Category Archives: Historical Fiction

HEART OF STONE by John Jackson #historic #fiction

stoneHeart of Stone

by

John Jackson

stone

Genre: Historic Fiction

Release Date: 24th October 2017

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

Dublin, 1730

When young and beautiful Mary Molesworth is forced to marry Robert Rochford, widowed heir to the earldom of Belfield, she finds that her idea of love is not returned. Jealous, cruel and manipulative, Robert ignores her after she has provided him with a male heir, preferring to spend his nights with his mistress. Power-hungry, Robert builds up a reputation that sees him reach for the highest positions in Ireland.

Caught in an unhappy marriage, Mary begins to grow closer to Robert’s younger brother, Arthur. Acknowledging their love for each other, they will risk everything to be together. But Robert’s revenge threatens their lives and tears them apart.

Will Mary and Arthur find a way to escape Robert’s clutches?

Based on real events, Heart of Stone is a tale of power, jealousy, imprisonment, and love, set in 1740s Ireland.

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ABOUT JOHN JACKSON

stone

Following a lifetime at sea, John Jackson has now retired and lives in York and has now turned his hand to writing fiction.

An avid genealogist, he found a rich vein of ancestors. They included Irish peers, country parsons, and army and navy officers. They opened up Canada and Australia and fought at Waterloo.

John is a keen member of the Romantic Novelists Association and graduated through their New Writers Scheme. He is also a member of the Historic Novel Society and an enthusiastic conference-goer for both.
He describes himself as being “Brought up on Georgette Heyer from an early age, and, like many of my age devoured R L Stevenson, Jane Austen, Edgar Allen Poe and the like.”

His modern favorite authors include Bernard Cornwell, Simon Scarrow, Lindsey Davis, Liz Fenwick and Kate Mosse.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=597036631

Twitter: @jjackson42

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17103004.John_Jackson?from_search=true

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/john5642/

Blog: https://johnjacksonauthor.com/

THE FATAL COIN by Lucienne Boyce #historical #fiction

FATAL COIN

The Fatal Coin

By

Lucienne Boyce

 

fatal coin

Genre: Historical fiction

Series: A Dan Foster Mystery

Release Date: 16 May 2017

Publisher: S Books

In the winter of 1794 Bow Street Runner and amateur pugilist Dan Foster is assigned to guard a Royal Mail coach. The mission ends in tragedy when a young constable is shot dead by a highwayman calling himself Colonel Pepper. Dan is determined to bring Pepper to justice, but the trail runs cold.

Four months later Dan is sent to Staffordshire to recover a recently excavated hoard of Roman gold which has gone missing. Here he unexpectedly encounters Colonel Pepper again. The hunt is back on, and this time Dan will risk his life to bring down Pepper and his gang.

The Fatal Coin is a prequel to Bloodie Bones, the first Dan Foster Mystery, which was joint winner of the Historical Novel Society Indie Award 2016.

EXTRACT

“Dan dragged himself to the injured man, leaned over him, tried to see how much blood there was. A lot.

‘Wilkinson, stay awake. Stay with me.’

Dan struggled to loosen the rope at his wrists until the skin was raw and bleeding. He and the naval lieutenant shuffled back-to-back and tried to unpick each other’s knots. Then they tried sawing the ropes on the rim of one of the mail coach’s wheels. At the end of an hour they had made little progress.

Release came when a carrier wagon full of seamen on their way back to their ships plodded along the road. But by then, Wilkinson was dead.”

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK

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ABOUT LUCIENNE BOYCE

fatal coin

Lucienne Boyce is a historical novelist and women’s suffrage historian. Her first historical novel, To The Fair Land (SilverWood Books) an eighteenth-century thriller set in Bristol and the South Seas, was published in 2012. Her second novel, Bloodie Bones: A Dan Foster Mystery (SilverWood Books, 2015) is the first of the Dan Foster Mysteries and follows the fortunes of a Bow Street Runner who is also an amateur pugilist. Bloodie Bones was winner of the Historical Novel Society Indie Award 2016, and was also a semi-finalist for the M M Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction 2016.

In 2013, Lucienne published The Bristol Suffragettes (SilverWood Books), a history of the suffragette movement in Bristol and the west country. She regularly gives talks and leads walks about women’s suffrage.

