Friday, September 30, 2011

History Trivia

September 30, 420 Saint Jerome, one of the great scholars of the early Christian church, died at age 80. 579 Pope Benedict I died . 1227 Pope Nicholas IV, the first Franciscan pontiff, was born. 1544 Henry VIII withdrew his armies out of France. 1555 Oxford Bishop Nicholas Ridley was sentenced to death as a heretic.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

History Trivia

September 29, 480 BC Battle of Salamis: The Greek fleet under Themistocles defeated the Persian fleet under Xerxes I. 106 BC Pompey the Great, statesman and general of the Roman Empire was born. He was the chief rival of Julius Caesar and in 61 BC Pompey celebrated his victory in the third Mithridatic War (between Rome and the Kingdom of Pontus, a Persian state off the Black Sea) on his 45th birthday. 440 Saint Leo I, the Great, was elected Roman Catholic pope. 1227 Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, was excommunicated by Pope Gregory IX for his failure to participate in the Crusades. 1399 King Richard II of England abdicated; he was succeeded by his cousin Henry Bolingbroke (Henry IV). Richard was initially imprisoned and later died from uncertain causes. 1364 Battle of Auray: English forces defeated the French in Brittany; ending the Breton War of Succession between the Houses of Blois and Montfort. 1547 Miguel de Cervantes, Creator of Don Quixote, was born. 1564, in the reign of Elizabeth I, Robert Dudley became earl of Leicester.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

History Trivia

September 28,48 BC Pompey the Great was murdered on the orders of King Ptolemy of Egypt. 351 Battle of Mursa Major: the Roman Emperor Constantius II defeated the usurper Magnentius in one of the bloodiest battles in Roman military history. 365 Roman usurper Procopius proclaimed himself Roman emperor. 855 The Emperor Lothar died in Gaul (present day France, Luxembourg and Belgium, most of Switzerland, the western part of Northern Italy, as well as parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the left bank of the Rhine), and his kingdom was divided between his three sons. 1066William the Conqueror and his Norman army arrived in England, landing at Pevensey, beginning the Norman Conquest. 1106 The Battle of Tinchebrai: Henry I of England defeated his brother, Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy. Henry's knights won a decisive victory, capturing Robert and imprisoning him in England and then Wales until Robert's death in Cardiff Castle. England and Normandy remained under a single ruler until 1204. 1322 Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor defeated Frederick I of Austria in the Battle of Mühldorf.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

History Trivia

September 27, 489 Odoacer (first Germanic king of Italy) attacked Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths at the Battle of Verona, and was defeated again. 1009 Caliph al Hakim ordered the destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem, a Christian holy site. 1066 William the Conqueror, with a Norman army of 5,000 men, set sail from France for England, to claim the English throne. 1540 Pope Paul III approved the first outline of the organization of the Jesuit Society, drafted by St. Ignatius of Loyola, the order's founder. 1590 Pope Urban VII died 13 days after being chosen Pope, making his reign the shortest papacy in history.

Monday, September 26, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 26, 46 BC Julius Caesar dedicated a temple to his mythical ancestor Venus Genetrix in accordance with a vow he made at the battle of Pharsalus. 715 Ragenfrid defeated Theudoald at the Battle of Compiègne, the first definite battle of the civil war which followed the death of Pepin of Heristal, Duke of the Franks. 1143 Celestine II became Pope. He was a friend of Peter Abelard(French scholastic philosopher, theologian and preeminent logician), Celestine was a scholar whose pontificate only lasted six months. 1687 The Parthenon in Athens, unscathed since 432BC, was severely damaged by a gunpowder explosion, caused by the bombing from Venetian forces led by Morosini (Doge of Venice) who besieged the Ottoman Turks stationed in Athens.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 25, 275 The Roman Senate proclaimed Marcus Claudius Tacitus Emperor after the assassination of Aurelian. During his short reign he campaigned against the Goths and the Heruli, for which he received the title Gothicus Maximus. 396 Ottoman Emperor Bayezid I defeated a Christian army at the Battle of Nicopolis, often referred to as the Crusade of Nicopolis and was the last large-scale crusade of the Middle Ages. 1066 Harold II (Harold Godwinson) of England defeated an invasion by Harald Hardrada of Norway, at Stamford Bridge near York, and marked the end of the Viking invasions of England. It also delayed Harold's arrival at Hastings, becoming a significant factor in the outcome of the Norman Conquest.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 24, 15 Aulus Vitellius was born. Vitellius was acclaimed emperor following the quick succession of the previous emperors Galba and Otho, in a year of civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors. Vitellius was the first to add the honorific cognomen Germanicus to his name instead of Caesar upon his accession; the latter name had fallen into disrepute in many quarters because of the actions of Nero. 768 Pepin the Short, King of the Franks and father of Charlemagne, died at age 54. 1180 Manuel I Komnenos, last Emperor of the Komnenian restoration died, and the Byzantine Empire slipped into terminal decline. 1645 Battle of Rowton Heath, Parliamentarian victory over a Royalist army commanded by King Charles I; casualties estimated at 600dead and 900 injured.

Friday, September 23, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 23, 480 BC The Greeks defeated the Persians in the greatest of ancient naval battles, at Salamis, avenging the destruction of Athens. Over 1,000 Persian ships were sunk by fewer than 400 Greek vessels. 63 BC Augustus (Octavian) was born. He was the Roman emperor at the time of Christ, and the founder in 27 BC of the Roman Empire as it was known after the end of the Roman Republic of Julius Caesar's time.
1122 Concordat of Worms brought to an end the first phase of the power struggle between the Papacy and the Holy Roman Emperors. 1459 Battle of Blore Heath, the first major battle of the English Wars of the Roses, was fought at Blore Heath in Staffordshire. The Yorkists, though inferior in numbers, were completely victorious.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 22, 530 Both Boniface II and Dioscorus (antipope) were consecrated. The short-lived schism ended with Dioscorus' death on October 14, 530. 1515 Anne of Cleves was born. The fourth wife of Henry VIII, Anne was able to obtain a divorce and maintained a friendly relationship with the Tudor family. 1586 Battle of Zutphen was a confrontation of the Eighty Years' War fought between forces of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, aided by the English, against the Spanish, who sought to regain the northern Netherlands. Elizabeth I sent troops under the earl of Leicester to aid the rebels, however the Spanish were victorious.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 21, 490 BC The Greeks under Miltiades decisively defeated the army of Darius I of Persia at the Battle of Marathon. 19 BC Virgil, the great Roman poet, died in Rome at age 50. 454 AD Falvius Actius, Roman general and statesman was born.
1192 Richard I the Lion hearted was captured near Vienna by Leopold V, Duke of Austria who accused Richard of arranging the murder of his cousin Conrad of Montferrat. 1327 Edward II of England was murdered by order of his wife Isabella, daughter of King Philip IV of France. 1435 An agreement between Charles VII of France and Philip the Good ended the partnership between the English and Burgundy in the Hundred Years' War. 1745 A Jacobite army under 'Bonnie Prince Charlie' defeated government forces at the Battle of Prestonpans.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 20, 356 BC, Alexander the Great, King of Macedonia and one of the greatest generals in history was born. 451 The Battle of Châlons took place in North Eastern France. Flavius Aetius's victory over Attila the Hun in a day of combat, is considered to be the largest battle in the ancient world. 1187 Saladin began the Siege of Jerusalem. This act of aggression provoked the Third Crusade. 1378 Cardinal Robert of Geneva, called by some the Butcher of Cesena, was elected as Avignon Pope Clement VII, beginning the Papal schism. 1633 Galileo Galilei was tried before the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for teaching that the Earth orbits the Sun and was found "vehemently suspect of heresy", forced to recant, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest.

