When you make a conscious choice to be happy, no one can take it away from you because no one gave it to you: you gave it to yourself.

A quote from April Green's - Bloom For Yourself Journal

Monday 26 October 2020

Welcoming Catherine Kullman and her book - The Potential for Love: A Regency novel - to my blog.

Today I'm welcoming Catherine Kullmann and her book - The Potential for Love: A Regency novel - to my blog as part of the blog tour hosted by The Coffee Pot Book Club (founded by Mary Anne Yarde). 

Delighted to share a review with you all, but first I'll introduce the book.

The Potential for Love by Catherine Kullmann


For over six years, Thomas Ferraunt’s thoughts have been of war. Newly returned to England from occupied Paris, he must ask himself what his place is in this new world and what he wants from it. More and more, his thoughts turn to Arabella Malvin, but would Lord Malvin agree to such a mismatch for his daughter, especially when she is being courted by Lord Henry Danlow?

About to embark on her fourth Season, Arabella is tired of the life of a debutante, waiting in the wings for her real life to begin. She is ready to marry. But which of her suitors has the potential for love and who will agree to the type of marriage she wants?

As she struggles to make her choice, she is faced with danger from an unexpected quarter while Thomas is stunned by a new challenge. Will these events bring them together or drive them apart?

We are celebrating the release of the special hardback edition of The Potential for Love during this tour. With a beautiful dust jacket over an elegant laminated cover, it will enhance any library and is the perfect gift for lovers of historical women’s fiction and historical romance.

Publication date: 31 March 2020

Genre: Historical Fiction/Historical Romance/Regency Romance/Historical Women’s Fiction

Publisher: Willow Books

Print Length: 414 Pages

You can purchase a copy of the book via the following links -


Amazon Kindle:

The Potential for Love HB Waterstones:

The Potential for Love PB Waterstones:

The Potential for Love HB Barnes and Noble:

The Potential for Love PB Barnes and Noble :

Now for the review -

I sat down, with a cold refreshing glass of juice in one hand and a copy of The Potential for Love: A Regency Novel in the other and so this brief but fulfilling love affair began. What drew me to this book is the cover. Usually, Regency Romances, have some dashing hero and windswept heroin on the cover, but this book has a portrait from the era, and I think this really set the tone for this book.

The story was tantalisingly delicious, as were the characters. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but Catherine Kullmann knows how to write a dashing hero and a strong, yet feminine heroine. Their love story is the kind that makes a reader smile. There is just the right amount of romance and conflict, but as one would expect, there is a joyful, happy ending. Likewise, the historical setting has been brought back to life.

My advice to you, dear reader, is to think Jane Austen rather than Tessa Dare when you read this book, but if you like your romances sweet and your story sweeping then this novel may be right up your street.

I was given a copy of this book by the author for review consideration.

Catherine Kullmann

I was born and brought up in Dublin and moved to Germany on my marriage in 1973. Before my marriage, I was an administrative officer at the Department of Finance in Dublin. I worked as attaché at the Irish Embassy in Bonn until my eldest son was born. Following a twelve-year stint as a full-time mother, I joined the New Zealand Embassy in Bonn, where I was administration officer. My husband and I returned to Ireland in 1999 and in 2009, following a year’s treatment for breast cancer, I took early retirement from my position as Director of Administration and Human Resources at a large Dublin law firm.

I have always enjoyed writing, I love the fall of words, the shaping of an expressive phrase, the satisfaction when a sentence conveys my meaning exactly. I enjoy plotting and revel in the challenge of evoking a historic era for characters who behave authentically in their period while making their actions and decisions plausible and sympathetic to a modern reader. In addition, I am fanatical about language, especially using the right language as it would have been used during the period about which I am writing. But rewarding as all this craft is, there is nothing to match the moment when a book takes flight, when your characters suddenly determine the route of their journey.

The first quarter of the nineteenth century was one of the most significant periods of European and American history, a period whose events still resonate two hundred years later The Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland of 1800, the Anglo-American war of 1812 and the final defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 all still shape our modern world. The aristocracy-led society that drove these events was already under attack from those who saw the need for social and political reform, while the industrial revolution saw the beginning of the transfer of wealth and ultimately power to those who knew how to exploit the new technologies.

