Wish Upon a Duke – Blog Tour #Historical Romance

Wish Upon a Duke
Love & Devotion Book 1
by J R Salisbury
Genre: Historical Romance
The duke’s bargain never included falling in love…
When Savannah Dawson married the second son of an English earl, she never dreamed she’d have to leave her beloved America, let alone enter the aristocracy at her son’s side. Yet when the earl dies and her husband disappears at sea, Savannah’s life is upended. Bringing her young son to England to meet her shrewish mother-in-law is only the beginning of her trials. The dowager countess has asked a duke to assist in the new earl’s education—a man whose power and position could define the course of Savannah’s life. Proud and stubborn, Savannah refuses to be intimidated. And yet neither can she resist the attraction that catches fire between them.
Reformed rakehell Gabriel Armstrong, Duke of Clevedon, has no room in his life for a woman. Especially an American commoner, the widow of his childhood friend. Beautiful and bold, Savannah nevertheless captivates his imagination. Unlike her English counterparts, she speaks her mind and demands to be heard. Something that does not endear her to the dowager countess, yet which Gabriel finds fascinating. Troubles follow her from America, however. Her husband’s business was in debt, his money invested in illicit trade, and his ship was not the first to be lost at sea.
Rumors abound that Savannah’s husband is still alive. Forces are at work to deny her son his title. And when an interloper arrives demanding repayment or revenge, the life of Savannah’s young son is in jeopardy. Savannah and Gabriel must work together to escape the shadows that could blot out the light of their future.
**Only .99 cents for November!**
I’ve always been a creative individual. Writing is just a facet of that creativity…
My careers in public relations in and around the entertainment industry, photography, editing, artist management, modeling and special event planning all elevated my passion for writing, not to mention gave me a treasure trove for story lines.
I write women’s fiction; contemporary romance (as Jamie Salisbury) and historical romance (as JR Salisbury) which is ever evolving. I am fortunate enough that writing (and marketing of said product(s)) is my full-time job, although I always have one or two other projects going at the same time.
I now live in a suburb of Atlanta. Some of my other interests include photography, equestrianism, reading, and of course, travel.
I sincerely hope my writing will entertain, enlighten, and inspire others to pick up the pen and pursue their own dreams. I love to be contacted by readers, writers, and history buffs.

Website * Facebook * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram* Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
$25 Amazon

Summer Warrior – Blog Tour

Summer Warrior
The Clan Donald Saga Book 1
by Regan Walker
Genre: Romantic Historical Fiction

Somerled’s parentage was noble, of the Kings of Dublin, the royal house of Argyll and the great Ard Ri, the High Kings of Ireland. But when the Norse invaded Argyll and the Isles, his family’s fortunes fell with those of his people. When all hope seemed lost, he rose from the mists of Morvern to rally the Gaels, the Scots and the Irish.

Sweeping across Argyll and the Isles like a fast-moving storm, brilliant in strategy and fearless in battle, Somerled began retaking his ancestral lands, driving away the invaders and freeing the people from the Norse stranglehold. In doing so, he would win the title Somerle Mor, Somerled the Mighty, Lord of Argyll, Kintyre and Lorne and, eventually, Lord of the Isles.

This is the unforgettable saga of his path to victory that birthed the Kingdom of the Isles and won him the heart of a Norse king’s daughter.

A lawyer turned writer, Regan Walker is an award-winning, bestselling author of Regency, Georgian and Medieval romantic historical fiction. Her novels weave history and historical figures into fictional stories with political intrigue, a bit of mystery and love. She lives in San Diego and loves to walk along the seashore with her dog “Cody”.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
$20 Amazon giftcard + winner’s choice of ebook from Regan Walker
(If US winner, you can choose an autographed paperback if preferred!)

