All posts by histficchickie

Historical fiction author specializing in Shakespearean adaptations, alternate historicals, and historical time-travel.

Book Review and Blog Tour – “The Poison Keeper” by Deborah Swift

To follow this blog tour and to check out The Hist Fic Chickie’s book review on “The Poison Keeper” by Deborah Swift, please click here to redirect to our new address:

BLOG TOUR at THE HISTORICAL FICTION COMPANY – new address for The Hist Fic Chickie blog.

Thank you for following me here – please come join the fun over at HFP!!

D. K. Marley

The Hist Fic Chickie / HFP CEO / Historical Fiction Author

Blog Tour for A. B. Michaels, author of “The Madness of Mrs. Whittaker”

To follow this blog tour post, please visit The Hist Fic Chickie’s new roost – https://thehistoricalfictionpress.com/post/blog-tour-featured-spotlight-book-excerpt-for-the-madness-of-mrs-whittaker-by-a-b-michaels

All future blog tour stops will be at our new address!! Thanks for stopping – we hope you follow us there!!

The Hist Fic Chickie is moving!

Official announcement – the Hist Fic Chickie blog is moving to our new website base and the domain http://www.histficchickie.com will be redirected to our new blog base at http://www.thehistoricalfictionpress.com/hist-fic-chickie-blog

I’d love for all the followers here on WordPress to come subscribe to the blog there so you can continue to keep us with the book reviews, podcast episodes, and my own ramblings about historical fiction.

Over at the new website, you will find incredible pages packed with EVERYTHING for historical readers and authors – a bookshop, book awards, editorial reviews, writer research resources, author services, and even a cute little gift shop with unique gifts for readers and writers, alike. Plus, this blog.

Just one more week and when you click on http://www.histficchickie.com you will end up at the new website. I appreciate all the support here on WordPress but the time has come to expand and offer MORE to fans of historical fiction. Everything you loved about this place is still there, plus more. Come check it out!

https://www.thehistoricalfictionpress.com

BLOG TOUR – “Sisters at War” by Clare Flynn

I’d like to welcome Clare Flynn to the blog today on her blog tour for “Sisters At War”, a heart-tugging tale of the sisterly bond between Judith and Hannah amidst the chaos of war.

BLOG TOUR BOOK REVIEW

5 stars

This book is proof that you can take the simple relationship of two ordinary young women, two sisters, and turn a spotlight on them in the midst of the incredible chaos around them, and the result? Simply great story-telling.

This family living together at the Laurels, a modest home in Liverpool, during WWII is simple and stunning in the way you are a fly-on-the-wall into their lives. Every conversation is filled with emotion, despair, survival, disappointment, fear, and ultimately, love. I was particularly moved by the next door neighbor who at one point loses his cat, and his grief morphs into other losses in his life. I can relate to this in so many ways and I think anyone else who reads this will get the sense of why characters like this are vital in books. A character on the fringes of these two sisters lives, but so very necessary.

This book also deals with the racial cruelties during the war, and not just those thrust upon the Jewish community by the Germans. I was quite taken back in reading of the treatment of British citizens of Italian descent when Mussolini joined Hitler in the fight. And then I was thrilled with the sudden journey to Australia, a land which must have felt like a peaceful haven while the rest of the world was on fire, even for those prisoners who were sent there.

I definitely hope there is another book to come along. I want to know more about these two sisters and where life takes them after the war.

I give this book five-stars and I received this book through Netgalley.

Book Title: Sisters at War

Author: Clare Flynn

Publication Date: 1st May 2021

Publisher: Cranbrook Press

Page Length: 314 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Sisters at War

By Clare Flynn

BLURB

1940 Liverpool. The pressures of war threaten to tear apart two sisters traumatised by their father’s murder of their mother.

With her new husband, Will, a merchant seaman, deployed on dangerous Atlantic convoy missions, Hannah needs her younger sister Judith more than ever. But when Mussolini declares war on Britain, Judith’s Italian sweetheart, Paolo is imprisoned as an enemy alien, and Judith’s loyalties are divided.

Each sister wants only to be with the man she loves but, as the war progresses, tensions between them boil over, and they face an impossible decision.

A heart-wrenching page-turner about the everyday bravery of ordinary people during wartime. From heavily blitzed Liverpool to the terrors of the North Atlantic and the scorched plains of Australia, Sisters at War will bring tears to your eyes and joy to your heart.

