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Author Blogs

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Guest Interview with Anne Easter Smith, Author of This Son of York


New on Amazon UK and Amazon US I'm pleased to welcome author Anne Easter Smith to The Writing Desk: Tell us about your latest book: This Son of York is a new look at a very old king—Richard III, who lived from 1452-1485. He is best known for Shakespeare’s cruel depiction of him in the play Richard III, in which he is portrayed as a hunchbacked, murdering monster who usurped the crown and did away with his two nephews in the process. For a start, Richard was no hunchback, but had severe scoliosis. He is one of English history’s most controversial figures, and a king I have been fascinated with and studied for more than 50 years! The more I read about him, the more a very different man emerged...
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Book Launch Guest Post by Jennifer C Wilson, Author of The Raided Heart


Available for pre-order on Amazon UK and Amazon US The Raided Heart is the first of "The Historic Hearts", a collection of historical romantic adventures set in Scotland and the North of England. Hi Tony, and thanks so much for featuring The Raided Heart on your blog today. I’ve joked that this is the “Trigger’s Broom” of books, a reference I hope most people still get, but I’ll explain more for those who don’t…  The Raided Heart started life when I was 13, which, sadly, is not just ten years ago, but rather, twenty-two. If the book was a person, it’s now legally able to do practically anything it wants to! But don’t worry, if you’re tempted to download a copy – it isn’t ‘exactly’ the same b...
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In Remembrance: Thank You to All Who Have Served

In Remembrance
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How to Find Your Way Back to Writing #WritingCommunity – BlondeWriteMore

But then my writing wheels fell off; the creative tingles disappeared, my characters went quiet, my ideas dried up and fear set in. I had many failed attempts at forcing myself to sit down in a chair to write my seventh draft, it was horrid. Writing felt like an unreachable faraway land. This is kind of where I’ve been, to be honest. I’m going to try some of the advice in this article … and be a little more gentle with myself to boot. via How to Find Your Way Back to Writing #WritingCommunity – BlondeWriteMore Original link
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Bait your books to catch more readers.

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Okay, so the title of this post is probably not the best metaphor ever written. Maybe, I was just fishing for compliments, or reeling you in… okay, okay. Enough. But relating your books sales, or rather your book marketing, to fishing is not so far off the mark as you may think. I am sure you would have heard the term ‘hook’ used many times when referring to writing, particularly fiction Most authors know and recognise the importance of having a ‘narrative hook’ in their book’s opening lines and at the end of each chapter, even in the closing paragraphs of books in a series. The idea, of course, is to leave your reading wanting more, wanting to know what happens next or indeed, on ‘tenterhoo...
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Author’s Inspiration: “Born of War … Dedicated to Peace”

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Hi, everyone. Today, I’m going to talk about how I came to write my very first book, Born of War … Dedicated to Peace , back in 1995. (This link will take you to a free download of the book.) I was still working for the Department of Defense, on the Presidio of San Francisco . The garrison had been decommissioned under the Base Realignment and Closure Act ‘s 1988 directive, despite numerous efforts to prevent that happening. I worked for Sixth U.S. Army, as the Command Information Officer. All of us at Sixth Army were assured our jobs were solid for another five years at least, as we would be tenants of the National Park Service. Six months later, we all had reduction-in-force (RIF) notices,...
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Weekend Reads: “Cold Dark Places”

Cold Dark Places (Cady Maddix Mystery, #1)
Cold Dark Places by Kylie Brant My rating: 5 of 5 stars Both Cady Maddix and Eryn Pullman grew up in abusive households. The difference is that, when we meet the two women, Cady is a US Marshal and Eryn has just been released after spending 17 years in a mental institution for having killed her mother at age 4. At the same time, a dangerous criminal named Sam Aldeen escapes from prison. Cady is pulled into the case by the local sheriff, Ryder. The two of them start to discover disturbing connections between Aldeen and Eryn. While positioned as a mystery, I would call this a thriller. We see what the bad guys are up to throughout the entire book, and it’s a question of whether or not Cady and...
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Histories of the Unexpected: The Tudors, by Dr Sam Willis and Professor James Daybell


