September 18, 2014

E. Knight's Prisoner of the Queen - Spotlight


Publication Date: July 2014
Knight Media, LLC
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Series: Tales From the Tudor Court
Genre: Historical Fiction

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I have served three queens in my life. One was my sister, one was my savior, and one my bitterest enemy.

Knowing she was seen as a threat to the Queen she served, Lady Katherine Grey, legitimate heir to the throne, longs only for the comfort of a loving marriage and a quiet life far from the intrigue of the Tudor court. After seeing her sister become the pawn of their parents and others seeking royal power and then lose their lives for it, she is determined to avoid the vicious struggles over power and religion that dominate Queen Elizabeth’s court. Until she finds love—then Kat is willing to risk it all, even life in prison.

Tales From the Tudor Court Series
Book One: My Lady Viper
Book Two: Prisoner of the Queen

About the Author
E. Knight is a member of the Historical Novel Society, Romance Writers of America and several RWA affiliate writing chapters: Hearts Through History, Celtic Hearts, Maryland Romance Writers and Washington Romance Writers. Growing up playing in castle ruins and traipsing the halls of Versailles when visiting her grandparents during the summer, instilled in a love of history and royals at an early age. Feeding her love of history, she created the popular historical blog, History Undressed (www.historyundressed.com). Under the pseudonym Eliza Knight, she is a bestselling, award-winning, multi-published author of historical and erotic romance.

For more information please visit E. Knight’s website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


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September 17, 2014

Nhys Glover's The Gladiator's Bride - Spotlight and Book Excerpt


Title: The Gladiator’s Bride
Author: Nhys Glover
Release Date: November 1st
Genre: Historical Romance
Blurb:

Crippled by shyness, shunned for being not-right-in-the-head, gifted artist and Roman noblewoman, Marcia Mica, has only two people in the world who truly love her – her teacher, Daedalus, and her childhood friend, Asterion, both slaves in her father’s household. But when forbidden love blooms between the unlikely friends, only disaster can come of it. That disaster leaves Marcia horribly scarred and Asterion sold into the arena as a gladiator. 

Years later, Daedalus brings a broken Marcia to Britannia, and Sabrina, the healer who saved his life when he was a boy, works miracles on the scarred girl. However, not all scars are physical and those Sabrina has no ability to heal. 

When Sabrina and Marcia are kidnapped by a Celtic leader bent on revenge, Asterion must depend on the dreams of a Celtic Seer to find the love of his life and help foil a revolt that threatens the fragile peace in Roman Britannia. But even if he and his friends succeed, can scars that are more than just physical ever really be healed and can those whose lives are owned by others ever truly be free to follow their hearts?




Author bio:

After a lifetime of teaching others to appreciate the written word, Aussie author Nhys Glover finally decided to make the most of the Indie Book Revolution to get her own written word out to the world. Now, with almost 100,000 of her ebooks downloaded internationally and a winner of 2013 SFR Galaxy Award for 'The Titan Drowns', Nhys finds her words, too, are being appreciated.

At home in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales of England, Nhys these days spends most of her time "living the dream" by looking out over the moors as she writes the kind of novels she loves to read: The ones that are a little bit steamy, a little bit different and wholly romantic.

Author and Buy Links: 
http:// www.nhysglover.com
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http:// www.twitter.com/nhysglover
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MS48TCC </ span>

Excerpt:
As he took the shortcut through the forest, heading for home, a shadow flitted through the trees and appeared at his side. He was so shocked by her sudden appearance that he dropped the sack of flour.

‘Marcie, what are you doing here?’ he demanded as he tried to get his heartbeat under control again. ‘You shouldn’t be out here alone.’

‘You were with her again, weren’t you?’ Her delicately beautiful face was twisted in fury, honey-brown eyes flashing fire at him.

‘What? Who? What are you talking about? Don’t come up on me like that. I might have hurt you.’

‘That widow. The one the boys all talk about. I heard them. They think I don’t understand, but I do. You go to her house and do things to her!’ Her accusations stung and he felt guilt morph instantly into fury.

‘Mind your own business. It’s nothing to do with you!’ He slung the flour-sack onto his back again and stomped off down the narrow trail.

‘Don’t you talk to me like that, Asterion! You’re my slave and I have the right to know what you’re doing with your time. You aren’t free to go where you like, see who you like!’ she snarled at him.

