The official blog of Historical Fantasy Author, Mary Anne Yarde, and home to The Coffee Pot Book Club.
Come and join me on the hunt for everything mythological, as well as historical. Oh, and let's not forget the odd book or two! Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy...
For several years I was Managing
Editor of a review section for an association for historical novels, my
particular contribution being to review indie authors. Unfortunately things
went unexpectedly pear-shaped so we parted company. I still wanted to be
involved with the sort of review site that openly supported indie writers,
however, so I decided to set up my own historical fiction review blog as the
best way forward …While thinking to myself: ‘What on earth are you doing Helen? Where are you going to find the time?”
(add in several question and exclamation marks here!) My aim was to show that
indie writers could be just as good as (in some cases even better than!)
traditional authors and to support good writers in getting the attention they
Now, I can hear a few indie writers
grumbling here: yes I agree, indies should be treated the same as traditional
authors, no there should not be any distinction on review sites… but my view is
indie and self-published writers do still get a raw deal in many respects,
plus, unfortunately, there are indies who really shouldn’t be producing what
they produce. (And before you shout even louder, I totally agree, the same
applies to traditional authors at times!) The advantage traditional mainstream
authors have over indies, however, is the huge marketing machine they can have
access to – especially for authors lucky enough to be with one of the big publishing
houses. Indies have to do everything, from editing, to production to marketing
– and believe me, Social Media Marketing is not as easy as it seems! It can be
a hard slog to promote a book if you are an indie writer.
So, I wanted to open a blog where
good books worth reading could be shouted about. I had a fabulous team of
reviewers behind me (they came with me when I departed the other place) and
plenty of books to review. I run several blogs, so creating the template was
easy, my graphics designer for my website and UK books, Cathy Helms of www.avalongraphics.org provided
the (very attractive) graphics – and, although I admit with some initial
trepidation, off we went.
We opened officially on January 1st
2017, so our first anniversary is approaching. In the time between we have
reviewed a few hundred books, awarded our Discovering Diamonds logo to some
brilliant novels and are going from strength to strength – thanks to those
fabulous reviewers and admin people who are also on board. Together we have
created a dedicated and energetic team, and I am delighted to be working with
such wonderful people. Add to this, to date, we have had over 110,000 page
views, so we are being noticed!
But there is one thing I was also
determined to do when I set out on this venture. I had no intention of
distinguishing indie novels from traditionally published ones. Our ‘criteria’ is
that we review a book on the grounds of it being a good book worth reading, and
value for money for the person buying it. A good book is a good book,
regardless of how it is published. Therefore, we do not print the publisher’s
name, just a link to Amazon .com, .co.uk and CA. I also ensure that a comment
is left on Amazon and Goodreads once the review has gone ‘live’, plus we work
in conjunction with Indie
BRAGand Chill With A Book
Yes, most novels submitted to us are
indies, but now that Discovering Diamonds has established itself as a worthy site
for readers, writers and publishers, my aim for 2018 is to expand and attract
in the traditional publishing houses as well. (And hopefully some more keen
My other intention was to create a
place of interest for readers and a site where authors could showcase their
talents. After all, the reader is the most important person. If we do not have
readers there is little point in writing the book in the first place. We
therefore have a Guest Spot and Reader’s Voice page, published once a month and
the occasional item of interest… but I wanted something different for December,
so I came up with a series of fabulous short stories or excerpts from a host of
fantastic and diverse authors which will be published on the blog every day
from 3rd December until the 23rd.
Each contribution has a common theme:
something connected to Diamonds, and I am delighted to say that every story is
brilliant – a couple even made me cry they are so packed with emotion! So do
tune in to Discovering Diamonds on 3rd December for our first story,
and then every day until Christmas.
I promise you, you will not be
the Tales…and Discover some Diamonds
3rd DecemberRichard Tearle Diamonds
4th DecemberHelen HollickWhen ex-lovers have their uses
BarnesThe Lost Diamond
8th DecemberElizabeth Jane Corbett A Soul Above Diamonds
Boyce Murder In Silks
10th DecemberJulia Brannan The Curious Case of the
Barclay Sometimes It Happens
Whitehead Hearts, Home and a Precious Stone
H. BorgEdward, Con Extraordinaire
Harlond The Empress Emerald
Newcomb Diamonds in the Desert
Morton Three Thousand Years to
St John The Stolen Diamonds
20th DecemberBarbara Gaskell Denvil Discovering the Diamond
21st DecemberAnna BelfrageDiamonds in the Mud
22nd DecemberCryssa BazosThe Diamonds of Sint-Nicholaas
23rd DecemberDiamonds … In Sound & Song
If you would like to submit your
historical novel to us for review read our guidelines hereor contact me, Helen Hollick at email@example.com. Please
note that we prefer e-files (mobi or e-pub) and we decide which books to review
– so not every book submitted will get a review.
My thanks to Mary Anne for inviting
me on to her blog!
Helen Hollick moved with her family from
London in 2013 to North Devon and an eighteenth century farmhouse surrounded by
fields and woodland. A variety of pets include horses, Exmoor ponies, a donkey,
dogs, cats, chickens, ducks and geese.
First published in 1994, her passion
now, is her pirate character Captain Jesamiah Acorne of the nautical adventure
series, The Sea Witch Voyages. Helen
became a USA Today Bestseller with her historical novel, The Forever Queen (titled A
Hollow Crown in the UK) – the story of Saxon Queen, Emma of Normandy. Her
novel Harold the King (titled I Am The Chosen King in the US) explores
the events that led to the 1066 Battle of Hastings. While her Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy, set in the
fifth century, is a more historical version of the Arthurian legend.
She has written three non-fiction
books, Pirate - Truth and Tales; a
book about smuggling (due to be published 2018) and co-wrote Discovering the Diamond with her editor,
Jo Field,a short advice guide for
new writers interested in self-publishing.
Helen is published in various
languages including Turkish and Italian.
Helen loves to connect with readers, you can find her...