Featured Post

Become a Better Writer Today!

Become a better writer today! Today? Yes, today! How? By reading my book full of writing tips and tricks. Oh, one more thing. It'...

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Writer Wednesday: The Secret Keeper

Picture of the Number One Bestselling Historical Fiction Novel Cover of The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton on the Blog of Historical Fiction Author Megan Easley-Walsh, author of Flight Before Dawn, What Edward Heard, North Star Home, and Across the RiverHello!

On Writer Wednesday, I discuss another author and his or her book. Today's pick is The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton.

This was one of five books that I picked up in a charity sale for €1. That's for all 5! (Current exchange rate makes that $1.09.

This was the first book by Kate Morton that I read and I wasn't disappointed. It's multi-layered, with interwoven secrets, the kind of book that I love to read and to write. Like What Edward Heard, it's set in multiple time periods. Morton's book follows generations of a family, rather than a painting's journey. Like Flight Before Dawn, WWII has a significant purpose in the story and characters' allegiances and intentions can be mysterious to navigate.

The Secret Keeper largely revolves around three women: Laurel, Dorothy, and Vivien, and one man: Jimmy. Set primarily in the 1940s, 1960s, and 2011, Laurel digs into the secrets of her mother's, Dorothy's, past. In 1961, sixteen-year-old Laurel witnessed her mother commit a crime and she's trying to get to the bottom of it. Vivien and Jimmy are intimately tied to the reasons, but it will take cleverness and commitment to uncover everything that happened and why it did.

I write twists and turns and this is something that often is mentioned in reviews of my work. Because of that, I can often see what's coming and I especially love when a book still manages to surprise me. The Secret Keeper did that. I literally had to turn back the page and reread a portion to make sure I hadn't missed a page.

I like to sprinkle clues into my writing, hidden meanings that will be understood by the readers after they know what the truth of the story is. After I finished reading this, I found clues popping into my mind, like snapshots of hidden meaning.

As an interesting side note, I have a central character named Vivian in one of my upcoming books and another of my upcoming works deals with WWII London. I found myself thinking about my own stories while reading this, while being completely drawn into Morton's work. It's almost 600 pages, but it flew by. The editor in me wondered why we were being told the same information twice at times, but it all pieces together in a way that makes sense. It's also literary in style, something that I again enjoy reading and writing. For all of my novels, visit me at New Historical Fiction.

Have you read The Secret Keeper? What other literary historical mysteries have you enjoyed?

My best to you all,
Megan



Have you signed up to join the fun? My monthly newsletter features historical happenings, seasonal celebrations, writing tips, and you'll also receive the most exclusive content on my writing.




powered by TinyLetter



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Writer Wednesday: Prisoners of Geography

Hello!

On Writer Wednesday, I discuss another author and his or her book that I've recently read. Today's pick is Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps that tell you everything you need to know about the world by Tim Marshall.

History and politics are influenced by geography. That's basically the crux of geopolitics. In this brilliant book, several major countries and regions of the world are discussed within their own unique geographic location.

Having studied history-focused International Relations and having done research that centers on the intersection of history, International Relations, politics, geography, and geopolitics, I was especially eager to read this book. It jumped out from the shelf at the bookstore. I was not disappointed!

Topics such as what countries have green or blue navies (basically, are they guarding their coasts or going farther out to sea), examining why Russia is expansive in character, understanding how mountains have kept the peace between neighbors, and how rivers have hampered or encouraged settlement patterns are explored. Of special interest to me, given my research areas,was how lines on a map can be arbitrarily drawn and greatly influence history. I've studied that extensively.

Geography is both man-made, through cartography, as well as a product of natural features. In both cases, geography has shaped our history and continues to impact our present and will do so into the future. New technologies are changing the way that geography is dealt with, but geography still remains heavily influential in our world.

My best to you all,
Megan

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Across the River launches around the world today!


Hello!