Buy Links: 

Universal Link: 

https://books2read.com/sistersatwar

Amazon UK: https://amazon.co.uk/dp/B08Z473XG2 

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Sisters-War-wartime-voyage-across-ebook/dp/B08Z473XG2/

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Sisters-War-wartime-voyage-across-ebook/dp/B08Z473XG2 

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Sisters-War-wartime-voyage-across-ebook/dp/B08Z473XG2/ 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/sisters-at-war-1

Author Bio:

Clare Flynn is the author of thirteen historical novels and a collection of short stories. A former International Marketing Director and strategic management consultant, she is now a full-time writer. 

Having lived and worked in London, Paris, Brussels, Milan and Sydney, home is now on the coast, in Sussex, England, where she can watch the sea from her windows. An avid traveler, her books are often set in exotic locations.

Clare is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a member of The Society of Authors, ALLi, and the Romantic Novelists Association. When not writing, she loves to read, quilt, paint and play the piano. 

Social Media Links:

Website: https://clareflynn.co.uk/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/clarefly

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorclareflynn 

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Clare-Flynn/e/B008O4T2LC/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6486156.Clare_Flynn 

Instagram https://instagram.com/clarefly 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/clareflynn/ 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/clarefly/ 

Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/clare-flynn

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

BOOK REVIEW: “The Kiss of the Concubine” by Judith Arnopp

5-star HFP “Highly Recommended” Medal

There are moments when, as a reader, you know the second a book impacts you. And when that impact comes at the very beginning, well, you know you are about to take an exquisite journey. I have felt this many times throughout the years and when it happens, the books become dear to me, and a must-have for my own personal library. This is one of those times.

Reading the blurb, one might think this is just another retelling of the infamous story of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII, but I am here to say that this book transcends anything I have read to date on this popular subject. When you read lines such as: “…The king’s eyes fly open and his eyeballs swivel from side to side, his disintegrating ego peering as if through the slits in a mummer’s mask.” or “Henry and I are the most powerful couple in all of England and yet, in the face of death, we are powerless,” you are compelled to soak in every last detail. And last, I have to share this… “It is a dead sort of day, the type of day where the sky is white, and there is not even the hint of a breeze. Clouds muffle the horizon and I want to push them away, thrust back the oppression and the fear, and revel for one more day beneath blue skies, feel the wind on my cheeks, the scent of Hever in the air. Instead I am here, in my palatial prison, with no future, no next week to look forward to, perhaps not even a tomorrow.”

Oh, there are so many many more for you to enjoy on this heavenly journey of words. This is just a small sampling.

The immense beauty of Judith Arnopp’s selection of words and phrases is a lesson on how to write a historical novel. She takes what we already know of Anne and Henry to another level, a rare personal glimpse into their personalities, their fears, their hopes, and their love that turned England upside-down in terms of religion. In this book, Anne draws a reader’s sympathy, as she is portrayed as a young naïve girl thrust down a path that ultimately brings her ruin. The delicate way the author shows Anne’s love for her family home, Hever Castle, and the simplicities of that ‘other life’, the life before Henry, fleshes out her character and makes her tremendously relatable; as does the bond she shares with her brother, George, that is taken completely out of context by those wishing to destroy her.

The Kiss of the Concubine is now among my ‘go-to’ books that I will read again and again. Even this review does not do it justice. Simply put… get this book. It is stunning. A must-read!!

BUY HERE:

https://amzn.to/2TITenL

Author Takeover with Jim Metzner

In conjunction with The Historical Fiction Club on Facebook, I welcome to the blog, Jim Metzner, during his author takeover on Monday, June 7th. If you would like to join the takeover, please join the club here: The Historical Fiction Club

Author Bio

Jim studied acting at Yale Drama School and enjoyed a brief career working as a singer-songwriter in London, opening for TRex, Free, and Pink Floyd! He has been producing sound-rich audio programs since 1977, including Pulse of the Planet, which has been on the air since 1988 and is now heard widely as a podcast.

For many years, Jim produced features and commentaries for All Things Considered, Marketplace, Weekend Edition, and other public radio programs. He has recorded all over the world and received major grants from the National Science Foundation, NASA, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Grammy Foundation. Stories about his work have appeared in Audio Magazine, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, National Geographic, The Today Show, and the CBS Evening News. His forty-year archive of sounds is now reposited in the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.

