INTERVIEW WITH NADIA L KING

I am delighted to welcome Nadia L King to my blog today.

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Nadia is an author from Perth, Australia. Today we’re discussing her foray into the world of bullying.

 

Welcome Nadia

ER  Your debut book, Jenna’s Truth, has been very successful. What was your inspiration for it?

NLK    About this time last year, I came across a video on Youtube which literally broke my heart. It was a video posted by a fifteen-year-old girl sharing her story of being bullied. The girl was Amanda Todd and her life ended in suicide. I couldn’t not respond to the death of this bright and lively girl. I had to do something and so I tried to make sense of this tragedy by writing a story which of course, was the birth of Jenna’s Truth.

ER   Bullying is something that is age-old. Do you think it’s worse now with Internet and social media?

NLK   I believe that cyberbullying is far more insidious than traditional bullying. Not only does it allow perpetrators a degree of anonymity but it also provides them with a far broader audience. Cyberbullies have the ability to ceaselessly torment their victims at any time of day or night. It is difficult to escape from cyberbullies. Amanda Todd moved house a number of times and the cyberbully tracked her down each time. Thankfully, here in Australia we have tough anti-cyberbullying legislation and we even have The Office of The Children’s eSafety Commissioner. https://esafety.gov.au/cyberbullyingcomplaint

ER  Has Jenna’s Truth taken you to places you never imagined going, both emotionally and physically into places such as schools?

NLK   Jenna’s Truth seems to have taken on a life of its own. Elizabeth Gilbert talks about stories having lives of their own in Big Magic and it certainly rings true for Jenna’s Truth. The story is being taught in a number of schools in a couple of countries and it looks as if it will soon be adapted for the stage. It will be more than thrilling to watch Jenna’s Truth on stage. I’m quite flabbergasted when I think how far this short (only 6,000 word) story has gone. It has also meant that I have had to overcome my fear of public speaking.

ER  What aspirations do you have for Jenna’s Truth?

NLK   Ultimately, I want to see Jenna’s Truth be included in the curriculum in my home State of Western Australia. I am keen for dialogue to occur in the classroom and for teens to know there is always a way out. I can’t bear to think there are kids out there who aren’t having this conversation; that there are kids out there who are suiciding because they have been cyber-bullied.

ER  Is there anything you’d like to say to anyone who finds themselves a victim of bullying?

NLK   Don’t let them win. You are precious and special and we need you in the world. You are not alone and somebody wants to help you. Please call the Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800.

ER   What are you working on now?

NLK   I’m really excited to be starting a brand new project. My first full-length novel (I’ll try to get past 6,000 words this time :)), I’m still in the research phase but I plan to write a YA novel where the main protagonist is a 16-year-old male struggling with his sexuality. I’ll keep you posted on my progress!

 

Thank you so much for joining me today, Nadia. I wish you continuing success with Jenna’s Truth and good luck with your new work.

 

Australian author, Nadia L King, was born in Dublin, Ireland. She has a background in journalism and media relations, and has written for magazines in Europe, Australia, and the US. She reads voraciously and enthusiastically, and inhales books the same way her Labrador inhales her dog biscuits. Nadia is an overexcited person who adores words, loves writing short stories and keeps a blog at nadialking.wordpress.com. Her writing has been described as “raw, real and heart-wrenching.” Her first book, Jenna’s Truth, is published by Aulexic and is a powerful tool to arm teens against bullying. Nadia lives near the Swan River in Western Australia.

 

Connect with Nadia:

https://nadialking.wordpress.com

https://www.instagram.com/nadialking/

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorNadiaLKing/

https://twitter.com/NLKingauthor

https://www.aulexic.com.au/product/jennas-truth/

 

You can buy Jenna’s Truth https://www.aulexic.com.au/product/jennas-truth/

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Meet The Author: Abigail Shepherd

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Abigail Shepherd is the 29-year-old author of teen historical fiction novel Victoria’s Victorian Victory. Her other work has most recently been published by The Flash Fiction Press, and Mystery Weekly, and she has a regency romance series, Ask Me No Secrets, on channillo.com. She’s hoping her upcoming novel will encourage teenage girls to think about their futures, set goals for themselves, and insist on being treated with the respect they deserve. Her hobbies include fishing, napping, and drinking exceptionally good wine. She can be found on Instagram and Twitter as @abiwriting and blogs at bewritingblog.wordpress.com

I first met Abigail Shepherd approximately one year ago on Instagram, which has a thriving book community of authors and readers. During that time we have become friends.

