#BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @maryanneyarde / #GuestPost : Wall of Stone – Heather Robinson @HevRob1 #HistoricalFiction #AncientRome

– ‘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 ‘Wall of Stone’ blogtour, organized by The Coffee Pot Book Club.
To promote this book I have a guest post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Heather Robinson is a novelist and short story award winner from Wiltshire, UK. Her academic background includes a Bachelor of Science degree with most of her working life spent as an Administration Manager locally. She is also a qualified and experienced radio presenter, hosting a weekly show for Warminster Community Radio. Proud parents of two boys, Heather and her husband Graham share a passion for live music, hiking and motorcycling.

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Synopsis :

Book Title: Wall of Stone
Author: Heather Robinson
Publication Date: 23rd August 2014
Publisher: Independently Published
Page Length: 366 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

In AD121 the Twentieth Legion of Rome stands at the northern frontier of Britannia. Forgotten, neglected and dour in spirit, they must still do their duty for an Empire whose meaning is becoming lost to them.
As the lives of the local Teviot family intertwine with the legion, relationships of love and bitter anguish unfurl. Will the invading army push north? Will the disputing native tribes unite in an uprising? Can Marcus be with Jolinda?
When peace is fragile, friendships count for everything…

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Guest Post :

Thank you for inviting me to give a guest blog on the subject of Britannia, which is where my novel, Wall of Stone is set.
The Latin name for the whole of the British Isles is ‘Britannicae’ and this is how it would have been referred to by the Romans before their partially successful conquest which began in AD43. England and Wales later became known by the derivative Britannia, and unconquered Scotland, Caledonia.
Britannia was on the edge, the very extreme limit, of the Roman Known World and rather unimportant to the Roman Empire really, although they would be aware from traders crossing the Channel that Britannia was rich in resources such as lead, copper, gold, iron, salt, silver and tin. All materials that were in demand across the Roman Empire, and it was the disputing Celtic tribes of south east Britannia threatening to disrupt this trade that attributed to Emperor Claudius’s decision to invade. It offered an opportunity to build an alliance with one tribe by offering military aid. A foot in the door.
So despite these mineral riches, and even though it wasn’t long after the start of the conquest by Emperor Claudius before lead was being mined by Legio II Augusta on the Mendip Hills in the south west (see photo below that shows the earthwork remains of the mining activity which is still clearly visible today), it appears the main lure to conquer the lands was for political gain, bragging rights, at succeeding in extending the Empire, thus proving his worth as Emperor. Claudius spent just sixteen days in Britannia before going back to a hero’s welcome in Rome. A triumphal arch – The Arch of Claudius – was dedicated to him in AD51.


It is generally agreed by historians that it took around 44 years to complete the conquest. The Stanegate, an important Roman road was established in AD87 linking two strategically placed forts in the north of England, just south of where the famous barrier of Hadrian’s Wall marking the end of the Empire was eventually placed.
Much changed in Britannia during Emperor Hadrian’s rule, not least that he greatly increased the influence of Rome by strengthening fortifications and increasing the number of Roman soldiers in the garrisons. But the most enduring change was the personification of Roman Britain as a goddess. The goddess Britannia.
Hadrian had a shrine erected to the goddess in the second century in York, or Eboracum to give the city its Roman name, and during this period she began appearing on coins where she was seated on a rock and armed with a spear and with a spiked shield leaning against her.
Although depictions of Britannia have changed a little since then, she holds a trident now and rides a chariot, she is still easily recognisable as the same goddess. The photo below is of a British 1oz silver bullion coin produced by The Royal Mint in 1999. A further legacy from Emperor Hadrian as well as that intriguing wall.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Flight of the Shearwater (The Sturmtaucher Trilogy Book 2) #FlightOfTheShearwater #SturmtaucherTrilogy – Alan Jones @alanjonesbooks , A #GuestPost

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

blog-guest post

Today I’m not on a blogtour, but I’m sharing a guest post written by Alan Jones, author of ‘Flight of the Shearwater’ to promote this book.
Before I let you read it, I’ll first post some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Alan Jones is a Scottish author with three gritty crime stories to his name, the first two set in Glasgow, the third one based in London. He has now switched genres, and his WW2 trilogy will be published in August 2021. It is a Holocaust story set in Northern Germany.
He is married with four grown up children and four wonderful grandchildren.
He has recently retired as a mixed-practice vet in a small Scottish coastal town in Ayrshire and is one of the RNLI volunteer coxswains on the local lifeboat. He makes furniture in his spare time, and maintains and sails a 45-year-old yacht in the Irish Sea and on the beautiful west coast of Scotland. He loves reading, watching films and cooking. He still plays football despite being just the wrong side of sixty.
His crime novels are not for the faint-hearted, with some strong language, violence, and various degrees of sexual content. The first two books also contain a fair smattering of Glasgow slang.
He is one of the few self-published authors to be given a panel at Bloody Scotland and has done two pop-up book launches at the festival in Stirling.
He has spent the last five years researching and writing the Sturmtaucher Trilogy.

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Synopsis :

Flight of the Shearwater: Book 2 in the Sturmtaucher Trilogy, a powerful and compelling story of two families torn apart by evil.
Flight of the Shearwater_Final CoverWith Poland divided between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Union of Soviet Republics, the increasingly confident Third Reich flexes its military muscles northwards into Denmark and Norway, while the rest of Europe watches anxiously over its shoulders.
General Erich Kästner, in his key role in the Abwehr, is fast becoming aware of the mass expulsion of Jews and other minority groups from Germany and from northern Poland, to the new ghettos of the Generalgouverment area of southern Poland, and has an inkling of what the National Socialists’ have in mind for Europe’s Jews.
As Holland and Belgium fall, and the British are routed at Dunkirk, barely escaping across the channel, the seemingly impregnable France collapses under the Wehrmacht Blitzkrieg, sealing the fate of millions of Jews, now trapped under Hitler’s rule.
The Nussbaums, thwarted in their attempts to escape to Denmark, desperately seek other routes out of Germany but, one by one, they are closed off, and they realise they have left it all too late…

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Guest Post :

THE REMARKABLE STOLPERSTEINES

Stolpersteine, German; stumbling stone or block.
I first came across these during my research for The Sturmtaucher Trilogy in early 2017. They are brass plaques installed in the pavement outside the last known address where a victim of the Holocaust lived, before being ‘taken’.

