Author Olivia Andem is visiting me today as part of her blog tour for her historical novel, Ashes of Waterloo.
Here’s some information she’s given me about the novel:
SWEPT INTO THE TURMOIL OF NAPOLEON’S LAST BATTLE: A country girl near Brussels with an iron will refuses to surrender to hardship or vile threats when she finds herself in a desperate race against time.
One fateful afternoon, Lisette is ambushed by a rogue soldier. During the dark days that follow, a vow of revenge mars her efforts to make new friends and bask in the attentions of a rugged British officer. All too soon the battle of Waterloo erupts and those she cares about most must face the ordeal. While fleeing the catastrophe of war, her every step is fraught with perils, brigands and heartache…but it is the battle for happiness that is the greatest test of all.
Now, let’s dip into the novel. Here’s an excerpt from Ashes of Waterloo:
© Olivia Andem ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
“The turreted spire of its church, the highest point in Genappe, loomed a few miles distant from the entrance gates to Chateau Austerlitz. The vista remained just as it was some weeks ago, when she left with Henri and his friend for Valois-la-Ville, believing she’d never dare return.
“Do not come back!” Stepfather Pollard’s shout still rang in her ears.
Lisette and Henri had accused their mother of being heartless. It was too soon to regret her decision to deliver Henri’s warning today; after all, a family obligation should not be ignored because of guilt or fear.
When no one was around in the hotel kitchen this morning, she left a note on the table and crept out the back door. Less than two hours later, she arrived at her destination, thanks to Mr. Darbin’s kind assistance.
Indeed, Darbin was a strong and handsome name. She should have guessed the Englishman was a learned man; right from the first moment they met, he was exceedingly polite and spoke French in a formal manner.
Whilst riding in the wagon beside her brother’s friend, she fell into a glowing mood where nothing else mattered but being in his company.
Not revealing his full name hinted of some dangerous thing she was not allowed to know, the mystery added to her fascination but she happily accepted the name of Darbin as real. When they arrived at the chateau’s gates, he helped her from the wagon; a strange happiness filled her senses when she leaned upon his hand for support.
She forgot to say she enjoyed his company; a mumbled ‘thank you’ was hardly enough. However, Mr. Darbin’s harsh warning was unexpected.
“I hope to see you in Brussels, perhaps soon,” he said, holding her by the hand. “However, once you hear cannon or rifle fire, these woods will harbor all manner of soldiers, cowards, deserters and stragglers. Be careful and do not travel until it is safe.”
The grave look in his eyes left no doubt…Brabant was on the verge of destruction.
Fear raged inside; she turned away before he could see her tears and hurried towards the chateau.”
To watch a trailer for Ashes of Waterloo: Click here.
Now I have a few questions for Olivia:
What is your next project?
OA: Several titles are in progress. A cozy mystery series, an English family saga as well as a Regency epic…all underway. Which one will cross the finish line first?
Which of your characters is your favorite?
OA: Lisette of Ashes of Waterloo…the phrase ‘true grit’ certainly applies to her. Another fav in the Waterloo book is Nora, the Irish servant, because of her humor and gritty advice…she will have a role in my upcoming Irish/English saga.
Is history an inspiration or a tool?
OA: Sifting through historical details is very challenging but fuels my imagination. It’s an ‘ah-ha!’ moment when I find a detail that fits the story like a glove.
Do you have a comment about trends in fiction publishing?
OA: There is a new wave of authors who say they just want to write a powerful story and ignore format and grammar. My readers are interested in history and I believe they have ‘old school’ standards; thus, my goal is a quality story in both form and format.
What are your three top tips to aspiring writers?
OA: 1/Write… 2/Rewrite… 3/ Keep learning and honing your craft every day…
Thanks for stopping by and answering my questions, Olivia.
Ashes of Waterloo is available online at all Amazon stores.
About Olivia Andem:
Olivia has deep Southern roots, is married and lives in California. She enjoys speaking to book clubs, library and civic groups about the historic Georgian era that inspired THE HAWTHORNE DIARIES (Courtship in the Jane Austen Era, Books 1 & 2) and ASHES OF WATERLOO. Olivia is a member of Romance Writers of America and other writer groups as well as an avid reader and genealogy researcher. Aided by the encouragement of family and the loving support of a grand-dog Yorkie terrier, current projects include both romance and historical fiction.
“KNOW YOUR OWN HAPPINESS.
YOU WANT NOTHING BUT PATIENCE
OR GIVE IT A MORE FASCINATING NAME,
CALL IT HOPE.”
Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility 1811
NOTE FROM OLIVIA: A lovely large print of an English cottage imbues my office with great atmosphere while writing or editing. I like to listen to music when I am working on a very emotional scene. My favorites are Mozart and Beethoven piano concertos HISTORY NOVEL GAL is the title of my website and a clue…history of all sorts is my love and passion. The best thing about my author journey so far has been hearing from a reader who says, “I loved your book, I couldn’t put it down!”