History People: The Muses’ Darling – Christopher Marlowe

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?

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Ocelot authors write about their favourite historical figures

Starting today, a blog series about favourite historical characters.

Ocelot Press

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…

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History People: Nancy Jardine and the Celtic Fervour series

I’m delighted to welcome fellow Ocelot Press author, Nancy Jardine, to the blog today. She published a new book this week in her gripping and thoroughly researched Celtic Fervour series, set in Roman Britain. I’ll let Nancy tell you about it.

Thank you for inviting me today, Vanessa, to share a little about Beathan The Brigante, the 5th book in my highly acclaimed Celtic Fervour Saga Series. The novel launched two days ago with Ocelot Press and I’m still not down from the ceiling! It’s available in e-book and paperback from Amazon, and in paperback format via Ingram Spark (bookstores and libraries).

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A Novel Approach

I’m delighted to welcome my friend and fellow Ocelot Press author, Jennifer C. Wilson, to the blog today. Her latest book, aimed at writers, A Novel Approach, was published yesterday by Ocelot Press. She tells us how the book came about and what it aims to do. I’ve had a sneak peek, and I know that budding and experienced writers alike will find it really helpful.

Over to you, Jen…

Is there a novel in you? Let me help you find out…

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Five on Friday with Vanessa Couchman @Vanessainfrance

This was a really interesting interview to take part in and made me think. Thanks to Jill’s Book Cafe for inviting me.

Jill's Book Cafe

Today I’m delighted to feature author Vanessa Couchman. Vanessa has lived in Southwest France since 1997. Being a self-confessed history nut, this is absolutely the right place for her since its perched villages and medieval towns are steeped in history. If like me, love France, Vanessa has a fabulous blog dedicated to her life in France (details below).

She is also very attached to the Mediterranean island of Corsica, which she has visited six times. All of these places provide inspiration for her historical fiction.

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Doorways to the Past

I’m delighted to be involved in Ocelot Press‘s latest venture: Doorways to the Past, a collection of historical short stories and character interviews from five Ocelot Press authors, will be released on 30th July 2020. There’s something for all historical tastes in here.

Sue Barnard, myself, Cathie Dunn, Nancy Jardine and Jennifer C. Wilson have put together this collection. Yvonne Marjot, the newest Ocelot, has written the foreword.

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The Treaty of Versailles, 28th June 1919

On 11th November 1918, the armistice that ended the fighting on the Western Front came into force, although the conflict continued elsewhere. The human and economic costs of the Great War were colossal. An estimated 9.5 million soldiers and 12 million civilians died, while a further 21 million military were wounded. The total financial cost is difficult to assess meaningfully, but it ran into many billions.

The Treaty of Versailles was signed on this day (28th June) in 1919. It is famous – or perhaps infamous – for establishing peace terms between Germany and the Allied powers and has often been held directly responsible for the events leading to World War II 20 years later.

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The Story Behind the Story: the Corsican Widow

Do you like fiction that’s based on true stories? Today, I explain how a true tale from 18th-century Corsica wouldn’t leave me alone. I just had to write it as a novel.

Ocelot Press

This week, Vanessa Couchman takes over the blog to tell us about the story behind her second Corsica novel, The Corsican Widow.

I am a self-confessed history nut. I’m lucky, then, to live in Southwest France, which is absolutely steeped in history. Some of my novels and short stories are set in the area where I live.

But I have also been captivated by the savagely beautiful island of Corsica in the Mediterranean. I can’t get back there often enough, although this year, sadly, I suspect we won’t have the chance.

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Book review: Vanessa Couchman, Augustine

Augustine launches today, and there’s already a lovely review by historical fiction author Jennifer C. Wilson.

Jennifer C. Wilson

Today, on the blog, I’m featuring the wonderful Augustine, the prequel to the Alouette Trilogy. Having previously reviewed the first in the series, Overture, it was wonderful to go back to the start and meet Joseph and Augustine. 

VanessaCouchman-AugustineHere’s the blurb, to tempt you in…

Love conquers all. Or does it?

Rural France, 1880. Augustine is not conventionally pretty and fears that she may never marry. Joseph rents his land and dreams of owning a farm one day. But without a wife and children, he lacks the help he needs.

When Joseph saves Augustine from a drunkard at a dance, they are immediately attracted to each other. They meet again, and the attraction deepens, but they face opposition from Augustine’s strict parents, who want better prospects for their daughter than Joseph can offer.

And dramatic events threaten to drive them apart.

Will Augustine and Joseph overcome…

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Chapter 1 of Augustine

Augustine is a bitter-sweet romance set against the rolling landscape and hilltop villages of southern France in the late 19th century. This novella is a prequel to the Alouette Trilogy and is available on Amazon Kindle. Read Chapter 1 below.

Belcastel, one of the beautiful villages of Southwest France
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