Sunday 19 December 2021

Happy Holidays!


We are currently on vacation, we will be back in the office on

January 3rd 2022 

The History of New Year’s Eve by Emma Lombard #History #NewYearEve #amwriting @LombardEmma


The History of New Year’s Eve
By Emma Lombard

Ever wanted to know how we came to celebrate New Year’s Eve like we do? Whether you’re a staunch traditionalist who loves the idea of setting new goals, or whether you’re just curious about the history, there is something undeniably attractive about wiping the slate clean and being given the chance to have a fresh start each New Year.

Have you ever made a New Year's Resolution?

If the holiday season is catching up on you a bit and you don’t want to dive into a deep read, here’s a wonderfully informative and engaging 13-minute video that discusses the history of this tradition.

Unearthing Ancient Origins and Traditions

If digging into some more juicy detail is more your style, here are some fabulous resources on the History of New Year and the reason behind some of the crazy traditions we keep.

1.   New Year’s
How January 1 became New Year’s Day. Did you know that we have Julius Caesar to thank for this?

Starting with the earliest recorded New Year’s festivities from 4000 years ago in Babylon. As with most ancient traditions, they have their roots in some sort of harvest or astrological origins.

An interesting insight into some of the foods traditionally eaten on this holiday. And let’s not forget good old champagne—created, as most good things, by pure accident back in the 17th century.

A lovely look into some of the New Year’s traditions from around the world, including Auld Lang Syne and the Times Square Ball Drop.

The mid 19th century Germanic origins of ringing in the US New Year with a kiss.

Making Your Own New Year’s Resolutions

With the New Year just around the corner, now is the perfect opportunity to think of some resolutions! Try and stick to a realistic goal that is achievable, that way, you’ll have far more success at sticking to it and accomplishing it.

Make yourself a list of mini goals that you can tick off as the year goes past.

If you’re an author, here’s a FREE PRINTABLE New Year’s Resolution Checklist for Authors in 2020 — a gift for you from Historical Fiction author, Emma Lombard. With 45 goals to keep you motivated and on track with your writing, 2020 is going to be a great year!

New Year’s Resolution Checklist for Authors in 2020

45 goals to keep me motivated and on track with my writing.

Print off the Checklist HERE!

Discerning Grace
Book One of The White Sails Series
By Emma Lombard

Publication Date: 22 February 2021
Publisher: Independently Published
Page Length: 372 pages
Genre: Historical Women’s Fiction

As the first full-length novel in The White Sails Series, DISCERNING GRACE captures the spirit of an independent woman whose feminine lens blows the ordered patriarchal decks of a 19th century tall ship to smithereens.

Wilful Grace Baxter, will not marry old Lord Silverton with his salivary incontinence and dead-mouse stink. Discovering she is a pawn in an arrangement between slobbery Silverton and her calculating father, Grace is devastated when Silverton reveals his true callous nature.

Refusing this fate, Grace resolves to stow away. Heading to the docks, disguised as a lad to ease her escape, she encounters smooth-talking naval recruiter, Gilly, who lures her aboard HMS Discerning with promises of freedom and exploration in South America.

When Grace's big mouth lands her bare-bottomed over a cannon for insubordination, her identity is exposed. The captain wants her back in London but his orders, to chart the icy archipelago of Tierra del Fuego, forbid it. Lieutenant Seamus Fitzwilliam gallantly offers to take Grace off the fretting captain's hands by placing her under his protection.

Grace must now win over the crew she betrayed with her secret, while managing her feelings towards her taciturn protector, whose obstinate chivalry stifles her new-found independence. But when Grace disregards Lieutenant Fitzwilliam's warnings about the dangers of the unexplored archipelago, it costs a friend his life and she realises she is not as free as she believes.

DISCERNING GRACE is historical women's fiction that will appeal to fans of Claire Fraser from Outlander and Demelza Poldark from Poldark—in other words, fans of feisty historical female leads.


Emma Lombard

Emma Lombard was born in Pontefract in the UK. She grew up in Africa—calling Zimbabwe and South Africa home for a few years—before finally settling in Brisbane Australia, and raising four boys. Before she started writing historical fiction, she was a freelance editor in the corporate world, which was definitely not half as exciting as writing rollicking romantic adventures. Her characters are fearless seafarers, even though in real life Emma gets disastrously sea sick. Discerning Grace, is the first book in The White Sails Series.

To join the crew—subscribe to Emma's newsletter:

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Instagram • Goodreads

Saturday 18 December 2021

Happy Holidays!


