Wednesday, 11 October 2017

#bookreview ~ Forgotten Places #Australia #HistFic @JohannaCraven

Forgotten Places
 by Johanna Craven

Van Diemen's Land, Australia. 1833

English settler Grace Ashwell flees an abusive lover in Hobart Town, with six-year-old Violet in tow. In her head, escape is easy: find work in the northern settlements and earn enough for passage home to London. But the terrain beyond the settled districts is wilder than Grace could ever have imagined. She and Violet find themselves lost in a beautiful but deadly land where rain thunders down the sides of mountains, the earth drops away without warning and night brings impenetrable darkness.

Deep in the wilderness, they find a crude hut inhabited by Alexander Dalton, an escaped convict long presumed dead. Hiding from civilisation in an attempt to forget his horrifying past, Alexander struggles to let Grace into his world.

When Violet disappears, Grace's fragile trust in Alexander is put to the test. And while she searches for answers, he will do anything to keep his secrets inside.

Inspired by the true story of the Macquarie Harbour bolters; one of the most horrifying events from Colonial Australia's bloody history.

What did I think of the book?

Is it possible to come back from Hell and start again?

Travelling to Australia was meant to be a grand adventure, but Australia is nothing what Grace Ashwell imagined it to be. Instead of an adventure, it becomes her worst nightmare.

Alexander Dalton had no choice about coming to Australia, but when the opportunity arose he escaped his bondage, and for the last eleven years he has hidden in the forest. The last thing he wants is a woman, who is running from an abusive lover, to intrude upon his solitude.

I opened this book, read the first paragraph, and I found myself smiling because from that short excerpt I knew this book was going to be great. Oh my days, was I in for a surprise because this book wasn't great it was fantastic! Forgotten by Johanna Craven was simply unputadownable. From that first paragraph, I was drawn into this desperate story of Grace and Alexander as they struggle to survive and find a purpose to their lives in the wild and unforgiving Australian outback. The pages flew by while I lost myself in this unforgettable story. In fact, I stayed up half the night so I could finish it, there was no way I was going to put this story down, I wanted to find out how it ended!

The story is incredibly well crafted, and it kept me guessing until the end. When I thought I understood where the story was going Ms. Craven threw a massive curve ball into the plot, which left me with my mouth open in surprise! I really wasn't expecting that!

Forgotten is inspired by a true story about the Macquarie Harbour bolters and it raises some interesting questions about that time and how prisoners were treated. It really brought this era to life.

If you are a lover of historical fiction then Forgotten by Johanna Craven really should be on your To Read list!

I Highly Recommend.

Links for Purchase

About the author

Johanna Craven is an Australian-born writer of historical and new adult fiction. She is also a film composer, music teacher and pianist. She has lived in Melbourne and Los Angeles and is currently based in London.

Her more questionable hobbies include ghost hunting, meditative dance and pretending to be a competitor on The Amazing Race when travelling abroad. 

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Tuesday, 10 October 2017

#NEWRELEASE ~ The Du Lac Princess #Arthurian #HistFic #ASMSG

The Du Lac Princess
(Book 3 of The Du Lac Chronicles)
By Mary Anne Yarde

The multi award-winning series, The Du Lac Chronicles, continues…

War is coming…

The ink has dried on Amandine’s death warrant. Her crime? She is a du Lac.

All that stands in the way of a grisly death on a pyre is the King of Brittany. However, King Philippe is a fickle friend, and if her death is profitable to him, then she has no doubt that he would light the pyre himself.

Alan, the only man Amandine trusts, has a secret and must make an impossible choice, which could have far-reaching consequences — not only for Amandine, but for the whole of Briton.

Links for Purchase
Available on Kindle and in Paperback!

Catch up with The Du Lac Chronicles series.
Free with

About the author

Mary Anne Yarde is an award winning author of the International Best Selling Series — The Du Lac Chronicles. Set a generation after the fall of King Arthur, The Du Lac Chronicles takes you on a journey through Dark Age Briton and Brittany, where you will meet new friends and terrifying foes. Based on legends and historical fact, the Du Lac Chronicles is a series not to be missed.

