Today, I’m welcoming Raid of the Wolves by Donovan Cook to the blog

Here’s the blurb:

The only thing that kept him going were the voices of his ancestors, screaming for blood…

Ulf and his shield brothers are sent on a raid against an old enemy — Francia, a mighty kingdom to the south, now ravaged by civil war. During the perilous sea voyage, Ulf can only focus on one thing. He demands closure: to find the man who slaughtered his family — Griml.

A hidden enemy stalks Ulf and his warriors through Francia, striking mercilessly when they least expect it. Soon the hunters become the hunted. The Norse warriors must make the ultimate choice between defying the king or angering the gods. Both could end in fury.

But there is another threat lurking in the shadows. One that Ulf could never anticipate.

Ulf is not the only one who wants vengeance.

Buy Links:

Available on #KindleUnlimited

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Meet Donovan Cook

Even as a young child, Donovan loved reading stories about Vikings and other medieval warriors fighting to defend their homeland or raiding in distant lands. He would often be found running around outside with nothing other than a wooden sword and his imagination. 

Now older, he spends his time writing about them. His novels come from his fascination with the Viking world and Norse Mythology and he hopes that you will enjoy exploring this world as much as he did writing about it.

Born in South Africa but raised in England, Donovan currently lives in Moscow, Russia with his wife and their French Bulldog, where he works as an English tutor. When he is not teaching or writing, he can be found reading, watching rugby, or working on DIY projects. Being born in South Africa, he is a massive Springboks fan and never misses a match.

Connect with Donovan Cook

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Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the Raid of the Wolves blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club

Today, I’m delighted to welcome Kerry Chaput and her new book, Daughter of the King, to the blog

Today, Kerry Chaput, joins me on the blog to talk about her new book, Daughter of the King.

My first introduction to the story of the Filles du Roi (Daughters of the King) was while researching my husband’s French-Canadian ancestry. The Catholic records from Quebec are astounding. Detailed family trees, documents from the early settlers, and suggestions for further resources are just a few of the things I found. I discovered dozens of little fleur-de-lis symbols in his family tree and came to find out that these were the women responsible for populating what was then called New France.

I searched everything I could find on the Daughters of the King, early Quebec, the Protestant/Catholic struggle, and life in Seventeenth Century France. Videos of clothing from the area were especially helpful, as I didn’t know what a coiffe or a stay was. I scoured college bookstores and University libraries for books on King Louis XIV and French Canada. 

My favorite tool for this project was Google maps in street view. It allowed me to simulate walking through La Rochelle and Old Town Quebec. This helped me write action scenes and zoom in on details on the buildings, giving me the feeling of wandering the cobblestone paths.

I also recommend organizations devoted to your subject matter. The Fille du Roi societies keep lists of the women with dates and biographies. Various Huguenot societies provided helpful details of life and beliefs of the French Protestants. Not only is their data accurate, but they tend to provide a more intimate look into the lives of who you are researching. Big sites like online encyclopedias give more general overviews, but it’s the small details that make a story come to life. 

It’s easy to get swept up in the research, but the fun for me is putting that knowledge to work in your story. I continued to mix drafting and revising with online research. I’m a revision writer, so it gives me the freedom to pursue a storyline or plot idea first, sharpening the details later. I find it very helpful to write in layers, adding and trimming in multiple drafts. It’s tempting to spend three hours researching something like shoes or how candles were made, but you have to stop yourself from research paralysis and just write.

The benefit of writing historical fiction is how beautifully plot unfolds for you. History is full of fascinating and almost unbelievable stories. When you follow the research, sometimes it feels as if your story writes itself. It always amazes me that when you’re patient, little gifts land in your laptop. Sometimes exactly what you’re looking for comes up in an obscure memoir or interview. It’s hard not to see the magic in that. It feels like you are so connected to your story that history comes alive to show you what comes next.  

I think the key to writing historical fiction is finding the theme that bonds people today with those from another time and place. It’s difficult to choose a story purely because it’s interesting. You must have a deep connection to it. It needs to speak to you on an emotional level. I think Daughter of the King tugged at me because it is such an incredible story. Orphans, recruited from their dire circumstances and given power, money, and protection. Three hundred and fifty years ago, and these women interviewed potential spouses to choose their preferred husbands! It was so unexpected that it gave me chills. And knowing that my daughters are descended from over three dozen of these women made the story that much more important to me. 

