Where in the World are You?

John_C._Munro_off_Hong_KongNicola here. I've been away travelling for the last couple of weeks and (hopefully!) just got home today with piles of washing to do and (again, hopefully!) lots of lovely memories which I can turn into a blog post or two to share in the future. In the meantime, however, I'm calling up a short, updated Wench classic post from nine years ago. How the time flies! It seems appropriate, though as it's all about travel, whether in real life or via our reading. So, step back in time to 2014:

"There’s a meme that was going around on Facebook a while ago that proved very popular. It asks: “You have been transported to the location in the last book you read. Where are you?” The answers flood in, from Scotland to the West Indies, from the New York of the future to London in 1515 and all times and places in between.

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Interview on The Winter Garden!

The Winter Garden NA "Remember, remember, the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason and plot …”

Christina here and tomorrow is Guy Fawkes’ Day here in the UK so what better time to interview Wench Nicola about her new book THE WINTER GARDEN? It was published last week and is based on the infamous Gunpowder Plot that Mr Fawkes was involved with in 1605. He was part of a group of Catholics who had decided to kill the King by blowing up Parliament, but they were betrayed and ultimately their plot failed. I was lucky enough to read an ARC of this story and it is absolutely fabulous! I seriously couldn’t put it down – if you’d like to read my review you can find it here, but I’d recommend you read it for yourself!

Here’s a short summary:-

1605: Anne Catesby fears for her family. Her son, the charismatic Robert, is secretly plotting to kill the king, placing his family in grave danger. Anne must make a terrible choice: betray her only child or risk her family’s future.

Present Day: When her dreams of becoming a musician are shattered, Lucy Brown takes refuge in her family’s ancestral home in Oxfordshire, once home to Robert Catesby, the gunpowder plotter. There she starts to have strange visions of a woman in Tudor dress, a woman whose story runs parallel to and then converges with her own. Lucy is determined to find out more about this apparition and in doing so uncovers a chain of secrets that have been hidden for centuries…

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Hidden in the Mists

Hidden In the Mists mediumAnne here, and today I'm interviewing Christina Courtenay about her new book, HIDDEN IN THE MISTS (released yesterday 18th August). As expected, this is a Viking story — and just as an aside, Christina's Viking stories have brought me happily back to this genre, after I'd thought I'd given up on Viking stories. Hers are fresh, original and really well researched. But this time Christina has departed from the time-slip plot and written a dual timeline story, one set in Viking times and the other in modern times.

Here’s a short summary: Skye Logan has been struggling to run her remote farm on Scotlands west coast alone ever since her marriage fell apart. When a handsome stranger turns up looking for work, it seems that her wish for help has been granted. But echoes of the distant past wont leave them alone, and it seems that the ghosts of the past have secrets … and they have something that they want Skye and Rafe to know.

Anne:  Christina, what inspired this story?

22 ViewChristina:  HIDDEN IN THE MISTS was written during the Covid pandemic when we were in lockdown here in the UK. Usually I like to travel to the places where my stories are set, but as we weren’t allowed to go anywhere I decided I had to use a location I’d already visited. Scotland is one of my favourite places and it seemed ideal as I wanted to write a dual time narrative that was partly about Vikings. They raided and settled along the west coast of Scotland and the islands there quite early on. It helped that I happen to have a very good friend who lives there and she was able to assist me whenever I needed any precise details. As I mentioned in last week’s blog post, the spark for this book also came from the Galloway Hoard, the fabulous Viking treasure found in 2014. The plot grew from there and the various elements came together in my imagination.

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What We’re Reading in October

Nicola here with our monthly blog post on What We Are Reading. As usual, there's a wonderful range of intriguing books—so dive in for some great recommendations and be sure to tell us what YOU have been reading too! Christina: This month I’ve read my way through Sarina Bowen’s True North series, starting with Bittersweet. I wasn’t sure if I’d like these stories as much as the ice hockey ones (Brooklyn Bruisers), but I did and once I’d started, I couldn’t stop until I had devoured them all. Bittersweet is the story of Griffin Shipley, a farmer and cider brewer who …

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An Interview with Christina Courtenay!

Nicola here, and today it is my very great pleasure to be interviewing the Word Wenches' very own Christina Courtenay about her new book Whispers of the Runes which is published tomorrow in the UK in print, e-book and audio, and in North America in ebook and audio with the print edition to follow in September. Christina, welcome to the Word Wenches as a guest rather than a contributor today! It's very exciting to be chatting to you about Whispers of the Runes, which is book 3 in your highly-acclaimed and hugely successful Viking Runes series but also works brilliantly …

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