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Guest Post & Giveaway: Selina Kray

I'm so happy to welcome my dear friend and fellow writer Selina Kray (aka gloromeien) to my humble blog. Her debut novel will be out on November 14, 2014. Finally!

Like Stars is a tug-at-the-heartstrings take on the fascinating, almost unbelievable story upon which the films Le Retour de Martin Guerre and Sommersby were based.

24. 1400x2100Stars Front copy


Take a gander at Selina's fantastic trailer (Wish I could put together something as wonderful!) and read what inspired her to write this story of forbidden romance, mysteries galore and love against all odds. And if you comment on this post, you will have the chance to win one e-copy of Like Stars in the format of your choice. So include your email address if you're interested.



Blurb
What if your true love walked back into your life five years after his death?

Nathaniel Thredgold has finally returned from the war. Or has he? His lover, Wesley Douglas, isn’t sure. Wesley must put aside his engagement, his disbelief, and his anger to give his professional opinion. The truth about their relationship isn’t an option. But is this stranger really the Ravensworth heir and Wesley’s long-lost love? When your heart’s at stake, there’s no room for doubt.

Set in the Edwardian era, Like Stars is a tale of mysterious identities, scandalous family secrets, and lovers in a dangerous time.


Reimagining History: Martin Guerre's Latest Return


Hi, everybody! I'm Selina Kray, and this is stop # 7 on the Like Stars blog tour! A huge thank you to the lovely Eressë for hosting me today. You may remember me from my previous incarnation as fanfic writer Gloromeien. I'm now writing original novels, and I'd like to tell you a little bit about how I came up with the plot for my very first one, Like Stars.

Ever since I saw the Gerard Depardieu film Le Retour de Martin Guerre, I have been fascinated with the story of an imposter who comes home from a long war and lives for three years with the wife of the man he is impersonating before anyone finds him out. The most astonishing part is that this story is true.

In 1548, a Frenchman named Martin Guerre abruptly left his home in Artigat, France after being accused of stealing some of his father's grain, abandoning his wife of 10 years, Bertrande, and their son. There is talk that he became a soldier and joined the war effort. Eight years later, he suddenly returns. Almost everyone in the family, including his wife and his four sisters, claim to recognize him. The resemblance must have been strong, and aided by the fact that they had no photographs or, as poor farmers, any portraits of Martin when he was younger.

For three years this new Martin lives among them. He and Bertrande have two daughters, and Martin inherits from his father when he dies. During a dispute over this inheritance, his Uncle Pierre becomes convinced that Martin is not who he claims to be. That he is an imposter.

A soldier passing through town confirms this, saying the real Martin lost a leg in the war. Pierre makes some inquiries and discovers that Martin is likely a con artist from a neighboring village named Arnaud du Tilh. Bertrande is caught in the middle. She believes Martin is her husband (and would have been committing adultery and polyandry if she knew the truth), but she is the only person who can bring charges against him as an imposter.

Eventually, they convince her, and Arnaud is convicted and executed. This is when the real Martin Guerre reappears, missing a leg and totally unapologetic. (If you would like to find out about the case in more detail, check out the Wikipedia page.) Truth, as they say, is stranger than fiction.

So many aspects of this story intrigued me. How could someone have gotten away with such a deception for three entire years? What kind of preparation and research was involved? What kind of personality does something like this? What was it about the time period and place that made this kind of hoax possible? And, most significantly, how could his wife not have known?

This wasn't some newlywed. This was her husband of 10 years. But when you think about what life was like for a woman back then, especially an impoverished, long-married woman whose husband had abandoned her, it makes more sense. With a husband, she is socially accepted. She has protection, security, a stable source of income. Most importantly, she is not, as a woman of her time, in a position to gainsay a man. Suddenly, it's not so unbelievable that a woman in Bertrande's position would accept a stranger into her home.

When it came time to write my first M/M novel, I did what I often do when trying to think up a plot - follow the advice Josh Lanyon gives in his fantastic Man, Oh Man! Writing Quality M/M Fiction: think about a familiar het plotline, insert dudes.

What if it was a man, Wesley Douglas, whose long-dead, forbidden lover, Nathaniel Thredgold, comes back from the war? What if Wesley's the only one who can prove that Nathaniel is who he claims to be, because he's the one who knew him best? What if Wesley can't offer that proof because homosexuality is illegal, and revealing their affair would condemn them both? What if Wesley isn't even sure himself if the man is his boyhood lover or an imposter?

I think you'll agree that a reimagining of the tale of Martin Guerre offers a lot of dramatic possibilities. I hope you'll pick up a copy of Like Stars, and read for yourself the twists and turns — and scorching-hot love scenes — I added to the tale. And as a little extra credit, check out Le Retour de Martin Guerre, or the American version, Sommersby, which is set during the U.S. Civil War.

As you can see, this true story has been having its way with creative people's minds for many years, and likely will for many years to come. Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction, and sometimes it's just plain inspiring.

Like Stars will be released on November 14th, 2014, from MLR Press, Amazon, All Romance ebooks, and all other eBook vendors.

Cheers,
Selina

Catch up on the rest of the Like Stars Blog Tour!

Joyfully Jay
Rainbow Gold Reviews
Coffee and Porn
Love Bytes
Sinfully Sexy Books
Prism Book Alliance

All about Selina:
Selina Kray is the nom de plume of an author and English editor. Professionally, she has covered all the artsy-fartsy bases, having worked in a book store, at a cinema, in children’s television and in television distribution, up to her latest incarnation as a subtitle editor and grammar nerd (though she may have always been a grammar nerd). A self-proclaimed geek and pop culture junkie who sometimes manages to pry herself away from the review sites and gossip blogs to write fiction of her own, she is a voracious consumer of art with both a capital and a lowercase “A”.

Having long ago realized that she was the Salieri to the lit world’s Mozarts, she has embraced her love of erotica with intricate plots, complex characters, and lots of heart. Whether she has achieved this goal is for you, gentle readers, to decide. At present, she is hard at work on future novels at home in Montreal, Quebec, with her wee corgi serving as both foot-warmer and in-house critic.

Twitter: @selinakray
Email: selinakray@hotmail.ca
Website: www.selinakray.net

* * * *


If you've read Selina's wonderful fan fiction, you already know what a brilliant writer she is. I heartily urge you all to indulge yourselves with this must-have, must-read literary treat.

~ Eressë :) ~

Comments

( 16 notes — Drop me a line )
gloromeien
Nov. 13th, 2014 02:55 pm (UTC)
The post looks amazing! Thank you so much, again, for all your kind words and years of friendship! Whoo, we're both living the dream!

Much love,
Gloromeien/Selina :D
eresse21
Nov. 14th, 2014 02:38 am (UTC)
You're very welcome, dear. Can't believe we've been friends for more than a decade now! By the way, is there a giveaway? That seems to be the general assumption since you offered free books in previous stops on your blog tour.
gloromeien
Nov. 14th, 2014 03:27 pm (UTC)
Yes, there is indeed a giveaway - sorry for that brain fart, everyone! I will draw a random name from the commenters and give away one copy of the book in the format of your choice. :)

And, yes, I can't believe it's been that long, either! Though I like to concentrate on the 'awesome friendship' part and not the 'over ten years have passed' part, LOL! :D
eresse21
Nov. 15th, 2014 03:44 am (UTC)
Added it. I do focus on the 'awesome friendship' part which I think is the reason it's lasted so long! :D You know, if I ever manage to visit Canada again, I'll do my best to swing by Montreal to say 'Hi' and 'Thank you' in person.

Edited at 2014-11-15 04:07 am (UTC)
gloromeien
Nov. 15th, 2014 05:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, please do! I could even make a trip if you were in Toronto or somewhere on the east coast to meet you! :D

Alas, more likely than me ever visiting your country... not to many lavish vacations when you're self-employed. :s

-G/S.

Edited at 2014-11-18 06:27 pm (UTC)
Give A Rush
Nov. 13th, 2014 08:05 pm (UTC)
New to me author
And now I'm anxious to read this book. The more tour stops I visit the more amazing the story sounds. Definitely one to go in my TBR list! Congratulations and I wish you lots of success!
taina1959@yahoo.com
eresse21
Nov. 14th, 2014 02:40 am (UTC)
Re: New to me author
Thank you for the kind words. I'll pass on your comment to Selina.
gloromeien
Nov. 14th, 2014 03:27 pm (UTC)
Re: New to me author
Thank you! And thanks for following the tour!
-S. ;D
Update - chetara1976x - Nov. 13th, 2014 08:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
Su Holland
Nov. 14th, 2014 01:39 am (UTC)
Like Stars - Selina Kray
I have been following this blog tour, learning a few more tantalising facts about the story and the characters (especially an interesting one about strong female characters in the story). I even mentioned that the story was reminiscent of the film Sommersby and the possible parallels to this story and the heartbreaking conclusion in the film and the original story Martin Guerre ... :(

Thank you for a chance to win an ecopy of this book and I will check out your fanfiction :D slholland22 {at} hotmail {dot} com PS Eresse I love the Chronicles of Ylandre and cannot wait for the next instalment.
eresse21
Nov. 14th, 2014 02:39 am (UTC)
Re: Like Stars - Selina Kray
Thank you, Su. I'm glad you enjoy Chronicles of Ylandre. And I'll pass on your comment to Selina.
gloromeien
Nov. 14th, 2014 03:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Like Stars - Selina Kray
I'm doing a romance take on the story, so there will definitely be an HEA. I don't write 'em any other way. ;)

Thank you for following the tour! I hope the book lives up to your expectations.

Enjoy,
-S. ;D
Su Holland
Nov. 19th, 2014 02:32 am (UTC)
Re: Like Stars - Selina Kray
Thank you for passing on my message and the comforting note that it will end in a HEA :)
gloromeien
Nov. 22nd, 2014 09:59 pm (UTC)
Re: Like Stars - Selina Kray
Hi, Su,

So you have won the giveaway! Please email me at selinakray@hotmail.ca to claim your prize. Congrats!

-Selina ;D
kenazfiction
Nov. 14th, 2014 06:18 pm (UTC)
Today's the day!! I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!
gloromeien
Nov. 15th, 2014 01:56 am (UTC)
I am crazy excited to hear what you think of it, hon! Hope you're well!
-G/S. :D
( 16 notes — Drop me a line )

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