A Conversation with Author Karen King

Today in the Library, we have ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Karen King who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author. I’d also like to congratulate Karen, as it is publication day for her latest novel, The Spanish Wedding Disaster.

You are very welcome, Karen, please introduce yourself:

Karen King

Hello, everyone. Delighted to be here. I am a multi-published author of both adult and children’s books. I’m delighted to say that my thrillers, The Perfect Stepmother and The Stranger in my Bed and my romantic novel The Cornish Hotel by the Sea became Amazon International bestsellers. I’m a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors, the Crime Writers’ Association and the Society of Women Writers and Journalists. I now live in Spain where I love to spend my non-writing time exploring the quaint local towns with my husband, Dave, when I’m not sunbathing or swimming in the pool, that is. 😊

A Conversation with Author Karen King

New Release from William Todd

Today on the blog, I am delighted to be hosting William Todd, one of my favourite authors. William’s new release, Murder in Keswick, a Sherlock Holmes mystery, is a great read.

You are very welcome, William, could you tell us a little bit about the background to the book?

I always enjoyed the stories of Sherlock Holmes when he left the confines of London. The Final Problem, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Devil’s Foot, and The Disappearance of Lady Carfax are some of my favorites, and the latter introduced me to the English Lake District. Ever since, that rugged and lovely setting has held a great fascination for me. I decided with this story to once again take the great detective and his raconteur to the Lake District.

New Release from William Todd

Spotlight on The Accursed King: The Coffee Pot Book Club Blog Tour

Today I am delighted to be hosting a stop on the Blog Tour for The Accursed King by Mercedes Rochelle – Book 4 in The Plantagenet Legacy Series                   

Publication Date: 18th April 2022 – Publisher: Sergeant Press

The Accursed King Blog Tour

The Accursed King: Blurb

Spotlight on The Accursed King: The Coffee Pot Book Club Blog Tour

New Release from Anna Campbell

Happy Publication Day to Anna Campbell!

The Worst Lord in London, Book 1 in Anna’s new series, Scoundrels of Mayfair.

Headlong into the unknown…
Independent, willful Kate Starr has cherished a penchant for handsome Lord Shelburn since she was sixteen years old, but as a mill-owning industrialist, she moves in a different world from the libertine earl. Then one fateful day, Shelburn invites her to accompany him in a scandalous race, and immediate physical attraction swiftly turns into blazing passion.

The hunter caught…
Leighton Anstey, Earl of Shelburn, glories in his reputation as the worst lord in London. His fame as an irresistible seducer is unrivaled, although his amours are notable for their explosive heat, not their longevity. The dashing lord has never met a woman who can hold his wandering attention, until he tumbles into a liaison with a mysterious woman who enthrals him, body and soul.

A brief encounter or a forever love?

Neither Kate nor Shelburn views their torrid affair as more than a shooting star, flaring red-hot for a brilliant instant, then destined to fade to nothing. But does the fiery desire raging between them blind them to the chance of finding lifelong happiness together?

New Release from Anna Campbell

A Conversation with Historical Fiction Author Kathryn Gauci

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

You are very welcome, Kathryn, please introduce yourself:

Kathryn Gauci

Thank you for inviting me to the Library, Pam. It’s great to be here with you. I was born in Leicestershire, England, and studied textile design at Loughborough College of Art and later specialised in carpet design and technology at Kidderminster College of Art and Design. After graduating, I spent a year in Vienna, Austria, before moving to Greece to work as a carpet designer in Athens for six years. There followed another brief period in New Zealand before eventually settling in Melbourne, Australia, where, among other things, I ran my own textile design studio for over fifteen years. After thirty years in the textile industry, I wanted a change and began writing almost ten years ago. 

A Conversation with Historical Fiction Author Kathryn Gauci

New Release from Amy Maroney

Today, I am delighted to bring you news of a new release from the very talented Amy Maroney. Sea of Shadows is the second book in her Sea and Stone Chronicles.

Sea of Shadows by Amy Maroney

1459. A gifted woman artist. A ruthless Scottish privateer. And an audacious plan that throws them together—with dangerous consequences.

No one on the Greek island of Rhodes suspects Anica is responsible for her Venetian father’s exquisite portraits, least of all her wealthy fiancé. But her father’s vision is failing, and with every passing day it’s more difficult to conceal the truth.

New Release from Amy Maroney

Her Last Betrayal: New Release from Pam Lecky

Today is Publication Day!

Initially, I hesitated to write a story set during World War 2, unsure what I could bring to it that would be unique. And then it dawned on me that few had written about the war from a neutral Irish perspective. Luckily, all I had to do was delve into my family and local history and Her Secret War, the first novel in the Sarah Gillespie Series, was the result.

