Guest post with Author Peni Jo Renner


They slogged up Gallows Hill, forming a somber and silent queue as they took their places beneath the shade of the great oak tree. Dounton and his men lashed the two ladders together while the spectators assembled at the base of the hill. The hem of Rebecca’s mud-coated shift clung to her legs. Even without the chains, her feet felt as though they were leaden. These are my very last footfalls, she thought glumly. Ascending this cursed hill. Lord, let not my last thoughts be those of hatred and vengeance. The militia assembled, sticks poised above their snare drums as Ned dropped the ropes into a careless heap at the base of the tree. Then he clambered up the ladder and straddled the sturdy limb. Reverend Noyes again officiated, his voice resonating in the crisp autumn air. He invoked the name of God and then signaled the waiting militia to begin the execution call.

Martha Corey stepped forward with as much dignity as possible. She mumbled prayers as Dounton, puffing casually on his pipe, secured her arms and legs. Flinging her over his shoulder, he ascended the ladder and placed the noose around her neck. As she stood upon the wrung and Noyes asked for last words, she locked eyes with Rebecca. “God be with you, Martha Corey!” Rebecca cried, and Martha smiled sadly. The condemned woman proclaimed her innocence a last time before she was turned off the ladder.

So goes one of the darker scenes in Puritan Witch; The Redemption of Rebecca Eames, my debut novel! Not only is it my first published book, but it is a true labor of love. Rebecca Blake Eames, my ninth great-grandmother, was one of over 140 people accused and imprisoned during the Salem Witchcraft Hysteria of 1692. We are fortunate that several documents of the times survived 2 fires and are still in existence. But unless one happens across Rebecca Eames in a genealogy search, her name is not as well-known as some involved during that horrific episode in American history.

It was during a genealogical search that I myself stumbled upon Rebecca and her story. Through, I got in contact with a third cousin. We began emailing and immediately became close. She was the one to tell me about Rebecca Eames’ involvement with the Salem Witch Trials, a subject that always intrigued me. I told my cousin how I “used to write,” and I said, “It’s a shame I don’t write anymore; that would make a great novel!”
“So write one,” she said (or words to that effect.) And just like that, my love of writing, which had been dormant for nearly 25 years, was reawakened!

Puritan Witch has gotten several good reviews on, and I wrote it for those of us who have a rather short attention span; its 242 pages, less than 60,000 words and can be read in an afternoon. I’m really hoping others discover Puritan Witch and I hope they enjoy it. Like I said before, it was a labor of love to write, and a tribute to a beloved ancestress whose real-life ordeal was more horrific than I can ever imagine.

About Author:

03_Peni Jo Renner

Peni Renner is the author of “Puritan Witch: The Redemption of Rebecca Eames”, an award-winning historical novel based on the true-life account of Peni’s 9th great grandmother. The book is Renner’s first published work, and follows Eames’ life and struggles in 1692 Massachusetts during the Salem Witchcraft Trials.

Writing historical fiction has always been a lifelong dream of mine. I was discouraged for many years after receiving multiple rejection slips, and turned to other creative outlets like crocheting, quilting and cross-stitch for many years. Then I met a 3rd cousin of mine online who is also into genealogy and history. She told me we shared a common ancestor who was involved in the Salem Witchcraft Hysteria of 1692, and her story had never been told. My love of writing was rekindled and I began to research this ancestor, Rebecca Blake Eames. In August of 2012 I had the privilege of visiting her grave in Boxford, Massachusetts.

After months and months of research, writing, rewriting and revising, Puritan Witch came into being, featuring a lovely sketch done by my sister-in-law, Jane Sisk.

I have several other story ideas I am working on at the moment, all pertaining to interesting ancestors my 3rd cousin has introduced me to.

For more information please visit the Puritan Witch Facebook Page. You can also follow Peni Jo Renner on Twitter.

Virtual Tour & Book Blast Schedule

Monday, April 28 Book Blast at Broken Teepee Book Blast at Our Wolves Den

Tuesday, April 29 Book Blast at The Lit Bitch Book Blast at A Book Geek Book Blast at The Musings of ALMYBNENR Book Blast at Literary Chanteuse

Wednesday, April 30 Review & Giveaway at Closed the Cover

Thursday, May 1 Book Blast at Historical Fiction Obsession

Friday, May 2 Book Blast at Caroline Wilson Writes

Saturday, May 3 Book Blast at Griperang’s Bookmarks

Sunday, May 4 Book Blast at I’d Rather Be Reading

Monday, May 5 Book Blast at Kincavel Korner

Tuesday, May 6 Review at Just One More Chapter

Wednesday, May 7 Review at Books in the Burbs Book Blast at Kelsey’s Book Corner

Thursday, May 8 Book Blast at Curling Up with a Good Book

Friday, May 9 Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past Book Blast at Carpe Librum

Monday, May 12 Interview at Flashlight Commentary Book Blast at West Metro Mommy

Tuesday, May 13 Review & Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book Book Blast at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, May 14 Book Blast at Historical Tapestry

Thursday, May 15 Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews Review at Impressions in Ink

Friday, May 16 Book Blast at Historical Fiction Connection

Monday, May 19 Review at Book Lovers Paradise

Tuesday, May 20 Review at 100 Pages a Day Book Blast at The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, May 21 Book Blast at So Many Books, So Little Time

Thursday, May 22 Guest Post at Bibliophilic Book Blog

Friday, May 23 Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views Book Blast at The Mad Reviewer Book Blast at Reviews by Molly

Saturday, May 24 Book Blast at Book Nerd

Monday, May 26 Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Tuesday, May 27 Review at WTF Are You Reading? Guest Post at Layered Pages

Wednesday, May 28 Book Blast at CelticLady’s Reviews

Friday, May 30 Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict

Monday, June 2 Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages Book Blast at To Read or Not to Read

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Guest Post with Author R.L. Syme

02_The Runaway Highlander

I would like to welcome, R.L. Syme to Layered Pages today. Author of the The Highland Renegades Series.

When I first conceived of The Runaway Highlander, I had one basic plot point. I knew that two minor characters escaped from the dungeon at Berwick. I knew that there was someone there to help them, but I didn’t know who that someone was yet. Then, I started writing character sheets and the connection between Anne de Cheyne became clear.

The de Cheyne family are a real historical family who really did have power in the Caithness region of the Highlands during this time period. There were some discussions in my research about fealty to England being the deciding factor for some of these lorships, and given that the Sinclair family already had ties to the historical de Cheyne family, I decided to flesh them out and meet them.

Anne de Cheyne was born out of the knowledge that, in The Outcast Highlander, Broccin Sinclair was engaged to Anne for most of his childhood. It made sense that, when she found out he was in Berwick and she was about to be sold into marriage, she would consider helping Broc escape from prison in exchange for his helping her escape from her bad marriage contract.

The research for this book was partly done when I researched the first book, because their timelines overlap and I wanted to stay true to the real events (big events) that were happening during the wars of Scottish independence taking place at the time. For the first book, I spent about six months buried in books and maps and library catalogs. So much fun. For this book, I reprised some of that research, but did a lot of locational searching.

I’d discovered the “Street View” version of Google Maps, so once I figured out exactly where these things were set, I used the street view to look at the surrounding areas in order to get a sense for the setting. That was a lot of fun. But lots of work. It’s amazing how much time it takes to go even just a mile or two in that kind of street view.

This particular genre, Scottish romance, requires a good amount of detail, so the discovery of Google Street View was really a fantastic one for me. However, this Fall, I’m going to be making my first research trip to Scotland and I’m absolutely ecstatic. I feel like the more authentic details (things like smells and touches) can really only be known if you’ve physically been in the space.

Of course, that provides a huge challenge to write well in this genre, because I haven’t been to Scotland yet. But I’ve done so much research and have been reading Scottish historical romances since I was a kid. So I definitely love the genre.

My favorite part of writing Scottish historical romance is actually the community of writers I belong to who all write Celtic romance. In the national Romance Writers of America organization, we have created a little home called Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, where we all love Celtic romance of all kinds. I’ve been the President over at CHRW for almost three years now, and on the Board for five. I adore Celtic Hearts and I’m so happy to get to have research conversations with my favorite Celtic authors, and hear about their work process and take workshops from them. It’s so rewarding.

The Highland Renegades Series

Book One: The Outcast Highlander Book Two: The Runaway Highlander Book Three: The Pirate Highlander — Coming Soon!

Buy the Book

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About the Author

03_Becca Syme

R.L. Syme works at a youth theatre, teaching kids performing arts and musical performance classes/camps when she’s not writing. Otherwise, she’s putting her Seminary degree to good use writing romance novels. Let not all those systematic theology classes go to waste…

For more information please visit R.L. Syme’s website and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Wednesday, May 14 Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Thursday, May 15 Review at Bibliotica

Monday, May 19 Guest Post & Giveaway at Susan Heim on Writing

Tuesday, May 20 Review at A Bookish Girl (The Outcast Highlander)

Wednesday, May 21 Review at A Bookish Girl (The Runaway Highlander)

Thursday, May 22 Interview & Giveaway at A Bookish Girl

Friday, May 23 Guest Post at Layered Pages

Monday, May 26 Review at My Not So Vacant Bookshelf

Tuesday, May 27 Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Thursday, May 29 Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection

Friday, May 30 Review at Lily Pond Reads Review at From the TBR Pile

Monday, June 2 Review at The Mad Reviewer Review at Bibliophilia, Please

Tuesday, June 3 Review at The Most Happy Reader

Wednesday, June 4 Interview at The Most Happy Reader

Thursday, June 5 Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews

Friday, June 6 Review at Historical Fiction Obsession

Monday, June 9 Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Wednesday, June 11 Review at Fic Central

Thursday, June 12 Review at Reviews by Molly Interview at Books and Benches

Friday, June 13 Review & Giveaway at To Read or Not to Read

04_The Runaway Highlander_Tour Banner_FINAL

Interview with Author Teresa Grant


Teresa (Tracy) Grant studied British history at Stanford University and received the Firestone Award for Excellence in Research for her honors thesis on shifting conceptions of honor in late fifteenth century England. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her young daughter and three cats. In addition to writing, Tracy works for the Merola Opera Program, a professional training program for opera singers, pianists, and stage directors. Her real life heroine is her daughter Mélanie, who is very cooperative about Mummy’s writing. Tracy is currently at work on her next book chronicling the adventures of Malcolm and Suzanne Rannoch.

Stephanie: Hello Tracy! Thank you for visiting Layered Pages again for a nice chat. Today I would like to talk a little about your book, The Berkeley Square Affair. Will you please tell me about your story?

Tracy: The Berkeley Square Affair opens in late November 1817 with my protagonists, Malcolm and Suzanne Rannoch, settled in London and theoretically retired from the espionage game, though even they know they can’t really leave it, and Suzanne is still haunted by the secrets she is keeping from her husband. Late one night, their friend, playwright Simon Tanner, climbs through the library window of their Berkeley Square house. Simon is bringing them a manuscript that appears to be an alternate version of Hamlet. He was attacked on his way to their house by men hired to recover the manuscript. For Malcolm and Suzanne a lost Shakespeare play is like touching Excalibur, but it soon appears the manuscript may also have more recent secrets encoded in its pages.

Stephanie: Malcolm and Suzanne face many dangers. What is their closest call in this story?

Tracy: Probably danger that is more psychological than physical. Malcolm learning that Suzanne was a Bonapartist spy during the Napoleonic Wars and working against him. It shakes their partnership to the core.

the berkeley square affair

Stephanie: Describe Malcolm in five words for me.

Tracy: Honorable spy in dishonorable game.

Stephanie: What are Suzanne’s strengths and how does she use them in helping people?

Tracy: Suzanne is very good at playing roles. She’s played one for her entire marriage to Malcolm, while at the same time in some ways she is more able to be herself with him than with anyone else. She is able to change roles quickly in the course of an investigation, whether subtly by shifting from political wife to mother of young children or more dramatically by donning a disguise. She has a knack for getting people to confide in her. She also has nerves of steel and is excellent at picking locks, both of which come in handy

Stephanie: Will there be another story involving Malcolm and Suzanne?

Tracy: Yes! I’m working on the next book in the series which takes place a few months after The Berkeley Square Affair and involves Laura Dudley, governess to the Rannoch children. Laura is found holding a gun beside the body of a duke she seemingly did not know. Malcolm and Suzanne are still dealing with the revelations in Berkeley Square and how their marriage and views of each other have shifted.

Stephanie: What advice could you give to writers on how to keep the suspense in a story?

Tracy: Try to put a reversal -at the end of each chapter.

Stephanie: Now let’s talk about your writing process a bit. Do you work with outlines or do you just write?

