11/08/2017

BOOK UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT: DIANE SCOTT-LEWIS, HOSTAGE TO THE REVOLUTION

Diane Scott Lewis's new book,  Hostage to the Revolution, is the perfect reading for historical fiction lovers fond of the Poldark saga, of tales set in the English Georgian Era or the French Revolution,  or for those already appreciating  her writing. 
The story of young Frenchwoman, Bettina Jonquiere, came to  Diane,  while travelling through Cornwall a few years back. Once back in the States, she thoroughly researched the eighteenth century and gave life to Escape the Revolution, set mostly in Cornwall, which was her first novel, and  now to a  sequel, Hostage to the Revolution, set in New Orleans and France.  

Hostage to the Revolution: book blurb

Sequel to Escape the Revolution. In 1796, ruined countess Bettina Jonquiere leaves England after the reported drowning of her lover, Everett.  In New Orleans she struggles to establish a new life for her children. Soon a ruthless Frenchman demands the money stolen by her father at the start of the French Revolution. Bettina is forced on a dangerous mission to France to recover the funds. She unravels dark family secrets, but will she find the man she lost as well? 

Read an excerpt

The woman lowered her Carnival mask to reveal the perfect, glacial features of Lucrece Bardou, Geralde’s former fiancĂ©e.
Lucrece raised her elegant brows. “Very well, we’ll talk here. Are you seeing my Geralde? You have been noticed with him these past months.” She swatted her fan. “And you were dancing with him out front, like two peasants.”

10/08/2017

PERIOD DRAMA NEWS: OLD FRIENDS AND NEW ACQUAINTANCES COMING SOON



1. GENTLEMAN JACK: SURANNE JONES + SALLY WAINWRIGHT + VICTORIAN ENGLAND

Suranne Jones (Doctor Foster, Save Me, Scott & Bailey)  and  Sally Wainwright (To Walk Invisible, Last Tango In Halifax, Happy Valley) are due on set together again to shoot Gentleman Jack, a coproduction BBC/HBO. Of course, Suranne Jones will lead the cast as the protagonist while Sally Wainwright will sign the screenplay and will direct the 8-part series.
If you love good TV drama you should at least be as excited as me. But if, like me,  you are also a period drama lover, you should be on seventh heaven since this new series is set in 1832.

It’s the story of Anne Lister (Suranne Jones), a remarkable landowner who - after years of exotic travel and social climbing - returns to Halifax, West Yorkshire, determined to transform the fate of her faded ancestral home, Shibden Hall.

09/08/2017

BOOKS & MORE BOOKS - SUMMERTIME READS


Summer means relax and travelling, binge watching and remorseless staying up late,  but it also means spare time for more good books. Have you read anything interesting? I have! Here are some of the best among my holidays reads. Very different genres, international authors - but especially British - all of them  are worth reading and will help you feel good or better.  

Waking Lions by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen


Book BlurbDr Eitan Green is a good man. He saves lives. Then, speeding along a deserted moonlit road in his SUV after an exhausting hospital shift, he hits someone. Seeing that the man, an African migrant, is beyond help, he flees the scene. It is a decision that changes everything.

Because the dead man's wife knows what happened. And when she knocks at Eitan's door the next day, tall and beautiful, holding his wallet, he discovers that her price is not money. It is something else entirely, something that will shatter Eitan's safe existence and take him into a world of secrets and lies he could never have anticipated.
Everything gets more complicated and tense when Dr Green's beloved wife, Liat, smart police officer and detective, starts investigating on the case. 
This new brilliant novel is crafted as a suspenseful thriller, one you suffer putting down and which resonates with you for a while after you finish reading. It is also a touching study of the human mind coping with guilt, shame, desire and resilience. One of the most intriguing books I've read this year. 

