BLOG TOUR~~THE DU LAC CHRONICLES~~MARY ANNE YARDE~~



The Du Lac Chronicles : Book 1
By
Mary Anne Yarde
“An evocative, timeless saga of love and betrayal”
Tony Riches, author of The Tudor Trilogy
Amazon #1 Best Seller in Young Adult, Medieval Fiction
AD 495, Wessex, Briton.
If all you had left was your heart, would you give it to your enemy?
A generation after Arthur Pendragon ruled, Briton lies fragmented into warring kingdoms and principalities.
The powerful Saxon King, Cerdic of Wessex, has spent the last twenty years hunting down Arthur’s noble knights. He is determined to secure his kingdom against any reprisals for killing their legendary leader. The knights who have survived the genocide are destined to spend the rest of their lives in hiding, never revealing who they really are.
The only knight who refused to be intimidated by this Saxon invader was Lancelot du Lac. Lancelot and Cerdic formed a fragile truce, but Lancelot has been dead these past eight years and it has fallen to his sons to protect Briton from the ambitions of the Saxon King.
Alden du Lac, the once king of Cerniw and son of Lancelot, has nothing. Betrayed by Cerdic, Alden’s kingdom lies in rubble, his fort razed to the ground and his brother Merton missing, presumably dead. Cerdic has had Alden tied to a post and ordered his skin to be lashed from his back. In the morning, if Alden is still alive, he is to be executed.
Annis, daughter of King Cerdic of Wessex, has been secretly in love with Alden for what seems like forever. She will not stand by and see him die. She defies father, king, and country to save the man she loves from her father’s dungeons. Alden and Annis flee Wessex together.
To the horror of Alden’s few remaining allies, he has given his heart to the daughter of his enemy. Alden’s allies see Annis, at best, as a bargaining chip to avoid war with her powerful father. At worst, they see a Saxon witch with her claws in a broken, wounded king.
Alden has one hope: When you war with one du Lac, you war with them all. His brother Budic, King of Brittany, could offer the deposed young king sanctuary—but whether he will offer the same courtesy to Annis is far less certain.
 Born in Bath, England, Mary Anne Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury—the fabled Isle of Avalon—was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.
At nineteen, Yarde married her childhood sweetheart and began a bachelor of arts in history at Cardiff University, only to have her studies interrupted by the arrival of her first child. She would later return to higher education, studying equine science at Warwickshire College. Horses and history remain two of her major passions.
Yarde keeps busy raising four children and helping run a successful family business. She has many skills but has never mastered cooking—so if you ever drop by, she (and her family) would appreciate some tasty treats or a meal out!
Twitter @maryanneyarde
Inside the Writer’s Mind ~ Mary Anne Yarde. The Du Lac Chronicles
 
