Sunday, July 29, 2012

"On a Foreign Field" Official Release!!

Well, everyone, I am happy to announce that On a Foreign Field is finally available for purchase!! (Even a little earlier than I thought). It's also my first book available in both hardcopy and ebook. And I hope everyone is happy about the ebook because that was the most annoying thing I think I have ever dealt with (there will be a post on ebook formatting later), but I did it for my readers because you're who really matters at the end of the day =) Also, both versions will be on discount for the first month and lasting until the end of my blog tour (the full itinerary of which I will be posting when I have that information). Not only that, but Freedom Come All Ye and Ballad of the Highwayman are also discounted, (even if it doesn't say so, they do have a couple dollars taken off). And remember, ebook versions of those will hopefully be out within the next couple months! I'm working on it, and now that I know what to do, it will go a lot smoother. Also, I want to let everyone know that all my books are now available in the UK and Europe as well!




Here are the purchase links for On a Foreign Field


Createspace: https://www.createspace.com/3882345 (12.00 special right now!!)

Amazon/Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/On-Foreign-Field-Hazel-West/dp/1477493441/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_t_1

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/208817 (2.99 special right now!!)

Slainte, Hazel


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Books of Note: July

Hello dear readers, I realize I have not done any Books of Note posts for a while, and I have decided to do them at the end of every month and highlight some of the favorite books I have read during that time. These are the ones that ranked five stars for me on Goodreads and the reviews I wrote for them:

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy


Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You've never heard of them, have you? These are the princes who saved Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel, respectively, and yet, thanks to those lousy bards who wrote the tales, you likely know them only as Prince Charming. But all of this is about to change. Rejected by their princesses and cast out of their castles, Liam, Frederic, Duncan, and Gustav stumble upon an evil plot that could endanger each of their kingdoms. Now it's up to them to triumph over their various shortcomings, take on trolls, bandits, dragons, witches, and other assorted terrors, and become the heroes no one ever thought they could be.

Debut author Christopher Healy takes us on a journey with four imperfect princes and their four improbable princesses, all of whom are trying to become perfect heroes--a fast-paced, funny, and fresh introduction to a world where everything, even our classic fairy tales, is not at all what it seems.





Review
Thoughts on the Overall Book: I Totally loved this book from start to finish. It was just what I was expecting; a quirky, hilarious, light read. I love stories that spoof the old fairy tales and Disney movies and this one, being from the point of view of the famous "Princes Charming" was a fresh idea and just what I love to see. 

Characters: Okay, so I had a really hard time picking a favorite in this: You have Frederick, the not very brave but good-hearted prince of Cinderella. Gustav, the bad-tempered one who really does have a soft spot somewhere in there and is the prince of Rapunzel. Liam, Sleeping Beauty's prince who is the typical dashing can-do-anything hero, and yet he was not cocky at all. And then there was Duncan, who I think as a final decision was my favorite. He was Snow White's prince, and he was just so quirky and awkward and hilarious that you just can't help but love him. The princesses too, were fun to read about. Sleeping Beauty though was just plain evil and a huge brat. Cinderella was fun because she wanted to go adventuring though Frederick had no wish to leave his castle. I also liked Liam's little sister, because she was another fun character. And then you had the evil witch as the villainous and also a very young Bandit King to add to the mix. In short though this cast was large, everyone got the right amount of story time so that you knew and loved them all.

Problems/What bothered Me: Nothing. I absolutely loved every page of this book. My only problem is having to wait for the sequel that promises to be just as good if the author keeps on in the same way.

Conclusion: Five stars well-deserved! This is the best kid's book I have read in a long time and I'm going to have to buy it, so that's a good sign ;)

Recommended Audience: Anyone who loves and knows the old stories well will enjoy it. it's geared toward 10-12 but teens and adults would enjoy it too, as I did. People who enjoyed "The Enchanted Forest Chronicles" would love this as it reminded me of those books. It's a book that can be read by guys and girls and enjoyed equally by both. 






