Thursday, August 20, 2015

Interview with Marci Jefferson & Book Review

I’d like to welcome Marci to my blog today to talk with me about what Historical fiction means to her and the importance of it. Also at the end of the interview I have shared a few of my thoughts about her book, Enchantress of Paris

Marci, what are the periods of history focused on for your writing?

Enchantress of Paris is set in seventeenth century France, during the reign of Louis XIV.

Why Historical Fiction?

I spent a good deal of my childhood growing up in Yorktown, Virginia, where locals still tell Revolutionary War tales. Most of those tales were of men - brave generals and soldiers. But I was always interested in the roles women played in major events - where were they? Despite having few rights throughout most of history, women were indeed active, either influencing or defying powerful men, and sometimes forging their own destinies.

When did you know you wanted be a Historical Fiction writer?

I was riding atop a red double-decker bus when someone said, “There’s the Banqueting House, where Charles I was beheaded.” I’d been under the impression that only kings ordered beheadings! I decided to research everything about the Stuart family that my nursing professors didn’t bother teaching me in nursing school. Eventually, that research turned into writing my debut novel, Girl on the Golden Coin. And I've been writing historical fiction ever since!

How much time do you spend on research? What sources do you use?

I spend way too much time on research!  I read, read, then read some more! Since almost none of my characters are fictional, I find biographies most helpful. I can’t even tell you how many I’ve read throughout the years. But I also research general history books to gain an understanding of the political landscape. I scour maps. I wade through every source from my era plucking out period and cultural details. Sometimes I contact archivists in the area I’m researching to request copies of source materials that real historians research, such as letters and wills.

What do you feel is the importance of Historical Fiction?

One of my high school teachers had a poster on the wall that read, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” It struck me. I decided I didn’t want to make the mistakes of my forefathers, so I’ve always approached my historical research with an analytical eye. However, as the old adage goes, history is written by the victors. We cannot assume that all we’ve been taught about how our modern world was shaped is accurate. We must strive to know the facts and seek alternate points of view if we want to understand. I think historical fiction is special because it animates those alternate points of view. Historical fiction engages people, putting fresh perspective on old stories.

Who are your influences?

Philippa Gregory, Margaret George, Tracy Chevalier, and Michelle Moran.

How much fiction (in your opinion) is best to blend with historical facts?

In the historical genre, I believe the facts should structure the fiction. I strive to be as historically accurate as possible, though I’m an amateur historian. In my novels, readers will find fictionalized answers to questions unanswered in the history books. I hope readers will also consider history to be not only a setting in my novels, but an active part of the plot, a character at times, and motivation for everything that happens.

How do you feel the genre has progressed in the last ten years?

The last ten years have seen a great deal more historical fiction with a literary bend than the prior decade. It is a genre always in flux. Currently, the most popular period is World War I, but I think a good royal adventure like Enchantress of Paris will always intrigue readers.

What are the important steps in writing Historical Fiction?

Do your homework. Research, research, then research some more. Research until you can make history part of your story, not just a background. If you write about a historical figure, remember to be true to that person’s spirit.

What must you not do writing in this genre?

You must not get tripped up by anachronisms. Tempting as it may be, in historical fiction you cannot have Louis XIV behind the wheel of a Rolls-Royce! And you can’t have Louis XIV and Marie Mancini take a stroll past the Eiffel Tower!

When writing, do you use visuals to give you inspiration? Such as historical pictures of people, castles, and owns? What about historical objects?

Oh yes, I have copies of Marie Mancini’s portraits hanging on my walls. Maps of seventeenth century Paris strewn about my desk. And I have copies of seventeenth century astrological almanacs, ones Marie Mancini may have read, on my bookshelf.



About the Book, Enchantress of Paris: A Novel of the Sun King’s Court


The alignment of the stars at Marie Mancini's birth warned that although she would be gifted at divination, she was destined to disgrace her family. Ignoring the dark warnings of his sister and astrologers, Cardinal Mazarin brings his niece to the French court, where the forbidden occult arts thrive in secret. In France, Marie learns her uncle has become the power behind the throne by using her sister Olympia to hold the Sun King, Louis XIV, in thrall.