Monday, September 19, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 19, 335 Dalmatius was raised to the rank of Caesar by his uncle Constantine I.912 Emperor Leo VI was born. Known as the Wise or the Philosopher, Emperor Leo VI of Byzantium issued imperial laws in Greek that became the legal code of the Empire. 1356 Hundred Years' War: Battle of Poitiers: an English army under the command of Edward, the Black Prince defeated a French army and captured the French king, John II.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 18, 96 Marcus Nerva was proclaimed Roman Emperor after Domitian was assassinated. 324 Constantine the Great decisively defeated Licinius in the Battle of Chrysopolis, establishing Constantine's sole control over the Roman Empire. 1180 Philip Augustus became king of France. Philip was one of the most successful medieval French monarchs in expanding the royal demesne and the influence of the monarchy. He broke up the great Angevin Empire(an area stretching from the Pyrenees to Ireland ruled by the Angevin Plantagenet dynasty during the 12th and early 13th centuries) and defeated a coalition of his rivals (German, Flemish and English) at the Battle of Bouvines in 1214.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 17, 530 Boniface II was selected Pope. He was by birth an Ostrogoth, the first Germanic pope, and he owed his appointment to the influence of the Gothic king Athalaric. Boniface was chosen by his predecessor, Pope Felix IV, who had been a strong adherent of the Arian king, and was never elected. Boniface had for some time an antipope, Dioscurus, who had been elected by most of the priests of Rome. Boniface and Dioscorus were both consecrated in Rome on 22 September 530, but Dioscurus died twenty-two days later. 1745 Jacobite leader Bonnie Prince Charlie entered Edinburgh, proclaiming his father James VIII of Scotland.

Friday, September 16, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 16 335 BC Alexander the Great destroyed every building in Thebes, Egypt, except the temples and the house of the poet Pindar. 1386 St. Ambrose of Camaldoli was born.
Ambrose helped bring about a brief reunion of the Eastern and Western churches. 1387King Henry V of England was born. 1400 Owain Glyndwr proclaimed himself prince of Wales, launching the last Welsh rebellion against the English. 1494 Francisco Maurolico was born. He was a Benedictine monk, historian, and mathematician, Maurolico wrote a history of Sicily and significant works on Greek mathematics.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

History Trivia

September 15, 509 BC The temple of Jupiter on Rome's Capitoline Hill was dedicated on the ides of September. 53 Trajan, Emperor of Rome 98-117, was born. 668 Eastern Roman Emperor Constans II was assassinated in his bath at Syracuse, Italy. Constans was the last emperor to become consul in 642, becoming the last Roman consul in history. 1159 Alexander III was crowned Roman Catholic pope. He is noted for laying the foundation stone for the Notre Dame de Paris. 1514 Thomas Wolsey was appointed archbishop of York, the second most important seat in England. His failure to obtain an annulment of Henry VIII's marriage to Catherine of Aragon led to his downfall. He built Hampton Court Palace, which Henry VIII coveted and acquired, and was one of Henry's favorite residences.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 14, 81 Domitian became Emperor of the Roman Empire upon the death of his brother Titus. 891 Pope Steven V died. The pontificate of Stephen witnessed the disintegration of the Carolingian Empire. 1523 Pope Adrian VI died. Adrian VI was the only Dutch pope, and the last non-Italian pope to be elected until Pope John Paul II in the twentieth century.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 13, 585 BC Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, king of Rome, celebrated a trimuph for his victories over the Sabines, and the surrender of Collatia. 81 Roman emperor Titus, who was on the throne when Pompeii was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, died in Rome at age 40. 122 Construction of Hadrian's Wall began. 533 General Belisarius of the Byzantine Empire defeated Gelimer and the Vandals at the Battle of Ad Decimium, near Carthage, North Africa. 604 Sabinianus was elected Roman Catholic pope. 1501 Michelangelo began work on his statue of David.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Author Interview

Author Spotlight Mary Ann Bernal - Author Interview
Christine M. Butler MoonlitDreams

I would like to thank Mary Ann Bernal, author of The Briton and the Dane series, for stopping by and taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for her readers.

Christine: How do you find the time to juggle work, family, writing, and/or everything else you do?

Mary Ann: Since I am an extremely organized person, it is not very difficult to stick to a schedule. My first priority is to my family, everything else falls into place. I try to write at least a few hundred words a day, but have burned the midnight oil when necessary to finish a thought process or chapter.


Christine: Everyone has their own story, how did you stumble into a writing career?

Mary Ann: I fell in love with medieval England after reading Sir Walter Scott’s “Ivanhoe” in my sophomore year of high school, but my interests soon turned towards the Dark Ages when the formidable Vikings harassed the civilized world once Hollywood released such blockbusters as “The Vikings,” “The Longships,” and “Erik the Viking.” Add to the mix “Alfred the Great,” “Prince Valiant,” and “King Arthur,” and an incurable romantic anglophile was born.
As time went on Hollywood changed its venue of period movies, but I found solace with the many British programs being aired on our local PBS station. With the advent of BBC America and History International, I was able to find great documentaries such as “The Dark Ages,” “Life in Anglo-Saxon Times,” “Dark Age England,” and “Viking Exploration,” to name but a few.

During this time, Erik the Viking was hovering in the cobwebs of my creative mind, waiting to escape oblivion, waiting to tell his story, waiting and waiting and waiting, but it was not until 2008 that I was able to find the time to devote to fulfilling my lifelong dream of writing my Erik the Viking story, and “The Briton and the Dane” trilogy was born.


Christine: What would you say inspires you the most when you are developing a new story line?

Mary Ann: I enjoy period books, movies and television miniseries, especially those titles relevant to my specific interests. The recent “Spartacus” series has me toying with the idea of exploring the lives of the ancient Britons during the Roman occupation, and the legacy left by the glorious Roman Empire on this conquered nation.


Christine: Tell us about your book series...

Mary Ann: The Briton and the Dane series bring to life the tumultuous ninth century, when the formidable Vikings terrorized the civilized world. The epic adventure runs the gamut of deception, treachery, intrigue, and complicated relationships during a time of war and conquest in Anglo-Saxon Britain.

Christine: How long did it take to write?

Mary Ann: The manuscript, including multiple edits, was completed within a nine to ten-month timeframe.

Christine: What was your inspiration for the book?

Mary Ann: I have been inspired by the writings of Sir Walter Scott, Frans G. Bengtsson, and Thomas B. Costain, to name but a few, and period movies released by Hollywood and European filmmakers.


Christine: Do you have plans to release more books in the near future? If so, tell us about what you have in the works.

Mary Ann: “The Briton and the Dane: Legacy” is scheduled for a 2012 release. Since “Legacy” is the final installment of the trilogy, my plan is to write another trilogy, and “The Briton and the Dane: The Beginning” is in the early stages of development.


Christine: If you could live within the pages of your book (fantasy becomes reality) would you? and why or why not?

Mary Ann: Time travel works for me, but I would prefer to spend the day visiting, and sleep in my own bed at night. I am too much of a 21st Century person, used to life’s little amenities; however, more importantly to quote from the Declaration of Independence: “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” was nonexistent in the Dark Ages, and I fear I would have issues if my freedom was threatened.


Christine: When did you start writing and what inspired the attempt?

Mary Ann: My love of writing and dabbling in poetry prompted me to enroll in writing workshops once I graduated from college. I am probably dating myself, but the Erik the Viking commercials had a profound effect on my creative mind, reminding me that I needed to tell my story. So this “bucket list” item remained on the list for a few decades, but I never gave up on the dream.


Christine: Did you have to do any research while writing your book(s)? If so, how much time was put into research and what were your topics of research?

Mary Ann: Research is very time consuming, but well worth the time, because if one is writing historical fiction, the author must have accurate facts or lose one’s credibility. I did extensive research on Alfred the Great, the Benedictine Order, the Viking Expansion, the Papacy, and Dark Ages to name but a few. Initially I spent about six months researching my genre, but I continue to expand my database.


Christine: Is your long-term goal to become a working author and give up the day job or are your books more of a hobby that you like to share with people?

Mary Ann: It is very difficult for new authors to break into the business, especially in today’s economy and the digital age of book publishing. My goal is to get my story “out there” so that others might enjoy not only the story but the history that inspired the series. History can be fun but unfortunately the “interesting stories” are set aside, and any student will tell you that dates and facts are “boring.” My novels weave in historical facts, shedding light on how people reacted to the changes in their world, breathing life into an otherwise string of words in a history book.

Also, unless you are Stephen King or Michael Crichton, revenue from book sales will not pay the mortgage. Speaking engagements is where the money is, and until the new author builds a following, I would not recommend quitting one’s day job.


Christine: What is your favorite genre of books and why?

Mary Ann: Historical fiction is my favorite genre. What better way to learn history then through living, breathing characters? Author research gives the reader interesting tidbits that never make the school’s history books. For instance, the Vikings are portrayed as dirty barbarians, but in reality, they did bathe and combed their hair, and used twigs to remove particles of food from between their teeth.


I would like to thank my fellow Literary Underground author, Mary Ann Bernal, once again for stopping by and filling us in on her writing career, her books, and dispelling some myths about those very intriguing Vikings!

