My #BlogTour #Review The Chalk Man by @cjtudor #NewRelease #BestSeller @MichaelJBooks @CrownPublishing @JennyPlatt90 #CrimeFiction reviews by @annebonnybook

*I received an arc via the publisher in return for an honest review*
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The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor 
Synopsis:

You can feel it in the woods, in the school and in the playground; you can feel it in the houses and at the fairground. You can feel it in most places in the small town of Anderbury . . . the fear that something or someone is watching you.
It began back in 1986, at the fair, on the day of the accident. That was when twelve-year-old Eddie met Mr Halloran – the Chalk Man.

He gave Eddie the idea for the drawings: a way to leave secret messages for his friends and it was fun, until the chalk men led them to a body.

Thirty years later, Ed believes the past is far behind him, until an envelope slips through the letterbox. It contains a stick of chalk, and a drawing of a figure.

Is history going to repeat itself?

Was it ever really over?

Will this game only end in the same way?

My review:

I have followed the hype for this novel via social media and I was very intrigued. The synopsis is rather vague, which I quite liked. It immediately draws your attention and you want to learn more. I thought this was going to be a standard crime fiction novel, but I was wrong. Not only was I wrong, but I was in for a real treat!
The chalk man grips hold of you and won’t let go!
I read the entire novel in one sitting, staying well up past my bed time and feeling increasingly freaked out at 2am.

There are parts of the novel that reminded me of IT.
The story of a bunch of childhood friends, into the modern day.
The story that haunts them and the secrets of their shared past!
The novel isn’t a horror novel and the chalk man isn’t pennywise. But it held this eerie feeling from 80 pages in and I couldn’t get the plot out of my head. There was NO way I was putting this novel down, until I had some answers.

The novel opens with a dark prologue detailing the discovery of a body with a missing head! So, you are made well aware from the onset, that this novel has some very dark scenes. The novel has alternate chapters between 1986 and 2016. The 1986 era, is very well written. The terminology, the childhood games and friendship circle are all, spot on! The author has done a fantastic job of bringing the era alive.
Then it begins to tell the story of our protagonist Eddie/Ed…….

In 1986 Eddie aka Eddie Munster, had a gang of friends. Fat Gav, Hoppo, metal Mickey and the only girl Nicky. They meet every Saturday, to hang around the local park and build dens etc. This particular Saturday is special because the fair is in town and we all remember that feeling when the fair comes to town!!!
There is a freak accident at the fair and this brings in the introduction of waltzer girl Elisa. Elisa is the victim of the accident that leaves her horrifically disfigured. It also introduces her saviour and the new mysterious teacher Mr Halloran.

“They were wrong. Mr Halloran was many things, but normal was never one of them” – Eddie

Mr Halloran is the gang’s new teacher, at the start of term in September. He is new to the town and noticeable, as Mr Halloran is an albino. But at the opening of the novel he is portrayed as the hero that saves Elisa’s life. But there is always a shadowy, mysterious element when he enters a scene. For me personally, he became a character that evoked feelings of mistrust and a slight dislike. Why is he so creepy? What is his fascination with befriending the children? I HAD to know more about Mr Halloran!

In 2016, Eddie is now known as Ed, he is a 42yr old English teacher. Ed has stayed local and still lives in his childhood home in Anderbury. Slowly, over the course of the chapters we catch up with the rest of the gang and where they are now!
The characterisation of the gang, is brilliant and an example of some very skilled writing. It brings back childhood memories.
Even in the 2016 scenes, there is an element of mystery in the build-up. Ed starts receiving weird letters of chalk drawings. He has a young lodger Chloe, who intrudes herself into the story. He also has a dinner guest due, an old friend.
*What went through my head was, ‘he is having an old friend for dinner’. There were some subtle hints and nods to famous scary scenes.
That really added to the eerie feel of the novel.

