* * * * *I want to thank Pat for hosting me today on her wonderful blog. I love history, learning how people lived in earlier times, and their struggles in rough environments. My stories tell it like it was, with no glossing over the hardships, while also full of humor and desire.
My first novel, The False Light—an historical adventure with romantic elements set in England during the French Revolution—was published two years ago to excellent reviews. The Historical Novel Society called it "Simply brilliant."
Blurb for The False Light:
Forced from France by her devious guardian on the eve of the French Revolution, Countess Bettina Jonquiere must deliver an important package to further the royalist cause. In England, she discovers the package is full of blank papers, the address false and she’s penniless. Stranded in a Cornish village, Bettina toils in a bawdy tavern and falls in love with a man who may have murdered his unfaithful wife. Tracked by ruthless revolutionaries, she must uncover the truth about her father’s murder—and her lover’s guilt—while her life is threatened.
* * * * *The sequel was released this March. Without Refuge continues the story in sultry New Orleans and then a France still torn apart by war, but it can be read as a stand-alone novel.
Blurb for Without Refuge:
In 1796, ruined countess Bettina Jonquiere leaves England after the reported drowning of her lover, Everett. In New Orleans she establishes a new life until a ruthless Frenchman demands the money stolen by her father at the beginning of the French Revolution. She is forced on a dangerous mission to France where she unravels dark family secrets, but will she find the man she lost as well?
Bettina jerked straight up in bed gasping for breath. A fine layer of sweat clung to her skin. She threw off the clammy sheets and left her chamber, rushing to the front porch for air.
In the pitch dark insects murmured in the shrubbery, the frogs grunting at the bayou's edge. She gripped the porch post, squeezing her eyes shut. Softly weeping, she pressed her forehead against the cool wood. A tiny breeze rustled the netting they’d hung around the porch to keep most of the insects out against her face.
"Bettina, what is it?" Volet scrambled up behind her. "I heard the front door open. What are you doing out here?"
"A horrible feeling came over me, a panic. I was terrified...falling into a dark pit where I could not climb out." Bettina struggled to steady her breathing. "I had a dream…about Everett. He took my hand then vanished when I tried to follow him. That is when I fell."
"Sit with me, ma chere." Volet clasped her arm and they settled on the wooden bench flush against the cottage wall. "Perhaps it is time you stop trying to follow."
Bettina sagged against the hard wall, the porch, both of them, draped in shadows. "So everyone keeps telling me in one way or another." She sniffed back her tears. "Maman, this may sound crazy to you, but when I lost Everett...I lost part of my soul."
Her mother hugged her. "I lost someone too, I do understand. When your father died I thought my life was over. Eventually, I kept...living, and after awhile I was able to manage."
"That is different. You know Papa is gone forever. Deep down inside me I believe Everett is still alive, somewhere. That he will come for me...some day."
"Oh, I know you wish it to be true. Though as long as you dwell on that, you will never move on with your life. You would be happier, and wiser, if you let the past go." Volet cuddled her daughter’s head to her chest and Bettina felt comforted as when she was a child.
"I do not think I can ever let Everett go. He is always there, vital within me. Did you not once hope that I was alive somewhere, after hearing of my death?"
"Yes, I suppose it is only natural. Yet you are allowing this to consume you, preventing you from any complete happiness. Mignonne, we have been through so much, you and I. You cannot let misery cripple you." She caressed Bettina’s arm. "Needless to say, I am proud of you, for all you have accomplished. Your father, he would have been too. You are a strong, fine woman."
Bettina expelled a slow breath. She couldn't allow this second mention of her father slip by unexplored. "About Papa…his death. I –"
"Well, we certainly do not need to discuss that at this late hour." Volet sighed but stiffened.
Insects batted at the netting, demanding entrance.
"No, we do, Maman. It is part of my crippled misery."
* * * * *In between these two novels, I became fascinated with Napoleonic France, and Napoleon’s final exile. After intense research, I wrote, Elysium.
Blurb for Elysium:
In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte is exiled to remote Saint Helena. The Chef’s daughter, Amélie, is determined to rise in importance and entice her emperor with her beautiful singing voice. She is soon drawn into his clash with their British jailers, court intrigues and a burgeoning sexual attraction. Amélie suspects someone in their entourage is poisoning him. Now she must earn his love, uncover the culprit and join in Napoleon’s last great battle plan, a dangerous escape.
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Diane Parkinson grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, joined the Navy at nineteen and has written and edited free-lance since high school. She married in Greece and raised two sons in Puerto Rico, California, Guam and Virginia. She writes book reviews for the Historical Novels Review and has worked as an on-line book editor. Diane served as president of the Riverside Writers in 2007-2008. She published her first historical novel, The False Light, with Eternal Press in April 2010. Elysium was published in 2011, and the sequel to The False Light, Without Refuge, was released in March 2012. She writes as Diane Scott Lewis and lives with her husband and dachshund in Locust Grove, VA
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Available on Amazon:
Available on Amazon: