Monday, September 7, 2015

BLOG TOUR - REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Avelynn by Marissa Campbell


Avelynn by Marissa Campbell

Publication Date: September 8, 2015 
St. Martin's Press 
Formats: eBook, Paperback, Hardcover 
Pages: 320 
ISBN13: 978-1250063939 
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

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   One extraordinary Saxon noblewoman and one fearless Viking warrior find passion and danger in this dazzling and sensuous debut. Marissa Campbell's debut novel is a winning combination of romance, history, and adventure sure to appeal to fans of Diana Gabaldon. It is 869. For eighteen years, Avelynn, the beautiful and secretly pagan daughter of the Eadlorman of Somerset has lived in an environment of love and acceptance. She hasn't yet found a man to make her heart race, but her father has not pressured her to get married. Until now. With whispers of war threatening their land, her father forces Avelynn into a betrothal with Demas, a man who only covets her wealth and status. The dreaded marriage looming, she turns to her faith, searching for answers in an ancient ritual along the coast, only to find Alrik the Blood-Axe and sixty Viking berserkers have landed. Alrik is unlike any man she has ever known, strong and intriguing. Likewise, he instantly falls for her beauty and courage. The two stumble into a passionate love affair, but it's more than just a greedy suitor who will try to keep them apart. As the Saxons and Vikings go to war, Avelynn and Alrik find themselves caught in the throes of fate. Can they be true to their people as well as to each other?


My Review

“Avelynn” by Marissa Campbell is an intriguing novel about a passionate woman from the 800’s. She was not raised like a normal girl was during that time period. She had been allowed by her father to speak her mind, and to have some say in her future; to a point. Eventually he becomes tired of waiting for her to choose a husband, and decides to choose one for her. Avelynn is set on marrying for love and passion, and the man her father has chosen for her is her worst nightmare. However, she has met a man who ignites the flames of passion inside her, something that no other man has done. The problem is, there is no way she can be with him, and no way would her father or anyone approve of him.

This is an interesting book, and I like Avelynn’s character the majority of the time. I like that she is passionate, and that she is a strong female character in a time when women were made to be submissive, and had their lives mapped out for them by their fathers. I don’t feel like I really knew her though, at least not as well as I would have liked. I felt that I knew her character on the surface, but I would have liked to understand her thoughts and feelings more. Like, her “dabbling” with the goddess rituals—I felt like there was not a whole lot that led up to this. Also, we were only introduced to the man she is betrothed to that she can’t stand, and we’re given a quick glimpse of one suitor that she had turned down,  but it would have been interesting to have an idea of what other types of men she had rejected. I don’t know, I just felt like I didn’t know her very well as a reader, so it was hard to get really invested in her character, I liked her, but didn’t love her, if that makes sense. Also, while it is an interesting book, it took a while to pick up. I really didn’t get interested in it until she met the man that she basically fell passionately in love with in less than a day. After that happened, the book began to pick up, and there was some suspense, and something to look forward to. Prior to that, it did drag for me.

“Avelynn” is well written, and the author obviously did her research when writing it. I like the descriptions, and the author’s writing style, and I would recommend this book to readers, because I think that it is a book that people will enjoy. I usually enjoy historical fiction that is based on a real historical figures life, so that could possibly be why this wasn’t a five star book for me? As it is, I would give this book a 4 stars out of 5. 


"Marissa Campbell brings a long-forgotten era splendidly to life in this adventurous and passionate debut." - Susanna Kearsley, New York Times bestselling author

"Avelynn is a captivating tale of star-crossed lovers. He is a Viking and she is a Saxon. Their struggle to be together will lead you on an exciting journey through a background filled with rich and detailed description." - Connie Mason, New York Times bestselling author of Viking Warrior

"Marissa Campbell's Avelynn is a fast-paced, rollicking historical novel whose irresistible heroine starts out as the willful daughter of a Saxon earl and evolves into a warrior and leader, as fierce as she is passionate." - Barbara Rogan, author of A Dangerous Fiction and Suspicion

"A hot-blooded tale of Viking invasion, Saxon valor, and a love that conquers kingdoms. Get ready to be bewitched by the bold, brave Avelynn." - Barbara Kyle, author of The Queen's Exiles



03_Marissa Campbell_AuthorMarissa Campbell is a published freelance author, and co-author of the award-winning, spiritual self-help book Life: Living in Fulfillment Every Day. Look for her debut historical fiction Avelynn coming September 8th, 2015, from St. Martin’s Press. Currently, hard at work on the second book in the Avelynn series, she is a proud member of the Historical Novel Society, Romance Writers of America, Writer’s Community of Durham Region, and local critique group B7. When she is not writing, she is busy looking after her wonderful children, spending time with her fantastic husband, hanging out with her awesome friends, teaching yoga, dancing, laughing, and having fun! For more information visit You can also follow Marissa Campbell on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


Monday, September 7
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Tuesday, September 8
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Obsession
Wednesday, September 9
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Excerpt at What Is That Book About
Review & Giveaway at Unshelfish
Thursday, September 10
Interview at Unshelfish
Guest Post at Book Lovers Paradise
Friday, September 11
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book
Saturday, September 12
Excerpt & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More
Sunday, September 13
Review at Genre Queen
Monday, September 14
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Tuesday, September 15
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Friday, September 18
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection
Spotlight at Romantic Historical Reviews
Monday, September 21
Interview & Excerpt at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Tuesday, September 22
Review at Just One More Chapter
Wednesday, September 23
Review at Curling up by the Fire
Thursday, September 24
Review & Giveaway at 100 Pages a Day
Sunday, September 27
Review at A Bibliotaph's Reviews
Monday, September 28
Review at CelticLady's Reviews
Tuesday, September 29
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Review & Giveaway at Reading Lark
Wednesday, September 30
Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story
Thursday, October 1
Review & Giveaway at A Literary Vacation
Friday, October 2 Review at The True Book Addict

Giving Away ONE Paperback Copy of "Avelynn"! Open to US & Canadian Residents ONLY!


  • Must be 18 or older.
  • 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.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

BOOK TOUR - REVIEW, & GIVEAWAY: Andersonville by Edward M. Erdelac

Hydra | Aug 18, 2015 | 272 Pages


Readers of Stephen King and Joe Hill will devour this bold, terrifying new novel from Edward M. Erdelac. A mysterious man posing as a Union soldier risks everything to enter the Civil War’s deadliest prison—only to find a horror beyond human reckoning.

Georgia, 1864. Camp Sumter, aka Andersonville, has earned a reputation as an open sewer of sadistic cruelty and terror where death may come at any minute. But as the Union prisoners of war pray for escape, cursing the fate that spared them a quicker end, one man makes his way into the camp purposefully.

Barclay Lourdes has a mission—and a secret. But right now his objective is merely to survive the hellish camp. The slightest misstep summons the full fury of the autocratic commander, Captain Wirz, and the brutal Sergeant Turner. Meanwhile, a band of shiftless thieves and criminals known as the “Raiders” preys upon their fellow prisoners. Barclay soon finds that Andersonville is even less welcoming to a black man—especially when that man is not who he claims to be. Little does he imagine that he’s about to encounter supernatural terrors beyond his wildest dreams . . . or nightmares.

My Review

“Andersonville” by Edward M. Erdelac is a great historical fiction read if you’re interested in the Civil War. It does not really give you a lot of insight about the actual war, but you are able to clearly see the inner workings of a Civil War Prison Camp. Andersonville was the most notorious prisoner of war camp there was during the Civil War in America. The prisoners were starved, abused, and not provided proper medical care.  A lot of this had to do with the fact that it was located in Georgia, which was controlled by the Confederacy, and it was during a time in the war when the south did not have enough supplies to keep their own troops fed and clothed properly, so obviously they were not going to give the Union soldiers more than their own men were receiving. This novel shows the prison through the eyes of a black man named Barclay Lourdes. Through his eyes the reader is able to see how the prisoners were treated, and how the racism towards blacks was shown not only from the Confederates who were in charge of the camp, but also by many of his fellow prisoners. The author did a great job of describing the suffering the men were going through, and what an actual day was like as a prisoner within the walls of Andersonville. He definitely goes into some detailed descriptions when writing about some of the sickening things that happened while inside the prison camp, so if you’re squeamish be prepared.

The reason I’m not giving it a full five stars has to do with the elements of voodoo/supernatural within this book. I am completely fine with reading about people practicing voodoo, and things similar to it, but when the characters started talking about the guards and Wirz (the man who ran the camp and was later convicted of war crimes) being actually possessed by evil spirits and things like that, it was just a little too much for me. I think it kind of took the historical fiction element away, and gave it too much of a supernatural feel for me, and I’m just not a fan of reading about the supernatural. Another reason I could not give it a full five stars is because I read a different historical fiction book named “Andersonville” around 10 years ago. This book is a lot like that one, but in my opinion, not as good. So, while this book IS a good read, and I DO like it, I could only give it FOUR out of FIVE stars. Definitely worth picking up to read if you like Civil War historical fiction.


“The true story of Andersonville is one of unimaginable horror and human misery. It’s a testament to his unmatched skill as a storyteller that Edward M. Erdelac is not only able to capture that horror but to add another level of supernatural terror and reveal that the darkest evil of all resides in the human soul. Highly recommended to fans of horror and history alike.”—Brett J. Talley, Bram Stoker Award–nominated author of That Which Should Not Be and He Who Walks in Shadow

“Andersonville is a raw, groundbreaking supernatural knuckle-punch. Erdelac absolutely owns Civil War and Wild West horror fiction.”—Weston Ochse, bestselling author of SEAL Team 666

About the Author

Edward M. Erdelac is a member of the Horror Writers Association and the author of six novels (including the acclaimed weird western series Merkabah Rider) and several short stories. He is an independent filmmaker, award-winning screenwriter, and sometime Star Wars contributor. Born in Indiana, educated in Chicago, he resides in the Los Angeles area with his wife and a bona fide slew of children and cats.

Purchase Book



Enter Giveaway and Win a HYDRA MUG & an eBook Copy of Andersonville by Edward M. Erdelac!

Author Links

Andersonville by Edward M. Erdelac TLC Book Tours Book Stops

Monday, August 17th: Bell, Book & Candle
Tuesday, August 18th: Fourth Street Review
Tuesday, August 18th: Bibliotica
Wednesday, August 19th: The Reader’s Hollow
Wednesday, August 19th: Tynga’s Reviews
Thursday, August 20th: A Book Geek
Monday, August 24th: Bewitched Bookworms
Tuesday, August 25th: Kissin’ Blue Karen
Wednesday, August 26th: Kari J. Wolfe
Thursday, August 27th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Monday, August 31st: It’s a Mad Mad World
Tuesday, September 1st: SJ2B House of Books
Wednesday, September 2nd: Historical Fiction Obsession
Thursday, September 3rd: Kimberly’s Bookshelf
Friday, September 4th: Jenn’s Bookshelves
Monday, September 7th: From the TBR Pile

Saturday, August 29, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: The Winter Crown by Elizabeth Chadwick


As Queen of England, Eleanor has a new cast of enemies―including the king.
Eleanor has more than fulfilled her duty as Queen of England-she has given her husband, Henry II, heirs to the throne and has proven herself as a mother and ruler. But Eleanor needs more than to be a bearer of children and a deputy; she needs command of the throne. As her children grow older, and her relationship with Henry suffers from scandal and infidelity, Eleanor realizes the power she seeks won't be given willingly. She must take it for herself. But even a queen must face the consequences of treason...
In this long-anticipated second novel in the Eleanor of Aquitaine trilogy, bestselling author Elizabeth Chadwick evokes a royal marriage where love and hatred are intertwined, and the battle over power is fought not with swords, but deception.

