Review & Giveaway: Trailing the Hunter by Heidi Eljarbo


Trailing The Hunter by Heidi Eljarbo

Publication Date: October 30, 2019
eBooks & Paperback; 298 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction


A ruthless witch-finder.

One determined woman.

1661 in southeastern Norway.

Clara Dahl has made a decision. She has seen the dread and sorrow witch-finder Angus Hill has caused in her hometown and sets out to find him. Her goal is to fight the wrongful and wicked misconceptions about witch hunting. But the witch-finder’s influence is strong. How can she warn the villagers of something they don’t understand?

Clara’s heartfelt desire is to protect and rescue the women who are in danger without causing more harm. As Clara develops secret plots to thwart the plans of the notorious witch-finder and works to help the villagers, she finds friendship and the possibility of true love.

Available on Amazon

Praise

“A spellbinder from the very beginning. Eljarbo’s sound historical research is evident and impressive.” — Gus A. Mellander, Ph. D., D.H.L.

“Ms. Eljarbo’s words come alive on the page.” — Jana Pawlowski

“Excellent research and stunning writing.” — Pauline Isaksen, author of Dying for Justice

​"This novel has fascinating history, endearing as well as diabolical characters and exciting twists and turns. I couldn’t put it down.” – Linnea Shaw

Review

Clara Dahl is new to town and eager to set up a little school to teach the children from the village how to read, but that's not the only reason she is there. A ruthless witch-hunter, Angus, is on the way to the town and Clara knows the horrors he is bringing. Angus terrorized the town where she used to live and convicted and burned some of her friends as witches. She wants to stop him before he can do that to another village, and to more women.

With the help of her friend, Peter, she sets up the school and soon begins to speak to the people in town to warn them of Angus and what he is planning to do. It's a hard sell as superstition runs rampant and people are quick to blame their misfortunes or failing health on 'witchcraft'. When Clara meets the local Lord of the town, Christian, and his mother she finds valuable allies as they work together to expel Angus and save the women he is accusing.

Clara is a fantastic heroine - tough and clever. I also adored Christian's mother and Siren - they were great!

Despite not having read the first book in the series, Catching a Witch, I wasn't lost at all so this works perfectly well as a stand-alone. I will be picking up the first book though because I'm super curious as to what happened to Clara in that one.

Well-written and exciting, I thoroughly enjoyed Trailing the Hunter!

About the Author

Heidi Eljarbo is the bestselling author of Catching a Witch. She grew up in a home filled with books and artwork and she never truly imagined she would do anything other than write and paint. She studied art, languages, and history, all of which have come in handy when working as an author, magazine journalist, and painter.

After living in Canada, six US states, Japan, Switzerland, and Austria, Heidi now calls Norway home. She and her husband have a total of nine children, twelve grandchildren--so far--in addition to a bouncy Wheaten Terrier and a bird.

Their favorite retreat is a mountain cabin, where they hike in the summertime and ski the vast, white terrain during winter. Heidi's favorites are family, God's beautiful nature, and the word whimsical.

If you would like to know more, please visit Heidi's website. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, October 30
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Friday, November 1
Feature at The Writing Desk

Monday, November 4
Review at Red Headed Book Lady

Tuesday, November 5
Feature at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, November 6
Review at History from a Woman’s Perspective

Sunday, November 10
Review at Carole's Ramblings

Monday, November 11
Character Interview at The Book Junkie Reads

Thursday, November 14
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, November 15
Review at Passages to the Past

Saturday, November 16
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, November 19
Feature at Maiden of the Pages

Wednesday, November 20
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Friday, November 22
Review at Coffee and Ink
Review at CelticLady's Reviews

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of Trailing the Hunter! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on November 22nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

Trailing the Hunter


Excerpt & Giveaway: Diamond in the Rogue


Diamond in the Rogue by Wendy LaCapra

Publication Date: November 11, 2019
Entangled: Scandalous
eBook; 289 Pages

Series: Lords of Chance, Book 3
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency


In an act of revenge, Lord Rayne kissed Lady Julia and was sent packing to America. But now he’s back to settle his affairs and give away his sister in marriage, until he meets up with the alluring yet innocent Lady Julia again. He doesn’t regret their first kiss, but he was never good enough for her.

Lady Julia had two years to forget the moody and mercurial Earl of Rayne. But one look, and she knows they’re meant to be together. Be damned with his and her brother’s objections, she’ll just jump on the back of Rayne’s departing carriage and compromise them both thoroughly.

Only, Julia never expected her forbidding Lord to be so good at resisting temptation...

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Google Play | iBooks | Kobo


Excerpt

“Everyone disappeared from the dining hall,” he said.

She tilted her head, listening. “Then why do I hear voices?”

“Oh, there’s plenty of people left in there. But Clarissa went upstairs, and Markham followed soon after. Moments later, Katherine and Bromton left as well.” He lifted a brow. “What is it about this place?”

She shrugged. “Weddings make some people amorous, I suppose.”

And you? He strolled into the room. Do weddings make you amorous? He wanted to know.

And he definitely did not want to know.

She hefted the bowl and made a show of ignoring him in favor of closely examining silver-rendered insects.

“Dragonflies are an interesting choice for a soup tureen, don’t you think?” he asked.

“You are mistaken.” She set down the bowl. “They’re clearly damselflies.”

“Are they?” He leaned over her shoulder to get a closer look. “But a damselfly’s wings are closed when at rest.”

“Who says they’re at rest? They could be fluttering about, as flies are wont to do.” She shifted, slowly lifting her gaze. “Besides, if they were dragonflies, their front and back wings would have different shapes.”

“I see, now.” He reached from behind her and ran a finger over a veined wing. “Damselflies, indeed. They have more delicate bodies.”

“Deceptively delicate. Remember…damsels can be predators”—her short, puffed P puckered her lips—“too.”

Such a mouth she had. And such a face. Even a gifted artist would despair, trying to capture her changeling spirit in pigment. “Do you have an interest in entomology?”

“I’ve always been drawn to insects.” She folded her arms. “As you should know.”

Anger, he understood. Hers bore down on him—a deliberately placed heel. She would crush him if she could. Which made him want to respond in unspeakable—possibly even illegal—ways…all of them erotic.

The taste of rancid shame pooled beneath his tongue. He must apologize and get out. Fast.

“You’ve been avoiding me,” he said.

“I’ve been avoiding you?” Her lids narrowed to slits. “You put oceans between us.”

“One,” he replied softly. “One ocean.” One soot-watered, lightning-capped ocean, churning, at this moment, beneath his ribs.

“One ocean”—she swallowed—“was more than enough.”

