Prisoner of the Queen by E. Knight & Giveaway (Open Internationally)

September 26th, 2014

prisonerTudor history is by far my favorite era to indulge in and while there usually isn’t anything new to learn what I enjoy most is seeing the unique spin that an author will give to their story. Eliza Knight has become one of my favorite authors because she so vividly brings to life the Tudor era and I know I’m in for a great treat when I read one of her novels. Her newest in the Tales from the Tudor Court Series Prisoner of the Queen is both a beautiful love story and a great tragedy.

Lady Katherine Grey’s only wish is to have a peaceful life. Meet a man she loves and bring up a family. It is not to be though as she is a princess of the blood and legitimate heir to the throne being the cousin of Mary and Elizabeth. Her sister, Jane Grey dubbed the Nine Days Queen, fallen from court and beheaded only solidifies her desire to get away from court. She’s left with no one to protect her and she has no idea who to trust anymore as everyone is now suspicious of her as well – will she be next to seize the crown they wonder?

When Katherine and Ned Seymour meet they are instantly attracted to one another. They fall in love and of course want to marry and have a family. This has to be approved by Queen Elizabeth and the odds of that ever happening are pretty small. Eventually they wed in secret and when found out thrown in the tower. Katherine births two boys but sees neither grow up. Queen Elizabeth both envious and angry at Katherine vows to never allow her to be with Ned again and while the two keep up correspondence it is not the same. Sadly they must love from afar as both are kept prisoner by Queen Elizabeth.

This was such a good book. Katherine captured my heart. She had such a pure spirit and all she wanted from life was love and it’s so sad that it wasn’t to be for her. In a time when it seemed everyone visited everyone’s bed Katherine and Ned wanted only each other. I often wonder how kings and queens were able to be so cruel to others especially family all in the name of being loyal to their throne. I wonder how they truly felt in their soul from causing so much grief while putting people to death, keeping them prisoners, or keeping them apart from those they love.

I loved Prisoner of the Queen just as I did the first in the series My Lady Viper (these are stand alone books).  Highly recommended for lovers of the Tudors and historical fiction!

 

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GIVEAWAY – OPEN INTERNATIONALLY

1 paperback or eBook up for grabs!

*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter

Draw Date October 11/14

Good luck!

(comments are welcome but do not count as an entry)

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Source: Digital review copy provided by the publisher.  No compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are that of the blog owner.

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Dark Aemilia by Sally O’Reilly & Giveaway (5 copies US & Canada)

September 24th, 2014

aemiliaDark Aemilia: A Novel of Shakespeare’s Dark Lady by Sally O’Reilly not only has a gorgeous cover but it is also a beautifully written novel that vividly transports you back in time to 16th century England.   The novel brings to life the story of England’s first female poet Aemilia Lanyer who may also have been muse and lover of William Shakespeare and that thread is woven throughout the novel.  This tale is rich in historical detail with the added elements of sorcery making it ever the more intriguing.

Aemilia starts out as Aemilia Bassano and was the daughter of a musician.  Growing up in the time of Queen Elizabeth’s court Aemilia has a yearning to learn and develops a love for poetry and in fact wants to write poetry in a time when it was unheard of for women to do any such thing.  After losing her family Aemilia is taken in by Lord Hundson and later becomes his mistress.  For years her life revolves around Lord Hundson but she wants so much more for herself and then comes the day that William Shakespeare walks into her life and she thinks that she’s finally found what shes looking for.  They embark on a passionate love affair but when it becomes apparent to Lord Hundson that something has been going on behind his back he sends Aemilia off to be married to another man thus ending all the hopes and dreams that she’s built around Shakespeare and her poetry.  Aemilia finds herself married to a man she doesn’t love and this leaves her unhappy and unsatisfied.  Nobody wants to publish the poetry she works so hard on and her only joy in life is her son.  Into the turmoil of the plague and sickness of loved ones Aemilia turns to sorcery and the witches and encounters a darkness that she should never have fooled with.

I really enjoyed this novel and while I’ve read mixed reviews on Aemilia and her outspoken, often crass manner of speaking I liked her.  Aemilia lived in a time when women had no rights and certainly no hopes of becoming more than a wife, mother, or mistress.  Yet Aemilia strived for more and with her intelligence and feisty nature got it.  There is a bluntness in language and sexual content that many readers may find too much and while at times I did too I still appreciated its place in the novel.  To fully enjoy and experience this book the reader needs to open their mind to all aspects of it and in doing that I truly enjoyed it.

Recommended for readers of historical fiction who enjoy added elements of a more explicit nature and the paranormal.

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Author links: Website, Dark Aemilia Facebook Page
Buy at: Amazon, Amazon Canada, B&N, Book Depository

 

GIVEAWAY – OPEN TO US & CANADIAN RESIDENTS

5 copies up for grabs!

