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Promo: The Corsican Widow by Vanessa Couchman

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I'm delighted to host historical fiction author and good friend, Vanessa Couchman , on my blog today. Not only is Vanessa an exceptional writer – her stories are full of intriguing plots and dramatic settings –, she is also a fellow author with Ocelot Press , our successful author cooperative.  In her Tales of Corsica series, Vanessa brings historic the island of Corsica to life in her immersive novels, The Corsican Widow  and The House at Zaronza .  This June, The Corsican Widow is Book of the Month in our Ocelot Press Readers Group on Facebook. Feel free to join us there for our latest news and chats, and some great giveaways! But now, discover her inspiration for the novels, and prepare to follow Vanessa to Corsica! The Corsican Widow Vanessa Couchman Historical Fiction An inspiring Corsican village The island of the island  Corsica is a place apart, but the peninsula of Cap Corse has an even more distinctive feel. Corsicans call it “the island of the island”. The village of N

New Release Spotlight: Shh... It's our Secret by Lizzie Chantree

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Many congratulations to my author friend, Lizzie Chantree ! Her latest fabulous novel, Shh... It's Our Secret , is released today. May it soar up the charts! Here's Lizzie telling us a bit more about her new book baby. Make sure to check it out!  Shh… It’s Our Secret Lizzie Chantree Women's Fiction Thank you for inviting me onto your blog today. I’m thrilled to be sharing details about my latest book, which is called Shh… It’s Our Secret .  Conception behind the Story:  This story is about what someone would do to help people they love, even if it means huge changes to their own life. The main character, Violet has lost her parents and has a boyfriend who tells her she’s useless. She has an amazing talent, but hides it because she doesn’t have self-belief.  A chance encounter with Kai gives her the opportunity to help her local community, who have become her family, but that means having faith in herself. She doesn’t search for limelight, but it finds her anyway. The story

Historical Writers Blog Hop: A Touch of Poison

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Today it’s my turn on the fabulous  Historical Writers Forum Blog Hop , and I have a truly scandalous treat in store for you! So grab yourself a cup of tea or coffee, or a nice glass of Pays de la Loire –  have a sniff or taste first to see if it's safe to consume – then follow me to Paris in the late 17th century!  King Louis XIV reigns supreme from his ever-expanding and brilliantly glittering palace of Versailles, leaving his capital city of Paris and his old palace, the Louvre, behind. In fact, the king detests Paris! It's dirty, there are too many poor people knocking on the gates, and it's crime-ridden! As newly installed streetlights banish the shadows in some of the more affluent areas, there is still an underworld of well-organised criminals operating across the city. Poverty is high, and the many midwives, fortune-tellers and alchemists in town are looking for a more lucrative way of making ends meet.  So they found a handy way for despised husbands or wives, or h

Ocelot Press Book of the Month: The Unkindest Cut of All

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Welcome to the brand-new Ocelot Press Book of the Month ! Each month, we will focus on one particular Ocelot Press publication.  This month it is Sue Barnard ’s romantic intrigue The Unkindest Cut of All , the action of which takes place over one week in March, during an amateur dramatic society’s production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Here’s the blurb: BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH… Brian Wilmer is God’s gift to amateur dramatics – and he knows it.  So when the Castlemarsh Players take the ambitious decision to stage Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, there is only one man who can play the title role – even though Brian’s posturing “prima donna” attitude has, over the years, won him few friends and many foes. Rehearsals progress apace, and the production draws ever closer.  But when another member of the cast has to drop out due to illness, local journalist Sarah Carmichael (a stalwart of the Players’ backstage crew) suddenly finds herself called upon to step into the breach at the eleventh

Dark Deceit is a #1 bestseller

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I'm over the moon!  After nearly ten years in the field, Dark Deceit has become a paid #1 bestseller in the Literary Medieval Criticism Amazon UK charts. I'm so thrilled about it. The idea of Dark Deceit was conceived at a small train station in south Wales, on my way to work at a local university. As I did medieval reenactment in those days, I thought to add my experiences to a novel, and Dark Deceit – a medieval romantic adventure – was born!  It's set in one of my favourite historical period, called The Anarchy by chroniclers. The name describes the period following the death of King Henry I of England in 1135 and the ascension of Henry II to the throne in 1154. The king's designated heir to the throne, his daughter, Matilda, young widow of the Holy Roman Emperor, did not leave her home in Normandy in a hurry to claim her inheritance.  This left her cousin Stephen of Blois to claim the title, as the nearest legitimate male in the royal line, and the support of man