Friday, June 23, 2017

Meet Mary Anne Yarde and Read About The Du Lac Chronicles (Book #1)

It’s a small world, all right! While chatting with Mary Anne, I found out she was born a stone’s throw from Glastonbury, the fabled Isle of Avalon, and one of my favourite parts of England. My husband’s Aunt Maisie still lives there, and when we visit her, we take a hike up Glastonbury Tor, which is quite a workout. Mary Anne is also a huge Ricardian, as I am, and she’s descended from the Stanley brothers, who betrayed Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth, which directly resulted in his losing the battle, his crown, and his life.

Mary Anne is also the award-winning author of the International Best Selling Series — The Du Lac Chronicles. Set a generation after the fall of King Arthur, The Du Lac Chronicles takes you on a journey through Dark Age Briton and Brittany, where you will meet new friends and terrifying foes. Based on legends and historical fact, The Du Lac Chronicles is a series not to be missed.

Born in Bath, Mary Anne grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.

Purchase the Du Lac Chronicles

An Interview with Mary Anne

Hi, everyone. Waves! Thank you so much, Diana, for inviting me on to your fabulous blog. For those who don’t know me, my name is Mary Anne Yarde. I was born in Bath, and I grew up in the south-west of England. I lived a mere 15 minutes from Glastonbury — the fabled Isle of Avalon. Tales of King Arthur and his Knights were a part of my childhood.

I am an award-winning author of the International Best Selling series — The Du Lac Chronicles. This series is set a generation after the fall of King Arthur. The Du Lac Chronicles takes you on a journey through Dark Age Britain and Brittany, where you will meet new friends and terrifying foes.

If you have 2 hours free time tonight, what would you rather do? Why?

Climbing Glastonbury Tor and watching the sunset would be a great way to spend 2 hours!

What kind of books do you love to read? Why?

I am a real bookworm. I love reading, and I get through a lot of books in a year. My favourite genre is historical fiction, but I also like fantasy, thrillers, and romance books.

What type of music do you enjoy relaxing to?

According to my children, my music taste is appalling, so I must be doing something right! I am a life long fan of Bon Jovi and Bryan Adams, but I have just discovered For King and Country — much to my teen’s disgust! I personally can’t see the problem with For King and Country, and as I am subjected daily to Cryoshell, Nickelback and Avenged Sevenfold, I think it is fitting to have my revenge and play music that I like occasionally! Oh my gosh, I just realised how old I sound!

What is your stress buster?

If I am really stressed, then my Zumba video workout will be taken out of storage! If I am only a little stressed, then I would pick up a book — any excuse!

What is your favorite food? What food do you seek when you’re sad, sort of a comfort food?

I don’t have a comfort food. But I do drink a lot of Red Rooibos (Redbush) tea, so I think that would probably be my comfort food… comfort beverage!

Describe yourself in one word.


When did you write your first book? How long did it take you to write it?

I started writing 15 years ago, but I never took it seriously until about two years ago. Book 1 of The Du Lac Chronicles was about 12 years in the making. Thankfully Book 2 only took six months!

Where and when do you write? Tell us about your favorite work place and time. Any special reason?

I dedicate three hours, Monday to Friday, every afternoon to writing. I turn off my phone — and depending on what I am going to write about — I choose some appropriate music to listen to. I tend to listen to music by the composer James Horner, as it is very atmospheric and helps me visualise the scenes I want to write.

I don’t have a desk. I find it really uncomfortable to sit up at a table to write. The posture police would be furious with me because I write sitting up on my bed. Grimace!

How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story? How do you go on from there? Maybe you can give us an example with one of your books.

The characters come first, and they drive the story forward. I write Arthurian fiction set in the Dark Ages. So it is a case of research, research, research, before I even think about writing.

I don’t plan or write down the plot. I know where my characters are going to end up, I just need to get them there.

Where do you get your ideas? Do you jot them down in a notebook, in case you forgot?

As I said the characters come first.  I then research the era my books are set in. I am one of those terrible researchers who pens in the margins of factual books and underline sentences. I also make notes, on random bits of paper, but mostly I just jot down book and page references.

Have you ever wanted to write your book in one direction but your characters are moving it in another direction? What did you do in such a situation?

Oh my gosh, yes! One of my characters, Merton du Lac, loves to throw me curve balls all the time. I have absolutely no control over him at all, and if I try to fight him for creative control, it just goes terribly wrong, and in the end, he wins. Perhaps I should credit Merton as being the author!

You’re having a party.  What character from any of your books do you hope attends?  Why?  What character do you hope doesn’t attend?  Why?

I would definitely invite Merton —a party wouldn’t be the same without him. Alden, his brother, would get an invitation too, along with his wife, because they are both great company. I would be a little hesitant about inviting Budic du Lac, he is not particularly the party type person, and he is very moody. He would probably have us all arrested and thrown in the dungeons.