Q1 – SDB: Writing can be a daunting prospect, what made you decide to share your story with the world?
MAY: I grew up just outside of Glastonbury ~ The Ancient Isle of Avalon ~ England. The stories of King Arthur and his Knights were very much a part of my childhood ~ he was everywhere. I knew the stories of Arthur from a very young age and as a teen, I became fascinated with his life.
For me, Arthur embodies an almost utopia age. Everything he stands for, everything he did, had such an impact, that we are still talking about him today. He was a hero, and we all need heroes.
The problem with researching Arthur is that there is a very blurry line between what is real and what is fictitious. But the one thing, which I found the most frustrating, wasn’t the lack of evidence, but the actual story itself, particularly with regards to the ending. King Arthur is betrayed by Lancelot, and then he is betrayed by Mordred. Arthur is fatally wounded at the Battle of Camlann. He is taken to Avalon, and we never hear of Arthur again. As for his knights…if they were lucky enough to survive the battle, they simply disappeared or became hermits.
Seriously?
That was the best the great poets could come up with? I’m sorry, but that ending sucks! The Knights stopped being knights? I don’t buy it and I never will.
I came up with an idea for a book that told the story of what happened after King Arthur’s death. My favourite knight has always been Lancelot, and I wanted to create a world for his children ~ a world for the next generation of Du Lacs and Pendragons. I didn’t realise then, that it would take me another 12 years to actually have a manuscript that I thought was worth sharing with the world. Publishing wasn’t so much of a daunting experience as a necessary one. I had sat on this story for too long.
Q2 – SDB: Who has influenced you as an author?
MAY: I am an avid reader. I love the books by Nicholas Evans and Nicholas Sparks. They both write such beautifully emotive prose that I cannot help but admire them.
Q3 – SDB: What is your writing method? Do you outline first or do you purge your brain on paper until your story is told?
MAY: I made a plan once. It took me ages, several months in fact. Once I was happy with the plan I sat down at my computer, looked at my notes and thought ~ oh screw this! I threw the notes away and just started writing. I do have a rough plan in my head and I will jot down the odd sentence that I think would work well later on in the book, but apart from that. I just sit down at the computer and bleed!
Q4 – SDB: How long does it take you to write your story, from getting it down on paper to publishing?
MAY: The Du Lac Chronicles, from start to finish, took me 12 years. The second book in the trilogy, which is due out later this year, took me about six months. Hey, I think I’m getting quicker at this writing game!
Q5 – SDB: Can you tell me a little bit about your book(s) without giving away too much? Why should I read it?
MAY: I would be honoured to tell you about my books…
 A generation after the fall of Arthur Pendragon, Briton lies fragmented into warring kingdoms and principalities.
Eighteen-year-old, Alden du Lac, Lancelot’s son, ruled the tiny Kingdom of Cerniw. Now he half-hangs from a wooden pole, his back lashed into a mass of bloody welts exposed to the cold of a cruel winter night.
When Alden notices a shadowy figure approaching, he assumes death has come to end his pain. Instead, the daughter of his enemy, Cerdic of Wessex, frees and hides him, her motives unclear.
Annis has loved Alden since his ill-fated marriage to her Saxon cousin ~ a marriage that ended in blood and guilt ~ and she would do anything to protect him. Annis’s rescue of Alden traps them between a brutal Saxon king and Alden’s remaining allies. Meanwhile, unknown forces are carefully manipulating the ruins of Arthur’s legacy.
If you love romance, adventure, intrigue and King Arthur’s knights, then check out The Du Lac Chronicles to find out what happened after King Arthur died. I promise you there are not any hermits. Well there is one, but he doesn’t come into the story until much later on in the trilogy!
Q6 – SDB: How much of yourself is in your character(s)?
MAY: It would be wrong to say that there is nothing of me in the characters. I do draw on my life experience…
…there was that terribly traumatic incident where I was chased by a Saxon Army, so I know exactly what that feels like! Rescuing gorgeous men from dungeons is an everyday occurrence for me as well…and…I do have big knees!
Joking aside, I think out of all the characters in The Du Lac Chronicles, I am most like Merton du Lac. He is incredibly loyal, good looking – well, obviously!  He is also very sarcastic ~ Umm…I’m not known for my sarcasm. Maybe he isn’t like me after all?!
Q7 – SDB: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
MAY: You have absolutely nothing to lose by writing your story, so stop making excuses as to why you can’t and just go for it.
Q8 – SDB: Is there anything else that you’d like to share?
MAY: Yes. I think it is about time that we all learnt how to make pottage. Making pottage is an art and one that we have all but forgotten. It was the staple diet for the poor in the Dark Ages. All you need is whatever you can get your hands on  ~ any vegetables you happen to have growing in your garden. If you don’t have any vegetables, you can steal some from your Overlord, but make sure you don’t get caught, because you might lose your hand, or worse, your head.
Throw all of your ingredients into a big pot…a cauldron will do, like the one witches use. Hang the cauldron over an open fire and slowly heat up the pottage, don’t let it boil. Remember if the stew boils the stew spoils ~ oh hang, on, I think my home economics teacher was talking about milk when she said that. Have I told you I hate cooking?
The joy of pottage is that it can last you for days, and you can keep adding things to it, so that bit of venison you poached the other day, can be added in quickly before anyone notices the deer is missing!
What could be better? It is the Dark Ages equivalent of fast-food. Wholesome and Nutritious. Now please eat, because the King’s Soldiers are coming and this may well be your last ever meal in this world.
Thanks for having me on your blog!! Right…now what was I doing? Oh, curses…the pottage is boiling, the pottage is boiling!!


MY THOUGHTS:
The Du Lac Chronicles, Book 1 is a unique Historical Fiction /Fantasy /YA/Teen/Myths /Legends with a mix of Romance. Based on Arthurian Legend. Set during 5th Century, AD 495 Wessex, Briton. A trilogy.

A fantastic Historical Fiction with so many facets interwoven into the story. The characters are endearing and complex, as well as, the storyline.

