Monday, 27 May 2013

Witchstruck on £1.99 promo

If you haven't bought Witchstruck yet and have a Kindle, it's currently on promotion for only £1.99 on Amazon UK.

This is award-winning paranormal fiction, named YA Romance of the Year 2013, first in the Tudor Witch series, now at a staggeringly low price for a limited period only.

"Not just for teens!"

Find Witchstruck on UK Amazon.

Friday, 24 May 2013

A Box Of Witches

Witchstruck (Harlequin Teen): award-winning paranormal romance, already available in the UK, out soon in the States
Isn't this exciting? Look what's just arrived from the States in my Cornish farmhouse kitchen: a big box full of Witchstrucks, with its gorgeous and highly distinctive cover from Harlequin Teen. Out soon in the US.

You can pre-order copies from the Amazon.com Witchstruck page.

First in the Tudor Witch series, winner of YA Romantic Novel of the Year 2013. Now coming to America ...

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

The Kittens Have Landed!

Mum licks kitten clean soon after birth.
Bo, our very beautiful cat, has finally had her first litter of kittens after an elephantine pregnancy. She only produced two kittens in the end, perhaps because she is still quite a young cat, but both kittens are large and healthy, and were feeding strongly within a few moments of birth.

The kittens were born, despite our best efforts to keep her in the "birthing box" we had prepared, on my twin sons' alcove windowsill, on an old fleece, with her sister acting as midwife. We had gone out shopping, and when we came back, I saw sister Jangles staring wildly out of the window at us.

This lively one keeps wriggling off the fleece.

When I ran upstairs, I found Jangles keeping a wary guard over one wet kitten on the windowsill, while Bo was on the floor, licking a second kitten clean. (I tried not to shriek at the bloodstains on the white carpet!)

Kitty No. 2 had clearly fallen off the windowsill shortly after birth, which could only have been a few moments before, as the kitty was still covered in its yellowish sac and attached to its tiny placenta by the umbilical cord, which the cat then devoured before my astonished eyes!

"If I let you take photos of my kitties, I get another saucer of milk, right?"

I scooped up mum and new babies in the fleece and carried them downstairs to the birthing box, which is situated in a large dog cage to protect them from draughts - and indeed from the curiosity of the dog, who is a bouncy Red Setter!

They are now doing well, and the kitten who fell off the windowsill seems unharmed. And Bo has been out of her box for food and water etc. and gone back to nurse, which is excellent news. She is very motherly and acts protectively when they squeak in their tiny voices, but doesn't appear too concerned by our interest in the kittens.

I don't imagine it will be long before these two newcomers to the household are causing as much mischief as Bo and Jangles did when they first arrived about a year ago!


It's always dinner time in this box ...

Monday, 20 May 2013

His Dark Lady audio book

I was delighted to receive a parcel at the weekend containing this lovely audiobook version of His Dark Lady, the second novel in my Elizabethan Court trilogy about Lucy Morgan.

The audiobook is unabridged and runs for 14 hours, which should keep most people happy for days, and is read very beautifully by the talented Carole Boyd.

His Dark Lady, the audiobook, is available on Amazon now.




His Dark Lady is the Elizabethan sequel to The Queen's Secret

London, 1583.
When young, aspiring playwright William Shakespeare encounters Lucy Morgan, one of Queen Elizabeth I's ladies-in-waiting, the two fall passionately in love. He declares Lucy the inspiration for his work, but what secret is Will hiding from his muse?
Meanwhile, Lucy has her own secret - one that could destroy her world if exposed. No longer the chaste maid so valued by the Virgin Queen, she also bore witness to the clandestine wedding of Lettice Knollys and Robert Dudley, a match forbidden by the monarch.
England is in peril. Queen Elizabeth's health is deteriorating, her throne under siege from Catholic plotters and threats of war with Spain. Faced with deciding the fate of her long-term prisoner, Mary, Queen of Scots, she needs a trusted circle of advisors around her now more than ever. But who can she turn to when those closest to her have proved disloyal?
And how secure is Lucy's position at court, now that she has learned the dangerous art of keeping secrets?



