10/11/2017

PLUNDER WITH INTENT BLOG TOUR: FIVE QUESTIONS FOR AUTHOR JOANNA D’ESTE CLARK


Plunder with Intent is a beautiful story of love, justice and tragedy about the family of a 19th Century English aristocrat who steals a line of beautiful marble statues (the Parthenon or Elgin marbles) from their rightful home in Greece. The novel follows the story of the statues from their creation in 5th Century BC to present day; friendships, love affairs and destines are shaped by people’s interaction to the statues. 

     
     After reading this short introduction I was really curious about Plunder with Intent and sent a few questions to author J.E. D’Este Clark to discover more. Here are her answers.

      When and how did you fall in love with the Classical world and all-things-Greek?

My love affair with the Classical world began when I was a child. Always asking ‘why’ from the age of eight, lead me to read the classics and study the great Greek philosophers.  If you want to understand yourself there is no better place to start than with Plato, Aristotle, and of course my favourite, Socrates, who features throughout Plunder with Intent. Homer’s Odyssey was my next big love, and I read it three times while researching my novel.  Reading it as a young person brought the ancient wisdom even closer and has stayed with me ever since. I fell in love with classical architecture while studying history of art and design at university.  Those massive Doric columns enchanted me. There was, of course, a more romantic reason for my passion for the Classical world, but perhaps I’ll keep him a secret… 

28/09/2017

ALICE CHANDLER, MADELON AND CAMERON AND THE DOMINIONS OF TIME

I’ve spent a lifetime with stories—listening to my father’s wonderful stories when I was a child, teaching about stories as an English professor, and finally writing stories for my grandchildren and loving to watch their faces as I read the stories aloud to them.

My first published book for middle schoolers is Madelon and Cameron and the Dominions of Time. It starts out almost as a fairy tale, with a magic ring that can conquer time and space and a boy uncertain of his parentage. As the story unfolds, the two worlds of time become evident. One is the real world of science and rationality—the rocket ships on their launching pads at Cape Canaveral, a New York City brownstone house, the dinosaur hall in the Museum of Natural History. The other world is the magic world. It shades from real places like Stonehenge and a Neolithic Irish burial site to the spectacular imagery of the Bridge of Swords and the brooding terror of the Castle of Bron.

Twelve-year-old Madelon and Cameron are the main characters in my story—or as they soon call themselves Mad and Cam. “Let’s just be Mad and Cam against the world,” Mad says--and rightly so, as they do battle against the evil wizard Daimastron and his gnome-like Gorbuc warriors. Mad is the one who does the right thing impetuously, not always thinking of the consequences she may face. Cam often holds back, but does the right thing in the end.

16/09/2017

REGINA JEFFERS, COULD AN AMERICAN INHERIT AN ENGLISH TITLE? - NEW RELEASE, GUEST POST, EXCERPT

In both of my first two books from the Twins’ trilogy, the issue of whether an American could inherit a title/peerage comes into play as part of the plot. In Angel Comes to the Devil’s Keep, Angelica Lovelace’s parents had run off to America, specifically the United States, to live because they married against the wishes of their families and were disowned. As the third son, Horace Lovelace never thought to inherit, but fate (especially in the hands of a writer) has a way to make his inheritance a reality, while staying within the law of the land at that time. For Lovelace, in determining whether he could inherit a peerage in England after living in the United States for more than twenty years, we must first consider that he and his wife were both born in England. However, the question would arrive as to whether they became American citizens by denouncing their English roots or perhaps by simply living in the States and “presenting” themselves in business and socially as an “American.” Moreover, if Lovelace can inherit, what happens to his son’s rights to the earldom when the boy comes of age? What laws would affect the Lovelace’s situation when he returns to England?

08/09/2017

BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY: READ AN EXCERPT FROM PERFECTLY YOU & WIN $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD



Perfectly You by Robin Daniels  

Ivy Nixon is the student body Vice President at Franklin High School. Each year, the school holds a date auction to raise funds for the senior class graduation party, and this year, Ivy’s in charge. Planning the event is a huge task and Ivy is determined to prove she can get the job done right. Unfortunately, she’s still one participant short and her deadline is looming. Andy Walker, her cute but socially reclusive art class table mate, is her last resort. He may not be popular, but he’s funny, talented, and full of surprises. With a makeover and some major social marketing, Ivy is sure he could fetch a decent price at the auction. Andy reluctantly agrees to help, but the more time Ivy spends with him, the more her feelings shift from professional to romantic in nature. To top it off, she’s done her marketing so well, that other girls are starting to notice Andy too. Come auction time, will Ivy be able to let him go to the highest bidder? Or will she find a way to keep him for herself… Content Description: This is a stand-alone YA contemporary romance with companion novels set at the same high school. It contains minor language, innuendo, and crude humor, some steamy kissing, a party scene where underage drinking is taking place, and a brief but tasteful conversation about sex. The author has attempted to write characters who make good choices in questionable situations, in effort to keep the content appropriate for teens. This book contains no sex, written or implied, and no explicit language. Recommended for ages 14 and up.

