Thursday, May 9, 2019

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De Bohun's Destiny by Carolyn Hughes - Book Tour + Giveaway


De Bohun’s Destiny
How can you uphold a lie when you know it might destroy your family?

It is 1356, seven years since the Black Death ravaged Meonbridge, turning society upside down. Margaret, Lady de Bohun, is horrified when her husband lies about their grandson Dickon’s entitlement to inherit Meonbridge. She knows that Richard lied for the very best of reasons – to safeguard his family and its future – but lying is a sin. Yet she has no option but to maintain her husband’s falsehood... 
Margaret’s companion, Matilda Fletcher, decides that the truth about young Dickon’s birth really must be told, if only to Thorkell Boune, the man she’s set her heart on winning. But Matilda’s “honesty” serves only her own interests, and she’s oblivious to the potential for disaster.
For Thorkell won’t scruple to pursue exactly what he wants, by whatever means are necessary, no matter who or what gets in his way…
If you enjoy well-researched, immersive historical fiction, with strong female characterisation and a real sense of authenticity, you’ll love De Bohun’s Destiny, the third Meonbridge Chronicle, set in the mid-14th century, in the turbulent and challenging years that followed the social devastation wrought by the Black Death. Discover for yourself if, in Meonbridge, it is Margaret or Matilda, right or might, truth or falsehood, that wins the day...
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Guest Post


Choosing the setting for the Meonbridge Chronicles


I have now written four historical novels: three in my historical fiction series, the Meonbridge Chronicles, set mostly in Hampshire, as well as a standalone historical novel, as yet unpublished. The standalone novel, The Nature of Things, is set mostly in Hampshire and Sussex (two large counties in southern England), though one section is set mostly in Kent and London, another section largely in France, and a third partly in Genoa in Italy. The reason for choosing these different locations was simply because that it was where the history of the period would have taken people like the characters in my story.

In truth, I do prefer setting my novels in familiar locations, ones that I can visit easily to soak up the ambience, even though of course most places do look quite different now from the way they did centuries ago! Hampshire is particularly good, because it’s where I’ve lived for the past thirty-plus years, and Sussex, Kent and London are familiar enough too. But, although I have spent a fair amount of time in rural France, I’ve spent none at all in Genoa, so writing about those places is not quite so easy to do without “field trips”, and has so far relied on desk research.
I wrote the first of my Meonbridge Chronicles well before The Nature of Things, and my decision to set it in Hampshire was somewhat serendipitous. I was casting about for what to write as my creative piece for my Masters in Creative Writing, when by chance I rediscovered, languishing in a box of old scribblings, the fading draft of a novel I’d started in my twenties. To be frank, the plot wasn’t very good, but the novel was set in the rural south of England and in the 14th century, and I was immediately drawn to that period and setting. I began drafting an outline for what became Fortune’s Wheel. In deciding where to set it, in truth I could have chosen many another part of England, most of which was very rural in the 14th century. But the obvious choice was, surely, that part of “rural England” with which I was most familiar, Hampshire!
I certainly liked the idea of setting my new novel close to where I lived. All I had to do was go for a walk, or at most a drive, to understand the geographical shape and appearance of the place in which my characters would live. The fictional village I envisaged as “Meonbridge” would, I thought, be somewhere in the upper reaches of Hampshire’s River Meon, in what is called the “Meon Valley”, still a largely rural area if rather more populated and busy than it would have been 700 years ago.
I quickly “saw” the shape of Meonbridge in my mind. The community itself would be built to the south of the river, with the church in the middle, alongside a village “green” (that might or might not actually be green!). The manor house would be located on a little rise, dominating the tenants’ homes and workshops; the river would meander through the village and feed a prosperous mill. The hill pasture that, in the novels, I refer to as Riverdown, would ascend to the north of the river. This is similar to, though not the same as, the geography of the real village of Meonstoke, which has a long history, with a population of about 140 at the time of the Domesday Book (1086), and in the 13th century was granted a weekly market, suggesting it was a relatively important village. The current church too originates from the 13th century. So, although Meonbridge isn’t actually intended to be Meonstoke, it certainly is intended to be a place of at least similar location, geography and importance.
Having chosen the Meon Valley as my principal location, I then embarked upon writing a number of blog posts about the history of the Valley’s villages. If you’re interested in the history of the area you’ll find them at https://carolynhughesauthor.com/blog/.







 



Author Bio –
CAROLYN HUGHES was born in London, but has lived most of her life in Hampshire. After completing a degree in Classics and English, she started her working life as a computer programmer, in those days a very new profession. But it was when she discovered technical authoring that she knew she had found her vocation. She spent the next few decades writing and editing all sorts of material, some fascinating, some dull, for a wide variety of clients, including an international hotel group, medical instrument manufacturers and the government.
She has written creatively for most of her adult life, but it was not until her children grew up and flew the nest several years ago that writing historical fiction took centre stage in her life. She has a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Portsmouth University and a PhD from the University of Southampton.
De Bohun’s Destiny is the third novel in the MEONBRIDGE CHRONICLES series. A fourth novel is under way.
You can connect with Carolyn through her website www.carolynhughesauthor.com and social media:
Social Media Links – 
Facebook: CarolynHughesAuthor; Twitter: @writingcalliope; Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2hs2rrX



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