Afbeelding1Conceived in 1993, by Artist Gunter Demnig, the first Stolpersteine was installed (without permission initially) in 1997 in Kreuzberg, Germany. During the last 25 years, Stolpersteine have been placed all over Europe; in at least 1200 places in Germany, as well as in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine. On 29 December 2019, the 75,000th Stolperstein was installed in Memmingen in Bavaria.
On the Kiel municipal site, every Stolpersteine in the city is listed along with photographs of the plaques and a biography of the victim, collated by the city’s schoolchildren in a project designed to be part of the curriculum. It is in German, but using the ‘translate’ page in Google allows you to read it in English. There are 270 in all.
When I visited Kiel as part of a research trip to Germany and Denmark in the Autumn of 2017, I made a point of visiting five or six of the addresses where Stolpersteine were installed, to pay my respects to the victims whose biographies had given me so much insight into the lives and deaths of the Jews of Kiel, who fell victim to the National Socialists’ Final Solution.
I stood watching for a while as passers-by walked over them, oblivious to the sad history they were treading on but, then, on occasion, someone would glance down, and stop, examining the object which they had tripped over, or felt through the soles of their shoes, or caught sight of in the rain-washed sunlight on the pavement ahead. They would turn and read the plaque, ignoring the stream of pedestrians flowing around them while they took in the stark, brutal, details; a date of birth, a name, the year of deportation and a place of death, more often than not at one of the Nazi’s concentration camps.
There is one plaque for each victim at each address. On the website, there is an explanation.
‘Stolpersteine commemorate individuals. The National Socialists wanted to exterminate people, turn them into numbers and erase their memory. Demnig wants to reverse this process and return individual names to places where people once lived.’
In whatever German or European city you visit, take a minute to look up the local list of Stolpersteine and perhaps pay a visit to one of them. Someone lived there once; a Jew, most likely, or a Sinti or Romani Gypsy. They were probably hauled out of their beds and placed in a truck, then a train, in a cattle car, and delivered to a ghetto in Poland, or Latvia, or elsewhere in Europe, or directly to a death camp like Chelmno, or Auschwitz-Birkenau, where they were murdered.
As I stood on Wilhelminenstraße, in the centre of Kiel, I studied the plaques commemorating Moritz Schnell, Herta Schnell, and Else Schnell, who were deported to Riga ghetto in 1941, where they perished, the bleak sadness of it was tempered by the knowledge that they were remembered.
I returned to my hotel. And I started writing.
http://www.stolpersteine.eu/en/home/
https://www.kiel.de/de/kiel_zukunft/stadtgeschichte/stolpersteine/index.php

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @maryanneyarde / #GuestPost : Bloody Dominions (The Conquest Trilogy, Book 1) – Nick Macklin @NMacklinAuthor @matadorbooks #HistoricalFiction

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Bloody Dominions Tour Banner

Today I’m on the ‘Bloody Dominions’ blogtour, organized by The Coffee Pot Book Club.
To promote this book I have a guest post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

45f33f_e37cb6845aad43088992f6e112211ac8~mv2A history graduate, Nick enjoyed developing the skills that would stand him in good stead during the extensive research he conducted prior to writing his novel. Whilst the ancient world unfortunately didn’t feature to any extent in his history degree, (the result of failing miserably to secure the A level grades that would have permitted greater choice) he maintained a lifelong and profound interest in ancient history and especially the Roman Empire, continuing to read avidly as he embarked on a career in HR. Over the next 30 years or so Nick occupied a variety of Senior/Director roles, most recently in the NHS. Unsurprisingly, writing in these roles was largely confined to the prosaic demands of Board papers but Nick never lost the long-harboured belief, motivated by the works of writers such as Robert Fabbri, Robyn Young, Anthony Riches, Simon Scarrow, Matthew Harffy and Giles Kristian, that he too had a story to tell. When he was presented with a window of opportunity c3 years ago he took the decision to place his career on hold and see if he could convert that belief into reality.
Nick always knew that he wanted to set the novel against the backdrop of a significant event/period in Roman history. Looking to narrow that down to something offering the potential for meaningful character and plot development, but that hadn’t already received exhaustive coverage, he settled on Caesars tumultuous occupation of Gaul. Spanning 8 years, the prolonged clash of cultures offered ample opportunity for the kind of dual perspective from which he was hoping to tell the story, whilst the violent conflict provided a wealth of exciting material to explore the changing fortunes of war and its impact at a personal level. The switching of allegiances, nations fighting for and against Rome also provided the potential for some intriguing plot lines. As his research unfolded, he was also struck by just how heavily the Roman psyche during this period was influenced by the scare they had received 50 years earlier when Germanic tribes invaded their territories and defeated their legions. Seeing references to the veterans of that war watching their sons and grandsons enlist for a similar campaign, he started to think about developing that link on both sides of the conflict. And so, the idea for the Conquest Trilogy was born.
In Bloody Dominions Nick has sought to produce a novel in which unfolding events are experienced and described from the perspective of protagonists on both sides of Caesar’s incursion into Gaul. Conscious that the role of women in Roman fiction, Boudica aside, is largely confined to spouse, prostitute or slave, Nick wanted to ensure that one of his lead characters was female and a prominent member of the warrior clan of her tribe. The novel is driven by these characters but the framework against which their stories unfold is historically accurate, featuring actual participants in Caesar’s campaign and drawing on real events as they occurred. As such Nick is genuinely excited about his characters and the story they have to tell.
Nick lives in Exeter with his two daughters and is currently juggling work as an Independent HR Consultant with writing the second novel in the Conquest Trilogy, Battle Scars.

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Synopsis :

Book Title: Bloody Dominions
Series: (The Conquest Trilogy, Book 1)
Author: Nick Macklin
Publication Date: 28th June 2021
Publisher: Troubador Publishing
Page Length: 368 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

45f33f_7d818e62db1047e5936f17af1f1f2833~mv258-56 BCE. As Caesar’s campaign unfolds, tests of courage and belief will confront the three protagonists, shaping them as individuals and challenging their views of the world and each other:
Atticus – an impetuous but naturally gifted soldier, whose grandfather served with distinction in the legions;
Allerix – a Chieftain of the Aduatuci, who finds himself fighting both for and against Caesar; and
Epona – a fierce warrior and Allerixs’ adopted sister.
Experiencing the brutalities of conflict and the repercussions of both victory and defeat, Atticus, Allerix and Epona will cross paths repeatedly, their destinies bound together across time, the vast and hostile territories of Gaul and the barriers of fate that have defined them as enemies. In a twist of fate, Atticus and Allerix discover that they share a bond, a secret that nobody could ever foresee…

Trigger Warnings:
Violence, attempted rape.