Desperate to avoid her mother's dying wish that she spend her life in a convent, Marie burns her grimoire, trading Italian superstitions for polite sophistication. But as her star rises, King Louis becomes enchanted by Marie's charm. Sensing a chance to grasp even greater glory, Cardinal Mazarin pits the sisters against each other, showering Marie with diamonds and silks in exchange for bending King Louis to his will.

Disgusted by Mazarin's ruthlessness, Marie rebels. She sacrifices everything, but exposing Mazarin's deepest secret threatens to tear France apart. When even King Louis's love fails to protect Marie, she must summon her forbidden powers of divination to shield her family, protect France, and help the Sun King fulfill his destiny.
 My thoughts:

It’s not often I read historical Romance. Matter of fact, I read one last year that took place in France that was in the same genre. It was enough for me for a while. I have become extremely selective in this genre for many reason but I will not touch on that today. But I will say that I’ve read a ton of books that takes place in royal courts and I wanted something new and fresh. However, when I was first approached about reviewing this story, I was hesitate but when I read the title, premise, and book cover, it appealed to me instantly. Not having the opportunity to read Marci’s first book, Girl on the Golden Coin-which I hear nothing but praise, I had to read this one to find out about Marci’s amazing craft of writing. Does Marci pull it off in Enchantress? Well, yes. I believe she has. Here’s why. For a women to capture a King’s love and hold it amongst a vast court of women’s intrigue in wanting to capture his attention. Marie held her own despite the odds and danger against her and she did it brilliantly. Not only that, she defies her uncle-a powerful Cardinal-time and time again. Alas, in the beginning of the story, I wasn’t too sure about her. Having read on, Marc builds on Marie’s character, wit, charm and strength. But all is not well in the French court or the young King’s will or power.

King Louis is another matter altogether. I wanted to dive in the story and shake him to no end. That’s all I can say about that. I don’t want to give spoilers away. Marci did a superb job in her character development. There were quite a few characters I loved to hate in this story. A major plus.

French court intrigue, romance, politics, danger, passion, charm, atmospheric, solid plot, great supporting characters. This story has it all. I’m rating this book four and a half stars! A must read!

Stephanie M. Hopkins.

Be sure to check out Marci’s blog tour appearance and to find out more about her writing, her website!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Latest B.R.A.G. Medallion Honorees!

Sometimes wishes aren’t enough...

Marten doesn't believe in the power of wishes. None of his have ever come true. His parents ignore him, his little brother is a pain and his family is talking about moving to Texas. Not cool. So when he makes an impulsive wish during a meteor shower, he doesn't expect it to make any difference.

Until his annoying brother disappears.

I'm wishing you weren't here...

Marten needs to undo his wish. Fast. Before his parents find out what has happened.But with the present uncertain and his brother’s future in limbo, Marten finds himself stuck in his past. And if he runs out of time, even wishes might not be enough to save the ones he loves.


Continuing the tale begun in the bitti chai, of ghosts, jealousy, prejudice and passion, set in the wilds of dartmoor

Newly married, Johnny and Reigneth begin their life together, but as the ancient prophecy comes to fruition, unforeseen changes are wrought in their powers and psyche and those of their two closest friends. The effects are devastating, plunging the four young adults deeper and deeper into a supernatural world and leading them into mortal danger as they struggle against the corrupt forces of evil. More than ever before it becomes evident to Reigneth’s Romany family that her secret must be guarded. Together with James and Aaron, Johnny endeavours to protect the young woman he loves, increasingly reluctant to let her have anything to do with the outside world, but when a heartbroken gauja woman pleads for her help and the ghosts of murdered children reach out to her, Reigneth’s secret becomes threatened, with potentially shattering consequences.


Esme Quentin’s arrival in North Devon is marred by the gruesome discovery of a fatally injured woman at the foot of Warren Cliff. Esme is troubled by the woman’s dying words and curious about the old photograph clutched in her hand. The police, however, dismiss Bella Shaw’s death as accidental.

But Bella’s daughter, Neave, has her own questions and approaches Esme for help. The subsequent trail leads Esme back to the brutal penal history of nineteenth-century England and the mystery of a Devon convict girl transported to Australia for her crime.

