An Interview with Nicola Cornick!

Christina here and today I’m delighted to be interviewing Wench Nicola Cornick about her new book The Last Daughter, which is published in paperback, ebook and audio here in the UK in three days’ time, on 8th July. In the US, it will release in paperback on 16th November as The Last Daughter of York, and both have amazing covers, although I will admit to favouring the UK one as it has such wonderful jewel colours.

Nicola, it’s lovely that it’s my turn to welcome you as a guest to chat about this story, which is one of my absolute favourite books this year. I was lucky enough to read an ARC and I loved it – the mixture of history, mystery and timeslip is just superb and I simply couldn’t put it down!

The Princes in the Tower by Millais

The Princes in the Tower by Millais

Please can you tell us briefly what The Last Daughter is about?

The Last Daughter is a dual time novel set in the present and the Wars of the Roses. The historical strand looks at the mystery of the disappearance of the princes in the tower in 1483 through the eyes of Anne Lovell, wife of Richard III’s best friend Francis. This is linked to the modern day story where Serena Warren is trying to discover what happened to her twin sister Caitlin, who disappeared at Minster Lovell ten years before.

I loved that The Last Daughter is based on the many stories about the Princes in the Tower, the two young sons of King Edward IV, who disappeared after their uncle Richard of Gloucester took the throne for himself and became King Richard III. There have always been a lot of rumours and speculation about their fate, but the truth is that no one knows what actually happened. When did you first become aware of this story and what fascinated you about it?

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Henry VIII – Cause for Celebration?

Henry VIIINicola here. Today is the 510th anniversary of the coronation of Henry VIII. Despite my very mixed feelings about Henry and his Dad, it feels like the sort of occasion I can’t ignore, particularly as my next timeslip is set in the Tudor period, albeit later in the reign of Henry’s younger daughter, Elizabeth. A decade ago, when it was the quincentenary of Henry's coronation, there were a number of celebrations to mark the occasion. But is Henry someone who we want to celebrate?

Henry VIII bestrides English history like a colossus both in terms of physical size and reputation. Not many kings or queens can compete with his fame. Was this solely down to the fact that he had six wives and beheaded two of them? A number of other British monarchs have had more than one spouse but none of them make the headlines (sorry, bad pun) like Henry still does. As someone who enjoys exploring the myths and legends about historical characters as much as I enjoy the “real” history, I thought I’d take a look at “Why is Henry VIII still so big” (in the sense of popular culture.) I call it “the afterlife” of Henry VIII.

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Writing in the Wild

Leopard cub 1Nicola here. Today I’m talking about wild animals and getting writing inspiration in the most unlikely places.

A few weeks ago I went on holiday to Namibia in South West Africa. When I’m travelling I almost always end up wanting to write a book that involves some element of the place I’ve visited whether it be Scotland, the Arctic or the Sea of Cortes (still working on that pirate book!) However with Namibia I really didn’t expect to feel that way. This was going to be a holiday, pure and simple. Except of course that you can’t keep a writer’s imagination from working even when it’s supposed to be at rest!

We started off in the capital, Windhoek, and drove northwards. This part of the Lion1trip was all about the animals as we were heading to Namibia’s famous National Park, Etosha. I’ve been lucky enough to go on safari before but I had forgotten how exciting it can be to see animals in the wild. I love the experience at home – deer, badgers, foxes, they are all fun to watch. But out in Africa there was a different quality of experience in seeing animals in their natural habitat, animals that quite frankly I wouldn't want to bump into when I was out walking, such as lions, leopard, elephants and rhino!

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Guest Amanda (McCabe) Carmack Talks Tudor!

Elizabeth_I_of_England_c1585-90Cara/Andrea here, Today I'm delighted to welcome back my dear friend Amanda McCabe, a favorite with many of our readers for her scintillating Regency romances for both Signet and Harlequin. But today she's wearing her Tudor velvets and jewels as she tells us a little about her historical mystery series, written as Amanda Carmack, set in the court of Queen Elizabeth. (Those of you who haven't read them are in for a treat!) Amanda loves historical detail as much as we do, so without further ado, I shall let her fill you in on some of the fun details behind Murder In The Queen's Garden, her latest release.

Mandy08_smAmanda here, Kate Haywood and her adventures are, of course, a work of imagination (even though she often feels like a real friend to me, after I've been lucky enough to follow her through three books!).  But one of the fun “perks” of writing, I've always found, is the research.  The chance to jump into a time hundreds of years in the past, discover the people and places and events, and try to make it feel “real” again—I love all of that.

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