Tuesday, 6 November 2018

#BookReview and #Giveaway — War King by Eric Schumacher #Vikings #HistFic @hfvbt @DarkAgeScribe

Historical Fiction Virtual Blog Tours Presents…


War King
By Eric Schumacher

It is 954 A.D. and a tempest is brewing in the North. Twenty summers before, Hakon Haraldsson wrested Norway’s throne from his murderous brother, Erik Bloodaxe, but he failed to rid himself of Erik’s family. Now the sons of Erik have come to reclaim Erik’s realm and avenge the wrong done to their father and their kin.

They do not come alone. With them marches an army of sword-Danes sent by the Danish King, Harald Bluetooth, whose desire to expand his realm is as powerful as the lust for vengeance that pulses in the veins of Erik’s brood.
Like storm-driven waves, the opposing forces collide in War King, the action-packed sequel to God’s Hammer and Raven’s Feast.

“I was swept up in the action and enthralled by the descriptions of Hakon’s struggle.”
Roundtable Reviews

“I highly recommend this historical fiction novel, both for its entertaining story and historical information.”

Historical Fiction Review

“A story of war, family, sacrifice, honor … one that keeps your blood pumping and your fingers turning pages rapidly. I can’t wait to dig into the next.”
Goodreads Review

Hakon Haraldsson has had enough of war and death. But, for this Christian King, an act of compassion could lead to his downfall. For the sons of his brother, Erik Bloodaxe, seek revenge and the throne that Hakon won. This time, the sons of Bloodaxe would not come alone.

War King — Hakon’s Saga Book 3 by Eric Schumacher is the dramatic conclusion to what has been the most fabulous series. Filled with complicated political intrigue, questionable allegiances and vivid battle scenes, this story, and indeed this series, would be a real treat for readers who have enjoyed Michael Hirst’s fabulous Vikings.

There is a wonderful authenticity to this story. From the historical setting to the characters themselves, there is a strong sense of realism. Hakon is not an old man in this story, but the years of countless battles have taken a toll on his health, not only physically but in a sense mentally as well. He has had enough of all the killing. He is very human in the telling. 

This book left me in tears on several occasions, due to the terrible things that happen to Hakon. I am not going to give away any spoilers, but before one battle, Hakon has to make a terrible life or death choice. It was truly heartbreaking.

The story, as with all the books in the Hakon series, was well paced, and really drew me into the Viking world in which it is set. This isn’t just a book where there is one battle after another. There are softer, quieter moments, which complements the wars and the violence. I think this is a fabulous portray of Hakon Haraldsson and his life. Mr Schumacher has obviously spent many hours researching this fascinating man and the way of life during this era. Kudos, Mr Schumacher.

There is a useful Glossary of Viking words, tribes and Gods at the beginning of the book, but so engrossed was I with the story, that I did not once look at it! The Historical Notes at the back of the book was very interesting, and I am now more intrigued than ever by the wonderful, yet complex, Hakon Haraldsson.

War King — Hakon’s Saga Book 3 is a masterpiece of well-executed historical fiction. 

I Highly Recommend.

Review by Mary Anne Yarde
The Coffee Pot Book Club.


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away ten copies of War King (ebooks and paperbacks)! You can enter:

Giveaway Rules

• Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 6th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

• Giveaway is open to readers in North America and Western Europe.

• 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.


Eric Schumacher

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.

More information on Eric and his Hakon Sagas can be found on his website. You can also connect with Eric on TwitterFacebookGoodreads, and AuthorsDB.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

#BookReview — A Gentleman’s Promise by Penny Hampson #Regency #Romance @penny_hampson

A Gentleman’s Promise
 By Penny Hampson

Emma has struggled across a Europe devastated by Napoleon to get her brother back home, but when she arrives she finds her family all but destroyed. 

She meets a stranger who claims the estate now belongs to him. Who is this man? Emma doesn’t know. What she does know is that it would be madness to fall in love and surrender her freedom… 

Richard never wanted the title and estate he’s now inherited. He hadn’t even known of his connection to the family until his solicitor revealed it to him. But when Emma and her brother turn up claiming to be the estate’s rightful heirs, he can’t ignore his suspicions. Nor can he ignore his growing feelings towards Emma. Could she be the woman he’s been searching for? 

Independent and strong, Emma never wants to marry. Richard is looking for a docile, obedient wife. Can their quest to catch a killer teach them that what they both wish to avoid is exactly what they need

When the Honourable Viscount of Easterby died, he left no issue, for his sons were dead. So who would inherit? Richard Lacey had never expected to become the next Viscount of Easterby, in fact, he did not even know he was related to the late Viscount!

Emma Smythe’s father thought nothing of his family’s welfare. Charles had been an adventurer, an archaeologist, but now he was dead, as was Emma’s mother. Emma had no choice but to cross war-torn Europe and fall upon the mercy of her grandfather. But, to her great dismay and heartache, Emma discovers that her grandfather is dead, and the new Viscount is already installed in Easterby Hall. 

Emma had never harboured any thoughts about marrying. Her parents’ relationship was enough to put anyone off the whole idea of matrimony. But then she met Richard and slowly but surely her opinions began to change.

The last thing Richard wanted was a sharp-tongued, opinionated young woman as his wife. Emma should have sent him running for the hills, but instead, he found himself inexplicably drawn to her. However, now was not the time to start a courtship, for his life was in danger, and so was James’, Emma’s younger brother. For someone wanted to kill all of the decedents of the Easterby estate.

Like all good Regency romances, A Gentleman’s Promise by Penny Hampson starts with a brooding hero and a feisty heroine. This sweet romance seduced me from Chapter 1, and I was utterly enchanted until that very last word.

I adored the characterisation of Emma. She was a courageous and spirited heroine. Emma was not some porcelain doll that needed protecting and shielding from the dangers of the world. I thought her character was refreshing and she was certainly no shy debutante. If Emma wanted to do something, there wasn’t an awful lot anyone could do or say to stop her. I admired her character for that. Likewise, I thought Richard was a gentle hero who was dedicated to the welfare of his family. And although at times Emma really tried his patience, particularly when it came to her own well-being, he never once lost his temper, and he respected her opinions — even when they did differ to his!

A Gentleman’s Promise was a wonderfully gripping story, with some very likeable characters. I enjoyed this book very much, and I think it will be one that I will come back to again.

I Highly Recommend.

Review by Mary Anne Yarde.
The Coffee Pot Book Club.

Penny Hampson

I've been passionate about books ever since I first learnt to read. A common refrain at home was that I always had my nose in a book; things haven't changed, even though I'm now somewhat older.
History is a passion too; it's great that these two interests combine so well.

With degrees in history and historical research, I've spent my working life helping others to achieve publication; now I've decided it's my turn. 

My Regency stories are filled with mystery, adventure, and romance - my three favourite themes. I've enjoyed writing them and I hope you enjoy reading them.