We are currently on vacation, we will be back in the office on

January 3rd 2022 

Friday 17 December 2021

Have you heard? The Automobile Assassination (Book 2 in The Erdington Mysteries) By M J Porter is now available on #audio #books #HistoricalFiction @coloursofunison @RogueVocal


The Automobile Assassination
(Book 2 in The Erdington Mysteries)
By M J Porter

Publication Date:1st December 2021 
audiobook/25th November other formats 
Publisher: M J Publishing
Page Length: 253 Pages
Genre: Historical Mystery

Erdington, September 1944

As events in Europe begin to turn in favour of the Allies, Chief Inspector Mason of Erdington Police Station is once more prevailed upon to solve a seemingly impossible case.

Called to the local mortuary where a man’s body lies, shockingly bent double and lacking any form of identification, Mason and O’Rourke find themselves at Castle Bromwich aerodrome seeking answers that seem out of reach to them. The men and women of the royal air force stationed there are their prime suspects. Or are they? Was the man a spy, killed on the orders of some higher authority, or is the place his body was found irrelevant? And why do none of the men and women at the aerodrome recognise the dead man?

Mason, fearing a repeat of the cold case that dogged his career for two decades and that he’s only just solved, is determined to do all he can to uncover the identity of the dead man, and to find out why he was killed and abandoned in such a bizarre way, even as Smythe demands he spends his time solving the counterfeiting case that is leaving local shopkeepers out of pocket.

Join Mason and O’Rourke as they once more attempt to solve the impossible in 1940s Erdington.

This novel is free to read / listen to with #KindleUnlimited and #audible

M J Porter writes historical fiction set before 1066. Usually. This is M J's second foray into the historical mystery genre and the twentieth century. M J writes A LOT, you've been warned.

Connect with M J Porter:

Thursday 16 December 2021

Discover the inspiration behind The Ladies of Carson Street Trilogy by Rachel Brimble #Victorian #HistoricalRomance @RachelBrimble


A Widow's Vow

(The Ladies of Carson Street Book 1) 

By Rachel Brimble

Publication Date: 10th September 2020
Publisher: Aria Fiction
Page Length: 352 Pages
Genre: Historical Romance

From grieving widow...

1851. After her merchant husband saved her from a life of prostitution, Louisa Hill was briefly happy as a housewife in Bristol. But then a constable arrives at her door. Her husband has been found hanged in a Bath hotel room, a note and a key to a property in Bath the only things she has left of him. And now the debt collectors will come calling.

To a new life as a madam.

Forced to leave everything she knows behind, Louisa finds more painful betrayals waiting for her in the house in Bath. Left with no means of income, Louisa knows she has nothing to turn to but her old way of life. But this time, she'll do it on her own terms – by turning her home into a brothel for upper class gentleman. And she's determined to spare the girls she saves from the street the horrors she endured in the past.

Enlisting the help of Jacob Jackson, a quiet but feared boxer, to watch over the house, Louisa is about to embark on a life she never envisaged. Can she find the courage to forge this new path? 

The Ladies of Carson Street Trilogy

By Rachel Brimble

I was inspired to write my latest Victorian trilogy after reading the brilliant The Five by Hallie Rubenhold, an account and discussion about the five women killed by Jack the Ripper in 1888. As I write historical romance, my series was not in any way inspired by the violence of the killings, but rather the questions and sympathy The Five evoked in me for the poor women accosted by this unidentified murderer. 

Although my series revolves around three prostitutes, Hallie presents sound evidence that not all of the Ripper’s victims were prostitutes. Yet, the seed of my imagination and curiosity was roused by how very different these women were, how different their backgrounds and how different the circumstances they found themselves living in Whitechapel.

And so, it these differences that inspired my three heroines, Louisa, Nancy and Octavia. Three women who come together to live and work in a house on Carson Street, Bath in 1851. Each book is given over to one of the women as its star, but all three features through the stories.

Book 1, A Widow’s Vow, is Louisa’s story and this book introduces the women, the house and how the three of them meet and come to work together. Ultimately, the trilogy is about female empowerment and survival. Louisa is a strong and resilient, but when her husband is found dead in a Bath hotel, she is forced to leave the city of Bristol for Bath. Once there, she realises she has little choice but to resurrect her life as a prostitute. However, this time it will be on her own terms…

Book 2, Trouble For The Leading Lady, is Nancy’s

In many ways, Nancy is the antithesis of Louisa. She is impulsive, fun-loving and somewhat more willing to trust others. Yet, if you consider Nancy’s life experience, her tenacity and tendency to look to the future, these two best friends are not as different as they like to think. Nancy has dreams of being onstage but, having been duped before, she cannot afford to believe in the interest shown to her by theatre manager Francis Carlyle. But all too soon, Nancy is drawn into a deeper, more important issue than treading the boards of Bath’s Theatre Royal…

And finally, the concluding book. A Very Modern Marriage (out Feb 2022) belongs to Octavia, the most serious and pessimistic of the three women. I don’t want to give away the reason why, but circumstances in the first two books mean that Octavia is ready to leave Bath (I promise all books can be read stand-alone!), but she is worrying how and when she will be able to do this without feeling she is betraying Louisa and Nancy.

Then she strikes up a mutual deal with a cull who comes to Carson Street – could it be that William Rose, a Manchester cotton mill owner is her ticket to freedom from a life she is so very desperate to flee?

I loved writing about the darker side of Victorian Britain and the streets that were so much more unforgiving that the Assembly Rooms and dining rooms so often featured in historical romantic fiction. More than that, I loved giving Louisa, Nancy and Octavia the happy ever after they deserve. Especially when all three of them have gone through life helping others, doing the best they can, and still believing there are good, trustworthy people in the world.

A Widow’s Vow and Trouble For The Leading Lady are out now and A Very Modern Marriage is available for preorder. 

Here are the Amazon links:
A Widow’s Vow -  Amazon 
Trouble For The Leading Lady - Amazon 
A Very Modern Marriage - Amazon 

Rachel Brimble
 lives in a small town near Bath, England. She is the author of over 25 published novels including the Ladies of Carson Street trilogy, the Shop Girl series (Aria Fiction) and the Templeton Cove Stories (Harlequin).

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association as well as the Historical Novel Society and has thousands of social media followers all over the world. 

To sign up for her newsletter (a guaranteed giveaway every month!), click HERE

Social Media Links:

A (not so merry) #Tudor #Christmas by Judith Arnopp #History #Christmas #Tudors @JudithArnopp

 A (not so merry) Tudor Christmas

By Judith Arnopp
We tend to imagine medieval and Tudor Christmases as occasions of celebration and feasting; a hall bedecked with greenery, a burning yule log in the hearth, a boar’s head on the table. Wine is flowing, minstrels are playing and misrule is king. Then a giant green knight on a fiery steed breaks through the doors and demands … oh, hang on, that’s another story.
In fact, Christmases throughout the Tudor period were peppered with personal sorrow for the monarchs. In December 1495, a few days before Christmas, Jasper Tudor, uncle and prime supporter of Henry VII, died in his bed at Thornbury Castle. He was a great loss to Henry and Margaret Beaufort and his passing must have cast a shadow on their celebrations.
A couple of years later on Christmas Eve while the royal family was in residence, Sheen Palace was ravaged by fire but it didn’t stop there. With increasing regularity, the Tudor’s festive season was not a time of joy.
It wasn’t all bad, of course. The first few years of Henry VIII’s reign saw plenty of feasts and masques. One such pageant featured Robin Hood who, to everyone’s studied surprise, turned out to be none other than the king himself and his favourite courtiers all dressed up as his Merry Men. Disguise was a favourite trick of Henry’s, one that he repeated often and, I would imagine to the court, ad nauseam.
The following Christmases passed much as one would expect but after an outbreak of sweating sickness in 1517 Henry, ever fearful of contagion, kept a quiet court, watching a masque of Troilus and Creseyde at Eltham Palace.
1526 was a better year. The ten-year-old Princess Mary danced at court, an event that must have proved a poignant memory for Mary for by the following Christmas her life had changed. Her mother had been replaced in Henry’s affections by Anne Boleyn and the king’s ‘secret matter’ was under way.
By 1531 Queen Catherine had been banished from court and the seasonal festivities were joyless. By New Year of 1532 Anne had publicly taken Catherine’s place, holding court as if she were indeed the queen. This year the king returned Queen Catherine’s gifts, saying that since he was not her husband it was inappropriate for her to send him gifts.
Just two years later, despite now being queen, Christmas must have been difficult for Anne Boleyn. She had recently miscarried her second child, lost her small dog when he fell from a window (or was he pushed?) and quarrelled with her uncle, the duke of Norfolk. It was the beginning of the end for Anne, having failed to provide a male heir she had lost Henry’s love and was now an irritation to the king; he couldn’t wait to be rid of her. Cromwell at his master’s behest made sure this was so, and in May 1536 Anne was beheaded.