Tracy: I lay out my story on index cards (I used to use actual cards, now I use the corkboard in Scrivener). With Scrivener, I find I can start writing as I plot, because I can write scenes out of order. I always layout some of the plot and the major turning points before I start writing, but then I can begin to write scenes I know I will need and move them around as I work out the rest of the plot. I do multiple drafts.

Stephanie: Do you use visuals when writing? Like pictures to inspire you? Or do you listen to music, like some writers do?

Tracy: Yes to both! I find “casting” actors as my characters really helps me not just with how they look but with mannerisms, voice patterns, etc… I even use actors as images for real historical figures in my books. When I was writing Vienna Waltz, I find that really make the historical figures like Talleyrand come to life. I also look at a lot of pictures of settings. And I love to listen to music – usually classical (a lot of opera) and film scores along with some musicals.

Stephanie: How often so you write and how many words do you write at a time?

Tracy: I try to write every day or at least five days a week (some of those are weekend days), and I try to write at least 1000 words a day. A blank computer screen can be daunting, so when I sit down I tell myself I just have to write 100 words. Then I can take a break and look at Facebook or check email. I can pretty much always come up with 100 words. Then a quick break, then another 100. By the time I get to 400 or so I’m usually on a role. Breaking it up like this is also helpful for writing with a young child (my daughter is currently two and a half). I do work in bits and pieces at the play park, in a café, while she naps…

Stephanie: Now l have a question about reviews. What are some of the nicest things people have said about your books? What are some of the negative and how has that impacted you?

Tracy: One of my favorite reviews said my book read like a combination of Jane Austen and Len Deighton, which was so perfect because those were two inspirations for the series. I’ve also had some references to The Scarlet Pimpernel, another inspiration. I love it when reviewers enjoy the characters and the twists and turns of my plots. I try not to pay attention to the negatives because not every book will be to everyone’s taste and I need to focus on telling the kind of stories I like to tell in the best way I can.

Stephanie: Is there a message you would like to give to your readers?

Tracy: I’m so grateful to the readers who have taken Malcolm and Suzanne and their friends and family to heart. The support of those readers means to world to me – I love sharing these characters and the world I’ve created for them. And I love the fact that new readers are discovering the series with each book. Hearing from readers really can keep an author going on those days when (even 100 words at a time) the blank computer screen seems overwhelming.

Stephanie: Where can people buy your book?

Tracy: They should be in Barnes and Noble and other book stores and are also available on line through Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Indiebound IBooks, etc…[links are on my website if you can pull them or just refer readers there].

Stephanie: Thank you, Tracy!

Tracy: Thank you so much, Stephanie, for having me! It’s a treat to get to talk about my books!

Book Review: Sinners and the Sea by Rebecca Kanner

02_Sinners and the SeaPublication Date: April 2, 2013 Howard Books Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Audio CD

The young heroine in Sinners and the Sea is destined for greatness. Known only as “wife” in the Bible and cursed with a birthmark that many think is the brand of a demon, this unnamed woman lives anew through Rebecca Kanner. The author gives this virtuous woman the perfect voice to make one of the Old Testament’s stories come alive like never before.

Desperate to keep her safe, the woman’s father gives her to the righteous Noah, who weds her and takes her to the town of Sorum, a haven for outcasts. Alone in her new life, Noah’s wife gives him three sons. But living in this wicked and perverse town with an aloof husband who speaks more to God than to her takes its toll. She tries to make friends with the violent and dissolute people of Sorum while raising a brood that, despite its pious upbringing, develops some sinful tendencies of its own. While Noah carries out the Lord’s commands, she tries to hide her mark and her shame as she weathers the scorn and taunts of the townspeople.

But these trials are nothing compared to what awaits her after God tells her husband that a flood is coming—and that Noah and his family must build an ark so that they alone can repopulate the world. As the floodwaters draw near, she grows in courage and honor, and when the water finally recedes, she emerges whole, displaying once and for all the indomitable strength of women. Drawing on the biblical narrative and Jewish mythology, Sinners and the Sea is a beauti­fully written account of the antediluvian world told in cinematic detail.

My review:

I have to admit I grew up with the story of Noah but never really thought about his wife or what they might have really gone through while in the ark during the great flood. In the story of Noah, God sees great evil in the world and decides to wipe out mankind. However he found righteousness in a man named Noah. God wanted Noah to build an ark for him, his family and two of all living creatures so they could replenish this earth after the flood. And from the story in the Bible, we know Noah obeyed God’s commands given to him.

Noah had three sons named Shem, Ham and Japheth. And the Lord told Noah and his sons, “Be Fruitful and increase in number and fill the Earth.” (Genesis 9:1)

Sinners of the Sea is told in Noah’s Wife’s point of view. She shows a side of Noah that we might not often think of. We see him as he might have been with feelings, faults and so on… He wasn’t perfect but he did obey God and wanted to do right. But if you think about it, maybe those faults (that an ordinary person would think) that are portrayed in this story is due to his sole focus on God. And I think in many ways he could have been tormented by what he knew would happen to the people of the earth and this story shows that….

When Amy Bruno approached me about participating in the book tour, I have to be honest and say that the book cover is what first caught my eye and then as I read what the book was about and the fact it was fiction, I was more intrigued. I wanted to see how the author portrays Noah. And she portrays him a man of God and I was happy she did…..

I also admire the author’s character development and I believe she really captured the true culture and human conditions of the period. Many will read the book and feel the pace is a bit slower than they are used too but will find it intriguing all the same.

There were a couple of scenes towards the end that bothered me a little but I got through it okay. I’m not one for mythology added to bible stories, fiction or not. But I’m sure many will find it interesting…

I recommend that every adult read this book. I believe you will come away with something and that is for you to find out what it is on your own journey through this story.

Watch book trailer

Praise for Sinner and the Sea

“Rebecca Kanner has created an autobiography of Noah’s wife, and an imaginative one it is.” – American Jewish World

“[Kanner] gives an intelligent voice to Noah’s wife.” – Jewish Book Council

“First-time novelist Kanner has written an utterly absorbing novel, one that flows seamlessly.” – Historical Novel Society

“A fascinating look into a feral civilization of turmoil and hardship.” – Historical Novel Review

“A stirring, fascinating story written beautifully.” – Historical Fiction Connection

“Kanner beautifully evokes life on the claustrophobic, smelly vessel. Riveting… It will certainly spark hours of book club discussions.” – St. Paul Pioneer Press

Buy the Book

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About the Author

03_Rachel Kanner

Sinners and the Sea is Rebecca Kanner’s debut novel. Rebecca is a Twin Cities native and holds a Master of Fine Arts in Fiction Writing from Washington University in St. Louis. Her writing has won an Associated Writing Programs Award, a Loft mentorship Award and a 2012/2013 Minnesota State Arts Board Grant. Her personal essay, “Safety,” is listed as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2011. Her stories have been published in numerous journals including The Kenyon Review and The Cincinnati Review.