A bee-keeper and avid fly-fisherman, Jim resides in New York’s Hudson River Valley with his wife Eileen.

For more information visit jimmetznerproductions.com and sacredmoundsnovel.com

Buy the Book: https://www.amazon.com/Jim-Metzner/e/B087CB75ZT

Book Blurb:

“This is a rollicking, thought-provoking, rollercoaster of a novel. It’s time traveling on steroids, but it asks big questions. Bravo!” – Ken Burns, filmmaker

“A rich, complex tale of supernatural heroism. The novel folds ancient traditional wisdom into the seams of its story with the author’s well-honed narrative skills, delivering the tastes and flavors of its mingling times and cultures with ease and aplomb. One ends up feeling not like an onlooker, but an active participant in the events. The book, from this perspective, is hard to put down. It’s a page-turner, but an intelligent one; one that asks more questions than it answers and left, for one, this reader hoping for a sequel.” – Lee Van Laer, Senior Editor, Parabola Magazine

“The tribe’s descent from late prehistoric mound builders connects the Natchez people to one of North America’s most intriguing puzzles. Archaeologists know how the earthworks were built, but excavations cannot reveal what these monuments meant to the native people who built them. With Sacred Mounds, Metzner embraces the mystery to weave a story across time and cultural boundaries.” – Jim Barnett, author of The Natchez Indians: A History to 1735

“Awesome! Jim Metzner has imbued a page-turner of a book with esoteric truth half-revealed behind a somewhat violent drama. There are keys to a meaningful life hidden behind the carnage. A great read. Can’t wait for the movie!” – Lillian Firestone, author, The Forgotten Language of Children

My Interview with USA Today Bestselling Author, Kristin Gleeson

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-qpttf-1055e20

I am welcoming to the show today, USA Today Bestselling author, Kristin Gleeson, author of the Rise of the Celtic Gods Series, The Highland Ballad Series, and The Renaissance Sojourner Series of historical novels.

To buy her books, please visit here: Kristin Gleeson’s Amazon Author Page

BOOK REVIEW – “Essex” by Tony Riches

BOOK REVIEW

The Earl of Essex. Well, what can I say? I began this book knowing full well the story of this high-spirited ambitious young man fawning after a much older Queen Elizabeth I, but I have to say that Tony Riches has excelled in really giving life to this notorious man in history. There were times I truly felt a sense of compassion and empathy for him, for his vainglorious attempts to prove himself in the eyes of the Queen, and then his failure to learn from his mistakes. Over and over and over, again. He was a man on the brink of glory, but never reached the clouds, ultimately falling into the precipice of his own making.

I loved this book and it is one I could read again and again. This is the first time I have read any of Tony Riches books and I know it won’t be the last. All of his books are on my to-read list and I foresee a binge read in the near future! Tony Riches’ books are a must read for anyone who wants an excellent historical biography about figures in the Tudor era.

I received a copy for an honest review from The Coffee Pot Book Club.

Book Title: Essex – Tudor Rebel

Series: (Elizabethan Series, Book 2)

Author: Tony Riches

Publication Date: 9th April 2021

Publisher: Preseli Press

Page Length: 352 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

ESSEX – Tudor Rebel 

(Book Two of the Elizabethan Series)

By Tony Riches

(Blurb)

Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, is one of the most intriguing men of the Elizabethan period. Tall and handsome, he soon becomes a ‘favourite’ at court, so close to the queen many wonder if they are lovers.

The truth is far more complex, as each has what the other yearns for. Robert Devereux longs for recognition, wealth and influence. His flamboyant naïveté amuses the ageing Queen Elizabeth, like the son she never had, and his vitality makes her feel young.

Robert Devereux’s remarkable true story continues the epic tale of the rise of the Tudors, which began with the best-selling Tudor trilogy and concludes with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Buy Links:

This novel is free to read with #KindleUnlimited subscription.

Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/bwo16Y

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09246T7ZT

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09246T7ZT

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B09246T7ZT

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B09246T7ZT

Author Bio 

Tony Riches

Tony Riches is a full-time UK author of best-selling Tudor historical fiction. He lives in Pembrokeshire, West Wales and is a specialist in the history of the Wars of the Roses and the lives of the early Tudors. Tony’s other published historical fiction novels include: Owen – Book One Of The Tudor Trilogy, Jasper – Book Two Of The Tudor Trilogy, Henry – Book Three Of The Tudor Trilogy, Mary – Tudor Princess, Brandon – Tudor Knight and The Secret Diary Of Eleanor Cobham. 

Social Media Links:

Website: https://www.tonyriches.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/tonyriches

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tonyriches.author/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tonyriches/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tonyriches.author/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Tony-Riches/e/B006UZWOXA

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5604088.Tony_Riches

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

Featured Spotlight – Sarah Kennedy, author of “Queen of Blood”

Today I welcome Sarah Kennedy, author of Queen of Blood to the blog today on her blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club. We have the great privilege to read an excerpt of her book, and I hope you enjoy:

BOOK EXCERPT

Excerpt from Queen of Blood by Sarah Kennedy

On the same day that Mary Tudor was to be crowned Queen of England, a letter arrived at the Davies House in London. Catherine Havens Davies had travelled back from Yorkshire earlier than she had meant to, in order to see the unlikely event—a Catholic placed back on the throne, a woman ruling England—and, still dazed from days on muddy, leaf-smeared roads, she thought the message must be from the court. An invitation to attend a special Mass, maybe, in celebration. The Roman Catholic Church would be the Church of England again, after all. The priests were already poised for reinstatement at their altars. Silver chalices and dusty statues of the Virgin were being dragged out of vaults and false-bottomed chests, and the butchers at various shambles were, no doubt, sifting through their piles of discarded bones, looking for possible relics. The Bishop of Winchester was now the Lord Chancellor, because he had got it from the mouth of God Himself that Mary was the legitimate heir of Henry VIII and must rule their island. They would have a woman at their head; a city of ladies, at last. It was all that Catherine had ever hoped for.

Catherine laid her hand on her lap. Her flat belly felt hollow, but she could still recall, after all these years, the delight, and fear, of knowing a new child swelled there. The last had been a baby conceived out of wedlock and the cause of much shaming, mostly, she had to admit, among other women. But after all these years, Mary had surely forgiven her for marrying the baby’s father and keeping the child. All would be well now. Her past sins and errors were behind her, and Catherine would live in peace with her daughters and her queen and her God, for the rest of her days.

She considered the fine, thick paper and let her fingers slide over its surface. She might have remained chaste and alone, like other former nuns. Chaste and bitter, and old, now. How many convents would be opened again, to welcome them back in? She knew that her first marriage had been approved because money had changed hands, but the slick passage of gold from one hand to another had smoothed the passage of others to the places they wanted to go. Why should she be different? She hadn’t chosen the convent, after all. That had been another’s doing, as was the case for so many women.

Catherine turned over the letter, and in the buttery candlelight of her private chamber, the Wittenberg seal blazed. It was not from the queen. This could only have come from one person. She almost tore the missive itself in breaking the wax. Rubbing the grit from her eyes, she squinted at the familiar, tight script, and she must have called out, because her husband Benjamin, still in his night shirt, appeared in the doorway. “What is it?” he said.

“My son,” said Catherine, still reading. “Robbie says that he will return to England.” She handed it over.

“As soon as this? And at this time? He surely knows that we’ll be Catholic again?” Her husband scanned to the signature and set the letter aside. “Maybe the air of religious reform smells less sweet when it blows through a university instead of a king’s chamber. I hope he’s been studying his Latin.” Benjamin, from behind, wrapped his arms around Catherine’s shoulders and laid his cold palms against her bare chest. She gasped and pushed backward, into his belly. “Let’s back to bed,” he said. “It’s too wintery today for crowning queens.”

“He is coming through Kent. My son, I mean.” Catherine leaned away from her husband and dragged a brush through her hair, letting the long strands settle onto Benjamin’s arm, and when she set it down she saw a white one wound into the bristles. “Look here.” She held it to the window light. “I am almost thirty-nine years old. I grow ancient.” She wrapped the silver thread around her finger and cast it toward the fire, listening for the whisper of a hiss. “Do you think Robbie has really had enough of the Lutherans?”

Benjamin urged her backward. “To bed.”

She shivered and let him pull her up, into his arms. Benjamin had thickened in the ten years of their marriage, but so had Catherine, a little. He swung her around and laid her on the sheets, then lumbered over her and grinned down. “You will never be too old for me.”

