I’m sure you know that I’m having a break from writing hist.fict.
I’ve been privileged to walk through some very beautiful northern hemisphere gardens through this last northern summer via some wonderful garden blogs. It’s the kind of thing that sustains one through our own southern winter.
But we’re now well into spring. Daylight saving begins next week, and my little garden (only 3 and 3/4’s years old and which we built and grew from scratch) is starting to come into its own.
So for those who love tree and leaf, this is my garden today:
House is tiny.
It’s a small dwelling that was put together in fits and starts, bits added as the original owners decided they could afford it. It’s quaint, every room is on a different level and the rooms are small, but it is so perfectly idiosyncratic and the place just spoke to us when it was put up for sale 31 years ago by the original owner.
We renovated six years ago and opted to remove the old wood-heater because we knew that in our old age, the last thing we wanted to be doing was carting wood and dealing with the ash, dust and mess that is a wood-burner, despite the obvious charm of flame and wood.
The other day, I was surprised to hear someone refer to me historically as ‘the weather girl’ and as it has always done, it frustrated me. That my small career on TV and radio was reduced to that description with its cliched connotations. You know the sort I mean – blonde bimbo, plastic fantastic and with no concept of how weather really works. I know – silly of me to get wangled about the term, but there you go.
Ready for its release on Friday, 20th July, Michael is accruing some nice words.
‘Prue Batten uses words with precision to immerse the reader in an historical setting, peopled with perceptively-drawn characters to keep you there long after the final page has turned.’ Annie Whitehead, historian and historical fiction author, and winner of the 2017 Dorothy Dunnett Short Story Competition
‘An excellent book that flows with the prose that one expects from Batten with turns I didn’t see coming. The attention to detail and the portrayal of Byzantine Constantinople is amazing.’ SJA Turney, bestselling author of both the Praetorian and Marius’ Mules series and of Caligula.
‘Michael is a feast for the imagination and the senses. Batten shows her talent as an expert wordsmith by conjuring the medieval world of Constantinople through the travails of a protagonist who is nuanced and believable. Highly recommended.’ Elisabeth Storrs, award winning author of The Tales of Ancient Rome saga.
Michael, book three of The Triptych Chronicle, reunites characters from the previous books in this series in a beautifully written account of life during the Byzantine era. Batten effortlessly draws the reader into this historic world with small details of everyday life as well as the overarching socio-political landscape of the time. What most impressed me is the attention to detail in Batten’s writing style, an aspect most evident in the lyrical, plausibly different speech patterns in the dialogue. Competition is fierce between merchant houses and there’s very little that the characters in this book will balk at in pursuit of the rarest and most valuable commodities. Batten intertwines personal and professional motivation in this intriguing and mixed cast of characters to build a web of mystery that dances through the plot. Michael is a thrilling, addictive masterpiece of historical fiction with an inescapable feel of authenticity. Reviewed By Caitlin Lyle Farley for Readers’ Favorite
And has scored a five star seal for its cover.
On 20th July, go to
Cheers all and wish the book a fair wind and smooth seas!