Along with other authors including Anita Diamant, Michael Cunningham, Joyce Carol Oates, Russell Banks and Ron Hansen, Rebecca will be featured in the upcoming title Truthful Fictions: Conversations with American Biographical Novelists.

You can learn more about Rebecca, and find links to selected stories and essays, at You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Monday, April 14 Review & Giveaway at West Metro Mommy

Tuesday, April 15 Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook

Thursday, April 17 Review at A Bookish Girl

Friday, April 18 Review at Reading the Ages

Monday, April 21 Review at Booktalk & More Review at Judith Starkston

Wednesday, April 23 Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book

Friday, April 25 Spotlight & Giveaway at Caroline Wilson Writes

Monday, April 28 Review at JulzReads

Tuesday, April 29 Review at The Most Happy Reader

Wednesday, April 30 Review & Giveaway at Book Lovers Paradise

Friday, May 2 Review at History from a Woman’s Perspective

Monday, May 5 Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair

Tuesday, May 6 Review at Book Nerd

Wednesday, May 7 Review at Ink Sugar Blog

Friday, May 9 Review at Our Wolves Den

Monday, May 12 Review at The Calico Critic

Tuesday, May 13 Review at From L.A. to LA

Wednesday, May 14 Review at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews

Thursday, May 15 Spotlight at The Tower of Babel

Friday, May 16 Review at Layered Pages

Monday, May 19 Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews

Wednesday, May 21 Review at My Reader’s Block

Friday, May 23 Review at Seaside Book Corner

Tuesday, May 27 Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Thursday, May 29 Review at bookworm2bookworm’s Blog

Giveaway Link

To enter to win one of 2 copies of Sinners and the Sea or a $25 Amazon Gift Card, please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form by clicking on the link above. Giveaway is open to US residents only.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on May 29th. You must be 18 or older to enter. Winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter on May 30th and notified via email. Winners have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

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Interview with Author Judith Arnopp

Judith Arnopp

In 2007 Judith Arnopp graduated from the University of Wales, Lampeter with a BA in English Literature and a Masters in Medieval Studies; she now combines those skills to write historical novels.

Her early books; Peaceweaver, The Forest Dwellers and The Song of Heledd concentrated on the Anglo- Saxon/ medieval period but in 2010 she published a short pamphlet of ‘Tudor’ stories entitled, Dear Henry: Confessions of the Queens. Some people loathed it but many loved it and she received endless requests for full length ‘Tudor’ novels.

For a while Judith buried herself once more in study, refreshing her already extensive knowledge of the period. The result was The Winchester Goose, the story of a prostitute from Southwark called Joanie Toogood whose harsh existence is contrasted with that of Henry’s fourth and fifth wives, Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard. The Winchester Goose is a multi-narrative illustrating Tudor life from several, very different perspectives; a prostitute, a Spy, and a Lady-in-Waiting at the royal court.

Judith’s next book The Kiss of the Concubine details the life of Anne Boleyn, told in the first person- present tense, the story takes you to the very heart of England’s most talked about queen. She is currently working on a third Tudor novel Intractable Heart, the tale of Henry’s sixth and last wife, Katherine Parr.

Judith also blogs about the Tudor period, both on her own blog-page and on the English Historical Fiction Author’s website. Her work reaches a world-wide audience and her following is steadily increasing.

As a self-published author Judith maintains direct control of her work and avoids the hassle involved with agents and publishers. Self-publishing speeds up the process but accuracy and attention to detail is paramount. Her small team is made up of three proof readers, an editor, and a cover designer all of whom work with Judith toward a finished product that is as polished as they can get it, but still they seek ultimate perfection.

Stephanie: Hello Judith! Welcome to Layered Pages and thank you for chatting with me today…I think it is fantastic you have been writing stories that take place during the Tudor era. My interest lie in that area currently and your latest book, “Intractable Heart” looks fantastic! Please tell me about your story?

Judith: I have tried to imagine how it might have felt to be a woman married to Henry VIII. With five of Henry’s ex-wives before her, Katheryn must have been all too aware of what becoming queen might entail yet she faced it bravely. She put aside her own desire to marry Thomas Seymour and instead married an ageing, cantankerous and dangerous man. She injected all her energies into becoming a good wife to Henry and a good Queen Consort for England and I think she did amazingly well. I wanted to illustrate that. I am not really interested in the rich trappings, the glitz and glamour of being royal; I like to strip that all away and reveal the person beneath, her thoughts, feelings, and desires. I hope I have managed that with Intractable Heart.

Stephanie: Next to Katherine of Aragon, Katheryn Parr is one of my favorites of Henry VIII wives. What are some of the misconceptions people have about her?

Judith: While I was writing The Kiss of the Concubine I couldn’t help but be drawn into reading about the other wives. Of course, I knew about Katheryn Parr from my student days and was surprised to discover she wasn’t the placid nursemaid type figure that she’d been depicted. The woman I read about at school entirely lacked the vitality of everyone’s favourite queen, Anne Boleyn, but the deeper I looked into Katheryn’s life, the more I liked her.

She was much younger than I’d thought, only thirty six when she died. She was also a strong woman and Henry respected her enough to set her up as regent over England when he went to war with France. Katheryn also was the first English queen to become a published writer; she wrote two books on religion and the church and was a strong supporter of the reformation. The title Intractable Heart is a phrase taken from her book Lamentations of a Sinner. Another aspect of her character that really stands out for me was her ability to ‘manage’ Henry.

Judith Arnopp latest book

Stephanie: As your story opens, Katheryn and her step children are held hostage at Snape Castle. What are some of the hardships she had to endure during her confinement?

Judith: To be perfectly frank, we don’t really know very much about it. History tells us there was a siege at Snape while she and her step-children were in residence but few written details of it remain. I had to research other recorded instances to learn of the deprivations and suffering of siege warfare. There were many instances of violence but we don’t know that anything like that occurred at Snape. That is my invention, as a writer of fiction I have to include some fictionalised events to enrich the story and to illustrate character development. In this case I was creating an answer to some of the mysteries of Margaret Neville’s life. As a girl she was betrothed to Ralph Bigod whose father, Francis, was hung in the aftermath of the Pilgrimage of Grace. She was never betrothed again, or married and she died quite young of an unspecified illness. I came up with my own fictional ideas as to why that might have been.