Had it been?

In an instant, time and distance withered to nothing. The fruits of his sweat, pain, and self-recrimination? Gone.

Her pull stretched and deepened his inner mayhem. He wanted to pin her down, let her claw him all she wished, so long as she whimpered please when he pressed his lips against the vulnerable column of her throat.

Her woman-scented skin visibly prickled with gooseflesh. Not so much an invitation as evidence—proof she was no more immune than he was inoculated.

Attraction. Simple.

Lust. Common enough.

No reason to plunge into waters and drown.

“I sought you out to apologize,” he said.

She paled, even as the bright spots in her cheeks darkened. The contrast made her less intimidating, more doll-like. Now, he wanted to take her into his care.

As if she needed care.

As if he knew how to care for anything.

“Markham”—she turned her face away—“already delivered your apology.”

“As asked. I didn’t want to address you directly.” Then, after he’d seen her, he realized he had no choice.

She snorted. “Not surprising.”

There. Right there. Sarcasm.

Instinctively, he searched for the pain. “What, exactly, did Markham tell you?”

“He said you acknowledged the wrong of”—her breath skipped—“toying with an innocent.”

Toying. He’d set out to use her, yes, but she’d been anything but a toy. She’d been a danger to him then. She was a danger to him now.

She ignited something shadowy—perverse, inner directives that felt essential. And, from the moment they’d met, she’d known exactly how she affected him.

She may not have guessed the exact nature of his thoughts, but she’d sure as hell recognized his desire. Her certainty had infused her with power and sensuality beyond her experience.

Yet now, she doubted.

If he could heal nothing else, at least he could return her pride.

“Julia, whatever you believe, understand I was…” He searched for the right word. “Taken with you.”

Taken. Stolen. Thieved. Stripped of all protective illusions. Left wanting things he didn’t understand.

Kissing her, teasing her, tempting her with decadent dissolution had been wrong, but his desire had been real. Destructively real.

About the Author


Wendy writes Historical Romance with a touch of intrigue & suspense. Her debut series, a trilogy about three Ladies who refuse to play by society's rules, was released by Entangled Scandalous in 2015. Her first indie, Her Duke at Daybreak, finaled in Romance Writers of America®'s RITA® contest.

Wendy was born a Jersey Girl, though most of her extended family lives in Maine. Trekking up and down the Northeast coast in the backseat of a car gave her plenty of opportunity not only to fight with her sister, but to read, to listen to her dad tell stories from history, and to dream up stories of her own.

She lives in NYC with her husband. Things she loves besides writing and reading and being an aunt to seven nieces and nephews include travel (50 states and all 7 continents), old things, pine trees, wine and pasta.

If you'd like to join her infrequent, never-shared mailing list for freebies and new-release information, sign up here: http://bit.ly/GetWendyNews.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | BookBub | Amazon

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 11
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Tuesday, November 12
Review at Historical Romance Lover

Wednesday, November 13
Feature at What Is That Book About

Thursday, November 14
Review at The Book Junkie Reads

Friday, November 15
Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Sunday, November 17
Review at Liberty's Literary Loves

Monday, November 18
Review at Rose is Reading

Tuesday, November 19
Feature at @ya.its.lit

Wednesday, November 20
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Friday, November 22
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Monday, November 25
Feature at The Lit Bitch
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink
Review at The Romance Dish
Excerpt at Jorie Loves A Story

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on November 25th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

Diamond in the Rogue



Interview & Giveaway: Trailing The Hunter by Heidi Eljarbo

Hello, dear readers! Today on the blog I am super excited to share my interview with Heidi Eljarbo. She is currently on Blog Tour for her novel, Trailing the Hunter. I'm reading it now and it's fabulous!

I hope you enjoy the interview and don't forget to enter our giveaway!



Hello Heidi and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about Trailing the Hunter!

To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and your writing?

Thank you for inviting me to your blog, Amy. After raising a large family and living in six countries and six US States, I now live and work out of my home on an island south of Oslo, Norway. I write historical fiction with strong-willed characters who fight for what they believe in. Human relationships are important in my stories, and my goal is for the reader to see, smell, hear, and sense the atmosphere of the place and time period I am describing. There’s also a touch of romance, and my books are what you would call a clean read.

What inspired you to write Trailing the Hunter?

I wrote the historical novel “Catching a Witch” a couple of years ago and always felt that the main character, Clara, had more to tell us. I was curious and followed her to see what she would do next. Trailing the Hunter is a result of my fascination with a time in history when some people hunted and persecuted other people. Many were falsely accused, and even though some tried to protect the innocent, there were far too many who joined the witch hunt craze and misjudged and misinterpreted their neighbors, friends, and sometimes family members.

What research did you undertake when writing Trailing the Hunter?

When plotting and writing historical fiction, I spend almost more time on research than on the actual story. For me, history is a passion, and the research process is fun. I took a class on superstition and herbs in Norway, read countless books and articles, delved into my genealogy for good names to use, and also tried to get to know my ancestors. I love learning about what they ate, what they wore, who ruled the country and why, and their beliefs, customs, and habits. In “Trailing the Hunter”, faith and old superstitions collide.

What would you like readers to take away from reading Trailing the Hunter?

I would like them to know that at any time in history women are valuable and important. They should be listened to, respected, and loved. Also, that mass suggestion is a horror that pulls people in. It’s so easy to be dragged into a witch hunt.

One of my readers said it really well, "While reading this story, I am reminded of instances in my life where people are influenced and do not question the reason why."

What was your favorite scene to write?

I love it when I give a character the freedom to speak and act on their own. It may sound strange, but they sometimes really surprise me and say things I had not planned. When Clara sits in the bailiff’s office and discusses her views on why girls should be allowed to go to school is one of those scenes.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

It was difficult to describe how an influential man like Christian Ivershall had his hands tied because of evil threats.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I grew up in a home full of books and read many of them, borrowed books from the library, and purchased even more. I have always loved writing—I love words, books, libraries, and bookstores—but it was not until I was in my forties that the desire to pursue a writing career grew stronger. I continued my education and chose to write full-time. My husband encouraged my dream and has always been very supportive. I worked as a magazine journalist and wrote my own stories whenever I found the time. I always had (still have) pen and paper handy in case a scene, superb sentence, or a cool word pops up in my head.

What does your daily writing routine look like?

I get up at 6 am and sit down at my writing table a couple of hours later after getting my husband to the train station, teaching a 7 am study group for teenagers at a local school, and walking the dog. My workday is a mixture of writing, marketing, and research. Some days, I write articles for magazines. My dog. Hector, the Wheaten Terrier, tells me every few hours that it’s time for a walk. And he is right about that. In the late afternoon, my head is usually tired, and walking in the woods or down by the ocean is wonderful and relaxing. I am lucky to have all that right outside my door.

