Steven Saylorand Simon Toyne in this Weeks Contest

All right folks, time for another chance to snag a killer book.   Crimespree, in conjunction with Friday Reads Facebook page, is giving each and every one of you a chance to receive THE SEVEN WONDERS by Steven Saylor or THE KEY by Simon Toyne.


An enthralling prequel to Steven Saylor’s bestselling Roma Sub Rosa series of mysteries set in the Ancient World

The year is 92 B.C. Gordianus has just turned eighteen and is about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime: a far-flung journey to see the Seven Wonders of the World. Gordianus is not yet called “the Finder”—but at each of the Seven Wonders, the wide-eyed young Roman encounters a mystery to challenge the powers of deduction.

Accompanying Gordianus on his travels is his tutor, Antipater of Sidon, the world’s most celebrated poet. But there is more to the apparently harmless old poet than meets the eye. Before they leave home, Antipater fakes his own death and travels under an assumed identity. Looming in the background are the first rumblings of a political upheaval that will shake the entire Roman world.

Teacher and pupil journey to the fabled cities of Greece and Asia Minor, and then to Babylon and Egypt. They attend the Olympic Games, take part in exotic festivals, and marvel at the most spectacular constructions ever devised by mankind. Along the way they encounter murder, witchcraft and ghostly hauntings. Traveling the world for the first time, Gordianus discovers that amorous exploration goes hand-in-hand with crime-solving. The mysteries of love are the true wonders of the world, and at the end of the journey, an Eighth Wonder awaits him in Alexandria. Her name is Bethesda.

STEVEN SAYLOR is the author of EMPIRE: THE NOVEL OF IMPERIAL ROME (2010), a follow-up to the international bestseller ROMA: THE NOVEL OF ANCIENT ROME (2007). These two epic novels comprise a multi-generational saga that spans the first 1200 years of the city, from Iron Age trading post to the height of empire under Hadrian.

Steven is also the author of the ROMA SUB ROSA® series of historical mysteries featuring Gordianus the Finder and set in the ancient Rome of Cicero, Caesar, and Cleopatra. The novels, in chronological order, are: ROMAN BLOOD (1991), ARMS OF NEMESIS (1992), CATILINA’S RIDDLE (1994), THE VENUS THROW (1995), A MURDER ON THE APPIAN WAY (1996), RUBICON (1999), LAST SEEN IN MASSILIA (2000), A MIST OF PROPHECIES (2002), THE JUDGMENT OF CAESAR (2004), and THE TRIUMPH OF CAESAR (2008). Steven is now at work on the next volume in the series, a prequel that will take the young Gordianus to the Seven Wonders of the World.

Steven’s short stories about Gordianus have appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and in several original anthologies. The first, “A Will Is a Way,” won the 1993 Robert L. Fish Award from the Mystery Writers of America, given each year for the best debut short story in the mystery genre. All the Gordianus short stories have been collected in two volumes, THE HOUSE OF THE VESTALS (1997) and A GLADIATOR DIES ONLY ONCE (2005). “The Eagle and the Rabbit,” a short story about Rome v. Carthage (outside the Roma Sub Rosa series), appeared in the 2010 anthology WARRIORS.

Outside the Roman books are two novels set in Steven’s native Texas. A TWIST AT THE END (2000) is based on America’s first recorded serial murders, which terrorized Austin, Texas in 1885. The chief protagonist is young Will Porter, who later became famous as O. Henry. HAVE YOU SEEN DAWN? (2003) is a contemporary thriller set in a small Texas town not unlike the one where Steven grew up. Be sure to visit him on Facebook.


A woman must fulfill an enigmatic prophecy involving a nefarious religious order and a highly secretive Vatican-like city in this electrifying follow-up to the acclaimed debut thriller Sanctus. The prophecy has been revealed but the battle has only just begun . . .

With the prophecy seemingly fulfilled and the Sancti all but destroyed-Liv Adamsen returns to America. But she is unable to recall the events that unfolded within the ancient walls of the religious enclave known as the Citadel. Why can’t she remember? Why does she feel like she is possessed by an otherworldly entity? Why can only she hear a word whispered repeatedely-KuShiKaam-the key? And what does it mean?

Liv is eventually reunited and falls more deeply in love with the mysterious Gabriel, a warrior for a group working to bring down the Sancti forever. Together they uncover a revelation dating back to the creation of man, exposing yet more secrets from Citadel.

Back in Ruin, the Citadel is gripped by a spreading plague. Few Sancti have survived. Enlisting the help of a network of Vatican spies who have monitored the World for millennia-the Sancti are determined to reclaim the Sacrament and their power.

Before it’s too late, Liv and Gabriel must elude capture and journey to the place where all life began . . . the wellspring of humanity that holds answers-and the key-to mankind’s survival.

Simon Toyne
Simon Toyne has worked in British tele-vision for twenty years. He was the writer, director, and producer of several award-winning shows, one of which won a BAFTA. He lives in England with his wife and family. The Key is the second volume of the Ruin trilogy. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.


To be entered in the drawing shoot an email over to Jon? (remove the question mark) And put CONTEST in the subject line. Also please put your address in the body of the email

We will pick the winners on Sept 7th.

When we do the drawing we will be sending an extra something for one lucky winner to be picked from the comments section of the Friday Reads face book page, so after you enter, go leave a comment!