At Somerton, Young Adult

Secrets and Sapphires (UK)

At Somerton Book 1: Cinders and Sapphires

At Somerton is a new YA historical romance series. I wrote it based on an idea from Emily Meehan at Hyperion. The first book, Cinders and Sapphires, is available in the US from Hyperion and in the UK from  Hot Key who have re-titled it Secrets and Sapphires. It’s historical romance set in the years around the first world war. Book 2, Diamonds and Deceit, is forthcoming in Jan 2014.
There is a third book: Emeralds and Ashes, set during the First World War. Due to a publisher decision, this is only available through Barnes and Noble as an e-book .

At Somerton Book 2: Diamonds and Deceit. Forthcoming Jan 2014.

At Somerton Book 2: Diamonds and Deceit. 

  1. I loved Cinders and Sapphires and can’t wait for Diamonds and Deceit!

    • Thanks! I’m really glad you enjoyed C&S – D&D has gone off to the editor and I’m waiting to hear about book 3…

      • Hi Leila! I absolutely enjoyed reading diamonds & deceit and secrets and sapphires please say there’s a book 3!? As I would love to read what happened to rest off the somerton household!! You have me hooked! 🙂

      • Thanks! 🙂 Yes, there is – I have the chapter plan open right now on my computer but I’m giving nothing away 🙂 (ok, just a bit – it’s set during the First World War and it’s called Emeralds and Ashes).

  2. Hello Mrs. Rasheed,
    I have read your book “Cinders & Sapphires”, but it is known to me under the name “Rückkehr nach Somerton Court”, because i’m from Germany, so i hope you understand that my Englisch is not very good 😀
    I love your novel! “Cinders & Sapphires” is incredibly exciting and full of emotions, i just couldn’t stop reading. I am delighted about the next part and wanted to give herewith only express my admiration for your talent ;D
    I have your novel won by a reading round on the website “LovelyBooks”, do you know what that is? I don’t know, if the Englisch word is right.
    Anyway, I’m looking forward to submit a review for my book blog so all my followers can read my high opinion of your book.
    So, now I’ve been babble enough!

  3. Brigitte Linke

    Hello Mrs. Rasheed,
    I have read your book “Cinders and Sapphires” in German language “Rückkehr nach Sommerton Court” and it was a great pleasure for me to meet all the wonderfull protagonists. The book is like a important painting in beautifull coulors. Very nice. I’m just waiting for the second one. Many greetings Brigitte

  4. Hi Leila!
    I’ve just finished reading Cinders and Sapphires, and absolutely loved it! I cannot, absolutely cannot wait for Diamonds and Deceit to be released!!
    I would just like to ask if you’d allow me to interview you on my blog? I hope you’re interested, and maybe it can be a promo prior to the release of Diamonds and Deceit!
    I do hope you’re interested, it would be such an honour to interview you!
    I hope to hear from you!
    My email is
    Thanks Leila!

    • Hi, thanks so much for your message. I’m really glad you loved C&S! I think D&D is out in January so hopefully not too long to wait :). I’ll email you about the interview. Thanks again, it is lovely to know readers are enjoying the books.
      Leila x

  5. Hi Leila!
    I love your Bathsheba series I think they are so cool! Please please write another one I love them, they are by far the best books you have ever written. I am waiting in anticipation for you to write another one! I hope you do soon I am your biggest fan your books are amazing!

    • Hi Anais, thank you so much for your lovely message! I wish I could write another, but sadly I don’t think the publisher want more in that series. However, I’m writing a spooky/ mystery type novel at the moment that hopefully will be published…I like writing in lots of different genres. Anyway, it was really great to get your message, I love the Bath books too 🙂 xxxL

  6. First off let me thank you for your wonderfully amazing story that is the At Somerton Series, I adore it. I just finished Diamonds and Deceit minutes ago and goodness gracious was it amazing! If it is not a bother I would LOVE to know how many more books you are planning to have in this particular series? It would make me soooo happy to know how many more wonderful books I have to look forward to 🙂 -Mia

    • Hi Mia, thank you so much for your enthusiasm! There is one more book to come. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as you’ve enjoyed the others – this one is set in the First World War and has a working title of Emeralds and Ashes. xL

  7. Hello Leila. My 12 year old daughter loves writing (and reading) and has always said that she wants to become an author. Do you have any suggestions as to what she could do now to work towards this goal? Thank you 🙂