05/08/2017

PERIOD & MORE PERIOD - MY SUMMER LIST

I still remember when summer was like: what do I watch now? Because all our favourite shows and Tv programmes were interrupted for some time and nothing new was on,  except old movies and silly stuff. Well, that was in the prehistory of TV and eons before the Net, Netflix or satellite pay-Tv were introduced. 
Why am I thinking about that right now? Because, instead, I've been watching quite a good deal of great TV shows in the latest couple of months, that is,  since summer has started. 
That's not bad at all:  we all have more spare time in the summer and feel less guilty binge watching or staying up late to catch up with our favourite series. 
Luckily enough, there are or there have been several interesting period drama series to pick up among.  Here is  my summer watching list: Will, Still Star-Crossed, Jamestown, Poldark and Turn Washington's Spies.

01/08/2017

CHASING THE SUN BLOG TOUR - KATY COLINS: TRAVEL PACKING HACKS

Who’s Katy Colins?


A successful travel blogger and published writer, of course. But she is especially a very brave woman who has  succeeded in turning a devastating experience into a wake-up call. We all have much to learn from her. This is why I’m very happy to have the chance to introduce her to you all on occasion of the publishing of her fourth book, Chasing the Sun.

What’s her story?


After Katy’s wedding was called off in 2010, she made the life-changing decision to travel solo around South East Asia, leaving behind her successful career and selling everything that wouldn’t fit into a backpack. As she travelled, Katy finally put her adventures and thoughts into words and secured a six book deal with Harper Collins.

Chasing the Sun is Katy’s fourth novel featuring the inimitable Georgia Green and the perfect beach read for this summer! 

                                         Read Katy’s personal story on her website 

14/07/2017

STEVEN A. McKAY - 10 THINGS WILL SCARLET & ROBIN HOOD WOULD LOVE OR HATE ABOUT MODERN TIMES



For this guest blog post we thought it might be interesting to take a look at some of the things we take for granted in the 21st century and think about how our medieval heroes might see them.

Obviously my The Forest Lord series focuses mainly on Robin Hood but the final novella The Abbey of Death is all about Will Scaflock (Scarlet),  so let’s start with him.

1 – Internet searches– Will Scarlet – LOVE

This might surprise readers of my novels. Will is notoriously tetchy and rather set in his ways so why do I think he’d appreciate a massive invention like the rise of the internet? Well, as you’ll find out in the new novella, Will is trying his best to adapt to the changes in his own life and he’s even taken up gardening. Anyone that’s ever tried growing an unfamiliar tree or plant knows the internet is a huge help with things like that so Scarlet would, I’m sure, love the ability to find out about ericaceous compost and the like!

09/07/2017

UNCONVENTIONAL KNOWLEDGE ABOUT WRITING THAT YOU CAN'T LEARN FROM BOOKS


(from guest blogger Mia Stokes)  Experience is best when it’s gained on your own. When you go through all the troubles and make your way through a certain problem, there is no better way to gain experience. Still, some knowledge we gain from other people. It’s not a bad practice to learn from other people, it gives us a better perspective occasionally. My writing career started out small and I had to learn from conventional sources in order to see where I want to go. But this road led me through some rather unconventional knowledge, some of which I’m going to share with you today.

06/07/2017

BLOG TOUR - THE GHOST OF YOU AND ME BY KELLY ORAM

   The Ghost of You and Me by Kelly Oram



How do you tell someone who hates you and blames you for the death of his best friend that you miss him? From the bestselling teen and young adult author of Cinder & Ella comes a new heart-wrenching romance sure to bring all the feels. The tragic death of Spencer Schott unravels the lives of the two people he loved most—his girlfriend, Bailey, and his best friend, Wes. Secrets and guilt from that fateful night keep both Bailey and Wes from overcoming Spencer’s loss and moving on with their lives. Now, nearly a year later, both Bailey and Wes are still so broken over what happened that Spencer can’t find peace in the afterlife. In order to put his soul to rest, he’s given one chance to come back and set things right...even if that means setting up his girlfriend with his best friend. With the emotional resonance of Jellicoe Road and the magical realism of The Lovely Bones, The Ghost of You and Me is a story about overcoming grief, finding redemption for past mistakes, and the healing power of friendship and love. Fans of John Green, Sarah Dessen, and Nicholas Sparks are sure to love this haunting new tale from Kelly Oram. This is a clean young adult romance stand alone novel that reads like contemporary drama romance and has just a touch of magical realism.

