Introducing: Powerful – Tome 1: The Realm of Harcilor by S. N. Lemoing

The Bandwagon introduces indie author S.N. Lemoing, a fresh feminist voice in the fantasy world.

From the author:

“Several years ago, I wrote this novel to bring some subjects to the fore, such as diverse and powerful female characters, ecology, different families (single parents, large families, poor and rich backgrounds), and diversity of body types. The characters are never totally as they seem to be. The reader can feel a lot of emotions; the story is like a roller-coaster.

About the characters, we have ingenious children and teenagers, a biracial rebel princess and a maimed female warrior, among others. Politics, treason, magical powers, epic battle scenes, a little bit of romance – these are the themes you can find in this story.”

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For twelve years, the power has been usurped at the Realm of Harcilor. Cyr, an erudite, and his adopted son, Kaaz, have formed a secret school.

Indeed, in this world, some people were born endowed with magical abilities: the Silarens.

However, it is not that easy to detect your own powers. They will soon be joined by a mysterious young woman who will provide them with valuable information.

When Litar – the most powerful being of the realm – goes away for two months, they finally foresee the opportunity to act.

Can they win their freedom back? Will they make the right choices?

Grab your copy on Amazon now, or find it on Goodreads. You can keep up to date with the latest book news on the Facebook page.

About The Author

S. N. Lemoing was born in 1987 near Paris, France. S N Lemoing

She graduated in Cinematography and English, studied philosophy, literature and lately, at University, she had the chance to follow classes about the Image of Women in the Media as well as the Female Gaze: Women directors. She then worked as a PA for films and TV, and also wrote, directed and produced episodes for 3 webseries and short films.

The will to write without boundaries led her to become an independent author. Her first novel is POWERFUL – T1: The Realm of Harcilor, a fantasy novel acclaimed by more than 85 French literary bloggers.

Her second book is a sassy chick-lit ‘Mes 7 ex’ (My seven exes), and the 3rd one ‘SHEWOLF’, urban fantasy genre, has been read by 1200+ readers and stayed on the Amazon’s Supernatural top 15 for 5 months.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr 

Guest Blog: Book secrets you didn’t know by Taryn Leigh

Author Taryn Leigh jumps on The Bandwagon to reveal secrets you didn’t know about your favourite books.

Taryn Leigh is a South African born citizen, who spent her childhood with her nose buried in books. Her love for reading transpired into her ambition to become a writer. She first tried her hand at blogging, which eventually led to her writing her first novel. She lives in Pretoria, with her husband, son, and two cocker spaniels.

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Secrets of Thirteen Reasons Why

Not every character in the series is in the book.

When the writers brought the 288-page book to life as a 13-hour series, they had to expand the world of the story with new characters.

“I think of the book as this outline of Hannah’s story, and then from that, the writers of the series — with Jay’s blessing — added so many details and plots that allow the viewer to unpack the story to a greater extent,” Hannah said. “The new characters help out flesh out this world.”

Her character Stephanie is among the new additions, which meant Hannah was acting from a clean slate. She’s one of Courtney’s best friends and “a ditzy take on the typical mean girl,” Hannah explained. “When I got the breakdown for this character, it was funny because the script just said, ‘Stephanie (pretty, dumb.)’.”

Read more from the source here.

 

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Secrets of Perfect Imperfections by Taryn Leigh

“Edward’s character in the book is actually inspired by my real life husband. Also the mention of Wuthering Heights in the book is a hint towards my husband, as Wuthering Heights is the very first book he gave me when we had just started dating.

One day we were walking in a flea market, and he picked up a used copy of Wuthering Heights sold by a book merchant, and bought it for me. He then took me to the park, and sat playing with my hair as I read the first few chapters. He won my heart that day!”

 

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Secrets of JK Rowling, Author of Harry Potter

JK Rowling finds ways to bring elements of herself into her books.

She and Harry Potter share a birthday, July 31st. She is reported as saying that Hermione is a bit like her when she was younger, and her favourite animal is an otter—which is, of course, Hermione’s patronus. Plus, both Dumbledore and Rowling like sherbet lemons (Rowling said that the wizard’s “got good taste”).