    • Hello! Well, if I think back to what I was doing when I was 12… I was writing a lot of stories, and enjoying it. That’s the main thing, just to write and not to worry about getting published at this stage, just to make sure that writing remains a pleasure, a fun thing to do – not putting too much pressure on herself. Reading too, of course – reading everything she wants to and trying new kinds of literature like poetry and screenwriting. I started giving my friends my stories to read at about this age, too. Not everyone will want to do that, but I personally found it really helped to have an audience, it gave me a reason to write. I know there are lots of opportunities nowadays to publish your writing online (I mean on a blog or a fan fiction site) so maybe that’s something she could try? This kind of thig wasn’t around when I was her age though, so I’m not sure how best to do it. Has she thought of reviewing books? There are lots of bloggers who write reviews of books for publishers and that’s a really good way to get a feel for what makes a book work, and what you yourself enjoy. There are also creative writing courses run by, e.g. Arvon Foundation. Here in Birmingham we had Writing Squads. Perhaps she could start a young writers’ club at school or at the local library? Libraries stock books on creative writing, these contain useful exercises to try out. But the main thing is to write what she’s passsionate about and what she enjoys. Finally, there is now an A level in Creative Writing, but I absolutely don’t think that’s necessary to becoming an author – it just might be an enjoyable thing to do when she reaches that age. Good luck to her – I am sure she can become an author if she’s really committed to it 🙂

  8. Thank you so much! I can’t wait 🙂 good luck writing!

  9. Dear Leila,
    my mom has read your story „Rückkehr nach Somerton Court“ and I have to tell you that she really loved this book. Now she’s already excited about the second part of this amazing story. It would be really great if you could tell us when the second part will be published in German. Many thanks already in advance. Greetings from Germany, Anja 🙂

    • Hi Anja, thank you for your message! I’m so pleased that your mum loved the book. I don’t know when the next one will be out, but usually it would be one year later (so if Book 1 came out in June 2013, Book 2 would normally come out in June 2014). The best people to ask are the German publishers. Authors are generally the last to know about things like this, believe it or not 🙂
      Leila x

  10. Thanks so much for your quick answer 🙂

  11. Leila Rasheed,

    I am currently a sophomore in college, I do realize I am much older than the regular audience, but I couldn’t help but read your Somerton series after reading a summary over it. It is a very interesting series and much liked, it contains quite a resemblance to Downton Abbey, which is probably a qualifying factor. Narrating several characters must be difficult to keep a track of, but having the text be in third person was rather brilliant, but then again you must know that, and it was only logical of course. I am a huge fan of fictional books, even though I am a biology major. I don’t pretend to know you, but you seem to be a fan of cliff hangers, considering the second book was filled with them, you could even say there was a cliff hanger at the end of every chapter. The foreshadowing was brilliantly done, leaving the audience with questions and loose ends that would be sewn to produce a picture close to the end of the book.

    I have read some of the comments posted above, and I read the mention of a third book to the series, and probably the final book also. I am excited to read it! I was wondering if a date has been set for the release yet, or if it is still in the writing process? And are there any details that you could leak, about Ada? I am very curios to see what has happened with her and Ravi.

    Diana Aguinaga

    • Hello Diana,
      Thank you for your message. I’m delighted you enjoyed the series, it is always lovely to hear from readers. The third book is still being written – I am about one third of the way through – and I don’t yet know the publication date. I expect it will be January 2015, though.
      As for Ada and Ravi – well, it’s all a big secret of course, but I can promise you that they have many ups and downs… but I won’t tell you whether their love story ends on an up or a down! 🙂
      best wishes, Leila

  12. Brilliant!! 😀 can’t wait 😃

  13. Leila Rasheed,
    I have just finished reading D&D in less that a day (I was hooked)- it was amazing, even better than the first book and I cannot wait for your third. You are a great writer and I am longing to know what happens!
    Thank you for writing such good books,
    Kitty (15)

  14. Hello! – Er– My name is Lori and I’m from Romania. You probably didn’t think that someone from over here could be so interested in your At Somerton series. I learn both English and German at school and my parents gave me C&S in German, so I could improve my language. But it was more dificult to read it in German. Because I liked very much the prologue, I decided I had to read the entire book. So I ordered it from USA and the 2nd one (D&D) from UK. It took about 8 months to have them both. It may seem strange to write all this to you, but what I wanted was to show you how much I appreciate this series, even if it’s more difficult for me to have them! I have just finished Diamonds and Deceit and it was absolutely perfect!
    I’m very exited about the last book. I simply cannot wait for it! And I also have a small question (Of course, only if you would like to reveal us this secret :D). Who is the most important character in the 3rd book? I mean, book 1 focuses more on Ada, and book 2 on Rose, but who is the main character in Emeralds & Ashes(if I got the title well)?
    Thank you very much for this wonderful series and good luck further! I am still quite excited that I am writing to you 😀 but I’ll stop here. I don’t want to sound that pathetic.
    Lori 🙂

