Tom has spent the majority of his life locked behind the cruel walls of Weatherly Orphanage, but when he learns that his parents might actually be alive, Tom is determined to find them. Together, with his best friend Sarah and armed with only the word “Britfield” as a clue to Tom’s mysterious past, the two make a daring escape. Now, they are on the run from a famous Scotland Yard detective and what appears to be half of the police officers in England! The hunt is on, but will Tom & Sarah be able to evade capture long enough to solve an even bigger conspiracy that could tear apart the country?
Award-Winning Britfield & the Lost Crown by C.R. Stewart, is the first book in a thrilling seven-part series based on family, friendship, loyalty, and courage that is written for pre-teens, Y/A, and readers of all ages. Britfield and its heroes, Tom and Sarah, take readers on an epic adventure across England. With its stimulating language and stunning historical and geographical asides, Britfield engages the reader from the very first pages and doesn’t let go until it reaches its exciting conclusion!
“Such a thrilling book filled with so much awesome history about England, crazy mysteries, and truly amazing characters. It had me hooked every second of reading it! I can’t wait for the sequel.” – Hannah, 13, Kids’ Book Buzz – 5 Stars!
Targeted Age Group:: 9-12
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
It started as a sketch I did of a hot air balloon with a young boy and girl trapped inside. From this simple drawing sprang the entire concept and story for Britfield. I also liked the idea of adventure, exploration and freedom—seeing an extraordinary country for the first time: moving from place to place, enjoying spectacular scenery and exciting events, learning new things, meeting people, making friends and having hope for a better future. I like that not everything is what it seems. Not everyone is who you think they are: the simple often can become great, the great often turn out to be simple. Everyone has a unique story.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Ten years ago, when I was living in New England, I was working for a company and was down at a weekend seminar. It became extremely boring, and I began to drift. I started doodling on a piece of paper. I simply drew a circle with three lines coming down to a basket and drew a boy and a girl inside. The working title was The Boy & the Balloon. From that moment, I connected with the idea of a boy, Tom, and a girl, Sarah, who were both orphans at a terrible orphanage up in northern England. They wanted to escape, but the only way to outmaneuver an illustrious detective and his police force, was to commandeer a hot air balloon. I thought what fun, traveling throughout England, free for the first time in years, and seeing everything there was to see. This is how it all started, ten years ago. It took me 4 years and 2500 hours to finish Britfield & the Lost Crown.
A strong breeze shot across the sky as Sarah and Tom followed the pack of balloons over
Oxfordshire. Known as the Thames Valley, this lush countryside was a multicolored
patchwork of square farmlands crisscrossed by hedgerows and rock walls. The Thames
River gracefully snaked through the open fields covered with extravagant mansions built
centuries ago. Although most of the balloons headed toward Canterbury, some floated off
in opposite directions. By mid-afternoon, most of them had vanished. Tom and Sarah
followed behind a few but soon lost them in the hazy clouds. Every so often, Tom gave
the balloon a long blast of hot air to maintain its altitude. While they drifted southeast
toward London, their main concern was Gowerstone. Peering through the binoculars,
Tom searched for the helicopter.
“I don’t see him.”
“Do you think he gave up?”
“No,” he replied quickly. “He’ll never give up.”
“We seem safe for now.”
“For the moment,” he added with caution.
As Sarah admired the scenery, Tom reached into his pocket to retrieve her locket.
“This really does bring me luck,” he concluded, handing it to her. “Thanks for letting me
“It’s yours, silly,” she smiled, pushing it back. “Just promise you’ll always keep it with
“All right . . . it’s a deal.” Stuffing it back in his pocket, he felt the piece of paper Patrick
gave him and removed it.
“What’s that?” she inquired curiously.
“Before we left, Patrick broke into the Grievouses’ office and looked through my file. He
wrote something down.”
Tom opened it. Scribbled across the page was just one word.
“Hmm,” he grunted, expecting detailed information.
“What does it say?” she demanded.
“Britfield? What the heck does that mean?”
“How am I supposed to know?”
“There must be more.” She snatched the paper from his hand and thoroughly examined
both sides. Dissatisfied, she shook her head. “So Patrick breaks into the office, sneaks
your file out, and writes only one word on it — is he mad?”
“I’m sure he was in a hurry,” his voice deepened, “given that we were planning to rescue
you and everything.”
“Then it’s a clue?”
“It’s a name.”
“Maybe it’s your last name,” she suggested encouragingly.
This comment caught Tom off guard. After all these years of having only a first name, it
was a lot to digest and felt rather strange.
“Maybe,” he shrugged, not sure what to think.
Originally from Newport Beach, California, C. R. Stewart has twenty years of experience writing fiction, nonfiction, and movie screenplays. His areas of expertise also includes film and media production, global strategy, and international marketing.
“Britfield & The Lost Crown was conceived as an idea over 10 years ago while I was enduring a boring finance seminar. It started as a sketch of a hot air balloon with a young boy and girl trapped inside. From this simple drawing sprang the entire concept and story for Britfield.”
C.R. Stewart received a Bachelor of Arts in British Literature and European History from Brown University; did post- graduate work at Harvard University; earned an MBA from Boston College; and is pursuing a Master of Science in Advanced Management and a PhD in Strategy.
Now based in San Diego, C.R. Stewart is a strong supporter of education and the arts. He enjoys world travel, reading, riding, swimming, sailing, tennis, and is currently on a National School Book Tour with Britfield & The Lost Crown speaking to students on the importance of creativity!
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