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Guest Post :

The propensity for works of historical fiction to view events through the lens of one perspective has always frustrated my inner historian. This is particularly true of books relating to Rome. History is of course, written by the winners but in the world of fiction that constraint need not apply. Similarly, the role of women in Roman fiction, Boudica aside, is largely confined to spouse, whore or slave, when adopting an alternative approach might offer a different dimension to a story. I therefore set out to produce a character led novel, with unfolding events being experienced and described by protagonists from both Rome and her enemies, one of whom is a strong female lead.
Experiencing the brutalities of conflict and the repercussions of both victory and defeat my 3 protagonists, Atticus, Allerix and Epona will cross paths repeatedly, their destinies bound together across time, the vast and hostile territories of Gaul and the barriers of fate that have defined them as enemies. As the story unfolds, we will discover that Atticus and Allerix share a bond that nobody could ever foresee…

Atticus
Atticus is the son of Gaius, a Trader and Estate owner in Verona who is the epitome of a Roman Patrician. Atticus’s grandfather however marched with the legions, reaching the rank of First Spear and serving with distinction as Rome defeated the Cimbri, invaders from the Germanic north. It is to this life, rather than management of the estate to which Atticus is drawn. Recognising that Atticus is perhaps better suited to life in the military in any event, his grandfather engages an ex-legionary to put him through his paces. Training that will stand him in good stead when he answers the call to join the newly established XIIth legion, dragging along his best friend Julius. Atticus adapts well to the training, although it isn’t just his military prowess that marks him out to comrades and officers alike, his striking appearance and impetuous nature bringing their own share of attention. Atticus marches to war on his18th birthday, deceiving his father to avoid saying goodbye when he discovers all in his life is not what it seems…

Allerix
Son of Albiorix, King of the Aduatuci, descendants of the Cimbri, whose survivors retreated into Belgium, where they became one of the pre-eminent tribes. Albiorix lost his father in the battle with Rome and having sworn vengeance must reluctantly watch Allerix ride to fight alongside Caesar when he answers a call to rid Gaul of the Germanic King Ariovistus. Allerix is not a born warrior but he is a natural and accomplished horseman who leads the brave and skilled cavalry of the Aduatuci with distinction, alongside the legions of Rome. Until he realises that Caesars ambitions extend far beyond defeat of Ariovistus, threatening his home and his very way of life. Joining the alliance of Belgic tribes, who rise up to battle Caesar, Allerix and the Aduatuci find themselves tested beyond measure. Along the way, Allerix will meet and befriend Atticus before facing him in battle.

Epona
Albiorix and his wife Olluna had lost their first son to illness. The following spring, Olluna’s brother had died in battle. When she had lost her sister-in-law during childbirth so shortly afterwards, their grief had only been eased by the arrival of Epona to raise as their own. Fiercely independent Epona proves herself to be a naturally gifted warrior, almost from the moment that she insists on being permitted to train alongside her brother. She is particularly skilled with a bow. Possessed of a fiery temperament that sometimes gets the better of her when dealing with people, she is altogether calmer and more patient amidst the fields and stables. Her successes with the sick, injured or simply troublesome horses of the tribe earn her an almost mystical reputation.

Isarno
Speaking of horses, it would be remiss at this point not to mention Isarno, a magnificent grey Andalusian stallion who Epona gifts to Allerix. Surprised but nonetheless grateful Allerix quickly forms a strong bond with the horse, who proves himself to be both brave and intelligent. Olluna tells him later that Epona believes fate had brought the horse to her and that it was somehow entwined with her and Allerix’s destiny. She is not wrong…
Isarno is named after the Celtic Isarnom or Germanic Isarna for steel.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @maryanneyarde / #GuestPost : Clement: The Green Ship (Clement, Book 2) – Craig R. Hipkins @CraigHipkins #Medieval #YA #HistoricalFiction

– ‘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 ‘Clement: The Green Ship’ blogtour, organized by The Coffee Pot Book Club.
To promote this book I have a guest post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Craig R. Hipkins grew up in Hubbardston Massachusetts. He is the author of medieval and gothic fiction. His novel, Adalbert is the sequel to Astrolabe written by his late twin brother Jay S. Hipkins (1968-2018)
He is an avid long-distance runner and enjoys astronomy in his spare time.

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Synopsis :

Book Title: Clement: The Green Ship
Series: Clement, Book 2
Author: Craig R. Hipkins
Publication Date: June 02, 2021
Publisher: Hipkins Twins
Page Length: 313
Genre: Historical Fiction / Young Adult 12+

Normandy. The year 1161. King Henry ll sends the 14-year-old Clement, Count of la Haye on a secret mission. The young count and his friends travel in the wake of the mysterious mariner known as Sir Humphrey Rochford. Their destination? The legendary land of Vinland, known only from the Norse sagas. The journey is full of adventure and intrigue. Clement battles with a tyrannical Irish king and then finds his vessel attacked by a massive monster from the deep. The Green Ship sails to the sparse and barren land of Greenland where more trouble awaits.

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This novel is available to read on #KindleUnlimited

Guest Post :

Vinland: A Land of Mystery

Sometime around the year 1000, Leif Erikson set sail from Greenland to find new lands to the west. He first encountered a barren land described as, rocky and of little use. He called this land Helluland. He then returned to the sea and within a few days found another land which the sagas tell us was flat and forested with many beaches of white sand. Leif called this land, Markland. Setting sail once again, Leif sailed south and encountered a land where the days and nights were more equal in length than they were in Greenland. His men built houses and explored the countryside. It was here where they found grapes and vines. He called this land, Vinland.
The exact location of Vinland has been the subject of controversy for centuries. In recent times it has been suggested that the Norse settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland was the site of Vinland. The problem with this theory is that grapes do not grow wild in this region. It is possible that Leif found berries that he called grapes. Another theory is that the climate at the time of the Norse sagas was warmer than it is today and grapes might have grown wild in Newfoundland at this time. However, a few hundred miles to the south of Newfoundland are the cranberry bogs of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. It is tempting to believe that Leif and his party of sturdy Vikings sailed to this more temperate climate and mistook cranberries for grapes. This was a popular theory in the 19th century and it is the one that I find most fascinating. In my 12th century novel, Clement seeks this remote land and a treasure that might be related to the mysterious order of the Knights Templar.
In the 12th century, the location of Vinland would have been just as much of an enigma as it is in our own day. Like the Lost Colony of Roanoke, or the Princes in the Tower, the location of Vinland might always be relegated to the realm of mystery.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @maryanneyarde / #GuestPost : Steampunk Cleopatra #SteampunkCleopatra – Thaddeus Thomas @thaddeusbooks #HistoricalFantasy

– ‘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 ‘Steampunk Cleopatra’ blogtour, organized by The Coffee Pot Book Club.
To promote this book I have a guest post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Thaddeus Thomas lives on the Mississippi River with his wife and three cats. Steampunk Cleopatra is his first novel, but he has a short story collection available at his website. There he also runs a book club where readers can receive indie book reviews and recommendation. His second book—Detective, 26 AD—releases July 9th and follows Doubting Thomas as he is conscripted to be an investigator for Pontius Pilate.

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Synopsis :

Book Title: Steampunk Cleopatra
Author: Thaddeus Thomas
Publication Date: 21st May 2021
Publisher: Independently Published
Page Length: 419 Pages
Genre: Historical Fantasy

Amani, a companion of Cleopatra, seeks to rediscover Egypt’s suppressed science and history. She is the beloved of her princess become queen, but that may not be enough to overcome the system they’ve inherited. If she fails, her country and Cleopatra, both, could fall. History meets fantasy, and together, they create something new. Experience an intelligent thriller about star-crossed lovers and an ancient science that might have been.

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Guest Post :

Much of what we think we know about Cleopatra, is Roman propaganda. She was a brilliant woman whose work on medicine was collected in the Library of Alexandria. She spoke many languages and was the first Ptolemaic Pharaoh to speak Egyptian. She engaged directly with the rituals of the people in ways her predecessors never did.
At the same time, the Ptolemaic dynasty was a colonizing force. The first Ptolemy was a Macedonian Greek, one of Alexander’s generals. They built Alexandria as a Greek oasis from which they could control the wealth of Egypt, and as Rome ascended to power, they saw the precariousness of their position. For years, the Roman civil wars worked in their favor, distracting attention, and dividing the Senate. Every Roman in a position of power wanted to control Egypt, but none of them wanted any other Roman to have her.
The opposition to first Caesar and then Mark Anthony responded by painting a picture of Cleopatra as a seducer who beguiled Caesar. In reality, he was a fifty-year-old man with a long history of sexual conquests. She was twenty-one and quite possibly still a virgin. The Roman opposition claimed her power was in her beauty and sexuality, but the few images we have of her tell another story. She had no great beauty to depend upon, and the writers who spoke honestly found her power in her wit, charm, and intellect.
I have chosen to tell a story that tells what little we know of Cleopatra’s early years while examining one of the world’s most compelling mysteries. What wonders did we lose in the destruction of the Library of Alexandria?
This destruction, itself, falls into myth with the story of the library burning in the fire caused by Caesar during the Alexandrian civil war. In truth, the library continued on to be devastated by Christian Rome in an attempt to crush pagan thought and then again many years later by Islamic forces for the same reasons.
To understand what we lost, the answer should be hinted at in what we know, and in the first century C.E., Hero of Alexandria invented the world’s first steam engine. One of the early masters of the Library, Euclid, is known as the founder of geometry, and his work was the central teaching text on the subject into the twentieth century. At various times, Alexandria had moving sidewalks, vending machines, and automatons that moved under their own power. This is not fantasy, this is history.
The scientific discoveries made in the library in its first few hundred years are astounding, and I questioned why that was. Did the explosions of knowledge come out of nowhere, born purely out of the genius of this colonizing force or did the Ptolemies do what colonizers always do: exploit; suppress; and supplant? Maybe what we really lost was the history and science stolen from Egypt.
Steampunk is usually relegated to the Victorian era because that is the historic birth of steam power, but so many of the foundational principles upon which all that technology was built come to us through Alexandria, Egypt. This is historical fiction about a history we may have been denied, and that is what makes it fantasy. The victorious write history. This is an unwritten history, fantasized within the cracks of our knowledge, not set in opposition to what we know but in concert with it.
We see much of this in the book, but her relationship with the people is symbolized in her love for her childhood companion, the book’s main character, Amani.
The story is told through the eyes of Philostratos, tutor to Amani and Cleopatra, but the story is Amani’s. She is a Black Egyptian of Nubian descent and wins her place as Cleopatra’s companion through personality and intellect. The book is Philostratos’s attempt to grapple with his role in her history.
In that sense, it is very much a book for this time. The flow of history has shaken many of us and challenged our core beliefs. Maybe we are not who we thought we were, and perhaps, clinging to that old mythology is not the way to move forward. Perhaps, there is a better way.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @maryanneyarde / #GuestPost : The Queen’s Spy #TheQueensSpy – Clare Marchant @ClareMarchant1 #HistoricalFiction

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

The Queen's Spy Tour

Today I’m on the ‘The Queen’s Spy’ blogtour, organized by The Coffee Pot Book Club.
To promote this book I have a guest post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

5225e2_aeb11870dbd1482c8e96111e09b24286~mv2Growing up in Surrey, Clare always dreamed of being a writer. Instead, she followed a career in IT, before moving to Norfolk for a quieter life and re-training as a jeweller.
Now writing full time, she lives with her husband and the youngest two of her six children. Weekends are spent exploring local castles and monastic ruins, or visiting the nearby coast.

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Synopsis :

Book Title: The Queen’s Spy
Author: Clare Marchant
Publication Date: 8th July 2021
Publisher: Avon
Page Length: 400 Pages
Genre: Historical Dual Timeline

51IRuCrmMCS1584: Elizabeth I rules England. But a dangerous plot is brewing in court, and Mary Queen of Scots will stop at nothing to take her cousin’s throne.
There’s only one thing standing in her way: Tom, the queen’s trusted apothecary, who makes the perfect silent spy…
2021: Travelling the globe in her campervan, Mathilde has never belonged anywhere. So when she receives news of an inheritance, she is shocked to discover she has a family in England.
Just like Mathilde, the medieval hall she inherits conceals secrets, and she quickly makes a haunting discovery. Can she unravel the truth about what happened there all those years ago? And will she finally find a place to call home?

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Guest Post :

Elizabeth 1st and Mary Queen of Scots

Elizabeth and Mary, cousins who never met. One of whom was kept captive by the other for nineteen years. Today, that seems almost impossible to comprehend and yet in the dangerous Tudor times when a monarch’s throne was not remotely stable, Elizabeth 1st had good reason to keep Mary Stuart incarcerated.
To understand this family rift, we have to look back to Elizabeth’s father, the infamous Henry VIII and his older sister, Margaret Tudor. Margaret had married into the Catholic Scottish monarchy and her son King James V then had a daughter, later Mary Queen of Scots. A contender for the English throne.
Henry VIII was desperate for a son to whom he could pass on his crown and secure the Tudor dynasty. When his wife Catherine of Aragon was unable to provide him with one (as well as her daughter Queen Mary she also had babies who were either stillborn or who only lived a short while) he looked to one of her ladies, Anne Boleyn as a new wife. However, the Catholic church forbade divorce and when a special dispensation to the Pope also proved fruitless, the King took the momentous decision to leave the Holy Roman Empire and make himself the head of the church in England. The country became Protestant, the monasteries were dissolved and the King helped himself to their riches.
Now head of the church and divorced, Henry VIII married Anne Boleyn and they subsequently had a daughter, Elizabeth 1st. However, the Catholics did not recognise this child as being legitimate and this then lay as the central argument in their fight to remove her and put Mary Queen of Scots (an ardent Catholic) on the throne. In order to keep her crown safe and advised by her statesmen, Elizabeth had no choice but to keep Mary imprisoned at various stately homes across England, whilst Catholic sympathisers on both sides of the Channel did their best to free her.
There were many plots to try and oust Elizabeth, and to foil them she relied on her spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham and his large number of spies located all across Europe. Sometimes he was able to stop the plots before they had barely started, whilst others like the Throckmorton plot and the Babington plot (an integral part of The Queen’s Spy story line) became much more of a threat to the Queen.

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To be honest, I find myself with sympathies for both Queens. Was Elizabeth the true Queen? or should the throne have gone to Queen Mary who was also of Tudor bloodline? In my opinion it comes back to whether Henry VIII had acted correctly in cutting England away from Rome in his quest for a divorce and ultimately, a son. In our day and age it is all too easy to consider things from a twenty-first century viewpoint, where we accept divorce as part and parcel of life, but in the sixteenth century it was very rare that a marriage could be finished other than by a spouse’s death (which Henry VIII also used to his advantage when needed!). I do believe that Elizabeth had no option but to keep Mary imprisoned given the many supporters she had who believed that she should be Queen of England as well as Scotland. And although Elizabeth did not want to execute her cousin eventually even she could see the threat would never go away when there was someone with a strong claim on her throne. How different England may have been if Mary and her supporters had achieved their goal!

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RandRBookTours @RRBookTours1 / #GuestPost : The Wars Between Us #TheWarsBetweenUs – J. A. Boulet @love_walk_life

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Tour Banner(6)

Today I’m on the ‘The Girl in the Triangle’ blogtour, organized by R&R Book Tours.
To promote this book I have a guest post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Author PicJ.A. Boulet is the passionate author of The Olason Chronicles, a historical saga of war, courage, love and strength. Her newest novel The Wars Between Us Book 3 is scheduled for release June 18, 2021 on Amazon. J. A. Boulet was born and raised in Western Canada as a first generation Canadian from European descent. Her father enlisted with the Hungarian military and fought bravely during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, changing sides to stand up for what he believed in. He was granted asylum in Canada and built his family here.
J.A. Boulet was born many years later, raised with strong morals and values, which she stands behind, to this day. She started writing poetry at the age of five and progressed to short stories and novels. She has a keen interest in settlers, healing, family bonds and military history. J. A. Boulet writes with a spine-tingling realism like none other, grabbing your emotions and refusing to let go. The Olason Chronicles is the series you’ve been waiting for. Watch for the final book (4) in the series, being scheduled for a 2022 release.

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Synopsis :

Title: The Wars Between Us (The Olason Chronicles)
Publication Date: June 18th, 2021
Genre: Historical Fiction / Historical Romance

Afbeelding1Meet Zachary Olason, a bad boy struggling on the brink of alcoholism.
During the Great Depression, Zack loses himself and spirals into nights of debauchery, riots and drunkenness. His twin brother, Adam, thinks lowly of him as his entire family struggles to help him.
But Zack is determined to make a mess of his life.
Until he meets a beautiful petite woman, half Cree and part British, who helps him to grow into a better version of himself.
Then just as he thinks life is getting better, he sinks to the bottom of hell. Will he survive from his own self-destruction?
The only way he sees out is to join the Canadian Navy.
The Battle of the Atlantic will either teach him or break him.
THE WARS BETWEEN US
With action packed adrenaline and steamy love scenes, The Wars Between Us will keep you gripped to your seat on a ride of addiction, unwavering love and the fight to stay alive during WWII.

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Guest Post :

Navy

Firstly, I have never served in the Navy, so all my observations are solely from research. I have several friends that served in the Canadian Navy. One of those men has severe PTSD, so that says something. I have the utmost respect and admiration for our Naval personnel. It is a very dangerous job on the open seas fighting battles and sinking ships. Sailor’s lives were filled with wet, cold weather and cramped, sweaty conditions, constantly fighting for their lives. It was a very emotional process for me to write this book about a sailor’s life. I immersed myself into a troubled man’s life on the open seas.
When I started my research, I was flabbergasted from the staggering counts of ships that were destroyed or sunk during the Battle of the Atlantic in WWII. There is literally only ONE remaining corvette ship left in Canada called the Sackville. It is lovingly maintained in Halifax, Nova Scotia, as a floating museum.
In Halifax, there is a large granite Cross of Sacrifice that looks out over the Atlantic Ocean. The Halifax Memorial stands solemnly in Point Pleasant Park, with the names of 3,257 men and women who died at sea throughout WWI and WWII. The tip of the cross reaches over 12 metres high and can be clearly seen by the merchant ships approaching Halifax harbour. A poignant reminder of the many Canadians buried at sea.
I originally started The Wars Between Us as a story of a sexy bad boy during the Great Depression and WWII. It metamorphized into so much more. The Wars Between Us is an emotional story of unbridled courage, the Navy and the unwavering love of a devoted wife. Half my heart felt like it was cut out and pasted into this book. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it!

Giveaway :

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @maryanneyarde / #GuestPost : Kingfisher (The Kingfisher Series, Book One) – D. K. Marley @histficchickie #HistoricalFiction #TimeTravel #WW1 #KingArthur

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Kingfisher Blog Tour

Today I’m on the ‘Kingfisher (The Kingfisher Series, Book One)’ blogtour, organized by The Coffee Pot Book Club.
To promote this book I have a guest post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

DKMarley Author PhotoD. K. Marley is a Historical Fiction author specializing in Shakespearean adaptations, Tudor era historicals, Colonial American historicals, alternate historicals, and historical time-travel. At a very early age she knew she wanted to be a writer. Inspired by her grandmother, an English Literature teacher, she dove into writing during her teenage years, winning short story awards for two years in local competitions. After setting aside her writing to raise a family and run her graphic design business, White Rabbit Arts, returning to writing became therapy to her after suffering immense tragedy, and she published her first novel “Blood and Ink” in 2018, which went on to win the Bronze Medal for Best Historical Fiction from The Coffee Pot Book Club, and the Silver Medal from the Golden Squirrel Book Awards. Within three years, she has published four more novels (two Shakespearean adaptations, one Colonial American historical, and a historical time travel).
When she is not writing, she is the founder and administrator of The Historical Fiction Club on Facebook, and the CEO of The Historical Fiction Company, a website dedicated to supporting the best in historical fiction for authors and readers. And for fun, she is an avid reader of the genre, loves to draw, is a conceptual photography hobbyist, and is passionate about spending time with her granddaughter. She lives in Middle Georgia U.S.A. with her husband of 35 years, an English Lab named Max, and an adorable Westie named Daisy.

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Synopsis :

Book Title: Kingfisher
Series: (The Kingfisher Series, Book One)
Author: D. K. Marley
Publication Date: June 28, 2021
Publisher: The White Rabbit Publishing (HFC Press)
Page Length: 530 Pages
Genre: Historical Time Travel

51sBFOlXroS._SX342_SY445_QL70_ML2_The past, future, and Excalibur lie in her hands.
Wales, 1914. Vala Penrys and her four sisters find solace in their spinster life by story-telling, escaping the chaos of war by dreaming of the romantic days of Camelot. When the war hits close to home, Vala finds love with Taliesin Wren, a mysterious young Welsh Lieutenant, who shows her another world within the tangled roots of a Rowan tree, known to the Druids as ‘the portal’.
One night she falls through, and suddenly she is Vivyane, Lady of the Lake – the Kingfisher – in a divided Britain clamoring for a High King. What begins as an innocent pastime becomes the ultimate quest for peace in two worlds full of secrets, and Vala finds herself torn between the love of her life and the salvation of not only her family but of Britain, itself.

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Available on #KindleUnlimited.

Guest Post :

Who was the Lady of the Lake?

The Lady of the Lake or Arglwyddes y Llyn in Welsh is the title given to a fairy-like enchantress in the Matter of Britain, a body of medieval literature and legendary material associated with Great Britain and Brittany, one of three story cycles of the legendary kings and heroes such as King Arthur. She plays a major role in the stories of King Arthur, providing him with Excalibur and taking the dying king to Avalon. In different versions of the story, she is known by different names, such as Morgan, Nimue, Niniane, Viviane, Nymeche, and perhaps, others.
In the novel “Kingfisher” she is Vivyane, meaning in Welsh – “a wanderer of pallid countenance” which fit well into the portrayal of the main character of Vala Penrys. We hear of The Lady of the Lake first in the chivalric romances of the early 13th-century as the foster-mother of Lancelot. In the Vulgate, she resides in an enchanted realm hidden by a misty veil covering the lake below an otherworldly island. In this story, she raises Lancelot, and his cousins Lionel and Bors, all taking place in only a few years in the human world, thus the correlation between how time passes differently in the world of Avalon and the pre-WW1 era of Vala’s story.
In the Merlin story, she is connected with the disappearance of Merlin which is explained in “Kingfisher” as a time period in which he is “frozen” in the past, unable to return to the 1900s. In the Vulgate, the original story, she refuses Merlin’s love until he has taught her all his secrets and then she seals him forever in a hawthorn tree or cave. She is proud of how his was unable to take her virginity and she is especially cruel in the way she disposes of him. All of these interesting tidbits of the legend are woven into the story of “Kingfisher” in a different way than the Vulgate, using instead the persona of Morgan le Fae using a trick to keep Merlyn and Vivyane from each other.
One thing I kept, and a secret which comes to light, is that the Lady of the Lake is the daughter of Dionas, born in Broceliande in Brittany, another area of beauty that is said to have strong connections to the Camelot legend.
Yet, there are so many different stories about her that often it is difficult to distinguish one from another or know exactly who she was. She is known as the magical benefactress who bestows the great sword, Excalibur, to King Arthur after his own sword is damaged during a fight with King Pellinore. In some cases, she is referred to as Morgan, and even in the 15th-century manuscript La Tavola Ritonda she is known as the daughter of Uther Pendragon and sister to Morgan and Arthur. Later on, in writings such as Le Morte d’Arthur, her persona changes from one instance to the next. In “Kingfisher” I used the analysis by Kenneth Hodges when he describes the Lady of the Lake appearing as the chivalric code changes, hinting to the reader that something new will happen in order to help the author achieve the wanted interpretation of the Arthurian legend. Each time she appears is at a pivotal moment in the episode of Malory’s story, establishing the importance of her character within Arthurian literature, as she transcends any notoriety attached to her character by aiding Arthur and other knights to succeed in their endeavors, subtly helping sway events in the right direction. In Hodges’ analysis, Malory looked at other texts to find inspiration, and chose the best aspects of all the combined personas to make her pragmatic, compassionate, clever, and strong-willed. This same premise is a recurring thread throughout my novel.
During the pre-WW1 Victorian days of Vala’s story, a revival of the King Arthur legend appeared, taking hold and enhancing the romantic ideals of courtly love and chivalry attached to the morality of Victorian England, thus the Lady of the Lake and Arthurian themes are portrayed in numerous writing such as Alfred Lord Tennyson’s The Idylls of the King and in the famous paintings of the Pre-Raphaelites.
So, I come now to who the Lady of the Lake is in the story of “Kingfisher”. Keeping to the tenets of Hodges’ view, Vala Penrys encompasses everything a young Victorian lady should be and after discovering a pathway to the past through the roots of a Druid’s portal – a rowan tree – she awakens as The Lady of the Lake, Vivyane, High Priestess of Avalon. Her Victorian sensibilities dissolve in this new world. After coming to an understanding of the ‘how’, ‘what’, ‘when’, and ‘who’ of time travel, she is desperate to discover the ‘why’ and her part in bringing peace and order back to ancient Britain and her modern-day reality now immersed in war with Germany. Obstacles block her every move to bring the needed balance required by the High Priestess, especially those wrought by her own sister, Maegen, another time traveler morphing into the role of Morgayne le Fae. In this story, Vivyane falls madly in love with Taliesin Wren, a Welsh Lieutenant who is, in fact, the mysterious Merlyn of Britain. Morgayne makes it her agenda to destroy all of Vala’s hopes, including separating the two lovers in two different eras, and aligning herself with the evil empire of the Kaiser. Ultimately, Vala/Vivyane knows she must defeat Maegen/Morgayne in order to bring peace back her family, to Britain, and to reunite with the love of her life. The way to do that is to play out the story of Camelot, uniting the knights of the round table of old in order to spur to action a different group of “knights” in the modern-day – the Round Table Society headed by time travel novelist, H. G. Wells.
As time goes by and she faces more and more tragedy and suffering, her strength as the Lady of the Lake develops, and the power she wields lies more in her vast knowledge than in any supposed ‘magic’ portrayed in other versions of the Lady’s story. Instead of a woman of fantasy or myth, I wanted her role as “Kingfisher” to be believable, even the scientific explanations of her time-traveling abilities. The Lady of the Lake’s role is to secure Britain’s peace, to restore halcyon days, the balance between good and evil, and forever look to the horizon in search of those days. She is the halcyon, the kingfisher bird based on the legend of Alcyone and Ceyx who lived in idyllic happiness until their world was shattered. No matter what story you read about her, whether the old stories from The Mabinogion, or Malory, or Tennyson, or my own novel, Kingfisher, she represents our constant yearning for the beautiful things of long ago, a forgotten time torn apart by suffering, and our desperate longing to restore Elysium.

The_Lady_of_the_Lake_by_Speed_Lancelot

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#MiniBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : Playing The Duke’s Fiancee – Amanda McCabe @AmandaMcCabe01 @HarlequinBooks @MillsandBoon

– ‘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 ‘Playing The Duke’s Fiancee’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a guest post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Amanda wrote her first romance at the age of sixteen–a vast historical epic starring all her friends as the characters, written secretly during algebra class (and her parents wondered why math was not her strongest subject…)
She’s never since used algebra, but her books have been nominated for many awards, including the RITA Award, the Romantic Times BOOKReviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Booksellers Best, the National Readers Choice Award, and the Holt Medallion. She lives in Santa Fe with a Poodle, a cat, a wonderful husband, and a very and far too many books and royal memorabilia collections.
When not writing or reading, she loves taking dance classes, collecting cheesy travel souvenirs, and watching the Food Network–even though she doesn’t cook.
Amanda also writes as Laurel McKee for Grand Central Publishing, the Elizabethan Mystery Series as Amanda Carmack, and the Manor Cat Mystery Series as Eliza Casey.

Social Media Links:
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Synopsis :

A pretend proposal
For the unconventional heiress
When American heiress Violet Wilkins crosses paths with William, Duke of Charteris, she has extremely low expectations of the “Duke of Bore.” But when this seemingly stuffy aristocrat offers her escape from a dreadful arranged marriage, she leaps at the chance! To her surprise, the arresting Charles whisks Vi into an exhilarating make-believe romance. And as she gets to know the man behind the title, she can’t help wanting more…

Purchase Links:
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Guest Post :

One of the fun things I researched for His Unlikely Duchess (and for “The Dollar Duchesses” series in general!) was the process of being an “official” debutante at the royal court of the nineteenth century. It was a long process, starting with getting approved, curtsying classes, multiple visits to dressmakers, hairdressers, and florists—and making sure you didn’t embarrass yourself in front of the queen. (As Lily would certainly never do!!!)
During Victoria’s reign, the Court Drawing Rooms were held in Buckingham Palace at four stated periods every year–two before Easter and two after. Levées, hosted by the Prince of Wales for the presentation of gentlemen, were held at intervals during the like season in St. James’s Palace. Though of lessening distinction as the Victorian period wore on, the delicious prospect of being presented to the Queen or Prince of Wales continued to be a beacon to ambitious social climbers.
When the date of a drawing room was announced, letters poured into the Lord Chamberlain, suggesting names of ladies for presentation. Everyone who had kissed the Queen’s hand was able to nominate another for presentation. But it wasn’t guaranteed that any name submitted was accepted. The list underwent careful scrutiny by both the Lord Chamberlain and the Queen, Her Majesty only receiving those who “wore the white flower of a blameless life.”
There were only three qualifications for admittance to the throne room:
1.The lady wishing to be presented should be of good moral and social character.
2.Presentation had to be made by someone who had already been presented.
3.The status of the actual presentee. The most obvious candidates, the wives and daughters of the aristocracy, had the privilege of being kissed by Queen Victoria (though no kisses were received if the Princess of Wales were acting as stand-in, and the practice was dropped entirely in the Edwardian era), then came the ranks of those candidates whose presentation would be sealed by the action of kissing the Queen’s hand. These included the daughters and wives of the country gentry and Town gentry, of the clergy, of naval and military officers, of professional men such as physicians and barristers, of merchants, bankers and members of the Stock Exchange, and “persons engaged in commerce on a large scale.”Summonses were sent out three weeks in advance, allowing ample time for the excited debutante or newly married lady, to practice the complicated court curtsy and order the regulated costume demanded for presentation, as laid out, via the Lord Chamberlain’s Office, in Lady Colin Campbell’s Manners and Rules of Good Society, 1911 edition:
Full Court Dress: low bodice, short sleeves, and train to dress not less than three yards in length from the shoulders. Whether the train is cut round or square is a matter of inclination or fashion. The width at the end should be 54 inches. It is also imperative that a presentation dress should be white if the person presented be an unmarried lady and it is also the fashion for married ladies to wear white on their presentation unless their age rendered their doing so unsuitable The white dresses worn by either debutante or married ladies may be trimmed with either colored or white flowers according to individual taste.
High Court Dress: dress of silk satin or velvet may be worn at Their Majesties Courts and on other State occasions by ladies to whom from illness infirmity or advancing age the present low Court dress is inappropriate. Bodices in front cut square or heart shaped which may be filled in with white only either transparent or lined at the back high or cut down three quarters height. Sleeves to elbow either thick or transparent. Trains, gloves, and feathers as usual. It is necessary for ladies who wish to appear in High Court Dress to obtain Royal permission through the Lord Chamberlain. This regulation does not apply to ladies who have already received permission to wear high dress.
White gloves only should be worn excepting in case of mourning when black or grey gloves are admissible. As a lady on presentation does not now kiss the Queen’s hand as formerly she did she is not required to remove the right hand glove before entering the Presence Chamber. This order therefore is no longer in force and a lady wearing elbow gloves and bracelets will find it a great convenience not to be to take off her glove.
It was compulsory for both Married and Unmarried Ladies to Wear Plumes. The married lady’s Court plume consisted of three white feathers. An unmarried lady’s of two white feathers. The three white feathers should be mounted as a Prince of Wales plume and worn towards the left hand side of the head. Colored feathers may not be worn. In deep mourning, white feathers must be worn, black feathers are inadmissible.
White veils or lace lappets must be worn with the feathers. The veils should not be longer than 45 inches.
Bouquets are not included in the dress regulations issued by the Lord Chamberlain although they are invariably carried by both married and unmarried ladies. It is thus optional to carry a bouquet or not, and some elderly ladies carry much smaller bouquets than do younger ladies. A fan and a lace pocket handkerchief are also carried by a lady on presentation or on attending a Court but these two items are also altogether optional.
Armed with the proper arsenal, the young lady or new wife was ready to take London by storm. Queen Victoria held her presentations in the afternoon at 3 o’clock, which caused a traffic snarl of monumental proportions. It was common for the débutante to queue up in her carriage for hours down The Mall towards Buckingham Palace, boxed in on both sides by other equipages and the throng of curious onlookers. Then, once she alighted from her carriage, there was another long wait in the close, sweltering palace antechambers, where neither refreshments nor relief were available.
The young lady who persevered to the end, however, got her rewards. Carrying her train over her left arm, she made her way through the groups of attendants to the anteroom or corridor where one of the lords-in-waiting, with his wand, spread out her train she’d let down, and walked forward to the Throne Room.
Her name was announced as she curtsied before the Queen, so low as to almost kneel, and while doing such, she kissed the royal hand extended to her, underneath which she placed her own ungloved right hand. The peeress or daughter of a peer received a kiss from Queen Victoria. When the Princess of Wales stood in for Her Majesty, the lady being presented curtsied only and did not kiss the Princess’s hand. After passing Her Majesty, the débutante curtsied to any of the Princesses near her and retired backwards in what may be called a succession of curtsies until she reached the threshold of the doorway. The official in attendance replaced her train upon her arm and the presentation was complete!
As was stated above, the reception of a kiss on the cheek from the Queen or the gift of one upon her hand was tossed out when Edward VII came to the throne. Other, more important changes were made to the presentation ceremony. Things were sped up by his reign, the drawing rooms and levees switched to the evening and held in June; the telephone used to summon a débutante’s transport, thus easing the traffic; buffet supper, served from tables laid with gold plate helped to revive waiting ladies; and the court photographers were allotted a room for speedy snapshots of the women.

