Writing update…

Yes, it’s that time of the month when I push my books into the faces of an uncaring world. You can skip to the end (where I have a competition of sorts) if you like, I won’t be offended.

Blood Sisters is my latest book and is a French Revolutionary saga with lots of nice dresses, romance, drama, iniquity, cheating, death, bloodshed and even a bit of I Saw Something Terrible In The Gazebo, if you like that sort of thing and let’s face it, who doesn’t?

When the beautiful Comtesse de Saint-Valèry is dragged unwillingly from her Parisian home in the dead of night, her three young daughters are left to an uncertain fate at the hands of their father in a world that is teetering on the very edge of Revolution.

Cassandre, the eldest is a beautiful and heartless society beauty, trapped in an unhappy marriage and part of the dazzling court of Versailles. Lucrèce, her twin, is married to a man she adores but he pushes her away for another woman. Meanwhile, Adélaïde, the youngest, rebels against the destiny that her position in society appears to have doomed her to.

As the horror, turmoil and excitement of the French Revolution unfolds around them, the three very different sisters struggle to survive the bloodshed, find love and discover their true selves…

It’s currently $2.72 on Amazon US and £1.71 on Amazon UK, which is less than GIN but lasts longer.

The Secret Diary of a Princess is my debut work and is a totally fake diary written by Marie Antoinette in the years leading up to her marriage to the poor Dauphin Louis. It has a lot of family drama, nice dresses, iniquity, bitchy French ambassadors and even a hint of romance.

The dramatic and often tragic years of Marie Antoinette’s early life, told in her own words. This book follows her privileged childhood and adolescence in the beautiful palaces of Vienna as the youngest and least important of the daughters of the all powerful Empress Maria Theresa of Austria and invites the reader to share the long journey, both emotional and physical that ended with her marriage to the Dauphin Louis of France at Versailles.

This is the unforgettable story of a charming, fun loving and frivolous young girl, destined for greatness, coming to age in one of the most magnificent and opulent courts that the world has ever seen.

‘As soon as the introductions were over, the King took my hand and led me to the Dauphin, who I had barely noticed since entering the room. He seemed to be trying his best to hide from view and looked uncomfortable and ill at ease in his suit of white satin, sewn all over with diamonds and gold embroidery and I noticed with irritation that he was scratching at his neck underneath the fine white linen of his shirt collar, leaving red scratch marks beneath his powdered wig.

‘Are you ready?’ the King asked as he gave my hand to the Dauphin. ‘All of Versailles awaits you.’

I nodded, feeling the Dauphin’s hand grow hot and clammy against my own. ‘I am ready.’’

It’s currently $3 on Amazon US and £2.88 on Amazon UK, which is also cheaper than GIN. Maybe.

Please, please leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads if you’ve read either of them!

I still don’t know when my third book, Before The Storm is due out but am hoping for a release date before Christmas. Will let you all know more when I have a better idea of what’s happening! I’d like to end this year with three books available on Amazon though.

I’m working on my fourth and fifth books at the moment but progress is being stunted somewhat by the glorious weather we are having right now in the West of England. It’s hard to write about dank, foggy streets when the sun is shining outside. I’ve been thinking a lot about my Ripper book though – there’s still so many questions about the case that I need to tackle and come to a conclusion about before I can really get on with it.

I’m enjoying the research though, even if I can’t quite get to grips with just how poor people were in the East End in 1888. It’s just appalling and makes me even more furious with people today who are keen on dismantling the NHS and benefit systems that are in place to assist and protect the vulnerable and impoverished that still live amongst us. I suppose I feel it most keenly because now, just like back in 1888, it is women and children who suffer the most.

In happier news, I’ve decided that this book will definitely have a proper launch, probably in the Spitalfields area and with cakes, GIN and also paper copies of my book for sale (and also so that I can sign them in a diffident manner). I’ll dress up for the occasion and maybe do an ‘in character’ Ripper tour afterwards. What do you reckon?

Ooh, that reminds me – I rashly mentioned a competition didn’t I? Well, once again, I am offering TWO of you the chance to have your name commemorated forever more in my latest opus. Yes, you too could (sort of) wander the streets of Whitechapel touting for trade, sup GIN in the Ten Bells, be a slumming toff or working on a barrow in Spitalfields Market. All you need to do to win is comment on this post and I’ll randomly pick two winners on Wednesday.

35 thoughts on “Writing update…

  • keatsbabe

    As always, you are an inspiration to us all in terms of getting on and DOING the writing. Ripper novel sounds exciting – quite fancy supping gin with a few of the locals in the Ten Bells….