New on Amazon UK and Amazon US  Histories of the Unexpected not only presents a new way of thinking about the past, but also reveals the world around us as never before. Traditionally, the Tudors have been understood in a straightforward way but the period really comes alive if you take an unexpected approach to its history. Yes, Tudor monarchs, exploration and religion have a fascinating history... but so too does cannibalism, shrinking, bells, hats, mirrors, monsters, faces, letter-writing and accidents! Each of these subjects is equally fascinating in its own right, and each sheds new light on the traditional subjects and themes that we think we know so well. # # # About the Authors James...
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STEVE REGAN UNDERCOVER COP SERIES COVER REVAMP

Steve Regan Undercover series
Well folks, never say I don’t listen. The Steve Regan Undercover Cop series has undergone a face-lift. All three covers in the series have been redesigned. In truth, I had already set about this task before I was stung into real action by a comment made about one of my covers in a Facebook group. […] The post STEVE REGAN UNDERCOVER COP SERIES COVER REVAMP appeared first on Stephen Bentley . Original link
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Announcing a New Blog Feature!

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Hi, everyone. I’ve been running pretty much the same weekly features since I started this blog … and that’s all well and good. But, I thought it might be fun to shake things up for a little while. To that end, for the next several weeks I’ll be presenting a new feature: Author’s Inspiration That’s right; I’ll be telling you what inspired me to write each of my books. I’ll go in chronological order, starting with  Born of War … Dedicated to Peace and moving right up through the present. I think this will be a lot of fun, and I look forward to your thoughts as I share. Thanks, as always, for being such great friends/fans! I appreciate every one of you. Original link
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Book Launch: Uncrowned Queen: The Fateful Life of Margaret Beaufort, Tudor Matriarch, by Nicola Tallis


New on Amazon UK and Amazon US The first comprehensive biography in three decades on Margaret Beaufort, the mother of the Tudor Dynasty. During the bloody and uncertain days of the Wars of the Roses, Margaret Beaufort was married to the half brother of the Lancastrian king Henry VI. A year later she endured a traumatic birth that brought her and her son close to death.  She was just thirteen years old. As the battle for royal supremacy raged between the houses of Lancaster and York, Margaret, who was descended from Edward III and thus a critical threat, was forced to give up her son - she would be separated from him for fourteen years. But few could match Margaret for her boundless determina...
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Frequently Asked Question: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever Googled in researching a story?

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This month’s question comes from the Insecure Writer’s Support Group . When I was writing In The Eye of The Beholder and In The Eye of The Storm , I researched how women’s mental health issues were managed in the late 19th and early 20th century. Suffice to say, it was pretty awful! I needed to know how Claire Delacroix’s melancholia would have been seen by physicians. Some would have had her put into complete isolation (as happens in Charlotte Perkins Gillman’s The Yellow Wallpaper ). Others would have insisted that any pets she had be killed and she be impregnated at once  … which leads to a physician being summarily escorted from the house in In The Eye of The Beholder. Claire loves her p...
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Guest Interview with Kevin O’Connell, Author of Bittersweet Tapestry: A Novel of Eighteenth Century Europe


Available on Amazon UK and Amazon US As Bittersweet Tapestry opens, it is the High Summer of 1770. Having escorted the future Queen of France from Vienna to her new life, Eileen and her husband, Captain Arthur O’Leary of the Hungarian Hussars, along with their little boy and Eileen’s treasured friend (and former servant) Anna Pfeffer are establishing themselves in Ireland. I'm pleased to welcome author Kevin O’Connell to The Writing Desk: Tell us about your latest book Bittersweet Tapestry is the third of a series of four (though it may wind up being five) books in the Derrynane Saga. It picks up the story in the High Summer of 1770. After almost a decade of service at the court of Maria The...
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My London Anniversary

