Tag Archives: novel

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Children of Time is coming!

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Here’s the cover for the print book!  I just couldn’t wait to share it. Currently, Children of Time, the fourth book in the After Cilmeri series (fifth, if you include  Daughter of Time), is in the editing/copyediting process.  I am planning on a November release date.  If you want to know the moment it arrives in stores, sign up in the side bar!

November 1288. Bereft of a king or rightful heir, England hurtles towards civil war for the second time in a generation. When David, Prince of Wales, and his wife, Lili, travel to London to attend the wedding of William de Bohun and Princess Joan, they have no intention of involving themselves in local politics. But as infighting leads to murder, David and Lili find themselves at the center of a far-reaching conspiracy. Trapped between history and legend, they must decide how much they are willing to sacrifice to save not only their own country, but the people of England as well.

Meanwhile, back in Wales, Llywelyn and Meg discover that time is no barrier to either adventure or trouble …

Children of Time, book four in the After Cilmeri series, continues the story of Llywelyn, Meg, and their children in the medieval kingdom of Wales.

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Darkiss Reads reviews The Pendragon’s Quest!

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The folks over at Darkiss Reads have posted a wonderful review for The Pendragon’s Quest:

“Sarah Woodbury outdoes herself with “The Pendragon’s Quest”, which I thought was impossible because the first book was so good. I was wrong, this book surpasses the first as the author brings us deeper into Cade’s world and those of his companions. Again I was caught up in the brotherhood of warriors whose mettle was tested time and time again in battle. The story explores and adds more depth to the Characters of Cade’s most trusted Knights; Dafydd, Hywel and Goronwy whose loyalty to King and country could cost them their lives.

We see the true meaning of courage and the will to never surrender flow from the pages of this novel. We see the love grow and strengthen between Cade and Rhiann along with the respect they have for each other and their vulnerably in their need for each other. And last but not least Taliesin who in this story has his own demons to fight, as Cade journeys with him to a place where only few have gone before in search of something that was lost. The author also introduces two new female characters which add depth to certain characters. These subplots within the story all weave together beautifully at the end.

. . . The novel is extremely well written, and Sarah Woodbury is a true Bard in every sense of the world. Her storytelling ability and true to life battle scenes puts her right up there as one of my favorite authors. The cover artwork for her book is amazing and just helps fuel the imagination as the story unfolds as myth and legend come to life. I give this book 5 stars.”

Please see their web page for the rest of the review:  http://www.darkissreads.com/2011/09/pendragons-quest-last-pendragon-saga-by.html

For links to buy it:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/84562

Also available at Amazon and Amazon UK

Along with the complete saga as a bundle at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/87852

and Amazon and Amazon UK

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Anna Elliott: Georgiana Darcy’s Diary

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Today’s Inspiration Award goes to Anna Elliott! 

Anna is the author of the Twilight of Avalon Trilogy (book three comes out this September), and she has recently gone the indie route with the publication of her new book Georgiana Darcy’s Diary.   Welcome Anna!

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I’ve read Pride and Prejudice many, many times, and seen the various movie adaptations more times than I can even begin to count.  (Colin Firth is my favorite Mr. Darcy!).  I love Elizabeth and Darcy’s love story, of course–it’s a testament to Jane Austen’s genius that it truly stands the test of time and feels as compelling now as it did 200 years ago.  And yet, strangely, it’s always been Georgiana Darcy’s character that stays with me the longest, each time I read the book or watch one of the films. 

            Georgiana’s character is almost a plot device in the book–proof of Wickham’s villainy, since he tried to seduce her when she was only fifteen.  She’s described as ‘exceedingly shy’ and we never actually hear her speak a single line; any dialogue she has is summarized by the narrator.  And yet I’ve always wanted to know more about her–how did she really feel about George Wickham?  What was it like growing up as Mr. Darcy’s younger sister?  And most important of all, I couldn’t stop myself from imagining what might have happened to her after the close of Pride and Prejudice.  Did she ever find her own happily-ever-after?

            Georgiana Darcy’s Diary was born out of all my wondering.  I chose a diary format to tell Georgiana’s story, first because I’d never written a diary form novel before, and wanted to challenge myself to master the form.  But mostly that was just how I heard Georgiana’s voice in my head: a shy girl, pouring herself onto the pages of the private journal that—at the beginning of the story, at least– serves as  her only real confidant.  

           I absolutely loved writing Georgiana Darcy’s Diary, and I hope fellow Jane Austen lovers will enjoy spending a little more time in the Pride and Prejudice world.

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Mr. Darcy’s younger sister searches for her own happily-ever-after…
The year is 1814, and it’s springtime at Pemberley. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy have married. But now a new romance is in the air, along with high fashion, elegant manners, scandal, deception, and the wonderful hope of a true and lasting love.

