Historical Fiction Cover Winner March 2017

Do you love historical fiction? What makes you choose one book over another? For most of us, the cover is the first thing that attracts our attention. For me, the cover has to look professional and must convey genre and a hint of what the story is about.

Each month I will be taking a look at historical fiction covers and choosing my ‘Pam’s Pick’ for the month. Hopefully, you will be intrigued enough to look beyond the covers I feature and find your next favourite author. If a cover interests you just click on the image to learn more about the book and buy if you wish.

And the not so small print: the judge’s decision is final (that would be me!)

and is highly subjective.

 

Please note this is a cover competition only and does not constitute a review of any of the books featured. It’s up to you to explore. Happy Reading!

My March winner is  The House at Zaronza by Vanessa Couchman 

I was instantly transported back in time to wonderful holiday strolls through old streets in ancient towns in France and Italy when I saw this cover. Such an evocative image. The story sounds wonderful and I have to admit, I have it waiting on my Kindle for my hols.

House at Zaronza - Vanessa Couchman
The House at Zaronza: A Tale of Corsica by Vanessa Couchman

The past uncovered.

Rachel Swift travels to Corsica to discover more about her forebearers. She comes across a series of passionate love letters and delves into their history.

The story unfolds of a secret romance at the start of the 20th century between a village schoolteacher and Maria, the daughter of a bourgeois family. Maria’s parents have other plans for her future, though, and she sees her dreams crumble. Her life is played out against the backdrop of Corsica, the ‘island of beauty’, and the turmoil of World War I.

This is a story about love, loss and reconciliation in a strict patriarchal society, whose values are challenged as the world changes.

Love gained and lost.

There was stiff competition for top spot this month, with the following being close runners-up:

 

FeathersInTheWind - Alison Stuart
And Then Mine Enemy by Alison Stuart

 

A family ripped apart in a country divided by war . . .

England 1642: Hardened mercenary, Adam Coulter returns to England sickened by violence, seeking only peace, but he finds England on the brink of civil war. He has seen first hand what that will mean for every man, woman and child and wants no part of it.

King or Parliament? Neutrality is not an option and Adam can only be true to his conscience, not the dictates of his family.

Having escaped a violent marriage, Perdita Gray has found much needed sanctuary and the love of a good man, but her fragile world begins to crumble as Adam Coulter bursts into her life. This stranger brings not only the reality of war to her doorstep but reignites an old family feud, threatening everything and everyone she holds dear.

As the war and the family tensions collide around them, Adam and Perdita are torn between old loyalties and a growing attraction that must be resisted.

 

New Beltane Nancy Jardine
The Beltane Choice by Nancy Jardine

AD 71: Banished from the nemeton, becoming a priestess is no longer the future for Nara, a princess of the Selgovae tribe. Now charged with choosing a suitable mate before Beltane, her plan is thwarted by Lorcan, an enemy Brigante prince, who captures her and takes her to his hill fort. Despite their tribes fighting each other, Nara feels drawn to her captor, but time runs out for her secret quest.

As armies of the Roman Empire march relentlessly northwards, Lorcan intends to use Nara as a marriage bargain, knowing all Celtic tribes must unite to be strong enough to repel imminent Roman attack. Nara’s father, Callan, agrees to a marriage alliance between Selgovae and Brigante, but has impossible stipulations. Lorcan is torn between loyalty to his tribe and growing love for Nara.

When danger and death arrive in the form of the mighty Roman forces, will Nara be able to choose her Beltane lover?

The Beltane Choice tells a tale of war and love in Celtic Britain.

 

 

Angel Heart Marie Lavel
Angel Heart by Marie Laval

Devonshire, January 1815.

