Cranky Ladies of History Mothers’ Day Special

April 17th, 2015 at 11:37 am (Cranky Ladies of History)

CLOH cover small“…a strong anthology…”

“…highly recommended…”

“The works run the gamut of straight historical to historical fantasy.”

“…a unique project…”

“…an important collection of fiction that gives voice to an extraordinary selection of women from a broad range of backgrounds, eras and cultures…”

“…full of stories of fascinating, powerful, determined, and yes, occasionally cranky women.”

“…the stories overall show the power of women…”

These are just some of the things people are saying about Cranky Ladies of History, and so many people we talk to have bought copies not just for themselves, but for other people in their lives. As Mothers’ Day approaches, we thought it a perfect time to offer a special deal!

THE OFFERS:

The hardcover of the book is not available for general sale, but we have the opportunity to offer a VERY limited number of copies. If you are looking for something special for the cranky lady in your life (or gentleman – really, we don’t mind!), now is your chance. It’s one of the offers below. Another option? Nab a copy of the trade paperback and get the ebook sent to you free. Want more? Buy the Cranky Ladies of History trade paperback and get a copy of Phantazein for just $10. And one more – buy the Cranky Ladies of History trade paperback and for just $10 extra, receive ebook copies of Cranky Ladies, Phantazein and One Small Step.

This offer will run right up until Mothers’ Day, but if you want to gift a physical copy of the book, you will need to place the order by the end of April to guarantee delivery!


CHOOSE YOUR SPECIAL OFFER



 

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CRANKY LADIES OF HISTORY: A story about the story you won’t see (and why that’s okay)

March 28th, 2015 at 8:00 am (Cranky Ladies of History)

Cranky Ladies logoWelcome to Women’s History Month 2015, which has the theme “Weaving the stories of women’s lives”, which fits perfectly with our Cranky Ladies of History anthology project! After 18 months of work, including our successful crowd-funding campaign in March last year, we are proudly releasing the anthology on March 8. To celebrate, our wonderful authors have supplied blog posts related to their Cranky Lady, and we are delighted to share them here during the month of March. 

To get your own copy of Cranky Ladies of History, you can buy from our website, order your favourite real world bookshop, or purchase at all the major online booksellers (in print and ebook). 

A story about the story you won’t see (and why that’s okay) by Liz Argall

In December 2013 I saw that Fablecroft had sent out a call for proposals for their Cranky Ladies Anthology. I’d been stuck in a creative quagmire and depressed and one thing I had learned was that if you feel stuck do something in service of people or things you like. Then it isn’t about you, it is about the work, it is about service and you will push yourself harder and won’t give up. I like Fablecroft and I liked their concept, so I checked them out.

Scanning through the list and thinking about what wasn’t on the list I swiftly decided that Oodgeroo Noonuccal needed to be in the anthology. I had fallen in love with her poetry in high school, its ferocity, tenderness and politics. She had an unflinching power that created space for all the motions, space for anger, despair, fighting spirit and a wry sense of humour. I feel like through her work I experienced one of my first role models of a balanced fighter. She was someone who was an activist, but did not let the consuming nature of the fight tear her apart. She was a whole human being. Read the rest of this entry »

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New reviews and news

March 26th, 2015 at 8:23 pm (Reviews)

CLOH cover smallWe’re chuffed to see some wonderful reviews of Cranky Ladies out there. One new one is from Marlene at Reading Reality, who says of the book: The historical women in these stories kicked ass and took names. Sometimes literally, sometimes just figuratively. They are individually and collectively awesome, even if they are not all familiar.

It’s not all about Cranky Ladies though. Our new unthemed anthology, Insert Title Here, is also getting some love!

Katharine at VentureAdlaxre reckons of Insert Title Here that: every single story is heart-breaking or grim or absurdly strange and wonderful, and all are incredibly readable.

Speaking of Insert Title Here, you can win one of two copies over at Goodreads – enter here!

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Insert Title Here by Tehani Wessely

Insert Title Here

by Tehani Wessely

Giveaway ends April 05, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

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CRANKY LADIES OF HISTORY: The Pirate Queen of the Connacht

March 26th, 2015 at 8:00 am (Cranky Ladies of History)

Cranky Ladies logoWelcome to Women’s History Month 2015, which has the theme “Weaving the stories of women’s lives”, which fits perfectly with our Cranky Ladies of History anthology project! After 18 months of work, including our successful crowd-funding campaign in March last year, we are proudly releasing the anthology on March 8. To celebrate, our wonderful authors have supplied blog posts related to their Cranky Lady, and we are delighted to share them here during the month of March. 