Frontier Wolf by Rosemary Sutcliff 


Britian, A.D. 343. The end of Roman Rule. The Antonine Wall has fallen and order slowley collapses on the northernmost edge of the empire. What little protection Rome has from the Dalriad and Caledone tribes comes from a small post of half-wild legionnaires: the Frontier Wolves.
A young commander is sent to preside over this undisciplined lot at their borderland outpost. But Alexios Flavius Aquila knows his assignment to Castellum was not a promotion. After abandoning a fort in the German province during a barbarian attack, the centurion lost half his men. Were his uncle no the governor of northern Britain, Alexios would not be calling himself a legionnaire at all. Failure and privilege do not recommend the young man to his hardened troops, so survival depends upon understanding these untamed men and earning their respect. With discipline and courage, Alexios too may win the title of Frontier Wolf.

Review 
Thoughts on the Overall Book: First of all, I dearly love all of Rosemary Sutcliff's books, that said, I am going to have to admit that this one is probably now my absolute favorite of all. Something about the mix of the characters, the story line, the setting and everything else just came together in that beautiful music that certain books have that cause you to die a little when they are over. Rosemary said in her author's note that she wrote this story from the idea she got while watching a western, and I can definitely see that influence in "Frontier Wolf". It read just like a Louis L'Amour novel, or even seemed to me to read like a Horatio Hornblower adventure. Military adventure are my favorite types of books, with true camaraderie portrayed, especially in the way that only Rosemary can do.
Characters: Oh where to begin!! I loved Alexios, he carries on the Aquila family line brilliantly. I have often said that "Eagle of the Ninth" was one of my favorite books because Marcus and Esca are some of my favorite characters ever, but Alexios and his companions are definitely a tie. My favorite supporting character was Hilarion, he was the easy going comrade and the end of this book between him and Alexios (not to give away anything) was just amazing, and true to Rosemary's reoccurring themes of brotherly love. I also really liked Cunorix he too was a wonderful character... Okay they all were ;)

Problems/What bothered me: Nothing ever bothers me about Rosemary's books except that I always wish they were longer! Especially this one!!

Conclusion: Just simply good all the way through. If I was in the Roman army, I would have been a Frontier Wolf ;) Perhaps my favorite part of this book was actually Rosemary's author's note, for she described so many things that were close to me as an author myself and I could definitely feel the fact that she enjoyed writing this book so much from the ease and flow with which it read. It was just like sitting down with the best dessert you can imagine and I only read it so slowly with the wish to savour it.

Recommended Audience: Ten stars if I could give them. Anyone who loves historical fiction (or Westerns) or good adventure novels. And if you are a fan of Rosemary's and have not read this yet, DO SO!! Because it really is one of her best works. It's a bit harder to find a copy of, but do search for one because it's definitely worth having on your shelf.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

One Book Down... Now what?

Hello my dear readers, as you probably know if you follow my posts, I have finished my third published book (which will be out officially on the 31st!) and you might be wondering what I'm going to do now. Well, if you read the previous post, you'll know I'm marketing, but that's just one step in moving on from finishing a book. All writers have more than one idea in their heads at the same time, so the big question we most often ask ourselves once when have finished a project is: Now What? Today I'm going to give you a few tips to help figure this out.

If you're like me and have a lineup of stories you want to get through, than it can be both easy and very hard to figure out what to work on next. For instance, I have two books I really want to write at the moment, one I'm already starting to promote through Anthony Maxwell's facebook page. I've written about the same amount for both of them and have piles of research books sitting by my desk, but I am yet undecided as to which is really going to take off. Sometimes you have to give stories a little shove.

Research is a great way to get into the feel of a book, especially if you're a writer of historical fiction. I am always coming up with new ideas reading history books--there are just so many interesting stories and cultural elements to spark the Muse. Also reading other novels like yours or watching movies, etc. is a good way to get into the feel of what you will be writing. No, you do not plan to copy the other author's work; inspiration is a good thing!!! Read the things that inspire you!

If you're a very lucky person, you might even be able to plan a trip to the local of your book setting. This is always very inspiring. I never get this chance, but that's my fault for having to write about places Over the Pond. And it's also a sad fact that you can't just hop back into, say, Victorian England whenever you want to.

Getting to know your characters is a wonderful way to get started on a book, that way you can get a feel for them and figure out who you would most like to work with at the time. Some characters will be more willing to talk to you as well. A good way to do this is fill out character sketches, write some short scenes or even interviews with them either between you and them or other characters. You can also start a facebook page like I did for Anthony, my upcoming hero, under the fictional character category. Then you can start promotion of your book and get to know your hero/villain/sidekick or whoever better! Keeping a diary for your character is also fun and helpful. This is especially good for a villain of a mystery novel. Maybe try keeping a diary for him for a whole week and then do the same for another character until you get to know them enough to start the book.