Essentially, the stories in the series are about spies and fifth columnists, a subject covered in some depth by Tim Tate in his book, Hitler’s British Traitors. This was the source for much of my background information and threw up a few plot ideas too (always a bonus!). [Buy Link: Hitler’s British Traitors]

Betty Lecky, Birmingham, 1940s

My mother and her sisters left rural Ireland to work in Britain during WW2. One aunt followed her boyfriend, who had joined the RAF, and she worked in a munitions factory. Another aunt wanted to study nursing, and my mother was a ‘clippie’ (bus conductress) on the Birmingham buses. Neither book is their story, but there are glimpses of their experiences hidden throughout the fiction. The German attack on North Strand, which opens the first book, happened only a few miles from where I grew up. As a young child, I passed the bombed-out sites regularly, knowing nothing about them. I was in my late teens before I heard about the bombing and the relevant history.

Her Secret War by Pam Lecky

For me, the greatest challenge was getting up to speed on day-to-day life. I knew a lot about the overall timeline and events of the war, but it was the nitty-gritty details of life on the Homefront which would ground the stories in reality. Thankfully, there is an enormous amount of material out there, from eyewitness accounts and books to newsreels.

My heroine, Sarah Gillespie, is Irish, and the first novel in the series begins with the infamous bombing of neutral Dublin by the Luftwaffe in May 1941. The opening chapters take place during the bombing and its aftermath before the story moves to England. Like many Irish, Sarah has family living in the UK. They welcome her to their home when her own family is killed. Without giving away the plot, Sarah’s nationality leads to complications, and she is forced to decide where her loyalties lie. The complex relationship between the Irish and their ex-colonial masters interests me, and I explore it to some extent in both novels.

Her Last Betrayal by Pam Lecky

Her Last Betrayal continues Sarah’s story. She is now employed by MI5 and must work with a new colleague, a US Naval Intelligence officer, who is hostile and suspicious of her motives. There mission is to track down IRA members who are facilitating British fifth columnists and Abwehr agents entering and leaving the UK. Just as they appear to be making progress, one of the MI5 team is revealed to be a German mole. Their mission thrown into chaos, Sarah and Tony must learn to trust each other if they are to survive.

Again, I referenced Mr Tate’s excellent book only to find that the port used by the IRA was only alluded to as being in South Wales. I knew the UK National Archives document reference number, but the text in question was only available to view in person, not online. Due to Covid, I could not travel to Kew to look at it. So, in the meantime, I had to make an educated guess (Fishguard seemed likely as it connected Cork and neutral Lisbon at the time—a possible route).

As the deadline for finalising the book approached, however, I panicked and took a chance and messaged Mr Tate directly through social media. A few weeks later, he responded and emailed all the information I needed. But, as it transpired, the identity of the port used by the IRA for smuggling people in and out of the UK, remains a mystery. The document Mr Tate had seen only mentioned South Wales. And then the bombshell: the British Secret Service had destroyed the other file which identified the exact location. Although disappointed, at least I had an answer. And let’s be honest, a bit of mystery is music to the ears of a writer of espionage tales!

Her Secret War was published in October 2021 and is available in all good bookstores and online. Her Last Betrayal is published today, 14th April 2022 and is available in all good book stores and online. I am currently working on the third novel in the series, as yet unnamed.

Buy Link: Her Secret War

Buy Link: Her Last Betrayal

In Conversation with Mary Clancy

Today, I am delighted to host fellow Irish historical fiction author, Mary Clancy.

Pam thanks so much for inviting me to feature on your blog.

Mary Clancy

Let me tell you a little about myself. I live with my family in Co. Kildare just outside Naas, with Michael and two of our three sons. My youngest is eighteen, I don’t know where those years went to. I mustn’t forget to mention our treasured dog Coco who is still sprightly at the grand old age of fifteen.

I look forward to having my books in the book shops when I can have a real live launch. (Most important.)

Having retired from my job as a social worker, I took to writing, a hobby which I had enjoyed for much of my adult life. Being offered a three book deal from Poolbeg Press in 2020 was such a dream. And here I am.

In Conversation with Mary Clancy

New Release from Pauline Morgan

Good afternoon and thank you, Pam, for inviting me back to chat about my latest book.

I’d like to tell you a little bit about my second standalone cosy romantic story, Secrets Under Spanish Skies which is available now for pre-order. It will be published on St Patricks Day. Link: https://geni.us/kGf8uB

The idea for the book came from a conversation with a divorced woman who had an offer of starting a new life in Spain or to stay put in Scotland. The writer in me set about thinking if I could expand on the conversation, I could have the bones of a story.

In the past, I have visited Fortuna in Spain quite a few times and thought it would be the perfect setting to start a new life for my character. The book starts off with Moya’s life crumbling around her. She losses her home, has no money and can’t see a way forward.

