Tag Archives: Mary Anne Yarde

Sunday Times Bestselling Author, Anne O’Brien, Stops by on Her Blog Tour for “The Queen’s Rival”

I am thrilled to welcome to the blog today, Anne O’Brien, the historical fiction author of the newly released “The Queen’s Rival”, as well a vast catalogue of books ranging in settings, from the War of the Roses all the way to the Regency era.

I had the privilege of reviewing Anne’s book, which is later on in this post. If you want to jump ahead, click HERE.

AUTHOR BIO

Sunday Times Bestselling author Anne O’Brien was born in West Yorkshire. After gaining a BA Honours degree in History at Manchester University and a Master’s in Education at Hull, she lived in East Yorkshire for many years as a teacher of history.

Today she has sold over 700,000 copies of her books medieval history novels in the UK and internationally. She lives with her husband in an eighteenth-century timber-framed cottage in the depths of the Welsh Marches in Herefordshire. The area provides endless inspiration for her novels which breathe life into the forgotten women of medieval history.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Website: https://www.anneobrienbooks.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anne_obrien

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anneobrienbooks/?ref=bookmarks

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anne-o-brien-89668a45/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/thisisanneobrie/_saved/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Anne-OBrien/e/B001HD1NHI

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51111864-the-queen-s-rival?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=MIYPBpVMFH&rank=1News Letter sign up: https://www.anneobrienbooks.com/

BOOK BLURB

The Queen’s Rival by Anne O’Brien

Book Title: The Queen’s Rival

Author: Anne O’Brien

Publication Date: 15th April 2021(paperback) September 2020 (Hardback and ebook)

Publisher: HarperCollins

Page Length: 531 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

England, 1459. 

One family united by blood. Torn apart by war…

The Wars of the Roses storm through the country, and Cecily Neville, Duchess of York, plots to topple the weak-minded King Henry VI from the throne.

But when the Yorkists are defeated at the battle of Ludford Bridge, Cecily’s family flee and abandon her to face a marauding Lancastrian army on her own.

Stripped of her lands and imprisoned in Tonbridge Castle, the Duchess begins to spin a web of deceit. One that will eventually lead to treason, to the fall of King Henry VI, and to her eldest son being crowned King Edward IV.

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Queens-Rival-Anne-OBrien/dp/0008225532

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Queens-Rival-Anne-OBrien/dp/0008225532

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Queens-Rival-Anne-OBrien/dp/0008225532

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Queens-Rival-Anne-OBrien/dp/0008225508

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-queens-rival-anne-obrien/1137842630

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-queens-rival/anne-obrien/9780008225544

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-queen-s-rival-the-sunday-times-bestselling-author-returns-with-a-gripping-historical-romance

Audio: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Queens-Rival-Audiobook/0008225524

Blackwells: https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/The-Queens-Rival-by-Anne-OBrien-author/9780008225544

WHSmith: https://www.whsmith.co.uk/products/the-queens-rival/anne-obrien/hardback/9780008225544.html

REVIEW

I received a copy of The Queen’s Rival on Netgalley for an honest review.

First and foremost, I applaud Anne O’Brien for tackling this topic, that of the War of the Roses, from the unique viewpoint of Cecily Neville, the Duchess of York, and I give her even more credit for presenting this book in the format that she chose. I must say, I have never read a historical novel done in this way and I was astounded at the perfection in which we are offered an insight into the minds of so many involved in this history. To be honest, I wasn’t sure at first that I was going to like reading letter entries from one character to another, a story being told this way, but after the first few, I was hooked. I think this is a remarkable way to get into a character’s mind, after all, what can be more intimate than a letter from one person to another. And then, with the smattering of news reports from the England’s Chronicle to round out the storyline and the personal messages of recipes betwixt sisters (Cecily, Anne, and Katharine), well, I think this was genius.
The story starts from the Duke of York’s rebellion against Henry VI, and his fleeing to Ireland, leaving his wife, Cecily, and their three youngest children at Ludlow Castle to face the forces of Lancaster. All told in letter form as she writes to her sisters, Anne, Duchess of Buckingham, and Katherine, Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, as well as other letters dispersed throughout between many other characters (Marguerite, Queen of England; Richard, Duke of York; etc.) From that development, we learn a great deal about Cecily’s mind set as she maneuvers her children, her sons, in an attempt to bring her husband’s wishes about in securing the throne of England under their rightful Yorkist claim.
Through this intimate way of communication, you truly delve deep into hearts and minds, and feel the passion of Cecily, not only for the royal blood she possesses but her love for her husband and her children, as well as her passionate dislikes.
I think the only thing that confused me a bit about the book is the title – “The Queen’s Rival” – Although I understood, I suppose, that Cecily was the rival of Queen Marguerite, and then eventually, in some respect, the rival as Queen Mother to her son’s wife after he became King; however, the title did not imbue, to me, what the story was truly about, that is, this brave and strong woman, Cecily, Duchess of York. Again, perhaps it was just my thoughts but that being said, the title did not at all distract from the brilliance of the story. I loved the depth and incredible research and the daring approach that Anne O’Brien took in retelling this tale in a very unique form. I highly recommend this book and give it five stars!!

