on Engaging your Reader’s Imagination. I hope I’ve put my own ideas into practice! It’s always a slippery slope to give other writers advice, because all novels are a unique product of one person’s mind, and their particular faith in the story they are telling. And there are so many ways to tell a successful story. I am so often in awe of writers who can do things with their text that I can’t.

There will be a few articles from me coinciding with this launch, as I will be doing an online blog tour. The first article on Crime and mask-wearing in Renaissance Venice is live here in the Historia Magazine.

I will put links to the rest in my next newsletter in December.

Meanwhile, here is my article on Writing a Series of Stand-Alones on Carol McGrath’s blog.

There is an article explaining my editing process here: https://deborahswift.com/editing-historical-fiction/ (Sorry about the lack of pictures, they didn’t transfer from my old website)

Home News

I am working on the next WW2 book now, (in my newly shelved office) and taking some time to read other people’s books, to reflect and to spend time with my family. My sister is visiting today and will arrive from Scotland by train so we can spend some time together and catch up. I’m expecting lots of reminiscences about growing up, even though that was — ‘gulp’ years ago!

My current reading is ‘Spy Capital of Britain’ – Research for my WW2 book, and ‘V is for Victory’ by Lissa Evans (who wrote the book of the film ‘Their Finest’). Both are really interesting books. The first one I suspect is only of interest to geeky people like me who want to know why rural Bedfordshire became a hot-bed of intelligence in WW2, but Lissa Evans’ book is a great example of characters that really live in the imagination.

The winner of this month’s draw for an e-copy of The Fortune Keeper is …

Next month will be a special Christmas draw with more winners, and I hope some festive cheer

Until next time

Deborah x

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