How would readers find out more about you?

To find out more about me, all you have to do is follow the links — 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A Hot Summer Read--RUNNING HOT by J.L. Sheppard

Hell Ryders MC #2
by J.L. Sheppard

Meet Kathleen Rowland--Unholy Alliance will grab your attention-- a sizzling #romanticsuspense from #Tirgearrpublishing

Kathleen and I have guested on each other's blogs many times during our #EggcerptExchanges but this year we're trying something different, the #AuthorLove Exchange. Meet Kathleen and see what she's been up to!

About Kathleen

Book Buyers Best finalist Kathleen Rowland is devoted to giving her readers fast-paced, high-stakes suspense with a sizzling love story sure to melt their hearts.  Writing a romantic suspense Irish American series for Tirgearr Publishing, Deadly Alliance is followed by Unholy Alliance with a release date of March 29, 2017.  Keep an icy drink handy while reading these hot stories.

Other books are sweet new adult such as Lily’s Pad and the Intervenus Series: A Brand New Address and Betrayal at Crater’s Edge

Kathleen used to write computer programs but now writes novels.   She grew up in Iowa where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and raced her sailboat on Lake Okoboji.  Now she wears flip-flops and sails with her husband, Gerry, on Newport Harbor but wishes there were lightning bugs in California.

Kathleen exists happily with her witty CPA husband, Gerry, in their 70’s poolside retreat in Southern California where she adores time spent with visiting grandchildren, dogs, one bunny, and noisy neighbors.  While proud of their five children who’ve flown the coop, she appreciates the luxury of time to write.  If you’d enjoy news,  sign up for Kathleen’s newsletter


A decade ago, Tori Rourke, and her cousin, Vivienne, ran from the Irish mob after witnessing a brutal murder. Tori was framed by the mob, and while she served time in prison, she worried that the killer, Seamus McGinn, had kidnapped her missing cousin.

Attorney Grady D. Fletcher, defender of the wrongly condemned, appeals Tori’s case and wins her release. Now, going by Victoria Morningstar, she runs a food truck from a seedy waterfront neighborhood, hoping to find her cousin's kidnapper.

When Grady agrees to defend a new client, Samuel Peterson, who’s been accused of beating to death the wife of a noted professor, the evidence mounts. The professor is missing, as well as his laptop that contains data dangerous to national security.

And Seamus McGinn is back, and rumors of a massive annihilation is about to begin. As they race to assist the FBI, the bonds between Grady and Tori are about to be tested. It becomes clear Grady and Tori are falling fast for each other, but what to do about it is a different story. He’s a divorced dad who wants more time with his kid. She brings danger to his front door.

Grady has questions of his own; Is Vivienne at the center of the mob’s operation? How much will it cost Tori before she learns the truth? All Grady knows is the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you.


“Don’t let the anxiety of freedom consume you.”  Attorney Grady Donahue Fletcher clenched his teeth and rehearsed what he’d say to his client, Victoria Morningstar. He’d won her appeal and drove to pick her up at Gladstone Penitentiary. “At least you won’t be placed in solitary.” That was worse.

Six months earlier Grady had phoned a reporter at the Los Angeles Globe. "Drew Barker. Grady Fletcher here.”

“Ah, the lawyer. Calling about a tip?”

“I am. Here's something you can investigate. Tori Morningstar, did she murder Irene Brennan?"

"I wrote that story many years back," the journalist had said. “I assume you have new discoveries.”

"Fraud, illegal testimony. Do you want the story first?" A second passed. 
"Otherwise, I'll call the Orange County Guardian."

"Okay, okay. We want it."

Three days later Grady had a hand in writing the first article in Drew Barker’s column. "The public labeled Tori Morningstar as an undesirable. Not black and poor, but disfavored, accused, incarcerated, and wrongly condemned. Her cellphone has been recovered. Her call to 911 identified her voice and substantiated screams of the victim in the background. Could she have beaten someone while speaking to dispatch at the same time?"

The reporter had written the second article. "People who get their ideas about criminal lawyers from TV probably would be disappointed in Grady Fletcher. He lacks flash but stands up straight, his posture neither ramrod nor slouched. He doesn't smoke, doesn't wear thousand dollar suits. His voice is soft and low, one of his assets. He speaks truth with a voice inviting confidences."

As nice as that was, Grady’s stomach cramped over pressure and strain from Drew Barker’s final article with the headline, Tori Morningstar, Released Today. Picked up by the online service, Newser, KTLA, and CBS Los Angeles, they planned to broadcast his arrival to escort his client from Gladstone.

Tori’s decade-long prison sentence ended today but with a sobering fear over tomorrow.

