#MiniBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : Her Legendary Highlander – Nicole Locke @NicoleLockeNews @HarlequinBooks @MillsandBoon

– ‘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 ‘Her Legendary Highlander’ 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 :

ocBgtkswNicole first discovered romance novels hidden in her grandmother’s closet. Convinced hidden books must be better, Nicole greedily read them. It was only natural she should start writing them (but now not so secretly).
If she isn’t working on the next book in her historical series, she can be reached at NicoleLocke.com!

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Synopsis :

dryYGcLQHer rugged prisoner
… becomes her fiercest protector.
Capturing legendary Highlander Malcolm of Clan Colquhoun was Andreona’s last chance to win her tyrannical father’s respect. Instead he orders them both to be killed! Resigned to her devastating role as the family outcast, she and her prisoner escape and continue on his quest to return a treasured heirloom. They find solace in their unexpected passion, but haunted by a lifetime of betrayals, will either dare to hope it could last beyond their journey?

Purchase Links:
Mills and Boon
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Harlequin

Guest Post :

Top Ten Things about Malcolm

1. Malcolm is the third brother, and one of five siblings in Clan Colquhoun.
2. He insists he has black hair, but one woman (ahem Andreona, the heroine he’s past due to love) insists he has red in it like the rest of his clan.
3. He’s rash, impulsive, and quick to temper.
4. His eyes are green. Or…as Andreona notices: ‘His eyes were the colour of grass in the summer sun and spring foliage on trees. But nothing so still or tranquil. Certainly, nothing of celebration or renewal. Unrest roiled and retribution turned. That colour was never meant for such wrath and determination. But it was all that was there and none of it felt new. Which was foolish, she knew, for how could any man hold rage for long?’
5. Yeah, I wrote that kind of hero. The kind who loves, but who loses that love. Who has honour and bravery, only to be betrayed. Who gets up and attempts and tries, but keeps getting knocked down. By the time he meets Andreona, he isn’t getting up again. He’s cynical, cruel, and someone whom she really needs to say: “Pass!”
6. But Andreona knows what it’s like to be betrayed and to lose love. She, however, also knows what it takes to believe again. It takes a few hundred pages for Malcolm to start listening though. Stubborn Scot.
7. Her Legendary Highlander is a standalone, but Malcolm’s in previous books: The Knight’s Broken Promise, Her Enemy Highlander, and The Highland Laird’s Bride.
8. Along the way he made enemies of his family, the Warstones, The Englishman Sir Richard Howe, the mercenaries hired by the Warstones and Sir Howe, etc. Basically, he’s on the verge of being killed or thrown into pit. So he meets Andreona with a bit of baggage.
9. He’s got a friend though, Finlay, who’s also in The Highland Laird’s Bride, and he’s halfway through with his quest to reunite the legendary Jewell of Kings with the hollowed dagger, so that must be good, right? (So good, whew).
10. It took me forever to write this story and finish the series, but I hope the wait is worth it. All I know is the Epilogue made me cry.

Giveaway :

Win a Signed Copy of Her Legendary Highlander (Open Internationally).
*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.

a Rafflecopter Giveaway

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Tempted by the Runes #TemptedByTheRunes – Christina Courtenay @PiaCCourtenay, A #GuestPost And A #GiveAway @headlinepg

– ‘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 Christina Courtenay, author of ‘Tempted by the Runes’ to promote this book.
Before I let you read it, I’ll first post some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Christina Courtenay 2019Christina Courtenay writes historical romance, time slip and time travel stories, and lives in Herefordshire (near the Welsh border) in the UK. Although born in England, she has a Swedish mother and was brought up in Sweden – hence her abiding interest in the Vikings. Christina is a former chairman of the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association and has won several awards, including the RoNA for Best Historical Romantic Novel twice with Highland Storms (2012) and The Gilded Fan (2014) and the RNA Fantasy Romantic Novel of the year 2021 with Echoes of the Runes. Tempted by the Runes (time travel published by Headline 9th December 2021) is her latest novel. Christina is a keen amateur genealogist and loves history and archaeology (the armchair variety).

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Synopsis :

Born centuries apart. Bound by a love that defied time.
She couldn’t believe her eyes. The runes were normally so reliable and she had never doubted them before.
Madison Berger is visiting Dublin with her family for a Viking re-enactment festival, when she chances upon a small knife embedded in the banks of the Liffey. Maddie recognises what the runes on the knife’s handle signify: the chance to have her own adventures in the past.
Maddie only intends to travel back in time briefly, but a skirmish in 9th century Dublin results in her waking up on a ship bound for Iceland, with the man who saved her from attack.
Geir Eskilsson has left his family in Sweden to boldly carve out a life of his own. He is immediately drawn to Maddie, but when he learns of her connection to his sisters-in-law, he begins to believe that Fate has played a part in bringing them together. Amidst the perils that await on their journey to a new land, the truest battle will be to win Maddie’s heart and convince her that the runes never lie …

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Guest Post :

Today is publication day for TEMPTED OF THE RUNES, the fourth instalment in my Viking Runes series. It was written under quite difficult circumstances as the Covid pandemic hit just as I started on this. Because it is largely set in Iceland, I had planned to go there on a research trip, but suddenly that wasn’t possible. At first, everyone thought the lockdown would soon be over, but as time dragged on, we began to see that wasn’t the case. So how was I supposed to set a book in a country I’d never visited?
First of all, I bought as many books as I could about the Vikings in Iceland, but there weren’t all that many to be honest, at least not in English. I contacted friends and family who I knew had been there and many of them very kindly answered a questionnaire I sent them about their impressions from their visits – that really helped! Some things I found on the internet, and I was especially pleased to find so many photos, travel blogs and YouTube videos to watch. I told myself it would have to be enough, and tried my best to write the book.
Sometimes you come across people who are extremely kind and go way beyond what is reasonable to help others. I found one such lady who worked at a museum in Reykjavik and she sent me copies of a couple of books on what the archaeologists had found in Iceland about the Viking era. That was hugely helpful and I was so grateful!
Finally, when the book was almost finished, Iceland opened its borders to tourists again and my husband and I were able to take a quick trip over there. I was so glad we did! Because although I had managed to find most of the facts I needed for my story in other ways, seeing this amazing country for myself was invaluable. I was able to add things like touch and smells, and really experience the wonderful views. Best of all, I found a reconstructed turf house to visit which was exactly like the ones my characters live in. Sitting inside it by the fire, I could really imagine myself transported back in time to the 9th century. And it was a lot drier and cosier in there than I had thought it would be, which was very useful to know.
I also visited a museum with a reconstructed longship, just like the one my characters travel in to reach Iceland. It was so much bigger than I had envisaged and it was an incredible feeling standing on the deck. In my mind’s eye I could see all the goods they brought with them, including cattle and sheep who would presumably have been lying down on deck. It took immense courage to sail so far across the North Atlantic in an open boat and my admiration for those brave people increased even more!
In my story, a 21st century woman – Maddie – travels back in time to the 9th century and is taken on this scary journey by a Viking – Geir – who both fascinates and annoys her. I had fun imagining how she would cope with living such a primitive life and all the hard work it entailed. How many of us would survive that? I’m not sure I would, but perhaps you toughen up quickly when you have to?

Iceland

Iceland landscape

Iceland coast

A turf house

Viking ship

Giveaway :

Please tell us under this post what you would miss the most if you were transported back in time and whether you think you would cope there.
One commenter (INTERNATIONALLY) will receive a signed copy of the book and a small gift.
We’ll choose one of you at random on December 19th.
Good luck, everyone!

P.S. For Christina, the thing she would miss the most would be chocolate!