Alden Du Lac, once King of Cerniw, who loses everything, his kingdom, his people, his country and captured by an enemy, he didn’t see coming. They were supposed to be allies. He is tortured, beaten, whipped, sentence to death, and left hanging on a whipping post, bloodied and weakened.
Annis, only daughter of the Saxon King Cervix of Wessex, a cruel and brutal father, King and man. He was also supposed to be Alden’s ally, but he betrayed him, razed his Kingdom, and either killed or scattered his people.

Annis, defies her father, her King and her country to save Alden, the man she has loved from afar. Alden and Annis are on the run for their lives, hunted, betrayed but also find passion and love, along the way.
Steeped with treachery, betrayal, challenges, a father’s cruelty, secrets, conflicts, lies, deception, adversity, danger and so much more.

The resilience of Annis and Alden is simply captivating and mesmerizing!
Alden is presumed dead by some, his youngest brother missing, and it is hard to tell who is foe or friend.

An epic love story that will hold the reader in awe from the first page to the last and beyond. With political and court intrigue, bravery, honor, and love, it is simply hard to turn away from this fast paced, dangerous and magnificent treasure. Insufferable adversaries lurks, and dangers on every horizon for Alden and Annis. But these two strong, determined characters continue on though, the odds are against them, surviving.

Written flawlessly, uniquely and timelessly captivating! A timeless tale of Kings, love, sacrifice and honor. A breathtaking Historical Fiction, and one I’d highly recommend.

My only complaint, are the several unanswered questions. I think ithe will be amazing to learn the secrets of the families secrets. There is more to this story than meets the eye. No cliffhanger. A satisfying ending. But, Alden and Annis’ story continues in “The Pitchfork Rebellion: The Du Lac Chronicles” novella, available now Free.

I can’t wait for the next installment of “The Du Lac Chronicles”. Ms. Yarde has written an exceptional Historical Fiction based on Arthurian Legend. Well worth your time to read!
Received for an honest review. However, all opinions, insights and thoughts are my own personal opinions.

Rating: 4
Heat rating: Sweet-Mild *due to violence, no true graphic*
Reviewed by: AprilR

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52 LIKES~ MEDEIA SHARIF~ Meet Valerie, from 52 Likes…with excerpt and #giveaway…**14+ due to adult situations**

52 Likes tour banner-1Meet Valerie, from 52 Likes…

Valerie – Character Guest Post

If you asked me a year ago how I was doing, I would tell you I was miserable. I did something real stupid, something that gave everyone negative ideas. Boys in particular had the worst to say about me, but even the girls didn’t like me. I thought that this school year was going a bit better, that people were forgetting, but they weren’t. Then things got worse.

Something horrible happened to me a week ago, which only my mom, best friend, and a volunteer counselor know about in detail. Also the police, since I reported the crime. I was raped, and somehow classmates heard about it and are spreading twisted rumors about the incident. They made me look like the bad person…again.

With the help of some strange messages from I don’t know who, I’m getting closer to finding out who raped me, because I have a feeling the masked man is someone I know, someone who wants to finish the job. He didn’t just rape me, but also tried to kill me before someone stepped in. I’m fighting for my life.

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52likes cover

52 LIKES
Medeia Sharif
YA Paranormal/Evernight Teen/@ 47K
*Editor’s Pick*

After a brutal rape and near-murder, Valerie wants to get past feelings of victimhood from both the assault and her history of being bullied. Not knowing the identity of her masked rapist and dealing with the nasty rumors about that night are two things that plague her daily. 

Valerie will have to follow ghostly entities, past victims of the rapist-murderer, contacting her through a social media site. Why do all of their eerie photos have 52 likes under them? Their messages are leading her to the mystery man, although he’ll put up a fight to remain hidden.

14+ due to adult situations

Buy Links: Evernight Teen / Amazon / Omni Lit / BookStrand

 

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Excerpt:

52likes cover
With the girls closest to me, I see their Picomatic profile page, which is a reminder that I have a direct message on there. “Did you DM me on Picomatic?” I whisper to Cookie.
She shakes her head, briefly looking up from her notebook. I should be writing too, but can’t concentrate on the five questions Ms. Garland wrote on the board. She’s seated behind her desk as a student approaches her to ask a question. The student is blocking her face, so she can’t see me at all. During times like these, when teachers are busy, I whip out my phone.
I slide my phone out of my pocket and into my lap. It used to be a wonderful distraction that entertained me during boring lectures and educational videos. Seeing others on Picomatic, I’m now dying to know what the DM is about. Even if it’s an inappropriate or harassing one, I need to see it. If it upsets me, I’ll report it as spam. If it’s extremely bad, pertaining to that night, I have to tell someone, even though last year the school didn’t do much in the way of protecting me from the trio, which was the quartet back then since Hector would play their vicious games.
I open my Picomatic page. Selfies abound, some from a few seconds ago. Most pictures are from P.E. or some other class where teachers don’t supervise as much. Some people are taking pictures of work that has been graded, bragging about A’s or criticizing teachers who gave them F’s. I tap the corner, where the direct messages are. If it’s a graphic with THOT or some other message on it, I need to know that’s not who I am. I never was. Be brave, I urge myself.
There’s a DM from someone named 2beautiful. I can’t recall any friends who use that handle. Where the profile pic should be, there’s a close-up of an eye. The eye is lined, with heavy mascara and purple and blue eye shadow. It’s an attractive picture, although eye pics can be deceiving. Sometimes the rest of the person isn’t as pretty. I don’t recognize this eye, although anyone’s eye can be transformed like this with the right makeup.
I scroll down to see the picture message she sent me. I frown, unsure of what this is, who this is. It’s almost pornographic, but not really since it’s just a sliver of skin, although there’s a hint of the girl’s V between her legs.
The picture is of a slender, yet curvaceous naked hip. The bone protrudes slightly and I can tell the girl is pear-shaped. I’m also pear-shaped, which is especially noticeable around Christmas time when I gain five pounds from eating too much during winter break.
This photo of a girl’s hip has 52 likes. I gasp. Is it a photo of me? Did someone take a picture of me at home or in the shower? Then I think back to the rape, of the flashes of light…I thought it was lightning, but I could be wrong. He had pulled me down to the floor and knocked me around. The room was dark. Maybe I didn’t notice every single thing he had done to me. Had the rapist photographed me?

***

Author Bio:

I’m a Kurdish-American author who was born in New York City, and I presently call Miami my home. I received my master’s degree in psychology from Florida Atlantic University. After becoming a voracious reader in high school and a relentless writer dabbling in many genres in college, I found my niche writing for young people. Today I’m a MG and YA writer published through various presses. In addition to being a writer, I’m a middle school English teacher. My memberships include Mensa, ALAN, and SCBWI.

Website: http://www.medeiasharif.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sharifwrites
Instagram: http://instagram.com/sharifwrites
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4086531.Medeia_Sharif

Giveaway: $25 Amazon Gift Card

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COVER REVEAL: “THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD BY LEAH RAE MILLER…..

MBA&M AND ENTANGLED PUBLISHING PROUDLY PRESENTS….

COVER REVEAL: FOR LEAH RAE MILLER FROM ….

*All information,images from the publisher*

Entangled Publishing

Entangled Teen  will be hosting a Marked-to-Read contest on Goodreads in the weeks leading up to THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD’s release on May 7, 2013. Watch Leah’s site, http://leahraemillerblog.blogspot.com/, for details on how to submit/enter to win.
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Links:
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Click the cover to view the larger image.

On the outside, seventeen-year-old Madelyne Summers looks like your typical blond cheerleader—perky, popular, and dating the star quarterback. But inside, Maddie spends more time agonizing over what will happen in the next issue of her favorite comic book than planning pep rallies with her squad. That she’s a nerd hiding in a popular girl’s body isn’t just unknown, it’s anti-known. And she needs to keep it that way.

Summer is the only time Maddie lets her real self out to play, but when she slips up and the adorkable guy behind the local comic shop’s counter uncovers her secret, she’s busted. Before she can shake a pom-pom, Maddie’s whisked into Logan’s world of comic conventions, live-action role-playing, and first-person-shooter video games. And she loves it. But the more she denies who she really is, the deeper her lies become…and the more she risks losing Logan forever.

Leah Rae Miller
Born and raised in northern Louisiana, Leah Rae Miller still lives there on a windy hill with her husband and kids. She loves comic books, lava lamps, fuzzy socks, and Cherry Coke. She spends most of her days reading things she likes and writing things she hopes other people will like.
Entangled Teen is an imprint of Entangled Publishing, an exclusive, boutique publisher of romantic fiction. Located in Fort Collins, Colorado, Entangled’s goal is to bridge the gap between traditional and indie publishing, giving both readers and authors the best of both worlds.Get more information at our website.

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We hope you have enjoyed our cover reveal today. Please stop Leah’s website for more details on the upcoming contest.

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