– ‘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 ‘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 :
D. 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.
Amazon Author Page
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
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.
Universal Buy Link
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 Magic of Wor(l)ds