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Showing posts from July, 2020

New Release: Doorways to the Past are open

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I’m so excited. 

Today is the day when Doorways to the Past is published. ~happy dance~

A collection of short stories and character interviews by five Ocelot Press authors – Sue Barnard, Vanessa Couchman, Nancy Jardine, Jennifer C. Wilson, and me – with a foreword by our newest Ocelot, Yvonne Marjot, Doorways to the Past takes you on a journey encompassing 2,000 years!



My own contributions are an interview with Nanthild from Love Lost in Time, and a short story linked to Dark Deceit, with the Empress Matilda (literally) walking on thin ice. But I do love all the other stories and interviews. So many fascinating characters, and you can get a real sense of the times they (fictionally or really) inhabited.
If you're around later on this afternoon, 5pm-7pm UK time, 6pm-8pm CET, and 1pm-3pm EST, then stop by at our virtual launch event on Facebook where you can win some great prizes! Just click on this link: https://www.facebook.com/events/372655283704981/
Blurb Walk with us through Doorways t…

Research: The Affair of the Poisons

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Today, it’s my turn on the Historical Writers’ Forum ’Momentous Events’ Blog Hop. I’m very excited about that! There have been some fantastic posts already by your favourite historical fiction authors, so make sure to visit their blogs too. You’ll find the full list at the bottom of this page.


I’m going to take you to Paris, and – via the dark quartiers of that city – to the Versailles of King Louis XIV. (Incidentally, the setting of my current work-in-progress.)

Not all was bright and breezy in the Sun King’s realm. Courtiers vied constantly for the King’s attention. If you happened to fall out of favour, you might end up losing your life. And ladies tried desperately to make him fall (or stay) in love with them. They did this by using potions. But more of that later.

In 1675, Mary-Madeleine Dreux d’Aubrey, the Marquise de Brinvilliers was accused of poisoning first her father, then later her two brothers. With the help of servants, the poison was administered to the men's food a…

Review: A Quiet Death in Italy by Tom Benjamin

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Today, I’m taking you to the beautiful Italian city of Bologna – and its dark underbelly – in Tom Benjamin’s gripping political thriller, A Quiet Death in Italy.



When a body is discovered, everyone points their fingers at the police. It seems to fit, the best solution. But after a tip-off, private investigator Daniel Leicester follows a new trail that takes him into the highest political circles of the city – and into danger. 

The author describes Bologna well as he shares his knowledge of the city across the pages. You get a real sense of following in Daniel’s footsteps, of seeing the streets he walks and the building he enters. The characters, especially those in local government circles, are just as you would imagine corrupt officials would be. At times, I found too much description of secondary characters distracting me from the plot, but it’s not a major issue.

The novel maintains a good pace throughout, and there is a great sense of tension in places. The tone has a strong Italian …

Review: The Rebel Heiress and the Knight by Melissa Oliver

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Today, I have the pleasure to review The Rebel Heiress and the Knight, the debut novel from author, Melissa Oliver

My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for a copy of the novel.


Review:

An heiress with a secret. A knight loyal to his king. A secret that could tear them apart.

When Hugh de Villiers is sent north, to visit the lady of Tallany Castle about some outlaws that steal money from the king's tax collectors, little does he know the real reason King John sent him there – to marry the widow. Shocked, but also intrigued by the beautiful, headstrong widow, Hugh does as he is bid. 

Eleanor of Tallany does not want to wed, but finds she has no choice. Her first husband mistreated her, and she'd managed very well on her own. But she acquiesces and marries Hugh, even though she carries a secret with her that he must never know.

I thoroughly enjoyed this fast ride through medieval northern England. The author has clearly done her research, and you get a real sense of place and time.…