Lágrimas y terciopelo carmesí

Madam Giry se ve envuelta en la tragedia desarrollándose en la Casa de la Ópera; misterio y asesinato acechan los corredores y, se dice, que un fantasma embruja el lugar. Giry sabe la verdad, pues recuerda al joven enjaulado que conoció tantos años atrás. Esta es su historia, la historia de ambos.
Cuando misterios y asesinatos comienzan a ocurrir en la Casa de la Ópera, una mujer sabe quién está detrás de todo, y lo que realmente hay detrás de la máscara. Secretos, mentiras y tragedia cantan una poderosa canción en esta reimaginación de la mítica historia.
Una corta y trágica historia basada en los personajes del Fantasma de La Ópera.

https://books2read.com/TCVSpanishTCV Spanish front

Ecos de una canción #SpanishEdition Fantasma – Obsesión – Locura

https://books2read.com/EchoesSpanish

Locura, obsesión y el legado del pasado se entrelazan en un maleficio en esta historia breve y trágica, basada en El fantasma de la ópera.
Luego de doce años tumultuosos de los hechos dramáticos en la Casa de la Ópera en París, el fantasma de la ópera, la criatura legendaria que esclavizaba al personal de la Casa de la Ópera, secuestró a la amada de Raoul y asesinó a su hermano, aún atormenta al Comte de Chagny. En la imaginación perturbada de Raoul, los fantasmas del pasado están por todas partes; y una música extraña y poderosa todavía suena en sus sueños.EchoesSPANISH

Here Be Pirates Bundle #Pirates #Fantasy #HistoricalFiction #HerebeSeries

Here Be Pirates Bundle

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Pirates, marauders, ghosts and legends of dread and daredevils of steam fight foe, heroes and one another to bring you adventures from the high seas, outer space, time and myth. Here Be Pirates, Me Hearties!

 

The Blade Was Not Brass       Meyari McFarland

Heart’s Revenge          Michael Jasper

Hook Island    Russ Crossley

Stealing from Pirates  Stefon Mears

Bloody Betty, Queen of the Pirates    Russ Crossley

The Scarlet Curse       Rita Schulz

The Wise Guy and the Pirates            Russ Crossley

Duchess Rampant       Alison Naomi Holt

Queen of the Pirates: Jessica Keller Chronicles #2    Blaze Ward

Confessions of A Bold Maiden          Rita Schulz

Where the Purple Grass Grows          J.A. MarlowHERE BE Pirates 2 FINAL

Meet My Character Week – Jack #Horror #HistoricalFiction

Who are you? (Give a brief description of yourself). I am Jack, I seek to clean up the once noble streets, deal with the vice and the stain on our glorious empire.

How did you find yourself in your current predicament/on your current adventure? My adventure? I suppose it is. I avenge my brother, I avenge those who have fallen to the pox. I do it for her – the shining icon of decency and family life. She whose character is unstained.

Who are your companions? I have none, except the beast and the blade.

What is your moral code? How does it compare with the general moral code of your area?  You mean the whores, the drunkards, the gamblers and the dens of vice? I come to solve the problems of the streetwalkers and their filth. I serve the common good. I serve in her name.

How many crimes have you committed? Five or five hundred – it matters not.

How do you think others see you? They fear me. My reign of terror has them cowering but still some ply their trade. I hear the cry of the newsboy on the corner when my night’s work is done, and the beast laughs. I want them to fear the blade in the night. I want them to smell the blood.

Do you see yourself as a ‘good’ person? I kill the tainted, the corrupt and the wicked. I serve the empire, I serve her.

What is your greatest achievement? The Double Event – two in one night!

If you could live your life again would you make the same choices? Of course

Do you have any dirty secrets? You have no idea!

Why should we read about your adventures? I will be a legend, a myth. I will disappear and yet my name will live forever.

***

Author – A. L. Butcher

Jack appears here:

The year is 1888, and the place is Whitechapel, in the very heart of London. But the heart is bleeding. A mysterious killer is stalking women of the streets – his true name is unknown, but his legend will go down in history. This is a short tale of Jack the Ripper.

18 rated for scenes of violence.

 

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Audio

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Amazon Audio

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Echoes of Love – Book Tour – Guest Post – Gina Ardito – #Historical #Romance

Today we welcome Historical Romance writer Gina Ardito.

Gina – over to you…

We’re living in strange days. And we’re all trying to find a new normal we can live with. One of the aspects of writing historical romances I love is that I know how it’s going to end. Oh, not the way my characters will win in the end (I’m a total pantser, which means I have no idea where my story will go ‘til it lands somewhere), but definitely how the historical crisis they’re living through will end. That’s a luxury we don’t have these days. But it’s important to remember that when our historical figures were surviving their trying times, they had no idea how it would end, either. We just have the luxury of hindsight.

When I opted to choose to set ECHOES OF LOVE during the time of Napoleon’s march on Russia, I knew how the emperor’s gambit turned out. Chesna, my royal governess, has no such certainty—though she suspects. And yet, time and again, when I threw the worst sort of betrayals at her, she outwitted me and rose to the occasion. Take, for instance, this scene when the French army has invaded her city and she has fled to the church with her young prince for sanctuary until she can plan their next move.