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Gateworlds Earth – Athanator – Book 1 #GateworldsEarth #Athanator – Gillbert Troll, 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 Gillbert Troll, author of ‘Gateworlds Earth – Athanator – Book 1’ to promote this book.
Before I let you read it, I’ll first post some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

mWho am I?
First and foremost a troll.
A book troll. No relation at all to Internet-Trolls! I am tall, dark, and trolly. I have an MSc in Business and a doctorate in Dragon Mythology. Gillbert, as I like to refer to myself, loves to cook, sail, visit new countries and planets, and discuss business strategies in his free time. I have a beautiful elf wife and and cute dragon children.
Likes: Chocolates/sweets/pastries, cute puppies, and kittens.
Dislikes: Absence of chocolates, puppies and kittens, things that want to eat or kill me, meteors heading towards Earth
Hobbies: World domination (I do not have other hobbies because this fills up all my free time)
Work: No, thank you!
I used to be a management consultant, but now I have values. I write mostly fiction such as corporate strategy and sometimes dramas as a political correspondent.
Favorite quote: “Omnium rerum principia parva sunt”.
I have no idea what it means …

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Synopsis :

Gateworlds---Earth---Athanator--Social-medoaEarth is in (im)mortal danger. Only one man can help. One man and a chicken.
When a smug but mighty talking tree asks him to retrieve one of the rune crystals of the Multiverse Gate Earth, John Zelm “Athanator” decides against his better judgment that he will do as he is told and recover the guard rune to save the planet. As the balance of the multiverse itself might be at risk, he is helped by powerful allies such as a chicken and a platypusbear.
Can John save us, or are we dead already? You must read the book NOW to find out! Otherwise, it might be too late!
A book by Gillbert Troll, who is in the process of making the renowned multiverse bestseller: “How to start great and meaningful conversations with dark elves.”
If you buy the book now a troll will or will not be named after you somewhere in the multiverse!

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Guest Post :

New fantasy book debut: Gateworlds Earth – Athanator (Book 1)
The first instalment of the Gateworlds series is finally here. It will be available to order from the 6th of December on your favourite book sites. The plot takes place on multiverse Earth (modern-day). It is a blend of urban fantasy, fantasy fiction and humour genres.
Plot background:
A few years back, an ancient portal (Multiverse Gate Earth) was found in the jungles of Guatemala. The Gate once found was opened, and every sentient creature on Earth was randomly soul-joined with another creature within the multiverse. This event called a soul-merge has happened from then on to every sentient being born on Earth.
Once the Gate was opened, chaos ensued. Riots started, smaller and larger wars were fought. Some new species immigrated seeking a new life on our planet, which only escalated the situation. It turns out it does not help the ambience of a neighbourhood if a hydra moves in.
Now, after twenty years, order has been restored, and life has returned to a new normal.
John Zelm Athanator, the protagonist of the book and the veteran of the wars, is walking in a park minding his own business. He is given a mission by a talking tree to retrieve a stolen rune crystal from the Multiverse Gate Earth. If the crystal is not recovered, Earth itself will be in dire danger. Any stronger entity could attack the planet without the Gates’ protection. So John does everything in his power to retrieve the rune. From Budapest to Istanbul, to Guatemala, he is up against a vengeful god, demons, a ruby-eyed unknown entity and even some chipmunks. He is helped by chickens, dwarves, dragons, a gnome, some orks, and even a former Egyptian god on a sabbatical.
The gods have mercy on us all.
P.S.
Written by Earths’ first book-troll: Gillbert, who gives a trolls perspective of the events.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @maryanneyarde / #GuestPost : Ride with the Moonlight (Thunder on the Moor, Book 2) – Andrea Matthews @AMatthewsAuthor #HistoricalRomance #TimeTravelRomance #ScottishHistory #BorderReivers

– ‘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 ‘Ride with the Moonlight’ 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 :

Andrea Matthews is the pseudonym for Inez Foster, a historian and librarian who loves to read and write and search around for her roots, genealogical speaking. She has a BA in History and an MLS in Library Science, and enjoys the research almost as much as she does writing the story. In fact, many of her ideas come to her while doing casual research or digging into her family history. She is the author of the Thunder on the Moor series set on the 16th century An-glo-Scottish Border, and the Cross of Ciaran series, where a fifteen hundred year old Celt finds himself in the twentieth century. Andrea is a member of the Romance Writers of America.

