My new book! Welcome Robert and his fiery Castilian hawk!

If I were to collect all the tears I’ve shed as I’ve read one more tragic depiction after the other of the sad fate of the last Welsh princes and their families, I’d likely have a bath tub full. Welsh princes? some of you query. After all, there were many Welsh princes back then, not …

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Gore and Glory Galore – the fascinating 17th century & an upcoming blog event

As far back as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by history. A lot of time during my childhood was spent (rather futilely) attempting to find a way to travel back in time, to eras where heroism was rife, where honour and integrity were taken for granted. Yes, yes, a very romanticised view on our …

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Characters are like cotton candy – or spinning people out of the whispers in my head

Sometimes, people ask me how I create my characters. I never quite know how to answer, because I’m not sure I have a standardised process. Rephrase: I definitely don’t have a standardised process. First of all, sometimes my characters sort of pop up all ready to go. That is the case with Matthew Graham, my …

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The queen that never was

In 1269, Eleanor of Castile gave birth to a little girl, named after her mother. At the time, Eleanor was some years shy of thirty years, had been married to Edward of England for fifteen years and had, so far, been brought to bed of six children that we know of. Three of those were …

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When life becomes a numerical exercise

Today, I am stepping out of my comfort zone (historical posts with a little Anna spice) to share something rather personal. Oh, God: I can see some of you yawning at the thought—as you should, perhaps, seeing as my life is not exactly the stuff of which novels are made. Well, okay, I once balanced …

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A dashing corsair sees the light of the day!

Some years ago, I stumbled upon Tony Riches’ books about the Tudors from Owen to Henry (future Henry VII). I then read his book about Richard Neville followed by his book about Eleanor Cobham. I quickly discovered that Tony delivers well-researched and gripping reads, which is probably why I have since read both his books …

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Historical Note, His Castilian Hawk

Historical Note, His Castilian Hawk   Wales in the late 13th century was a complicated place, very much affected by the events in England. During Simon de Montford’s rebellion, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd sided with the rebels and this would come back to cost him—especially once Henry III was dead, replaced by the far more forceful …

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Oh, woe us! A tale of two tied-up ladies

After a hiatus of several weeks, it is quite fun to be back writing a post. Not that today’s protagonists would label their experiences as particularly fun. Truth be told, our ladies of the day had an anything but pleasant experience—assuming what has made it down the centuries to us is true. After all, the …

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Rise, wash, convert – 25 of July 1593 was an unusual day in the life of Henri IV

I am presently taking part in the Historical Writer’s Forum Blog Hop. This year’s theme is “Momentuous events”, and as history is choc-full of momentuous events, it wasn’t exactly easy to whittle things down. But when restricting myself to momentuous events in July, today’s subject leapt out and grabbed me by the throat. Well, figuratively …

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Mr Anonymous – the life of a medieval hero

Sometimes, my brain snags on the little things. Like when I am reading up on the Aragonese Crusade—an attempt by French king Philip III to claim Aragon for his younger son—and end up stuck on the fact that one of the protagonists in that ancient medieval mess is a nameless man. Obviously, our hero wasn’t …

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