When the body of Maggie McFarland, an 86-year old widow, is
found among the rubble of the once-famous, landmark Artemis Hotel, leveled by
fire nearly seventy years ago, residents of Roscoe are shocked. However, it is
not the location where Maggie is found, but rather the manner of her demise
that has everyone puzzled. For it isn't a heart attack that has felled her; nor
has she suffered a stroke, or taken a fatal fall from a porch. Her life has not
ended so uneventfully. Maggie has been killed by a bullet to the heart, fired
from a pistol at close range. Who would possibly want to kill this kind, gentle
woman, known throughout the area as one of the best trout fly tiers within a
hundred miles of the famed Beaverkill River? That is the mystery that confronts
Matt Davis in Broken Promises, one of the most baffling cases of his career.
Check out one of my all-time favorite trilogies by
Bilyeau. She is one of my favorite writers of the Tudor Era. I highly
Tudor fiction like no other.
Joanna Stafford, a Dominican nun, learns that her favorite cousin has been
condemned by Henry VIII to be burned at the stake. Defying the rule of
enclosure, Joanna leaves the priory to stand at her cousin’s side. Arrested for
interfering with the king’s justice, Joanna, along with her father, is sent to
the Tower of London.
While Joanna is in the Tower, the ruthless Bishop
of Winchester forces her to spy for him: to save her father’s life she must
find an ancient relic—a crown so powerful, it may possess the ability to end
With Cromwell’s troops threatening to shutter her
priory, bright and bold Joanna must decide who she can trust so that she may
save herself, her family, and her sacred way of life. This provocative story
set in Tudor England melds heart-stopping suspense with historical detail and
brings to life the poignant dramas of women and men at a fascinating and
critical moment in England’s past.
It was a time of fear. It was a
time of prophecy. It was a time for one woman to show a courage she never knew
Winner of the Best Historical Mystery Award from
the RT Reviews, 'The Chalice' is a thriller told from the point of view of a
young woman caught in the crosswinds of time: She has pledged to become a
Dominican nun in an England ruled by Henry VIII, who has ruthlessly smashed his
country's allegiance to Rome. By 1538, the bloody power struggles between crown
and cross threaten to tear the country apart. Joanna Stafford has seen what
lies inside the king’s torture rooms and risks imprisonment again, when she is
caught up in a shadowy international plot targeting the King. As the power
plays turn vicious, Joanna understands she may have to assume her role in a
prophecy foretold by three different seers, each more omniscient than the last.
The life of Henry VIII as well as the future of Christendom are in her
hands—hands that must someday hold the chalice that lays at the center of these
deadly prophecies. As she struggles to forge a life for herself in a country
that rejects her faith, she must also decide if her future should be shared
with a man--and if so, which of the two men who love her should be chosen.
The next page-turner in the
award-winning Joanna Stafford series takes place in the heart of the Tudor
court, as the gutsy former novice risks everything to defy the most powerful
men of her era.
After her Dominican priory in Dartford closed
forever—collateral damage in tyrannical King Henry VIII’s quest to overthrow
the Catholic Church—Joanna resolves to live a quiet and honorable life weaving
tapestries, shunning dangerous quests and conspiracies. Until she is summoned
to Whitehall Palace, where her tapestry weaving has drawn the King’s attention.
Joanna is uncomfortable serving the King, and
fears for her life in a court bursting with hidden agendas and a casual
disregard for the virtues she holds dear. Her suspicions are confirmed when an
assassin attempts to kill her moments after arriving at Whitehall.
Struggling to stay ahead of her most formidable
enemy yet, an unknown one, she becomes entangled in dangerous court politics.
Her dear friend Catherine Howard is rumored to be the King’s mistress. Joanna
is determined to protect young, beautiful, naïve Catherine from becoming the
King’s next wife and, possibly, victim.
Set in a world of royal banquets and feasts,
tournament jousts, ship voyages, and Tower Hill executions, this thrilling tale
finds Joanna in her most dangerous situation yet, as she attempts to decide the
life she wants to live: nun or wife, spy or subject, rebel or courtier. Joanna
Stafford must finally choose.