01/09/2017

BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY - THE LOST KNIGHT BY CANDY ATKINS



The Lost Knight by Candy Atkins 

How am I supposed to save the world when I'm not strong, not brave, not smart, and not particularly good at most things? I ran away from home the day after my thirteenth birthday when Auntie and her weird friend attacked me. Now I'm on the run with the Grim Reaper and a scary soldier. And I'm no longer on Earth. They were expecting me to be a Knight. The savior that's supposed to stop a war and prevent the invasion of Earth. But I'm not. They grabbed the wrong girl. I just don’t know how to tell them.

30/08/2017

RICHARD ARMITAGE IN BRAIN ON FIRE AND PILGRIMAGE


I needn't say much about Richard Armitage's devoted attention to details in crafting a new character. If you are reading this post,  you most likely are one of his well-wishers - as he prefers to call his fans - so you know much more than that about him.

That care and that attention have helped him deliver outstanding performances on many an occasion, however little or big his role was, no matter if in a low-budget independent project or in a high-profile one.

Impossible not to notice all that also in two recent low-budget movies he stars in after - and nothwithstanding - his worldwide fame as Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit movies:  Brain on Fire (2016) and Pilgrimage (2017)

28/08/2017

WHEN WILLS CLASH AND HEARTS COLLIDE, WHO WILL REIGN VICTORIOUS? THE PURSUIT OF LADY HARRIETT BY RACHAEL ANDERSON


The Pursuit of Lady Harriett by Rachael Anderson                                                      

When wills clash and hearts collide, who will reign victorious?                                        

Termed an Incomparable during her first London season, Lady Harriett Cavendish is beautiful, spirited, and confident, capturing the attention of a great many suitors. Unfortunately, they all failed to capture her attention, and she concluded the season as unattached as she’d begun it. Only weeks prior to her second season, Harriett encounters Lieutenant Christopher Jamison while visiting Tanglewood Manor. Recently returned from war, the lieutenant is everything that Harriett's previous suitors were not. He’s arrogant, ungentlemanly, irritating, and challenges her at every opportunity. When he goes too far, Harriett decides that it’s time to turn the tables on him. But as she sets out to put the lieutenant in his place once and for all, she discovers there is more to him than meets the eye, and when it comes to matters of the heart, she has no control whatsoever.  

                           

24/08/2017

PERFECTLY YOU BY ROBIN DANIELS - BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY


   

Perfectly You by Robin Daniels

Ivy Nixon is the student body Vice President at Franklin High School. Each year, the school holds a date auction to raise funds for the senior class graduation party, and this year, Ivy’s in charge. Planning the event is a huge task and Ivy is determined to prove she can get the job done right. Unfortunately, she’s still one participant short and her deadline is looming. Andy Walker, her cute but socially reclusive art class table mate, is her last resort. He may not be popular, but he’s funny, talented, and full of surprises. With a makeover and some major social marketing, Ivy is sure he could fetch a decent price at the auction. Andy reluctantly agrees to help, but the more time Ivy spends with him, the more her feelings shift from professional to romantic in nature. To top it off, she’s done her marketing so well, that other girls are starting to notice Andy too. Come auction time, will Ivy be able to let him go to the highest bidder? Or will she find a way to keep him for herself… 

This is a stand-alone YA contemporary romance with companion novels set at the same high school. It contains minor language, innuendo, and crude humor, some steamy kissing, a party scene where underage drinking is taking place, and a brief but tasteful conversation about sex. 
The author has attempted to write characters who make good choices in questionable situations, in effort to keep the content appropriate for teens. This book contains no sex, written or implied, and no 
explicit language. Recommended for ages 14 and up.

11/08/2017

BOOK UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT: DIANE SCOTT-LEWIS, HOSTAGE TO THE REVOLUTION

Diane Scott Lewis's new book,  Hostage to the Revolution, is the perfect reading for historical fiction lovers fond of the Poldark saga, of tales set in the English Georgian Era or the French Revolution,  or for those already appreciating  her writing. 
The story of young Frenchwoman, Bettina Jonquiere, came to  Diane,  while travelling through Cornwall a few years back. Once back in the States, she thoroughly researched the eighteenth century and gave life to Escape the Revolution, set mostly in Cornwall, which was her first novel, and  now to a  sequel, Hostage to the Revolution, set in New Orleans and France.  

Hostage to the Revolution: book blurb

Sequel to Escape the Revolution. In 1796, ruined countess Bettina Jonquiere leaves England after the reported drowning of her lover, Everett.  In New Orleans she struggles to establish a new life for her children. Soon a ruthless Frenchman demands the money stolen by her father at the start of the French Revolution. Bettina is forced on a dangerous mission to France to recover the funds. She unravels dark family secrets, but will she find the man she lost as well? 

Read an excerpt

The woman lowered her Carnival mask to reveal the perfect, glacial features of Lucrece Bardou, Geralde’s former fiancée.
Lucrece raised her elegant brows. “Very well, we’ll talk here. Are you seeing my Geralde? You have been noticed with him these past months.” She swatted her fan. “And you were dancing with him out front, like two peasants.”