“Please, Your Majesty, you must listen to me.”

The boy flipped down the blanket and opened one eye to stare at her. Obviously, her use of his new title had struck through his sleep-fogged brain. His brow furrowed, and a lone tear slipped down his cheek. “Papa?” The squeaky tremor in his voice confirmed her suspicion that he sensed the truth regarding his father’s fate. “He’s gone, isn’t he?”

She bowed her head. “Yes, sire. Forgive our haste, but we must speak quickly.”

The cot creaked as Mikhail sat up. With a shiver at the cold air, he folded his arms over his chest, and looked around in confusion. “Where are my garments?”

Chesna exchanged a quick glance with Karol, who came forward with the bundle of dirty clothes. “Here, Your Majesty.”

Mikhail’s expression mirrored his disgust. “Those are filthy. Where did you get them?”

Cheeks flushed, Karol backed away from the boy’s indignance. “From a dead boy in the street, sire.”

“How dare you!” he shouted. “I do not wear dirty garments.”

“You do now,” Chesna said flatly. She halted the argument he might attempt with an index finger pressed to the child’s lips. “Please, Your Majesty. Listen to me. I’ll explain.”

Although his eyes narrowed in displeasure, Mikhail nodded.

She removed her finger and gestured for Karol to bring the clothes forward. “Do you recall what you asked of me when I told you of your mama’s death?”

“Yes,” he replied warily. “I asked if you’d be my mama now. But you said you could never take her place.”

She shook out the threadbare shirt to remove any stray dust or insects, then slid the rough garment around his satiny shoulders. “Well, sire, I’ve changed my mind.”

The boy looked up, one eyebrow quirked. “How so?”

“To rule Amatia, Napoleon would destroy the royal family, including you. But the French only plan to remain here for a short time before pressing on toward Moscow. They must cross the mountains before the cold weather sets in. And if they’re defeated in Moscow, a fate my father claimed was all but certain, your throne reverts back to you based on your alliance with Tsar Alexander. Until then, we must keep these foreigners from discovering your true identity so they cannot harm you or take you prisoner.”

One eyebrow quirked up, an expression so like his father’s, Chesna sucked in a sharp breath. “And how will we accomplish this?”

She refocused on the new king. “While you slept, Karol took your garments and went out into the streets. He found a dead boy of about your age, removed his clothing, dressed him in your royal attire and left his body beneath that of your father’s. By tomorrow morning, Napoleon’s army will be under the assumption they succeeded in killing the entire royal family.”

“So you’re going to pretend to be my mama to fool our enemies,” he surmised. At Chesna’s nod, he clapped. “How clever of you!”

I wish I had the answer as to how our current circumstances will end, but the best I can promise is that it will, eventually, end. Until then, why not lose yourself in stories where you may not know how they’ll wind up together and happy at the end, but you know they will? I highly recommend you start with ECHOES OF LOVE.

