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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Wandering Storm

Summary:

Loud banging resounded throughout the house. The housekeeper pushed a servant aside and wrenched the door open angrily. A man stood on the threshold, dripping rain and mud and blood. A stormy night brings Wandering sailors to a sleepy farming town in the High Kingdoms. (Short Story in the Tales from the Circle Series)

Overall

This had a very interesting setting, on the high seas, but some of the imagery of the setting was lost on me. After the rocky beginning some of it cleared up and I was able to connect more with this fantasy based novel. This seems like it was a short story meant to go to a bigger story and without knowing the bigger story, this was not as clear or enjoyable.

I enjoyed the second half of the story more, even though I was still a little lost, I was captivated! This is where the author’s ability really shined. The settings, the plot coming together, and the characters taking on more life. It was an interesting narration. I wouldn’t say this is a young adult, but it is clean enough that young adults could easily enjoy.

Rating

3 stars

It was okay. A little unformed, but vividly fascinating! I think if I had read the main book and then this one, I would enjoyed this more.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Mindfulness: 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge: Step-By-Step Guide to Living a Stress-Free & Happy Life (Mindfulness for Beginners) by Rachael Thompson

Summary

Who Will Benefit from this Book?

The 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge can be used alone or as a companion to the Beginner’s Guide to Mindfulness in a World of Chaos. If you have heard of mindfulness, perhaps read a bit about it, or even tried one of the popular coloring books, but have not experienced a significant change in stress level or happiness this book will help. It provides the perfect beginner’s guide to implement mindfulness every day.

What You Can Expect

The challenge is broken into four, weekly sections, with one bonus day to begin the challenge and another to end the challenge. Each week has a different focus to facilitate optimal learning at each stage of mindful skill development.

Overall

An interesting concept for sure. I went ahead and did the first week of mindfulness. It starts you out slow and lets you build throughout the weeks. I liked the introspective look it made you take. As a person who prides myself on knowing my strengths and weaknesses, I could see the benefit to those that feel their locus of control is constantly threatened by chaos. What I struggled with was the cookie cutter ideas that didn’t give alternatives to accommodate different personalities. I believe it was a little short sighted in that regard. That being said it was a great introduction to managing stress and I’d recommend this short read to those who would like a quick step by step approach.

Rating

4 Stars

A short read that doesn’t overwhelm the reader and could instill helpful stress reducing habits. If you don’t have something that helps reduce stress – this might be for you.

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Lover in Hell: A Post-Apocalyptic Paranormal Romance by Dia Cole

Summary:

Ever since the Z-virus wiped out humanity, Eden spends her days rescuing animals from the undead and her nights avoiding Mike—the sexy alpha male soldier who wants to claim her for his own. He’s too intense, dominating, and overprotective—everything Eden doesn’t want in a man. Even worse, his smoldering gaze weakens her resolve to swear off men forever. But when a routine supply run goes horribly wrong, the unthinkable happens—Eden becomes infected. Now, trapped for the night with Mike, and with only twenty-four hours left to live, Eden must decide if she wants to die a virgin or experience mind-blowing passion in the arms of a man who would follow her to hell.

Overall:

This is a short story but the plot felt all romance. There are times I almost wanted to roll my eyes, but never quite did – this book walks that line. Eden is almost silly in her love of animals but actually in makes sense. In desperate times, it could see someone wanting to hold onto their humanity when the world goes to Hell. Mike was very much a strong male who wanted to continually protect Eden.

The writing style is interesting and very easy to read. I actually really enjoyed the author’s writing style. The zombies are creepy and the author does a great job weaving them in as a subplot. This book did leave me wanting…but almost too much. It just sort of ends abruptly, which felt like – ‘okay the romance is done…story over.’ That being said there were lots of hints of other issues that could be explored in a sequel (I won’t name them, but there were at least three that I found).

Rating

4 Stars

Easy to read in one sitting with action and steamy scenes…I only wish it hadn’t ended so abruptly.

