Local Charleston, S.C. NY Times bestselling author Ellen T. Marsh takes characters from 80s-era books and modernizes them

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Journey from Cornwall to India and Charleston in historical romance trilogy following the exciting fate of the Kohinoor Diamond

‘New York Times’ bestselling author Ellen Tanner Marsh returns to the world of romance with the publication of her award-winning novels in ‘The Forbidden Gems Trilogy’

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Thirty years ago, Ellen Tanner Marsh took the romance world by storm with the publication of her first historical romance novel. An instant New York Times bestseller, the book garnered critical acclaim and earned the young author legions of fans.
Known for her flair for writing high adventure and steamy romance, Ellen is back with the beloved characters of her first bestsellers cast into new stories written for a contemporary audience. A love saga that spans generations and continents, “The Forbidden Gems Trilogy” will sweep you into the darkly passionate world of British India with “Diamond Dark” (July 2018), sail away to antebellum Charleston in “Diamond Fire” (September 2018), and follow the love story of a new generation in “Diamond Deep” (January 2019).
Woven through these lush tales of love is the re-imagined fate of the Kohinoor Diamond, now a priceless part of the British crown jewels.

Although born in Germany, Ellen Tanner Marsh has lived in the Lowcountry near Charleston, South Carolina, for nearly forty years. She’s still married to her high school sweetheart, a lifelong surfer, with whom she raised two sons. When Ellen isn’t writing, she tends her flower garden and fruit trees and volunteers with local animal rescues. Living close to the beach means plenty of walks with her own rescue dogs. And after all this time in the South, she’s finally developed a passion for steamed oysters, shrimp & grits, and sweet iced tea.


The splendors of India, a priceless diamond…

From the wild Cornish coast to the tumultuous frontier of British India, feisty Raven Barrancourt must sail halfway round the world to seek a fortune that will save her beloved ancestral home. But what she finds in India is worth more than silver, gold, or any fabled jewel…

Sea captain Charles St. Germain doesn’t need the distraction of a black-haired beauty on the voyage to India, where a dangerous mission awaits him. Mutiny, espionage, and the search for a coveted diamond threaten his duties, but far more dangerous is his growing passion for a woman he knows he can’t have.

As book one of the “Forbidden Gems Trilogy,” “Diamond Dark” brings the sweeping romance of India to tempestuous life.

“Diamond Dark” | Ellen Tanner Marsh
July 24, 2018 | Monkeypaw Press | Historical Romance
Paperback | 9780998135588 | $14.99
Ebook | 9780998135533 | $2.99


A love more splendid than any jewel…

Strong-minded Raven Barrancourt has sailed to faraway India hoping to save her beloved Cornish home from ruin. But when an Indian empress entrusts her with a fabled diamond said to carry a dangerous curse, Raven’s own life may well be at stake. With northern India on the edge of revolt, Raven must entrust her safety and her priceless secret to the one man who rejected her.

Blinded by passion, Charles St. Germain would sail to the corners of the earth to make Raven his, though fate in the form of the world’s rarest gem could conspire to keep them apart. From the splendors of British India to antebellum Charleston, duty and betrayal threaten the love he has found in a woman worth more than any fortune.

As book two of the “Forbidden Gems Trilogy,” “Diamond Fire” brings the sweeping romance of India and antebellum Charleston to tempestuous life.

“Diamond Fire” | Ellen Tanner Marsh
Oct. 23, 2018 | Monkeypaw Press | Historical Romance
Paperback | 978-0-9981355-8-8 | $14.99
Ebook | 978-0-9981355-3-3 | $2.99


The tempestuous tale of the St. Germain women and the men who capture their hearts continues in stunning fashion…

When a collision between two ships hurls Sable St. Germain into the sea, fate has a clear hand in choosing the man who saves her.
Battle-scarred sea captain Morgan Rhys Carey refuses to return his lovely passenger to her family while on a reckless mission to save the life of a friend. But he soon finds himself risking everything to keep Sable by his side and in his bed.
Though Sable is determined to flee the man who’s abducted her, she can’t help responding to the passion he has awakened within her. And while Morgan believes his destiny lies elsewhere, his obsession with this bewitching beauty holds him captive as well.
In this last book of the Forbidden Gems Trilogy, two unforgettable characters discover a love more precious than any jewel.