When was a July morning this hot? Grady balanced her release papers on his lap as he rolled up one sleeve then the other while gripping the damp steering wheel. Sweat blossomed on his throbbing forehead, wrapped like a python’s grip. He adjusted the dial for the AC and embraced the challenge of helping another client get back on track. Embrace and conquer. Or at least sound like it. 

You'll find all the book links here.

Contact Kathleen


Amazon Author Page


Chatting with Kathleen Rowland Blog

Blogspot Blog


Wednesday, June 7, 2017


In the June Romance Writers of America magazine, my fellow author Mindy Klasky wrote her article "Reformation of a Former Non-Twitter User" about a formula she created to build her Twitter footprint and let us all in on it. One discovery led to another, and it's opened up a new world to me!
Starting with #BOOKQW, I joined Mindy's group that Tweets about a word she chooses every Wednesday (today the word is 'short'). She announces the word, we find that word in one of our books, and Tweet a quote from one of our books using that word.

I checked out some of the Tweets from past Wednesdays, and saw that they all contained fabulous graphics. I asked her and my web designer how to create those graphics, and they both replied instantly, suggesting I try Canva. I signed up, started playing around with the graphics, and already created several for my books. If you've used desktop publishing, it's easy to navigate.

For today's word, 'short', I had a hunch that word was in my Prohibition novel BOOTLEG BROADWAY. I don't know why, it was just one of those guesses that sometimes yields gold, and this sure did! The word 'short' was in the very beginning, and I used that bit of dialogue in a graphic I created and Tweeted today.

It all came together like the pieces of a puzzle!

Check it out on Twitter, too!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Meet My Friend and Fellow Ricardian, Joan Szechtman, Author of Time Travels and More to Come...

Every Ricardian (those of us interested—and usually fascinated—with Richard III) has a story about how they ‘discovered’ Richard. I “found” him in a book on the wrong shelf of the Cambridge Library, up in the stacks. I joined the Richard III Society, and the rest is “history”! This was 1992. Several years later, several dedicated Ricardians formed a New England Chapter of the Society, where I met Joan. We became fast friends, as kindred souls; not only did we write novels featuring Richard, but we wrote time travels in which Richard comes to modern times—even before we met.

Meet Joan, read about her time travel trilogy, and what’s on the drawing board.

About Joan

Tell us a little about yourself.
After retiring from a career in Computer Science and Data Communications, I accidentally reinvented myself as a writer because I read a book—THE SUNNE IN SPLENDOUR by Sharon Kay Penman. I found Richard III’s story so compelling that  I did a deep dive into his history. I just published my third and final book, STRANGE TIMES, about Richard III in the 21st century.
While learning about the real Richard III, I found the Richard III Society and joined the American Branch. About six years after joining the society, I became the editor of the semi-annual magazine, RICARDIAN REGISTER, and the semi-annual newsletter, RICARDIAN CHRONICLE.
I like to read a variety of genres and styles. In no particular order, an incomplete list of my reading ranges from science fiction, science, humor, historical fiction, and biography.

Your trilogy is about Richard III in the 21st Century. Why did you bring him forward in time?
Once I discovered the real man was not Shakespeare’s arch-villain I loved to hate, I began to wonder about him as a person and imagined sitting across from him at dinner. What would he tell me about his nephews—the infamous princes in the Tower, his family, and his friends and enemies.
One of the facts deeply affecting me about Richard III was his age—thirty-two—when he was killed in his final battle. I felt his story wasn’t finished and I wanted to examine his character in a modern light, without forcing our modern sensibilities onto his fifteenth-century actions. To do this, I had to let him speak for himself.

What were your conclusions about his nephews?

Despite the rumors the princes had met an evil end and Tudor’s willingness to parlay these rumors to his advantage, extant documentation and contemporary reports show only that the boys disappeared. Setting aside the lack of documentation, I also took into consideration the behaviors of both Richard III and Henry VII. Then, it was standard operating procedure to display bodies to “prove” that their reigns were without credible challenge. Despite the way Henry had Richard’s body mistreated immediately after the battle, he nevertheless had it put on display to show that he was now the undisputed king. I have to think that if Henry had killed the princes or knew where their bodies were, he would have displayed them and blamed Richard for their deaths. If Richard had had them killed, he could have easily first blamed Welles for their deaths during the botched attempt to “free” them from the tower, and then later, Buckingham, when Richard had him executed for treason.
Richard had far less reason to want the princes dead than did Henry. Through “Titulus Regius” parliament declared Richard the rightful king and bastardized all of Edward IV’s children. As bastards, the princes could not inherit any title. Henry VII had his parliament revoke “Titulus Regius” which enabled his marriage to Edward IV’s oldest daughter, Elizabeth Woodville. If the princes were alive, they now had more claim to the crown now that their impediment had been removed. In fact, based on how he handled the man he called Perkin Warbeck, I think he was more than a little afraid that Warbeck was really Richard of York, the younger of Edward IV’s two sons. Interestingly, Warbeck claimed to have been in Edward Brampton’s household in Portugal. Now Brampton was a Portuguese Jew who converted soon after Edward IV first became king and served both Edward and Richard. Among the many awards that Richard gave Brampton, he knighted him in 1484—the first monarch to knight a converted Jew. As much as Richard may have liked the guy, I think there had to have been an extraordinary reason for him to grant Brampton knighthood. I think a strong reason was that Richard had entrusted Richard of York’s care to Brampton.