Echoes of Love
by Gina Ardito
Genre: Historical Romance
Royal governess Chesna Dubrow must protect the five-year-old king of Amatia from Napoleon Bonaparte’s invading army. To do so, she’ll be forced to wed one of the emperor’s loyal soldiers. But Pietor Gabris isn’t any soldier. Years ago, he broke Chesna’s heart, forgetting the vows they’d made to love each other forever.
Pietor’s return to Amatia is embroiled in subterfuge. Amidst the deceit surrounding him, he clings to the one truth he cannot ignore: his timeless love for Chesna. Yet confessing what’s in his heart would sentence them both to death. To keep Chesna safe, he must portray the role of traitor, ensuring her animosity continues to blow hot and harsh.
As danger and intrigue swirl around the palace, can Chesna place her faith—and heart—with the one man she swore she’d never forgive?
Editorial Review from Entrada Publishing:
The old saying goes, if you love something, set it free, and if it is
meant to be, it will return. In Gina Ardito’s historical fiction
novel, she explores the idea of lost love, and bitter-sweet homecomings.
Set in the fictional country of Amatia, Chesna is the governess of the
young prince Mikhail, as a means to ease her broken heart. Six years
prior, her childhood sweetheart, Pietor was sent off to Russia, and
soon forgot all about Chesna. However, fate will soon bring the two
lost lovers together again, but under dire circumstances. As
Napoleon’s armies march upon Amatia, Chesna finds herself caught
between loyalty to her country, and what her heart desires.
Ardito does a masterful job blending real-life historical events, with a
beautifully crafted love story. She crafts a suspenseful and engaging
narrative, taking readers through historical events, and the inner
conflicts within Chesna, and Pietor. The storytelling is beautifully
done as Ardito explores the concept of long-lost lovers, betrayal,
and learning to follow your heart. The narrative flows in an organic
way, with tension masterfully woven throughout. The dynamics between
Chesna and Pietor is natural, and their relationship is very well written.
Along with a tender love story, the author sets up a mystery that Chensa,
and Pietor must unravel before it is too late. Readers will be on the
edge of their seats, as they follow along in the race against time.
Chesna must figure out who to trust, and who she can place her faith in.
For those looking for a suspenseful, yet tender love story, Echoes
of Love
is a fantastic historical fiction novel. Gina Ardito is a fantastic
writer, and her novel will pull at your heartstrings, as well as
leave you breathless.
I honestly don’t know. If I believe you, someone whom I’ve known
all my life wants me dead. I have nowhere to turn and no one whom I
can trust. I am surrounded by enemies on all sides. Do you have any
idea how that makes me feel?”
I kill houseplants. There. Now you know one of my greatest shames. I’m not boasting. I just figure that if you’re reading this, you’re looking for more than how wonderful life is as a writer. You get enough of that elsewhere. Ditto for political rants, how to lose thirty pounds in a week, and creating gorgeous crafts with nothing more than twine and soup cans. My goal is to connect with you, dear reader, even if you’re not a writer, not a New Yorker, not a mother, not a female. We’re human (unless one of us is a spambot), and what we have in common is flaws. So here are a few more of mine:
I sing all the time. I sing songs most people don’t know–jingles from television, crazy stuff I used to listen to on Dr. Demento, Broadway and movie soundtracks, and I can even bum-bum-bum through instrumental music. I sing in the car. In the shower. While I’m grocery shopping. And I headbop while I sing. When I’m not singing, I talk to myself. Just ignore me and move on. You get used to it after a while.
I don’t eat my vegetables. Seriously. I only started eating salad about ten years ago, but I’d still rather have a cookie.
Given the option, I would live in a mall where I would never have to worry about freezing temperatures or too much sun. I’m extremely fair-skinned and could burn under a 60-watt light bulb.
I can’t sleep without background noise so the television’s on all night. If it’s too dark and too quiet, all I have are my thoughts. And even *I* don’t want to be alone with my thoughts.
Don’t ask me to Zumba, line dance, or march in the parade. I have absolutely no rhythm.
I color outside the lines. Not because I’m a rebel, but because I suck as an artist. My artistic ability is limited to being able to draw Snoopy sleeping on his doghouse. And I don’t even draw that well.
Regrets. I have more than a few.
My favorite activity is sleep, and I’m pretty good at it. I don’t clock a lot of hours, but I can powernap like a Persian cat and rejuvenate within ten minutes.
I consider shopping and dining out excellent therapy for anything wrong in my life.
My feet are always cold. Always. My husband of more than a quarter century claims it’s because I’m an alien sent to Earth to destroy him. (He might be right about that.)
Coming to my house for a visit? Unless you’ve given me plenty of advance notice, be prepared. My floor will not be vacuumed, there will be dishes in my sink, and I only make my bed when I change the sheets once a week (I’m climbing back into it ASAP. Why make it?) Housecleaning is not high on my priority list. Okay, to be totally honest, it’s not on the list at all.
I can resist anything…except ice cream.
Since this is our first date, I figure I’ve revealed enough secrets for now. But if you’ve read this bio and think I might be the author for you, pick up one of my books or stalk my website: www.ginaardito.com.
$25 Amazon
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

 

#Heroika Skirmishers – Charles Gramlich and His Character

Author section

Name: Charles Gramlich

Why did you choose that time period/group of people to write about? I’ve long been fascinated with the Haudenosaunee, the Native American people often referred to as the Iroquois. They were highly advanced both culturally and militarily. They often accepted non-Haudenosaunee people into their tribes. They had a rich history, full of stories and legends. I believe there are many stories to be told of the Haudenosaunee.

