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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Queen Mary's Daughter by Emily-Jane Hills Orford - Book Tour - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Hello lovelies!  It gives me great pleasure today to host Emily-Jane Hills Orford and her new book, “Queen Mary’s Daughter”!  For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post – except the Available at Amazon picture.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!  Also, come back daily to interact with Emily-Jane and to increase your chances of winning!

Thanks for stopping by!  Wishing you lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!

Queen Mary's Daughter
by Emily-Jane Hills Orford


GENRE: Historical Fiction/Fantasy



There are so many possibilities that affect the course of history. One change, one small item overlooked, can make a world of difference, not only in a person's life, but in the history and well-being of an entire nation. And then there are those multiple scenarios of what if? What if King James VI of Scotland didn't succeed in amalgamating Scotland with England? What if there had been another heir to the throne of Scotland? One who would secure its independence? Would Scotland have remained free and independent and a nation of its own well into the twenty-first century? And would Scotland, this independent version, make its own decision to join the European Union when its southern neighbor was choosing to pull away?

"Queen Mary's Daughter" presents another plausible timeline, one that incorporates both historical fact and fiction with the endless possibilities of time travel.



As the wind picked up, blowing her deep red, unruly curls helter-skelter over her face, Mary Elizabeth’s eyes focused on her hands. She stretched out the left hand, revealing the old ring that sat on her baby finger. It was a tiny ring and it only fit on the one finger. At the same time Gran bestowed the heirloom gift on her granddaughter, she had shared her story of the ring, at least as much as she was willing to share. The ring had been in the family for generations and only the firstborn daughter of the firstborn daughter (and so on and so on) could wear it. The ring was her connection to a past she wasn’t sure she believed in, a past that had been shared from one generation to the next. Or was there more? Was there a story her grandmother never managed to share?

What would she find at Loch Leven Castle? The clues had to be there. But the boy said it was mostly ruins, crumbled walls and tumbled stones, except for the tower. Queen Mary’s tower. What could she possibly unearth to collaborate Gran’s story? And she only had two weeks to do it. She couldn’t afford more time away from work. Even though it was a poorly paid entry level job, she didn’t want to risk losing it.

A glow emanated from the ring on her outstretched hand. She felt a warmth spread up her arms. The wind picked up, violently tossing her hair in every direction, swishing her coat ends like laundry hanging loosely on a clothesline. She faced into the wind, allowing its vicious impact to draw her forward. She took a step, then another, until she felt the cold wet of the lapping waves of the loch splash over her feet. The water was cold; it jolted her back to reality. What was she doing walking into the loch? What was the strong pulse pulling her forward? She allowed her eyes to glance out across the loch, now almost obliterated by the darkened storm that raged all around her.

“Miss.” She heard a voice from behind her as the power continued to drag her into the loch.

“Miss!” A hand gripped her arm, yanking her back toward the dry shore. “Miss!” The hands tightened their hold as she tried to pull away, tried to return to the loch. A scream pierced the air. She didn’t know where the scream originated. It sounded like it came from across the water.

It also sounded like it came from deep within herself.

Another scream and everything went black.



Evolution of My Writing Habits and How I've Grown into a Better/More Experienced Writer

I am a writer. Therefore, I am immortal. Pretty powerful words for one such as I, relatively unknown (for now, but that will change, I hope). I am a storyteller, a descendent of many storytellers, a passionate believer in the simple fact that life is a story just waiting to be told. All that a life story needs is a writer to believe in the story, to believe in its worth, to write the story.

I have believed in that right from the beginning of my writing career. It’s what drives me to write more. To write better. And, to keep on writing. I have a lot of stories I want to tell. And, given my heritage, I have a talent for weaving a good tale and a vivid imagination (as my grandmother always told me) to carry it along.

I come from a long line of storytellers: my parents, my grandparents. They were all wonderful storytellers. My grandmother (we called her Gran) was an exceptional storyteller. Everything in her life was a story and she made her life into a story. She was cute, too, always starting her story with the line: “You know, Jean” (if she was talking to her daughter, my mother) or “You know, Emily” (if she was talking to me). We always knew that a story was coming when Gran said those special words: “You know,” especially when it continued with: “You know when I was your age...”

        Gran didn’t live with us. In fact, she lived in another town, about an hour-and-a-half away. She would come to visit about once or twice a month, taking the bus and, most likely, talking all the way to whomever she sat beside. (Needless to say, we heard all about her travelling companion as soon as she stepped off the bus.) She would stay with us for several days, talking nonstop from the moment she arrived until she walked out the door, of course, always starting with, “You know”. One time, as she was leaving, she turned to Mom and said, “You know, Jean, maybe next time I visit we’ll have time to sit down and chat.” And this statement after a week of long, nonstop, storytelling, all starting with, “You know”.

        In the end, yes, we did know a lot of Gran’s stories. By the time she was into her nineties, there were some stories that we knew better than others because she kept repeating them. It was at that point that I chose to write down what I remembered and to question Gran as much as I could to capture the other stories that she had shared so often in the past. I didn’t get them all and I’m still kicking myself today that I didn’t make a more permanent recording before she passed away. Sadly, some stories have been lost. Gran did keep a journal. We found some of them, dating as early as the 1920s, during her courting years, and others as late as the 1970s and 80s when she was doing a lot of traveling. There must have been more; but they are long gone. Gran believed in traveling light through life, a strong belief that you can’t take it with you so why keep it at all.

        Gran was the inspiration that launched my writing. I started writing memoirs and creative nonfiction. And, I started with Gran’s story, using my grandmother’s journals and my mother’s memories. I called it Personal Notes, the heading that I found on one of the notepads she used to write her journal entries. My grandmother’s stories and my mother’s stories, which I have also published in a creative nonfiction book, F-Stop: A Life in Pictures, are important stories to share. My mother was a very energetic and creative individual. She raised a family, taught elementary school, did countless creative projects and inspired a whole generation of like-minded creative individuals. Photography was her forte and I called her story F-Stop, using the lens adjustment of ‘real’ cameras (before digitals took over) as a metaphor for her life. In fact, F-Stop could be a metaphor of anyone’s life, as we all go through our lives making adjustments as we go along.

        These stories, my stories, can be defined, described as creative nonfiction: writing a story about a real event, a real person, a real life. Writing, after all, reflects our lives, our individuality, our personalities. Writing, (whether it’s fiction or nonfiction) is about us, ourselves.

        Perhaps the ideal of writing what we know, writing about ourselves, our families, our lives, will not guarantee manuscript sales. However, it does guarantee that, in our writing, we are true to ourselves. We have to remember that what we write is permanent and we should ask ourselves if we want future generations to read, to really read, all that we have written. If we can truthfully answer ‘yes’, then we have found our inner voice, our writer’s voice.

        I have to believe that I am being true to myself as I venture from one story-writing adventure to another. The world is full of stories just waiting to be told. On a recent CBC radio interview, I was asked why I thought my mother’s story was so important, why my mother’s life was so significant that I should write an entire book. When I was submitting my grandmother’s story, years ago, I frequently received rejection letters from big-name publishers telling me that they would only consider a biography of a famous person. My argument since then has been, how many books do we really need about famous people, when there are so many un-famous, more than ordinary, extra-ordinary, beyond the ordinary lives whose stories should be, need to be told. These are the stories that make our world, that define our world and our lives; these are the stories that describe who we are. Extra-ordinary people – we are all extra-ordinary, we all have a story to tell, our story.

I still love the mellow, soothing aura of storytelling and many of my stories, though sometimes delving into the realms of fantasy and science fiction, still use my own childhood memories, my fascination with history and all that I have enjoyed writing about in the past.

        I continue to write little snippets of family stories and memoirs which I publish in various online and print journals, including https://insteading.com/ and http://www.curiousguide.ca/. I seem to be branching off into the realm of possibilities: fantasies and science fiction, but all with a foot firmly planted in my roots, my family and my vivid imagination. “Queen Mary’s Daughter” evolved from my shared passion with my grandmother for Scottish history. My recently released Middle Grade fantasy novel, “Mrs. Murray’s Ghost” (TellTale Publishing), explores my memories, dreams and fantasies of growing up in a haunted house.

        My writing has evolved as my interests expanded. As a book reviewer, I read all genres of books. These books inspire me. As do my creative writing students, of all ages. So much imagination. So many ideas to explore. The realms of possibilities are endless.

        Most importantly, I keep focused on my writing. Every day. Regardless of the number of rejections I receive, I keep writing. My word, my written word is eternal. As I reach out to find my inner voice, my own unique, individual voice, I frequently ask myself, what is it that makes a life so special? For me, all life is special. Real and imaginary. Neither my mother nor my grandmother was rich and famous. Perhaps the ‘special’-ness of these people is the simple act of someone believing in them enough to write their stories, making that special person immortal. For the written word is eternal.



Emily-Jane Hills Orford is an award-winning author of several books, including Gerlinda (CFA 2016) which received an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, To Be a Duke (CFA 2014) which was named Finalist and Silver Medalist in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and received an Honorable Mention in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards. She writes about the extra-ordinary in life and her books, short stories, and articles are receiving considerable attention. For more information on the author, check out her website at: http://emilyjanebooks.ca.








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Emily-Jane will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

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This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.