CONTINUE FOLLOWING THE BLOG TOUR

Thank you, Anne, for stopping by The Hist Fic Chickie today and congratulations on your book, I truly enjoyed the read!!

For more info on the blog tour, you can stop by THE COFFEE POT BOOK CLUB to check out the next stop on the tour…. or you can click here:

WENDY J. DUNN’S OFFICIAL BLOG – May 4th

BOOK REVIEW – HISTORICAL STORIES OF BETRAYAL

First and foremost, I must say I am privileged to know many of these phenomenal historical fiction authors and have shared and re-shared Twitter and FB posts for many years now. But knowing someone through social media and reading their words is quite a different experience.

In reading “Historical Stories of Betrayal” and noting the different aspects in style and voice, I truly hear their passion and soul in the stories.

This is a book not to be missed! Here you are given a sampling of short stories and excerpts spanning the globe from ancient Rome to the Tower of London; and through the eras from the 5th-century to the 19th-century – all with one basic premise known throughout time: BETRAYAL.

I do have my favourites among the twelve stories, all having to do with my own insatiable appetite for particular eras and locales, but for the sake of this review, I must say – each and every story is a pearl in this luscious historical jewelled necklace. You will not be disappointed and I highly recommend not only reading the short stories and excerpts of these authors, but grabbing up their novels, as well.

Here is the link to buy:

The Author Roost – Book Spotlight: Fire and Ash-Gift of the Gods, Book 3 by Thomas J. Berry

The Hist Fic Chic is proud to welcome Thomas J. Berry, author of “Fire and Ash: Gift of the Gods, Book 3”, to the blog today! As a part of her blog tour, his book is in the Featured Spotlight (The Author’s Roost) and you have a chance to read an excerpt from his amazing story below.

AUTHOR BIO

Thomas Berry received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from St. Bonaventure University. He takes pleasure in extensively researching both historical fiction and non-fiction stories. In his spare time, he enjoys long distance running and has completed several marathons. He currently lives with his wife and children in New Jersey. You can learn more about Thomas and his historical novels at his website, www.thomas-berry.com.

Author’s Social Media Links:

TwitterInstagramGoodreads

If the encrypted links fall off:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TBerryAuthor

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55692764-gifts-of-the-gods

Book Title: Fire and Ash

Series:Gifts of the Gods, Book 3

Author: Thomas J Berry

Publication Date: 10th October 2020

Publisher: BookLocker 

Page Length: 450 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Twitter Handles: @TBerryAuthor @maryanneyarde

Instagram Handles: @history_writer @coffeepotbookclub

Hashtags: #FireandAsh #HistoricalFiction #AncientGreek #CoffeePotBookClub

BLURB

Five men and women in Ancient Greece are set on a dangerous journey of self-discovery during the bitter conflict of the Peloponnesian War.

While mighty Athens struggles to rebuild after a devastating campaign abroad, the feared warriors of Sparta prepare to deliver the final blow in a decades long war. No one is safe anymore as the conflict shifts across the Aegean to the shores of wealthy Persia. Old colonies, once loyal to Athens, are eager to rebel and the Great King is willing to pay anything to regain his control over them. These coastal plains set the stage for massive battles and heartbreaking defeats. This time there will be only one true victor.