I think this is why we read about people in history — to discover that humans are not that different from each other. Regardless of time or place, we all fight similar struggles. 

Thank you so much for sharing with me. Good luck with the new book.

Here’s the blurb

La Rochelle France, 1661. Fierce Protestant Isabelle is desperate to escape persecution by the Catholic King. Isabelle is tortured and harassed, her people forced to convert to the religion that rules the land. She risks her life by helping her fellow Protestants, which is forbidden by the powers of France. She accepts her fate — until she meets a handsome Catholic soldier who makes her question everything.

She fights off an attack by a nobleman, and the only way to save herself is to flee to the colony of Canada as a Daughter of the King. She can have money, protection and a new life — if she adopts the religion she’s spent a lifetime fighting. She must leave her homeland and the promises of her past. In the wild land of Canada, Isabelle finds that her search for love and faith has just begun. 

Based on the incredible true story of the French orphans who settled Canada, Daughter of the King is a sweeping tale of one young woman’s fight for true freedom. Kerry Chaput brings the past to life, expertly weaving a gripping saga with vivid historical details. Jump back in time on a thrilling adventure with an unforgettable heroine.

Trigger Warnings:

Violence, sexual assault

Read for free with #KindleUnlimited subscription.

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Meet the Author

Born in California wine country, Kerry Chaput began writing shortly after earning her Doctorate degree. Her love of storytelling began with a food blog and developed over the years to writing historical fiction novels. Raised by a teacher of US history, she has always been fascinated by tales from our past and is forever intrigued by the untold stories of brave women. She lives in beautiful Bend, Oregon with her husband, two daughters, and two rescue pups. She can often be found on hiking trails or in coffee shops. 

Connect with Kerry Chaput

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Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the Daughter of The King blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club

I’m delighted to welcome Rosemary Griggs to the blog with a post about her new book, A Woman of Noble Wit

Your book, A Woman of Noble Wit , sounds fascinating. Can you share with me what the first idea was that made you decide to write this story? It might be very different from how the story ended up being, but I am curious, if you don’t mind sharing. And, if the story is very different, would you mind sharing the process by which you ended up with your current novel?

For example, my current book started off after watching an old Pathe TV show about making motorbikes and sidecars and has ended up as a 1940s mystery involving an unidentified body!

Retirement can be a wonderful thing.  If you’re lucky, as I am, it can set you free and give you time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Since I retired I’ve been able to indulge a lifelong passion for history and I’ve also been dusting off some long-neglected dressmaking skills. I started to research and make sixteenth century clothing to wear as a volunteer at a local National Trust property. That was where I first met Katherine Champernowne, the subject of my novel.  I now bring this remarkable Devon woman to life for audiences all over the county and use her clothes to open up conversations about how people like her lived.  As I learned how to make her clothes I found it wasn’t enough to just look all right on the outside. I wanted to construct my costumes as accurately as possible, layer by layer,  so that I could feel what it was like to dress as she did — to walk in her shoes.  

Rosemary in costume

In the same way, I wanted to understand what it felt like to live through those times as an educated well-born woman far from the Royal Court.  We hear a lot about the lives of King Henry and his Queens, but little about the largely unrecorded, unnoticed women, who stood behind other famous men who changed the course of history. I thought Katherine’s story deserved to be told. That germ of an idea would eventually turn into my novel. 

I read every book I could find on the lives of women in sixteenth century England.  I researched Katherine’s family and Devon’s Tudor history.  I spent many happy hours poring over old documents in the archives.  I visited the places she knew. I read biographies of her famous sons, amongst them Sir Humphrey Gilbert and, of course, Sir Walter Raleigh.

Picture from Wikimedia commons

Sir Walter was a prodigious writer.  His letters, books and poems reveal a lot about his character. His deeds as Queen Elizabeth’s favourite, as a soldier, sea captain, poet and more, are well recorded. There are even descriptions of him written by his contemporaries.  For Katherine herself and for some of the other people in her life there is much less to go on.