He stopped and looked down at her in shock. In the last year he’d grown taller by almost a head than she was. Now, the year’s difference in their age seemed insignificant. In fact, after spending time with the widow, he felt much older and more worldly-wise than she was. Marcie was still a child, even though her sixteen-year-old body said otherwise. This little display of temper only went to prove it.

‘Oh sorry, mistress, I forgot my place for a moment. Of course you have the right to know that I’ve been sharing the widow’s bed. Do you want the details? How I make her scream and pant? How she sucked my cock until I came in her mouth?’ He knew he was stepping over the line, but so had she.

Their relative stations in life had always been ignored by mutual, unspoken agreement. They’d always been equals. But now, by throwing his servitude in his face, she’d crossed the line. She’d showed him how she really saw him. How beneath her he really was.

Marcie’s mouth dropped open and he was immediately aware of the seductive draw of it. Those red lips were so full and sweet, covering perfect white teeth that looked just like rows of pearls. By brushing back a stray tendril of glossy brown hair, she drew his eye to the seductive softness of it, made him itch to bury his fingers in its lengths.

But honey-brown eyes that were usually filled with warmth when they gazed at him were now wide with astonishment and pain. And he suddenly realised what he’d done.

In that moment, he wanted to call back the words and go back in time to do this all again.

‘She sucked what?’ she gasped, her cheeks flaming red.

‘Nothing. Forget it. I shouldn’t have said anything. You just made me mad. Let’s get home. Daedalus will be wondering what happened to you.’

‘He’s gone to the coast to check on our cargo. Pater went with him,’ she said absently, clearly not focused on the information she was imparting.

‘Then it’s me who has to get back. I’ll be in trouble if I’m much later.’

‘You wouldn’t be, if you hadn’t gone to her. How could you? How...How could you?’ Her eyes filled with tears and his heart felt sick in his chest. In that moment, he wanted to cut off his cock for making him cause her this pain.

‘Marcie, don’t. You don’t understand. I’m a man now. I...I have needs I can’t control. The widow helps me. Haven’t you noticed the difference in me the last few months?’ He was almost pleading with her for forgiveness. And that was stupid. What had he done wrong except take an hour a week for himself? He deserved that, didn’t he?

‘Yes, I’ve noticed. You look so smug and cocky, swaggering around the place. The boys say you’ve got too big for your own sandals now. They say that the widow has played with more than your prick. She’s played with your head. Made you think you’re better than them.’
‘I am better than them. And it didn’t take the widow to make me know it. What do you want from me Marcie? Tell me – ’

She launched herself at him so fast that he again dropped the sack of flour. Her tightly closed lips butted against his in a fiercely innocent kiss. It smashed her teeth into his, cutting his lip, and it felt nothing like the soft, seductive caresses the widow gave him.

But it was like putting a naked flame to tinder. Like a lightning strike to a tree. The very fact that her lips were sealed to his blew every thought from his head and brought his cock to instant, painful attention. Blood pounded in his ears, his legs grew weak. Air evaporated from his lungs.

Fighting for control, he pushed her away. ‘What are you doing? Stop!’

‘You don’t have to go to her. If kissing is what you want, I can give you that. You don’t have to go to her!’

‘Yes I do!’

‘Why? Aren’t I good enough for you?’

He grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her in fury. His head felt ready to explode.

‘I need more than kisses! Don’t you get it? We aren’t children anymore. And I need more than friendship and kisses. And you can’t give me what I need. You’re the little mistress and I’m the slave. They’d cut off my balls if I so much as looked at you the wrong way!’

Her eyes filled with tears again and she sobbed so hard it felt like her searing pain came from his own chest. Looking at her hurt too much, so he dragged her into his arms and pressed her to his aching heart.


September 15, 2014

Caddy Rowland - Making History, Bohemian Style (Part 9)

Please welcome back historical fiction author and artist, Caddy Rowland, our monthly contributor here at Historical Fiction Connection.

Portrait of Père Tanguy by Vincent van Gogh

Over the last several months we’ve chatted about what Impression is, who started the movement, and some of the places bohemian artists of Montmartre hung out when relaxing. While it’s true most of these artists weren’t immune to having a very good time, the majority of their life was taken up by painting. Because it was so very difficult to make a living as a painter, they depended upon others who believe in them enough to support them in various ways. I had mentioned how one place provided free soup at the end of the night. But how did a “starving artist” afford the materials needed to create art?

