When the Welsh underdog bites

In 1283, the last true Prince of Wales, Dafydd ap Gruffud, was hauled up the gallows in Shrewsbury and subjected to the horrifying ordeal of being hanged, drawn and quartered. Whether he died bravely or not we do not know. Personally, I think it is unlikely any human being can be subjected to such cruelty …

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Of emotional wrecks and other writing hazards

“Do writers in general suffer from low self-confidence?” hubby asked me the other day. Hmm. I would not describe myself as low on confidence. Low on self-esteem, yes, but that’s another matter. Or maybe it isn’t, because if your self-esteem is a bit shaky you become vulnerable as to what other people think of you—and …

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Not a sinner, not a saint – meet a lady with a helping hand!

Some weeks before Christmas, I had the pleasure of reading Tinney Heath’s latest book, Lady of the Seven Suns. If you enjoy well-written historical fiction in a somewhat unusual setting (no knights, no damsels in distress, nowhere close to the royal courts of France or England) this book is a must-read. Come to think of …

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Onwards and upwards on the greatest adventure of all

It’s the end of a decade. (And yes, you are excused if that opening sentence has you humming a certain ABBA song.) Soon, we’ll have survived two decades of the new century, of the third millennium. I remember thinking back in 1999 that here I was, mother of four and borderline middle-aged entering a new, …

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Not every Christmas is a good Christmas – a story of treachery, vengeance and death

So, it is Christmas. Well, not quite, we are still some days away, but all the same, the holiday season is upon us. A season of love and peace, of happy family reunions and the joyful sound of children laughing in the snow. Ha! Sometimes, Christmas is much, much grimmer. Like in the year 1317, …

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St Lucy’s Day and the marking of time

St Lucy’s Day – or St Lucia as we say here in Sweden—is a celebration of light when winter is at its darkest. Prior to adopting the Gregorian calendar back in the 18th century, the Swedish calendar had St Lucia falling on the darkest day of the year, the midwinter solstice, and…What? You’ve never heard …

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Of ancient sprites and how to bribe them

Midvinternattens köld är hård Stjärnorna gnistra och glimma Alla sova i enslig gård Djupt under midnattstimma Månen vandrar sin tysta ban Snön lyser vit på fur och gran Snön ligger vit på taken Endast tomten är vaken Right: How many readers are still with me after that opening, hey? Now and then, though, I must …

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Every time we say goodbye I cry a little…

…or the downside of bonding too much with your characters… Today is the release date for the third book in my series The Wanderer. It is also the last book in the series, and as always, I am torn in two between pride at having completed yet another series and a desire to weep as …

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Of unicorns, powdered horns and Danish tusks

On misty mornings, when the fog curls lazily along the water’s edge and brushes gently over trees and shrubs, the grazing horses can, for a moment, be taken for something else: sun filters down to make their damp hides shimmer, and when the large blue roan turns this way, one can for an instant see …

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Like a glowing star – meet Ms St.John and her new release!

I must admit to the sin of jealousy. Yup: lots and lots of jealousy, because today’s guest has such a wealth of recorded family history from which to be inspired when she sets out to write her historical novels. Having said that, what Elizabeth St. John does with all that family history is something akin …

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