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Nineteen years ago today, I got off the plane in London for the first time. It was the culmination of what felt like a life-long dream; I was talking about vi siting England when I was in junior high at a minimum, I think. I felt at home immediately, which has only happened a handful of times during my travels (Paris and New Orleans come immediately to mind in that regard). It was also Guy Fawkes Day. The rain was pouring down, and there weren’t any fireworks, etc. Remember, remember The fifth of November In Gunpowder, treason and plot. I see no reason that the Gunpowder Treason Ever should be forgot. Anyway. All the photographs on that first trip were taken with actual film (remember that?)...
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How to Create a Box Set Image Using Book Brush


A 'box set' is a great way to package your book series, even if they can be read in any order, so it can be useful to have a professional image to support your 'awareness raising' activities. I recently posted about using Book Brush to create videos for Twitter  and now a new 'box set' feature has been added, with useful templates. The only time consuming bit is creating the spines (I used photoshop to crop the full book covers) but the rest is just a few clicks. I'll leave it to the Book Brush team to explain: Box Set Creator on Book Brush from Book Brush on Vimeo . Tony Riches Original link
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TRIBUTE TO @SHALINI_G26 DIGITAL READS BLOG TOURS AND #BOOKBLOGGERS

my tribute to @Shalini_G26 and her Digital Reads Blog Tours
The time has come to pay my tribute to @Shalini_G26 and her Digital Reads Blog Tours and all the book bloggers she recruited for the Death Among Us blog tour. That is her Twitter Handle and a link to her website. For those tour bloggers who reviewed our book, I would love to give you […] The post TRIBUTE TO @SHALINI_G26 DIGITAL READS BLOG TOURS AND #BOOKBLOGGERS appeared first on Stephen Bentley . Original link
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Music Monday: “Little Egypt”

Hi, everyone. I thought it would be fun to share some of the bands I’ve had the pleasure to see live over the years. So, for the next few weeks that just what I’ll be doing. Here are The Coasters, one of the finest doo-wop groups of the 1950s and ’60s, doing “Little Egypt.” I saw them at a Marin County nightclub called New George’s in the late 1980s. Enjoy! Original link
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Research: How deep do you go?


You all know how important I think primary source research is to creating authenticity. However, I do know that it’s not always practical. Here are some interesting thoughts on the research process from a fellow author. Enjoy! Story Empire Hi, SeERs! It’s another Mae Day on Story Empire I know research has been discussed multiple times, including some brilliant posts by my colleagues at SE, but  I hope you’ll indulge me with my take on the subject. Digging deep into research is something all writers face. No matter your story arc or characters, sooner or later you’re bound to run into a subject that requires deeper knowledge. As an example, it’s hard to write a believable airline pilot or la...
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Where Have You Gone Joe DiMaggio?

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During the recent World Series, won in seven games by the long-suffering Washington Nationals, the conversation, as it often does, came around to the greatest baseball players of all time. Discussions like that are exasperating and always incomplete—especially when the discussants represent multiple generations. Evaluating baseball players from different eras is a hopeless, unremitting endeavor. So I am not going to go there. What I will do, however, is share with you a story I wrote for the Chicago Tribune on the occasion of Joe DiMaggio’s 65th birthday, November 25, 1979. Joe died 20 years later on March 8, 1999, eight months before his 85th birthday. Now, I realize there may be some (but ...
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Why do we call this period the ‘dark ages’? ~ Special Guest Post by Dr Julia Ibbotson


Available on  Amazon UK  and  Amazon US When Dr Viv DuLac, a medievalist and academic, slips into 499 AD and into the body of Lady Vivianne, little does she realise that their lives across the centuries will become intertwined as they fight for their dreams…and their lives . Why do we call this period the ‘dark ages’? Recently, while I was on holiday in the sun, I read a fascinating book by Professor Susan Oosthuizen (The Emergence of the English 2019) which resonated with me and the 'thesis' underpinning my historical (so-called 'dark ages') time-slip novel A Shape on the Air. The background to my novel rests on my belief that the so-called 'dark ages' were not a time of brutal barbaric sup...
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