I write historical fiction set against this background of off-stage wars, of women frequently left to fend for themselves in a patriarchal world where they have few or no rights but must make the best lives they can for themselves and their families. While real people sometimes have walk-on parts, the protagonists and their stories are pure fiction. As well as meeting their personal challenges, they must also cope with external events and the constraints imposed by society. The main story arc is romantic. I am particularly interested in what happens after the first happy end—how life goes on around the protagonists and sometimes catches up with them.

You can connect with Catherine Kullmann on the following platforms -




You can also find out more about the book by visiting the other blogs on this tour. Details here-

I do hope you check out Catherine Kullman's work.

Till the next time.

Take care Zoe



Thursday 22 October 2020

Welcoming Anna Belfrage and her book - His Castilian Hawk (The Castilian Saga, Book 1) - to my blog

 Today I'm welcoming Anna Belfrage and her book - His Castilian Hawk (The Castilian Saga, Book 1) - to my blog as part of the blog tour hosted by The Coffee Pot Book Club (founded by Mary Anne Yarde). 

I'm delighted to be able to share a review with you, but first I will introduce the book.

His Castilian Hawk By Anna Belfrage

For bastard-born Robert FitzStephan, being given Eleanor d’Outremer in marriage is an honour. For Eleanor, this forced wedding is anything but a fairy tale.

Robert FitzStephan has served Edward Longshanks loyally since the age of twelve. Now he is riding with his king to once and for all bring Wales under English control.

Eleanor d’Outremer—Noor to family—lost her Castilian mother as a child and is left entirely alone when her father and brother are killed. When ordered to wed the unknown Robert FitzStephan, she has no choice but to comply.

Two strangers in a marriage bed is not easy. Things are further complicated by Noor’s blood-ties to the Welsh princes and by covetous Edith who has warmed Robert’s bed for years.

Robert’s new wife may be young and innocent, but he is soon to discover that not only is she spirited and proud, she is also brave. Because when Wales lies gasping and Edward I exacts terrible justice on the last prince and his children, Noor is determined to save at least one member of the House of Aberffraw from the English king.

Will years of ingrained service have Robert standing with his king or will he follow his heart and protect his wife, his beautiful and fierce Castilian hawk?

Publication Date: September 28, 2020 

Publisher: Matador (paperback) & Timelight Press (ebook)

Page Length: 396 pages (paperback) 335 pages (ebook)

Genre: Historical Fiction

You can purchase a copy of the book via -


Now for the review -

Forced to marry the man who killed her father and brother in battle – it is a match made in Heaven!

I had heard great things about Anna Belfrage’s books, so when I was offered an Advanced Readers Copy of her latest release, I jumped at the chance. I wasn’t quite sure what I was expecting, but what I got was a story that made me laugh, it made me cry and it also made my heart flutter.

The story centres around Robert FitzStephan, who after saving King Edward’s life is forced to marry Eleanor d’Outremer. Robert is under no illusions that this is no love match, but it does mean that he rises in station somewhat dramatically. Robert grasps the opportunity with both hands, but he intends to change next to nothing about how he lives his life, and that includes keeping his mistress, the lovely Edith. Oh, is he in for a surprise, for his new wife, Eleanor “Noor” may have something to say about that! Their relationship is one of misunderstandings, passion, and eventually love.

The historical detailing in this book is astounding. Although I don’t know much about Edward I’s reign, I did know that he was a ruthless king. The plight of Dafydd ap Gruffydd’s wife and children really moved me. Especially when Edward knew what it was like to lose a child, and yet he somehow justifies his actions. His treatment of Elizabeth Ferrers is heartbreakingly awful.

There is a lot of story in this book, and there are several interwoven plot threads which I think is the reason that makes it so hard to put down. I really enjoyed this book, and I can't wait to get my hands on book 2!