Born in Bath, England, Mary Anne Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury--the fabled Isle of Avalon--was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.
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Monday, 9 October 2017

#bookreview ~ Tabula Rasa (A Lambeth Group Thriller) @ADPase

Tabula Rasa: the end is nigh…
(A Lambeth Group Thriller)
By Gordon Bickerstaff

A hundred years ago, a wealthy family of visionaries prophesied the devastation that global warming would bring to world food supplies in the 21st century. They decided to prepare for the worst, and embark on an ambitious plan of revolution.

Lambeth Group agents, Zoe Tampsin and Gavin Shawlens, prepare to investigate the unusual death of a government defence scientist. Someone is determined to stop them before they get started. Zoe uncovers two unfamiliar words, Tabula Rasa. The only other clue is the curious behaviour of the dead scientist's son, Ramsay.

Posing as a couple, Gavin and Zoe enter the secret and dangerous world of Ramsay's aristocratic guardians, headed by philanthropist billionaire, Lord Zacchary Silsden.

What Gavin uncovers, shocks him to the bottom of his soul. Does he have the courage and the conviction to stop the greatest revolution in human history?

What Zoe discovers about Gavin—words can't describe. Zoe is faced with an impossible choice, but one thing is certain, she will not hesitate to do her duty, no matter the cost.

What did I think of the book?

What if Armageddon wasn't an act of God, but an act of man?

There is something very suspicious about the death of a renowned British Scientist. Lambeth Group agents, Zoe Tampsin is determined to find out the truth. But at what cost?

Well, Gordon Bickerstaff has done it again!

Full of intrigue and ripe with action, Tabula Rasa: The end is nigh ...  by Gordon Bickerstaff is a not to be missed read. This book is a gritty race against time story, which is simply unputdownable.

Zoe Tampsin is a female James Bond, I can think of no other way to describe her. She is tough, clever, but human. Her character came across as very real in the telling. As for the antagonists, they are a twisted bunch with a warped idea about how to save the world. Their goal is to create a new Eden, but at what cost?

The story is super fast-paced, and it certainly is a very compelling read. I really enjoyed it.

If you love high action thrillers then you can not go far wrong with  Tabula Rasa: The end is nigh.

I Highly Recommend.

Links for Purchase

About the author

I was born and raised in Glasgow but spent my student years in Edinburgh. On summer vacations, I learned plumbing, garden maintenance, and I cut the grass in the Meadows. I learned some biochemistry and taught it for a while before I retired to write fiction. I do some aspects of DIY moderately well and other aspects not so well. I live with my wife in Scotland where corrupt academics, mystery, murder and intrigue exists mostly in my mind. I have written the Gavin Shawlens series of thrillers: Deadly Secrets, Everything To Lose, The Black Fox, Toxic Minds and Tabula Rasa. More will come in due course. I enjoy walking in the hills, 60s & 70s music, reading and travel.
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Wednesday, 4 October 2017

#bookreview ~ Remedy (The Forgotten Legacies Series Book 3) #fantasy @SimmillKj


(The Forgotten Legacies Series Book 3)

By K.J.Simmill

Before there were legends there was war. 
Before fables came twisted truth and distorted tales. 
Things deemed too dangerous were sealed, and bound for all eternity. 
Or so it was believed. 

Whispers from an ancient realm threaten the peace, drawing a lone adventurer into The Depths of Acheron. 
He seeks something from within this sealed domain, and those banished want something in return. 
Something belonging to them. 

There was a prophecy forged of rebirth and death. 
But knowing what is to come can change what will be. 
And there is one who seeks to do just that. 
He intends to use every tool at his disposal, every distraction and manipulation, to ensure the future will be his. 

The time has come for the forgotten to be unveiled, and for the sealed to be unbound. Only then will the world know true fear.

What did I think of the book?

What if everything you thought you knew, everything you had been led to believe, was a lie?

Taya has suffered from terrible hallucinations all her life. Abandoned as a baby, if it was not for the care and diligence of Sunniva, then she did not dare think where she would be. Sunniva had warned that one day Taya's illness, her madness, would consume her, but what if the madness wasn't madness at all. What if her illness was caused by the woman who had so-called sworn to protect her?

Oh. My. Days! Buckle up and get ready for one hell of a ride. Remedy (The Forgotten Legacies Series Book 3) by K.J. Simmill is one of the most compelling and page-turning mythological fantasies that I have ever read.

