• Fiona McIntosh: Voyager Author of the Month

    Fiona McIntosh was born and raised in Sussex in the UK, but also spent early childhood years in West Africa. She left a PR career in London to travel and settled in Australia in 1980. She has since roamed the world working for her own travel publishing company, which she runs with her husband. She lives in Adelaide with her husband and twin sons. Her website is at www.fionamcintosh.com.

    Her latest book, The Scrivener's Tale, is a stand-alone and takes us back to the world of Morgravia from her very first series, The Quickening:


    About The Scrivener's Tale:

    In the bookshops and cafes of present-day Paris, ex-psychologist Gabe Figaret is trying to put his shattered life back together. When another doctor, Reynard, asks him to help with a delusional female patient, Gabe is reluctant... until he meets her. At first Gabe thinks the woman, Angelina, is merely terrified of Reynard, but he quickly discovers she is not quite what she seems.

    As his relationship with Angelina deepens, Gabe's life in Paris becomes increasingly unstable. He senses a presence watching and following every move he makes, and yet he finds Angelina increasingly irresistible.

    When Angelina tells Gabe he must kill her and flee to a place she calls Morgravia, he is horrified. But then Angelina shows him that the cathedral he has dreamt about since childhood is real and exists in Morgravia.

    A special 10th Anniversary edition of her first fantasy book, Myrren's Gift, will be released in December!

     

     

The Scholar and the Sword

Tim Miller from the HC sales department recently did what I can only describe as his ‘sword exams’ and has blogged about it for us below:

On a very cold Saturday morning in the middle of winter, four would be swordsmen turned up for testing, all hoping that they could match the skills and speed of the Scholars whose ranks they hoped to be joining. On a stage that sat scant centimetres higher than the rolling mist that had come in from the south, the four donned armour, picked up their weapons and stepped forward to face all challengers.

'En garde!' - Tim is on the left in authentic blue shorts

'En garde!' - Tim is on the left in authentic blue shorts

Each combatant had to fight 4 five minute bouts, proving they had what it takes to earn the rank of Scholar. Years of training came flooding back in the blink of an eye, technique learned from the repetitive drills blocked the strike to their heads, muscle memory allowed them to counter and perfect timing found each within perfect striking distance.

Pow!

Pow! Tim is now on the right.

There is something to be said about stepping into the arena of combat with something to prove. The adrenalin pumps around your body, you can’t stand still from the excitement and you want the approval of the crowd (no matter how small it was). As I deflected each blow and countered with my own I had the unique sensation of feeling truly alive. Back in the day, these kinds of things could often end up with one man dead, the weight of the steel bettering the measure of the man. And with my competitive nature I sure as hell wasn’t going to fail this test.

Time for some R&R and half a kingdom please

Time for some R&R and half a kingdom please

After twenty minutes of sweaty armoured fighting; the steel clashing, battle-crying, death-defying me came through victorious and a newly appointed Scholar. What does this mean, I hear you ask? To be honest I thought it would mean I got to wear a sword on my hip and challenge people to duels left, right and centre but alas that’s not the case. Apparently there are laws about that kind of thing… so I have to do with the knowledge that I am more than capable of using my sword to defend myself from would-be attackers.

Now it’s back to the training, in another couple of years I can go for my next ranking, Free Scholar, where you have to show proficiency with 3 different weapon systems. In the meantime I will put all this knowledge to use and my sword wielding characters may appear to know what they are doing…

Click below for a video of the fight.

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