My Review

I've noticed some reviewers have mentioned that Eleanor of Aquitaine’s story has been overdone, and that too many historical fiction authors have decided to write a book about her life. I definitely disagree. There are two historical figures that I can read about over and over again, and they are Eleanor of Aquitaine and Anne Boleyn. The Winter Crown by Elizabeth Chadwick, as well as the first book in this set, The Summer Queen, are definitely two of the best books I've read about Eleanor.  Elizabeth Chadwick is one of the top writers of historical fiction that I have come across. I have yet to come across a book that she has written that I did not enjoy. The Winter Queen is no different. It has obviously been expertly researched, and her writing is full of detailed descriptions that completely captivate the reader, and take them right into Eleanor’s world. Her relationship with King Henry II is full of passion at the beginning, but both are strong, stubborn individuals who clash personality wise.

Eleanor’s life is so interesting to read about, and I think that Elizabeth Chadwick did a great job of presenting readers with a good representation of what she really could have been like, and the thoughts and feelings she definitely could have felt. It’s impossible not to love her in these two novels. I would 100% recommend both The Summer Queen—which details her earlier adventures, as well as her marriage to King Louis, and also this novel, The Winter Queen. Both are exceptional reads that all historical fiction fans will enjoy.

I give The Winter Queen a FIVE out of FIVE stars (same for The Summer Queen!)


"A fabulous, engrossing and rollicking read that takes the reader into the very heart of the Angevin royal court with all of its schemes, plots and drama... This is a brilliant book and a veritable treat for fans of historical fiction – Elizabeth Chadwick's writing creates a vividly compelling and richly flamboyant Medieval world that readers can really immerse themselves in." - Madame Guillotine

"Elizabeth Chadwick still manages to weave a gripping story which I found unputdownable. Her characters, both the real and the imagined minor ones, live and breathe and have distinct personalities of their own... Highly recommended." - Historical Novel Society

"Moving, touching and historically accurate – a marvelous read for Chadwick fans. 4 1/2 Stars" - RT Book Reviews

About the Author

"A star back in Britain, Elizabeth Chadwick is finally getting the attention she deserves here,"-USA Today. Chadwick is the bestselling author of over 20 historical novels, including The Greatest Knight, The Scarlet Lion, A Place Beyond Courage, Lords of the White Castle, Shadows and Strongholds, The Winter Mantle, and The Falcons of Montabard, four of which have been shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists' Awards.

The Winter Queen is available for PRE-ORDER at Amazon--it will be released on September 1st!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

CHILDREN'S BOOKS: Corner 33 Bear Books-Five Wonderful Children's Books About a Bear by TC LiFonti & Charles Tillman

I decided to switch it up a little this Sunday morning, and host a review for five amazing children's books by TC LiFonti & Charles Tillman. They are adorable books, and they support a great cause! I have a children's book blog as well as this blog, which is geared more towards historical fiction, obviously (lol). Anyways, I am posting here, because I have more followers, but I also plan to post at my children's book blog: My Twins Hid My Book...Again 
I'm sure a lot of my followers have children, so enjoy! :)

Story Summaries

• The Story of Snowy Bear and the Lost Scarf 

When Snowy wakes up and sees the snow falling outside, he rushes to get dressed in order to run outside and play.  However, as he cannot find his scarf, which he needs before he can go out, he tears apart his room in frustration instead of taking a moment to listen to his mother and consider what he may have done with it.

• The Story of Pirate Bear and the Treasure Hunt

As Pirate Bear heads to the community treasure hunt at Unity Park, he makes the decision to “hunt” by himself instead of with a team because he wants the grand prize for himself.  As his friends and parents try to convince him to be part of a team and work with others, his greed gets the best of him and he goes at it alone.  Throughout, Pirate slowly discovers the disadvantages and loneliness of not being part of a team and working with others.

• The Story of Beach Bear and the Sandcastle

Early in the morning, Beach Bear begins the construction of his dream sandcastle.  And, as the day moves on and the tide rolls in, he is unaware of what can happen to his sandcastle as he rushes off to bring back Mama Bear to show her.  One of the greatest lessons Mama Bear helps her son realize is the importance of what one does and the memories that it brings back.