“Diamond Deep” | Ellen Tanner Marsh
Jan. 22, 2018 | Monkeypaw Press | Historical Romance
Paperback | 978-1-7323544-0-1 | $14.99
Ebook | 978-0-9981355-9-5 | $2.99

An Interview with Ellen Tanner Marsh

Why did you decide to rewrite your former best sellers updated for a modern audience?

After 30 years of raising a family and being a full-time freelance book editor, I was finally able to turn some attention to my former best sellers. Many of them were written while I was fresh out of college, when my writing skills were admittedly poor and historical romances followed plotlines that today are considered unacceptable: cold-hearted and occasionally cruel heroes—the definition of manly at the time—and bullied heroines whose sexual encounters with the hero often bordered on rape.
Re-reading my novels after all these years, I found them unsophisticated and very “1980s.” Since I still love the characters and settings, I decided to have some fun updating their stories and at the same time improve the poor writing. How many authors are lucky enough to have the chance to do a total makeover?

How do diamonds play a role in the trilogy?

The original bestseller that I converted into “Diamond Dark” and “Diamond Fire” (books one and two of the trilogy) loosely involved the fate of the Kohinoor Diamond, now a priceless part of the British crown jewels. Expanding on the tale, I wove diamonds and other precious gemstones through all three books. I’ve had a love affair with jewels since the third grade, when I bought a book at my elementary school book fair describing how rubies, sapphires, and opals are mined. From that point on, I intended to be a geologist when I grew up—until around eighth grade, when I realized my math skills were absurdly bad. But my twin sister is married to a geophysicist. Does that count?
As someone who grew up in Germany and resides in Charleston, SC, why did you decide to set your books in the British Empire? I suppose it’s pretty much like a French Michelin star chef who prefers to binge on other foods besides French cuisine, like burritos and burgers. Charleston is my research laboratory. It’s a perfectly preserved old city with rich historical resources that inspire me to imagine my characters sailing off to other exotic locations outside the lab.

What exciting changes can readers who have previously read your work expect?

While the heroes and heroines in my new books are the same, they’ve evolved. Their tales are told in the first person to give them a sense of immediacy and to provide readers with the intimacy of seeing everything through their eyes. The heroes are no longer hairy knuckle-draggers but sensitive and caring men—though it takes some hard work by the plucky heroines to tame them.

Do you have any other romance titles on the horizon? After “The Forbidden Gems Trilogy,” I’ll be releasing “The Rogue in Her Bed,” the retelling of my first and most popular “New York Times” bestseller, as well as two others. There’s a contemporary romance in the works too, a reworked gothic romance (remember those?) that takes place in a castle in modern-day Scotland.

Most Challenged Books of 2017

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It is amazing that we still live in a society that challenges and bans books, but thus it is true.

Every September (September 23-29, 2018) Ban Book Week puts a spotlight on the literary struggle we face every year in this country.? Based on content and socio-economic conditions, here is the list of the Top 10 most challenged books in 2017.? We hope this promotes dialogue and/or curiosity to sit down and read one of these critically-acclaimed books.

Top 10 Challenged Books of 2017

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 354 challenges to library, school and university materials in 2017. Of the 416 books challenged or banned in 2017, the Top 10 Most Challenged Books are

  1. Thirteen Reasons Why written by Jay Asher

Originally published in 2007, this New York Times bestseller has resurfaced as a controversial book after Netflix aired a TV series by the same name. This YA novel was challenged and banned in multiple school districts because it discusses suicide.

