Blog Tour The Fire Of Winter

Hello Everyone,

Thanks For Joining Me On This Very Anticipated New Novel

By D.K Marley

The Fire of Winter by D.K. Marley

Publication Date: June 1, 2019
eBook; 355 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

She is known as Lady Macbeth.
What leads her down the path of murder?
What secrets fire her destiny?

Gruah, granddaughter of King Cìnéad III of the Royal Clan Alpin, marries two men in less than six months, one she loves and one she hates; one in secret, the other arranged by the High King of Scotland. At the age of eighteen, she lays her palm upon the ancient stone of Scone and sees her destiny as Queen of Scotland, and she vows to do whatever necessary to see her true love, Macbeth macFindlaech, beside her on the throne.

Amid the fiery times and heated onslaughts from Denmark and England, as the rule of Scotland hangs in the balance, Gruah seeks to win the throne and bring revenge upon the monsters of her childhood, no matter the cost or amount of blood tainting her own hands; yet, an unexpected meeting with the King called the Confessor causes her to question her bloody path and doubt her once blazing pagan faith. Will she find redemption or has the blood of her past fire-branded her soul?

The story weaves the play by William Shakespeare with the actual history of Macbeth and his Queen in 11th-century Scotland.

“…a woman’s story at a winter’s fire…” (Macbeth, Act III, Scene IV)

“This beautifully written reworking of the Macbeth tale told from Lady Macbeth’s point-of-view flows from the page and you quickly become immersed in the politics and intrigues of feudal Scotland as she fights for her rightful place and her true love! A mesmerizing read that grips from start to finish and Gruah is now one of my all-time favorite literary crushes. “ – Iain Leonard, ARC Reviewer
“Brilliantly conceived and beautifully written, The Fire of Winter is a tale not to be missed by lovers of Shakespeare, lovers of history, or lovers of the written word.” – Riana Everly, Author of Teaching Eliza and Through a Different Lens

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A Woman’s Story .. The Fire of Winter

D.K. Marley, skillfully delivers an absolutely beautiful, richly detailed, complex and atmospheric read here that vastly intertwines historical with shakespearean fiction along with a factual events to create an astonishing fractured Shakespearean retelling. Expertly told from the descriptive voice of Lady Macbeth, Gruah.

Gruah, An alluring and ginger haired beauty, who happens to be a Princess and the granddaughter of King Cìnéad III of the Royal Clan Alpin,

She marries two men in less than six months, one she loves and one she hates; one in secret, the other arranged by the High King of Scotland.

At the age of eighteen, she lays her palm upon the ancient stone of Scone and sees her destiny.

With her ambitions heart that spurs her desire to become Queen of Scotland. A woman who instead changes the fate of herself and those around her. She rises up from a victimized little girl, to a pawn used in a political marriage to become one of the strongest and first woman to be coronated Queen of Scotland. A woman who changes the fate of herself and those around her.

What really stood out for me was the author intricately plots a character driven romance that fights poignancy through the complex conflicts of fate. Morley ability to move the reader to see another multilayer in the book. We Are introduced to Hecate, {The only named Witch In Shakespearean play} She is often maligned as a witch, she has gained wisdom after enduring years of cruelty and abuse from a man who claimed to love her but cast her aside. She bears him three children, daughters, and they align themselves with the future Queen of Scotland, Gruah, to bring revenge upon the monsters of their past.

The Daughters of Hecate are, Sorcha, Alana, and Fiona – {The Unnamed witches in the Shakespearean play} There is a secret behind their birth leading to the throne of Scotland, but now they live as banished women in a small crannog on Loch Tay. Are they witches or victims like so many women of the politics of a Kingdom? The make three key predictions just like in the Shakespearean play, Macbeth. In Marley’s retelling there is an agenda to these woman.

Lady Macbeth, chooses to fight for her rightful place and seeks vengeance to the wrongs done to her in her and her family. Along with the man she herself has chosen like her ancestors before her, Gruah, and her husband Macbeth must conquer and remove all opposition in front of them to become the reigning King and Queen of Scotland.

Marley, paints exquisite picture with the spreading of Christianity, that changed Scotland transforming it from the old Pictish practiced of “Celtic polytheism”, a vague blend of druidism, paganism. When Gruah, unexpected meets with the King called the Edward, The Confessor, it causes her to question her bloodstained path and doubt her once mothers pagan ancestral faith.

D.K. Marley, beautifully descriptive writing grabbed my full attention all the way through to a satisfying end. This reworking storyline gives a voice to Gruah, Lady Macbeth like no other. As the chapters progressed, the characters are fleshed out as the political drama and intrigues of feudal Scotland come to life. The authors ability to engage the reader as she weaves all the characters into this plot driven novel, to create an astounding and powerful storyline of intrigue and violence of royals of 11th century Scotland.

This book was received as an ARC from Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own

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A Woman’s Place in Medieval Scotland

Finding a woman’s place in medieval Scotland is often times hard to discern since there is such a lack of information not only for the area, but for the time period. Scotland, from the fifth century to the sixteenth century, was a patriarchal society and for a large part, many of the women of the time period, even noble figures, disappeared into the annals of time without any details being known of them, such as Margaret, the Maid of Norway, the uncrowned Queen.