    • Hi Lori, what a cool message to get! I am really excited, I’ve never heard from a reader in Romania before! 🙂 I’m so pleased that you’ve enjoyed the first two Somerton books, and I really appreciate the effort you went to to get hold of them, that is so nice for a writer to hear. OK, I’ll answer your question… in Book 3, there’s quite a lot about Charlotte – and also about one or two other characters, but I’ll keep that a surprise 😉 . Thanks again for writing, I really appreciate it xxL

      • Hello again. Thank you for answering my question. Now I am even more nervous about the last book 🙂 I can only hope that time will past quickly!
        Greetings from Romania! 😉

  15. Just read the first At Somerton book, its like reading Downton Abbey (which is a very good thing!). How many books in this series are you hoping to write? The writing style is both elegant and insightful and as someone who wishes to write her own books in the future, I find it inspiring to read. What were/ are your inspirations behind the series? All the best. Tamsin

    • Thank you! 🙂 Well, I find the period very interesting – so all those changes and tensions are very inspiring. I’m writing the third book which is the last one I have a contract for, at the moment. That is set during the first world war and I’ve found that particularly rich and interesting to delve into. There are so many wonderful books on the period. I enjoy reading first hand accounts such as Vera Brittain’s memoirs and Frank Libby’s ‘Horses Don’t Fly’ – all those are very inspiring. Thanks again for your kind words and I wish you the best with your own writing.

  16. Hi Leila! I absolutely love your At Somerton series, and I can’t wait for the third book! I especially love the relationship between Oliver and Sebastian, as I find LGBT characters so rare in young adult fiction (especially historical), which really annoys me, so I’m really glad to find such a good book series with diversity! And of course, I love all the other characters too 😉

  17. These books are just amazing. I am actually marking the calender until the third one comes out because I cannot wait!

  18. Margaret Thiemeier

    Hi. I also Love your Books. Will there be a third One in the series ” At Somerton” ? Margaret from Germany

    • Thank you! Yes, it is called Emeralds and Ashes and is due out in January next year in the USA and UK. Leila x

  19. I am so concerned about the future of these characters. January needs to come now.

  20. Thank you soo much,Ms.Rasheed I absolutely love this book!! You have inspired me to write now too!! I can’t wait for Diamonds and Deceit!! ♡♥♡♥

  21. Hi Leila! I was wondering if Emeralds and Ashes would be available as a physical copy in the United States? I just went to the barnes and nobles website to pre order it but it only seems to be available as nook book!! I would be terribly sad if this was the case because I do not have a nook and have been waiting a whole year to find out what happens next in this great series!
    Much love, Mia xoxo

    • Hi Mia, yes, unfortunately they are only bringing out E&A as an ebook due to low pre-orders. I am really sorry, I can imagine this is frustrating for you! I don’t know if it is available for other devices than nook. We are talking to them about the possibility of a POD and I will let you know here if I have any info at all on it. Once again, I’m really sorry – it is disappointing 😦 Thank you for enjoying the books though! xxL

    • do you know if there will be a UK paperback edition from the other publisher?

  22. Aww that’s dissappoiting I’m sorry:( I will be sure to order it from the UK then so I can have matching, pretty hardcovers!!! Thanks anyways!!

  23. Hi Leila! I am so disappointed to hear about E&A not being published as a physical book (in the US). I loved the At Somerton series, and as a school librarian I have other students that have enjoyed it as well. I will personally make sure to purchase the ebook version to make a point for your publishers, but really wish I could get a phyisical book for my school library! Keep writing, please!
    Sincerely, Keara River Ridge High School, USA

  24. Hi Leila! I was just wondering if Emeralds and Ashes is out in the UK yet, because it’s past the release date but I can’t find it anywhere! If it is out, do you know where I can buy it from? Thanks 🙂 x

    • Hi Cari, unfortunately I don’t think they are releasing it in the UK, because of the US publisher’s decision not to do a print version. I’m awfully sorry! It is disappointing. x Leila

  25. Honestly Emeralds and Ashes was everything I wanted and needed from a third book. Everything was wrapped up and it didn’t feel rushed. That being said I would like about twenty more books in the series.

  26. I love diamonds and deceit it’s amazing

  27. I loved reading Cinders and Sapphires! It was quite an enjoyable read! I love the cover and your writing is truly the best! Thank you so much for writing a book that is absoutly amazing! Cant wait to read the next book 😀

  28. Hi Leila. I am an eight grade student and am working on a project using your book, Cinders and Sapphires. My project is about facing history through literature. My topic is England in 1910. This is why I read your book. I am looking into this period, particularly women’s education and women at Oxford in 1910, using your book as a jumping off point. While doing research I have not found much about this topic and was wondering, where did you find your information for writing Cinders and Sapphires?

