• 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!

     

     

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Rhonda Roberts: Creating Ancient Rome

gladiatrixI started writing Gladiatrix one summer when I had two weeks of vacation left and nothing much to do. I’d been looking around the bookshops for a good read and couldn’t find anything that suited so I decided to start writing the book I wanted – a feisty heroine who solves a mystery in an exotic far away place.

I wanted to send her to ancient Rome so then time travel became a part of the plot. That’s when the research started …

I try to visit the places I write about but I’m afraid Rome is the one spot I’ve never been. I visited northern Italy while I was living in Europe, but not Rome. So the ancient city of Gladiatrix is all my research and imagination. I have a bookcase full of maps of Augustan Rome, archaeological texts on the place and a head full of old movies.

I chose ancient Rome because years ago I tutored in a course called ‘Man, Women and Deity’. The subject examined the different forms of deity worship over the ages and there was a fascinating section on the Isis cult and its spread outside Egypt. I was so intrigued by the fact that an ancient Egyptian religion almost took over the Roman Empire that when I decided to write on time travel Rome was the place I wanted to send my heroine.

I like writing about history because in my academic life I specialized in cross-cultural analysis of knowledge systems, that is what passed for science and technology in other times and places. So I did a lot of research for Gladiatrix and then tried to make sure the story hung together and that the reader liked the characters enough to suspend disbelief and come on the adventure with them.

Rhonda Roberts lives in the Illawarra just south of Sydney. She’s currently at work on Hoodwink, the follow up to Gladiatrix. Rhonda has a PhD in Science, Technology and Society and was an academic for eleven years. During this time she worked in Australia, the United States and in Japan, where she lived for three years. Visit her website at www.rhondarobertsauthor.com

See the maps used in Gladiatrix

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Coming soon … Gladiatrix

gladiatrix

Introducing Kannon … a hero for the ages, you might say, given the events of the story …

Left for dead when she was two‚ Kannon Jarratt has no idea of her real identity. Then, twenty years on‚ she discovers that her mother might be US Time Marshal‚ Victoria Dupree. Victoria is one of a select few allowed to travel in time – on official business only, and she’s currently in Ancient Rome, investigating the mysterious leader of the Isis cult, which has had a  suspicious resurgance in modern times.

When Kannon travels to the US to find out more about Victoria, she finds herself far more involved in Victoria’s work than she would have expected … ending up stuck in Ancient Rome – and lucky to be alive at all – in the time of Augustus, with no friendly faces around.

To survive, Kannon is forced to become a gladiatrix in the service of Domitia Crassus‚ the only person (and a vile one at that) who can lead her to her mother. And she’s not becoming a gladiatrix for nothing, there’s a bloody battle with death coming up …

I loved this book – it’s a mixture of all the good bits in an adventure story – the fantasy/SF element of time travel, the depiction of Ancient Rome, which is fantastic, a strong, sassy female lead who gets the job done, and a hot-as-hell-fire ex-gladiator who has been forced into slavery … I pounded through the second half of the book, eager to discover the identity of the Isis cult leader, the Hierophant, wondering if Kannon had discovered her mother, wondering if half the characters would survive! I loved the fact that the book starts of in Australia before travelling through both time and space. And lucky for me, when I’d finished I was able to throw a ton of questions at poor Rhonda Roberts – who kindly answered straight away. She’ll be writing for the Voyager blog in the next few weeks  – incorporating some of those answers – and for the Captain’s Log, the next issue of which is due very soon. Keep an eye out for those pieces and in the mean time, visit Rhonda’s website and read a brief excerpt from Gladiatrix.

Gladiatrix will be available across Australia in one week’s time.

If you’ve managed to snaffle an early copy of Gladiatrix, please feel free to post a review or your thoughts on the book in the comments section.