Shy Georgiana Darcy has been content to remain unmarried, living with her brother and his new bride. But Elizabeth and Darcy’s fairy-tale love reminds Georgiana daily that she has found no true love of her own. And perhaps never will, for she is convinced the one man she secretly cares for will never love her in return. Georgiana’s domineering aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, has determined that Georgiana shall marry, and has a list of eligible bachelors in mind. But which of the suitors are sincere, and which are merely interested in Georgiana’s fortune? Georgiana must learn to trust her heart-and rely on her courage, for she also faces the return of the man who could ruin her reputation and spoil a happy ending, just when it finally lies within her grasp.

Check out Anna’s blog and her other books:  http://annaelliottbooks.com/

Georgiana Darcy’s Diary is available at Barnes and Noble:  Georgiana Darcy’s Diary  Amazon US:  Georgiana Darcy’s Diary and Amazon UK:  Georgiana Darcy’s Diary

And thanks to Suzanne Tyrpak for my own Inspiration Award.  You can find her at:  http://ghostplanestory.blogspot.com/2011/04/big-thank-to-my-fellow-author-and.html

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Writing and re-writing: A Novel of King Arthur

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I normally blog about dark age and medieval Wales, and just touch on the writing that has preoccupied my life for the last five years.

But I’ve just put up my new novel, Cold My Heart:  A Novel of King Arthur, and I thought I’d talk about the process that created it, particularly for my long time readers and followers who will have seen a blurb to this book in another form not long ago.

The most important thing I’ve learned in writing fiction over the years is, of course, never give up.  The second most important thing is that no book is ever set in stone.  It’s really hard to see that when you’re in the process of writing it, but every single one of my books has gone through a transformative process from when I first began writing it, to when I finally published it at Amazon and Smashwords in 2011.

I began writing fiction five years ago on April 1, just to see if I could.  I wrote a straight-forward fantasy novel called Dark Legend (which I still think is a great title and I swear one of my books is going to be called that in the future), which will never see the light of day.  I wrote it in 6 weeks, edited it for a month, and started sharing it.  I tremble at what people must have thought and they were very kind about it, but . . . no. 

Almost immediately afterwards, I began what eventually became, Footsteps in Time.  It took me four years and five more completed novels to get it in a condition where it was publishable.  In those four years, I tried to sell it for two, I wrote two more books in the series, and through it all, I was ripping the book apart and putting it back together.  At one point, a third of the book was from Meg’s viewpoint.  At one point, it was in first person (which a Goodreads reviewer guessed, so kudos to her!).

The point is that until you’ve published a book (and with ebooks, maybe not even then) a book isn’t done.  It’s important not to lock yourself into one idea or one avenue, even after you’ve typed ‘the end’ and then edited it a dozen times.   Especially if you are seeking representation, and ultimately an editor.  The good think about ripping apart a book and putting it back together in the computer age, is that you can save the old version.  There is no risk.  Except your heart, of course.

Which brings me to Cold My Heart.  I started it in November of 2009 for NaNoWriMo.  I wrote it in about 5 months, setting it in the 13th century, the same time period as my After Cilmeri series.  I did that because I loved the time period, loved the people, but I couldn’t sell Footsteps in Time, and thus, if I was going to write about that era, I was going to have to write a different book.

A year and a half later, I’d gotten these rejections: 

“There is alot of good material here but after much consideration I think I will have to pass on the project.  I kept thinking that this was neither fish nor fowl kind of book that wouldn’t fit comfortably in either the historical or fantasy slots.  I do think she is a very talented writer however and would love to take a look at anything else she is working on.”

“Its very nicely done, but I find I’m not falling in love with it, partly because I don’t feel optimistic about the market for this kind of medieval romantic historical.”

“I actually liked it alot– this is one of my favorite time periods– and Sarah has a talent for writing a story that stuck with me.  This said, I think we’d have trouble making it work.  We haven’t had alot of luck in this particular time period, and I think the fantasy element might make it harder, given that we don’t do any fantasy.”

So  . . . what to do?  It would never be published in this form.  Not traditionally, and maybe, just maybe, I was beginning to think not ever.

It didn’t take long to come up with an answer and my writing partner and I had the exact same idea, almost simultaneously.  She knows me well enough to understand that rewriting an entire book from top to bottom is daunting, but not impossible.  I’d done it before.  I’ll do it again.  I set it 700 years earlier, with different characters, different history (obviously), and a whole new impetus for being.  I wrote a novel about King Arthur.

And the truth is, I love this book.  I love it more than the old one.  I am so glad I got those rejections that made me reconsider.  I hope you love it too.

Cold My Heart:  A Novel of King Arthur is available at Amazon ( http://tinyurl.com/67v6cfl), Amazon UK, and coming soon to everywhere Smashwords distributes.

It has been featured at the New Book Journal here:  http://newbookjournal.com/2011/04/new-release-in-historical-fantasy/

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Women In Ancient Rome–Guest Post by Suzanne Tyrpak

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Today I have a guest post by author, Suzanne Tyrpak.  Welcome, Suzanne!

