Saturday, 20 May 2017

#bookreview ~ Alice in Brexitland #political #satire @LucienDYoung


Alice in Brexitland

By

Lucien Young


Lying on a riverbank on a lazy summer’s afternoon – 23rd June 2016, to be precise – Alice spots a flustered-looking white rabbit called Dave calling for a referendum. Following him down a rabbit-hole, she emerges into a strange new land, where up is down, black is white, experts are fools and fools are experts...

She meets such characters as the Corbynpillar, who sits on a toadstool smoking his hookah and being no help to anyone; Humpty Trumpty, perched on a wall he wants the Mexicans to pay for; the Cheshire Twat, who likes to disappear leaving only his grin, a pint, and the smell of scotch eggs remaining; and the terrifying Queen of Heartlessness, who’ll take off your head if you dare question her plan for Brexit. Will Alice ever be able to find anyone who speaks sense?


What did I think of the Book?


A strange thing happened to Alice on the 23rd June 2016...

Seven-year-old Alice is lazing about on a riverbank with her sister when she sees a white rabbit. The rabbit seems to be in ever such a hurry. Alice foolishly follows David Camerabbit. He leads her down a rabbit hole and Alice finds herself in a very strange and confusing world.

Loosely based on Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland, Lucien Young has created the somewhat disturbing world called Brexitland. Here, our young heroine meets some very questionable characters, who say one thing but mean another. However, there is one question on everyone's lips. Should we vote to stay in the EU or should we vote to leave?

Alice in Brexitland is a satirical look at British Politics and the events leading up to, and immediately after, the vote to leave the European Union. It is what it is and that is a parody, it is very tongue-in-cheek! Very funny. It reminded me greatly of watching an episode of Have I Got News For You. There are some brilliant one-liners that made me laugh out loud.

The only problem I see with this book is that it going to age real quick, so if you are thinking of reading it, then read it now. It is a real fast read that you can indulge in over a cup of Earl Grey. Check it out if you have the chance.

* I received a copy of this book from the Publishers, via NetGalley,
 for review consideration*

 
Links for Purchase

(Available for pre-order.
Released 1st June 2017)


#bookreview ~ Legacy (Book #3, the Fire Chronicles) #Fantasy @Susiwright1


Legacy

(Book #3, the Fire Chronicles)

By

Susi Wright


'Think true, fly free and use your powers wisely.' Lord Thunis (Gaian philosophy) - much easier said than done...

Even in the idealistic realm of the Lord of Fire, growing up isn't easy; even more difficult for Essie and Ardi, who possess volatile talents no-one yet understands...

Their coming-of-age is forged by the unforgiving hand of Destiny. 
Can they play their part and survive their own magic?

Despite suffering a mysterious illness, Lord Luminor's benificence must now stretch beyond the bounds of the Known World.

Beyond the Impossible Mountains, Morvian allies suffer unspeakable atrocities at the hands of a barbarian horde. Without assistance from the Ancient Realm, it might be impossible to rescue many of their number.
Driven by destiny, courage and love, Luminor's intrepid daughter, Espira, must reconcile with her rebellious brother, Ardientor, summoning nascent powers to join the quest.

It is time for her to come of age, and regardless of her many talents, she will not escape the agony of love and loss.

There are precious lives to be saved, the Alliance to uphold, and Luminor's life-long vision, his legacy, awaits fulfillment...
The Legacy of the First Fire.
.


What did I think of the Book?

A wonderful coming of age story set in a fantasy world…

The Alliance ensures peace and protection. So when one of the Alliance's allies, the Morvian, are threatened by a brutal, carnivorous species, then Lord Luminor summons the army of the Known Kingdoms and sets out across the Impossible Mountains to come to their aid. The journey is fraught with danger, and Lord Luminor's powers are not as strong as they once were thanks to a mysterious illness.

