Category: Military Fiction

Blog Book Tour | “Camelot’s Queen” (Guinevere’s Tale, No. 2) by Nicole Evelina #HistFantasy

Posted Monday, 16 May, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “Camelot’s Queen” direct from the author Nicole Evelina in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I appreciate reading Nicole Evelina’s Guinevere Tale series:

Evelina has taken us into the heart of Guinevere and her girlhood peers, as we walk inside those hours she spent on Avalon honing her talent and learning about the world from a point of view not concurrent to her parents or ancestral home. Evelina re-develops the image of Guinevere and the back-story therein, allowing us the grace to re-examine what we think we know of the characters being brought back to life inside this trilogy. It’s a curious undertaking, because although it’s rooted in a canonical history of literature, mythos and lore; there is a new attempt at re-developing a story whose depths are grounded by the character’s will of heart and spirit of passage through their growing years.

The complexity and the authentic voice inter-combine to bring a scope of realism to Guinevere and to the back-story of her life. It’s a wholly original complex origin story where even if you are as under-read as I am about Camelot and Arthurian Legend, you can curl inside this novel due to how well-told Evelina evoked it’s heart out of the pages she lent us to read!

Mythology, fable and lore can feel disconnected at times to an actuary world if the conception of their perimeters are not fully fleshed out and brought to such a high level of vision by their writers. This is where Nicole Evelina excels as her vision of the story is portrayed in such a convicting manner as to etch your heart directly into the lifeblood of her characters; you feel everything they are sensing and appreciate the direct connection in order to best understand their world. Definitely a harbinger of emotionally writ historical fiction centred on known persons who have inspired many but of whom feel more three dimensional inside this story as they are presented with equal fragility as their contemporary peerage.

The research Evelina put into this work of a trilogy is evidenced by how she chose to tell the story, first through direct sight of Guinevere approaching hard choices and managing her emotions in the thick of it and secondly, through enlivening the background with such scope of depth as to embrace the mystical and mythology of how Camelot exists. She even kept the continuity alive by bringing together the origins of those who call Avalon home with their familial heritages and beliefs; such as I celebrated in seeing Guinevere’s Rhiannon and Lugh arriving in time for her ascension to Priestess of Avalon. The fundamentals of religion and ancestry are inter-woven to the core of who Guinevere is and what she stood for thereby granting the reader a more grounded vision of the woman Guinevere became latter in life.

– as disclosed on my review of Daughter of Destiny, Guinevere’s Tale No.1

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Blog Book Tour | “Camelot’s Queen” (Guinevere’s Tale, No. 2) by Nicole Evelina #HistFantasyCamelot's Queen
Subtitle: Guinevere's Tale Book Two
by Nicole Evelina
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Jenny Quinlan (JennyQ)
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

History remembers Guinevere’s sin, but it was Arthur who transgressed first.

Forced into a marriage she neither anticipated nor desired, Guinevere finds herself High Queen, ruling and fighting alongside Arthur as they try to subdue the Saxons, Irish and Picts who threaten Britain from every direction. Though her heart still longs for her lost love, Guinevere slowly grows to care for her husband as they join together to defeat their enemies.

Meanwhile, within the walls of Camelot their closest allies plot against them. One schemes to make Guinevere his own, another seeks revenge for past transgressions, while a third fixes her eyes on the throne. When the unthinkable happens and Guinevere is feared dead, Arthur installs a new woman in her place, one who will poison his affections toward her, threatening Guinevere’s fragile sanity and eventually driving her into the arms of her champion.

Amid this tension a new challenge arises for the king and queen of Camelot: finding the Holy Grail, a sacred relic that promises lasting unity. But peace, as they will soon learn, can be just as dangerous as war. As the court begins to turn on itself, it becomes clear that the quest that was to be Arthur’s lasting legacy may end in the burning fires of condemnation.