Read more from the source here.

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Secrets of Karen Swan, Author of Christmas at Tiffany’s

Karen Swans real name is Karen Anne Swan MacLeod.

Much as she loves her very Scottish name, Swan had to drop the MacLeod when she started writing blockbuster fiction since the shorter name suited the flamboyantly embossed covers of her saucy books.

“I’d always written as a journalist as Karen Swan MacLeod. Dad’s family name is actually MacSwan MacLeod, so we’re very Scottish. I think Karen Swan sounds like a made-up name for someone who writes sexy, romantic novels.”

Read more from the source here.

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About Perfect Imperfections

Sarah Lewis desires nothing more than to begin again after a failed marriage and a tragedy so terrifying, it forces her to leave her life in London to stay with her best friend a world apart in South Africa.

Despite immediate success in her business, she struggles to understand who she really is and where she belongs in the world. So begins a journey of discovery as Sarah re-unites with Katy in the land where she was born, where the air is lavender scented, and weekends are spent cycling on the beach.

Until the day when she has to return to London to face the ghosts of her past and confront a situation that has grown more complicated in her absence.

Perfect Imperfections is an intriguing tale which hints at wrongdoings and deceit without giving too much away. The author cleverly weaves a tale around fragile yet strong Sarah as she tries to reconcile her past with her future, engaging the reader to the point where we simply want the best for her and for happiness finally to come her way.

Find Taryn Leigh on social media

Facebook: @PerfectImperfectionsTarynLeigh

Twitter: @tarynleighbook

Instagram: @tarynleighbooks

Website: https://olympiapublishers.com/books/perfect-imperfections

Guest Blog: The Raw and Magical Journey of Writing a Fantasy Fiction Trilogy Series by Patricia Bossano

 

Award-winning author Patricia Bossano jumps on The Bandwagon to share her writing journey.

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Patricia grew up in Ecuador, South America and moved to the United States in the mid 1980’s to pursue a career in International Sales, as well as work as a translator, interpreter and instructor in Spanish.

“Write what you know”, we’re told time and time again. I’m not sure we have the final word on where this quote originated; some say Mark Twain, others Ernest Hemingway. Regardless of the author, everyone seems to have taken issue with its meaning, trying to decide whether it’s good or bad advice.  After all, if we wrote only about things we know, my guess is fiction wouldn’t even exist.

The first time I came across “write what you know” my reaction was that it was a true statement for non-fiction as well as fiction writers. The former are the biographers, chroniclers, historians, and manual writers of the planet, while the latter go on to know their heart and mind and can write volumes based off their imagine. As a result, exciting new realms of literature emerge from dreams, nightmares, visions, and over-active imaginations.

When I set out to write my first novella, my intent wasn’t to produce a full-length novel, much less a trilogy. I merely wanted to entertain people in my family through storytelling. The central idea for the plot was the relationship between two girls and their mothers. Since the target audience was a new generation of girls in my family, I placed the two main characters in a magical realm under circumstances that would test their bond while challenging their strengths and abilities.

I also wanted to write something that was readily believable, so I chose to incorporate family names to make it easier for them to identify other family members. However, I had to rethink that approach as soon as evil witches and bad faeries came into play, so I changed the names to protect the innocent, but I held on to the family’s ancestry (Spanish, Italian, and a little French).

Still determined to write a realistic fantasy, I searched the globe for the right locale and landed with the Western Pyrenees, a range of mountains that form a natural border between Spain and France.  The Pyrenees are known for their remote and nearly inaccessible location, which allowed me to tuck my characters away until circumstances forced them to acknowledge the world beyond (very much like my childhood in Ecuador, comparatively removed from civilization).

I also magnified and fictionalized certain features of the natural world, like the size of the full moon, or what might lurk behind a waterfall, so that I could blend reality with magic. I simply wanted to make my family grin while wondering if my story held any truth. I wanted them to look around and say to themselves, “So and so could be a faery” or “I could be a faery!”