What is your usual genre? I consider my genre to be adventure fiction, which is a cross-genre genre. It can take form in tales of fantasy, science fiction, horror, western or historical, and I like to write all of those. Most of my work has been in fantasy and westerns.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? I’m something in between, although probably more of a pantser. I tend to start stories based on a character and situation, without knowing where they’re going. For most stories and books, though, I quickly develop a plan for the ending and then write my way toward it. I don’t do a detailed synopsis, however.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Originally, I wanted to be an astronaut and pro football player. When I started thinking about life a little more realistically, I decided I wanted to be a writer and a teacher. I’ve managed both of those, although I make a lot more money as a teacher than a writer.

Name three things you really love about writing and three things you don’t like. Writing is the closest humans can come to godhood. It is an act of sheer creation, of people and whole worlds. That’s my favorite thing. I also love beautiful language, which, from my point of view, is an important part of the work of writing. I like the task of shaping a rough story idea into its final, polished form. I don’t particularly enjoy the business aspects of writing, of trying to sell one’s work, or the hassle of promotion. I know these things are necessary but they are not joyous to me.

If you could invite anyone from history or literature to dinner who would you choose and why? Literary characters would generally have lived a much more adventure-filled life than any real historical character. Imagine the tales Burroughs’ John Carter could tell, for example, or Howard’s Conan. I think I’d have to pick Karl Edward Wagner’s Kane, though. A scary fellow to have over for dinner, but it would be memorable.

 

Character Section

Name:  Sheaugu

How do you come to be on this adventure? I was away hunting when my people were attacked by beings that I can only describe as monsters. They killed my wife and many of my friends and relatives, and I wanted revenge. But much more than revenge, I wanted to save my young daughter, Genessee. It was love rather than hate that made me take up my weapons and follow those monsters.

Are you brave? I don’t think I’m brave. I was frightened and hid when I first saw the monsters flying on pillars of fire. I was more terrified when I realized they’d killed so many of my people, including my wife. If it had not been that I believed my daughter to be alive and a captive of the monsters, I don’t know if I would have dared pursue them. But I knew her terror had to be even greater than mine.

What do you REALLY think of your author? I think he has empathy for others. He knows what it’s like to lose. He’s clearly a father. He knows the kind of terror parents can feel for their children when they’re in danger. I’m pretty sure he hopes to never have an adventure quite like mine.

Do you have a moral code? I think people have to do things that allow them to live with themselves. For me, that means providing food and shelter for my family, showing them that I love them, and, if necessary, sacrificing my comfort and even my life for them.

What is your favourite thing? To sit in the longhouse by the fire on a cold night, with the day’s work done and meat in my belly, and to watch my daughter growing into a fine young woman.

H2 Banner 1.1 Small2

AUTHOR BIO (short)

Charles Gramlich lives amid the piney woods of southern Louisiana and is the author of the Talera fantasy series, the SF novel Under the Ember Star, and the thriller Cold in the Light. Many of his stories have been collected in the anthologies, Bitter Steel, (fantasy), Midnight in Rosary (Vampires/Werewolves), and In the Language of Scorpions (Horror). Charles also writes westerns under various names. Charles’s work is generally available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Wildside Press. He is on facebook and blogs at:  http://charlesgramlich.blogspot.com

 

#Heroika Skirmishers – A L Butcher and her Character #Historical Fantasy

Author section

Name A.L. Butcher

Give us a brief synopsis of your story A new religion sweeps the land on the point of a sword, and the old gods are none too happy. A mysterious plague fells lord and peasant alike, a woman on the margins of society knows a cure – but to seek it brings a risk of death and unleashes awful magic.

What is your usual genre? Fantasy/Fantasy erotica.

How do you define a hero? A selfless person – who will do what others won’t, someone, even at great risk to themselves.

Is being a writer ‘what you do’ or ‘what you are’? I’ll rephrase that as ‘being a storyteller’. Being a storyteller is what you are. If you don’t have that it can’t be what you do. Not everyone who tells stories writes them down. Not everyone who writes tells a story. Storytelling is as old as humanity – it helps to make sense of the world, to explain the unexplainable, to find a better life, and place for a while, to escape, to be brave, to be loved, to be noble. And to be wicked.

I think if you are a storyteller those tales, those adventures will find a way to be told – to your kids at bedtime, secret files no one will ever see on your computer, that hidden notebook, the distraction at meeting times.