She knew his body, and his ways, and they were playful in bed, unhurried and relaxed, Catherine growing giddy in the stomach. They spent themselves without fear or shame, and when Benjamin lay afterward on his back, one arm behind his head, he said, “I will ride to Dover and meet him, if you wish it. He will stay here, with us.”

Catherine turned onto her side and propped her head on her hand. “Will he, do you think?”

“Where else? I promised you I would try to be a father to the boy, and I will.”

“I will send him a welcome from us both. Perhaps they have heard over in Wittenberg how kindly the queen has spoken of her Protestant subjects.”

“Let us hope she maintains that generosity of spirit,” said Benjamin.

“She will. I’m certain of it.” A wet leaf smacked against the pane by Catherine’s side, and stuck to the glass like a dead hand. She yawned and a giggle caught in her throat. “I should dress. Let the girls stay at home this day. The sky threatens rain.”

Benjamin rose and poked at the fire. Then he lifted the letter and looked at it. Set it down. “Let that be the only threat we feel.”

When she was alone again, Catherine put on her clothes herself. The maids were probably all downstairs gossiping about the coronation parties, and she didn’t want to hear it. Few people mentioned the convent to her anymore. She had almost forgotten what it felt like, to be the subject of sideways smirks, the half-finished speculations about fortunate times for a former nun and having two husbands and Jesus as well. She’d only been a novice, after all. And now she would be a good Catholic woman, as she had tried to be in the convent, and if she was married now, who could dare to be her judge?

Her queen. And suddenly, her son. Catherine covered her head and peered into the mirror, stretching back the skin of her cheeks. She had not had so much as a word from Robbie since the summer, when he had sailed off without a backward glance. His Protestant king Edward was dead, and when Guildford Dudley had been hauled to the Tower with Jane Grey, he had fled, claiming that he would never put his neck under the foot of a queen allied to Rome. Or any queen, for that matter.

And yet, he was coming back. And the queen was speaking of mercy and peace. All would be well, and with her son at home, the world would be an Eden again. Catherine took up the letter again. The boy knew no one in Kent. Did he? The leaf at the window lost its grip and fell. Its damp shadow faded, and Catherine rose, rubbing her arms. Her son was coming home. She shuddered in the cold and tried to feel again that fluttering in her stomach. She was happy. She told herself that she was sure of it. Today could hold nothing but good news.

Book Title: Queen of Blood

Series: The Cross and the Crown, Book 4

Author: Sarah Kennedy

Publication Date: 26th  March 2021

Publisher: Penmore Press

Page Length: 321 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Queen of Blood 

(The Cross and the Crown, Book 4)

By Sarah Kennedy

(Blurb)

Queen of Blood, Book Four of the Cross and the Crown series, continues the story of Catherine Havens, a former nun in Tudor England. It is now 1553, and Mary Tudor has just been crowned queen of England. Still a Roman Catholic, Mary seeks to return England to its former religion, and Catherine hopes that the country will be at peace under the daughter of Henry VIII. But rebellion is brewing around Thomas Wyatt, the son of a Tudor courtier, and when Catherine’s estranged son suddenly returns from Wittenberg amid circulating rumours about overthrowing the new monarch, Catherine finds herself having to choose between the queen she has always loved and the son who seems determined to join the Protestants who seek to usurp her throne.

Buy Links

Universal Link: mybook.to/QueenofBloodBookFour

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1950586758

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Queen-Blood-Sarah-Kennedy/dp/1950586758

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/1950586758

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/1950586758

Author Bio

Sarah Kennedy

Sarah Kennedy is the author of the Tudor historical series, The Cross and the Crown, including The Altarpiece, City of Ladies, The King’s Sisters, and Queen of Blood. She has also published a stand-alone contemporary novel, Self-Portrait, with Ghost, as well as seven books of poems.  A professor of English at Mary Baldwin University in Staunton, Virginia, Sarah Kennedy holds a PhD in Renaissance Literature and an MFA in Creative Writing.  She has received grants from both the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

Social Media Links:

Website: http://sarahkennedybooks.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KennedyNovels

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sarah.kennedy.520125

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Sarah-Kennedy/e/B0054NFF6W

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6538009.Sarah_Kennedy

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