Friday, March 27, 2015

The Three Little Horses and the Big Bully Donkey (Horse Valley Adventure #1)

"The Three Little Horses and the Big Bully Donkey" is a tale (based on the "Three Little Pigs"), about three little horse brothers who suddenly lose their house that is destroyed by a fire. The young horses are totally alone and thrust into the reality of having to depend on themselves and each other against a bully donkey, who wanders the forest wrecking homes and bullying the other animals. 

This warm-hearted tale promotes strong values and has a fun premise.

 Written and humorously illustrated in vivid color throughout by Liana-Melissa Allen, the story is a proven winner for reading aloud to children.

Paperback, 34 pages

Published May 3rd 2012 by Createspace 
copy provided as part of book tour
****
I read this book to my 4 1/2 year old grandson and he loved it.  Having never read the Three Little Pigs this was an original story for him.  The illustrations were colorful and bright, perfectly matching the story.

This book opens the door to discussions on fire safety with the little ones as well as talking about what is important and what isn't

There are more lessons to be taken from this book aside from fire safety, there is also forgiveness, family sticking together and if you got a job to do, do it right in the first place.  All this is done in a fun story that will grab any child's attention.

Be sure to come back on Monday when I review the next book in this series.

Click on icon below for more stops on this tour, which includes stops hosting giveaways
http://www.ireadbooktours.com/blog---current-tours/book-tour-donkeys-kite-a-horse-valley-adventure-by-liane-melissa-allen

Liana-Melissa Allen is a young author and illustrator of children's books and books for youth. She has written, illustrated and published six books. Her most recent one is the colorfully illustrated children's book "Donkey's Kite", the second book of "A Horse Valley Adventure" series. The first was "The Three Little Horses and the Big Bully Donkey". The lovable cartoon characters, Max, Lax, Jack and Donkey makes them a favorite of first and second grade students. She is now working on her third book of "A Horse Valley Adventure".

The magical world of fantasy has inspired Liana's imagination since as long as she can remember. Part of this was fueled by her dad reading aloud to her every day when she was younger. As a result, reading is her primary passion along with music. These two passions feed her imagination into stories and drawings, which she joyously sketches out into storyboards for a potential book.

Liana-Melissa is also a dedicated classical/jazz pianist, and mostly enjoys older music, especially from the big band era and the 1940's, 50's and 60's. While playing the piano, her imagination often leads to a great amount of improvising. Frequently, Liana will improvise a theme for one of the stories she is writing. Capturing this improvised music became a priority, which ultimately resulted in theme music for "A Horse Valley Adventure". The "Horse Valley" theme will be used for a short animated video featuring her Horse Valley characters.

Liana-Melissa loves to hear from her young readers. Please visit her website at www.lmabooks.com for more information, and to contact her by email. Visit her on Facebook too.

Where to buy the books:
On Author's Website
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Guest Post with D.W. Bradbridge (Book Tour)



  I am happy to have D.W. Bradbridge with a special guest post today.  He is the author of The Winter Siege (which I really enjoyed) and his latest release of A Soldier of Substance.

 

How Did We Ever Forget about Lathom House?

 

If you stand with your back to the Chapel of St John the Divine at Lathom Park you can see the area of raised ground where it is believed Lathom House, the Earl of Derby’s huge fortified mansion once stood, a building, according to an old ballad, ‘so spacious that it can receive, Two Kings, their trains and all.’ Today, however, not one stone remains of the original building besieged by the Parliamentary forces of Colonel Alexander Rigby during the English Civil War. This is a major irony, not least because Rigby, humiliated by his failure to capture the house and shown to be as incompetent a commander as he was vindictive, had initially set out to reduce Lathom “as if it had never been.” Although he was defeated by the indomitable will of his nemesis, the unwavering and impressive Countess of Derby, Lady Charlotte de Tremouille, the house was eventually pulled to the ground, as he would have wished.