To get your own copy of Cranky Ladies of History, you can buy from our website, order your favourite real world bookshop, or purchase at all the major online booksellers (in print and ebook). 

The Pirate Queen of the Connacht by Dirk Flinthart

Grace O’Malley: a woman so swashbuckling and amazing that she really ought to be fictitious, because her actual-factual self makes most of us look like timorous, lazy slugs.

Look – I like pirates, okay? I’ve liked pirates ever since I was old enough to read Treasure Island for myself. (My mum read it to me first, but she was going too slowly for me. I kidnapped the book and read it in a day.) I know that in reality, most pirates were (and are) amoral, bloodthirsty, violent thugs… but every now and again somebody like Grace O’Malley crops up.

POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOR “Granuaile” AFTER THE CUT – check out the story in Cranky Ladies of History before you read! Read the rest of this entry »

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CRANKY LADIES OF HISTORY: Countess Bathory

March 24th, 2015 at 8:00 am (Cranky Ladies of History)

Cranky Ladies logoWelcome to Women’s History Month 2015, which has the theme “Weaving the stories of women’s lives”, which fits perfectly with our Cranky Ladies of History anthology project! After 18 months of work, including our successful crowd-funding campaign in March last year, we are proudly releasing the anthology on March 8. To celebrate, our wonderful authors have supplied blog posts related to their Cranky Lady, and we are delighted to share them here during the month of March. 

To get your own copy of Cranky Ladies of History, you can buy from our website, order your favourite real world bookshop, or purchase at all the major online booksellers (in print and ebook). 

Countess Bathory by Deborah Biancotti (“Look How Cold My Hands Are”)

She was called witch, Vampire, the Blood Countess and the Beast of Cjeste. She was accused of bathing in the blood of virgin girls. She’s been described as the worst female serial killer of all time, with her victims numbering anywhere from fifteen to three hundred to six hundred girls and women.

Since the eighteenth century she’s been held up as an example of the evils of feminine vanity, a woman who painted her face with blood in order to preserve her youth.

And yet, she died nearly two hundred years before the worst of these claims were ever made.

POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOR “LOOK HOW COLD MY HANDS ARE” AFTER THE CUT – check out the story in Cranky Ladies of History before you read!

Read the rest of this entry »

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CRANKY LADIES OF HISTORY: Hatshepsut’s rise to power

March 20th, 2015 at 8:00 am (Cranky Ladies of History)

Cranky Ladies logoWelcome to Women’s History Month 2015, which has the theme “Weaving the stories of women’s lives”, which fits perfectly with our Cranky Ladies of History anthology project! After 18 months of work, including our successful crowd-funding campaign in March last year, we are proudly releasing the anthology on March 8. To celebrate, our wonderful authors have supplied blog posts related to their Cranky Lady, and we are delighted to share them here during the month of March. 

To get your own copy of Cranky Ladies of History, you can buy from our website, order your favourite real world bookshop, or purchase at all the major online booksellers (in print and ebook). 

Hatshepsut by Amanda Pillar (“Neter Nefer”)

There is surprisingly little data on the early days of Hatshepsut’s rise to power (at least, in the records I trawled through). She is regarded as one of the most successful pharaohs of Egypt and is from the same dynasty as the famous Tutankhamun and the rule-breaking Akhenaten.

But what inspired Hatshepsut to claim the double crown?

POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOR “NETER NEFER” AFTER THE CUT – check out the story in Cranky Ladies of History before you read!  Read the rest of this entry »

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CRANKY LADIES OF HISTORY: Due Care with the Truth (Dr Lilian Cooper)

March 16th, 2015 at 8:00 am (Cranky Ladies of History)

Cranky Ladies logoWelcome to Women’s History Month 2015, which has the theme “Weaving the stories of women’s lives”, which fits perfectly with our Cranky Ladies of History anthology project! After 18 months of work, including our successful crowd-funding campaign in March last year, we are proudly releasing the anthology on March 8. To celebrate, our wonderful authors have supplied blog posts related to their Cranky Lady, and we are delighted to share them here during the month of March. 

To get your own copy of Cranky Ladies of History, you can buy from our website, order your favourite real world bookshop, or purchase at all the major online booksellers (in print and ebook). 

