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Welcome back, my friends to the show that never ends... (and big prog-rock kudos to you if you recognise that lyric ;) ) I'm here today to talk about my novella, Blessed Isle, which came out from Riptide on the 31st of December. I'm Alex Beecroft, and I'm taking the stage from Elisa Rolle today, with her blessing. I hope I don't give her cause to regret it ;)

As a giveaway on this tour I'm offering either the two books of the Under the Hill series, or any other two ebooks in my back catalogue.

Today, it seems to me that I've made you work hard enough, so lets have a day off and have no question. You can catch up on the previous questions, and the rules of the game, on the previous posts, which you can find here:

Convicts and Castaways

I've been a published writer now since 2007, and a large proportion of those novels and novellas have been set during the Age of Sail. It wasn't a conscious decision to concentrate on 18th Century gentlemen on fighting ships, it was just an enthusiasm for the era, the clothes, the manners and the adventure.

But one thing I hadn't anticipated, when my first book, Captain's Surrender, came out, was that I might run into the problem of repeating plot elements. Captain's Surrender largely had a backdrop of dashing young Englishmen on Royal Navy ships fighting the French navy and – on being washed up in America - learning important life lessons from the Ojibwe people. The next book, False Colors, had my naval heroes fighting piracy, in that well known nest of pirates, the Caribbean. But they also went map making, and had some chilly escapades in the Arctic.

His Heart's Obsession combined the French and the Caribbean, and By Honor Betrayed was set among the equally cut throat but less glamorous world of the Cornish pirate.

So for Blessed Isle I wanted to do an Age of Sail story that had nothing to do with either the French or any form of piracy whatsoever. As my dad always said, whenever something went wrong, “worse things happen at sea.” I thought it was about time I tackled one (or knowing my stories, two or three of those worse things at once.) But what was left?

Well, I could look at an entirely different part of the globe. I'd just bought Captain Cook's journal and was captivated by his adventures around the Pacific, so that seemed a good part of the world to visit. Then in my researches I stumbled across the story of the First Fleet. Ooh, I thought, there's a conflict in the making – how can I put my naval heroes in a position where they have to rely on a bunch of disaffected and maltreated prisoners for their lives? Would the convicts set them adrift in the middle of an unmapped ocean? Might they end up in a situation a bit like that of the mutineers from the Bounty? And it all cascaded from there.

Don't ask me why I didn't just go straight from Cook's diaries to the potential Polynesian culture clash story. Maybe that's something I'll have to try later.

Blurb for Blessed Isle
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (December 29, 2012)
Amazon Kindle: Blessed Isle

For Captain Harry Thompson, the command of the prison transport ship HMS Banshee is his opportunity to prove his worth, working-class origins be damned. But his criminal attraction to his upper-crust First Lieutenant, Garnet Littleton, threatens to overturn all he’s ever worked for.
Lust quickly proves to be the least of his problems, however. The deadly combination of typhus, rioting convicts, and a monstrous storm destroys his prospects . . . and shipwrecks him and Garnet on their own private island. After months of solitary paradise, the journey back to civilization—surviving mutineers, exposure, and desertion—is the ultimate test of their feelings for each other.
These two very different men each record their story for an unfathomable future in which the tale of their love—a love punishable by death in their own time—can finally be told. Today, dear reader, it is at last safe for you to hear it all.

You can read an excerpt and buy Blessed Isle here at Riptide.

Author Bio

Alex Beecroft was born in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and grew up in the wild countryside of the English Peak District. She studied English and Philosophy before accepting employment with the Crown Court where she worked for a number of years. Now a stay-at-home mum and full time author, Alex lives with her husband and two daughters in a little village near Cambridge and tries to avoid being mistaken for a tourist.
Alex is only intermittently present in the real world. She has lead a Saxon shield wall into battle, toiled as a Georgian kitchen maid, and recently taken up an 800 year old form of English folk dance, but she still hasn’t learned to operate a mobile phone.
You can find Alex on
her website, Facebook, Twitter or her Goodreads page

Blessed Isle

Date: 2013-01-03 06:18 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
As I have mentioned once before, I LOVE your books. They transport me to that era and the hardships these men had to go through. Your books are different from the norm and that's one thing I always look for in an author.

Date: 2013-01-02 02:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This story (and your others) sound really interesting. I've not read much "at sea" novels, except for a bits in Diane Galderdon's world (spelling?).

Best of luck on your blog tour and I hope I get the chance to try this one out.

Date: 2013-01-05 03:41 pm (UTC)
ext_7009: (Bravo)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks so much Jkivela :) And sorry it took me so long to answer. I'm not sure whether it was LJ or just my computer, but I've not been able to get onto LJ for most of the week.

I didn't know Diane Gabaldon had done some sea stories - I must check that out. I love her Lord John novels.

Thanks again!

Date: 2013-01-06 06:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think LJ has been having issues.

She's not done any dedicated at sea novels, but some of the Outlander ones take place, at least partially, on ship

Date: 2013-01-06 11:06 am (UTC)
ext_7009: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Oh right. I've read a couple of those, but clearly not the ones on board ship. I'll keep a lookout for them too. Thanks!

Date: 2013-01-02 10:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Come and see the show!" ELP, of course. My faves.

Date: 2013-01-05 03:39 pm (UTC)
ext_7009: (Excessively diverted)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, you win the internet plus bonus special effects spaceship :) I was sure I was the only person on earth who liked ELP (which would have been very sad and untenable for them.)

Date: 2013-01-05 03:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
When all my contemps were going silly over Donny and David, I was into Keith Emerson.

I can never listen to Pictures at an Exhibition without wanting to sing the words, though!
Edited Date: 2013-01-05 03:48 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-01-05 06:08 pm (UTC)
ext_7009: (RN - pride)
From: [identity profile]
Oh you are a woman of good taste :) He was my favourite too. The very first stories I ever wrote featured a band very like ELP voyaging around the universe and fighting crime, with Keith as the hero, of course :)

Date: 2013-01-05 09:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Why does none of that surprise me?

Date: 2013-01-06 10:59 am (UTC)
ext_7009: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Possibly because I may have told you that three times before already. I'm having a definite feeling of deja vu over this conversation ;)

Date: 2013-01-06 01:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If we have, I've forgotten it. No surprises there, then. :)

Date: 2013-01-05 03:42 pm (UTC)
ext_7009: (Aubrey UFO)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks for having me on the blog Elisa! I'm sorry it's taken me so long to say so, but LJ seems to have been down for me for the last week. I'm very glad it's back :)

Date: 2013-01-05 03:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
i fear LJ will never be the same again :-(

Date: 2013-01-05 06:08 pm (UTC)
ext_7009: (crisis management)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, it is getting to the stage where I'm starting to think of decamping to Goodreads instead.


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