• The Story of Scary Bear and the Pumpkin Patch

While waiting for Papa Bear to come home so that they can go to the pumpkin patch for their Halloween pumpkin, Scary falls asleep and dreams what he thinks is reality.  By the end, Scary learns the importance of listening and staying close to his father, especially in unfamiliar places.

• The Story of Lovie Bear and the Valentine’s Day Card

For Valentine’s Day, Lovie Bear wants so desperately to give his one valentine a card; however, when the moment comes to do so, he does not have the confidence to follow through.  By the end of the school day, Lovie begins to understand how many people have the same fears and that having the smallest amount of courage can open the doors to greater opportunities.

My Review

A publicist from Publishing Push reached out to me after coming across my children’s book review blog, My Twins Hit My Book…Again, and asked if I might be interested in reviewing a set of five children’s books about a bear co-authored by TC LiFonti, and former professional football player, Charles Tillman. To be honest, it had been so long since I had done a review on my children’s book blog that I had kind of forgotten about it. I didn’t begin it at the best time for myself, as I was just getting ready to go back to school for my second master’s degree, and did not have the time to keep up with it. Anyways, there are five different books; The Story of Snowy Bear and the Lost Scarf, The Story of Pirate Bear and the Treasure Hunt, The Story of Beach Bear and the Sandcastle, The Story of Scary Bear and the Pumpkin Patch, The Story of Lovie Bear and the Valentine’s Day Card. In each book the young, white bear makes and innocent, but wrong, choice, but with the help of his ‘mama’ and ‘papa’ bear, he is able to grow and learn a lesson from his mistake. The different ‘mistakes’ that the bear makes are all relevant to young children around the ages 3-8. They include lessons like learning to stay close to an adult in places you are not familiar with, learning how to get over your fears, why it’s better to be working as part of a team rather than along, as well as a couple other great lessons for young children to learn.

I read all five of these books to my two year old, identical twin boys over the period of a day. I’m actually attempting to potty train them, so in order to keep the boys entertained and sitting on the potty for longer than usual, I read these books to them! They loved them! They both were completely engrossed in the books as I read them, the one on the potty obviously was there, but the other one came and sat right down beside him so that he could hear the story, too! Then, later on it was his turn to get the training, so I read the books to him, and even though it was his second time, he was still loving the books, and his twin came over and sat right down and wanted to hear the books over again as well! 

I work as a Therapeutic Staff Support (aka Wraparound) for a 13 year old girl who is on the severe side of the Autism Spectrum. She is also 50% deaf in both ears. It is difficult to work with her, because she is nonverbal, and she can also be aggressive at times, but she can also be a sweetheart. One of the things that she does enjoy doing during her sessions with me, is being read to. There were only a couple books at her house to read, so I brought these books over, and showed the five different books to her, and her face lit up! She was SO excited! She rarely says anything, but after I went through the books and said the names, she immediately picked out "The Story of Scary Bear and the Pumpkin Patch", and said "Scary Bear!" She listened intently, and wanted "Lovie Bear" next! 

So, I can say from experience that these books are entertaining for the little ones, and then for the kids that are a little older, not only are they interesting books, but they also have a great message. These books definitely come highly recommended from me, and I honestly can’t say enough good things about them. When you look at the prices on, they do look pricey, BUT, you have to remember that 66% of the proceeds are going towards helping/assisting those in need in the Chicago area, and this includes children! If you have small children, these are adorable books to add to their little library. Definitely a FIVE out of FIVE rating from me!


Each of the five books provides not only situations that children will find familiar, but each story also provides the presence of parents to help guide their child as he works through situations and ultimately finds a greater understanding and/or appreciation for the moments and obstacles that he faces.

Truly, one of the greatest attributes to these books is how the parent/s deal with the child and try to help him understand the world around him while also allowing him to make his own decisions, possibly failing, before calmly helping him recognize better ways to approach situations.

