I am so excited about all the amazing authors coming onto the blog this February.
Let's take a look at February's wonderful line-up…..
Odelia Floris grew up in rural New Zealand. From a young age she created imaginary characters and magical worlds. But rather than growing up and putting aside these flights of fancy as most do, she turned to art, painting and drawing as a teenager before taking to creative writing around the age of twenty-one. Her first novel, The Heart of Darkness, features a knight in rusty armour and a damsel determined to uncover his dark secrets. Beguile Me Not, a historical romance set in colonial New Zealand, and The Little Demon Who Couldn’t, a historical urban fantasy for children, followed. Her most recent book is The Cockcrow Curse, a sequel to The Heart of Darkness.
She always has at least two creative projects in progress, and is never short of inspiration. Odelia Floris has a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Humanities, and diplomas in ecology, communication and freelance journalism. She lives rurally on the east coast of New Zealand’s beautiful North Island. Her other passions include singing, playing piano, art, reading and nature.Odelia loves to hear from readers, you can contact her: Website Facebook Twitter
Yvonne Harlech was born in Edinburgh where she developed a taste for legends and all things mystical. When her mother accepted a teaching job in Canada, her life took an unexpected turn. Grappling with a new country, Harlech’s growing consciousness was echoed in the wild landscape, the immigrant’s sense of exile and search for a personal voice. She went on to study English Literature at Concordia University and now lives in Cheshire with her husband. Harlech has written two historical novels, Mistress of the Temple and Harp of Joy, set in ancient Egypt. The books explore ancient Egypt’s mystical dimension, its dramatic myths and history. The author is now writing about Romano-Britain, where a new mythology emerges, and the birth of a new kingdom.
Elizabeth St.John was brought up in England and lives in California. To inform her writing, she has tracked down family papers and residences from Nottingham Castle, Lydiard Park, and Castle Fonmon to the Tower of London. Although the family sold a few castles and country homes along the way (it's hard to keep a good castle going these days), Elizabeth's family still occupy them - in the form of portraits, memoirs, and gardens that carry their imprint. And the occasional ghost. But that's a different story...
Judith Arnopp’s life-long passion for history eventually led her to the University of Wales where she gained a BA in English and Creative Writing, and a Masters in Medieval History.
Her first novel, Peaceweaver was published in 2009, quickly followed by The Forest Dwellers and The Song of Heledd but she remained largely unknown as an author until her first best-selling Tudor novel, The Winchester Goose. Since then she has continued to write in the Tudor era, producing five further novels covering the lives of Anne Boleyn, Katheryn Parr and Elizabeth of York.
The Beaufort Chronicles comprises of three volumes: The Beaufort Bride, The Beaufort Woman and The King’s Mother tracing the fascinating life of Margaret Beaufort. She is currently engaged in researching the Dissolution of the monasteries for her eleventh novel which is yet to be named.
Judith’s non-fiction work has also been published in various historical anthologies, the latest being Sexuality and Its Impact on History which will be published in March 2018 by Pen and Sword Books. You will also find her work on many on-line magazines and blogs. Judith is easily accessible on her webpage and blog or you can follow her on social media. Website Website Blog Facebook Twitter
Merryn Allingham was born into an army family and spent her childhood on the move. Unsurprisingly, it gave her itchy feet and in her twenties she escaped from an unloved secretarial career to work as cabin crew and see the world. The arrival of marriage, children and cats meant a more settled life in the south of England where she has lived ever since. It also gave her the opportunity to go back to ‘school’ and eventually teach literature at university.
Merryn has always loved books that bring the past to life, so when she began writing herself the novels had to be historical. Her latest books explore two pivotal moments in the history of Britain. The Buttonmaker’s Daughter is set in Sussex in the summer of 1914 as the First World War looms ever nearer and its sequel, The Secret of Summerhayes, forty years later in the summer of 1944 when D Day led to eventual victory in the Second World War. Along with the history, of course, there’s always plenty of mystery and romance to keep readers intrigued.