10/08/2017

PERIOD DRAMA NEWS: OLD FRIENDS AND NEW ACQUAINTANCES COMING SOON



1. GENTLEMAN JACK: SURANNE JONES + SALLY WAINWRIGHT + VICTORIAN ENGLAND

Suranne Jones (Doctor Foster, Save Me, Scott & Bailey)  and  Sally Wainwright (To Walk Invisible, Last Tango In Halifax, Happy Valley) are due on set together again to shoot Gentleman Jack, a coproduction BBC/HBO. Of course, Suranne Jones will lead the cast as the protagonist while Sally Wainwright will sign the screenplay and will direct the 8-part series.
If you love good TV drama you should at least be as excited as me. But if, like me,  you are also a period drama lover, you should be on seventh heaven since this new series is set in 1832.

It’s the story of Anne Lister (Suranne Jones), a remarkable landowner who - after years of exotic travel and social climbing - returns to Halifax, West Yorkshire, determined to transform the fate of her faded ancestral home, Shibden Hall.

09/08/2017

BOOKS & MORE BOOKS - SUMMERTIME READS


Summer means relax and travelling, binge watching and remorseless staying up late,  but it also means spare time for more good books. Have you read anything interesting? I have! Here are some of the best among my holidays reads. Very different genres, international authors - but especially British - all of them  are worth reading and will help you feel good or better.  

Waking Lions by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen


Book BlurbDr Eitan Green is a good man. He saves lives. Then, speeding along a deserted moonlit road in his SUV after an exhausting hospital shift, he hits someone. Seeing that the man, an African migrant, is beyond help, he flees the scene. It is a decision that changes everything.

Because the dead man's wife knows what happened. And when she knocks at Eitan's door the next day, tall and beautiful, holding his wallet, he discovers that her price is not money. It is something else entirely, something that will shatter Eitan's safe existence and take him into a world of secrets and lies he could never have anticipated.
Everything gets more complicated and tense when Dr Green's beloved wife, Liat, smart police officer and detective, starts investigating on the case. 
This new brilliant novel is crafted as a suspenseful thriller, one you suffer putting down and which resonates with you for a while after you finish reading. It is also a touching study of the human mind coping with guilt, shame, desire and resilience. One of the most intriguing books I've read this year. 

05/08/2017

PERIOD & MORE PERIOD - MY SUMMER LIST

I still remember when summer was like: what do I watch now? Because all our favourite shows and Tv programmes were interrupted for some time and nothing new was on,  except old movies and silly stuff. Well, that was in the prehistory of TV and eons before the Net, Netflix or satellite pay-Tv were introduced. 
Why am I thinking about that right now? Because, instead, I've been watching quite a good deal of great TV shows in the latest couple of months, that is,  since summer has started. 
That's not bad at all:  we all have more spare time in the summer and feel less guilty binge watching or staying up late to catch up with our favourite series. 
Luckily enough, there are or there have been several interesting period drama series to pick up among.  Here is  my summer watching list: Will, Still Star-Crossed, Jamestown, Poldark and Turn Washington's Spies.

01/08/2017

CHASING THE SUN BLOG TOUR - KATY COLINS: TRAVEL PACKING HACKS

Who’s Katy Colins?


A successful travel blogger and published writer, of course. But she is especially a very brave woman who has  succeeded in turning a devastating experience into a wake-up call. We all have much to learn from her. This is why I’m very happy to have the chance to introduce her to you all on occasion of the publishing of her fourth book, Chasing the Sun.

What’s her story?


After Katy’s wedding was called off in 2010, she made the life-changing decision to travel solo around South East Asia, leaving behind her successful career and selling everything that wouldn’t fit into a backpack. As she travelled, Katy finally put her adventures and thoughts into words and secured a six book deal with Harper Collins.

Chasing the Sun is Katy’s fourth novel featuring the inimitable Georgia Green and the perfect beach read for this summer! 

                                         Read Katy’s personal story on her website 

14/07/2017

STEVEN A. McKAY - 10 THINGS WILL SCARLET & ROBIN HOOD WOULD LOVE OR HATE ABOUT MODERN TIMES



For this guest blog post we thought it might be interesting to take a look at some of the things we take for granted in the 21st century and think about how our medieval heroes might see them.

Obviously my The Forest Lord series focuses mainly on Robin Hood but the final novella The Abbey of Death is all about Will Scaflock (Scarlet),  so let’s start with him.

1 – Internet searches– Will Scarlet – LOVE

This might surprise readers of my novels. Will is notoriously tetchy and rather set in his ways so why do I think he’d appreciate a massive invention like the rise of the internet? Well, as you’ll find out in the new novella, Will is trying his best to adapt to the changes in his own life and he’s even taken up gardening. Anyone that’s ever tried growing an unfamiliar tree or plant knows the internet is a huge help with things like that so Scarlet would, I’m sure, love the ability to find out about ericaceous compost and the like!