To any authors/publishers/ tour companies that are looking for the reviews that I signed up for please know this is very hard to do. I will be stopping reviews temporarily. My husband passed away February 1st and my new normal is a bit scary right now and I am unable to concentrate on a book to do justice to the book and authors. I will still do spotlight posts if you wish it is just the reviews at this time. I apologize for this, but it isn't fair to you if I signed up to do a review and haven't been able to because I can't concentrate on any books. Thank you for your understanding during this difficult time. I appreciate all of you. Kathleen Kelly April 2nd 2024

05 January 2022

1066 Turned Upside Down By Joanna Courtney, Helen Hollick, Anna Belfrage, Richard Dee, G.K. Holloway, Carol McGrath, Alison Morton, Eliza Redgold, Annie Whitehead With a foreword by C.C. Humphreys@HelenHollick @maryanneyarde @annabelfrageauth @carol.mcgrath.58 @alisonmortonauthor @anniewhiteheadauthor @coffeepotbookclub #1066UpsideDown #AlternativeHistory #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub


Book Title: 1066 Turned Upside Down

Authors: Joanna Courtney, Helen Hollick, Anna Belfrage, Richard Dee

G.K. Holloway, Carol McGrath, Alison Morton, Eliza Redgold, Annie Whitehead

With a foreword by C.C. Humphreys.

Publication Date: 14th September 2021

Publisher: Taw River Press (paperback) Matador/Troubador (e-book)

Page Length: 222 Pages

Genre: Alternative History

Have you ever wondered what might have happened if William the Conqueror had been beaten at Hastings in 1066? Or if Harald Hardrada had won at Stamford Bridge? Or if Edward the Confessor had died with an heir ready to take his crown? If so – here is the perfect set of short stories for you.

1066 Turned Upside Down explores a variety of ways in which that momentous year could have played out very differently.

Written by nine well-known authors the stories will take you on a journey through the speculative what ifs?of Englands most famous year in history.


“1066 Turned Upside Down is the exemplar for how analytical counterfactual history should be done, combining the best elements of fiction and non-fiction to create an immensely impressive achievement.”

“As a collection, the quality of the writing is exceptional and the variety of possible outcomes presented is truly fascinating.”

“The collection is assembled in such a way that between the ‘alternatives’ are the related facts as they happened, as far as historians and archaeologists know – which still leaves room for these experienced writers’ imaginations.”

“A book I will read and re-read. I heartily recommend it”

“The real joy of a collection of stories like this is, of course, that you are likely to be introduced to writers you may not have come across before.”

Today we feature an excerpt from 1066 Turned Upside Down by author and Anglo-Saxon historian Annie Whitehead


by Annie Whitehead

Wearing the crown is one thing, but if Harold were to rule with any security and authority, he needed the support of the northern earls. At some point between his coronation and April 16th, he travelled north to try to secure that support. It has often been said of Earl Morcar that he ‘owed’ his earldom to Harold, who had endorsed him after his brother Tostig had been ousted. The Earldom of Mercia had once been a separate kingdom, and nationalist fervour had often caused problems for the kings of Wessex. Mercia had strong links with the neighbouring Welsh, and Edwin’s family had been close allies of Gruffudd of Gwynedd, whose death was engineered by Harold. Edwin and Morcar’s grandfather had been a political rival of Harold’s father, and the Godwin family had caused their father, Aelfgar, to be removed first from an earldom in East Anglia and then, briefly, from Mercia. These two families had ‘history.’

‘How could you?’ A week had passed since Easter Sunday. Ealdgyth looked as if she had been crying since Good Friday.