As evidence of betrayal and duplicity are revealed, Esme discovers Bella’s link to events in the past – a link which now endangers Neave and, by association, Esme.

A legacy of hatred which has festered for generations in the “land beyond the seas” now threatens to spill over on to Devon soil with devastating consequences.

To see more of the latest B.R.A.G. Medallion Honorees click here


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Interview with B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Kathryn Guare

B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Kathryn Guare is here today to talk with me about her book, Deceptive Cadence. Kathryn lives in the Vermont town where she grew up, part of the third generation of her family to call the tiny capital city of Montpelier home. She spent ten years as an executive with a global health membership and advocacy organization, worked as a tour coordinator in a travel agency, and has traveled extensively in Europe and India. She has a passion for Classical music, all things Celtic, and exploring ethnic foods and diverse cultures. Her first novel, "Deceptive Cadence" was awarded a Gold Medal in the Readers Favorite Awards and a Silver Medal in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and most recently was honored with an IndieB.R.A.G Medallion. She currently has three books published in the Conor McBride Series, with more on the way.

Hello, Kathryn! Thank you for chatting with me today and congrats on the B.R.A.G. Medallion. How did you discover indieBRAG?
I belong to the Alliance of Independent Authors and several of its recipients are Medallion recipients. Through the discussions in the member forum, I came to understand that indieBRAG was very well respected among authors and other professionals in the self-publishing industry, so I decided to check out the website and learn more.

Please tell me about your book, Deceptive Cadence.

I like to think of it as “a thriller with heart.” The hero of the book is an Irishman named Conor McBride. He’s a talented musician whose career was ruined when was arrested for a crime he didn’t commit. Now, he’s been asked to reinvent himself, and assume an undercover identity to search for the man responsible, who happens to be his own brother, Thomas. The book is about his wild ride from the west coast of Ireland all the way to India, as he finds himself drawn into a dangerous game where things are not what they seem and he doesn’t know who to trust.

Who designed your book cover?

I worked with Andrew and Rebecca Brown at Design for Writers. They are based in the UK and I’m in the US, but despite the geographical distance the whole process felt very collaborative and positive, and I was really happy with the result.

What are a couple of the themes written in your story?

I focus a lot on character development in my writing, so I’d say the most important theme in the story is the internal struggle of the hero to hold on to his own sense of identity. He’s not a professional spy, and he’s a decent man, so he has trouble with the moral ambiguity of what he’s doing. Pretty quickly, he gets sucked into this world of criminal gangs, drugs and human trafficking. He used to be a man who carried a violin everywhere, and now he’s a man who carries a gun. And what’s worse (from his standpoint, not the reader’s!)  is his discovery that he’s very good at it. He’s learning things about himself he didn’t want to know, and as the book continues he begins to realize that he can never “unlearn” them, or go back to the life he had before.

What is an example of conflict that Conor experiences in his undercover identity?

I’d say one big conflict is his attitude about his brother. Thomas is ten years older and was Conor’s hero, so when he disappeared and let his younger brother take the fall for a crime he’d committed, it was a bitter betrayal. Conor’s first instinct is to refuse the mission to find him, but once he’s persuaded Thomas is in danger he can’t help but go through with it, because in spite of everything he still loves his brother, and part of him also wants the opportunity to confront him and get an explanation.

To read the rest of this fascinating interview with Kathryn Guare, click here

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Gisborne (Book of Pawns) by Prue Batten

In a story where status means power and survival depends on how the game is played, two people, one a squire wronged in life and one a noblewoman, are drawn together by lust and a lost inheritance in twelfth century England. Guy of Gisborne is a man with secrets, Ysabel of Moncrieff, a naïve and opinionated noblewoman whose world comes tumbling down like the stones of a mighty cathedral on the death of her mother.
Gisborne is ordered to Aquitaine to escort the young woman home to attend to her grieving father and whilst travelling, she discovers Gisborne's secrets are not just connected with his family but with the throne of England.

And with revenge.