I received a copy in exchange of an honest review. **As a complete side note…I don’t really like the cover…**

Legacy by Wilde Blue Sky

Summary

Why is Michael Holsmann, a right-wing thug, searching the German countryside for details of a flight that left Berlin on the 28th April 1945? Why are the neo-Nazis so interested in a struggling penniless artist called Peter Fritch? Read this tale of identity and betrayal to find out.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

Characters

Michael is a single-minded jerk. Peter a spineless outcast. Most of the characters felt a little flat at first…mostly because they are described to you and not well rounded. That is until I started thinking of this more of a historical alternative, written in a more factual tone. My favorite character was Ola, because she was the catalyst and for other reasons that I can’t detail without giving the plot away.

Plot

I decided to try something different and boy is this different but also interesting. It is really important to remember this is a work of fiction. I don’t want to give too much away, but the entire premise is fascinating. I appreciated the way the author portrayed the characters, and built up the tension. I’m a pretty open minded person so the entire context, while could offend some, really was just showing that a certain way of thinking was self destructive and what can happen after a power is ousted.

Overall

The writing is dry, but consistently so. The characters took a while to form but they felt distinct after a while. A little over the top in their speech at time. My biggest problem was everyone seemed to talk out loud to themselves. Once or twice, okay, but there were more than 5 times that characters talked to themselves.

I also wasn’t sure the point of the last chapter. I would have preferred it if was just left off, like a mystery, but the last chapter sort of tied it up in a too perfect bow. That being said, the concepts and idealist views were well captured. I followed the logic, and illogical portions, of the characters beliefs. I could easily see it being a nod to what happens in other areas around the world – the old way doesn’t let go so easily. From segregation to political parties, change may come but not everyone changes. It is slow and it is hard. I appreciated that aspect of this story, it reminded me of this very idea.

Rating

3.5 stars (rounded up)

It makes you think, what if? I always appreciate a story that makes you wonder. However, I struggled with some of the scenes and the writing was very textbook (informative, but flat). If you like alternative histories or even a ‘what if’ theory, this is a great read.

I received a copy in exchange of a honest review.

The Filmmaker and the Sceptre (within The Wrong Time) by Robby Charters

Summary

A filmmaker of the future, using a new untested medium, gets tangled up in his story in The Filmmaker and the Sceptre.

Overall

A fast paced and clever read. It is a bit jarring at times the way that the scenes change but that is easily fixed the end. I enjoyed the bending and cheekiness of the writing. It is too short to connect in with the charters but the plot is entertaining. There are some editing errors that could be fixed and the writing tightened, but it is minor. Very much a sci-fi meets fantasy read.

Rating

4 Stars

Jarring read that has a very clever ending.

I received a copy in exchange of an honest review.

Naked Desire (Desire #2) by Lydia Larue

Summary

When Kelly Swinson learns that Manuel Alvarez escaped federal prison, she relives the trauma from her past once more, and her common sense says to listen to logic, but her ambition keeps her fighting her husband and his concern for safety at every turn.

As Manuel gets closer to finding them, she feels herself opening up to the idea of placing her family first and grows concerned with what will happen if the ex-drug lord would find them. Her ambition to remain in the public eye is falling, and she begins to envision a life outside of Channel 5 News with her family. But Crazy Manny stands in the way.

Overall

This is a short story – easy enough to read in one sitting although I did take a break in the middle. The characters were alright, I particularly liked Tony. Although I did admire Kelly’s drive but ability at self reflection (even if it was annoying at first). This was as much of a story about Kelly and Tony’s marriage as Crazy Manny trying to get his revenge. It was a good read, the flow was a little off, but the writing was mostly easy to follow. I really don’t like the cover though – it was very misleading. I enjoyed it but was really irritated me was the outcome of the book. .

Rating

3 stars

Thrilling read with an excellently written bad guy. Just be warned about the questionable ending.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.