Wayne Clark was born in 1946 in Ottawa, Ont., Canada, but has called Montreal home since 1968. Woven through that time frame in no particular order have been interludes in Halifax, Toronto, Vancouver, Germany, Holland and Mexico.
By far the biggest slice in a pie chart of his career would be labelled journalism, including newspapers and magazines, as a reporter, editor and freelance writer. The other, smaller slices of the pie would also represent words in one form or another, in advertising as a copywriter and as a freelance translator. However, unquantifiable in a pie chart would be the slivers and shreds of time stolen over the years to write fiction.
I was born in a little outback town called Blackall in Central Queensland, Australia. From there my parents moved to the Brisbane suburb of Fortitude Valley where I grew up to be a tiny, self-reliant little girl.
My first book, ‘Daughters of Nazareth’ is my story, written eighteen years ago, fuelled on by the discovery of a family I never knew I had. It’s full of family secrets, tremendous heartache but proves the human spirit’s amazing ability to triumph over adversity. Nineteen years ago, after just one phone call, my life changed abruptly. With that change came a passion for writing and I have been writing ever since.
I love writing crime novels but my passion is with the history of the British Monarchy. The first in my ‘V2V’ trilogy is ‘Vikings to Virgin – The Hazards of being King’ published in 2017. The second in the series is due for release on 28th April this year and is called ‘Virgin to Victoria – The Queen is Dead. Long live the Queen.’ The final book, ‘Victoria to Vikings – The Circle of Blood’ will be released early 2019.
Tony Morgan lives in Yorkshire in the UK, close to the birthplace of Guy Fawkes. His books have been described as a perfect read for lovers of the works of C.J. Sansom and S. J. Parris and anyone interested in how historic events have shaped our own times. Profits from his books to date have raised hundreds of pounds for good causes, including Save the Children UK and York Teaching Hospital Charity’s dementia appeal.
Before residing in Australia, Vanda’s birthplace and early childhood years were spent in Papua New Guinea. At the age of eleven, a holiday in England sparked an interest in the days of old. Castles, ruins and discovering Jane Austen novels inspired a life-long interest in all things historical, a passion that later kick-started Vanda’s desire to write historical fiction.
Her locale and global visits to faraway places inspire Vanda’s creation of fictitious characters and dramas – past and present – set against authentic and geographical backdrops. Her debut novel, The Pirate Lord (Random House Australia) was an Amazon #1 Best Seller in Historical Romance. Her next novel, a Scottish Historical set post the Battle of Culloden, will be published later this year.
The Gold Coast is home to Vanda and her husband where they enjoy walks along world-renowned beaches or a quiet getaway to the lush hills of the Hinterland.
Vanda loves to hear from her readers. You can find her at:
Matthew Harffy lived in Northumberland as a child and the area had a great impact on him. The rugged terrain, ruined castles and rocky coastline made it easy to imagine the past. Decades later, a documentary about Northumbria's Golden Age sowed the kernel of an idea for a series of historical fiction novels. The first of them is the action-packed tale of vengeance and coming of age, THE SERPENT SWORD.
Matthew has worked in the IT industry, where he spent all day writing and editing, just not the words that most interested him. Prior to that he worked in Spain as an English teacher and translator. Matthew lives in Wiltshire, England, with his wife and their two daughters.
Derek was born in Hampshire in England but spent his teenage years in Auckland, New Zealand, where he still has strong family ties. On his return to England, after eight years abroad, he read history at Reading University.
As long as he can remember, Derek has loved books and he always wanted to write. By the age of 17, he was writing stories, songs, poetry – in fact virtually anything. Inevitably, after university, work and family life took precedence and for many years he taught history in a secondary school. Though he enjoyed teaching immensely, he also found a creative outlet in theatrical activities: stage-managing musicals and outdoor Shakespeare, including a performance of Henry VIII for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977 at Windsor Castle.