There is a huge cast of characters in this book, they all have back stories, and no one is as they seem — what on earth was going on with Bray? I wasn’t expecting that! I loved the portrayal of Taya, and I really felt for her. Several times, in fact, I was actually in tears because of what she had to endure. Rob, was also one of my favourite characters although sometimes I just wanted to shake him. He could be so self-centred and driven to achieve his own desire that sometimes he came across as very callous, but underneath it all, he does have a very caring heart.

K.J.Simmill certainly has a way with words and her vivid descriptions really made this world come to life. Her word building was very elegant and a real joy to read. Remedy (The Forgotten Legacies Series Book 3) does work very well as a standalone but I think you would be doing yourself a disservice if you started with book 3. If you are looking for epic fantasy, then look no further than The Forgotten Legacies Series.

I Highly Recommend.

Links for Purchase

About the author

K.J. Simmill is an award-winning British author with books released in both the fantasy and non-fiction genres. It is her intention to ensure each book she writes will donate a percentage of her royalties to a good cause.

She is a qualified Usui Reiki master, with certifications in various fields of holistic therapy, inclusive of aromatherapy, crystal healing, colour therapy, ethereal Reiki, Indian head massage, shaman power Reiki, sound therapy, and massage therapy. She has also spent many years researching various practices of magic and herbal medicine. She is also currently working towards a herbal practitioner qualification.

When she is not writing, she is an avid reader and a passionate gamer.
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Saturday, 30 September 2017

#BookReview ~ Love’s Sunrise: An American Historical Romance #HistFic #Romance @WileyDorothy

Love’s Sunrise: An American Historical Romance
 (Wilderness Hearts Historical Romances Book 2)

By Dorothy Wiley

Gabe McGrath has secured the title to his land among the blue-green pastures and rolling hills of 1806 frontier Kentucky. During a violent storm—the second worst night of his life—Gabe seeks shelter at the home of a nearby cattleman and meets the man’s stunning, strong-willed daughter, Martha Wyllie.

Burdens of grief and a desire for justice stand in the way of Gabe’s happiness. And Martha holds a sacred, secret promise deep in her heart that makes her deny her attraction to the handsome neighbor. While Gabe heroically confronts both the haunting tragedies of the past and the ruthless and wide-ranging violence of a brutal gang, Martha must make a heartrending choice between keeping her word and following her heart.

LOVE’S SUNRISE is a riveting historical romance teeming with action and brimming with emotional realism. Dorothy Wiley, an Amazon bestselling and award-winning author, has artfully written a memorable story that will touch your heart.

What did I think of the book?

Gabe McGrath has had more than his share of grief in his life, but he has finally secured the title to his land. If only he could see the men who murdered his parents brought to justice then maybe he would, at last, find peace.

Martha Wyllie made a promise to her dying mother many years ago, and she is determined to never go back on her word. Even if it means sacrificing her own happiness.

When Martha meets Gabe, she realizes that this is a man whom she could spend the rest of her life with, but if she declared her love, then she would break her promise and that she would not do.

Rich with historical detail, realistic characters and a memorable plot, Love's Sunrise: An American Historical Romance by Dorothy Wiley is a sit-down and finish book.

Ms. Wiley had brought 19th Century Kentucky back to life with her descriptive language and beautiful prose. I simply could not put this story down.

I adored the characterisation of both Gabe and Martha, they were very real in the telling, and they were very believable characters, each with their own set of problems but drawn together because of love.

If you are looking for a good historical romance, full of detail and filled with page-turning action then Love's Sunrise: An American Historical Romance is the book for you.

I Highly Recommend.

Links for Purchase

About the author

Amazon bestselling novelist Dorothy Wiley is the award-winning author of eight books in two series, the highly-acclaimed American Wilderness Series and Wilderness Hearts Series. Wiley blends thrilling action-packed adventures with the romance of a moving love story to create exceedingly engaging page-turners. As she skillfully unravels a compelling tale, Wiley includes rich historical elements to create a vivid colonial world that celebrates the historical heritage of the American frontier and its courageous early settlers. Each book may be read independently and are enjoyed worldwide by readers of American historical romance and westerns.

Like Wiley’s compelling heroes, who from the onset make it clear they will not fail despite the adversities they face, this author is likewise destined for success. In the last three years, her novels have won numerous awards, notably a RONE Award Nominee, a 2016 Laramie Award Finalist, a Chatelaine Finalist for Romantic Fiction, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-finalist, a Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal, a USA Best Book Awards Finalist, and a Historical Novel Society Editor’s Choice. Her books continue to earn five-star ratings from readers and high praise from reviewers, including a Crowned Heart from InD’Tale Magazine.

Wiley’s extraordinary historical romances, inspired by history, teem with action and cliff-edge tension. Her books’ timeless messages of family and loyalty are both raw and honest. In all her novels, the author’s complex characters come alive and are joined by a memorable ensemble of friends and family. As she skillfully unravels a compelling tale, Wiley includes rich historical elements to create a vivid colonial world that celebrates the historical heritage of the frontier.

Wiley attended college at The University of Texas in Austin, Texas. She graduated with honors, receiving a bachelor of journalism, and grew to dearly love both Texas and a 7th-generation Texan, her husband Larry. Her husband’s courageous ancestors, early pioneers of Kentucky and Texas, provided the inspiration for her novels. After a distinguished career in corporate marketing and public relations, Wiley is living her dream—writing novels that touch the hearts of readers. All of Wiley’s books are available in print and eBooks at For further information, please visit her website

Connect with Dorothy at:
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Monday, 25 September 2017

#bookreview ~ Fools and Mortals #Shakespeare #HistFic @BernardCornwell

Fools and Mortals
By Bernard Cornwell

A dramatic new departure for international bestselling author Bernard Cornwell, FOOLS AND MORTALS takes us into the heart of the Elizabethan era, long one of his favourite periods of British history.

Fools and Mortals follows the young Richard Shakespeare, an actor struggling to make his way in a company dominated by his estranged older brother, William. As the growth of theatre blooms, their rivalry – and that of the playhouses, playwrights and actors vying for acclaim and glory – propels a high-stakes story of conflict and betrayal.

Showcasing his renowned storyteller’s skill, Bernard Cornwell has created an Elizabethan world incredibly rich in its portrayal: you walk the London streets, stand in the palaces and are on stage in the playhouses, as he weaves a remarkable story in which performances, rivalries and ambition combine to form a tangled web of intrigue.

What did I think of the Book?

“Lord, what fools these mortals be…” 

Running away from Stratford-Upon-Avon seemed like a sensible thing to do at the time. Richard Shakespeare was sure that his eldest brother, William, would be glad to see him. Alas, that was not the case. But he was here now. There was nothing William could do about that. Following in his brother's footsteps, Richard becomes a player as well as the occasional thief.

As the years roll on, Richard Shakespeare becomes more and more discouraged. He is way past the age of playing the girl parts in his brother’s plays, but William insists that he play them. When William finally casts Richard in his first male role, Richard is overjoyed. But this was William they were talking about, Richard should have known there would be a catch. Now Richard has a decision to make, should he stay with the Lord Chamberlain's men, or should he leave them to join Langley and his new impressive theatre, The Swan?

Rich with historical detail and with characters that leap off the page, Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell is a must for all fans of Shakespeare and the Elizabethan era.

The story is told from Richard Shakespeare perspective, and therefore it does not portray William in such a great light. Fans of William Shakespeare be warned! The story itself is very fast in the telling, and it was so gripping that I read this book in a day and I have to say that I enjoyed every minute of it.

Fools and Mortals reminded me greatly of the 1998 period costume drama Shakespeare in Love. There was the same feel to it, except the play in the spotlight this time is A Midsummer Nights Dream.

Mr. Cornwell depicts in great detail what it may well have been like to be a player in Elizabethan England. It was very believable and very real in the telling. Kudos Mr. Cornwell!

The story itself is full of intrigue and plots between the rival playhouses. There is, of course, the ever-present threat of the zealous Protestants who wanted to see the playhouses close for good. There is also a sweet romance.

The Last Kingdom it is not, but for fans of Shakespeare, and the Elizabethan era it is a must read.

I Highly Recommend.

*I received a copy of this book from the publishers, via Netgalley, for review consideration.”

Available for Pre-Order

                       About the author

Bernard Cornwell was born in London in 1944 – a ‘warbaby’ – whose father was a Canadian airman and mother in Britain’s Women’s Auxiliary Air Force.

He was adopted by a family in Essex who belonged to a religious sect called the Peculiar People (and they were), but escaped to London University and, after a stint as a teacher, he joined BBC Television where he worked for the next 10 years.

