Writing

When a foul deed triggers the memory of another foul deed – or hello to Helen Hollick and her latest book!

The first time I met Helen Hollick was fourteen years ago. She was sitting at a table promoting her historical books at a conference, and I was the bright-eyed newbie, there to tote my as yet unpublished book, A Rip in the Veil. At the time, this my first ever opus for publication was on […]

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From princess to queen to countess – meet Richeza

Today, dear peeps, we are going back to medieval times and to one of my favourite locations, Castile. Now, Castile in medieval times was a pretty harsh place, a country constantly at war against the Moors in a  determined effort to oust the infidel from the Iberian peninsula. The kings of Castile were mostly out

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His competitive streak – a personal reflection on reinvention

Now and then, I choose to write a somewhat more personal post on this blog, and for some obscure reason I woke today with this huge urge to do just that. Those of you who have followed my blog for some time know I am the proud mother of four—now very grown-up—children. Personally, I’d have

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Find Me in the Stars – welcoming Ms Larimore and her Huguenots to my blog!

Today, I am hosting Jules Larimore as part of her ongoing blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club. Ms Larimore’s book, Find me in the Stars, is set in the late 17th/early 18th century and details the life and woes of French Huguenots in the Cévennes area . Frequent visitors to my blog know

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The disappointments of a travelling history nerd

I generally plan my trips round things I want to see—and most of the time, what I want to see is historical. I can spend hours tracking down an obscure medieval gate or finding the few, sad ruined remnants of what was once a proud castle. I have recently been travelling in Spain. Málaga, Alhambra,

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When exile looms – showcasing Alison Morton’s latest

Some weeks ago, I was more than happy to have Alison visit this blog with a guest post related to her latest release, Exsilium. Today, I am delighted to welcome her back as part of her Coffee Pot Book Club blog tour with an excerpt. Exsilium is a foundation story for Alison’s fab Roma Nova

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A Matter of Time – in which Henry VIII faces approaching death

I am no fan of the Tudors. I am deffo no fan of Henry VIII or Anne Boleyn, and have a tendency to avoid all novels set in this period. But there are exceptions: Judith Arnopp is a writer whom I greatly admire for giving us such relatable (yes, even Henry is relatable, although not

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His empress, his love – of Isabel, matriarch to the Spanish Hapsburgs

Early in March of 1526, Isabel of Portugal finally got her dream prince. At last! The groom, Holy Roman Emperor Carlos I (or Charles V, depending on who you’re asking) had originally been less than interested in the match with his first cousin, and for years Isabel had waited for the man to come to

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Of stereotypes and heroes – a reflection on my leading men

The men in my brain have a tendency to ambush me at the most inappropriate moments. Note the men in my brain: in real life, I have only one man, and he is not much given to ambushing me—and when he does, he calls it a surprise, ergo the ambush is a (supposedly) pleasant experience.

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