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The Raided Heart by Jennifer C. Wilson - Book Tour + Giveaway

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The Raided Heart

Meg Mathers, the headstrong youngest sibling of a reiving family on the English-Scottish border, is determined to remain at her childhood home, caring for the land and village she’s grown up with. When an accident brings her a broken ankle and six weeks in the resentful company of ambitious and angry young reiver Will Hetherington, attraction starts to build. Both begin to realise they might have met their match, and the love of their lives, but 15th century border living is not that simple, as Meg soon finds herself betrothed to the weakling son of a tyrannical neighbour, Alexander Gray. When tragedy strikes, can Meg and Will find their way back to each other, and can Will finally take his own personal revenge on Gray?

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Author Q&A
1.       What is the first book that made you cry?
It made me cry because of the nightmares it generated, rather than any emotional reason, but it was a book I read at school called, I think, The Wall, about two boys who ran away, and I’m sure the titular wall fell on somebody at one point, hence the nightmares…
After that, I remember crying at The Other Boleyn Girl, even though I knew fine well what the ending had to be, and then thinking what an amazing writer Philippa Gregory was, that she could bring you to tears over something which is recorded historical fact.
2.       How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
The Raided Heart is a bad example, having started it when I was 13 (I turned 35 this year…), but usually, I can write a first draft in around six to nine months, so one new project a year is achievable. I would love to write more, but it would just drive me mad. I’ve often used NaNoWriMo, aiming for 50,000 words in a month, to give me an initial shove in the right direction, but have only successfully completed it twice, once with The Raided Heart, and then with Kindred Spirits: Tower of London.
3.       How do you select the names of your characters?
For the Kindred Spirits series, I was so spoiled, just writing about historical characters, there was no real ‘creating’ required. Meg and Will in The Raided Heart’s names just fitted, happily, but it is something I’m aware of. The other historical romances I have planned in my head are all set in Scotland, in the 1400s and 1500s, and the list of names for aristocratic heroes and heroines is fairly limited!
I do read a lot of non-fiction about the times and places I write about, to make sure I get a feel for things, and by doing that, I can pick up the names which fit into the story, whether they’re the hero, the father, or the threatening neighbour.
4.       What creature do you consider your "spirit animal" to be?
I’ve always felt a kinship to the killer whale. They are such beautiful animals, and they get a bad press, even with the name ‘killer’. Yes, they’re a top predator, but they are also so graceful and majestic (sadly, I’m not blessed with these attributes!). Watching a scene in an Attenborough documentary when I was little, as one swept onto a beach to catch a sealion pup was also what made me want to become a marine biologist, so I suppose I have them to thank for my career too.
5.       What are your top 5 favorite movies?
I’m not really a huge movie-watcher, but every so often, something grabs me and I adore it. These five are definitely the best for me.
-          Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
-          The Princess Bride
-          Dirty Dancing
-          Grease
-          Mary Poppins
6. If you were the last person on Earth, what would you do?
Beg the new overlords for forgiveness?
7. What fictional character would you want to be friends with in real life?
These are good questions! A lot of the books I read are fictionalised accounts of real people, so I’m not sure Anne Boleyn or Mary Queen of Scots would count? In terms of a purely fictional character, I think being friends with Miss Marple would be fascinating, as long as you didn’t wind up in too much trouble.
8. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
It is such a cliché, but keep writing. It’s like a muscle, and the more you exercise it, the stronger it’ll become. Whether it’s prose or poetry, just keep writing, find your own voice, and the genre / style you’re happiest writing in. Ideally, doing this as part of a writing group, either in person or online, is even better, as writing isn’t known as the most sociable of activities.
9. What book do you wish you had written?
Back to The Other Boleyn Girl, I think. As I said above, the fact that it can make you believe Anne is going to be released by Henry, and everything is going to be alright, just shows how well-written it is. And, ok, maybe having the chance to be on set for either of the adaptations wouldn’t have been so terrible either!
10. Tell us 10 fun facts about yourself! :)
This is challenging, but I’ll give it a go…
1.       I was bitten by a shark as a child.
2.       I attended part of the funeral of my first leading man (Richard III).
3.       I’m trained to help rescue stranded whales, dolphins and seals.
4.       I’m terrified of dinosaurs (yet still have the urge to watch Jurassic Park when it’s on TV).
5.       As well as writing, I love making my own jewellery.
6.       When I was a child, I really wanted to work on a fish farm.
7.       I’m slightly addicted to cosy crime dramas on TV, even though I don’t read much crime fiction.
8.       I was an active SCUBA diver at university, even though I’m a little nervous about sea monsters.
9.       I can name (in order) all the colours of Joseph’s Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.
10.   I still get excited at the chance to collect an autograph for my collection.

Author Bio – Jennifer C. Wilson is a marine biologist by training, who developed an equal passion for history and historical fiction whilst stalking Mary, Queen of Scots on childhood holidays (she has since moved on to Richard III). Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the north-east of England for work reignited her pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since. In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition, and has been working on a number of projects since, including co-hosting the North Tyneside Writers’ Circle. Her Kindred Spirits novels are published by Crooked Cat Books and her time-slip novella, The Last Plantagenet?, by Ocelot Press. She lives in North Tyneside, and is very proud of her approximately 2-inch sea view.

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Giveaway to Win 2 x e-copies of The Last Plantagenet? (Open Internationally)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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