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Wednesday 26 January 2022

We are off to Prussia with my Coffee Pot Guest Justin Newland

 A Two Year Celebration Tour!
It is two years since this novel has been published

Welcome to my Blog!
Wander through wonderful worlds
real and fictional,
meet interesting people,
visit exciting places
and find a few good books
to enjoy along the way!

I’ve written four novels; The Coronation is my third. It’s a secret history thriller, that’s when you take real places, real events and actual historical personages, and weave them in with fictional characters, locations and events, then add a sprinkle of the fantastical. It’s a re-telling of a known story, but with a supernatural twist.

The places described in this blog are all real. The novel is set in the 1760’s in East Prussia during the event we now call the Seven Years’ War. East Prussia is a now-defunct Baltic state, sandwiched between modern-day Lithuania and Poland.

The main location for the story of The Coronation is Schloss or Castle Friedrichstein near Löwenhagen. For reasons of discretion, I changed the name of the estate in the novel to Castle Ludwigshain.  

The layout of the castle was full of state rooms, galleries, a chapel, kitchens, an attic where the Christmas decorations were stored, and the servant’s quarters down below. 

A great gallery ran alongside one elevation of the castle and which overlooked the grounds and the valley of the Pregel, the river that flows on into the Baltic port of Konigsberg. The other side of the castle was faced by a natural lake, which plays a crucial part in the plot.  The out buildings included several barns, which, on a wintry night, also played an important role in the unfolding of the plot. 

Several scenes take place in Konigsberg, about 10 miles west of Friedrichstein. Konigsberg was famously divided into four quarters, as illustrated by the popular verse:

“In the Altstadt, the power.
In the Kneiphof, the splendour. 
In Löbenicht, the fields. 
On the Sackheim, the rascals.”

Konigsberg Cathedral.

Konigsberg was located on an island in the Pregel River which housed the Cathedral. It also hosted the original campus of the University, which boasted such luminaries as Immanuel Kant.

In the novel, the Cathedral, which still exists today is shown in the photo, was host to a thanksgiving mass attended by members of the Order of the Black Eagle, the highest Prussian chivalric order.   

Löbenicht Hospital was another location in Konigsberg in the novel. Once it was a Benedictine Monastery. After the Reformation, it fell into disuse and became a hospital, which hosted important scenes in the novel.  

Near to Konigsberg is the Samland Peninsula. This is where most of the world’s supply of amber is found. This fossilised tree resin plays a huge part in the denouement of the novel, as does the Anna Amber Mine, and the Newcomen Engine, used to pump out water from the mine. 

The Amber Room
St Catherine's Palace, St Petersburg.

The novel had other locations, farther away from Konigsberg and East Prussia. St. Catherine’s Palace, near St. Petersburg in Russia, was one of the these. The Palace exists today, and is a fine rococo building, more than fit for the Russian Tsars.

It’s also home to the extraordinary Amber Room. It’s not the original one. That was donated by in the early 1700’s by King Frederick the Great’s father to Tsar Peter Great, but it was stolen during the Second World War by the Nazis. The one in the photo is a replica.
These are some of the locations in The Coronation. Every one seems to echo with its own history, as if that history is somehow held, locked, and bound into the bricks and the mortar of the many room in the mansions spoken of herein. 

Perhaps there is a record written somewhere in the ether of those who sat and conversed in those rooms. Then perhaps, one day, we will hear those same conversations, and articulate them, and thereby give a voice in the now to those in the past, and a voice to those in the past to those in the now.  

About The Book

It is 1761. Prussia is at war with  Russia and Austria. As the Russian army occupies East Prussia, King Frederick the Great and his men fight hard to win back their homeland. 

In Ludwigshain, a Junker estate in East Prussia, Countess Marion von Adler celebrates an exceptional harvest. But it is requisitioned by Russian troops. When Marion tries to stop them, a Russian captain strikes her. His lieutenant, Ian Fermor, defends Marion’s honour and is stabbed for his insubordination. Abandoned by the Russians, Fermor becomes a divisive figure on the estate.
Close to death, Fermor dreams of the Adler, a numinous eagle entity, whose territory extends across the lands of Northern Europe and which is mysteriously connected to the Enlightenment. What happens next will change of the course of human history… 

Buy Links:

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Author’s Website (buyers can enter a dedication to be signed by the author): 

Publisher’s Website: 

Wordery (UK): 

Booktopia (Au): 

Saxo (Dk): 

About The Author

Justin Newland is an author of historical fantasy and secret history thrillers - that’s history with a supernatural twist. His stories feature known events and real people from history which are re-told and examined through the lens of the supernatural. He gives author talks and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio Bristol’s Thought for the Day. He lives with his partner in plain sight of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England. 

His Books

The Genes of Isis is a tale of love, destruction and ephemeral power set under the skies of Ancient Egypt. A re-telling of the Biblical story of the flood, it reveals the mystery of the genes of Isis – or genesis – of mankind. ISBN 9781789014860.

“The novel is creative, sophisticated, and downright brilliant! I couldn’t ask more of an Egyptian-esque book!” – Lauren, Books Beyond the Story.

The Old Dragon’s Head is a historical fantasy and supernatural thriller set during the Ming Dynasty and played out in the shadows the Great Wall of China. It explores the secret history of the influences that shaped the beginnings of modern times.  ISBN 9781789015829.

‘The author is an excellent storyteller.” – British Fantasy Society. 

Set during the Great Enlightenment, The Coronation reveals the secret history of the Industrial Revolution. ISBN 9781838591885.

“The novel explores the themes of belonging, outsiders… religion and war…  filtered through the lens of the other-worldly.” – A. Deane, Page Farer Book Blog.

His latest, The Abdication (July, 2021), is a suspense thriller, a journey of destiny, wisdom and self-discovery. ISBN 9781800463950.  

“In Topeth, Tula confronts the truth, her faith in herself, faith in a higher purpose, and ultimately, what it means to abdicate that faith.” 
V. Triola, Coast to Coast.

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Follow The Tour

Twitter Handle: @matadorbooks @maryanneyarde
Hashtags: #HistoricalFantasy #Supernatural #Thriller
#BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub
Tour Schedule Page: 

note: Helen has not yet read this title - it is on her TBR list though!

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Amazon Author Page: 

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episode 2:

~~ ~ ~ ~ 

nautical adventures set during the Golden Age of Piracy

If you liked Pirates Of The Caribbean?
then you'll love the Sea Witch Voyages!

A prequel novella - how Jesamiah Acorne became a pirate 
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and now in paperback and e-book

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