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Gang Roundup – February 2019

I feel overwhelmed. Since I started blogging, the first four months of the year have always been the most busy, but this year is especially so, with crazy working shifts and so many blogging/writing events clustering together. But I’ll do my best. I’d hate to renounce to something, these are all important things to me. So, let’s power on!

Mae Murray (born Marie Adrienne Koenig, May 10, 1885 – March 23, 1965) was an American actress, dancer, film producer, and screenwriter. Murray rose to fame during the silent film era and was known as "The Girl with the Bee-Stung Lips" and "The Gardenia of the Screen"Mae Murray

Mae Murray isn’t the first name we think about when we talk silent films, still she was very popular back in her time, maybe because she was more down to the ground then other stars. I get the feeling that she was more accessible in her performances than other more famous actresses and the public rewarded her for this.
But as it happened to other silent stars – even very famous and popular – she seems to have had a hard time to transition from silent films to talkies. Another of the shocking changes of the 1920s.

What Abortion Was Like in 1907

May French was a poet at the beginning of the 1900s. She was a beautiful young woman and a free spirit, unconventional and subversive in her own way. She also had two abortions as the result of relationships with married men.
The first was performed by a doctor in a hospital (abortion was illegal, but for a wealthy family like hers there was always a way) and it was a terrible experience of violation, as well of harsh sanction from her family. So when she got pregnant again, she decided to handle it her own way, got some drugs from the pharmacy and auto-induced her own abortion. It was nonetheless a terrible test, both physical and psychological that French shared with her lover in a long letter.

George Reid London Trafalgar Square

In Photos: London In The 1920s

A great collection of photos of London and its people at the beginning of the XX century. There’s a bit of everything here: people, places, buildings, everyday life. I’ve said it before, I love street photos best of all. They’re vibrant and vivid. A window on the past.
I’ve seen a few of these photos many times before, but others are less known.

35 Rare Vintage Photographs Capture Street Scenes of London From the 1920s and Early 1930s

Could I ever resist this collection of street photos? Of course not!
London again. My favourite are the pictures of the crowd. It always gives me the sensation that something is happening… which is a sensation I always connect to London. It looks like London was already like this a century ago: people going, doing, moving. Living.

"By 1918, all but one of my close friends were dead" JRR TolkienIn 1938, Nazis demanded to know if ‘The Hobbit’ author was Jewish. He responded with a high-class burn.

Tolkien had a very conflicting relation with his German ancestry during WWII. He despised what was happening in Germany, and still he loved Germany’s history and literature, its legends, its rich cultural legacy. He was disgusted with the distortion the Nazi regime subjected that culture to. He came to regret his own name, which is clearly of German origin.
Still, when he had to deal directly with the Nazi demands, rather than showing outright contempt, he chose to reply with his very distinctive sagacity.

Secret of Berlin RPGSecrets of Berlin

I’ve always been fascinated with RPG. I have never played any face-to-face (which must be a great fun) but for a time I played it by mail with a group of players scattered around the world. It was a great experience that taught me a lot about storytelling.
That was a classic fantasy RPG and back in that time, I never thought there might be a different setting to a RPG. Now I know better, and when I see a RPG set in 1920s Berlin I admit that my hands start hitch.

I didn’t know there was a film from The Chaperon by Laura Moriarty coming out! No, I haven’t read the novel, yet. To be honest, I’ve been questioning whether I wanted to read it, because it didn’t seem to be the kind of story I like to read. But now that I see the trailer of the film… I’m afraid I will have to move this on my immediate TBR pile.

And now Sarah’s own stuff!

GANG ROUNDUP (February 2019) 1920s history, silent films, historical photos and a lot of projects

It’s been quite some time since last I mentioned my own stuff. That’s because in the last few months I’ve done very little in terms of writing and promoting my stories. My working schedule has been quite hectic and crazy. With many days working shifts from 9:00 to 19:00, I often have a real time-managing problem, so it may not be the cleverest idea to take up so many commitments in this moment. But hey, I can’t make up my mind about which one I should drop.

Let me see. As every year since I’ve started blogging, I plan to take part in the Reading Ireland Month and the AtoZ Challenge. From last year, I’m also involved in reading challenges and this year I’ve agreed to host a stop in the blog tour of two fellow writers.
Is this enough? Well, probably it is, but I’m still planning to relaunch my novella (which I’ve been planning to relaunch for a year) and to do something special for the occasion.
Yeah, I do have quite a high pile on my plate, don’t I? But as I said, I can’t decide what to drop, and I’d hate to just toss a coin, so I’m afraid I’ll have to try and do everything.