It has been a pleasure to watch Abigail gain confidence and begin to shine. Now she has just released her new book Victoria’s Victorian Victory, a Young Adult historical novel set in the Victorian era.

I’m so  pleased to welcome Abigail Shepherd to my blog as a guest author. Abigail has written the article below, which looks at fashion in the Victorian times.

Welcome Abigail!

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The Victorian era lasted 64 years and saw almost as many changes in fashion as from the equivalent time today. The difference being, for most of that period, clothes were not purchased ready-made on the high street. Victorian women either paid a dressmaker if they could afford it, or made their own clothes. This meant many changes in fashion tended to involve things that could be added or altered on an existing dress. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why a woman’s silhouette received so much attention.

At the start of the era, women wore a crinoline (a stiffly hooped petticoat) under their skirts to make them wider. For the next decade or so these steadily increased in size, until they became a subject for jokes and cartoons like this one:

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During 1860’s the crinolette came into fashion. This is what the female characters in my book would have worn, though probably only to church in most cases. The crinolette was narrower at the front and sides, with all the extra fabric being gathered at the back. Therefore, a modern look could be achieved by simply replacing your crinoline with a crinolette, with no need to buy a new dress.
 Eventually, the crinolette evolved into the bustle, with extra material bunched at the back and the rest of the shape being extremely slim. A bustle shape could be homemade if necessary, with one maid reportedly making hers by tying on a number of dusters under her skirt! The bustle meant a decrease in popularity of the previously essential shawl, which was difficult to drape properly over it. This could be why at this period we see the bare shoulders give way to high collars, and the enormous puffed sleeves that Anne of Green Gables so longed for. The girls in my novel are yet to discover these joys, but no doubt when they see them they will be thrown into just such incomprehensible raptures. I wonder what they would make of our fashions today?
 In the late 1850’s a new type of dye was manufactured, using coal tar, and bright colours became the order of the day. Magenta, emerald, crimson and puce were all popular choices. We would certainly find them rather garish now! But, who knows? Maybe we will all be wearing them again at some point in the future. I can’t see the crinoline, crinolette or bustle making a comeback anytime soon, however I think a strong case could be made for corsets, although not of course with the tight lacing the Victorians were famed for.
If one thing came over to me in my research into what my characters would be wearing, it’s that girls as a whole weren’t far different to what they are now. They wanted to look nice, which they equated with being fashionable. And whether that meant skirts so wide they could barely get through a door, or restricting their breathing by tightly laced corsets, the majority of them would go ahead and do just that. I’ll leave you to decide what the modern day equivalents might be!

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Link to sign up for my newsletter: https://bewritingblog.wordpress.com/contact/ All subscribers in January get a free prequel short story. 
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Abigail, thank you so much for that wonderful snapshot of Victorian fashion. When we think on it, I’m certain Victorian young women would have been as excited by the latest crinoline or bustle that young women are today of the latest fads.
I’m so pleased you stopped by. I wish you every success with Victoria’s Victorian Victory.

1920s Men’s Fashion

My new novel The Dragon Sleeps is set in Victoria, Australia in the 1920s. I recently did a post on women’s fashion from that era.

Men’s fashion was equally as stylish. It was influenced by the new heart-throbs of the silent films, although the term ‘silent films’ wasn’t used during that era. They were called ‘the flicks’ or ‘the pictures’.

Rudolph Valentino liked to set a style.

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Clark Gable shows an example of men’s hair styles that were slicked back and held in place with brilliantine cream.

John Gilbert wears the pencil-style moustache that was popular during the 1920s and 1930s. He was known as The Great Lover of the Silver Screen. The Merry Widow launched him to fame in 1925, and by 1928 he was the highest paid actor in Hollywood.

Benedict Archer in The Dragon Sleeps looks like John Gilbert, or so Edith claims.

Men in the 1920s wore suits and, at least the highly fashionable ones, wore many accessories. There were so many types  of hats (here we see fedoras, straw boaters, and Newsboy hats).

Below shows the Porkpie hat that Sergeant Smith wears when he accompanies Alexandra and Edith to the Victorian State Library.

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Canes were popular accessories as well as small rings, tie pins, and collar pins. Three-piece suits were also worn – one for every occassion.