Many people who do write down their stories will never publish them, or if so beyond their family and friends. There is a craft to writing – oral storytelling is probably more forgiving than the written word, but there are certain rules, of course. And that’s the ‘what you do’ bit – the learning of that.

What did you want to be when you grew up? A squirrel. When I was little I was obsessed with them (I still am to a degree). My first stories were about two squirrels called Patch and Silky, they had many adventures

Name three things you really love about writing and three things you don’t like.

3 things I love: I can create something from nothing. I am never alone. I can go anywhere.

3 things I hate: Too many characters wanting their stories told at once. Marketing books. Typos.

If you could invite anyone from history or literature to dinner who would you choose and why? Let me see…. Shakespeare, Terry Pratchett, Tolkien and Homer to provide the after-dinner stories; Mozart, Erik, the Phantom of the Opera and Freddy Mercury for the music; Tempus, King Arthur, Frodo Baggins, Boudicca for the anecdotes. We’d have a dish from each of their favourite foods. I dare say there would be a drink or two.

 

Character Section

Name: Moira

Tell us a bit about yourself: I am a herbalist, I hold some of the old knowledge – my father and brother were Guardians – protectors of the old religions – but I only barely knew my father and my brother his disappeared. The women of my line are what you would call witches. My land is overcome with the fierce new religion of Arun, and so I must hide what I am.

I live alone, my mother is gone and I have none who care except Mordicai, the Smith’s son, and Old Robin – the village recluse. Mordicai is set to marry another and Robin is frail and elderly. Soon I shall have no one. But the people here need me, at least when it suits them.

How do you come to be on this adventure? There is a plague on our town – much death and sickness. The new god, Arun, has done nothing to allay it, so someone must seek an answer or everyone will be taken.

Tell us a bit about the society in which you live. The Lord-Reeve is reasonable enough – he tries to keep the peace in a time or fear and uncertainty. He is the Duke-Regent’s man – and that too is an unsettled state of affairs. The Archduchess rules in the name of her daughter – the old Archduke’s only living heir – and there has never been a woman on the throne. The Duke Regent is a dragon-rider – not a nobleman and assists her in governing the land, but they are distant from us.

This new religion is brought with sword and fire and all must convert or die. The old ways allowed for many gods, many beliefs – and the magics and rituals which went with them.

It’s less than a decade since the end of the war, and the lands are still recovering.

I am female, of the old bloodlines and the old beliefs and so I must take care. I cannot appear to be what I really am – Arun’s priests despise my kind – they are afraid they may be wrong, I suppose.

Are you brave? I do what must be done when others will not. But I fear many things – the new god’s followers, the loss of knowledge, the sword and the flame.

If you could have three wishes what would they be? I wish for the plague to be gone, I wish to be allowed to live my life in peace and safety, I wish that people would get on with one another.

Do you think you make a difference in your world? I hope so.

 

AUTHOR BIO (short)

British-born A. L. Butcher is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet, and a dreamer, a lover of science, natural history, history, and monkeys. Her prose has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as ‘evocative’. She writes with a sure and sometimes erotic sensibility of things that might have been, never were, but could be.

Alex is the author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles and the Tales of Erana lyrical fantasy series. She also has several short stories in the fantasy, fantasy romance genres with occasional forays into gothic style horror, including the Legacy of the Mask series. With a background in politics, classical studies, ancient history and myth, her affinities bring an eclectic and unique flavour in her work, mixing reality and dream in alchemical proportions that bring her characters and worlds to life.

She also curates speculative fiction themed book bundles on BundleRabbit – for the most part the speculative fiction Here Be Series

Awards: Outside the Walls, co-written with Diana L. Wicker received a Chill with a Book Reader’s Award in 2017.

The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales won best fantasy for 2018 on NN Light Book Heaven.

Echoes of a Song – one of her Phantom tales – won best fantasy 2019.

Alex is also proud to be a writer for Perseid Press where her work features in Heroika: Dragon Eaters; and Lovers in Hell – part of the acclaimed Heroes in Hell series. http://www.theperseidpress.com/

 

Social Media links

Website http://www.libraryoferana.co.uk/books.html

Blog https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/about-a-l-butcher-fantasy-author-poet-author-promotion/

Amazon Author Page http://amzn.to/2hK33OM

Smashwords Author Page https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ALB123

Facebook Author Page https://www.facebook.com/LightBeyondtheStorm/

Indiebound Author Page https://www.indiebound.org/search/book?keys=author%3AButcher%2C%20A.%20L.

