Book Promo Blog, Claimed by the Enemy, Historical Fiction, Shauna Roberts

Book Promo: “Claimed by the Enemy” by Shauna Roberts

Historical Fiction With Romantic Elements
Set ~2300 BCE in ancient Sumer and Susa

Synopsis
Crown Princess Nindalla knows the terrifying power of Sargon of Akkad’s army: Ten years ago, it destroyed her home city and killed her parents. Now the nightmare is happening again. The Akkadians conquer her new home, Susa; make her a widow; and strip her of her rank. Nindalla vows to protect her children from her enemies by any means necessary, including marrying whoever can shield them best. With plots swirling around her, can she trust her instincts to tell friends from foes? 

Farm boy Ur-sag-enki was forced to become a soldier in the Akkadian army ten years ago after it destroyed his home and left him with nothing. When the Akkadians conquer Susa, he is awarded its governorship. He looks forward to settling down to the normal family life he craves. First, though, he must keep control of Susa despite enemies who exploit his inexperience, and he must gain legitimacy by persuading beautiful former princess Nindalla to marry him. But can he win her heart when it was his hand that struck down her husband? 

Author’s Bio

Shauna Roberts is a graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Workshop and a past winner of the Speculative Literature Foundation’s Older Writers’ Grant. She has had two novels published, Like Mayflies in a Stream (historical fiction, 2009, Hadley Rille Books) and Claimed by the Enemy (historical fiction, 2014, Nicobar Press). A third, Ice Magic, Fire Magic (fantasy, Hadley Rille Books), comes out in August 2015. She invites you to sign up for her newsletter at http://eepurl.com/Fr3HfAuthor’s Website

Historical Fiction, Jay W. Curry, Nixon and Dovey

"Nixon and Dovey" by Jay W. Curry

Book Spotlight 
Presented by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Publication Date: November 14, 2014
Smashwords
eBook: 369p
ISBN: 978-1-3117280-3-6
Genre: Historical Fiction

Before he met Dovey, it was just a heated feud. Now, in the backdrop of southern antebellum slavery, it’s a deadly game of passion, murder, and revenge.

Facts: In 1818 Nixon Curry became entangled in one of the most sensationalized murder/love stories in early American history. As a result, Nixon Curry became arguably the most notorious and widely publicized criminal in America’s first half century. His fame derived not from the brutality or number of his crimes but from the determination of the Charlotte aristocracy to hang him. His remarkable talents, undying love for Dovey Caldwell, and the outright audacity of his exploits made him an early American legend.

Story: Set in the antebellum south of North Carolina, Nixon Curry, a talented son of poor Scot-Irish immigrants, accepts a job at a racing stable. Soon, his riding skills rival those of his mentor, Ben Wilson. The fierce rivalry becomes confrontational when Ben frames Nixon’s childhood, slave friend, Cyrus, for the Caldwell plantation fire. When both Nixon and Ben win invitations to the 1816 Race of Champions, the stage is set for an explosive face-off. During pre-race festivities, the dashing, young Nixon meets the beautiful Dovey Caldwell, daughter of the state’s wealthiest and most influential senator. Finding Nixon unworthy of Dovey’s affection, Senator Caldwell betroths his daughter to Nixon’s nemesis, Ben. The announcement sets in motion a clash of cultures, talents, and passions leading to murder, mayhem, and revenge.

How far will Nixon go to have his love? What price is he willing to pay and what will be the consequences?

  Buy Now: Amazon | Apple | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

About the Author

Jay W Curry is a former Big-4 consulting partner, business coach, and award-winning author. When he is not coaching, fly-fishing or writing he facilitates a Vistage CEO roundtable in Houston. Jay has co-authored three internationally successful books and has won honors for both his short fiction and non-fiction work. When the heat of Texas summer arrives, Jay and his wife, Nancy, head to their Colorado home (http:/CurryBarn.com) or visit their three children and seven grandchildren. Nixon and Dovey is the first of a three-book passion to bring the 200-year-old story of Jay’s relative, Nixon Curry, back to light.

