Tag Archives: Nan Hawthorne

Life in the Past Lane wins the Best History Historical Fiction Blog for 2011

Please join me in congratulating Jessica James for winning the Historical Novel Blog’s People’s Choice contest for the Best Blog of 2011. Many members voted and the winner was…LIFE IN THE PAST LANE!

 

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Blogs & Websites to watch: HISTORICAL BELLES & BEAUS, LET’S BOOK IT and HISTORICAL BLOGS: FICTION & FACT

HISTORICAL BELLES & BEAUS is a blog that has been created by published authors who want to share with you their love of historical fiction, of writing, of reading, of researching and (most of all) their books. There is a long list of authors:

Anne Whitfield

Maggi Andersen

Jen Black

Lindsay Townsend

Margaret Blake

Maggie Dove

Regan Taylor

Deborah Swift

Anita Davison

Stephanie Burkhart

Danielle Thorne

Raine Miller

Brian Porter

Keena Kincaid

Freda Lightfoot

Linda Banche

David Jones

Emery Lee

Peter Alan Orchard

Even though this is not the most objective site in the world (the authors blog about their own novels), still it is always interesting to read what authors have to say about their own work. I think you will find many interesting things on this site, which is why I recommend it.

 

Dana is a forty-something stay-at-home mom who has just about run out of people to stay home for. (Her four kids range in age from 16 to 24.) She reads books. Lots of them, and post reviews on her blog  LET’S BOOK IT. She tells us that she will devour anything except erotica and sci-fi. Even though this is a hobby for her, Dana has a very well-organized professional website, where she explains her review policy and her ethics. She also hosts giveaways and offers challenges. Dana is one of those people that we writers always hope to meet, because she is honest, conscientious, intelligent (see her list of favorite books) and loves what she is doing.

 

 

Last, but not least, I wanted to mention HISTORICAL BLOGS: FICTION & FACT,
created by Nan Hawthorne as a one-stop shop for those of us looking for historical blogs. As a disclaimer, I should mention that I was recently made an editor on this site and that Spun Stories was voted Blog of the Month for June 2011. However, I hope that won’t stop any of you from visiting. It truly is a fabulous resource for the historical junkie.

Image: webclass.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Spun Stories gets noticed!

Ten days ago, Nan Hawthorne of Historical Blogs Fiction &  Fact emailed me to say that she thought Spun Stories was “one of the most entertaining and interesting blogs out there”, and she’d picked me to be the featured blog on HB F&F for June.  In return, I have to pick a blog for July.

As you can imagine, I’m thrilled. Especially as Nan is such an active member of the Historical Novel Society and Independent Authors Guild. Thank you Nan for your kind words about my blog! And stay tuned to hear about the blog I picked.

Last week, I got an email from Laura Stanfill, who blogs at WordPress.com, telling me that she had just awarded me the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award. In return, I have to do four things:

1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you. Thanks Laura for the nomination! I am thrilled. Those strawberries look luscious. Laura provides writing challenges for writers, and interviews for readers, and you can find out all about her gorgeous-looking blog by clicking here.

2. Share seven random facts about yourself.

    1. I like making plans.
    2. I’m a big fan of science, and love anything with either evidence or a good argument behind it.
    3. I’m English, but have lived in the US for nearly 30 years.
    4. I like teal. Don’t know why. Perhaps because it reminds me of the sea.
    5. As a child, I always had my nose in an historical novel. This used to exasperate my sister.
    6. I am happiest when I’m being creative. This is true whether I’m writing novels or attempting to play my violin.
    7. I love visiting England to see the beautiful English countryside, and those wonderful gardens that English people always seem to have.

