Contrasting books from Worthing author

Worthing author Anthony P Holden is in print with two sharply-contrasting new books, one a historical thriller, the other a collection of children's stories.

Anthony P Holden
Anthony P Holden

They have been brought out by Rowanvale Books, an independent publishing company based in Cardiff (

Blurring the lines between past and present, Secret Brethren blends the ancient crusades with modern-day war-torn Syria while Tales from Rosebush Garden offers a colourful children’s book.

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“The children’s book is made up of different stories,” Tony explains. “What happened was that I had the concept about five or six years ago. I based it on a bungalow where I used to live in Brighton. It had a lot of roses! And the idea was to write different stories about the different creatures you find in the garden. I wrote two and sent them off to various publishers with the idea of doing a collection, and I didn’t hear back from anybody. It deflated me a bit and so I put them to one side. The year before last I had retired, and by then I was wanting to write a novel. It took me a while to come up with the concept. I have always been interested in the Templar Knights and the history of the Holy Crusades. The basic story started to come to me.”

In the book, three Templar Knights are charged with delivering a copper scroll to the Pope in France at the end of the 13th century. The scroll is purported to be The Gospel according to Mary Magdalene and contains information that could shed a whole new light on Christianity, if not throw it into total chaos. The result is a whirlwind journey beginning with the Crusades, moving on to the Gulf War and finishing in modern-day war-torn Syria. How is Islamic State involved in all of this? And what is a secret Catholic society called The Brethren up to?”

Research was key, with plenty of Googling, as Tony says: “It is a stand-alone book, but I started writing a second one.”

Tony is interested in the study of ancient civilizations, especially Egyptian and Mayan peoples; he has visited ancient ruins in Egypt, China and Mexico. In the meantime, Tony is also celebrating the publication of his collection of children’s stories: “When I had sent the book to the publishers, I asked them if they were interested in publishing children’s books, and they said yes. I emailed them my two stories and they asked me if I could come up with another six or seven. By then, I had finished the novel.”

The result is his collection of stories. Sammy Sun shines down on Rosebush Garden, watching over the creatures that live there. Come and join the fun as the animals experience their first Christmas, play a game of football, have a snowball fight and take a trip to the seaside.

The books are available from Waterstones and Amazon and also from

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