Art supplies aren’t cheap now, and they certainly weren’t back in the nineteenth century. Many of the paints were made from rare materials. In fact, some still are. It’s a very real problem heading forward, as sources for some of these colors are running low. I can’t imagine a world where some of the most valued paint colors are no longer available. But I digress. We’re back in the nineteenth century right now, and worrying about running out wasn’t the issue…unless one counts running out of a color and not having the money to restock.

Lack of money for paint supplies was a common issue. Thankfully for those artists, and for us, there was someone who believed in them so much he set up an artist’s supply store in 1870 and worked with them in regard to getting supplies.

The man’s name was Julien Tanguy . He was so well-loved by these artists they even called him Père (Father) Tangay. He truly was like a father to these struggling painters. His art supply shop was, of course, in Montmartre. Père also garnered their respect having spent time in prison because of his political beliefs.

The Paris Commune ruled Paris for two short months in 1871. Tangay was heavily involved. The Paris Commune didn’t end prettily. During La Semaine Sanglante (The Bloody Week) government troops forced the Paris Commune out of power. “Forced” isn’t really a strong enough word. Estimates vary from 6,000 to 50,000 as to the number of men, women, and children killed. They were lined up and executed. Somehow Père avoided being killed. He also eventually got released from prison, but as a precaution he stayed in the more rural, bohemian area of Montmartre for the rest of his life.

Staying in Montmartre was fine with him. Montmartre was where all the new art was happening. During this time Père showed Van Gogh's paintings (but never sold one). Soon Monet, Sisley, Gauguin, Seurat and Cézanne paintings could also be found at his store. Like many artists, Cézanne didn't sell well during his lifetime, either. In fact, from 1877 to 1893 the only place where one would find a Cézanne in the whole city was in Tanguy's art supply store.

Showing their work wasn’t the only way he supported artists. He also shared food. Still, as I mentioned, being dirt poor meant many days painters had no money for canvas and paint. Think about that. If they had no canvas or paint, we wouldn’t have the glorious paintings we now prize from this era today.

Thanks to Père Tanguy, having no money didn’t stop them. Père allowed them to buy paint and canvas in exchange for a painting, and even on credit. He didn’t charge interest, nor did he have high prices. Tangay simply gave them what they needed. All many artists gave in return was a verbal promise to pay him whenever they could. Père was no dummy. He was fully aware quite a number would never be able to pay. It didn’t matter. He continued to honor the artists verbal agreements.

Another Portrait of Tangay by van Gogh
He would be called a fool by many, both back then and now. I shudder to think of what his wife may have called him. It would be easy to understand such a sentiment. Credit for supplies to people with no means to pay isn't a very smart way to run a business. You may think he was wealthy, but he wasn't even close to middle-class. 

Nope. Not Père. However, he was a believer in the talent of outrageously new-thinking artists. Artists who took risks, just as he had politically. Artists who had the nerve to show people the world in brand new ways. It isn't hard to see why an anarchist would have a tender spot for these crazy artists, even if they seldom paid. He knew they always hoped to.

The world would be a much colder place without promise and hope. Great things can happen when someone believes. Because of Père Tangay, the art world saw painting change forever in great ways.
Yes, indeed, he was very much like a father. If he could talk today, I’m willing to bet he’d say his “children” did him proud.

Historical Fiction by Caddy Rowland: 




Contact and Social Media Info. For Caddy Rowland:

Author Email: caddyauthor@gmail.com
Twitter: @caddyorpims

September 13, 2014

Rhoda D’Ettore's Tower of Tears - Interview and {Giveaway}


Please welcome to the blog today author, Rhoda D'Ettore, as she answers a few questions about her book and more!

What inspired you to become a historical novelist?

I love history. Always have. I often visit historical places such as Gettysburg, PA or Savannah, GA and wonder what it must have been like to be in the moments. We have so many advantages today, which we often do not appreciate. With historical fiction, readers get a sense of what life was like for those who went before us. It also offers a chance to be grateful for our lives today.