With the publishing process underway for Faery Sight, a story set in the 1800’s, I began jotting down serious notes for another book—one that would involve two girls again (sisters this time) who are confronted with a family secret. But it wasn’t until Faery Sight was published in 2009 that I saw how the second story could work as a sequel. I lightly re-structured the chapters I had already outlined, and in 2013 Cradle Gift emerged as the story of a descendant of the main character in Faery Sight, a couple hundred years into the future.

Nahia, the third installment in the faerie series, hovered in the horizon as early as 2012. The character of Nahia is the common denominator in both chronicles, and through her we learn what happened in the two centuries between one matriarch and the other.

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The bit of magic I experienced in this faerie journey was that at the onset of Faery Sight and post-publication, I had no idea Nahia was on her way. As I set out to develop her story, (with fingers crossed), I discovered that the facts and omissions in Faery Sight, and the applicable references in Cradle Gift mystically aligned. This realization made me think back to what a seer told me a couple of years ago, which was that my family on my mother’s side had been guardians of a forest in ages past. He said my stories were not made up; rather they were “recollections” of my family’s life in another time and dimension. And I wholeheartedly believe that.

I didn’t set out to write a trilogy, but I can now see how it was there all along, and in doing so, the journey from writing Faery Sight to Cradle Gift to Nahia has been nothing short of pure magic.

 

Guest Blog: Cornish author Jill Turner describes how Fowey inspires her writing

Jill Turner is a Fleet Street journalist and novelist and single mum, now based much of the time around Fowey. Like Daphne du Maurier, she visited it as a child and vowed to return there to become a writer. She has taken part in the Fowey Festival and, like Daphne, is inspired by her coastal walk around the Fowey estuary.

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As a child been driven back to Cornwall, the gateway was never the ‘Welcome to ..” sign, or even the crossing of the Tamar Bridge, but the journey across the bleak no-man’s-land of Bodmin Moor.

It was there my imagination was sparked by my mother telling me of Dozmary Pool and its part in Arthurian legend as the home of the Lady of the Lake, and the final resting place of King Arthur’s magical sword. For me, the barrier between fairy tale and reality was broken. Dozmary Pool, Tintagel, Slaughterhouse, Camelford, all have made claims to England’s greatest legend and made me believe that somewhere, behind some invisible curtain, in that magical, mysterious county at the end of the country, King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table still lay sleeping.

So years later, it was to those legends that I returned when I wrote my first novel. On the surface, a tale of feral children described as an ‘urban Lord of the Flies’ and ‘Trainspotting for teens’ seems a long way from the wild landscapes of Cornwall. But a story needs a structure, and the Tales of King Arthur came into my thoughts. Getting young people reading is also one of my passions, so I wanted to try and encourage an interest in some of the classic literature, poetry, and art inspired by the Arthurian legend.

The Children of Albion tells the story of England’s lost children – some physically, some emotionally, but all living on the edges of life. Set in a present day sink estate, which becomes a microcosmic world where the struggles of life are intensified, the children try to create their own community of lost girls and boys inspired by the Arthurian ideal, while battling parental neglect, exploitation, and interference from the authorities. Led by the charismatic Albie and his ‘Artful Dodger’ sidekick Robbie (the 11-year-old narrator), the children of Albion aim for a hopeful, better future. But can the boys’ friendship see them all through?

“They say he is only sleeping,’’ Albie went on. ”Arthur and his knights are still around, in a cave somewhere deep in the country and when England needs him, Arthur will bring his knights back to save us.”

I thought for a bit. “He’d better hurry up, ain’t he?’’ Then I sat back and said,”Cool”. It was kind of what I’d been thinking about before. That’s kind of nice, innit? That there’s someone out there going to look after you. Take over. Sort it out. It’s kind of nice to think it, even if you know it’s all a load of crap.”   

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Amazon UK | Literature Works | @jilltwriter

 

Jill Turner is reading from The Children of Albion at the Great Estates Festival in Scorrier on June 3rd and 4th.

Although Jill was too late for this year’s Cornish Reading Challenge, I’m pleased to announce that she will be joining us for next year! Keep your eyes peeled for information in 2018.

Cornish Reading Challenge: Writing in secret places with Jane Johnson

Jane Johnson is from Cornwall and has worked in the book industry for over 30 years, as a bookseller, publisher and writer. She was responsible for publishing the works of J. R. R. Tolkien during the 1980s and 1990s and worked on Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, spending many months in New Zealand with cast and crew. You can read about her Cornish roots here.

