A Conversation in the Library with Author Nicola Cassidy

Thanks so much to fellow writer Pam O'Shea for comingOnly a few weeks’ ago, I had the pleasure of attending the launch of December Girl, the debut novel of fellow Irish historical fiction author, Nicola Cassidy. I’m a few chapters in and really loving this story. It grabs your attention straight away – I read the first chapter with my heart pounding!

Nicola has found some time in her very busy life to come along and  join me in the library this evening to share some insights into her life as an author. Continue reading “A Conversation in the Library with Author Nicola Cassidy”

A Conversation with Author Suzan Collins

Head n shouldersThis evening in the Library we have Suzan Collins, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.

You are very welcome, Suzan, please introduce yourself: 

Hi Pam, thanks for having me along. You want a short bio? I write and I eat cake. I do other things too. I also run two companies.

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?

Gosh that’s a long time ago. Yes I did read but was more into sport. Sport was my love and represented school and college. It is important to read and I try to but finding the time when you’re writing and running two businesses can be quite difficult. Continue reading “A Conversation with Author Suzan Collins”

A Conversation with Author Nancy Jardine

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

Hello Nancy, you are very welcome. Please introduce yourself:

Hello! I’m Nancy Jardine. I live in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, a fabulous place for anyone who adores history as much as I do. My week vanishes in a blur of reading, writing, marketing, blogging, news and politics. I’m a fair weather gardener and like thousands of retired people across the UK, I officially (unpaid for government statistics) look after my grandchildren about two and a half days a week. Since they stay next door to me, the rest of the week can be ad hoc minding or just happy interruptions from the 3 and 5 year olds. Any time left during the week is for general living, breathing and sleeping. Many Saturdays, and some Sundays, from April to December I can be found at Craft Fair venues around Aberdeenshire. I sell paperback versions of my novels at these events and get bookings for doing local author talks to various types of groups. I’m a member of the Romantic Novelists Association, the Scottish Association of Writers and the Federation of Writers Scotland. Continue reading “A Conversation with Author Nancy Jardine”

Fireballs & Lighthouses!

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Uncle Billy

I have very happy memories of visiting my mother’s family in County Mayo when I was a child. My Uncle Billy was a great character, famous for his singing and playing the saxaphone. But he was also a terrific storyteller. Unfortunately, he was rather fond of telling ghost stories of an evening. As a young child, unused to country ways and the absolute darkness of a country night, whenever he told one of his eerie tales, I was absolutely terrified. I’d go to bed shaking with fear and would lie there for hours trying to convince myself there was nothing to be afraid of and jumping at the slightest noise in the old house. He probably never realised the effect his stories had on me, and, although at the time I wasn’t too happy about it all, those stories still resonate with me to this day. Continue reading “Fireballs & Lighthouses!”

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. Continue reading “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. Continue reading “Historical Fiction Cover Winner February 2017”