I was honoured to receive an invitation to appear on her blog from a writer I greatly admire, Alison Morton. Alison is not only a prolific and highly regarded author, with an extended alternate ‘Roman’ history series and a thriller under her belt. She is also a mainstay of the indie writers’ community and a great supporter of other writers. Her blog currently features writers who live abroad. We write about the influence living in another country has on our writing.
Throughout Easter, my two Corsica novels, The House at Zaronza and The Corsican Widow, are on promo on Amazon Kindle.
The House at Zaronzais free during that time. It’s a dual-timeline novel based on a true story. Hidden letters found after more than a century reveal a tale of star-crossed lovers against the backdrop of the rugged mountains of Corsica and the trenches of World War I. “Vanessa Couchman writes with intelligence and skill,” Historical Novels Review.
Transgressing the rules of a strict island society can have only one outcome – severe punishment. While 18th-century Corsica struggles for freedom from its Genoese masters, Valeria must fight her own battles to save her life. “I highly recommend this beautifully-written and engaging story for lovers of historical fiction.” BookMuse
You might have read them already, but if your friends haven’t, feel free to pass on the message.
Today, I’m delighted to welcome my Ocelot Press fellow author and friend, Sue Barnard, to the blog. Sue’s novels often take inspiration from classic works of literature, including Shakespeare. Her The Unkindest Cut of All is set in the present day, but takes Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar, as its starting point. It’s our Book of the Month on Ocelot Press this month (which just happens to include the Ides of March).
Sue has written a fascinating post about one legacy of many the Romans left us.
Sue also has a competition for you to win a paperback copy of The Unkindest Cut of All. And the book is on special offer in Kindle format for a short time. Read more about these offers at the end of the post.
My most recent series of books, the Alouette trilogy, is set partly in Southwest France, where I live, so it’s very close to my heart. Since I’ve lived here for 23 years, I know the places that appear in the book well. It was fascinating to go back in time and research them as they were more than 100 years ago.
The series is not yet finished, but Augustine (1880s) and Overture (1897-1914) are already published.
The prize draw has now taken place. Congratulations to Crystal, Lesley and Nicky, who each win an e-copy of Augustine.
This post is taking part in the Historical Writers Forum Christmas Blog Hop. This year, we’re celebrating the delightful Icelandic tradition of giving books and reading them while eating chocolate on Christmas Eve, called Jolabokaflod (Christmas book flood). And there’s a giveaway of one of my books to go with it. More of that below.
Today would have been my mother’s 99th birthday. She was a book lover and a history lover, and I inherited both of these passions from her. She would have dearly loved to go to university, but World War II and then marriage intervened. Instead, she lived the university experience through her children.
I’m delighted to announce that Augustine, the novella prequel to my Alouette Trilogy, is now available in paperback. Augustine is a bittersweet romance that takes place in 19th-century rural France. It sets the scene for Book 1 of the trilogy, Overture, but it can be read as a standalone.
I originally published the novella only as an e-book in April 2020, but following a number of requests, I decided to bring it out in a paperback edition as well. Many people still like the experience of reading a physical book and, of course, it makes a more memorable present than an e-book!
Every village in France has its war memorial, the lists of names a sad litany of those “morts pour la France”. The longest rollcall by far is that of World War I. Few families were spared the tragedy of deaths, sometimes multiple, injuries and enduring mental scars. More than a century later, the memory still echoes down the years.
This post is taking part in the Historical Writers Forum autumn blog hop, in which we each choose a historical figure and explain why we are drawn to him or her. I’ve chosen Pasquale Paoli, who led the Corsican republic from 1755 to 1769.
Paoli probably never considered himself a revolutionary. To him, the struggle to liberate the island of Corsica from its Genoese masters was a nation state’s legitimate bid for independence, and he regarded himself on a par with other heads of state. Today, he is much less well known outside Corsica than his compatriot Napoleon Bonaparte, and yet he was a towering figure of his era.
I’m very pleased to welcome fellow historical fiction author D.K. Marley to the blog today. She explains the genesis of her first novel, Blood and Ink, about that enigmatic contemporary of Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe.
On a dark night in Deptford in 1593, the astounding and controversial playwright, Christopher Marlowe, is said to have died as a result of a fight over the reckoning, or the bill. So, why after all of these years is there still intrigue about this elusive man?
Who’s your favourite historical figure? There are plenty to choose from! Some are eternally famous, while others might have been prominent in their own time but have slid from recognition today.
Starting today, the Historical Writers Forum is organising a blog hop over a fortnight, in which seven historical fiction writers choose their favourite character from history and tell us why they find the person so fascinating.
Four Ocelot Press authors are involved:
Jennifer C. Wilson will write about Mary Queen of Scots, whom she has admitted to stalking before moving on to Richard III. Mary was imprisoned by Elizabeth I after she was forced to abdicate in favour of her infant son James. Mary was held in captivity for more than 18 years and then executed, having been found guilty of plotting to assassinate Elizabeth.
Nancy Jardine shines the spotlight on General Gnaeus Iulius Agricola, a Roman…