Shoes were very stylish, with examples here of brogues, two-tones, white tennis shoes and the exquisite art deco shoes.

Even the working man and boy liked to don hats, ties and jackets.

The Parry and Brady men in The Dragon Sleeps would have worn similar outfits.

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This could easily be one of the Parry boys in The Dragon Sleeps caring for the horses.

 

I hope you enjoyed looking at male attire in the 1920s.

The Dragon Sleeps is available in paperback or as an e-book on:

Amazon

Amazon – Australia

Booktopia

Angus & Robertson

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

iBooks

I’d love to hear from you. To follow me go on to:

Instagram

Facebook

Goodreads

 

 

The Thornton Mysteries – Book Two

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I’m excited to be working on research for book two of The Thornton Mysteries. Next week I’m heading down to Victoria to do research for the location/setting of the story. Thornton Park, as the family home, will still feature but some of the story will be in Daylesford, a beautiful village in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range. 

The Thornton Mysteries

It was originally my intention to have my newly released novel The Dragon Sleeps as a stand-alone book. As I drew close to the ending, I started to think that I should write a second book. Through all the editing, proof-reading and finally the publishing, I still hadn’t made up my mind. I had another novel I was working on and I really wanted to finish it.

I had no sooner given approval for the printing of The Dragon Sleeps, than I thought, of course I must write a second book!

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Since then I’ve decided to write at least two more books. They will be under the series title of The Thornton Mysteries. Each book will have a separate title, with it’s own mystery. The thread linking them will be Alexandra’s personal story.

Thornton Park  will remain the focal point of the lives of Alexandra, Benedict, Edith and Thomas, Alexandra’s father. However, the second book will also be in Daylesford, Victoria. Daylesford is a beautiful town located in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range,  approximately 115 kilometres north-west of Melbourne. It’s principally known for it’s spas, and it has many antique stores and art galleries.

The scenery in the district is pure postcard stuff!

I am going to love writing about this beautiful place. My story will be still set in the 1920s and I can’t wait to bring Daylesford to life in this exciting era. To make certain that I achieve this, in January, I’m going to Victoria and will stay at Daylesford to do some research.

I’ll be taking heaps of photos and I will feature some of them here, on Instagram and Facebook.

I hope you’ll follow me on my journey to create the second Thornton Mystery.

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The Town Hall, one of Daylesford’s beautiful buildings.

 

1920s Fashion – dresses, hats and hair

My new novel The Dragon Sleeps is set in Victoria, Australia in the 1920s. I had such fun in so many ways,  writing in this era. One of these ways was the fashion. I take a look here at ladies fashion.

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These dresses were the rage in 1927 and 1928.

Hemlines were shortened, while waistline were lowered.

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The 1920’s were a turning point for women. The Great War (WWI) had ended and women had become more independent. During the war, they had gone out to work for the first time.

With their new found independence, women wanted to cut ties with the old feminine images of the past.

Hair was cut short into ‘Bobs’ or styled into ‘finger waves’, so-called because the hair was dampened and fingers and comb were used to create this look.

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The cloche hat, in all its variations, was the hat of the 1920s. It clung to the head and was pulled down on to the forehead. Sometimes the cloche hat featured a brim, with flowers or feathers decorating the sides. Add pearls, beads or feathers, and the cloche could even be worn in the evening.

The woman with the golden curls and green hat – Copyright 2012 Tracy J Butler

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Stylish Art Deco hats pins  were used to keep hats in place.  The pins were surprisingly strong and sharp.                                  Alexandra and Edith, in my story, wear hat pins like these.

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This is a fabulous example of 1920s evening wear, complete with finger waves.

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These are Tabard-style evening dresses. They are typically a sheer beaded overlay, with a silk chiffon shift of the same colour or contrasting colour beneath. Tabards frequently featured low backs and thin straps.

Alexandra wears a tabard dress in The Dragon Sleeps.

The bias cut was popularized, which allowed the fabric to hang and drape in sinuous folds and stretch over the contours of a woman’s figure. The beauty of the bias cut was that the dress could be pulled on and off with ease.

It heralded the free-form look of many gowns in the 1920s.

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Chanel’s black evening dresses with huge transparent draperies.

Molyneux’s transparent printed dresses with full scalloped skirts and arm draperies.