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunday Book Highlight

Pablo Perez is a 12-year-old poor kid without much going for him. His classmates have dubbed him "Duct Tape" because his tattered discount-store sneakers are held together guessed it, duct tape. He can't escape the bullying.

Pablo's luck, however, changes after he finds a $20 gold coin while swimming with his sister in a river near their home. Pablo later buys a $1 treasure map at the county fair. The map shows the route to the "lost treasure" of Jesse James. Pablo can't help but wonder: Is there a link between the map and the gold coin?

He is determined to find out, and he, his 9-year-old sister and 13-year-old cousin hire, an ill-natured cave guide, and begin a treacherous underground adventure in search of treasure.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Website Launch Annoucement

I'm delighted to announce my new website! This year will be a wonderful year for Layered Pages with new projects in the works. Including my interviews, book reviews, articles, giveaways and much more. I invite you to my new website:

If you would like to inquire about my interviews or to make a quest appearance on my website, please contact me at

Layered Pages

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Review: The Sister Queens by Sophie Perinot

The Sister Queens is the second novel I have read about Marguerite and Eleanor, who both become Queens. The two sisters grew up together at their father's-Count Raymond of Provence-court. They are separated at an early age to marry, they find their life as they know it completely changed and become two extraordinary women who face many challenges.

Marguerite marries King Louis of France and is often neglected by him. She struggles to fulfill her role as Queen by his side. The reason for her struggles is due to her domineering and often time’s cruel mother-in-law, Blanche of Castile. Blanche’s influence over her son is strong as is her involvement in the governance of France.

Eleanor, whose husband is King Henry III of England, is not considered a strong leader to his kingdom but is a good husband and adores her. But as the years go by their marriage becomes strained and Eleanor struggles to bring back that spark in their relationship.

Although this story centers on Marguerite and Eleanor, they have two other sisters- Beatrice and Sanchia- who married the brothers of King Henry and King Louis. Their marriages help bond the relationship between the two countries. The marriages of all the sisters were obviously for political advantage and more power. Which is intriguing to read about and I find that I admire their courage, strength and their amazing resilience to adapt to any situation they encounter.  

At the beginning of each chapter you read a letter from Marguerite to Eleanor and vice versa- as they corresponded through the years. As I read their letters, I found myself enthralled with their devotion to each other. For me, the letters were the highlight of the story told.

The alternating point of views told by the two sisters was well developed and easy to follow along. One can tell Perinot takes pride in her work and it shows through the pages and the characters voices as their lives unfold. The compelling interpretation of Marguerite and Eleanor is believable and admirable. Stories such as this are timeless and Perinot brings the 13th century back to life through this captivating novel. That is one of the reasons why I’m so drawn to historical fiction. I hold this story in high affection and it is certainly praiseworthy!
I rated this story four and a half stars. 
Layered Pages

Monday, February 18, 2013

Interview with Author Sharon Dwyer

Sharon, congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion for your book, Dirt. Please tell me a little about your story?  
First I would like to thank indieBRAG for the award and the readers who enjoyed the book. Dirt is an historical fiction book that started out as YA and seemed to slip into the adult readers world. The story is centered around two children, Sammy and Birdie Larkin, who find themselves orphaned during the great Dust Bowl in the panhandle of Oklahoma. They decide to pretend their parents are still alive and continue to live on their family farm rather than be separated and sent to the state home for orphans. Living in a rural area, the fact that their parents are never seen goes unnoticed for some time. The children find ways to stave off the worse of their hunger and fend for themselves in a very hostile environment. That is until an incident causes them to rethink their actions.
After I published the book, I’ve talked with quite a few people and found they have a relative who had gone through the same type of experience and had heard the stories of living day to day never knowing where their next meal would come from and keeping the fact that they were orphans from everyone knowing. It’s amazing how a fictitious story could end up having so much of actual people’s lives in it without knowing this when you wrote it.