For more information, please visit Jay W. Curry’s website. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Box Set Historical Romance, Family Saga, Historical Fiction, http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, The Price of Deception, The Price of Innocence, The Price of Love, Vicki Hopkins

Book Promo: "The Legacy Series" by Vicki Hopkins

Synopsis:

Book One – The Price of Innocence (Historical Fiction w/Romantic Elements)

Follow the story of one young woman who suddenly finds herself destitute on the streets of Paris in 1878. Faced with the need to survive, she agrees to become a prostitute in one of the most infamous brothels in Paris. Ashamed of her choice and fearful for her future, she meets a handsome lord who has paid a hefty price to take her virginity. Little does she know that the man chosen to deflower her innocence will change her life forever.

Book Two – The Price of Deception (Historical Fiction w/Romantic Elements/Family Saga)

Five years after releasing the love of his life to another man, the Duke of Surrey struggles with deep remorse about his past decisions. Chained in a loveless marriage of convenience and strangled by duty, he wallows in regret and drink. Everything in his life changes, when on holiday in Paris, he meets a young boy and his former rival. Suddenly, he finds himself thrown into a whirlwind of deceit and lies as he searches for the meaning of truth and love. Just like innocence, deception carries a price. Book Two of the Legacy Series weaves a tangled web of deceit and dire consequences, which in the end rearranges everyone’s life on a path of either good or evil.

Book Three – The Price of Love  (Historical Fiction/Family Saga)

At the age of eighteen, Angelique Jolene von Lamberg felt secure in life. After all, her stepfather was an Austrian count, and she inherited his wealth and the title of komtesse. But when a letter arrives claiming she was kidnapped as a baby, suddenly everything changes. Unable to dismiss the accusations, she embarks on a journey to London and Paris to seek out the truth. When she discovers that her life has been played like a pawn in a chess game of deceit, adultery, and vengeance, she decides to take matters into her own hands. Will she continue to be the victim of the price of love, or will she become the only person able to heal a broken family from the pain of the past?

 The Price of Deception

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) 
 “Gentlemen, you may choose your weapons. Monsieur Moreau, because this duel is your challenge, you will have first choice.”
Philippe studied both pistols and grabbed the gun on the right. Robert reached over and retrieved the gun on the left. Pelletier snapped shut the lid of the case and shoved it under his arm.
Robert’s heart pounded in his ears as he waited for the instructions to stand back-to-back with Philippe Moreau and then pace off, turn, and shoot. For a quick moment, he thought himself quite insane for agreeing to accept the challenge. He had put his life on the line to win his cherished Suzette and the son he loved. The stakes were high. In the next few minutes, he could very well be dead.
He held the pistol in his right hand and looked at the maker’s engraved name on the stock, feeling the weight, and gauging its handling. Made by a French gunnery, it felt somewhat different than the English pistols he had been accustomed to holding. He prayed the use of a foreign weapon would not hamper the accuracy of his aim, even though he was a first-rate shot.
Pelletier announced the conditions to them both in a gruff, loud voice.
“Monsieur Moreau has requested that the duel be to first blood, in which case the matter will be settled upon one man being wounded. However, if one man is severely wounded, and that wound leads to death, Monsieur Moreau will receive full and complete satisfaction of the disrespect done to his name.”
Robert knew then his nemesis intended to shoot to kill. His gut turned into a hard knot, as the moments slipped precariously toward battle.
“Gentlemen, please proceed to the clearing, stand back to back, with pistols in hand. I shall count to twenty paces, upon which you will stop upon the number twenty, turn, and fire your weapons. Do you understand my instructions?”
Robert nodded affirmatively. Philippe called out a confident “yes” in response.
“Very well then.”
Quickly, Robert glanced over at Giles who stood on the sidelines watching. The man looked pale as the moon, and Robert lifted his lips in a forced smile. He gave him a quick wink for an ounce of reassurance that all would be well.
“One, two, three…”
Robert moved his booted right foot in front of him and stepped in cadence with the numbers that were spoken. Twenty paces—it seemed like such a long distance, which would indeed make it a more difficult aim. He wondered why Philippe hadn’t chosen a lesser number to do him in at point blank range and be done with it. “Seven, eight, nine…”
Robert faced his countdown to eternity. He focused upon Suzette and his beautiful son, who looked so much like him.
“Twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen…”
In a few more seconds, it would be over. One way or the other.
“Eighteen, nineteen, twenty…”
Robert turned on his heel, lifted the gun to aim, and heard Philippe’s pistol discharge. He pulled the trigger almost instantaneously in return, and waited for the bullet from Philippe’s pistol to lodge in his heart.