Considering the dramatic nature of Lady Charlotte de Tremouille’s valiant defense of Lathom House with only three hundred men against a vastly superior parliamentary force, it is a wonder that the story is not more widely known today. Unless you grew up in Ormskirk or are a Civil War enthusiast, it is unlikely that you will ever have heard about Lathom. This was, however, not always so.

Indeed, up until the end of the 19th century, the tale of Lady Derby’s exploits retained a much more prominent place within the national consciousness, spawning a number of books and poems, the best known of which is William Harrison Ainsworth’s novel The Leaguer of Lathom. Even at the time of the siege, Lady Derby was eulogized by those on the royalist side, the Scottish Dove newspaper, for example, famously pointing out that she had ‘stolen the earl’s breeches’. Over the last hundred years, however, the details surrounding the First Siege of Lathom House (there were, in fact, two sieges) have gradually drifted into the backwaters of history.

This is a shame, because the events which took place between March and May 1644 form the basis for a captivating adventure story (or alternatively, given the abject incompetence of the parliamentary forces at times, an engaging comedy film or mini-series – I can imagine a series of Blackadder being set here).
The reason, in my opinion, why the Siege of Lathom House offers such rich pickings for a novelist or screenwriter, lies in the fantastic array of characters involved in the siege.

There is Lady Derby herself, described by historian Colin Pilkington as being ‘as devious as Elizabeth I, as inflexible as Mrs Thatcher and with the physical presence of an Amazon.’ She is backed up by a portly, scheming cleric (The Reverend Samuel Rutter – her main advisor), a brave and committed seventeen year old ensign (Edward Halsall – author of the Siege Journal), an experienced Scottish mercenary (William Farmer – the Captain of the House) and the wise old politician William Farrington.

The severe and humourless Rigby, on the Parliamentary side, was supported by a similar collection of fine characters such as the respected commander Ralph Assheton, who saw Rigby for what he was. There was the arrogant vertically-challenged Welshman in charge of the artillery, Thomas Morgan (uncle of the famous buccaneer, Captain Henry Morgan), an incompetent engineer called Browne and the enigmatic William Bootle, an ex-porter in the Earl of Derby’s household, and employed as Rigby’s resident expert on the interior of the house.

The myriad possibilities offered by such a fascinating array of characters are something, which I, personally, found hard to resist, and from a selfish viewpoint I have been grateful (if somewhat surprised) that Lady Charlotte’s story has remained in relative obscurity in recent years. Surely, however, this should not remain so. Isn’t it time that this Iron Lady of Lancashire was recognized once again?

Buy the Book

Amazon US
Amazon UK


1644. The smoke of parliamentary musket, cannon, and mortar fire is in the air around the royalist stronghold of Lathom House. Though guards still stand atop its walls, it is besieged on all sides, and it is only a matter of time until the house, along with its embittered and unwavering countess, Lady Charlotte de Tremouille, falls to Parliament’s might. Yet somehow, a royalist spy still creeps, unseen, through its gates, and brings the countess Parliament’s secrets.
Barely recovered from the trials of the last few months, Daniel Cheswis is torn from his family and sent north, to uncover the identity of the traitor; though before he can even begin, Cheswis finds himself embroiled in a murder. A woman has been garrotted with cheese wire in her Chester home, suggesting there is more than just the usual hatreds of war at play.
As lives are lost and coats are turned on both sides, Cheswis is tasked with finding the murderer, uncovering the traitor, and surviving his soldierly duty long enough to see Lathom House fall.


D.W. Bradbridge was born in 1960 and grew up in Bolton. He has lived in Crewe, Cheshire since 2000, where he and his wife run a small magazine publishing business for the automotive industry.

“The inspiration for The Winter Siege came from a long-standing interest in genealogy and local history. My research led me to the realisation that the experience endured by the people of Nantwich during December and January 1643-44 was a story worth telling. I also realised that the closed, tension-filled environment of the month-long siege provided the ideal setting for a crime novel.

