We all have preferences in book and film genres, and I often wonder why some are more appealing than others (other than ‘we’re all different’). I suppose an interest can be sparked by an inspiring educator or family member, other times we might simply possess a burning need to know more about a subject in particular. In my case, it is an interest that was sparked early by my grandparents and continues to burn bright: history.

Regaled with tales of World War I and lower class life in Victorian/Edwardian England, I grew up fascinated with the past. And not just of Britain but Egypt and Africa, India and Germany, France and Russia. I have read Tolstoy, Anthony Trollope and Somerset Maugham, and other brilliant authors with fabulous tales in history. Any era is of interest me ranging from Ancient, Medieval to the Late Modern period. Every country has witnessed changing dynasties, experienced wars and murder for power and gain. But it is also the stories of average daily life for the survivors of these times that intrigue me. For instance, hundreds of Scots choose to live in subterranean city tunnels for centuries. They were not ley tunnels but an actual underground city with bustling black market commerce and adequate housing…and they still exist today. Fascinating!

Many more of these underground cities were created as ley tunnels; dug and constructed for daily living and document preservation during war. Although some were only bunkers; simple one room shelters for locals seeking refuge from bombing and I visited one of these as a child, stumbling across the open entrance in the middle of a forest while on a rabbit shoot with my grandfather. There were remnants of the occupants still there after decades, and the memory of the bits and pieces in the dark, desolate place remains with me.

I may one day write about a woman in the past dwelling underground! But for now, my newly released book is a tale of a woman above ground: I CAME UP STAIRS reveals the Victorian history I was made privy to through personal accounts and supplemented by keen research. And my Irish medieval fantasy novel, THE KING’S DAUGHTER, is a journey into a time that I felt a keen desire to explore, and create a history in which Druids continued past their disappearance.

Do you delight in being completely and thoroughly transported into the past? Which period in time is most fascinating to you?

An answer chosen from comments will have a choice between two novels as shown below, and the winner will be randomly selected by our gracious host, Leah Braemel. The contest ends March 10th and will be announced here on the 11th.

I Came Up Stairs: A Victorian Courtesan’s Memoirs 1867~1871, in pdf format

Word count: 88,550

Historical Erotica, 5 flames: f/m, f/f, m/m/f, f/f/f

Eternal Press

~The erotic adventures of an enchanting seductress

Led from filth and poverty by a gentleman in the hopes of gaining coin for his purse, Mae is shaped into a lady and tutored in the arts of pleasure. With raw sensuality, she creates a seductive dance that entices the peerage in puritanical England, and she quickly becomes favored courtesan to Prince of Wales. Her renown and riches ever rising, she continues to romp with gamely men and women of both the nobility and the lower classes. Eventually, Mae’s bohemian ways cause suffering for those she loves and her own heartbreak. Must she conform to Victorian mores, or can she remain true to her sensual desires?

These intimate memoirs reveal a young woman’s journey from the slums of Whitechapel to celebrated dancer of the Victorian music hall, and courtesan to the highest peers of the British realm. From the years 1867 to 1871, Mae recounts her varied lovers and false loves, and her heartbreaking losses in a quest for happiness.

Book link: http://www.eternalpress.ca/icameupstairs.html

Or, if medieval fantasy with far less erotica is more your cuppa tea, the winner may select:

The King’s Daughter, in pdf format

Word count: 66,000

Alternate history, Romantic Fantasy, 1 flame f/m

Samhain Publishing

~In a medieval Eire where the Druid legacy survives, the bartered daughter of a clan king struggles in a web of dark spells to save herself ~ and her beloved knight ~ while under the watchful eye of a lough wizard.

997 AD

Magaith is resigned to fulfilling her father’s command that she marry the King of Connacht. It is her duty as daughter of the King of Munster, even though she harbors a secret love for her knight protector, Sygtryg. Alas, his honor will not allow him to betray his king, not even for the love of Magaith. His painful duty is to see her safely to the kingdom of Connacht, then not see or speak to her, forever. But as a web of black spells closes in around Magaith, she and Sygtryg join together to thwart the dark forces that would claim her life and gain dominion over all of Eire.

Ahead of her lies a destiny she could never have imagined, a journey in which she must follow ancient Druid pathways, encounter a sleeping dragon, and learn the ritual spells and potions that are hers by right of blood. As the journey grows ever more fraught with mortal pride, desire, jealousy, revenge and even her own terrible blunders, Magaith must risk everything, even Sygtryg’s love, to fulfill her destiny and save Eire.

For if the evil wizard who covets her cannot have her, he will see her dead.

Book link: http://samhainpublishing.com/print/the-king-s-daughter-print

Book video: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=authormchalliday#p/u/1/iEKJJ1iEpuE

Good luck to all and happy reading!

MC Halliday lives on an island, in a cottage at the edge of a forest, nestled in a mountain valley. In tranquil surroundings with her dogs at her feet, she pens tales of women through the ages, from contemporary dark mystery to medieval fantasy. No matter the genre, vivid characterizations, surprising revelations and depth-charged plot twists abound in her novels. Tales of women in the past, and our challenges always seem to remain the same…

You can find me and links to my website, or at Facebook or Goodreads

MC Halliday: Name your favorite historical era and win!