At this point in my reading, I had hit 1am. The whole house was asleep and as I crept downstairs to the bathroom. I managed to freak myself out, which resulted in a scream and nearly waking the whole house up!
*So, a word to the wise, probably best to not read this in the dark at 1am!
The novel continues to jump between 1986 and 2016. We learn more about the elusive chalk man. How he haunts the gang and ultimately why!
Each chapter is cleverly written to drip feed information, that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
There is a real depth to the novel, details added so that the author can build upon the growing guessing game within the readers mind! Mr Halloran appears every so often with his creepy one liners, which made me even more distrustful of his intentions.

“Better to be a fool than an angel” Mr Halloran
In the modern day, someone or something is haunting the gang. When adult Mickey ends up dead, the novel really picks up its pace. There are some disturbing scenes of bullying from the past and we learn this gang is as complex as it is fascinating!
When the past and the present finally collide, it is a rollercoaster of an ending, that is in my opinion, completely unpredictable.

Huge respect to the author on this amazing debut novel.
I predict a bright future ahead of her and some sleepless nights ahead of me! 4.5*

CJ
C.J. Tudor
Authors links:
Facebook
Twitter

 

My #BlogTour #Review #RestlessCoffins by @EllingtonWright M.P. Wright 5* GENIUS @bwpublishing #NewRelease #CrimeFiction #JTEllington

*I received an arc copy via the publisher in return for an honest review*

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Restless Coffins by M.P. Wright 
Synopsis:

A HAUNTED MAN. A BURIED PAST. A JOURNEY INTO DARKNESS.
‘Brother, a dead body can’t run from a coffin, but their spirit sure as hell can try.’
1967, Bristol. Life is tough for JT Ellington, ex-cop and reluctant private eye.
He’s still trading in favours, helping those scared of the police or trying to stay one step ahead of the law.

But when news arrives of a tragedy that’s unfolded thousands of miles away, JT’s life gets even tougher. He needs to journey home to Barbados to pay his final respects – but first he must travel to New York, where his cousin Vic is boss of a criminal empire.

On Harlem’s mean streets, JT is fast entangled with Evangeline – a smooth as velvet Black Panther – along with Pigfoot, a Bajan too flash with his knife. As the underworld draws him in, JT discovers the extent of Vic’s criminal activities –
a web of violence that stretches to Barbados and back, and connects him to the deaths of JT’s beloved wife and daughter.

Embroiled in a world of drugs, corruption, voodoo and the legacy of slavery, can JT escape the demons of his past as he returns to the island of his birth?

My review:

A haunted man.
A buried past.
A journey into darkness.

“What you want, ain’t always what you deserve”
Old Bajan saying

The novel is the third JT Ellington novel in the series. I am a HUGE fan of the protagonist! A Bajan enquiry agent who fled his previous life in Barbados, for a new life in Bristol. The previous two novels help you understand the background and character depth. It almost feels as though the series has been progressing to JT’s return to sunny Barbados and the revenge he so desperately seeks. But no one could have foreseen the brutal and harsh storyline that is, Restless Coffins…….

‘The traitors path leads to the fire’

The novel opens in 1934, a young JT with his younger sister Bernice. As they set off for a day of fishing at Ginger Bay, St Philip Parish, Barbados. They share the usual childhood and sibling rivalry; mocking each other as a sign of affection. The description is brilliant and really sets the bar for authors skill at describing a scene to perfection. Even the part where a young JT and Bernice stumble across the body of a dead police man……..

This is the first novel in the series, to offer an insight into JT’s childhood experiences. Memories, passages and details are drip fed throughout the entire novel. It offers up a great insight into how JT became the man he is. JT is often portrayed as a brooding character, a deep thinker.
In this novel we learn exactly why, he thinks first and acts later.
The heavy price JT has paid for his past actions, weighs heavy on his shoulders. Following him, haunting him and refusing to let go…

‘Sealed coffins could be opened to reveal the wonders of the undead’

In the present-day JT is now living on a narrow boat at Bristol harbour. When he is informed by his postman Harry Parkin; that he has delivered a telegram to Vic’s gym, JT’s workplace. He has no idea who or why anyone would send him a telegram. Just a gut feeling, that it must be bad news.