The winter of 1536-7 was a cold one, the country was ice-locked and the roads impassable but the Thames was frozen solid and the king undeterred. The new queen, Jane Seymour, entreated the king to invite Princess Mary to join them for the Christmas celebration and on the twenty second of December the royal party travelled on the frozen river from Westminster to Greenwich.
There was another guest at Christmas this year. In response to the dissolution of the monasteries, the north of the country was in open rebellion. The rebels far outnumbered the king’s army so Henry, pretending to consider their demands, invited the leader Robert Aske to join the Christmas celebration. He bestowed a velvet coat on Aske and treated him royally, but when trouble broke out afresh in the north, Aske was headed for trouble. Although he offered to help the king quell the rising, Cromwell, who was the prime target of the rebels, went out of his way to implicate Aske in the latest rebellion. In July 1537, after a short and unjust trial, Aske was condemned to die a traitor’s death. He was hung alive in chains over the walls of Clifford’s Tower in York as an example of what happens to those who act against the wishes of the king.
As we all know, Queen Jane died in October 1537 shortly after giving Henry his longed-for heir. Henry spent the Christmas of 1537 grieving quietly at Greenwich. But by Christmas 1540, he was recovered enough to be persuaded to take another wife, and a few days after the celebrations, a new bride landed at Dover.
After a seventeen hour journey, Anne of Cleves arrived in England in the midst of a bitter storm. She travelled across country for as long as she could but in the end the weather forced her to take refuge at Rochester Castle. Henry, impatient to meet his new bride whom he had only seen in the now famous Holbein miniature, set off to meet her. Expecting a woman of radiant beauty, he found something quite different and although he treated her with grace, after leaving the meeting, the fastidious king fell into a great rage, claiming he had never been ‘so much dismayed in his life as to see a lady so far unlike what had been represented.’ To Cromwell’s horror, the marriage was annulled and by July, Anne of Cleves had been replaced by the very young, very beautiful and very unwise, Katherine Howard, and Cromwell was dead.
Henry and Katherine had just one Christmas together. They spent it at Hampton Court where he showered gifts of jewels and furs upon her. The king’s eldest daughter, Mary, and his shunned wife, Anne of Cleves, joined them for the New Year. Anne gave the king a pair of horses in expensive trappings. Henry gave Katherine two lap dogs, one of which she impulsively passed on to Anne.
By all accounts, it was a joyous time. The king had finally found happiness but, by Christmas 1541 Katherine had fallen and was under house arrest at Syon Abbey accused of treason and adultery. Those accused with her, Tomas Culpepper and Francis Dereham met their death on the 10th of December 1541 – Culpepper was executed as befit his station but Dereham was hung, drawn and quartered. For Katherine at Syon there were no presents, and no festive joy that year … or ever again.
The king spent a miserable Christmas, sunk in depression at having lost not only his wife but his friend and servant, Thomas Culpepper. Showing no interest in the celebrations, the ageing king neither sought, nor found any solace. It was after Katherine’s demise that he began to gain weight and it soon became clear that his vigour was gone; he was old. The betrayal and execution of Katherine in February 1542 was the beginning of the end for Henry but in July 1543 he gave marriage one more shot and wed his sixth and final wife, Katherine Parr.
Despite the war with Scotland, Henry and Katherine spent their first Christmas at Hampton court. Eager to reunite the king with his off spring, Katherine Parr provided the royal children with a dependable mother figure. In 1545 Princess Elizabeth presented her with a translation of The Mirror of the Sinful Soul which she dedicated to Katherine, ‘the most noble and virtuous’ and signed it from ‘her humble daughter, wisheth perpetual felicity and everlasting joy.’

However, despite this interlude of royal contentment, the king’s health was fading, and he grown so weak he was often forced to resort to a wheeled chair. In 1546, on Christmas Eve, he addressed parliament, using words so touching that his listeners were reduced to tears. Shortly after what was to be Henry’s last public speech, the king became so ill that Christmas was cancelled. By 27th of December the physicians admitted they could do no more and on the 30th of December the king made his will.
But then he seemed to rally again, and he and Katherine travelled to London on the 3rd of January but by 28th of that month the king was dead. The prince who had ascended the throne with so much potential was gone; the vibrant young king, a lover of masque and cunning disguise had been usurped, and transformed into a failed and embittered tyrant.

Judith Arnopp

Judith Arnopp writes historical fiction set mainly in the late medieval and Tudor period. Her work includes:
The Heretic Wind: the story of Mary Tudor, Queen of England

Connect with Judith: Facebook • Twitter • Website  • Blog. 

Wednesday 15 December 2021

#HistoricalFiction Editorial Review Package with The Historical Fiction Company @histficcompany


Editorial Review Package with
The Historical Fiction Company

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The Historical Fiction Company is a Member of the Historical Novel Society, and collaborates with
the well-renowned historical fiction blogger at The Coffee Pot Book Club, as well as featured authors with Bookouture.

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