A #HistoricalMondays Book Spotlight w/ Notes + Extracts | featuring my first blog tour with Frolic Book Tours : the Celtic #HistFic Saga by Rebecca Kightlinger: The Bury Down Chronicles (originally discovered via #NetGalley)

Posted Monday, 2 November, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I am wicked thrilled to be on this lovely blog tour celebrating a series I first *discovered!* on NetGalley – which is the Bury Down Chronicles! I have only been on NetGalley since February of 2020 (wherein I started participating by listening to audio extracts) and I have been reviewing and listening to audiobooks via NetGalley since July, 2020. Previously I was not able to participate on NetGalley due to my inability to read ebooks due to my chronic migraines. Hence why I am celebrating this year NetGalley finally released a format which works for readers who only read stories in print and/or listen to audiobooks; as the latter have been such a keen pleasure of joy in my life since I first started listening to them in 2016.

I wasn’t sure which kinds of audiobooks would be available for review consideration this Summer on NetGalley but what I am finding is a lovely mixture of stories – from adult to Children’s Lit and from Fiction and Non-Fiction. Three of the reviews I submitted are on my blog now – which are as follows: Solstice Shadows (see also Review); My Life in Plants (see also Review) and Jorik Calling (see also Review). I will be releasing more as I finish the stories I’ve begun listening to whilst I am also re-balancing my NetGalley selections as a few of them archived before I could listen to them and am thankful those selections are on Scribd.

When it came to Megge of Bury Down – I was thankful I could request the audiobook from the author as I had a lot of health issues in September and at the end of October; this coming week I am listening to both Megge of Bury Down (courtesy of the author) and The Lady of the Cliffs (which thankfully was available via NetGalley). What caught my attention first and foremost is how this is a lovely installment of stories featuring strong women and a cornerstone of History I do not regularly get to read or listen too. I love seeking out hidden stories in the historical past which bring to life a bit of history you are not expecting to find and whose heroines of the stories themselves have such a strong story to be heard.

I personally love finding Feminist Historical Fiction & Historical Women’s Fiction stories as much as I love stories which dip into the shadows and corners of Magical Realism. Each writer who uses Magical Realism re-invents what can be done with this genre and it is a joy to continue to discover each writer’s spin and evocation of the genre itself. For these reasons I am wicked thrilled I can listen to this series during the blog tour and to help signal boost the series to those readers who might not have discovered it.

Today, I am sharing extracts from both stories in order to give you a better preview of what is inside them and hopefully after reading the extracts you might decide to either fetch these audiobooks via NetGalley yourself (as I saw they are still available under ‘Listen Now’) or perhaps you’ll add the series to your own #mustread list! Either way, ENJOY!

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The Bury Down Chronicles:

Megge of Bury Down by Rebecca KightlingerThe Lady of the Cliffs by Rebecca Kightlinger

Megge of Bury Down (book one)

Megge of Bury Down was recently named a Distinguished Favorite in the categories of historical fiction and cover design at the Independent Press NYC Big Book Awards.

The Lady of the Cliffs (book two)

The Lady of the Cliffs is a continuation of Megge of Bury Down, it is not a standalone novel and readers will have to have read Megge in order to understand the events that take place in this book.

Published by: Rowan Moon (@RowanMoon_Press)

Genre(s): Historical Fiction, Celtic Historical Fiction

Converse via: #HistoricalFiction, #HistFic, #Celtic and #MeggeOfBuryDown
as well as #BuryDownChronicles, #MagicalRealism or #WomensFiction

About Rebecca Kightlinger

Rebecca Kightlinger

Rebecca Kightlinger holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA program and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. A fulltime writer and literary critic, she divides her workday between researching and writing the Bury Down Chronicles, reviewing novels for the Historical Novel Society, and reading fiction submissions for New England Review. She travels to Cornwall to carry out on-site research for each book of the Bury Down series.

In her twenty years of medical practice as an obstetrician gynecologist, she had the privilege of caring for the women of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Guyana, South America. A lifetime Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a member of the American Association for the History of Medicine, she also studies ancient medicine, medieval midwifery, the history of Cornwall, and the manuscripts and arts of the mystical healer.
She and her husband live in Pennsylvania.

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A #HistoricalMondays Book Spotlight w/ Notes + Extracts | featuring my first blog tour with Frolic Book Tours : the Celtic #HistFic Saga by Rebecca Kightlinger: The Bury Down Chronicles (originally discovered via #NetGalley)(Book Spotlight) Megge of Bury Down
Subtitle: The Bury Down Chronicles
by Rebecca Kightlinger
Source: Direct from Author
Narrator: Jan Cramer

In thirteenth century Cornwall, young Megge has just come of age to be apprenticed to her mother, the healer of Bury Down. But first, she must accept and vow to protect The Book of Seasons, an ancient tome that holds life-sustaining power harnessed centuries earlier by Murga, the first seer of Bury Down.

At her vowtaking ceremony, yearning to accept her inheritance and take her place among her family's long line of healers and seers, Megge reaches for the book. When she touches it, she feels something writhe within it and becomes convinced that the book is cursed and that she too will be cursed if she accepts it.

Despite her mother's pleas to protect the book from the one who would usurp its power, Megge refuses to even look at it. But when a Blackfriar abbot arrives in the village claiming to be under orders to root out heretics, and imprisons the healer for refusing to turn over her "demon's book," will Megge finally summon the courage to take that vow?

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Women's Fiction, Feminist Historical Fiction, Magical Realism


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B07K7X6V2H

Published by Rowan Moon

on 9th November, 2018

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 8 hours and 38 minutes (unabridged)

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Megge of Bury Down (flat cover) by Rebecca Kightlinger

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CHAPTER 1

Bury Down

November 15, 1275

Mother cast a wary glance back into the cottage, hesitating at the threshold for a long moment before swinging her cape over her shoulders and stalking down the path alone, hens and chicks scattering before her ruthless step.

“Morwen?” I tugged at the old bard’s woolen cloak.

Morwen knelt beside me and pulled up my hood, smiling as she tied the strings beneath my chin.

“’Tisn’t every day a daughter of Bury Down turns six. Watch close tonight, Megge. Learn from your mother now, child.”

We followed the path Mother had taken, and when we reached the pasture, Morwen raised her arm and swept her walking stick in a great arc as if tracing a rainbow over the herder’s hill in the distance.

“Look out there, Megge, to the east. To that high, gentle slope. Can you see the sheep grazing, heads down, their white fleece tinted pink with the setting sun?”

That low voice, constant as the hum of bees in the hedges, fixed each step forever in my mind as we climbed the herder’s hill. I can hear it even now, although my hair is as white as Morwen’s was that day.

“Now, cast your gaze to the summit, child, to Bury Down, once a hillfort of rock and timber, now but a low stone crown set crooked upon a great green head. Can you see the last of the setting sun, blood-red upon that granite ring?”

She fell silent as we climbed, and when we reached the top, she took a deep breath, opened the neck of her cloak, and exhaled into it.

“What are you doing, Morwen?”

“I’m keeping this ember alight.” Opening her cloak, she showed me a clay cup that held a chunk of turf. “The wind would blow it out, but without a breath of air it would die.” She covered the cup with her cloak and held out her hand. “Come, Megge, we’ve fallen behind.”

Mother, having gone on ahead, was out of my sight, so I held tight to Morwen as the rising breeze became blustery and the sky and the stones went grey. Walking just outside the wide stone ring, we finally came to rocks no higher than Morwen’s knee.

“Come, Megge.” She helped me step over the wall and, for the first time, into Bury Down circle.

A hillfort, she had said. Rock and timber.

But this was no fort. The hilltop was wild, one side covered with grasses laid flat by the constant wind and the other taken up with oaks.

“This was once Murga’s grove,” Morwen whispered, pointing to the copse with her staff. “She was the first of us. The first seer of Bury Down.”

I was about to ask why Mother always called it the healer’s grove when my eye was caught by a lone rowan standing just outside the grove, all its branches flung to one side as if it were trying to flee, its hands thrust out before it.

“Morwen . . .” I could barely breathe. “This tree . . .”

Morwen glanced at the rowan.