Also, it never hurts to have a few good brainstorming sessions with your fellow writers. This always helps me above all else. Go to your writer's group, Goodreads (or if you even want to talk to me, I'll listen, just drop me an email, haha ;). There are so many things two or three people can think of together that you never would have thought of on your own. Again, (as I'm sure I said before) I think it is important that writer's do not write alone.

If you have any tips of how you get started working on a new project, share in the comments! And don't forget to come by soon for the release announcement of "On a Foreign Field" and all that will entail =)

Slainte, Hazel

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Marketing is like Precisian Ops

Yep, it's true, and I'm finding this out more and more as I look into marketing my new book "On a Foreign Field". There is a serious amount of planning and timing you have to do to make your marketing campaign go off without a hitch, and even then, just like in a battle, it could still go wrong, and probably will. Right now I feel just like a general with my map and little soldiers, marking my attack plan and going over it with all my lieutenants. Marketing is a very important thing to self-published authors--it will sound the success of your sales. Of course, the success of your book itself is all up to your own writing and who happens to read it. Not everyone is going to like a book, and that's just the way it is.

As an example of what one might go through during marketing, let me tell you a bit about what I'm planning on for my campaign of "On a Foreign Field":

(1) Most importantly--obviously--is publishing the book in the first place. This is the easy part. I have the proof copy, and now all that needs to be done is myself and a fellow writer are going to go through it again and after we make sure all the edits are done, I will re-submit my manuscript, and if all looks well, then I will be able to successfully publish my book!

(2) Then comes the 'fun' bit. I am also planning on publishing it in a Kindle format, and since this is something I have not done before, it might take a little longer. Then I'm going to do a free promotion for it to generate interest and maybe get some nice people to review it =) There is no better incentive than free items for people to try something.

(3) After that, I am setting up a virtual book tour, where I will be appearing on blogs around the web and doing interviews and guest posts and all that fun stuff. I need to set this up with one of the sites that does this, and in doing so, I will have to make sure everything else that I need to run at the same time is in place. Get those soldiers into position!!

(4) While the blog tour is on, I am planning to do a giveaway on Goodreads for several copies of my book so that everyone who sees the tour will have a chance of winning a free copy (and maybe some other fun things specific to the tour itself). This also means that I have to make an add on Goodreads to gain even more interest while the giveaway is running. Again, nothing is better than free things to garner interest!

Hopefully, if all goes well, one might be able to sell enough copies to gain back the price of the campaign. It's not like self-published authors can tax the common folk for the king's ransom, nor even rob the rich to feed the poor. We're all alone in this, but if you do your marketing and promoting right, than you may just reach the success you wish for! The most important part is not giving up.

So I wish the best of luck to any other writers who are campaigning and I hope to see you around. If anyone has any other tips for me or other writers, put them in the comments below!

Slainte, Hazel

Finally got the Proof!

Well, I finally got the proof copy of "On a Foreign Field" in the mail and it looks lovely! Still a couple of little issues that need to be worked out, and I'm trying to figure out if it was my fault or happened in the printing (sigh). This is why self-published authors have a tougher skin though. It's always great to see your book for the first time in hard copy though. One thing that makes me sad about the ebook generation. Vive la PageFlippers! (That's what I call us who still stoically read only real books.)

So since I have gotten it, (that's terrible grammar, I know) The planned release date of July 31st should be good to go! Check back for more updates. I'm excited to announce I will be doing a virtual book tour within the next couple months, and I will be posting more information on that as soon as I have it myself.

Slainte, Hazel 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Random Announcements

So this is just a list of random announcements I wanted to share with everyone. First of all, if you look at the previous post, you'll see the cover reveal of "On a Foreign Field"! It's official now that I'm planning to have it out by August 1st.

Another announcement that involves all my books is that I will be creating ebook copies of them all. Yes, I hate ebooks and all they stand for, so I feel like a traitor, but it's not fair of me to keep my own ideals and not let you ereader people be able to buy my books just because of that. "On a Foreign Field" will be out soon after the paperback copy, and "Ballad of the Highwayman" and "Freedom Come All Ye" will be out by Christmas!

And I have a proof of "On a Foreign Field" coming as we speak, so I am very excited about that!! Even though it will mean yet another edit...