Essie, daughter of Lord Luminor, has been hiding her true powers from everyone, for like her brother she is half human. An unknown. But while she embraces her powers, albeit secretly in some cases, her brother struggles with his. When he looks upon his sister, he feels resentment and jealousy.  He wants to have what she has. He wants it all. But will he be able to keep control of his anger in these desperate times of war?

Susi Wright has captured the essence of this fantasy world with her use of descriptive prose and rich dialogue. The world this book is set in comes across so vividly that it was very easy to get lost in the pages and time flew by while I was reading.

Legacy: Book #3, the Fire Chronicles is a coming of age story. Essie is an incredibly well-drawn character. She wants to do right by everyone, even her enemies. She is a genuinely lovely young lady. I also enjoyed the gently love story that accompanies this character. I think Ms. Wright has portrayed her beautifully. Well done.

The backdrop of this story is stunning, and I was happy to get lost in the world that Ms. Wright has created. I enjoyed the story, the plot, and the characterization.

If you like fantasy worlds with good vs. evil, then you are going to love Legacy: Book #3, the Fire Chronicles. This book works perfectly as a standalone, in fact, I haven't read the other two books, and by the end of Chapter 1, I knew exactly what was going on. I will certainly be looking to read the rest of the books in this series.

I Highly Recommend.


Links for Purchase




About the author


Susi was born in London and grew up in the United Kingdom, with a passionate interest, and majoring in, literature, languages, history and art, before emigrating to New Zealand. She travelled Australasia extensively, before spending 20 years as a free-lance professional Australian wildlife and equine artist, expressing her love of nature and animals, while raising a family, on their self-sufficient farm in rural Queensland, Australia. Always an avid fan of fantasy and fiction, she now lives in Toowoomba, writing and illustrating her fantasy worlds to share with others.




Sunday, 14 May 2017

#bookreview ~ Henry (Book #3 Of The Tudor Trilogy) #HistFic #Tudors @tonyriches

Henry

(Book Three Of The Tudor Trilogy)

By

Tony Riches

   
Bosworth 1485: After victory against King Richard III, Henry Tudor becomes King of England. Rebels and pretenders plot to seize his throne. The barons resent his plans to curb their power and he wonders who he can trust. He hopes to unite Lancaster and York through marriage to the beautiful Elizabeth of York. With help from his mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, he learns to keep a fragile peace. He chooses a Spanish Princess, Catherine of Aragon, as a wife for his son Prince Arthur. His daughters will marry the King of Scotland and the son of the Emperor of Rome. It seems his prayers are answered, then disaster strikes and Henry must ensure the future of the Tudors.


What did I think of the Book?

King Richard III is dead. Long live the King...

Henry Tudor has a secret. He never wanted to be king. But now, thanks to his family's ambition, and victory at Bosworth, Henry finds himself King of England.

Henry wants to bring peace to this war-torn country. The only way to do this is to unite the House of Lancaster with the House of York and thus put an end to this madness. Henry's marriage to Edward IV's daughter, Elizabeth, would unite the land. But this is a time of great uncertainty as well as unrest. Henry soon comes to realize that it is not just his throne that is threatened by the whispers of York rebellion, but his young family as well.

Henry (Book Three Of The Tudor Trilogy), opens at the close of the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 and ends with Henry's death in 1509. I have read several interpretations of Henry's life before, but Henry (Book Three Of The Tudor Trilogy) keeps very close to the history. It doesn't sensationalist Henry, for better or worse, as others authors have done. I really like the way Tony Riches has portrayed King Henry. He is a very well-rounded character and totally believable. Bravo, Mr Riches.

I thought Henry's relationship with Elizabeth was beautifully portrayed. Mr. Riches shows that what started out as a political alliance soon grew into a love match. Henry clearly adored her and his children, and this came across in the telling.