This highly anticipated sequel to Daughter of Destiny proves there is much more to Guinevere’s story than her marriage and an affair. See the legend you think you know through her eyes and live the adventure of Camelot’s golden days yourself – but prepared to suffer its downfall as well.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0996763134

Also by this author: Daughter of Destiny, Nicole Evelina (Guest Post: Camelot's Queen), Been Searching For You, Madame Presidentess, Mistress of Legend

Also in this series: Daughter of Destiny, Mistress of Legend


Genres: After Canons, Arthurian Legend, Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Historical-Fantasy, Women's Fiction


Published by Lawson Gartner Publishing

on 9th April, 2016

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 481

Book No. 1 Daughter of Destiny (review)

Book No. 2 Camelot’s Queen

Book No. 3 Mistress of the Legend releases late 2016/early 2017

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Read an Excerpt of the Novel: Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Monday, 16 May, 2016 by jorielov in 6th Century, After the Canon, Apothecary, Arthurian Legend, Avalon, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book | Novel Excerpt, Britian, British Literature, Disillusionment in Marriage, Domestic Violence, Early Middle Ages [the Dark Ages] (1001-1300), Earthen Magic, Earthen Spirituality, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Folklore and Mythology, Herbalist, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, History, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Kidnapping or Unexplained Disappearances, Loss of an unbourne child, Marriage of Convenience, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Midwife | Midwifery, Midwives & Childbirth, Mythological Societies, Parapsychological Gifts, Passionate Researcher, Psychological Abuse, PTSD, Re-Told Tales, Realistic Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Supernatural Fiction, Superstitions & Old World Beliefs, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, Warfare & Power Realignment, Women's Fiction, Women's Health, Women's Rights, Writing Style & Voice

Author Guest Post | “On conceptionalising the supernatural elements which are threaded through Guinevere’s tales” by Nicole Evelina

Posted Thursday, 28 April, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Author Guest Post Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Certain stories I am reading evoke such an awareness of presence, both in conception and the backbone of it’s world-building, I become inspired to ask the writer to shed a bit of light on how they drew inspiration to first conceive these ideas and how they were able to manifest them inside their story as a whole.

When I first read Daughter of Destiny, I had such a strong connection to the manner in which the whole story came alive in my mind’s eye – it was such a powerful dramatic historical story, and the beauty of it was how Ms Evelina approached re-telling such a well-known canon of influence!

Which is why I had this to say on the author’s behalf:

The research Evelina put into this work of a trilogy is evidenced by how she chose to tell the story, first through direct sight of Guinevere approaching hard choices and managing her emotions in the thick of it and secondly, through enlivening the background with such scope of depth as to embrace the mystical and mythology of how Camelot exists. She even kept the continuity alive by bringing together the origins of those who call Avalon home with their familial heritages and beliefs; such as I celebrated in seeing Guinevere’s Rhiannon and Lugh arriving in time for her ascension to Priestess of Avalon. The fundamentals of religion and ancestry are inter-woven to the core of who Guinevere is and what she stood for thereby granting the reader a more grounded vision of the woman Guinevere became latter in life. – quoted from my review on behalf of Daughter of Destiny

If you are seeking an author who champion’s strong women and who approaches telling their story in a multi-layered approach with a stirring plot which highlights their character’s journey through a legacy you felt you knew previously but only had a smidge of a hint about – this is your author! I loved how the historical layers merged so wonderfully into the mystical and how Evelina truly wrote a story for women today who are seeking such a strong narrative in our modern world, where Feminist Historical Fiction is starting to become a focal point of interest.

She truly captured my heart and my mind, enriching the experience in getting to know Camelot in such a personal way as to give me a hearty read about a woman I thought I had understood but hadn’t quite realised the adversities and the pressures of her society she had to overcome in order to live the life she was meant to lead.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Camelot's Queen by Nicole Evelina

History remembers Guinevere’s sin, but it was Arthur who transgressed first.

Forced into a marriage she neither anticipated nor desired, Guinevere finds herself High Queen, ruling and fighting alongside Arthur as they try to subdue the Saxons, Irish and Picts who threaten Britain from every direction. Though her heart still longs for her lost love, Guinevere slowly grows to care for her husband as they join together to defeat their enemies.

