29 August 2014

Book Launch Guest Post ~ The 49th Day, by Helen Noble


The second novel from Helen Noble and the first in a forthcoming trilogy,
The 49th Day is a contemporary romance with undertones of medieval history and a spiritual twist, woven with ancient Welsh mythology and timeless Irish humour.
Available on Amazon UK and Amazon US

Have you ever asked yourself why you to chose to be some place in preference to others? Why you feel drawn to gaze at certain landscapes, to explore the hills and dales of your seemingly random choice of homeland or holiday destination? It’s the same with writing. I find myself compelled to write for reasons often beyond my initial comprehension. I love the obvious signposts which crop up along the way, as much as the mysterious concealed entrances, which become apparent only when you turn the corner. 

For me, research and imagination play an equally important role in the construction of a story, adding both the roots of reality and the branches of possibility. The reason for the telling of the tale becomes apparent along the way. The 49th Day is one such book.

I was nine years old when I first fell under the spell of a Norman Castle. I gasped at the grandeur of its towers and ramparts and became excited by the echoes in the vaulted ceiling of it Grand Hall. This was another world; I was entranced. At school we learned about Welsh history, its ancient customs and battles and the new ideas that washed over and soaked in with the waves of invasion from the Vikings, the Flemish and the Normans. With the exception of the anti-toll road rebels known as the ‘Rebecca’ rioters, which were actually men dressed as women, there seemed little in the way of Welsh leading lady figures in our country‘s history.
This is not to suggest that women of Welsh descent are by any means of the shy and retiring ilk. Indeed the name of Jemima Nicholas of Fishguard, who is said, with aid of one pitchfork, to have apprehended twelve French soldiers at the reputed last attempted invasion of Britain, should, singlehandedly quash any such notions. Generally speaking the names of famous female historical figures tended to be synonymous with their roles as wives, mothers and/or mistresses of notable men.
Whilst researching the Medieval history of Wales for 'The 49th Day.' my imagination was captured by one notable female. Princess Nest, daughter of the last King of South Wales, Rhys ap Tewdwr; and also known rather notoriously as the ‘Helen of Wales’. Despite the disparities in varying accounts and disputes amidst historians as to the truth, her story is one of privilege, bravery, lust, scandal and survival; one example I would love to have absorbed as a school girl.
So what is it about historical and mythological characters that speak to our souls, through stories and songs, paintings and tapestries? Is it the collective conscious at work? Are timeless elements of human experience constantly alive within us all? Is that how we recognise ourselves in others, all rooting for the same outcomes to our common desires? Despite our contemporary living arrangements and technological advances, are we essentially, at a biological level, driven by the same desires as we were a thousand years ago?
Love, betrayal, abandonment, the joy of children and the pain of loss; are not these the ‘things’ that touch us all, shaping our lives, forging our futures? Are we still happy with such fundamental notions? Is contemporary love any greater than that fought over, won, or surrendered by our ancestors? If only one could wander back in time to watch over their woes and witness the worship within those walls.
Helen Noble
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About the Author 
Helen Noble is a director of a legal practice, and a psychology graduate experienced in working with people in difficult circumstances. A mother of three, she developed a love for creative writing in her own childhood, publishing her first short story (under a pen name) in a magazine at the age of 19. Following her early success in publishing, Helen found that whilst raising her children and earning a living the time and space for creative writing became a rare luxury. However, the inexorable forces of change seem to have finally conspired to afford her the insight, experience and opportunity to pursue her passion. Tears of a Phoenixher debut novel, was published by Soul Rocks Books in 2012. The 49th Day is her second novel, and she also has a new collection of short stories entitled Scorpio Moons. Helen is currently working on her third novel. Find Helen on Twitter @welshmermaid

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