And most of all, I wanted to give everyone the chance to meet the protagonist of my next project, Anthony Maxwell, so he has started a Facebook page and you can find the link to it if you click on his picture in the sidebar to the right. He'll be talking a little about what the book will be about and I hope you will take a look and "like" him or whatever. (As you can tell, I'm very new to this Facebook silliness). ;)

Anyway, that's all for now. Also, results on the poll:

5 said coffee
2 said tea
and 0 were neither.

There will be another poll soon hopefully. And don't forget to come back frequently to see more updates on "On a Foreign Field". And I mean it, do check out Anthony's Facebook page. He's quite an amusing chap at times ;)

Slainte, Hazel

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cover Reveal for "On a Foreign Field"!

Well, I just finished up the cover art for On a Foreign Field and put it into Createspace and I think it looks quite nice ;) Here it is:


And here's the teaser on the back:



Sir Reeve Montgomery is an Englishman born and bred, proud of his heritage and the right to serve his country fighting against the Scottish rebels. But when the tide is turned unexpectedly during the Battle of Stirling Bridge, he is wounded by an English arrow, left for dead by his comrades, and taken captive by Wallace's army.  Wounded, and alone on a foreign field, he knows he should expect nothing but torture and death at the hands of the Scottish rebels who are known to be complete savages.
But as he comes to know this tight brotherhood better, and sees Wallace's utter devotion to his men and the cause of freedom, Reeve begins to wonder whether the English are right to oppress them.  
Faced with these troubling thoughts, Reeve must decide whether he will stay true to his king, or join this brotherhood of freedom fighters, thus turning his back on everything he has ever known or believed in.
This new novel by Hazel West is a thought-provoking, heartfelt read about the true meaning of loyalty and brotherhood.

Now all I have to do is wait for Createspace to approve my files and I'll be able to order my proof copy! (I might even take a picture of it when I get it ;) 

For something fun to celebrate getting all the formatting and the cover done, I want to share with you one of my favorite songs and one that really inspired this story: Brothers in Arms, sung by Celtic Thunder Sorry it's not the best quality, but it was the only video I could find on Youtube.

I'll be back to talk more about my new book this month while I'm working on doing the final edit and waiting for my proof copy to get here, so if you're interested, please check back frequently!! 

Slainte, Hazel

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Trends: The Female/Male swap (Can anyone say "Suffragettes"?)

So I've decided to start writing "Trend" articles about popular trends in fiction or movies or whatever. Most of them are probably going to be about stuff that annoys me, but some might be stuff I rather like. This one today is one that annoys me. It's the trend of putting a female character into a male's place.

I'm talking mostly about when they re-do a classic or something of that nature and change the male protagonist into a female character. I'm sure everyone here can name a book or movie that you have seen that does this. For some reason it is a really popular ploy. Why? I have no blasted clue. Another popular thing is changing around the hero and heroine's roles in a story. I.E. Sleeping Beauty actually wakes up Prince Charming. This isn't quite so annoying, but it just breeds overly strong female characters and gives the lads nothing to do, thus making them look stupid and incapable of anything.

Yes, I am a woman, but I am really mad at how everything in this century seems to revolve around women and men are just getting demeaned all the time. So many movies out now, especially kids' ones, have the men be the stupid side-kick type characters while the only one who gets anything done is the heroine. I hate this. In fact, I'm almost to the point where I do not read books with female protagonists. Seriously, especially ones written within the last ten years or so. And if I do, even if I enjoy them, I have to have a backup of a good military adventure story or something else with all guy characters in it.

My friend, Mara (over at 667B Baker Street) and I have been talking about that new show that is coming out this fall, Elementary. What is this? First of all, I'm going to tell you that we are both true Sherlockians, we've been reading Doyle's original stories for years, so you can't tell us our opinion on this doesn't count for anything. This show does not only portray Holmes wrong (yes, we can tell this even from the previews. I mean, come on. Holmes does not have tattoos. He would never have had tattoos) but it does the cardinal sin and that is turn our dear Dr. John H. Watson into--yes everyone--Joan Watson. Yep, Watson is a woman.

