Sunday, December 29, 2013

Notes From Underground

Recently, I visited the oldest cemetery in Europe. Remarkably, it is right around the corner from my house in a natural gorge called Burrington Combe.

Burrington Combe is a natural geological formation in the Mendip Hills an area riddled with caves and underground caverns, the most famous being Cheddar Gorge. At the foot of Burrington Combe, just a few metres from the busy road, is a cave called Aveline's hole.

Aveline's Hole is credited as being "the oldest cemetery in Europe" as it was used by people back in the Mesolithic era (late ice age, just the climate was warming ) as a place to inter the bodies of their dead.

The cave was closed in antiquity by a landslide, but a hundred years ago two men and their dog pursued a rabbit that disappeared into a hole in the gorge wall.

When they dug in after the rabbit, they discovered a cave and the skeletal remains of 21 people, all preserved by calcium deposits. The bones were later carbon date to between 10,200 and 10,400 years old.

On my first visit to the cave I ran into John Cooper, an amateur cave historian (the gentleman in the photos). John showed me a human tooth and a hand axe embedded in the cave wall by mineral deposits. While we were talking, a small horseshoe bat flitted about our heads.

Remarkably the cave offers free access to the public, although there is now a gate preventing access to the back reaches of the cave where
cave art (rarely surviving in British caves) was recently discovered.

In many other caves in the area feature even older artefacts, such as the fossil remains of hyenas, bears, cave lions and other megafauna long extinct in the British Isles.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

UK Cover from Titan Books!

Just received my first glimpse of the  cover for the Titan Books version of The Revenant of Thraxton Hall.

This trade paperback edition will be available in bookstores in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth on March 28th, 2014.

Have to say I think my name looks very cool in the sexy-sexy font they chose.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Readers of the Lost ARCs

Ever wondered how the hot-off-the-press book you just snapped up at the bookstore already has reviews on the back cover or inside jacket from newspapers or library critics, not to mention those glowing quotes from other authors? Well, those are thanks to ARCs. The acronym stands for Advanced Reader Copy. These are typically sent out far in advance of the publication date. ARCS give book reviewers a sneak peek at forthcoming titles so that reviews can appear in newspapers and on web sites to coincide with the book’s official publication date. ARCs helps librarians and  buyers for the big book chains determine how many copies they will ordering. To the left is a photo of the ARC for my upcoming novel, The Revenant of Thraxton Hall. While St. Martin’s Press will be publishing The Revenant as a hardcover, but the ARCs are printed in trade paperback format. The price is missing and you can’t halp but  notice the big “Reader’s Copy” notice printed on the cover as well as a “not for resale” notice inside. Somewhat surprising to me is that the text is taken from a version of manuscript quite early on in the editing process. As such, it includes typos and other boo boos that have long since been cleaned up. The ARC is also devoid of artist’s sketches that will (hopefully) appear in the final book. Still, I’m excited that these ARCs of my novel are now circulating and have already elicited the follow blurbs from other famous writers:
"London's gaslights sputter and the game's afoot in The Revenant of Thraxton Hall, a witty atmospheric tale featuring the unique detecting duo of Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde." --Cara Black, "New York Times "bestselling author of Murder Below Montparnasse
 "Entwistle is a talented writer who has written an imaginative story with vivid period details and a compelling plot. I was hooked from the very first page and can't wait to read the next book." --Emily Brightwell, author of the Mrs. Jeffries Victorian mystery series
"The Revenant of Thraxton Hall" is a delight.  It's a treat to meet the Great Detective's creator (Arthur Conan Doyle) as a sleuth in his own right. And partnered with Oscar Wilde--what a bold and wonderful conceit!" --John Lescroart, "New York Times" bestselling author of The Ophelia Cut
"Entwistle gives the man who created Sherlock Holmes his own mystery to solve in this amazing novel. Arthur Conan Doyle proves himself worthy of Holmes's mantle as he and his clever friend Oscar Wilde untangle a decades-old mystery to save a beautiful young woman's life." --Victoria Thompson, author of "Murder in Chelsea"

 "Thrilling, suspenseful and utterly captivating, "The Revenant of Thraxton Hall" ingeniously combines historical fact with creative imagination. Conan Doyle and Wilde are a unique and lively recombination of Holmes and Watson, and once again, the game is most assuredly afoot. Don't miss it!" --Kelli Stanley, Macavity Award winning author of City of Dragons