Announcing the New Release from Lesley Field – Dangerous Desire

A Little About Lesley:

Lesley Field is an award nominated author of romantic novels who lives in North Yorkshire, often described as “God’s own county.” Before retiring she spent her working life pursuing personal injury claims. Now at a time when she should be thinking of early nights and cocoa, she finds herself writing somewhat “hot” novels. Her first published novel Dangerous Entrapment was her first historical novel. She also writes contemporary novels which are usually based in Canada, which she calls her “heart home.”

Dangerous Desire is the third book in her Duchess in Danger series. All books are stand alone and there in no connection between them apart from the series title. There is one more book in the series, Dangerous Encounter, which should be released in 2020.

Dangerous Desire is the story of Hannah and Nicholas, Duke of Trenton. They first meet one night when she is lost on the moors, although he is struck by her beauty she is too young for any wayward thoughts. But he never forgets her and when she flees from his home he has a feeling of loss. Some two years later he comes across his late night visitor and vows not to lose her a second time. One thing, or one person could stand in his way, his current mistress, Lady Catherine Stanton. Catherine is not one to lose anything to another and will do whatever it takes to keep what she considers to be hers, and hers alone.

And that begs one question? Will marriage bring the happiness he desires, or will the scheming of his mistress tear the couple apart. And can Hannah forgive Nicholas for bringing back into her life the governess who had mistreated her so badly in her youth?

Follow their story in Dangerous Desire to be released on 12th November 2019 – Pre-Order now Available!

Available from:

Amazon UK

Amazon.com

Book one: Dangerous Entrapment, shortlisted for Historical Novel of the Year 2016 by the Romantic Novelists Association.

Book two: Dangerous Deception

 

Historical Fiction Cover Competition November 2019

What draws you to a historical fiction book cover? 

Welcome to my monthly historical fiction cover competition. I hope you find some new books and authors for your ‘must read’ list. If a cover interests you, just click on the link to learn more about the book. Continue reading “Historical Fiction Cover Competition November 2019”

A Conversation with Author Kelly Evans

This evening in the Library we have Kelly Evans, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.

You are very welcome, Kelly, please introduce yourself:

Born in Canada of Scottish extraction, Kelly studied history and literature at McMaster University and creative writing at Humber College, with continued medieval studies during her time living in England. Kelly has authored four historical novels to date and contributes articles to historical publications. She also writes satirical articles about managing your manor during the Black Death, told by fictional advice columnist Lady Matilda.

Before retiring last year to write full time, Kelly ran her own company as a successful analyst and project manager in capital markets. She is a voracious reader (she brought over 3,000 books with her when she moved back to Canada from England) and enjoys history, music (she plays medieval recorder), and watching really bad horror and old sci-fi movies.

Which genre do you write in and what draws you to it?

I write historical fiction, focussing on Anglo Saxon England. I love imagining lives of those who lived a thousand years ago, and if their reactions would be the same as ours, given a particular situation. I also write historical horror, both short stories and novels.

Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?

Rod Serling of Twilight Zone fame. Not many know he wrote many of the episodes, and could REALLY tell a great story in a short amount of space. I learned about economy of words from him. I love horror so Stephen King was a huge influence on my horror novels. Lastly, Margaret Atwood taught me how to keep a story moving, while also subtly including important plot details.

Has your country of origin/culture influenced your writing?

I lived in England for 16 years so yes, the country and culture absolutely influenced my writing. It’s also the place I got serious about writing. Just walking through a medieval building, soaking up the history and ghosts of famous historical figures, it was very inspirational.

 Do you have a favourite time of day to write?

I’m a night owl so rise about 10:00am, do emails and other business until 2pm, then write until 2am, taking breaks for food.

If you weren’t an author, what would you be up to?

An archaeologist or an archivist in a dusty old museum. I’ve actually taken archaeology courses!

If a movie was made of one of your books, who would you like to play the lead roles?