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?

There are some obstacles and frustrations along the way. I wish I did not have to spend so much time promoting my books. Alas, marketing has to be done, but writing is so much more fun.

Who are your writing inspirations?

Ken Follett is an amazing storyteller. I have also read a lot of Norwegian historical fiction, e.g. Sigrid Undset’s novels. She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for Kristin Lavransdatter, a trilogy about life in Norway in the Middle Ages. And, also, Vera Henriksen who wrote historical novels and plays set in the Middle Ages.

What was the first historical novel you read?

As a young girl, I enjoyed “Polyanna” by Anna Sewell and “Heidi” by Johanna Spyri. We also read “Les Miserable” by Victor Hugo in school.

What is the last historical novel you read?

I am currently reading Terry Lynn Thomas’s novel “The Silent Woman”.

What are three things people may not know about you?

I grew up with a father who was an artist, studied art in college, and have a deep passion for art history. I also love to sing (by myself and in choirs), and doing the laundry is my favorite household chore. Haha, that last one may not be what you were expecting to hear.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

The excitement of going back in time, pretending to be there, and learning about their ways.

What historical time period do you gravitate towards the most with your personal reading?

I enjoy the 17th century. There’s something about the ignorance of men at that time and how it was possible to believe that good women who healed others because of their knowledge of herbs could be evil witches. It’s horrible and fascinating, at the same time.

What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

I love to spend time with my husband. Our children are grown, and we spend time traveling and hiking and skiing in the mountains. We have a TV date every evening and often fall asleep on the couch, watching a crime series, period drama, or sports. Having the grandchildren come over and going to church on Sundays are also on our priority list.

Lastly, what are you working on next?

A WWII Mystery set in Oslo, Norway. It will be out next year.

Oh that sounds exciting! I can't wait to hear more about that one. Thanks so much for this great interview!


Trailing The Hunter by Heidi Eljarbo

Publication Date: October 30, 2019
eBooks & Paperback; 298 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction


A ruthless witch-finder.

One determined woman.

1661 in southeastern Norway.

Clara Dahl has made a decision. She has seen the dread and sorrow witch-finder Angus Hill has caused in her hometown and sets out to find him. Her goal is to fight the wrongful and wicked misconceptions about witch hunting. But the witch-finder’s influence is strong. How can she warn the villagers of something they don’t understand?

Clara’s heartfelt desire is to protect and rescue the women who are in danger without causing more harm. As Clara develops secret plots to thwart the plans of the notorious witch-finder and works to help the villagers, she finds friendship and the possibility of true love.

Available on Amazon

Praise

“A spellbinder from the very beginning. Eljarbo’s sound historical research is evident and impressive.” — Gus A. Mellander, Ph. D., D.H.L.

“Ms. Eljarbo’s words come alive on the page.” — Jana Pawlowski

“Excellent research and stunning writing.” — Pauline Isaksen, author of Dying for Justice

​"This novel has fascinating history, endearing as well as diabolical characters and exciting twists and turns. I couldn’t put it down.” – Linnea Shaw

About the Author

Heidi Eljarbo is the bestselling author of Catching a Witch. She grew up in a home filled with books and artwork and she never truly imagined she would do anything other than write and paint. She studied art, languages, and history, all of which have come in handy when working as an author, magazine journalist, and painter.

After living in Canada, six US states, Japan, Switzerland, and Austria, Heidi now calls Norway home. She and her husband have a total of nine children, twelve grandchildren--so far--in addition to a bouncy Wheaten Terrier and a bird.

Their favorite retreat is a mountain cabin, where they hike in the summertime and ski the vast, white terrain during winter. Heidi's favorites are family, God's beautiful nature, and the word whimsical.

If you would like to know more, please visit Heidi's website. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, October 30
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Friday, November 1
Feature at The Writing Desk

Monday, November 4
Review at Red Headed Book Lady

Tuesday, November 5
Feature at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, November 6
Review at History from a Woman’s Perspective

Sunday, November 10
Review at Carole's Ramblings

Monday, November 11
Character Interview at The Book Junkie Reads

Thursday, November 14
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, November 15
Review at Passages to the Past

Saturday, November 16
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, November 19
Feature at Maiden of the Pages

Wednesday, November 20
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Friday, November 22
Review at Coffee and Ink
Review at CelticLady's Reviews

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of Trailing the Hunter! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on November 22nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

Trailing the Hunter


Excerpt & Giveaway: Child of Love and Water by D.K. Marley


Child of Love and Water by D.K. Marley

Publication Date: October 19, 2018
The White Rabbit Publishing
eBook; 291 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction


The year is 1722. A child is born on the isolated island of Ospo off the Georgia coast. In the midst of General Oglethorpe's vision for this new land, and the emerging townships of Frederica and Savannah, four lives entwine together on this island like the woven fronds in a sea-grass basket - the orphaned Irish girl born free of hate or prejudice, a war-ravaged British soldier seeking forgiveness and absolution, a runaway Gullah slave girl desperate for a word of kindness on the wind, and a Creek Indian warrior searching for answers about this intrusion onto his homeland. What they learn from this wild innocent girl, and from each other, will change their lives forever.

A new birth, a new country, and the elements - Water, Wind, Fire, and Earth - entwine to teach one thing: Love conquers all. Love sees beyond borders. There is no ignorance in love.

Available on Amazon


Excerpt

Muirin woke up to the reassuring sounds of the island, the constant rushing of the waves to the shore, the soft pelting of raindrops through the leaves and the music of the crickets and cicadas in the pine trees. Everything else remained quiet. The seagulls, the sand crabs, the squirrels, the deer – all tucked safe in their forest or beach beds waiting for the storm to pass. Across the air, a single bullfrog's vibrato drifted through the rain and she reached her fingers to pull her mother's blanket across the pallet, squeezing the folds to her chest. No one ever told her what loneliness felt like, not even her mother taught her that lesson. But this morning, an ache filled her heart and her body shook with tears.

She wiped the trails on her cheeks with the back of her hand and sat up, gazing over at the spot where her mother used to sleep. A chill raced up her arm and the last words she thought of before she fell asleep filtered back into her mind.

What is there to fear?

She looked up to the window, bending her ear to the distant sound of the frog.

“Alone... alone... alone...” he croaked.