Stephanie: Treachery ran rabid in the Tudor court, what is the one thing that made Katheryn different from the other queens?

Judith: Her intelligence I think, although I don’t mean to say that the other wives were thick. I alluded earlier to Katheryn’s ability to ‘manage’ Henry, and she was the only queen to wriggle out of arrest and possible execution. A warrant was written out and signed by Henry but she got wind of it and managed to see the king before the arrest could be made. She seems to have sweet-talked her way out of it, and when Wriothesley and the guard came to take her to the Tower, Henry sent them about their business and her life was spared. I think Katheryn had the ability to keep her emotions in check and maintain a cool head in a heated situation.

Stephanie: Many have different opinions on Thomas Seymour. Whether they like him or not. What are your personal opinions of the kind of man he was?

Judith: I have a soft spot for Thomas, it probably shows. I think, as far as I can ascertain, Seymour wasn’t as bad as he was painted. After his execution there was such a public outcry that the council had to issue defamatory statements to convince the people that his death was deserved. So anything written after his death needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.

I think he probably had a good dose of ‘second son syndrome’ and was jealous of his brother’s power. He was so determined to get that which he didn’t have, that he failed to appreciate what he did possess. Lord High Admiral is not something to be scoffed at and he had manors and lands a plenty. It seems he was never satisfied and continually strove to climb higher and become ever richer and more powerful.

Whether he loved Katheryn or not is open to debate. He mourned her death and went a little crazy afterwards. His alleged relationship with Elizabeth is no worse than that of any other extra marital affair. I think we have to be careful not to judge him by modern day standards and remember that it wasn’t child abuse; Elizabeth was of marriageable age. His crime was messing with a royal princess; she was too close to the throne. I tend to agree with Elizabeth’s summing up of Thomas Seymour: ‘a man of great wit and very little judgment’, if indeed, she ever actually said that.

Stephanie: Katheryn’s work was published and she very devout in her faith. Is her work available today to the public? And what can we learn from her?

Judith: I know some of it is available because I have a copy of Brandon G. Withrow’s book, Katherine Parr: a guided tour of the life and thoughts of a reformation queen. It has excerpts and some insightful notes on her beliefs. Most of it is pretty dry reading but I think it is quite revealing of her opinions and the inner workings of her mind. If nothing else, reading her book (or skimming if I am honest) did provide an excellent and very personal title for my novel.

Stephanie:What was Henry’s daughter, Elizabeth’s relationship with Katheryn really like? I hear so many different opinions.

Judith: Well, we can never be entirely sure but I think it was very good. All Henry’s children spoke well of Katheryn and illustrated love and a consideration that there was no need to express if they hadn’t wished to. There were many letters and gifts exchanged, all of which illustrate a strong bond. There was a cooling off between Katheryn and Mary due to religion and the speed with which she remarried after the king’s death but they were reconciled later. With Elizabeth in particular, especially if the reports of her and Thomas Seymour are true, she seems to have been particularly close. We don’t know what was said in private but after Elizabeth was sent away from Chelsea they continued to communicate regularly, there doesn’t seem to have been a major breach. In my opinion this again shows she was a strong woman, able to rise above such things, or perhaps able to understand that Elizabeth was young and vulnerable. It seems to be Thomas that she was not able to wholly forgive.

She educated Henry’s children, finding eminent tutors for Edward who leaned to toward Lutherism. She tried to get Mary change her traditional methods of worship but didn’t push her. She also took Henry’s niece and Seymour’s ward, Jane Grey, under her wing. But, most interestingly of all, Elizabeth was with Katheryn during the regency and it may have been the queen who showed the young Elizabeth that women could rule alone in a world of men. Something which would stand her in very good stead.

Stephanie: What were some of the influences Katheryn had over Henry that his other wives didn’t?

Judith: She read to Henry, and soothed him when his leg was playing up; that much is true although she would never had changed his dressing or put salve on his wound as I have read in some novels. I think her ability to take his mind from his problems was her greatest influence over him.

She was also very clever. When her life was on the line, instead of weeping and wailing or tearing out her hair, she outwitted him. Accused of trying to instruct the king, she argued that on the contrary she had been trying to take his mind off his painful ulcer. The next time Henry tried to trick her into argument she claimed that, as a woman, she was in no position to argue theological topics with someone so obviously her intellectual superior. Very shrewd move.

Also, instead of resenting his children, she embraced them and showed him that, actually, the family he already had was made up of three rather brilliant people. Her influence on them was much greater than she is given credit for. In their later years they may have displayed what we see today as tendencies toward megalomania but they were monarchs, and Tudor monarchs at that. We shouldn’t judge them.

Stephanie: What is up next for you?

Judith: A holiday I hope. Even just a home break from work for a short time. I hadn’t intended to begin writing Intractable Heart until this summer but when our house sale fell through in the middle of last year, I was so miserable I buried myself in work without a proper rest after publishing The Kiss of the Concubine. I am due a lovely long luxurious break but I am sure while I am taking it I will be plotting. I have thought about Elizabeth of York and the Perkin Warbeck affair …but time will tell.

Stephanie: How has your career as a self-publishing author been and what advice could you give to others who are thinking of taking this choice in how they publish their work?

Judith: It has been hard work but it certainly got easier once I stopped looking for agents and publishers. I had an agent for a while but they all want to change you into a commercial entity. I don’t want to be a puppet; I don’t write to make huge sums of money, I just want to make a living doing the thing I love to do for the people who love my work. I like to keep it real. For me, by far the hardest thing is the marketing. I am naturally very shy and to push my work under people’s noses and make them read it is the most difficult thing ever.

Stephanie: Is there a message you would like to give to your readers?

Judith: Read an independent author, even if it is only once a month. Give them a chance. Read the free sample on Amazon before you buy it, what is there to lose? Maybe start off with trying one of mine. J

Stephanie: Where can readers buy your book?

Judith: Amazon is the best place to start, or direct from the FeedaRead website. Since I have a great regard for trees my books are print-on-demand and also available on Kindle (for a much lower price.)

Stephanie: Thank you, Judith! It has been a pleasure chatting with you today.

Judith: Thank you for having me, Stephanie, I hope we can do it again soon.

Amazon links to, “Intractable Heart.”