Anna Belfrage

Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, she became a financial professional with two absorbing interests: history and writing. Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy which is set in 14th century England.

More recently, Anna has published The Wanderer, a fast-paced contemporary romantic suspense trilogy with paranormal and time-slip ingredients. While she loved stepping out of her comfort zone (and will likely do so again ) she is delighted to be back in medieval times in her September 2020 release, His Castilian Hawk. Set against the complications of Edward I’s invasion of Wales, His Castilian Hawk is a story of loyalty, integrity—and love.

You can connect with Anna via the following platforms -  




Amazon Author Page:

You can learn more about His Castilian Hawk by visiting the other blogs taking part in this tour and reading their posts. Here's the tour schedule -

 I do hope you wil check out Anna Belfrage's work.

Till the next time.

Take Care Zoe


Monday 19 October 2020

Welcoming Tonya Ulynn Brown and her book - The Queen's Almoner - to my blog

 Today I'm welcoming Tonya Ulynn Brown and her book - The Queen's Almoner- to my blog as part of the blog tour hosted by The Coffee Pot Book Club (founded by Mary Anne Yarde). 

I'm delighted to be able to share an excerpt with you, but first I'll introduce the book.

The Queen's Almoner By Tonya Ulynn Brown

Sometimes loyalty to the queen comes at a cost.

Thomas Broune is a Reformer and childhood friend of the young queen, Mary Stuart. When Mary embarks on a new life in her estranged homeland of Scotland, Thomas is there to greet her and offer his renewed friendship. But the long-time friends grow closer, and Thomas realizes his innocent friendship has grown into something more. Yet he is a man of the cloth. Mary is the queen of the Scots. Both of them have obligations of an overwhelming magnitude: he to his conscience and she to her throne. 

When he must choose between loyalty to his queen or his quiet life away from her court, he finds that the choice comes at a high price. Driven by a sense of obligation to protect those he loves, and crippled by his inability to do so, Thomas must come to terms with the choices he has made and find a peace that will finally lay his failures to rest.

Publication Date: June 30, 2020 

Publisher: Late November Literary  

Print Length: 320 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

You can purchase a copy of the book via -

 Amazon UK:

Amazon US:

Barnes and Noble:

Now for the excerpt -

We left Strathbogie at daybreak. We made a great spectacle, as over 3,000 men, most on horseback but many on foot, had joined with Mary and were now moving in unison toward Aberdeen. A sea of blacks, browns, grays, chestnuts, and every color of horse in between thundered across the plains and over the hillsides. The regal garments and royal standards of the queen’s army and the colorful tartans and humble weapons of the Highland clans who joined with her cause, merged together into one purpose. The sound of the horses alone was deafening, but when you added the powerful cries of thousands of warriors, the sound was quite bone-jarring.

“Ramses seems a little more skittish than normal, don’t you think, Thomas?” Mary observed the horse with her sharp eye as we made our way to Aberdeen.

“Aye, he has been giving me fits for two days now. He seemed especially on edge this morning as I performed his daily grooming ritual, and then dressed his saddle and bridle. I mean, all the horses seemed to anticipate the fight. But where most pranced in anxious anticipation, Ramses has trembled with nervous energy.”

We were within a few miles of Aberdeen when Lord James commanded a halt of our soldiers. We dismounted to stretch our legs, and James motioned for us to join him at the edge of a long, flat meadow.

“We will stop here at Corrichie Burn. Just over that hill is Midmar Castle. We have reason to believe that Gordon is hiding there.” James pointed to the north. A small canyon lied between where we stood and the castle on the other side.

“Marshland covers that canyon,” Sir Arrick added. “We will need to be very careful when we cross. Watch for small knolls covered in cotton grass. That is where you will want to step. The ground beneath is firmer there and will give you a sure spot to place your step. Avoid the sphagnum moss; it will be soggy and you will lose your footing.”

“How will we ever cross safely on horseback?” Mary cried. “It’s a devil’s trap.”

You will not be crossing at all,” James said. “You will stay here, on the safety of this hill. You will be able to see everything and send messages should you find the need.”

