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
~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.
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
~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.
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.
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…