Lucienne is on the steering committee of the West of England and South Wales Women’s History Network, and is also a member of the Society of Authors and the Alliance of Independent Authors. She is a regular presenter on the Silver Sound show for BCfm Radio, a Bristol community radio station.

Lucienne is working on the third Dan Foster Mystery, and a biography of a married couple who were involved in the suffragette, socialist and pacifist movements. She was born in Wolverhampton and now lives in Bristol.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lucienne.boyce

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LucienneWrite

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6437832.Lucienne_Boyce

Blog: http://francesca-scriblerus.blogspot.co.uk

Website: http://www.lucienneboyce.com

Publisher: http://sbooks.co.uk

 

Fortune’s Wheel by Carolyn Hughes #historical #fiction #giveaway

Fortunes Wheel

Fortune’s Wheel

by

Carolyn Hughes

 

Fortune's Wheel

Genre: Historical fiction

Release Date: 7th November 2016

Publisher: SilverWood Books Ltd

Plague-widow Alice atte Wode is desperate to find her missing daughter, but her neighbours are rebelling against their masters and their mutiny is hindering the search.

June 1349. In a Hampshire village, the worst plague in England’s history has wiped out half its population, including Alice atte Wode’s husband and eldest son. The plague arrived only days after Alice’s daughter Agnes mysteriously disappeared and it prevented the search for her.

Now the plague is over, the village is trying to return to normal life, but it’s hard, with so much to do and so few left to do it. Conflict is growing between the manor and its tenants, as the workers realise their very scarceness means they’re more valuable than before: they can demand higher wages, take on spare land, have a better life. This is the chance they’ve all been waiting for!

Although she understands their demands, Alice is disheartened that the search for Agnes is once more put on hold. But when one of the rebels is killed, and then the lord’s son is found murdered, it seems the two deaths may be connected, both to each other and to Agnes’s disappearance.

EXTRACT

Alice atte Wode, the Millers’ closest neighbour, was feeding her hens when she heard Joan’s first terrible anguished cries. Dropping her basket of seed, she ran to the Millers’ cottage. She wanted to cry out too at what she found there: Thomas and Joan both on their knees, clasped together, with Peter’s twisted body between them, sobbing as if the dam of their long pent-up emotions had burst. Alice breathed deeply to steady her nerves, for she didn’t know how to offer any solace for the Millers’ loss.

Not this time.

It was common enough for parents to lose children. It didn’t mean you ever got used to their loss, or that you loved them any less than if they’d lived. Few lost five children in as many months. But the Millers had. The prosperous family Alice knew only six months ago, with its noisy brood of six happy, healthy children, had been swiftly and brutally slaughtered by the great mortality.

Every family in Meonbridge had lost someone to the plague’s vile grip – a father, a mother, a child – but no other family had lost five.

The great mortality, sent by God, it was said, to punish the world for its sins, had torn the village apart. It had struck at random, at the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the innocent and the guilty. Some of its victims died coughing up blood, some with suppurating boils under their arms or next to their privy parts, some covered in dark, blackish pustules. A few recovered, but most did not and, after two or three days of fear and suffering, died in agony and despair, often alone and unshriven for the lack of a priest, when their loved ones abandoned them. After five months of terror, half of Meonbridge’s people were dead.

When the foul sickness at last moved on, leaving the villagers to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives, Thomas and Joan Miller went to church daily, to pray for their five dead children’s souls, and give thanks to God for sparing Peter. Then the arrival of baby Maud just a few days ago had brought the Millers a bright ray of hope in the long-drawn-out darkness of their despair.

But Peter hadn’t been spared after all.

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ABOUT CAROLYN HUGHES

Fortune's Wheel

Carolyn Hughes was born in London, but has lived most of her life in Hampshire. After a first degree in Classics and English, she started her working life as a computer programmer, in those days a very new profession. It was fun for a few years, but she left to become a school careers officer in Dorset. But it was when she discovered technical authoring that she knew she had found her vocation. She spent the next few decades writing and editing all sorts of material, some fascinating, some dull, for a wide variety of clients, including an international hotel group, medical instrument manufacturers and the Government. She has written creatively for most of her adult life, but it was not until her children grew up and flew the nest, several years ago, that creative writing and, especially, writing historical fiction, took centre stage in her life. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from Portsmouth University and a PhD from the University of Southampton.

Fortunes Wheel is her first published novel, and a sequel is under way.

