– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Along Came A Soldier’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Guest Post, but b
About the Author :
Brenda Davies can trace her Cornish heritage back to the 17th century. She loves to indulge her passion of history and all things Cornish by delving into the past and bringing it alive for the reader to experience, which inspired her to write her debut novel Along Came a Soldier. She enjoys whiskey, chocolate, going to the theatre, and losing herself in a good book. She resides in Bristol, England, where she is currently working on her next novel.
When murder stalks St. Merryn, no secrets are safe…
A forbidden romance…
Set in 1820 Cornwall, Charity Perrow lives a sheltered life in the village of St. Merryn. When she meets and falls for Jethro Ennor, they soon learn their families are bitter enemies, and Charity finds herself torn between remaining loyal to her family and giving into her growing desire for a man they hate.
A village with hidden secrets…
A battle-scarred redcoat is lurking In Greenoak Woods. Struggling to keep his grip on sanity, he’s come home to settle the score with those responsible for the heavy burden he’s been carrying all these years.
An innocent man accused…
When a villager is murdered, the suspicion falls on Jethro. Now Charity must risk everything, including being disowned by her family, to prove his innocence and save him from the gallows.
But as Charity hunts for the truth, she begins to uncover secrets over a decade old—secrets that will change everything.
Guest Post :
Thank you, Stefanie for letting me share some of my thoughts with your readers.
My novel, Along Came A Soldier, is set in Cornwall in 1820. I love writing historical fiction and making the past come alive. It all began when I started researching my family tree. I discovered that the British Newspaper Archive held many historic newspapers that could be read online, including The West Briton, Cornwall’s principal county newspaper at the time.
I was fascinated to read true stories that ranged from press gangs to hangings at the ‘county drop’ in Bodmin, wife selling, and body-snatching. The list of stories is endless as are the many characters that appeared in the papers, some on a regular basis. Such as a John Parkyn who was hung for stealing a pony that he had no use for, or Sydney Guelph Churchill, a quack doctor who treated wounds with cobwebs. It was a time of highway robbers and simple beliefs in curses and witches and wizards.
The skill in writing about the past is to bring it believably alive without making it a history text. Most of the research I do will be valuable for me as a writer, so I can imagine the world I’m creating, but it doesn’t necessarily make it into the book.
I prefer to write about the working class and the struggles they had. Many labourers could not read or write and their belief in superstition was strong. If crops failed or animals died, they usually sought the help of a scatterer of witch spells instead of looking to remedies for disease or sickness. There are many stories of boys as young as ten being sent to prison and whipped, just for stealing sweets and the threats of cholera or typhoid that could wipe out whole families were ever-present. I may not tell the reader all of this, but I do need the reader to see the characters in the setting of 1820. My characters may not react the way you or I would, they cannot consult the internet or even a book, they did not have television or radio, they made their own entertainment if they had the time. Villages would often set themselves against each other just for fun and the clashes between them were often violent.
The people were simple and uneducated and often small-minded. They had pox marked faces and rotten black teeth, lice, and nits, and crabs were common, so was disease and accidents; health and safety did not exist. You grabbed at life, at what was offered, knowing that life was often short.
So my book tries to reflect these times. I do cover the violence that occurred and the different way people died, but these are true newspaper stories that I have incorporated into my own. Times were tough and I want my book to show this. One of my characters is a battle-scarred redcoat who’s struggling to keep a grip on his sanity. He’s fought in many battles from the age of fifteen, and this violent and brutal life has taken its toll.
At the same time, I do believe that friendship and love and loyalty were always present. When two of my characters discover a chance for happiness and love they seize the opportunity. My character Charity’s world rarely extends beyond her village boundary and the local cemetery is a constant reminder of how cruel disease can be, so when the chance of love presents itself, she risks everything to get it and keep it. In a village where everyone knows everyone, friends come together and help each other, and loyalty and bonds are strong.
I do hope you enjoy my novel, Along Came A Soldier.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds