Friday, April 11, 2014

Fact Fiction Friday ~ The Titanic

Continuing our new and regular feature here at Historical Fiction.  

Each Friday we will publish an historical fact based upon the date. Each fact will be accompanied by a book(s) title and perhaps a review or other snippet.

11th April 1912 - RMS Titanic leaves Queenstown Ireland for New York.

Titanic Survivor by Violet JessopToday I am going to feature this book; Titanic Survivor: The Memoirs of Violet Jessop, Stewardess

Friday, April 4, 2014

Fact Fiction Friday ~ Sir Francis Drake

Continuing our new and regular feature here at Historical Fiction.  

Each Friday we will publish an historical fact based upon the date. Each fact will be accompanied by a book(s) title and perhaps a review or other snippet.

Sir Francis Drake by John Sugden4th April 1581 - Francis Drake is Knighted by Elizabeth I for completing his circumnavigation of the World.

This biography, Sir Francis Drake by John Sugden is well researched and an easy to read book. There is much on line data about Drake. He was born in Tavistock, some 35 miles from where I am currently sitting.

Without the curiosity and bravery of men like Drake how small would our world be I wonder?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Historical Fiction Reading Challenge: April Reviews

March was another great month for reviews. I am constantly surprised at how many reviews people are posting for the challenge. There were almost a hundred reviews again this month. 

Now though, it is time to move forward to April.

If you haven't already signed up, it's not too late! The sign up post is here.

Just to recap what participants need to know. At the beginning of each month we will put up a post which will have a Mr Linky embedded into it for you to add your link.

Please remember...

  • Add the link(s) of your review(s) including your name and book title to the Mister Linky we’ll be adding to our monthly post (please, do not add your blog link, but the correct address that will guide us directly to your review). A direct link to your Goodreads review is also acceptable 
  • any kind of historical fiction is accepted (fantasy, young adult, graphic novels...) 
  • if you have time, have a look some of the other links that are present. You never know when you will discover new blogs or books! 
Please leave your links for your February reviews in Mr. Linky below or if you don't have a blog, in the comments below

*Note: if you missed posting your links last month, please always post "late" links in the current month's Mr. Linky. For example, if you forgot to post a link in January, please post it on this Mr. Linky in this post.

Blackwell's Paradise Book Blast Giveaway

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours will be giving away a copy of Blackwell's Paradise! Check out our book blast information post here and then enter for your chance to win a copy below.


To enter to win a copy of Blackwell's Paradise please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on April 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter on May 1st and notified via email.
Winners have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.



Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Book Blast: Blackwell's Paradise by V.E. Ulett

Blackwell’s Paradise
by V.E. Ulett

Publication Date: January 8, 2014
Old Salt Press LLC
Formats: Ebook, Paperback

Series: Blackwell’s Adventures, Volume II
Genre: Historical Adventure/Naval HF

Relive the pleasure of falling into the past with the author of Captain Blackwell’s Prize, in Volume II of Blackwell’s Adventures.

The repercussions of a court martial and the ill-will of powerful men at the Admiralty pursue Royal Navy captain James Blackwell into the Pacific, where danger lurks around every coral reef. Even if Captain Blackwell and Mercedes survive the venture into the world of early nineteenth century exploration, can they emerge unchanged with their love intact. The mission to the Great South Sea will test their loyalties and strength, and define the characters of Captain Blackwell and his lady in Blackwell’s Paradise.


Enter the Goodreads Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Blackwell’s Paradise

by V.E. Ulett

Giveaway ends April 30, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.


Praise for Blackwell’s Paradise

“Not for the faint hearted – Captain Blackwell pulls no punches! Prepare for a right roaring romp in the company of two of the most captivating characters in historical fiction.” – Alaric Bond, author of Turn A Blind Eye, and the Fighting Sail Series


Buy the Book

Amazon (eBook)
Amazon (Paperback)
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
Barnes & Noble (Paperback)
Book Depository


About the Author

VE UlettA long time resident of California, V.E. Ulett is an avid reader as well as writer of historical fiction.
Proud to be an Old Salt Press author, V.E. is also a member of the National Books Critics Circle and an active member and reviewer for the Historical Novel Society.
As the long war in Europe comes to its conclusion, so does Captain Blackwell’s career in the Royal Navy in BLACKWELLS’ HOMECOMING, a story of the dangers and rewards of desire.


Author Links

Old Salt Press

Book Blast Schedule

April 1 Historical Tapestry
April 2 Broken Teepee
April 3 Confessions of an Avid Reader
April 4 The True Book Addict
April 7 Layered Pages
April 8 The Maiden’s Court
April 9 Passages the Past
April 10 Just One More Chapter
April 11 Closed the Cover
April 12 Words and Peace
April 14 Luxury Reading
April 15 To Read or Not to Read
April 16 Peeking Between the Pages
April 18 So Many Books, So Little Time
April 21 Flashlight Commentary
April 22 Curling Up With a Good Book
April 23 HF Book Muse-News
April 24 A Bookish Affair
April 25 Oh, For the Hook of a Book
April 27 Kincavel Korner
April 28 CelticLady’s Reviews
April 29 Historical Fiction Connection
April 30 Reading the Ages

Books of a Lifetime by Hazel Gaynor

Thank you for inviting me to Historical Tapestry to talk about my favourite subject: books!

All writers are readers, first and foremost. I firmly believe it is a love of words, instilled in us during our formative years, which creates that urge to write our own books as adults, to tell our own stories. Perhaps all writers are channelling their inner child – making stuff up, using their imaginations. I like to think so!

My own childhood was peppered with a rich diet of classic children’s books. Bedtime stories were Winnie the Pooh, The Tale of Peter Rabbit and The Wind in the Willows. My dreams were inhabited by Tigger and Piglet, Mrs Tiggywinkle, Ratty and Mole and naughty Mr Toad. Of course, Enid Blyton was also on the shelf: Noddy and Big Ears, The Famous Five, Malory Towers … and when I was old enough to read myself, I took great joy in hiding under the bed covers with a torch to read on when I was supposed to be asleep. Ted Hughes’ The Iron Man was also a particularly memorable childhood book. Part mesmerised, part terrified, I just couldn’t put it down. I recently read a beautiful illustrated version to my two boys and they are equally captivated.

I also have very clear memories of visiting the local library as a child. It was a cold and draughty building, but there was something quite magical about those shelves and shelves of books just waiting to be read. I can almost remember the smell of the place; can still remember how I would reach up onto my tiptoes to watch the librarian as she took the little card out of the sleeve in the front of each book, stamped it and slid it back in. Such a simple thing, but the basis of such profound memories.

It was in my teenage years that I discovered the two books which have had the most lasting impact on me. Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights and Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Both are still my most loved books of all time (no doubt helped by the fact that the Bronte home at Haworth Parsonage on the Yorkshire Moors wasn’t too far from where I grew up). I adored these sisters, their lives and their novels so much that I chose to compare and contrast Emily and Charlotte, and their female protagonists (Cathy and Jane), for my English Literature A’Level extended essay of 10,000 words. I could easily have written 20,000 words. I would love to read that essay now – I wonder what conclusions I drew?!

From the Brontes, I moved on to Jane Austen and fell in love with Lizzie Bennett and Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. I equally loved Sense and Sensibility and Emma. I also have great affection for Dickens’ Great Expectations. Pip, Estella and Miss Havisham are such fantastic characters. At around the same time, I discovered Daphne du Maurier’s brilliantly haunting Rebecca, another book which has really stayed with me. Mrs Danvers still sends a chill up my spine!

And there are so many other books I have loved since, many of them read on my daily commute in London in the mid to late ‘90s: Birdsong. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Perfume. Wild Swans and Memoirs of a Geisha to name but a few. I also read the early Harry Potter books on those train journeys, long before they were republished with much less embarrassing ‘adult’ covers.

I was a late bloomer when it came to Tolkien, reading The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy just before the first movie was released in 2001. I consider it a rite of passage to read these classics, and made my way, slowly, through Moby Dick for the same reason.

In more recent years, the books I have read and loved have been many and varied. I wept for hours after finishing Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. I fell hopelessly in love with Rose Tremain’s wonderful character, Merivel, in Restoration and again in Merivel. I adored Kathryn Stockett’s The Help. And of course, Philippa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl which was, for me, a game changer for historical fiction. She wrote history differently. She opened my eyes to an entirely different perspective of the Tudor dynasty that I had laboured over in the vast tomes written by historians such as David Starkey. Philippa Gregory made this fascinating period really come alive for me. I have read many of her books since and was totally in awe when I met her in person in 2012.

Most recently, I have gushed with praise for Eowyn Ivey’s magical The Snow Child and Hannah Kent’s astounding debut Burial Rites. I have many, many books on my TBR pile and while this may take over a hefty corner of the bedroom floor, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

As a writer, I now read with a slightly different eye. Of course, I still get hopelessly lost in a great story, but I can now also step back a little to admire the craft of writing, the narrative devices and the sheer brilliance of a story well told. These great authors simply make me want to write better. It is by reading that I have ultimately discovered what it is I want to write (and what I don’t) and I continue to read with more and more hunger as my own stories bubble and brew in my mind.

As for what I am currently reading? Hilary Mantel’s epic, Wolf Hall. I may be some time …

Hazel Gaynor is an author and freelance writer in Ireland and the U.K. and was the
recipient of the Cecil Day Lewis Award for Emerging Writers in 2012. Originally from North Yorkshire, England, she now lives in Ireland with her husband, two young children, and an accident-prone cat.

A voyage across the ocean becomes the odyssey of a lifetime for a young Irish woman. . . .

Ireland, 1912 . . .
Fourteen members of a small village set sail on RMS Titanic, hoping to find a better life in America. For seventeen-year-old Maggie Murphy, the journey is bittersweet. Though her future lies in an unknown new place, her heart remains in Ireland with Séamus, the sweetheart she left behind. When disaster strikes, Maggie is one of the few passengers in steerage to survive. Waking up alone in a New York hospital, she vows never to speak of the terror and panic of that fateful night again.
Chicago, 1982 . . .
Adrift after the death of her father, Grace Butler struggles to decide what comes next. When her great-grandmother Maggie shares the painful secret about Titanicthat she’s harbored for almost a lifetime, the revelation gives Grace new direction—and leads both her and Maggie to unexpected reunions with those they thought lost long ago.
Inspired by true events, The Girl Who Came Home poignantly blends fact and fiction to explore the Titanic tragedy’s impact and its lasting repercussions on survivors and their descendants.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Fact Fiction Friday ~ Crimea and Florence Nightingale

Continuing our new and regular feature here at Historical Fiction.  

Each Friday we will publish an historical fact based upon the date. Each fact will be accompanied by a book(s) title and perhaps a review or other snippet.

28th March 1854 - France and Britain declare war on Russia in the Crimean War.

Crimea: The Great Crimean War, 1854-1856 by…For those who like the historical aspect of this period how about this comprehensive book by Trevor Royle which features the duration of the War (1854 - 1856).

Probably one of the most famous Victorians to have lived is Florence Nightingale. This book, The Making of an Icon by Mark Bostridge looks a promising read.

Florence Nightingale: The Making of an Icon…