Tag Archives: Bronze Medal

Book Review – “the Last Blast of the Trumpet” by Marie Macpherson

I had to take a few days to really ponder over this review for “The Last Blast of the Trumpet”; to sort of let the words sink in and absorb them into my mind and soul. Another reviewer compared this book to Hilary Mantel’s “Wolf Hall” books and to a certain extent I must agree. I adored Mantel’s books and while Macpherson’s novel, to me, has similarities to her incredible series, there are unique differences that will draw in fans of “Wolf Hall”. Such as, the total immersion into the life of John Knox, as Mantel did with Cromwell. I found myself vacillating back and forth between liking his character and not liking his character, the same as I did with the entire novel. There were times I could not put it down and other times I felt tired over the abundance of flourishing words. Abundant but necessary. I admire Macpherson’s ability to tackle the atmosphere of the time in the use of the language, having the characters actually speak as they might have spoken by using certain phrasing and verbiage only used by Scots. For that I say, bravo, Ms Macpherson, for I am a lover of the beauty of words. That being said, I must use a caveat here and say that the tiredness I felt was from an audacious application of alliteration throughout the entire novel. At first I loved it but after the tenth or so time I found myself trying to locate the next alliterative phrase which distracted me from the storyline. However, I’m not sure this will be a hindrance for most, it was just something that irritated me since I am the OCD sort.

Now, for the story itself. As most other reviewers re-summarize the story, I shall just hit the highlights. During the Tudor era, John Knox was the foremost religious reformer and revolutionist against Catholicism, pitting him against Mary, Queen of Scots, and aligning himself with supporters such as Queen Elizabeth of England and her renowned advisor, William Cecil; all against the backdrop of Scotland. I, like most other reviewers, found the sections dealing with his home-life drawing me closer to his character while his religious life made me feel quite the opposite. To this I say, bravo, again, Ms Macpherson for developing such a well-rounded character, a true three-dimensional person who leapt from the page. The other details of the storyline, including the well-known aspects of Queen Mary, were detailed and immersive, revealing things I did not know or bringing them back to mind, such as the fact that Prioress Elisabeth Hepburn was Knox’s godmother.

I definitely recommend this read and think anyone who loved Hilary Mantel’s books will love this one, as well. It is deep, well-researched, and a good book for reflecting on a powerful and influential man in not only Scottish history but world history. As this is the third in the series and where I began, I am looking forward to going back to book one and two to fill in the rest of the history of his life.

‘Fearless Women and Dangerous Passions’- Meet Autumn Bardot

Visit the Facebook Group “The Historical Fiction Club” on October 26th to enjoy Autumn’s Author Takeover day filled with fascinating posts, giveaways, and a chance to ask her questions!!

Link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/historicalfictionbookclub

Autumn Bardot writes historical fiction and more about fearless women and dangerous passions. 
She has taught literature, writing, and the magic of words for more than sixteen years. Autumn was the guest author on Stoya’s Book Club, has an article on writing erotica in BooksbyWomen.org, and has been featured on several podcasts. She is currently writing her next novel and working on a series for new writers on her YouTube channel.

Autumn has a passion for history and a special affinity for the unsung courageous females that history neglects…or misunderstands. Autumn lives in Southern California with her husband and ever-growing family. She wishes she was one-tenth as brave as the women she writes about. 

YouTube channel: About section

WRITING. AUTHORING. Exploring the power of words. Find quick tips and author advice. Discover how to amplify character, conflict, and emotion. Learn about the writing craft and bookish tricks. Welcome beautiful writers, I’m Autumn Bardot, author of traditionally and indie published books. Nine to date. Another on the way! I’ve taught writing and literary analysis for more than 16 years, so my approach to writing comes from both academic and real-life experience. 

THE IMPALER’S WIFE

A young woman is swept into a life of intrigue, revenge, passion, and betrayal when she falls for the world’s most notorious prince, Vlad Dracula. 

The year is 1464. King Matthias controls Hungary, his family, and the fate of the world’s most notorious political prisoner, Prince Vlad Dracula. 

 Ilona Szilágy, the king’s cousin, is young and ambitious. Dracula is determined to marry into the family. It is love at first sight, but the king has other plans. The Impaler Prince, however, never takes no for an answer.

This begins Ilona’s journey into the treacherous world of court intrigues, family betrayals, and her husband’s dark desires. Eager to become Vlad’s trusted confidant, Ilona soon discovers that marriage to a man tortured by his past comes with a price.

Woven throughout is a peek into the life and times of one of the world’s most enigmatic and maligned rulers…the man before the legend.

The Impaler’s Wife offers a fierce yet sensuous glimpse into the violent 15th century. 

DRAGON LADY

Prostitution required the violation of my body. Piracy required my soul. The first enslaved me. The second set me free. 

A young girl is taken from her home and sold into slavery to a floating brothel. Xianggu begins as a servant, but soon her virginity is bought by the highest bidder. Ambitious and determined, she learns the business in hopes of earning her freedom from the madam. Her dreams are washed away when a midnight pirate raid changes her life. 

Kidnapped by the notorious Red Flag boss, Xianggu embarks on a journey that demands beauty, brains, and brawn. But Xianggu must do more than learn to wield a sword, sail a ship, and swim across the bay, she must become indispensable to the pirate boss if she hopes to survive.  The winds, however, never blow in the same direction, and Xianggu must make a decision that requires her to battle jealous men, ancient prejudices, and her own heart. 

The triumph of the notorious Zheng Yi Sao is a fierce and unflinching story of how a prostitute became the most powerful and successful pirate in the world.  

In 18th century China, when men made and enforced the rules, the Dragon Lady lived by her own. 

THE EMPEROR’S ASSASSIN (awarded the bronze seal in the historical personage category by Readers’ Favorite )

History claims she is the first female serial killer.

Locusta is the daughter of a winemaker in the Roman province of Gaul. She enjoys the indulged childhood of the elite, her concerns only about the day’s amusements. She rides gentle ponies, attends parties, reads Ovid, and learns the herbal arts from her servant. But the day after meeting her betrothed, Locusta discovers the consequences of possessing such dangerous knowledge. 

Ordered to leave her pastoral life, Locusta is thrust into a world of intrigue, scandal, and murder—where treason lurks behind every corner and defying an emperor means death. Locusta’s life changes forever when a young Emperor Nero requires her herbal expertise and commands her to be his personal poisoner. Caught in an imperial web, Locusta must embrace her profession or die. 

Or is there another way out? 

The history books have nothing good to say about this woman. Or is that because men wrote her story?

Autumn’s Links:

Website: http://www.autumnbardot.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/autumnbardot

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AutumnBardotAuthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/autumnbardot 

Amazon: https://amazon.com/author/autumnbardot 

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/autumn-bardot

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/autumnbardot/

YouTube:  https://rb.gy/6tsx0e

Check out her book trailers here:

http://histficchic.com/the-peep-show-book-trailers/