A Lot of Work for a Little Snow [GUEST POST]

Wintertime at the Monastery
Sometimes the smallest detail creates the largest amount of work for an author, like trying to pick the perfect time for a setting to have snow. E.M. Powell explains in this guest post regarding her new novel, The Monastery Murders. (Photo by Paul R. Robinson, Flickr)

Whenever we pick up a book by one of our favorite authors, we may not realize just how much research went into writing a certain character, choosing a setting, or crafting a particular scene, especially when the author does her job as seamlessly as historical mystery author, E.M. Powell. Reading her latest novel, The Monastery Murders, she excels at luring us into the story’s disarming setting and made us ask: How did holiday traditions differ way back in 1176 and how does she utilize these details to build suspense? Thankfully she explains in today’s guest post. Enjoy! —J&H

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When A Bad Idea Seems Like Your Only Option [GUEST POST]

Woman in white dress

When society is unforgiving, some secrets must be kept at all costs. (Photo courtesy K. A. Servian)

What would you do if everything you thought you knew about yourself turned out to be a lie? In the new book, A Pivotal Right, a young woman named Viola is faced with just such a dilemma when she discovers her father isn’t who she thought he was and that her mother, Florence, has kept the truth hidden for years.

This premise captured our imaginations, so we invited the author to tell us how being a mother herself impacted the way she wrote Viola’s character and what advice she would give to Florence on how to handle telling a child such a carefully guarded secret. We hope you enjoy this guest post from K.A. Servian! —Jathan & Heather Read more of this post

A.B. Michaels Makes Surprising Discovery While Researching ‘The Price of Compassion’ [GUEST POST]

San Francisco Fire Sacramento Street 1906

The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 left the city in chaos as fire spread from one building to another. (Photo by Arnold Genthe – Library of Congress from early 20th Century lantern slide, Public Domain)

When a historical fiction author pens a new book, we always have loads of questions for them. But in the case of A.B. Michaels and her latest novel, The Price of Compassion, we just had one burning question that we wanted to ask. In this case, we asked her to tell us about the most challenging part of researching the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and whether or not any heroic stories from that time period inspired her during the writing process. We hope you enjoy her answer in today’s guest post.  —Jathan & Heather Read more of this post

Playwright and Author Deborah Levy Finds There Are Some ‘Things I Don’t Want to Know’ [REVIEW]

Deborah Levy

In her intimate new essay, Things I Don’t Want to Know, Deborah Levy takes a close look at what it means to be a woman writer in modern society. (Photo by Sheila Burnett)

Surprising things make her cry. Trips to Spain bring her peace. Notebooks hold her observations, even when she can’t recall why she records them in the first place. For novelist, playwright and poet Deborah Levy, writing is a very personal thing… especially as a woman. In her insightful and intimate new essay, Things I Don’t Want to Know, she reveals what it is like to be a female writer in today’s world.  Read more of this post

A Letter to My Pre-Published Self [GUEST POST]

Tools of the trade

Historical mystery writer E.M. Powell offers words of encouragement to unpublished authors everywhere, including her younger self, in this candid letter. (Photo by Chris Blakeley, Flickr)

If you enjoy reading mysteries just as much as you like historical fiction, we bet you’re really going to take a shine to the work of E.M. Powell. Her new novel, The King’s Justice (published under Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer imprint) starts a thrilling new series of medieval mysteries you won’t be able to put down. But like many writers, Powell’s career wasn’t an overnight success. Find out what she overcame on the road to publication in her guest post, “A Letter to My Pre-Published Self.” Enjoy! —J&H Read more of this post