Thursday, July 3, 2014

Guest Post by Barbara Kyle- Author of THE QUEEN'S EXILES...

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by Barbara Kyle

Guest Post for "HF Book Muse -News" Blog
HFVBT June-July 2014
 Mikhail Petgrave

 When I'm writing a novel a character can sometimes surprise me. This time the surprise was Fenella Doorn.

Fenella is the heroine of my new historical thriller, The Queen's Exiles. She's a savvy Scottish-born entrepreneur who salvages ships. She played a small but crucial role in a previous book of mine, The Queen's Gamble, and then I kind of forgot about her. She didn't appear in the next book, Blood Between Queens, but when I was planning the one after that Fenella sneaked up me.

She's a determined, passionate, courageous woman, and rather cheeky—she insisted that I include her in the new story. She reminded me that she had past connections with two exciting men in the series, Adam Thornleigh and Carlos Valverde, which promised some dramatic sparks.

So, I did more than include her in the new book. I made her its star. Fenella offered me an opportunity to create a complex, admirable woman who doesn't fit the ingénue heroine so common in historical fiction.

She's not a young thing; she's thirty. She's not a pampered lady; she rolls up her sleeves running her business of refitting ships. She's attractive but not a smooth-faced beauty; her cheek is scarred from a brute's attack with a bottle years ago. And she's not a virgin; she was once the mistress of the commander of the Edinburgh garrison (he of the bottle attack).

In other words, Fenella is my kind of woman.

She had been a beauty at eighteen, relying on men to support her, but when her cut face marred her attractiveness she realized that it was now up to her to put bread on the table and clothes on her back. I made her aware, even grateful, that the scar freed her from the bonds of beauty; it made her independent. And she became a successful businesswoman.

Fenella is a fictional character; I invented her. But successful, independent women were not as uncommon in the 16th and 17th centuries as some might think. Often they were widows who inherited their husband's businesses. There were female tailors and cloth merchants, brewers and bakers, stationers and booksellers. Hannah Allen, for example, was born into a family of bookbinders and she married a bookseller when she was in her early teens. After his death she inherited his business. In the mid-1600s Hannah's name appears on her imprints as the proprietor. 

In Queen Elizabeth's time Irishwoman Grace O'Malley inherited her father's busy international shipping trade and became very wealthy. She was a hands-on manager, commanding the loyalty of so many clansmen that many followed her to Clare Island, where she moved her headquarters. She became known as the "Pirate Queen."

Fenella Doorn, my new novel's heroine, follows in the footsteps of spirited, independent women like Grace O'Malley. Before the story opens, Fenella ran a small marine chandlery with her husband. When he was killed she escaped to Sark, one of the Channel Islands, and built a ship refitting business. Five years later, when the book opens, she has become successful and self-sufficient.

Until, one day, Baron Adam Thornleigh sails into her bay in his shot-up ship and changes her life.

I hope you'll enjoy Fenella's adventure. 

Thank you Barbara for this amazing post!!!!

Monday, June 30, 2014

REVIEW: The Queen's Exiles, by Barbara Kyle

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The Queen’s Exiles is the sixth book in Barbara Kyle’s Thornleigh Saga and as the saga continues, the books are getting better and better.  I loved The Queen’s Lady not only because of the fascinating story, but what gripped me was the historical accuracy of how things unraveled.  That being said, The Queen’s Exiles did not disappoint!