“Boy, yuh ‘member nuthin’ travels faster than bad news”

The telegram is from his cousin Vic, informing him of his sister Bernice’s death. JT is devastated with the news, after already surviving so much pain. He must now return to Barbados to settle Bernice’s affairs. He momentarily reminisces about his loving mother Cora and cruel father Clifford. We learn about Cora’s previous employment, working for the Monroe family. A family whose history is entwined with the Ellington families,
for all the wrong reasons.
JT then receives a call from a mysterious young woman named Evangeline Laveau. She claims to be working on Vic’s behalf and gives JT the details of his travel arrangements. Before he travels onto Barbados, he must meet with Vic in New York.

JT arrives at JFK airport to be met by Evangeline, Clefus Hopkins and Pigfoot. They arrange to drive him to Harlem and in-particular the MAME – Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal church. Where JT is handed a strange tiny coffin by a witch doctor named Obeah. The whole situation is eerie and I was desperate to understand how this voodoo element would play into the main theme of the plot.

Evangeline’s back story is fully explored. I really like her as a character. She is feisty, strong and yet raw and vulnerable in moments. She does her best to assist JT in his pursuit of Vic and transportation to Barbados. But whatever they do, any clues they come across, all paths lead back to Conrad Monroe. If you are new to the series, when you uncover why JT hates Conrad Monroe so deeply, it will shock you to your core…

‘A ghost from my past whom I feared and hated in equal measure’

Eventually JT and Evangeline make their way to New Orleans. Where Evangeline warns JT of the cultural differences between NY and the deep south. She warns him of the Jim Crow laws and the barefaced racism that is allowed to thrive unchallenged. I felt concerned for JT, although he had experienced considerable racism in the UK, now he was entering KKK territory!

‘I knew what it was like to live inside my own black skin and realised that my colour dictated how most white folk treated me’ JT

The dialogue in the novel is superb and adds to the already diverse and cultured themes. There is a scene in chapter 25, that rips your heart clean out! The author does not hold back, in terms of showing the violence and vicious behaviour that goes hand in hand with devout racism. It is at this point that I longed for JT to be reunited with Vic.
One man can only suffer, so much pain!

‘Victor Ellington is an enigma’

When JT and Vic are finally reunited. There are many unanswered questions and JT must face up to some extremely harsh truths. Vic informs him of his full intentions for vengeance upon their return to Barbados. “Tings, they gonna git bloody when we git home, yuh know that, don’t yuh”. It is at this point that JT fully understands his cousin’s plans.

‘When you know a man like Vic, the shadow of death was never too far away from your soul’

The novel builds and builds; with layer upon layer of detail from the past to the present. Eventually building to the ultimate showdown. But what peace of mind, will revenge bring to JT? Does he have the darkness within him to pursue it?

JT is an emotionally deep protagonist and Restless Coffins, deals with those whom have pained him the most. The Bajan history is handled with intelligence and care to ensure a thought-provoking read. The characters are iconic, and all have essential backstory’s. The historical accuracy, dialogue and characters are all great examples of expert writing.
An exceptional novel 5* Genius!

“People dying all the time, JT… This time the right folk gonna be headin’ fo’ the grave” – Vic

m-p-wright
M.P. Wright
Authors Links:
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Anne Bonny Book Reviews 1st birthday! #Review Q&A & #GIVEAWAY The Devil’s Dice by @RozWatkins @HQstories @HarperCollinsUK UK & IRL only #DerbyshireNoir #DebutAuthor

Today is my first blog birthday!!!!!
I would love to thank the awesome bloggers, publishers, publicists & authors etc. That have supported me and my little blog!
Especially Sarah Hardy, Noelle Holton and my awesome boss Joe Ide.
*Special thanks to Roz Watkins for this fabulous Q&A and giveaway! 
Here’s to many, many more years of booky love, Twitter gifs and 5* GENIUS reads!