If you’re a budding writer – or even an established one – I have some revolutionary advice for you: ditch the laptop, escape the internet, grab a notebook and get outside!

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These days we spend so much time inhabiting virtual space, plugged into smartphones, forever connected, always online. Emails are coming at us left, right and centre; Facebook and Twitter notifications, breaking news flashes. Every writer I know finds themselves getting distracted when they go online – you mean to check a bit of research, remind yourself of the date of a battle, or the name of a fifteenth century fabric, and before you know it you’ve got sucked into a political debate, commiserated with a ‘friend’ you’ve never met about their relationship problems, and bought a dress on eBay you’ll never wear. (And probably forgotten the reason you went online in the first place. There’s even a new scientific name for our inability to fully concentrate on the task at hand: “continuous partial attention”.) Worse: you’ve wasted an hour and a half of precious writing time. Of course, you can impose some self-discipline, stay in and go offline: but there’s more to writing outside than simply the avoidance of distractions.

I am lucky to live in places where getting outside and finding quiet spots in which to write is easy. In Morocco, there’s the roof terrace, or the granite plateau ten minutes’ walk from the house. Great chunks of THE TENTH GIFT, THE SALT ROAD, and THE SULTAN’S WIFE were written in a collection of notebooks under the North African sun.

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In Cornwall, I have a number of secret, and not-so-secret, writing spots in the great outdoors. You’ll often find me in summer sheltering under a big hat on one of the many benches around Mousehole’s harbour, moving from one to another as the sun heads west, always ending up on the South Quay. I get some funny looks from tourists, and the occasional question – which I don’t mind at all – but the locals have got used to seeing me out there: sometimes in jumpers and windproof coats when the weather is not so clement.

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When I’m in the throes of a novel I can write pretty much anywhere – I’ve written on trains, at airports, in parks and libraries, in wildlife reserves and friends’ gardens. But sometimes you need to wrestle with your work, to be energised and inspired. And that’s where going into the great outdoors can help.

First of all there’s the exercise – however minimal – that gets you out there to your chosen writing spot: that gets the blood pumping and oxygen flowing around your system and into your brain. You feel more alert outdoors, more alive. You’re out in the weather, under the sun and the sky, much as your characters will be unless your novel takes place exclusively in drawing rooms and parlours.

And then there’s the sense of space, which enables the imagination to flow, to break the bonds of your skull and your study. I like to write in wide open places – on plains, on cliffs, beside the sea, and I’m sure that’s because it feels, to me, less oppressive than in places crammed with people and the things they have constructed – cars, buildings, roads. It’s liberating, and it’s a big empty canvas on which to paint the pictures in your head. But if a park or garden is big enough it can be equally conducive: I wrote great chunks of COURT OF LIONS in the gardens of the Alhambra. Writing in the place where much of the novel is set felt very good: both authentic and inspiring.

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I will sometimes walk for half an hour or more to get to a good writing spot: the further away the better – sometimes it’s the only exercise I can fit in to a busy life in which writing is squeezed between a demanding job (I work 4 days a week , remotely, as publishing director for a big London publisher, 4 days that often spill over into 5 or 6 if I have a big edit on my hands), and the usual chores of running a house. Walking is a useful tool for writers, too: it’s a lovely empty space in which there are no other demands on you: you’re just getting from A to B (I think the other reason I find writing in transit – on trains and planes and in station cafes, and airports – so amenable). And there are a lot of writers who will attest to the fact that you can tease out plot problems as you walk, so by the time you get where you’re going, there are a ton of words waiting to spill out.

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I often walk out of our house and up along the coast path between Mousehole and Lamorna, and find congenial places as close to the sea as I can possibly get. Scramble down animal tracks that part the bracken and brambles, through tangles of summer wildflowers – mallow and thrift, kidney vetch and columbines – and down onto the granite wave-cut platform, above the barnacle line. Find a comfortable niche and sit back, face tilted to the sun, eyes closed. There’s something about the shooshing of the waves that calms me, sends me into almost a meditative state, perfect for wakeful-dreaming, or writing. There’s a theory that you can gentle your brain into producing theta waves – the state in which your brain produces the vivid dreams you get during REM sleep. Whether that’s at work when I’m writing beside the sea, I don’t know, but I do find I do some of my best work in such places.