You say on your website that Tower of Tears is based on one of your ancestors. What was it like to find out about her and how did you shape your story around her?

The main character, Jane McClusky, was actually based on, Jane Lindsay, the first immigrant in my family to arrive here in America. She arrived alone in a strange country at the age of 17. The thought of that alone had me in awe. How brave.. or possibly desperate. The real Jane lived to be 80 years old and gave birth to many children, half of whom died from disease as children. Most of the other characters are names of her real-life children and grandchildren. Although the story is fictionalized, I wanted to commemorate the bravery and perseverance that she and other immigrants needed in order to leave all they had behind in hopes for a better life—not knowing what truly lay ahead.

Do you have a process when you're doing research for your books?

I don't even have a process for writing the books, let alone researching them. I sit down at the computer and think, “How can I screw up this character's life?” My next question is usually, “What will shock the reader?” I research for the details of the setting first. For instance, I had to research how the ships were powered in 1820—they did not have steam engines yet. Then tried to imagine how to imagine the conditions and research them to make it real. When I get to a point that I want something dramatic, I pick a major event in history then work the story around that. When readers are familiar with events, it draws them in.

I researched little things as well. For example, the charcter Eva mentions to her children that a whale marooned some fishermen and they became cannibals to survive. This was a true event that inspired Moby Dick. I also mention two explorers finding Antarctica. They only comprise a few lines and do not add to the plot, but they add to the setting and credibility of the work.

You also write humor and erotica. Which is your favorite genre to write in?

The historical fiction is my favorite. I have a dry, sarcastic humor that comes across in all my works, including Tower of Tears. I think the sarcasm gives more depth to the characters. Plus, anything can happen in historical fiction. It can be upbeat and romantic, or depressing and heartbreaking. You can throw in a murder or mystery. Although, I have even made death funny at times. With Erotica, people know what is going to happen, they just don't know how. Detracts from my excitement to surprise people with twists.

Are you currently reading any historical fiction? If so, which one(s)?

I am currently reading The Prince's Man, by Deborah Jay. It is more of a “historical fantasy fiction” similar to Game of Thrones. It is quite good thus far.

What is your favorite historical fiction book and/or who is your favorite historical author?

My favorite historical fiction is Victor Hugo's Les Miserables. I've read it several times—even in French. And of course, seen it performed on stage many times. Riveting story.

What can we expect next from you? The next installment in the McClusky series, or are you working on something else?

Although I hope to have Liam's Longing: The McClusky Series Book 2 out by Christmas, my current project will be out within two weeks. This story is also loosely based on my family. There was a young boy who was forcibly taken from the home at a young age and put into the Hitler Youth and eventually became an officer. The sister did in fact save countless lives of Jews and American soldiers, which posed a great conflict for her brother. The final scene in the book is mostly true and has indeed become part of our family legend. The title is Newborn Nazi. Here's the blurb:

"This family is amazing! A Nazi spy. A future SS officer. A brother in America oblivious to everything. And a sister who would kill us all."

Germany, 1934 -- SS officers entered the house of Hedwig Schultz and ripped her 14 year old brother, Edmund, from her arms. He has been selected for an elite division of the Hitler Youth that will train him for indoctrination into the feared SS.

Horrified, Hedwig enlists the help of her brother in America to thwart Nazi plans regarding the Final Solution of the Jewish people. It becomes a cat and mouse game as the family enters a world of Nazi spies, double agents and the Underground movement. All the while, Hedwig must prevent their brother, Edmund, from becoming suspicious. One report of treason to his Hitler Youth instructors would result in death... or worse.

Rhoda, thanks for joining us today. We really enjoyed chatting with you and look forward to hosting you here at HFC again in the future.

thanks!

About the book
Publication Date: May 25, 2014
CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Formats: eBook, Paperback, Audio Book
Genre: Historical Fiction

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Betrayal. Despair. Murder. Mystery. Romance. Blackmail. “If God be good, Mr. Landon will burn in the eternal flames of hell. If God be bad, he will suffer much worse.” In 1820, a young woman and her son leave Ireland for a better life in America. She soon suffers heartache and tragedy, while residing with family whom she has never met. Unbeknownst to her, the family had already set her up with employment in a factory–a factory run by a lecherous man. This is the first book in a series that will follow the McClusky family while they become Americanized while face with the Potato Famine, the US Civil War, and the Industrial Revolution.
National Military Family Association
$1 per sale will be donated, regardless of what format is purchased—ebook, print, audiobook & regardless of site purchased—will be donated to the National Military Family Association. This organization helps families reconnect when the parents return from deployments, as well as helping families with other transitions and keeping the children active while the parents are deployed.


