#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : The Sweetheart Locket – Jen Gilroy @JenGilroy1

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

The Sweetheart Locket

Today I’m on the ‘The Sweetheart Locket’ 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 :

Jen Gilroy Author Photo Spencer Studio Website Square 1080pxJen Gilroy writes sweet contemporary romance and dual timeline historical women’s fiction—warm, feel-good stories to bring readers’ hearts home.
A Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® finalist and shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Joan Hessayon award, Amazon named her third book, ‘Back Home at Firefly Lake,’ a ‘Best Book of the Month: Romance’ in December 2017.
A dual British-Canadian citizen, Jen lived in England for many years and earned a doctorate (with a focus on British cultural studies and social history) from University College London. Returning to where her Irish family roots run deep, she now lives with her husband, teenage daughter and floppy-eared rescue hound in small-town Eastern Ontario, Canada.
When not writing, she enjoys reading, ice cream, ballet and paddling her purple kayak.

Social Media Links:
Website
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram

Synopsis :

Jen Gilroy Author Photo Spencer Studio Website Square 1080pxWhat if the key to your present lies in the past?
London, 1939
On the eve of the Second World War, Canadian Maggie Wyndham defies her family and stays in England to do her bit for the war effort. Torn between two countries, two men and living a life of lies working for the Special Operations Executive (SOE), Maggie’s RAF sweetheart locket is part of who she is…and who she isn’t.
San Francisco, 2019
Over twenty years after Maggie’s death, her daughter Millie and granddaughter Willow take a DNA test that’s supposed to be a bit of fun but instead yields unexpected results. Willow has always treasured her grandmother’s sweetheart locket, both family heirloom and a symbol of her grandparents’ love story. But now she doesn’t know what to believe. She embarks on a search for the truth, one she doesn’t know will reveal far more about herself…
A gripping and heart-breaking dual timeline novel about love, loss and buried secrets, The Sweetheart Locket is perfect for fans of Lorna Cook, Rachel Hore and Suzanne Kelman.

Purchase Links:
Universal Amazon Link
Hachette

Guest Post :

Past, present and writing women’s stories

Thanks to The Magic of Wor(l)ds blog for hosting me on the tour for my latest book, The Sweetheart Locket.
As both reader and writer, the fiction that appeals to me most focuses on women’s lives and relationships. In The Sweetheart Locket, from England and France in the Second World War to San Francisco 2019, I explore the lives, loves and losses of two different women connected through a British Royal Air Force (RAF) sweetheart locket.
During both World Wars, men serving in the armed forces gave ‘sweetheart jewelry’—brooches, lockets and bracelets—to women at home. In my story, a sweetheart locket crosses the two timelines and connects one woman, Maggie, with the granddaughter, Willow, she never met.
And in telling both women’s stories of love, loss and family secrets, The Sweetheart Locket is also about courage and hope, and everyday heroism and humanity.
In Second World War England and 2019, my main characters are at turning points in their lives.
In 1939, Maggie defies her Canadian family and stays in England to ‘do her bit’ for the war effort—a decision that has major repercussions for her own life as well as the lives of her daughter Millie and granddaughter Willow.
In 2019, Willow, a single mom to a grown daughter, is going to England for an extended work trip when a DNA test she took for fun yields unexpected results.
Are there secrets in Willow’s family history and could Maggie’s past be a clue to Willow’s present?
Maggie and Willow face numerous challenges, Maggie especially in Britain’s wartime Special Operations Executive (SOE) working as a secret agent in occupied France. Yet neither lose hope in a brighter future.
And whilst Maggie’s wartime life is one of action and adventure, in the contemporary story Willow, determined to discover what her gran did in the war, finds a different kind of courage to rebuild complicated family relationships and, in her forties, rediscover who she is and pursue dreams she’d once set aside.
While the characters I write about are fictional, an historical story like The Sweetheart Locket is shaped by real women’s lives and experiences.
As I write past and present in books with happy and uplifting endings guaranteed, I also hope that just as The Sweetheart Locket offers escape and distraction, it’s also an opportunity for readers to reflect on the lives of their own female family members and draw inspiration from their legacies.
Women’s history and women’s lives aren’t only about big sacrifices. Rather, in many cases the formal historical record overlooks women’s stories, bravery and sacrifices. That’s why in my historical stories particularly, I write about ordinary women caught up in often extraordinary circumstances.
If you choose to read The Sweetheart Locket, I hope you enjoy it. Our past shapes our present and our future because no matter what we face, either in the past or today:
‘Being brave [doesn’t] mean you [aren’t] afraid. You [do] what you [have] to despite the fear.’

Giveaway :

Win 2 x Kindle copies of The Sweetheart Locket (Open to UK / Canada)
*Terms and Conditions – UK & Canada entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#MiniBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : The Lost Laird From Her Past – Jeanine Englert @JeanineWrites @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks

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

The Lost Laird From Her Past

Today I’m on the ‘The Lost Laird From Her Past’ 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 :

Jeanine Englert’s love affair with mysteries and romance began with Nancy Drew, Murder She Wrote, and her Grandmother’s bookshelves full of romance novels. She is a VIVIAN® and Golden Heart® Finalist as well as a Silver Falchion, Maggie, and Daphne du Maurier Award Winner in historical romance and mystery. Her Scottish Highland historical and historical romantic suspense novels revolve around characters seeking self-acceptance and redemption. When she isn’t wrangling with her characters on the page, she can be found trying to convince her husband to watch her latest Masterpiece or BBC show obsession. She loves to talk about books, writing, her beloved rescue pups, as well as mysteries and romance with other readers. 

Social Media Links:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
GoodReads
BookBub
Instagram

Synopsis :

The Lost Laird From Her PastA second chance…
With her first love!
Lady Brenna Stewart is grateful to be saved from her burning carriage—only her rescuer is Laird Garrick MacLean, the man she once loved and lost! He seems determined to protect her from the unknown enemy pursuing her across the Scottish Highlands. But, bitterly hurt by his past betrayal, she needs answers. Why did he abandon her? And how can she keep her heart safe now, when the connection between them is as strong as ever…

Purchase Link

Guest Post :

Thank you, Magic of Wor(l)ds, for hosting me today for a guest post on your blog! I’m so excited to be here to celebrate the release of my latest Harlequin Historical / Mills & Boon book, The Lost Laird from Her Past, which is book two in the Falling for a Stewart series.
As a writer, I’m often asked about what advice I would give to a younger version of myself. After having published my fourth book and written several others that have not been published, I’ve compiled five things I wish I could tell my younger self about being a published author:
1) Don’t compare yourself with others. The old saying that comparison is the thief of joy is absolutely true. Even though this is a quite impossible task at times. The less you compare yourself to others, the happier you will be. Celebrate your own writing journey as it will not be like anyone else’s, and it shouldn’t be!
2) The quality of your stories matter more than anything else. Marketing, social media, the next contract, etc. are never as important as your writing. Make time to write, revise, and edit your best book possible every time. Not every story will be equally amazing for a variety of factors, some that will be in your control and some that won’t, but do everything you can to make each book the best it can be!
3) Not everyone will love your book babies. And that is okay. Let me repeat. It is okay to get a 1-star rating. Your world will not end. You’ll mope for a while and feel sick to your stomach for a while, but you will recover. I am a big believer in Becca Syme’s theory that getting a 1-star rating means that you are getting more widely read, which is a good thing, even if it doesn’t always feel that way.
4) Set goals about what is important in your writing career every month and every year. Make time to set goals each month and each year about your writing career. It can be easy to get derailed in your writing career because of life, your day job, and your family. Take time to assess how things are going and change your goals as you need to. Writing should be fun and something that fills your cup, not the other way around. If it is draining you, stop and figure out why, so you can course correct with what’s important to you as a writer.
5) Listen to but don’t take all the advice given to you. People are well intentioned and often offer up a great deal of unsolicited advice. Listen to that advice, but also listen to your gut: only take the advice that is right for you. And be wary of people that offer extreme suggestions. Over the years, I have received much solicited and unsolicited advice. I would say half of it was helpful. If I’d taken the other half to heart, I might have never published my first book, ruined my career, or started to try to write and publish books I didn’t believe in.
Most importantly, write your own story, and embrace the gift of the story that has been given to you. I’m a big believer of this Hank Williams, Jr. quote: “People don’t write music. It’s given to them.” I believe the same is true of the stories given to each of us. Cherish them as well as your gift as a writer.
Thank you so much for having me on your blog today! It has been amazing spending some time with you. Please feel free to drop a comment or ask questions if you like. I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about my writing process or my books.
Please also feel free to follow me @JeanineWrites on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram or you can drop me a note on my website at www.jeaninewrites.com.
Wishing you all health, happiness, and a wealth of words and stories for this year!

– Jeanine

Giveaway :

While Away the Hours in Scotland Giveaway! (Open to UK / US)
Whether it’s too cold, too hot, or too rainy where you are, you can while away the hours with the first two books in the Falling for a Stewart Series: Eloping with the Laird and The Lost Laird from Her Past! Your prize also includes two Scottish blessing bracelets, one for you and one for a friend, and some lovely book swag! Happy reading!

*Terms and Conditions – UK & US entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : They Had Eyes of Silver – S. E. Davis @SarahDavisAuth1

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

They Had Eyes of Silver

Today I’m on the ‘They Had Eyes of Silver’ 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 :

They Had Eyes AuthorS. E. Davis is a veterinarian and advocate for werewolf health. She lives on the North Dakota prairie with her family and a Weimaraner who understands shifting into human form is not necessary for being part of the pack.

Social Media Links:
Website
Instagram 
Twitter 
Facebook

Synopsis :

They Had Eyes of SilverA secret lineage. A family cursed. A forbidden love that can’t be denied.
Veterinarian Reina Kirke is exhausted. So, when her best friend suggests a European vacation, she doesn’t hesitate. A much-needed break and a chance to investigate her mysterious family tree sound perfect. Too bad she’s in no way prepared for what she finds. The fairytale town in Belgium hides family secrets grounded in the supernatural. Legends of werewolves and witches surround her, and a taboo love affair threatens to pull her into a danger she might not be able to handle.
What seems like a chance encounter with Blaise Woodward, a brooding hunk with his own secrets, sets up a sequence of events that could unravel both of their families as they realize their deep connection to each other is generations old. But only one thing is certain.
Their lives will never be the same…

Purchase Link

Guest Post :

Wolf-shifter Candles

When I start a project, I immerse myself in it. Research on the web, read books similar to/about my intended topic, make notes, sketch, then do. Yeah, my behavior runs the razor’s edge of obsessive. Fine. I am obsessive. Throw in a great song list and a fantastic scent, and I can lose myself in the craft. I have done this with quilting, crafts, raising rabbits, growing pumpkins, and now I do it with writing.
What do I do differently with writing? I make bookish items! Bookmarks, stickers, T-shirts, tattoos, and playlists.
Luckily, social media was so supportive of my obsessions that they suggested several wonderful candle companies to follow. Into the world of book-based candles I delved and ordered aromas based on the Grishaverse, The Witcher, and The Night Circus. All I needed to add was flame, and the waxed finds transformed my writing space into a magical haven.
I decided that I, too, should have a candle companion to my wolf-shifter romance, They Had Eyes of Silver. What scent combination would I be creating? A blend of fresh cut wood, leather, cinnamon, and bonfire.
Amazon loves people like me. Package after package arrived with containers, wax, essential oils, special candle making pots, etc. I designed labels for my “Silver-Eyed Wolf” creations.
During my unpacking and organizing, one of my daughters came in and asked what I was up to (besides making a mess). After I explained I was creating candles scented after the male lead in my book, she gave me a funny look and said, “You’re making a candle that smells like wet dog?”
I laughed and told her, “No. Of course not.”
But then I started thinking.
Should I?
Why shouldn’t I? Wouldn’t wet shifters in their animal form smell like “normal” wolves? Would that be a better match than the sultry concoction my brain came up for the hot wolfie? I prefer the wet dog smell to whatever dead thing my Weimaraner, Bodey, digs up and rolls in. He, of course, prefers a dirt crusted nose and earthen-marinated carcasses and toys.
Sitting with my dog after one of his baths, I can tell you that while I could write just fine, I didn’t think the world needed a wet dog scented candle. I preferred the real deal. Plus, I already had all the other oils. Although it would have been cheaper to commission a book-themed candle company to produce candles for me, making them myself was a pleasant distraction while waiting for feedback on edits.
Do I use them? Of course! While writing, I light up and burn my homemade candles. I have three books to complete and plenty of wax to eat through.

Afbeelding1

Giveaway :

Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card (Open INT)
*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : The Hostage of Rome – Robert M. Kidd @RobertMKidd1

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

The Hostage Of Rome

Today I’m on the ‘The Hostage of Rome’ 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 :

When Cato the Censor demanded that ‘Carthage must be destroyed,’ Rome did just that. In 146 BC, after a three year siege, Carthage was raised to the ground, its surviving citizens sold into slavery and the fields where this once magnificent city had stood, ploughed by oxen. Carthage was erased from history.
That’s why I’m a novelist on a mission! I want to set the historical record straight. Our entire history of Hannibal’s wars with Rome is nothing short of propaganda, written by Greeks and Romans for their Roman clients. It intrigues me that Hannibal took two Greek scholars and historians with him on campaign, yet their histories of Rome’s deadliest war have never seen the light of day.
My hero, Sphax the Numidian, tells a different story!
When I’m not waging war with my pen, I like to indulge my passion for travel and hill walking, and like my hero, I too love horses. I live in Pembrokeshire, West Wales.

Website
Twitter
Facebook

Synopsis :

The Hostage Author217 BC. Rome has been savaged, beaten and is in retreat. Yet, in that winter of winters, her garrisons cling on behind the walls of Placentia and Cremona, thanks to her sea-born supplies. If he could be freed, a hostage of Rome may yet hold the key to launching a fleet of pirates that could sweep Rome from the seas. For that hostage is none other than Corinna’s son Cleon, rival heir to the throne of Illyria, held in Brundisium, four hundred miles south of the Rubicon.
But Hannibal is set on a greater prize! Macedon is the great power in Greece, feared even by Rome. Its young king, Philip, is being compared with his illustrious ancestor, Alexander the Great. An alliance with Macedon would surely sound the death knell for Rome.
Given Hannibal’s blessing, Sphax, Idwal and Corinna face an epic journey against impossible odds. Navigating the length of the Padus, past legionary garrisons and hostile Gauls, they must then risk the perils of the storm-torn Adria in the depths of the winter. If the gods favour them and they reach the lands of the pirate queen, only then will their real trials begin.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Guest Post :

The Natural World in the Age of Hannibal

In The Hostage of Rome, the third book in The Histories of Sphax series, the action takes place in some of the wildest and most remote places of southern Europe. Whilst writing it I realised I had to conjure up landscapes that have now largely disappeared, along with the animals that once inhabited them. My research into this aspect of the novel turned up some surprising facts!
The early chapters of the novel describe a one hundred and forty mile journey by boat down the Po river (Padus in Latin) from Piacenza in northern Italy, to its extensive wetland delta on the Adriatic coast south of Venice. Today, the vast mixed forests of poplar, willow and birch which would have clothed its banks in Hannibal’s day have all but disappeared, and over the millennia the course of the river has also changed. These days nobody is quite sure where, or how far, the delta extended, but the best guess is that this watery wilderness stretched for hundreds of square miles. Today it’s a nature reserve.
Naturally, Sphax and his party lost their way in this labyrinth of waterways. But what they encountered next came as something of a shock. Even at the time of Hannibal, aurochs (it sounds like a plural, but the name also refers to a single animal) were not common, but if you did encounter one, it was wise to give them a wide berth! Standing at least six feet at the shoulder, with a massive head topped by deadly horns almost three feet long, aurochs were a wild ancestor of today’s domestic cattle. Gauls prized their horns as trophies, but an aurochs hunt was not to be undertaken lightly. In his Gallic Wars, Caesar speaks of them with the utmost respect!
And that wasn’t the only dangerous animal they caught sight of in the delta. Wolves, bears and wild boar were common, as were bison, thought to be much bigger in Hannibal’s time than today’s remnant populations in eastern Europe and the US. Other animals I mention in passing are otters, beavers, lynx, elk and deer. As for birdlife: there would be vast flocks of flamingos, and soaring over their heads, everything from vultures to white-tailed sea eagles.
Sphax’s voyage then takes him along the island archipelago of what is now Croatia. Today, the offshore islands, golden beaches and verdant coastline are breathtakingly beautiful, a real holiday hotspot. When Sphax sailed these waters, even in the depths of winter these island would have been clothed in green, with magnificent stands of Lebanese cedar and the handsome Aleppo pine. As they enter the Bay of Kotor (modern-day Montenegro) and make for Rhizon (modern-day Risan), Sphax waxes lyrical: ‘This is Elysium,’ he says, ‘I would willingly give up the desert to feast my eyes on such beauty.’
When Sphax and Corinna walked hand in hand up the steep hillside above the citadel in Rhizon, they did it by moonlight, so at least they weren’t in danger of being savaged by lions. Which would not have been the case if they’d ventured out into the wilds in broad daylight. Lions were not uncommon in Illyria (modern-day Albania, Montenegro and Croatia) and were widespread throughout the Balkans, Greece, Macedonia and Thrace. All Sphax had to worry about that evening was Illyria’s wolves and bears. Today, Montenegro is proud of its populations of these protected creatures.
It might surprise readers to know that it would take another six hundred years (well into the fourth century AD) before the philosopher Themistius complained that lions could no longer be furnished for his Constantinople beast-shows because they’d been hunted to extinction. Greece supplied lions for Imperial Rome’s gladiatorial games, but through over-hunting, eventually this source dried up, forcing them to import barbary lions from north Africa.
I find it astonishing to think that as the Saxons came to our shores and established the kingdom of Wessex, the roar of the lion could still be heard in the wildest reaches of Europe.
As I’m writing about Hannibal, I suppose I should say something about elephants! Contrary critters … as likely to trample their own soldiers as their enemies. Here’s a few facts.
Of the thirty-seven that crossed the Alps and took part in the Battle of the Trebia in 218 BC, only two or three survived the terrible winter that followed. Virtually all Hannibal’s elephant corps were small African animals, captured in the dry woodland fringes of the Sahara. They could not possibly have supported a howdah bristling with javelinmen! The best they could hope for was shock and awe, achieved in spades at the Trebia, routing Roman cavalry and infantry.
We know that the largest of them, probably an Indian bull elephant named Saurus (the Syrian), did survive that winter of winters and carried Hannibal through the swamps of the Arno river in the campaign of 217 BC. Other than this, elephants played absolutely no part in Hannibal’s campaigns in Italy.

Giveaway :

Win Book 6 in The Histories of Sphax series to be dedicated to the winner, & a signed dedicated copy too (Open INT)
*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#MiniBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : The Viking She Would Have Married – Lucy Morris @LMorris_Author @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks

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

The Viking She Would Have Married

Today I’m on the ‘The Viking She Would Have Married’ 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 :

The Viking She Would Have Married LucyMorrisHeadshots20211019_0040Lucy Morris has always been obsessed with myths and legends. Her books blend sweeping romance with vivid worldbuilding to whisk you away to another time and place filled with adventure. Expect passion, drama and vibrant characters.
Lucy lives in Essex, UK, with her husband, two children, and two cats. She has a massively sweet tooth and loves Terry’s Chocolate Oranges and Irn-Bru. In her spare time she likes to explore castles with her family, or drink bubbly with her friends.

Social Media Links:
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Synopsis :

The Viking She Would Have Married LucyMorrisHeadshots20211019_0040In close quarters…
With the Viking she’d loved and lost
With her family fallen on hard times, Valda’s forced to join the crew on Halfdan Ulfsson’s merchant ship as he sets sail on the treacherous silk route. But this handsome jarl’s son is the man she’d planned to wed until his bitter betrayal. Knowing she can never trust him, she must focus on saving her sisters…and not the intense connection that still burns between them!

Purchase Links:
Amazon
Harpercollins

Guest Post :

I am so excited about my next book release, ‘The Viking She Would Have Married’.
It’s the first in a trilogy focusing on the love stories of three shieldmaiden sisters, called Valda, Brynhild, and Helga. It’s also my first ever series! I was nervous about writing three books so closely entwined, but when I focused on each sister’s unique love story it actually became quite straightforward. Although I’ve used a good portion of my notebooks writing and rewriting the timelines, as two of the books happen simultaneously, and it’s tricky to keep everything clear in my head!
I’m so glad I chose to write about three shieldmaidens, they are such strong and fascinating women. I’ve wanted to write a Lagertha style character ever since I first saw Katheryn Winnick play her so beautifully in Vikings. Lagertha is first mentioned in the sagas as one of the wives of Ragnar Lodbrok, although in the sagas he wins her hand in marriage by fighting off a bear as well as other animals guarding her home! Some sources confirm she was a ruler or Norway, whilst others believe she is an amalgamation of legends.
Many archaeologists have argued the idea of ‘real’ female warriors in Vikings times as fanciful. Dismissing it as modern feminist values trying to be imposed on historical facts…
Interestingly, a warrior grave was found in Birka where for many years archaeologists were firmly agreed it was the grave of a fierce warrior and possibly a king. Two horses, armor, and weaponry were found in the grave goods, including a board game known to represent military strategy. Most agreed that the person, if not a king, was definitely an important military leader.

index

All archaeologists were in agreement…Until modern DNA evidence revealed the Birka warrior to be a woman. Then some archaeologists started to shy away from their earlier conclusions, suggesting she was actually just a woman of importance in the area, and the weaponry didn’t signify her to be a military leader after all.
I, personally, would argue their own biases had caused them to dismiss the historical facts…but I’m no archaeologist so what do I know?
Regardless, the Birka warrior has inspired me to write about three shieldmaiden sisters and you might recognise the first one…
Valda was a side character in ‘A Nun for the Viking Warrior’, and many of my readers were sad to see Valda leave the story.
But I had plans for Valda – not least an epic adventure along the silk route to modern day Istanbul!
After reading ‘The River Kings’ by Dr Cat Jarman I was inspired to write a story following the Viking age journey from the Baltic to Miklagard (also known as Constantinople). It’s a surprising and perilous journey, crossing the Baltic, and then traveling down the rivers of Russia and eastern Europe into the black sea.
A fascinating journey that involves rapids, nomadic war bands, as well as countless political and cultural hurdles to overcome. Valda and Halfdan are the bravest and most capable couple I’ve written so far. It was a joy to write their second chance love story.
If I were to describe it, I would call it ‘Persuasion with Longships’, except the heroine is more than capable of sailing away with her lover from the very start!
Afterall, why should men have all the fun?

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : The Last King – M J Porter @coloursofunison

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

The Last King

Today I’m on the ‘The Last King’ 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 :

The Last King M J Porter Amazon A+I’m an author of historical fiction (Early English, Vikings and the British Isles as a whole before the Norman Conquest, as well as two 20th-century mysteries). I was born in the old Mercian kingdom at some point since 1066. Raised in the shadow of a strange little building, told from a very young age that it housed the bones of long-dead Kings of Mercia and that our garden was littered with old pieces of pottery from a long-ago battle, it’s little wonder that my curiosity in Early England ran riot. I can only blame my parents!
I write A LOT. You’ve been warned!

Social Media Links

Synopsis :

The Last King M J Porter Amazon A+From author MJ Porter comes a thrilling new hero.
They sent three hundred warriors to kill one man. It wasn’t enough.
Mercia lies broken but not beaten, her alliance with Wessex in tatters. Coelwulf, a fierce and bloody warrior, hears whispers that Mercia has been betrayed from his home in the west. He fears no man, especially not the Vikings sent to hunt him down.
To discover the truth of the rumours he hears, Coelwulf must travel to the heart of Mercia, and what he finds there will determine the fate of Mercia, as well as his own.

Purchase Link

Guest Post :

Inspiration Behind the Book

The Last King is set in the AD870’s in Mercia, one of the ancient kingdoms of England. If you’ve watched or read Bernard Cornwell’s The Last Kingdom books then it’s just about where the first book starts.
I’ve long avoided trampling on the toes of the literary creation that is Uhtred of Bebbanburg. I’ve written about the seventh century, the tenth and the eleventh, but I had left the ninth well alone. But no more.
I was amused, while recently watching The Last Kingdom, to find a character called Coelwulf, no doubt ‘my’ Coelwulf, keel over dead during a feast in Wessex. This made me chuckle, and also made me appreciate that the archaeological find that inspired me to write about him is recent (2015) and has called into question just what was happening in Mercia (and Wessex) in the 870’s. (For information on the coin find, please have a look here, https://www.ashmolean.org/watlington-hoard)
And so, The Last King. It’s very much an action thriller with a historical setting. There’s a lot of blood, sweat and gore, (and swearing) but it is an attempt to explore this ‘other’ scenario, contrary to that in the Uhtred books, and contrary to much that has been written about Coelwulf in the past. He has been seen as a puppet of the Vikings. But, what if he wasn’t, as seems increasingly likely.
First and foremost, I approach my books from a historical perspective. But what I love, (and I really do love), is reading between the lines, toying with the might-have-beens and the what-ifs. And Coelwulf, forgotten ‘hero’ that he might be, is a perfect vehicle for such an exploration of Mercia. And as a ‘Mercian’ by birth myself, it feels right to not let her get overshadowed by the might of Wessex, under what could just be, a perfectly written piece of political propaganda – The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle – that has plunged Coelwulf into historical obscurity, and from which he can only emerge thanks to the ‘Two Emperor Coins.’ These hint that Coelwulf was not a Viking puppet-king. Was he perhaps someone who overshadowed even Alfred himself, and who, Alfred, in a fit of pique branded as a traitor in his chronicle of the times.
What if, indeed.

Giveaway :

Win a Hardback Copy of The Last King (Open INT)
*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#MiniBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : Winning Back His Duchess – 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. –

Winning Back His Duchess

Today I’m on the ‘Winning Back His Duchess’ 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.

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Synopsis :

Winning Back His DuchessEscape to beautiful Venice for this Victorian marriage reunited story…
An invitation to Venice…
To save their marriage!
Suggesting divorce to her estranged husband, Jamie, Duke of Byson, takes all of Rose Wilkins’s courage. Years of distance and heartbreak have taken a toll—she needs a new start. But Jamie won’t hear of divorce, because of the scandal alone. His counteroffer is a trip to Venice… Might discovering Venice’s delights together rekindle the still-simmering desire that drew Rose to Jamie as a starry-eyed young American heiress?

Purchase Links:
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Guest Post :

I hope you enjoyed the adventures of the Wilkins sisters as much as I have! When I was very young, I found a biography of Jennie Jerome on my grandmother’s bookshelf, and was amazed at her bold, adventurous life. Later I discovered Edith Wharton and The Bucaneers, and wondered at the lives of young American women finding themselves in a whole different society and way of life than they had known, and their various fates. The Wilkins sisters are the lucky ones, of course, and find true love and fulfillment in being duchesses!
2020 was a challenging year in so many ways, so I loved being able to visit one of my very favorite cities, Venice, through Rose and Jamie. Rose’s palazzo is based on the Ca’Doro and the Palazzo Gradanigo, and she sees many real spots—the church of the Miracoli (Venice’s favorite wedding church!) and the Teatro Goldoni. Hopefully, I’ll be able to admire them in person again soon.
Rose’s artistic friends at Pryde Abbey are also based on real places and people—the Prinseps at Little Holland House, and The Souls. (Violet got to visit Little Holland House as well, in Playing the Duke’s Fiancee). Little Holland House was originally a dower house for the grand Holland House, and was occupied by members of the powerful political family the Foxes. In 1850, HT Prinsep, director of the East India Company, moved in with his wife Sara Pattle (sister of the photographer Julia Margaret Cameron), and it became a center of artistic and bohemian life for over twenty-one years. The Prinseps moved out in 1871, so it couldn’t be used in this book! The Souls were an elite social and intellectual group of Society friends from 1885 to about 1900, including the Grenfells and Wyndhams, George Curzon, Margot Asquith, and Violet Manners. (Their children were known as The Coterie, and included the famously beautiful Lady Diana Manners, though sadly many of them were killed in World War I).
(A couple of interesting sources for these groups are Kensington and Chelsea: A Social and Architectural History and Angela Lambert’s Unquiet Souls: The Indian Summer of the British Aristocracy, 1880-1918).
Rose (quite against her will!) has found herself as a Professional Beauty, or PB, the reality stars of their day. A trend arose in the 1870s and ‘80s for the images of beautiful Society women (and also some actresses and singers) to be displayed and sold in shop windows, and their lives were followed in newspapers. They were much sought-after as guests of honor at parties, set fashions, and could often build careers beyond Society (such as Lillie Langtry). Other famous PBs included Lady Warwick, Jennie Jerome, Lady de Grey, Mrs. Cornwallis-West, and Mrs. Wheeler.
I took a little historical liberty in allowing Rose to be called “American Beauty Rose”! The flower, a deep pink rose cultivar, was bred by Henri Ledechaux in France in 1885, and was called “Madame Ferdinand Jamin.” It was renamed when brought to America in 1886, and later became the best-selling rose in the US in the 1920s.
For more information, you can always visit me at ammandamccabe.com and here are a few more sources I enjoyed, if you’d like to read more:
–Judith Marten, No Vulgar Hotel: The Desire and Pursuit of Venice (2007)
–Peter Ackroyd, Venice: Pure City (2009)
–Jane Adby, The Souls (1984)
–Claudia Renton, Those Wild Wyndhams (2014)
–Roberto Alonge, Goldoni (2004)
–Carlo Goldoni, On Playwrighting (re-release 2019)
–Palazzi di Venezia (1987)
–James C. Davis, A Venetian Family and Its Fortunes, 1500-1900 (1975)

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

The Dardanelles Conspiracy (Johnny Swift Thrillers Book 2) #TheDardanellesConspiracy #JohnnySwift – Alan Bardos @BardosAlan @SharpeBooks , 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 Bardos, author of ‘The Dardanelles Conspiracy’ to promote this book.
Before I let you read it, I’ll first post some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Alan BardosWriting historical fiction combines the first great love of Alan Bardos’s life, making up stories, with the second, researching historical events and characters. He currently lives in Oxfordshire with his wife… the other great love of his life.
There is still a great deal of mystery and debate surrounding many of the events of the First World War, which he explores in his historical fiction series. Through the eyes of Johnny Swift, a disgraced and degenerate diplomat and soldier.
The series starts with the pivotal event of the twentieth century. The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The second book ‘The Dardanelles Conspiracy’ is based on an attempt by Naval Intelligence to bribe Turkey out of the First World War. In the third book Johnny will be employed as a useful idiot to flush out a traitor working to undermine the Allies.

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Synopsis :

51XaA6QHfQLJanuary 1915.
The Western Front has descended into trench warfare. In the East an opportunity arises for the Allies to bypass the stalemate.
Desperate to preserve a truce in his sector of the front and with it the lives of his men, Johnny Swift a reckless former diplomat is caught warning the Germans of a trench raid.
Sir George Smyth, Swift’s former superior has negotiated a stay of execution. In return, Swift is dispatched to Constantinople on a perilous mission to bribe the Turkish government and open the backdoor into Germany.
This does not stop the disgraced diplomat enjoying the delights of the orient, while trying to negotiate the labyrinthine power struggles within the Turkish government.
Swift uses all his guile to complete his mission, but finds his efforts blocked by his old friend and nemesis Lazlo Breitner, now an official at the Austro-Hungarian Embassy.
The agent moves from the drinking dens at the crossroads of the world to the opening battles of the Gallipoli campaign – and with it a chance to redeem his reputation.

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Guest Post :

Writing a Conspiracy

Captain Reginald ‘Blinker’ Hall, the Director of British Naval Intelligence, launched an operation to bribe members of the Ottoman Government into making peace during the First World War. Hall hoped that would open the Dardanelles Strait to the Allies. Allowing them to supply Russia and bypass the stalemate on the Western front. It was however superseded by the Allies attempt to open the Straits by force. The ensuing naval and land campaigns resulted in a second stalemate in the East.
My novel ‘The Dardanelles Conspiracy’ charts these missed opportunities through the eyes of Johnny Swift, a disgraced soldier and diplomat. Swift finds himself in the middle of the attempts to open the Straits, by both negotiation and force.
It was the attempt at a negotiated peace that attracted me to the story and caused the greatest amount of difficulty in researching the novel. This was because it’s a fairly obscure footnote to what is largely considered to be a disastrous ‘side show’ to the Western Front.
It was in the footnotes of ‘Gallipoli’ by James Robert Rhodes that I got the first big break in my research. He made reference to two articles in the Royal United Service Institution Journal, from 1963. The first was called ‘A Ghost from Gallipoli’ by Captain G.R.G. Allen. The second was a response to this article written by Admiral Sir William James. My other break was that a friend of mine could actually get hold of the articles for me.
These articles gave a detailed overview of the negotiations and why they failed, but did not give a great deal of colour about the ins and outs of the discussions. I was able to find further details in books about naval intelligence in the First World War, most notably in two biographies of Hall written by Admiral James and David Ramsay.
However, they did not contain any further information about the negotiations themselves, which appear to have been conducted rather vicariously. ‘Blinker’ Hall sent two emissaries to bribe Talat Pasha, the Ottoman Minister of the Interior. The delegation was unable to gain entry to Turkey and had to use the Grand Rabbi of Constantinople as an intermediary, corresponding via messengers.
I had hoped to read this correspondence and gain a greater insight into the negotiations by studying the old Admiralty files. I spent a day or so at the National Archive in Kew, searching the old Foreign Office FO37 card index, which was where the Admiralty files had been archived.
I found a number of references on the index cards, but when I searched the actual files they related to, the documents had been removed. When I queried this I was told that files are often subject to ‘weeding’, where documents not thought to be of value are removed.
Unable to gather any firsthand material I invented the scenes where the Grand Rabbi and Talat Pasha negotiate, dropping my lead character into the mix. While doing this I located another firsthand source in the memoir of Henry Morgenthau. Morgenthau was the American Ambassador in Constantinople in 1915 and had negotiated with Talat Pasha. His descriptions of this and of Talat’s home really helped enrich these scenes. Geoff Berridge’s biography, ‘Gerald Fitzmaurice (1865-1939), Chief Dragoman of the British Embassy in Turkey’, also had details of the negotiation strategies employed by British diplomats when dealing with Ottoman officials, which helped build tension in these scenes.
Ultimately the negotiations failed, because of promises made to Russia about the future of Constantinople (Istanbul). This was where my trip to the National Archive came into its own. I was able to find some interesting cabinet papers around the future of Constantinople and War Council minutes, about the decision to open the Dardanelles Strait by force. This is when Johnny Swift’s troubles really begin.

National Archives

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#MiniBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : Mrs Morphett’s Macaroons – Patsy Trench @PatsyTrench

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

Mrs Morphetts Macaroons

Today I’m on the ‘Mrs Morphett’s Macaroons’ 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 :

Mrs Morphettes Me South Bank 2020 not croppedPatsy Trench has spent her life working in the theatre. She was an actress for twenty years in theatre and television in the UK and Australia. She has written scripts for stage and (TV) screen and co-founded The Children’s Musical Theatre of London, creating original musicals with primary school children. She is the author of three non fiction books about colonial Australia based on her own family history and four novels about women breaking the mould in times past. Mrs Morphett’s Macaroons is book four in her ‘Modern Women: Entertaining Edwardians’ series and is set in the world she knows and loves best. When she is not writing books she teaches theatre part-time and organises theatre trips for overseas students.
She lives in London. She has two children and so far one grandson.

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Synopsis :

Mrs Morphett's Macaroons Cover LARGE EBOOKLondon, 1905. A show. A stuttering romance. Two squabbling actresses.
Is it Shakespeare? Is it Vaudeville?
Not quite. It is Mrs Morphett’s Macaroons, a satirical play about suffragettes which its creators – friends and would-be lovers Robbie Robinson and Violet Graham – are preparing to mount in London’s West End.
It is the play rival actresses Merry and Gaye would kill to be in, if only they hadn’t insulted the producer all those years ago.
For Robbie and Violet however the road to West End glory is not smooth. There are backers to be appeased, actors to be tamed and a theatre to be found; and in the midst of it all a budding romance that risks being undermined by professional differences.
Never mix business with pleasure?
Maybe, maybe not.

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Guest Post :

Where do you get your ideas?

This is the one question that writers allegedly dread being asked. But as a writer myself, and a reader, it’s the question I would most like to ask another writer.
Some authors are inspired by a place, or a period in history, some by personal experience, others by a real event read about in a newspaper (or these days on social media). As for me, my ideas always begin with people.
The first book in my Modern Women series, The Awakening of Claudia Faraday, featured a 50-something society lady and mother of three whose moribund life is revitalised by her discovery of the joy of sex. The idea sprang from a short story which in itself was partly inspired by Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach, in which a young couple’s married life is ruined on the first night of their marriage by the bride’s deep-rooted fear of sex.
Well now, I thought, isn’t that a common experience? Not all sex entails couples panting up against a wall, or groaning and writhing in a rumpled bed. Sex, particularly for women in the past, was not necessarily regarded or expected to be either joyful or particularly fulfilling. Sex was for procreation only. We have our forefathers (and –mothers) to thank for that.
When I expanded my short story into a full-length novel I decided to set it in the Roaring Twenties, a time of revolutionary change for women: off with the corsets and the inhibitions, in with bohemianism, free sex and Marie Stopes. It was Ms Stopes who first posited (in her book Married Love) the idea that sex could be fun for its own sake and not just for the continuation of the species; who actually mentioned the c-word in print (not that c-word). In my book it was the discovery of the outlandish idea that sex did not necessarily mean lying back and thinking of England that opened Claudia’s eyes to the changing world around her, which in turn led her to realise life can begin at fifty.
Then, since one thing inevitably leads to another, subsequent books in my Modern Women series featured women who’d appeared in the previous book. So Prudence, Claudia’s free-wheeling best friend, became the subject of book two The Purpose of Prudence de Vere; and Violet, Prudence’s unhappy suffragist friend, the subject of book three, and again of book four, Mrs Morphett’s Macaroons.
As I immersed myself first in the Roaring Twenties and then in the Victorian and Edwardian period – the books went backwards chronologically – I became more and more intrigued by the role of women in those societies. The series title ‘Modern Women’ only occurred to me some way down the line, as I realised Claudia, Prudence and Violet – and indeed Merry and Gaye, two actresses who feature in my later books – were all in their different ways bucking the trend of the worlds in which they lived. They were not campaigning feminists like Mary Wollstonecraft or Emmeline Pankhurst. But they managed, in their different ways, to find the means to live their lives as they wanted irrespective of what was expected of them; whether that meant partying with bisexuals in a flat in Parsons Green (Claudia), or proposing marriage to John Maynard Keynes (Prudence), or breaking away from an unhappy marriage to join the suffragist movement and work for a living (Violet).
Quiet revolutionaries all.