Who or what inspired you to write your book?
I moved in with my father to take care of him during a difficult illness and we would spend a great deal of time talking about his years growing up during the depression; what games they played, the types of food his mother would prepare, the clothes and transportation issues, the cost of things. The more he talked, the more a story began to form. Although he lived in the city in the east and the story takes place in a rural county in Oklahoma, many of the life scenes could have been the same anywhere.
What was some of the research involved? Where there any challenges?
So much of the information came from my father’s memories. I did have to do some research for the actual prices of food, the county in Oklahoma where the story takes place and the weather. I wanted to make sure I portrayed the dust storms as accurate as possible. They were so much more than simple storms that plagued the country. Imagine looking into the horizon and seeing a black wall of clouds filled with dust rising hundreds of feet into the sky. Some people thought the world was ending as the clouds roiled and churned toward them, turning day into night.
The biggest challenge was making the characters of the two children interesting enough to carry the entire book themselves. When you don’t have vampires, werewolves or paranormal situations, the everyday life of two children can be boring. So, I had to make sure the reader could care about them and their plight. Using some minor characters to enhance the story became the means to do this. In their own right, those characters are interesting in themselves, but they create situations where Sammy and Birdie have to interact and pull off their deception.
Was there a particular scene that you found a challenge to write?
Oh my goodness, yes. The scene where Sammy finds his parents bodies.  How could I ever get into a child’s head in that type of situation? Not only were his parents dead, but he had no one to go to for help.  I struggled with that for days trying to figure out how he should/would react. I tried to imagine how I would have reacted and decided on using one emotion – anger. Anger can fuel so many decisions and this time it hardened a young boy and enabled him to take control of his life and his   sister’s.  It’s strange because so many readers mention that scene and they felt his reaction was just what they thought a young boy would go through. I felt vindicated in my decision.

What is your next book project?
I’m currently working on a YA story where two city children, 15 and 11, are sent to their great-grandmother’s home in the Appalachian Mountains for a visit in the summer. No TV, no cell phone reception, no neighbors, no mall and no summer parties. Not their choice of summer fun, until they discover a fantasmagorical forest with its wonders and dangers.
What is your favorite genre?
I’ve written in several and I really enjoy YA. Kids are so much more fun to write than adults. They are straight in your face honest about their feelings. They have a language that is fun to write and their actions are so unpredictable.
Paperback or e-book?
Dirt is in paperback and most e-book formats.
What are you currently reading?
I just finished The Twelve by Justin Cronin. A  remarkable look at the resilience of mankind.

About how many books do you read on a average per year? 
I read about three to four a month. So it adds up to forty eight books a year - give or take. I read every day. It inspires me to become a better writer when I have read a well written book.
What advice would you give to an inspiring author?
Learn the craft, even if it means rewriting what you’ve written many times over. My     first book, If Truth Be Known, took thirty four rewrites before it was ready. I was learning as I edited and rewrote. No one wants to read a book that is poorly written. You may have a great story, and many writers do, the gauge is how the words are placed on the page as to whether it gets into the hands of readers.
One important thing to always remember – keep writing.  Your best stories will never be read by anyone if you stop. Sure, there’s a lot of competition out there and it’s really difficult to be seen in the ocean of books floating around, but, if you are serious and are willing to work hard, you will be noticed.

How did you discover indieBRAG?
They were mentioned to me during a discussion on a website forum. What a truly great organization.
Such wonderful people to work with and be associated with.  For an indie writer to be recognized is such an honor. And the fact that the readers are the ones who decide makes it even more important to me. They also have very informative discussions on “Goodreads” .

Will you self-publish again?
Probably, unless some big publisher offers me a deal I can’t refuse. Self-publishing is a great opportunity for  writers to showcase their work in a discipline that has become more and more difficult to be noticed. This past year I have found so many great stories by indie writers. I believe today’s readers are more concerned with a good story than who published it. On that note, I would like to thank  you for the opportunity to bring my book, Dirt, to even more reader’s attention.
Author Bio:
Born in Connecticut, raised in Florida, and lived all over the country. My residences almost match my careers.  I began as a nurse and when I became bored and disillusioned, I went back to school for an engineering degree. While working in the energy field, although it was a new and exciting field, I grew tired of fighting the good ol’ boy attitudes prevalent in the companies I worked with at that time. On to finance and technology.  Diverse, yes, satisfying, no. My real love was writing and in between working and being the caregiver to my parents, I have been honing my craft for the last 15 years.