Muirin wrapped herself in the quilt and walked out into the misty rain. She soaked in the scene around her, the blackened coals in the fire pit swimming in a small ashy puddle, brave wet ants swarming the leftover soggy corn cakes in the iron pot, and two toppled over wooden cups laying on the ground. Her cup and her mother's cup, now empty. She gazed over to the vegetable bag crumpled on the ground after falling from its hook on the side of the hut. Three bunches of carrots, some with small teeth marks and others eaten to the green, slouched over the opening of the bag. Her stomach growled but she did not feel like eating.

She wandered away from the haven of the hut, through the palmettos, and out to the dunes. Walking along the wet sand, her feet scrubbed through a a bed of sand spurs and she stumbled to a log. The tears flowed again as she sat there in the rain, removing each tiny spur from the bottom of her foot. The last one she pried off, tossing the needle-like enemy across the path with a frustrated cry.

Sitting there for a moment as the rain soaked the quilt and dripped from her eyelashes, her gaze rested upon a family of marsh hares peeking out from under a bramble bush. They nestled close to each other, their ears alert and eyes bright, despite their soggy paws and coat. Muirin feigned a small smile, pulled the water-weighted quilt around her shoulders and headed on toward the beach.

She reached the foaming whitecaps along the shoreline and stared across the ocean. A group of pelicans bounced up and down in the distance with the tossed waves and the last of the raindrops popped circles into small saltwater ponds left behind by the receding tide. She slouched down onto the beach, keeping a silent vigil with the dispersing gray clouds and peeking blue sky. The sun rose and Muirin fell over into the quilt, squishing her cheek into the drenched fabric and falling back to sleep.

When she woke, the sun beamed over her high in the sky, the quilt and sand now dry, and her wind-swept curls beat against her cheeks and shoulders. She yawned and rubbed the sand from her brow as she stretched. The memories flooded back into her mind. A sigh breathed across her lips. Still here. Still alone. Not a dream. Muirin whispered into the wind.

“What do I do now, Mummy?”

She gazed up the beach toward the North end, the place where her mother now rested. “She will tell me,” Muirin answered.

She stood up and folded the quilt, draping it over her arm and walked through the now calm waves to the driftwood beach. Along the way, she paused to examine a broken 'gaineamh fianán', a sand cookie, remembering her mother's Gaelic words flowing into her mind. She picked up three small conch shells along the way, all abandoned by their owner, gathered up her skirt into a pouch and tucked them into the folds for safe keeping. By the time she reached the fallen trees along the beach, her skirt held a treasure of conch, cockle, cookies and cowries. She held back her mess of tangled locks from her eyes to focus on her mother's grave. A few little white-breasted Sandpipers waded in the waters, searching for clams in the shallows, and a dozen terns banked along with the ocean breeze over the spot above one of the largest overturned live oaks.

Standing there alone, watching the birds flock together, and remembering the cluster of rabbits huddling under the bush, sudden awareness filled her sad mind. She realized what

About the Author

D. K. Marley is a historical fiction writer specializing in Shakespearean themes. Her grandmother, an English Literature teacher, gave her a volume of Shakespeare's plays when she was eleven, inspiring DK to delve further into the rich Elizabethan language. Eleven years ago she began the research leading to the publication of her first novel "Blood and Ink," an epic tale of lost dreams, spurned love, jealousy and deception in Tudor England as the two men, William Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe, fight for one name and the famous works now known as the Shakespeare Folio. She is an avid Shakespearean / Marlowan, a member of the Marlowe Society, the Shakespeare Fellowship and a signer of the Declaration of Intent for the Shakespeare Authorship Debate. She has traveled to England three times for intensive research and debate workshops, and is a graduate of the intense training workshop "The Writer's Retreat Workshop" founded by Gary Provost and hosted by Jason Sitzes. She lives in Georgia with her husband and a Scottish Terriers named Maggie and Buster.

For more information, please visit D.K. Marley's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, November 12
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Wednesday, November 13
Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Thursday, November 14
Review at Books and Zebras

Saturday, November 16
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Tuesday, November 19
Excerpt at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Thursday, November 21
Review at @ya.its.lit

Friday, November 22
Review at Nursebookie

Sunday, November 24
Review at A Darn Good Read

Tuesday, November 26
Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Thursday, November 28
Review at Coffee and Ink

Friday, November 29
Review at Al-Alhambra
Interview at Jathan & Heather

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of Child of Love and Water by D.K.Marley! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

- Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on November 29th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
- Paperback giveaway is open internationally.
- Only one entry per household.
- All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
- The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

Child of Love and Water Tour


Review & Giveaway: This Son of York by Anne Easter Smith


This Son of York by Anne Easter Smith

Publication Date: November 10, 2019
Bellastoria Press
eBook & Paperback; 504 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction



"Now is the winter of our discontent, Made glorious summer by This Son of York..." -- William Shakespeare, Richard III

Richard III was Anne's muse for her first five books, but, finally, in This Son of York he becomes her protagonist. The story of this English king is one of history's most compelling, made even more fascinating through the discovery in 2012 of his bones buried under a car park in Leicester.

This new portrait of England's most controversial king is meticulously researched and brings to vivid life the troubled, complex Richard of Gloucester, who ruled for two years over an England tired of war and civil strife. The loyal and dutiful youngest son of York, Richard lived most of his short life in the shadow of his brother, Edward IV, loyally supporting his sibling until the mantle of power was thrust unexpectedly on him.

Some of his actions and motives were misunderstood by his enemies to have been a deliberate usurpation of the throne, but throughout his life, Richard never demonstrated any loftier ambitions than to honorably discharge his duty to his family and his country.

In a gentler vein, despite the cruel onset of severe scoliosis in his teens, Richard did find love, first with a lover and then in his marriage to Anne Neville. Between these two devoted women in his life, he sired three and perhaps four children.

Bringing the Plantagenet dynasty to a violent end, Richard was the last king of England to die in battle. This Son of York is a faithful chronicle of this much maligned man.

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Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I can't tell you how good it feels to have my nose in an Anne Easter Smith book again!

I first fell in love with Smith's Richard III in her first book, A Rose for the Crown. It's one of those books that stayed with me throughout the years and I always recommend it when I get the chance. I also loved her other books and they have their own special place on my keeper shelves. So you can guess how geeked out I was to pick up This Son of York, and it was everything I was hoping for and more!

This Son of York covers the life of Richard III started when he was known as Dickon, the youngest son of the Duke of York, until his death. The prologue was a poignant one as Richard thinks back on his life and reign on the eve of the Battle of Bosworth where he will meet his sad end. He was a reluctant King and his reign was plagued with rebellion and betrayals. The War of the Roses was like a medieval soap opera!