History Trivia

Sept 12,490 BC The conventionally accepted date for the Battle of Marathon where the Athenians and their Plataean allies, defeated the first Persian invasion force of Greece. 1185 Byzantine emperor Andronicus I was tortured and executed by the Greek nobility, led by Isaac Angelus, during a war between the Byzantines and Norman invaders of the empire. 1213 Albigensian Crusade (directed against Christian heretics in southern France) Simon de Montfort, 5th Earl of Leicester, defeated Peter II of Aragon at the Battle of Muret. 1362 Pope Innocent VI died. With a background in civil law, Innocent took an interest in reform and in the possibility of ending the Avignon Papacy.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 11, 814 Louis I, the Pious, succeeded his father, the great French king Charlemagne, as King of the Franks and Emperor of the Romans. 1226 The Roman Catholic practice of public adoration of the Blessed Sacrament outside of Mass spread from monasteries to parishes. 1297 Battle of Stirling Bridge was a battle of the First War of Scottish Independence where the Scots jointly-led by William Wallace and Andrew Moray defeated the English.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sept 10, 490 BC The Battle of Marathon took place between the forces of the Persian Empire and those of Athens.422 Saint Celestine I was elected Roman Catholic pope.
506 The bishops of Visigothic Gaul met in the Council of Agde. The canons shed light on the moral conditions of the clergy and laity in southern France at the beginning of the transition from the Graeco-Roman social order to that of the new conquerors. 1167 Empress Matilda died. Daughter of King Henry I, widow of Holy Roman Emperor Henry V, and mother of King Henry II, Matilda (also known as Maud) engaged in a civil war with Stephen of Blois over the crown of England. 1419 John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy was assassinated by adherents of the Dauphin, the future Charles VII of France. 1509 An earthquake known as "The Lesser Judgment Day" hit Istanbul. 1547 The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, the last full scale military confrontation between England and Scotland, resulted in a decisive victory for the forces of Edward VI.

Friday, September 9, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 9, 9 AD Arminius' alliance of six Germanic tribes ambushed and annihilated three Roman legions of Publius Quinctilius Varus in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. 999 or 1000 Battle of Svolder was a naval battle fought in the western Baltic Sea between King Olaf Tryggvason of Norway and an alliance of his enemies; the background for this battle was the unification of Norway into a single state, long-standing Danish efforts to gain control of the country, and the spread of Christianity in Scandinavia. With the allied victory, Norway was partitioned and the spread of Christianity was set back. 1087 William the Conqueror died in Rouen at age 59 after an accident while riding his horse. 1513 James IV of Scotland was defeated and died in the Battle of Flodden Field, ending Scotland's involvement in the War of the League of Cambrai. 1543 Mary Stuart, at nine months old, was crowned Queen of Scots in the central Scottish town of Stirling.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Briton and the Dane: Birthright Review

Where to start? I loved the first book Briton and the Dane but there was so much unresolved that I was eager to read the next book, yet having waited several weeks between finishing book one and starting book two I was a bit apprehensive that I would be lost. I dug out the notes that I took during the reading of book one, but I needn’t have worried; it all came back to me. I was excited as soon as read the prologue. I can’t really go into specifics because I feel that would be spoiling parts of both books if you hadn’t read them, but I’ll do my best.

I think that Birthright is my favorite (so far) of the series. I liked book one a lot, but I loved this one. There are so many plot twists and so many things to figure out. I do have to mention though that I thought I had something figured out and admittedly it was kind of far-fetched and I almost caved and had the author tell me whether my theory was correct when she offered, I’m glad that I declined because the wait was worth it. (My theory was correct by the way). I also had a near break down during a heartbreaking moment for one of my favorite characters. I don’t want to tell you which one, you’ll just have to read it.

I love the way that the story is told as well. There are so many characters doing so many separate things but you know they’re all going to meet in the end. (Think of how the movie Love Actually is told). It’s a lot to keep track of, but it’s a wonderfully easy and fairly quick read. After a few chapters, you get a flow of the characters and which side they are connected to and as more characters are introduced, they fit in seamlessly. I love the mix of historical background, family/love bonds and adventure. It makes the book such a great read.

I also love the format of the book. Don’t be deceived, it looks daunting due to its length, but it’s not. It’s larger font than books usually have, with paragraphs with what looks like double spaced lines and the chapters are short. While that doesn’t seem like a huge deal, but I love when books are formatted in such a way especially when they fall under the category of epic adventures. It makes me as a reader feel like I’m reading faster than I am without getting overwhelmed.