 Today on my blog, I have a super duper special #Giveaway, for a proof copy of The Devil’s Dice. The first in the DI Meg Dalton series and a cracking read by debut author Roz Watkins. So let me tell you a little bit more about the novel…….

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The Devil’s Dice by Roz Watkins
Synopsis:

A white-knuckle crime debut introducing DI Meg Dalton, perfect for fans of Broadchurch and Happy Valley.
The devil is coming…

A SHOCKING DEATH

A lawyer is found dead in a Peak District cave, his face ribboned with scratches.

A SINISTER MESSAGE

Amidst rumours of a local curse, DI Meg Dalton is convinced this is cold-blooded murder. There’s just one catch – chiselled into the cave wall above the body is an image of the grim reaper and the dead man’s initials, and it’s been there for over a century.

A DEADLY GAME

As Meg battles to solve the increasingly disturbing case, it’s clear someone knows her secrets. The murderer is playing games with Meg – and the dice are loaded…

My review:

The Devil’s Dice is a Derbyshire noir, debut novel. It is incredibly well written and expertly plotted out, to keep you guessing the entire way through! There are themes of curses, ghouls, myths and legends. Which are well known in Derbyshire, two I grew up knowing of were hermits cave and the drummer boy! But essentially the novel is about the characters and their relationships with each other.
Their development and pasts make for intriguing reading.
Every character has a past and that includes DI Meg Dalton……….

The novel opens with a violent scene and I wondered if this would be the pace of the entire novel. But it was much more of a whodunit and the intensity developed as the characters unravelled. The author has only used violence or graphic scenes when necessary with the plot.
DI Meg Dalton is called to a crime scene at Devil’s Dice, a local known suicide spot. A male victim has been found, whilst it first appears as a suicide, there are hints of murderous intent. There is an almond aroma in the air and the body is found lying under his carvings of his own initials on the cave wall. But how are the ancient cave markings related to this murder?
Devils Dice as a cave site in the peak district, conjures up images and makes for an atmospheric crime scene……

“The rumour is – if you can’t find the noose, it’s your sign you should leave”

We learn more about the history of the cave from the 1800s and its links to witches. Inside the cave is a large chain, still hanging. It is thought that back in the day, suspected witches were hung from this chain! There has been a recent young teenage girl, that chose to end her life from the chain. DI Dalton and partner DS Jai Sanghera have a tough case to solve. There are cupcakes at the scene that appear to have been laced with cyanide.
But who poisons a man in a cave by cupcakes and why?

The victim is Peter Hamilton, a patent lawyer. He is married to local GP Dr Kate Webster. He has a complex family history, with some believing the family is cursed. His business partners Felix Carstairs and Edward Swift, are a huge part of his day to day lives and become early suspects. They report that Peter had become distracted, the last six months and this had caused him to put their firm at risk! Felix even accusing Peter of alcoholism and marital affairs. But is this enough to kill your business partner? The wives of the partners are also involved in the case. Grace Swift, Edwards wife, is the picture perfect stepford wife. But what secrets does she hold? Olivia Carstairs, Felix’s wife seems meek and timid, as she panders to her child’s every need.
At this point I began to struggle with the characters. I am not a fan of novels, that follow the ‘poor’ struggles/tragedies of the wealthy middle class! But this is where I got this novel so wrong! The masks the character’s wear, begin to slip and we discover none are as perfect, as they’d like to portray………..

The novels delves deeper into the character’s backgrounds. We learn of Peters odd relationship with a known tramp. There are hints of Greek mythology and in particular Tithonus; but how does this tie into the case? We learn of Felix’s past and his rather savage bullying style, he inflicts on others.
The characterisation keeps you guessing. Whilst they seem perfect and innocent on the outside, they are a bunch of oddballs and weirdos, once you scratch the surface. We also learn small clues into Meg’s background and how Jai has a crazy ex-wife. With no-one whom they seem and so many suspicions, it was clear to me don’t trust the wives……….