I loved the portrayal of Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby. She's depicted as Henry's rock, the one he could turn to, especially after his Uncle Jasper's death. I was pleased to see that Mr. Riches didn't follow the modern trend of portraying Margaret as this power-crazed mad woman. Yes, she was certainly fundamental in her son taking the throne of England, but once Henry was crowned, Margaret became a valued member of the court and Henry's inner circle. Margaret always seemed to know what needed to be done. But as efficient as she was, Mr. Riches also portrayed Margaret as a loving grandmother, and she seemed to care very deeply for her daughter-in-law.

I think The Tudor Trilogy series is fabulous and you don't need to read them in order if you don't want to. It is a must read for readers who love the Tudor era.

 I Highly Recommend.



Links for Purchase



About the author 
Tony Riches is a full time author of best-selling historical fiction. He lives in Pembrokeshire, West Wales and is a specialist in the fifteenth century, with a particular interest in the Wars of the Roses and the lives of the early Tudors. For more information about Tony’s other books please visit his website tonyriches.com and his popular blog, The Writing Desk and find him on Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Cover Reveal ~ Desperate Knight (Book #2 of The Knights of Kilborne) #Historical #fantasy @kilbourneknight


 I just had to share the cover reveal of Desperate Knight. The art work is amazing, isn't it? I am a big fan of this series and it is one I Highly Recommend. Don't forget to enter the giveaway ~ scroll down for more details...


DESPERATE KNIGHT
Book 2 in the Knights of Kilbourne series
by award-winning fantasy/romance author
Keith W. Willis

Coming summer 2017 from Champagne Books

No time… No plan… No options…
No one said saving the world would be easy. 



Morgan McRobbie and Lady Marissa duBerry swing back into swashbuckling action, facing old enemies, new threats, and a diabolical conspiracy. Not to mention a more personal battle, one with hearts and pride at stake.

As the pair escorts Prince Robert to the dwarf king’s court, a fiendish scheme is unfolding, intended to hurl men and dwarves into a devastating war. Morgan ends up sidetracked by a kidnapped dwarf and a centuries-old feud, while a mysterious wizard’s revelations shake Marissa to her core, throwing into question everything she thought she knew about her past and future. And the advent of a rival for Marissa’s affections threatens any hope of a happy ending—if they survive.

Once again the desperate knight and indomitable damsel must hazard everything on a single throw of the dice, gambling on untested allies and unimagined weapons to save their world. And the odds have never been worse.  


Praise for TRAITOR KNIGHT (Book 1 of Knights of Kilbourne)

“…well-told story with a witty heroine, a noble-yet-flawed hero, and a colorful set of secondary characters. And a dragon! Let's not forget the dragon!” –Tegan Wren, author of Inconceivable

“…a witty and action-packed page-turner that takes the classic fantasy land and adds depth, character, romance and political intrigue to brilliant effect.”  -- SFF World

“I recommend Traitor Knight to anyone looking for a good fantasy with just a dash of romance.” – Long & Short Reviews

 
Links for Purchase


Giveaway
 
 Clink on the link and enter for a chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card!!



                 
                        

About the author


Keith W. Willis graduated (long ago) with a degree in English Lit from Berry College, Georgia. He now lives in the scenic Hudson Valley/Adirondack region of NY with his wife Patty. Keith is certain those rumbling noises attributed to Henry Hudson's crew are really just the dragons grumbling. He began writing seriously in 2008, when the voices in his head got too annoying to ignore. When he’s not making up stories he manages a group of database content editors at a global information technology firm. TRAITOR KNIGHT (Champagne Books) is his first published novel, and has won awards for both fantasy and romance. The second book in the Knights of Kilbourne series, DESPERATE KNIGHT, is slated for a summer 2017 release.

You can find Keith:


                          https://www.facebook.com/TRAITOR-KNIGHT-191368320972613/ (books)


Sunday, 7 May 2017

#bookreview ~ The Rogue of Islay Isle #Highland #Romance @HMcCollumAuthor


The Rogue of Islay Isle

(Highland Isles Series)

By

Heather McCollum



Cullen Duffie, a Highland warrior and charming rogue, is the new chief of Clan MacDonald. Determined to prove he’s not his father, Cullen works to secure his clan against the English. When a woman washes onto Islay’s shores, Cullen protects her from his uncles’ schemes.

