I am pleased to be taking part in the Blog Tour for The Shield by author C.J.Bentley The Shield. The release date 18th July 2017 and published by Clink Street Publishing. The first in a series of books, I am already waiting for more.
A massive thank you to Rachel Gilbey for giving me a spot on this tour, I have enjoyed the journey immensely. I would also like to thank C.J. Bentley for taking the time to answer a few questions, they can be seen below.
This book begins in Durham in 1340, with a knight laying injured whilst on a mission of delivering an important letter to King Edward III. It then switches to 1962, a young girl Peggy and a group of friends find a shield while out exploring in their school summer holidays.
Peggy’s world is going to change, she will have the biggest adventure she could ever have imagined. The adventure of your wildest dreams is actually going to be a reality. She has a destiny to uphold, a kingdom and a King to help save, a Lady to rescue and all will take place in 1340 England.
Plots, plans and schemes are plentiful in this book, will Peggy be able to complete her destined quest and reunite the shield with its rightful owner ?
As an adult reading this book, I was taken back to my childhood days, summer holidays described in this book are how I used to spend my time, though I never found a shield. Because I was taken back by the story, it made me think about all the books I used to read as a child. If I had been given this one to read I would have been beside myself with excitement. It really would have appealed to me.
I loved everything about this book, the story was well thought out and executed. There was no confusion over characters or settings. I think it would be a brilliant book for children to read, as it kept me engrossed as an adult.
Also at the end of the book was a very thoughtful and educational section on the history of York and the Royals at the time. I think this is a wonderful idea for inclusion, again this section is basic and not overly complicated.
I would recommend this book to readers of Children’s’ fantasy.
BOOK SYNOPSIS: The Shield
People lose their belongings. That is a fact of life. It can happen by accident, but sometimes it can happen when you put them in a very safe place and forget where that safe place is. Not many people are good at finding them again.
A young, gutsy girl with a kind heart, who’s searching for her own identity growing up in the 1960s, just happens to be very good at finding things. Can she be the one to help return whatever is lost – anywhere and at any time – to its original owner?
With the help of a beautiful yet mysterious wise woman and a chivalrous knight she does just that. She finds and returns his shield, lost in battle, which unbeknown to her holds a secret that is important to his King, the safety of the Kingdom and the life of the daughter of his best friend.
The Shield is the first story in The Finder Series, taking our heroine on extraordinary journeys back in time. Her first adventure takes place in Medieval England in 1340 where she meets King Edward III, his wife Philippa and their son, who will later become the Black Prince.
About the author:
Originally heralding from the North of England, C.J Bentley has travelled extensively and enjoyed living in a variety of countries across the world from Dubai to Doha, Qatar and now the countryside in the South of France. A background in teaching and childcare she has always enjoyed creating adventure short stories. However, it was when she became a grandma and with her grandchildren growing up that she discovered that books seemed to contain only stories of vampires, zombies and farts that she decided seriously to take matters into her own hands and put pen to paper which today she calls The Finder Series.
Website – https://www.cjbentleyonline.co.uk/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/CJBentleyAuthor/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/CJBentleyAuthor
Q and A with the author:
- Is this how you spent your summer holidays as a child, fishing that is, rather than time travel ? If so, how much of your childhood is in Peggy ?
I think all writers must include some of their experiences within their writing, you have to write about things you know as well as what you can imagine. As children growing up in the sixties we used to fish for newts and small fish called sticklebacks, jam jars with string handles and nets bought from earlier trips to the seaside in hand. We were very lucky in that time as children, lots of freedom to roam and play outside during the long summer holidays from school. A lot of my own experiences are experienced by Peggy, (would that I could have experienced time travel like her).
- What or who sparked you interest in history ?
I have always been interested in history. I enjoyed reading books about periods of history, “Children of the New Forest” by Captain Marriott being one book I remember enjoying, taking me back in time to the Civil War in England. Teachers have a huge influence on their pupils, I was lucky to have been taught by some amazing teachers who encouraged my love of reading and my curiosity about history.
On a visit to Durham Cathedral as a young child I remember pressing my head against the metal bars of a gate leading down stairs to a vault. A priest who happened to be passing saw me and following a chat he opened the gate and gave quite a few people who had gathered around an impromptu tour of the crypt below and the old roman road leading to the river. It was a magical experience never forgotten.
Later, whilst fishing in a local stream myself and a friend found a shield in the silt. Due to its weight and difficulty in moving it from the silt and there being only two of us we chose to put it back, Peggy chose to pull it free and what happens after is told in “The Shield”.
- Who in history would you like to have been able to meet, and why ?
This question is a difficult one to answer as I have so many questions for so many people, a bit like that question, if you could choose six people who would you choose to have to dinner with?
The obvious person would be Jesus Christ, I have so many questions to ask.
King Charles the first, again so many questions for this much maligned man.
Charles Dickens, his legacy being such an insight into the social problems of his time with his books.
Martin Luther King, his words were the inspiration for a generation, I could go on ….
I am currently being fascinated by my research on Ibn Batutta for book four in the series, “The Ring”. He is a little known but fascinating intellect, explorer and traveller, originally from Morocco, who lived during the fourteenth century. He travelled extensively throughout the Middle East to Africa, Sri Lanka, China, India, The Maldives, in fact probably further than the better known traveller Marco Polo.
- What was your favourite book as a child ?
Again this is such a difficult question to answer because as a child I read extensively and was lucky to have a set of the classics bought as a Christmas present by my parents. Kidnapped, Children of the New Forest, The Coral Island were all firm favourites but I think the one book, if I have to chose just one, would be “The Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Graham. As a year five pupil one of my inspirational teachers, Miss Allen, read from this book on a Friday afternoon. She was a wonderfully dramatic reader, each character given a different voice. She took us to the river bank with Ratty, the middle of the road when Toad fell in love with cars, to Toad Hall and the attempted take over by the weasels, badger who was so very wise. We all sat enthralled for the last half hour, if we had been especially good during the week and finished our work for her she would extend the reading by another half an hour, what an incentive was that.
- I see from your blog you have grandchildren, did you write this book with them in mind as the primary readers, or was writing a book something you always wanted to do?
Yes we have three grandchildren, two girls, now aged fifteen and thirteen and a boy aged eleven. I have always written short stories, I remember writing one for the eldest when she was two and refusing to wear a beautiful white silk dress which had to be pulled over her head for her Aunts wedding. I wrote a story for our son to read to her about her being able to wear her favourite blue dinosaur wellies under the dress as a secret thinking this might work. He read it, it didn’t, she screamed as they held her arms down and forced said dress over her head. The screams changed to smiles once she caught sight of her mirrored reflection and she became the most photographed person at the wedding, a pretty little one with huge eyes and long curly hair, whirling around in her beautiful dress.
I have always taken notes, a small notebook kept in my handbag and when thoughts occurred hastily added in the book with my observations of human nature. I spend a lot of time waiting around in airports and they are an excellent source for people watching.
Our grandchildren visit us in France each summer and having read our way through the saved children’s books we have down here with them I tried to find a story online to read to our grandson, he was nine at the time. I couldn’t find a story for a nine year old boy that didn’t feature Zombies, vampires or farts, in my mind not good bedtime reading for a nine year old boy. This was the moment when I decided to write my gathered ideas into story form and having moved to Qatar with my husband’s job, where I decided not to work, I finally had the time to do so.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.