And you know exactly where this is going. She's going to have to be all high-and-mighty over him just because she is a woman because this is the way all heroines are portrayed in TV shows lately. And that's something Watson never did. It was all he could do to get Holmes to eat and sleep after a case, but this was taking care of a friend--he and Holmes were like brothers--never in a nagging way. And he never tried to put his nose into Holmes' investigations because he knew Holmes could and would do it the way he wanted to and when Holmes asked him to do something, no matter how crazy it was, he did it because he trusted him. Do you think this is the way it's going to be turning Watson into a girl? I highly doubt it! And it would be even worse if (and they probably will) they put a romantic interest in between Sherlock and Joan. It would be wrong on so many levels I'm not even going there.

There's also this book I came across--I haven't read it yet, but I get the idea, obviously--called "Scarlet". It's a Robin Hood novel--and don't get me wrong, I love Robin Hood novels--I love ones with different twists in them, but turning Will Scarlet into a girl is not the kind of twist I'm going for! I always loved Will and it always makes me mad when authors take a good character and turn them into a girl. I'm not saying this book is bad, if that's the kind of thing you like, but I don't like it. I think guy stories should have the chance to stay guy stories and Maid Marion should stay on being the only female character in the Robin Hood stories. Read Robin McKinley's "Outlaws of Sherwood" if you want to see Marion as a strong heroine. She was strong in this book but didn't have a blasted attitude! You can read Mara's review of "Scarlet" here.

So to my point: this all reminds me of the Suffragettes. And do you know what they did? They starved themselves, they threw themselves under horses and for what? So they could vote? Ladies, did you really think you could show men that you're smart enough to vote by doing this? Come on. Real women stand by their men, they don't hate them. They do what they need to do because it needs to be done, not because they want to prove some stupid point. So keep your heroines strong enough so they are not airheads, but don't give them an almighty attitude either. I'm not going to call them "strong heroines" anymore. I'm going to call them "Real Heroines" Like Joan of Arc. (They never re-created a story about John or Arc did they? See, women never get turned into men, it's always the other way around.)

Support Smart Heroines! Or support the original guy novel where there are damsels in distress. One of my favorite ploys is what Louis L'Amour does. Before the hero goes off to fight the baddie, he says he loves the girl and when he comes back the book usually ends with a kiss or a marriage proposal. Love it!

I'll be back soon to talk more about my upcoming novel "On a Foreign Field"!

Slainte, Hazel

(If anyone has any trends they have seen running around the literary world let me know what they are and what you think of them!)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Characters from "On a Foreign Field"

 This week I worked on sketching and painting the characters from my upcoming book, On a Foreign Field. I might add a couple more characters later, but these are the main ones and their profiles. Enjoy!



Reeve: Reeve is, of course, the hero of the story, the protagonist. He's an English knight who was captured by the Scots on the battlefield of Stirling Bridge. He trained as a squire with his uncle Horatio who was more a father to him than his own. Reeve's father is a rich nobleman and a politician and Reeve, as second youngest son, lost his respect when he wished to be nothing more than a "common soldier". Estranged from his family, he finds he might have more reason to stay with the Scots than go back.










Adeline: Adeline is Reeve's sister. They both grew up without the favor of their father and this brought them closer. When Reeve left with the army to fight the Scottish rebels, she is dealing with the aftermath of a failed romance and she decides to go up north to visit her aunt where Reeve later reunites with her during a raid.










Wallace: William Wallace is the leader of the Scottish patriot army. He was made an outlaw after he killed Sheriff Heselrig who murdered his wife, Marion. Reeve had been told many stories about his recorded "atrocities" but the man he meets during his captivity in the Scottish camp turns out to be a passionate young man who believes in fighting for the cause of freedom.










Gavin: Gavin is the man responsible for capturing Reeve at Stirling and loves to flaunt that fact at any chance he gets. He also loved playing practical jokes on "the Sassenach". However, despite his flaws, he's fiercely loyal and takes care of their small band of brothers as if they were those of his own blood.











Henridh: Henridh is the youngest of the group--only sixteen--and is usually found following Gavin like a shadow. He enjoys practical jokes even more than Gavin and is usually joking or laughing at something.













Gaelyn: Gaelyn is only a bit older than Henridh, but he's quiet and guarded and suffers from nightmares. He lives with the fact that his family was all killed when he was out hunting and he's the only one left. He lives for the day to find the man who did it and exact revenge.










