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Interview with E.M. Powell, author of The Blood of the Fifth Knight

E.M. PowellE.M. Powell is the author of medieval thriller The Fifth Knight, which was a #1 Amazon Bestseller. Born and raised in the Republic of Ireland into the family of Michael Collins (the legendary revolutionary and founder of the Irish Free State), she now lives in the northwest of England with her husband and daughter and a Facebook-friendly dog. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society (HNS), International Thriller Writers and Romance Writers of America, as well as a reviewer of fiction and nonfiction for the HNS.

Her latest book is the historical mystery/thriller, THE BLOOD OF THE FIFTH KNIGHT.

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About the Book:

The Blood of the Fifth KnightEngland, 1176. King Henry II has imprisoned his rebellious Queen for her failed attempt to overthrow him. But with her conspirators still at large and a failed assassination attempt on his beautiful mistress, Rosamund Clifford, the King must take action to preserve his reign.

Desperate, Henry turns to the only man he trusts: a man whose skills have saved him once before. Sir Benedict Palmer answers the call, mistakenly believing that his family will remain safe while he attends to his King.

As Palmer races to secure his King’s throne, neither man senses the hand of a brilliant schemer, a mystery figure loyal to Henry’s traitorous Queen who will stop at nothing to see the King defeated.

The Blood of the Fifth Knight is an intricate medieval murder mystery and worthy sequel to E.M. Powell’s acclaimed historical thriller The Fifth Knight.

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Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, E.M. Powell. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

The Blood of the Fifth Knight is the sequel to my bestselling debut, medieval thriller The Fifth Knight. So I wouldn’t quite describe myself as multi-published-yet!

Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

I had a very unusual route to debut publication. Thanks to my agent, the peerless Josh Getzler at HSG, The Fifth Knight was signed by Thomas & Mercer as a Kindle Serial in 2012. Kindle Serials were an Amazon program where books were published in episodes (in my case, six), each two weeks apart. The episodes were downloaded automatically to buyers’ Kindles. There was a discussion board for each episode and I gained loyal readers. The Serial version sold really well, and then was released as a complete book.

Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

The first episode went out a month after signing. I said it was an unusual route!

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

Pretty much stunned! I had been writing and trying to get published for ten years. Signing with an agent in 2012 was such a huge milestone for me. Then to get an offer in October, and then to have my story out there in November felt surreal. It was also strange in that I couldn’t actually get hold of the book while it went out as episodes. Kindle Serials were only available in the US, and I’m in the UK. But my arms hurt. From pinching myself. A lot.

Q: What was the first thing you did as far as promotion when you were published for the first time?

I mentioned the discussion boards for Kindle Serials. So talking to readers and engaging with them was the first tangible thing. How lovely was that? Getting feedback about each stage of my story was very exciting. But I had to be really, really careful about spoilers. That was fine at the start. But as the book went further on, it was tricky at times to remember exactly which events fitted into which episode. I consulted my notes so much!

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

Getting published has definitely boosted my confidence. I have also found my market, which is for medieval thrillers and mysteries. That in turn has helped to target my research in finding unusual (sometimes gruesome!) aspects of history.

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

The support and generosity of readers and other writers alike. I mean those people who take time out of their own busy lives to help support and spread the word about my books. It happens time and time again and it genuinely never fails to amaze me. I hope I reciprocate, but I always feel like I’m in debt.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

Hearing from readers who have loved my books. I’m an avid reader and the feeling of getting lost in a book, where the world fades away, is second to none. To think that I have done that for someone else is genuinely humbling and the absolute reward for me as a writer.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Learn your craft. You wouldn’t expect to pick up a block of wood and carve it into a perfect, tiny version of the Statue of Liberty on your first attempt. But some folks can. Because they’re spent a long, long time learning to choose the right wood, the right tools. Rejecting clumsy versions. Cutting their fingers on the blade. Having their attempts crack or splinter because they carved wrongly. Yet they do it over and over again, learning all they can, until they produce the finished article. It’s the same with novel writing. So learn the craft. And never, ever give up. You’ll get there!

Book Review: Lakota Honor, by Kat Flannery


LakotaHonor500x769Lakota Honor is an exciting read filled with romance, drama, action, and elements of the paranormal.

It’s the late 1800s, and Otakatay is a bounty hunter, a slayer of men and women. Embittered by the past, he’s ruthless and unforgiving. Now his conscience haunts him day and night, and he believes himself to be evil, to be death itself.

Black-haired, blue-eyed beauty Nora Rushton is a healer, a gift that her father considers a curse and tries to keep secret from everyone around them. To protect her from those who would accuse her of witchcraft as they did her mother, he keeps her locked up in the house all day. But Nora feels like a bird in a cage and she wants to be free.

Then one day, in a twist of fate, she meets Otakatay, and she’s instantly mesmerized by his looks and aura of danger, need, and hunger. Though he won’t admit it at first, he’s also taken by Nora’s kind blue eyes – – but he warns her that she better stay away from him if she knows what’s good for her. Also on the scene is Elwood Calhoun, a rich miner who will stop at nothing to possess Nora.

But then, the man who has been paying money to Otakatay to kill people has one last job for him, and this time he has put a price on Nora’s head…

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this historical western romance. Nora is a very sympathetic heroine with a warm heart yet willful, feisty personality. Otakatay is the ultimate tortured soul, a man sunk in darkness and trying to find the light.

At first his past crimes put me off, but the author did a good job in revealing his feelings and showing his deep remorse, which eventually redeem him. It was interesting to watch his character arc evolve and change throughout the story.

There are quite a number of exciting action segments and the sensual scenes are written in good taste. I also enjoyed the ending, which revealed some unexpected story twists.

Recommended for fans of historical and western romances.

Purchase on Amazon US /  Amazon CA / Amazon UK 

Review originally published in Blogcritics

Character Interview: Elwood Calhoun from Kat Flannery’s Historical Paranormal Western Romance, LAKOTA HONOR

We’re thrilled to have here today Elwood Calhoun from Kat Flannery’s new Historical Paranormal Western, Lakota Honor.  Elwood is a 39, Coal mine owner living in Willow Creek, Colorado.

It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Elwood.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

Hell, no I wasn’t fairly portrayed. I’m a kind fellow. I can’t help that I’m rich and therefore I can have and do whatever I want.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?

Well, she made me out to be this bad guy, which is not true. I’ve been known to help an old woman across the street a time or two, would a bad guy do that?

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00066]What do you believe is your strongest trait?

Well, my looks of course. You won’t find another with my fine features, and money.

Worse trait?

I don’t have any.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?

You know I’d be the perfect person to play me, but since I can’t do that, Neal McDonough. He is a good lookin’ man, not as appealing as I am, but he’d work.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Nora Rushton

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

Right about the last few chapters.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

Otakatay, the name says it all. I can’t stand that guy.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

I was okay with it, but I felt I should’ve had a bigger role.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?

First off, it’s about bloody time she grew a brain. The story should’ve been about me all along.

Thank you for this interview, Elwood.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

Not with this author you won’t. Her and I don’t see eye to eye.


IMG_3703Kat Flannery has loved writing ever since she was a girl. She is often seen jotting her ideas down in a little black book. When not writing, or researching, Kat enjoys snuggling on her couch with a hot chocolate and a great book.

Her first novel, CHASING CLOVERS became an Amazon’s bestseller in Historical and Western romance. This is Kat’s second book, and she is currently hard at work on the third.

When not focusing on her creative passions, Kat is busy with her three boys and doting husband.

Find the author on the web:

Facebook / Twitter / Blog / Website


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