And although the story revolves around the Queen Mary of Scots and Queen Elizabeth events, the book tells the story of Fenella Doorn.  You will love this strong-minded, 15th c. feminist!  A determined business owner, Fenella embarks on a mission that had me rooting for her all the way. And throughout this, as the saga would have it, there is a Thornleigh in the picture: Lord Adam Thornleigh is on his own mission…

Barbara Kyle uses the history to create a story that is sure to keep you glued to the pages.  An imaginative plot spinning forth from a tumultuous time in history, The Queen’s Exiles is an unforgettable read- and Fenella is my new idol!
You will love thisJ

Please join author Barbara Kyle as she tours the blogosphere for her latest release, The Queen’s Exiles, from June 16 – July 31.
The Queen's ExilesPublication Date: May 27, 2014
Kensington Publishing
Formats: Ebook, Paperback
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Europe is in turmoil. A vengeful faction of exiled English Catholics is plotting to overthrow Queen Elizabeth and install her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots on the throne. And in the Netherlands the streets are red with the blood of those who dare to oppose the brutal Spanish occupation. But amid the unrest, one resourceful young woman has made a lucrative enterprise. Scottish-born Fenella Doorn salvages crippled vessels. It is on one of these ships that she meets wealthy Baron Adam Thornleigh. Secretly drawn to him, Fenella can’t refuse when Adam enlists her to join him in war-torn Brussels to help find his traitorous wife, Frances—and the children she’s taken from him. But Adam and Fenella will put their lives in peril as they attempt to rescue his young ones, defend the Crown, and restore a peace that few can remember. With eloquent and enthralling finesse, Barbara Kyle illuminates one of history’s grimmest chapters. The Queen’s Exiles breathes new life into an extraordinary age when love and freedom could only be won with unmitigated courage.

Praise for The Queen’s Exiles

“Riveting Tudor drama in the bestselling vein of Philippa Gregory” – USA Today
“A bold and original take on the Tudors that dares to be different. Enjoy the adventure!” – Susanna Kearsley, New York Times bestselling author
“This moving adventure pulses with Shakespearean passions: love and heartbreak, risk and valour, and loyalties challenged in a savage time. Fenella Doorn, savvy and brave, is an unforgettable heroine.” – Antoni Cimolino, Artistic Director of the Stratford Festival
“Brilliant. A page-turner of love and loyalty in treacherous Tudor times. A truly unforgettable adventure.” – Deborah Swift, author of A Divided Inheritance
“A vivid and compelling novel by an author at the very top of her craft.” – Diane Haeger, author of I, Jane

Praise for Barbara Kyle’s Books

“Kyle knows what historical fiction readers crave.” – RT Book Reviews on Blood Between Queens
“A complex and fast-paced plot mixing history with vibrant characters” – Publishers Weekly on The King’s Daughter
“An all-action thriller, bringing to life the passion and perils of the Tudor period.” – Lancashire Evening Post on The King’s Daughter
“Riveting…adventurous…superb!” – The Historical Novels Review on The Queen’s Gamble
“An exciting tale of the intrigue and political manoeuvring in the Tudor court.” – Booklist on The Queen’s Captive
“Boldly strides into Philippa Gregory territory…sweeping, gritty and realistic.” – The Historical Novels Review on The Queen’s Lady

Buy the Book

Amazon CA
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

About the AuthorMikhail Petgrave

Barbara Kyle is the author of the acclaimed, internationally-published Thornleigh Saga novels which follow a middle-class English family’s rise through three tumultuous Tudor reigns:
The Queen’s Exiles
Blood Between Queens
The Queen’s Gamble
The Queen’s Captive
The King’s Daughter
The Queen’s Lady
Barbara was a speaker in 2013 at the world-renowned Stratford Festival with her talk Elizabeth and Mary, Rival Queens and is known for her dynamic workshops for many writers’ organizations and conferences. Before becoming an author Barbara enjoyed a twenty-year acting career in television, film, and stage productions in Canada and the U.S.
For more information visit You can also connect with Barbara at Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Monday, June 16
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, June 17
Excerpt & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court
Friday, June 20
Guest Post & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Monday, June 23
Review & Giveaway at Flashlight Commentary
Tuesday, June 24
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Thursday, June 26
Guest Post at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Monday, June 30
Review at HF Book Muse-News
Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Wednesday, July 2
Guest Post & Giveaway at HF Book Muse-News
Monday, July 7
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Wednesday, July 9
Review at Historical Tapestry
Thursday, July 10
Guest Post & Giveaway at HF Connection
Friday, July 11
Review at Dianne Ascroft Blog
Monday, July 14
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Wednesday, July 16
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading
Thursday, July 17
Review at Griperang’s Bookmarks
Friday, July 18
Interview at Griperang’s Bookmarks
Monday, July 21
Review at Always with a Book
Wednesday, July 23
Guest Post & Giveaway at Always with a Book
Thursday, July 24
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Friday, July 25
Review at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Monday, July 28
Review at A Bookish Affair
Tuesday, July 29
Review at The True Book Addict
Wednesday, July 30
Guest Post & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Thursday, July 31
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, May 2, 2014


