Welcome to Book Lovers Paradise

Welcome to my attempt at blogging. I am a true to heart bibliophile. Here I will discuss and review books as I read them. You are welcome to do the same. The only rules are no profanity, no politics, no religion, and have fun!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Marissa Campbell, author of AVELYNN....Guest post

Today we turn BOOKLOVER'S PARADISE over to Marissa Campbell, author of AVELYNN, for a quick guest post.

The Perils of Writing Historical Fiction
Steering clear of anachronisms is a pretty big deal to those of us writing historical fiction. We are constantly battliTng how to stay true to a particular time period despite writing to a modern audience. Word usage and character traits are two of the biggest red flags when writing historical fiction, i.e., which words are considered acceptable and which ones are not, and is a character thinking and behaving in a way that reflects the world they inhabit. For example, you wouldn’t have a character in the 1600s utter the word ‘Gadzooks!” and then cruise Main Street on their horse trying to pick up chicks. ;)
Here is the definition of Anachronism according to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED): Anything done or existing out of date; hence, anything which was proper to a former age, but is, or, if it existed, would be, out of harmony with the present; also called a practical anachronism. Also transf. of persons. Circa 1646
Avelynn is set in the year 869. Since writing in Old English would make the story inaccessible to a modern reader, I chose to broker a compromise. For Avelynn, I constantly consulted the OED and deemed any word in usage before the 1700s to be acceptable and fair game. In some wild and unprecedented cases, a word not used until the 1800s was more appropriate, and I threw caution to the wind and penned it.
Style of writing is another consideration. Some authors believe historical fiction should not have any contractions in the prose—no ‘didn’t’, ‘shouldn’t’, or ‘can’t’. There is nothing wrong with this approach, but personally, to my ears, had I written Avelynn that way, the narrative would have felt stuffy and pedantic. However, in saying that, I chose to make Alrik’s dialogue void of contractions. I did this to reflect the difference in language from Norse to English. I wanted his dialogue to be unique and strong (just like him :).
Another difficulty with writing historical fiction is putting strong heroines in eras and times long gone by. With Avelynn, I picked a time when women still had some power—a time when a tenacious, spitfire of a character might just fit in. Anglo-Saxon England presented me with just such a time and place. Before the Norman Conquest, women had some control and influence in their communities. They could rule kingdoms; fight at the head of armies, leading their men into battle; they could ignore their powerful fathers’ wishes and elope; they could dispute a marriage at Council and win a divorce; they could hold land and chattel and bequeath their possessions to their children; and the bride-price, a dowry of sorts, was theirs and theirs alone, no one could take it away from them. Their political sway and power was waning with the passage of time and the rise of the Catholic Church, but even the church provided some support, advocating for women’s fair treatment in marriage and divorce laws.
I spent six months alone just researching the period before I put a single word onto the page, and the research continued right up until I wrote ‘The End.’

Even the pagan elements of Avelynn’s faith were not entered into lightly. While England was predominantly Christian amongst the clergy and nobility, the peasants were another matter entirely. Charms and spells were uttered over fields using pagan language, and relief from sickness and disease was as much a placebo of faith in the leech’s ability to banish demons as from his knowledge of herbs and tonics. In a world where elf shots caused disease and witches uttered hexes and curses, magic was still very much alive and well in Anglo-Saxon England, and Avelynn was eager to play her part in all that.
I endeavoured to make Avelynn fun and accessible, giving readers a strong sense of the period and a story that resonates long after their eyes linger across the final page. I hope readers enjoy the trip in to the dark ages!
In gratitude,
Marissa xo

Thank you, Marissa.   Hope everyone enjoyed...

Tuesday, September 8, 2015



Avelynn by Marissa Campbell

Publication Date: September 8, 2015 St. Martin's Press Formats: eBook, Paperback, Hardcover Pages: 320 ISBN13: 978-1250063939 Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance
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   One extraordinary Saxon noblewoman and one fearless Viking warrior find passion and danger in this dazzling and sensuous debut. Marissa Campbell's debut novel is a winning combination of romance, history, and adventure sure to appeal to fans of Diana Gabaldon. It is 869. For eighteen years, Avelynn, the beautiful and secretly pagan daughter of the Eadlorman of Somerset has lived in an environment of love and acceptance. She hasn't yet found a man to make her heart race, but her father has not pressured her to get married. Until now. With whispers of war threatening their land, her father forces Avelynn into a betrothal with Demas, a man who only covets her wealth and status. The dreaded marriage looming, she turns to her faith, searching for answers in an ancient ritual along the coast, only to find Alrik the Blood-Axe and sixty Viking berserkers have landed. Alrik is unlike any man she has ever known, strong and intriguing. Likewise, he instantly falls for her beauty and courage. The two stumble into a passionate love affair, but it's more than just a greedy suitor who will try to keep them apart. As the Saxons and Vikings go to war, Avelynn and Alrik find themselves caught in the throes of fate. Can they be true to their people as well as to each other?



"Marissa Campbell brings a long-forgotten era splendidly to life in this adventurous and passionate debut." - Susanna Kearsley, New York Times bestselling author

 "Avelynn is a captivating tale of star-crossed lovers. He is a Viking and she is a Saxon. Their struggle to be together will lead you on an exciting journey through a background filled with rich and detailed description." - Connie Mason, New York Times bestselling author of Viking Warrior

"Marissa Campbell's Avelynn is a fast-paced, rollicking historical novel whose irresistible heroine starts out as the willful daughter of a Saxon earl and evolves into a warrior and leader, as fierce as she is passionate." - Barbara Rogan, author of A Dangerous Fiction and Suspicion

 "A hot-blooded tale of Viking invasion, Saxon valor, and a love that conquers kingdoms. Get ready to be bewitched by the bold, brave Avelynn." - Barbara Kyle, author of The Queen's Exiles


my thoughts

Avelynn is a delightfully strong Saxon noblewoman.  She is living during a time of  Viking raids.  Those Vikings, a frightful bunch of marauders, killers and vicious thugs are invading everywhere.  Well, Avelynn meets her match with one of those strange Vikings who just happens to be surprisingly civilized.   

Alrik is an educated, charming, and handsome viking.  He displayed traits Avelynn was led to believe were absent in the vicious vikings.   Alrik is an anomaly.  There are plenty of nasty rotten vikings in this story.  Lots of bloody battles. Killers, murderers...from both sides of the battleground.  

There is romance, war, and plenty of intrigue in this story.  Religious changes consistent with the times are well explained.  We meet Christians, pagans and one very special Druid.  I have a soft spot for the Druids.

The love story part of the book is a bit overdone.  I can't imagine a great deal of romance with a warrior viking, but I'm not certain this particular romance was believable.

Marissa Campbell has created a charming, elegant, suspenseful tale.  The characters are well developed.  You, as a reader, truly feel that you get to know each and every person.  Let me tell you, some of the characters will make your hair stand on end!  Others will make you cheer.  

Overall, I think this was a mesmerizing story.  For a debut novel, it's a gem.   I look forward to more by Marissa Campbell.


03_Marissa Campbell_Author

Marissa Campbell is a published freelance author, and co-author of the award-winning, spiritual self-help book Life: Living in Fulfillment Every Day. Look for her debut historical fiction Avelynn coming September 8th, 2015, from St. Martin's Press. Currently, hard at work on the second book in the Avelynn series, she is a proud member of the Historical Novel Society, Romance Writers of America, Writer's Community of Durham Region, and local critique group B7. When she is not writing, she is busy looking after her wonderful children, spending time with her fantastic husband, hanging out with her awesome friends, teaching yoga, dancing, laughing, and having fun! For more information visit http://marissacampbell.com. You can also follow Marissa Campbell on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


Monday, September 7 Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book! Tuesday, September 8 Review at A Chick Who Reads Review & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Obsession Wednesday, September 9 Review at Book Lovers Paradise Excerpt at What Is That Book About Review & Giveaway at Unshelfish Thursday, September 10 Interview at Unshelfish Guest Post at Book Lovers Paradise Friday, September 11 Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book Saturday, September 12 Excerpt & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More Sunday, September 13 Review at Genre Queen Monday, September 14 Review at Ageless Pages Reviews Tuesday, September 15 Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee Friday, September 18 Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection Spotlight at Romantic Historical Reviews Monday, September 21 Interview & Excerpt at Oh, for the Hook of a Book! Tuesday, September 22 Review at Just One More Chapter Wednesday, September 23 Review at Curling up by the Fire Thursday, September 24 Review & Giveaway at 100 Pages a Day Sunday, September 27 Review at A Bibliotaph's Reviews Monday, September 28 Review at CelticLady's Reviews Tuesday, September 29 Review at Jorie Loves a Story Review & Giveaway at Reading Lark Wednesday, September 30 Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books Interview at Jorie Loves a Story Thursday, October 1 Review & Giveaway at A Literary Vacation Friday, October 2 Review at The True Book Addict

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