Funnily enough, I’ve thought about this! If they made a movie out of my historical horror novel, the Mortecarni, I’d love to see Taron Egerton as Brother Maurice, the physician monk, Idris Elba as his friend Fala, and Barry Allen as Brother Maurice’s squire, Hugh.

If you could live the life of an historical figure for one day, who would you choose and what would you get up to?

I think I’d chose Elizabeth Cochran aka Nellie Bly. A Victorian journalist, she got herself committed to one of the worst psychiatric hospitals in the country for the purposes of exposing the horrible treatment of patients. Her work helped to establish investigative journalism as well as prompting changes to hospitals and treatments.

If you could travel back in time, what era would you go to? What draws you to this particular time?

Anglo Saxon/Early medieval! Known as the ‘dark ages’ thanks to the Victorians, the period was actually rich in literature, medicine, engineering, and more.

You have been chosen as a member of the crew on the first one-way flight to Mars – you are allowed to bring 5 books with you. What would they be?

1984 – George Orwell, The Norton Anthology of English Lit Volume 1; The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas; The Chrysalids – John Wyndham; and Skeleton Crew – Stephen King.

Please tell us about your latest published work.  

My latest novel is The Confessor’s Wife. It’s the story of Edith of Wessex: daughter to the most important earl in Anglo Saxon England, wife to King Edward the Confessor, and sister to King Harold Godwinsson. Her story was always told in the footnotes of THEIR history. Until now.

In the 11th Century, when barren wives are customarily cast aside, how does Edith of Wessex not only manage to stay married to King Edward the Confessor, but also become his closest advisor, promote her family to the highest offices in the land, AND help raise her brother to the throne? And why is her story only told in the footnotes of Edward’s history? Not everyone approves of Edward’s choice of bride. Even the king’s mother, Emma of Normandy, detests her daughter-in-law and Edith is soon on the receiving end of her displeasure. Balancing her sense of family obligation with her duty to her husband, Edith must also prove herself to her detractors. Edward’s and Edith’s relationship is respectful and caring, but when Edith’s enemies engineer her family’s fall from grace, the king is forced to send her away. She vows to do anything to protect her family’s interests if she returns, at any cost. Can Edith navigate the dangerous path fate has set her, while still remaining loyal to both her husband and her family?  Buy Link

Twitter: @Chaucerbabe

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kellyevansauthor/

Amazon: Kelly Evans – Author

Website: http://www.kellyaevans.com

 

Historical Fiction Cover Competition October 2019

What draws you to a historical fiction book cover? 

Welcome to my monthly historical fiction cover competition. I hope you find some new books and authors for your ‘must read’ list. If a cover interests you, just click on the link to learn more about the book. Continue reading “Historical Fiction Cover Competition October 2019”

New Release News! Katherine – Tudor Duchess

Katherine – Tudor Duchess

New from Tony Riches, Author of the best-selling Tudor Trilogy

Available in eBook and paperback from Amazon UK and Amazon US

(Audiobook edition coming in 2020)

Attractive, wealthy and influential, Katherine Willoughby is one of the most unusual ladies of the Tudor court. A favourite of King Henry VIII, Katherine knows all his six wives, his daughters Mary and Elizabeth, and his son Edward.

When her father dies, Katherine becomes the ward of Tudor knight, Sir Charles Brandon. Her Spanish mother, Maria de Salinas, is Queen Catherine of Aragon’s lady in waiting, so it is a challenging time for them all when King Henry marries the enigmatic Anne Boleyn.

Following Anne’s dramatic downfall, Katherine marries Charles Brandon, and becomes Duchess of Suffolk at the age of fourteen. After the short reign of young Catherine Howard, and the death of Jane Seymour, Katherine and Brandon are chosen to welcome Anna of Cleves as she arrives in England.

When the royal marriage is annulled, Katherine’s good friend, Catherine Parr becomes the king’s sixth wife, and they work to promote religious reform. Katherine’s young sons are tutored with the future king, Prince Edward, and become his friends, but when Edward dies his Catholic sister Mary is crowned queen. Katherine’s Protestant faith puts her family in great danger – from which there seems no escape.