Facebook: CarolynHughesAuthor

Twitter: @writingcalliope

Goodreads Author Page: http://bit.ly/2hs2rrX

Blog: https://carolynhughesauthor.com/blog/

Website: https://carolynhughesauthor.com

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THROUGH THE BARRICADES by Denise Deegan #historicalfiction #giveaway

Denise Deegan

Through the Barricades

by

Denise Deegan

 

Denise Deegan

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: 8th December 2016

She was willing to sacrifice everything for her country. He was willing to sacrifice everything for her.

‘Make a difference in the world,’ are the last words Maggie Gilligan’s father ever says to her. They form a legacy that she carries in her heart, years later when, at the age of fifteen, she tries to better the lives of Dublin’s largely forgotten poor.

‘Don’t go getting distracted, now,’ is what Daniel Healy’s father says to him after seeing him talking to the same Maggie Gilligan. Daniel is more than distracted. He is intrigued. Never has he met anyone as dismissive, argumentative… as downright infuriating.

A dare from Maggie is all it takes. Daniel volunteers at a food kitchen. There, his eyes are opened to the plight of the poor. It is 1913 and Dublin’s striking workers have been locked out of their jobs. Their families are going hungry. Daniel and Maggie do what they can. Soon, however, Maggie realises that the only way to make a difference is to take up arms.

The story of Maggie and Daniel is one of friendship, love, war and revolution, of two people who are prepared to sacrifice their lives: Maggie for her country, Daniel for Maggie. Their mutual sacrifices put them on opposite sides of a revolution. Can their love survive?

EXCERPT

Prologue

1906

Maggie woke coughing. It was dark but there was something other than darkness in the air, something that climbed into her mouth, scratched at her throat and stole her breath. It made her eyes sting and tear. And it made her heart stall. Flames burst through the doorway like dragon breath. Maggie tried to scream but more coughs came, one after the other, after the other. She backed up in the bed, eyes wide, as the blaze began to engulf the room. She thought of her family, asleep in their beds. She had to waken them – with something other than her voice.

She hurried from her bed, peering through flame-lit smoke in search of her jug and washbasin. Reaching them, she flung water in the direction of the fire and began to slam enamel against enamel, fast and loud. She had to back away as flames lapped and roared and licked at her. But she kept on slamming.

Her arms grew tired. Her breath began to fail her. And she felt the heavy pull of sleep. She might have given in had she been alone in the house. But there was her father. There was her mother. There was Tom. And there was David. She could not give up.

Then like a miracle of black shadow, her father burst through the flames, his head tossing and turning. His frenzied gaze met hers.

‘Maggie!’

She began to cry with relief but relief changed to guilt as she realised that she had only drawn him further into the fire.

‘No! You were meant to take the stairs. You were meant to-’

‘It’s all right, Maggie Mae. It’s all right,’ he said, hurrying to her. He scooped her up and held her tight as he carried her away from a heat that burned without touching.

She felt cool air on her back as he opened the window. Wind rushed in, blowing the drapes aside. The flames roared louder, rose higher. But her father only looked out at the night sky. And down.

‘Missus O’Neill! I’m dropping Maggie down to you!’ he called. ‘Catch her now, mind. Catch my little girl.’ Then he looked deep into Maggie’s eyes. ‘Missus O’Neill is down below with her arms out for you. I’m going to drop you down to her.’

‘Will she catch you too?’

But he just smiled and kissed her forehead. ‘Make a difference in the world, Maggie.’

The sadness in his eyes filled her with a new terror. ‘But you’re coming too?’

He smiled once more. ‘I am, as soon as I get the others out. Now keep your eyes on mine, Maggie Mae. Keep your eyes on mine all the way down.’

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Denise Deegan

ABOUT DENISE DEEGAN

Denise Deegan

Denise Deegan is author of several best-selling novels for adults and teens. She has been a nurse, a china restorer, a pharmaceutical sales rep, a public relations officer, an entrepreneur and a college lecturer. Her most difficult job was checkout girl, though ultimately this ‘experience’ did inspire a short story…

Denise’s writing for Young Adults includes The Butterfly Novels: And By The WayAnd For Your Information and And Actually.

Denise writes women’s fiction as Aimee Alexander including Pause to RewindThe Accidental Life of Greg Millar and All We Have Lost.

Most recently, Denise has written an historical novel of love and revolution, Through the Barricades.