Buy Links for Box Set $4.99:    Amazon | Barnes & Noble (Coming soon to other venues)

If Purchased Separately: (Available Worldwide)

The Price of Innocence – 99 cents
The Price of Deception – $1.99
The Price of Love – $2.99

Author Links:  Website | Facebook |Twitter

Book Review Blog, C.W. Gortner, Fernando of Argon, Historical Fiction, http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, Isabella of Castile, The Queen's Vow

Review – "The Queen’s Vow" by C. W. Gortner

The life of royalty is akin to playing a game of chess.  Kings, queens, bishops, and plenty of pawns fill the pages of The Queens’s Vow.  As a child in school, history happened to be the subject I hated the most.  However, give me a good book and an intriguing story, and you’ve won me over.  On the pages of a textbook the facts of kings and queens could put you asleep, but in the hands of C. W. Gortner, they keep you highly engaged turning pages in anticipation of what is ahead.

The Queen’s Vow focuses upon the young Isabella of Castile starting at the age of three and continuing onward through adulthood. It begins with the sad reality that the death of a monarch can suddenly leave a wife and his children relegated to poverty far away from the throne. In this instance, Isabella’s half-brother, Enrique, rules Castile. He is married to an unfaithful wife with ambitions for her daughter, who everyone believes is the product of an affair and not of the king’s loins.

The early years of Isabella’s life, with her less than emotional stable mother and younger brother, fill the first few chapters. However, when she and her brother, Alfonso, are finally called to court by their half-brother, you sense the fear of the unknown. Welcomed by the king, but their presence unwanted by the queen, the two of them suddenly become pawns in everyone’s plans for the realm.  However, it’s here that Isabella knows without a doubt that one day she is destined for greatness.

Drowning in a court with unscrupulous advisers and rampant immorality, Isabella finds the court to be a dreadful place. The one bright moment, however, is her introduction to Fernando, Prince of Aragon, who at the age of 12 has led armies into battle.  She dismisses him as a boy, even though he speaks of marriage like a man.  In his mind, they are destined to be together, and when he departs for Aragon to return to his father, he merely writes for her to wait for him.  And wait for him she does – for years.

The book is filled with twists and turns and the ups and downs of Enrique’s rule, Isabella’s favor from the king and subsequent displeasure, along with the characters who play the game of chess behind the scenes. She matures into a strong woman who faces her future with braveness.  I, on the other hand, count my lucky stars for having not been born royalty in an age such as this when the ambitions of others could very well threaten your livelihood and your life. There is an underlying fear of betrayal and captivity that is unsettling in Isabella’s journey to the throne that lasts for quite some time. Finally, in her late teens, she is reunited with Fernando, who she marries against the king’s wishes. The act sets into motion an upheaval that eventually leads her to the throne of Castile.

Though we often read of the conquests of kings and queens in their adulthood and later years, it’s not often we can journey with them on their way to the throne. Of course, if you know your history, Isabella is not without her questionable acts later on in her reign, which are alluded to in the story when a man of the cloth tells her that she’s been chosen by God to clean the land of its wickedness.

C.W. Gornter is an engaging and intelligent author who takes his readers into the world of history-making everything come alive. From the descriptive scenery of Castile to the moldy and musty-smelling castles, the book breathes life on every page. As an author myself, I find his style and writing highly engaging.

I highly recommend The Queen’s Vow for anyone looking for a great historical fiction of a famous queen, sprinkled with the love of her husband, Fernando.  I found the story extremely intriguing from her childhood to the coronation and her early years of rule.  However, when Jewish persecution and the Spanish Inquisition were initiated at the persuading of others, I found my interest waning in the book.

I think that relates back to the bad taste in my mouth left by a profoundly disturbing movie – Goya’s Ghosts.  Perhaps I had high hopes for Isabella and Fernando because I enjoyed their characters early on but found fault in their actions later in their rule.  The author, who did a great job creating living and breathing reincarnations of kings and queens, brings you to a place of being intimately acquainted with these historical characters.  That is a mark of a good writer, especially when their actions bring you disappointment — you almost take it personally.

On a side note, for my historical romance readers, there are fleeting portions of romance within the book.  Nevertheless, I rate it a Four-Star – Princess of a Charming Story (even though it’s about a Queen).

Reviewed by Countess Victoria

 

C.W. Gortner, Historical Fiction, The Queen's Vow

Book Promo: "The Queen’s Vow" by C.W. Gortner

Synopsis

 No one believed I was destined for greatness.
So begins Isabella’s story, in this evocative, vividly imagined novel about one of history’s most famous and controversial queens—the warrior who united a fractured country, the champion of the faith whose reign gave rise to the Inquisition, and the visionary who sent Columbus to discover a New World. Acclaimed author C. W. Gortner envisages the turbulent early years of a woman whose mythic rise to power would go on to transform a monarchy, a nation, and the world.
Young Isabella is barely a teenager when she and her brother are taken from their mother’s home to live under the watchful eye of their half-brother, King Enrique, and his sultry, conniving queen. There, Isabella is thrust into danger when she becomes an unwitting pawn in a plot to dethrone Enrique. Suspected of treason and held captive, she treads a perilous path, torn between loyalties, until at age seventeen she suddenly finds herself heiress of Castile, the largest kingdom in Spain. Plunged into a deadly conflict to secure her crown, she is determined to wed the one man she loves yet who is forbidden to her—Fernando, prince of Aragon.
As they unite their two realms under “one crown, one country, one faith,” Isabella and Fernando face an impoverished Spain beset by enemies. With the future of her throne at stake, Isabella resists the zealous demands of the inquisitor Torquemada even as she is seduced by the dreams of an enigmatic navigator named Columbus. But when the Moors of the southern domain of Granada declare war, a violent, treacherous battle against an ancient adversary erupts, one that will test all of Isabella’s resolve, her courage, and her tenacious belief in her destiny.
From the glorious palaces of Segovia to the battlefields of Granada and the intrigue-laden gardens of Seville, The Queen’s Vow sweeps us into the tumultuous forging of a nation and the complex, fascinating heart of the woman who overcame all odds to become Isabella of Castile.
Praise for The Queen’s Vow
“A masterwork by a skilled craftsman . . . Make a vow to read this book.”—New York Journal of Books “
A beautifully crafted piece of historical fiction . . . Gortner’s vivid details blend with his deeply intensive research to re-create Isabella and Castile in a way that the reader will find compelling and immersive, bringing not just the Queen but the whole nation to life.”—RT Book Reviews
“A fascinating story . . . Through his creative and spellbinding storytelling, Gortner’s readers come to know Isabella intimately in mind, heart and body as she lives through a tumultuous time, her intense longing to be the determiner of her own unique destiny.”—Wichita Falls Times Record News
“A novel of triumph as Isabella vanquis hes her enemies one by one . . . [She is] a very human and appealing character.”—The Roanoke Times
“Politically charged, passionate . . . [a] well-researched, intriguing historical.”—Bookreporter
About the Author
C.W. Gortner is the author of The Last Queen, The Confessions of Catherine de Medici, The Tudor Secret and The Queen’s Vow. He holds an MFA in Writing with an emphasis on Renaissance Studies from the New College of California. In his extensive travels to research his books, he has experienced life in a Spanish castle and danced a galliard in a Tudor great hall. Half-Spanish by birth, he lives in Northern California.
You can find more information on C.W. Gortner’s website and blog. You can also follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Grace Elliot, Historical Fiction, http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, Verity's Lie