“History is a fascinating tool for the novelist. It consists only of what is remembered and written down, and contemporary accounts are often written by those who have their own stories to tell. But what about those stories which were forgotten and became lost in the mists of time?

“In writing The Winter Siege, my aim was to take the framework of real history and fill in the gaps with a story of what could, or might have happened. Is it history or fiction? It’s for the reader to decide.”
For more information please visit D.W. Bradbridge’s website. You can also find him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.


A Soldier of Substance Blog Tour Schedule

Thursday, March 19
Guest Post at What Is That Book About
Saturday, March 21
Review at Book Nerd
Monday, March 23
Spotlight at I’d So Rather Be Reading
Tuesday, March 24
Guest Post at Just One More Chapter
Monday, March 30
Guest Post at Mythical Books
Thursday, April 3
Spotlight at Unshelfish
Spotlight at Layered Pages
Friday, April 3
Review at Genre Queen


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran

From the internationally bestselling author of Nefertiti and Cleopatra’s Daughter comes the breathtaking story of Queen Lakshmi—India’s Joan of Arc—who against all odds defied the mighty British invasion to defend her beloved kingdom.

When the British Empire sets its sights on India in the mid-nineteenth century, it expects a quick and easy conquest. India is fractured and divided into kingdoms, each independent and wary of one another, seemingly no match for the might of the English. But when they arrive in the Kingdom of Jhansi, the British army is met with a surprising challenge.

Instead of surrendering, Queen Lakshmi raises two armies—one male and one female—and rides into battle, determined to protect her country and her people. Although her soldiers may not appear at first to be formidable against superior British weaponry and training, Lakshmi refuses to back down from the empire determined to take away the land she loves.

Told from the unexpected perspective of Sita—Queen Lakshmi’s most favored companion and most trusted soldier in the all-female army—Rebel Queen shines a light on a time and place rarely explored in historical fiction. In the tradition of her bestselling novel, Nefertiti, and through her strong, independent heroines fighting to make their way in a male dominated world, Michelle Moran brings nineteenth-century India to rich, vibrant life. 


Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published March 3rd 2015 by Touchstone 
arc - netgalley
****
I haven't read all of Michelle Moran's books, but what I have I've enjoyed.  Her writing style is smooth and it isn't hard to get lost in her stories.

Rebel Queen takes place in a time and location that I am unfamiliar with.  Queen Lakshmi is the last queen of India and it is through one of her female guards, Sita that we are introduced.   I liked Sita, it is from her POV that this story is told.  It is quite obvious that the author has a passion for this time period, it clearly shows in her knowledge and descriptions.  It wasn't hard to picture the setting and the customs of India, the treatment of women and the involvement of the British. 

Though the battle doesn't take place until about 90% of the way through this book, there is enough background info to keep ones attention and it sets the tone when it finally does happen.  Definitely a must read for those that like there historical fiction off the beaten track.  Rebel Queen I think is one of my favorites by Michelle Moran.


Books by Michelle Moran that I have read:

http://www.justonemorechapter.com/2012/07/madame-tussaud-by-michelle-moran.htmlhttp://www.justonemorechapter.com/2012/03/cleopatras-daughter-by-michelle-moran.htmlhttp://www.justonemorechapter.com/2011/09/nefertiti-by-michelle-moran.html

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic by Hazel Gaynor

A voyage across the ocean becomes the odyssey of a lifetime for a young Irish woman. . .

Ireland, 1912 . . .

Fourteen members of a small village set sail on RMS Titanic, hoping to find a better life in America. For seventeen-year-old Maggie Murphy, the journey is bittersweet. Though her future lies in an unknown new place, her heart remains in Ireland with Séamus, the sweetheart she left behind. When disaster strikes, Maggie is one of the few passengers in steerage to survive. Waking up alone in a New York hospital, she vows never to speak of the terror and panic of that fateful night again.

Chicago, 1982 . . .

