Friday, May 27, 2011

The winner is . . .

The winner of Shayne Parkinson's Promises to Keep series is . . . Chris from NJ!

Thanks once again to Lisa J. Yarde (Sultana), Sarah Woodbury (Daughter of Time, Cold My Heart), Anna Elliott (Georgiana Darcy's Diary) and Shayne Parkinson (Sentence of Marriage) for everything.

Happy reading,

Monday, May 23, 2011

E-book Giveaway: Featured Author Shayne Parkinson

This week's featured historical e-author is Shayne Parkinson. Shayne was born in New Zealand, and apart from two years in England she has lived there all her life. At university, she majored in English Literature. She is married to her childhood sweetheart, who grew up in the farming valley that's the inspiration for the imaginary one where her books are set. They have a few acres in the countryside, where they have an orchard and a large vegetable garden, and a small flock of sheep to keep the grass down.

Shayne's book Sentence of Marriage is currently free on Smashwords and Amazon, but she has also offered to provide Smashwords coupons for the three remaining e-books in the series to one lucky winner! If you'd like to be entered to win, just leave a comment. Entries close at midnight Eastern time on Thursday, April 26th.

"The story was captivating, the characters real, the dialogue crisp. I admit to having cried and laughed and even having wanted to murder a character and beat another one within an inch of his life — which is simply a testament to how well written these books are." - AmericanEditor.

I asked Shayne to share with us why she writes and what inspired her to write about New Zealand.


"I'm fascinated by social history, particularly that of my own country. The late Victorian era saw significant social change in New Zealand, particularly for women. The Married Women’s Property Act of 1884 allowed married women to own property in their own right. Changes to divorce law meant that women could file for divorce on the same grounds as men. In 1893 New Zealand women gained the vote, the first in the world to do so. The attitude where a woman was seen as the property of first her father, later her husband, with only the most minimal of rights to her own person, was being undermined.

I’d never intended to write a sequel, let alone a series, but when I finished the three books that make up "Promises to Keep" I found that I missed the characters too much to leave them behind! That meant following them further into the early 20th century. So I wrote a sequel, and am still writing about these people. My current work-in-progress covers the years of the Great War. Finding out what it might have been like for those left at home during the war to try and cope when sons, husbands and brothers were taken from them is proving just as fascinating to me as the earlier periods were.

More background to the books' setting may be found on my website: "


About Sentence of Marriage:

In 19th Century New Zealand, there are few choices for a farm girl like Amy. Her life seems mapped out for her by the time she is twelve. Amy dreams of an exciting life in the world beyond her narrow boundaries. But it is the two people who come to the farm from outside the valley who change her life forever, and Amy learns the high cost of making the wrong choice. Book 1 of "Promises to Keep".


To find out more about Shayne Parkinson and her books, visit the following pages:

Shayne Parkinson's website
Shayne Parkinson's Blog - Notes from New Zealand
Her Amazon author page
Her Barnes and Noble page
Her Smashwords page
The book trailer for Sentence of Marriage on YouTube

(BTW, Shayne's books have been downloaded from Smashwords an amazing 30,000 times!)


My thanks to Shayne Parkinson for sharing - and to past interviewees Lisa J. Yarde (Sultana), Sarah Woodbury (Cold My Heart) and Anna Elliott (Georgiana Darcy's Diary). I hope to host more emerging and established e-authors in the future, so readers out there can find new voices and stories to immerse themselves in.

Happy reading,

Friday, May 20, 2011

The winners of Georgiana Darcy's Diary are...

Chris and Susan!

The winners have been contacted and will receive a Kindle copy of Anna Elliott's newest book, Georgiana Darcy's Diary. Thanks to all those who stopped by.

Next week please visit and learn more about Shayne Parkinson's books. And yes, there will be another giveaway.

Happy reading,

Friday Funnies - Do cats like baths?

The answer to the question: Do cats liked to be bathed?

Have a WONDERFUL weekend!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Featured Author: Anna Elliott

This week's featured historical fiction e-author on MDAMM is Anna Elliott. The author of Georgiana Darcy's Diary, as well as the Twilight of Avalon trilogy, published by Simon & Schuster (Touchstone), she lives in the Washington DC Metro area with her husband and two daughters.