Due Care with the Truth by Sylvia Kelso (“Due Care and Attention”)

POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOR “DUE CARE AND ATTENTION” – check out the story in Cranky Ladies of History before you read!

When you read fiction about a person from actual history, it’s a very natural reaction to ask, How much of this was true?

In my case, quite a lot of the story about Dr Lilian Cooper and her best mate Josephine Bedford is based on fact. Quite a few of Lilian’s remarks were recorded, and a few are used here verbatim, though the curses are manufactured. However, the details of the night trip to Mount Mee are accurate, as is the fractured skull – in 1893 the horse in her dog-cart bolted and threw her into a lamp-post; Lilian was picked up vowing that nothing was wrong, but she was confined to bed for some time, even having the street outside covered with straw, a sign, then, of a dangerously ill patient. When she recovered, Josephine quietly replaced the groom, and drove Lilian on her medical rounds. All to be found in Lilian’s biography, No Easy Path, by Lesley M. Williams.

lilianjosepine-buggy

Image courtesy of the State Library of Queensland

 

Also true is the furore over (relative) speeding on which the story is based. There was a Brisbane cop who excelled in fining speedsters, among whom doctors were notable, both Lilian and Dr Hardie copping the fines cited here. There was also a bill mooted to give police the powers listed. The then stagnant RACQ did resurrect itself to fight the bill, and said bill was dropped: all related in Robert Longhurst’s A Road Well Travelled: RACQ’s first 100 years. The Lennons payroll robbery and the car-chase, however, are definitely fiction. And it’s also fiction that the cop who issued speeding fines was called Higgins.

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CRANKY LADIES OF HISTORY: Elizabeth Tudor, last Queen standing

March 14th, 2015 at 8:00 am (Cranky Ladies of History)

Cranky Ladies logoWelcome to Women’s History Month 2015, which has the theme “Weaving the stories of women’s lives”, which fits perfectly with our Cranky Ladies of History anthology project! After 18 months of work, including our successful crowd-funding campaign in March last year, we are proudly releasing the anthology on March 8. To celebrate, our wonderful authors have supplied blog posts related to their Cranky Lady, and we are delighted to share them here during the month of March. 

To get your own copy of Cranky Ladies of History, you can buy from our website, order your favourite real world bookshop, or purchase at all the major online booksellers (in print and ebook). 

Elizabeth Tudor: Last Queen Standing by Faith Mudge (“Glorious”)

To understand how Elizabeth Tudor became the woman she was, you need to know a few things about her father.

At a huge diplomatic event known as the Field of the Cloth of Gold, King Henry VIII of England challenged the French king to a public wrestling match. (He lost.) When the Pope refused permission for him to divorce his first wife, he changed the whole religious structure of his country so that he could do what he wanted. When his second wife, Anne Boleyn, bore a girl instead of the son he expected, he refused to attend the christening. He divorced Anne of Cleves after six months because he decided she wasn’t pretty enough, ordered for Catherine Parr to be arrested when she argued with him and is reputed to have been playing tennis while Anne Boleyn was executed.

In short, he was a violent egomaniac whose word was law, and who placed little worth on the lives of women. Not an ideal father for two daughters.

Elizabeth was born on the seventh of September in 1533, during the volatile years of the Reformation, when the only safe belief you could have about anything was ‘whatever the king says’. She was not quite three years old when her mother was beheaded, and her father remarried in the same month. This marriage, to Jane Seymour, soon produced the son he craved so much. That left Elizabeth, his middle child, in an immensely precarious position – disinherited, declared illegitimate, essentially superfluous and a living reminder of the woman Henry had loved then hated.

You could say that’s when I met her. The first incarnation of Elizabeth I remember encountering was an article in an old magazine, and the sense of isolation it conjured has stuck with me: an image of a little girl surrounded by whispers and watchful eyes. The only person Elizabeth could count on to protect her was herself.

POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOR “GLORIOUS” AFTER THE CUT – check out the story in Cranky Ladies of History before you read!

Read the rest of this entry »

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Cranky Ladies bits and bobs

March 11th, 2015 at 7:53 pm (Cranky Ladies of History)

Cranky Ladies boxes 1Tansy and I wrote a post for John Scalzi’s Big Idea series over at his blog. If you are interested in knowing more about how Cranky Ladies of History came to be, check it out here!

Some of our wonderful authors have given us guest blogs about their cranky lady and the writing of their stories. So far we have shared Havva Murat’s journey with Nora of Kelmendi and Juliet Marillier has talked about Hildegard of Bingen.