Adrift after the death of her father, Grace Butler struggles to decide what comes next. When her great-grandmother Maggie shares the painful secret about Titanic that she's harbored for almost a lifetime, the revelation gives Grace new direction—and leads both her and Maggie to unexpected reunions with those they thought lost long ago.

Inspired by true events, The Girl Who Came Home poignantly blends fact and fiction to explore the Titanic tragedy's impact and its lasting repercussions on survivors and their descendants.
 

 
Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by William Morrow Paperbacks
audio - public library
**** 
This book lent itself quite nicely to audio format, though I am pretty sure I would have liked it if I had read it also.

 Jumping back and forth in time was a nice break between the 2 story lines.  Based on the fact that 14 individuals from a small village in Ireland did in fact set sail on the Titanic.  At times parts of the story were predictable it was still  enjoyable to listen to. The author showed the class distinctions not just on board the ship but in other aspects of life during that time period.  


Maggie resolved never to speak about what happened that night was genuine, you can feel the ice cold and black night understanding her frame of mind and reasoning behind this decision.  Her great granddaughter Grace is a loyal daughter but I would have liked more insight into Grace's mother and her struggles, just to back up why Grace had to support her for 2 years - it might be just me, but that confused me a little.  Not that I don't understand grief, but what transpired during that time would have been nice to know, giving reasons for putting her life on hold.
This book brought to life the story of the Titanic, not just through the eyes of the passengers but the crew as well and those waiting on end side of the ocean for news.

Hazel Gaynor is a new author to me, she has just released, A Memory of Violets and I must say both these covers are gorgeous.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21936857-a-memory-of-violets?from_search=true

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: The Gilded Hour by Sara Donati

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill  at  Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.   

 This week I am waiting for:

I absolutely love her Into The Wilderness Series, thrilled to hear she has another one coming out.

Hardcover
Expected publication: September 1st 2015 by Berkley


The international bestselling author of Into the Wilderness makes her highly anticipated return with a magnificent epic about the transcendent power of courage in 19th-century New York…

The year is 1883, and although young surgeon Anna Savard and her cousin, Sophie, have become successful physicians, they never recovered from the losses they suffered as children. So when Anna encounters a child who’s lost nearly everything, she must decide whether she’s willing to let go of the past and let love into her life. Meanwhile, Sophie’s memories of being left alone in the world propel the young obstetrician to help a desperate mother—and catapult her into the orbit of a very dangerous man.

Vividly drawing on historical events, Sara Donati has written a captivating, emotionally gripping novel that proves she is an author at the height of her powers.


What are you waiting for?


Monday, March 16, 2015

Lady of the Eternal City by Kate Quinn (Book Tour)

National bestselling author Kate Quinn returns with the long-awaited fourth volume in the Empress of Rome series, an unforgettable new tale of the politics, power, and passion that defined ancient Rome.

Elegant, secretive Sabina may be Empress of Rome, but she still stands poised on a knife’s edge. She must keep the peace between two deadly enemies: her husband Hadrian, Rome’s brilliant and sinister Emperor; and battered warrior Vix, who is her first love. But Sabina is guardian of a deadly secret: Vix’s beautiful son Antinous has become the Emperor’s latest obsession.

Empress and Emperor, father and son will spin in a deadly dance of passion, betrayal, conspiracy, and war. As tragedy sends Hadrian spiraling into madness, Vix and Sabina form a last desperate pact to save the Empire. But ultimately, the fate of Rome lies with an untried girl, a spirited redhead who may just be the next Lady of the Eternal City…


Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Berkley Trade
Formats: eBook, Paperback
528 Pages
Series: Empress of Rome Series, Book Four
Genre: Historical Fiction
Add to GR Button
 *****
  I love books that take me to another place and time, when I can revisit those I already know and catch up on their lives.  When I can visualize places with descriptions that bring them to life.  To learn a part of history while being thoroughly entertained.  Such is Lady of the Eternal City by Kate Quinn, Book 4 and the final chapter in her Mistress of Rome Series.  If you haven't started this series you do need to start at the beginning with Mistress of Rome, trust me you won't regret it.

