Skip to main content

#HistFicThursdays - Clement: The Templar's Treasure - Craig R. Hipkins - Guest Post

It's #HistFicThursdays again, and this week I'm thrilled to be sharing a guest post from Craig R. Hipkins ,   as part of his  Coffee Pot Book Club  tour. Find out what research drew him into the world of Clement and Dagena, Viking exploration, and linguistic adventures... Blurb Clement & Dagena return for another action packed adventure. From the cold and dreary shores of Greenland to the fabled land of Vinland. The legendary treasure of the Knights Templar awaits. Clement: The Templar's Treasure  is available via this Universal Link Guest Post Clement: The Templar’s Treasure is set in the middle of the 12th century. This was at the height of the age of chivalry when the troubadours sang their poetry and martial tournaments were the rage over all Europe. Although the first book in the Clement series concentrated on historical elements related to the continent, the second and third installments took Clement far away from the kingdoms of Europe. However, chivalry, a commo

#ShareYourShelf for #IndieApril: Meet Nicola Niemc

Thank you to the Crowvus team for featuring me on your blog! So excited to be able to showcase my books; after all, the next best thing to reading books is admiring them on a shelf! I try to keep my books in a rough order based on genre, and I also have larger books at the bottom of the bookcase and smaller at the top. Is it just me that does this??

Starting from the bottom shelf, I have my chunky hardbacks (hardbacks… so luxurious…). Juliet Marillier’s Sevenwaters series is a fairly recent discovery; set in ancient Ireland where the gods of the forest still hold sway, this is a beautifully complex family saga which has helped inspire my current work in progress. Families tied together by magic, wicked spirits, and undying love – perfect for any hopeless romantic. Also on this shelf is Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy (useful for picking up medieval details), and the complete Sherlock Holmes – a car-boot find for 50p with lovely, vinyl-like pages. The big black folder at the end is crammed full of notes, ideas, scenes etc for my writing.

The next two shelves feature some of my favourite authors. Philippa Gregory – I know she can be a bit “soapy”, but her attention to detail is impressive, as is the way she brings to life the female characters of the Tudor and Plantagenet eras.

Angela Carter’s Virago books of fairytales – it was so exciting and liberating to realise I wasn’t the only adult to still love fairytales!! Sounds such a silly thing to say, but I honestly felt that they were for children only. Angela Carter’s collections of fairytales have been such a source of inspiration, both writing-wise and in terms of what it means to be a woman. Nowadays, virago means a bad-tempered shrew of a woman. However, the original definition of the word refers to a female warrior, and I think this is one archaic term we should be proud to reclaim! Also on these shelves is the Brothers Grimm fairytales and Tales from 1,001 Nights; because, if you’re going to read fairytales, you might as well read the best.

I am obsessed with Taylor Adams’s books. They’re so cleverly written; basically “locked room mysteries”, but in the strangest of places! If you’re into thrillers, and don’t mind a tiny bit of gore, I would wholeheartedly recommend them. And Katherine Arden’s Winternight Trilogy – her writing is a wealth of Russian jewels, all dark and dangerous and luxurious.

Next shelf up contains a lot of poetry. I so wish I were able to write poetry (or, at least, good poetry), but my mind is too obsessed with order to be able to just go with the flow. However, I can still appreciate the beauty and spirit of writers such as Sylvia Plath, T S Eliot and Edward Thomas – a particular favourite, not quite as well-known as he should be. Here, I also have my absolute favourite book of all time – The Once and Future King, by T H White. The humanity, sadness and hope, as well as the way White sums up the Arthurian legend within the form of a Greek tragedy – I will always return to this book when my writing well runs dry. Next to it is the book which inspired White’s tale, Le Morte d’Arthur, which literally translates as “the death of Arthur” – such a neat way of showing how the entire Arthurian legend is building towards Arthur’s death and doom. And on that cheerful note…

We reach the top shelf! Here, I must confess, I keep my “slightly steamy” books – Jodi Ellen Malpas, Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty trilogy. YA titles also feature here; Rosamund Hodge (again, more brilliant fairytale re-tellings), Sally Rooney’s Normal People, and Karen M McManus. Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber is another particular favourite, as is Agatha Christie’s The Mysterious Mr Quin.

And that concludes my bedroom bookshelf! Lots of lovely inspiration for my own books, Addicted to Love, a contemporary romance, and Tangerine Seventeen, a 1960s spy-comedy thriller. I am currently in the process of editing my third novel, a fantasy fairytale-retelling, featuring a princess who also happens to be a sorceress, and a king who should hate magic but cannot help being drawn to her. You can find out more about my writing at Thank you once again to Crowvus for allowing me to share my books!


Popular posts from this blog

Book Review - Alexander the Great versus Julius Caesar - Simon Elliott

Today's #HistFicThursdays blog is not fiction at all! Instead, I'm delighted to be sharing a Book Review for Simon Elliott's book Alexander the Great versus Julius Caesar - Who was the Greatest Commander in the Ancient World? I'm so grateful to Pen and Sword Books for providing me with a copy of this book. These are two men I knew about vaguely, all the myths and legends and very little of the facts. And this book certainly took me deep into the intricacies of their military campaigns. It debunked a few of those myths I thought I knew, setting the record straight, and quite honestly making this pair a whole lot more engaging. From the word go, I liked this book. Even before I got to the introduction, I loved the dedication. From it, I thought I might just have an inclination of which way the competition would go! The honesty of the author made the book very accessible, as he listed the fellow possible challengers for the title and why he had chosen these two. There ar

#IndieApril Craggy Blog: An Introduction to Craggy

Craggy the Coo was given to me as a Christmas present by my mum way back in 2017. She knitted him from scratch, using her own artistry to produce the woolly mammal who – almost three and a half years later – is about to be unleashed to a brand new audience. I can’t really remember how Craggy’s evolution began. But I remember thinking from the moment I held him in my hands that I ought to repay my mum’s creativity and generosity in kind. The wee coo whose adventures are documented in my first ever book took his first steps out of my hometown of Langholm, Dumfries and Galloway in early January 2018, and he’s never looked back. I’ve packed him in the coo-themed case (well, wash bag if I’m honest) that keeps him safe on each trip I’ve taken around Scotland. And he got to experience some of my favourite parts of the country, in order that I could share those places with a generation of young readers. The idea of travelling widely, armed with a healthy dose of curiosity but a sense that some

#HistFicThursdays - Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

As anyone who knows me would be able to tell you, I am a massive fan of Byron. Let's be honest, he had a questionable moral compass but he was something of a genius and - although I suspect he would have hated the notion! - I actually feel quite sorry for him. History has remembered him with hatred or fascination rather than hatred or love. Rewind back in time, to a time when I had suddenly got a lot of money and, not being much of a socialite (not being anything  of a socialite!) what I chose to spend it on were collectables or odd little trinkets. I had an automatic eBay search rigged up to Crimean War memorabilia (the topic I was writing about at the time) and Lord Byron. It was from this search which I bought one of the weirdest items. This item was titled: victorian byron poetry mirror Sennacherib' angel of death War Horse / Army Assoc Great! thought I, this will link into my Crimean War book, and my love of Byron! Reading further, this revealed itself to be exactly what