Often Edwin had seen her with streaks on her cheeks, and with eyes rubbed red against salty tears, but this time the chin was down, the eyes wide in reproach. His sister need not speak; he knew. But she continued. ‘Dragging me to London on the pretence of seeing you bow down formally to Harold, and all along you had sold me to him as a bride. How could you, Brother? Not enough that he has made me a widow…’

‘I could not help what was done to Gruffudd of Gwynedd. I was too young…’

‘You are not too young now! What of my children, the life I had carved for myself in Wales? I was young, too, when father sold me to Gruffudd. But I made the most of it. At least he was kind to me, and a friend to our family.’ She inhaled a ragged breath and paused, and he knew that she too could hear the scrape-click that announced their grandmother’s imminent appearance. 

Godiva came in to the hall from her private guest chamber beyond the great painted screen, leaning heavily on her carved stick, but keeping the jewel-encrusted tip visible, preserving the pretence that it was no crutch, merely a fashion accessory. The heavy gold and emerald cross, worn every day that Edwin could ever remember, swung across her chest with every step, and he took her elbow, ignoring her attempts to shake away his assistance as he led her to a chair. When she sat down, her head went forward, pushed these days by the hump at the back of her neck, but even though her eyes were shrunken by the years, they still shone speedwell blue and her brow, with every grey hair tucked severely under her veil, surrendered to barely a wrinkle. Godiva glanced at Ealdgyth, cleared her throat, and fixed her gaze upon Edwin.

‘Twice.’ She nodded, and held up two fingers. ‘Two times the Godwins forced my son into exile. Your own father; hounded out of his lands. With Gruffudd’s help, he got his earldom back, but is it any wonder he died before his time?’ Her voice cracked on the last word, turning it into two syllables. ‘But that wasn’t enough for Harold, was it? He bribed the Welsh to kill Gruffudd.’ She sniffed, and then drew her lips together, hastily correcting herself as if she knew it would encourage wrinkles around her mouth. ‘The Welsh were our protection against the grasping Godwins. I lived to bury my son, I’ve seen my granddaughter widowed, her children left fatherless.’ She glanced at Ealdgyth, reaching out as if to pat her knee. ‘And now you,’ she glared at Edwin, ‘now you make peace with Godwin’s whelp? This is not what I prayed for when you went north; for you to give him your sister as soon as he asked.’  

‘He didn’t ask. I suggested it.’

Ealdgyth made a sound like a wounded animal and ran from the room.

Does the trust between the two families emerge? Find out in 1066 Turned Upside Down

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1066 Turned Upside Down is a collection of eleven alternative history short stories of a ‘what if’ nature imagined by nine well-known successful authors:


JOANNA COURTNEY Ever since Joanna sat up in her cot with a book, shed wanted to be a writer and cut her publication teeth on short stories and serials for the womens magazines before signing to PanMacmillan in 2014 for her three-book series The Queens of the Conquest about the wives of the men fighting to be King of England in 1066. Her second series, written for Piatkus is Shakespeares Queens exploring the real history of three of the bards greatest female characters – Lady Macbeth, Ophelia and Cordelia.

Joannas fascination with historical writing is in finding the similarities between us and them –with an especial goal to provide a female take on some of the greatest stories we think we know.


ALISON MORTON writes the award-winning alternative fiction Roma Nova thriller series featuring tough, but compassionate heroines. She blends her deep love of Roman history with six yearsmilitary service and a life of reading crime, historical, adventure and thriller fiction. A Roman nutsince age 11, she started wondering what a modern Roman society would be like if run by strong women. She has recently branched out into a contemporary crime setting with Double Identity, the first of a planned series.


ANNA BELFRAGE Had Anna been allowed to choose, shed have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The Kings Greatest Enemy set in 14th century England. Anna has also published The Wanderer, a fast-paced contemporary romantic suspense trilogy with paranormal and time-slip ingredients. His Castilian Hawk - returning to medieval times and her most recent release, The Whirlpools of Time, a time travel romance set against the backdrop of brewing rebellion in the Scottish highlands. Anna has won several awards including various Gold, Silver and Bronze Coffee Pot Book Club awards.


ANNIE WHITEHEAD is an historian and prize-winning author. Her main interest in history is the period formerly known as the Dark Ages. Her first novel, To Be A Queen, is the story of Aethelflaed (daughter of Alfred the Great), who came to be known as the Lady of the Mercians. Alvar the Kingmaker, tells the story of Aelfhere of Mercia, a nobleman in the time of King Edgar. Cometh the Hour goes further back in time to the seventh century, to tell the story of Penda, the last pagan king of Mercia. Annie has twice been a prizewinner in the Mail on Sunday Novel Writing competition, she won first prize for nonfiction in the new Writing Magazine Poetry and Prose competition, and was the inaugural winner of the HWA (Historical WritersAssociation)/Dorothy Dunnett Society Short Story Competition and is now a judge for that same competition.

Annie has had two nonfiction books published. Mercia: The Rise and Fall of a Kingdom (Amberley Books) has been an Amazon #1 Bestseller. Women of Power in Anglo-Saxon England was published by Pen & Sword Books in 2020.


CAROL McGRATH is the author of The Daughters of Hastings Trilogy. Her fifth historical novel, The Silken Rose, first in The Rose Trilogy, published by the Headline Group, is set during the High Middle Ages. It features Ailenor of Provence and was published in 2020. The Damask Rose about Eleanor of Castile was published in 2021. The Stone Rose, Isabella of France, follows in 2022. Carol has also written Historical Non-Fiction for Pen & Sword.


ELIZA REDGOLD is an author and romantic academic. Her bestselling historical fiction includes her Ladies of Legend trilogy, starting with Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva released internationally by St Martins Press, New York. Her historical romances are published by Harlequin Historical, London (Harper Collins). They include Playing the Dukes Mistress, Enticing Benedict Cole, The Scandalous Suffragette and The Masters New Governess. They have been translated into multiple languages including Italian, Polish, Czech, Danish and Swedish, and are available internationally.


G.K. HOLLOWAY After graduating from Coventry University with an honours degree in history and politics, he worked in education in and around Bristol, England, where he now lives. After reading a biography about Harold Godwinson, he studied the late Anglo-Saxon era in detail. When he had enough material to weave together facts and fiction he produced his novel. 1066 What Fates Impose, a story of family feuds, court intrigues, assassinations, plotting and scheming, loyalty and love, all ingredients in an epic struggle for the English crown.


HELEN HOLLICK moved from London in 2013 and now lives on a thirteen-acre farm in North Devon, England. Born in London, Helen wrote pony stories as a teenager, moved to science fiction and fantasy, and then discovered the wonder of historical fiction. Published since 1994 with her Arthurian Pendragons Banner Trilogy, followed by her 1066 era duo. She became a USA Today bestseller with her story of Queen Emma: The Forever Queen (titled A Hollow Crown in the UK), and its companion novel, Harold the King (titled I Am the Chosen King in the U.S.A). She also writes the Sea Witch Voyages, a series of pirate-based nautical adventures with a touch of fantasy. Commissioned by Amberley Press she wrote a non-fiction book about pirates in fact, fantasy and fiction and a non-fiction book about smugglers, published by Pen and Sword.

Recently she has ventured into the Cosy Mysterygenre with her Jan Christopher Mysteries, the first of which is A Mirror Murder. She runs Discovering Diamonds, an independent online review site for Historical Fiction, primarily aimed at showcasing Indie writers.

She occasionally gets time to write.


RICHARD DEE was a Master Mariner and ships pilot, now living in Brixham, South Devon.  His novels include Science Fiction and Steampunk adventures, as well as the exploits of Andorra Pett, a reluctant amateur detective.


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  1. Thanks so much for hosting today Kathleen!!

  2. Thank you so much for hosting the blog tour for 1066 Turned Upside Down. We really appreciate all that you do.

    Mary Anne
    The Coffee Pot Book Club

  3. Lovely to be reading this excerpt. I'm off to re-read the whole story.
    Thanks to Kathleen and Annie.

    1. It does sound intriguing! Thanks for stopping by.



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