UK Link

US Link

Judith Arnopp’s published work includes:


The Forest Dwellers

The Song of Heledd

The Winchester Goose: at the court of Henry VIII

The Kiss of the Concubine: a story of Anne Boleyn

Dear Henry: Confessions of the Queens

A Tapestry of Time

Intractable Heart

Other Links:



Amazon Author Page

English Historical Fiction Authors

Interview with Author Pauline Montagna


Pauline Montagna was born into an Italian family in Melbourne, Australia. After obtaining a BA in French, Italian and History, she indulged her artistic interests through amateur theatre, while developing her accounting skills through a wide variety of workplaces culminating in the Australian film industry. In her mid-thirties, Pauline returned to university and qualified as a teacher of English as Second Language, a profession she pursued while completing a Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing. She has now retired from teaching to concentrate on her writing. As well as The Slave, she has published a short story collection, Suburban Terrors.

Her website

Stephanie: Hello Pauline! Welcome to Layered Pages and thank you for chatting with me today. Please tell me a little about your book, ‘The Slave’?

Pauline: ‘The Slave’ is an historical romance set in fourteenth century Italy, the story of Aurelia, the sheltered daughter of Francesco Rubbini, a rising merchant with political ambitions. One day he returns from a buying trip to Venice with Batu, an Asian slave boy to whom Aurelia is inexorably drawn. In a bid to win a seat on the city council, Rubbini gains the patronage of the aristocratic de Graziano family by negotiating a lucrative marriage between Aurelia and their eldest son, Lorenzo, a man with a dangerous reputation. Batu insists on joining Aurelia in her new home for her protection, but his presence rouses violent passions in Lorenzo that Aurelia cannot understand, and which bind the three of them in an inescapable triangle of love and hate.

Stephanie: What made you choose fourteenth century Italy as your time period and place?

Pauline: If you had all the time in the world, think of all the stops you would love to make as you travel from Florence to Venice – Siena, Milan, Mantua, Bergamo, Verona, Padua, and so many more. These were once independent, democratic, mercantile city states which flourished from as early as the eleventh century. Unlike the political and economic basket case that Italy is today, back then it led the world and laid the foundations for the flowering of the Renaissance. I studied this period in university and it made me proud to be Italian.

However, this dynamism came at a price. Throughout this period, the city states themselves were volatile places. The towers of San Gimignano weren’t built for aesthetic reasons, but as defences against enemy families. Families fought against families, cities against cities. However, with their limited populations, the city states didn’t have the resources to support full-time armies so they hired mercenary armies. Before too long the mercenary leaders were fighting on their own account. By the fifteenth century, most of the city states had been taken over by one petty tyrant or another, but it was these petty tyrants who became the patrons of the Renaissance.

I chose to set my story in the fourteenth century in particular as it was a time of political and economic upheaval that saw the country ravaged by financial collapse, mercenary armies and the Black Death – all elements I needed to tell my story.

Stephanie: What was your inspiration for this story?

Pauline: I studied the Medieval Italian City States in my second year at university. However, I was actually majoring in French, and in our second year we attended lectures on French literature in French. The lectures were also being attended by a handsome Asian boy. Not actually enrolled in the subject, he sat at the back of the auditorium in regal isolation. I imagined he was an aristocratic refugee, forced out of Laos by the Communists, attending our lectures just to hear a familiar language. Though I certainly fancied him, I was much too shy to approach him, so instead he became fuel for my romantic fantasies where an Asian boy found himself a slave in Medieval Italy and in love with a nice Italian girl like me.

The story remained a fantasy to be revisited now and again over the years, but I couldn’t take it seriously as the basis of a novel until I discovered from a passing mention in Neal Ascherson’s book, ‘Black Sea’, that, in fact, though not as prevalent as it had been in Roman times, a slave trade still existed in this period under the auspices of the Venetian empire. Suddenly it had become plausible that an Asian boy could find himself a slave in Medieval Italy, and my adolescent fantasy could become a credible historical novel.

Stephanie: What are Aurelia strengths and weaknesses?

Pauline: With her sheltered upbringing in which she has been trained to be nothing more than a dutiful wife, Aurelia starts out as a naïve and timid girl. She feels intimidated by her ambitious father and neglected by her distant mother. Her only support is her nurse, Rosetta, who loves her as much as any mother could, but has no say in her fate. However, although she acquiesces to her father’s plans for her, even at an early age, Aurelia displays compassion and a quiet strength and courage. It is this strength and courage which maintains her when she is faced with situations that are frightening and incomprehensible to her in her innocence.

Stephanie: What are some of Aurelia father’s political ambitions?

Pauline: As a self-made man from the peasant classes, Rubbini’s only pathway to prestige and power is by rising up through the ranks of the government of his small city state. However, despite their exclusion from office, the old aristocracy still has the power of influence and patronage, and it is this patronage that Rubbini needs if he is to succeed. Succeed he does, but he finds his duties almost too onerous to bear when the Black Death strikes and his colleagues are loath to do anything about it that might interfere with trade. (Doesn’t that scenario sound familiar?)

Stephanie: What was some of the research involved for your story?

Pauline: As I already had a good grasp of the period from my university studies, most of the research I had to undertake was for specific information as the need arose – such as the Black Death and the events surrounding it, marriage practices, dance, dress, food, hunting, sword fighting, and, of course, Mongolian warriors.

However, it was this research that forced me to kill one of my favourite babies. For some reason, I had named my Asian boy Fet and, of course, over the years I had become attached to the name. However, as I read up about Mongolia I slowly came to the realisation that there was no ‘f’ in their language. In the end, not only did I have to change his name, but while I was at it I decided to change the names of almost all the characters. It called for a very careful and meticulous use of ‘Find and Replace.’

Stephanie: Was there a particular scene you found a challenge to write?

Pauline: The sword fighting scene was quite challenging as I’m not an aficionado of ‘derring-do.’ I not only had to learn the basic principles of fighting with the broad sword, but also try to work out the moves in the fight and then how to describe them in a comprehensible way.

However, by far the hardest scene for me to write was the first sex scene. In my first draft I skirted around the details, but my workshop group wouldn’t let me get away with that. They had waited until Chapter 42 for some action and they wanted more, thank you very much. So they sent me home to do it all again. I remember prowling about the house all afternoon trying to get into the right frame of mind.

Stephanie: What inspires you to write historical fiction?

Pauline: I write historical fiction because I’m inspired by history. I always have been and I can’t really explain why. I could take a punt and say that it’s because I was born in Australia, which has very little history, but my cultural roots are in Italy, which has, perhaps, too much history. I love doing historical research. I love spending time in libraries and reading old books, the older the better. I get exciting by finding odd titbits that I’ve never come across before, or making connections no one else has ever made. And I guess I love it because history is about people, and people are endlessly fascinating.