“May I remind you who’s in command here?” Mary crossed her arms in aggravation, staring James down with those fiery green eyes.

James sighed, “Mary, please.”

“Allow me,” I interrupted, touching the queen gently under the elbow and pulling her aside. “Mary, this is a very dangerous area, as you have already observed. Your safety is the most important issue at hand. No matter what the outcome is here today on this field, if something happens to you it will all be in vain. Please, just stay here. Rizzio will keep you company and there will be soldiers here to protect you. You can still watch the whole thing unfold before you.”

The color drained from her face at my words. “You mean Rizzio and you will be here with me, correct?”

I didn’t speak for a moment, but the silence was answer enough.

“Thomas,” she hissed, “you talk of my safety, but what of yours?”

“Mary, I’m not the sovereign. If anything happens to me, the world will go on.” She opened her mouth, presumably to protest, but I continued. “I cannot stand idly by, knowing that I have the skill and strength to assist in this battle. I do it for my queen, and my queen only. Do I have your blessing?”

She stood, lips trembling and tears puddling in her eyes. “I…” she choked, unable to go on.

I pulled my sword from its scabbard and turned the blade toward me. Kneeling, I handed Mary the handle of my sword. “Your blessing, my queen…please.”

“What about your oath…to God?”

“I do not feel I am compromising my oath. If I said it was for God and queen, would that make you feel better?”

A slight smile lifted the corner of her mouth and she wrapped her hands around the guard. “You have my blessing, Reverend Thomas Broune.” She raised the sword to her lips and gently kissed the hilt. Handing the sword back to me, she added under her breath, “If you get yourself killed, I will never forgive you.” The husky scratch in her voice on the word never drove her point home.

I stood and took my sword from her hands. Replacing it in my scabbard, I gave her one last look. My chest tightened, causing a shortness of breath. This woman had turned my world upside down. No matter what happened here today, I knew she held my heart in her hands.

Mary’s men assembled at the edge of the marsh. I stood holding Ramses’ reins when Sir Arrick approached me. “I have been given strict instructions to keep you within my sight at all times.”

I barked a laugh at him, “You just worry about the battle at hand. I can take care of myself.”

“Nay, I cannot defy the queen’s orders. She is concerned about your horse, and I must admit, I have seen how uneasy he is.”

“Aye, he is a little rambunctious today. I think he senses a fight.”

“Smart horse. Just be sure to stay close to me. If you don’t, she might have both of our heads.”

I nodded in understanding but made no promises. Arrick had enough to worry about without having to play nursemaid to me.

We picked our way across the bog, almost reaching the other side when a shout rang out from the top of the hill. In an instant Gordon’s men rained down on us, as we scurried to mount our horses and prepare our arms. I watched Arrick turn to the east and unman a horse before I had finished mounting. But before I could follow him on his campaign, I suddenly felt the ground shift under Ramses’ feet. The horse let out a terrible noise and reared onto his back legs. I gained control of him just in time to reflect a sword coming straight at me. I easily deflected the blade, for the man who bore it was on foot. Thrusting my own sword between his ribs, the soldier fell with a curse on his lips.

“God forgive me and give his soul rest,” I breathed. And that was the last thing I remembered.

Tonya Ulynn Brown

 Tonya Ulynn Brown was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, USA, but now calls southeastern Ohio home. She spent her younger years right out of college, living in Europe and teaching English as a second language. She attributes her time in Eastern Europe as being one of great personal growth, where her love for history, the classics, and all things European was born. Tonya holds a Master’s degree in Teaching and is now an elementary school teacher where she uses her love of history and reading to try to inspire younger generations to learn, explore and grow. Along with all the historical characters that she entertains in her head, she lives with her husband, two sons and a very naughty Springer Spaniel. Her mother has also joined their home, making for a cozy and complete little family.

You can connect with Tonya Ulynn Brown via th following platforms -






You can follow this blog tour and find out more about the book by visiting the blogs detailed here -

I hope you check out Tonya Ulynn Brown's work.

Till the next time.

Take care Zoe