Waking up not knowing who she is or where she comes from, Madeleine is at the mercy of the man who found her. Unable to speak from the swelling around her throat from a rope tether, she learns as much as she can about the new world around her and the powerful, sword-wielding Highlander who has sworn to protect her.

Through dreams and flashes of her past, Madeleine begins to rebuild her memories. But the more she recalls about the horror she escaped, the more she realizes the jeopardy she is bringing to Islay, Clan MacDonald and the Highlander who has captured her heart.


What did I think of the book?


How far would you go to save the woman you love?

Being the chief of Clan MacDonald brings with it prestige and great responsibility. Cullen Duffie feels like he is balancing on the edge of a sword as he tries to shoulder the responsibility of leadership. Not only that but there is a silent threat of war between England and France. If there is even a whisper of Clan MacDonald swearing allegiance to the French cause, then King Henry will not be forgiving.  The last thing Cullen wants is to be found harbouring a mysterious French woman who was washed up on the beach. But harbour her he must, for she is in desperate need of refuge and he can not, in good conscience, turn his back on her.

Oh, I did enjoy this book. The Rogue Of Islay is one of those books where you want to shut out the world, curl up under a blanket and just read!  Heather McCollum transported me back to 16th Century Scotland, and for a while, I was more than happy to stay there!

Madeleine "Rose" came across as a very strong heroine, despite all the terrible abuse that she has had to endure. She tries desperately hard to piece together her memories, even though she fears what she might discover about herself when she remembers. I thought her character was beautifully drawn and very real in the telling.

Likewise, Cullen was drawn with great skill. He has to do right by his clan, but he also has to do right by the woman that he has rescued. Cullen is honourable and not one to be swayed by persuasive arguments. It would have been very easy for him to abandon Rose, but he would never do something like that. So despite great opposition from his uncles, he stays steadfast in his decisions. He has promised Rose his protection, and that is the end of the matter.

The romance between Rose and Cullen was tender at times, passionate at others. Their love story is wonderful to read about and, more importantly, convincing!

The plot really speeds up so much towards the end of the book that it was simply unputadownable.

If you are looking for your next Highland Romance, then look no further than The Rogue Of Islay by Heather McCollum. You won't be disappointed.

I Highly Recommend.

Available for Pre-order



About the author



Heather McCollum is an award winning, historical and contemporary YA paranormal romance writer. She earned her B.A. in Biology from the University of Maine, much to her English professor's dismay. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and was a 2009 Golden Heart Finalist. Ms. McCollum has four full length historical, paranormal romances released in both electronic and digital formats. She also has one short novella released in electronic format.

When she is not busy writing and answering calls of "Mom", she can be found educating women about ovarian cancer. She is a teal warrior herself and just finished slaying the ovarian cancer beast.

She currently resides with her very own Highland hero and three spirited children in the wilds of suburbia on the mid-Atlantic coast.

More information about Ms. McCollum and her books can be found at www.HeatherMcCollum.com

Thursday, 4 May 2017

#newrelease #bookreview~ The Shadow Queen #Historical #histfic @anne_obrien

Today I am delighted to announce the release of…
The Shadow Queen
 
The Shadow Queen is the story of Joan of Kent, a tale of treachery, power-hungry families and legal subterfuges, in which Joan, a woman of considerable charm and beauty, played a central role at the Plantagenet Court.
‘What would enhance the pattern of my life further? One word slid into my
mind. A seductive word. A dangerous word, perhaps, for a woman. Power.’
From her first clandestine marriage Joan of Kent’s reputation was one of scandal and rumour.  Her royal blood made her a desirable bride, but her ambition and passion could become a threat to the stability of the Plantagenet dynasty.
Joan knew what she must do to survive, the political games to play, the alliances she must make, even if one man will always own her heart.  But would her ambitions bring her happiness?
A dramatic story of love and loyalty and of the cost of personal ambition, this is the story  of the woman who would ultimately seek power as the mother to the ten year old King Richard II, from the shadows of the throne.


