I got Mark Noce's book, Between Two Fires, on early release from Net Galley. I started it a few days ago, and I honestly hate putting it down. It's not because it's a historical, and I love history. It's not because it is action packed with wars between kingdoms, bitter feuds, and traitors in the mix.
I mean all of that is excellent. But it's not what keeps me reading.
For me, it's all about the love. Blended in with all the goodness above is a wonderfully enticing love story. And I am all about the romance.
Okay, okay, so sometimes in the book world, it isn't cool to be into romance. I sat on a panel of authors discussing romance writing and several admitted, they either never considered reading romance until they decided to write it. Or they started reading romance early on, but would hide their "trash" novel inside another, more respectable book.
Not me. Unapologetic romantic here. I've been devouring romances since I could walk myself to the library and sign my name on the check-out card.
My first day of detention in junior high was after a dramatic reading of the love scenes from Danielle Steel's Palimino in math class. Of course, I wasn't the reader...I was entrusted to watch the door while my friend did her best audio rendition of the steamy content. Little did we know our teacher was wise enough to turn on the intercom between the classroom and the secretary's office during her absence.
Busted. But all in all, it wasn't a tragedy. They let you to read books in lunchtime detention.
Not a believer in romance? Let's consider some very awesome movies:
Star Wars...Han Solo + Princess Laya = romance
Lord of the Rings...Aragorn + Arwen= romance
Thor...Thor + Jane Foster = romance
Harry Potter...Harry + Jenny; Ron + Hermione= romance
Spiderman...Peter Parker + Gwen Stacey (Gwen was better than Mary Jane) = romance
Romance makes a story awesome.
As it does in Between Two Fires.
Now, enough writing about the book when I could be reading to see if Branwen will toss the heartless Hammer King for Artagan, the dashing knight,
“A spirited ride through a turbulent slice of Welsh history!” – Paula Brackston, NYT Bestselling author of The Witch’s Daughter
“A fast-paced read that has a wonderfully visual style and some memorable characters. Mark Noce combines Welsh history with a touch of folkloric magic in this promising debut novel. Lady Branwen is a strong and engaging narrator and the turbulent setting of early medieval Wales makes a fine backdrop for an action-packed story.” – Juliet Marillier, Bestselling author of Daughter of the Forest and Wolfskin
Synopsis of Between Two Fires
Saxon barbarians threaten to destroy medieval Wales. Lady Branwen becomes Wales’ last hope to unite their divided kingdoms when her father betroths her to a powerful Welsh warlord, the Hammer King.
But this fledgling alliance is fraught with enemies from within and without as Branwen herself becomes the target of assassinations and courtly intrigue. A young woman in a world of fierce warriors, she seeks to assert her own authority and preserve Wales against the barbarians. But when she falls for a young hedge knight named Artagan her world threatens to tear itself apart. Caught between her duty to her people and her love of a man she cannot have, Branwen must choose whether to preserve her royal marriage or to follow her heart. Somehow she must save her people and remain true to herself, before Saxon invaders and a mysterious traitor try to destroy her.
Places to Order Between Two Fires
Release Date: August 23, 2016
Amazon/ Amazon Kindle/ Barnes & Noble/ Barnes & Noble Nook/ iTunes/ IndieBound/ Thomas Dunne Books
Mark Noce writes historical fiction with a passion, and eagerly reads everything from fantasy to literature. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, he’s an avid traveler and backpacker, particularly in Europe and North America. He earned his BA and MA from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where he also met his beautiful wife. By day, he works as a Technical Writer, having spent much of his career at places like Google and Facebook. In addition to writing novels, he also writes short fiction online. When not reading or writing, he’s probably listening to U2, sailing his dad’s boat, or gardening with his family.
His debut novel, Between Two Fires, is being published by Thomas Dunne Books (an imprint of St. Martin's Press and Macmillan). It is the first in a series of historical fiction novels set in medieval Wales.
Social Media Links
Twitter/ Facebook (author page)/ Goodreads/ LinkedIn/ Google+/ Thunderclap Campaign
Now, for my good things!
I'm doing one good thing...
Today is my birthday. Feel free to send me cake.