Marie-Ange, the young widow of an English officer, accepts an inheritance in France only to find that everything in Beauregard is not as it seems. Why is the sinister Malleval so obsessed with her family? And could her darling Christopher still be alive? Marie-Ange finds herself trapped in a dangerous web of lies, intrigue, and mystical possession, and the only person to whom she can turn for help is Capitaine Hugo Saintclair. Yet the enigmatic Hugo represents a danger of a different kind …

 

A Warrior's Pledge Emma Prince
A Warrior’s Pledge by Emma Prince

 

Her Warrior…

To forge an alliance between the English and the Scots, Lady Rosamond must marry a Lowland stranger. But when a mysterious attacker threatens the engagement and her life, Robert the Bruce assigns one of his most trusted warriors to protect her. Finn Sutherland’s brooding gaze is almost as dark as his heart, yet Rosamond finds herself captivated by her Highland bodyguard. Now she must choose between responsibility and the searing need Finn ignites within her.

His Pledge…

Finn is honor-bound to swallow his hatred of the English and serve as bodyguard to Lady Rosamond. He never expects his charge to touch his scarred heart with her warmth and kindness. Worse, her honey hair and violet eyes bring him to his knees with lust. When the threat to Rosamond spirals out of control, Finn does the only thing he can think of to protect her—he stands in for her betrothed as a proxy husband. As desire clashes with duty, Finn’s pledge will be tested like never before.

Watch out every month for the next featured selection of great covers, and don’t forget, if you read a book and love it, post a review and make an author very happy.

When Family History Inspires

Many writers draw on their family history, or indeed history in general, when putting pen to paper. For anyone involved in researching their family tree, it can be quite frustrating trying to pin together their ancestors’ lives. For many years, I dug around in Irish and UK records, trying to hunt down and piece together the  lives and times of various characters from the past. It was a challenging business, as many Irish records were destroyed in the War of Independence, leaving very few sources. I was often lucky. Through various contacts I made, some progress was achieved or I came across a clue buried deep in a library or an on-line source. When Family History Inspires

Historical Fiction Cover Winner February 2017

Do you love historical fiction? What makes you choose one book over another? For most of us, the cover is the first thing that attracts our attention. For me, the cover has to look professional and must convey genre and a hint of what the story is about.

Each month I will be taking a look at historical fiction covers and choosing my ‘Pam’s Pick’ for the month. Hopefully, you will be intrigued enough to look beyond the covers I feature and find your next favourite author. If a cover interests you just click on the image to learn more about the book and buy if you wish. Historical Fiction Cover Winner February 2017

A Conversation with Author Juliet Greenwood

Today I am delighted to have Juliet Greenwood in the library for a chat. Juliet’s beautiful cover for The White Camellia was my very first monthly historical fiction cover winner. (See: Historical Fiction Cover Competition January 2017)

juliet-and-hat-small-versionYou are very welcome, Juliet, please introduce yourself:

After living in London and near Birmingham, I now live in a small traditional cottage halfway up a mountain in Snowdonia, in North Wales. I write stories and serials for magazines as ‘Heather Pardoe’, as well as novels under my own name. My books have reached #4 and #5 in the UK Amazon Kindle store, while ‘Eden’s Garden’ was a finalist for ‘The People’s Book Prize’ and ‘We That are Left’ was completed with a Literature Wales Writers’ Bursary. I have a passion for gardening and walking, as well as for history – and my camera goes with me everywhere! A Conversation with Author Juliet Greenwood

A Conversation with Author Norah Bennett

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

norahNorah lives a double life. By day she is a suit-wearing, prim and proper, professor, administrator, researcher, and lecturer. By night she is a PJ wearing dreamer and writer of books that make people sigh, smile, cry, laugh, fall in love and believe in second chances.

Norah lives in Andover, New Jersey with her husband of thirty years, a cranky geriatric maltipoo, and an obnoxious cockatoo who runs the house and terrifies all its inhabitants. A Conversation with Author Norah Bennett

A Conversation with Author Amanda J Evans

 

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Amanda J Evans

Today in the Library I am delighted to host fellow Irish author, ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Amanda J Evans, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.

You are very welcome, Amanda, please introduce yourself:

I am an author, freelance writer, and poet. I live in Co. Meath, Ireland, with my husband and two children. I am known locally by my married name, Donnelly, but I write under my maiden name. I had work published in several magazines and journals in 2016. I am also the author of Surviving Suicide: A Memoir from Those Death Left Behind, published in 2012. When I’m not writing for work clients, I am usually reading the latest novels from some of the amazing indie authors out there, or sharing snippets from my latest manuscripts with my husband and children. I have just published my first fiction book titled Finding Forever and I am almost finished my second which will be published in the summer of 2017.

Did you read much as a child? Are you an avid reader now? Do you prefer books in your own genre or are you happy to explore others?

I always read as a child and I continue to do so today. I like to read in a large number of genres, but if I’m honest, romance tends to feature in them all, be it paranormal, fantasy, or suspense. I do like to try new genres every so often though and find that they can be very interesting. Once genre I haven’t tried yet is horror. It frightens me just to think about it.

Are you self-published or traditionally published?

I am self-published.

Which genre do you write in and why?

I write romance because I love it, especially a happy ever after. I’m a big romantic at heart so it features very much in  my writing. I write contemporary romance, paranormal, fantasy, and suspense.

Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?

That’s a tough question, and I can’t think of anyone off the top of my head. As a child I devoured Roald Dahl and I loved Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn as well as Anne of Green Gables. Anything I could get my hands on I read. In teen years I read Judy Blume and moved on to Mills and Boon and second chance romance novels. I also read a lot of Terry Pratchet and Terry Brooks. I don’t think any writer in particular has been a big influence though, I’ve always dreamed of being a writer. I wrote my first book aged 8 and that was my ambition. Tragedy struck during my teens and writing took a back seat, albeit writing poetry. It is only in the past couple of years that I have found the confidence to put pen to paper again and follow my dreams.

Has your country of origin/culture influenced your writing?

I don’t feel that it has, but I do enjoy writing fairy tales for children and my story The Curse of Johnny Murphy, written for a local storytelling even last year, was based on Leprechauns. I also entered the Imbas Mythology competition with a story about the Banshee. So I guess you could say being Irish has been part of my stories.

What part of the writing process do you find most difficult? How do you overcome it?

The most difficult is the editing and marketing. I love the writing part and find that once I pick up my pen, it just flows. Editing on the other hand is a chore and I’m so glad that there are editors to help with this. Marketing the finished product is challenging. I do find it difficult when I’m writing a story and lots of other story ideas start to pop into my head. It’s hard to do everything, so I focus on one at a time and I’m very strict about this.

Do you have a favourite time of day to write?

I write in the morning while my children are getting ready for school. I usually have 30 minutes and during this time I write my morning pages and then grab my notebook to continue writing my novel. I usually get 3 to 5 pages done. I have the same routine during the weekend but tend to get more written because I’m not tied to school time. This routine works really well for me. Before this I would tell myself I’d write when I got all my work done, but that never happened. I set myself a challenge to write a page a day before I start work and it has been amazing. Since August last year, I’ve finished a novel and I’m almost 90% on my second.

What is the best thing about being an author? And the flipside – what is the worst?

The best thing for me is actually doing what I love. I love putting words on paper and watching them fill the page. I love listening to my characters and telling their stories. I love the surprises that come with that too. I never plan and I never know what is going to happen next. I let the characters tell me their stories. I tried planning but it didn’t work out. My main character ended up being a male instead of female and characters I had planned as being secondary turned into leading roles. I gave up after that and I just write what comes.

The worst part of being an author is trying to get your name out there and learn all the marketing techniques.

Is social media an essential chore or something you enjoy? Which forum do you prefer?

Social media is definitely essential for marketing and at times it can feel like a chore, but at the moment I am enjoying it. I prefer to use Facebook, but I have found that Instagram is very popular. I have accounts with all the top ones, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, but finding the time to devote to each can be very difficult.

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

Even if I wasn’t an author, I would still be writing in some form or another. I write SEO website content for a large company in Canada and I love to blog. I really couldn’t imagine not writing something, even lists. I worked for the Health Board for 10 years before resigning and even during that time I scribbled something down. Writing is a part of me and I can’t not do it. I’ve tried but after two weeks I feel like I’m going mad. My mood is extremely irritable. Once I write something, even two sentences, it’s like calm washes over me.

It’s the last day and the earth is facing oblivion – what book would you read?