Cedraig: Cedraig is the last member of the tight brotherhood that surrounds Wallace, he's an Islesman and plays an Irish harp. Besides being the camp harper he is an accomplished healer and cares for the all the injured as well as offering advice and support to the younger members of the group.










Maggie: Maggie (Or Margaret) is Gavin's sister. She's just as fiery as he is and equally loyal. Upon meeting her, Reeve is shocked to see how different she is from the English women he had always known and is undecided about what to think of her. Maggie, in turn, thinks of him just as a "Sassenach" until he earns her respect through a trial of arms.










Bruce: Robert the Bruce is a young nobleman who is torn between loyalty to his father and loyalty to his own feelings. Wallace tried to win him over to the Scottish side several times, but despairs when Bruce continuously reverts back to loyalty to Longshanks the English king. Will he ever decide to join in the cause of his own country whose throne is his by rights?







Sunday, July 1, 2012

My Reasons for On a Foreign Field

Well, I'm happy to announce that I have finished the first draft of my new novel, On a Foreign Field! Which means that it will be out by August as I was hoping. It also means that this next month I am going to be working hard with editing and formatting and all that. But while I'm doing that, I'm going to be sharing some things about the book with you, pictures of the characters and all that and eventually, the book cover! Today, I wanted to share a bit with you about why I wrote this book.

For every book I write, I have reasons for writing them besides just the fact that I like the idea of the story-line, the characters, and the setting. Ballad of the Highwayman stemmed from a want to bring back the classic swashbuckling adventure story, and On a Foreign Field had definitely more than one reason for my writing it as well.

First and foremost, was the fact that I wanted to write a story that can maybe make teens stronger. I geared this book mainly for the Young Adult genre because I believe that the story is one that should be read by ages between fifteen to eighteen at least, though I believe the book can definitely appeal to adults as well. I created characters with very human flaws, and while the time period is significantly different from our own, I think that the trials the characters go through will make the reader stronger: Family problems, identity, finding friends that will get you through anything and stick with you through the worst of it. I learned life lessons from reading books and I have never forgotten those lessons over the years. I wanted to write a book that could do that for young people as well.

Another major reason for writing this is kind of a personal campaign I am on to bring back real brotherhood stories like the ones Rosemary Sutcliff wrote. I lament the fact that true camaraderie and brotherly love are sadly missing from today's society. In fact, they are looked down upon as being less than manly, when in actuality, only true men can have real manly friendships. I recently got really angry reading a lot of reviews for the movie The Eagle that called Marcus' and Esca's manliness into question because the movie actually portrayed a strong brotherly bond between the two that amazingly did justice to Rosemary Sutcliff's novel and was sadly misinterpreted by a lot of people. Can't two guys be friends anymore without people thinking they're gay? I lament the loss of camaraderie--what's it called in today's vernacular, 'bromance'? Brotherly love is a strong thing that women can't really understand. We female breed do not have the same kind of camaraderie between us and other women as men have among themselves. We go out for coffee and go shopping and we laugh and giggle and gossip, but guys have a much stronger bond. Women will not tell each other what is bothering them until things blow way over the top and end up starting a war. Guys will just beat each other up and get it over with if they've got a problem and then be great friends. So anyway, to get back to the point... I wanted to show a strong sense of camaraderie and brotherhood in this story, even though no one is related by blood. Men need their wives and lasses (and there is a romantic subplot in this story as well-actually, two- for those of you who can't live without the romance), but they also need their good friends, especially during times of war. Those who are tried in the same fires. I tried to portray that in this book in as real a way as possible. It sets well against the gritty backdrop of medieval warfare, and keeps them all together.

I also wanted to challenge myself a little bit with this story and write a more realistic look into the period. While Ballad of the Highwayman was a romantic adventure where the story line was written to be more of a classic, cozy read, I really wanted to show the darker side of war in On a Foreign Field. There is a big difference between the medieval time period and the romantic 17th century, but I've never really set out to write something quite so gritty. I hoped to portray a more real look into war, and also add characters who are flawed and struggle with dark times. This is also the first book I have ever written without a definitive villain. It was not important to this story. This story is about the characters, an internal conflict, and while it is as accurate as I could possibly make it, the history is not the important part. This is the story of Reeve and how he came to meet William Wallace.

If you haven't read my preview yet, please do so here: https://www.createspace.com/Preview/1103516

Check back soon for more updates about On a Foreign Field!


Slainte, Hazel