Giveaway :

Win an Ebook of short story anthology All We Need Is Love. (Open INT)
*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : Love In A Time of War – Adrienne Chinn @adriennechinn @0neMoreChapter_

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

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Today I’m on the ‘Love In A Time of War’ 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 :

1dqBzokAAdrienne Chinn was born in Grand Falls, Newfoundland, grew up in Quebec, and eventually made her way to London, England after a career as a journalist. In England she worked as a TV and film researcher before embarking on a career as an interior designer, lecturer, and writer. When not up a ladder or at the computer writing, she often can be found rummaging through flea markets or haggling in the Marrakech souk. Her second novel, The English Wife — a timeslip story set in World War II England and contemporary Newfoundland — was published in June 2020 and has become an international bestseller. Her debut novel, The Lost Letter from Morocco, was published by Avon Books UK in 2019. Her latest novel, Love in a Time of War, set during WWI, is the first in a series of three books based around the changing lives of three English sisters and their half-Italian mother, with a timeslip to 1890s Capri and London.

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Synopsis :

uHxEHB-AThree sisters
The Great War
The end of innocence…
In 1913, in a quiet corner of London, the three Fry sisters are coming of age, dreaming of all the possibilities the bright future offers. But when war erupts their innocence is shattered and a new era of uncertainty begins.
Cecelia loves Max but his soldier’s uniform is German, not British, and suddenly the one man she loves is the one man she can’t have.
Jessie enlists in the army as a nurse and finally finds the adventure she’s craved when she’s sent to Gallipoli and Egypt, but it comes with an unimaginable cost.
Etta elopes to Capri with her Italian love, Carlo, but though her growing bump is real, her marriage certificate is a lie.
As the three sisters embark on journeys they never could have imagined, their mother Christina worries about the harsh new realities they face, and what their exposure to the wider world means for the secrets she’s been keeping…

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!ndigo

Guest Post :

Sitting on my desk at home, framed in an antique frame, is a black and white image of my grandmother, Edith Adelaide Fry Chinn, at the age of twenty in 1904. Her wavy auburn hair is pulled loosely back into a bun and she wears a pretty white lace, high-necked blouse, and she looks out at the viewer with a serious, slightly defiant expression. You get the impression of someone who is capable of meeting life’s challenges head-on, with a no-nonsense, “let’s get on with it” approach. I’ve had this photograph on my desk for years, and, when I decided to write a novel set during the years of World War I, she, and my two great-aunts, Jessie and Ettie Chinn, became my inspirations for the characters of Celie, Jessie and Etta Fry in Love in a Time of War.
Edith, a milliner by trade, married my grandfather, Frank, the son of an English auctioneer, who had managed to survive five years in the British infantry during the war (although he’d been gassed with mustard gas on several occasions which affected his lungs for the rest of his life), and he moved his young family out to Alberta, Canada after the war to start over again as a farmer (I write about Celie’s experience as a wheat farmer’s wife in Alberta in Book 2 of The Fry Sisters series). My Great-Aunt Jessie was artistic and helped her father, a professional photographer named Frederick Fry, in his London photography studio. She was also engaged to a young German student she’d met in London, who was killed fighting for the Germans during the war. Her sister, my Great-Aunt Ettie, who also never married, became an army nurse and served in Gallipoli and Egypt during the war. All three women were involved in the suffragist movement prior to the war as well.
Looking at the old photographs of my grandmother and my great-aunts just before and during the war years, I had an overwhelming urge to honour their experiences as young women during a time of great societal change. Each of them, in their own ways, reflected what was happening in women’s lives throughout Europe, the Commonwealth and the USA from 1914-1919, which included, in 1918 in many countries, the right to vote. Many women found themselves outside the house, working in jobs that would have traditionally gone to men, or travelling abroad as nurses. And many young women of this generation never did marry, owing to the appalling death toll of the young soldiers caught up in the war.
Love in a Time of War gave me the opportunity to delve into the stories of many women of the time, from the “canary girls” whose skill was stained yellow from the TNT they handled as they loaded artillery shells, to the young nurses finding themselves far away from their families in foreign countries, to the women taking up roles in family businesses, marching for women’s right to vote, hiding the shame of an unexpected pregnancy, dealing with loving a man on the “enemy” side … All of these things happened to many women, and these stories — rather than the stories of battlefields — were what I wanted to write about. Ultimately, Love in a Time of War is a novel about women’s bravery, resiliency and stoicism.
Here are some photographs of the three women who inspired the three Fry sisters of Love in a Time of War.

Content For The Magic of Wor(l)ds - Ethel May Fry

Content For The Magic of Wor(l)ds - Edith Adelaide Fry Chinn

Content For The Magic of Wor(l)ds - The Three Sisters photo 5

The Magic of Wor(l)ds