Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas #Historical Frank Parker, Tony Riches #Romance Shehanne Moore and Lyn Horner

We are working through the Cafe and Bookstore but still a lot of authors to feature. Today something for those of you who love History and Romance…

The first author is Frank Parker with the historical novel Strongbow’s Wife. The latest statistics of peoples around the world who claim Irish ancestry is around 80 million with approximately 36 million living in the United States. There were compelling reasons for the mass migrations to the rest of the world, but considering Ireland has a current population of 4.6million, it is safe to claim that the Irish have conquered the world. Ireland has a very rich history and this book would make a great gift for someone with that proud and ancient heritage.

About the book

Do you have Irish ancestry? How much do you know about the act of treachery that gave rise to the centuries long conflict between Ireland and the English?

A century after the Norman conquest of England, the men entrusted with suppressing the Welsh were invited to bring peace to Ireland. The result was the opposite: the commencement of a tumultuous period in the relationship between England, Wales and Ireland that began 800 years of subjugation of the Irish by the English.

Little is recorded about the life of the woman who married Strongbow in return for the latter’s assistance in her father’s quest to regain the kingship of Leinster. The activities of Strongbow, and the other Cambro-Normans who took part in the occupation of Ireland in the twelfth century, have been written about extensively. Of Aoife we know only that she accompanied her father on his year long search for assistance, that, when Strongbow eventually arrived, the marriage took place days after a massacre in Waterford.

This account of those events is presented through her eyes. First as a teenager trying to understand the politics behind her father’s downfall. Then as a young wife caught up in the rivalry between her husband and the other leaders of the invading army. Finally, as a widowed mother worried about her children and the future of her native land.

One of the reviews for the book

Strongbow’s Wife was a pleasant surprise for me, as I sometimes find historical novels heavy on history and light on story. This book has a very balanced presentation. I have only recently discovered, through searching my own family history, that I have Irish roots myself, so I was especially interested in learning some of the early history of the country. This book is obviously well-researched, so I have no doubts that the battles for land holdings and power in the 12th Century are as accurate as can be presented. Many people dipicted in this fictional account were real, and the story is told by the young woman whose personal story was not fully explored in the historical records. The young woman’s narrative voice is as true, for me, as that of any real woman telling her stories of love, loss, fear and pride. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Irish history and great story-telling. Author Frank Parker has brought Aoife to life for me.

and on Amazon US:

Also by Frank Parker

Read the reviews and buy the books:

And Amazon US:

Read more reviews and follow Frank on Goodreads:

Connect to Frank via his website and blog:

I have already enjoyed three books written by Tony Riches and this book is no exception. Published in February 2018, Mary: Tudor Princess is the story of the daughter of Henry VII and sister to the newly crowned King Henry VIII.  I am sharing my review from earlier in the year and it would make a fabulous gift for someone who loves that period in history, and you could easily add the other books in the series.

About Mary Tudor Princess

From the author of the international best-selling Tudor Trilogy, the true story of the Tudor dynasty continues with the daughter of King Henry VII, sister to King Henry VIII. Mary Tudor watches her elder brother become King of England and wonders what the future holds for her.

Born into great privilege, Mary has beauty and intelligence beyond her years and is the most marriageable princess in Europe. Henry plans to use her marriage to build a powerful alliance against his enemies. Will she dare risk his anger by marrying for love?

Meticulously researched and based on actual events, this ‘sequel’ follows Mary’s story from book three of the Tudor Trilogy and is set during the reign of King Henry VIII.

My review of the the book from earlier in the year

This book opens in 1509 as the 13 year old Princess Mary witnesses the coronation of her  brother King Henry VIII, who is himself just five years older. Despite his youth, Henry has an expansive and expensive plan to extend his realm, which includes marrying his older brother Arthur’s widow Catherine of Aragon; then 23 years old.

The young Princess Mary is drawn into a diplomatic web of intrigue and alliances; a pawn for barter to the highest bidder. The stakes are enormous and King Henry and his advisors move the pieces around the chess board to achieve the most effective outcome. This includes a strategic betrothal, and finally a marriage for Mary, who finds herself at a distant court, in the middle of a completely different intrigue.

This is not a dry dusty history book with dates and statistics. It is a story of a young girl and events that are beyond her control for most of her life. However, it is clear when you first meet her at 13, that she is very well educated, determined and also brave. She faces the decisions made by others with stoicism in public and it is only when alone do you see the vulnerable and frightened child that she still is. She loves and supports her brother Henry, despite his mercurial nature and treatment of his wife Catherine who she considers a sister. Even knowing his swift retribution for those closest to him that fall from favour, Mary still has the courage to go against his will, fighting to be with the man she loves and her happiness.

