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Spotlight: Phoenix Rising by Hunter S. Jones

02_Phoenix Rising_CoverPublication Date: May 19, 2015
MadeGlobal Publishing
eBook; ASIN: B00X806742
Genre: Historical Fiction

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The last hour of Anne Boleyn’s life…

Court intrigue, revenge and all the secrets of the last hour are revealed as one queen falls and another rises to take her place on destiny’s stage.

A young Anne Boleyn arrives at the court of King Henry VIII. She is to be presented at the Shrovetide pageant, le Ch‚teau Vert. The young and ambitious Anne has no idea that a chance encounter before the pageant will lead to her capturing the heart of the king. What begins as a distraction becomes his obsession and leads to her destruction.

Love, hate, loyalty and betrayal come together in a single dramatic moment… the execution of a queen. The history of England will be changed for ever.

Praise for Phoenix Rising

“Compelling, captivating and moving.” Claire Ridgway, The Anne Boleyn Files

“Thought provoking, esoteric and heart wrenching.” – R.J.Askew, blogger, reviewer, author and journalist

Phoenix Rising Available at


About the Author03_Hunter S. Jones_Author

Deb Hunter publishes as Hunter S. Jones. Her best-selling novel, “September Ends” won awards for Best Independently Published Novel and Best Romance, based on its unique blending of poetry and prose. Her story “The Fortune Series” received best-selling status on Amazon in the Cultural Heritage and Historical Fiction categories. She has been published by H3O Eco mag, LuxeCrush, Chattanooga Times-Free Press, and is now a freelance contributor for the Atlanta Journal Constitution. She has recently been accepted into the prestigious Rivendell Writers Colony. Her arts, music and culture blogs on are filled with eclectic stories regarding music, writing, the arts and climate awareness. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her Scottish born husband. Her undergrad degree is in History with an emphasis on the English Renaissance and Reformation.

For more information please visit Hunter S. Jones’ website. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Phoenix Rising Blog Tour

Tuesday, May 19
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Wednesday, May 20
Guest Post & Giveaway at The Anne Boleyn Files
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book

Thursday, May 21
Review at Book Drunkard

Friday, May 22
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Saturday, May 23
Spotlight at Curling up by the Fire

Monday, May 25
Review at JulzReads
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter

Tuesday, May 26
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, May 27
Review at Book Nerd
Guest Post at The Readers Hollow

Thursday, May 28
Review at Bookramblings

Friday, May 29
Review at The Reading Queen

Saturday, May 30
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession
Spotlight at Beth’s Book Nook Blog

Sunday, May 31
Review at Genre Queen
Spotlight at Unshelfish

04_Phoenix Rising_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL



Sisters of Treason by Elizabeth Fremantle

sisters of treason

Sisters of Treason by Elizabeth Fremantle

Early in Mary Tudor’s turbulent reign, Lady Catherine and Lady Mary Grey are reeling after the brutal execution of their elder seventeen-year-old sister, Lady Jane Grey, and the succession is by no means stable. In Sisters of Treason, Elizabeth Freemantle brings these young women to life in a spellbinding Tudor tale of love and politics.

Neither sister is well suited to a dangerous life at court. Flirtatious Lady Catherine, thought to be the true heir, cannot control her compulsion to love and be loved. Her sister, clever Lady Mary, has a crooked spine and a tiny stature in an age when physical perfection equates to goodness—and both girls have inherited the Tudor blood that is more curse than blessing. For either girl to marry without royal permission would be a potentially fatal political act. It is the royal portrait painter, Levina Teerlinc, who helps the girls survive these troubled times. She becomes their mentor and confidante, but when the Queen’s sister, the hot-headed Elizabeth, inherits the crown, life at court becomes increasingly treacherous for the surviving Grey sisters. Ultimately each young woman must decide how far she will go to defy her Queen, risk her life, and find the safety and love she longs for. (publisher)

Jane Grey is executed after reigning only for nine days and her family is left behind tainted as traitors. The remaining Grey sisters grew up in the court under the suspicious eyes of the queen(s) but their mother’s confidante, Levina, looks after them.

The story is told by 3 people: Katherine Grey, Mary Grey and court painter Levina Teerlinc and it worked well for this book.

My favourite was definitely Mary and I really wished it could have ended happily for her. Being crook backed definitely didn’t make things easy for her and people can be so cruel. And yet she remained kind and gentle despite everything. Her sister’s death had deep impact on her and taught how dangerous it can be to have royal blood in your veins.

Katherine was the type that thinks with her heart and not with her head, and it can be dangerous when you’re so close to the throne. She was little shallow and empty headed and I wished she would have listened Mary’s warnings. Her chapters were my least favourite and I think the weakest link in the book.

I really liked how the sisters’ mother Frances Grey was portrayed. She was shown as caring and loving mother who deeply mourned her daughter and it was nice to see her friendship with Levina who was “just” a court painter and not noble born.

This was truly enjoyable book and I look forward reading The Queen’s Gambit which I already own.