I have three novels out there in the world of books, If Truth Be Known, For Benny and my latest Dirt. I am currently working on a new YA novel.  I don’t write in any particular genre. When I discover a story tumbling around in my head, whatever the genre, I write it. I refuse to be cornered into a specific type of writing.   I love taking a story, any story, and turning it into something people would enjoy reading. The best feeling in the world is seeing your book in the hands of a stranger with their eyes glued to the pages and no thought to what is going on around them. Nirvana.

A message from BRAG:
We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview Sharon Dwyer who is the author of, Dirt, one of our medallion honorees at . To be awarded a B.R.A.G. MedallionTM, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, Dirt merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.

Thank you!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Review: Bianca's Vineyard by Teresa Neumann

Teresa Neumann brings you a captivating story based on real events leading up to and that takes place during World War II. This story is about a families strength and bond to each other and their struggles to survive a turbulent time in our History.  Egisto Bertozzi, a sculptor must marry and travel to America to support his family in Italy. He marries a women named Armida Sigali who becomes troubled and abandons her family and moves back to Italy and all is not well for her...Egisto loves his children and works hard to provide for them and his family, never giving up that Armida will come back to them. However, Armida becomes a nanny for a family who supports Mussolini. Not everything is what it seems and she soon discovers they are very dangerous. Her fate becomes sealed.

Bianca’s Vineyard is beautifully written and is rich in culture and complex characters. Neumann gives you a realistic picture of what people went through during the war and how they survived a terrible force bent on destroying everything they have worked hard for and loved. I highly recommend this story! You will fall in love with it the moment you start the first page.  

Rated Five Stars!

Layered Pages

indieBRAG LLC.

Self-publishing Author's, looking for recognition? Check out: 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Interview with Author Roger Eschbacher

Roger, congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion. Please tell me about your book, Dragonfriend.

Thank you, Stephanie. It was a very pleasant surprise to win the BRAG Medallion and I’m honored to be a recipient.

Dragonfriend is a middle-grade fantasy adventure novel set in the days of King Arthur. The twist is that it’s a side story to the main Arthurian legends and told through the eyes of a young page, Leonard, whose plan to help his knight get a seat at the Round Table goes horribly wrong. In an effort to set things right he goes on a dangerous quest, befriends a horde of cantankerous dragons, and does battle with a vile demon who has taken over Camelot.


What were some of the research involved?

I did a lot of online research about mythical creatures, Celtic/Welsh mythology, and Arthur and his knights. In general, I’ve always been fascinated by various western mythologies and the Arthurian legends – having read numerous books over the years – and so was able to draw on those topics to enrich the story.


Were there any challenges you faced while writing your story?

I think the biggest challenge was one that faces most authors; don’t let life get in the way of writing. Any author can tell you that it’s very easy to get distracted and find a million other things to do than sitting down at your computer and writing. Sometimes the biggest challenge for me is tricking myself into writing the first word of the day. Once I can do that, I’m good for at least a thousand words.


Who designed your book cover?

A graphic artist by the name of Mike Wykowski ( designed my cover. I’m very happy with the job he did and have asked him to design the cover for my next book.


What book project do you have coming up next?

I’m hoping to have the sequel to Dragonfriend beta read, edited, and published by the end of next month. It’s called Giantkiller and follows Leonard on a wild adventure up in the Clouds.


What is your favorite literary genre?

I read fantasy and sci fi just about to the exclusion of everything else. I love to be taken places where impossible things happen.


What is the last truly great book you read?

The word "great" makes me think of titles like the Lord of the Rings by Tolkien or Dune by Frank Herbert both of which I’ve re-read a number of times over the years. Two excellent series I’ve read recently are The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox by Barry Hughart and The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer. Both series are masterfully written. A recent indie title that impressed me was Brood of Bones by AE Marling.


What were your most cherished books as a child?

Are You My Mother? and Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman and Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss were three of my early favorites. The Hobbit blew me away when I got a little older.


Is there a writer you consider to be a mentor in some way?