Anne adds some great touches to the book - at the start of some of the chapters she includes a quote from Philippa Langley, author of The King's Grave, who was there when Richard's bones were discovered under a car park (which used to be the Greyfriars Friary Church in Leicester, England) in 2012 and was present throughout the research process to determine if they were actually Richard's. That was really fascinating, but sad too. I mean, even though we are well aware that he is dead it still affected me to think of his poor body being there all this time, without a proper burial. He deserved more, but thankfully he is resting well now. Anne also includes a great epilogue and Author's Note, which I always love with historicals.

Richard III is one of the most infamous and controversial Monarchs in history but Anne Easter Smith really knows how to make him human and real, faults and all. Love him or hate him, he was an intriguing and complex man.

If you want to read about Richard III or the War of the Roses you need to check out the master at work and pick up one of Anne's books. You will learn a lot and be entertained all at the same time!

About the Author

Anne is the award-winning author of The King's Grace and the best-selling A Rose for the Crown, Daughter of York, Queen By Right, and Royal Mistress. She is an expert on Richard III, having studied the king and his times for decades. Her sixth book, This Son of York, will be published soon. She grew up in England, Germany and Egypt, and has been a resident/citizen of the US since 1968. Anne was the Features Editor at a daily newspaper in northern New York State for ten years, and her writing has been published in several national magazines.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Sunday, November 10
Review at Broken Teepee
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Monday, November 11
Excerpt at Words and Peace
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Tuesday, November 12
Review at Passages to the Past
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Wednesday, November 13
Review at Macsbooks
Interview at The Writing Desk

Thursday, November 14
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Friday, November 15
Excerpt at The Lit Bitch
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Saturday, November 16
Review at Curling up by the Fire
Review & Excerpt at Nursebookie
Review at Red Headed Book Lady
Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Sunday, November 17
Review at Bookramblings
Review at Just One More Chapter
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books
Review at Carole Rae's Random Ramblings

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of Royal Beauty Bright by Ryan Byrnes! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

- Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on November 14th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
- Paperback giveaway is open to the US only.
- Only one entry per household.
- All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
- The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

This Son of York


Interview & Giveaway: Bittersweet Tapestry by Kevin O'Connell

Happy Monday, dear readers! I hope you all had a great weekend! Today on the blog I am super excited to be hosting an interview with Kevin O'Connell, who is currently on blog tour for Bittersweet Tapestry!


Hello, Kevin and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about Bittersweet Tapestry!

To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and your writing?

I was born in New York City, grew up and went to school in (smiles – “the pretty part,” Northwest Bergen County) in northern New Jersey, where I started to ride horses at an early age.

Most of my legal career was spent as an international business attorney, much of my work being in China. I was also a prosecutor and taught at the University of Maryland School of Law.

I came to “words” rather later on in life, as I began writing around 2012. It started as something of a lark, though it has, in truth, become my life’s work – a source of great satisfaction to me.

What inspired you to write the Derrynane Saga?

What has become a highly gratifying journey began during was seemed at the time to be a random conversation with my wife, Laurette. After a decades-long “sabbatical” from her first career as a singer/actress, primarily in musical theatre, she had just successfully created and debuted her second one-woman cabaret show. I was expressing my admiration for her creativity and my pride at her remarkable talent. She looked me straight in the eye and declared that I, too, could “create,” suggesting that I should consider taking all of what I knew of Irish and European history, as well as the O’Connells and trying my hand at writing an historical novel.

To her surprise – and mine – this idea struck a chord with me. I was undeniably intrigued by the crazy notion. It was thus with a shocking (to myself) degree of ease that a short while thereafter on a quiet afternoon in the office I began making notes on a legal pad, even scripting out rough conversations between people, some of whom had existed and one or two who surprised me by, as I wrote, magically emerging from an imagination I didn’t believe I had.

With a very rough story idea, I continued writing – just a wee bit each day, at first. Fortunately, relatively early on in this process I came into contact with several extraordinary literary professionals who indicated that the writing was good, which was encouraging. Also, just about this same time, I stumbled upon an article by Hilary Mantel (in the Wall Street Journal, of all places!) entitled “The Art of Making the Dead Speak,” I felt to some degree reassured – and experienced a not-insignificant sense of relief –as it appeared I actually had a knack for doing just that.

And so, it began in earnest.

What research did you undertake when writing the Derrynane Saga?

Like virtually all Irish (whether or not the nationality is followed by a hyphen and an additional geographic location), children of the post-World War II era, I grew up listening to countless stories – some sombre and stirring, others either scary or outright terrifying, more than a few laugh-out-loud funny. There were more characters than one could possibly list, from fairies – good and naughty, to brave warriors and kings; bold, arrogant (and seemingly always beautiful!) queens, even a king with horses’ ears! All were vivid, colourful and memorable.

Amongst those tales I recall most clearly were those involving people whose last name I share (as well as their spouses, neighbours, friends and enemies), referencing a place with the lyrically-magical sounding name of “Derrynane”.

As a result, I became a relatively serious student of the history of Eighteenth Century Europe, especially that of Ireland and France, for much of my life; one significant aspect of this being a continuing scholarly as well as personal interest in my extended family, many distant, and long-ago members of which, especially the characters of whom I write, I feel I have come to know intimately. Some of the tales which I grew up hearing, and later reading about, were the genesis for parts of both Beyond Derrynane and Two Journeys Home. This is even more so the case with regard to much of the Irish history fictionalised in Bittersweet Tapestry.

Though I did not undertake any specific research with regards to any of the three books of the Saga . . . none of these books could have been written absent almost six decades of reading and studying the works of a number of extraordinary historians and other authors – as I did with the prior two books, I include a fairly lengthy “Notes as to Sources” biographical essay in Tapestry. One thing I would add is that throughout the process I found myself continually fact-checking and double-checking, both in books and on-line. The marvel that is the internet was wonderfully helpful in verifying my surmises and avoiding factual gaffes!

What would you like readers to take away from reading the Derrynane Saga?

As so many people have said that, until reading my books, they had never even heard about the fallen “Gaelic Aristocracy” and the roles played by the Irish at the various courts of Catholic Europe, I am overjoyed when people gain this new understanding. I want them to learn at least a wee bit of Irish history – beyond that of the Famine and the Rising – and to understand the complexities wrought by what was truly the nearly 700-year long occupation of the island of Ireland by the English. Especially as these “complexities” are reflected even today in the politics and commerce amongst the Republic of Ireland, its Northern Irish neighbour and England across the Irish Sea from both of them.

I would hope that reading my stories, would make people curious about some of the topics covered and the lives of the “real people” in the books, so as to perhaps seek out further reading.