  1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian written by Sherman Alexie

Consistently challenged since its publication in 2007 for acknowledging issues such as poverty, alcoholism, and sexuality, this National Book Award winner was challenged in school curriculums because of profanity and situations that were deemed sexually explicit.

  1. Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier

This Stonewall Honor Award-winning, 2012 graphic novel from an acclaimed cartoonist was challenged and banned in school libraries because it includes LGBT characters and was considered “confusing.”

  1. The Kite Runner written by Khaled Hosseini

This critically acclaimed, multigenerational novel was challenged and banned because it includes sexual violence and was thought to “lead to terrorism” and “promote Islam.”

  1. George written by Alex Gino

Written for elementary-age children, this Lambda Literary Award winner was challenged and banned because it includes a transgender child.

  1. Sex is a Funny Word written by Cory Silverberg and illustrated by Fiona Smyth

This 2015 informational children’s book written by a certified sex educator was challenged because it addresses sex education and is believed to lead children to “want to have sex or ask questions about sex.”

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee

This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, considered an American classic, was challenged and banned because of violence and its use of the N-word.

  1. The Hate U Give written by Angie Thomas

Despite winning multiple awards and being the most searched-for book on Goodreads during its debut year, this YA novel was challenged and banned in school libraries and curriculums because it was considered “pervasively vulgar” and because of drug use, profanity, and offensive language.

  1. And Tango Makes Three written by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson and illustrated by Henry Cole

Returning after a brief hiatus from the Top Ten Most Challenged list, this ALA Notable Children’s Book, published in 2005, was challenged and labeled because it features a same-sex relationship.

  1. I Am Jazz written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas

This autobiographical picture book co-written by the 13-year-old protagonist was challenged because it addresses gender identity.

Lessons about Charleston Life from Nicholas Sparks Quotes

“The best love is the kind that weakens the soul, that makes us reach for more, that plants fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. And that’s what you’ve given me. That’s what I hope to give to you forever.” – The Notebook

“The ocean has been singing to me, and the song is that of our life together.” – Message in a Bottle

“I love you. I am who I am because of you. You are every reason, every hope and every dream I’ve ever had, and no matter what happens to us in the future, every day we are together is the greatest day of my life. I will always be yours.” – The Notebook

“When I sleep, I dream of you and when I wake, I long to hold you in my arms. If anything, our time apart has only made me more certain that I want to spend my nights by your side, and my days with your heart.” – Nights in Rodanthe

“Loving someone and having them love you back is the most precious thing in the world.” – The Rescue

“Never forget that anticipation is an important part of life. Work’s important, family’s important, but without excitement, you have nothing. You’re cheating yourself if you refuse to enjoy what’s coming.” – Three Weeks with My Brother

“Dusk is just an illusion because the sun is either above the horizon or below it. And that means that day and night are linked in a way that few things are there cannot be one without the other yet cannot exist at the same time. How could it feel I remember wondering to be always together yet forever apart.” – The Notebook

“What it’s like to be a parent: it’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do but in exchange it teaches you the meaning of unconditional love.” – The Wedding

“You should be kissed every day, every hour, every minute.” – The Lucky One

“Love is fragile. And we’re not always its best caretakers. We just muddle through and do the best we can. And hope this fragile thing survives against all odds.” – The Last Song

“How far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?”– The Choice

“Every time I read to her, it was like I was courting her, because sometimes, just sometimes, she would fall in love with me again, just like she had a long time ago. And that’s the most wonderful feeling in the world. How many people are ever given that chance? To have someone you love fall in love with you over and over?”– The Wedding

“The saddest people I’ve ever met in life are the ones who don’t care deeply about anything at all.” – Dear John

“I do not use profanity in my novels. My characters all go to church.” – Nicholas Sparks

“I think that enduring, committed love between a married couple, along with raising children, is the most noble act anyone can aspire to. It is not written about very much.” – Nicholas Sparks

“In the end, people should be judged by their actions, since in the end, it was actions that defined everyone.”– Nicholas Sparks