Book Promo: "Verity’s Lie" by Grace Elliot

Synopsis

Charles Huntley, Lord Ryevale, infamous rogue…and government agent.
In unsettled times, with England at war with France, Ryevale is assigned to covertly protect a politician’s daughter, Miss Verity Verrinder. To keep Verity under his watchful eye, Ryevale plots a campaign of seduction that no woman can resist– except it seems, Miss Verrinder. In order to gain her trust Ryevale enters Verity’s world of charity meetings and bookshops…where the unexpected happens and he falls in love with his charge.
When Lord Ryevale turns his bone-melting charms on her, Verity questions his lordship’s motivation. But with her controlling father abroad, Verity wishes to explore London and reluctantly accepts Ryevale’s companionship. As the compelling attraction between them strengthens, Verity is shattered to learn her instincts are correct after all – and Ryevale is not what he seems. If Lord Ryevale can lie, then so can she…but with disastrous consequences.

But as Verity circled the exhibit, she began to think her father was right after all. Was it not sad to see these dignified animals consigned to collect dust, in the name of entertainment? She turned to Miss Mowlam to make this remark, only to find her companion shifting from foot to foot and clutching her belly.
“Miss Mowlam? Are you unwell?”
Her chaperone frowned. “Excuse me, Miss Verrinder, but I must find a place of easement and quickly.”
“Shall I come with you?”
Such was Miss Mowlam’s haste that she answered with a flap of the hand and was gone. Verity was torn; it was irregular to be without a chaperone, but Miss Mowlam would not welcome a witness to her discomfort. As her ample derriere had already disappeared back the way they came, it seemed to stay put was the best option, so that Miss Mowlam could find her again.
The elephant’s sad eye made her uncomfortable, so Verity investigated the cabinets. But as she turned, a figure caught her eye. Even with his back turned and leaning forward to inspect an exhibit, there was no mistaking the powerful shoulders and graceful elegance of Lord Ryevale. The hall suddenly shrank in size and her heart catapulted against her ribs. She swallowed hard. What if he saw her, what should she do? Without a chaperone she felt exposed. This panic felt most peculiar; a jumble of excitement and caution.
Verity drifted to one of the cabinets to better study him covertly. No one else filled a jacket quite so well as Lord Ryevale. A curl of dark hair contrasted with his white stock, and the detail thrilled her. Even the arrogant tilt of his head befuddled her thoughts—such a handsome profile; the jut of his chin, the curve of his lips and the hollowed cheeks that evoked an insistent beat in her chest.
To her horror, Ryevale glanced towards her, then turned away. Her fingers curled into her palms in an agony of embarrassment. Had he seen her looking? Clumsily, she feigned interest in a stuffed puffin. She held her breath, but when no one approached she let it out again. She frowned. Instinctively, she knew he was ignoring her. After a minute, the seconds measured by her racing pulse, she permitted herself another glance. He had moved onto the next cabinet.
Verity froze. Her skin still sang from where his eyes had grazed it; beyond a doubt he had seen her, which meant he had deliberately cut her. How dare he! This man who seduced a married woman in her father’s library refused to acknowledge a respectable lady! If anyone was to cut the other it would be her.
Without pausing to consider the wisdom of her actions, Verity stalked across the hall and tapped him on the shoulder.
“Lord Ryevale, why did you pretend not to see me?”
With suave nonchalance, Ryevale bowed. “Ah, Miss Verrinder, delightful as ever.”
“Why did you ignore me?”
“I did no such thing.”
“I don’t believe you.”
One corner of his mouth twitched into a teasing smile. “Perhaps I was thinking of your reputation. After all, being seen in the company of a rogue is not the done thing.”
Of course he was right, which only irritated Verity more because it hadn’t occurred to her. Stubbornly, she pressed on. “Miss Mowlam is escorting me…and will return any second.”
“Glad to hear it.” He pursed his mouth, which made Verity unexpectedly hot between the breasts. “Why did she leave you alone?” Was it her imagination or did he seem concerned?
“A call of nature.”
“Ah. And you didn’t think to go with her?”
Verity spluttered. “I am an adult. I can take care of myself.”
“I did not imply differently—merely that you never know which unsavory character you may bump into.” He raised an ironical brow.
“Touché. So what are you doing here?”
Ryevale hesitated. “Have you considered that I might have an assignation with a young lady?”
“Oh!”
His eyes were such a rich deep brown—darker than cocoa and deeper than sherry—that made her quiver inside, and at that moment she hated him very much indeed.
“Miss Verrinder, if you recall, you approached me.”
“Humph.” Infuriating man, now he implied she couldn’t keep away.
“But now you have sought me out, and it seems my friend has forsaken me, perhaps we could call a truce and examine the exhibits together.”
“That’s not a good idea.” A voice nagged in her head, saying that Ryevale’s company was not appropriate, especially as he addled her judgment so.
“Come now, I am a family friend, and your father would not be happy if I left you without an escort. I promise to go when your chaperone returns.”
It seemed churlish to refuse. “Very well.”
“Besides, I enjoy your company.”
Remembering how she despised women who were easily flattered, Verity fought off the urge to blush.
“You are allowed to enjoy yourself, Miss Verrinder. I have a theory that you don’t get much opportunity for smiling.”
What else had he guessed? This man was dangerous. “Let’s walk.” Verity said, “People are looking.”
“Are you surprised?” his velvet tone teased. “I have something of a reputation, don’t you know?”