In 1538 Thomas Cromwell was behind a new law that required priests to keep a record of baptisms, marriages and burials.  One of his better ideas, I think.  But key events in Katherine’s early life fell well before the new system started. Record keeping was patchy at first and many registers have been lost or damaged, So tracking down the most  basic details of her life — the exact date of her birth, and of her two marriages —was very difficult.  We do know that she was laid to rest beside her second husband. In a letter Sir Walter wrote to his wife before his execution he said he wanted to be buried beside his parents “in Exeter church”.  It’s believed that Katherine Raleigh died in 1594, shortly after she made her will. But the page that would have recorded her burial is missing from the register of St Mary Major’s in Exeter, though Walter Raleigh senior’s burial is listed there in February 1580/1581. Nor can we read her will as it was originally written.  It was lost in a second world war bombing raid on Exeter in 1942 when the City Library, the repository of over a million documents and books, was completely destroyed.  Only due to the diligence of a nineteenth century scholar do we have a transcript of her last wishes.   We do, however, have an account of her courageous vigil in the prison cells beneath Exeter Castle with protestant martyr Agnes Prest. It was published during Katherine’s lifetime in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, which says that Katherine Raleigh was “a woman of noble wit and godly ways.” That gave me my title. 

At first I thought I would write a fully sourced academic biography,  but I found that there were many gaps to fill, many areas of doubt.  Scholars even remain divided about the exact dates of birth of her boys.  My research fixes the birthday of only her eldest Gilbert son, John, with certainty, confirmed in his father’s Inquisition Post Mortem.   For her other children the dates remain uncertain.  Even the number of children she bore is open to question. For example, there may have been a second Gilbert daughter named Elizabeth, others may have died in infancy unrecorded.

I pieced together as much as I could from what was recorded about Katherine’s brothers, sisters, parents and other relatives, some of whom  had close connections to the Court. I recently published a blog post setting out the research that has convinced me that the other Katherine Champernowne, the one  who was known as Kat, later married John Ashley, and was governess to the young princess Elizabeth, was Katherine Raleigh’s sister. 

Photo of Kat Ashley from Wikimedia Commons

Another sister, Joan wife of Sir Anthony Denny, served several of King Henry’s Queens and is recorded as a close friend of Katryn Parr.  The careers of Katherine’s Carew cousins Sir George, who went down in the Mary Rose, and Sir Peter, feature often in  the record.   

Beyond that I started to look for clues from which I could develop plausible explanations for the missing pieces in the jigsaw of Katherine Raleigh’s life.  The personalities of people who played their part in her story started to emerge of their own volition.  I started to put flesh upon the bones of the bare skeleton the historical record had left me.   I felt I was really getting to know Katherine and her world. The more I discovered, the more I wanted to bring her to life; to explore how she might have become the woman who inspired her sons to follow their dreams.  So, my story of Katherine’s life started to evolve and take shape, a story that also did justice to the exciting events that gripped Devon in those turbulent years. Where I have found facts are backed up by reliable source documents I have respected them.  But I have sought to weave those facts together with fiction to create a believable and compelling story of one woman’s life in a changing world. 

Wow, thank you so much for sharing. That’s a fantastic story. Thank you so much for sharing your reasons for writing your new book. I think your Tudor dress is fantastic.

Here’s the blurb:

Few women of her time lived to see their name in print. But Katherine was no ordinary woman. She was Sir Walter Raleigh’s mother. This is her story.

Set against the turbulent background of a Devon rocked by the religious and social changes that shaped Tudor England; a Devon of privateers and pirates; a Devon riven by rebellions and plots, A Woman of Noble Wit tells how Katherine became the woman who would inspire her famous sons to follow their dreams. It is Tudor history seen though a woman’s eyes.

As the daughter of a gentry family with close connections to the glittering court of King Henry VIII, Katherine’s duty is clear. She must put aside her dreams and accept the husband chosen for her. Still a girl, she starts a new life at Greenway Court, overlooking the River Dart, relieved that her husband is not the ageing monster of her nightmares. She settles into the life of a dutiful wife and mother until a chance shipboard encounter with a handsome privateer, turns her world upside down.…..

Years later a courageous act will set Katherine’s name in print and her youngest son will fly high.

Trigger Warnings: Rape.

Buy Links:

Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/47O1WE

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Barnes and Noble:  WaterstonesiBooksWHSmithFoyles

Meet the Author

Rosemary Griggs is a retired Whitehall Senior Civil Servant with a lifelong passion for history. She is now a speaker on Devon’s sixteenth century history and costume. She leads heritage tours at Dartington Hall, has made regular costumed appearances at National Trust houses and helps local museums bring history to life.