3. Pass the award along to 15 deserving blog buddies.

Here are some deserving bloggers, in no particular order:

Katy of A FEW MORE PAGES

Loretta and Susan of TWO NERDY HISTORY GIRLS

Trish of TROUVAIS

Jenny Milchman of SUSPENSE YOUR DISBELIEF

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon of SCANDALOUS WOMEN

Jennifer of RUNDPINNE

MAYA RODALE

Mirella Patzer of HISTORY AND WOMEN

Alex, Ana, Kailana, Marg & Teddy of HISTORICAL TAPESTRY

Allie, Arleigh & Heather of HISTORICAL FICTION ROUND TABLE

4. Contact those buddies to congratulate them. Of course! Thanks, Laura for your support.

–Cynthia Haggard writes historical novels.  She has two completed manuscripts that will be published in the coming year. THWARTED QUEEN  is a portrait of a woman trapped by power, a marriage undone by betrayal, and a King brought down by fear.FAMILY SPLINTERS is  a novel about identity, forbidden love and family secrets. For more on her creative writing, go to spunstories. (c) 2011. All rights reserved.

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Filed under About Cynthia, How to Publish Your Novel, Promoting Yourself

BELOVED PILGRIM by Nan Hawthorne

I loved the beginning of BELOVED PILGRIM by Nan Hawthorne. The first words of the novel drew me into the world of Europe in 1100:

With a loud crack the sword cam down onto a helm already knocked askew by an earlier blow. The helm flew off and the wearer staggered and nearly lost his feet.

“Ho, valiantly done!” the fifteen-year-old Elisabeth von Winterkirche called from her perch on the wooden fence.

This shows clearly that Elisabeth, the protagonist of this tale, is no simpering miss. She’s not sitting in her mother’s solar at her embroidery. Instead, she’s learning how to fight. And this is just as well, for when her mother and brother die, and her father abandons the family to join a crusade, Elisabeth is left at the mercy of her husband, who rapes her.

But Elisabeth is not easily cowed. Seeing no future for herself as a submissive, ill-used wife, she dons a knight’s garb and sets out on crusade with Albrecht, her brother’s best friend and lover. Elisabeth and Albrecht have many hair-raising adventures. But the ending of the novel doesn’t quite satisfy. The problem is that an important loose thread is not tied up. In my opinion, Elisabeth should find her father, as her continual search for him motivates many of the choices she makes throughout the novel. By not giving us that scene, the author lost an opportunity not only for tension and conflict (how I would have loved to have seen the expression on Sigismund’s face when he saw that one of the knights was his own daughter), but also for a truly resonant ending to the novel.

Despite this flaw, this is a great read for those of you interested in the crusades. The author has clearly done her research, and the novel is replete with vivid depictions of fighting in chain mail and armor. My favorite one is of Elisabeth wearing her knight’s armor while trying to cope with the heat of the Middle East. A vivid characterization of the agony that must have been suffered by those knights of long ago.

–Cynthia Haggard writes historical novels.  She has two completed manuscripts that will be published in the coming year. THWARTED QUEEN  is a portrait of a woman trapped by power, a marriage undone by betrayal, and a King brought down by fear.FAMILY SPLINTERS is  a novel about identity, forbidden love and family secrets. For more on her creative writing, go to spunstories. (c) 2011. All rights reserved.

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Historical Novel Blogs

When I rummaged around the internet recently, looking for interesting blogs, I came upon three.

History and Women is a quirky blog full of odd tidbits about women’s history with wonderful photographs used as illustration.  It is run by Mirella Patzer, Nan Hawthorne and Greta Marlow.  I do not know Greta Marlow, but Mirella Patzer and Nan Hawthorne are regular contributors to discussion on the Historical Novel Society’s listserv.

Historical Romance UK is full of news about new historical novels, including one that features Margaret Dashwood, the youngest sister in Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility. The only problem with this blog is that you have to do a lot of scrolling, as the “excerpts” are really extremely long…. I mean thousands of words long.  Good for a cold winter night when you have nothing better to do and there is only rubbish to watch on the telly.

DorothyStrikeAged6Circa1898

Reading the Past offers pithy book reviews (one paragraph long) of various historical novels that are on Sarah Johnson’s bookshelf. To judge from the quantity of her reviews, Sarah is a voracious reader, and her website is a treat for those of us who like to find not-so-well-known gems of historical novels.

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