The Tudor Heresy by Samantha Burnell

An Introduction to the Tudor Mystery Trials

A gripping Historical Adventure set in 16th Century Tudor England. Elizabeth Tudor needs a hero. Murder, Mystery & Intrigue with a Splash of Romance.

Based on actual historical events, an epic tale of a young Tudor nobleman’s courage as he tries to keep his future Queen safe in one of England’s most turbulent eras.

If you enjoy Tudor Fiction by Phillipa Gregory and Alison Weir then ‘A Queens Spy’ is perfect for you. A fascinating insight into Tudor England and the life of Elizabeth I before she sets foot on the steps to the throne.

The story unfolds in 16th Century Tudor England

Richard Fitzwarren is a Tudor nobleman with a dubious past who takes risks for a living.

His close friendship with Princess Elizabeth leads to his banishment to France, but when he returns he remains loyal to her.

At his side is Jack, his bastard sibling, and their relationship is a troubled one due to a family secret and their opposite personalities.

Will he keep the future Queen safe?

Overall

I would like to start off by saying I love Tudor history. I jumped at the chance to read this and it was very enjoyable. It was a bit jerky at times following from one year to another without any introduction or transition, but I appreciated the writing style was very succinct and to the point. This made for a quick read. The brutality of the era was well depicted. I could for sure see reading and enjoying more about Jack and Richard as Elisabeth comes to power. There were a few POV shifts, but it felt more of a narration so it didn’t feel jarring after the first time it happened. The verbiage felt right for the era and I was impressed with correct terminology being applied in more than one place.

Rating

4 stars

Overall a very enjoyable historical short story to whet ones appetite. If you are in need of a short story to pass the time – I’d recommend this one!

I received this book for a free and voluntarily review.

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Little Library System – Zendar

I’d like to start off by thanking author Misty Mount for graciously adding Zendar: A Tale of Blood and Sand to her local free little library box! Not to mention I love the DoctorWho theme to it! It warms my heart to see my book being added to this awesome system. I hope whoever picks it up, loves it and returns it back to the system for others to enjoy!

Check out her author page on Amazon here: Misty Mount

If you are interested you can also buy Zendar for only 99 cents on Kindle and Nook.

Third Quarter Writing Updates

I’m nearly on time this quarter and it is time to see where I am on my goals.

Goals for my writing/the year:

  1. Building Mailing List – I’d like to get a mailing list so when I have giveaways and such, I can let everyone who is interested know.
    1. Mailing lists can be found HERE.
  2. Finish Writing The Gate Trilogy (I expect this to happen within the next month). (I’m done writing, now on to the editing)
    1. Get all 3 covers done for The Gate Trilogy, reveal the first one.
      1. Book cover 1 is done (Reveal completed!).
      2. Book 2 is done.
      3. Prequel was done – pushed off completion of book 3.
      4. Book 3 is in draft but in the last stages.
    2. Publish The Sixth Gate on July 7, 2017
      1. Published on July 7th! On Amazon.
    3. Finish editing all 3 books – get ready for Beta readers.
      1. Working on editing book 2 – finished but need to transcribe.
      2. Consider publishing in 2018.
  3. Choose which book to have done for Audio Book
    1. Find a ‘voice’ for the audio book and pick a date for release next spring (2018).
    2. Send a poll in the fall for which book through Mailing List.
    3. Consider putting off another year.
  4. Start writing next book. Decide between 1001 Islands #2, Unfathomable Chance #2, or the new YA Fantasy novel – Temporum: The Four Seasons.
    1. I’ve started writing Temporum: The Four Seasons
      1. Found a major plot hole. Working to resolve it and get writing again.
    2. I’m planning to write Unfathomable Chance #2 for NaNoWriMo and am working on the Outline
      1. Came up with a tentative name: Unfathomable Plan
      2. I’ve tentatively started writing. About 9,000 words in as of today!
    3. I’m also working on the Outline for 1001 Islands #2 which will be a backup for NaNoWriMo if I haven’t completed the outline for Unfathomable Chance #2
      1. Finished outline for Book 2 just today!
  5. Work on Seven Eves – Alaskan Supernatural Crime Novel
    1. I’ve written three more chapters and hit 10,000 words!
  6. Edit and Get to Beta Readers An Honest Misunderstanding and consider publishing (maybe just on Wattpad).
    1. One Beta Reader is editing
  7. Breathe new life into my Historical Mystery Novella. Finish writing ‘The Red Door’ – SO MUCH REWRITING/EDITING!
    1. Edited and started jotting down notes to finish writing.
  8. Editing/rewrite Truthseer 
    1. I finally re-read this. It is going to take some work but I sure love this story!
  9. Participate in NaNoWriMo
    1. I’ll be working on Unfathomable Plan for NaNoWriMo!
  10. Keep up momentum on writing events, speaking events, and conventions.
    1. Attended YukiCon.
    2. Attended Steamposium and TaikaiCon
    3. Scheduled/booked SenshiCon and Colony Christmas.
    4. Attend SensiCon
    5. Attend Colony Christmas
  11. Read 45 30 0 books before December 31st. Done! Now I’m just gaining books!