I'm very excited to say that Across the River, my fourth novel, is launching around the world today from Macmillan! Ebooks are available from several retailers. Print copies in paperback and hardcover are also available via Ingram distribution. Links are listed below. Thank you for your interest in my books and for telling others about them. It's much appreciated! Keep reading for behind the scenes information, more about the book, a book trailer, and an excerpt! 

Behind the Scenes:
In Across the River, Rebecca and Caleb speak about silver plates in the river. Just as I have drawn on family history for components of my previous novels, this detail also comes from my family. Centuries ago, silver plates were hidden in a river by family members to protect them. Rebecca's reasons for hiding her own plates are quite different. I'll let you discover that for yourself.






About Across the River:

For her, he'd go to the ends of the earth.
When she disappears, he might have to.

In the English countryside in 1774, Caleb Haroldson and Rebecca Turrington are destined to be together. Stealing her inheritance to fund the life of her choosing with Caleb seems like an easy enough task for Rebecca, as she schemes with him beside the river late one night. But Rebecca is not the only one making plans for her future.

When Turrington Manor is ravished by flames and a mysterious hooded figure on horseback appears, Rebecca is swept into a plot of revenge and revolution. Is anyone safe in a land where hundreds have gone missing?

As Rebecca struggles for her freedom and Caleb endeavors to find her, both sides of the Atlantic are poised to erupt and everywhere lurks the haunting phrase "Across the River."







Excerpt: 

There is no life and death.
There is only life.
Death is an illusion, an appearance, nothing more.
It is a fleeting shade that disappears in the light of truth.
And life, life is constant, ever-flowing like a river.