Author Bio and Links 

Grace Elliot Grace Elliot leads a double life as a veterinarian by day and author of historical romance by night. Grace lives near London and is passionate about history, romance and cats! She is housekeeping staff to five cats, two sons, one husband and a bearded dragon (not necessarily listed in order of importance). “Verity’s Lie” is Grace’s fourth novel.


Buy Links
Amazon UK      
Author Links:

Subscribe to Grace’s quarterly newsletter HERE:  
Grace’s blog ‘Fall in Love With History 
Grace on Twitter:     
Book Promo Blog, Crimson Romance, Historical Fiction, http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, The Rogue's Prize

Book Promo: “The Rogue’s Prize” by Katherine Bone

Synopsis

Captain Henry Guffald is no ordinary captain. A member of Nelson’s Tea, he’s learned the hard way what treachery will achieve. As a result, he’s sworn an oath never to give in to his ambition. Daring, proud Henry sets out to rescue a comrade captured in Spain. But when his ship is attacked by a female pirate roving the Cornish coast, waylaying his plans, Henry is forced to make her his prize if he’s going to save a good man’s life.

Lady Adele Seaton has been raised in a family profited by a lucrative smuggling business. Though her parents wish otherwise, she would no sooner give up the call to rove than marry. But obtaining independence is a challenge when her brother faces a hangman’s noose. Planning to save him, she captures an English ship. But things go awry and she is dragged home in disgrace, forced to ally herself with the one man with the power to anchor more than her ship—her heart.

Review Blurbs:
“Katherine Bone’s books are a rollicking romp in the classic style. From ship deck to London ballroom, Ms. Bone’s stories are packed with intrigue, and rough and dangerous heroes that positively delight.” — Katharine Ashe, author of Captured by a Rogue Lord

“Katherine Bone is an author after my own heart! Her books are sexy, adventurous romps guaranteed to keep you reading into the wee hours of the night.” —Shana Galen author of The Rogue’s Pirate Bride

“Ms. Bone has weaved a captivating tale of cat and mouse that will keep the reader turning pages long into the night.” —Michelle Beattie, author of Romancing the Pirate

Purchase Links:     iTunes | Amazon |

Author Links:    Amazon Author PageGoodreads Author Page | Website| Blog 

Katherine Bone has been passionate about all things historical since she was an Army brat traveling all over the world. Initially, she dreamed of being an artist, but when she met and fell in love with Prince Charming, her own dashing Lieutenant vowing duty, honor, and country, she found herself saying “I do.” Not long afterward, she was whisked away to Army bases, castles, battlegrounds and cathedrals, where tales of swashbuckling characters and unforgettable adventure filled the lonely gaps of time when the Army called Charming away. No longer nomadic, Katherine set down roots in the south where she and Charming have raised four children and live with their fluffy Maine Coon.

Audio Interviews: Crimson Romance | Blog Talk Radio

Articles, C.W. Gortner, Historical Fiction, Isabella of Castile, The Last Queen, The Queen's Vow

Historical Fiction with Romantic Elements – Do We Care?

Romance Writer’s of America gives guidelines as to what constitutes the genre of “Romance” and the many sub-genres that go along with it.  It’s basically two points, and I quote:

A central love story and an emotionally-satisfying and optimistic ending. 

You get the drift.  Boy meets girl.  They fall in love.  Have a few obstacles along the way, and live happily ever after.  

What about historical fiction with romantic elements?  Are they worth the read too?  If you’re willing to take the “central love story” but not kill the author for the ending, they can be a satisfying read. Not all historical fiction books have happy or optimistic endings. Stories of kings and queens and the people they loved were largely influenced by their inherited duties and roles. Two of Isabella’s daughters, for instance, were married off for political alliances to men in other countries.  One of those daughters was Catherine of Aragon, the first wife of Henry VIII.

One particular book recently released by C. W. Gortner, The Queen’s Vow, has caught my eye.  It’s about Isabella of Castile as a young woman.  I read an earlier work of his entitled The Last Queen about Joanna of Castile, who was one of Isabella’s daughters who married Philip the Handsome (yes that was his name) the Duke of Burgundy.

A few years ago, I got caught up in Joanna’s story of undying love for her adulterous husband.  Definitely not a happy ending, so don’t put it on your historical romance shelf if you think you’ll throw it against the wall when you read the last page. If you’re curious about her, just Google her name and read her sad story of going mad because of her love for Philip.  And if that piques your interest, there is a wonderful foreign movie, Juana la Loca (Joanna the Mad).  It’s dubbed in English, but well worth the watch.  It’s a difficult movie to find, but I’ve seen a few copies on eBay for sale. There are also clips on YouTube, if you want to check them out.

Well, in any event, I’ve come across another great Virtual Book Tour site that deals exclusively with Historical Fiction.  It’s the Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.  We will be receiving promotional updates for tours, and I’m going to include them in our blog.  I occasionally read historical fiction, so I may focus on a few of those in my reviews.  There is also an Amazon widget at the bottom of the page that will showcase recent releases or books on tour.

In the end, I will confess that I am more of a realist when it comes to stories. There are many personal reasons in my life that have forged my thinking and writing that way.  My Legacy Series books are historical fiction with romantic elements.  I’ve been crucified a few times over the endings in those books, but I’ve received even more positive responses for writing stories of love that deal with stark realities.

Nevertheless, I thought I would spread our wings and offer you new reads to add to your shelf.  I’ll be reading The Queen’s Vow.  I love the cover.  From what I’ve read, it leans more on the romantic side and Isabella’s love for Ferdinand.  This could prove detrimental to finishing my latest book.

Vicki Hopkins, Author