Anna has generously offered to giveaway 2 free Kindle copies of her newest novel, Georgiana Darcy's Diary! To enter to win, simply leave a comment below. Entries close at midnight, U.S. Eastern time, on Thursday, May 19th. The winners will be announced Friday.

"Fans of Jane Austen will relish this captivating story. I loved the echoes of Austen's wit, the well-crafted drawing-room intrigues, and the engaging romance. Elliott's heroine is unique and believable, but totally true to Austen's original character. A delightful read!" -- Jules Watson, Author of The Raven Queen

I asked Anna to tell us more about why she writes and what inspired her to continue the story that Jane Austen began.


"I've read Pride and Prejudice many, many times, and seen the various movie adaptations more times than I can even begin to count. (Colin Firth is my favorite Mr. Darcy!). I love Elizabeth and Darcy's love story, of course--it's a testament to Jane Austen's genius that it truly stands the test of time. Watching Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth fall in love, seeing the two of them overcome their initial first impressions of one another is as compelling now as it did 200 years ago. Maybe because that kind of love story truly is timeless. Isn't that the eternal magic of romance, that we're able to discover new facets of those we love--and that love has the power to transform us and our lives.

I could read Pride and Prejudice again and again, and be caught up in Elizabeth and Darcy's story every time. And yet, strangely, it's always been Georgiana Darcy, Mr. Darcy's younger sister's character, that stays with me the longest, each time I read the book or watch one of the films.

Georgiana's character is almost a plot device in the book--proof of Wickham's villainy, since he tried to seduce her when she was only fifteen. She's described as 'exceedingly shy' and we never actually hear her speak a single line; any dialogue she has is summarized by the narrator. And yet I've always wanted to know more about her--how did she really feel about George Wickham? What was it like growing up as Mr. Darcy's younger sister? And most important of all, I couldn't stop myself from imagining what might have happened to her after the close of Pride and Prejudice. Did she ever find her own happily-ever-after?

Georgiana Darcy's Diary was born out of all my wondering. I chose a diary format to tell Georgiana's story, first because I'd never written a diary form novel before, and wanted to challenge myself to master the form. But mostly that was just how I heard Georgiana's voice in my head: a shy girl, pouring herself onto the pages of the private journal that---at the beginning of the story, at least-- serves as her only real confidant.

I absolutely loved writing Georgiana Darcy's Diary, and I hope fellow Jane Austen lovers will enjoy spending a little more time in the Pride and Prejudice world.


About Georgiana Darcy's Diary:

Mr. Darcy's younger sister searches for her own happily-ever-after...

The year is 1814, and it's springtime at Pemberley. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy have married. But now a new romance is in the air, along with high fashion, elegant manners, scandal, deception, and the wonderful hope of a true and lasting love.

Shy Georgiana Darcy has been content to remain unmarried, living with her brother and his new bride. But Elizabeth and Darcy's fairy-tale love reminds Georgiana daily that she has found no true love of her own. And perhaps never will, for she is convinced the one man she secretly cares for will never love her in return. Georgiana's domineering aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, has determined that Georgiana shall marry, and has a list of eligible bachelors in mind. But which of the suitors are sincere, and which are merely interested in Georgiana's fortune? Georgiana must learn to trust her heart--and rely on her courage, for she also faces the return of the man who could ruin her reputation and spoil a happy ending, just when it finally lies within her grasp.


In addition to Georgiana Darcy's Diary, Anna Elliott is the author of a trilogy of Trystan and Isolde, published by Touchstone: Twilight of Avalon, Dark Moon of Avalon and Sunrise of Avalon (coming in 2011), as well as two shorts stories available as e-books: Dawn of Avalon (currently FREE) and The Witch Queen's Secret (only 99 cents).

For more information on where to find Anna's books, check her website, her author page or her Smashwords author page.

Many, many thanks to Anna Elliott! Next week I'll feature Shayne Parkinson, author of historical sagas set in 19th century New Zealand.

Happy reading,

Friday, May 13, 2011

And the winner is . . .

The winner of this week's giveaway of an e-copy of Sarah Woodbury's Cold My Heart is . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Debra Martin! An e-mail will be sent to you, Debra, with info. on how to obtain your copy.

Come back next week for an interview with Anna Elliott and another giveaway.

P.S. This was supposed to post earlier this morning, but Blogger seemed to be having a meltdown.

Happy reading,

Monday, May 9, 2011

Book Giveaway and Featured Historical E-Author Sarah Woodbury

This week's featured historical e-author is Sarah Woodbury.

Sarah has offered to give away a free copy from Smashwords of her Arthurian novel Cold My Heart. If you'd like to be entered to win, just leave a comment below. Entries close midnight Eastern time on Thursday, May 12th.

I asked Sarah to share with us what inspires her to write and why she chose to write about medieval Wales.

I have two historian parents, so I couldn’t help but develop an interest in the past. My dad has a Ph.D. and I went on to get more than enough education myself (in anthropology) and began writing fiction when the stories in my head overflowed and demanded I let them out. My interest in Wales stems from my own ancestry and the year I lived in England when I fell in love with the country, language, and people. I even convinced my husband to give all four of our children Welsh names. Now, I live in Oregon, which is very far from Wales, although I'm hoping to visit with my husband in 2012.

I started writing intensively five years ago. In about six weeks, during my youngest son's naps, I wrote an epic fantasy (with elves no less). That book will never see the light of day, although I raid it occasionally for characters and plot points, but I learned that I could write a book and that I wanted to write more.

The first book I wrote that I set in Wales was Footsteps in Time. I started it after I had a dream where I drove my mini-van into the Middle Ages. It was (obviously) a very vivid and memorable dream! My daughter and I had been doing research on our ancestry at the time, and reading lots of books, both fiction and non-fiction, about the country. Since then, I've set all five of my published books in Wales, and am even more in love with the country and its past than when I started.


About Sarah's novel, Cold My Heart:

A vision of King Arthur's death at the hands of Modred unites two of King Arthur's companions in this historical fantasy set in sixth century Wales.

By the autumn of 537 AD, all who are loyal to King Arthur have retreated to a small parcel of land in north Wales. They are surrounded on all sides, heavily outnumbered, and facing near certain defeat.

But Myrddin and Nell have a secret that neither has ever been able to face. Now, with the end of all that they know approaching, they must finally admit the truth: each has seen that on a cold and snowy day in December, Saxon soldiers will ambush and kill King Arthur by the Cam River, crushing Wales once and for all under Modred's boot.

And both of them, separately and together, must decide what they are willing to do, and to sacrifice, to avert that fate.


Sarah is the author of five novels of historical fiction, historical fantasy and time travel: Cold My Heart, The Last Pendragon, Foosteps in Time, Prince of Time and Daughter of Time. Her books are available on, Barnes and Noble and at Smashwords. To learn more about Sarah, her writing and her books, visit her website.

Many thanks to Sarah Woodbury for visiting here at My Dog Ate My Manuscript! Next week's featured author is Anna Elliott.

Happy reading,

Friday, May 6, 2011

'The winner is . . .' and Friday Funnies

The winner of a copy of Sultana by Lisa Yarde is . . . *drumroll* . . .


A copy of Sultana is coming your way. Thanks to those who commented - and beaucoup thanks to Lisa Yarde for taking time out to appear here at MDAMM.

She may be a camera ham, but Trim is very, very unhappy about sporting The Cone of Shame.

After multiple trips to the vet as a pupster, we finally figured out Trim is allergic to corn. If she eats ANY food with corn it (a single piece of cat food kibble, a stray kernel of popcorn that has bounced under the stove, even a cookie crumb with corn syrup in it) she gets itchy ears. Actually, just one itchy ear. Always the left. Sometimes, if we're not paying attention and she goes to town scratching it, she gives herself an embolism and has to go to that awful place called . . . The Veterinarian's, get her ear drained and stitched, and then get 2-weeks worth of antibiotics.