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     About seven years ago (before my divorce, when I had some expendable income) I traveled to Rome with a group of writers. I fell in love with Italy, Rome in particular. A travel book I read contained a short blurb about vestal virgins; it mentioned they were sworn to thirty years of chastity and, if that vow were broken, they would be entombed alive. That got me going! Plus, on a tour of the Coliseum, a guide pointed out the seats designated to the vestal virgins—the six priestess of Vesta were educated, and therefore powerful, at a time when most women weren’t even taught to read.

Vestals were in charge of legal documents. They not only wrote these documents, in triplicate, but kept them secure within the House of the Vestals. The vestals were closely connected with the Collegiate of Pontiffs, the priests of Rome. Consequently, the vestals were often included in gatherings of state.

     But there realm extended well beyond the political arena. As priestesses of Vesta, they performed religious rituals, and their prayers were believed to hold great power. Their purity of spirit and body had mystical significance, and vestals were charged with tending the sacred fire representing the heart of Rome. If the fire died, Rome risked destruction and the wrath of the gods. Once a year, the flame was ritually extinguished, then reignited using a crystal and the rays of the sun.

Vestals were wealthy, paid a stipend, and, unlike other Roman women, they could own property.

While the upper classes of Rome lived a life of decadence, Roman matrons of good family were supposed to be reclusive. Their lives centered around their households. Of course, there were exceptions—but generally, wealthy men enjoyed much more freedom than wealthy women. These households were dependent upon slaves, many of them foreigners. Sometimes, but not often, a slave might be freed, otherwise a slave’s circumstance was completely dependent on the good (or bad) will of her masters.

     The plebs, commoners, lived hard lives. Fire ran rampant through overcrowded apartments. While wealthy Romans enjoyed steam heat and running water (granted, it ran through poisonous lead pipes, which led to infertility and madness), the poor had to haul their water, often up five flights of stairs. Many women worked outside of their homes, so, to some degree, they might have more freedom than a wealthier woman, who might be cloistered within her home.

    Writing Vestal Virgin required a lot of research. I traveled to Rome twice, and on my second trip I hired a scholar who specialized in the year I’m writing about, A.D. 63-64, to give me a tour of the Forum. One of the most useful books I found was History of the Vestal Virgins of Rome, published in 1934 by T. Cato Worsfold. I also wrote to Colleen McCullough, and she was kind enough to write back. She gave me the name of an out-of-print book that I’ve used a lot, Festivals and Ceremonies of the Roman Republic, by H.H. Scullard. I have shelves of books about Roman history and Paul of Tarsus—hardly anything is written about vestal virgins—but that gives me quite a bit of leeway. After all, I’m writing fiction.

Vestel Virgin, is available at Amazon.com

Vestal Virgin–suspense in ancient Rome

Elissa Rubria Honoria is a Vestal Virgin–priestess of the sacred flame, a visionary, and one of the most powerful women in Rome. Vestals are sacrosanct, sworn to chastity on penalty of death, but the emperor, Nero, holds himself above the law. He pursues Elissa, engaging her in a deadly game of wits and sexuality. Or is Elissa really the pursuer? She stumbles on dark secrets. No longer trusting Roman gods, she follows a new god, Jesus of Nazareth, jeopardizing her life and the future of The Roman Empire.

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New Books Available!

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I’ve been working on the After Cilmeri series, a young adult, time-travel fantasy, for the past five years.  As should be obvious by now, the fate of Wales after the death of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd has been a near-constant occupation of mine, and these novels are a fun way to imagine a different fate for him.   A prequel is in the works . . . Enjoy!

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Footsteps in Time

In December of 1282, English soldiers ambushed and murdered Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the Prince of Wales.  His death marked the end of Wales as an independent nation and the beginning of over seven hundred years of English oppression.

Footsteps in Time is the story of what might have happened had Llywelyn lived.   

And what happens to the two American teenagers who save him.

Footsteps in Time is available (for free) at:  http://www.feedbooks.com/userbook/18316/footsteps-in-time

Or at Smashwords.com:  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/38722

Or At Amazon.com: Footsteps in Time  

Amazon UK:  Footsteps in Time

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Prince of Time

Prince of Time, the second book in the After Cilmeri series, continues the story of David and Anna, two American teenagers catapulted back in time to alter history and save the medieval kingdom of Wales.  David and his man-at-arms, Ieuan, find themselves alone and on the run from a company of English soldiers who’ve sworn vengeance for the recent death of their king.  Meanwhile, Llywelyn lays on his deathbed from a traitor’s arrow.  And once again, it is David and Anna, and all they represent, that holds the key to the survival of Wales.

Prince of Time is available at Amazon.com, Amazon UK, Barnesandnoble.com, Smashwords.com and elsewhere to which Smashwords distributes:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/38723

At Amazon.com:  Prince of Time

At Amazon UK:  Prince of Time