Meanwhile, within the walls of Camelot their closest allies plot against them. One schemes to make Guinevere his own, another seeks revenge for past transgressions, while a third fixes her eyes on the throne. When the unthinkable happens and Guinevere is feared dead, Arthur installs a new woman in her place, one who will poison his affections toward her, threatening Guinevere’s fragile sanity and eventually driving her into the arms of her champion.

Amid this tension a new challenge arises for the king and queen of Camelot: finding the Holy Grail, a sacred relic that promises lasting unity. But peace, as they will soon learn, can be just as dangerous as war. As the court begins to turn on itself, it becomes clear that the quest that was to be Arthur’s lasting legacy may end in the burning fires of condemnation.

This highly anticipated sequel to Daughter of Destiny proves there is much more to Guinevere’s story than her marriage and an affair. See the legend you think you know through her eyes and live the adventure of Camelot’s golden days yourself – but prepared to suffer its downfall as well.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Book No. 1 Daughter of Destiny (review)

Book No. 2 Camelot’s Queen releases 12th of April 2016

Book No. 3 Mistress of the Legend releases late 2016/early 2017

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The topic which I most wanted to hear Ms Evelina’s response about her series:

How did you conceptionalise the supernatural elements which are threaded through Guinevere’s tales whilst acknowledging the rich legacy of the original canon but augmenting a bit outside of it to pepper in your own inclinations towards what you felt would be a good interpretation of the magic and organic telling of the story? Did you find any sequence of this to be most challenging to show visually inside of the novels?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

That’s a really great question, and one with a long answer. When I first set out to write these books, I considered stripping them of all magic and making them pure historical fiction, but that felt too sterile to me. It’s probably because I want to believe in magic. I just couldn’t conceive of Arthurian legend without at least a little magic. Read More

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Posted Thursday, 28 April, 2016 by jorielov in 6th Century, After the Canon, Arthurian Legend, Avalon, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Britian, British Literature, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Earthen Magic, Earthen Spirituality, Folklore and Mythology, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, History, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Mythological Societies, Parapsychological Gifts, Passionate Researcher, Re-Told Tales, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Supernatural Fiction, Superstitions & Old World Beliefs, Warfare & Power Realignment, Women's Fiction, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, Writing Style & Voice

Book Review | “The Wedding Cake Tree” by Melanie Hudson #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 9 April, 2016 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

ChocLitSaturdays Banner Created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By:

I am a ChocLit reviewer who receives books of my choice in exchange for honest reviews! I received a complimentary copy of “The Wedding Cake Tree” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

Why I choose this for a holiday weekend:

I wanted to read something light for Easter weekend with a strong focus on life and love (as this is what the holiday is best meant to celebrate!) – when I read the premise of The Wedding Cake Tree I immediately wanted to read it! Of course, being stateside I had to wait my turn as the print releases come after the Digital First editions and even then, there is a slight wait-time for the novels to make it across the Pond. I don’t generally mind the waiting periods, as in-between reading the new releases I get the luxury to read the backlist of titles ChocLit has been producing since it began. To me, this is an incredible blessing as I get to ‘meet’ the authors from whence they began their ChocLit tenure.

I have a particular fondness for Epistolary novels – as I’ve regularly mentioned on my blog, I’m a letter-writer IRL who loves postal mail correspondences, thus whenever I have the pleasure of finding a novel which highlights letters (or written exclusively through them as in Letters from Skye), postcards, petit bleus (as viewed inside Moonlight Over Paris) or other gestures of communication sent in transit from one sender to a receiver is true joy for me! I try to keep my eyes peeled for new stories which include bits of mail inside them, but sometimes, they arrive as if they’ve found me before I found them! (a bit of a nodding towards why I included a self-quote on my Twitter banner!) All the stories I’m reading are threaded through my Postal Mail & Correspondences category in case your keen to view them!

When I first saw “P.S. I Love You” I hadn’t realised it was based on a novel, nor was I thinking I’d one day have the chance to interact with the author via a chat on Twitter or start to collect her novels, as none of us know which doors will start to open as we seek out stories which truly attach themselves into our heart. I personally loved the character journey of the film – it was such a clever one, very non-traditional and highly emotionally charged; it’s not for watching if your under high stress in other words!

I personally love stories where mementos are left behind – such as why I am enjoying interviewing authors from Bookouture as my conversation with Renita D’ Silva in April will reveal. She used a journal to connect her characters whereas Hudson has selected using letters left behind from her heroine’s Mum. You can gather deeper inside the mind of a character by seeing their reactions to letters inasmuch as their approach to writing them; letters give us a raw honesty with ourselves and those we’re writing.

When I watched the unexpected journey Orlando Bloom’s character took inside the film “Elizabethtown” on the larkspur suggested road trip by Kirsten Dunst’s character – you could say I have an attachment to serendipitous story-lines encouraged by people who get you to ‘walk outside your comfort box’ in order to discover a period of new growth and enlightenment.

Imagine then,

my delight to dip inside The Wedding Cake Tree?

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Book Review | “The Wedding Cake Tree” by Melanie Hudson #ChocLitSaturdaysThe Wedding Cake Tree
by Melanie Hudson
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Berni Stevens
Source: Direct from Publisher

Can a mother’s secret past provide the answers for a daughter’s future?

Celebrity photographer Grace Buchanan has always known that one day, she’d swap her manic day job for the peace and quiet of her beloved childhood cottage, St Christopher’s – she just didn’t expect it to be so soon.

At the reading of her mother’s will, she’s shocked to learn that she hardly knew Rosamund at all, and that inheriting St Christopher’s hangs on one big – and very inconvenient – condition: Grace must drop everything for two weeks and travel the country with a mysterious stranger – war-weary Royal Marine, Alasdair Finn.
Caught in a brief but perfect moment in time, Grace and Alasdair walk in Rosamund’s footsteps and read her letters at each breathtaking new place. As Grace slowly uncovers the truth about her mother’s incredible life story, Alasdair and Grace can’t help but question their own futures.

Will Rosamund’s madcap scheme go to plan or will events take an unexpected turn?

An emotional, fun-filled and adventurous journey of a lifetime.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781781892244

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Romance Fiction


Published by ChocLitUK

on 19th August, 2015

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 384

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLitUK)

Formats Available: Paperback, Audiobook and E-book

Converse via: #ChocLit

For a smidge of a pinch of Hudson’s humour, read this blog post of hers!

View a description and photo of a ‘Wedding Cake Tree’ (otherwise known as the Giant Dogwood)

About Melanie Hudson

Melanie Hudson

A Yorkshire lass first and foremost, Melanie left her native county in 1994 when she joined the Royal Air Force as an Air Traffic Control Officer.

Melanie enjoyed the nomadic lifestyle awarded by her military career. In addition to working at several air stations throughout the UK, she experienced an operational tour in the Balkans during the Kosovo Crisis in 1999, and served as air liaison officer with the British Army during their insurgence into Iraq in 2003.

In May 2004 she transferred to the Royal Navy Air Traffic Control Specialisation, the highlight of which was an exhilarating stint in HMS Invincible. Melanie had a son in 2007, before retiring from military life in 2010, after which she moved to Dubai temporarily where she finally found the time to pursue her passion for writing. She wrote the majority of her first novel, The Wedding Cake Tree, while sitting in a Japanese tea shop overlooking the Burj Kalifa.

Melanie is happiest when wandering in the wilds of the Scottish Highlands (pretending to be all mysterious and romantic). Melanie lives in Devon.

Read More

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Posted Saturday, 9 April, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Britian, British Literature, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Contemporary Romance, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, England, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Green Publishing, Indie Author, Life of Thirty-Somethings, Life Shift, Military Fiction, Modern British Author, Modern British Literature, Modern Day, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Postal Mail | Letters & Correspondence, Romance Fiction, Scotland, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction