Folks Aren’t Playing Around! #Coronavirus #RRBC #RRBC_Community #RWISA

During a time in our nation’s history when what we need most is to not feel so caged and afraid, laughter is the best medicine to keep our sanity in check.  This will be your laugh to end all laughs.

Someone sent this to me today and I have looked at it more times than I can remember.  I can’t stop laughing but this goes to prove…

Folks aren’t playing around!


I drank some water today and it went down the wrong pipe, as they say.  I began choking uncontrollably and my daughter, with a hilarious look on her face, got up and left the sofa where we were sitting.

She stood at the top of the stairs and yelled down, “Uh, are you OK?” although she never came down to see if I was.  I am still on the floor laughing at that!

I told you! #FolksAren’tPlayingAround!

Welcome to Day 3 of the “WHISPERS OF THE PAST” Blog Tour! @RobertaEaton17 @4WillsPub #RRBC

The WHISPERS OF THE PAST Blog Tour continues. It’s such an interesting tour you definitely want to check it out!



Let’s all welcome Robbie Cheadle to the Indie Joint!  It’s her first time here (but, I hope it won’t be her last) so let’s make her feel right at home.

Robbie, as the Warden here, you have all our attention!

I am terrified of bees. As a child, I never used to worry overly about bees and bee stings, but over the course of my life, each time I have been stung by a bee my bodies reaction has been stronger.

I don’t suffer from anaphylaxis which is when the venom from a bee sting sends the person into shock. My blood pressure doesn’t drop, and I don’t have difficulty breathing. I am one of the rare people in the world who gets a bacterial infection, which quickly leads to blood poisoning, from a bee string.

The first time this happened, I was quite ignorant about what was happening. I…

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Welcome to Day 1 of the “Whispers Of The Past” Blog Tour! @GodsAngel1 @RobertaEaton17 @4WillsPub

{NOTE:  This is not an RRBC member-tour}

GIVEAWAYS:  (5) e-book copies of WHISPERS OF THE PAST. For a chance to win, simply leave a comment on the authors’ tour page as well as any other stop along the tour. 

I’m pleased to serve as the opening host to this 10-Day multi-author blog tour and the anthology sounds like an intriguing read!  Please help me welcome Kaye Lynne Booth to Watch Nonnie Write! and be sure to snag your copy of WHISPERS OF THE PAST before leaving today!

Kaye, the floor is all yours!



A paranormal anthology with nine stories from six authors, including the winning story in the 2019 WordCrafter Paranormal Short Fiction Contest, A Peaceful Life I’ve Never Known, by Jeff Bowles.


The Paranormal by Kaye Lynne Booth

The paranormal. It is fascinating to us. Most of us can relate at least one experience that seemingly can only be explained by paranormal causes. Anyone who has had someone close to them pass may have several which they could tell about. I know I do. I’m a believer because I’ve had encounters that I know came from beyond. I can feel it. Maybe you have, too? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments, if you have one you’re willing to share.

Believers or not, there’s nothing like a good ghost story. Or maybe a tale of the weird and eerie, that raises goosebumps on the skin? It is fun to be scared when we’re in a safe environment where we aren’t in any real danger. That’s the beauty of literature and film. We can live vicariously through the characters without risking any harm to ourselves. I can remember as a kid, going to the theater, and I always chose the scary movies even though I might cover my eyes during the scenes where the bad stuff happened. We are drawn to this genre because the paranormal makes us question reality as we know it.

It is also the reason that I chose the paranormal genre for the 2019 WordCrafter Short Fiction Anthology and Whispers of the Past was born. The stories in the anthology were selected from entries into the 2019 Paranormal Short Fiction Contest which was the first of its kind for WordCrafte Press. The result is eight short stories, by six different authors, including the winner of the contest, “A Peaceful Life I’ve Never Known”. Also included is “Orbs” and “Tanked” by Laurel McHargue, “The Kite Flyer’s Lighthouse” by Julie Goodswen, “The Last of the Lavender” and “Missed Signs” by Robbie Cheadle, “Partners in Time” by Stevie Turner, and my own story “The Woman in the Water”. Each one of these stories will make you think and ponder reality, and they may even bring on a case of those goosebumps. Especially when you consider that to every good story, there is a grain of truth.

If you missed out on last year’s contest, have no fear. There is still time to get your entry in for the 2020 WordCrafter Paranormal Western Short Fiction Contest.  The old west is filled with ghosts. All you have to do is tell their stories. The winner receives a $25 Amazon gift card and guaranteed publication in the 2020 anthology. You can find full submission guidelines here:

Kaye Lynne Booth banner


Kaye Lynn Booth

For Kaye Lynne Booth, writing is her passion. It is a very strange time indeed when Kaye Lynne does not have at least three WIPs, in addition to her other writings, teaching and other life activities. Kaye Lynne lives, works and plays in the beautiful mountains of Colorado.

Visit her author’s blog and website, “Writing to be Read” to learn more about Kaye Lynne Booth and her writing.


Twitter:  @GodsAngel1

Amazon Author Page

Writing to be Read


Books To Read


To follow along with the rest of the “WHISPERS OF THE PAST” Blog Tour and to meet more of these amazing authors, visit their 4WillsPub tour page!

If you’d like to book your own 4WillsPub blog tour to promote your book(s) in similar fashion, we invite you to click HERE.

Day 4 of the “WHILE THE BOMBS FELL” Blog Tour w/author @bakeandwrite #RRBC @4WillsPub

Today I’d like to introduce you to one of my fellow member-authors of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, Roberta Eaton Cheadle, also known as Robbie.  Robbie has dropped in today to talk to us about the myths about eating carrots so let’s listen in.

Take it away, Robbie…

Carrots help you see in the dark

While the bombs fell is a collaboration between my mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton, and me and tells a fictionalized account of her life as a small girl growing up in the small English town of Bungay, Suffolk during World War II.

I can remember when I was a young girl, growing up with my three younger sisters in Cape Town, South Africa, being frequently told by our mother that eating carrots make you see in the dark. I always believed that this was true and that if I ate my carrots, it would help improve my eyesight especially at nighttime.

When I was doing research for While the Bombs Fell I came across an article about a World War II propaganda campaign which popularized the myth that carrots help you see in the dark.

During the 1940 Blitz, a German bombing campaign against the United Kingdom, the German bomber planes often attacked under cover of darkness. Country wide “blackouts” were enforced by the British government to make it more difficult for the attacking planes to hit their targets. The Royal Air Force (RAF) was also able to repel the German fighter planes by using their new and secret radar technology. The on-board Airborne Interception Radar (AI), which was first used by the RAF in 1939, had the ability to pinpoint German bombers before they reached the English Channel.

One RAF night fighter ace, John Cunningham, nicknamed “Cat’s Eyes” was the first English pilot to shoot down an enemy plane using AI. He racked up an impressive 20 kills of which 19 were at night. In order to keep the AI technology under wraps, the Ministry of Information apparently told newspapers that the reason for pilots like John Cunningham’s success was that they ate an excess of carrots which gave them better night vision.

Whether or not the Germans believed this tall tale is unknown, but the British public, including my mother, believed that eating carrots would give them better nighttime vision.

Bread and vegetables were never rationed in Britain during the war and the Dig for Victory Campaign was introduced by the British Ministry of Food to encourage people to eat more vegetables which didn’t need to be imported. Advertisements encouraged families to start Victory Gardens and to try new recipes using surplus foods like carrots and potatoes as substitutes for those less available like flour.

While the Bombs Fell includes a few recipes that were shared by the British Ministry of Food during WWII. I have included one below:

1942 Wartime Christmas pudding

(1942 recipe book)

Carrots were used in many recipes during WWII to add bulk, moisture and sweetness. The Ministry of Food in Britain spread the word, via newspapers that carrots were responsible for the success of the British fighter pilots. Of course, it was the secret radar system that was responsible for the excellent shooting by the pilots, but the British public did not know that. They bought into the myth that carrots would help them see better during blackouts.


450 grams (1 lb) whole-wheat flour, 120 grams (4 oz) sultanas, 450 grams (1 lb) brown bread crumbs, 120 grams (4 oz) butter, 45 ml (3 tablespoon) dried egg powder and 90 ml (6 tablespoons) water or 3 eggs, 225 grams (½ lb) sugar, 120 grams (4 oz) grated raw carrot, 180 grams (6 oz) currants or chopped dates, 90 grams (3 oz) peel or stoned and chopped dates, 5 ml (1 teaspoon) nutmeg and spice (if available), milk to mix, 5 ml (1 teaspoon) lemon substitute (white vinegar or citric acid mixed with water).


Wash the dried fruit and dry it thoroughly with a clean cloth. Grate the butter and rub it into the flour and breadcrumbs mixture to form crumbs. Add the sugar, carrots, spices, dried fruit, lemon substitute and the chopped peel or dates. Add the beaten eggs and enough milk to mix moisten the whole mixture. Spoon into a well-greased basin, cover with a cloth and steam for eight to nine hours.





What was it like for children growing up in rural Suffolk during World War 2?

Elsie and her family live in a small double-storey cottage in Bungay, Suffolk. Every night she lies awake listening anxiously for the sound of the German bomber planes. Often they come and the air raid siren sounds signalling that the family must leave their beds and venture out to the air raid shelter in the garden.

Despite the war raging across the English channel, daily life continues with its highlights, such as Christmas and the traditional Boxing Day fox hunt, and its wary moments when Elsie learns the stories of Jack Frost and the ghostly and terrifying Black Shuck that haunts the coastline and countryside of East Anglia.

Includes some authentic World War 2 recipes.


Robbie Cheadle

Hello, my name is Robbie, short for Roberta. I am an author with six published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with my son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about my mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with my mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of my children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications.

I also have a book of poetry called Open a new door, with fellow South African poet, Kim Blades.

I have recently branched into adult and young adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential my children’s books from my adult writing, I plan to publish these books under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. My first supernatural book published in that name, Through the Nethergate, is now available.

I have participated in a number of anthologies:

  • Two short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Dark Visions, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre under Robbie Cheadle;
  • Three short stories in Death Among Us, an anthology of murder mystery stories, edited by Stephen Bentley under Robbie Cheadle;
  • Three short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Nightmareland, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre under Robbie Cheadle; and
  • Two short stories in Whispers of the Past, an anthology of paranormal stories, edited by Kaye Lynne Booth under Roberta Eaton Cheadle.


You may connect with Robbie via…







Friends, thank you so much for supporting Robbie on her tour stop today.  To follow along with the rest of this interesting tour, please drop by her author page on the 4WillsPub site.

If you’d like to take your own books on a similar promotional tour, you may do so by clicking HERE!

Until next time…



Welcome #RRBC “SPOTLIGHT” Author, Balroop Singh @BalroopShado

Hello, Friends!

Today, I’m excited to introduce you to an awesome member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, Author, Balroop Singh!

Balroop Singh

What makes her so awesome? I’m sure this question is front and center of some of your visiting minds here today. 

Balroop is one of the most honest individuals (in her reviews) I’ve come across in a long while.  (If you think I’m kidding, just head to Amazon and take a whiff of some of her reviews there.)  I recently caught wind of a couple of those book reviews, and instantly knew she was my kind of reviewer.  

In today’s society, many find being honest a really hard thing to do, especially when you become a target for those who you piss off in your honesty.  We all know that everyone doesn’t really want to know the truth about themselves, especially when it comes to their writing.  You may hear them say that the truth is what they’re after, but once you give it to them, you can almost feel their {virtual} door being slammed in your face … and slammed hard!  How dare you bring the truth to their doorstep! 

I’ve had some go to Amazon and post horrible reviews of my books, and even funnier, some have gone and changed the star rating that they’d given my books (but forgetting to change the glowing portions of their actual written review. LOL); some have even quit the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB because I was honest about their writing.  Listen, none of this bothers me at all because I only want truth-seekers and those who truly aspire to be the best, in my midst.  {So, note to revenge-reviewers} What these acts of revenge do for me is they give me a really good laugh! Thanks!

Being publicly honest about the books you’ve read that weren’t at their very best, is bravery beyond measure, and for that I applaud Balroop. She is now in that very small group of people I call my favorite, honest reviewers!

I’m proud to be the first host of Balroop’s “SPOTLIGHT” Author tour, and I’ve one bit of advice for everyone here today who has books published on Amazon – you better make sure that your books are up to snuff before Balroop reads them. I know I will.  If you don’t, then don’t get upset when her review of your book isn’t to your liking.  

{Nonnie yelling loudly for Balroop to hear:  “Begin with “NO PEDIGREE”, Balroop – and from there work your way down by their publication dates.  That’ll give me time to take the others down and work on them!  Thank you!”}  Hahaha!

Seriously, I haven’t read any of Balroop’s books yet so I can’t comment on her own writing (I haven’t even read this post yet), but what I have noticed from her, just from a couple of reviews she’s written, is her honesty in what she’s read.  I wish more of my fellow friends/authors/readers would take a note from her book and become just as honest in their own reviewing.  I mean, c’mon people, cowardice isn’t cute at all.

Take it away, Balroop…


Writing didn’t come naturally to me. Yes, I could put some alphabets together and slowly learned to form words and then started using them into small broken sentences but English is not my mother tongue and I have no memories of anybody reading any story books to me.

I have a vague memory about learning a given story and saying it in the class (which I couldn’t) and those were the days when teacher’s wrath fell in the form of rods on your small hands albeit those punitive actions of the zealous teacher didn’t contribute much to rote learning or writing well.

As I grew up, I discovered that writing is one of the most amazing gifts that we receive with life. Those who get an opportunity to develop and enhance this skill at an early age feel blessed when they can use it as a tool to deal with their emotions.

When I started writing a journal, I couldn’t write much as my emotions kept floundering in the sea of words, struggling to find the right waves. I started picking up quotes, which matched with my emotions to fulfill my desire of writing.

One day I happened to read what Aldous Huxley said about writing: “Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly — they’ll go through anything.”

I deliberated about this bizarre analogy…X-rays have always conjured up darkness before my eyes but I could understand the import of his words only now, when I can discern what role darkness plays in our lives, how it props us up to look for light, almost impels us towards it; how it raises our hopes!

My determination to write well got an impetus when I opted for English Honors after high school, along with two other majors. Writing critical anaylsis of poems and essays gave clarity to my ideas, which were confusing or blurred. It was not easy but very fulfilling. It led me to self-discovery. It gave me wings, which grew bigger when I studied literature for my Masters degree.

As a teacher I had to conduct many creative writing workshops, which provided ample opportunities to embellish my writing skills, as I had to accept the challenges of youngsters, edit their work and uphold the spirit of competition. My students have been my true inspiration and I have learnt many lessons of life while teaching them and interacting with them through discussions.

Now writing is my lifeline; it calms down my emotions. It is therapeutic, it makes me happier, it inspires. The elation of recording my feelings is so rewarding, so heartwarming that I can create my own world of fantasy, in which all the characters are mere puppets in my hands. Isn’t it a wonderful feeling?

© Balroop Singh.


Moments We Love by Balroop Singh

Moments of fragrant love that stand frozen in time, of dreams that dare not unfold, of passion that fleets by, of erratic joy that we meet at the crossroads of life; butterflies of time that add color to our dark moments to scare the demons away – I have gathered all of them in this book. Some of them whisper softly to create a magical aura while spring of life sings with them, trying to wipe silent tears. Mother Nature steps in with all her grandeur to breath quiet messages of tranquility.

Each poem would soothe your emotions with élan and add a dash of color to your life. Life – that doesn’t halt for your sad moments; it just floats by. You just need to dive in to soak in myriads of moments to discover how they could ignite positive tones. All the poems in this collection are imaginary but inspired from people around me, some of whom chose to share their frustrations and tremors with me. My imaginative muse transformed them into poetry.

Follow Balroop on Twitter @BalroopShado!

To follow along with the rest of Balroop’s tour and special month, please visit RRBC’S “SPOTLIGHT” AUTHOR forum!

How would you like this kind of support?  Well, JOIN the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB!  Tell them Balroop sent you!

Someone dropped by my RRBC Author page recently and commented on something I’ve posted there, so I thought I’d add it here since it applies to what I’ve shared above about writing:

As a writer who values the (polished) written word, it is my mission to help my fellow authors understand that their reputation as a writer should be treated as a rare treasure and that the only way to be taken seriously in this business, is to ensure that your writing (no matter the forum) is impeccably written and well-edited.  If not, you’re just another “Joe” with a pen who was the first to raise his hand when Amazon asked:  “Hey, any old Joe out there wanna publish a book?  Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be good and there’s absolutely no hard work involved.”

FYI:  If you don’t care what you put out into the world, you’re just a laughing stock in the literary community … and your name is “Joe.”

Welcome to the “SMOKE ROSE TO HEAVEN” Blog Tour! @SarahAngleton #RRBC #RRBC_Community @4WillsPub


Smoke Rose to Heaven by Sarah Angleton


New York, 1872, Diviner Ada Moses is a finder of hidden things and a keeper of secrets. In her possession is a lost manuscript with the power to destroy the faith of tens of thousands of believers. When a man seeking the truth knocks at her door with a conspiracy theory on his lips and assassins on his heels, she must make a choice.

Spurred by news of a ritualistic murder and the arrival of a package containing the victim’s bloody shirt, Ada must either attempt to vanish with the truth or return the burden she has long borne to the prophet responsible for one of the most successful deceptions in US history.

Protecting someone else’s secret may save Ada’s life, but is that worth forcing her own demons into the light?

The Joy of Receiving Fan Mail

Writing can sometimes be a lonely pursuit. I’ve been fortunate to have lived in several places with strong writing communities and have connected online with writers from all over the world through blogging and social media. That is wonderful, because other writers understand the frustrations and triumphs, the obsession and rejection, and all the rest that comes with being a part of this crazy industry. I’ve found the writing community is generally a friendly and supportive bunch.

Writers also understand that when we turn off Facebook and Twitter and climb into whatever little writing nook we’ve carved out for ourselves, each of us is alone, facing down an unrealized dream in the form of a blinking cursor.

In those moments a writer’s only company becomes the imaginary people in her head. Sometimes they are chatty and cooperative; other times they are not. Writing can be a lonely pursuit.

But once in a while, someone from the world, the real world, where no one is discussing Amazon rankings or cover design woes, reaches out to make the whole process feel especially worthwhile.

I’m talking, of course, about readers.

The first time I ever received a note from a reader, it came through my mother. I’d published my first book, which unlike the historical novels that would follow, was a collection of humor and history titled Launching Sheep & Other Stories from the Intersection of History and Nonsense.

The book had achieved only very modest success, but I was quite pleased with myself for getting it out there and when my mom handed me a note from one of her friends I did not know, specifically about my book, I was pretty flattered.

I wore what I’m sure was a comically wide grin as I flipped open the card and began to read. The first thing I noticed was that my biggest fan hadn’t spelled my last name correctly. A lot of people get that mixed up, so I wasn’t especially bothered.

She went on to explain that she had recently purchased Throwing Sheep at her local bookstore with a coupon that made it very cheap. Hm. I, too, am a thrifty person. And titles aren’t really that important, right?

The woman ended her message with an explanation that she probably wouldn’t read the book, but that she sure was excited to pass it on to a friend who might like it.

I’ve now published three books. The most recent called Smoke Rose to Heaven is very different than my first step into the world of publishing. This book is a historical thriller. It’s the coming of age story of a woman who has come into possession of a lost manuscript that supports a historical conspiracy theory which questions the origin story of the Book of Mormon.

My reader audience is still relatively small but vocal and expanding. I’m delighted that in the last few years many more readers have graciously reached out and let me know they’ve enjoyed my books. Most have been a little more flattering than the first.


Sarah Angleton

SARAH ANGLETON is the author of the historical novels Gentleman of Misfortune and Smoke Rose to Heaven as well as the humor collection Launching Sheep & Other Stories from the Intersection of History and Nonsense. She lives with her husband, two sons, and one loyal dog near St. Louis, where she loves rooting for the Cardinals but doesn’t care for the pizza.

Connect with Sarah via…




GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment below or along any other stop of the tour and you could win one of five e-book copies of  SMOKE ROSE TO HEAVEN!

Follow along with the rest of Sarah’s amazing tour by clicking HERE!

Thanks for dropping in, friends!


Happy New Year!  It’s 2020 and I’m so glad that I’m able to be here sharing with you!

Due to my busy, busy, busy schedule with the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB and RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, I have found that my own writing time and the time that I connect with you, my followers, has been greatly compromised in the past years.  One of my resolutions for 2020 is to get back on track with my writing and blogging and to stay there!

I’ll have more to share with you later but, do keep up, because this year, you’re going to be watching Nonnie write a lot!

Today, I’m here to share awesome news…so please take a look below:

I’d like to invite you to visit the ALL-NEW RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB at our new location >

-If you are an author looking for amazing support, #RRBC is the place for you!
-If you are looking to grow as a writer, #RRBC is the place for you!
-If you are looking for a community where your peers push for your success just as hard as they push for their own, #RRBC is the place for you!

When visiting, we ask that you #follow our site so that you’re kept up-to-date with all the awesome news that we’ll be sharing in 2020.

If you like what you see after looking around the site, then please, JOIN US!  We’d love to have you!

Friends, I know some of you have been straddling the fence about joining RRBC, but, in this new decade, this new year, make the decision to get off the fence and jump right into the most awesome community of writers there ever was.  I promise you, you’ll be so glad you did!

See you around!


Santa Christmas Greeting Poster

We are now only two days away from that holiday that causes little kids to walk much straighter lines of behavior and it brings out the kindness and generosity (that’s sometimes hidden deeply) in so many.  Yes, Christmas is right around the corner!

Christmas has always been my #1 holiday of the year and although my birthday has always been a very important day for me, Christmas, by far, makes me the happiest!  I mean, I prayed for a baby to be born on Christmas day and I got my wish! #BestChristmasPresentEver!

Christmas is the time of year when I notice that people are calmer…many have the appearance of being less stressed and hurried.  Do any of you get that feeling, too?  I’m not sure if it’s because the kids are out of school for an extended period of time, parents are on longer vacations, or, if it’s just the cold, icy weather that brings noticeable changes to the surface.  Whatever it is, I love and appreciate every second of it!

People holding doors open for others, paying it forward by purchasing a meal for the person standing behind you, smiles on faces that would normally house unnecessary scowls, allowing others to skip ahead in long lines, allowing cars to merge in front of you during busy afternoon traffic…this is the behavior that makes me happiest about the season.  Let’s face it, we’re living in a time where this isn’t the norm anywhere.  I mean, merging into traffic has sadly and way too often, proven deadly for some.

This is the time of year when family members who are usually at odds with one another, put their differences aside and come together to celebrate the season of joy and love.  In my perfect world, this occurrence wouldn’t happen only once a year – it would be an everyday norm.  But, for those of you in feuding families, my hope is that if it happens only once or twice during the year, you cherish those times, hold them close to your heart and keep pressing for better days.  Things could change.

These are the moments of the season that make me so happy to see November roll in and it gets better and better the closer we get to Christmas day.  It’s not about the presents under the tree or the food that will appear on the table – it’s all about the love, the kindness and the generosity that we pull from ourselves to ensure that the world, albeit a short time every year, is a better place for all.

Now that you know what Christmas means to me, what does it mean to you?  I’d love for you to share with us.

Merry Christmas, friends!


Welcome to “THE MEREST LOSS” Blog Tour @ StevenNeil12 #RRBC

Hello, friends!

Today I am hosting a member of my favorite place, the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB!

Steven Neil is the author of THE MEREST LOSS

The Merest Loss by Steven Neil

and he’s dropped by today to discuss the topic of RESEARCHING AND WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION.

Steven, the floor is all yours!

In many ways, writing historical fiction is no different to writing any other fiction. The author still has to think about the five key elements of novel writing i.e.

  1. Point of view
  2. Plot
  3. Setting
  4. Character

In addition to these consideration however, there are particular issues which need to be borne in mind if the historical fiction novel is to come across as a credible representation of the period being described.

In writing 19th century historical fiction, as well as specific research in reference books, I always read widely the dominant fiction of the time e.g. Trollope, Dickens, Hardy, Thackeray, to assimilate the sound and feel of the age. I have also developed a number of questions I pose to myself whilst I am researching and planning my novel and I share some of them with you here.

Point of view

What point of view best suits the story you are telling? This seems a rather obvious question but there is a reason why Trollope and Hardy used the omniscient narrator: they wanted to be in complete control of the characters and to manage the reader by knowing everything, by contrast with their characters, who don’t. In this way there is almost a conspiracy between writer and reader at the expense of the characters.

Of course, Trollope and Hardy were living in the 19th century and could sustain an all knowing perspective with reasonable ease. What the contemporary writer has to ask, if they are to write credibly in a 19th century setting, is whether they have done the research necessary to replicate an omniscient narrator. It took me a long time researching to satisfy myself on that point.


Is this turn of events plausible and credible for the time?

What assumptions are being made about the law, the state of politics, the monarchy, the church, the class system?

Do the events fit with what is happening in the historical timeline and background to events e.g. war, peace, political turmoil, the economy, religion.

Readers will suspend disbelief up to a point (albeit different points for different readers), it is, after all, fiction but if it doesn’t ‘ring true’ you may lose your reader.


Did that park, that building, that street, that room actually exist at that time?

Would it have looked like that?

Would the flora and fauna have looked like that?

Would the clothing have been worn in that way?

Would the lighting, heating, glazing, transport means have looked like that?

There is a famous story told by Ian McEwan, who was assiduous in his medical research for the novel Saturday, who was berated by a reader because he had a driver easing his particular Mercedes 500 SEL into first gear, when, according to the complainant, this particular version only came in automatic, so the correct phrase would have been to put it into drive. Some people!


Is it likely that someone would behave like that at that time?

What cultural norms and standards of behaviour existed and are the characters conforming to them?

Does the way someone is behaving fit with what you have already described about their education, social class, sex, prejudices, opinions?

Is there continuity of character; is the character suddenly and inexplicably behaving in a way that the reader will struggle to accept?

Characters can be complex and may sometimes behave unusually, but I am told that one of the most common phrases amongst book club members is along the lines of ‘I didn’t think he/she would have done that and that spoiled the story for me.’ Beware!


Is this how people really spoke at that time?

Would they have used those words?

Are modern idioms creeping into your draft?

Is the way someone is speaking consistent with a character from the 19th century and from chapter to chapter?

As a rule, speakers in the 19th century did not preface their statements with ‘Do you know what’ and other ubiquitous, meaningless phrases but they are so wired in to modern expression that it can sometimes be hard to keep them out.

This is far from an exhaustive set of questions but asking these sorts of questions early in the research period and at the planning stage will save work later on when you are editing. It is very easy to become ‘snow blind’ during the editing phase and I find it much harder to catch glaring errors at a late stage than it is to filter them out at an early stage.

© Steven Neil


THE MEREST LOSS is available in paperback and eBook in the UK, US, France, Canada and Australia.

Follow Steven Neil on for information on how to purchase the paperback through an independent bookseller in the UK.


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Welcome to the “BOUND’ED BY CHAINS” Blog Tour! @FRStepnowski @4WillsPub #RRBC

Hello, friends and welcome back for another episode of WATCH NONNIE WRITE!  Today, though, Nonnie’s writing is not what’s going to entertain you.  Author, Forrest Stepnowski has dropped by to share an excerpt from his latest book…

 BOUND:  The Lost Romanticism and Eroticism of Gay Men.


I lie in solitude

Contemplating my want for love, to be touched

I always thought romance was a lost art form

I want someone to tell me they love me

I have learned that life is not promised

I have loved

I have lost

I have been hurt and deceived beyond my core

Am I pieces of a fragmented heart?

Am I a jigsaw puzzle that has many missing pieces?

I sit here now listening to music that is trapping my soul

Reminding me I am not a useless weed

I am more than a flower

I am a garden filled with vibrant colors

Greens, reds, violets, and yellows

I am worth love

I value kindness

I live for a peaceful world

My cravings you ask?

I desire the precious moments with my soulmate

I craved being held and reassured that I am safe in his arms

Emotionally, I want to make this fairytale thought a nonfiction adaptative screenplay

My cravings are romantic

My cravings are also sensual

I want to know what it is like to be touched and have that caress imprinted deep in my humanity

I want to wake up every morning knowing I am not shattered into pieces of a mirror

Nor the abstract image of a Picasso painting that doesn’t know who I am

I crave for human existence

Filled with compassion, passion, and romance

I crave human contact

Filled with warmth and security

I crave saying I do down an aisle with the love of my life

With a promise for a confident tomorrow

I crave honesty in his words and genuine care for others

With the contentment that my trust is sealed forever

I crave

BOUND Cover art (1)

Here’s the blurb…

Allow yourself to give in to your deepest fantasies, desires, and sensual dreams, BOUND is a collection of poetic works exploring the world of eroticism, romanticism, and fantasies of gay men of all ages. Walk through the mind inspired by fantasies, the hopes for romance, the desire to be swept off ones’ feet, and the longing to be touched through this anthology filled with lost romance and passionate memories. Escape into a world that allows you to be one with your desires, feel the heightened sensations and passion through random rendezvous and engagements.

About the author:

Forrest headshot 2

Forrest Robert Stepnowski is an advocate, a writer, a social worker, and a performance artist in the Pacific Northwest. He has been writing poetic works and prose for most of his life. He realized how important is to share his work with others who have dealt with similar pathways of self-hate, self-deprecation, and self-loathing in the hopes they find they are not alone, as well as help them realize they are not deviants, nor are they against “human nature.” They are part of a collective of misfit toys on an island where being different is beautiful. We all have a voice, and the world should hear it. Forrest is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

Social Media Links:






To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.  
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