“There’s always been a rowan here, Megge. Ever since Murga’s day, nearly a thousand years ago. One tree dies, and another springs up to take its place, all its branches blown sideways by the ceaseless wind.” She squeezed my hand and led me past the sentry tree and into the oaks. “Come along now, lass, the others are waiting.”

Deeper and deeper we trudged until the forest floor, spongy with fallen leaves, began to smell of truffles and rot. Morwen took a deep breath.

“Can you taste the sweet night air? Can you feel the soft earth give beneath your feet?” When the sky had gone dark and the air cold and damp, she squeezed my hand. “Your aunts will have made everything ready. Tell me, Megge, are you very brave?”

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Quite a lot for a young girl to take in during this scene – as you can gather she is on the fringes of growing into her heritage and of the legacy of the women in her family. She is on the verge of coming into her own and of understanding the greater legacy of what each woman before her has learnt and gone on to accomplish her life. I truly liked the symbolism of the tree – of how it represented so much history and truth, and yet it was also a constant reminder of time; the interconnectedness of past, present and future.

I can attest I am going to enjoy soaking into Megge’s story as I still remember the sampler I heard – of how atmospheric this audiobook was produced and how wickedly the narrator’s voice matched well with the context of the storyline. I definitely want to learn more about how Bury Down has a legacy of seers and how these women found Bury Down to be a sanctuary for their talents and gifts.

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A #HistoricalMondays Book Spotlight w/ Notes + Extracts | featuring my first blog tour with Frolic Book Tours : the Celtic #HistFic Saga by Rebecca Kightlinger: The Bury Down Chronicles (originally discovered via #NetGalley)(Book Spotlight) The Lady Of the Cliffs
Subtitle: The Bury Down Chronicles : Book Two
by Rebecca Kightlinger
Source: Audiobook Direct from Publisher via NetGalley
Narrator: Jan Cramer

Long ago, before this cusp of land was known as Cornwall,
there dwelt in a cave at the foot of a cliff on Kernow’s rugged coast a healer.

“You know them, don’t you, Megge of Bury Down?” asks a voice that is silk over silk.
“These cliffs of Kernow.”

Cornwall, 1285 CE

Now nearly seventeen, Megge and Brighida must endure another brutal loss. And as they perform the rites of transition that precede a burial, Megge accepts a daunting new charge that carries consequences not even her cousin the seer can predict. It brings visions. Dreams. And voices that come to her as she goes about her work.

A silken voice beckons her back to the cliffs of Kernow, which she has seen only in dreams. A commanding voice orders her back. And the menacing voice she’s heard since she was a girl is now ever at her ear, bringing new a haunting meaning to her grandmother’s words, “You’re never alone.”

But only when the tales of an old woman, a stranger to Bury Down, echo those voices and conjure those cliffs does Megge embark on a journey that leads to a secluded cove they call The Sorrows and a destiny none of the women of Bury Down could have foreseen.

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Women's Fiction, Feminist Historical Fiction, Magical Realism


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B08LQQKHQG

Published by Rowan Moon

on 23rd October, 2020

Format: Audiobook | Digital Review Copy (NetGalley)

Length: 7 hours and 47 minutes (unabridged)

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[Set-up: this is a scene from Chapter 18. It contains no spoilers. Megge is attending her first moonlight healing with Brighida. The scene takes place late at night, in a clearing in the sacred Bury Down grove, under a full moon. Megge narrates the scene.]

***

A woman I had not seen approach stood next to the fire, from which white smoke rose straight up into a cloudless sky.

“Please,” Brighida said. “Sit.”

She sat on one of the logs and waited. Brighida closed her eyes for a moment, her lips moving over an incantation, and then opened them and turned to her. “Your hood.”

She pushed back her hood and turned her face to Brighida.

My cousin breathed deeply as she regarded the woman’s countenance. “Those circles beneath your eyes—” She traced crescents beneath her own. “They speak of worry, of anxious nights, days of dread. What is it you would ask of me?”

The woman pulled her gaze from Brighida’s, closed her eyes, and dropped her head.

A widow.

The thought surprised me. I did not know this woman. Why had I thought her a widow? I drew nearer. She began to speak in a voice so low I had to strain to hear.

“It’s my man. He went north.” She raised her head, her expression begging Brighida to understand. “He’s not a fighting man, my lady, but a farmer. His father holds land north of the wall. Rich farmland, he’s always said, and he’s old now. And though my man’s now a Cornishman, he’s gone to join his family. To help them fight our king. He left under cover of night.” She covered her face and wept.

Treason, I thought. Her husband is a traitor.

“Who else knows of this?” I asked.

She turned to me as I approached and sat beside her. Her thin face was taut, those violet smudges stark against blanched skin.

“No one, lady.” She shook her head in small, fast jerks. “Not a soul.”

“He has no other family here?”

“They’re are all north of the wall.”

I shivered and leaned closer to the fire. In its rising smoke I saw lands put to the torch, great flames leaping high in the night sky. I heard men scream as their limbs were severed and watched their blood flow into the scorched ground. I had to look away.

“She’s gone white,” the widow said to Brighida. “What’s happening? What does she see?”

“You’ve family, here in Cornwall,” I began.

She drew away. “Family? No—”

“Sons, Mistress. You’ve three sons.”

She looked fearfully from me to Brighida and then back at me. “Aye. One nearly grown.”

“Set them to work on your lands, for your man shan’t return.” Cold words. Not words of solace. But they rose from my chest and would not be stopped. “More work than they think they can bear. Tilling, planting. A new crop. Your eldest will speak to you of a grain that will grow in days of heat and cold. Dry times and wet. He has spoken of it to his father, who told him nay. But now is his time. Keep him at home. Give him his head. Let him and his brothers sow their father’s land. ’Twill hold them here. And the grain will serve you in times of need.”

Though I had delivered the words slowly, deliberately, they had come to me in a rush, had filled my chest and throat and pushed until the last had been spoken. I felt as breathless as if I had run up to my rock all in one burst. I had to breathe long and slowly to steady my voice, for there was more.

“Your man fought valiantly for his ancestors’ land,” I said quietly, seeing the man’s face now, grimacing, sweating, mud-smeared, and streaming with blood and tears. “He called your name at the last,” I said. “Amareth.”

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It has been awhile since I’ve read a story which involves premonitions and second sight – it has to be difficult for those who can see what others cannot and to relate the messages they are given. The words have connection and power to those who need to hear those words but they also have further meaning to the person whose sees the truth out of the darkness. I will be keenly interested in watching how all this unfolds and how the back-stories and histories of the women are further explained as well. I can tell this is going to be a dramatic series to be listening to and how it has a lot of depth and scope for the reader to undertake as well.

Plus, too, I love how this series builds through its installments – how you have to go book by book in order to get the best understanding and knowledge about the story and the characters therein. My favourite way to read a series is by starting at the beginning and carrying forward from there – how clever this series picks up quite immediately from where it first leaves off in the first novel as you move into the second. I look forward to having more expansive thoughts to share with my readers and visitors this Saturday. Until then, I hope these extracts tempted your own curiosity to settle into the Bury Down Chronicles! Be sure to visit with the rest of the tour hosts and find more information along the route as well!

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This blog tour is courtesy of:

The Lady of the Cliffs blog tour banner provided by Frolic Book Tours and is used with permission.Follow the Virtual Road Map

as you visit others participating:

As this particular one has a bookaway along the route:

The Lady of the Cliffs blog tour banner provided by Frolic Blog Tours and is used with permission.
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 I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!
Be sure to leave notes, takeaways and commentary for the author who would love to hear your thoughts on behalf of this spotlight and extract. We look forward to seeing what you felt the premise of this novel.

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Frolic Book Tours banner provided by Frolic Book Tours and is used with permission.

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{SOURCES: Book cover for “The Lady of the Cliffs”, book synopsis, author biography, author photograph of Rebecca Kightlinger, the tour banner, blog tour banner and the Frolic Blog Tours banner were all provided by Frolic Blog Tours and are used with permission. Book Cover for “Megge of Bury Down”, the synopsis and the extracts from the novels of this series were provided by the author Rebecca Kightlinger and are used with permission. Post dividers and My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Stories in the Spotlight banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2020.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie

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Posted Monday, 2 November, 2020 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Spotlight, Indie Author




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