Paquin’s acid green moire dresses with a V-neck and bulk at the hip.

source –Vintage Fashion Sourcebook – Carlton Books

The modern ‘myth’ of the ‘flapper’ party dress is more a relic of the 1960’s revival. In fact, generally the hemline was below the knee. Women enjoyed the swishing of the softer more feminine fabrics against their legs. Silk, velvet and taffeta were the favoured fabrics.

Many gowns were designed with the new dances in mind. Freedom of movement was important.

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A page from the Ladies Home Journal, May 1927

The Dragon Sleeps Released

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The day has finally arrived. My book is released.

It’s available on Amazon as paperback and eBook. Apple iBooks, Kobo and other eBook retailers have the eBook. Paperback will be there soon. The paperback will also be in Australian bookshops soon.

 

 

The Dragon Sleeps – My new novel

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Published on Friday 4th November 2016

in Paperback and eBook.

I hope you’ll enjoy it.

A Dragon statue. An ancient sword.

What treasure is worth killing for?

It’s 1927 in Victoria, Australia. A hedonistic time after the Great War when young people knew they could enjoy life without the threat of war hanging over them. A time when women have more options opened to them.

There is a weekend house party at Thornton Park and Alexandra Thornton thinks it will be a good time to break the news to her father that she wants to be an antiques dealer, like him, her grandfather and great-grandfather before her.

Only a small number of people are invited. Amongst the guests are Zhang Huo, the Chinese antiques dealer who, with his son, has brought a Ming dragon statue from China for Thomas Thornton.

Benedict Archer, who is manager of Thornton Antiques in Melbourne and who has been secretly helping Alexandra learn more about her family business, is also invited. Alexandra asks Benedict and Edith Blackburn, her friend since childhood, to be with her when she approaches her father.

When Edith claims that Benedict is in love with her, Alexandra can’t believe it. In all the time they’d been at Thornton Antiques together, he’d never said a word. Now, Alexandra looks at him differently. Can it be true?

Then a body found in the orchard and, before the weekend is over, a priceless artefact is stolen.

Alexandra is determined to discover how these things are connected to the Ming dragon and the antiques her great-grandfather brought with him from Hong Kong so many years ago.

What secret has remained hidden at Thornton Park for the last eight years?

Review: Castle of Dreams by Elise McCune.

 

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“An enthralling novel of love, betrayals, loss and family secrets”

A ruined castle deep in the rainforest holds a secret that unites three generations of women: two sisters who find themselves in love with the same man as the Second World War rages and, decades later, a young woman determined to uncover the secrets in her grandmother’s hidden past.

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To start with Castle of Dreams has the most beautiful cover. I know many readers, my self included, who have bought books for cover-love. In this case, the story doesn’t disappoint.

Set in the Northern Queensland rainforest, it is an enchanting and compelling read.

It took me on a journey through the lives of three generations of women, revealing secrets and bitter betrayals, and ultimately the love that is the glue that held them together.

I think it’s special for me because, over the years, I’ve often been to the castle on which Elise McCune has based her story.

I highly recommend this book and eagerly anticipate Elise McCune’s next novel.

 

Review: The Wedding Shroud by Elisabeth Storrs

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Elisabeth Storrs resurrects the lost world of the Etruscans in her well-researched and captivating novel, The Wedding Shroud.

I love Historical Fiction and, while many stories have been written about Ancient Rome, I was delighted to read a book about the earlier Etruscan culture, which is revealed through the eyes of the novel’s heroine, a young Roman woman named Caecilia.

I definitely recommend this book.
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In 406 BC, to seal a tenuous truce, the young Roman Caecilia is wedded to Vel Mastarna, an Etruscan nobleman from Veii. Leaving her militaristic homeland, Caecilia is determined to remain true to Roman virtues while living among the sinful Etruscans. But, despite her best intentions, she is seduced by a culture that offers women education, independence, sexual freedom, and an empowering religion.

Enchanted by Veii but terrified of losing ties to Rome, Caecilia performs rites to delay becoming a mother, thereby postponing true entanglement. Yet as she develops an unexpected love for Mastarna, she’s torn between her birthplace and the city in which she now lives. As war looms, Caecilia discovers Fate is not so easy to control, and she must choose where her allegiance lies.

The Wedding Shroud is the first book in the series A Tale of Ancient Rome. Subsequent books in the series include The Golden Dice and Call to Juno.