26/05/2017

HOW TO KNOW THIS IS THE RIGHT BOOK TO READ


In the past, people had to make an effort in order to get ahold of books they were interested in reading. Nowadays, though, they have an entirely different problem. There are so many books out there, yet there is not enough time to read them all. Of course, the solution for this would be to make your selection narrower, and then work your way down the list. But how do you narrow it down?

03/05/2017

A TV SERIES AND MY REASONS WHY


13 Reasons Why is a book by Jay Asher adapted for the TV screen by Netflix.  The story follows teenager Clay Jensen, in his quest to uncover the story behind his classmate and crush, Hannah, and her decision to end her life.

Do I think 13 Reasons Why is a good series? I do. What was it like watching it? It was hard and disturbing from beginning to end. Why did I do it? Because I felt it was my duty as a teacher, mother and responsible adult.

26/04/2017

LET'S GO FOR A WALK IN GRANTCHESTER


Last Sunday signalled the start of the third series of hit ITV show ‘Grantchester’. But what do we really know about the village that has become the stomping ground of a ‘crime-fighting’ vicar, played by James Norton, and a war veteran turned police detective in Robson Green?

Well, Grantchester which lies just a mile outside the city of Cambridge plays host to a number of famous pastimes which adds to its quintessential Englishness. These include the Boxing day-barrel race that brings all the local pubs together for a tradition that dates back to the 1960’s.

24/04/2017

12 BOOKS TO READ BEFORE YOU ARE 30


There are many timeless books you should read, but even books are best read at a specific age. If you are in your twenties, you have already exited your teens happily and started entering adult life, which introduces an inevitable change in obligations. Life is your best teacher, but it is always helpful to get some guidance from good writers along your way.
'The things you learn and how you understand the book depend on the phase in your life' – says Jack Matheson, a content manager at Essayontime. For this reason, we have selected some of the best books that may not have read before, but can certainly shape your identity and your worldview.

1.     Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky

At some point in your life, you will need to make an important choice. Reading Dostoyevsky's novel is a great way to learn about the difference between choosing the good and the bad, and the consequences that come from both.
A gripping story and an argument against nihilism, 'Crime and Punishment' speaks of a 23-year-old man, Raskolnikov who murders two women and suffers from the consequences. The story speaks of humanity and how we are responsible over our actions and the death of others.

21/04/2017

PERIOD & MORE PERIOD: NEW SHOWS & OLD ACQUAINTANCES

The White Princess





Have you seen episode 1 of new Starz The White Princess? I saw and liked The White Queen when it was on, so I have been eagerly waiting for this new series which was announced as a sequel. However, I'm sure it can be seen as an indepent chapter of the tragic Cousins' War, so don't worry if you haven't seen the previous series.
I didn't expect to like The White Princess, though.  Being a Ricardian, I am supposed to watch it with a scowl, despising King Henry VII (Jacob Collins-Levy),  probably as much as Prince Elizabeth of York (Jodie Comer),  who hated him for killing her beloved uncle (and lover?), King Richard III. But just like her,  I unwillingly accepted  to grant him the chance to prove himself the rightful king of England  and I let him be just the hero of a new TV show.  Beware Henry/Jacob, you'll have a very hard task to make Elizabeth and me change our minds!
Jokes apart, I liked what I saw in the first episode: lavish, intriguing, introspective. Little history, much fiction, but good period drama. Right balance of sex & violence, intrigue & politics. Hence, green lights, Starz! (N.B. Those who are in search of historical accuracy as well as perfect 15th clothing and hair style had better look for academic essays and documentaries).

    Interview with Jodie Comer and Jacob Collins-Levy        Preview episode 2

18/04/2017

5 REASONS TO WATCH BERLIN STATION


What it is about


It's a 10-part spy series which follows Daniel Miller (Richard Armitage) just arrived at the CIA foreign station in Berlin, Germany. Miller has a clandestine mission: to uncover the source of a leak who has supplied information to a now-famous whistleblower named Thomas Shaw. After  ten years spent as a CIA analyst, Daniel goes back to the rough-and-tumble world of the field agent guided by veteran Hector DeJean (Rhys Ifans).