The Shadow Queen breathes life back into this remarkable medieval woman, Joan, the Fair Maid of Kent of Kent.



 Links for Purchase
On sale in Waterstones, WHS and all good bookshops a well as on Amazon

About the author



Anne O’Brien was born in West  Yorkshire. After gaining a BA Honours degree in History at Manchester University and a Master’s in Education at Hull, she lived in East Yorkshire for many years as a teacher of history.
She now lives with her husband in an eighteenth-century timber-framed cottage in the depths of the Welsh Marches in Herefordshire, on the borders between England and Wales, where she writes historical novels.  The perfect place in which to bring medieval women back to life.

Visit me.
Website: https://www.anneobrien.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anneobrienbooks/
Twitter: @anne_obrien






Tuesday, 2 May 2017

#bookreview ~ Mer-Charmer (World of Aluvia #2) #YA #Fantasy @AmyBearce


Mer-Charmer
(World of Aluvia Book 2)
By Amy Bearce




Fourteen-year-old Phoebe Quinn is surrounded by magic, but she can’t muster any of her own. Her sister is a fairy keeper. Her best friends are merfolk. And all she does is dishes and housework.

When Phoebe finds out a terrible sea creature is awakening that preys upon the peace-loving merfolk, she becomes determined to help them, even though it means going with Tristan and Mina to their home deep in the sea.

Beneath the waves, Phoebe learns she’s more like her sister than she realized. The merfolk are drawn to her, and she can sense the magic of the sea all around her. Magic is finally at her fingertips, but that’s precisely why the stirring dark power under the waters decides it wants her most of all.

Now she must not only help the peaceful merfolk escape this ancient enemy, she must master her out-of-control powers. If she fails, she will die and darkness will rise and enslave the merfolk once more. But embracing her full power could cost her the very people she loves the most.
 
What did I think of the book?

Sometimes you just need to pretend to be brave…

Time heals, it is said, but four years on after her escape from the clutches of the evil Brentwood, Phoebe is still experiencing flashbacks which grip her in a blinding terror. The only place Phoebe feels at home is in the sea with her beloved friends, Tristan and Mina.

But this is no ordinary friendship for Tristan and Mina are merfolk. Magic is everywhere, but Phoebe feels like an outsider, for she does not possess any magic. The only thing she knows is that merfolk are drawn to her, as is an ancient evil that is awakening in the Abyss of the ocean. This evil threatens the lives of those she loves the most. What she does not realise is that magic does indeed flow through her veins and if she wants the merfolk to survive, she must embrace that magic, fight her fears, and help them.

Wow! What a wonderful journey Amy Bearce has taken me on. Bearce knows how to make characters jump off the page, but not only that she makes them very human. When bad things happen it affects her protagonists, they don't just brush themselves off and get on with it, they suffer, which makes them so real in the telling. Phoebe's development through this book was wondrous to behold. She went from a child who had been locked up and beaten, to this incredibly strong young woman who would do absolutely anything to keep her friends safe, even if that meant sacrificing herself. I really liked her.

The attention to detail has to be commended. Bearce's magical world not only came alive but it breathed. I was completely drawn into the story and the world. It is fantastic escapism.

There is a tender love story throughout this story, which pulled at my heartstrings. Phoebe is so terrified that Tristan only likes her because, like all merfolk, he is drawn to her. What she doesn't realise is that Tristan affections are so much deeper than the strength of her magic. She just needs to have the courage to trust her heart.

This is a fabulous story and one I have thoroughly enjoyed reading. For those who love magical creatures and an alternative world, then this book ticks all the boxes. I loved it.

