Attic Whispers from The Blue Mountains [February 2023 Edition]

February 2023 NEWSLETTER

Attic Whispers from The Blue Mountains

For an avid reader, there’s no better way to start a new year than with an exciting literary adventure. And that, my friends, is precisely what I have in mind for you. The Stolen Altarpiece – book 8 in the Jack Rogan Mysteries Series – will be released on April 25. The wait is almost over! 

You will recall that I have already announced a few, hopefully tantalising, snippets about Jack’s next epic adventure in previous newsletters. To pique your interest and create a little more anticipation, I would like to share part of the Prologue with you now, which I’m sure you will find interesting because it will give you a little taste of things to come…


Topkapi Palace, Constantinople: 16 January 1596

Safiye Sultan, the mother of Mehmed III, was the most powerful woman in the Ottoman Empire. Since her son’s controversial accession to the throne a year earlier, she had lived in constant fear.

Upon the death of her husband, Murad III, she had ordered the execution of all of Mehmed’s nineteen brothers by strangulation to ensure that her son’s accession went unchallenged. All went well until it was discovered that one brother, Osman, had escaped the deadly net of the deaf-mutes who carried out the horrific murders during the night. While fratricidal succession was by no means uncommon, it caused huge animosity and unrest among the mothers of the murdered boys in the harem.

The reason Safiye had lived in constant fear had nothing to do the wrath of the women in the harem, but was due to something far more serious: her son, the sultan, was in constant danger as long as he didn’t have a male heir, and his brother Osman was alive. There was a simple explanation for this: if something happened to Mehmet, like an assassination for instance, Osman would become sultan. That was the law. By having murdered all the other brothers, Safiye had unwittingly made Osman the next in line to the throne after Mehmet. As long as there was no son, Mehmet wasn’t safe, and that presented a huge problem for Safiye who guarded her position at court with ruthless vigilance. Any opposition was instantly silenced, and rivals banished into exile.


One of those rivals was the beautiful Fatma Hatun, Osman’s mother, who had been Murad’s youngest consort. Safiye was well aware that Fatma had been behind the plot to save her son and facilitate his daring escape through one of the chimneys in the palace kitchens during the night his eighteen brothers had been brutally murdered. Despite rigorous questioning, Fatma had given nothing away, and Osman’s whereabouts had remained a mystery despite extensive enquiries by agents sent into every corner of the empire to find him.

On top of all that, Fatma was very popular at court and, Safiye suspected, had secret allies and followers in the harem which was a hotbed of intrigue at the best of times. The reason Safiye had kept Fatma at court was also simple. She had hoped that somehow, Fatma would lead her to Osman, but that had not eventuated. Osman had disappeared without a trace, and it was time to make his mother disappear as well. To harm her at court was far too dangerous, and to execute or assassinate a consort of the former sultan – especially one so popular – unthinkable. Something far more subtle and imaginative was needed.

As this short excerpt would have shown, this is another multi-layered story that explores hidden corners of history in ways that are certain to surprise and excite. And this is only possible if the subject matter has been meticulously researched to make sure that fact and fiction fit seamlessly together to create the illusion of reality in a work that is pure fiction. 

Fascinating new characters, nail-biting action, and exotic locations will entertain you as you accompany Jack Rogan and his friends on yet another breathtaking adventure that will have you sitting on the edge of your seats, frantically turning the pages.


To make waiting for the release of the new book in April a little more interesting and rewarding, I would like to offer you something special:

If you want to be one of the first to read The Stolen Altarpiece when it is released in April, you can. How? By placing your pre-order now by following the link below.  Not only will the book be sent to you on publication day, but you will also receive it for $0.99, an exceptional value, and well below the regular price (save $5.00).

Pre-orders and reviews are an important part of the publication process, have a bearing on the book’s ranking, and significantly assist in reaching best-seller status. I have no doubt that as a valued member of my inner circle of dedicated readers you would like to be part of this and make the book’s publication a success. So please, place your pre-order now. Jack’s next adventure is waiting…

OR click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser:

I hope you have a great start to the new year, my friends.



Gabriel Farago

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