This series has been my first venture into this time period and location. Book 3, Empress of the Seven Hills left a cliffhanger that had me grabbing Lady of the Eternal City as soon as I finished it.  Kate Quinn's writing style is one of my favorites, it is smooth and hard to put down. 

Hadrian is finally Emperor, Sabina is Empress and Vix still the enemy of Hadrian but kept close at hand.  One of the things I loved not just with this book but the series is the authors ability to develop these characters into people that I care about and feel empathy for.  This book is divided with different points of view giving the reader the opportunity to get inside the minds of the major players here.

The storyline played out with drama, romance and suspense, add in a major secret making this hard to put down.  There was enough historical details to confirm the authors passion for not just the time period but the historical figures as well.  A fitting conclusion to this wonderful series that is a must read for anyone who loves character driven books with a strong storyline to boot.


Praise for Lady of the Eternal City

“Quinn specializes in bringing the splendor of Britannia and Rome to readers. The tangled lives of her three-dimensional characters represent the entanglements of the Empire. She cleverly pulls readers into the complex relationships, and even more complicated history, while bouncing back and forth between viewpoints. This is a feast for historical readers.” – Romantic Times Book Reviews

Buy the Book

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository
Books-a-Million
iTunes
IndieBound

Titles in The Empress of Rome Series

Book One: Mistress of Rome
Book Two: Daughters of Rome
Book Three: Empress of the Seven Hills
Book Four: Lady of the Eternal City

Praise for The Empress of Rome Series

“Gorgeously wrought.”— C. W. Gortner, author of The Queen’s Vow
“Deeply passionate.”—Kate Furnivall, author of Shadows on the Nile
“[An] epic, sexy romp.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Kate Quinn is a native of southern California. She attended Boston University, where she earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Classical Voice. A lifelong history buff, she has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga, and two books in the Italian Renaissance detailing the early years of the infamous Borgia clan. All have been translated into multiple languages.

Kate has succumbed to the blogging bug, and keeps a blog filled with trivia, pet peeves, and interesting facts about historical fiction. She and her husband now live in Maryland with a small black dog named Caesar, and her interests include opera, action movies, cooking, and the Boston Red Sox.

For more information visit Kate Quinn’s website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

 

Lady of the Eternal City Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 2
Spotlight at Broken Teepee
Tuesday, March 3
Spotlight at Historical Readings and Reviews
Wednesday, March 4
Review at Back Porchervations
Thursday, March 5
Review at The Maiden’s Court
Friday, March 6
Spotlight at Caroline Wilson Writes
Monday, March 9
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Review at The Mad Reviewer
Wednesday, March 11
Review at Peeking Between the Pages
Thursday, March 12
Spotlight at The Lit Bitch
Sunday, March 15
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Monday, March 16
Review at Just One More Chapter
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews
Tuesday, March 17
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Wednesday, March 18
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Monday, March 23
Review at A Literary Vacation
Thursday, March 26
Review at Book Nerd
Friday, March 27
Review at Unshelfish
Review at Genre Queen
Review at Let Them Read Books
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession


Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Spymistress by Jennifer Chiaverini

New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini is back with another enthralling historical novel set during the Civil War era, this time inspired by the life of “a true Union woman as true as steel” who risked everything by caring for Union prisoners of war — and stealing Confederate secrets.

Born to slave-holding aristocracy in Richmond, Virginia, and educated by Northern Quakers, Elizabeth Van Lew was a paradox of her time. When her native state seceded in April 1861, Van Lew’s convictions compelled her to defy the new Confederate regime. Pledging her loyalty to the Lincoln White House, her courage would never waver, even as her wartime actions threatened not only her reputation, but also her life.

