Month: April 2016

Heraldry.

A great device to give both historical and fantasy novels depth, are a Coat of Arms.  A family history, or tradition, encompassed into a heraldic emblem, a brightly painted shield and banner, complete with family motto.  This can give characters an intriguing edge, stories from their family’s past hinting at hidden secrets and mystery. In a historical novel, especially those set in the High Middle Ages, they can be used to show authenticity, being such an important aspect of that age.  Whilst in a fantasy novel, they are equally useful giving the authors world credibility and tantalising the reader into what the mythical land holds. Heraldry in a Historical context Some people date the start of heraldry as far back as ancient Egypt, when standards topped with the names of kings and gods, can be seen depicted in their art.  However, the type of heraldry we would recognise as such today, started to appear in the middle ages when large armies, all being equipped with full helmets and faceplates, required some way for individuals to …

War & Peace.

Many describe it as the greatest novel ever written, Tolstoy’s historical classic, that takes us across the vast sweeps of Eastern Europe and into the Russian heartland.  Napoleon’s reign of European domination begins and culminates in him leading an army of unparalleled strength – the pride of France – into a doomed campaign against Alexander I’s Russia.  The army reaches Moscow before its calamitous retreat from the great city that now lay in burnt ruins, and Napoleon’s army’s eventual destruction in the long flight. The novel is well named as it brilliantly describes and depicts vivid battle scenes, whilst also following the grandeur and splendour of early nineteenth century Russia, with its large beautiful estates, balls, and the wealth of the ruling aristocracy.  The story follows the Rostov, Bolkonsky and Bezuhov families as they wrestle with the changing times, the struggle of liberal ideals, and the rise and fall of their respective family’s fortunes.  These breaks from the military campaign give the narrative real depth, and you appreciate the titanic sacrifice and strength of the …

A Spanish adventure to write about…

Sometimes starting a new novel can be difficult, not least because the sheer scale of the work involved can be daunting.  Do I really want to commit so much of my time to such an arduous project? Fortunately, it isn’t all hard work, and the pluses always out-way the negatives.  One such example is going away to do the groundwork for a historical novel.  I recently took a holiday to Northern Spain to research the sequel to my novel Roman Mask.  Spain might seem a surprising destination for those who are familiar with Roman Mask, as so much of that story is set in the forests of Germany, and I’m guessing many readers would expect any sequel to also be entwined into that dark mist-shrouded and menacing landscape.  However, without giving too much away, my story involves the brother of Julius Arminius, and takes my main character Cassius to a completely different land and will show how the disaster in the Teutoburg forest had far reaching effects throughout the Roman world. Spain was always an incredibly …

Spring Madness! Roman Mask 0.99 Sale!

Spring is finally here and the sun is beginning to shine.  This has always been my favourite season, as the new found warmth in the air puts a smile on everyone’s face.  In this spirit, I have decided to reduce the cost the Ebook\Kindle version of my novel Roman Mask for the rest of the week.  The price will return to normal on Sunday, so grab it whilst you can!  This will apply to the Amazon Kindle version, and the iPad version, and the Nook version which you can buy and Barnes and Noble or Google books. “The classical world is brought vividly to life in this novel by Brooke” Daily Mail, UK National Newspaper  “Ancient Rome comes to life in all of its glory and menace” 5 Stars Brokenteepee “I read Roman Mask in one sitting; it was that powerful, that mesmerizing” 5 Stars TomeTender “As a reader, I became emotionally entwined with Cassius; his fear, inner turmoil, his search for courage and love” 5 Stars readersfavorite   Rome AD 9 Augustus Caesar rules Imperial Rome at the …