Katherine’s remarkable true story continues the epic tale of the rise of the Tudors, which began with the best-selling Tudor trilogy and concludes with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Author Bio

Tony Riches is a full-time UK author of best-selling historical fiction. He lives in Pembrokeshire, West Wales and is a specialist in the history of the Wars of the Roses and the lives of the early Tudors. Tony’s other published historical fiction novels include: Owen – Book One Of The Tudor Trilogy, Jasper – Book Two Of The Tudor Trilogy, Henry – Book Three Of The Tudor Trilogy, Mary – Tudor Princess and Brandon – Tudor Knight.

For more information about Tony’s books please visit his website tonyriches.com and his blog, The Writing Desk and find him on  Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches

A Conversation with Author Penny Hampson

Today in the Library we have Penny Hampson, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.

You are very welcome, Penny, please introduce yourself:

Hi, I’m Penny, and I came rather late to writing my own stories. After working in the Civil Service for several years I became a full time mum. With time on my hands when my oldest child started school, I decided to follow my love of history by studying with the Open University, where I graduated with honours, and then went on to complete a post-graduate degree.

A family move to a different part of the country led to landing my dream role, working with rare books and historical manuscripts in a world-renowned academic library. Nearly two decades later, I took early retirement to care for a family member, but this also meant I had some free time to do something I’d always dreamed of doing – writing my own stories.

Encouraged by family and friends, and with positive feedback from professional writers, I finally published my first historical romance novel, A Gentleman’s Promise, in July 2018. My second book, An Officer’s Vow, was released in February 2019.

I live in Oxfordshire with my family and when I’m not writing, I enjoy reading, travelling, and researching for my next book. I also enjoy a gin and tonic.

[Pam says: I recently read A Gentleman’s Promise, and really enjoyed it.]

Which genre do you write in and what draws you to it?

I write romance. I love books that have a happy ending, or certainly a happy for now. Life today is challenging for many people, myself included, so I like to think my stories offer a bit of an escape to someone who is experiencing difficult times.

My intention was to write the sort of books that I enjoy reading when I’m feeling down – light and escapist, but based in a real historical landscape. I also wanted to create strong female characters, who, despite the restrictions imposed by society, were able to achieve their aims. Believe me, such women did exist in the past, their misfortune is that we are only just beginning to discover their stories

My first two books are set in England in 1810, shortly before Prince George became Regent, and when Napoleon was rampaging over Europe – turbulent times. I enjoy giving my characters a challenge and difficulties to overcome, and that period in history offered many challenges, particularly for females.

Are you an avid reader? Do you prefer books in your own genre or are you happy to explore others?

Definitely! I used to read several books a week on my commute to work. These days I don’t get as much time, but I always manage to fit in some reading before going to sleep. I enjoy romance novels, of course, but I also love crime and mysteries, and trying to guess the culprit before their identity is finally revealed.

My favourite author is Jane Austen. I love her beautifully crafted novels, with their elegant prose, memorable characters, and intricate plots. Other authors that I enjoy reading are Georgette Heyer, for her wonderful Regency novels, Ian Rankin for his deft plotting and glorious sense of place (I so want to visit Edinburgh and see all the haunts of his fictional detective Rebus), and Kate Atkinson, who understands dialogue so well, and unfailingly comes up with unusual and gripping storylines.

Are you a self-published/traditional or hybrid author?

I’m a self-published author. Although I received very positive feedback from several publishers, I was told there wasn’t much of a market for the type of stories I was writing. I therefore decided to take matters into my own hands and see for myself. I can only say that the publishers were wrong- there are lots of readers out there looking for well-written, feel-good stories.  I also enjoy being in full control of the whole process, from the professional cover design, to the look of the typesetting, and the marketing. I also ensure that my books are professionally edited and proofed – there is nothing worse than being pulled out of a story by a historical anachronism or a spelling mistake.

Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?

Georgette Heyer, without a doubt. I first read her books when I was a teenager, and discovered them again when I was looking for some escapism during a difficult period in my life. Historically accurate, intelligent, and well-written, her stories nonetheless are feel-good reads.

Has your country of origin/culture influenced your writing?

I would say so. Having always been interested in English history, I find travelling around the towns and cities of the UK an enormous source of inspiration for the settings of my stories. I live in Oxfordshire, so my first book was partly set there. I’ve used lots of real historical places in London, and my forthcoming book (also part of the Gentlemen Series) is set in Falmouth, Cornwall, a part of the world I love. Having said that, I wouldn’t rule out using foreign locations in future books. I’ve spent time in France and Italy, and recently visited Portugal for the first time. The Peninsular Wars are likely to feature in a future story.

What part of the writing process do you find most difficult? How do you overcome it? Sometimes the plotting can prove problematic. I recently spent days working out how my female protagonist could plausibly escape from a certain situation without requiring superhuman powers. I got there in the end.

Do you have a favourite time of day to write?

I’m just grateful for any time I get for myself and my writing. Sometimes I wake up early and try to write before the day catches up with me, other days I stay up late and squeeze the writing in before I get too tired.

If you weren’t an author, what would you be up to?

I can’t think of anything else that I’d rather be doing. I enjoy creating characters, setting them challenges, and trying to work out ways they can resolve them. I think I’m in control, but somethimes a character surprises me and takes the story in a completely different direction to the one I’d originally intended. I’m passionate about history, so I enjoy all the research required too, I love learning new things.

If you could travel back in time, what era would you go to? What draws you to this particular time?

I would travel back to the Regency period, though I’d make sure I’d had all my vaccinations and a supply of antibiotics to take with me! I think life as a woman back then would be difficult – women didn’t have much say in how they lived their lives, so perhaps I’d go back disguised as a man.

The early 1800s were exciting and dangerous times – England was at war with Napoleon’s France, a war that continued until 1815, when he was finally defeated at the Battle of Waterloo. Society was changing too, with innovations in industry and agriculture making many people unable to earn a living. But if you were wealthy, life was very different. The top echelons of society were cosseted from most problems, with servants to see to their every need. It is no surprise that this was a period when the arts flourished – the rich spent their wealth on the finer things in life, such as beautiful homes, artwork, extravagant clothes, and jewelry.

Please tell us about your latest published work. 

An Officer’s Vow

The future looks bleak to Major Nate Crawford. Depressed after being sent home from the Peninsular Campaign as unfit for service, he contemplates ending it all. Then an unexpected opportunity for adventure beckons in the shape of a delightfully intriguing runaway heiress. He will prove his worth as an officer and a gentleman by offering his help. He has a plan…

Lottie Benham is desperate. Her life is in danger and she needs a place of safety until her next birthday. The unexpected proposal from this attractive, but intimidating officer could be the answer to her prayers. Not normally a risk-taker, she decides to gamble all by placing her trust in this charismatic gentleman, who she suspects might be more in need of help than she.

But the best laid plans…

Caught up in conflict, danger, and deception, will Lottie and Nate survive to find the perfect solution to their problems?

Visit Penny’s website and blog at: http://pennyhampson.co.uk/

Follow Penny on Twitter at: @penny_hampson

Find Penny’s books here: viewauthor.at/Pennysbooks

 

A Conversation with Author Eric Schumacher

This evening in the Library we have ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Eric Schumacher, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into his life as an author.

You are very welcome, Eric, please introduce yourself:

 Sæl! (that’s hello in Old Norse). My name is Eric Schumacher and I write historical fiction stories set in the Viking Age (ca. 900s AD). I was born and raised in Los Angeles and currently reside in Santa Barbara, California, with my wife and two kids.

