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Frequently Asked Question: How Are Things in Your World?

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It’s the first Wednesday of the month, so it must be time for a question from the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The complete question is:The IWSG’s focus is on our writers. Each month, from all over the globe, we are a united group sharing our insecurities, our troubles, and our pain. So, in this time when our world is in crisis with the covid-19 pandemic, our optional question this month is: how are things in your world?Well, I’ll tell you. Seeing the announcement yesterday that the shelter-in-place has been extended through the end of April for my region and my company was hard. I’m an introvert, to be sure, but this is starting to wear on me. I am accustomed to deciding how much time I...
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Blogging from A to Z: A is for Aedile

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On the left side of the photograph is a political graffito asking people to vote for one Helvius Sabinus, who was running for aedile. Photo by the author.Hi, everyone. Welcome to the first entry in my 2020 blogging challenge. As you might recall, I’m sharing facts about Pompeii. My current work in progress is set there, so I thought it would be fun to share some of my research with you! Wherever possible, I will use photographs from my visit to the ruins earlier this year.Our first entry is aedile. An aedile was the most junior elected office in ancient Roman times. The aedile was a magistrate, responsible for management of public roads and public buildings. He, and they were always male, ha...
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Historical Fiction Spotlight: Transfer, by Apple Gidley


Available from Amazon UK and Amazon USTransfer traces the lives of those on Anna’s Fancy, the Clausen estate on Saint Croix in the Danish West Indies, handed down through three generations. An historical novel and the sequel to Fireburn (OC Publishing 2017), Transfer sees Niels Clausen, the illegitimate child of a Danish landowner and his black mistress who both died as a result of the 1878 worker revolt, leave his adoptive mother’s sugar plantation and sail to England to continue his education.With the help of Toby, a British aristocrat, Ivy, a lady’s maid turned lady and her botanist husband, Timothy, Niels challenges the perceptions on the streets of London of a black man at the turn of t...
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AND THE WINNERS ARE … #RAFFLECOPTER #GIVEAWAY

And the winners are
And the winners are … DRUM ROLL … Nancy P of Florida, United States of America who wins the hardcover edition. Lexi Paige of Texas, United States of America who wins a paperback edition. Nancy and Lexi were chosen at random from the entries in my Rafflecopter giveaway. The first prize was a spanking brand […]The post AND THE WINNERS ARE … #RAFFLECOPTER #GIVEAWAY appeared first on Stephen Bentley.Original link
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Music Monday: “Everyday People”

Hi, everyone. If you’ve been reading for a while, you know how much I love Playing for Change. Their rendition of Sly and the Family Stone’s “Everyday People” actually made me cry this morning. Even though I’m an introvert, the shelter-in-place is starting to get to me. Seeing so many joy-filled faces in community felt good … even as it reminded me of what I’m missing.Original link
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Historical Fiction Spotlight: The Silken Rose: Beware the She-Wolf from Provence (The Rose Trilogy) by Carol McGrath


Available for pre-order from Amazon UK and Amazon USThey called her the She-Wolf From Provence. She'd shape the destiny of England ...1236. Ailenor of Provence, cultured and intelligent, is only thirteen when she meets her new husband, Henry III of England. A foreign and friendless princess in a strange land she is determined to please him. And she knows that when the times comes she must provide an heir, to secure the throne against those who would snatch it away.Rosalind, a commoner skilled in the arts of needlework and embroidery, catches the young queen's attention and a friendship blossoms. But she is unprepared for the dangerous ramifications of winning the queen's favour ...As closene...
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How to Build Your Author Platform on a Shoestring

How to Build Your Author Platform on a Shoestring
Some of the most common questions I am asked as an indie author concern book marketing. In this post I will pass on some tips of my own in addition to giving you the chance of downloading this book titled How to Build Your Author Platform on a Shoestring for FREE. It sells for $9.99 […]The post How to Build Your Author Platform on a Shoestring appeared first on Stephen Bentley.Original link
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Why is setting important to historical fiction? | A Writer of History

In three separate surveys of reading habits and preferences (check the Reader Surveys tab on this blog), the top three reasons for reading historical fiction are: (1) to bring the past to life, appreciating how people lived and coped in very different times, (2) because it’s a great story, and (3) to understand and learn about historical periods without reading non-fiction.How can authors bring the past to life without exploring modes of travel, the circumstances of daily life, or the religious beliefs of the time? How can readers learn about a particular time period without seeing the characters of the novel confronting the conflicts and challenges of that era? How can a character’s emotion...
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What Happened to Latin After the Fall of Rome?