On top of all this it would be remiss of me not to mention that my typing is really, really terrible. Even after 20+ books and many million words, I can still type only with two fingers: and even then I make loads of errors. So writing longhand is a welcome liberation from the keyboard and my own ineptitude, and I find that typing up the handwritten version is a perfect way to clean up the draft, sharpen the writing, check facts.

An added bonus to working outdoors like this is that not only will you have some tangible evidence of all your hard work (as opposed to only digital files): you will also, with luck, have spent time in wild and beautiful places, and will feel fitter, more connected to the natural world; more alive.

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Cornish Reading Challenge: Win a copy of The Plague Charmer by Karen Maitland

Fellow blogger Rosie Amber is hosting the giveaway for a copy of The Plague Charmer by Karen Maitland!

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Click here to visit Rosie’s blog, and find out how to win a copy of The Plague Charmer! Competition closes 27/05.

The Plague Charmer, by Karen Maitland, Queen of the Dark Ages and bestselling author of Company of Liars, will chill and delight fans of C.J. Sansom and Kate Mosse’s Citadel in equal measure. ‘A compelling blend of historical grit and supernatural twists’ – Daily Mail

Riddle me this: I have a price, but it cannot be paid in gold or silver.

1361. Porlock Weir, Exmoor. Thirteen years after the Great Pestilence, plague strikes England for the second time. Sara, a packhorse man’s wife, remembers the horror all too well and fears for safety of her children. 
Only a dark-haired stranger offers help, but at a price that no one will pay.

Fear gives way to hysteria in the village and, when the sickness spreads to her family, Sara finds herself locked away by neighbours she has trusted for years. And, as her husband – and then others – begin to die, the cost no longer seems so unthinkable.

The price that I ask, from one willing to pay… A human life.

Cornish Reading Challenge: Terri Nixon reviews Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier

Author Terri Nixon reviews Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier for the Cornish Reading Challenge!

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I first read this book as a mid-teen, but although I’ve always known I’d enjoyed it, my memory did not do justice to the beauty of this book, and I realised that when I came to re-read it again recently.

It’s set in very familiar surroundings for me; I grew up on the edge of Bodmin Moor (between the ages of 9 and 19) and I was a regular in the church choir, which took turns each Sunday at several of the villages noted in the book; most notably Altarnun, Lewannick, and North Hill – the village where I lived during those years. I’d forgotten how much of a role North Hill played in the story of Mary Yelland, following the characters as they traversed between villages, and out on the open moor, I could easily envisage it all. And, needless to say, I appreciated it a lot more than I did as a youngster!

But even without the personal, local connection, it would have been a delight to plunge back into this dark tale of mystery, romance and intrigue;  the characters – good and bad – are so beautifully drawn; crushingly real, complex and fascinating. The story itself is one of violence, fear, and crime… and the unexpected sweetness of a potential new love, just when you least expect it; allies and enemies, the complicated meshing of the two, and the courage of a girl who refuses to be dragged down by the weight of her family’s history. The immediate impression of Joss Merlyn, on his niece, sets the tone perfectly for their volatile and frightening relationship: “though there should be a world of difference between the smile of a man and the bared fangs of a wolf, with Joss Merlyn they were one and the same.”

The language is raw and honest; flowery description wouldn’t sound right when you’re describing such a bleak and dramatic landscape, and du Maurier strikes exactly the right note in every scene – be it the loneliness of a new life with unknown relatives, the fear of discovering what kind of life is is, or the tenderness of a friendship that just might be the one thing that saves you.

In short, Jamaica Inn is not a “romantic novel,” in the generally accepted meaning, but the romantic wildness of the Cornish landscape plays a huge role in transporting the reader to Bodmin Moor, and the coast that brings both riches and misery to its inhabitants. Exciting, and satisfying, this novel is deservedly labelled a classic.

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