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The Best Historical Fiction Set on Islands by Anna Mazzola

Posted on: 23/07/2018 with tags: Anna Mazzola, historical fiction, Islands, the Story Keeper, 19th Century

  Islands, with their closed communities, their remoteness, their uniqueness, have a special place in an author’s heart. Sometimes they become not just settings, but characters in themselves. I chose Skye for my second novel, partly because I wanted somewhere cut off (as it once was), and somewhere with its own folklore, its own beliefs. Others have gone a step further and created fictional islands: Atlantis, Azkaban, Atuan, Fraxos, Hedeby, Svalvard. Once I’d started thinking about books se…

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My Freaky Valentine – Romance the Victorian Way

Posted on: 12/02/2018 with tags: historical fiction, historical novel, 19th Century, Victorian

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the Victorians invented Christmas. Well; one Victorian in particular, by the name of Charles Dickens. But where did they stand on the next red letter day on the calendar, the one that pops up after boozeless, carbless, joyless January, to remind us that our hearts still beat warmly under all those jumpers? Valentine’s Day, originally the feast day of a Roman martyr, began to gain traction way before Victorian times. It became associated with courtly lo…

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Researching the Nipigon River by Sarah Maine

Posted on: 19/04/2017 with tags: 19th Century, Canada, Nipigon river, research, Scotland, 19th Century

I have two prints on my wall. One is a hand-coloured wood engraving by T. Weber dated 1890 Vue Prise sur la Rivière Nipigon  which shows the lower reaches of  a mighty river flowing past pine-clad cliffs and down to the north shore of Lake Superior in Canada. The other is a black and white photograph of one of the islands in these lower reaches and is dated 1893 – spot on for the year in which Charles Ballantyre, a wealthy Scottish landowner brings his party to fish on the Nipigon. The photograp…

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The Evolution of a Soldier

Posted on: 23/03/2017 with tags: Crimea, East India Company, Jack Lark, Paul Fraser Collard, series guide, Soldier, Victorian

The Evolution of a Soldier Paul Fraser Collard on developing a series character over time If you have read any of the Jack Lark books then it should not come as much of a surprise to read that I thoroughly love writing these novels. There is something rather wonderful in being able to control the events in a story over a period of time, and I cannot tell you how much I enjoy plotting Jack’s path. By writing a series, I am able to take him on a long, often perilous, journey and I am able to explo…

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