Connect with Rosemary Griggs

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Don’t forget to check out the other sops on the A Woman of Noble Wit blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club

Welcome to today’s stop on The Girl from Portofino by Siobhan Daiko blog tour

Your book, The Girl from Portofino , sounds fascinating. Can you share with me what the first idea was that made you decide to write this story? It might be very different from how the story ended up being, but I am curious, if you don’t mind sharing. And, if the story is very different, would you mind sharing the process by which you ended up with your current novel?

Thank you so much for inviting me as a guest on your blog. I’m thrilled to be here.

When I’d finished writing “The Girl from Venice”, I knew I wanted to write another book about a girl from the Italian Resistance. So, I started researching the areas in Italy where the Resistance was strongest and came across the bands of partisans in the northern Apennines. 

PASQUILIO, MONTIGNOSO / ITALY – JANUARY 2 2020 : American soldiers fight at the front climbing the steep green wild mountains of the Apuan Alps along the Gothic Line in camouflage uniform in the steep

I needed a well-known place in which to set the story and hit upon the idea of Portofino. I had no idea before researching what happened there during the war and cried out a resounding ‘yes’ when I discovered that it had been occupied by the German Navy as a headquarters for their coastal defences, the SS incarcerated and tortured political prisoners in a tower on the isthmus, the inhabitants of the village were forced to relocate when concrete sea defences were built, and the quaysides were mined for fear of aquatic landings. Portofino, known today as a mecca for wealthy tourists, became a target for Allied bombing after the Nazis built anti-aircraft and anti-naval batteries on the headland and the portofinesi lived in fear for their lives.

Portofino, italy, panoramic view

The series features girls from the Italian resistance. Gina, my heroine, is the daughter of a fisherman who joins the partisans to fight the Nazi-fascists in the mountains of the hinterland, leaving her twin sister, Adele, behind. When I wrote the outline of the book, I knew that Gina would read Adele’s diary, left behind during the war, and that Adele worked for the Germans. There is a secret which is revealed towards the end of the book. When I started writing, the characters of the twins leapt off the page and the more I wrote, the more the theme of the love between the two sisters developed.

Portofino, Genova, Liguria/Italy – December 9 2016: a view of Portofino at sunset

Thank you so much for sharing. Good luck with the new book.

Here’s the blurb:

In 1970 Gina Bianchi returns to Portofino to attend her father’s funeral, accompanied by her troubled twenty-four-year-old daughter, Hope. There, Gina is beset by vivid memories of World War 2, a time when she fought with the Italian Resistance and her twin sister, Adele, worked for the Germans. 

In her childhood bedroom, Gina reads Adele’s diary, left behind during the war. As Gina learns the devastating truth about her sister, she’s compelled to face the harsh brutality of her own past. Will she finally lay her demons to rest, or will they end up destroying her and the family she loves?

A hauntingly epic read that will sweep you away to the beauty of the Italian Riviera and the rugged mountains of its hinterland. The Girl from Portofino” is a story about heart-wrenching loss and uplifting courage, love, loyalty, and secrets untold.

Trigger Warnings:

The brutality of war, death, war crimes against women.

Buy Links:

Available on KindleUnlimited.

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Meet the Author

Siobhan Daiko is a British historical fiction author. A lover of all things Italian, she lives in the Veneto region of northern Italy with her husband, a Havanese dog and two rescued cats. After a life of romance and adventure in Hong Kong, Australia and the UK, Siobhan now spends her time, when she isn’t writing, enjoying her life near Venice. 

Connect with Siobhan

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https://www.facebook.com/siobhan.daiko.

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Don’t forget to check out the other stops on The Girl from Portofino blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club

Coelwulf’s Company – Tales from before The Last King

Here it is – a little treat for fans of Coelwulf and his warriors.

Having given many hints as to how the motley crew got together, I decided to write some short stories, from different points of view, to see just what Icel, Edmund, Coelwulf, Pybba and of course, Rudolf, think of one another and how they came to be battling the Raiders in AD874.

The collection consists of 5 short stories, and also another short story which laid the foundation for Coelwulf and his warriors. (This short story is freely available on the Aspects of History website, but I added it just so readers who haven’t discovered it yet could see it. Do please check out my author platform on Aspects of History and all the other excellent authors on there as well.)