Chapter One
The English Countryside, Summer 1774


Rebecca's head rested against his chest, as Caleb lay with her beneath the star-strewn sky. The afternoon's rain had dampened the grass, but the ground was not muddied. Rich earthiness whispered against his nose, but was drowned by the scent of Rebecca. Clasping her hand with his, she leaned over him. Her cheeks, rosy from the coolness of the night, danced merrily under her eyes.
“Come away with me,” Rebecca said.
He knew that look.
“Come away with you?”
She nodded, the stars conspiring with her to more intensely highlight her beauty.
“I could not bear to marry another and they are so intent on promising me to someone else.”
She knew what she was doing. Merely hearing her words had cast a dagger into his heart, though he knew she had not meant to be cruel. Rebecca only meant to use the truth to make her proposition irresistible to him.
“Caleb, I could not bear to be with another man.”
The softness of her skin as she held his hand stood as reminder to the sweetness in his memory, when there had been more than—
“Come away with me,” she repeated.
Caleb swallowed. Oh, how he wanted to indulge her! It was all he could do to keep from agreeing. But, he had to be practical; one of them did.
“What would we live off of?”
“Our love.”
She was not so naive to think this the only necessity, but she knew the power of her charm on him and she was determined to get her way.
“And how shall I pay for food when you are hungry?”
She said nothing for a moment. He wasn't supposed to object.
“Those silver plates, the ones my mother is forever having polished.”
There wasn't a servant for miles that didn't dread the thought of Rebecca's mother's plates.
“Your mother would never part with them.”
“Then, I shall have to take them.”
“Your plan is to steal the plates?”
“It can hardly be called stealing if I am taking my own inheritance.”
Caleb put his hands behind his head, forgetting he was supposed to be applying practicality and now only concerned with watching her loveliness as her mind raced forward.
“Yes, yes, that is it. I shall hide them in the river,” Rebecca said.
“In the river, whatever for?”
“You ask too many questions,” she said, leaning into him. Her lips brushed against Caleb's, to silence him.
“And you,” he said, feeling the softness of her hair over his arm, “make it truly difficult to concern myself with the answers.”
Rebecca looked at him to remind him that yes, she was the power-holder here. She lay her hand against his shirt.
“I feel your heart,” Rebecca said, “I feel it as strongly as though 'twere my own. Truthfully, Caleb, I hear your heart beat.”
“You hear my watch,” he said, with a laugh, pulling his watch from his pocket. The face was marred, but it shone in the sunlight as he worked, glinting at him when he clicked open its half-broken hinge to count the hours until he could see Rebecca again. She stared at him with such intensity that his laughter dried up like a brook encountering an oasis.
Temptress. Beautiful, beloved temptress.
Tiny prickles of grass pushed against his skin, like splinters in his workshop. The world was awake here, rawer, but in a pleasant way. Everything burst with vibrancy, with vitality, like a thousand trees with arms outstretched to the skies above. Pines clung in his nose, fully rooted, away from the saw and the hammer that he would transform them with into the finest furniture for miles. Furniture that someone as noble as Rebecca could even sit on, and yet furniture that cemented his place in the world as a craftsman.
“Caleb, you have kept me waiting far too long. You really ought—”
“So, this is where you wander off to.” The words sliced through their shared moment, shattering all promise of what was to come.
“Richard,” Rebecca said, hastily moving away from Caleb at the sight of her brother. Caleb's eyes went wide, as a guilty flush washed over him. He scrambled to his feet, pulling Rebecca up with him.
“Richard,” Caleb said now, “I can assure you that I mean Rebecca no harm. I only have the best of intentions toward her.” Though caught, his honor would not be sullied.
Richard looked from one to the other.
“I know my sister well enough to know that she can only abide by her own will. I am sure that the only one who has been led here this evening is you.”
“I—” Caleb opened his mouth to speak and then, realizing he could make no argument, shut it again. Yes, Rebecca had led him. Caleb, accustomed to cursing the gentry beneath his breath as he toiled for the paltry wages they offered, would bend to no man. But Rebecca, her long hair falling over her silken body, was no man.
“Richard,” Rebecca said now, stepping nearer her brother and resting her hand on his arm, “we have done nothing wrong. Promise me, Brother, you will not speak of our innocent secret.”
Whether she had deftly bent the truth or spoken the reality she believed was unclear. When Rebecca spoke with such sweetness of purpose, one soon found himself agreeing with her.
Richard, fond though as he was of her, was adept at navigating his way through her persuasive powers. Looking at them now though, with their eyes absent of fear and only love finding a home therein, he couldn't help but agree with her. Perhaps, he was not so immune after all.
“All right, I will do as you ask. But, Sister, do be more careful. You can hardly think that Father would be willing to overlook the state I have found you two in. Mother would have you married off or else sent away to a nunnery before the sun rose.”
Caleb wondered at the validity of the threats, but Rebecca, successful in at least one dealing tonight, brushed aside his comments.
“Richard, you worry far too much.”
“Even so, you must realize that if you are gone any longer you will soon be missed.”
She really couldn't object to this point. Turning to Caleb one last time, she said in a voice that only they could hear,
“Do consider what I have said, my love. I admit to wishing to sway you, but believe me, it is no whim. I have thought of nothing else for days.”
“Rebecca,” Caleb said. Doubt had dragged its ugly fingers across his face and she wanted to see nothing of the sort.
“Kiss me, Caleb, kiss me as though 'twere for the last time.”
She threw her arms around him before he could object and Richard turned away.
“Rebecca, we best leave,” Richard said, beginning to walk away from the two.
Her lips pulled slowly from Caleb's, only to say,
“Yes, I am coming.”
The words had hardly slipped from her mouth, when she pushed her lips to Caleb's again.


“Go,” he whispered against her. Assuredly, if he had known what was to happen, he never would have said it.








Ebooks available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Ibooks,and Kobo. Paperback and hardcover books are also available and can be found on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Across the River!

Hello!
Thank you for your interest in my characters, plots, historical settings, and the themes of my writing. Most simply put that's hope.

I'm excited to share with you that Across the River, my fourth novel, is releasing from Macmillan on March 28th!


About the Book:

For her, he’d go to the ends of the earth.
When she disappears, he might have to.