The impact that a parent can have on his or her child’s life is immeasurable; therefore, each book is impacted by these interactions and the responses that follow.

We do hope that you enjoy each story.

About the Authors

TC LiFonti, an educator and coach, has co-authored five children’s books with Charles Tillman, co-founder of the Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation.  Through the sale of these books, the intention is to help make an impact on people in the Chicago-land area in need of help and/or assistance.  Each hopes that these books help the Cornerstone Foundation raise awareness and financially help to better assist the foundation and those impacted by its efforts.

Charles “Peanut” Tillman is an All-Pro corner-back for the Carolina Panthers, formerly of the Chicago Bears, and heads the Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation.  Charles is a very strong philanthropic figure throughout Chicago and the state of Illinois where he is always working to help enrich the lives of those around him and in need.  Additionally, since 2005, Charles Tillman’s charitable efforts have impacted the lives of over one million Chicago-area children.

For the 2013 NFL season, Charles was named the “NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year” for his philanthropic work off of the field and through his charitable foundation.  You can visit his foundation’s page via the link on the home page or at:

One Forty-Two Productions LLC, in partnership with the Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation, is donating 60-percent of all earnings from each of the five children’s books back to the foundation and its efforts to continually help those in need.
Gabrielle Esposito is the illustrator for each of the five books.  Please take a moment to look at her art on either of her two sites.  Her personal website:   –facebook:

Purchase a Book

All books can be purchased via amazon or createspace and all titles are available in Spanish.  REMEMBER: sixty-percent of all profits directly benefit the Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation!

Monday, June 1, 2015

GIVEAWAY & SPOTLIGHT: The Gisburn Witch: A Witches of Pendle Novel by Sarah L. King

Publication Date-June 1st--(paperback version to follow!)
Genre--Historical Fiction


A tragic tale of friendship, passion and betrayal set against the backdrop of the Pendle witch trials of 1612, one of the most famous witch trials in English history.

Scandalised as a young woman after being accused of seducing Tom Lister, a gentleman’s son, Jennet Preston’s life is filled with shame and hardship. An outcast in her own village, she befriends the Device family in Blacko, and she is quickly embroiled in their world of folk magic and superstition, of old family feuds and dangerous reputations.

When fate intervenes to reunite her with Tom, Jennet risks everything for love and happiness, but when tragedy strikes Jennet finds that she is vulnerable to accusations for which she could pay the ultimate price. The Gisburn Witch is a novel about falling in love with the wrong person, making the wrong friends, and being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The Gisburn Witch is Available At:

Author profile:

Sarah L King has always loved writing and as a youth she flirted with poetry, some of which was published. In addition, she has always loved History which led to her obtaining a 1st Class Honours degree in the subject from Lancaster University. Now, with her first novel, The Gisburn Witch she has begun a new journey to merge her two passions together and bring some new, interesting Historical Fiction to the world.

Born in Nottinghamshire, England, Sarah has lived in several places but now resides in West Lothian, Scotland with her husband and two children. Her days are filled with trying to juggle her time between writing, working, and looking after her children.

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The Author is giving away ONE eBook Copy of The Gisburn Witch (eBook format of your choice!)

Saturday, May 30, 2015

BLOG TOUR, REVIEW, & GIVEAWAY: Phoenix Rising by Hunter S. Jones

02_Phoenix Rising_Cover

Publication Date: May 19, 2015 
MadeGlobal Publishing 
eBook; ASIN: B00X806742
Genre: Historical Fiction

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The last hour of Anne Boleyn's life... Court intrigue, revenge and all the secrets of the last hour are revealed as one queen falls and another rises to take her place on destiny's stage. A young Anne Boleyn arrives at the court of King Henry VIII. She is to be presented at the Shrovetide pageant, le Ch√Ęteau Vert. The young and ambitious Anne has no idea that a chance encounter before the pageant will lead to her capturing the heart of the king. What begins as a distraction becomes his obsession and leads to her destruction. Love, hate, loyalty and betrayal come together in a single dramatic moment... the execution of a queen. The history of England will be changed for ever.