*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter

Draw Date October 9/14

Good luck!

(comments are welcome but do not count as an entry)

 

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Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.  No compensation was received and all opinions are that of the blog owner.

Goddess Born by Kari Edgren

September 22nd, 2014

goddessI’m pleased to be kicking of the Historical Fiction Virtual Book tour of Kari Edgren’s novel Goddess Born because I loved it! Just the mention of Goddesses, witchcraft, healers, the paranormal or mythology and I’m all in but Goddess Born is even more than that. It offers up a sweet historical romance, fantastic characters and a wonderful storyline!

The year is 1730 in the Quaker community of Hopewell, Pennsylvania where Selah Kilbrid has been living with her father. Selah is no normal woman though since she is the direct descendant of the Celtic goddess Brigid. Selah lives in constant fear of being discovered for she has the power to heal. This knowledge in the wrong hands could be very dangerous as this kind of power would have people suspecting Selah of witchcraft so she has always been careful to keep her abilities hidden.

However Nathan, a prominent minister, is set on destroying Selah and exposing her as a witch because she has refused his marriage proposal. The only thing that can save her is her betrothal to her cousin Samuel but that hope is crushed when she learns he has died. This leaves Selah in a very dangerous position both as a woman and a half mortal. What can she do though? Marry the awful Nathan? The very thought disgusts her not to mention she would have to give up who she is to do it.

Instead Selah devises a brilliant plan to find an imposter to pose as Samuel. She finds one – an indentured servant – the perfect man to pretend to be her husband. Once the town is convinced they are husband and wife and her birthright is safe then he can disappear and go on with his life and she with hers. Henry, really having no better choices, goes along with Selah. The two bounce between hating each other and seeming to like each other. Could there be more between them? Could Henry ever accept who Selah truly is? Then again maybe Henry has some secrets of his own…

I loved Selah for the strong, outspoken woman that she was and Henry is a great character as well. Another thing that was really nice for a change is that the novel is clean of bad language or sexual content and I found it so refreshing! The only thing I wanted more of was Selah’s abilities and the Otherworld that she would escape to and I’m hoping to get that in the two novels to follow this one – one in November 2014 and one in June 2015. I can’t wait to visit with Selah and Henry again!

If you’re a fan of mythology and historical romances then you should really pick up a copy of Goddess Born. Highly recommended!

 

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Buy at: Amazon, Amazon Canada, B&N, Carina Press

 

 

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Source: Review copy provided by the publisher. No compensation was received. All thoughts and opinions are that of the blog owner.

Powder Monkey by Donna McDine & Giveaway (US-Print, Int’l-eBook)

September 19th, 2014

Powder-MonkeyPowder Monkey is the second book by Donna McDine that has taken me on a journey to the past.  This 23 page book for young readers packs an emotional punch that holds you in its grip from the first word to the last and the beautiful illustrations by K.C. Snider really bring the story to life.

Twelve-year-old Tommy Kitt and his older brother are forcibly taken from their parents and the only life they’ve ever known by the Royal Navy Press Gangs and forced into hard labour on a ship at sea.  Tommy is understandably overwhelmed and scared and that feeling is only reinforced by the often harsh treatment of the young boys.  Tommy learns quickly though that the best way to stay out of trouble is to do your work without complaint.  For Tommy his days consist of cleaning toilets and the mangers below deck where he most likes to be as it is peaceful.  However they also have to train for battle and finally that day comes and Tommy follows his role as a powder monkey running back and forth to bring gun powder to the sailors.  Most certainly this isn’t the life Tommy wants but he’s determined to stay alive and do that he knows he has to follow the rules.

Powder Monkey may be short but it tells such a poignant story in those few pages.  I felt Tommy’s fear and hopelessness and also his hope at a better future down the line.  The book is recommended for 8-12 year old kids but I think I’d put it towards the 12 year age range only because it is more of a dark tale and maybe a harder read for the younger ones.  Yet at the same time it’s important for young children to learn about history and how much different life was for some kids in times past.  For me it was enlightening as I’d never heard of the Royal Navy Press Gangs or the term powder monkey so I was able to learn something that led me to wanting to know more.

Once again Donna McDine highlights a time in history with the Royal Navy Press Gangs and how children were affected by it.  A recommended read for parents and children that could lead to some really important discussions and life lessons.

 

Other tour stops with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
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Author Links: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Goodreads
Buy at: Amazon, Amazon Canada, Guardian Angel Publishing Inc, Autographed Copies

 

GIVEAWAY – OPEN TO US (print copy) & INTERNATIONAL (eBook copy)

 1 copy up for grabs!

*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter

Draw Date October 2/14

Good luck!

(comments are welcome but do not count as an entry)

 

 

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Source: Digital review copy provided by the publisher.  No compensation was received.  All thoughts and opinions are that of the blog owner.

 

 

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