As someone who not only speaks three Romance languages but is presently studying Latin so that I can read inscriptions myself, I found this really interesting!Nicholas C. RossisReaders of this blog will be aware of my fascination with all things linguistic. So, I just had to share Susanna Viljanen’s and Dan Toler’s answers on Quora on what happened to Latin once Rome was no more.It may surprise many to realize that Latin is alive and well over fifteen centuries later. Latin never disappeared. It simply evolved. But it evolved differently in different places, and that’s how we ended up with the diverse set of modern Romance languages.What Happened to Latin After the Fall of Rome (476 AD)?Afte...
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6 Worst Pandemics in History and What We Can Learn


Today, I am sharing the following post from Learning Mind, which bills itself as a “source for deep thinkers, lifelong learners and truth seekers.”It’s a fascinating look at the six worst pandemics in world history—at least those pandemics we know about. How many occurred before people kept records of such events, is anybody’s guess.The article is written by author and journalist Sherrie Hurd. Some of the worst pandemics in history have taken millions of lives. What lessons have we learned from these horrible events?Understanding the history of the worst pandemics requires the ability to differentiate between the epidemic and pandemic in the definition. First of all, the epidemic is an outbr...
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Special Guest Interview with Mary Ann Bernal, Author of Crusader’s Path


Available for pre-order from Amazon UK and Amazon USI'm pleased to welcome author Mary Ann Bernal to The Writing Desk:Tell us about your latest bookCrusader’s Path is set during the First Crusade (1096-1099). Etienne d’Argences and his overlord, Duke Robert of Normandy, embark on a quest for redemption, joining Pope Urban’s Soldiers for Christ, and freeing the Holy Land from Muslim rule. Urban proclaimed that anyone dying during the arduous journey or on the battlefield were absolved of their sins.Avielle of Cologne, a healer, ministering to the city’s ostracized lepers, needs to reconcile herself with God after committing a grave sin known only to herself and the Lord. Not daring to reveal ...
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And then this happened …

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I had no idea this was a milestone, but that’s how many posts I’ve made since starting this blog. My thanks to those of you who read and/or subscribe.Original link
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State of the Author, COVID-19: Additional Adventures Edition

Before you start to worry, don’t. I’m fine. So is everyone else in our home. Like many people with day jobs, I am working from here. My husband and son are considered essential employees, so they’re still going to their respective jobs. Our son’s buddy, who has been staying with us for a time, is helping me reorganize the house and redoing the back yard (he likes to garden).The adventure has become complicated, though. The other day, I noticed some standing water by our front yard garden hose spigot. Our son told me he’d been filling his work truck water tank from there and thought he might not have closed the spigot all the way. No problem. Dumped some mulch there to absorb it.Well, yesterd...
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ACX Results On My First Audio Submission


Finally heard back from ACX. Two issues came up. I didn’t leave enough “Room Tone” (silence) at beginning and end of every chapter. They want .5 to 1 second of silence before first word spoken, then 1-5 seconds of silence after last word spoken. Easy fix.The other issue, I included the closing credits and the last chapter in one file. They wanted them separated, another easy fix.Otherwise, they had no other problems with the files. Volume, clarity, technical requirements of the audios themselves, all of that was fine.I will be making these corrections, if I haven’t already dealt with them on my own. After that… still going to follow our own path at this point and make CD’s and downloadable M...
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Corona Virus: An Update from La La Land


This is a little update on how the COVID-19 virus is impacting life here in Southern California.Like millions of others, I am self-isolating. About the only place I have been in the past 10 days is the grocery store where I feel more like a forager than a shopper. After some 10 days of panic-buying, many of the shelves are better stocked, but meat, soup, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and eggs are still in short supply.If there is an upside to this crisis it is the fact that the vast freeway system in Southern California is barely in use. Freeways are free of the heavy traffic that normally gridlocks them. Also, the air seems cleaner and fresher because of the mandated stay at home order from...
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Tips for Surviving a Pandemic

tips for surviving a pandemic
These are some of my tips for surviving a pandemic. It’s not only the virus itself we all need to protect ourselves from. We can all do that by following the advice from various governments and health organisations. There is an unseen side to the pandemic that is just as insidious. That, my friends, is […]The post Tips for Surviving a Pandemic appeared first on Stephen Bentley.Original link
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Historical Fiction Spotlight: The King's Justice, by Susan Elia MacNeal


New on Amazon UK and Amazon USCan a stolen violin lead secret agent and spy Maggie Hope to the latest serial killer terrorizing London during World War II? Maggie Hope started out as Mr. Churchill's secretary, but now she's a secret agent--and the only one who can figure out how the missing instrument ties into the murders.London. December, 1942. As the Russian army repels German forces from Stalingrad, Maggie Hope takes a much-needed break from spying to defuse bombs in London. But Maggie herself is an explosion waiting to happen. Traumatized by her past, she finds herself living dangerously--taking huge risks, smoking, drinking, and speeding through the city streets on a motorcycle. The la...
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Music Monday: “Ruby (Don’t Take Your Love to Town)”

Kenny Rogers passed away over the weekend. His rendition of Mel Tillis’ heartbreaking “Ruby (Don’t Take Your Love to Town)” was my favorite of his repertoire. Rest in power. Original link
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10 Historical Romance Heroines Who Don’t Need Saving – Goodreads News & Interviews

Some great recommendations here!via 10 Historical Romance Heroines Who Don’t Need Saving – Goodreads News & InterviewsOriginal link
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Reflections on Writing Historical Fiction – Stephanie Dray | A Writer of History

Historical fiction has the capacity to educate, to comment on contemporary events without the baggage of those contemporary events, and sometimes–if you’re lucky–you can even make a contribution to the historical record because novelists ask different questions than historians tend to.via Reflections on Writing Historical Fiction – Stephanie Dray | A Writer of HistoryOriginal link
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