16 thoughts on “MC Halliday: Name your favorite historical era and win!

  • March 7, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    Dang, it's hard to choose. I've been reading a load of books lately taking place from about 1730-1800 and have to say I love that time period….But then, I've also been reading historicals involving cowboys and indians on the new frontier and they have been great fun too.

    I enjoy books written during all the different historical era's. For me, it's the story that keeps me reading or rereading….not the era so much.

  • March 7, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    I adore history and historical fiction. As Mitzi said, it's hard to choose a favorite. I like them all.

    However, I really love ancient history. From the dawn of mankind (as in Clan of the Cave Bears) up to the fall of the Roman Empire. Anything set in that (ginormous) time period catches my interest.

    As does anything set in the British Isles.

  • March 8, 2010 at 6:20 am

    I love historical books.. I have learned more about history reading a good romance, than I did in school.. You never stop learning when you read a book.. Although I love Irish History of any era..bein part Irish myself, I also love Mid-evil times, Regancy England and the era of Queen Victoria, my fav has to be the US cival war era. I just love the South and Scarlett O'Hara was one of my favs characters. Those wonderful big old plantation houses fasinate me and I have had the chance to visit a few too.. I can imagine those Southern Belle's in the big hooped skirts and the those charmig southern gents.. But then I as I said I love all history.

  • March 8, 2010 at 10:44 am

    My all-time favourite historical perios is Regency, as told by Georgette Heyer. Like Kathleen O I've learned more about jistory after leaving school than I ever did while at school 🙂

  • March 8, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    I like all the historical periods, but my favorite is the American West.

  • March 8, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Enjoyed your post, MC. I love historicals and yours sound like super reads!


  • March 8, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Mitzi and Tura Lura, I agree it hard to choose a favourite era! As I mentioned, any time period interests me…as long as the read is good!

    Kathleen, I know little of the south and Civil War so I should read more than 'Gone With The Wind', shouldn't I?

    Sherry, Regency is a gorgeous period!

    Estella, the only knowledge I have of the American West in the frontier days are railroad construction and the goldrush. Could you suggest a few authors?

    Maggie, you wrote a gorgeous historical, 'Angel of Windword', so I know you share a love of history!

  • March 8, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    MC — I've always loved western historicals. I can think of a couple books I could recommend.

    Sarah McCarty's Caine's Reckoning (it's the first of a series…I haven't read the rest of them…yet)

    Wendy the Super Librarian just blogged about one too. "Pieces of Sky" by Kaki Warner. Misadventures of the Super Librarian

    Kate Bridges has a series of western historicals with Harlequin, though they take place in western Canada and the Yukon, they're still western flavored.

    Beth Williamson has several historical westerns over on Samhain too — Hell for Leather is one I can think of.

    Ooh, there's others but I can't think of them at the moment. But these will give you somewhere to start.

  • March 8, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Leah, thank you so much…more to add to my 'must read' pile. Different from TBR as I MUST get to these books to learn more history! ha!

    Would have replied sooner but found and got rid of a bug in my laptop that kept shutting down my internet access.

    Must say, thank you very much for having my guest blog up for two days, until a winner is selected by you for the contest.


  • March 8, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    I love reading historicals. From the fashions to the codes of conduct, I find historical settings fascinating. If I have to choose, I'd say Regency is my favorite. The period seems so restrictive from the outside and yet you know they were highly sexualized. I'm fascinated by that dichotomy.

  • March 8, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    I just historicals, its just so hard to choose a fav time period. I do love Ancient Rome and I am really enjoying the American West lately. So I guess they would be my favs right now.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

  • March 9, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    I have read 2 of MC's books The Kings Daughter and A Bribe Against the Innocent, both exceptionally great reads. Very interesting stories and good at keeping the pages turning in anticipation of what is next to come. Love it 2 thumbs up!

    Julie Brunt from FB

  • March 9, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Victorian and ancient Egypt I would have to say or the times of the Templars

  • March 9, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    The last comment was an addition to my earlier post that I forgot to include as an answer to the question to win!
    Julie Brunt from FB

  • March 10, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Joder and Bethie, it is difficult to choose as every period in history offers some extremely interesting details of a particular era.
    Joder, I too, find the dichotomy of an outwardly virtuous society with an underbelly of promiscuity quite interesting. The same happened in the Victorian era…high society were 'allowed' daliances and that continued in Britain until about 1940. And longer in British communities in Kenya.
    Bethie, ancient Rome is another of my 'must know' periods. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett has been on my hardcover keeper shelf for years.

  • March 10, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Anon..Julie Brunt from FB, I have to say I great appreciate your lovely comments about the books you've read that I wrote 🙂
    And I am delighted you enjoy the Victorian era. What a glorious time in mid-century UK…still the British Empire.
    Also, I have a huge interest in Egypt…particularly knowing the antiquities law did not stop the removal of ancient artifacts from there but drove the sale of them underground. There is a story in there!

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