Today I’m delighted to welcome Frances Quinn to talk about her brilliant historical thriller The Smallest Man. Inspired by the life of Queen Henrietta’s dwarf, this wonderful debut novel is full of life and is a heartwarming and fascinating story. Do join us as we chat about inspiration, literary success and why Frances chose a limpet as her spirit animal…
Today on Author Chats Cynthia Ripley Miller talks about the challenges of researching 5th century Europe, the complexities of religious differences, and why the Tale of Two Cities is the first book that made her cry.
Today on Author Chats we enter the mysterious world of Elizabethan spies as Paul Walker takes us to 16th century London and we encounter Walsingham, Foxe and Hawkins as the hero races to uncover a plot to expose the queen. A great chat with Paul about his research, character naming…and, most enviously, his writing shed!
A quick note as I emerge blinking from my writing cave to say that the Historic Heroines talks I gave on behalf of the Friends of Lydiard Park are now available for your viewing pleasure on the Friends’ website. They are only about 30 minutes each and are stuffed full of great photography and behind-the-scenes stories about some very gutsy seventeenth-century ladies. Hope you get a chance to meet them!
The Fall of Kings
(Legend of the Cid, Book 3)
By Stuart Rudge
Castile. 1071AD. Three kings. One crown.
After Sancho II of Castile dispatches his champion Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar to capture his brother, King Garcia of Galicia, he hopes it is a defining moment in his quest to reunite the lands of his father under one banner. But Alfonso VI of Leon is one step ahead, and has already added the lands of Galicia to his domain. When the only alternative is war, Sancho turns to Rodrigo to lead the armies of Castile, and he must use all his tactical acumen to defeat the Leonese in the field. Only one son of Fernando can claim victory and become the Emperor of Hispania.
Rodrigo and Antonio Perez, now a knight of the realm, find difficulty adjusting to the new regime. Dissent and unrest run rife throughout the kingdom, and the fear of a knife in the dark from enemies old and new hangs heavy upon the pair. But if it is allowed to fester, it threatens to undo all that has been achieved. Can Rodrigo and Antonio root out the enemies of the king, and prevent chaos reigning throughout the land?
Stuart Rudge was born and raised in Middlesbrough, where he still lives. His love of history came from his father and uncle, both avid readers of history, and his love of tabletop wargaming and strategy video games. He studied Ancient History and Archaeology at Newcastle University, and has spent his fair share of time in muddy trenches, digging up treasure at Bamburgh Castle.
He was worked in the retail sector and volunteered in museums, before working in York Minster, which he considered the perfect office. His love of writing blossomed within the historic walls, and he knew there were stories within which had to be told. Despite a move into the shipping and logistics sector (a far cry to what he hoped to ever do), his love of writing has only grown stronger.
Rise of a Champion is the first piece of work he has dared to share with the world. Before that came a novel about the Roman Republic and a Viking-themed fantasy series (which will likely never see the light of day, but served as good practise). He hopes to establish himself as a household name in the mound of Bernard Cornwell, Giles Kristian, Ben Kane and Matthew Harffy, amongst a host of his favourite writers.
I couldn’t resist inviting Helen Hollick and Alison Morton to Author Chats together as they cruise through the blogosphere on a whistlestop tour promoting their new books – and new genres! Entertaining, funny, and never lost for words, this is an Author Chat to remember!
I’m so delighted to say we have appointed Sanders Web Works to help us build out Project Archive – an incredible endeavour locating, documenting, curating and digitising 1000 years of Lydiard history. Here’s a link to the announcement, and look for regular updates as we bring this wonderful initiative to life.
The Danish King’s Enemy
(The Earls of Mercia)
By MJ Porter
Every story has a beginning.
Leofwine has convinced his king to finally face his enemies in battle and won a great victory, but in the meantime, events have spiralled out of control elsewhere.
With the death of Olaf Tryggvason of Norway, England has lost an ally, and Leofwine has gained an enemy. And not just any enemy. Swein is the king of Denmark, and he has powerful resources at his fingertips.
In a unique position with the king, Leofwine is either honoured or disrespected. Yet, it is to Leofwine that the king turns to when an audacious attack is launched against the king’s mother and his children. But Leofwine’s successes only bring him more under the scrutiny of King Swein of Denmark, and his own enemies at the king’s court.
With an increase in Raider attacks, it is to Leofwine that the king turns once more. However, the king has grown impatient with his ealdorman, blaming him for Swein’s close scrutiny of the whole of England. Can Leofwine win another victory for his king, or does he risk losing all that he’s gained?
The Danish King’s Enemy is the second book in the epic Earls of Mercia series charting the last century of Early England, as seen through the eyes of Ealdorman Leofwine, the father of Earl Leofric, later the Earl of Mercia, and ally of Lady Elfrida, England’s first queen.
MJ Porter is an author of fantasy (Viking age/dragon-themed) and historical fiction (Early English, Vikings and the British Isles as a whole before the Norman Conquest), born in the old Mercian kingdom at some point since AD1066.
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Today’s Author Chats features an intriguing glimpse into the shady London underworld — a terrifying assailant roaming the streets one hundred years before Jack the Ripper. Best-selling author Donna Scott shares her inspiration for writing such a dark and thrilling history, along with some of her literary pilgrimages and favourite authors. Come and join our fascinating chat!
I’ve made all my short stories free, and you can download them from Amazon US, possibly other worldwide sites if Amazon cooperates, or my website. A little escape from reality, if just for a few minutes. Enjoy!
“When the man you love falls for the sister you hate, dinner in the Tower is the least of your problems, and war interrupts the path of true love.”
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