Possibly, she hates taking pills worse than wearing the dreaded Cone of Shame or going to The Vet. She can recognize the rattle of a pill bottle from three rooms away and will hide herself in a corner behind the chair. Since it's always one of two corners, we know where to find her. Just to put this in perspective about how brave she is, she also runs away from The Brush. And no, she has never been beaten with it.

As she has discovered, The Cone of Shame is terribly inconvenient, embarrassing and headache-inducing when it comes to a) snowdrifts, b) stairs and c) doorways.

Tune in on Monday when I host Sarah Woodbury, author of Cold My Heart and The Last Pendragon!

Have a WONDERFUL weekend - and hug your pet today!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Book Giveaway - Featured Historical Fiction E-Author: Lisa J. Yarde

I'm pleased to announce that during May I am featuring an exciting line-up of authors of historical fiction e-books. Although many of these books are available as paperbacks, all are out in various e-book forms. It's a great mix of time periods and sub-genres. Let me start by introducing this week's Featured Author here on My Dog Ate My Manuscript: Lisa J. Yarde.

Lisa has generously offered to provide a copy of Sultana (your choice of e-book or paperback) to one random commenter. If you'd like to be entered to win, just leave a comment and a way for me to contact you, in case you win! Entries close midnight Eastern time, May 5th.

I asked Lisa to share with us why she writes and why she chose the time period, setting and characters that she did.

"During my college years, I was fascinated to learn that there had been an Islamic presence in Europe. For seven hundred years, a diverse people known as Moors had ruled what would become one of the most influential Catholic nations. The thirteenth century in Spain was a brutal and turbulent era, as most of the medieval period, but it was also the flowering of an age of artistic, intellectual and architectural brilliance in Spain. Fatima and Faraj played pivotal roles in the history of that period, as did their descendants for another two centuries. I am truly fortunate that the primary setting of their story, the Alhambra Palace in the southern Spanish city of Granada still exists and is open of visitors. I hope readers will share my fascination with the Alhambra, the Moorish period, and Fatima and Faraj’s lives."

I'm 3/4 of the way through reading Sultana and am awed by the wealth of detail included about Moorish life: the architecture, the clothing, the food, the customs. Like me, I'm sure other readers will be drawn in by not only the uniquely exotic setting, but also by the vivid battle scenes, political intrigue, and poignant love story between Fatima and Faraj. Here is some more information about the story, its trailer and links on where to sample and purchase it -

About Sultana:

"Sultana is a story of revenge and intrigue, the bonds of family and the redemptive power of love. The story takes place during a turbulent period in thirteenth century Moorish Spain, when the union of a child bride and her groom, precipitates a civil war. Fatima is the young granddaughter of the reigning Sultan of Granada and Faraj is his nephew. Although the couple is part of the same renowned family, each has separate, sometimes contrary interests. Fatima is utterly devoted to her family while Faraj, who is ten years older than her, has one cause in mind – to regain a heritage lost at the brutal death of his father. The union between Faraj and Fatima has endangered both their lives. It has turned the Sultan’s one-time allies into powerful enemies. In addition, the Christian kings of Castile and North African Muslim rulers have their own designs on Granada. Fatima and Faraj have to overcome their initial mistrust and misunderstandings of each other. If they do not unite in the struggle against their common enemies, Granada will fall."

Click here to view the book trailer for Sultana.

Sultana is available in the following formats and locations: (Kindle and paperback) (Kindle and paperback)
Barnes and Noble (Nook and paperback)
Smashwords (various e-book formats)

Lisa Yarde is the author of On Falcon's Wings and Sultana. She is passionate about history and writing. Her love of the past inspires her to write historical fiction. Her favorite period is medieval, an interest that started when she wrote about knights and castles as a young teen. She currently lives in New York. You can find more information about Lisa and her writing on the website

Thanks, Lisa! Next week's feature will be on Sarah Woodbury, author of Arthurian historical fantasy and Welsh medieval time travel stories. Coming up later in the month - Anna Elliott and Shayne Parkinson.

Happy reading,