The Swan's Road by Garth Pettersen.

Welcome to Garth Pettersen, my fellow Tirgearr author.

Garth's fabulous sounding book, The Swan's Road, is released today.  This is definitely one going on my 'To Be Read' pile!

I'll let Garth tell you all about it.

In the eleventh century, Cnute, the Viking king of Engla-lond and Scandinavia, sails with his son, Harald, and his shield brothers to Rome. Thrown off course by a storm, they follow the route up the Rhine. When Harald hangs back to assist Selia, a beautiful Frisian woman, his path turns perilous. Newfound enemies, retainers of Robert the Devil, Duke of Normandy, pursue them. Harald, Selia, and their companions fail to rendezvous with King Cnute, and are forced to travel cross-country on horseback. If Duke Robert's plan to assassinate Cnute succeeds, an invasion of Engla-lond will follow. Can Harald and Selia reach Rome in time to warn the King?

             Garth Pettersen is a Canadian writer who lives in the Fraser Valley near Vancouver, British Columbia. When he's not writing, he's riding horses and working with young, disabled riders.Garth's short stories have appeared in a number of anthologies, and in journals such as Blank SpacesThe Spadina Literary ReviewandThe Opening Line Literary 'Zine. His story River's Rising was awarded an Honourable Mention for the Short Story America 2017 Prize, and his fantasy novella, River Born, was one of two runners-up in the Wundor Editions (UK) Short Fiction Prize. His debut novel, The Swan's Road will be released November 15th, by Tirgearr Publishing.


Welcoming Paula Martin

Today I am welcoming my good friend, the wonderful author Paula Martin.  Many readers, including myself, have loved her Mist Na Mara series set in beautiful Connemara.  If you haven't read these yet, I highly recommend them.

Setting my novels in Ireland

I prefer to set my novels in places I know, or at least have visited, and as I’ve done quite a lot of travelling, I have a wide choice of possible locations. In a sense, however, I don’t actually ‘choose’ because as soon as I start thinking about a story, it seems to decide its own setting.

That was certainly the case with ‘Irish Inheritance’. Although my original idea grew from an article about a Paris apartment which had been abandoned over 70 years ago, I knew my story would be set in Ireland, not in Paris. I even had the first few sentences in my mind:
“A house in Ireland?” Jenna Sutton stared over the mahogany desk at the lawyer. “Someone I’ve never heard of has left me a house in Ireland?”

I then had to make a decision about exactly where in Ireland this house was going to be, but that was fairly easy to decide, as the part of Ireland I know and love most is the west coast – especially the counties of Galway, Clare, and Mayo.

Clifden Bay
 I deliberately kept the exact location of the house fairly vague, apart from saying it was a couple of miles from the small town of Clifden in Connemara, the western part of County Galway. 

Even though I knew there were no large Victorian houses in the specific area I was actually imagining, I used artistic licence to locate ‘my’ house overlooking Clifden Bay.

Killiney Bay, near Dalkey

When Jenna and Guy, my hero and heroine, take a trip across Ireland to the east coast, I was able to draw on my own similar trips, and so they visited some of the places I’ve visited, such the remains of the medieval Glendalough monastery, the wild area of the Wicklow Mountains, and the small town of Dalkey.

For ‘Irish Intrigue’, the first spin-off story from ‘Irish Inheritance’, I needed a small village not far from Clifden, and so I ‘invented’ a village and named it Skelleen. When one of my readers said she had studied a map but couldn’t find Skelleen, I had to admit that I’d actually amalgamated two different villages by ‘moving’ one from County Mayo and linking it to another in Connemara! Artistic licence again.

I used my own photos of various Irish locations to help me set the scenes, and Google’s ‘Street View’ was a godsend for refreshing my memory of many places. In fact, by the time I visited Clifden again while I was writing the fourth book in the series, I’d ‘driven’ around the town so many times with Street View that I knew the place like the back of my hand.

I did, however, take my friend on a ‘special excursion’ to a retail park in Galway, simply because I wanted to see where one of my characters would need to park his car to watch for someone leaving the cinema! Fortunately, she’s a fan of my Irish books so she didn’t mind.

Knowing my setting allows me to see places in my mind while I am writing and, hopefully, that helps my readers experience these places, too – just like one of the first reviewers of ‘Irish Inheritance’ who wrote, “I felt that I was there with them.”

The Mist Na Mara series is currently available for pre-order at the special price of 99cents/99pence for each book until November 13th. Links for all 4 books can be found at (Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Nook)

Paula Martin lives near Manchester in North West England and has two daughters and two grandsons.
She had some early publishing success with four romance novels and several short stories, but then had a break from writing while she brought up a young family and also pursued her career as a history teacher for twenty-five years. She has recently returned to writing fiction, after retiring from teaching, and is thrilled to have found publishing success again with her contemporary romances.
Apart from writing, she enjoys visiting new places. She has travelled extensively in Britain and Ireland, mainland Europe, the Middle East, America and Canada. Her other interests include musical theatre and tracing her family history.

Amazon author page:

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