Twitter http://bit.ly/Twi2hJZ3h9

Goodreads http://bit.ly/GR2iqokvK

Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-butcher-8342ab13b/

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.co.uk/abmonkey/

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Heroika Skirmishers – Cas Peace and her Character #Fantasy #HistoricalFiction

Author section

  • Name: Cas Peace

Give us a brief synopsis of your story: Britain is a country rich in legends and myths. Any writer seeking inspiration for a story concerning battles, skirmishes, mythical creatures or heroic deeds could do worse than research the many wonders of our misty Isles. For my second Heroika story, “Black Quill”, I did exactly that.

I’m from Hampshire, southern Britain, and soon unearthed the legend of a cockatrice that reportedly lived near a local abbey. When I also discovered that this abbey had connections to Queen Ǽlfrida, mother of Æthelred, called the Unready, I simply had to combine the two stories.

Queen Ǽlfrida became the prioress of the abbey after her husband, King Edgar, died, and she reportedly had Edgar’s son killed so her own son, Æthelred, could inherit the throne. Æthelred, whose nickname ‘the Unready’ is a derivation of ‘unraed’, or poorly-advised, forced his mother to give up her powerful status as queen and become prioress of the abbey as penance. And it seems that tragedy and sly dealings dogged the former queen because before Edgar married her, he sent his best friend, Æthelwold, to check her out. Æthelwold fell for her and married her himself, and Edgar was so furious when he found out that he had Æthelwold killed. What a family!

In my story, “Black Quill”, the life of a disabled farm girl becomes irrevocably entwined with the fates of both the abbess and the cockatrice—producing a denouement that is anything but simple.

What are the challenges in writing historical fiction/fantasy? I find the main challenges revolve around invoking a realistic, visceral atmosphere, enabling the reader to immerse themselves in the story as fully and naturally as possible. In many ways, I find it easier to achieve this with a historical fantasy rather than one which comes purely from the writer’s mind, because there will be readers already familiar with the chosen setting. The hard work comes in the research which, if thoroughly and successfully carried out, enables the writer to surround themselves with ancient sights, sounds and smells, allowing the writing to flow seamlessly, already imbued with the ambience of the time. Solid historical facts play their part too, although in fantasy, of course, facts can be twisted and adapted, providing hours of fun for playful writers and readers alike.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? When I first started writing I was definitely a pantster, mainly because I hadn’t intended to become a writer and certainly didn’t know what I was doing! I was simply filling a few bored hours by writing out a little scenario I’d had in my mind since watching a kids’ TV show in the ’70s. Wow, did that open some floodgates! Before I realized it, I’d written around 300,000 words, and those words eventually became my first Artesans trilogy. The second and third trilogies were written in a similar way; although this time I understood more about my craft. Since that heady, exciting, scary and immersive time, however, I have learned the pleasures of plotting, very necessary seeing as I’m writing a prequel to the events in that first trilogy. But I’ll admit that I still crave that incredible, irresistible feeling of words desperate to be written, rushing through my mind and onto the page.

What did you want to be when you grew up? When I was a kid, I really had no idea what I wanted to do. I was average at most things scholastically: best at English, abysmal at anything to do with numbers (still am!). The exams I took were generic, and I only achieved good passes in English, Biology and Art. I did toy with the idea of going to art college to study fabric design, but throughout my childhood my heart really belonged to horses. My parents couldn’t afford for me to have one and neither could they really afford to send me to college, so I finally found a good school of equitation and enrolled as a working pupil. This meant you had living accommodation and meals provided, and received a clothing allowance for work clothes, but there was no wage and you worked with the horses in return for lessons in equitation and horse care. It was a good arrangement and I had a great group of co-workers around me. I passed my initial exams to become an Assistant Instructor, and remained at the establishment for several years as a wage-earning instructor. Now, I incorporate horses into my writing, as my love for them has never waned.

Character Section

Name: My name is Gytha

Tell us a bit about yourself: I am the daughter of Rathgar, a farmer. I had a twin sister, Larna, who was killed. My father took another wife, Anice, after my mother died and she gave him two more children: Anice cared nothing for me. They call me the cursed girl because I saw great evil but didn’t die like Larna did. They say I caused her death, and that evil is sure to find me again.