Van Lew’s skills in gathering military intelligence were unparalleled. She helped to construct the Richmond Underground and orchestrated escapes from the infamous Confederate Libby Prison under the guise of humanitarian aid. Her spy ring’s reach was vast, from clerks in the Confederate War and Navy Departments to the very home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Although Van Lew was inducted posthumously into the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame, the astonishing scope of her achievements has never been widely known. In Chiaverini’s riveting tale of high-stakes espionage, a great heroine of the Civil War finally gets her due.
 
Kindle Edition, 368 pages

Published October 1st 2013 by Dutton Adult (first published January 1st 2013) 
arc - netgalley
*** 
An interesting book about Elizabeth Van Lew taking place during the Civil War.  
Loyal to the Union she created a network of spy's in Richmond. 
Though I liked learning about Lizzie and her efforts during this time period
 this book felt somewhat flat to me.  I think some depth to her characters
 would have been beneficial.  Also at times this book had a textbook feel, reminisce 
of a history lesson rather than a novel.
The author definitely knows her history here as some of the scenes and historical 
details reflect this. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Letters to Kezia by Peni Jo Renner (Book Tour)


It is 1693 in Hereford, Connecticut, when Mary Case, the spinster daughter of a Puritan minister, finds herself hopelessly smitten by the roguish thief, Daniel Eames. Betrothed to a man she does not like or love, she is soon compelled to help Daniel escape from jail. Suddenly, she finds herself on the run, not only accused of being Daniel’s accomplice, but also of murder.

The fugitive pair soon finds solace-and a mutual attraction-among the escapee’s Algonquin friends until two men from Daniel’s dark past hunt them down. After Mary is captured and returned home to await trial, a tragedy takes the life of her younger sister, revealing a dark secret Mary’s father has kept for months. But just as Mary learns she is pregnant, she makes a horrifying discovery about Daniel that changes everything and prompts her to develop an unlikely bond with his mother, Rebecca, who soon saves Mary from a shocking fate. It is not until years later that her daughter, Kezia, finally learns the truth about her biological father and family.

Letters to Kezia shares a courageous woman’s journey through a Puritan life and beyond as she struggles with adversity and betrayal, and discovers that loyalty can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.

Publication Date: January 14, 2015
iUniverse
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Pages: 208
Series: Book Two, The Puritan Chronicles
Genre: Historical Fiction

Add to GR Button
****


The first book in this series, The Puritan Witch was one of my favorites of 2014, it centers on the time period when Rebecca Eames languishes in jail accused of being a witch.  Though you don't have to read it before this one, I highly recommend it.  Coming it at 208 pages Letters to Kezia isn't a long read but rather a fast paced and emotional story.

Daniel is Rebecca's son where he is first introduced in the previous book,  the direction his life has taken was a true reflection of the time period, especially with what he had endured in the past.  Though Daniel is a supporting character in this book, he is the ancestor of the author.  

Mary is a likeable woman, her growth throughout this book brought out a courageous young woman.  One that stand up for what she believed even when powerless, at times, to act on it.  That time period was not friendly to the desires of women, putting them at the mercy of others.  Scandal was severely punished and lives ruined.

I liked the way this book was written, with journal entries by Mary as well as narrative reading and at times jumping ahead 20 years.  Sound confusing?  Well it wasn't at all, very easy to follow and hard to put down.  There is a lot going on in this book, scandal, heartache, betrayal, love, relationship between Iroquios, forgiveness and more.  At times I wished it was a little longer and maybe a little more depth into Daniel's thoughts would have been nice.  But all in all a great little story that is sure to please those interesting in this time period.