Writing updates:

I’ve published The Sixth Gate and already have 11 reviews on Amazon! Make sure to check it out.

Temporum: The Four Seasons is a YA Fantasy. Eva is a 17 year old heroine who falls through a mirror and ends up where the word is divided into four courts based on the seasons. I finalized the outline and just hit 10,000 words! Until I realized there is a major plot hole. Next to fix/rewrite before I continue.

To complicate matters, Unfathomable Chance 2 – tentatively named Unfathomable Plan – has been harassing me, so I started writing it just to make it leave me alone…now I’m over 9,000 words in…oops! Not to mention I’ve been pulled back into Seven Eves. So many stories wanting my attention.

Audiobook:

The votes are in and the winner is Zendar: A Tale of Blood and Sand by one (1) vote! It was so close, I was worried it would be a tie!

Reading Goal:

It is my goal to read 45 books. It is October and I’ve already read 46! I’m already one book over with a good pile to keep me busy!

Happy reading!

Loved by the First (Book 2) by C.F. Rabbiosi

Summary

Raina’s Sire has released her to be with her human love. Finally.
If only her hunger for blood wasn’t getting out of control and endangering him.
If only the first vampire and most dangerous being on earth wasn’t pursuing her for his torturous pleasure.

If only she could stay.

She travels across the world to escape him, leaving everything she loves behind. In Tombstone, “The Silver City Strangler” has been making his own living dead girls- using and abusing them before leaving their naked bodies to the desert sun. Finding him, and killing him most terribly will ease the beast inside the beautiful new vampire, while protecting her human soul. But The First has found her.

He plans to use her to hurt his enemy but never thought his stone heart would come alive again.

In her.

Characters

Raina’s still a bit of a mess but she isn’t taking this book laying down…mostly. She doesn’t always make the best choices but at least she is making choices and being her own woman. The biggest choice being that she must sever contact with those she knows to and to hunt killers to make up for what she is. Marcus is in this book but much less. There are a few chapters from Varo’s point of view and one from The Silver City Strangler’s point of view. Overall these dark characters are back with a few new characters in addition to Varo – such as new friends Kyle and Phoenix.

Plot

This book also has a few plots, but this time the author did a better job of making them all relevant in one capacity or another. The most dominating plots is Varo and the second is Raina hunting The Silver City Strangler. I figured out who the strangler was pretty quickly but I won’t tell you how I figured it out so early on. Instead I’ll say if it wasn’t for me reading between the lines early on, I would have been ping-ponging my suspicions between a few characters. If you like a little mystery in your books – this one was well done!

The pacing is pretty fast, almost too fast, to the point that it was jarring in a few areas. I was a little lost a few times because I would think they were in one person’s room but then suddenly they are in another place entirely and I missed the transition. The scenes that I could connect with were great! Dark to be sure, but I could almost see Raina fighting or dancing or…another ‘f’ work. The ending is what had me scratching my head the most because so much happened in a very short period. In the end it felt rushed, as though the author wanted to finish it and make sure it was set up for a third book. I did like the ending but it could have been spread out a little to expand on what was happening.

Overall

I’m still trying to process everything that happened in this book. Part of the reason I devoured the last 20% in one sitting and then needed to take a few days to decide how I felt about it. I’ll start off by saying that this book is much darker and more deprived then the first book. Not only are you twisting with the mystery but this book is just straight up twisted! There was one part was I was like “No, the author isn’t going to let that happen – it is too messed up.” Boy was I wrong! Positively shocking!

That being said, I did have a few things I didn’t like. There were a lot of historical inaccuracies and more then a few items a questioned. For example “slumber parties” and knowing was a microscope slide is before the 1900s. They had microscopes but they called them “sliders” in that era and were much different then what we know today. Plus I questioned Raina knowing what they were at all. Another issue was the types of drinks and how they ordered them. I know at least one of them was for a specific scene but ordering a drink “on the rocks” is a little too modern, plus ordering a rum and coke or long island iced tea. Rum and coke is possible but I questioned it because Coca Cola wasn’t invented until 3 years prior to the book’s time period and it was used as a medicine since it contained cocaine.

As a side note: this book needs a new cover. This cover just doesn’t do the book justice!

Rating

3.5 Stars (rounded down on Goodreads and up on Amazon)

In the end this book was better then the first in many respects! Raina was a fantastic character and I felt like the book followed her dark turn. There was an introspective effect to what was happening to Raina that made me really connect with her. Not  be able to relate to her but for sure ask that question – what would I do if this was me? I’d read the next book! If you like dark (and I mean DARK) vampire books – pick this up!

I received this book in exchange for an honest review!

 

 

#giveaway for The Sixth Gate

I’m giving away a signed copy and sewn bookmark for The Sixth Gate!

book1_the_sixth_gate_frontl.jpg

You could win these!

In July, The Sixth Gate released and I’d like to send a copy to someone who loved the prequel!