Education for a noble girl such as Gruac (Lady Macbeth) would have been at a nunnery, however in Scotland, very few of these existed, so most noble families employed private tutors, but even this was extremely limited. Most women were consigned to the fate of domestic and agricultural life, with most girls marrying in their early teens (some as early as twelve) or twenties, such as is the case with Gruac.

The legal status of women was nil, since this was a patriarchal society, and daughters were to be subservient to their fathers, as well as wives to their husbands, thus any ambitious nature was viewed in the harshest terms. Passiveness and humility were the traits of an honourable woman, so it is understandable why someone like Lady Macbeth might have been viewed in unfavourable light. However, the historical records of her actual life indicate that she may indeed have been such a women, supporting her reigning husband for nearly two decades, yet in the absence of concrete evidence, the story behind such a woman blooms like a Scottish thistle.

I liked how one writer put it in my research of the women of Scotland in a book entitled “Rosslyn Chapel – Women in the Middle Ages” – 

“Women were subject to a strong element of social control. Gossip alone could ruin a reputation. Women sought to avoid any situation that might be construed as scandalous. Of course, enemies were prone to making up lies and name-calling could be very damaging to a young lady. Generally these rumours and insults questioned the sexual purity of a girl; such comments could stand in the way of a good marriage. Men were also subject to town gossip but it was generally less detrimental to the man’s reputation. Women often played an integral role in wartime and when the men were away at war, the women would take over the household. They were expected to protect the children and manage their husband’s affairs.”

I used this element in considering how the women surrounding Gruac, the wives of the other Thanes, as well as the wife and Queen of Donnchad, might have interacted with each other while their husbands were off fighting or debating over the throne.

Lady Macbeth is a unique woman in an age when ambition was frowned upon when displayed by a woman, and I feel she had to have shown a measure of that fiery passion, at least that is how I am portraying her.

Those of Scottish society relegated to the role of crone, or witches, or accused of such practices, were captured and killed, thus I wanted to portray the supposed three witches of Macbeth as what was more common for the day, which was those using their skills in healing. It is interesting that in my research I discovered that White Magic was based in Christian symbolism, focusing on nature and herbs; a sort of “good magic”. Most women who practised this sort of art used it for good luck, love spells, wealth and health. Alchemy, or potion-making, was  part of this practice, as well, so the images of the three witches can be understood in a different way for my book. However, since Christianity was becoming the mainstream religion and conscience of the day, many who “played in the shadows” or were borderline in the dark arts, were labelled witches and ultimately burned at the stake, thus the weaving of the story of Shakespeare into actual history in relation to the three women developed throughout The Fire of Winter in a way I hope feels real to the reader.

With Gruac and with all the other women in the storyline, I wanted to portray them in a way to feel authentic to the time period, their sufferings and their secret ambitions, while showing that no matter what century, women experienced the same ambitions, desires and passions as the modern woman today.

Check Out This Amazing Book Trailer!!

About the Author

D. K. Marley is a historical fiction writer specializing in Shakespearean themes. Her grandmother, an English Literature teacher, gave her a volume of Shakespeare’s plays when she was eleven, inspiring DK to delve further into the rich Elizabethan language. Eleven years ago she began the research leading to the publication of her first novel “Blood and Ink,” an epic tale of lost dreams, spurned love, jealousy and deception in Tudor England as the two men, William Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe, fight for one name and the famous works now known as the Shakespeare Folio. She is an avid Shakespearean / Marlowan, a member of the Marlowe Society, the Shakespeare Fellowship and a signer of the Declaration of Intent for the Shakespeare Authorship Debate. She has traveled to England three times for intensive research and debate workshops and is a graduate of the intense training workshop “The Writer’s Retreat Workshop” founded by Gary Provost and hosted by Jason Sitzes. She lives in Georgia with her husband and a Scottish Terriers named Maggie and Buster.

For more information, please visit D.K. Marley’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 22
Review & Guest Post at Gwendalyn’s Books

Tuesday, July 23
Review at Amy’s Booket List

Wednesday, July 24
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Friday, July 26
Feature at Words and Peace

Monday, July 29
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, July 30
Excerpt at The Order of the White Boar

Thursday, August 1
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Friday, August 2
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Monday, August 5
Review at Jorie Loves A Story

Tuesday, August 6
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Thursday, August 8
Review at Coffee and Ink
Review at Faery Tales Are Real

Saturday, August 10
Interview at Jorie Loves A Story

Monday, August 12
Review at A Book Geek

Tuesday, August 13
Guest Post at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Wednesday, August 14
Feature at Just One More Chapter

Friday, August 16
Review at Impressions in Ink
Review at Book Reviews from Canada

Monday, August 19
Excerpt at Broken Teepee
Review at Passages to the Past

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away copies of The Fire of Winter + a surprise gift to three lucky winners! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on August 19th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

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