In the English countryside in 1774, Caleb Haroldson and Rebecca Turrington are destined to be together. Stealing her inheritance to fund the life of her choosing with Caleb seems like an easy enough task for Rebecca, as she schemes with him beside the river late one night. But Rebecca is not the only one making plans for her future.

When Turrington Manor is ravished by flames and a mysterious hooded figure on horseback appears, Rebecca is swept into a plot of revenge and revolution. Is anyone safe in a land where hundreds have gone missing.

As Rebecca struggles for her freedom and Caleb endeavors to find her, both sides of the Atlantic are poised to erupt and everywhere lurks the haunting phrase “Across the River.”




Pre-order ebook

Hardcover and paperback coming soon!

I'm excited to share Rebecca and Caleb's story with you!

My best to you all,
Megan


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Follow that reindeer? How to Write a Novel in Gifs

Past is Prologue : How to Write a Novel in Gifs: Hello! As well as writing my own material, I have also taught the art of writing. I decided to write about this using my very first g...

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Want to Become Part of My Review Team?

Megan Easley-Walsh Author of Historical Fiction: Become Part of My Review Team: Hello! Love books? Love being the first to read new releases? If you join my review team, you'll receive free ebooks (.mobi or .epub) ...

My Interview on Reading is My Superpower: North Star Home, Ireland, Giveaway and more!

Hello!

Today I'm at Carrie's blog, Reading is my Superpower, discussing North Star Home, Ireland, and more! Plus, be sure to enter for the giveaway.

Read the full interview here.

My best to you all,
Megan

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

"One of the Best Books I Have Ever Read": A reader describes Flight Before Dawn, and the author discusses Light in the Darkness

Hello!

My debut novel, Flight Before Dawn, tells the story of Victoire, a leader in the French Resistance, on the eve of D-Day. When Leal, the mysterious stranger whom she's had watched for over two years, arrives on her doorstep, he uncovers a 25-year-old-secret with Victoire at its center. Everything that she thought she knew shifts.

In Flight Before Dawn, Luc is one of the supporting characters. Luc's lighthouse stands as a beacon on the shores of Brittany. It provides safety to the passing ships in the night. It also stands as a guiding light for Leal, as he wanders through the countryside. Not until he reaches its sheltering light is Leal able to settle into a rhythmic pace of life.

In a more symbolic way, participation in the Resistance provides a light in the darkness for Victoire and her friends. Only by holding fast to what is true, their leading beacon, are they able to struggle against the oppression of war.

In one particular scene, the lighthouse is broken into. Though its door stands swinging on its hinges, and though war demands the dimming of lights, its potential to stand as a beacon remains. Likewsie, when Victoire and her friends face challenges, their fighting spirit, guided by the desire for what is right, perseveres. Like a ship lost on a stormy sea, they search continually for the light, awaiting the dawning of peace.

Get my copy on Amazon!
Get my copy on Barnes & Noble!
Get my copy at another retailer!

My best to you all,
Megan


Sunday, February 19, 2017

The World of the Blue Bells Trilogy: Welcome Megan Easley-Walsh

The World of the Blue Bells Trilogy: Welcome Megan Easley-Walsh: Dear Readers, Please welcome Megan Easley-Walsh, author and editor.  Over the next few months, she'll be guest posting on a few...

The World of the Blue Bells Trilogy: Welcome Megan Easley-Walsh

Hello! I'm visiting Laura's blog today in the first of several posts related to my writing, historical fiction, and writing tips. Check out the first post here.

The World of the Blue Bells Trilogy: Welcome Megan Easley-Walsh

Become a Better Writer Today!

Cover for Writing Tips From the Writing Consultant and Editor of Extra Ink Edits, Megan Easley-Walsh, Free Ebook to help writers
Become a better writer today!

Today? Yes, today!

How? By reading my book full of writing tips and tricks.

Oh, one more thing. It's FREE!