What was your favourite scene to write?

If I may, I actually have several:

To say that Eileen’s first marriage (chronicled in Beyond Derrynane) did not begin well would be an understatement – indeed, it began so badly that she actually took steps to kill her husband., thwarted only by that he had fled the house. Their meeting upon John O’Connor’s return several days later was a joy to write.

There is a very colourful, rather thrilling point-to-point horse race in Bittersweet Tapestry; as a rider, I found it both fun and exciting to describe it (as well as the scenes and events immediately before and after) in great detail from start to finish.

Also in Tapestry, there is a tragi-comedic confrontation between Eileen and her husband and a high-ranking local English official. It was rather fun to write.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

In all three books, the most difficult scene I had to write was the rather lengthy section in Tapestry dealing with a character’s violent death. This part of the book (and indeed the events leading directly up to it, and certainly those occurring in its aftermath) were beyond painful to write – especially the actual death sequence.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I feel I must confess – and this seems as good a spot as any to do so – that being a writer was not a long-deferred dream. I have come to it rather late in life.

So I would have to say that it was not until I actually started to write the first pages that I felt like this was something I really, really wanted to do. I was certainly committed by the time several people who know of such things told me early on that what I was writing was very good – in the words of one, “You write beautifully and naturally. You need to take this seriously, because I am” and “ . . . the best thing I can do for you is to stay out of your way and let you write”.

Thus encouraged – not to mention relieved! – how could I not want to do so!

What does your daily writing routine look like?

Whether I am writing new material, working on a “next draft” or simply editing and correcting myself,-- I like to write early in the morning, and late in the afternoon – I frequently print selected pages of the day’s ‘production’ and read and edit them in bed.

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?

I think it was a sense of inadequacy, of feeling like “Can I really do this?” or perhaps more accurately “Should I even be trying to do this?” As I have touched on, very early in the process an awesome all-female creative team came together almost by magic. They helped to dispel these feelings.

Who are your writing inspirations?

Ah, such a wonderfully-diverse group . . . Ken Follett, Antonia Fraser, Philippa Gregory, Hilary Mantel, George R. R. Martin, Larry McMurtry and Edward Rutherford. Can you imagine having them around the dinner table?!

What was the first historical novel you read?

As best as I can recall, it was James Mitchener’s Hawaii

What is the last historical novel you read?

Towards the end of the Summer I finished Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, the most recent instalment in the Outlander series . . . and, yes, I have read all of them!

What are three things people may not know about you?

Uh oh (laughs)

As a child, I lived for a time in Bermuda; I learnt how to play cricket and, no, it’s not like baseball!

For a very brief time, I thought about becoming a priest – much to the obvious outspoken relief of the Salesian fathers, whose school I attended, I soon decided against doing so!

For part of two summers, I was a cowboy on a massive ranch, that sprawled into three states. Think Lonesome Dove without the violence, the humour and great dialogue – and the pigs!

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

I have always loved history – especially European and British, as well as selected American and that of China (which I studied in college). This said, I feel I could never be a “real historian” – I loathe footnotes!. One thing I especially enjoy about history are the side-bars – such as those small things that occur within major historical events. The ability to go into an era, even an occurrence and mingle actual historical facts and people with fictional ones is fascinating, exciting sometimes and a great deal of fun!

The author must know her history, and, as well, her characters, she must be fully aware of what really happened and what the real people were actually doing at such and such a time . . . but once she is on firm, sound, factual historical footing, the author of historical fiction is given a great deal of latitude in “toying” with the subject. What she writes must be true to the place and time. The make-believe must be believable . . . in other words, it could have happened – the whimsy of it all is that perhaps it actually did, but no one recorded it for posterity! The challenge – which is also fun – is to be able to write such that the average reader cannot tell what is fact and what is fancy!

What historical time period do you gravitate towards the most with your personal reading?

If I may, there are several:

I genuinely appreciate Eighteenth Century Europe – especially French, Irish and British history of that period – there is so much going on! I also enjoy reading about the British Raj in India – as discomfiting as colonialism feels in the Twenty-First Century, I find it nevertheless fascinating to read of India from the days of Clive up to the horridly-disastrous end of the Raj. Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century Indian history is so complex and interesting.

Since I have spent so much time there, I remain captivated by China in general, especially by the later Imperial period (the Ming and then the Qing dynasties, until the latter’s fall in 1911) as well as the Opium Wars and the founding of Hong Kong, through the rise of Mao and “modern China”.

I frequently read of the American Revolutionary period.

What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

We have a rather large family, including 10 grandchildren – being with some or (sadly. infrequently because of time and schedules) all of them is a lot of fun.

As I indicated before, I read a fair amount.

I enjoy travel – after many years of grinding, oft-times solitary long-hauls to China, Europe is practically a short hop, so that’s our destination of choice. And I do like ships.

Above all, I love virtually everything equestrian. Though I do not ride very much anymore, and I haven’t competed in ages (yet like an adolescent schoolboy reading automotive magazines, I still avidly await the arrivals of Practical Horseman and The Chronicle of the Horse), perhaps the most pleasurable overall equestrian experience I have ever enjoyed is the volunteer work I am doing now with an incredible organisation called Maryland Therapeutic Riding.

Utilising the science – although it is perhaps also something of an art – of hippotherapy, which is the the use of horses and horseback riding as a therapeutic or rehabilitative treatment, especially as a means of improving coordination, balance, and strength, but also valuable in treating autistic children as well as adults such as “wounded warriors” and others who have suffered major trauma, the incredible therapists, teachers and specially-trained equestrians daily help sometimes dozens of individuals. The group’s motto is “Horses, Healing and Hope”.

I feel truly privileged to be able to care for the horses who do such incredible things. And by “care,” yes, in addition to grooming them, walking them out, exercising them, I mean mucking their stalls and keeping their bedding fresh.

Making the experience even more personally meaningful, is that, since I was a child I have always found early mornings (which is when I usually work) on a horse farm to be a singularly serene time: sleepy horses are incredibly sweet, to feed them breakfast is to guarantee that one’s own day begins receiving unqualified affection and gratitude. There is something almost “zen-like” in doing barn work or “grooming” the fields, especially as the wispy fog lifts and the sun becomes full.

Something many people may not know is that horses have their own quirks and personalities: as is always the case, one has ones “favourites” – mine being a beautiful softly-golden coated Norwegian fjord horse named Emma . . . she is a bit of an adolescent female “drama queen” with frequent head tossing and hoof-stomping, whose motto in this year’s calendar is “Have patience. Trust and understanding take time.” Some mornings, my forehead pressed against hers, I will speak softly, inquiring if she’s going to be an especially good girl today. Her huge soft eyes tell me, she will definitely try! My other fav is also a mare, wee Beauty, a sweet black Miniature Horse/Shetland Cross who, because of her minute size has her own quarters called “The Baby Barn” – and a joyous bit of “attitude” – of her it is said, “Sometimes the smallest things take the most room in your heart.”