We’re starting to see some lovely reviews for the book:

Shelleyrae at Book’d Out said: “Cranky Ladies of History is an important collection of fiction that gives voice to an extraordinary selection of women from a broad range of backgrounds, eras and cultures. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.”

At Adventures of a Bookonaut, Sean was very complimentary about Cranky Ladies, saying the book is “a unique project in that it delivers entertainment while spotlighting 22 women of history that we should all know more about, even if it’s for the simple reason that their stories are different to those we are used to hearing.”

Katharine at VentureAdlaxre comprehensively considered the anthology, giving it five stars!

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CRANKY LADIES OF HISTORY: Juliet Marillier’s author notes for “Hallowed Ground”

March 10th, 2015 at 8:00 am (Cranky Ladies of History)

Cranky Ladies logoWelcome to Women’s History Month 2015, which has the theme “Weaving the stories of women’s lives”, which fits perfectly with our Cranky Ladies of History anthology project! After 18 months of work, including our successful crowd-funding campaign in March last year, we are proudly releasing the anthology on March 8. To celebrate, our wonderful authors have supplied blog posts related to their Cranky Lady, and we are delighted to share them here during the month of March. 

To get your own copy of Cranky Ladies of History, you can buy from our website, order your favourite real world bookshop, or purchase at all the major online booksellers (in print and ebook). 

A few notes on Hildegard of Bingen by Juliet Marillier (“Hallowed Ground”)

We couldn’t place author notes within the anthology itself, but wanted to share them with our readers. Juliet had some things she wanted to add about Hildegard of Bingen, the subject of her story “Hallowed Ground”.

POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOR “HALLOWED GROUND” – check out the story in Cranky Ladies of History before you read!

The most challenging aspect of writing about Hildegard of Bingen, 12th century Benedictine nun, composer, scholar and visionary, was deciding what aspect of her long and extraordinary life I might best fit within the confines of a short story. Hildegard was a woman before her time, intellectually brilliant, creative and original, a natural leader. And yet, from the age of seven, when she was enclosed with Jutta the anchoress at Disibodenberg, to the age of thirty-eight, when she assumed leadership of the nuns on Jutta’s death, very little is recorded of her life save that she was admired for her piety. We know that her mentor and secretary, Volmar, persuaded her to record in writing the powerful visions she had experienced since early childhood. In the second half of her life Hildegard composed remarkable poetry and music that broke the existing boundaries of religious chant; she wrote several scholarly treatises and many letters. She was unafraid to criticise the practices of Church authorities if she believed them unjust. Once Pope Eugenius had sanctioned her visions, her influence was greatly strengthened.

Reading about Hildegard’s life and works, I was struck by the tone of her letters, in which there is little of Hildegard the real woman, and much of Hildegard the weak, unworthy recipient of God’s wisdom. Yet what we know of her life indicates she was a formidable individual, voted unanimously to head the convent on Jutta’s death, ready to take on the Church elders with every argument she could muster for any cause she believed in, and in the case of the repentant sinner Matthias, prepared to defy the authorities at Mainz over a moral and doctrinal principle.

There were numerous occasions during Hildegard’s life when a vision conveniently backed up her argument and helped her achieve her desired end. There is no indication in her writing that she ever invented them or that she ever doubted their divine origin. I found this aspect of her story intriguing. It seemed to me a woman of such remarkable intelligence must sometimes have questioned her own motives; surely she sometimes felt self-doubt, especially toward the end of her life. I chose to examine this in my story.

For storytelling purposes I have considerably simplified the episode of Hildegard’s dispute with the clerics of Mainz over the burial of a repentant sinner within her convent walls. However, the story as told here is broadly true.

The interdict was lifted in March of 1179. Hildegard died in September of the same year. I hope she got to hear the angels sing again.

Bibliography:
Sabina Flanagan: Hildegard of Bingen, A Visionary Life (Routledge, 1989)
Sabina Flanagan (selected and translated): Secrets of God, Writings of Hildegard of Bingen (Shambhala, 1996)
Wighard Strehlow and Gottfried Hertska: Hildegard of Bingen’s Medicine (Bear & Company, 1987)
Matthew Fox: Illuminations of Hildegard of Bingen (Bear & Company, 1985)
Matthew Fox: Hildegard of Bingen, A Saint for Our Times (Namaste, 2012)

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