My Review

I have to say, I was partial to Phoenix Rising before I even started to read it due to the fact that I have been fascinated with Anne Boleyn since I was probably 10 years old and read a book about her life.

I enjoyed reading this book, and especially how different it was from the majority of Tudor books out there. It was a little confusing to me at first, and I admit, I skipped through some of the old letters and writings that were in the book, but as I got a little further in, I began to enjoy it more. I began to see what the author was actually doing with the star chart that had 12 sections, which Madam Bliant had foretold. It became more apparent that each of the 12 sections was a different person’s point of view, who was a part of Anne’s “circle”. It was interesting to see the different points of view of basically how Anne had ended up where she was currently at—waiting for the hour of her execution, ordered by the man who had once loved her so much he changed the world in order to marry her.

Overall, great writing style, clear and precise with good descriptions and definitely a lot of creativity and originality! I wish I had been able to feel more connected to the characters, but with a novella, it’s a little harder. I give this novel a FOUR out of FIVE stars.

Praise for Phoenix Rising

"Compelling, captivating and moving." Claire Ridgway, The Anne Boleyn Files "Thought provoking, esoteric and heart wrenching." - R.J.Askew, blogger, reviewer, author and journalist

Phoenix Rising Available at


About the Author

03_Hunter S. Jones_AuthorDeb Hunter publishes as Hunter S. Jones. Her best-selling novel, "September Ends" won awards for Best Independently Published Novel and Best Romance, based on its unique blending of poetry and prose. Her story "The Fortune Series" received best-selling status on Amazon in the Cultural Heritage and Historical Fiction categories. She has been published by H3O Eco mag, LuxeCrush, Chattanooga Times-Free Press, and is now a freelance contributor for the Atlanta Journal Constitution. She has recently been accepted into the prestigious Rivendell Writers Colony. Her arts, music and culture blogs on are filled with eclectic stories regarding music, writing, the arts and climate awareness. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her Scottish born husband. Her undergrad degree is in History with an emphasis on the English Renaissance and Reformation. For more information please visit Hunter S. Jones' website. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Phoenix Rising Blog Tour

Tuesday, May 19
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Wednesday, May 20
Guest Post & Giveaway at The Anne Boleyn Files
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book
Thursday, May 21
Review at Book Drunkard
Friday, May 22
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation
Spotlight at What Is That Book About
Saturday, May 23
Spotlight at Curling up by the Fire
Monday, May 25
Review at JulzReads
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter
Tuesday, May 26
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews
Wednesday, May 27
Review at Book Nerd
Guest Post at The Readers Hollow
Thursday, May 28
Review at Bookramblings
Friday, May 29
Review at The Reading Queen
Saturday, May 30
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession
Spotlight at Beth's Book Nook Blog
Sunday, May 31
Review at Genre Queen
Spotlight at Unshelfish

Giving away ONE Paperback Copy Of PHOENIX RISING!

US Entrants ONLY!

Giveaway ENDS June 12th!

04_Phoenix Rising_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

Friday, May 15, 2015

BLOG TOUR, REVIEW, & GIVEAWAY: A Pledge of Better Times by Margaret Porter

01_A Pledge of Better Times Cover

Publication Date: April 14, 2015 
Gallica Press Formats: eBook, Paperback 
ISBN: 978-0-9907420-4-3 
Pages: 400 
 Genre: Historical Fiction

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 A sweeping tale of ambition, treachery, and passion... For generations Lady Diana de Vere’s family loyally served England’s crown. But after King Charles II’s untimely death, her father firmly opposes James II’s tyranny. Charles Beauclerk, Duke of St. Albans—the late king’s bastard son by actress Nell Gwyn—also rebels against his newly crowned uncle's manipulation. Secretly pledging to wed Diana, he departs for the Continent to become a soldier. Political and religious turmoil bring about revolution and yet another coronation before Charles returns to claim his promised bride. As companion to Queen Mary II, Diana has followed her de Vere forbears into royal service. She expects Charles to abandon his military career after marriage, but he proves unwilling to join the ranks of the courtiers he despises and mistrusts. In palace corridors and within their own household the young duke and duchess confront betrayals, scandals, and tragedies that threaten to divide them. And neither the privileges of birth nor proximity to the throne can ensure their security, their advancement—or their happiness.