I hope you’ll enjoy it, and if you do, I can press on with writing more short stories, because it’s been a great deal of fun! And you know me, I do like to tell a story backwards:)

Coelwulf’s Company is available as an ebook from Kindle and can be read with Kindle Unlimited.

The Only Living Lady Parachutist by Catherine Clarke Book Review – historical fiction

Today, I’m pleased to share my review for Catherine Clarke’s fabulous book, The Only Living Lady Parachutist. I was lucky enough to read this in beta with The History Quill and I absolutely loved it. I’m so pleased it’s now available for everyone to enjoy.

Here’s the blurb:

To test her courage, daredevil Lillian risks her life for fame and fortune by parachuting from a hot air balloon throughout Australia and New Zealand. But in the competitive 1890s era of charlatans, showmen, and theatrical hucksters, is she brave enough to confront the truth about her past? A story of courage and ambition, and the consequences of secrets and lies.

I really loved The Only Living Lady Parachutist. The author told a magnificent story that sucked me in, and I read it in three evenings. I was enthralled by the story of Lillian and her daredevil approach to life, and also by the wonderful reimagining of Australia and New Zealand at the time. (I’d not long finished watching The Luminaries so it tied it perfectly). The fact it’s based on ‘real’ people, as I discovered at the end, only added to my enjoyment of it, and I can appreciate how much fun the writer had in piecing together the story (and perhaps, how much heartache as well.)

The Only Living Lady Parachutist is available now on Kindle.

Connect with Catherine at her website or follow on twitter.

(this post contains some Amazon affiliate links).

The news is out. Son of Mercia, the start of my new series, coming from Boldwood Books in February 2022

Here’s the blurb:

The start of a brand new series from bestselling author MJ Porter.


Tamworth, Mercia AD825.

The once-mighty kingdom of Mercia is in perilous danger.

Their King, Beornwulf lies dead and years of bitter in-fighting between the nobles, and cross border wars have left Mercia exposed to her enemies.

King Ecgberht of Wessex senses now is the time for his warriors to strike and exact his long-awaited bloody revenge on Mercia.

King Wiglaf, has claimed his right to rule Mercia, but can he unite a disparate Kingdom against the might of Wessex who are braying for blood and land?

Can King Wiglaf keep the dragons at bay or is Mercia doomed to disappear beneath the wings of the Wessex wyvern?

Son of Mercia is the start of a brand new series, The Eagle of Mercia Chronicles, and will be released on 16th February 2022. It is available to preorder (universal link), right now, from Amazon, Kobo (where you can read a cheeky preview), Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Apple and Angus & Robertson. It will be available in ebook, paperback, hardback and audio, and also in some book stores. I will add the details closer to release date.

To keep up to date with all things The Eagle of Mercia and Son of Mercia, please sign up to my Boldwood Books Newsletter.

I can’t wait to share my new series with my readers.

Today, Meredith Allard is talking about her new festive book, Christmas at Hembry Castle

Today, I’m delighted to welcome Meredith Allard to the blog with a fascinating post about her new, festive book, Christmas at Hembry Castle.

There’s a joke I’ve seen on Pinterest, a cartoon of a writer watching TV. The character says, “I’m researching!” to the cynical-looking people standing nearby. For those of us who write fiction, we know that watching TV or movies, listening to music, or going for walks really is research because all of it becomes part of the writing process. Writers, especially fiction writers, need their imagination fueled regularly, and it’s the little things we do, such as stealing an hour here or there to watch a favorite TV show or listen to our favorite music, that help to fill the creative well so that we have a brain full of ideas when we sit down to write.

When it comes time to write, especially if I’m writing an historical story, I try to immerse myself in the time period as much as possible. If I feel as if I’ve traveled back in time, then it’s easier for me to carry my readers along with me on the journey. Here are some of the places I found inspiration while writing my Victorian story Christmas at Hembry Castle. I wrote Christmas at Hembry Castle with the deliberate intention of putting my own spin on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, which made the task more challenging, but it was a challenge I relished because I adore Dickens and especially A Christmas Carol. In fact, Edward Ellis, one of the main characters, is based on a young Dickens. Here are some of the resources I used for Christmas at Hembry Castle

Books

Nonfiction:

 Up and Down Stairs: The History of the Country House Servant by Jeremy Musson

What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by Daniel Pool

How To Be a Victorian: A Dusk-to-Dawn Guide to Victorian Life by Ruth Goodman (one of my new favorite historians—she lives what she studies)

The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens’ London and Inside the Victorian Home: A Portrait of Domestic Life in Victorian England by Judith Flanders

The Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in Regency and Victorian England From 1811-1901 by Kristine Hughes

To Marry an English Lord by Gail MacColl and Carol McD. Wallace

Below Stairs: The Classic Kitchen Maid’s Memoir That Inspired “Upstairs, Downstairs” and “Downton Abbey” by Margaret Powell

The Essential Handbook of Victorian Etiquette by Thomas E. Hill

Fiction:

When reading novels, I look for books written during the era I’m writing about as well as novels written about the era. Other times I’ll find inspiration in a novel that isn’t necessarily set in that time but there’s something about the story that provides some ideas.

The Buccaneers and The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

Snobs by Julian Fellowes

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Television and Film

For me, TV and film are the same as fiction—some of what I watch is set in the era, some is not, but all stir my imagination in one way or another.

 Downton Abbey 

Upstairs, Downstairs

The miniseries of The Buccaneers

North and South

Lark Rise to Candleford

Cranford

A Christmas Carol (the animated version, as well as the one with Patrick Stewart and my personal favorite—A Muppets Christmas Carol)

Music

Since my Victorian story is set in the 1870s, people were dancing to waltzes and polkas. Strauss and Chopin were favorite composers, which works well for me since I love to listen to classical music. And of course, many of our favorite Christmas carols that we sing today were quite popular during the Victorian era such as “Silent Night” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.”

Pinterest

I adore Pinterest. For me, Pinterest isn’t social media as much as something I do for fun because I love it so much. When I needed to describe the sitting room at Hembry Castle or if I needed an idea of what a Victorian sitting room decorated for Christmas might look like, I simply needed to go onto my research board, find the pin for the photograph I wanted to use as inspiration, and describe what I saw. If you’re writing your novel on Scrivener, you can import those photos directly into your novel file so they’re readily available when you need them. 

Wow, it sounds like you had great fun writing your new book. Good luck with it, and have a lovely Christmas:)

Here’s the blurb:

You are cordially invited to Christmas at Hembry Castle.

An unlikely earl struggles with his new place. A young couple’s love is tested. What is a meddling ghost to do?

In the tradition of A Christmas Carol, travel back to Victorian England and enjoy a lighthearted, festive holiday celebration.

Buy Links:

Meredith Allard’s Website

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Barnes and NobleKoboiBooks

Meet the Author

Meredith Allard is the author of the bestselling paranormal historical Loving Husband Trilogy. Her sweet Victorian romance, When It Rained at Hembry Castle, was named a best historical novel by IndieReader. Her latest book, Painting the Past: A Guide for Writing Historical Fiction, was named a #1 new release in Authorship and Creativity Self-Help on Amazon. When she isn’t writing she’s teaching writing, and she has taught writing to students ages five to 75. She loves books, cats, and coffee, though not always in that order. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Visit Meredith online at www.meredithallard.com.

Connect with the author

Website:  FacebookPinterest

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Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the Christmas at Hembry Castle blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club

An Earls of Mercia short story

Alas, the writing gods have kept me busy this year, but not on a new Earls of Mercia story, which I hope to start early next year. I really must apologise for this. I considered spending December working on it, but I’m going to work on editing my two current projects, allowing me to begin on the new book, which will cover the reign of Edward the Confessor after he marries, in the new year.

But, fear not, fans of the series, I have written a new short story for you, which you can find in the Aspects of History collection, Iron and Gold, also featuring Anne O’Brien, Paul Bernardi, Theodore Brun, Paula de Fougerolles, Philip Gooden and Peter Sandham.

The collection can be read free via Kindle Unlimited, ebook or via paperback. If you don’t have a Kindle Unlimited subscription, and haven’t held one for the last 12 months, then you can get a free 30 days subscription by following this link, but do remember to cancel it if you don’t wish to continue with the subscription.

I have powered my way through all the other stories and thoroughly enjoyed all of them. It has added to my TBR list as well.

And, that’s not it, for Aspects of History have also released Imperium, a collection of Roman short stories.