I Highly Recommend
 
Links for Purchase


 
About the author

Amy Bearce writes fantasy stories for tweens and teens. Her debut, FAIRY KEEPER, is an upper-middle grade fantasy and is the first book in the World of Aluvia series. MER-CHARMER (World of Aluvia, Book Two) released May 9, 2016. Book Three, Dragon Redeemer, is scheduled for release May 23, 2017. She is a former reading teacher who now has her Masters in Library Science. As an Army kid, she moved eight times before she was eighteen, so she feels especially fortunate to be married to her high school sweetheart. Together they’re raising two daughters and are currently living in Germany, though they'll be heading home to Texas this summer.

Monday, 1 May 2017

#bookreview ~ To Raise a King (The Broken Crown Book 1) #Arthurian #HistFic @jaortonwriter

To Raise a King

 (The Broken Crown Book 1)

By

Justin Orton


When Matt escapes a Scottish boys' home to search for his parents, he instead finds himself fleeing for his life. Cast back in time to the brutality of 6th-century Scotland, he is sent on a dangerous quest - a race to recover the missing fragments of a broken crown and save two worlds from certain destruction.

Love, betrayal and murder follow Matt as he struggles against a backdrop of powerful magic and political tension that soon erupts into open war. Matt's faith in himself, and his trust in his newfound friends will be put to the ultimate test as he fights to Raise a King.
.

What did I think of the Book?

What happens when History and Legend collides…?

Matt longs for what he does not have. A family. A mother who loves him. A father to guide him. Instead, he lives in a home for boys. Abandoned. Forgotten. Alone. His only comfort is his dog, Mia.

Matt is so determined to find his parents that he takes matters into his own hands and runs away. What he didn't expect was to end up in 6th Century Scotland! What happens next will challenge everything he thought he knew about himself, the world, and as it turns out, the not so legendary King Arthur.

Rich in history, overflowing with Arthurian myths and legends, Justin Orton takes his readers on quite a journey. With an elegant wit and descriptive prose, Orton brings to life the beauty and the brutality of 6th Century Scotland. To Raise a King (The Broken Crown Book 1)  is so rich in detail that I could smell the rain in the air, see the vastness of the lochs, and the majestic heights of the mountains.

The protagonist, Matt, is an incredibly courageous young man who's life is turned completely upside down. Everything he thought he knew turns out to be a lie. Suddenly, King Arthur isn't a fairy story and Merlin is real.  Matt finds himself part of this very complicated world to which he had no prior knowledge of. Matt has courage beyond his years, and I could not help but like him. He is the hero of this story. Matt was very real in the telling, and his character drove the story forward and kept me turning those pages.

Orton has obviously spent a lot of time researching this fascinating era, and it comes across in the writing. I like what he did with the Arthurian Legend, and he gave this ancient story a slight Science-Fiction twist which worked remarkably well.

A great deal happens in this book, and there is this sense that no one is as they seem and at one point I was questioning, just like Matt, who were the bad guys! I like a book that makes me think!!

To Raise a King (The Broken Crown Book 1) is an action-packed adventure, that kept me turning those pages. I look forward to reading more books in this series. Justin Orton, you have got yourself a new fan!!

I Highly Recommend!!


Links for Purchase



About the author



I spend most days delving into the world of computer code and unraveling programming mysteries for many major corporations, but my true passion is fictional writing.

My work is always supervised by Oliver (my cat), who’s four-legged contributions can often be found in both my coding and writing (all spelnig errors r stritcly his!).

I was born and raised in England, but now live with my beautiful wife Lisa in Florida (famous for its theme parks, beaches, the occasional hurricane, and a certain mouse).

My hobbies include: reading, movies, history, travel (I want to see mountains again Gandalf – mountains!), and exploring the latest gadgets and gizmos.

I’m rather fond of single malt scotch and it’s not uncommon to find me of an evening, sipping on a fine dram, while pondering how to get a character out of the very awkward situation I recently put them in!