MORE to BROWSE - Pages that might be of Interest

7 July 2020

Shining Light On Our Ladies - Miramonde de Oto and her author, Amy Maroney

A new series running for the next few weeks
where my guests are female writers 
talking about their female characters
(and yes, I'll be doing the chaps next!)

Today: Amy Maroney
Miramonde de Oto


Artist, healer...

Miramonde de Oto was a woman of many skills. Raised in a convent in the medieval Pyrenees, she learned healing remedies from the “mountain folk” and worked in the convent’s infirmary. In her childhood, Mira used bits of charcoal to draw on the marble step of an old well. Eventually she was tasked with copying and illuminating manuscripts in the convent’s library. In time she graduated to painting portraits, thanks to an exceptional art teacher. It wasn’t until catastrophe struck the convent that Mira would go on to use her talents in the wider world—and unlike most women artists of her time, she even got paid for it.

Elena de Arazas was a midwife and healer who lived a nomadic life in the medieval Pyrenees. Wounded by a childhood tragedy, she grew up to be a fiercely independent, outspoken, and courageous woman. An unerring sense of justice and deep loyalty to the few she trusted drove her to take enormous risks time and again—especially for Miramonde de Oto. 

The Girl from Oto is available on Amazon UK and Amazon US

About Amy
Amy Maroney lives in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. with her family, and spent many years as a writer and editor of nonfiction before turning her hand to historical fiction. She's currently writing a new series set in the medieval Mediterranean. When she's not diving down research rabbit holes, she enjoys hiking, drawing, dancing, and reading.

Get a free prequel novella about Elena de Arazas and find Amy’s blog here:
Connect with her on Twitter,

Next Guest
14th July
Pauline Barclay

Full Guest List

1 July 2020

Shining Light On Our Ladies - Featuring Fictional Females...Mairead O’Coneill

... on a Wednesday!
so why is Tuesday Talk appearing a day late? 
Simple... I am starting a new series for July
(and beyond)
and 1st July
(very inconveniently!)
falls on a Wednesday - not a Tuesday!

A new series running for the next few weeks
where my guests are female writers 
talking about their female characters
(and yes, I'll be doing the chaps next!)

Today: Cryssa Bazos
Mairead O’Coneill


Good day to you I’m so very pleased to be here! I’m Mairead O’Coneill, originally from Galway, Ireland. So what is this novel about? Both myself and Iain were separately taken captive by the English, me from my home in Ireland, and he after the Scots lost to the English at Worcester. We were then cruelly shipped to Barbados as indentured servants. Barbados was a wild place, as hot as the infernos of hell, and we were forced to work in the sugar cane fields. I nearly despaired of ever returning home, but an opportunity to escape arose, and we seized it.

There have been times when I’ve been less than stellar. <She leans in to whisper> Once, I cursed my dearest cousin, Ciara. I didn’t mean to—well, at the time I did—but I had been sorely vexed with her, and I hadn’t paused to consider the ramifications of my actions. Curses are like that, you know. To be sure, I regretted it every day, for she was like a sister to me, and it wasn’t truly her fault not knowing that the fickle man who had captured our hearts played us both false. After that, I resolved to protect and shelter Ciara, as best I could .

My lover, my partner, my best friend is Iain Johnstone. His strength I can rely on and while he may be gruff and confrontational when he’s been pushed to the limit, his caring and need to protect runs deep. He may be completely infuriating at times (trust me, I know), but he always brings out the best in me. He’s my rock and my island.

This novel is my first and what a trial by fire it has been! I’ve asked my author to consider me for a light romantic comedy, something that does not involve life or death, but I’m afraid she’s determined to make us work for our happily ever after. One of my least favourite scenes was the ocean voyage to Barbados - it was horrendous. Eight weeks in the foul, stinking hold of the Jane Marie. I thought I would die, and nearly did from sea sickness. I have other more trying scenes, and one that involves my cousin Ciara, but I don’t want to give any spoilers, so I shan’t mention them.

For a favourite scene I should probably be prim and correct and mention any scene where I was playing the violin. I do love music and the music allows me to express what I can not say in words. But . . .  there was one scene, which was the opposite of prim and correct. I happened to get a good look at Iain swimming in the pond early one morning, and <whispers> he was entirely nude! Seeing him come out of that water, dripping and glorious . . . <Fans herself> . . .

