Tag Archives: medieval

Review by Nancy Jardine for “Lady Gwendolyn”

I’d like to share my review of Magnolia Belle’s excellently written ‘Lady Gwendolyn’. This is a 5*, action packed, adventure set in the Middle Ages.

“Magnolia Belle plunges the reader immediately into a dangerous journey, one that is fraught with deception and treachery. Yet, this initial journey is only one of many – betrayal and a degree of confusion a continuing thread throughout the plot. Lady Gwendolyn and her maids, Madeleine and Ruth, find themselves perilously set upon and are embroiled in a trap that becomes filled with all the horror and bloodshed that can often be expected in novels set in the Middle Ages.

The detail throughout the novel is vivid and richly accurate, the locations straddling the border between Scotland and England.
At times, the current situation calls on characters, main and secondary, to act according to their conscience though they are torn about doing their duty to their liege lord. In Lord Richard’s case, he has some maturing to do very quickly to ensure the best for the people who are under his care…and for the lady he genuinely loves.
Magnolia Belle has created very believable characters, the developing relationships indicating just how constraining the era was in many ways regarding who might marry whom – according to their station and their contractual duties. I was very taken by the character of Beowyn, someone to rely on and wholeheartedly trust. Others were tainted, (no spoiler names here) and yet were redeemable. The little twists at the end bring the plot to a nice and tidy closure.
A very well written, and well edited novel, I can thoroughly recommend ‘Lady Gwendolyn’ to lovers of the medieval era.”

Let me introduce myself

I thought perhaps I should introduce my ‘author’ self.  Here is something I sent to fellow blogger Chris Graham today.

The pen name “Magnolia Belle” came from a dream of one day owning a riverboat that offered dinner, sultry jazz and hot R&B while floating down the Mississippi. Realizing I didn’t have the millions it’d take to get that dream off the ground, I took the name to write under. I figured it’d be one hard to forget. Plus, it’s as southern as I am.

I grew up in a military family and have lived in several U.S. states as well as the Orient. I graduated in 1978 from Tarleton State University, where, as editor of the University paper, I won first place in the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association Editorial competition in 1977. I am also a member of “Who’s Who Among Colleges and Universities” in 1977-78. A singer/songwriter and guitarist, I played with a band in the 1980s that made three albums. I currently lives in Texas with my husband.

Since 2005, I have written and coauthored several books.

The coauthored books are “Miko and Lil Onda Bus” and “Miko and Lil Onda Bus Again”, inspired by the lives of the three brothers in the Grammy winning band, Los Lonely Boys.  On the first day of starting a new tour, the Garzas find they have a talking mouse, Miko, living on their tour bus.  Miko finds his girlfriend Lil, moves her onto the bus with him, and teaches her to speak human.  Mayhem and hilarity ensue when ‘mousenappers’ want those talking mice! It was with Henry, Jo Jo and Ringo Garzas’ permission that the books were published.  All sales go to a SIDs charity.

The first series I wrote, “Black Wolf” involves the story of four Lakota brothers living in Austin, TX.  They have a rock band and have just signed with a national label when the series beings.  Through the four novels, readers see how their world explodes and how they try to keep their equilibrium.  The novels are “Black Wolf: Lakota Man”, “Black Wolf at Rosebud,” “Black Wolf on Tour” and “Black Wolf: Loco Lobo”.

The second series, “T’on Ma”, is historical fiction set along the Texas/Oklahoma border in beginning in 1850.  The Cooper family homesteads land about an hour north of what is now Abilene, TX.  When a Kiowa warrior and an Army lieutenant both fall in love with Lana Cooper, a story unfolds that carries them through the Indian and Civil wars. The three novels are “T’on Ma”, “Kuy Syan Joshua” and “Little Wolf Ranch.”

The first stand alone novel, “Tascosa” is a western set in what is now a ghost town in the panhandle of Texas.  It describes the life and adventures of a young woman, Amanda Clark, who moves to the lawless town without knowing anyone.  She manages to carve a successful business for herself, but not without facing heartbreak.

The second stand alone  novel, “Lady Gwendolyn” has just been released.  It’s also historical fiction, but instead of Texas, it is placed in 12th century England and Scotland.  Bandits beset a caravan taking Lady Gwendolyn Hampton of England to marry Angus Dewar in Scotland.  In the confusion, she escapes, while the bandits think her maid, Madeleine, is her.  From one peril to another, Madeleine must keep the ruse in order to stay alive.

All books are available in paperback at major online stores such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  They are also available in all e-reader formats from Smashwords.com.  Autographed copies can be purchased through the author’s website, http://www.blackwolfbooks.com.

Here is the book trailer for “Lady Gwendolyn”…

Visualizing Characters

When I develop characters for a novel, it’s helpful if I can visualize them. Their habits and foibles become clearer, and mannerisms suggest themselves. To help with that, I go to sites such as iStock or Photo Xpress to find photos of my heroes and villains.  With my latest book, “Lady Gwendolyn”, I posted those pictures on my Pinterest page.  If you’d like to take a look at how I envision my medieval folks, here’s the link.

http://pinterest.com/blackwolfbooks/lady-gwendolyn-characters/

I’ve done this for most of my books.  It’s a lot of fun!