Published: Simon & Schuster (2014)
Format: ebook
Source: netgalley


The Secret Bride by Diane Haeger

The Secret Bride (In The Court of Henry VIII 1) by Diane Haeger

Mary Tudor, the headstrong younger sister of the ruthless King Henry VIII, has always been her brother’s favorite-but now she is also an important political bargaining chip. When she is promised to the elderly, ailing King Louis of France, a heartbroken Mary accepts her fate, but not before extracting a promise from her brother: When the old king dies, her next marriage shall be solely of her choosing. For Mary has a forbidden passion, and is determined, through her own cunning, courage, and boldness, to forge her own destiny.

The Secret Bride is the triumphant tale of one extraordinary woman who meant to stay true to her heart and live her life just as her royal brother did- by her own rules… (Goodreads)

Mary has known Charles Brandon since childhood and doesn’t hide her dislike. But growing up she notices her feelings starting to change, yet she knows that a princess can’t have a future with a duke. Mary does her duty by marrying the old French king and after her husband dies, she and Charles follow their hearts knowing Mary’s brother will be furious.

The book leaned more towards romance than straight historical fiction but unfortunately I couldn’t feel the passion between Mary and Charles. I kept waiting something to happen and sparks starting to fly but nothing. I didn’t really connect with Mary to be fully interested to know what happened with her. She was too naïve and well… maybe not too bright. And of course beautiful. Which we heard many, many times.

And there were too much sneaking around corners and secret meetings. How could Mary had the opportunity to do half of what she was doing?

This was rather easy and quick read but didn’t quite reach the expectations.

Published: NAL (2008)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 398
Source: my own


Brief Gaudy Hour by Margaret Campbell Barnes

Brief Gaudy Hour: The novel of Anne Boleyn’s passionate love by Margaret Campbell Barnes

The beautiful temptress of Henry VIII’s court…

Anne Boleyn bewitched King Henry VIII with her dark beauty. For her he divorced Katherine of Aragon, who could not give him the son he longed for, and broke England’s link with the Church of Rome. As Queen, Anne triumphed over her enemies at court – but her triumph was as short-lived as it was brilliant. Her child, the heir that Henry was so desperate for, was another daughter. And this unforgivable error was to cost Anne her life. (Goodreads)

The book starts with young Anne who is called to court by her father, telling her that she is to attend the King’s sister to France. Anne is excited to go and while in France she grows into beautiful woman who gets the attention of men. She also witnessed the love between Mary and Charles Brandon, and vows that one day she too will have great love story.

Back in England she fells in love hard but when that is destroyed she wants revenge. But she’s also gotten the King’s attention.

I quite liked this older book about Anne Boleyn. The book was first published in 1949, which can be seen at times. The sixth finger was mentioned and Anne also had step-mother called Jocunda. I actually liked to see the relationship between Anne and Jocunda so it didn’t bother me that much. Relationship between her and George was close but there wasn’t any hints about incest which as refreshing.

Anne was portrayed both vain and selfish at times but she was also loyal to her friends. The only thing that bothered me was when Anne slept with Henry Percy which I thought was little too far-fetched but I liked to see them together and how Anne was really heartbroken after their break up. Later in the book was a great a scene where both are older and meeting again after long time, and both are thinking how the other has changed.

I’ve read one of the author’s book before but I liked this one much more. Few things were outdated but all in all I think it stands well with newer books.

Published: Sphere (1971)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 390
Source: my own


To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn by Sandra Byrd

To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn (Ladies in Waiting 1) by Sandra Byrd

What would you sacrifice for your best friend?
Would you die for her?

Meg Wyatt has been Anne Boleyn’s closest friend since they grew up together on neighboring manors in Kent. So when twenty-five-year-old Anne’s star begins to ascend, of course she takes Meg along for the ride.

Life in the court of Henry VIII is thrilling… at first. Meg is made mistress of Anne’s wardrobe, and she enjoys the spoils of this privileged orbit and uses her influence for good. She is young and beautiful and in favor; everyone at court assumes that being close to her is being close to Anne.

But favor is fickle and envy is often laced with venom. As Anne falls, so does Meg, and it becomes nearly impossible for her to discern ally from enemy. Suddenly life’s unwelcome surprises rub against the court’s sheen to reveal the tarnished brass of false affections and the bona fide gold of those that are true. Both Anne and Meg may lose everything. When your best friend is married to fearsome Henry VIII, you may soon find yourself not only friendless but headless as well. (Goodreads)

Meg Wyatt grew up as a neighbor to Anne Boleyn and the two were best friends since childhood. When Anne is sent to court in the service of the king’s sister, Meg is married off to an elderly baron while her heart belongs to Will Ogilvy who chooses priesthood over her.
But when Anne starts to rise at court, Meg joins her as one of Anne’s ladies and finds herself in the middle of court intrigue.

I really liked the idea of telling the story from the point of view of Anne’s friend and it was nice change as well. And I loved that she was a real person who could have actually been Anne’s friend.
Meg was likeable person but she could also see the flaws of her friend while still being loyal till the end.

I would have liked to hear and see more about Anne’s relationship with Henry Percy and what did Meg make of the rumors about Anne and George. Since Meg and Anne were childhood friends Meg probably knew George also and it would have been interesting to see her view of it,

Religion is a major theme in the novel thankfully it doesn’t come off as preachy as I feared.

Published: Howard (2011)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 332
Source: my own