All you have to do is these three things:

  • Acquire a copy of The Gate Guardian’s Daughter (you get a free copy when you sign up for my MAILING LIST);
  • Read The Gate Guardian’s Daughter; and
  • Leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads (both to double your chances)!3

I’m only giving the opportunity to those who are on my mailing list – so make sure you sign up! You could win a copy of the book and the hand stitched bookmark.**

You have until September 30, 2017 to submit in a review. I’ll select (using a random selection program) and notify the winner the following weekend.

**If you live outside the United States (US) you can only win an unsigned copy of the book (not the bookmark).

 

In What Remains by K.B. Rose

Summary

When Rachel and her family make a routine stop and become the targets of a violent assault, their summer road trip descends into a nightmare. Only the intervention of a stranger saves her life, and as they flee the crime scene, she wavers between fear and self-preservation. Can she trust him? Can she afford not to? Short-tempered and wholly impatient with her, Eric was somehow connected to it all, but he’s her key to surviving in a bleak new world. The first step in doing this is running as fast, and as far, as she can.

Moving forward in a dissolute whirlwind, Rachel has just one goal: to forget that day, by any means possible. But as her tangled connection with Eric deepens, she can’t quite forgive his role in it. She can’t forget his ties to the person responsible. And she can’t let go of the anger that begins to take root, leading her into a dangerous quest she might not come back from.

In What Remains is a dark and gritty novel of loss, love, and survival in a time when everything familiar is gone.

Note: This book contains explicit language, sexual content, drug use, violence, criminal activity, and women who fight back. Intended for mature readers only.

Characters

Rachel is both the most awesome character and the worst. In my mind she felt more like a leaf caught in a current being pulled downstream. Instead of fighting it she just went along with it, choosing survival above all else. Eric was complicated and vivid. He was the center in most of this novel, the pillar that bridged all of the individuals together. Suzy was hilarious, but represented the catalyst. All wonderfully portrayed and gritty.

Plot

I struggled with this being a romance for the first half of the book. Ultimately it is for the second half of the book and I loved it. I actually think the primary plot is more of a suspense. It was nail biting and hard to put down. I stayed up late a few nights in a row to finish it! I don’t want to give anything away but this was not for the faint of heart. This is one roller coaster ride worth riding!

Overall

I was really impressed with this book. I loved the romance. I was cheering for them. I loved how unpredictable the first half of the book was. I will note that ultimately knowing it was a romance meant I knew where it was going and how it was going to end. That was both good and bad – I knew it would all work out but it also lost some of the edge because I suspected it would have a happy ending. I’m still not sure if I was completely satisfied with the ending.

There were two parts that I didn’t like. As wonderful and gritty as it was, Rachel being underage for much of the first part of the book when she is spiraling, really put me on edge. I struggled with it. Don’t get me wrong, it was wonderfully written, but I personally almost quite twice at certain terrible parts of the book. I don’t care that she was an adult when the really bad stuff happened – I felt like the author specifically made her 18 for that scene so that I wouldn’t cringe. At that point I started to think how convenient it was that she was 18, rather than what was happening to the character. I also disliked right near the end, when she eventually faces Jimmy. I actually was disappointed with that entire part of the book – felt it was unnecessary and went too far.

Rating

4.5 Stars (rounded down)

Amazing characters, gritty realism, and nail biting suspense. The underage aspect of the main character was just too much for me when this was supposed to be a ‘romantic suspense.’ Would totally read another of the author’s book!

I received a copy in exchange of an honest review.

College Survival Guide: You U by Rachael L. Thompson

Summary:

Perfect for Soon-To-Be Students, Current Students, & Parents

This semi-autobiographical book is filled with stories, advice, and lessons on how to avoid the top mistakes in college and set yourself up for success. Learn everything your school counselors, advisors, and parents do not tell you about college. Know which majors are regretted most by graduates and which ones lead to greatest success and satisfaction. Get advice on what you can do that will set you apart from 99% of your peers. And because we cannot talk about college without mentioning the party scene, get practical advice on topics your parents do not want to talk to you about.

The author bases all information on her personal experience, experiences of friends and family, and statistics from national collegiate studies. The conversational style talks to students, not at them, and shares both funny and scary true stories to illustrate lessons.

“I am sharing EVERYTHING I wish I knew when I was in school.”

Overall:

This semi-autobiographical details tips and pointers on how to survive college and come out the other side with a degree and a meaningful career path. I was actually impressed with the list of topic covered by the author. Having graduated with multiple higher education degrees in the last decade, I can attest I experiences and saw others suffer from many of the pitfalls pointed out in this read. The author has it right, it is perfect for students (current and soon to be) and there are pieces in there that parents could impart on their children. I wasn’t a fan of the thinly veiled curse words, but was overall impressed with the execution.

Rating

4 Stars

It was a pretty comprehensive coverage of college related subject matter. I felt that much of this was more of a healthy approach to life – not just school. I would have preferred if it had stayed more focused on school (especially near the end).

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.