Get your copy from Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Ibooks
Google Play
Kobo

My best to you all,
Megan

Friday, February 17, 2017

Resistance: What does it mean to resist?

Hello!

Flight Before Dawn, my first novel, is a story of resistance. At its heart this is easy enough to determine. It's set in Normandy, France during WWII. History remembers Normandy for what happened on the beaches in June of 1944, on D-Day and in the days after, but Victoire's story through the pages of Flight Before Dawn begins half a year earlier, in the autumn months of 1943.

We meet her in the middle of her resistance. We learn that for over two years, she and the Resistance have been watching Leal. But, Victoire's story of resistance stretches even beyond two years. Since the beginning, Victoire has resisted. We also learn that her father was in WWI and that her grandfather was in the Franco-Prussian war and so she feels an inherited duty to her country. 

When we first meet Victoire, the Resistance is taking part in stockpiling materials, coordinating efforts with the British intelligence, and is preparing for the hoped-for-Allied invasion. As the story progresses, resistance takes form in siphoning off gasoline, in spying, and even in sabotage. 

Rainier, Victoire's close friend and the town's doctor, whom Vicotire's own doctor father trained, tells her something important in chapter 11 of part 1 in this exchange between them. 
"You are the angel of the Resistance, but not all of our members are saints. We have broken curfews, we have lied, we have traded on the black market, we have spied and before our liberation is complete, I've no doubt that we will be asked to fight more staunchly. We may lift arms, much as our fathers did.”
“Of course. I suspect we will be asked to participate in sabotage.”
“But, still I do not wish for your heart to be sabotaged.” 
In these lines, Rainier reveals a second form of resistance. Although they are embedded deep in civilian war, through their efforts to end the Nazi occupation of their land, they are holding fast to the humanity that shapes them, to their own dignity, and to keeping their hearts, their minds, and their souls—the fabric of who they are— guarded. 

Sometimes Resistance is remembering why you are different from the enemy. Sometimes it is living from that humanity. 

My best to you all,
Megan 

Flight Before Dawn is available here...
Amazon 
Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million 
Powell's Books
Abe Books
Alibris
Book Depository
Waterstones (UK and Ireland)
Blackwell's  (UK)
Bücher (Germany)
Ebook Retailers
Find me on Goodreads here.
Visit me at www.NewHistoricalFiction.com



Monday, January 30, 2017

Tips from a Writing Consultant: Family History

Hello!

It's Monday and Tips from a Writing Consultant day!
Today, I'd like to share with you an easy way to add more authenticity to your writing. Specifically, I am dealing with historical fiction, as that is the primary genre that I write. It's obvious to readers that nonfiction requires much research on the part of the author. Fiction as well though is often supplemented by research. If an author is writing about a plumber or a mechanic, he or she will need to learn the tools of the trade. I once spent an afternoon reading about driving a 1920s Model T, so that I'd be able to authentically allow a character in an upcoming novel to drive one.

Books and reputable websites on the internet are an obvious first choice for many writers. Some writers even joke about how awkward their Google search history looks to an outside observer, with a mishmash of information. This is especially true among crime writers!

For historical fiction writers, there is an extra need for research. Unlike contemporary writing, we live in a world that is removed from that which we are writing about. Unlike fantasy writers, the world was real and so it must be accurate. I've previously written about the excellent resources found in museums for writers. Visiting some of those museums and the beaches of D-Day in person helped inspire my first novel, Flight Before Dawn. You can read about that inspiration here and here.

Today I'd like to share with you another source: family history. Genealogy is becoming increasingly popular. Sites like Ancestry.com have commercials for tests to determine where your family came from. There is much to be gleaned from family records. Names recorded in a family Bible could provide you with character names for a specific period. An ancestor's profession may provide an interesting backstory for a character. Maybe your own unique combination of backgrounds makes for a compelling tale. If an ancestor overcame incredible odds maybe that will provide the strength that a character needs.

Or, maybe, you'll learn about an ancestor and it will compel you to learn more about something from their backstory. This was the case for me in What Edward Heard. I knew that some of my ancestors were among the first settlers of Virginia and that they had come from French Huguenot silk merchants. Through my research I was able to learn more about the history of what happened to this people and weave it into the narrative of What Edward Heard.

Sometimes family history is more recent and can lend itself to a good story. For my most recent release, North Star Home, the characters live on the prairie in 1875. You need look no farther than the dedication page to see that my family inspired the story, at least in part. Part of the story involves quilting. I have a teddy bear made by my great-aunt from a quilt that my great-grandmother made. Knowing the family stories of the quilts made the history of North Star Home more palpable.

An easy way to include family history is to talk to your family. Ask your grandparents about life when they were growing up. Remember stories from your childhood. How was life different for them? Where did they go to school? How did they react to the changing and modernizing world around them? The sky's the limit!

It is important to remember that you're not writing a biography of an ancestor and so you shouldn't only transcribe their story if you're writing a novel. Fiction is a blending of fact with the imagined. Historical backdrop, including family history, can be an excellent source to add authenticity.
Happy researching and happy writing!

My best to you all,
Megan



Monday, January 23, 2017

Introducing... New Historical Fiction Website!

Hello!
A week ago, I launched my third novel: North Star Home! I also recently launched a new website. You can still visit me at www.MeganEasleyWalsh.com for my comprehensive website and at www.ExtraInkEdits.com for all things editing. And of course, you can find me here where I blog. In addition, if you visit www.NewHistoricalFiction.com you'll have easy access to all of my novels including convenient buy links on the side from some of the major retailers. Please note that a more complete list of retailers is available on my main website (MeganEasleyWalsh.com). It is regularly updated, although new retail locations continue to emerge!

Thank you for reading! I love hearing from my readers. You can email me at [email protected] and reviews (on Goodreads, Amazon, and other book sites) are always welcome and appreciated if you've enjoyed my books.

My best to you all,
Megan

Monday, January 16, 2017

It's Launch Day!

Today was the day. Red River Rock Falls didn't know it yet, but Ann Scarlet had chosen this day to make her mark on the town. 
It's launch day! Those lines are from the first page of North Star Home, my third novel and first historical love story. It launches around the world today!

About the Book:
Ann Scarlet is no thief, but when the Yankee sheriff catches her she might just steal his heart.

Ann Scarlet has a single goal when journeying from her home in Savannah to Red River Rock Falls, Nebraska in 1875: find Whitaker and get back the land deed he stole from her brother. It seems simple enough, until Sheriff Crambert finds her with her hands full of money as she rifles through a pile of land deeds.

Nathaniel Crambert has loved and lost before. Ann seems harmless enough and he decides to rehabilitate her into society. Falling for her? That’s not part of the plan. Falling for him? That’s not what she intended either.

With the help of Mol, the woman who raised him, and Quiet Dove, his Lakota friend, Ann and Nathaniel may finally get over the burden of their heavy pasts. If Whitaker appears, Ann will have to follow that trail. But, what about following her heart?

Now available from
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Ibooks
Google Play
Kobo

More retailers coming soon!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Introducing North Star Home!

Hello!
I'm excited to share with you the trailer for North Star Home, my third novel, coming January 16th!
My best to you all,
Megan
Ebooks are available for pre-order here.


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Calling all Writers!


Hello!
I'd like to introduce you to an exciting new hashtag for the writing community. You are invited to join other writers around the world using the hashtag #2017write. The idea is to share your writing journey this year. In addition, I'll be sharing themes for all of us to use the hashtag with throughout the year. The first theme is describe your wip (work in progress) in five words. Have fun! And Happy Writing!
My best to you all,
Megan

Author of Flight Before Dawn, What Edward Heard, and North Star Home (Coming January 16th)

Writing Consultant, Editor and Owner