A Pledge of Better Times by Margaret Porter was able to take me to a time in history that I have rarely travelled before. There have been a couple books that I have read where King Charles was mentioned, mostly the books were about his mistress Nell Gywn, Barbara Palmer, and Louise de Kerouaille ( who was not well-liked by the people of England). He was always part of the books about his mistresses of course, but the main part would be about their lives, and their drama and competiveness with the other mistresses who also ruled a large part of his life. This novel gives the readers an idea of who he is and how he interacted with his multiple children by his mistresses, although it’s short, because he dies shortly into the book, but it’s enough to get an idea of possibly what he was like, and how he treated his sons. The reader also is able to see and in depth portrayal of the succession of King Charles II’s brother, King James II, and then his daughter, who ended up marrying Prince William of Orange.

The author did a great job researching this novel and putting it together in a well thought out manner. It definitely is obvious that a lot of time was put into researching and writing this book. My only issues are that I often was confused with the wealth of different names that were used in the book. Some characters were called by more than one name, and it took me a little while to even figure that out, so by the time I realized that one character was being called two different things in the book, I had lost some of the information or meaning. Also, while it was a well written book, and I do believe that fans of historical fiction, especially fans of England’s historical fiction, will enjoy this book, it is a little dry at times. I liked it well enough, but to be honest, there are other books on my list that I would rather be reading. I would give this novel a FOUR out of FIVE stars.

Praise for A Pledge of Better Times

“Meticulously researched and offering an impressive cast of real life characters brought to vibrant life, A Pledge of Better Times expertly captures the drama, passions, politics and religious turmoil of England at the turn of the 18th century. Margaret Porter crafts her story with exquisite detail, transporting the reader into a world full of intrigue, scandal, and breathtaking danger . . . a masterful writer.” - Award-winning author M. Reed McCall 

“With elegant prose and vivid detail, A Pledge of Better Times sweeps you into late Stuart England, transforming the lesser known adversities and triumphs of Lady Diana de Vere and Charles Beauclerk into a beautiful love story you won’t forget.” - Marci Jefferson, author of Enchantress of Paris and Girl on the Golden Coin 

“A portrait of Diana de Vere as rich as the portraits that grace British museums and palaces.” - Christy K Robinson, author of Mary Dyer Illuminated 

“The sparkling, dangerous, enticing post-Restoration period comes to vivid life! Porter gives us a wonderful, complicated heroine in Diana, drawing us deep into her world . . . . I couldn’t stop reading!” - Amanda Carmack, author of Murder in the Queen’s Garden: An Elizabethan Mystery

Official Book Trailer

02_Margaret Porter Author PhotoAbout the Author

Margaret Porter is an award-winning, bestselling novelist whose lifelong study of British history inspires her fiction and her travels. A former stage actress, she has also worked in film, television, and radio. For more information please visit Margaret Porter's website. You can also find her on Facebook here and here, and on Twitter.

A Pledge of Better Times Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, May 4
Review at Just One More Chapter
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Spotlight & Giveaway at Mina's Bookshelf
Tuesday, May 5
Review at 100 Pages a Day - Stephanie's Book Reviews
Wednesday, May 6
Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Thursday, May 7
Review at Book Drunkard
Friday, May 8
Review at Books and Benches
Sunday, May 10
Review & Guest Post at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Monday, May 11
Review at Reading the Past
Tuesday, May 12
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Wednesday, May 13
Guest Post at Book Babe
Thursday, May 14
Review at Unshelfish
Review at Impressions in Ink
Review at Caroline Wilson Writes
Friday, May 15
Review & Giveaway at A Literary Vacation
Review & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Obsession

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