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Synopsis :

Book Title: Ride with the Moonlight
Series: (Thunder on the Moor, Book 2)
Author: Andrea Matthews
Publication Date: 25th November 2020
Publisher: Inez M. Foster
Page Length: 387 Pages
Genre: Historical, Time-Travel, Romance

After rescuing sixteenth-century Border reiver Will Foster from certain death at her family’s hands, time traveler Maggie Armstrong finally admits her love for the handsome Englishman, though she can’t rid herself of the sinking suspicion that her Scottish kin are not about to let them live in peace. What she doesn’t expect is the danger that lurks on Will’s own side of the Border. When news of their plans to marry reaches the warden, he charges Will with March treason for trysting with a Scot. Will and Maggie attempt to escape by fleeing to the hills, but when Will is declared an outlaw and allowed to be killed on sight, they can no longer evade the authorities. Will is sentenced to hang, while Maggie is to be sent back to her family. Heartbroken, she has no choice but to return to Scotland, where her uncle continues to make plans for her to wed Ian Rutherford, the wicked Scotsman who she now realizes murdered her father in cold blood. With Will facing the gallows in England, and herself practically under house arrest in Scotland, she continues to resist her uncle’s plans, but her efforts are thwarted at every turn. Will’s family, however, is not about to stand by and watch their youngest lad executed simply because he’s lost his heart to a Scottish lass. A daring plan is set into motion, but will it be in time to save Will’s life and reunite the lovers? Or will Ian’s lies prompt Maggie’s family to ensure the bond between them is forever destroyed?

Trigger Warnings: Violence, sexual content.

Amazon UK
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This novel is available on #KindleUnlimited

Universal Buy Link

Guest Post :

Historical Aspects

Though my heroine, Maggie Armstrong, is very much a woman of the twentieth century, not too much about the time travel aspect of her adventure is mentioned in Ride with the Moonlight, the second book in my Thunder on the Moor series. This meant all the more narrative that needed to be historically correct. Not an easy task since some of the information is obscure with little is written about it, but as a historian and librarian, I was determined to be as historically accurate as possible in constructing my sixteenth century Anglo-Scottish Border.
Of course, most of the characters and events are fictional. To my knowledge, that particular Will Foster never existed, though men like Will and his brothers most certainly did. They were the Border Reivers, men who after years of warfare had been left to fend for themselves and make the most out of what remained. Men who valued family and their own honor above all else. I tried to make my borderers fit this image, but of course, there had to be villains, just as there would have been the broken men and rogues in the sixteenth century. These were men who no clan claimed as their own, men who had shunned the unwritten code of the border. Or other men to whom greed and self-advancement won out over loyalty and honor. I’ve tried to embody figures of this ilk in characters like Johnnie Hetherington and Ian Rutherford.
To add a touch more of authenticity, I did try to incorporate a few historical figures into the narrative, though even these accounts are mostly fictionalized and not intended to be used as biographical information. John Widdrington was indeed the Deputy Warden of the English Middle March in 1538. When Henry VIII became unhappy with how his wardens were handling the unruliness in the North, he decided to take control of the English Marches himself. After appointing a Council of the North to rule the area, headed by a member of the nobility, of course, he chose prominent members of the local gentry to serve under them as deputy wardens, one for each March. Sir John Widdington was chosen in that capacity for the English Middle March around 1536. He didn’t last in the position long, however, because he proved to be ineffectual in quelling the troubled Borders, and by 1541, he had been demoted to the Captain of Berwick. While he was warden, he would have resided at Alnwick Abbey on the east coast of the English Middle March, which is where Graham would have ridden to plead for Will’s life.
On the Scottish side of the border, it appears that for many years the Maxwells were granted an almost hereditary wardenship of the Scottish West March. In 1538, Robert Maxwell was the man who held the post. He seemed well regarded by both the people and King James V, though the Armstrong’s might have been a bit more wary of his motives. After Johnnie Armstrong of Gilnockie and his men were hanged by James V in 1530, it was Robert Maxwell who received most of Armstrong’s property. Legend has it that Maxwell may have had something to do with the betrayal, though there is no definitive proof on the subject. As warden, Geordie would have to deal with the man, regardless of any suspicions he might harbor. Maxwell’s seat of power was at Caerlaverock Castle, about thirty miles southwest of Geordie Armstrong’s peel tower.
Sir Reynold Carnaby was also an actual personage, who held the title Keeper of Tynedale, among other positions. It appears he wasn’t well liked in the district, either due to the hard stance he took with the men of Tynedale, or his ambition. Possibly it was a combination of both. He was away from his post more than he was there, off to London on many occasions, where he no doubt sought to advance his own political position. During these times, he would leave either his son or brother in charge of his duties. I have consistently found conflicting evidence as to which it was, so for the book, I’ve used his brother, Cuthbert. Another bone of contention was his receipt of abbey lands after the dissolution of the Hexham Abbey. Though he didn’t actually receive the property until November of 1538, it was too good to pass up, so I’ll admit to using a little poetic license and hinting that it had occurred by the fall of 1538.
By that year, Henry VIII had already severed his relationship from Rome and declared himself as the head of the Church of England. This move didn’t go over well with the Borderers, who were still loyal to the Pope, even if their behavior might not have always reflected it. It was said that the Borderers never prayed their rosaries more fervently than before they embarked on a foray. Anyway, this animosity came to a head when Henry began the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536 and began awarding the land to his loyal subjects, such as Sir Reynold Carnaby.
Of course, the King of Scotland, James V, wasn’t having any better luck with taming the Borders, though he tried on more than one occasion to put them under his thumb. While he did seem to get along with some of the clan leaders, such as Robert Maxwell and Walter Scott of Buccleugh, (No, not the poet, but his ancestor) his moves against others like Johnnie Armstrong would come back to bite him in the future. (Fast forward to the Battle of Solway First in 1542.) But that’s another story.
In addition to people, I also incorporated some historical locations into the narrative. Like the political figures, these were places that my characters would most likely come across in their travels. Hexham Abbey still sits off the market square today. During the dissolution of the monasteries, the church became the parish church for Henry’s newly formed religion, while it’s lands and other buildings were dispersed to men like Reynold Carnaby as mentioned above. The building the Keeper used as his residence still stands today as the Carnaby building.
The Moot Hall remains across the market square from the abbey. Originally part of the Archbishop of York’s estates, the building is made up of a gateway and tower. In 1538, it housed a courtroom and living quarters for the bailiff. Today, it houses an art gallery and a study library for Border history. A precinct wall once surrounding it and the old goal, though little of the barrier remains today. The old goal, however, does still stand down the road from the Moot Hall. Built in the fourteenth century as one of England’s first purpose-built prisons, it consisted of dungeons below, while the first floor held the main cells, for those who could afford to buy better treatment. It continued as a goal well into the nineteenth century, though today it houses a Border Museum.
Because of the distinctive relationship between the inhabitants on both sides of the border, where local feuds often took precedence over national interest, a series of laws were enacted exclusively for the borderlands. This was something that was definitely incorporated into the novel. These laws were referred to as the March or Border Laws, and they dealt with issues that were unique to the borderlands. One such law was March treason, which included a harsh penalty for any Englishman found trysting with a Scot. Of course, in reality, with all the intermarriage occurring across the border, that often proved to be problematic.
Things like Hot Trod were basically legal forays. If a man’s home was raided, he had six days to ride against the thieves, leading the way with a lighted torch and the blare of trumpets. Anyone he met along the way was expected to ride with him or be considered complicate in the theft. A sort of either you’re with me or against me attitude. Days of truce were held at least once a month, where bills could be filed, like a lawsuit against someone. The two opposing wardens would meet in a relatively neutral spot like Kershopefoot, a jury would be chosen, and bills either found cleared or foul. Weapons were not supposed to be allowed, but you try telling a reiver to leave their swords home, so you can imagine how that went.
Legends and traditions were also an important part of the story, for they too have a historical aspect. Things like the handfasting ceremony, and a legend about the simple cornflower added color and an authenticity to the narrative. Plus, they were fun to research.
If you’d like to learn more about my historical research, you can check out my website.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Alderslay #Alderslay – Val Portelli @vals_tales @ValPortelli , 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 Val Portelli, author of ‘Alderslay’ to promote this book.
Before I let you read it, I’ll first post some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

The author’s pen name Voinks began as a joke, but was the obvious choice when her first book was published. Despite aged nine, receiving an initial rejection letter from a lovely editor at a well-known Women’s magazine, she continued writing intermittently until a freak accident left her housebound and going stir crazy. The completion and publication of her first full length novel helped to save her sanity during those difficult times.
A second traditionally published book gave her the confidence and experience to self-publish, dropping her pen name along the way when she realised that, although unique, it was not particularly memorable.
Her work now includes four contributions to anthologies, and seven published books including one co-written, as well as numerous short stories for her web site, blog and Facebook author pages. Although her novels tend towards modern fiction, her short stories cover various genres including her trademark ‘Quirky’ twist.
She is always delighted to receive reviews as they encourage sales, which contribute towards the upkeep of the Unicorns she breeds in her spare time.

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Synopsis :

51kAvwiIUPLAn old house. A new start. Ancient secrets.
When Gina stumbles across the remote, dilapidated mansion she’s convinced it will make the perfect home for when she and her fiancé Paul settle down together.
At first he supports the venture, but his frequent absences are a cause for concern, especially when the renovations reveal skeletons from the past.
Is local man Steve a prospective business partner or looking for something more?
Why are the normally reticent villagers prepared to accept her as one of their own?
As more uncanny coincidences link Gina to the gruesome history of the house, she must decide where her future lies, and if she is prepared to pay the final price.

Amazon

Guest Post :

Alderslay background

Have you ever wondered where authors come up with the titles for their books?
How much of fiction is actually based on the writer’s factual experiences?
Alderslay was originally entitled Murder of Changes and was intended as a follow-up to my first book Changes. This was around eight years ago, and fell under the category of ‘It seemed a good idea at the time.’ Perhaps not, as Changes was romance and although there is a little romantic interest in Alderslay, the most important character is the house itself, and the book is more cosy mystery/historical crime/terror.
The setting might not be familiar to readers outside the UK but is based around Biggin Hill in Kent, which is approximately 20 miles from London. I knew the area fairly well as I belonged to an archery club, and several of the teams in our league were based in what was at the time almost a rural village. Probably best known from World War 2 as an RAF base, when I began writing the book plans were under review with the local council to develop the airport and surrounding area as a commercial enterprise.
Alderslay starts off with Gina looking for a future home, and becoming lost along the narrow country lanes surrounded by high hedges. An overgrown track leads to a safer space to turn the car, and the discovery of the ancient, crumbling house. Did this happen to me in real life? Not exactly, but that’s not to say it wasn’t half imagination and half might have been.
The trademark linking my short stories has always been a quirky twist, perhaps through watching too many ‘Tales of the Unexpected’ in the early 1980s. I was delighted therefore, when a well known book blogger commented in her review that she found it difficult to slot in a particular category, but that it included ‘A twist to blow your socks off.’
I’m a pantser, which means when I start writing a book I’m never entirely sure where it will end up. It’s as if the characters dictate and I do as I’m told. A novel I start writing as a comedy might turn into a romance, and what I think will be a romance turns into something much more sinister.
Other local and international news, combined with weird personal coincidences directed my writing to reveal unexpected discoveries. The dog on the cover, the font used, browsing old photograph albums, and a TV programme showing at the time, all slotted neatly into place as if they had always intended to be part of the story.
I’m not sure why Alderslay sat on the shelf, or rather in my computer for several years, but I published other books in between, and for a while Murder of Changes (as it was then known) waited its turn until the noise from the characters became deafening, and I was forced to make it a priority. After more edits and some updates, it was ready to go. Well perhaps not quite.
Although there is a historical element, the passage of time while it had languished on the back burner made it appear dated. There was no obvious connection with my first book, resulting in the need for a last-minute change of title and a new cover. Its release coincided with a short hospital stay which had been delayed due to the virus. A short while later, I ordered my own paperback copy and was amused to see the original title had sneaked in above the first chapter. No one else had noticed or perhaps it was the book itself clinging to the old title, annoyed it had taken so long to be released.
Under its new persona, it seemed fitting for the book to be named after the house, and I researched various old names to come up with something unique but appropriate. The area comes under the council of Bromley, whose name derives from broom, meaning shrubs, and lea meaning grassland or wood clearing.
Do you believe in coincidences? The Alder tree has a special way of obtaining nutrients which I only discovered after Alderslay was published, so if you find yourself driving through the Kent countryside and happen to stumble across an ancient property called Alderslay, don’t say you weren’t warned.

© Val Portelli 2021

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#AudioBlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @maryanneyarde / #GuestPost : Widdershins (Widdershins, Book 1) #Widdershins – Helen Steadman @hsteadman1650 #HistoricalFiction #Witches #Audiobook

– ‘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 ‘Widdershins’ 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 :

Dr Helen Steadman is a historical novelist. Her first novel, Widdershins and its sequel, Sunwise were inspired by the Newcastle witch trials. Her third novel, The Running Wolf was inspired by a group of Lutheran swordmakers who defected from Germany to England in 1687.
Despite the Newcastle witch trials being the largest mass execution of witches on a single day in England, they are not widely known about. Helen is particularly interested in revealing hidden histories and she is a thorough researcher who goes to great lengths in pursuit of historical accuracy. To get under the skin of the cunning women in Widdershins and Sunwise, Helen trained in herbalism and learned how to identify, grow and harvest plants and then made herbal medicines from bark, seeds, flowers and berries.
The Running Wolf is the story of a group of master swordmakers who left Solingen, Germany and moved to Shotley Bridge, England in 1687. As well as carrying out in-depth archive research and visiting forges in Solingen to bring her story to life, Helen also undertook blacksmith training, which culminated in making her own sword. During her archive research, Helen uncovered a lot of new material and she published her findings in the Northern History journal.
Helen is now working on her fourth novel.

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About the Narrator :

Christine Mackie has worked extensively in TV over the last thirty years in well-known TV series such as Downton Abbey, Wire in the Blood, Coronation Street, French & Saunders and The Grand. Theatre work includes numerous productions in new writing as well as classics, such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Comedy of Errors, Richard III, An Inspector Calls, and the Railway Children. In a recent all women version of Whisky Galore, Christine played three men, three women and a Red Setter dog!

IMDB Christine Mackie

Synopsis :

Book Title: Widdershins
Series: Widdershins, Book 1
Author: Helen Steadman
Narrator: Christine Mackie
Publication Date: 25 June 2021
Publisher: Impress Books
Audiobook Length: 8.5 hours
Genre: Historical Fiction

The new audio book of Widdershins is narrated brilliantly by talented actor, Christine Mackie, from Downton Abbey, Coronation Street, Wire in the Blood, and so on.
The first part of a two-part series, Widdershins is inspired by the Newcastle witch trials, where 16 people were hanged. Despite being the largest mass execution of witches on a sin-gle day in England, these trials are not widely known about. In August 1650, 15 women and one man were hanged as witches after a Scottish witchfinder found them guilty of consort-ing with the devil. This notorious man was hired by the Puritan authorities in response to a petition from the Newcastle townsfolk who wanted to be rid of their witches.
Widdershins is told through the eyes of Jane Chandler, a young woman accused of witch-craft, and John Sharpe, the witchfinder who condemns her to death. Jane Chandler is an ap-prentice healer. From childhood, she and her mother have used herbs to cure the sick. But Jane soon learns that her sheltered life in a small village is not safe from the troubles of the wider world. From his father’s beatings to his uncle’s raging sermons, John Sharpe is beset by bad fortune. Fighting through personal tragedy, he finds his purpose: to become a witch-finder and save innocents from the scourge of witchcraft.

Trigger Warnings:
Domestic abuse, rape, torture, execution, child abuse, animal abuse, miscarriage, death in childbirth.