And if that’s not enough, you can also find some more short stories, by me, and the other Aspects of History authors over on the website and you can read these for free.

Enjoy.

(This post does contain Amazon affiliate links).

It’s History Writers Day on Twitter this weekend (so 2 days:))

HistoryBookChat over on twitter has organised a monumental weekend of promotions from history writers and publishers over the weekend 27th and 28th November 2021, and I’m taking part too.

As part of the weekend, I will be offering the chance to buy paperbacks directly from me, which I can sign and dedicate as desired. I have a good collection of many of my books – and particularly The Ninth Century and The Erdington Mysteries, as well as Lady Estrid, available. (If you would like a different title, do just send me an email or a tweet and I will see what I have for you.)

I won’t be charging tonnes for these – just enough to cover postage and production costs. If you’re in the UK, every book will be £10.00 including postage – if your order is for more than one book, I will offer a postage discount. If you’re further afield, I will calculate the cheapest and securest way of getting the books to you.

If you don’t want a book, but would like something signed, I also have some postcards, admittedly showing the old Ninth Century covers, which I can pop in the post for minimal cost. (I will accept payments via my Paypal account so nothing too complicated there, and I believe I will be able to send invoices for purchases.)

And now, I’d like to share with my readers, not one new book, but instead two (well one is a short story in a larger collection.)


Firstly, The Automobile Assassination.

If you want to see my inspiration for writing the book, then click here. If you would like to enter a competition to be in with a chance of winning a signed paperback of The Automobile Assassination, then please enter via rafflecopter here.

Erdington, September 1944

As events in Europe begin to turn in favour of the Allies, Chief Inspector Mason of Erdington Police Station is once more prevailed upon to solve a seemingly impossible case.

Called to the local mortuary where a man’s body lies, shockingly bent double and lacking any form of identification, Mason and O’Rourke find themselves at Castle Bromwich aerodrome seeking answers that seem out of reach to them. The men and women of the royal air force stationed there are their prime suspects. Or are they? Was the man a spy, killed on the orders of some higher authority, or is the place his body was found irrelevant? And why do none of the men and women at the aerodrome recognise the dead man?

Mason, fearing a repeat of the cold case that dogged his career for two decades and that he’s only just solved, is determined to do all he can to uncover the identity of the dead man, and to find out why he was killed and abandoned in such a bizarre way, even as Smythe demands he spends his time solving the counterfeiting case that is leaving local shopkeepers out of pocket.

Join Mason and O’Rourke as they once more attempt to solve the impossible in 1940s Erdington.

You can find The Automobile Assassination on Amazon, here and book 1 in the series, The Custard Corpses, is currently 99p and equivalent if you want to start at the beginning.


And now to my second book, or rather, short story collection, and the perfect way to get a taste of the Aspects of History authors, Iron and Gold, newly released on 25th November in ebook format on Amazon. Do please visit the website to find a whole swathe of author interviews and short stories, as well as book reviews from the Aspects of History authors.

‘A veritable medieval banquet… An array of accomplished authors, covering an array of stories, which should introduce different readerships to each other.’ Richard Foreman

Aspects of History, the new hub for history and historical fiction, are proud to publish Iron & Gold.

The collection covers tales from both the medieval era and the medieval world, written by a number of bestselling authors in the genre – including Theodore Brun, Philip Gooden and Anne O’Brien.

Many of the stories include famous characters from popular series, as well as famous and infamous figures from history including Chaucer, King Edward and the Merovingian dynasty.

Read your favourite authors or be introduced to new ones.

Beware the Storm, by Paul Bernardi

The Tale of Fredegar’s Bane, by Theodore Brun

The Eyrie, by Paula de Fougerolles

The Miracle, by Philip Gooden

The Quality of Mercy, by Anne O’Brien

To be a King, by MJ Porter

Another Blackbird Field, by Peter Sandham

Iron and Gold is currently available as an ebook and can be read free with #KindleUnlimited. The paperback will be released in the coming weeks.

My story, is an Earls of Mercia short, told from a character’s viewpoint I’ve never explored before. I hope you enjoy it.


I hope you enjoy all the links here, and find something new to read. And, do consider signing up for my newsletter if you want to keep up to date with new releases and other developments. Enjoy the rest of History Writers Day and thank you to @Books2cover for organising such a great event.