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 www.amazon.com/author/dorothywiley. For further information, please visit her website www.dorothywiley.com.

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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.
Useful Links

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



Giveaway

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.
Useful Links


Raven’s Feast by Eric Schumacher
Publication Date: May 1, 2017
Creativia
eBook & Paperback
Series: Hakon’s Saga, Book 2
Genre: Fiction/Historical

Saturday, 23 September 2017

#bookreview ~ The Ceret Diaries: A rural life in France #biography @frenchyogi

The Ceret Diaries: A rural life in France
By MJ Keevil

Bill and Marian rode into Ceret in the summer of 2007 and never left. After buying a huge ramshackle farmhouse in the hills above the town, they bought llamas, goats and chickens, started restoration work and taught yoga and chanting to the bemused locals. This is the story of their mistakes as well as the joys and pleasures of living in France.



What did I think of the Book?

How not to move to France…

The Ceret Diaries: A rural life in France by MJ Keevil is a beautiful memoir of a husband and wife who, after an impromptu cycle holiday, ended up buying a rather dilapidated old house in Ceret, France.

With only an O'Level in French between them, they are determined to make it work. Their experiences are portrayed in this delightfully funny, but at times incredibly moving story of how they not only renovated a house, but how they threw themselves into learning the customs and the culture of their new neighbours.

There is much humour in this book, especially when it involves llamas, goats, sheep, pigs, and of course the odd wild boar who thinks it is his right to tear up the garden. We also meet some wonderful eccentric people — from the men who fixed the roof, to the man who thinks he is going to be the next beg scriptwriter in Hollywood ~ if only he could write!

I loved the way that nothing seemed to faze this couple, they were met with so many disasters, but with humour, they pulled through.

The memoir is a very compelling read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I Highly Recommend.

Links For Purchase

    About the author  



MJ Keevil was born in Gillingham, Kent in 1960. Living in Cumbria for many years she worked as a freelance editor for BBC Books and other publishing companies. As well as being an avid reader she also became interested in yoga, finally qualifying as a yoga teacher with the Krishnamacharya Healing & Yoga Foundation in 2008. Her interest in yoga as a practice and a philosophy took her to Chennai in India to study at the KHYF Mandiram. She also studied Vedic Chant and is qualified as a teacher of Vedic Chant. Her interests lie in investigating the link between mind, breath and body, and how this impacts on health.

Another abiding obsession for many years has been history in which she has a degree from the Open University. An interest in family history led to a desire to really understand the experiences of her grandparents during WW1 and this led to her first novel, Letting Go of Love.

She divides her time between Bexhill on Sea in East Sussed and Ceret in the south of France, where she enjoys the sunshine and walks her dog.

Useful Links

Thursday, 21 September 2017

#BookReview ~ Forever Scarred (Book #3) #Military #Romance @wackyjackyful

Forever Scarred
(Scarred Book #3)
by Jackie Williams



The long awaited sequel to Running Scarred.

Working alongside his ex-veteran friends in the isolated French chateau where he doesn’t have to explain how his face was destroyed, suits Joe perfectly. Barely able look at his own reflection let alone show himself to anyone else, the longer he can remain secluded from the outside world the better he likes it.

But Joe wants the same as any man, he same things his friends have found and when a party of salesmen descends upon the chateau for a team building course, Joe’s resolve to keep out of the spotlight is put to its hardest test yet. The chief executive’s beautiful secretary is exactly the woman he is looking for, but he knows that she is unlikely to spare him even a glance.

Her life is complicated enough and embarking on any liaison is the last thing on Lucy’s mind but something about the huge ex-soldier has kept her heart pounding and her stomach fluttering from the moment she laid eyes on him. Joe’s scarred face pales into insignificance as she finds his potent strength, his gentle sincerity and his genial mood far too beguiling.

Can Lucy escape from her blackmailing boss and take what her heart desires without leaving herself destitute? Will Joe rise above his own crushing insecurities long enough to rescue Lucy not only from her own fears but from her handsome but lecherous employer, or will his lack of self-esteem and long practiced avoidance tactics prevent him from opening his heart and him keep him Forever Scarred?


What did I think of the book?

The world sees only the scars on the man’s face, but when she looks into his eyes, she sees only her world.

Joe has finally decided that he has had enough. No more plastic surgery. No more dreaming about a wife and family. It is time to face up to the fact that no one in their right mind would fall in love with someone like him. And if by some small chance a woman did show an interest, he feared it would only be because she felt sorry for him.

Lucy's life is falling apart. Blackmailed by her boss and with crippling debts, Lucy is balancing on the edge of bankruptcy. When her boss demands that she arrived a day early to the French Chataue for a team building exercise, she expects to be met with hostility by the staff, but instead she meets Joe, and her heart is suddenly beating a little too fast. There is something about this scarred ex-soldier that draws her in. But with her life about to fall apart, she has no right to start a relationship.

I am so LOVING this series. But I I particularly LOVE Joe's story. Forever Scarred (Scarred #3) by Jackie Williams is one of those books where you really need a couple of hours, a warm blanket, a cup of hot chocolate and absolutely no interruptions. Talk about a compelling page-turner.

I adored the characterisation of Joe. He is, on the face of it, a very confident man, but because of how he now looks he is incredibly self-conscious. The way people act when they first meet him is heartbreaking. It was no wonder he distrusts Lucy when she appears to not take any notice of his scarred face. Likewise, Lucy is very well portrayed. She is caught between a rock and a hard place, but she is determined to shoulder her troubles alone. The last thing she wants to do is drag Joe into the disaster of her life.

Forever Scarred is certainly my favourite book in the series thus far. The romance, the pain, and the evil antagonist, all made for a very enjoyable read. This book is certainly on my to read again list!

I Highly Recommend.


Links for Purchase

About the author




I was born in Essex England during the mid sixties but I missed all the fun. Being only young I assumed that all Beatles were six legged creatures and Flower Power was something to do with the vigorous way my mother kneaded the bread dough.

My wonderful parents brought me up with a huge love of books. We read anything and everything. Bedtime stories were a treasured time of adventure and mystery. My sister and I sat wide eyed in wonder and to this day I worry about Dinah and Dorinda being pricked with pins because they grew so fat, and I never pull faces at the a waning moon (or was it a waxing one?) just in case my chops stay that way . (The Wind On The Moon)

I began reading romance while still at school. The fuel for many a teenage fantasy leapt from between the covers of wildly romantic books and my passion still lingers now for all those dark haired heroes.

My own beautiful teenage daughter persuaded me to write my first romance. She was only fourteen at the time and between books for children and adults. She couldn’t find anything that ticked all her numerous and particular boxes and so she asked me to write a book, with all the exact ingredients just for her. Though not just a book for teens, she enjoyed the resulting tale so much that she shared it with her friends and I eventually published A Perfect Summer as an ebook on amazon.

But I have discovered that writing is not easily stopped once you start. It has turned into a grand passion that I just cannot hold back. The fingertips start tapping the keys and ideas suddenly come flooding, far too many for just one book and so I began another and then another. Nine books later I am still nowhere near done. Book ten is on its way and only just the other night I woke from a wild and wonderful dream with book eleven fully formed in my head.

Romance will always be my first love but recently I was so influenced by a tiny polished plaque on a sea wall that I gave paranormal romance a try. (Echo Beach) Mixing the two genres was a real challenge for me but I was delighted with the result. Historical romance is going to be my next genre. All those fabulously titled and passionate men are impossibly hard to resist.