The plot is so cleverly written that every time I felt I had it figured, the author would through in another huge curve ball! It has twists/turns galore. The novel also deals with some incredibly complex issues such as suicide and euthanasia. It is sensitively done and opens up so much room for debate. I think this novel would make an excellent choice for book groups. There are brief themes of mental illness and trust. But ultimately the core themes are of secrets/lies and the bonds of family and what they demand of us! I think DI Meg Dalton is a fantastic protagonist and I look forward to more novels in the series!

What makes Derbyshire Noir so special………
IMAG2010 IMAG2005 IMAG2019
The Derbyshire countryside is truly beautiful, it makes for an atmospheric setting!
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Black rock mist

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Black rock crevasse

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Black rock trees

Q&A with #DebutAuthor Roz Watkins

Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?

A) A lawyer is found dead in a Peak District cave, his face covered with scratches. As DI Meg Dalton investigates, she makes a chilling discovery. Chiselled into the cave wall above the body, hidden by foliage, is an image of the grim reaper and the dead man’s initials, and it’s been there for over a century. Although the locals blame a curse dating from the times of the witch trials, Meg is convinced there’s a rational explanation.
But as she battles to solve the increasingly disturbing case, her own family secrets refuse to stay buried.

Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea to writing to publication?

A) I hadn’t written any fiction since school, but had always had a vague idea that I’d like to write a book one day. I never took it very seriously, and I’d always been too busy with my job as a patent attorney. After I gave that up and started running holiday cottages, I became a lot more creative. One day when I was out walking the dog, I had an idea for a short story in which a farmer is killed by his own cows. It looked like an accident but the cows were actually trained by his wife. I was very much into clicker-training, and my mind must have been exploring all the possibilities!

I got home and wrote my story, with no idea what I was doing, and something prompted me to enter it for an online competition. To my astonishment, it was shortlisted, and this encouraged me to keep going.

I joined a local writing group and wrote more short stories, but I started getting ideas about a novel. With astonishing naivety, I bought ‘The Complete Idiots Guide to Writing a Novel’ and just got cracking!

I was soon completely hooked, and read every book I could get my hands on about how to write, as well as analysing favourite books to try and work out how the author had done it. I befriended police and CSIs, got them drunk and tried to get all their secrets.
Luckily, my mum was doctor and was very happy (possibly a little too happy!) to share all her ideas on how to kill people.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) Strangely, most of my absolute favourites are not crime. I love Lionel Shriver, especially ‘So Much for That’ and ‘We Need to Talk about Kevin’. I think ‘Falling’ by Colin Thubron is a perfect little book, and touches on some of the ideas in my first book. I also love ‘Never Let Me Go’ by Kazuo Ishiguro.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) I read a lot of Enid Blyton as a young child, and Dick Francis as a teenager – classy stuff! A book called ‘Dream of Fair Horses’ was one of my favourites – a lovely book about love and loss pretending to be a kids’ pony book.

Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?

A) I’m not quite published yet (and I suspect this is the best bit now!) I’ve really enjoyed going to festivals and meeting readers and other authors. The HarperCollins summer party is a bit of a highlight too!

Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement, throughout the writing process?

A) I’ve made some fantastic friends through attending local writing courses and groups, and also and online through Twitter and by exchanging critiques on Scribophile. The community of writers is lovely and so supportive.

Roz Watkins
Roz Watkins
Authors Links:
Website
Twitter

#Giveaway
coverCWA
***To be in with a chance of winning a proof copy of The Devils Dice.
Simply RT The pinned post at @annebonnybook making sure to follow Roz & myself.
Or leave a comment on this blog post.
Or comment on the original Facebook post at Anne Bonny Book Reviews
UK & IRL only & Good luck!***
*Winner will be drawn by my son Lil Ste on Sunday evening! The #Giveaway will remain open ALL weekend!
Have a fabulous weekend reading book worms! 

My #Review 29 Seconds by @TMLoganAuthor 5* @BonnierZaffre @bonnier_publish #NewRelease #CrimeFiction by @annebonnybook #TimesUp

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29 Seconds By T.M. Logan
Synopsis:

Give me one name. One person. And I will make them disappear . . .