Stephanie: What advice would you give to someone who wants to write in this genre?

Pauline: When it comes to historical fiction, I’m a stickler for accuracy and authenticity. There are enough gaps in the records on which we can exercise our imaginations without warping the known facts. But accuracy is more than getting the date of a battle correct or the name of a piece of clothing. It’s also about how people thought and behaved.

We cannot impose on the people of the past our own sexual mores because we think restraint is boring, just as we can’t impose our modern attitudes to gender roles because we don’t like the way women were treated back then. If that’s how you feel, stick to writing contemporary romance, or if you must clothe your sexually promiscuous and feisty women in long skirts, be honest and call it Fantasy.

So I would advise someone who wants to write historical fiction to do their research. Go back to the original sources, go to a library and read books. Don’t rely on the internet, and other historical fiction for your information. If you must read fiction, read what was written at the time to get a sense of what your characters actually valued and thought, and not what you wish they did.

Stephanie: Who are your influences?

Pauline: I would say my biggest influence is the historical fiction of Mary Renault. Not only is her writing beautiful in itself, but she enters so thoroughly into the mindsets of her characters that a world completely different to our own seems perfectly natural. I have long nurtured an ambition to write about the Etruscans as well as she writes about the Ancient Greeks. I also love Ursula Le Guin, again for the beauty of her writing and her ability to create in her fantasy and science fiction profoundly real people in a real world. If I could write as well as these two I would die happy.

Stephanie: What book project are you currently working on?

Pauline: At the moment I’m focussing on self-promotion so I haven’t been writing for a while. However, as soon as ‘The Slave’ is properly launched, I hope to get back my writing.

Stephanie: Is there a message you would like to give to your readers?

Pauline: Well, as you did ask, I do have a special offer out now. Join my mailing list by May 31 and get your own free complimentary ebook copy of ‘The Slave.’



Interview with Juliet Waldron


“Not all who wander are lost.” Juliet Waldron earned a B. A. in English, but has worked at jobs ranging from artist’s model to brokerage. Thirty years ago, after the boys left home, she dropped out of 9-5 and began to write, hoping to create a genuine time travel experience for herself–and for her readers. She loves her grand-girls and her kitties, likes to take long hikes, and reads historical/archeological non-fiction as well as reviewing for the Historical Novel Society. For summer adventure, she rides behind her husband of 50 years on his “bucket list” (black, and ridiculously fast) Hyabusa motorcycle.

You can find more information at or connect with Juliet on Facebook.

Stephanie: Hey Juliet! Tell me about your story, Nightingale.

Juliet: This story grew from my fascination with Mozart. 18th Century Vienna was glamorous, dangerous and corrupt, and the pathway to fame on the operatic stage was not one that could be walked in innocence. Nightingale is the story of a young vocalist, Maria Klara, who desperately wishes to escape from her aristocratic, controlling patron. The heroine’s situation, BTW, as a nobleman’s mistress, was fairly common for singers at this time.


Stephanie: How did you come up with your title?

Juliet: In letters and documents from this time–when language was what we’d call “flowery”–I noticed that “nightingale” was used to compliment the reigning prima donnas.   A 19th Century music hall song about a kept woman laments, “She’s only a bird in gilded cage”, and this is exactly Klara’s situation.

Stephanie: What are Klara’s strengths and weaknesses?

Juliet: Klara is a sensual woman. She’s been raised to give her patron pleasure. Her love-affair with Milos gives her the impetus she’s needed to escape, but she is also tied to the life of fame, comfort and privilege she’s been living. Klara is proud, a characteristic which can be seen as both positive and negative. In the end, it is her belief in her own worth that enables her to dare to leave the Count and find her own path.

Stephanie: What made you decide to write this story?

Juliet: I’ve mentioned a fascination with Mozart. I’d written two novels about him, one from the POV of his wife, Constanze, and the other from the POV of a young mistress. I wanted to write a book which starred one of those prima donnas, the “glorious song birds*” Mozart is on record as having loved so passionately.   (* Amadeus)

Stephanie: What do you like most about Historical Fiction?

Juliet: Historical Fiction is way of discussing human nature as it once existed and as it still exists. As time passes, we learn more science and create technology, but on the basic emotional and reactive levels, we humans remain pretty much the same creature we always have been.  I enjoy trying to work out “the way we were” and comparing it with the way we live and love now.

Stephanie: What are the challenges to writing in this genre?

Juliet: I believe in working hard to create a genuine time travel experience for my readers. This can put some readers off, because what they actually want is a fantasy. The facts are that the past wasn’t always clean, safe or comfortable. For women, things were doubly hard. You only have to visit an old churchyard and see the grave of some aged gentleman surrounded by the graves of two or three wives and a score of infants to understand this.   Still, as a writer, you have to know where to draw a line and how to keep the reader engaged in the story you want to tell.

Stephanie: Who are your influences?

Juliet: I grew up reading writers like Margaret Irwin and Anya Seton, but my early favorite was—and still might be—Mary Renault. She’s my model, both for the high quality of her research and for her unrivaled ability to transport her readers to an almost alien time. Of more modern writers, I like Cecelia Holland, Margaret George and Arturo Perez-Reverte, who writes both classic historicals and swashbucklers, like his Captain Alatriste saga.

Stephanie: What was your writing process for this story?

Juliet: Nightingale came quickly, as I was so “full” of the Mozart research. Mozart’s story is such a sad one; I was ready to write something more romantic, with an HEA. Klara and her sweetheart, Milos, and the rest—the sadistic Count, the castrato teacher, Manzoli, are all amalgams of real historical characters I already “knew” very well.

Stephanie: What is up next for you?

Juliet: I’m working on a sequel to Red Magic, a historical romance which has a strong fantasy and action component.  Black Magic, set in 1818 in the Austrian Alps,will have much more fantasy in the form of a shape-shifter hero.

Stephanie: Is there a message you would like to give to your readers?

Juliet: Klara is an opera singer, an unfamiliar sort of heroine.  Think of her as a modern musical superstar and you’ll see that her problems are the same as those of today’s idols. She’s exploited and pushed around by forces both on the inside and on the outside.  Will she be able to renounce the heady temptations of stardom and try for true love?

Thanks so much, Stephanie, for the invitation to Layered Pages.