In 2010 Derek took early retirement to concentrate on writing. He aims to write action-packed fiction, rooted in accurate history. Though he is interested in everything historical, his particular favourite is the late medieval period. So far he has completed one 4-book series, entitled Rebels and Brothers, which is set during the Wars of the Roses and he has now embarked on another Wars of the Roses series: The Craft of Kings. The series begins with Scars from the Past.
‘As with all good historical fiction, the reader learns fascinating period detail while being entertained by an experienced author who knows his trade.’ Historical Novel Society review of Scars from the Past
Apart from his writing, he enjoys travelling – often to carry out research for his books - and also spends his time gardening, walking and taking part in archaeological digs.
You can find Derek...
Have you ever noticed how many authors are described as ‘reclusive’? I have a lot of sympathy for them. My feeling is that authors generally like to hide at home with their laptops or their quill pens and write stuff. If they enjoyed being in the public eye, they’d be stand-up comics or pop stars.
Nowadays, though, writers are told that their audiences want to be able to relate to them as people. I’m not entirely sure about that. If you knew me, you might not want to relate to me at all. But here in hyperspace I apparently have to tell you that I’m young and good looking and live somewhere exciting with a beautiful partner, a son who is a brain surgeon and a daughter who is a swimwear model. Then you’ll buy my book.
Unfortunately, that’s not quite true. I’m older than you can possibly imagine. (Certainly older than I ever imagined until I suddenly woke up and realised that age had snuck up on me.) I live in Richmond, which is nice and on the outskirts of London which is a truly amazing city to live in. My wife is beautiful but, more importantly, she’s a lawyer, which is handy because a household with a writer in it always needs someone who can earn decent money. My son has left home and we never got round to the daughter.
We did have a ferret, which I thought would be an appropriately writer sort of thing to have around but he eventually got even older than me (in ferret years) and died. I’d try to say something snappy and amusing about that but we loved that ferret and snappy and amusing doesn’t quite cut it.
I street skate and ski and can dance a mean Argentine tango. I’ve spent a lot of my life writing very boring things for money (unless you’re in Customer Care, in which case ‘Dealing With Customer Complaints’ is really, really interesting). Now I’m writing for fun.
If you all buy my books, I’ll be able to finish the next ones and I’ll never have to write for the insurance industry again and that will be a good thing, yes? So you’ll not only get to read a brilliant novel but your karmic balance will move rapidly into credit.
Can I go back to being reclusive now?
Tom loves to hear from readers. You can contact him:
April Munday is the author of romances set in the fourteenth century. She lives in Hampshire, where many of her stories are set. In her head she lives in the fourteenth century, but only in her head; she has learned far too much about life in the Middle Ages to want to live there in reality. She is inspired by the remnants of the past which are part of her local landscape. Her latest series, The Soldiers of Fortune, is set after the Battle of Poitiers, which changes the lives of four brothers.
You can find April over on her blog and on Facebook.
You can find April over on her blog and on Facebook.
Born in St. Louis MO with a degree from University of Missouri, Mercedes Rochelle learned about living history as a re-enactor and has been enamored with historical fiction ever since. A move to New York to do research and two careers ensued, but writing fiction remains her primary vocation. She lives in Sergeantsville, NJ with her husband in a log home they had built themselves.
Erika M Szabo
I became an avid reader at a very early age, thanks to my dad who introduced me to many great books. I write alternate history, romantic fantasy, magical realism novels as well as fun, educational, and bilingual books for children ages 4-12 about acceptance, friendship, family, and moral values such as accepting people with disabilities, dealing with bullies, and not judging others before getting to know them. I also like to encourage children to use their imagination and daydream about fantasy worlds.