What device did you use to effect time travel and what limitations did you employ?

Having something of a scientific background, I decided to “invent” a time travel machine and to follow the physical laws as closely as possible. Therefore, one could not just go back into the past or come forward into the future without an equal exchange of mass/energy (the law of conservation of mass/energy). Additionally, without the equal exchange, the time displaced mass would soon disintegrate. So, for my Ricardian team to bring Richard III forward at the moment he would have been killed in battle, they had to exchange an object of equal mass with him fully armored. It also meant that a person or object could not travel through time and remain without being damaged to the point of death.
A second limitation to time travel is the position of a particular object—such as the planet—in the universe. Because the universe is expanding at increasing speed, every object is hurtling through space. The calculations to go to a specific point on the earth either back or forward in time would be quite complicated and have to account for trillions of miles displacement.

Since STRANGE TIMES is the third book of the trilogy, please tell us a little about the first two.

THIS TIME starts moments before Richard III loses to Henry Tudor on the field of Redemore near Leicester, England on August 22, 1485. In THIS TIME, a team of Ricardians substitutes an armor-clad corpse for the king and brings Richard into Portland, Oregon. He awakens August 21, 2004 to an alien world where even the English he speaks is different.
The story follows two parallel paths: the present where Richard must learn how to adjust to not only the technological advancements but also the more difficult cultural differences; and looking back at the past to solve some of the mysteries that have haunted and maligned his image for over 500 years.
The second book, LOYALTY BINDS ME, continues Richard III's story. Richard has married a divorcee, adopted her two daughters, and with the help of his new wife, has been able to rescue his son Edward, who had predeceased him in the 15th-century. Richard has lived in the twenty-first century for two years, and his son has been with him for the past year. At the start of the novel, they have just arrived in London, when Richard is brought in by the Metropolitan Police for questioning about the alleged murder of Richard III's nephews in 1483. Richard must now find a way to clear his name and protect his family while concealing his true identity.
STRANGE TIMES starts immediately after Richard and family return to Portland, Oregon.

What are your thoughts on historical accuracy?

I think it is important to respect the lives and histories of those who have gone before us. Therefore, I try to stay as close to the known history as possible, given that not all references are themselves accurate and in some instances are in conflict with other respected sources. In addition, there are often gaps of knowledge, where important details are unknown. So, as a novelist, I try to learn and understand as much as I’m able about certain events and actors and fill in those gaps based on my understanding of the material I have absorbed.
Part of my research goes to formulating what may have motivated a character to behave the way he or she had in real life to find a way of letting me into that character’s head.

How has the discovery of Richard’s Remains affected this trilogy?

While I was able to follow Richard’s 15th century history as reported, only adding my own speculation where there was no extant or conflicting documentation, the same could not be said for his 21st century history. The remains were found at a unique time, where the remains could be confirmed as his through DNA and isotopic tests, which without employing a massive deus ex machina, could not be reconciled with what would have been found in the remains of the body that was substituted for Richard.

Many time-travel novels ignore language differences, but you didn’t. Yet, Richard was able to adjust rapidly to modern English.

Richard was probably fluent in three or four languages, and although today’s English would have at first sounded foreign to him, I felt that there were enough similarities—based on my reading of THE PASTON LETTERS, for example—between Early Modern English and today’s English that he would have been able to understand a lot of what he heard fairly quickly. I also provided a linguist that was able to help him over the inevitable speed bumps.

Do you have other projects in mind?

Yes. I have a paranormal languishing on my back burner about Catherine Howard’s spirit invading a young woman who is studying American History at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. She’s an intern at Agecroft Hall, a late 15th century manor. Thomas C. Williams Jr., a wealthy Richmond entrepreneur, transported timber by stone to his twenty-three acre estate overlooking the James River. The modified reconstruction was completed in 1928 and is now in the U. S. National Register of Historic Places.

Two other projects that are in more nascent states of development are a science fiction story and an anecdotal family history with lots of photos.

How can readers find out more about you?

Visit my website and find me on Facebook. My books are available at the usual suspects including Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, where you can read samples.