I have the great pleasure to announce that I have been
honored of being the short-list judge for the Historical Novel Society Indie
Award alongside Steve Donoghue HNS US Indie Review Editor and author Janis
Pegrum Smith - and the Finalist judges: James Aitcheson (author and historian)
and Anna Belfrage author and 2015 Indie Award Winner.
Here's the full longlist - the nine selected shortlist
titles will be announcedhereon 1st January.
a story, I am always wondering how the writers came up with the name for their
characters. Now, historical fiction, I get. Except maybe for the fictional characters
thrown in. Does the writer look on the internet, billboards, name their characters
after friends, favorite actor, family or foe? Or do the names just pop in their
heads? I wonder if some writers come up with the name from the personalities of
their characters. That would be cool. Or do they take an on-line survey? As you
can see, there are endless ways to come up with names…
reason, this is just one of the many thoughts on my mind in the world of a
writer and reader.
I write alternate history, so I use names of Historical figures. Okay, okay, I use names that have always
appealed to me or of names of people I’ve come across growing up as well. Names
of girls I wish my mother named me or who I despised. Names of boys I disliked
with a passion or had a crush on. Hey, at least I can admit this out loud in a
VERY public way.
Do you often
wonder how writers come up with names?
Pompeii was a lively resort flourishing in
the shadow of Mount Vesuvius at the height of the Roman Empire. When Vesuvius
erupted in an explosion of flame and ash, the entire town would be destroyed.
Some of its citizens died in the chaos, some escaped the mountain's wrath . . .
and these are their stories: A boy loses his innocence in Pompeii's flourishing
streets. An heiress dreads her wedding day, not knowing it will be swallowed by
fire. An ex-legionary stakes his entire future on a gladiator bout destined never
to be finished. A crippled senator welcomes death, until a tomboy on horseback
comes to his rescue. A young mother faces an impossible choice for her unborn
child as the ash falls. A priestess and a whore seek redemption and
resurrection as the town is buried. Six authors bring to life overlapping
stories of patricians and slaves, warriors and politicians, villains and heroes
who cross each other’s' path during Pompeii's fiery end. But who will escape,
and who will be buried for eternity?
There are moments when I read more
than one book at a time. I can’t help myself and my moods have been all over
the place lately with differnt genres. Luckly, I can keep up with all of the stories in
my head without getting confused. Okay, Okay I’ll tell you a little secret. I take notes
as well. Shh…don’t tell. Plus, I have a big project I have been asked to work
on in the new year and I need to clear some of my reading shelf. This project
will take up almost half a year worth of reading. More to come later about
So let’s get started! Below are the
books I’m reading and what I have to say about each book thus far. Enjoy!
I have been dying to get my hands on
one of Libbie Hawkers books. When this came available through NetGalley, I
jumped on it. I’ve read the first few pages so far and I am intrigued with the
premise. Review coming soon.
Zenobia takes control of her own fate, will the gods punish her audacity? Zenobia, the proud daughter of a Syrian sheikh,
refuses to marry against her will. She won’t submit to a lifetime of
subservience. When her father dies, she sets out on her own, pursuing the power
she believes to be her birthright, dreaming of the Roman Empire’s downfall and
her ascendance to the throne.
Defying her family, Zenobia arranges her own
marriage to the most influential man in the city of Palmyra. But their union is
anything but peaceful—his other wife begrudges the marriage and the birth of
Zenobia’s son, and Zenobia finds herself ever more drawn to her guardsman,
Zabdas. As war breaks out, she’s faced with terrible choices.
From the decadent halls of Rome to the golden
sands of Egypt, Zenobia fights for power, for love, and for her son. But will
her hubris draw the wrath of the gods? Will she learn a “woman’s place,” or can
she finally stake her claim as Empress of the East?
The Beautiful Daughters has been completely conflicted. My thoughts are torn with this story, actually. I’m reviewing this one for
NetGalley, so you will see more of my thoughts soon when I post the review.
Adrienne Vogt and Harper Penny
were closer than sisters, until the day a tragedy blew their seemingly idyllic
world apart. Afraid that they got away with murder and unable to accept who
they had lost—and what they had done—Harper and Adri exiled themselves from
small-town Blackhawk, Iowa, and from each other. Adri ran thousands of miles
away to Africa while Harper ventured down a more destructive path closer to
Now, five years later, both are convinced that
nothing could ever coax them out of the worlds in which they’ve been living.
But unexpected news from home soon pulls Adri and Harper back together, and the
two cannot avoid facing their memories and guilt head-on. As they are pulled
back into the tangle of their fractured relationships and the mystery of
Piperhall, the sprawling estate where their lives first began to unravel,
secrets and lies behind the tragic accident are laid bare. The former best
friends are forced to come to terms with their shared past and search for the
beauty in each other while mending the brokenness in themselves.
I’m almost through with, 'In the Shadow of the
Storm' by Anna Belfrage. I am on the last few pages. What an adventure! I’m
reserving the rest of my thoughts for my written review which will come in the
Adam de Guirande owes his lord,
Roger Mortimer, much more than loyalty. He owes Lord Roger for his life and all
his worldly goods, he owes him for his beautiful wife – even if Kit is not
quite the woman Lord Roger thinks she is. So when Lord Roger rises in rebellion
against the king, Adam has no choice but to ride with him – no matter what the
ultimate cost may be.
England in 1321 is a confusing
place. Edward II has been forced by his barons to exile his favourite, Hugh
Despenser. The barons, led by the powerful Thomas of Lancaster, Roger Mortimer
and Humphrey de Bohun, have reasons to believe they have finally tamed the
king. But Edward is not about to take things lying down, and fate is a fickle
mistress, favouring first one, then the other.
Adam fears his lord has over-reached, but at present Adam has other matters to
concern him, first and foremost his new wife, Katherine de Monmouth. His bride
comes surrounded by rumours concerning her and Lord Roger, and he hates it when
his brother snickers and whispers of used goods.
Kit de Courcy has the
misfortune of being a perfect double of Katherine de Monmouth – which is why
she finds herself coerced into wedding a man under a false name. What will Adam
do when he finds out he has been duped?
Domestic matters become irrelevant when the king sets out to punish his
rebellious barons. The Welsh Marches explode into war, and soon Lord Roger and
his men are fighting for their very lives. When hope splutters and dies, when
death seems inevitable, it falls to Kit to save her man – if she can.
'In the Shadow of the Storm' is
the first in Anna Belfrage’s new series, The King’s Greatest Enemy, the story
of a man torn apart by his loyalties to his lord, his king, and his wife.
Hysterical Love by Lorraine Wilke is a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree and the author kindly sent me a copy because of the support I
have been giving her on Layered Pages. She is a delight to work with and I’ve
been wanting to read her stories for a while now. Being from the South and
reading a story where the setting takes place in California is new to me and
thus far I am enjoying the experience. Lorraine certainly does not hold back
with her prose and style. One can tell she enjoys her craft in character building.
Dan McDowell, a
thirty-three-year-old portrait photographer happily set to marry his beloved
Jane, is stunned when a slip of the tongue about an “ex-girlfriend overlap” of
years earlier throws their pending marriage into doubt and him onto the street.
Or at least into the second bedroom of their next-door neighbor, Bob, where Dan
is sure it won't be long. It's long.
His sister, Lucy, further confuses matters with
her “soul mate theory” and its suggestion that Jane might not be his... soul
mate, that is. But the tipping point comes when his father is struck ill,
sparking a chain of events in which Dan discovers a story written by this man
he doesn’t readily understand, but who, it seems, has long harbored an
unrequited love from decades earlier.
Incapable of fixing his own romantic dilemma, Dan
becomes fixated on finding this woman of his father’s dreams and sets off for
Oakland, California, on a mission fraught with detours and semi-hilarious
peril. Along the way he meets the beautiful Fiona, herbalist and flower child,
who assists in his quest while quietly and erotically shaking up his world.
When, against all odds, he finds the elusive woman from the past, the ultimate
discovery of how she truly fit into his father's life leaves him staggered, as
does the reality of what’s been stirred up with Fiona. But it’s when he returns
home to yet another set of unexpected truths that he’s shaken to the core,
ultimately forced to face who he is and just whom he might be able to love.
Lorraine Devon Wilke, author of the acclaimed
debut novel, After The Sucker Punch, brings her deft mix of humor and drama to
a whip-smart narrative told from the point of view of its male protagonist.
Hysterical Love explores themes of family, commitment, balancing creativity,
facing adulthood, and digging deep to understand the beating heart of true love.
Perfidtas is the sequel to Inceptio by Alison
Morton. Her stories have been awarded the B.R.A.G. Medallion. Her alternate history
series is unlike anything I have read before. I’m totally digging its
uniqueness and the world she has created. Be sure to check out this series. I
recommend starting with the first book. The stories build on each other.
Present day, alternate reality.
Captain Carina Mitela of the Praetorian Guard Special Forces is in trouble –
one colleague has tried to kill her and another has set a trap to incriminate
her in a conspiracy to topple the government of Roma Nova. Founded sixteen
hundred years ago by Roman dissidents and ruled by women, Roma Nova barely
survived a devastating coup d’état thirty years ago. Carina swears to prevent a
repeat and not merely for love of country.
Seeking help from a not quite legal old friend could wreck her marriage to the
enigmatic Conrad. Once proscribed and operating illegally, she risks being
terminated by both security services and conspirators. As she struggles to
overcome the desperate odds and save her beloved Roma Nova and her own life,
she faces the ultimate betrayal…
Often times I switch to modern day thrillers to
mix things up a bit. It also helps me keep things in perspective when it comes
to my own writing. I am an avid reader of Historical Fiction but writing
an alternate history story that takes place in the modern day and reveals a 16th
Century past. It’s pretty cool. I’m having a lot of fun with it.
A body in a rundown Opera House.
Simmering resentment in a small Virginia coastal town.
A missing manuscript.
A dark family secret.
Former piano prodigy turned FBI agent Scott Drayco is suffering nightmares from
his last case as a private consultant. To add insult to injury, he's bequeathed
an unwanted and rundown Opera House in Cape Unity, a down-on-its-luck seaside
village where vacation homes were once a playground for the rich. His hopes for
a quick sale are dashed when a new client with dreams of his own redemption is
murdered in the Opera House, the letter “G” mockingly carved into his chest.
Slowly, inevitably, Drayco is pulled into a tangled web of jealousy and
betrayal that reaches across the Atlantic into some of the darkest days of
human history. But will he be able to untangle the web before the tensions in
Cape Unity explode into more violence and he becomes the next victim?
Okay, so as a general rule I do not do Vampire
Stories (usually) but this captured my attention some time ago and I’ve been
too curious about it to stay away. What do I think of it so far? Well, you’ll
just have to wait. I want to surprise you.
Henry Stuart, Duke of
Gloucester, the youngest brother of King Charles II is a handsome man with
sound principles. When the twenty-year-old prince contracts smallpox in 1660,
however, his life takes a decidedly sinister turn. Obsessed with Henry from afar,
Contessa Griselda di Cuorenero - one of the Devil's concubines - turns him into
a vampire and plunges him into the world of night. But Henry soon discovers
that not all horrors are of the paranormal kind... In the unnaturally close
village of Coffin's Bishop, Henry encounters a severely abused young woman -
Susanna Edmonds - a woman who has suffered under humans more monstrous than
vampires. Could love save them from the evil they have known? And at what cost?
Henry must choose between his humanity and his monstrous, insatiable desire for
human blood. From the author of "His Last Mistress," The Stuart
Vampire is a dark gothic tale in the vein of The Monk.
The Historian is one I have read before (more
than once) and I’m thoroughly enjoying it still. I’m reading it with a different
eye this time around. Alas, it’s a dense read with articulate prose and I am absorbing this lush story in small lavish dosages.
To you, perceptive reader, I
bequeath my history…
Late one night, exploring her father’s library, a
young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters addressed
ominously to ‘My dear and unfortunate successor’. Her discovery plunges her
into a world she never dreamed of – a labyrinth where the secrets of her
father’s past and her mother’s mysterious fate connect to an evil hidden in the
depths of history.
Thanks for stopping
by! Be sure to check out my wordpress
for author interviews and much more!
Every year my mother, sister, my
daughter and I like to have a “girl’s day out” or a “girl’s weekend”. The last
trip we took was to the Biltmore in North Carolina during the spring time. This
year my sister and her husband came to visit for Thanksgiving so we decided to have
a girl’s afternoon tea at The Ritz Carlton in Buckhead, Georgia. Off we went
the day before Thanksgiving to have our tea.
First our tea of choice was poured.
Mine was the Blackberry Tea.
Then delicate tea sandwiches were
brought out. Just look at the variety of sandwiches to choose from. Each one
was absolutely delicious.
As we savored each bite we talked
about different things and enjoyed the ambiance surrounding us. Even my teenage
daughter was impressed and it takes a lot to a compliment out of her.
As we finished the sandwiches and
more tea was poured by our hostesses, the scones were brought to our table. The scones were served with clotted cream, lemon curd and strawberry
Then last but surely not least, the
delightful little cakes and an assortment of pastries was served. What a
wonderful afternoon tea and memories made to cherish always.
Each morning when I wake up, I have so
much on my mind. First is to give thanks to God. Then get my daughter up and to
school. That is a process in itself! Then there is my tea before I can actually
function for the day and then I move on to work related items. I have the great
privilege of working in the book industry. Which is perfect because one of the things I always
have on my mind is, books. *I can imagine my daughter saying to me if she were
watching me type this, “No…who would have thought?”* Got to love teenagers.
Anyhow, I thought I would share a few pictures of some books I’d like to get to
in the next foreseeable future. Of course I will be posting more titles later
on. I’m not going to let you off the hook that easily. *smiles* I know many of
you will want to add these to your never ending to-read list. Or for those of
you who are looking for a good book. Or you are looking for great gift ideas
for Christmas. Here you go. Enjoy!
If you and your friends like to read, come on over and join the
indieBRAG reading team! Free ebooks and no limit to how many you must read.
Enjoy yourself and help support good indie books-
Join at: www.bragmedallion.com
like to welcome Marci to my blog today to talk with me about what Historical
fiction means to her and the importance of it. Also at the end of the interview
I have shared a few of my thoughts about her book, Enchantress of Paris
what are the periods of history focused on for your writing?
of Paris is set in seventeenth century France, during the reign of Louis
I spent a good deal of my childhood growing up in Yorktown,
Virginia, where locals still tell Revolutionary War tales. Most of those tales
were of men - brave generals and soldiers. But I was always interested in the
roles women played in major events - where were they? Despite having few rights
throughout most of history, women were indeed active, either influencing or
defying powerful men, and sometimes forging their own destinies.
did you know you wanted be a Historical Fiction writer?
I was riding atop a red double-decker bus when someone said,
“There’s the Banqueting House, where Charles I was beheaded.” I’d been under
the impression that only kings ordered beheadings! I decided to research
everything about the Stuart family that my nursing professors didn’t bother
teaching me in nursing school. Eventually, that research turned into writing my
debut novel, Girl on the Golden Coin.
And I've been writing historical fiction ever since!
much time do you spend on research? What sources do you use?
I spend way too much time on research!I read, read, then read some more! Since
almost none of my characters are fictional, I find biographies most helpful. I
can’t even tell you how many I’ve read throughout the years. But I also
research general history books to gain an understanding of the political
landscape. I scour maps. I wade through every source from my era plucking out
period and cultural details. Sometimes I contact archivists in the area I’m
researching to request copies of source materials that real historians research,
such as letters and wills.
do you feel is the importance of Historical Fiction?
One of my high school teachers had a poster on the wall that read,
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” It struck me.
I decided I didn’t want to make the mistakes of my forefathers, so I’ve always
approached my historical research with an analytical eye. However, as the old
adage goes, history is written by the victors. We cannot assume that all we’ve
been taught about how our modern world was shaped is accurate. We must strive
to know the facts and seek alternate points of view if we want to understand. I
think historical fiction is special because it animates those alternate points
of view. Historical fiction engages people, putting fresh perspective on old
are your influences?
Philippa Gregory, Margaret George, Tracy Chevalier, and Michelle
much fiction (in your opinion) is best to blend with historical facts?
In the historical genre, I believe the facts should structure the
fiction. I strive to be as historically accurate as possible, though I’m an
amateur historian. In my novels, readers will find fictionalized answers to
questions unanswered in the history books. I hope readers will also consider
history to be not only a setting in my novels, but an active part of the plot,
a character at times, and motivation for everything that happens.
do you feel the genre has progressed in the last ten years?
The last ten years have seen a great deal more historical fiction
with a literary bend than the prior decade. It is a genre always in flux.
Currently, the most popular period is World War I, but I think a good royal
adventure like Enchantress of Paris
will always intrigue readers.
are the important steps in writing Historical Fiction?
Do your homework. Research, research, then research some more.
Research until you can make history part of your story, not just a background.
If you write about a historical figure, remember to be true to that person’s
must you not do writing in this genre?
You must not get tripped up by anachronisms. Tempting as it may
be, in historical fiction you cannot have Louis XIV behind the wheel of a
Rolls-Royce! And you can’t have Louis XIV and Marie Mancini take a stroll past
the Eiffel Tower!
writing, do you use visuals to give you inspiration? Such as historical
pictures of people, castles, and owns? What about historical objects?
Oh yes, I have copies of Marie Mancini’s portraits hanging on my
walls. Maps of seventeenth century Paris strewn about my desk. And I have
copies of seventeenth century astrological almanacs, ones Marie Mancini may
have read, on my bookshelf.
About the Book, Enchantress of Paris: A Novel
of the Sun King’s Court
The alignment of the
stars at Marie Mancini's birth warned that although she would be gifted at
divination, she was destined to disgrace her family. Ignoring the dark warnings
of his sister and astrologers, Cardinal Mazarin brings his niece to the French
court, where the forbidden occult arts thrive in secret. In France, Marie
learns her uncle has become the power behind the throne by using her sister
Olympia to hold the Sun King, Louis XIV, in thrall.
Desperate to avoid her mother's dying wish that she spend her life in a
convent, Marie burns her grimoire, trading Italian superstitions for polite
sophistication. But as her star rises, King Louis becomes enchanted by Marie's
charm. Sensing a chance to grasp even greater glory, Cardinal Mazarin pits the
sisters against each other, showering Marie with diamonds and silks in exchange
for bending King Louis to his will.
Disgusted by Mazarin's ruthlessness, Marie rebels. She sacrifices everything,
but exposing Mazarin's deepest secret threatens to tear France apart. When even
King Louis's love fails to protect Marie, she must summon her forbidden powers
of divination to shield her family, protect France, and help the Sun King
fulfill his destiny.
not often I read historical Romance. Matter of fact, I read one last year that
took place in France that was in the same genre. It was enough for me for a
while. I have become extremely selective in this genre for many reason but I
will not touch on that today. But I will say that I’ve read a ton of books that
takes place in royal courts and I wanted something new and fresh. However, when
I was first approached about reviewing this story, I was hesitate but when I
read the title, premise, and book cover, it appealed to me instantly. Not
having the opportunity to read Marci’s first book, Girl on the Golden Coin-which I hear
nothing but praise, I had to read this one to find out about Marci’s amazing
craft of writing. Does Marci pull it off in Enchantress? Well, yes. I believe she
has. Here’s why. For a women to capture a King’s love and hold it amongst a
vast court of women’s intrigue in wanting to capture his attention. Marie held
her own despite the odds and danger against her and she did it brilliantly. Not only that, she defies her uncle-a
powerful Cardinal-time and time again. Alas, in the beginning of the story, I
wasn’t too sure about her. Having read on, Marc builds on Marie’s character,
wit, charm and strength. But all is not well in the French court or the young King’s
will or power.
is another matter altogether. I wanted to dive in the story and shake him to no
end. That’s all I can say about that. I don’t want to give spoilers away. Marci
did a superb job in her character development. There were quite a few characters
I loved to hate in this story. A major plus.
intrigue, romance, politics, danger, passion, charm, atmospheric, solid plot, great supporting characters. This story has it all. I’m
rating this book four and a half stars! A must read!