    • Hi Julia, that’s great! For your topic I would particularly recommend Bluestockings:The remarkable story of the first women to fight for an education, by Jane Robinson (in print and should be widely available in libraries), and Vera Brittain’s autobiography: Testament of Youth (recently filmed, I think). I used both. You could also have a look at Somerville College’s website. Hope that helps, Leila

  29. If I’m in the UK does that mean I can’t buy emeralds and ashes?

    • Hi Charlotte, as far as I’m aware I think not, no. Sorry 😦 You could contact the British publishers, Hot Key, to be double sure, but as I understand it it is only available in the USA as an e-book for the Nook. xL

  30. wherethebloghasnoname

    Hi Leila
    I am almost fourteen and am aspiring to be an author of historical romance. I absolutely adore your two books (I have Emeralds and Ashes on order) and was wondering how you came to be a historical romance author? Are you interested in history? And have you ever thought of writing a sci-fi or modern-style book or have you always wanted to write history?

    • Hi Sienna! Yes, I love history. I came to be a historical romance writer almost by accident though – it was an opportunity that my agency (at the time, Greenhouse) spotted for me. I had previously tried writing a historical novel for a younger age group but those never got as far as publication. I would happily write in any genre (my Bathsheba books, for younger readers, are contemporary comedy). What interests me in writing is characters and their relationships, so that could be against any setting, sci-fi too. Best of luck in your writing 🙂 xL

  31. Is there a way to contact Hyperion to ask them to publish Emeralds & Ashes in hardcopy format?

    • Hi Gabrielle, I’m afraid it is a financial decision on their part (not enough pre-orders) so I doubt it will help, but you could just email them directly via their website? I’m sure they appreciate hearing from readers 🙂 xL

  32. i have read both books in the series from us when is the third book coming out?

  33. Hi, I have read sapphires, and ordered two more books. Your books are amazing, easy to read, interesting with great characters within.
    I would love to know which order I should read them. what was the 1st 2nd and third and is there any more on the way.

    • Hi, thanks so much, what a nice thing to hear! Book 1 is Cinders and Sapphires (Secrets and Sapphires in the UK), Book 2 is Diamonds and Deceit, Book 3 is Emeralds and Ashes (sadly not available in hard copy, only as an e-book for the Nook – this was a publisher decision due to low pre-orders). There are no more of this series on the way, sorry! xL

  34. Rachael Myler

    Hi Leila

    My daughters loved your Turlingham Academy books and have read all 5, do you have any plans to write any more in this series?

    Rachael Myler

    • Hi, thanks so much for letting me know – I’m delighted they enjoyed them! There are no plans for more in the series though I’m afraid. All the best, Leila

  35. Hi Leila,
    I’m from the UK and am trying to buy your Emeralds and Ashes book. I’m just wondering when the release date is? On some sites it says it has already been released and on others it say it is waiting for release.
    Thanks a lot – I love your books 🙂

    • Hi Sienna, thanks so much and sorry for the late reply, I must have missed this notification. I’m afraid E&A is only available as an e-book in the USA (for the Nook, I think). You could try contacting the publishers in the US, Disney-Hyperion, for more details, but I’m afraid I c
      an’t legally do anything to make it available in the UK . leila x

  36. Hi, Leila. I have the first two books of your At Somerton trilogy (I’m a huge Historical fiction nut, by the way), but I don’t have Emeralds and Ashes. Is it really only available as an eBook in the U.S.? Because I’ve searched literally EVERYWHERE for it. Please let me know.

    • Hi Jasmine, I’m afraid that’s the situation, yes. I’m sorry – it was disappointing for me too. I don’t honestly know how you get hold of US ebooks in the UK (or if it is even possible). The publishers, Disney Hyperion, might be able to advise. xL

  37. Hi Leila! I really enjoyed the first two books in this series! Can we expect a third?

  38. kathryn amber

    Oh my goodness! So, i have been seeing Cinders and Sapphires at my local library and book stores for ages and i always looked at it but never got it. recently its was on sale and i bought it thinking what the heck why not. I just finished it like twenty minutes ago and *screams*
    i love it, the drama, the different plot lines, the characters, everything. i never saw any second or third when in the stores but i’m glad i looked it up and that there are mooooore! anyways i just love it.

  39. Hello Leila, my daughter got me into your Somerton series. I bought her the 2nd one through the Book Depository in the UK (we are in Australia). She was beyond excited when the copy arrived and it was signed by you! We are trying to find a book version of Emeralds and Ashes so we have the full set. I’ve tried quite a few sites with no luck. I was wondering if you had any advice. Many thanks Vicki

  40. Hello. I really like your books from the series Witch of Turlingham. Therefore, I want to ask and will continue this series ie sixth part.
    English a very I don’t know so please ignore mistakes . 🙂

    • Hi Marie, thank you for your message! I’m afraid I can’t continue it as the publisher haven’t asked for any more books… I’m so glad you enjoyed the books though. Thank you! xL

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