Excerpt: In the Shadow of Vesuvius

Author Liz Carmichael has stopped by today with a teaser of her book In The Shadow of Vesuvius

All I wanted then was for Levi to put down the tray and leave. Every delay, even the most minor ones, made me want to scream until I had no voice left to scream any more. The sooner Levi went downstairs and cleaned up the kitchen, the sooner he would go to the slave quarters. Then he and the rest of the house would sleep, or at least be out of the way, and I could leave.

But not today – oh, no. Today, he wanted to talk, and he dropped onto the mat next to Remy with a huge, lop-sided grin on his stupid face. His dark-lashed ebony eyes shone with some inner pleasure I neither knew, nor cared to know about.

‘Don’t you have any work to do?’ I folded my arms across my chest.

‘No, I ate while I helped Cook. Then I cleaned the kitchen while Dominus and Domina dined. I’m all yours for now.’ His ridiculous, broad grin stayed teeth-grindingly in place.

‘Well,’ I snapped, ‘Remy won’t eat with some bug-eyed fish staring at him. And I don’t mean the one on the plate. If he becomes too excited he won’t settle for siesta, and that means he’ll be fretful when I take him to his mother.’ With fists on hips, I glared at him. ‘You know what happens then, don’t you?’

Jumping to his feet, Levi held up his hands in surrender. ‘Forgiveness, Domina Mirabelle. Just trying to be friendly, no need to turn into an old shrew. I’ll leave you in peace. Eat. Enjoy.’ Before I could say anything else he left. That’s when I saw the slices of spiced chicken and olives, with a small chunk of cheese and half loaf of bread next to them. Levi had remembered how I much hated fish – eel most of all – or had Cook remembered? Maybe bringing the fish for Remy was Levi’s way of covering up what he had really brought for me.


About the Author

Although born in Scotland and spent time in other countries, Liz is now happily settled in Melbourne, Australia. She is an editor as well as a writer and avid reader – especially historical fiction – who loves researching, though she can get so caught up in research she forgets about the story she’s researching for.

Liz also draws and paints for relaxation, and will do illustrations for her books whenever possible. She walks her daughter’s dog because both need the exercise.

She has a Dip. Art (Professional Writing and Editing), and taught writing and editing for two years until the need to concentrate fully on her own writing took over again.

Her favourite authors, in no particular order, are: Sue Monk Kidd, Sara Donati, Geraldine Brooks, Vanora Bennett, Sarah Dunant, Cormac McCarthy, Markus Suzak, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Robert Harris. For Crime: Michael Connelly, Minette Walters, Jeffrey Deaver, and Dean Koontz for his crime with humour. Newest favourite authors are Anne Obrien and Pauline Gedge – writers of historical fiction, of course.

Author Links:


Purchase on Amazon for Kindle

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Purchase on Barnes & Noble


Excerpt: Hollywood Stories

Here’s a fun excerpt for the blog today! I love history and I admit to a particular fondness for movie history. My first experiences with history were in reading biographies, most of them of the old stars of the silver screen.

Author Stephen Schochet is a professional tour guide in Hollywood who years ago began collecting little-known, humorous anecdotes to tell to his customers. His new book Hollywood Stories: Short, Entertaining Anecdotes About the Stars and Legends of the Movies! contains a timeless treasure trove of colorful vignettes featuring an amazing all-star cast of icons including John Wayne, Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney, Jack Nicholson, Johnny Depp, Shirley Temple, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, Errol Flynn and many others both past and contemporary.

A Couple Snippets From Hollywood Stories:

We Don’t Want a Hit

Executives at United Artists Studio were unimpressed viewing the initial footage of Sean Connery playing James Bond in the 1962 spy thriller Dr. No. The thirty-two-year-old Scottish actor, whose receding hairline was carefully hidden by a toupee, seemed to change his accent in almost every scene. Sure, the former Mr. Universe runner-up was a formidable
presence, but did Connery have the sophistication to play the suave super spy 007, a role originally meant for Cary Grant? The studio kept the completed film on the shelf for many months before releasing it in England where it was a smash. Well, it had to be a fluke; Bond was English, after all. Six months later, they released it in the USA where it did great again. Dr. No led to a hugely successful James Bond franchise and made Sean Connery an international star. It failed only in Japan, where movie-theater owners translated Dr. No to read, “We don’t want a doctor!”

Walt Disney’s Daughters
(This one’s my favorite. I laughed so hard. – Gwen)

Walt Disney’s two daughters, Sharon and Diane, grew up sheltered from the limelight. The children had no images of Mickey Mouse around their home. Their father didn’t go to many parties, preferring to stay in after a long day of work. Sometimes he would playfully chase the youngsters upstairs, cackling like the evil peddler woman in Snow White. When they behaved badly, Walt would admonish them with a raised eyebrow; his stern demeanor inspired the character of the wise old owl, in the 1942 animated feature Bambi. As toddlers, the brainy Diane and beautiful Sharon stayed blissfully unaware that their parents worried about them being kidnapped and allowed no pictures of the sisters to be publicly circulated. Once in 1939, a curious classmate questioned six-year-old Diane about her family. She went
home and said, “Daddy, you never told me you were that Walt Disney,” and asked him for an autograph.

To find out more about the book, visit the Hollywood Stories website!