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Daughter of the Gods


Stephanie Thornton’s first book: The Secret History: A Novel of Empress Theodora (my review for The Historical Novel Society HERE )- was an exceptional read- and my favourite of 2013- so naturally I could not wait to read her latest novel: DAUGHTER OF THE GODS.  Just as enticing and forever marking as a read that is sure to become etched in your mind, DAUGHTER OF THE GODS delivers, history, suspense, detail, love- all in a gripping tale with a champion as the heroine.

And Hatsheput is truly a champion, a Pharaoh in Ancient Egypt, to be exact.  Through strong leadership as head of her army, this gutsy and remarkable goddess manages to build an empire and a legacy.  True, Hatsheput is not one whose history is that well known, but leave it to Thornton for digging out these bigger-than-life historical women whose lives were uber-extraordinary. 

Hatsheput was controversial for the times- in battle, leadership and love.  Complex and deliciously nontraditional, this grand queen defies all odds and ensures her title.  She is strong-willed and loves deeply- but nothing comes easily and losses are inevitable in her winnings.  You will become obsessed with her life and will cheer along with her…but there will be tears as well…

Ancient Egypt at its best- Thornton delivers history with live imagery through the gripping tale of a Pharaoh that you will never forget.  This is an absolute Must Read- and please write back if this does indeed become your favourite read of the year.

Please join author Stephanie Thornton as she tours the blogosphere for Daughter of the Gods from April 28 – May 23.

Publication Date: May 6, 2014
NAL Trade
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Egypt, 1400s BC. The pharaoh’s pampered second daughter, lively, intelligent Hatshepsut, delights in racing her chariot through the marketplace and testing her archery skills in the Nile’s marshlands. But the death of her elder sister, Neferubity, in a gruesome accident arising from Hatshepsut’s games forces her to confront her guilt…and sets her on a profoundly changed course.
Hatshepsut enters a loveless marriage with her half brother, Thut, to secure his claim to the Isis Throne and produce a male heir. But it is another of Thut’s wives, the commoner Aset, who bears him a son, while Hatshepsut develops a searing attraction for his brilliant adviser Senenmut. And when Thut suddenly dies, Hatshepsut becomes de facto ruler, as regent to her two-year-old nephew.
Once, Hatshepsut anticipated being free to live and love as she chose. Now she must put Egypt first. Ever daring, she will lead a vast army and build great temples, but always she will be torn between the demands of leadership and the desires of her heart. And even as she makes her boldest move of all, her enemies will plot her downfall….
Once again, Stephanie Thornton brings to life a remarkable woman from the distant past whose willingness to defy tradition changed the course of history.

Praise for Daughter of the Gods

“Daughter of the Gods is a wonderfully intimate and dramatic evocation of Ancient Egypt, where one headstrong young woman dares to become pharaoh. Stephanie Thornton vividly portrays the heat and the danger, the passion and the heartbreak of Hatshepsut’s struggle, as she defies even the gods to ensure success on the throne of Egypt. A touching love story combines with a thrilling tale of death, courage and political intrigue to produce a superbly researched and powerfully written novel. This is the kind of book that grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go. A remarkable story, remarkably told.” -Kate Furnivall, author of Shadows on the Nile
“Stephanie Thornton’s heroines are bold, brave, and powerful–they make me want to stand up and cheer!” -Kate Quinn, author of Lady of the Eternal City
“Daughter of the Gods is a full-out, total immersion experience of ancient Egypt. From her moving love affair with a commoner to her fierce and unwavering commitment to Egypt as a female Pharaoh, Hatshepsut crackles with fascinating complexity. Her ka must be grinning with pleasure at this richly textured account of her life, one that is worthy of the great queen herself. “ -Vicky Alvear Shecter, author of Cleopatra’s Moon “An epic saga that brings ancient Egypt to life with vivid imagery and lovely prose. Stephanie Thornton is a rising star!” -Stephanie Dray, author of Lily of the Nile

Buy the Book

Amazon US (Kindle)
Amazon US (Paperback)
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository
Kobo Books

About the AuthorStephanie Thornton

Stephanie Thornton is a writer and history teacher who has been obsessed with infamous women from ancient history since she was twelve. She lives with her husband and daughter in Alaska, where she is at work on her next novel.
“The Secret History: A Novel of Empress Theodora” is available from NAL/Penguin, and “Daughter of the Gods: A Novel of Ancient Egypt” will hit the shelves May 2014 and “The Tiger Queens: A Novel of Genghis Khan” will follow in Fall 2014.
For more information, please visit Stephanie Thornton’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Monday, April 28
Review at Unabridged Chick
Guest Post & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, April 29
Interview & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick
Wednesday, April 30
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Thursday, May 1
Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Friday, May 2
Review & Giveaway at HF Book Muse – News
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Monday, May 5
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Guest Post & Giveaway at HF Connection
Tuesday, May 6
Interview & Giveaway at Flashlight Commentary
Wednesday, May 7
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Review & Giveaway at Confessions of an Avid Reader
Thursday, May 8
Interview & Giveaway at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Friday, May 9
Review at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Monday, May 12
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading
Tuesday, May 13
Review at The Mad Reviewer
Review & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court
Wednesday, May 14
Review at A Bookish Libraria
Thursday, May 15
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Review & Giveaway at The Lit Bitch
Friday, May 16
Review at She is Too Fond of Books
Monday, May 19
Review at Tower of Babel
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Tuesday, May 20
Review at A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, May 21
Review at Manga Maniac Cafe
Guest Post & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Thursday, May 22
Review at The Most Happy Reader
Review & Giveaway at Griperang’s Bookmarks
Friday, May 23
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Interview & Giveaway at The Most Happy Reader


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FOR EXTRA CHANCES: You must be a follower of this blog; Post on all your favourite social sites and come back with the link.
Open to Canada and US

Good Luck!!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

BOOKBLAST: V. E. Ulett's Blackwell's Paradise

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Blackwell's Paradise
Blackwell’s Paradise
by V.E. Ulett
Publication Date: January 8, 2014
Old Salt Press LLC
Formats: Ebook, Paperback
Series: Blackwell’s Adventures, Volume II
Genre: Historical Adventure/Naval HF
Relive the pleasure of falling into the past with the author of Captain Blackwell’s Prize, in Volume II of Blackwell’s Adventures.

The repercussions of a court martial and the ill-will of powerful men at the Admiralty pursue Royal Navy captain James Blackwell into the Pacific, where danger lurks around every coral reef. Even if Captain Blackwell and Mercedes survive the venture into the world of early nineteenth century exploration, can they emerge unchanged with their love intact. The mission to the Great South Sea will test their loyalties and strength, and define the characters of Captain Blackwell and his lady in Blackwell’s Paradise.