Thursday, 9 May 2013

Guest post by author, Alison Morton


INCEPTIO: a novel of Roma Nova

Writing history “alternately”

Stepping into a book’s world is always the start of an exciting adventure, especially going back to the past to hear the clash and smash of Agincourt, admire the frocks and pelisses of Jane Austen’s Bath or even smell the stench of Victorian slums.

But what if that past is an “alternate” one where history developed differently?

What if King Harold had won the Battle of Hastings in 1066? Or George Washington had failed to cross the Delaware River on Christmas night in 1776? Or that firm favourite, if Hitler had won the Second World War?

More intriguing is when something that seems obscure at the time turns out to have a massive impact, e.g. the thought not occurring to Tim Berners-Lee to link up hypertext and the embryonic Internet to ease CERN scientists’ daily working lives or if hadn’t rained the night before Agincourt.

Alison Morton, author of INCEPTIO
So what defines alternate history?
A story can take place can take place in the past, present or future, but the point of divergence (POD) from the standard timeline must be in the past. The diverted timeline can’t be changed back by some clever plot development, time machine or technical gizmo (or waking up and finding it’s all been a dream, or possibly a nightmare!). And lastly, the narrative should show some of the consequences of the change and describe how the alternate world works.

In my Roma Nova thrillers, the trigger in the past was the final brutal suppression of paganism by Roman emperor Theodosius in 395 AD which sent four hundred non-Christian Romans north to find a safe place to live.

 Over the following sixteen centuries, the late fourth century colony battled its way through history to become Roma Nova, a high tech, financial mini-state which retained and developed Roman values, but with a twist.  And Roma Nova’s very existence has altered the world’s history.

Stories with Romans are usually about famous emperors, epic battles, depravity, intrigue, wicked empresses and a lot of sandals, tunics and swords.

But imagine the Roman theme projected sixteen hundred years further forward into the 21st century where thriller story of INCEPTIO takes place...

What is the most difficult thing about writing stories set in an alternate history timeline?
Reaching into the past means getting inside the heads of the characters, imagining what they see in their everyday world, what they smell, eat and touch. For stories set in a different country, writers can visit the places the characters would live in, smell the sea, touch the plants, walk under the hot blue sky, or freeze in a biting wind.

But if a writer invents that country, then the task is doubled; no sources and no research visits.

Not only history, but geography and social, economic and political development must be worked out carefully; this sounds dry, but every living person is a product of their local conditions. And to keep the story plausible, it must develop in a historically logical way.

I firmly believe you must know your history before you attempt “alternating” it!

As with all history-based fiction, research should be worn lightly and not dumped on the reader. One way to stay plausible and keep the reader engaged is to infuse, but not flood, the story with detail which reinforces the original setting the writer has introduced.

Even though INCEPTIO is mostly set in the 21st century, the Roman characters still say things like 'I wouldn't be in your sandals (not shoes) when he finds out.'

And there are honey-coated biscuits, not chocolate digestives, in the police squad room.

Above all, when writing in an unfamiliar setting the characters should display normal emotions and behaviour. Human beings of all ages and cultures have similar needs, hurts and joys, often expressed in alienating or (to us) peculiar ways.  But the emotions of a romantic relationship are the same whether set in ancient Rome, the reign of Henry VIII or the 21st century.

Ultimately, alternate history allows your imagination to explore outside the confines of the set timeline and to introduce conflict and challenges to history in your own terms.

And that’s a lot of fun!



You can read more about Alison, Romans, alternate history and writing here on her blog at www.alison-morton.com
or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/AlisonMortonAuthor  
and Twitter: @alison_morton


Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Vote for Witchfall on Goodreads!

Witchfall on Amazon
If you're a Goodreads member, and looking forward to the publication of my paranormal romance Witchfall this summer, I'd be hugely grateful if you could vote for Witchfall on this Goodreads list of new and forthcoming UK YA for 2013.

Witchfall is within the Top Ten at the moment, but to get any higher or stay there, it needs a constant stream of votes.

Many thanks for your help!

Victoria x