How do you come to be on this adventure? My father had to find a place for me because my crippled legs mean I cannot work on the farm. I was useless to him and no one would wed me. But I am quick and clever with my hands and so he sought a place for me at the Benedictine abbey, where I might learn to copy manuscripts and scrolls. The abbess, who once was Queen Ǽlfrida before her son forced her into the abbey, took pity on father’s sorrow over the death of my sister and eventually agreed to take me. That is the reason I was here when the evil finally found me.

Tell us a bit about the society in which you live: Our Anglo-Saxon society is structured and ordered. Our countryside has been formed into areas called hundreds, and shires. We have laws and government. The language we speak is known as Old English. We worship the Christian God and there are many abbeys and monasteries throughout the land. Although there are also kings, the bishops, abbots and priors wield great power. We have been relatively peaceful for many years but recently there has been an increase in Viking raids on England. The Danes are keen to take back the land King Edgar took from them—land they first stole from us. But these are matters for kings and leaders. I come from a line of simple farmers; all we can do is farm and try to survive.

Are you brave? Is it brave to run from a monster? Is it brave to leave your twin sister to a horrific fate? Is it brave to survive being crippled, faced with a useless life? If so, I am very brave, for I have done all these things. Larna’s voice in my mind tells me all will be well, and so I endure for the sake of my sister.

How do others see you? I am called the cursed girl—I am the girl who survived seeing the devil, the girl who should have died instead of her sister. They see my twisted, ruined legs; they never see my nimble, clever fingers. They hear me speak of Larna’s voice in my head and hear madness. They would much rather not see me at all and, in the abbey, they do not have to.

Do you believe in a god? I believe in the Christian God. Most of England believes in the Christian God—the bishops and abbots make sure that we do. Yet we also believe in the ancient evils, and there are some in the countryside who still practice the old rites, the forbidden rites, the druid rites. There are hedgewives and witches still and, of course, there are Danes who refuse to spurn their pagan beliefs.

How do you define a hero? I have never met a hero. I suppose a hero would be a great warrior, someone like King Edgar who subdued the Danes in England. Or maybe a hero would be someone who rescued people from disasters, who gave up his life to save others. I am a simple girl with no life—what do I know of heroes?

Do you love anyone? Do you hate anyone? I adore my twin sister, Larna. I speak to her all the time and she speaks to me, even though she’s dead. She is my only friend. I love my father, even though he gave me to the abbey. It was not his fault; he could not afford to feed a crippled, cursed girl. I don’t really hate anyone, although I don’t like father’s second wife, Anice. Anice only cares for her two young children.

What do you REALLY think of your author? I am not sure why she decided to tell my story above all the others she could have chosen. But I am grateful to her, because she has given my useless life some meaning.

Do you have a moral code? Father taught us to be honest, to be kind to others, and to respect others’ property—especially Seyerd, the farmer who owns land next to ours. He grows delicious fruit and father says we’re not supposed to pick it without permission. But if the branch grows across father’s side of the hedge, why should we not? The abbey where I now live has strict rules, and everyone must obey the abbess.

If you could have three wishes what would they be? The first would be that my sister had not died. The second that I was never crippled. The third that father had never wed Anice.

How do you view yourself? I was a happy, cheerful, helpful child before the monster came. After, I was quiet, because I was shunned by people who thought I was cursed. I became sad, fearful that father would send me away because no one would wed me. At the abbey, I work hard and make no trouble because I need the shelter the abbey provides.

What is your favourite thing? My favorite thing in all the world is to hear Larna’s voice in my head. It is my redemption, my promise that all is not lost, that I will one day be with her again.

Do you think you make a difference in your world? Of course not! What difference could a useless girl like me make to the world?

 

AUTHOR BIO (short)

Amazon UK Bestselling author Cas Peace lives in the lovely county of Hampshire, southern UK. Originally, she trained and qualified as a teacher of equitation. She also learned to carriage-drive. She then spent thirteen years in the British Civil Service before moving to Rome, Italy, where she and her husband Dave lived for three years.

As well as her love of horses, Cas is mad about dogs. She currently owns two rescue lurchers, Milly and Milo. Cas loves country walks, working in stained glass, growing cacti, and folk singing. She is also a songwriter and has written and recorded songs or music for five of her Artesans of Albia fantasy novels. They are available to download free from her website.

As well as being a novelist, Cas is also a freelance editor and proofreader. Details of her Writers’ Services and other information can be found on her website: http://www.caspeace.com.

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