There were a lot of cliffhangers in this book and I cannot wait for the next one! I’ve perhaps gotten a little too attached to these characters.

Jenn Ladd

Interview with Jenn Ladd Booksessed

Thursday, September 8, 2011 Author Interview: Mary Ann Bernal
Jenn Ladd - Booksessed

For those of you who are unfamiliar with her work, Mary Ann Bernal is the author of the Briton and the Dane trilogy. It's a historical fiction epic about vikings during the ninth Century. I have been loving every moment of this series, Mary Ann really knows how to write plot twists and cliffhangers. Mary Ann emailed me a few months ago asking if I would read her books. Being the complete historical fiction nerd that I am, I readily said yes and I am so glad I did. I mean how much hf is there about vikings once you've read Ivanhoe? I am beyond in love with the series. The third book, Legacy is coming out in 2012 (which seems so far away!!)

When I was reading book two Birthright, and emailed Mary Ann about how much I was loving her book and we were discussing plot twists, and she even offered to tell me a spoiler. I held out and was so glad I did, which inevitably led to more emailing. During all these emails, I thought why don't I just ask Mary Ann to do an interview for my blog and she agreed, which is so awesome of her.

You can read the review below. I'm posting my review of The Briton and the Dane: Birthright on the blog tomorrow and you can read my review of The Briton and the Dane here.

Special thanks to Mary Ann Bernal!!

With all the plots and characters in your novel, and the new characters added in each book, how do you keep track?

My characters are my “children” so it is not difficult to remember any of them. I keep track of their locations on my map of Wessex, which is continually updated as the story progresses, since everyone moves about quite a bit.

What were some of the things that you found most fascinating during your research?

Did you know that the Vikings had ear spoons which were used to clean out ear wax, and that they did practice personal grooming and did bathe on Saturday night? Women preferred men who did not smell.

The Vikings enjoyed sporting events such as wrestling, foot races, swimming and skiing to name but a few. They also played board games such as tabula (backgammon) to keep themselves occupied during the long winter months.

The ravaging seafarers that attacked the civilized world did not represent the majority of the Scandinavian people, who were peaceful farmers and traders.

When the Anglo-Saxons ousted the Britons, they shied away from Roman towns, preferring to live in small villages.

The Anglo-Saxons did not believe in bathing, and monks only bathed five times a year.

The Anglo-Saxons put sheepskins around their beds to get rid of fleas.

Do you plan to write about other aspects of English history?

I do love the Roman-Britain era and am considering a trilogy set during this fascinating time.

What can we expect from the third book of the trilogy?

Questions will be answered and the fate of the characters will be revealed.

Did you find that you got very attached to certain characters?

This question is difficult to answer because I do love all my characters; how could I put Erik and Gwyneth above David and Helga or Elizabeth and Stephen? I will confess that I do have a soft spot for Arista and Liesel. Ah but who is Liesel you ask? You will meet her in “Legacy.”

I’m always fascinated by how authors feel about their “evil” characters, what was writing them like and how do you feel about them?

I delved into the mind of the villain to understand why he or she chose the wrong path. While their past history could not condone their actions, their past did play a major role in shaping their personalities. Of course the dilemma lies with their redemption, are they pure evil or can they be redeemed? I do not find it easier to “kill off” an evil character because I understand his/her torment; but all things considered, the evil character’s fate is sealed once he/she refuses to conform to societal behavior and expectations.

What was the best part about the writing process for you?

I love to breathe life into characters of a long-forgotten age while revealing their innermost thoughts and emotions, while reminding the modern reader that mankind has not changed over the centuries. The human element has remained the same throughout the centuries