Her best friend from working in the sewing factory offers her a life-line; to join her in Spain. At this part of the story, I enjoyed bringing in new characters and my story began to unfold.

Tiny plots entwined to reveal the larger plot, along with surprises to keep the reader on their toes. I enjoyed bringing out the bitchy side of my characters and the softer side too.

Before I start writing a book, a good author friend of mine advised me to use a notebook. I usually start with a title, synopsis, the big plot, then figure out were smaller plots can fit into the story. This helps me to see were my arcs will be in the book. I spent some time searching for the right Spanish names; a must, as they have to match up with my characters’ profile. I always write a profile for each character as it helps to create the characters likes or dislikes plus many more distinguishing abilities.

A question many people ask me is what time of day do you sit down to write. I can write at any given time and the same would apply to a location. In the past, I have found myself writing in car parks while waiting for my husband at the hospital. Busy cafes surrounded by people is another great space to lock yourself into the world of make-believe characters. If you are lucky, you might find something random to add to your book or overhear conversations that convey people’s emotions. Cafes and people-watching are a must for any writer. Over the years, I have picked up many tricks of the trade from writer friends or by joining online writing groups. 

Along with my husband, I enjoy visiting local beauty spots for walks and picnics. If an idea pops into my head I immediately whip out my mobile and key it into my notebook.

Do I have any plans for further stories? The answer is yes. At the moment, I am in the middle of a complete rewrite of an old story I had lurking in the back of the cupboard. I hope to inject new life into the story with the skills I have learned along the way.  Tucked away in a brand new notebook are a title and almost a blurb too. I get excited about the thought of starting a new story.

My third book, a Christmas story with a spooky touch, will be published in November 2022.

Secrets Under Spanish Skies

𝐀 𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐂𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐲. 𝐀 𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐭.

Moya moved from Dublin to Nottingham when she was a teenager and met Kevin. But, after they were married, he became increasingly controlling and her only solace was attending Spanish and book-keeping night classes.

When Moya finds out Kevin has cheated on her – worse still, re-mortgaged their house to support his now pregnant mistress, she is devastated and left broken hearted.

At an all-time low, Moya’s oldest friend suggests she join her in Spain. Taking a leap of faith, Moya decides a fresh start in a new country is just what she needs.

But upon her arrival a prediction by a Spanish gipsy’s unnerves Moya…

𝙄𝙨 𝙈𝙖𝙩𝙩𝙚𝙤 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙢𝙮𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙞𝙤𝙪𝙨 𝙇𝙖𝙬𝙮𝙚𝙧 𝙖𝙡𝙡 𝙝𝙚 𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙮 𝙨𝙚𝙚𝙢𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙗𝙚 𝙤𝙧 𝙞𝙨 𝙈𝙤𝙮𝙖 𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙩𝙤 𝙤𝙥𝙚𝙣 𝙪𝙥 𝙋𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙤𝙧𝙖’𝙨 𝘽𝙤𝙭 𝙩𝙤 𝙎𝙚𝙘𝙧𝙚𝙩𝙨 𝙪𝙣𝙙𝙚𝙧 𝙎𝙥𝙖𝙣𝙞𝙨𝙝 𝙎𝙠𝙞𝙚𝙨.

 Pauline Morgan, Author

Retired housewife, Pauline Morgan, relocated to her native Northern Ireland and has been writing since 2000. She decided to write about her experiences in various houses she lived in and, as a result, self-published the paranormal Special Houses. Pauline previously joined the Romantic Novelist Association and participated in their New Writers Scheme. She is a member of an online writing group, Writers Ink VIP. Also, Pauline has written four short stories which were published in Woman’s Way magazine and two which were published in the iconic Ireland’s Own Magazine. She enjoys entering Flash Fiction competitions and was long-listed in the Kanturt Flash Fiction Competition. Her first poem, Airborne, was posted on the Pendemic.ie website in March 2020. Pauline’s primary focus is on women’s fiction.

Sex & Sexuality in Tudor England Blog Tour: Dress to Impress

Today, I am delighted to host Carol McGrath’s book blog tour for Sex and Sexuality in Tudor England.


Whilst researching a book recently published on the subject of Tudor Sex and Sexuality, I especially enjoyed researching provocative fashions for an era that had strict fashion codes including what colours and fabrics particular sections of society could not wear. The cod-piece was a fascinating aspect of this research.

In paintings and manuscript work, young Renaissance men appear utterly gorgeous, jewelled and colourful. The images aim to show beauty as a signifier of inward purity and Godliness, and therefore nothing to do with sex. But they are sexy, and doubtless they appeared so during the sixteenth century, depending on who was looking. Hose colours were significant: green hose suggested youthful vigour while red suggested passion. Fashions shown on illustrations are often outrageous, suggestive of the exotic, foreign and mythical.

Sex & Sexuality in Tudor England Blog Tour: Dress to Impress