AUTHOR Ruth Elliott-Smith scored a double first at Chester Literature Festival, appearing twice on stage to talk about her new book, The Sword – Blood Demands Blood.

It is the first time anyone has been invited to speak on two occasions at the festival.

Ruth’s book, an adventure thriller, played to packed audiences at the New Authors event and the more relaxed Elevenses occasion.

“I was delighted to be asked to take part at all, but to be given two opportunities is amazing,” said Ruth, from Cuddington, who talked about her writing, read excerpts from The Sword and signed copies.

“It certainly boosted sales, with a rise in demand for both the e-book and paperback versions.

“It was a great honour, a fabulous chance to showcase my work and hopefully inspire others to write.”

It also brought a further invitation to appear at York to present her book at a convention of literary agents.

The Sword – Blood Demands Blood is set in the Middle East just after the Six Day War, and follows the kidnap of a woman journalist by Arab extremists.

Ruth worked as a journalist in Jerusalem and the Israeli-occupied territories at the time in which her book is set, and experienced many of the dangerous encounters described in her plot.

She was shelled on the Suez Canal, caught in minefields on the Golan Heights and mortar-bombed on the Lebanese border.

She also made good friends on both sides of the conflict. She is now working the story into a TV screenplay.

The Sword – Blood Demands Blood is available on Amazon as a Kindle e-book or paperback, or click on the link at her website