Oh God, that really is a tough one. It would have to be something with a happy ending, something that would calm and soothe the soul, take me away from it all. The genre would probably be fantasy, something filled with magic and delight. I remember reading The Never Ending Story when I was younger and that was amazing. Maybe I’d read that again, out loud to my children.

Please tell us about your latest published work.

I’ve just published my first book, Finding Forever, a romantic suspense novella. I’m also finishing my second book, a paranormal romance titled Save Her Soul which I am hoping to have published in the summer of 2017.

Finding Forever

When love refuses to give up

finding-forerver-ebook-final
http://www.bookgoodies.com/a/B01MY9IPZG

I look at his face, the face of the man who holds my heart, my forever, only his heart has stopped beating.

A woman desperately searching for her forever….

Liz Parker thought she’d found her forever the moment she said “I do”, but fate had other ideas. Waking up with a tattered wedding dress and her dead husband in her arms was not the way she planned her honeymoon. Distraught, she promised she would follow him. Death wasn’t taking forever away from her. Of course, she hadn’t planned on being rescued by pirates either, or the fact that Charles’ body would be left to rot on the beach.

Two lives collide…

When Liz meets John, he becomes her only hope, her chance to bring Charles’ body home, but there’s something more. Why does he look at her with such pity? Why does he agree to help her when no one else will? Why won’t anyone believe that Charles exists? Is Liz going mad?

51umfp86lzlSurviving Suicide – A Memoir From Those Death Left Behind  Buy Link for Amazon Worldwide

If you would like to know more about Amanda and her work please check out her social media links below:

Website   Facebook   Twitter   Google+  Linkedin  Instagram


 

Historical Fiction Cover Winner January 2017

Do you love historical fiction? What makes you choose one book over another? For most of us, the cover is the first thing that attracts our attention. For me, the cover has to look professional and must convey genre and a hint of what the story is about.

Each month I will be taking a look at historical fiction covers and choosing my ‘Pam’s Pick’ for the month. Hopefully, you will be intrigued enough to look beyond the covers I feature and find your next favourite author. If a cover interests you just click on the image to learn more about the book and buy if you wish.

My first winner is The White Camellia, by Juliet Greenwood. When this cover landed in my inbox, I knew immediately it would be one of my top picks. The image is beautiful, romantic and delicate. If I saw this in a shop I would pick the book up and read the blurb. This book is now sitting on my Kindle waiting to be read.


the-white-camellia-cover-juliet-greenwood

The White Camellia – Juliet Greenwood

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. Historical Fiction Cover Winner January 2017

A Conversation with Author Meghan Holloway

p1030812Today in the Library we have Meghan Holloway, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.

You are very welcome, Meghan, please introduce yourself:

“My dearest darling …” That was how my grandfather began all of his letters to my grandmother while he was stationed in Okinawa in World War II. I never knew my grandfather, but I’ve poured over his letters. I used to draw lines up the back of my legs, just as my grandmother had as a young woman whose nylons had been donated to make parachutes, and I’ve endlessly pestered my paternal grandfather for stories of his childhood and service. The worn letters and patiently-told stories cemented my interest in history, especially in the WWII era. A Conversation with Author Meghan Holloway

A Conversation with Author Fiona Cooke Hogan

Today I am pleased to introduce my guest, fellow Irish multi-genre author­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­, Fiona Cooke Hogan, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.

You are very welcome, Fiona, please introduce yourself.

img_20170103_215340_009Hello, I’m delighted to be here. I’m a writer, poet and blogger living in Abbeyleix, a quaint little town in the midlands of Ireland. I have been writing since a child and self-published my first collection of short stories in October 2015.   A Conversation with Author Fiona Cooke Hogan

A Conversation with Author Rowan Scot-Ryder

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

You are very welcome, Rowan, please introduce yourself:

biopicHi and thanks for inviting me here. I’m a full-time writer now, but I swim and paint, and sometimes still teach creative writing. I’ve lived and worked all over Britain from the north of Scotland down to the South-East, just outside London, as a nurse, a freelance journalist, and a teacher. I also worked for some years as a guest lecturer on board cruise ships, teaching watercolour painting. A Conversation with Author Rowan Scot-Ryder