The news coming out of Sicily ripples across the cities of Ancient Greece like a thunderbolt and it is left to the poor and desperate to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. One young mother is suddenly faced with a horrible tragedy and struggles against all odds to make a new life for her family. An eager boy looking for adventure enlists in the new Athenian ranks but finds life on campaign a lot more than he bargained for. A Spartan officer in the twilight of his years struggles to adapt to a young man’s army and an exiled Athenian strives to earn his way back into the graces of his beloved city. The harem girls in a Persian court meet a handsome foreigner and one risks everything for a chance at love.

As the conflict between Athens and Sparta builds to a final showdown, five men and women struggle to come to terms with their changing world. What will they find in the ashes when peace finally comes?

BOOK EXCERPT

Cries erupted around her, one overlapping the other in a ceaseless frenzy. The soldiers had the leader they most desired and, in that moment, sought a course of action that would satisfy their bloodlust. “Kill the bastards! Democracy reigns!” “Take the battle to the oligarchs!” “Free our families!”

This time Thrasybulus could not contain them, and she realized now there was only one man who could. She looked up at the dais and her heart skipped a beat as Alcibiades smiled, held up his arms, and spoke in short, commanding sentences. After a few minutes, the people calmed down to a reasonable degree, yet there was still a tension in the air. Anger bubbled to the surface like spouts of lava, exploding in small outbursts throughout the Assembly. She was surprised how quickly it had spread among the populace.

“The Council of 400 has control of Athens for now!” the new supreme commander announced, “but they will not hold sway for long. I understand your feelings and I share them! I would like nothing more than to walk up to the walls of the city and take back what was once ours! However, my first duty is to prosecute this war we find ourselves in! Furthermore, it would a very grave mistake to attack the capital right now. Look who sits at Miletus and watches our every move!”

The crowd began to murmur among themselves, trying to piece together what seemed so obvious to the General. He paused for a moment and she saw him glance down at her from his perch above. She returned his smile but could do little to aid him now. Alcibiades had created a monster of his own making and now he had to ride it out until only one of them was left.

“I could tell you to launch every trireme in the harbor tomorrow morning and we’ll undoubtedly bring the new government to its knees! But we have more pressing enemies here on these very shores! The moment we are gone, the Spartan fleet will sail in and take everything we have! They would control every colony, conscript every able man into their ranks, and steal every daric coin from our meager coffers! That is exactly what I would do in their stead! Worse, they will take that tremendous armada and sail north for the Hellespont! Those single-minded ravens will blockade the narrow passage from the Black Sea and stop all the grain shipments sailing for Athens! We will regain political control, yes, but our families would be strangled and weakened by a merciless adversary! Death by starvation would be our only future! That is not something I could ever permit! You have honored me today and I will lead you to victory! Have patience and give me a little more time. That is all I require!”

The mood of the soldiers seemed to calm down as they digested this sobering observation. A few still called for an immediate attack but they were quelled by others agreeing with their new commander. Timandra realized she was holding her breath and let it out slowly, feeling nervous tension flow out with it. Alcibiades had handled the immediate problems, but she knew he would soon be faced with larger, far more serious ones, albeit of his own making.

He informed the assembled men it was necessary he return to Sardis immediately and confer with Tissaphernes. “There is much preparation to contend with, but the satrap will be forever in your debt when I enter his gilded hall as supreme commander of Athens’ mighty fleet! When I am satisfied that all is ready, I shall return and together we will put an end to Sparta’s plans!”

With that, he gave the dais back to Thrasybulus and stepped off the platform to a rousing ovation. Timandra clapped as well but her mind was reeling at the recent turn of events. The people wanted a savior and they had chosen someone who cavorted with not one but two enemies of the state! They wanted a beacon for democracy, and they placed their trust in a man who had single-handedly destroyed it. They sought a great leader who will steer them on a righteous path yet ordained a felon wanted for Sacrilege and sentenced to death if he ever returned home. He was an ambitious general who brought Athens shame and death abroad yet had risen to the supreme command of their fleet once more.

Alcibiades had told her several times over the last year that he would one day return to Athens. While she always considered it a pipe dream, she had to admit that he had somehow pulled off the impossible. There were challenges ahead and she had no idea how he would meet them. Timandra allowed herself a moment to relax and take it one day at a time. For now, he was the man in charge, and she was at his side absorbing all the accolades with him. It was a surreal feeling!