We follow the various key events of her life, through her thoughts and words that Tony Riches has created. Sharing the fears, love, despair, grief and triumphs of this young woman, mother and queen in her own right. I would have liked to have met her; I think she was a remarkable woman in her own quiet and determined way. 

The other characters are just as well portrayed. We get to witness the behaviour of the young Henry VIII, who did not expect to become king, and is therefore completely unprepared for his new role. His early reign is a hedonistic mission to spend his inherited finances; surrounded by sycophants who are only too happy to encourage him. Behind the scenes ambitious statesman make deals that will further England’s position in Europe, and their own, irrespective of the impact on the young men and women involved.

Meanwhile Queen Catherine is having child after child in a desperate race against time to provide a male heir who lives beyond childhood. Her already tenuous hold on the crown is at stake as Henry pursues other opportunities.

Do not expect flowery language of the age, but plain English and a clear and descriptive narrative. I enjoyed finding out more about this rarely seen princess who played an important role in the history of the Tudors and also England’s future in Europe. I recommend this book and also the rest of the Tudor Series.

Read the more recent reviews for Mary: Tudor Princess:

And on Amazon US:

A selection of other books by Tony Riches

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

And Amazon US:

Read more reviews and follow Tony Riches on Goodreads:

Connect to Tony on his website:

Now time for some historical romance from Shehanne Moore who has retrieved her books from her previous publisher and has now reissued the books with covers, which are stunning by the way.  Both are in the London Jewel Thieves series. Loving Lady Lazuli and Splendor.

Because of the move to publishing her own books, Shehanne has lost all her reviews on Amazon for the books but you can find them all on her Goodreads Page

I am sure that there will be plenty more on Amazon before too long.  And there is a brand new one for Splendor already.

About Splendor (Lond Jewel Thieves)

The only thing he hates more than losing at chess is marriage…

For Splendor, former servant to London’s premiere jewel thieves, pretending to be someone else is all in a day’s work. So when she learns of a chess tournament—a men’s chess tournament—with a ten thousand pound prize, pretending to be a man is the obvious move. The money will be enough to set her fiancé up in his own business so they can finally marry, and more importantly, it’ll pay off her bills and keep her out of debtor’s prison. But she doesn’t plan on her opponent, the rakish Kendall Winterborne, Earl Stillmore, being a sore loser—and a drunken one, at that. But before she can collect her prize, she finds herself facing the most merciless man in London across a pair of dueling pistols at dawn. Chess may be Splendor’s game, but she’s never fired a pistol before. And dressed as a man with ill-fitting shoes on the slippery grass and borrowed glasses that make it hard to see, she’s certain she’s finally tipped her own king.

Bitter divorcee Kendall Winterborne, Earl Stillmore, is the ton’s most ruthless heartbreaker. And he’s got three pet peeves: kitchen maids, marriage…and losing. So when he realizes the “man” opposite him has entered the chess tournament under false pretenses, he’s in the perfect position to extort the little chit. But that’s before the exasperating woman begins to slip beneath his skin, and soon all he can think about is slipping beneath her skirts. But the confounded woman is engaged to someone else, and worse—she’s nothing but a former kitchen maid, just like the one that lured his father into the marriage that ruined the family name. And his ex-wife taught him more than he cared to know about why marriage was the worst kind of checkmate of all…

One of the recent reviews for Splendor

The London Jewel Thieves series from Shehanne Moore features a collection of some of the feistiest and outrageous Regency women you are ever likely to encounter and Splendor is one of them. Lady Splendor to give her the title she adopted – along with her name. She is out to win ten thousand pounds in a chess tournament. The only problem is, only men are allowed to compete in it. So, what is she going to do? Obvious. She will disguise herself as a man and take on chess champion, Kendall Winterborne, the Earl of Stillmore – a man she despises.

Needless to say, it all goes horribly wrong and, from then on, Splendor and her friend – the consumptive Topaz – embark on a series of increasingly risky plots to get her money and be able to live in the style to which they want to be accustomed. In the background, a supporting cast of characters provide help, hindrance and incompetent bungling, while the bad tempered Earl of Stillmore tries not to develop feelings for the woman who torments his every waking hour – and some of his sleeping ones too.

Shehanne Moore writes historical fiction like no other. Her heroines are more likely to punch their way out of difficulties rather than suffer an attack of the vapours. As a reader, you find yourself cheering them on from the sidelines, wincing as they make a decision you know is going to end in disaster and all the while thoroughly enjoying the rollercoaster ride the author takes you on. A worthy companion to ‘Loving Lady Lazuli’, this book can also be read as a standalone and, even if historical fiction isn’t usually your preferred genre, give this one a go. It’s a great fun adventure that will have you smiling.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And Amazon UK:

Also by Shehanne Moore.

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

And on Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Shehanne on Goodreads:

Connect to Shehanne via her blog:

Now for some paranormal romance from Lyn Horner with book 7 of the Romancing the Guardians Series: Tempting Adam. The perfect gift for both lovers of the paranormal and romance and also to buy alongside the other books in the series.

About Tempting Adam

He walked away from her once meaning to protect her and broke her heart.

Can she forgive him and overcome his stubborn resistance to love?

Guardian of Danu, Adam Dvorak has the power to make plants grow with a mere touch, but will he allow love to grow? An agronomist teaching better farming methods in a semi-desert region of northern Kenya, he has an accident and ends up in the local hospital where, to his shock, his former love Ellie Graham is a nurse. He’d never expected to see her again.

Ellie is equally shocked to see him. How could fate be so cruel, putting her in Adam’s path again? Her bruised heart tells her to avoid him, but circumstances dictate otherwise, and their mutual attraction soon flares to life. Will the temptation to accept Ellie as his mate conquer Adam’s fear for her? The High Guardian’s arrival and the pernicious Hellhounds may force him into a difficult decision as this saga builds toward a climax in the eighth and final book, A Might Chieftain.

The series so far: There are seven Guardians, each possessing a unique psychic talent and an ancient scroll containing a secret prophecy not to be revealed until mankind is ready to listen. Vicious “Hellhounds” seek to steal the prophesies and use them for their own evil ends. When romance enters the picture, expect adventure, suspense and sizzling adult love scenes.

One of the recent reviews for Tempting Adam (Romancing the Guardians book 7) on Goodreads

Sep 22, 2018 Linda rated it Five Stars

Adam Dvorak is a Guardian of Danu who has the power to make plants grow with a mere touch. He also understands the danger that comes with being a protector of his family’s ancient scroll. He has devoted his life to help desert area inhabitants develop profitable farm lands with their limited water supply. He is in Kenya in a remote village teaching and helping form crop terraces on the side of a small hill to increase crop yields. While in Kenya Adam is injured and knocked unconscious when moving a large boulder. Ikeno, his assistant and translator, and the farmer, Jebril, rush him to the nearest hospital.

Ellie Graham is a nurse in the small hospital. Two years ago Adam broke her heart by leaving her when he felt like being in a relationship with him could cause her harm. His intent was to protect her, but he wouldn’t or couldn’t explain to her why. When she recognizes Adam her heart is torn open again. She treats him while he is unconscious, but as soon as he awakens she changes schedules with another nurse to avoid speaking to him. However, he is crafty and sly and manages to find where she lives. He wants to apologize for the way he left her two years ago. Then he complicates their relationship again when he gets drunk and finds her at a tribal celebration with a man he doesn’t like. Yeah Adam is a mess, but a likeable character with baggage.

The plot is an emotional roller coaster as it twists and turns in unexpected ways. Ellie refuses to let Adam leave her behind again. However, she is in for a rude awakening when they are chased by the Hellhounds after Conn and Lara come to bring Adam back to the states to be with the rest of the guardians. Tension is ratcheted up as they are chased across the desert with very few places to hide. Back in the states the Hellhounds are quickly on their tail again, and are zeroing in on the Guardians’ hidey-hole. More hints are dropped about who has organized the Hellhounds. I also foresee that Lara will have some difficult decisions to make. The showdown between the Guardians and the Hellhounds is imminent. Better get ready to hold on tight.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And on Amazon UK:

A selection of other books by Lyn Horner

Read the reviews and buy the books:

And on Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Lyn on Goodreads:

Connect to Lyn via her website:

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have found some gift ideas amongst all these books. It would be great if you could share.. thanks Sally

19 thoughts on “Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas #Historical Frank Parker, Tony Riches #Romance Shehanne Moore and Lyn Horner

  1. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Christmas book promotions, Music, Humour, great food and fantastic guests. | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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