Friday, February 10, 2017

The Watergate - A Muirteach MacPhee Novelette - Susan McDuffie - A treat!!

4.5 stars. Nice little novella although I usually prefer a longer book. It took about a third of it for me to orient myself as to why Muirteach McPhee was in that place, as well as where that place was located.

The water-horse is a mythical creature which could be Nessie, as of course Muirteach was at Loch Ness. The beast or water horse or kelpie, as Muirteach said spoke with Uisdean's voice "or perhaps I heard the words in my mind. "

However or whatever it was, you see, had killed Dubhglas and his wife Sorcha. Celtic monsters are said to be still seen in lakes in Scotland, as well as actual vicious fish off the coasts.

A delightful small book. I recommend Susan McDuffie's characters. 


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Year of Ravens - Anthology with Ruth Downie - What a read ~


Britannia: land of mist and magic clinging to the western edge of the Roman Empire.

Sometimes getting into a novel written by a group of authors, even excellent authors does not work for me. However this one was different and I just loved it!

Ruth Downie writes so wonderfully about Roman Britain, and I could not get enough of Ria! This one is Ria - "A neglected slave girl seizes her own courage as Boudica calls for war" - she is the daughter of Prasutagus king of the Iceni.

"A conflicted young warrior finds himself torn between loyalties to tribe and to Rome." Andecarus who had been fostered in a Roman family but was son of Boudica's war chief and dies at his side.

I am very much hoping to see this same team of authors come back with a sequel, if that is possible. At least the half sisters Keena daughter of Boudica the Queen and Ria daughter of a slave. Hoping ~

The Rainbow Comes and Goes - A Mother and Son on Life, Love and Loss~


I borrowed this on my kindle from the library and it was good if not spectacular. I did not know a lot about Gloria Vanderbilt and it was an eye opening read, although I thought I read one about her young years.

Her life was not a particularly pleasant one, although she definitely had good years. Apparently both she and son Anderson Cooper are and always have been on good terms. The book ends with this quote.
"I know her. She knows me. She is my mother. I am her son. The rainbow comes and goes"
That sums it up fairly well.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Brotherly Love - Lorna Peel - a fine historical romance about 19th Century Ireland~

4.5 Stars ( which does not show so am making it 5)

I really enjoyed this book about rural Ireland and Lorna Peel's historical facts were excellent. I am not a romance reader although have made exceptions for historical romances, and am glad I did for this one.

I said this while reading:"an amazing read! I am of Irish descent and know about this period but not faction fighting etc. " and the book blog indicated:"Ireland, 1835. Faction fighting has left the parish of Doon divided between the followers of the Bradys and the Donnellans. Caitriona Brady is the widow of John, the Brady champion, killed two years ago. Matched with John aged eighteen, Caitriona didn’t love him and can’t mourn him. Now John’s mother is dead, too, and Caitriona is free to marry again.
Michael Warner is handsome, loves her, and he hasn’t allied himself with either faction. But what secret is he keeping from her? Is he too good to be true?"

Some of my ancestors in Tipperary were said to have been part of the 18th century "Whiteboys", a retaliatory movement  by the rural poor against an oppressive class structure. However my own immigrant ancestor  from that area was in the British Army and in a local Barracks charged with keeping the peace. The "Ribbonmen" in Peel's tale is the 19th century version and the Constabulary  who invaded were maybe similar to some of the local barracks charged with "peacekeeping".

I was thrilled to read this book and will hope there will be a sequel. The characters could use a bit more development, same for dialogue, but it was well done overall.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Queen's Midwife - Lozania Prole - Lives and Loves of the Royals 2 ~ Pleasant Read




Alice is a young girl of uncertain background, who was placed by her aunt in a noble home, to be a seamstress. Due to her aunt's occupation as a healer, Alice eventually becomes a young midwife in King Henry VIII's court. Henry's wives repeated failures to produce living children gives Alice a number of years of employment.

This is story which explores the reign of King Henry superimposed on Alice's life. It is a unique way to tell both the story of Henry's marital and personal failures and the life of Alice. The ending is a nice twist, which left this reader happy for the main character. I plan to read Book 1 now. Enjoy! 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Lion Rampant - Bernard Knight ~ Wonderful find~ 5 Stars !

Bernard Knight being such a favorite author of mine I was thrilled to see this story of Nest of Wales available. My name being Carrow, Pembrokeshire and Carew Castle are very intriguing to me.

"Probably the most romantic, exciting and yet most tragic story in the history of medieval Wales. It is the true story of Princess Nest..daughter of Rhys ap Tewdwr, ward and mistress of King Henry I"

Henry gave her in marriage to Gerald de Windsor, Castellan of Pembroke. According to this author, that marriage did not go very well and set the stage for Nest's abduction by her cousin. Subsequently, Nest was embroiled in various conflicts. and victimized, ending up with 8 or 9 children.

The fact that Nest was so resilient and rose above those circumstances is what I love the best. Her love for her children and their cohesion as family remains a tribute to her, all these many centuries later.Thank you Bernard Knight for a great book..on to Madoc !

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Beaufort Woman - Judith Arnopp ~ Satisfying read!!

First, I should say that Margaret Beaufort has not always been my favorite historical figure, but Judith Arnopp has made her character believable and almost engaging. I enjoyed Margaret coming to a comfortable place with Thomas Stanley, and her marriage, as well as her kindness and respect for both Elizabeth and Anne as queens and women.

I was able to envision her as a complicated person but for reasons that were understandable. I am convinced that she had decent relationships with her husbands, for the most part and always understood her obsession for her son Henry's heritage. It really is what she felt her life was about, that and being at court, which had was important to her. She was raised to respect her family heritage and her kinship.

I recommend it to others who enjoy Tudor and Plantagenet novels and history. I am waiting for this authors next novel. (Hint: Peaceweaver is my favorite)