Buy Links:

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CAAmazon AUBookLocker

If the encrypted links fall off:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/GIFTS-GODS-Fire-Ash-3/dp/1647188911

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1647188911

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Gifts-Gods-Fire-Thomas-Berry/dp/1647188911

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/GIFTS-GODS-Fire-Ash-3/dp/1647188911

BookLocker: https://booklocker.com/books/11259.html

JOIN THE BLOG TOUR FOR MORE INFO ON THE AUTHOR, CONTESTS, & MORE!

THANK YOU, Thomas, for stopping by the blog today on your blog tour!! I wish you much success on this incredible book!

D. K. MARLEY

Author of “Blood and Ink”, “The Fire of Winter”, “The Prince of Denmark”, and “Child of Love & Water”

For those following the tour, click here for the next stop:

HOSTED BY Mary Anne Yarde’s THE COFFEE POT BOOK CLUB

THE WHISPERING BOOKWORM – November 30th

THE HIST FIC CHIC – December 1st

LINNEA TANNER’S OFFICIAL BLOG – December 2nd

THE WRITING DESK – December 3rd

LET THE WORDS SHINE… – December 4th

MJ PORTER’S OFFICIAL BLOG – December 7th

OH LOOK, ANOTHER BOOK! – December 8th

CANDLELIGHT READING – December 9th

ZOE’E ART, CRAFT, AND LIFE – December 10th

BROOK’S SCROLL – December 11th

The Author Roost – Book Spotlight: Discovery (The Orphan Train Saga – Book 1) by Sherry A. Burton

The Hist Fic Chic is proud to welcome Sherry A. Burton, author of Discovery (The Orphan Train Saga – Book One), to the blog today! As a part of her blog tour, her book is in the Featured Spotlight (The Author’s Roost) and you have a chance to read an excerpt from her amazing story below.

AUTHOR BIO:

Born in Kentucky, Sherry got her start in writing by pledging to write a happy ending to a good friend who was going through some really tough times. The story surprised her by taking over and practically writing itself. What started off as a way to make her friend smile started her on a journey that would forever change her life. Sherry readily admits to hearing voices and is convinced that being married to her best friend for thirty-eight plus years goes a long way in helping her write happily-ever-afters. Sherry is the author of The Orphan Train Saga novels, a planned eighteen book historical fiction saga that revolves around the historic orphan trains. Books in the saga include Discovery, Shameless, Treachery and Guardian. Loyal, the fifth in the saga, expected to release summer of 2021. Sherry resides in Michigan and spends most of her time writing from her home office, traveling to book signing events and giving lectures on the Orphan Trains.

Discovery 

The Orphan Train Saga, Book 1

Author: Sherry A. Burton 

Publication Date: December 25, 2018

Publisher: Dorry Press

Print Length: 229 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Twitter Handles: @SherryABurton @maryanneyarde

Instagram Handles: @authorsherryaburton @coffeepotbookclub

Hashtags: #HistoricalFiction #Discovery #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub

BLURB

While most use their summer breaks for pleasure, third grade teacher Cindy Moore is using her summer vacation to tie up some loose ends concerning her grandmother’s estate. When Cindy enters the storage unit that holds her grandmother’s belongings, she is merely looking for items she can sell to recoup some of the rental fees she’s spent paying for the unit.

Instead, what she finds are secrets her grandmother has taken to the grave with her. The more Cindy uncovers, the more she wants to know. Why was her grandmother abandoned by her own mother? Why hadn’t she told Cindy she’d lived in an orphanage? And how come her grandmother never mentioned she’d made history as one of the children who rode the Orphan Trains?

Join Cindy as she uncovers her grandmother’s hidden past and discovers the life that stole her grandmother’s love.

JOIN HER BLOG TOUR for REVIEWS, READINGS, CONTESTS, & MORE!

Buy Links:

Amazon UKAmazon USBarnes and Noble

If the encrypted links fall off:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07KK42KZ1

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KK42KZ1

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/discovery-sherry-a-burton/1129921701

FOLLOW THE AUTHOR!!

WebsiteTwitterFacebookInstagramPinterestGoodreads

If the encrypted links fall off:

Website: https://www.sherryaburton.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sherryaburton

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

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

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5233048.Sherry_A_Burton

BOOK EXCERPT!!