Enter the Goodreads Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Blackwell's Paradise by V.E. Ulett

Blackwell’s Paradise

by V.E. Ulett

Giveaway ends April 30, 2014.
See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.
  Enter to win

Praise for Blackwell’s Paradise

“Not for the faint hearted – Captain Blackwell pulls no punches! Prepare for a right roaring romp in the company of two of the most captivating characters in historical fiction.” – Alaric Bond, author of Turn A Blind Eye, and the Fighting Sail Series

Buy the Book

Amazon (eBook)
Amazon (Paperback)
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
Barnes & Noble (Paperback)
Book Depository

About the AuthorVE Ulett

A long time resident of California, V.E. Ulett is an avid reader as well as writer of historical fiction.
Proud to be an Old Salt Press author, V.E. is also a member of the National Books Critics Circle and an active member and reviewer for the Historical Novel Society.
As the long war in Europe comes to its conclusion, so does Captain Blackwell’s career in the Royal Navy in BLACKWELLS’ HOMECOMING, a story of the dangers and rewards of desire.

Author Links

Old Salt Press

Book Blast Schedule

April 1 Historical Tapestry
April 2 Broken Teepee
April 3 Confessions of an Avid Reader
April 4 The True Book Addict
April 5 Passages the Past
April 7 Layered Pages
April 8 The Maiden’s Court
April 10 Just One More Chapter
April 11 Closed the Cover
April 12 Words and Peace
April 14 Luxury Reading
April 15 To Read or Not to Read
April 16 Peeking Between the Pages
April 18 So Many Books, So Little Time
April 21 Flashlight Commentary
April 22 Curling Up With a Good Book
April 23 HF Book Muse-News
April 24 A Bookish Affair
April 25 Oh, For the Hook of a Book
April 27 Kincavel Korner
April 28 CelticLady’s Reviews
April 29 Historical Fiction Connection
April 30 Reading the Ages


To enter to win a copy of Blackwell’s Paradise please complete the  
Rafflecopter giveaway form at the bottom of the page HERE

Giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only.
Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on April 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter on May 1st and notified via email.
Winners have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Book Blast: The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte

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Please join Ruth Hull Chatlien as she tours the blogosphere for The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte from March 31-April 11.
The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte

Publication Date: December 2, 2013

Amika Press

Paperback; 484p

ISBN: 978-1937484163

As a clever girl in stodgy, mercantile Baltimore, Betsy Patterson
dreams of a marriage that will transport her to cultured Europe. When
she falls in love with and marries Jerome Bonaparte, she believes her
dream has come true—until Jerome’s older brother Napoleon becomes an
implacable enemy.

Based on a true story, The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte is a historical
novel that portrays this woman’s tumultuous life. Elizabeth Patterson
Bonaparte, known to history as Betsy Bonaparte, scandalized Washington
with her daring French fashions; visited Niagara Falls when it was an
unsettled wilderness; survived a shipwreck and run-ins with British and
French warships; dined with presidents and danced with dukes; and lived
through the 1814 Battle of Baltimore. Yet through it all, Betsy never
lost sight of her primary goal—to win recognition of her marriage.

Buy the Book

Amazon (Paperback)

Amazon (Kindle)

Barnes & Noble (Paperback)

Barnes & Noble (Nook)

About the Author

Ruth Hull Chatlien

Ruth Hull Chatlien has been a writer and editor of educational
materials for twenty-five years. Her specialty is U.S. and world
history. She is the author of Modern American Indian Leaders and has
published several short stories and poems in literary magazines. The
Ambitious Madame Bonaparte is her first published novel.

She lives in northeastern Illinois with her husband, Michael, and a
very pampered dog named Smokey. When she’s not writing, she can usually
be found gardening, knitting, drawing, painting, or watching football.

Connect with Ruth Hull Chatlien at her website or on Facebook.

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Monday, March 31

Review at Unabridged Chick

Tuesday, April 1

Review at A Bookish Affair

Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, April 2

Spotlight at HF Book Muse-News

Interview at Layered Pages

Thursday, April 3

Review at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews

Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

Interview at Unabridged Chick

Friday, April 4

Review at Scandalous Women

Monday, April 7

Review at The Maiden’s Court

Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book

Tuesday, April 8

Review at The Lit Bitch

Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book

Wednesday, April 9

Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Thursday, April 10

Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Review at Historical Fiction Obsession

Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Friday, April 11

Review at Let Them Read Books

Review at The True Book Addict