Levées were conducted somewhat on the same plan as that of the Drawing room but were confined exclusively to men who wear uniform or Court dress. Hosted by the Prince of Wales, later the King, those entitled to be presented to H.R.H./H.M. were members of the aristocracy and gentry, the members of the diplomatic courts, the Cabinet and all leading Government officials, Members of Parliament, leading members of the legal profession, the naval and military professions, the leading members of the clerical profession, the leading members of the medical and artistic professions, the leading bankers merchants and members of the Stock Exchange, and persons engaged in commerce on a large scale. An exception to the rule as regards retail trade was made in favor of any person receiving Knighthood ,or when holding the office of Mayor, or being made a Justice of the Peace, or on receiving a Commission in the Territorial forces.
The workings of the levee were similar to those of the drawing rooms: dates announced and names submitted, and specific court dress required:
The Dress to be worn at Courts State Functions and Levees: Full dress uniform is invariably worn by all gentlemen entitled to wear it. All officers Scottish kilted corps should wear the kilt irrespective their being mounted officers or not. Gentlemen who do not wear uniform may wear either velvet Court dress new style; velvet Court dress old style; cloth Court dress.
The new style velvet Court dress is of black silk velvet. The body of the coat lined with white silk and the skirt with black silk. Steel buttons. Waistcoat of white satin or black silk velvet. Breeches of black silk velvet, black silk hose, patent leather shoes, steel buckled, white bow necktie, white gloves, sword, black beaver or silk cocked hat.
The velvet Court dress old style is very similar to the foregoing with the addition of a black silk wig bag at the back of the neck and lace frills and ruffles.
The cloth Court dress consists of a coat of dark mulberry claret or green cloth with black silk linings, gold embroidery on collar, cuffs, and pocket flaps, gilt buttons with Imperial Crown, waistcoat of white corded silk or white Marcella, breeches of cloth color of coat, black silk hose, patent leather shoes, sword, white bow necktie, white gloves, black beaver or silk cocked hat.
On certain days of the year, the so-called Collar days, high diplomatic and distinguished personages wear the collars and badges of the Garter, Thistle, St Patrick, Bath, and other Orders of Knighthood.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Her Outback Driver #HerOutbackDriver – Giulia Skye @GiuliaSkye , A #GuestPost

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

blog-guest post

Today I’m not on a blogtour, but I’m sharing a guest post written by Giulia Skye, author of ‘Her Outback Driver’ to promote this book.
Before I let you read it, I’ll first post some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Italian-born Giulia Skye writes page-turning romances with a lot of heart and sizzle. She describes her books as pure feel-good escapism! She lives in England with her Man and their two gorgeous sons, loves gardening and hates waste of any kind.
Her Outback Driver is her first novel. Her second novel, The Summer of Sebastian, will be published in 2022.

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Synopsis :

When former Olympic champion, Michael Adams—now Canada’s hottest reality TV star—insults his fake showbiz wife on social media, he jumps on the first flight to Australia to escape the ensuing scandal. Desperate to experience ordinary life again—if only for a few weeks—he becomes “Adam”; just another tourist exploring the dusty Outback trails in a beat up truck. But with a reward out for his safe return and his fame’s nasty habit of catching up with him when he least expects, Adam needs a better disguise… and he’s just found one.
Tired of lies and liars, British Backpacker Evie Blake is taking a year out of her busy London life, looking for adventure to heal her broken heart. So when the hot Canadian she meets at the campground offers to drive her through Western Australia’s wild Kimberley region, she grabs the chance, unaware he has the world out looking for him. He’s just a down-on-his-luck traveler, right?
But when hot days turn into even hotter nights, how long does Adam have before Evie discovers who he really is?

Buy Link

Link to a free copy

Guest Post :

The cheapest holiday you’ll ever take!

Needless to say, living through a pandemic is tough and I think we’re all in need of a holiday! So let’s book our flights, pack our bags and… keep a daily check on which countries we can visit… pay for over priced accommodation…do our best to understand the quarantine rules…take tests and prove that we’ve been vaccinated and…
Yes, sadly, the actual “going” on holiday part can be tricky (and stressful) these days and lot of people have decided to stay at home this summer, but wait! As anyone who loves to read knows, there is a way to switch off from daily life and take a holiday—and that’s by delving into the story worlds of books. In fact, it’s the cheapest holiday you’ll ever take!
In a previous life before children, My Man and I travelled a lot—Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Cook Islands—then there were the “normal” beach holidays or weekends away… but I also spent a lot of my free time reading on my garden bench or sofa. I’d often start a book in the morning and would read all day, completely enthralled and wrapped up in the story world—particularly if I was reading a Nora Roberts, Susan Elizabeth Phillips or Rachel Gibson novel!
Now that I have children and my free time has diminished to pretty much zero, I’ve been thinking a lot about those days spent reading and how, after such a day, I’d feel as relaxed and happy as if I had actually been on holiday. And in many ways I had, albeit in my mind!
When I wrote my first novel, Her Outback Driver, I had escapism in mind throughout as both main characters, Adam and Evie, are taking a holiday from their normal lives (for very different reasons). Both are travelling a land that is foreign to them so I described the setting in a way that would make readers feel the burning heat, see the vast, red landscape of the outback and taste the dust in the their mouths—just as Adam and Evie do.
Adam and Evie meet by chance and journey across a breath-taking landscape. Experiencing their emotions and drama is also an escape—like experiencing the thrill and excitement of a rollercoaster ride from the safety of one’s armchair. But the true escapism of the novel comes from its feel-good factor and guaranteed happy ending. I’m a firm believer that life’s too short to read miserable books!
Granted, a book won’t serve you food and cocktails but it will release those relaxation hormones. It will take you places and entertain you, and because many people won’t be going on holiday this year, I’m giving out free copies of Her Outback Driver. This novel has been shortlisted for a Romance Writers of America® VIVIAN® award and all you have to do to read it is click on the link below, then sit back and enjoy a holiday in the Australian outback—heart warming love story, included!
Happy travels!

The Magic of Wor(l)ds