Guest Post & Giveaway: Castles, Customs and Kings: True Tales by English Historical Fiction Authors

Passages to the Past is very excited to bring you a guest post by author M.M. Bennetts and a giveaway of Castles, Customs and Kings: True Tales by English Historical Fiction Authors, which is a a selection of essays from the English Historical Fiction Authors blog

Take it away, M.M.....

I'm genuinely excited about this book. No, I truly am! I think there's so much intriguing information here, and I love great big books--they're so friendly, don't you think? Like a tub of Ben & Jerry's for the mind and with no sharing...

Wait a hold-it. That's not what I meant to say. What I meant to say is how much I've loved and enjoyed being an editor for this new collection of history essays--a compilation of the best--from the English Historical Fiction Authors called Castles, Customs, and Kings...

You see, over the past decades, historical fiction has changed a great deal.

It's not just the printed equivalent of movies about Vikings or Robin Hood made during the 1950s anymore--remember those? Now--and I'm not the only one I've been delighted to discover--novelists invest huge amounts of time and energy rootling out not just the names and dates, but the details of daily life so that they can write convincingly and accurately about whatever period they're exploring. There's none of this, "there was a battle here on this date..."

Now, novelists are searching out the weather conditions, the state of the roads, what wigs were made of, how were fields plowed during the middle ages, the methods of washing clothes circa 1800 and things like that. And they're doing it so that they can bring it all alive when they go to write it. It's absolutely fascinating what they're uncovering! It's nothing short of the essential fabric of daily life, whether at the court of Eleanor of Acquitane or in a Georgian thieves' kitchen...

And the English Historical Fiction Authors blog is the fruit of all that research. Because the reality is that for 10,000 words one reads of research (in my case that's more like one million words...) that probably works out as two sentences in a novel. Or something like that.

So it's an opportunity for all of these novelists--all of them treating different periods of English history--to write some of this stuff up, all these fascinating little tidbits they've discovered, and share them...And this wonderful book, Castles, Customs and Kings is the celebration of the first year of these blogs by some 55 different authors.

You know, I may have the reputation for being a walking encyclopaedia, but there was so much in this compendium that I didn't know, so much that engaged my imagination and informed my understanding, that I can't speak highly enough about it and the authors who contributed.

So I'm excited about it. It's one book about which I feel with all my heart, "What's not to love?" If you love history, or just love a good historical romance, this book will delight, intrigue, engage and fascinate you. It's that good...and that much fun. And so full of "I never knew that" moments that it is, well, as I say, that tub of Ben and Jerry's for the mind but with no sharing.

About the Book

Castles, Customs and Kings: True Tales by English Historical Fiction Authors
Edited by Debra Brown and M.M. Bennetts

Publication Date: September 23, 2013
Madison Street Publishing
Paperback; 546p
ISBN: 0983671966

A compilation of essays from the English Historical Fiction Authors blog, this book provides a wealth of historical information from Roman Britain to early twentieth century England. Over fifty different authors share hundreds of real life stories and tantalizing tidbits discovered while doing research for their own historical novels.

From Queen Boadicea’s revolt to Tudor ladies-in-waiting, from Regency dining and dress to Victorian crime and technology, immerse yourself in the lore of Great Britain. Read the history behind the fiction and discover the true tales surrounding England’s castles, customs, and kings.

Passages to the Past has one copy up for grabs. To enter, please completed form below. Giveaway is open to US, Canada and UK residents and ends on October 5th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This looks like such an interesting book. Having a passion for history, I am so looking forward to reading it.

  2. What a fabulous book to read and keep at hand for reference and re-reading. A type of historical fiction Bible.

    Thanks for this great giveaway.

  3. This sounds so good! Thanks for the chance, Amy!


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