Denise is represented by the East West Literary Agency and Barry Krost Management. She is a member of the SCBWI.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/denise.deegan.3

Twitter: https://twitter.com/denisedeegan

Goodreads Author Page:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/818841.Denise_Deegan

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/denisedeegan/

LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/denise-deegan-34b7795a?trk=hp-identity-name

Blog and Website:

https://denisedeegan.wordpress.com/

 

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THE WHITE CAMELLIA ~ by Juliet Greenwood #guestpost #giveaway

Juliet Greenwood

The White Camellia

by

Juliet Greenwood

 

Juliet Greenwood

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: 15th September 2016

Publisher: Honno, the Welsh Women’s Press

1909. Cornwall. Her family ruined, Bea is forced to leave Tressillion House, and self-made business woman Sybil moves in. Owning Tressillion is Sybil’s triumph — but now what? As the house casts its spell over her, as she starts to make friends in the village despite herself, will Sybil be able to build a new life here, or will hatred always rule her heart?

Bea finds herself in London, responsible for her mother and sister’s security. Her only hope
is to marry Jonathon, the new heir. Desperate for options, she stumbles into the White Camellia tearoom, a gathering place for the growing suffrage movement. For Bea it’s life-changing, can she pursue her ambition if it will heap further scandal on the family? Will she risk arrest or worse?

When those very dangers send Bea and her White Camellia friends back to Cornwall, the two women must finally confront each other and Tresillion’s long buried secrets.

EXTRACT

Cornwall, 1909

It had not changed.

Sybil stepped to the very edge of the cliff and gazed down at the rambling old house below her, topped with a maze of chimneys, a crumbling reminder of its Jacobean finery.

There was no finery left in Tressillion House, she thought grimly. Even from this distance, the place held an air of ruin and abandonment. No smoke rose up through the chill morning from warm fires within. No bustle of servants, no carriage waiting to take the ladies on their rounds of visits and charitable works in the neighbouring village of Porth Levant. Not even Hector, the stallion, steaming in the frosted morning, taking the master of the house on an inspection of the mine, just visible on the next headland.

This was what she had set in motion, all those years ago. The perfect revenge.

Sybil shivered. She unwound the scarf from her head and breathed in deeply the salt blowing in from the sea, her eyes following the North Cornish coast as it vanished into the distance in the crash of spray against rocks.

The wind tugged at her, loosening her curls from the silver clasp at the base of her neck, sending tendrils of brown hair in a wild dance around her face. Sybil turned back to the house below. She had dreamed of this for so long. The moment she would have Tressillion House helpless at her feet. When the Tressillions − who had once had more than they could ever need, but had not thought twice about taking the last hope from people with nothing − would be destroyed, the survivors learning what it was like to be totally dependent on others.

Was this how revenge felt? Sybil hugged herself, pulling the folds of her coat around her, bent almost double by the grief coiling deep in her belly.

‘Beautiful, isn’t it?’

Sybil straightened, banishing any emotion from her face. ‘Indeed.’ She turned to meet the square, squat little man emerging from the smart new Ford automobile, one hand struggling to keep his hat on his head.

‘The best view of Tressillion House,’ he remarked. ‘You can see, Miss Ravensdale, just what an exceptional property this is. There’s none finer this side of Truro.’

‘So I see, Mr Roach,’ she replied, almost managing to banish any hint of irony. On their first meeting, the solicitor had made obvious his contempt at a spinster, not in the first flush of youth, daring to invade his offices in broad daylight for all the respectable citizens of St Ives to see. He had changed his tune a little too quickly at the sight of her gleaming new Chevrolet, shipped all the way from New York, and speaking more of true wealth than any flash of diamonds.

Tressillion House had proved a more than usually difficult properly to dispose of, and there were impatient creditors snapping at Mr Roach’s heels. She must have seemed like a miracle, a rich hotelier from America dreaming of owning a property in Cornwall. Who else, the gleam in Roach’s eyes declared, would be fool enough to live in an isolated mansion fallen on hard times, with the rollers of the North Cornwall coast clawing at the rocks on wild nights, and ghosts creaking amongst its rafters?

Sybil replaced the scarf around her head. ‘Shall we go?’

BUY LINKS

http://www.honno.co.uk/dangos.php?ISBN=9781909983502

https://www.amazon.co.uk/White-Camellia-Juliet-Greenwood/dp/1909983500/

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https://wordery.com/the-white-camellia-juliet-greenwood-9781909983502

The lure of big old houses

I love big old houses. Or rather, big old houses with gardens. I suppose I never did quite recover from reading ‘The Secret Garden’ at an early age. I love visiting them, and I love writing about them. Like Kate Morton, it’s my trademark. My stories are very different to Kate Morton, and differ from each other, but however hard I try to escape, that big old house, crumbling at the edges, and the overgrown garden, ready to be brought back to life, are there.

I don’t live in a large old house, but I do live in a little quarryman’s cottage, halfway up a Welsh mountain, that was built during the 1840s. The lives of the generations who lived here were mostly ones of poverty and hard work, and some held downright tragedy. But I never feel uneasy here. The garden still has the remains of previous planting, the standpipe and the loo at the bottom of the garden, and the vegetable garden that allowed the earlier inhabitants to subsist. I enjoy living amongst the remains of lives once lived, and a garden that has clearly been loved over many years, and whose structure I’ve kept in my own version of garden love – polytunnel with a grapevine and all.

I suppose that is the fascination with going round old houses, like Glynllifon in North Wales, and Lanhydrock in Cornwall, and restored villages like Blists Hill in Ironbridge and the Black Country Living Museum. It’s fascinating looking at the surroundings where the rich and the poor lived, trying to imagine their lives, and the stories that surround them.

It’s also, not surprisingly, where ‘The White Camellia’ begins, with self-made businesswoman Sybil returning from America in 1909 to take over a large old house on the Cornish coast, still with the remains of the previous inhabitants strewn amongst its rooms and gardens. But this is a woman who will be haunted by the past, and the family, and house, she has helped to destroy. A woman with secrets, too proud to ask for forgiveness, but with a need to find her own peace with herself.

Although I didn’t realise when I was writing the book, ‘The White Camellia’ is drawn from every great old house, and restored village I have ever visited, and the intertwined lives that surround us, everywhere. I shall have to find new old houses and gardens to visit…

ABOUT JULIET GREENWOOD

Juliet Greenwood

Juliet Greenwood is the author of two previous historical novels for Honno Press, both of which reached #4 and #5 in the UK Amazon Kindle store. ‘Eden’s Garden’ was a finalist for ‘The People’s Book Prize’. ‘We That are Left’ was completed with a Literature Wales Writers’ Bursary, and was Welsh Book of the month for Waterstones Wales, The Welsh Books Council and the National Museum of Wales. It was also chosen by the ‘Country Wives’ website as one of their top ten ‘riveting reads’ of 2014, was one of the top ten reads of the year for the ‘Word by Word’ blog, and a Netmums top summer read for 2014.

Juliet’s grandmother worked as a cook in a big country house, leaving Juliet with a passion for history, and in particular for the experiences of women, which are often overlooked or forgotten. Juliet trained as a photographer when working in London, before returning to live in a traditional cottage in Snowdonia. She loves gardening and walking, and trying out old recipes her grandmother might have used, along with exploring the upstairs and downstairs of old country houses.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/juliet.greenwood

Twitter: https://twitter.com/julietgreenwood

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/844510.Juliet_Greenwood

Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/105731636741241490753/posts

Blog: https://suffrageladiestearoom.com/

Website: http://www.julietgreenwood.co.uk/

GIVEAWAY

1st Prize – paperback copies of all 3 of Juliet’s books
2nd Prize – an ecopy of The White Camellia

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THE LOST GIRL by Liz Harris

Liz Harris

The Lost Girl

by

Liz Harris

 

Liz Harris

What if you were trapped between two cultures?

Life is tough in 1870s Wyoming. But it’s tougher still when you’re a girl who looks Chinese but speaks like an American.

Orphaned as a baby and taken in by an American family, Charity Walker knows this only too well.  The mounting tensions between the new Chinese immigrants and the locals in the mining town of Carter see her shunned by both communities.

When Charity’s one friend, Joe, leaves town, she finds herself isolated. However, in his absence, a new friendship with the only other Chinese girl in Carter makes her feel like she finally belongs somewhere.

But, for a lost girl like Charity, finding a place to call home was never going to be that easy …

Genre: Historical Romantic Fiction

Heart of the West: Book 3

Release Date: 8th August 2016

Publisher:   Choc Lit

BUY LINKS

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 ABOUT LIZ HARRIS

Liz Harris

Liz Harris lives south of Oxford. Her debut novel was THE ROAD BACK (US Coffee Time & Romance Book of 2012), followed by A BARGAIN STRUCK (shortlisted for the RoNA Historical 2013), EVIE UNDERCOVER, THE ART OF DECEPTION and A WESTERN HEART. All of her novels, which are published by Choc Lit, have been shortlisted in their categories in the Festival of Romantic Fiction. In addition, Liz has had several short stories published in anthologies. Her interests are theatre, travelling, reading, cinema and cryptic crosswords.

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Isabella of Angoulême by Erica Lainé #excerpt #giveaway

Isabella

 

Isabella of Angoulême

by

Erica Lainé

 

Isabella

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: October 2015

Publisher:  SilverWood Books

Set in the thirteenth century, the kingdoms of England and France are struggling over territory as the powerful Angevins threaten the French king. In regions far from Paris local fiefdoms disregard all authority.

The Tangled Queen is the story of the little known and very young Isabella of Angoulême who was abducted by King John in 1200. She became his second wife and queen consort, aged 12. He was the most reviled king in English history and his lust for her led to the loss of Normandy and the destruction of the Plantagenet Empire, which then brought about the Magna Carta.

Isabella came of age in England, but was denied her place in court. Her story is full of thwarted ambition, passion, pride and cruelty. She longed for power of her own and returned to France after the death of John to live a life of treachery and intrigue…

 

EXCERPT

Excerpt from Isabella of Angoulême: The Tangled Queen Part 1.

Isabella smiled and yawned – it was time these chattering girls left. She dismissed them, haughty and impatient. Away they sped, some calling back to Isabella, jokes and remarks full of innuendo for her future. She frowned; this was not the way to treat a future queen.

‘Agnes, help prepare me for bed.’

Agnes closed the chamber door, unlacing the back of Isabella’s dress, folding the glorious red and gold silk into the large chest. Tomorrow Isabella would wear the blue gown, the splendid blue and silver fabric showing wealth and also loyalty. If red and gold had shown the power and wealth of the Taillefers, then the blue would mark their obedience and fealty.

Early the next morning Agnes was busy preparing a scented bath. Precious rose oil, drop by drop, turned the hot water cloudy. And then she was busy mixing the rosemary wash for Isabella’s hair. She would wear her hair loose today, and her small gold guirland.

Isabella woke up and saw Agnes looking at her, long and thoughtful, ready to make her stir, but she was already throwing back the covers and standing and stretching. Agnes nodded and together they moved to the bath, and Isabella slipped into the milky, perfumed water and rubbed the rosemary wash into her hair. She felt the water running down her back and shivered. Then she was being briskly dried by Agnes, who was determined to treat Isabella to the most thorough of preparations.

Her mother Alice entered the room and the three of them unfolded the wedding gown and dressed Isabella. Her chemise was soft and light, the dress heavy and cumbersome. Arranged within it, held within it as if caged, her face pale but proud, she moved to the window and looked down onto a courtyard full of people, horses, carts and wagons. A procession was moving through the crowd, with a stately canon and an even more stately bishop in the centre. The clergy were intent on their walk to the cathedral. Isabella clutched Agnes in a sudden fear. Then she rested her head on the window and took a deep breath. It was her wedding day.

 

AMAZON UK

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About Erica Lainé

Isabella

I was was born in 1943 in Southampton and originally studied for the theatre.  I moved with my family to Hong Kong in 1977 and worked and lived there for 20 years, writing English language textbooks for Chinese primary schools and managing large educational projects for the British Council.

Since living in S W France I have been very involved with a local history society and have researched many topics, the history of gardens and fashion being favourites.

Isabella of Angoulême began in 2011 at a writing workshop run by Philippa Pride, the Book Doctor.  The story of this young queen was fascinating and although she appears as a character in some other historical novels I wanted to concentrate on her entire life and her importance to the English and the French and the role she played in the politics of power. Part Two is being written now and my head is more or less permanently in the thirteenth century.