I suppose I had better say a little about my author,Cryssa. She’s written two novels so far, Traitor’s Knot and Severed Knot. They can be read in any order and characters from one cross over to the other, except myself, of course. She is currently finishing a novella called The Wild Hunt, which features my brother, Niall O’Coneill, who is fighting with the Tóraidhe (Tories) against the English invaders. Niall came to visit me at our uncle’s estate and only found devastation caused by the English. When I see him again, I will have words for him, not telling me that he joined the Tories. He likely thought to save me from worrying, I suppose. As for Niall’s story, I understand he will have quite the adventure. After that, my author will return to work on her third full-length novel, Sealed Knot, featuring Nathaniel Lewis, the crafty Welsh solicitor we met in The Hague.

If you enjoyed her books, please tell a friend! Leave a review, recommend her stories to your book club or pass a recommendation on to another reader. She enjoys hearing from readers as well.

Thank you for inviting me to chat!


Mairead crept forward, careful to not make a sound. She reached the edge of the brush and carefully parted the leaves, hoping to see waterfowl. 
    Sunlight sparkled on the water. A slight breeze rippled the otherwise still water. Another splash. At first, she didn't see anything, then someone surfaced. A man, skimming across the pond, arms and legs slicing through the water. Even before he turned, she knew who it was. Johnstone.
    Mairead knew she should back away and leave before he caught her watching—he’d be insufferable otherwise. That, or bark her head off as any self-respecting ogre. And yet something pinned her to the spot.
    He dove into the water, his body curving with a flash of his naked buttocks.
    Mairead’s eyes widened, and she edged closer. When he split the surface of the lake, he caused a spray of water drops to splatter. He stood facing her direction, eyes closed. Raising his hands to his head, he slicked back his dark blond hair.
     Mairead didn’t dare move. She watched how the muscles in his arms flexed. Her eyes travelled across his broad chest with its light mat of hair. A trail of darkish hair ran down from chest to stomach until it disappeared below the pond’s surface. Mairead craned her head to peer into the pond, but the water was murky and brownish-green.
     Johnstone dove under again. Mairead sat back on her heels and nibbled her fingertip, considering her options. She really should leave. A smile played at the corner of her mouth as she made herself more comfortable.
       Johnstone surfaced and began to paddle lazily in the water. His head was tipped backwards, his face presented to the sun. His skin had become tanned and gleamed against the lapping water.
     Mairead watched, captivated. He seemed at one with the water. She didn’t know too many who could swim, and none so well. Her own brothers had enjoyed a quick barrelling leap into the river back home, splashing like mad puppies and thrashing in the water. They had taught her to float, but swimming across the water as this Scotsman was now doing, with strong, purposeful strokes, was an art, and one she admired greatly. So she told herself.
     After a few moments, prudence whispered that she had stayed long enough. Mairead rose from her crouch, careful not to rustle a leaf, but just as she moved Johnstone finished his swim and headed back to the bank. Mairead dropped to the ground again so he wouldn’t notice her.
     Johnstone slowly waded out of the water, all glorious and dripping. Mairead’s breath locked in her throat. She took in that expanse of chest, the tapered waist then . . . Blessed Mother of Jesus!
    She made a slight choking sound, and Johnstone stopped to look around.
      “Who’s there?”

Connect with Cryssa Bazos through her Website, Facebook, and Twitter.  

Severed Knot is available through Amazon 
and other Online Retailers (Kobo, Nook, and Apple) 
and until 12th July is on special offer at £0.99p and $0.99c 

Next Week's Guest
(on Tuesday 7th July)
Amy Maroney
Miramonde de Oto

Full Guest List

30 June 2020

Tuesday Talk - will be on a Wednesday this week!

Starting tomorrow (1st July)
a new series...
where my guests are female writers 
talking about their female characters
(don't worry I will invite the chaps later!)

Here's the forthcoming guest list so far!

1st July 2020
Cryssa Bazos and 
Mairead O’Coneill

7th July 2020
Amy Maroney and
Miramonde de Oto

14th July
Pauline Barclay and

21st July
Susan Grossey and
Martha Plank

28th July
Judith Arnopp and
Margaret Beaufort

4th / 5th / 6th August
Marian L Thorpe
 I: Lena of Tirvan
II: Lady Dagney
III: The Empress Eudekia
11th August