About the Author
Rhoda D’Ettore was born in Woodbury, New Jersey, into a family of 5 siblings–which has provided her with plenty of comical material. She began working at the United States Postal Service at 25 years old, and over the past 15 years has accumulated many humorous stories about situations that the public never gets to know about. Her first ebook, “Goin’ Postal: True Stories of a U.S. Postal Worker” was so popular that readers requested it in paperback. Recently, she published the humorous “Goin’ Postal” in paperback along with another story entitled, “The Creek: Where Stories of the Past Come Alive”. Combining these two into one book may seem strange, as one is humorous and the other is a heart wrenching historical fiction, however, doing so proves to the reader Rhoda D’Ettore’s versatility.

Rhoda D’Ettore received her degree in Human & Social Services while working at USPS, has travelled extensively, and loves history. Over the years she has volunteered for several community service organizations, including fostering abused and neglected dogs for a Dalmatian rescue.

For more information please visit Rhoda’s website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.


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September 11, 2014

Leslie Carroll's Inglorious Royal Marriages - Spotlight and {Giveaway}


Publication Date: September 2, 2014
NAL Trade
Formats: eBook, Paperback; 400p
Genre: History/Non-Fiction/Royalty

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READ AN EXCERPT.

Why does it seem that the marriages of so many monarchs are often made in hell? And yet we can’t stop reading about them! To satisfy your schadenfreude, INGLORIOUS ROYAL MARRIAGES offers a panoply of the most spectacular mismatches in five hundred years of royal history….some of which are mentioned below.

When her monkish husband, England’s Lancastrian Henry VI, became completely catatonic, the unpopular French-born Margaret of Anjou led his army against the troops of their enemy, the Duke of York.

Margaret Tudor, her niece Mary I, and Catherine of Braganza were desperately in love with chronically unfaithful husbands—but at least they weren’t murdered by them, as were two of the Medici princesses.

King Charles II’s beautiful, high-spirited sister “Minette” wed Louis XIV’s younger brother, who wore more makeup and perfume than she did.

Compelled by her mother to wed her boring, jug-eared cousin Ferdinand, Marie of Roumania—a granddaughter of Queen Victoria—emerged as a heroine of World War I by using her prodigious personal charm to regain massive amounts of land during the peace talks at Versailles. Marie’s younger sister Victoria Melita wed two of her first-cousins: both marriages ultimately scandalized the courts of Europe.

Brimming with outrageous real-life stories of royal marriages gone wrong, this is an entertaining, unforgettable book of dubious matches doomed from the start.

Praise for Leslie Carroll’s Royal Books
“An irresistible combination of People magazine and the History Channel.”—Chicago Tribune (5 Stars)

“Thoroughly enjoyable.”—Booklist

“For those who tackled Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, and can’t get enough of the scandal surrounding Henry VIII’s wives, [Notorious Royal Marriages is] the perfect companion book.”—NewYorker.com

About the Author
Leslie Carroll is the author of several works of historical nonfiction, women’s fiction, and, under the pen names Juliet Grey and Amanda Elyot, is a multipublished author of historical fiction. Her nonfiction titles include Royal Romances, Royal Pains, Royal Affairs, and Notorious Royal Marriages. She is also a classically trained professional actress with numerous portrayals of virgins, vixens, and villainesses to her credit, and is an award-winning audio book narrator.

A frequent commentator on royal romances and relationships, Leslie has been interviewed by numerous publications, including MSNBC.com, USA Today, the Australian Broadcasting Company, and NPR, and she was a featured royalty historian on CBS nightly news in London during the royal wedding coverage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. She also appears as an expert on the love lives of Queen Victoria, Marie Antoinette, Catherine the Great, and Napoleon on the television series “The Secret Life of [fill in the name of famous figure]” for Canada’s History Channel. Leslie and her husband, Scott, divide their time between New York City and Washington, D.C.

For more information please visit Leslie’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


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