 

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/erica.laine.31

https://www.facebook.com/Isabella-of-Angouleme-the-story-716324821830441/

 

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/LaineEleslaine

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Twelfth Night by Luccia Gray ~ BOOK PROMO

Eyre Hall

Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall

By

LUCCIA GRAY

 

twelfth night

Following Edward Rochester’s death in All Hallows at Eyre Hall, Jane Eyre, who has been blackmailed into marrying a man she despises, will have to cope with the return of the man she loved and lost. The secrets she has tried so hard to conceal must be disclosed, giving rise to unexpected events and more shocking revelations.

Romance, mystery, and excitement will unfold exploring the evolution of the original characters, and bringing to life new and intriguing ones, spinning a unique and absorbing narrative, which will move the action from the Yorkshire countryside, to Victorian London, and across the Atlantic Ocean to Colonial Jamaica.

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About Luccia Gray

Eyre Hall

Luccia Gray was born in London and now lives in the south of Spain with her husband. She has three children and three grandchildren. When she’s not reading or writing, she teaches English at an Adult Education Centre and at the Spanish National University.

 Author links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LucciaGray/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LucciaGray

Website: www.lucciagray.com

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+LucciaGrayAuthor

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/LucciaGray/

Blog Rereading Jane Eyre https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8186541.Luccia_Gray

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2 paperback copies of the book
(Open internationally)

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twelfth night

The Lost Girl by Liz Harris ~ BOOK PROMO

lost girl

THE LOST GIRL

BY LIZ HARRIS

 

lost girl

Genre: Historical Romantic Fiction

Release Date: 16th October, 2015

Publisher: Choc Lit

What if you were trapped between two cultures?

Life is tough in 1870s Wyoming. But it’s tougher still when you’re a girl who looks Chinese but speaks like an American.

Orphaned as a baby and taken in by an American family, Charity Walker knows this only too well. The mounting tensions between the new Chinese immigrants and the locals in the mining town of Carter see her shunned by both communities.

When Charity’s one friend, Joe, leaves town, she finds herself isolated. However, in his absence, a new friendship with the only other Chinese girl in Carter makes her feel like she finally belongs somewhere.

But, for a lost girl like Charity, finding a place to call home was never going to be that easy …

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ABOUT LIZ HARRIS

 

lost girl

Liz Harris lives south of Oxford. Her debut novel was THE ROAD BACK (US Coffee Time & Romance Book of 2012), followed by A BARGAIN STRUCK (shortlisted for the RoNA Historical 2013), EVIE UNDERCOVER, THE ART OF DECEPTION and A WESTERN HEART. All of her novels, which are published by Choc Lit, have been shortlisted in their categories in the Festival of Romantic Fiction. In addition, Liz has had several short stories published in anthologies. Her interests are theatre, travelling, reading, cinema and cryptic crosswords.

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LIVING IN THE SHADOWS by Judith Barrow + Guest Post

Judith Barrow

LIVING IN THE SHADOWS

by

JUDITH BARROW

 

Judith Barrow

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: 16 July 2015

Publisher: Honno Welsh Women’s Press

It’s 1969 and Mary Schormann is living quietly in Wales with her ex-POW husband, Peter, and her teenage twins, Richard and Victoria.

Her niece, Linda Booth, is a nurse – following in Mary’s footsteps – and works in the maternity ward of her local hospital in Lancashire.

At the end of a long night shift, a bullying new father visits the maternity ward and brings back Linda’s darkest nightmares, her terror of being locked in. Who is this man, and why does he scare her so?

There are secrets dating back to the war that still haunt the family, and finding out what lies at their root might be the only way Linda can escape their murderous consequences.

Sequel to the acclaimed Changing Patterns and Pattern of Shadows:

Judith Barrow has not written an ordinary romance but a book that deals with important issues which are still relevant today… an excellent debut novel.
Historical Novels Review

Judith Barrow has written, with great intensity of emotions, an absorbing saga…
www.gwales.com

well-paced, gritty love story
Western Mail

An unforgettable debut novel – perfectly paced
Menna Elfyn

Barrow’s thoughtful and atmospheric novel shines a light on the shadowy corners of family life…
Lancashire Evening Post

a gripping read.
Tivyside Advertiser

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~~~~~~~~~~~~

My Writing Journey

The first story I can remember writing was of a teapot that fell off the table, broke its spout and died. I was eight years old. My mother said all my stories ended like that; comedic death, doom and disaster. I think my writing’s changed by now. At least I hope so!