You might be wondering how a Southern Californian boy found an interest in early medieval history. The truth is, I have no idea where it came from. At a very early age, I remember being fascinated by stories of knights and battles and dragons, which, I suppose, is what led me to authors like J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Those discoveries fueled my imagination and continue to influence the stories I like to tell. My first novel, God’s Hammer, was published in 2005. I have since written two more novels (Raven’s Feast and War King), all of which tell of the rise and reign of Hakon Haraldsson (known in history as Hakon the Good), the youngest (bastard) son of the famous Viking king, Harald Fairhair.

Which genre do you write in and what draws you to it?

Historical fiction is my passion. I love history, especially early European medieval history, and writing about interesting historical characters. Hakon the Good is my first subject and there are a number of reasons I chose to write about him. You can read about that here. I am now busy writing about the next Viking king. More details on that project are coming soon. The long and short of it is, there are so many fascinating historical people and not enough time to write about them all!

Are you an avid reader? Do you prefer books in your own genre or are you happy to explore others?

I would love to be an avid reader, but in truth, between family, my day job, and my writing, there is not enough time left to be an avid reader. When I do read, I tend to stick to historical fiction set in the time-frames that interest me.

Are you a self-published, traditional or hybrid author?

I have been a traditionally published author and a self-published author. Next Chapter is currently publishing my Hakon novels.

Has your country of origin/culture influenced your writing?

Not at all. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, hardly the mecca of early medieval European history. Yet, from the earliest age, I can remember being fascinated by Vikings and Saxons, Franks and Celts. I honestly don’t know why.

What was the best piece of writing advice you received when starting out?

There are actually two bits of advice that really stuck with me. The first was from a writing teacher, who said, “Just keep writing. No matter what.” It is that quote that keeps me going when I think I’m producing nothing but senseless dribble that no one will read.

The second is a quote I heard somewhere, but cannot remember who said it. The quote is: “Write the story that’s in you.” There was a period in time when I wondered if anyone would read a novel about a Viking. I dabbled with other genres and other subjects, but I kept coming back to Hakon and his story. It spoke to me. Now, twenty five years after starting those books, I know I never would have had the stamina to stick with a subject that long had it not been a story I had to tell.

Do you have a favourite time of day to write?

Late morning is generally my sweet spot. I find my brain freshest and my thoughts clearest between 9am and noon. Of course, a good cup of coffee or two helps!

If you weren’t an author, what would you be up to?

If money was not a concern and I did not have a family, I think I would love to be a travel writer. Maybe when I retire and the kids are grown I’ll come back to that…

If you could travel back in time, what era would you go to? What draws you to this particular time?

Without question, I’d travel back to the late 800s or early 900s in Europe. I wouldn’t want to stay long. Frankly, I don’t think I’d survive longer than a day. But if I could stay just long enough to experience first hand what it was like to live back then, that would be amazing!

Please tell us about your latest published work.  

War King is my latest novel. It is the third and final book in the Hakon’s Saga series of books.

It is 954 A.D. and a tempest is brewing in the North.

Twenty summers before, Hakon Haraldsson wrested Norway’s throne from his murderous brother, Erik Bloodaxe, but he failed to rid himself of Erik’s family. Now the sons of Erik have come to reclaim Erik’s realm and avenge the wrong done to their father and their kin.

They do not come alone. With them marches an army of sword-Danes sent by the Danish King, Harald Bluetooth, whose desire to expand his realm is as powerful as the lust for vengeance that pulses in the veins of Erik’s brood.

Like storm-driven waves, the opposing forces collide in War King, the action-packed sequel to God’s Hammer and Raven’s Feast.

Praise:

…a masterpiece of well-executed historical fiction. – Mary Anne Yarde, bestselling author, The Du Lac Chronicles

Highly recommended for those seeking Viking adventure. – Historical Novel Society

This is a tale full of irony, as well as the full force of life in a brutal, and oft confusing time. – Historical Fiction Reviews

Where to buy it: Amazon US and Amazon UK

 If you would like to know more about Eric and his work, check out his social media links below:

Readers can find me at the following locations: