Change and Transformation Reads for the New Year!

Stories are most exciting when they trigger change, or even better, transformation. But change can take many forms. Explore just how different in this special feast …

The Kingmaking by Helen Hollick

The boy – who became a man,
The man – who became a king,
The king – who became a legend.

Helen’s debut novel, published in 1994, is the first part of her Pendragon’s Banner trilogy about King Arthur. Using early Welsh legends, she ignored the Norman knights in armour, turreted castles and magical elements – there is no Lancelot, Camelot or Merlin. Instead, she explored what might have happened during the 5th century ‘Dark Age’ –  the transition from post-Roman Britain to Anglo-Saxon England, when one man, Arthur, tried to accomplish a peaceful union between the Britons and the English.

More from Helen at her website:
Twitter: @HelenHollick
Buy this book here:  Kindle ebook £1.99 $2.50


Devolution by Amie McCracken

When humans have stopped evolving, when change is stagnant yet the rest of the planet continues to advance and surpass our species, desperation forces humankind to take drastic action. The modified children are born, genetically enhanced to kick-start evolution.

Selah is one of the new world children, built to excel. She relishes the challenge of training and exceeds expectations on all testing. But she feels alienated from her peers, her family, and the world. The genetic mutations set her apart, there is something special about her, and she worries she is less her parents’ child and more a science experiment.

More from Amie at her website:
Twitter: @amiemccracken
Buy this book here:   $2.99/€2.99/£2.29 (Kindle)


To Be A Queen by Annie Whitehead

This is the story of Æthelflæd, ‘Lady of the Mercians’, daughter of King Alfred the Great. Married to an older man to seal an alliance, she must overcome personal loss and cast aside preconceptions in order to earn the love of her people. In a world where women have many rights, but do not rule, when her husband falls ill, she must learn to lead an army to save her adopted country from the Viking onslaught and, ultimately, from her own brother.

She will never have the title, but she will learn what it takes to be a queen.

More from Annie at her website:
Twitter: @AnnieWHistory
Buy this book here:  £1.99/$2.99 (Kindle)


Queen of the Warrior Bees by Jean Gill

Mielitta is hoping to be accepted for the Maturity Test that will transform her from Citadel misfit into a normal adult but she’s doomed to endless childhood. Then she’s stung by a swarm of bees in the forbidden Forest and gains strange powers. She can shift shape and perspective between human and bee, questioning all the received ideas of Perfect society.

She grows into her second nature and adulthood on her own terms, determined to fight for Nature, in all its rich variety, against the might of the Citadel’s male rulers. For humanity’s sake, she must change the Citadel itself.

More from Jean at her website:
Twitter: @writerjeangill
Buy this book here: (multiple retailers)   $3.99 / £2.99


The Pearl of Penang by Clare Flynn

Evie Fraser, a lady’s companion, receives a proposal from a distant relative she met only once. Douglas Barrington is now a widowed rubber planter in exotic Penang. Evie risks all to escape from a life without prospects and cross the world to marry him.

The book is all about change – Evie coming to terms with a new life, a new country, a new role, her husband’s quixotic behaviour and about the entire world of pre-war colonial Penang, on the brink of terrible and dramatic change – even though the ex-patriate population refuses to recognise the growing threat of war with Japan.

More from Clare at her website:
Twitter: @clarefly
Buy this book here: (multiple retailers):  £3.99/$4.99


Severed Knot by Cryssa Bazos

After the English Civil War, Mairead, a young Irish woman, and Iain, a Scottish prisoner of war, are sold into indentured servitude on a Barbados sugar plantation. They form an unexpected and life-changing bond — but can they survive and find a way back home?

Severed Knot is the second novel in a standalone series that explores a transformed world turned upside down.

Connect with Cryssa on her website:
Buy this book here (multiple retailers):
Twitter: @CryssaBazos    $4.99 / £3.99


Best Murder in Show by Debbie Young

When Sophie Sayers arrives in the Cotswold village of Wendlebury Barrow to live in the cottage she’s inherited from her great-aunt, her self-esteem is at an all-time low. After years of being taken for granted by her selfish actor boyfriend, touring Europe with Damian Drammaticas, his travelling theatre company, Sophie determines to make the most of the opportunity to start afresh – although turning detective when she discovers a dead body on a village carnival float was not part of her plan.

A feel-good, funny novel that will make you want to join the unstoppable Sophie in this captivating village community.

More from Debbie at her website:
Twitter:  @DebbieYoungBN
Buy this book here:  99p/99c ebook, £7.99 paperback


A Rip in the Veil by Anna Belfrage

Three centuries separate them – and yet they meet up. Impossible, says reluctant time traveller Alexandra. Black magic, says 17th Century escaped convict, Matthew Graham, studying this female apparition warily. Will it end in tragedy or romance?

Whatever the case, life will never be the same again – for either of them!
An enthralling story, layered in history, romance and with just the right dash of magic that keep a reader turning those pages all night long.” (Coffee Pot Book Club)

More from Anna at her website:
Twitter: @abelfrageauthor
Buy this book here:  £2.99/$2.99


An Unknown Woman by Jane Davis

Anita knows exactly who she is. She’s proud of the life she’s built with partner Ed. She has her dream job – a curator at Hampton Court Palace. But, then, without warning, everything changes. Anita finds herself standing in the middle of the road, watching her home burn to the ground.

Before she can come to terms with the magnitude of her loss, hairline cracks appear in her perfect relationship. And returning to her childhood home in search of comfort, she stumbles upon the secret her mother has kept hidden, a taboo so unspeakable it can only be written down.

More about Jane at her website:
Twitter: @janedavisauthor
Buy this book here:  £3.99/$4.99


The Swooping Magpie by Liza Perrat

When sixteen-year-old Lindsay is forced into a heart-breaking decision, the resulting trauma will forever transform her. Bullied at home, when sexy school-teacher Jon Halliwell finds her irresistible, Lindsay believes life is about to change.

She’s not wrong.

Lindsay and Jon pursue their affair in secret, until an accident separates the lovers and Lindsay becomes enmeshed in a shocking Australian scandal, discovering the dangerous games of the adult world. Games that destroy lives.

Reflecting the social changes of 1970s Australia, The Swooping Magpie is a heartbreaking drama of lost innocence, deceit and a true-life scandal … Jill’s Book Cafe

More about Liza at her website:
Twitter: @LizaPerrat
Buy this book here: $3.99/£2.99


Britannia’s Spartan by Antoine Vanner

1882: Japan is modernising rapidly, politically, socially industrially and – most of all – militarily. Imperial China’s weakness and corruption encourage Japan to seize the opportunity to establish itself as the dominant power in the Far East. But first it needs to control Korea, a kingdom frozen in time and reluctant to emerge from centuries of isolation.

Korea’s king is weak and pliable and only its shrewd and ruthless queen is prepared to make a stand against Japanese aggression. Faced with a nightmare of riot, treachery and battle, can her only sure ally be a Royal Navy captain, in Korea only by accident?

More from Antoine at his website:
Twitter: @antpoinevanner
Buy this book here:  $3.99/£2.99


INCEPTIO by Alison Morton

New Yorker Karen Brown is caught in a tangle of hot foreign agents, a vicious enforcer hunting her and tough families. Running for her life, she flees to her dead mother’s homeland – Roma Nova – the last Roman Empire outpost in present day Europe.

But the killer reaches into her new home. Unable to rely on anybody else, especially arrogant special forces officer Conrad Tellus, she undergoes intensive training, develops fighting skills and becomes an undercover cop. Crazy with bitterness at his past failures, the killer sets a trap for Karen. And she has no choice but to spring it.

More from Alison (and Roma Nova) at her website:
Twitter: @alison_morton
Buy this book here: INCEPTIO buying links     £2.99/$3.99/3.49€


Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers –  INCEPTIO,  PERFIDITAS,  SUCCESSIO,  AURELIA,  INSURRECTIO  and RETALIO.  CARINA, a novella, and ROMA NOVA EXTRA, a collection of short stories, are now available.  Audiobooks are available for four of the series. NEXUS, an Aurelia Mitela novella, is now out.

Find out more about Roma Nova, its origins, stories and heroines… Download ‘Welcome to Roma Nova’, a FREE eBook, as a thank you gift when you sign up to Alison’s monthly email newsletter. You’ll also be first to know about Roma Nova news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways.

10 comments to Change and Transformation Reads for the New Year!

  • anniewhitehead2

    Alison, thank you so much for the opportunity – it’s an honour to be keeping such wonderful company!

    • Alison Morton

      Thank you in turn for being part of it, Annie. I love highlighting books from other authors as it takes you on different journeys. I love your new cover for Lady of the English – so evocative!

  • Thank you so much for including the first in my Sophie Sayers Village Mystery series, Alison – honoured to be a part of your line-up! And so interesting to see it in the company of such a wide range of novels all with the same central theme: change and transformation, in so many different manifestations. I’m a great believer in reading outside one’s comfort zone, and working my way through this to-read list should be fascinating for anyone with whom any individual title in there already resonates. Just what we need to take us out of ourselves at this gloomy time of year!

    • Alison Morton

      Interesting how change crosses different genres. I think we must be fascinated by it as a species. I’m so pleased some of my favourite authors have joined in!

  • Richard Tearle

    What fabulous choices! Heartily agree!

    • Alison Morton

      I’ve read quite a number of them already and yes, they do resonate very well around the idea of change. And a little shake up is always a good idea! 😉

  • A great selection of books here. I’ve read several of them and will check out the others.

    • Alison Morton

      Happy reading! It’s a fair range of settings, characters and styles, but all of them go through fundamental change of some sort.Or maybe we like to pile hardship onto our characters and see what happens!

  • What great company for my book baby! Some I have read, some I have not and quite a few are downloading to my Kindle right now!

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