Lastly, what are you working on next?

Truth be told, and there has been very little secret about it . . . the Derrynane Saga will continue – so no great surprise! In terms of Book Four – which will probably begin sometime in 1777 – I actually have a working title and the very rough – mine are always very very rough! – beginnings of a precis, though this one even includes some scenes and dialogue. From what I can tell, these will be very eventful years for the characters

That is great news! I know a lot of readers that will be looking forward to that! Thanks for spending time with us today!

Bittersweet Tapestry by Kevin O'Connell

Publication Date: November 1, 2019
Gortcullinane Press
eBook & Paperback

Series: The Derrynane Saga, Book Three
Genre: Historical Fiction


A dramatic decade has passed since sixteen-year-old Eileen O’Connell first departed her family’s sanctuary at remote Derrynane on the Kerry coast to become the wife of one of the wealthiest men in Ireland and the mistress of John O’Connor’s Ballyhar – only to have her elderly husband die within months of the marriage.

Unhappily returned to Derrynane, within a year, under the auspices of their uncle, a general in the armies of Maria Theresa, Eileen and her sister, Abigail departed for Vienna and a life neither could have ever imagined – one at the dizzying heights of the Hapsburg empire and court, where Abigail ultimately became principal lady-in-waiting to the Empress herself, whilst Eileen, for nine momentous years, served as governess to the Empress’s youngest daughter – during which time Maria Antonia, whom Eileen still calls ‘my wee little archduchess’, has become Marie Antoinette, dauphine of France, though she continues to refer to her beloved governess as “Mama”.

As Bittersweet Tapestry opens, it is the High Summer of 1770. Having escorted the future Queen of France from Vienna to her new life, Eileen and her husband, Captain Arthur O’Leary of the Hungarian Hussars, along with their little boy and Eileen’s treasured friend (and former servant) Anna Pfeffer are establishing themselves in Ireland.

Their ties to Catholic Europe remain close and strong; in addition to Abigail and her O’Sullivan family and General O’Connell, his wife and young daughter in Vienna, their brother Daniel is an officer in the Irish Brigade of the armies of Louis XV, whilst their youngest brother, Hugh, is studying at École Militaire in Paris, his path to a commission in the Dillons’ Regiment of the Brigade. His gentle Austrian friendship with Maria Antonia having inevitably waned, Hugh’s relationship with the strikingly-beautiful young widowed Princess Marie Thérèse Louise of Savoy is blossoming.

Though happily ensconced at Rathleigh House, the O’Leary family estate in County Cork, being prominent amongst those families which are the remnants of the old Gaelic order in the area, Eileen and Art find that the dark cloud of the Protestant Ascendancy hovers heavily, at times threateningly, over them.

Bittersweet Tapestry is a tale of stark contrasts – between Hugh’s life of increasing prominence amidst the glitter and intrigue of the French court and Art and Eileen’s in English-occupied Ireland – especially as the latter progresses into a dark, violent and bloody tale . . . ultimately involving an epic tragedy, which along with the events leading up to it and those occurring in its dramatic wake, will permanently impact the O’Learys, the O’Connells – and their far-flung circle of family and friends in Ireland and across Europe.

With his uniquely-descriptive prose, Kevin O'Connell again deftly weaves threads of historical fact and fancy to create a colourful fabric affording unique insights into the courts of eighteenth-century Catholic Europe as well as English-ruled Ireland. As the classic story unfolds amongst the O’Learys, the O'Connells, their friends and enemies, the tumultuously-dangerous worlds in which they dwell will continue to gradually – but inexorably – become even more so.

Bittersweet Tapestry joins O’Connell’s well-received Beyond Derrynane and Two Journeys Home as The Derrynane Saga continues – an enthralling epic, presenting a sweeping chronicle, set against the larger drama of Europe in the early stages of significant – and, in the case of France – violent change.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Kevin O'Connell is a native of New York City and a descendant of a young officer of what had—from 1690 to 1792—been the Irish Brigade of the French army, believed to have arrived in French Canada following the execution of Queen Marie Antoinette in October of 1793. At least one grandson subsequently returned to Ireland and Mr. O'Connell's own grandparents came to New York in the early twentieth century. He holds both Irish and American citizenship.

He is a graduate of Providence College and Georgetown University Law Centre.

For much of his four decades-long legal career, O'Connell has practiced international business transactional law, primarily involving direct-investment matters, throughout Asia (principally China), Europe, and the Middle East.

The father of five children and grandfather of ten, he and his wife, Laurette, live with their golden retriever, Katie, near Annapolis, Maryland.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Friday, November 1
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Sunday, November 3
Review at Carole's Ramblings

Monday, November 4
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Wednesday, November 6
Interview at The Writing Desk
Feature at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Friday, November 8
Feature at Maiden of the Pages

Monday, November 11
Interview at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, November 13
Review & Guest Post at The Book Junkie Reads

Friday, November 15
Guest Post at Before the Second Sleep

Sunday, November 17
Review at A Darn Good Read

Monday, November 18
Review at Books and Zebras

Tuesday, November 19
Feature at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, November 20
Review at Al-Alhambra Book Reviews

Friday, November 22
Feature at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Monday, November 25
Review at Hooked on Books

Tuesday, November 26
Review at Red Headed Book Lady
Review & Guest Post at Nursebookie

Wednesday, November 27
Review at CelticLady's Reviews

Friday, November 29
Review at Broken Teepee
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink

Guest Post: Kimberley Jordan Reeman

Today on the blog I am very excited to be hosting the blog tour for Kimberley Jordan Reeman! She has a great post for you that I hope you will enjoy!


Let Me Take You By the Hand by Kimberley Jordan Reeman

... and we will walk into the past together, and I will tell you what I know.

A woman is writing her memoirs, impressions of a life lived against the turbulence of the eighteenth century. She has known great love and great pain.

The story begins.

You ask me, how shall we overcome these shadows? How much truth is unbearable?

I have known the darkness, and the poignancy of the light. I shrink from neither, deny neither.

They are my truths: it was my life.

These are my truths.

I wrote Coronach because no one else has ever told the true story behind the rose-ringed legends of the ʼ45, the last and most romanticized of the Jacobite rebellions. No one has ever set this final, fatal flowering of Stuart ambitions within the context of a century of war, a world war fought on land and sea from the killing-grounds of the Low Countries to the raw wilderness of North America by the superpowers of the time, Britain and France. In this struggle for global supremacy, the life of an individual is a mote of dust, and of as much significance to an invading army.

