Featured Book

Fact Vs. Fiction: Getting It Right (Even When You’re Making It Up) by CiJi Ware

Posted by on Jul 31, 2017 in Featured Book, Historical Research, Historical Tidbits | 6 comments

For twenty years before I started writing novels, I was a radio and television broadcaster in Los Angeles, having worked for all three national networks and the local PBS station during that “other” career. I find, eleven novels and two nonfiction books later, that the skillset I acquired in that former chapter of my life has stood me in remarkably good stead, whether I write contemporary or historical fiction. Regardless of the genre, nothing annoys readers more than to see a misstatement or outright mistake in a book dealing with a subject that the purchaser knows about. Even worse, is to...

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Getting the Past Right Is Tough—Even If I Lived Through It by Peg Herring

Posted by on Jul 16, 2017 in 20th Century US, Featured Book, Historical Research | 6 comments

I enjoy writing what I call “vintage” mysteries, books set in a time that’s historical but recent enough that some of us were there. My newest mystery, Her Ex-GI P.I., takes place in the late 1960s. It’s actually a re-release of a book accepted by a publisher early on in my career and made available only as an e-book. I learned a lot in those first years, and two things about the book stuck out. First, the cover, in black with slinky females prominent (which was the publisher’s doing), put readers off. Second, the title, Go Home and Die, didn’t fit the G-rated, cozy-ish sub-genre. (That was...

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Dramatic Viking Adventure in Uncharted Waters by Katie Aiken Ritter

Posted by on Jun 19, 2017 in Featured Book | Comments Off on Dramatic Viking Adventure in Uncharted Waters by Katie Aiken Ritter

“One waits a full year for those who do not return from the sea. Then, the rituals are held, and the funeral ale drunk, and the inheritance, if any, divided, and debts are forgiven. But because of the outlaw sentence, the ones at home would have waited for three years, with a last hopeful burst at the end that a sail would suddenly appear in the harbor, the ship home and the men free. Three years. One unnoticed day after that, they would start letting go of the tattered rags of hope. Some whose life had been made hard by a man’s offenses might have breathed a sigh of relief, but mothers who...

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The Anarchy by Sarah Woodbury

Posted by on May 29, 2017 in Featured Book, Historical Tidbits, Medieval Great Britain | Comments Off on The Anarchy by Sarah Woodbury

Stephen de Blois came to London, and the people received him and hallowed him to king on midwinter day. But in this king’s time was all dissension, and evil, and rapine; for against him rose soon the rich men who were traitors. Then was England very much divided. Some held with the king and some with the empress; for when the king was in prison, the earls and the rich men supposed that he would never more come out, and they settled with the empress, and when the king was out, he heard of this, and took his force, and beset her in the tower. By such things, and more than we can say, we...

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Heroic Fantasy in Dark Age Wales by Sarah Woodbury

Posted by on May 8, 2017 in Ancient Wales, Featured Book, Historical Tidbits | 1 comment

He is a king, a warrior, the last hope of his people—and the chosen one of the side… Writing heroic fantasy set in dark age Wales combines the need for research typical of historical fiction with the world building of mainstream fantasy. That’s partly because it brings in the world of the sidhe—the gods of the Celtic world—but also because there’s a true paucity of information about the early middle ages in Wales. My dark age historical fantasy series, The Last Pendragon Saga, tells the story of Cadwaladr ap Cadwallon (Cade) who was a real king of Gwynedd. His father, Cadwallon, was...

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About Finding Joaquin by Steve Bartholomew

Posted by on Apr 24, 2017 in 19th Century U.S., Featured Book, Historical Research, Historical Tidbits | Comments Off on About Finding Joaquin by Steve Bartholomew

There’s a razor-thin line between history and fiction. Scholars used to think the Iliad was all made up, until the actual ruins of Troy were found. What fascinates me about the bandit Joaquin Murietta is that no one really knows how much of his story is true. My book Finding Joaquin is not the first fictional narrative about this man. In fact, one of the first novels written in California was inspired by his life. This was The Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta, by John Rollin Ridge. Note the difference in spelling of the bandit’s name. There are a number of other variations,...

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