  • Annie Starr

    Oh to wonder the streets of….and sip in the Ten Bells which I originally read as Ten Balls which left me gasping and reaching for the gin….certainly beats the prospect of a day indoors with labs that need walking, children that need stretching and more rain than the Kalahari needs. Anything to escape…

  • Kallisti (@blastmilk)

    I’ll write a review of Blood Sisters! I really loved it. Hit all the right notes, and I love the detail.

    I can’t wait for your next offerings, especially Ripper! I’ve done a lot of reading about the period, poverty et al and couldn’t agree more with you. If people only had perspective they wouldn’t be so willing to throw away vital benefits for all.

    • Madame Guillotine Post author

      Ooh, thanks so much! I’ve had hardly any reviews for Blood Sisters so have been feeling a bit nervous about how it is being received!

      It’s shameful how wantonly certain political types seem to be focused on making vulnerable people even more badly off than they are now.

  • Jane

    Erm, can you take this in lieu of an erudite and witty comment, just so I can be in the draw? The sun has addled my brain and I can’t think of anything.

  • Michelle Peeples (@ZedShowgirl)

    A Ripper book. I cannot wait. I’ve had a growing fascination with all things Jack the Ripper.

    How did you know it was a secret fantasy of mine to “wander the streets of Whitechapel touting for trade, sup GIN in the Ten Bells, be a slumming toff or working on a barrow in Spitalfields Market.” Do I have to add mind reader to your many talents!?! Sounds like fun to me.

    On a serious note it’s really awful what I’ve been reading and hearing about how there are people who want to disband the NHS and various benefits systems. It sounds very much like what people want to do here the U.S. to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, welfare benefits/TANF. I work for a non-profit organization that fights to keep these benefits in place so I am very aware of the necessity of them. I’m always amazed how people want to disband, gut, greatly reduce these programs. And you’re right it’s always women, children, the poor who suffer. We seem to forgotten that as a society and that really upsets me.


    • Madame Guillotine Post author

      Haha, it’s my not so secret fantasy too! :)

      It is utterly dreadful that anyone would want to dismantle the NHS and benefits system. It’s utterly horrible. A society should always be judged on how it treats the most vulnerable of its citizens and I think we are falling very far short at the moment.

  • George Allan

    I hope you get three books on Amazon before the end of the year.
    PS I’d love my name in your Ripper novel. A drunken down and out or something, be great :)

  • Charlotte Clemo

    Oh Madame G! Sounds amazing! I did some Jack the Ripper stuff for my MA and wrote an essay on the way the press reported the Jewish aspects of the case…it was fascinating stuff. Can’t wait for your book…and for your other one about Minette! x

    • Madame Guillotine Post author

      Bless you! Thanks so much! :)

      That sounds so fascinating! I don’t know very much about Jewish culture but am researching it as I go along as I want to respect the fact that the Jewish community was very active in Spitalfields at that time. xxx

  • Jane Molineaux

    Good luck with your book! It sounds great and I’ll be sure to get to the launch in Spitalfields and my best friend lives there! I’d love to find fame and fortune in your book. But can I be gorgeous and glamorous instead of middle aged? Or even gorgeous and middle aged? Because we’re just invisible. Mind you that could be an advantage in a character!

    • Madame Guillotine Post author

      I think being invisible may be an advantage in this book! I’ve just killed off one character and another is about to get the chop.

      Please do come to the launch! I want to meet as many readers and nice people as possible on the night! You can definitely be glamorous if your name gets pulled out of the hat! x

  • The Victorian Librarian

    The launch party sounds like a fantastic idea – you should encourage all those coming along to dress up as well! I’m sure I still have my tankard from my turn as a Victorian barfly in my secondary school production of ‘Oliver’, the better with which to indulge in some quaffing of gin.

    Am also having trouble getting some (much less exciting) writing done in this hot weather. The cooler evenings help.

  • Aileen

    Oh wow, I’d love to come to a launch party. My bosom would be well appreciated.

    Anyway, shameless entry to the competition – as long as you make sure people pronounce it right!

  • Claire Marriott

    Love the idea of a launch party and costumed walk. I will happily bring gin and dress up and I’d also love to appear in the book, Mary-Claire Marriott maybe :-)

    Good luck with the research!

  • Valerie

    I watched ‘From Hell’ for the first time last week and it really brought home to me how awful it all really was, not just the murders, which were horrific but just the poverty and the things that women had to do just to stay alive and get enough money for something as simple and basic that we take for granted like having a roof over your head.

  • Richard Roberts

    Oh Melanie, your writing never fails to bring a smile to my face. I will make it our mission to get us all down to a book launch, complete with 6 starving, impoverished children, just for authenticity. Really, I won’t feed or wash them for a week. And i’ll chuck soot and gutter water over them. Just for you.

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