When Sarah rescues a young girl in trouble, she expects nothing in return. But her act of bravery puts a powerful and dangerous man in her debt. He lives by his own brutal code, and all debts must be repaid – in the only way he knows how.

He offers Sarah a way to solve a desperate situation with her intolerable boss. A once-in-a-lifetime deal that will make all her problems disappear.

No consequences. No comeback. No chance of being found out.

All it takes is a 29 second phone call.

Because everyone has a name to give. Don’t they?

My review:

The novel has an incredibly timely and appropriate theme. With the #TimesUp movement in full swing. Women are no longer willing to stay silent and deal with the abusive behaviour of men whom hold all the power. I think the author has done a fantastic job, with a very sensitive subject matter. The female victims aren’t weak or timid, but strong, feisty and relatable women. That is what makes the threat of this type of abuse, so terrifying. It can happen to anyone, anywhere and at any time!

The basis of this novel, is that female victim Sarah has an opportunity to fight back! After saving the life of a young child, the mysterious father offers her a once in the lifetime chance to have revenge.
The conditions are simple, the execution will be deadly,
but does Sarah have what it takes?

‘It was a deal with the Devil’

The rules of the deal are simple. Sarah has 72hrs to provide a name, she cannot tell anyone and there’s no changing her mind, once she has given the man a name……….

The novel then jumps slightly back in time, to show the build-up to the event. Also, to show the reader exactly why Sarah has a name on the tip of her tongue.
Two weeks earlier Sarah is at a works event. She works at Queen Anne’s university and her boss the ‘bulletproof prof’ Alan is the problem. He terrorises the female employees with unwanted advances, verbal intimidation and will stop at nothing to show them the power he holds over them, their careers and mental stability. Alan made my skin crawl with his sleazy commentary and grabby hands!

‘I love you playing hard to get. You’re such a tease, Sarah’ – Alan

Oh, but why doesn’t she quit? Why doesn’t she report her boss to HR? Why does she accept the unwanted ‘attention’? I hear you say!
The truth is simple and brilliantly explained by the author. If you ask any woman, has she ever known such a man, the answer will be resounding YES! It may be your boss, co-worker, teacher or in my case the manager of the college residential building I lived in at just 16yrs old. These men use their power/authority over women/young girls to manipulate situations, where they can then paint themselves as the victim. It carries a stigma and victims are less likely to be believed, so therefore are less likely to speak out and seek help. All I know, in my case, it wasn’t me, that unlocked the creepy old man’s college dorm room door, to watch him sleep!
It is for this and many other reasons, I found Sarah’s story completely believable and relatable. I also know, without a shadow of a doubt, even just at 16 years old. I’d haven given the man, a name!

The plot of the novel then shifts to Sarah’s predicament. Will she give a name? Who is the mysterious Volkov? What will happen to her boss if she gives his name to Volkov?
Dr Sarah Haywood may hold a PHD and be an incredibly intelligent woman. But when it comes to making this choice, she struggles with her internal conscience. I will admit, as the reader, I willed her to give the name.

After being passed up for promotion yet again, and given a choice of a proposal of sex for promise of promotion in the future. Sarah suddenly snaps! She makes the call and changes all their lives….

The novel has a feel of the famous Alfred Hitchcock movie, Strangers On A Train. With two previously unknown individuals making a pact, one that will lead to murder.
But the author has had an even better idea, which leads to a superb ending!

This novel has a cleverly planned plot, the difficult theme throughout the novel is described and articulated exceptionally well. I wish the author every success with the release and applaud him for tackling this theme in this manner! 5*

TM
T.M. Logan
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#BlogTour #GuestPost A Warriner To Tempt Her by @VirginiaHeath_ #TheGloriousGeorgians @rararesources @MillsandBoon #NewRelease

A Warriner To Tempt Her Cover
A Warriner To Tempt Her by Virginia Heath
Synopsis:

A shy innocent
She’s wary of all men.

