The Victorian Empire has declared war on the Zulus if they don't accede to their outrageous demands. The clock is ticking down to the appointed hour. With no idea why the British are marching three massive columns of men and guns towards them, one Zulu general is prepared to take an impossible risk. But the life he's gambling with isn't his own . . .
The sole survivor of a shipwreck off the Zululand coast, 15 year-old Elizabeth Jones is taken in by the Zulus, the people of the sky. Six years later, her white skin becomes useful to the Zulu army as they try to work out why the Victorian Empire has pointed their war-machine at the Zulu nation. Elizabeth is suddenly Zululand's most important spy.
While infiltrating the British camp, Elizabeth's disguise as a young soldier is uncovered almost immediately by Captain Jack Burdell. However, he believes the tale she spins of searching for a missing brother and shields her from discovery, allowing her to bunk in his tent and giving her a job as his batman. Burdell is war-weary and disillusioned - no longer willing to follow regulations at all costs.
But as Elizabeth and Jack explore their growing attraction to each other, the two armies move towards their inevitable clash. Elizabeth is torn between the guilt of betrayal and her fierce loyalty to her Zulu family, and when Zulu and British meet on the battlefield, both she and Jack find their hearts and their lives caught in the crossfire.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR :
Michelle Diener writes historical fiction. Her Susanna Horenbout and John Parker series starts with IN A TREACHEROUS COURT. Set in the court of Henry VIII, it features the real historical figures of artist Susanna Horenbout and Henry's Keeper of the Palace of Westminster and Yeoman of the King's Robes, John Parker. It was followed by KEEPER OF THE KING'S SECRETS, also featuring Susanna Horenbout and John Parker, and DANGEROUS SANCTUARY, a short story with the same characters, set between the two books, is currently available as an ebook only.
A new historical novel, set during the Napoleonic Wars in London in 1811, THE EMPEROR'S CONSPIRACY, was released on November 27th, 2012.
Michelle also contributed a short paranormal story to the ENTANGLED Anthology entitled BREAKING OUT. All the proceeds of the sale of ENTANGLED go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Michelle grew up in South Africa, and now lives in Australia with her husband and two children.
For more information please visit Michelle Diener's website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.
NOTE: You may recognize Michelle from my previous interview of her regarding "The Emperor's Conspiracy" found here: http://abookishlibraria.blogspot.com/2012/12/giveaway-emperors-conspiracy-by_13.html
TODAY THE DAME IS PLEASED TO BRING YOU THIS GUEST POST FROM MICHELLE!
"Stranger than fiction"
Someone once said the only difference between reality and fiction is that fiction has to make sense.
Hear, hear. I don't know about you, but I'm often left thinking 'what the heck?' when I read something in the paper or online, or watch it on the news. Even stories or incidents told to me by friends or acquaintances surprise me, and I make things up for a living!
In my novel The Emperor's Conspiracy, which was published last year, the story included references to the plot by Napoleon to cripple the British economy by making a deal with British criminals and smugglers to smuggle out all of England's gold. More than one reader wrote to me after reading the book to say they loved the book, but until they read the Author's Note, they honestly thought I'd made that part of the story up. It was a shock to discover that every word of it was true.
Equally, in Daughter of the Sky, my latest release, because I've kept to the actual events of the opening days of the Anglo-Zulu War so closely, there are a couple of things that may make people think, 'yeah, right!' only to reach the end, read the Author's Note, and have to take it all back. :)
For me, one of the most spectacular, and spooky, elements of the first real battle of the war, which is near the climax of book, was that while the two sides were fighting each other, there was a partial eclipse of the sun.
As the moon moved across the sun, at the height of the battle, an eerie light fell over the soldiers and warriors. If I'd made that up, I'd have wondered if it wasn't too much. I mean, men are fighting each other to the death, my main characters are in a world of conflict and pain, and then a strange light falls over them all, they look up, and see the sun going dark. Over the top, much?
Whichever side they were on, I don't think any of the combatants thought that was a good sign, and I doubt many of them dismissed it scientifically as merely the movement of heavenly bodies.
Do you have a stranger than fiction story to share? Or is there something you read in a book you thought the author made up, only to find out it was quite true?
Thank you so much to Deborah for having me as a guest today!
Thank you, Michelle, for this great post. I often find myself in situations where I laugh and consider that my life is "stranger than fiction!" :] It was a joy to find both of your books and I encourage my readers to take a look at all of those you've written. They can be found on Amazon today!
*Note: This guest post and spotlight were brought to you by: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
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Thanks for stopping by today!! Deborah/TheBookishDame