Catherine T Wilson
Catherine was born in Burnley, England, but moved to Australia when she was eleven months old. She grew up in Elizabeth, South Australia, relocating to Queensland when she was fourteen. She worked in communications, before finally deciding to fulfil her dream as a writer. The raw draft of her first novel, a Viking romance, won an encouragement award of $1,000 from six hundred entries, in a popular women’s magazine competition. She visited Europe in 2006 to witness the annual re-enactment of ʻThe Battle of Agincourt,ʼ and then travelled extensively throughout Britain and France, researching material for Lions and Lilies. In 2016, she returned to Europe for further research in Morocco, Spain, Portugal and France. Her visit to Chartres cathedral to ‘walk the labyrinth’ and then stroll through the medieval old town during its summer light show was an experience she’ll never forget. And the second visit to Bellegarde remains among her most treasured memories.
Catherine T lives on a small bushland property, on a mountain range west of Brisbane and yes, you need only walk into her house to see her first love. Pictures of maidens on horseback grace the walls, and every corner and mantel is filled with knights and battle axes, the bookshelves overflowing with tales of chivalry.
My name is M.T.Magee I write bestselling YA Historical Medieval Fantasy that is beautifully romantic with whispers of Gaelic legend. On Mar. 31st The Treasure of Gwenlais received the 2015 Silver Medal Winner of Ireland's Drunken Druid Award Finalist for IAN Book of the Year Award 2016 for First Novel on Aug. 31st. On Sept.1st 2016 I received the Finalist Award for Readers' Favorite Book Awards Voted #1 On Listopia's Best Fantasy Romance (not urban).
I live in New England on our small farm with my husband and son. We raise an assortment of silly goats, quiet rabbits, far too many ducks and chickens, and a high strung Border Collie cross named Gronk.
Michael E Wills was born on the Isle of Wight and educated at the Priory Boys School and Carisbrooke Grammar. He trained as a teacher at St Peter’s College, Saltley, Birmingham, before working at a secondary school in Kent for two years.
After re-training to become a teacher of English as a Foreign Language he worked in Sweden for thirteen years. During this period, he wrote several English language teaching books. His teaching career has included time working in rural Sweden, a sojourn that first sparked his now enduring interest in Scandinavian history and culture – an interest that after many years of research, both academic and in the field, led him to write Finn’s Fate and the sequel novel, Three Kings – One Throne. His interest in teaching children led him to start writing stories for young readers and in 2015 he published the first two of a quartet of novels for 8 -13 year-olds in a series called “Children of the Chieftain”.
Today, Michael works part-time as Ombudsman for English UK, the national association of English language providers. Though a lot of his spare time is spent with grandchildren, he also has a wide range of interests including researching for future books, writing, playing the guitar, carpentry and electronics. He spends at least two months a year sailing his boat which is currently in Scandinavia.
You can find out more and stay up-to-date by visiting his website.
From a young age my passion was reading historical novels and biography. Now I am writing them. My debut novel, The Handfasted Wife was published by Accent Press in May 2013. The Handfasted Wife is the first novel in a trilogy about the Norman Conquest from the point of view of the royal women. Its subject is Edith Swan-Neck, King Harold’s common-law / handfasted wife. The Swan Daughter and The Betrothed Sister followed in 2014 and 2015.
I studied for an MA at Queens University Belfast’s Seamus Heaney Centre for Creative Writing. Later I worked on the MPhil in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London. Life is not all about academic pursuits and writing books. I travel extensively, enjoy photography and love spending time with my two children, husband and our home and garden. Moreover, visits to a location here and in Europe that features in my books is the greatest excuse of all to lose oneself in the past.
M.K. Tod is an award-winning blogger and the author of three works of historical fiction. In 2004, Mary interrupted her business career to spend a few years as an expat in Hong Kong. That life-altering experience led to a new career and passion as a writer. Mary writes for the Historical Novel Society and the Washington Independent Review of Books. She is also known for her in-depth analysis of historical fiction and international reader surveys.