Scottish broadsword, traditional design

No one has ever told the forgotten story of the aftermath. After Culloden; after the flight in the heather and the escape of the bonnie prince, abandoning the dream and the dreamers; after the ravaging of the glens and the Acts of Proscription and the suffering and misery and disaster. After the ‘red soldiers’ had been recalled to their garrisons and, eventually, to Flanders to continue a war against a familiar enemy. In history there is always an aftermath, but in fiction it is largely ignored. The voices of the survivors of Culloden have been muted for centuries.

In Coronach they speak their truths without compromise, and with integrity. They speak of love and death and the human cost of war, and human frailty and loneliness. They speak of grief and a yearning for the past and the lost cause and the breaking of the clans, and what happened when the legends could not sustain them, and climatic disaster and famine compelled them to emigrate decades before the Highland Clearances. They speak, man and woman, soldier and aristocrat, the cherished and the abused, all victims of war, in Gaelic, English, French, of passion and courage and the search for peace in a world that offers none.

Scottish steel pistol, 18th century, in the distinctive “ram’s horn” design, by the engraving of the Union flag obviously made for a Scottish officer in one of the British Army’s Highland regiments.

Why should you read Coronach?

If you are American, it will speak to you of the founding of your nation, and cast a perhaps unexpected light on the seeds of revolution. If you are Canadian, you will understand the Scots who explored, charted, fought for and governed this vast, fur-bearing territory and inscribed Scotland forever on its maps, from Nova Scotia to the great Fraser and Mackenzie rivers. If you are English, Coronach will illuminate for you a century of magnificence and power: if you are Scottish, this is your heritage. These are your truths. If you are French, Coronach will evoke for you the menace and the majesty of Britain’s implacable foe.

“An Incident in the Rebellion of 1745”, artist David Morier, painted between 1746 and 1750. The Appin Stewarts and the Camerons charge Barrell’s, the 4th Regiment of Foot.  A report to the French War Ministry, Relation de la Bataille de Colloden, says of Barrell’s, in which casualties were so high that one in three men was killed, wounded or disabled: “The ranks were packed so tightly that even the men whom the Highlanders had cut to pieces did not fall down, and the living, the wounded and the dead formed such a solid mass that the Highlanders had to give up any hope of breaking through.”

If you are a woman, this is the story of an indomitable woman, a survivor of war and revolution. If you are a man, you will read about men of honour and conscience. If you are a soldier, you will read of duty, service, loyalty, the love of comrades, the uniform’s brotherhood: if you are a pacifist, you will find justification. If you are a believer or an atheist, you will see the struggle for God in the surrounding darkness.

A lieutenant’s commission signed in 1745 by Charles Edward Stuart in his capacity as prince regent.

Coronach is a novel of the many aspects of great love. Whatever your sexual orientation, it will speak to you. If you are human, it will speak to your humanity, and your compassion.

As readers, we all come to a book with an open mind and an open heart, and say, “Tell me a story.”

Let me take you by the hand into the eighteenth century, and I will show you how it was.


Coronach by Kimberley Jordan Reeman

Publication Date: October 10, 2018
Matador

Let the truth be told...

SCOTLAND, JULY 1746: an army of occupation ravages the Highlands, committing atrocities with consequences that will reverberate across generations. From this bloody cataclysm, the battle-hardened English soldier Mordaunt saves an infant who will become his heiress and his obsession, and on his shattered estate a traumatised Franco-Scottish laird, Ewen Stirling, offers refuge to a boy damaged by unspeakable horror.

These lives, bound by fate, unfold against the turbulence of the eighteenth century in a magnificent, uncompromising saga of love and the human cost of war.

Buy on Amazon


About the Authors


About Kimberley

Kimberley Jordan Reeman was born in Toronto, graduating from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Arts (hons.) in English literature in 1976. She worked in Canadian radio and publishing before marrying the author Douglas Reeman in 1985, and until his death in 2017 was his editor, muse and literary partner, while pursuing her own career as a novelist.

She has always been a spinner of tales, telling stories before she could write, reading voraciously from childhood, and citing Shakespeare, Hardy, Winston Graham and the novels of Douglas Reeman and Alexander Kent as her most profound influences. From Graham, who became a friend, she learned to write conversation, to eavesdrop as the characters spoke; from the seafaring novels of Reeman and Kent, which she read years before meeting the author, she came to understand the experience of men at war.

It is not necessary to look further than the history of Canada, and Toronto itself, for the genesis of Coronach: a vast country explored, settled, and governed by Scots, and a city, incorporated in 1834, whose first mayor was the gadfly journalist and political agitator William Lyon Mackenzie, a rebel in his own right, and the grandson of Highlanders who had fought in the `45. The Vietnam War, also, burned into the Canadian consciousness the issues of collateral damage and the morality of war; and from this emerged one character, a soldier with a conscience. In unravelling the complexity of his story, Coronach was born.

Website


About Douglas (Alexander Kent)

Douglas Reeman was born in Thames Ditton, Surrey, England in 1924. With the outbreak of war, and
despite belonging to an army family, he joined the Royal Navy without hesitation at the age of sixteen. He saw service in the North Sea and Arctic, and in the Atlantic and Mediterranean campaigns, beginning as a midshipman in destroyers and transferring later to motor torpedo boats.

Following the war, he held a variety of jobs, including delivering yachts, selling marine engines and walking the beat in London’s East End as a uniformed constable and in the plain-clothes Criminal Investigation Department. He returned to active service in the Korean War, and remained a naval reservist while working as a children’s welfare officer for the London County Council.

In 1958, having published two short stories, Douglas wrote the fictionalised version of ‘his war’, more for personal satisfaction than out of any hope of publication. A Prayer for the Ship was published in 1958, and marked the beginning of a remarkable career.

Ten years later, having established himself as one of the foremost modern sea story writers of his time, Douglas embarked on a new and challenging phase: a series of novels featuring one man and spanning the golden age of fighting sail. In June of 1968 To Glory We Steer was published under the pen name Alexander Kent, a childhood friend and fellow naval officer who was killed early in the war, and its solitary, sensitive, compassionate hero, Richard Bolitho, was introduced to an ever-growing readership.

Today, the exploits of Richard and Adam Bolitho feature in twenty-eight Alexander Kent novels, and the lives and deaths of other men, equally heroic, in thirty-five Reeman novels.

Douglas Reeman died in January of 2017.

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