Guest post by C.C. Humphreys + Giveaway

Filed in C.C. Humphreys , featured , Giveaways , Guest Post , The Rocket Lover Posted on September 19, 2012 @ 7:00 am 9 comments

Today we’re here to welcome historical novelist C.C. Humphreys to Book Lovers Inc. His guest post is on a topic that has always fascinated me, the line between realistic historical fiction and something I guess you might call historical fantasy. Not totally made up history, but history where magic sometimes happens, alongside verifiable historic events.

As it does in C.C. Humphreys’ story of war with a little magic, A Place Called Armageddon. It’s about the 1453 siege of Constantinople, a place that has always been more than a bit magical, all by itself. 

Fantasy? In historical fiction?
by C.C. Humphreys

Interesting questions. It is something I have considered. And I think it comes down to what I call ‘a hammock moment’.

I was lying in my hammock – a rare and so especially wonderful laziness – and this sentence popped into my head:

“Magic happens to people who believe in magic.”

I think that is absolutely true. Especially the further back in history you go. In a world where most people had very little idea if how things in nature actually worked, magic explained almost everything. And by magic I tend to include the rituals of religion, designed to work on the senses, and to change things as they are to what you want them to be.

I think one of my main jobs as a writer of historical fiction is to get into the mindset of people who are human and thus similar to us in their desires and motivations but also very different in their world view. A belief in magical forces, kind and malevolent, forces that could be approached and beguiled and used to save or damn, was a vital part of how they engaged the world. I think it also lets the reader know that they are in a different time, yet one when humans still interact in recognizable ways.

So, truly, I don’t think A Place Called Armageddon has ‘fantasy’ elements. (Wait till you read The French Executioner coming out next year!) It has magical elements, but these stem from people’s beliefs not the physical altering of substance and circumstance around them.

C.C. has a question for you: Can you think of an example in your own life where something happened that can only be explained in ‘magical’ terms yet is not a fantasy? Magic happens. “Faith manages.” Share a magical experience with us.

To the Greeks who love it, it is Constantinople. To the Turks who covet it, the Red Apple. Safe behind its magnificent walls, the city was once the heart of the vast Byzantine empire.

1453. The empire has shrunk to what lies within those now-crumbling walls. A relic. Yet for one man, Constantinople is the stepping stone to destiny. Mehmet is twenty when he is annointed Sultan. Now, seeking Allah’s will and Man’s glory, he brings an army of one hundred thousand, outnumbering the defenders ten to one. He has also brings something new – the most frightening weapon the world has ever seen…

But a city is more than stone, its fate inseparable from that of its people. Men like Gregoras, a mercenary and exile, returning to the hated place he once loved. Like his twin and betrayer, the subtle diplomat, Theon. Like Sofia, loved by two brothers but forced to make a desperate choice between them. And Leilah, a powerful mystic and assassin, seeking her own destiny in the flames.

This is the tale of one of history’s greatest battles for one of the world’s most extraordinary places. This is the story of people, from peasant to emperor – with the city’s fate, and theirs, undecided… until the moment the Red Apple falls.

Find out more or connect with C.C. at his website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook


Sourcebooks has generously offered a print copy of A Place called Armageddon for a US/CAN commenter and we are also offering a copy for an international commenter, so please STATE in your comment if you are a US/CAN entrant or not!

All you have to do is answer C.C.’s question: 
Can you think of an example in your own life where something happened that can only be explained in ‘magical’ terms yet is not a fantasy?
(You can read our full giveaway policy here)

Please be sure to include a valid email address in the comment form (need not be in the actual body of the comment)
This giveaway is open to everyone!

Giveaway ends on Saturday, September 29, 2012 and we will announce the winner on Sunday.
Good Luck!

About Marlene

Marlene is a librarian, ebook advocate, science fiction fan, and RPG fan who lives in the Atlanta suburbs. She and her husband are owned by four cats, just ask them. She's a geek and a nerd and proud of it. She's also an avid reader of everything, including the back of the cereal box, and has been blogging since April 2011 at Reading Reality and is a reviewer at Library Journal as well as active on Goodreads. She is also the publisher of Ebook Review Central.

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Join the Discussion
  • Michele H September 19, 2012 at 9:47 am

    It may seem simplistic, but I’ve lived in Maine all my life and the changing of the seasons still seems magical to me. Especially this time of year when the leaves start to change color.

  • Jeanne Miro September 19, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    My magical time happened back in the early 1970’s after my husband and I were told that we wouldn’t be able to have children and should think about adopting. This was before all the technology that they have today.

    A month later the doctor decided that he was going to try one more “experimental” test but than was unable to do it because they discovered I was pregnant and the “imppossible” had happened! My son is now 39 years old and the “impossible” happened again 2 years later and my younger son just turned 37!

  • bn100 September 20, 2012 at 3:31 am

    No, I can’t think of anything.

  • Mary Preston September 20, 2012 at 3:52 am

    I wish I had a magical story to tell, but alas I do not.


  • Victoria Zumbrum September 21, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    I really don’t have a magical story to tell. Please enter me in contest.

  • Lexi September 22, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Why is it I can’t resist stories about the Greeks? *shrugs*
    When me and my siblings were younger we were playing at a park, a huge place with big hills and giant trees. Beautiful and perfect place to run around. Well all of a sudden my Mom got a weird look on her face and told us all to stop, get on the ATV’s and we were driving home right now. Sort of freaked us kids out, so we of course listened and booked it out of there. Later to find out that there was a pack of wild dogs running around (they killed a bunch of sheep). Guess someone upstairs was looking out for us and told my Mom to leave.

  • Julie Witt September 22, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    When I became pregnant with my son! I was 41 years old and due to cervical cancer surgery, I was told that I’d never be able to carry a child to term. Well lo and behold, I did! He’s 6 now and brings me joy every day.
    Your book sounds amazing! I love that time period and that location, so I really want to read it! Thanks so much for the chance to win a copy:)
    I’m in the US.

  • laurie goudge January 23, 2013 at 10:40 am

    I really don’t have a magical story to tell. Please enter me in contest.


  • Jeanne Miro January 23, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    My husband and my older son are both reading this right now and have nightly phone calls to discuss it! My younger son who lives in South Carolina is anxiously waiting for one of them to finish reading it and send him their copy! Obviously it’s a big hit in my family – thumbs up from both husband and older son!

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