He began as a researcher on the Nationwide programme and ended as Head of Current Affairs Television for the BBC in Northern Ireland. It was while working in Belfast that he met Judy, a visiting American, and fell in love. Judy was unable to move to Britain for family reasons so Bernard went to the States where he was refused a Green Card. He decided to earn a living by writing, a job that did not need a permit from the US government – and for some years he had been wanting to write the adventures of a British soldier in the Napoleonic wars – and so the Sharpe series was born. Bernard and Judy married in 1980, are still married, still live in the States and he is still writing Sharpe.
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Blog Tour ~ Raven's Feast #histfic #Vikings @hfvbt @DArkAgeScribe @CreativiaPub

Book Blast ~ Historical Virtual Book Tour Presents....

Raven's Feast

by Eric Schumacher

Raven’s Feast is the sequel to God’s Hammer, the true story of Hakon Haraldsson and his quest to win and keep the High Seat of Viking Age Norway.

It is 935 A.D. and Hakon Haraldsson has just wrested the High Seat of the North from his ruthless brother, Erik Bloodaxe. Now, he must fight to keep it.

The land-hungry Danes are pressing from the south to test Hakon before he can solidify his rule. In the east, the Uplanders are making their own plans to seize the throne. It does not help that Hakon is committed to his dream of Christianizing his people – a dream his countrymen do not share and will fight to resist.

As his enemies move in and his realm begins to crumble, Hakon and his band of oath-sworn warriors must make a stand in Raven’s Feast, the riveting sequel to God’s Hammer.

“At its core, Raven’s Feast is more than a story about a young king holding firm to the power he has won in Viking Norway,” said Eric Schumacher, author of Raven’s Feast. “It is the story of a young man holding true to one’s self and convictions in the face of extreme challenges — something to which, I hope, many people can relate.”

Praise for God's Hammer

“Eric Schumacher has created the most evocative tale in his stunning novel — God’s Hammer. This book completely drew me in. The research that has gone into God’s Hammer has to be commended, and it is incredibly rich in historical detail. It was as if I was looking through a window into the past as I read the pages of this remarkable story. Hakon’s portrayal is both realistic and believable. Schumacher has obviously researched the life of Hakon in great detail, and this certainly came through in the writing. Schumacher brought Hakon back to life. Well Done!”

Mary Yarde, the author of The Du Lac Chronicles

“Author Eric Schumacher put together a rousing story of warfare, religious strife and tested friendships.”

Mercedes Rochelle, author of Godwine Kingmaker and The Sons of Godwine

What did I think of the book?

After the battle, the war begins...

Despite the odds, Hakon Haraldsson won the High Seat of the North from his brother, Erik Bloodaxe. But one battle does not make a king. Hakon now has to bring the divided Jarls together under his leadership if he has any hope of retaining his right to the throne. At the same time he has to ensure the safety of his people, a task easier said than done.

Eric Schumacher has done it again. He has given us a story that practically screams realism. Raven's Feast is so rich in historical detail that it is like a personal portal to the past. The world Mr Schumacher has created is both vivid and believable. It really felt as if I had travelled to the 10th Century while I turned the pages of this remarkable book.

I loved the characterisation on Hakon Haraldsson in God's Hammer, and it was wonderful to watch his character develop further in Raven's Feast. Despite some rather disastrous mistakes, he has all the makings of a great King.

The story is incredibly fast paced. The pages simply flew by as I became more immersed in the story. This is a sit-down and finish book.

If you love Vikings, then this series should be on your to read list.

I Highly Recommend.

Links for Purchase


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a signed paperback copy of Raven’s Feast! 

Giveaway Rules
*Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on September 25th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
*Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
*Only one entry per household.
*All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
*Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

About the author

Eric Schumacher was born in Los Angeles in 1968 and currently resides in Santa Barbara, CA with his wife, two children and dog. He is the author of two historical fiction novels, God’s Hammer and its sequel, Raven’s Feast. Both tell the story of the first Christian king of Viking Norway, Hakon Haraldsson, and his struggles to gain and hold the High Seat of his realm.
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Raven’s Feast by Eric Schumacher
Publication Date: May 1, 2017
eBook & Paperback
Series: Hakon’s Saga, Book 2
Genre: Fiction/Historical