Be sure to
check out Marci’s blog tour appearance and to find out more about her writing, her
Medallion Honoree Kathryn Guare is here today to talk with me about her
book, Deceptive Cadence. Kathryn lives in the Vermont town where she grew up,
part of the third generation of her family to call the tiny capital city of
Montpelier home. She spent ten years as an executive with a global health
membership and advocacy organization, worked as a tour coordinator in a travel
agency, and has traveled extensively in Europe and India. She has a passion for
Classical music, all things Celtic, and exploring ethnic foods and diverse
cultures. Her first novel, "Deceptive Cadence" was awarded a Gold Medal
in the Readers Favorite Awards and a Silver Medal in the Next Generation Indie
Book Awards, and most recently was honored with an IndieB.R.A.G Medallion. She
currently has three books published in the Conor McBride Series, with more on
Hello, Kathryn! Thank you for
chatting with me today and congrats on the B.R.A.G. Medallion. How did you
I belong to
the Alliance of Independent Authors and several of its recipients are Medallion
recipients. Through the discussions in the member forum, I came to understand
that indieBRAG was very well respected among authors and other professionals in
the self-publishing industry, so I decided to check out the website and
learn more. Please tell me about your book,
I like to think of it as “a thriller with heart.” The hero
of the book is an Irishman named Conor McBride. He’s a talented musician whose
career was ruined when was arrested for a crime he didn’t commit. Now, he’s
been asked to reinvent himself, and assume an undercover identity to search for
the man responsible, who happens to be his own brother, Thomas. The book is
about his wild ride from the west coast of Ireland all the way to India, as he
finds himself drawn into a dangerous game where things are not what they seem
and he doesn’t know who to trust. Who designed your book cover? I worked
with Andrew and Rebecca Brown at Design for Writers. They are based in the UK
and I’m in the US, but despite the geographical distance the whole process felt
very collaborative and positive, and I was really happy with the result.
What are a couple of the themes
written in your story? I focus a
lot on character development in my writing, so I’d say the most important theme
in the story is the internal struggle of the hero to hold on to his own sense
of identity. He’s not a professional spy, and he’s a decent man, so he has
trouble with the moral ambiguity of what he’s doing. Pretty quickly, he gets
sucked into this world of criminal gangs, drugs and human trafficking. He used
to be a man who carried a violin everywhere, and now he’s a man who carries a
gun. And what’s worse (from his standpoint, not the reader’s!)is his discovery that he’s very good at it.
He’s learning things about himself he didn’t want to know, and as the book
continues he begins to realize that he can never “unlearn” them, or go back to
the life he had before. What is an example of conflict that
Conor experiences in his undercover identity? I’d say one
big conflict is his attitude about his brother. Thomas is ten years older and was
Conor’s hero, so when he disappeared and let his younger brother take the fall for
a crime he’d committed, it was a bitter betrayal. Conor’s first instinct is to refuse
the mission to find him, but once he’s persuaded Thomas is in danger he can’t
help but go through with it, because in spite of everything he still loves his
brother, and part of him also wants the opportunity to confront him and get an
To read the rest of this fascinating interview with Kathryn Guare, clickhere
In a story where status means power and survival
depends on how the game is played, two people, one a squire wronged in life and
one a noblewoman, are drawn together by lust and a lost inheritance in twelfth
century England. Guy of Gisborne is a man with secrets, Ysabel of Moncrieff, a
naïve and opinionated noblewoman whose world comes tumbling down like the
stones of a mighty cathedral on the death of her mother.
Gisborne is ordered to Aquitaine to escort the young woman home to attend to
her grieving father and whilst travelling, she discovers Gisborne's secrets are
not just connected with his family but with the throne of England.
Pablo Perez is a 12-year-old poor kid without much
going for him. His classmates have dubbed him "Duct Tape" because his
tattered discount-store sneakers are held together with...you guessed it, duct
tape. He can't escape the bullying.
Pablo's luck, however, changes after he finds a $20
gold coin while swimming with his sister in a river near their home. Pablo
later buys a $1 treasure map at the county fair. The map shows the route to the
"lost treasure" of Jesse James. Pablo can't help but wonder: Is there
a link between the map and the gold coin?
He is determined to find out, and he, his 9-year-old
sister and 13-year-old cousin hire, an ill-natured cave guide, and begin a
treacherous underground adventure in search of treasure.