Guest post on English Historical Fiction Authors

Siege of AcreJoin me at English Historical Fiction Authors for my guest post: War Crime, or a Strategic Military Decision? The Massacre at Acre, August 20, 1191.

Siege of Acre By Blofeld of SPECTRE at en.wikipedia (Transfered from en.wikipedia) [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ASiege_of_Acre.jpg

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Get swept away to the 12th centurySweeping battles, forbidden love, and 2 knights fighting for Richard the Lionheart
MEN OF THE CROSS
A 2014 B.R.A.G. Medallion honoree and Readers’ Favorite
Get it from Amazon or B&N
Book II of Battle Scars: For King and Country
will be published in 2015.

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Talking about the book: Inceptio

InceptioTitle: Inceptio (Roma Nova I)
Author:  Alison Morton

A tidbit about the author
The author admits she’s been a Roman ‘nut’ since the age of 11. She served in the military in a special communications regiment in one of those jobs where you don’t talk about what you do, see, or hear.

The story
New York, present day, alternate reality. Karen Brown, angry and frightened after surviving a kidnap attempt, has a harsh choice – being eliminated by government enforcer Jeffery Renschman or fleeing to mysterious Roma Nova, her dead mother’s homeland in Europe.

The scene that made you laugh out loud or cheer
There are numerous places in Inceptio to cheer for the good guys, to celebrate Carina’s successes. You won’t believe the obstacles the author has created for her main character. Get ready for a rollercoaster ride and hold on to your hat!

The place where you wanted to throw the book across the room
Lurio and Carina? Agh! I kept hoping the author was just teasing. I won’t say more because that would spoil it for you!

A memorable line (or two)
‘I’ve arranged for you to stay at my apartment.’
‘And you’ll be staying where?’
He gave me that tight-lipped, wide-eyed, exasperated look of somebody dealing with an idiot. ‘What’s the problem? It’s large enough to contain both our egos for a while. I’ll put locks on the doors if you’re worried you may be overcome with desire for my body.’

Karen/Carina’s sarcasm is a treasure. And several characters give it right back to her. Carina even tells one ‘partner’:  ‘You’ll have to be patient with me if I foul up somewhere. Just say something cutting and sarcastic and I’ll get the message.’  

My verdict **** 4.5 stars ****
Inceptio
is a heart-pumping drama/thriller that opens with the fairly ordinary existence of Karen Brown. But as Karen’s life unfolds and we/she learns about her family’s past, the story is far from ordinary. Karen endures kidnapping, is threatened by government agents, and is nearly frozen to death by an antagonist who makes you cringe every time his name is mentioned, let alone when he is ‘on screen.’ Karen’s need to move to Roma Nova, her adaptation to a new and very foreign life there, and her transformation to Carina Mitela, a heroine/soldier with some kick-ass abilities, makes this book a page-turner. The action scenes are well done, the romance is fun, the spy capabilities are believable and I wouldn’t doubt that Morton’s former life as a soldier are the basis for much of the operational military protocols in the book.

I love the author’s world in this alternative history. The protagonist Karen/Carina is living in New York – in the EUS (Eastern United States) – when the novel opens. Morton does a great job filling in background history, only dropping in information as needed, but coloring the tale with references to “those foreign countries like Louisiane and Quebec,” the Presidential Mansion (in Washington, which was once known as Georgetown), the Western Territories, and Franklin Day. Morton makes the history she’s created perfectly believable without giving the reader a history lesson. And did I mention I want to live in Roma Nova?

See Alison Morton’s website for more information, or buy her book here.

Posted in book reviews, historical fiction | 6 Comments

Interview with Author Steven A. McKay

Char:

rotw-final-final3In honor of Steven’s publication of book 3 of his Robin Hood series, Rise of the Wolf, I am reposting the interview I did with him last fall.

Originally posted on The Many Worlds of Char....:

Stephen A. McKayI am delighted to have Steven A. McKay, author of bestselling novels Wolf’s Head and The Wolf and the Raven, visit with me today. Steven introduced me – and thousands of other readers I imagine – to Robin Hood in 14th century Yorkshire. Wait! What happened to the Sheriff of Nottingham? I’ll let Steven talk about his research and writing, and maybe I will get some insight about self-publishing from this indie author who is rocking the Amazon charts.

CN: Welcome, Steven! Let’s jump right in. Why Robin Hood in the 14th century? 

SM: When I started researching the Robin Hood legend I found out there was quite a lot of evidence that the “real” man had lived around that period. The ballads mention things that fit with the early 14th century and, to be honest, I was very pleased to find that out as it allowed me to put a new spin…

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Guest posting on Layered Pages Writers Series

typewriter keys
Why do I write?
What impact has writing had on my life?
What advice would I give to new writers?

Stephanie Hopkins poses these questions to me today on Layered Pages. Join us!

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Get swept away to the 12th centurySweeping battles, forbidden love, and 2 knights fighting for Richard the Lionheart
MEN OF THE CROSS
A 2014 B.R.A.G. Medallion honoree and Readers’ Favorite
Get it on Amazon (print & ebook) & Nook and at Smashwords.
Book II of Battle Scars: For King and Country
will be published in 2015.

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Third Crusade history – my guest post on English Historical Fiction Authors

10 July 1190
A day that could have changed the course of English history.

Join me on English Historical Fiction Authors for

The Third Crusade: an Early Mishap at Lyon

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Get swept away to the 12th centurySweeping battles, forbidden love, and 2 knights fighting for Richard the Lionheart
MEN OF THE CROSS
A 2014 B.R.A.G. Medallion honoree and Readers’ Favorite
Get it for Kindle & Nook and at Smashwords.
Book II of Battle Scars: For King and Country
will be published in 2015.

Posted in historical fiction, research | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Coming down slowly from the Rocky Mountain highs

Rocky Mountain National Park“I’ve been through the cities and the towns
but there’s nothing like feeling small
when I’m looking down…”
–Arbitrary Sky

I am attempting to adjust to real life by listening to music and enjoying my vacation pictures. Come along for the ride…

 

 

 

 

 

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Rocky Mountain highs amidst the Historical Novel Society Conference

What a way to begin my first HNS conference – a 3 hour broadsword workshop with writer/actor/swordsman David Blixt and his associate Brandon St. Clair Saunders.
david and brandon

These two gentlemen were superb swordsmen and were incredibly patient with some of us who were a bit uncoordinated, i.e., me!

Sword and shield

 Mary (from Iowa) and me!

Sparks flew. (Yeah, right.) We had a blast. And no humans were maimed in the process.

Even better, I met authors Sharon Kay Penman (Lionheart;and, A King’s Ransom; and many more) and Patricia Bracewell (Shadow on the Crown; and, The Price of Blood) in the workshop.

Sharon is such a lovely woman. I’d ‘met’ her through social media a couple of years back. She emailed me about 2 weeks before the conference and invited me to have lunch with her. Novelist Priscilla Royal joined us. This was the best conference moment ever! We talked of our love of the Angevins, of writing, deadlines, and marketing, of our favorite medieval fiction writers, and of the books we were working on and had already written.

me and Sharon Kay Penman

Me & Sharon Kay Penman

Priscilla Royal & me

Priscilla Royal & me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

at the indieBRAG booth

with Geri & Stephanie at the indieBRAG book

 

And if that wasn’t enough, I met Geri & Bob Clouston and Stephanie Moore Hopkins of indieBRAG, who are extremely supportive of indie-published writers and made me feel so much at home. Stephanie also writes and hosts LayeredPages.

 

I’ll save the description of sessions I attended for another post – and there were many I enjoyed. It was surreal stepping into an elevator with two of my favorite authors: Diana Gabaldon and Patricia Bracewell. But the absolute highlight – beyond lunch with Sharon – was spending time with two individuals I’ve come to know through Twitter and Facebook: Anna Belfrage and Alison Morton. Both are indieBRAG Medallion honorees (multiple times!) and were such fun. Two of the warmest people I know.

Anna & me

Anna & me

with Alison Morton

me & Alison

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post-conference blues hit when you have to say goodbye to friends, but I headed north to Rocky Mountain Park to enjoy some time with family and great scenery.

Rocky Mountain National Park

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