Praise for Letters to Kezia

“In the tradition of author Peni Jo Renner’s gripping debut novel, Puritan Witch: The Redemption of Rebecca Eames, Letters to Kezia recounts the tale of courageous, compassionate, and relatable Mary, whose connection to Rebecca and her family is unforeseen and profound. The reader is captivated at the very first page, as Letters to Kezia is a story of forbidden love, deep family secrets, intrigue, murder, and atonement. Another beautifully written triumph for this author, whose immense gift for story-telling transports the reader into each scene so deftly, one can almost smell the wood smoke and hear the crackling of the fire in the hearth.” – Kelly Z. Conrad, award-winning author of Shaman

“Peni Jo Renner enthralled readers with Puritan Witch, the ordeal of Rebecca Eames, who was condemned to hang from Salem’s gallows as a witch. Now the Eames saga continues as Peni uses her special brand of witchery to bring Mary Case and Daniel Eames to vivid life, and shows us just how much a young woman will risk for love. Letters to Kezia is a poignant, true-life tale from colonial New England’s heartland which will captivate you, and keep you guessing until the end.” -JoAnn Butler, author of Rebel Puritan and The Reputed Wife

 

Buy the Book

Amazon
Barnes & Noble

PENI JO RENNER is the author of the IPPY award-winning novel, Puritan Witch: the Redemption of Rebecca Eames. Originally from North Dakota, Peni now lives with her husband in Maryland where she is currently researching for the third book in the Puritan Chronicles series.

For more information please visit the Puritan Witch Website and Facebook Page. You can also follow Peni Jo Renner on Twitter.

Letters to Kezia Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 9
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Guest Post at What Is That Book About
Tuesday, March 10
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Wednesday, March 11
Guest Post at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Thursday, March 12
Guest Post at Mythical Books
Spotlight & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time
Friday, March 13
Review at Just One More Chapter
Review at Peeking Between the Pages
Monday, March 16
Interview at Becky on Books
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation
Tuesday, March 17
Review at Deal Sharing Aunt
Wednesday, March 18
Review at Quirky Book Reviews
Thursday, March 19
Review at Book Nerd
Interview at Dianne Ascroft Blog
Friday, March 20
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Review at Bibliophilia, Please
Review & Interview at Jorie Loves a Story
Monday, March 23
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Friday, March 27
Review at Book Babe


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Guestpost and Giveaway: JF Ridgley (Red Fury Revolt) - Book Tour




I am thrilled to have JF Ridgley join us today with a special guestpost relating to the release of Red Fury Revolt.

The Historical Characters of Red Fury Revolt

One of the joys of writing historical fiction is finding fascinating characters who actually lived and affected history in some way.  I would like to introduce these characters who so entrapped me for my story and series.

Boudica/Boudiga/Boudicca/Boadicea

Well since no one knew how to write in AD 60 in the Roman province called Britannia, no one knows for sure how this Iceni queen spelled her name. However, Graham Webster researched her extensively and decided to title his book about her…Boudica. So I used this name for this queen who decided to revolt against Rome’s control over her people. 

I discovered Boudica in a used book store in Annapolis MD about eighteen years ago and became entranced in this Iceni queen’s story. Over taxed, flogged, and her daughters raped by Roman soldiers, Boudica decided to drive this force out of her lands. Many of the other tribes of Britannia joined her. All 250,000 warriors who looked to Boudica to lead them. But Celts of that time saw no issue with women warriors. They had as much to lose as the men did. 

Their assault on anything Roman led to the destruction of the Claudian Temple in Colchester/Camulodunum, the destruction of London/Londinium, as well as St. Albans/Verulaneum. Even today if you dig down in the layers of dirt here, you will find fifteen inches of burn soil from Boudica’s wrath.

Suetonius Paulinus

Suetonius Paulinus was appointed to Britannia to lead the four legions in Rome. His first objective was to cleanse the Isle of Mona or Anglesey of those pesky Druids. But it wasn’t Suetonius who ticked off Boudica. It was Rome’s tax collector Decianus Catus who did and left Suetonius to deal with this pissed off woman. Problem was, after learning Boudica had burned down Camulodunum and destroyed half of the Ninth legion, he had to travel from the other side of Britannia to confront her.  The Twentieth and the Fourteenth legions were to follow. So he called on the Second legion to meet him in Londinium. When they didn’t arrive, he had no choice but to go to Verulaneum and then leave that to Boudica’s wrath too. After losing three major cities to this Iceni queen, he was quoted to have said, “Lose a city to keep a province.”  His true fear was losing to a woman. How would he ever show his face in Rome again?