History Trivia

Sept 8, 1011 St. Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, was captured by marauding Danes, held prisoner for months, and eventually murdered. He refused to allow himself to be ransomed because the money would have had to be raised by taxing the people. After his death he was venerated as a martyr, and the parish church of Greenwich is dedicated to him. 1157 Richard the Lion-Hearted, King of England, was born. 1504 Michelangelo's David was unveiled in Florence.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 7,70 The Romans sacked Jerusalem, which ended the Jewish revolt and left only the "Wailing Wall" intact. 1191 Third Crusade: Battle of Arsuf – Richard I of England defeated Saladin at Arsuf, which ended the sultan's aura of invincibility.1533 Queen Elizabeth I was born. The birth of a daughter was a setback to King Henry VIII in his quest for an heir, and a serious blow to his wife Anne Boleyn.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 6, 394 Battle of the Frigidus: The Christian Roman Emperor Theodosius I defeated and killed the pagan usurper Eugenius and his Frankish magister militum Arbogast. 973 Pope John XIII died. John maintained a peaceful pontificate, and stayed closely allied with the Holy Roman Empire. 1525 Peace was declared between England and France. 1651 Charles II spent the day hiding in an oak tree following defeat by Oliver Cromwell at Worcester.

Monday, September 5, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 5, 394 Theodosius reunited the entire Roman empire for the last time with victory at the Battle of Frigidus. 1198 Philips van Zwaben Hohenstaufen crowned king of Roman Catholic Germany. 1316 John XXII the second Roman Catholic pope to reside in Avignon, France rather than Rome, was crowned. 1548 Catherine Parr, sixth wife of Henry VIII, died. 1557 Bishop Stephen Gardiner was imprisoned; he remained in the Tower of London for most of the reign of Edward VI. 1550 William Cecil (Lord Chancellor to Queen Elizabeth I) appointed himself English minister of foreign affairs. 1590 Alexander Farnese's army forced Henry IV of France to raise the lengthy siege of Paris that it had been placed under by Huguenots and Royalists loyal to Henry IV. 1666 Great Fire of London ended: 10,000 buildings including St. Paul's Cathedral were destroyed, but only 16 people were known to have died.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 4, 476 Romulus Augustus, last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, was deposed when the barbarian Odoacer proclaimed himself King of Italy, and ended the Western Roman Empire. 925 Athelstan was crowned King of England. First elected king of Wessex and Mercia, Athelstan was crowned king of the entire country at Kingston. 1241Alexander III of Scotland was born. The reign of Alexander was considered a golden age by Scots involved in struggles with England after his death. 1666 (September 2-5) Great Fire of London destroyed the medieval city of London inside the old Roman city wall. The fire also threatened but spared the aristocratic district of Westminster, Charles II's Palace of Whitehall; unfortunately St. Paul's cathedral was destroyed.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 3, 36 BC In the Battle of Naulochus, Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, admiral of Octavian, defeated Sextus Pompeius, son of Pompey, which ended Pompeian resistance to the Second Triumvirate. 590 Consecration of Pope Gregory I (Gregory the Great).1189 Richard I of England (the Lionhearted) was crowned King at Westminster. 1346
Edward III of England began the siege of Calais, along the coast of France. 1650 Third English Civil War: in the Battle of Dunbar, English Parliamentarian forces lead by Oliver Cromwell defeated an army loyal to King Charles II of England and lead by David Leslie, Lord Newark. 1651 Third English Civil War: Battle of Worcester – Charles II of England was defeated in the last main battle of the war.

Friday, September 2, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 2, 44 BC Pharaoh Cleopatra VII of Egypt declared her son co-ruler as Ptolemy XV Caesarion. 44 BC Cicero launched the first of his Philippics (oratorical attacks) on Mark Antony. He will make 14 of them over the following months. 31 BC Final War of the Roman Republic: Battle of Actium – off the western coast of Greece, forces of Octavian under General Agrippa defeated the combined fleets of Antony and Cleopatra in the Battle of Actium, establishing Octavian as the ruler of the entire Roman world. 911 Viking-monarch Oleg of Kiev-Russia signed a treaty with Byzantines. 1192 Sultan Saladin and King Richard the lion hearted signed a cease fire. 1537 Danish King Christian III published an Ordinance on the Danish Church which ordered Denmark to convert to Lutheranism and as Norway was then ruled by Denmark, the Norwegians converted as well. 1666 The Great Fire of London began in a bakery on Pudding Lane and will destroy much of the city.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

History Trivia

Sept 1,1339 The Hundred Years' War officially began when King Edward III of England declared war on France. 1422 9-month-old Henry VI became King of England upon the death of his father, Henry V, but was not officially crowned until he was eight. 1532Lady Anne Boleyn was made Marchioness of Pembroke by her future husband, King Henry VIII of England.