Praise for Nightingale

“As Klara is drawn deeper into love with Akos Almassy, the charismatic harpsichordist, she must come to a decision: chose her true love or stay with the twisted relationship, professional acclaim, and wealth she has with her patron…Much more than a romance, Nightingale offers a tantalizing view into the rarefied atmosphere of historical Vienna and the world of celebrity performers. It is part of Juliet Waldron’s trilogy of Viennese tales, so be sure to read Mozart’s Wife, and My Mozart…” – Judith Schara

“I was drawn into this tale by the lush prose, descriptions of clothing, jewelry, and details of Klara’s performances. Tension is maintained throughout as Klara fights to be free of her gilded cage. Waldron obviously knows her stuff when it comes to music and pure desire.” – Diane Scott Lewis

Buy the eBook

Amazon (US) Amazon (AU) Amazon (CA) Amazon (UK)

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Monday, May 5 Interview at Layered Pages

Thursday, May 8 Review at Just One More Chapter (Mozart’s Wife)

Friday, May 9 Review at Closed the Cover (Genesee)

Monday, May 12 Spotlight at Tower of Babel

Monday, May 19 Interview at Closed the Cover

Wednesday, May 21 Interview at The Maiden’s Court

Monday, May 26 Review at Book Lovers Paradise (Mozart’s Wife)

Tuesday, May 27 Review at Historical Fiction Obsession (Genesee) Guest Post at Book Lovers Paradise (w/Kathy Fischer-Brown and Louise Turner)

Monday, June 2 Review at A Chick Who Reads (Nightingale)

Tuesday, June 3 Review at Historical Fiction Obsession (Roan Rose)

Wednesday, June 4 Review at The True Book Addict (Mozart’s Wife)

Thursday, June 5 Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views (Mozart’s Wife)

Monday, June 9 Review at So Many Books, So Little Time (Roan Rose)

Tuesday, June 10 Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views (Nightingale)

Thursday, June 12 Guest Post at Closed the Cover

Monday, June 16 Review at Just One More Chapter (Roan Rose)

Tuesday, June 17 Review at A Chick Who Reads (Mozart’s Wife)

Monday, June 23 Review at Peeking Between the Pages (Mozart’s Wife)

Tuesday, June 24 Review at A Bookish Affair (Mozart’s Wife)

Wednesday, June 25 Review at Layered Pages (Nightingale)

Thursday, June 26 Review at A Chick Who Reads (Roan Rose)

Friday, June 27 Review at Broken Teepee (Mozart’s Wife)

Saturday, June 28 Review at WTF Are You Reading? (Mozart’s Wife)

Monday, June 30 Review at WTF Are You Reading? (Nightingale)

Juliet Waldron_Tour Banner FINAL


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What Fates Impose Book Blast

1066 What Fates Impose

Publication Date: March 4, 2013 Matador Publishing

King William then utters the following words to the room: ‘I appoint no one as my heir to the Crown of England, but leave it to the disposal of the Eternal Creator, whose I am and who orders all things. For I did not attain that high honour by hereditary right, but wrested it from the perjured King Harold in a desperate bloody battle.’

England is in crisis. King Edward has no heir and promises never to produce one. There are no obvious successors available to replace him, but quite a few claimants are eager to take the crown. While power struggles break out between the various factions at court, enemies abroad plot to make England their own. There are raids across the borders with Wales and Scotland.

Harold Godwinson, Earl of Wessex, is seen by many as the one man who can bring stability to the kingdom. He has powerful friends and two women who love him, but he has enemies will stop at nothing to gain power. As 1066 begins, England heads for an uncertain future. It seems even the heavens are against Harold.

Intelligent and courageous, can Harold forge his own destiny – or does he have to bow to what fates impose?

Buy the Book

Amazon UK Amazon US Book Depository iTunes Troubador Publishing Waterstones

About the Author

G.K. Holloway

I have been interested in history since I was a boy, which I suppose explains why, when I came across a degree course in History and Politics at Coventry University that looked tailor made for me, I applied right away.

In my first year at Coventry I lived in the halls of residence within a stone’s throw of the Leofric Hotel. In the opposite direction, just a short walk from my halls, is the bell tower that houses a clock, which when its bell chimes the hour, produces a half size model of naked Lady Godiva riding a horse for the titillation of tourists. Above her, Peeping Tom leans out of a window for a better view. In all of the three years I was there, it never once occurred to me that I would one day write a book featuring Earl Leofric and his famous wife, as key players.

After graduating I spent a year in Canada before I returned to England to train as a Careers Officer in Bristol. Later, I lived and worked in Gloucestershire as a Careers Officer and then in Adult Education as an Education Guidance worker.

After I met my wife, I moved back to Bristol to live and I worked at Bath Spa University as a Student Welfare Officer for a number of years. It was about this time I read a biography about King Harold II which fascinated me so much I read more and more about the man and the times. I found the whole pre-conquest period of England so interesting I couldn’t understand why no one had written a novel about it. So, I decided to write one myself. Now, after many years of study and time spent over a hot keyboard, I have finally produced that novel.

1066: What Fates Impose is the result of all that study and hard work and is the first book I’ve written. I am now working on a sequel.

Virtual Tour and Book Blast Schedule

Monday, April 14 Book Blast at Kincavel Korner Book Blast at Historical Fiction Connection

Tuesday, April 15 Book Blast at Passages to the Past Book Blast at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, April 16 Review at Svetlana’s Reviews and Views Book Blast at To Read or Not to Read

Thursday, April 17 Book Blast at Closed the Cover Book Blast at Historical Tapestry

Friday, April 18 Book Blast at Time 2 Read Book Blast at The Bookworm

Monday, April 21 Review at Flashlight Commentary Book Blast at Griperang’s Bookmarks

Tuesday, April 22 Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, April 23 Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book Interview at The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, April 24 Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book Book Blast at The Lit Bitch

Friday, April 25 Review at Impressions in Ink Book Blast at Ink Sugar Blog Book Blast at The Mad Reviewer

Monday, April 28 Review at Kinx’s Book Nook Book Blast at Just One More Chapter

Tuesday, April 29 Review at CelticLady’s Reviews Book Blast at Historical Readings and Reviews

Wednesday, April 30 Review at Historical Tapestry Book Blast at Book Nerd

Thursday, May 1 Book Blast at Caroline Wilson Writes

Friday, May 2 Review at Curling Up By the Fire Review at Confessions of an Avid Reader Book Blast at A Book Geek Book Blast at Layered Pages

1066_Tour Banner _FINAL