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Guest Post :

Thanks very much for inviting me along to guest post on your blog today. My historical novels Widdershins and its sequel, Sunwise, were inspired by the Newcastle witch trials in 1650 when sixteen people were executed for witchcraft on the same day. Now, Christine Mackie of Downton Abbey fame has brought the Newcastle witch trials to life as audiobooks.

The Newcastle witch trials of 1650 took place after the people of Newcastle petitioned the Common Council to rid them of their witches. The councillors thanked the petitioners and sent to Scotland for a witchfinder, possibly because Matthew Hopkins, England’s Witchfinder General, was recently dead. Since Scotland executed witches in much greater numbers than in England, despite having a much smaller population, this was obviously the go-to place to address nearby Newcastle’s skill shortage.

The Newcastle witch trials are not very well known about outside the north east of England. I didn’t even know there had been witch trials in Newcastle until I started researching ahead of writing Widdershins in 2011. Apart from a few meagre pieces of information in the local archives, not much is known about the Newcastle trials.
Perhaps the most useful insight comes from Ralph Gardiner’s 1655 book, England’s Grievance Discovered, which includes a deposition given under oath by John Wheeler of London, along with Elianor Lumsdel and Bartholomew Hodshon. In his testimony, Wheeler states that, in cahoots with the local bell ringer, the Scottish witchfinder arbitrarily rounded up thirty women from the streets of Newcastle, took them to the town hall and stripped them to the waist. He then proceeded to test them for witchcraft and found twenty-seven of them guilty.
What intrigued me most about Wheeler’s report was that the witch-finder was interrupted during his examination of ‘a personable and good-like woman’. The interrupter was one Lt Col Hobson, who revealed the witch finder as a fraud. As a result of Lt. Col. Hobson’s intervention, the woman being tested was declared innocent and set free. However, despite the revelation of the witch-finder being a fraud, sixteen people were still executed for witchcraft and the witchfinder was allowed to go free.
Fifteen women and one man were sentenced to death on 21 August 1650 and they were hanged together on Newcastle’s Town Moor, alongside nine mosstroopers. (These were notorious for sheep and cattle rustling along the border between Scotland and England.) There is a discrepancy in the number of ‘witches’ executed. The parish burial records for St Andrew’s Church in Newcastle list fifteen women and one man buried as witches in the graveyard. However, according to John Wheeler’s deposition, fourteen women and one man were executed for witchcraft; this list does not include the name of Jane Martin. I have erred on the side of caution and included her name in the list of those executed.
It’s odd that the Newcastle witch trials are not widely known about when they resulted in the biggest mass execution of witches on a single day in England. The 1612 Pendle witch trials are very well known, and ten people were executed on Gallows Hill in Lancashire. At the 1645 Chelmsford witch trials, nineteen people were executed in all; however, these executions did not take place on the same day, or in the same town. That said, Chelmsford and Essex more widely suffered terribly under witch trials, not least because it was the main stamping ground of the Witchfinder General, Matthew Hopkins.
Widdershins and Sunwise are works of fiction. However, the Newcastle witch trials were real, and here are the names of the people executed for witchcraft on 21 August 1650:
· Elizabeth Anderson
· Elizabeth Brown
· Margaret Brown
· Matthew Bulmer
· Jane Copeland
· Katherine Coulter
· Elizabeth Dobson
· Elianor Henderson
· Alice Hume
· Jane Hunter
· Margaret Maddison
· Jane Martin
· Margaret Muffet
· Mary Pots
· Elianor Rogerson
· Ann Watson
The bodies of those executed were buried in St Andrew’s churchyard in Newcastle. Witches were often buried near the north wall of churchyards as this was considered less holy. During some excavation work, the bones came to the surface and were subsequently reburied. On my last visit there, the graves were not marked but the new burial place was marked with a small and anonymous metal plaque, which would be easily missed. It’s a great pity that these innocent victims of the so-called witch craze haven’t been given a proper memorial.

Source :
Ralph Gardiner (1849 [1655]) England’s Grievance Discovered in Relation to the Coal Trade. North Shields: Philipson and Hare. Ch. 53.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#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