This is why I’ve decided to share my goals and progress with you. I want to feel accountable, which I hope will motivate me. I plan to tweet my progress on Twitter under the hashtag #Battle4May (because it will be a battle to survive until May, let me tell you!) and on Instagram under the same hashtag.
I won’t post as often here, but most of the work I’m doing is for this blog, so you’ll see the result.

So, here’s the plan!


Two challenges I’ve been taken part as long as I’ve had a blog, the Reading Ireland Month and the AtoZ Challenge are quite an investment of time… but they are such fun! The first is in March, the second in April. They are both a month long challenges and they both require a ton of reading to prepare.

I plan to review 4 novels set in Ireland for the March challenge, a couple of which I’ve planned to read for a long time.

I’m not going to reveal the theme of my AtoZ Challenge just yet (you’ll have to wait for the real reveal post in March), but I can tell you that once again will be about the Weimar Republic, though it will be a very specific topic. I’ve just started taking down notes, which is always a huge task for the challenge. I already feel I’m late.


Reading Ireland Month 2019

As I’ve said, I plan to read four novels for the Reading Ireland Month and at least three for my AtoZ topic (There’s no way I can do this. Really, what am I thinking?).

These are the Irish stories:

Fallen by Lia Mills

The Golden Grave by David Lawlor

Rosie’s Quest by Ann Carroll

Allegiance by Heather Domin

I’m also still reading for the #YearOfTolkien readalong, that I’ve been doing for more than a year and a half at this point. We are reading one chapter a day from Tolkien and we are now reading our way through The History of the Hobbit. I’m absolutely loving it!!! And I don’t want to drop this, in spite of the shortness of time.

And of course there is the material for the blog tour.


Innocence Lost by Sharilyn Dexter

Shari is a fellow writer who also writes the 1920s. Innocence Lost is the opening of a crime series set in Philadelphia, five books that will come out this year one every couple of month up until July. Shari is a very serious historical enthusiast and it shows in her stories.
I was a beta reader for her novel and so I was delighted when I got the chance to be part of the book launch. I’ve just spent Saturday scheduling all her posts (there will be three later this month). Stay tuned!

 Cherokee America by Margaret Verble

I read Margaret’s debut novel when it came out and I loved it. Her stories are inspired by the history of her own family. The first, Maud’s Line, was set in the 1920s, while the new one is set in the 1800s. Can’t wait to read it.
Her stops are scheduled for the beginning of March.
Still have to do everyything for this one.


Which is going to change title and cover. I’m scheduling this for the 17 March, and I’m planning to organise a Historical Fiction Scavenger Hunt for this. It will basically be a blog hop with posts dedicated to stories set in the 1910s/1930s (the same focus of my facebook group), with a prize for one lucky hunter.
First time I do this and I’m scared but also excited to attempt it.
And by the way, if you’re a author writing in this time frame and you’d like to take part in the blog hop, contact me!

Historytellers Scavenger Hunt

I can’t wait to show you the new cover and the trailer! Crispian Thurlborn – who’s a fantastic graphic, photographer as well as a fellow fantasy writer – has done such an awesome job!

And this should be it for now.

I feel the earth opening under my feet. I’m not sure it was a good idea to list all this stuff. Mhm… but hey, I’ll still try!

One last Plug!

History: the Secret Weapon of Fantasy Writers. One would think that nothing could be more different tan history and fantasy. Well, maybe because they are so different, they make another stronger

Before I forget! I wrote a guest post for a new blog about writing that is really good (the new blog, not my article!). Lewis asked me for a piece about mixing history and fantasy in a story and I dived in like a cormorant on the hung. I really enjoyed writing that article, so much so that I’m now considering writing more on that topic.
Well, we’ll see.
Here’s the blog: History, the Secret Weapon of Fantasy Writers.


  • Margot Kinberg
    Posted February 11, 2019 at 14:25

    Oh, my, Sarah! You’ve been so busy this last month, with so much going on. I’m dizzy just thinking about it all. I wish you well with your challenges, and I look forward to hearing how it goes. Thanks for the great links.

    • Post Author
      Posted February 12, 2019 at 09:32

      Thanks Margot. I indeed need all the good wishing. At the moment, work is so crazy I can barely do anything other than work, eat, sleep. But I hope next week thing will slow down.

  • Cathy746books
    Posted February 11, 2019 at 21:41

    Thanks so much for taking part in Reading Ireland Month – Fallen is a lovely book, I hope you enjoy it!

    • Post Author
      Posted February 12, 2019 at 09:33

      I’d hate to miss the Reading Ireland Month!
      Years ago, I partecipated in a writing workshop directed by LIa Mills. She is a lovely woman.

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