I would say the author that had the strongest influence on my writing is J.R.R. Tolkien, both in terms of flicking on the "fantasy switch" in my brain and making me want to tell exciting and uplifting adventure stories. Another one would be the great Douglas Adams. I learned from him that it was okay to blend speculative fiction with humor.


 Of the books you have written, which is your favorite?

I have two traditionally published picture books that I like quite a bit, but I’d have to say my favorite book is Dragonfriend, my first novel. I loved being able to take my time and fully develop a story.


How did you discover BRAG?

Someone in an author group I belong to mentioned BRAG and it sounded interesting. I checked out the site and saw BRAG’s main standard for judging a book is whether or not the reader would recommend it to their best friend. That really appealed to me so I crossed my fingers, sent in Dragonfriend, and here I am!

Author Bio:

Roger Eschbacher is a professional television animation writer who's worked for Disney, Warner Brothers, Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network. In addition to Dragonfriend, his debut middle-grade fantasy adventure novel, Roger's written two children's picture books, Road Trip, and Nonsense! He Yelled, both for Penguin.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, he now lives in California with his family and a crazy dog named Lizzy.
Links:Blog: Roger Eschbacher Books and Other Writing:
Facebook Author Page:
Dragonfriend, a middle-grade fantasy adventure novel now available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon.

Follow me on Twitter, too!

A message from BRAG:
We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview Roger Eschbacher  who is the author of, Dragonfriend, one of our medallion honorees at . To be awarded a B.R.A.G. MedallionTM, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, Dragonfriend  merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.

Thank you!

Interviewer/Promoter for IndieBRAG

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Review: Sons of The Wolf by Paula Lofting

Paula Lofting brings the reader an enthralling story! Sons of The Wolf, the first to a series of novels that leads up to the Norman Conquest. Of a man named Wulfhere who lived during the rule of Edward the Confessor. The lands that he holds come from the king. Wulfhere also serves my favorite male heroines in history, Harold Godwinson. Harold is the Earl of Wessex and extremely powerful and has great influence in the realm. Wulfhere is a warrior who loves his family and has a soft spot for his daughters. When Harold tells him must give his daughter, Freyda to his sworn enemy-horrid Lord Helghi- son to marry. He becomes angry but nonetheless he must agree to Harold’s wishes. For Harold grows tired of the never ending hatred between his two lords. But all is not well and Wulfhere must do all he can to save his daughter from the dangers he knows will happen if she falls in the grasps of Lord Helghi and there is a even bigger threat that could change his family forever.

As this brilliant story unfolds I found myself so engrossed with the characters plight and emotions I felt like these events were happening to my own family. Saying this story has well developed characters does not do it justice. It goes beyond that...Lofting really gets to the core of the human condition and pulls you into a world of the past that leaves you wanting to explore more of these fascinating people in history.

The first few pages grabbed me and didn’t let go and now I’m anxiously awaiting for the sequel to this remarkable story. Sons of the Wolf is definitely a novel of what the highest quality of Historical Fiction should be and I highly recommend!

I rated this story five stars!!

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Review: Shadow on The Crown by Patricia Bracewell

Patricia Bracewell brings her readers a beautifully crafted story of Emma of Normandy. The year is 1002 and as the sister of the Duke of Normandy, Lady Emma, must do what is decided for her. As a political pawn she is sent to England to marry, King Æthelred and becomes his Queen. The life she does not want but a path she must take nonetheless. She makes the best of her situation for her husband finds her a nuisance and court life is daunting and dangerous. As time goes by she makes new friends who discovers her generosity and compassion for others. However, there are enemies who will stop at nothing to see her fall and Emma struggles with a growing love to a man she cannot have.

Bracewell’s engaging debut novel sets the standard for what good, quality literature should be and I thoroughly enjoyed her rendition of this period of English history. She not only gives you a wonderful blend of history and fiction but captures the human condition, the culture, and the struggles of England’s royal court life. She gives each character a distinct voice-which I find refreshing. She writes about one of my favorite female heroines in history, Emma. A women-though flawed- of strength, compassion and generosity. I’m looking forward to more of Bracewell’s stories! 

I rated this story five stars!

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