I was born and brought up in a small village that was part of a group of villages called Saddleworth, on the edge of the Pennines. My father ruled the house. We were quite isolated and I spent much of my time reading and writing short stories and poems.

From an early age I wrote in secret. I had articles, the odd short story published in small presses and magazines. I wrote two books and grew resigned to those A4 self-addressed envelopes plopping through the letterbox with the rejection letters inside.

Then, on one of the visits to my mother in the North of England, I went to the Oldham Local History and Archive Centre to research for a third book I’d started.

And that’s when I found out about Glen Mill (the inspiration for the first of the trilogy, Pattern of Shadows. Reading about the history of it as a German POW camp in Oldham brought back a personal memory of my childhood

My mother was a winder (working on a machine that transferred the cotton off large cones onto small reels (bobbins), in order for the weavers to use to make the cloth). Well before the days of Health and Safety I would often go to wait for her to finish work on my way home from school. I remember the muffled boom of noise as I walked across the yard and the sudden clatter of so many different machines as I stepped through a small door cut into a great wooden door. I remember the rumble of the wheels as I watched men pushing great skips filled with cones alongside the winding frames, or manoeuvring trolleys carrying rolls of material. I remember the women singing and shouting above the noise, whistling for more bobbins: the colours of the cotton and cloth – so bright and intricate. But above all I remember the smell: of oil, grease – and in the storage area – the lovely smell of the new material stored in bales and the feel of the cloth against my legs when I sat on them, reading until the siren hooted, announcing the end of the shift.

When I thought about Glen Mill I wondered what kind of signal would have been used to separate parts of the day for all those men imprisoned there. I realised how different their days must have been from my memories of a mill. There would be no machinery as such, only vehicles coming and going; the sounds would be of men, only men, with a language and dialect so different from the mixture of voices I remembered. I imagined the subdued anger and resignation. The whole situation would be so different, no riot of colour, just an overall drabness. And I realised how different the smells would be – no tang of oil, grease, cotton fibres; all gone – replaced by the reek of ‘living’ smells.

The more I read about Glen Mill the more I thought about the total bleakness of it and the lives of the men there. And I knew I wanted to write about that. But I also wanted there to be hope somewhere. I wanted to imagine that something good could have come out of the situation the men were in.

And so Pattern of Shadows was written.

Things went a bit awry after that. I trawled through a list of possible agents and sent the manuscript off to a couple. At the same time I remembered an independent publisher, Honno, who’d previously published some short stories of mine and whose authors always looked to be on the same wavelength as me. So I sent a synopsis and a few chapters to them.

One agent was interested in my novel and invited me to meet her in London. She assured me that she had many contacts in the publishing world that would ‘snap her hand off for my novel. I wasn’t sure about her; I had the feeling we wouldn’t get on. But could I afford to miss the chance of having an agent? Would it give my work more credence?

I signed on the dotted line.

What a mistake!

The agent decided to negotiate a deal with a commercial editor. Having little experience about these matters, I thought it was the norm. Yes, I was that gullible. I paid up.

The manuscript came back. I read it in disbelief; if I followed all the ‘suggestions’ it would change from being a saga into romantic fiction. I like a bit of romance but it wasn’t what I’d written. The agent persuaded me to go with it.

I tried–with less and less interest. In the end I stopped. I didn’t recognise my story; I had no empathy with the characters. It wasn’t my book any more.

So I made a decision; I terminated the contract with the agent. Despite persuasive tactics from her I didn’t waiver. I’d lost faith in her.

In trepidation I emailed the editor at Honno. Luckily we parted on good terms; I’d thanked her for all her past help and encouragement. I explained what had happened and asked if she would reconsider my manuscript.

She would but no promises of acceptance.

After a week or two I had an offer of a contract. I accepted. And I’ve never looked back. Pattern of Shadows, published in 2010, was followed by the sequel, Changing Patterns and the last of the trilogy, Living in the Shadows, was published in July 2015.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

ABOUT JUDITH BARROW

 

Judith Barrow
Judith Barrow has lived in Pembrokeshire for thirty years. She is the author of three novels, and has published poetry and short fiction, winning several poetry competitions, as well as writing three children’s books and a play performed at the Dylan Thomas Centre. Judith grew up in the Pennines, has degrees in literature and creative writing and makes regular appearances at literary festivals.

https://twitter.com/barrow_judith

 https://www.judithbarrow.co.uk/

 www.honno.co.uk

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