Friday, 26 February 2021

Discover what inspired #HistoricalFiction author, L.J. Trafford, to write The Four Emperors series #mustread #Inspiration @TraffordLj

 



Publication Date: 31st August 2018
Publisher: Sphinx
Page Length: 428 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

Debauchery. Depravity. Decadence. 
Just everyday life at the Imperial Palace.

Whilst Emperor Nero plays with his new water organ and a cross-dressing eunuch, his wily secretary Epaphroditus manages affairs of state. But dissent and rebellion are growing across the empire, and Nero is soon to discover playtime is over. Praetorian prefect Nymphidius Sabinus, disgusted by the moral degeneracy, secretly plots the overthrow of Nero's court. Motivated by the traditional Roman values of valour and nobility, yet blinded by his own righteousness, Sabinus is ignorant of what he has unleashed - The Year of the Four Emperors.

Palatine is the first in an enthralling four-book series about the tumultuous 'Year of the Four Emperors'.



How I came to write the Four Emperor Series.



The year 69 A.D. was a momentous one in Ancient Rome, known as the Year of the Four Emperors, it saw four very different men battle for supremacy. Three would ultimately fail, one would be left standing as the sole ruler of an empire that stretched from chilly Northern Europe to the warmth of the North African desert.

It is a year heaped with incident and drama; massacres, coups and battles between warring armies all feature. But my inspiration for writing the Four Emperors Series of novels came from a single moment in this most incident packed of years.

It was the morning of the 15th January 69 A.D. and Emperor Galba has discovered his own Praetorian Guard have declared Otho emperor. A debate followed between his advisors as to what they should do, when one made a suggestion:

“Titus Vinius urged the necessity of staying in the palace, arming the slaves for defence.” So says Tacitus in his Histories, an account of this year.

My immediate thought was, “I wonder what those slaves were thinking?” 

This was the lightbulb moment, the driving force behind the four books (Palatine, Galba’s Men, Otho’s Regret and Vitellius’ Feast) that make up the series, what were these Imperial slaves and ex-slaves of the palace thinking?

What were their thoughts as Galba’s advisors handed out the weaponry and instructed them to hold the palace?

Were their loyalties even with Galba? Or did they see Otho as their saviour?

What was it like for them to have their whole world turned upside down serving four very different men as emperor in the space of a year? 

How did they survive these violent changes of regime? 

Indeed, how did they survive at all in a brutal world where they could be whipped, beaten or even crucified on the whim of their master?

These were the characters whose eyes I would explore this dramatic year through, because the Imperial slaves and ex-slaves of the palace are the ones with a ringside seat of events. When Emperor Nero fled Rome in 68 A.D. and committed suicide, which kicked off this bloody battle to be his successor, he took only three people with him; they were all ex-Imperial slaves. 

These members of the Imperial household are by the side of emperors as they triumph and as they, bloodily, fall. They were the perfect witnesses for my fiction series.

Having slaves as my heroes and heroines gave me a chance to explore a chunk of Roman life that isn’t so well known. Soldiers and gladiators are well covered in fiction, but those toiling as secretaries and seamstresses, bodyguards and hairdressers for their Imperial masters and mistresses feature less often. Their voices are absent from the historical record almost entirely, there are no memoirs by Roman slaves, there are no accounts of their lives by themselves. When the likes of Tacitus mention them at all, it is a sneering way; uppity ex-slaves unworthy of advising and emperor. It seemed important to give them a voice for once, along with their own dreams, ambitions and failings – all played against the drama of history.

One reviewer described Palatine as: “Downton Abbey with teeth.” Which I think captures it nicely.




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L.J. Trafford studied Ancient History at the University of Reading after which she took a job as a Tour Guide in the Lake District.

Moving to London in 2000 she began writing ‘The Four Emperors’ series. The series comprises four books – Palatine, Galba’s Men, Otho’s Regret and Vitellius’ Feast – which cover the dramatic fall of Nero and the chaotic year of the four emperors that followed. 

Palatine received an Editor’s Choice mark from The Historical Novel Society. 

Her most recent published work is the non-fiction, How To Survive in Ancient Rome is available from Pen and Sword.







Welcome to Day #10 of the blog tour for Beware the Lizard Lurking (The House of the Red Duke, Book 2) by Vivienne Brereton @VivienneBreret1

  

 

     


February 15th – March 5th 2021

Publication Date: 12th February 2021
Publisher: Yuletide Press
Page Length: 302 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

Welcome to the candlelit courts of Europe!

Uninvited guests at a secret wedding.
 
 A frozen River Thames.

 May Day celebrations to remember.

 The young HenryVIII, with the aid of his chief advisor, Thomas Wolsey, and against the counsel of Thomas Howard, the Earl of Surrey, is hellbent on a so-called holy war with France. This puts him at odds with his Scottish brother-in-law, James IV of Scotland, and his older sister, Margaret. 

Both Tristan and Nicolas know that time is running out for them before they have to…enter the Church - and into an arranged marriage, respectively. In the meantime, they remain at loggerheads over pretty Ysabeau de Sapincourt, the spoilt young wife of the hapless Robert.

At La Colombe, near Ardres, in Picardy, spirited little Valentine is still making mischief as she sees fit.

Across the Narrow Sea, Cecily is perfectly content in her beloved Zennor Castle, in Cornwall. 

None of them know what Dame Fortune has in store for them. Will she allow them to follow their own paths…or has she got other ideas?

Head over to The Whispering Bookworm for a fabulous review.

Click HERE!



Welcome to Day #5 of the blog tour for Blood Libel by M Lynes #HistoricalFiction #BlogTour @MLynesAuthor @authorrochelle



February 22nd – March 5th 2021


Publication Date: 31st January 2021

Publisher: Independently Published

Page Length: 260 Pages

Genre: Historical Mystery


Seville, 1495


The mutilated body of a child is discovered behind a disused synagogue. The brutal Spanish Inquisition accuses the Jewish community of ritual child murder - the ‘blood libel’. The Inquisition will not rest until all heretics are punished.


Isaac Alvarez, a lawyer working for the royal estate, is a reluctant convert to Catholicism who continues to secretly practice Judaism. When his childhood friend is accused of the murder Isaac is torn between saving him and protecting his family. Isaac is convinced that solving the murder will disprove the blood libel, save his family, and protect his faith.


As the Inquisition closes in how far will Isaac go to protect both his family and his faith?
Head over to The Historical Fiction Blog for a fabulous guest post.Click HERE!

Thursday, 25 February 2021

Check out Laura Thomas' fabulous #NewRelease - Wednesday’s Child #HistoricalFiction #WW2 @LauraThomasWA

 




Publication Date: 25th February 2021
Publisher: Olympia Publishers
Page Length: 395 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

A captivating and moving story, set during the Second World War, portraying the extremely harsh living conditions endured by those both overseas and on the home front. The story follows the life and loves of Violet, and some very tragic events that beset her young life. She lost her parents at a very young age and was taken in and brought up by an elderly neighbour. At age fourteen, she obtained work at a factory and forged some lifelong friendships, which played an important role in her future. Violet joined the army at the age of seventeen, where she was exposed to the many horrors of war on the beaches of Dunkirk, but during war she found love. She married Stephen, a Regimental Sergeant Major in the army, but his many deployments to North Africa meant important family milestones were missed. His family supported Violet during his absence, but the question was, would he return from the war and would Violet finally find happiness?



Laura was born and raised in Manchester, studied Forensic Science at Staffordshire University before moving to South Wales where she has now settled. 

When not being a full time mum to her three children, Laura is an avid reader who has now turned her passion for books from reading to writing. Laura has also been passionate about writing, but it took adverse health conditions for her to take her writing to the next level and produce her first novel.










Head over to Oh look, another book! for a sneak-peek between the covers of Mal Foster's fabulous bog - Jude & Bliss #HistoricalFiction #Victorian @malfosterwriter

 

February 4th – April 8th 2021

Publication Date: 12 November 2020
Publisher: Publish Nation
Page Length: 234
Genre: Historical Fiction

In the Victorian era, for many young women, going into domestic service was a significant source of employment where they found suitable work but with extended hours for a reasonable salary, receiving free accommodation as well as enjoying the perks and prestige of working for the aristocracy or other members of the upper or middle-classes.

As a matter of course, employers had a moral obligation, but one without a legal requirement to ensure their servants were kept clean, healthy and well-nourished. However, for one poor girl, that, unfortunately, was not the case.

In 1896, Jude Rogers, a wide-eyed but vulnerable sixteen-year-old from Woking, Surrey, secures a position as a domestic servant at a large terraced house in Half Moon Street, near London's Piccadilly. Following a brief settling-in period, she quickly realises everything is not quite as it seems.

As time moves ruthlessly forward, what happens next is almost beyond comprehension. Jude finds herself in the most impossible of situations and finally succumbs to the pure evil dealt out by her employer.

This story is NOT for the faint-hearted!


Head on over to Oh look, another book! for a sneak-peek between the covers of this fabulous book!

Click HERE!





Welcome to Day #9 of the blog tour for Beware the Lizard Lurking (The House of the Red Duke, Book 2) by Vivienne Brereton @VivienneBreret1 @authorrochelle


 

     


February 15th – March 5th 2021

Publication Date: 12th February 2021
Publisher: Yuletide Press
Page Length: 302 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

Welcome to the candlelit courts of Europe!

Uninvited guests at a secret wedding.
 
 A frozen River Thames.

 May Day celebrations to remember.

 The young HenryVIII, with the aid of his chief advisor, Thomas Wolsey, and against the counsel of Thomas Howard, the Earl of Surrey, is hellbent on a so-called holy war with France. This puts him at odds with his Scottish brother-in-law, James IV of Scotland, and his older sister, Margaret. 

Both Tristan and Nicolas know that time is running out for them before they have to…enter the Church - and into an arranged marriage, respectively. In the meantime, they remain at loggerheads over pretty Ysabeau de Sapincourt, the spoilt young wife of the hapless Robert.

At La Colombe, near Ardres, in Picardy, spirited little Valentine is still making mischief as she sees fit.

Across the Narrow Sea, Cecily is perfectly content in her beloved Zennor Castle, in Cornwall. 

None of them know what Dame Fortune has in store for them. Will she allow them to follow their own paths…or has she got other ideas?

Head over to the Historical Fiction Blog for a sneak-peek between the covers.

Click HERE!

Welcome to Day #4 of the blog tour for Blood Libel by M Lynes #HistoricalFiction #BlogTour @MLynesAuthor @stu_rudge

 



February 22nd – March 5th 2021


Publication Date: 31st January 2021

Publisher: Independently Published

Page Length: 260 Pages

Genre: Historical Mystery


Seville, 1495


The mutilated body of a child is discovered behind a disused synagogue. The brutal Spanish Inquisition accuses the Jewish community of ritual child murder - the ‘blood libel’. The Inquisition will not rest until all heretics are punished.


Isaac Alvarez, a lawyer working for the royal estate, is a reluctant convert to Catholicism who continues to secretly practice Judaism. When his childhood friend is accused of the murder Isaac is torn between saving him and protecting his family. Isaac is convinced that solving the murder will disprove the blood libel, save his family, and protect his faith.


As the Inquisition closes in how far will Isaac go to protect both his family and his faith?
Head over to Stuart Rudge Official Blog for a fabulous guest post.Click HERE!