The year was nineteen-twenty-one, it was January, and I had nearly reached my eighth year, when my mother took me to the orphanage. I still remember her face clearly and can still see the dark curls that fell loose around her shoulders. I think she was tall, but maybe that was just a child’s perspective. She was thin; that I do recall. Then again, so was everyone who lived in our tenement. Maybe it was because we were always hungry.

It was raining the last time I saw my mother. I was cold and wet, and my mother told me to go inside where I would be warm. I asked her if she was coming inside and she said no, she didn’t want to spoil the floors with her wet shoes. I didn’t have to worry about that. I wasn’t wearing any shoes. Mother was dripping wet, the rain had stripped her of her curls, and her deep black hair lay plastered against the side of her head like a hat. I asked her why she was crying. She told me it was just the rain on her face, but I could hear her sobs and knew she was lying. Before I could respond, Mother opened the door, pushed me inside, and the door closed behind me. The doors nearly reached the ceiling. A deep rich brown, they were the largest doors I had ever seen. An elephant could have walked through without issue. I have never forgotten the sound it made when it slammed shut. A solid thud that vibrated like rolling thunder. The sound has woke me from my dreams more often than I can count. Maybe that is because my mother never bothered to kiss me goodbye.

I was still staring at the door, when an older girl wearing a blue gingham dress and a crisp white apron came and asked me what I was doing. I told her my mother brought me. She shrugged and told me I must have done something very bad for my mother to have left me. I couldn’t recall doing anything bad, but the girl must have been right, as I never saw my mother again.

The girl took my hand and led me down the long hall, which was empty except for a few paintings on the wall and large red crocks evenly spaced along the floor near the wall. I didn’t want to leave the entrance. The building was so big, and I was afraid my momma would not be able to find me. The girl was bigger than me and looked mean, so I went with her. She took me to a room with tall windows and dark walls, where a lady wearing a black dress was sitting behind a large wooden desk. The girl told the lady she’d found me in the hall. The woman picked up a clipboard and asked me if I spoke English. I remember smiling and shaking my head yes. Not everyone in our tenement spoke English. My momma did, but not very well. Momma and Papa and I came over the ocean on a big ship from Poland. While I remember my papa, I do not remember what his face looked like. He died before the ship reached America. They said he was sick. Two men carried him outside in the rain and threw him over the side.

Oh, how I loathe the rain.

Momma said my Ojczulek – that’s the Polish word for Papa – taught me how to speak English so people would like me better. I wish I could remember my papa better. The woman asked my name. I told her my name was Mileta. She asked me what my last name was. I told her that was the only name I had. The lady didn’t seem happy about that. She asked what my mother’s name was. I was going to tell her it was Mamusia – which is the Polish word for momma, but then I remembered what my papa told me and I said her name was Momma. The lady smiled and wrote something on the clipboard. It was the first time the lady smiled. Papa must have been right. My clothes were wet; I was barefoot and so cold I was shaking. The woman must not have liked that I was dripping water on the floor because she told the girl, who she called Clara, to take me to the washroom for a bath and delouse. I wasn’t sure what that meant, but from the look on the girl’s face, I was sure I wasn’t going to like it.


THANK YOU, Sherry, for stopping by the blog today on your blog tour!! I wish you well on your amazing book.

D. K. MARLEY

Author of “Blood and Ink”, “The Fire of Winter”, “The Prince of Denmark”, and “Child of Love & Water”

For those following the tour, click here for the next stop:

HOSTED BY Mary Anne Yarde’s THE COFFEE POT BOOK CLUB

THE HIST FIC CHIC – November 18th

A DARN GOOD READ – November 24th

THE WHISPERING BOOKWORM – December 2nd

OH LOOK, ANOTHER BOOK! – December 9th

RUINS & READING – December 16th

CANDLELIGHT READING – December 23rd

EMMA LOMBARD’S OFFICIAL BLOG – December 30th

LET THE WORDS SHINE… – January 6th

ZOE’S ART, CRAFT and LIFE – January 13th

JUDITH ARNOPP’S OFFICIAL BLOG – January 20rd

Ta Da!! The Hist Fic Chic is Now a Blog Tour Host!

In conjunction with The Coffee Pot Book Club, the fabulous and far-reaching blog of Mary Anne Yarde, I am happy to announce that I am now a blog tour host for her club!!

If you wish to have your Historical Fiction book on blog tour, please visit her author promotions page here: https://maryanneyarde.blogspot.com/p/blog-tours.html