Gnaeus Julius Luci filius Aniensis Agricols Foro Julii

Yes, that is Julius Agricola’s full Roman name. Julius’ claim to fame was written by his son-in-law Cornelius Tacitus who wrote a glowing biography of his father-in-law into the annals of history. 
So Julius was in Britannia as tribune when Boudica revolted. Soon after this, he became Suetonius Paulinus’s second-in-command as Tribune Laticlavius. The thing that got me was that this revolt was not the last time Julius was in Britannia. He returned as legate/command of the Twentieth legion, four more times as consul. In fact, almost his entire career was in Britannia, which was not the favored province of Rome’s empire. The island offered little in grain because that went to the three and sometimes four legions stationed there, some mineral but nothing compared to the main land provinces. There were plenty of slaves and dogs as well as wool.  And it was cold and rainy. So, why did he return? That was the question that captured me.

 Was it over one of Boudica’s daughters, who were never named?

 It very well could have been. Which one do you think he fell for? 

Well, both daughters were said to have been raped. But what if one wasn’t. What if Julius fell in love with one of them and chose to marry her instead of his betrothed back in Rome?  With no names for them, I named them Morrigan, the herione of my the companion short story to Red Fury 



Revolt  The Chrysalis.  (available everywhere ebooks are sold) Like a caterpillar that morphs into a butterfly…Morrigan must change into a warrioress who wants revenge against the attrocities done to her and the Iceni people.
Rhianna, the other daughter, more like her father than Boudica, is kinder and gentler. 






However, Julius has a problem. His name is Calgacus. Son of the Trinovante tribe. Bonded to Rhianna.
  .
Calgacus and Rhianna were to be joined in marriage, but the insult to the Iceni tribe prevented that. Now Calgacus must save Rhianna from the hands of the Roman. Was Calgacus real? Yes. Was he Trinovante, maybe/maybe not. But, after Boudica’s revolt, many fled north to escape Rome. However,Calgacus was the leader of the Caledonii/Scotland, when Julius actually does confront him at the Mons Graupius some twenty years later when they met near the area of Inverness, Scotland. It was a battle of the same epic proportion as Boudica’s revolt. What brought them face each other again?

Find out in Red Fury Revolt.


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Ms Ridgley loves the ancient world. Even after years of researching and many trips to the sites of her stories, she is still fascinated by what she can use for her next story. One thing she does enjoy more is bringing this world to life in her award-winning stories of power, greed, violence, and love.
Be sure to stop by her website to discover her books and novellas available on Amazon.com. Be sure to sign up for her newsletter to stay up with her next book or her next giveaway!
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Giveaway

There are lots of great giveaways up for grabs on this tour! To enter to win one of the following prizes, please complete the form below.
4 Copies of Red Fury Revolt
4 Red Fury Revolt Branded Coffee Mugs
$25 Amazon Gift Card
Iceni Pendant (like the one featured on the cover!)

INFO & RULES

* Giveaway is open internationally.
* Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on March 13th.
* You must be 18 or older to enter.
* 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 will be chosen via GLEAM on March 14th and notified via email. Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
* Please email Amy @ hfvirtualbooktours@gmail.com with any questions.





Red Fury Revolt Blog Tour Giveaway


 

Red Fury Revolt Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 2
Spotlight at The Maiden’s Court
Tuesday, March 3
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Thursday, March 5
Guest Post at The Reading World
Saturday, March 7
Review at Book Nerd
Sunday, March 8
Monday, March 9
Tuesday, March 10
Interview & Excerpt at Becky on Books
Wednesday, March 11
Thursday, March 12
Friday, March 13
Review at Genre Queen
Guest Post at Just One More Chapter