In this The Wild Warriners story, shy Lady Isabella Beaumont is perfectly happy to stay in the background and let her sister get all the attention from handsome suitors following a shocking incident. However working with Dr Joseph Warriner to help the sick and needy pushes her closer to a man than she’s ever been before. Is this a man worth trusting with her deepest of desires…?

#GuestPost

The Glorious Georgians
Guest post by Virginia Heath

As a former history teacher I’m a total history nerd. I enjoy all time periods and the varied and fascinating history of other countries, but my absolute favourite is the history of 19th century England. Aside from the ridiculous shenanigans of the royal family at the time and the ongoing tension between England and their arch enemies France and their former colonists America, it’s such a wonderful century to study. The history is as diverse as it is revolutionary and was a real turning point for the country of my birth.

As a lover and writer of Regency romances, it is easy to get swept away with Jane Austen’s view of that world, where ladies and gentlemen lived in grand houses, attended balls and the most challenging thing that they encountered in their day to day lives was how to behave politely to one another. Of course, I love to include these things in my books. What would a decent Regency romance be without them? The staid, measured reserve of Mr Darcy and Captain Wentworth as they navigate the structured waters of society is a glorious thing to read and write about. However, for the majority of British people in the early 19th century, daily life was a constant struggle and they were becoming increasingly upset about their lot in life. I love to include this aspect of life too.

Britain was becoming ‘Great’ on the backs of their work. The Industrial Revolution meant that the ruling class were dependent on these underlings to provide the labour in the factories and mines that sprang up all over the country. However, they were paid a pittance to do it, worked ridiculously long hours and lived in the most horrendous conditions imaginable. While they were suffering, the rich got richer and wielded all the power. Only men with a significant amount of land could vote. As a result, until 1832, less than 5% of the total population could vote and most of the new industrial towns and cities, such as Manchester, did not even have an MP to represent the tens of thousands who lived there. There were riots for better treatment. The most famous of which was the infamous Peterloo Massacre of 1819 saw the sword-wielding cavalry charging on 60,000 unarmed working-class protesters whose only crime was to demand food in their bellies and some say in their lives. I’ve written about that turbulent time in The Discerning Gentleman’s Guide- a Regency romantic comedy with a very real and dark backdrop.

But not all of the period’s ‘revolutions’ were negative. It was also a time of great technological and scientific strides. The first railways were born at this time, eventually making transportation quicker and more efficient. Steam powered machinery allowed mass production for the first time. Britain became the workshop of the world, exporting goods to all corners of the globe. Our little cluster of islands became the richest and most powerful nation in the world.

Medicine too, was revolutionised. The first anaesthetics and the discovery of both germs and the need for antiseptics slashed the huge mortality rate during surgery. Doctors could take their time and as a result, the sorts of things that could be operated on went from simply amputating a gangrenous limb to removing tumours.

The history of medicine at this fascinating time is one of the main themes in my latest release A Warriner to Tempt Her. Joe Warriner is a brilliant young physician using cutting edge science, for his time at any rate. Thanks to a deadly smallpox epidemic, he tries to convince a whole town to try another Georgian revolutionary invention- vaccination. Nobody knew how it worked, or why it worked, but thanks to a brilliant physician called Edward Jenner, they learned that the centuries-old killer smallpox could be easily prevented by exposing people to cowpox instead. Yet despite the huge success rate, the people of the past remained suspicious of change and took umbrage at vaccination. They protested, they rioted and they outright refused it. Who wouldn’t want to write about that? Or the other medical treatments that I had to research from the time to include in the story.

In ten books (I’ve only just started book eleven) I still feel as if I have only just scratched the surface of fascinating things to write about the 19th century. There is a rich seam of potential storylines from the era still to be researched.
It will be years and years before I run out of Glorious Georgian history to inspire me, a nerdy history teacher to the bitter end.

A Warriner To Tempt Her - Author Pic
Virginia Heath
Authors Links:
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Website

Author Bio –
When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Fortunately, the lovely people at Harlequin took pity on her and decided to publish her romances, but it still takes her forever to fall asleep.

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