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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

King Henry’s Choice by Emily-Jane Hills Orford - Book Tour - Book Review - Giveaway - Enter Daily!


Hello, lovelies!  It gives me great pleasure today to host Emily-Jane Hills Orford and her new book, “King Henry’s Choice”!  For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!  Also, come back daily to interact with Emily-Jane and to increase your chances of winning!

Thanks for stopping by!  Wishing you lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!


King Henry’s Choice
by Emily-Jane Hills Orford

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GENRE: Historical Fantasy

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BLURB:

There are powers at play that continue to seek amalgamating Scotland to England – powers from the past and powers from the future. It’s the late 1800s and Queen Victoria wants more than mere access to the Scottish retreat at Balmoral Castle. But King Henry I of Scotland, direct descendent of Queen Mary Elizabeth I, the time traveling royal daughter of Mary Queen of Scots, is determined to keep Scotland free and independent and a powerful, progressive nation in its own right. The struggle to protect what is his by birthright becomes a battle that must be fought in the past, the present and the future and in other parts of the world. And, in the midst of each battle, there are choices to be made. Very difficult choices.

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EXCERPT TWO:

He took time to study it closely, holding it reverently in his hands. Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, was a famous warrior in Scottish history, one of the first to successfully rout the English from their land and maintain his realm. His sword, the one Henry now held, was a symbol of his success as well as a symbol of the power of Scotland as an independent realm. Some even suggested it had such magnificent powers and the person who wielded the sword would be unstoppable, a force to be reckoned with no matter what weapons were used against him, past, present or future. It was an heroic sword. Forged of the strongest metals available in the fourteenth century, the sword was a marvel of both craftsmanship and artistry. The pommel was beautiful with the Cross of St. Andrew, patron saint of Scotland, emblazoned for all to see and for the bearer to feel the ethereal power of the saint, as he wrapped his hand firmly around the soft, black leather-bound grip held in place by a corded silver chain. The Lion of Scotland, plated in silver, marked the throat of the black leather scabbard with a rounded silver shoe at the scabbard’s tip. A wide belt, the leather hardened with age and sorely in need of some oil to soften it, remained attached ready and waiting for a warrior to lay claim to its powers. Was Henry the warrior of whom legend spoke?

Henry wrapped the belt around his waist, feeling a surge of energy and power as he did so. He slowly unsheathed the sword and held it high for the others to see. He ran a finger gingerly along its length, marveling the blade, unused for centuries, still sharp enough to do considerable damage. It even glistened in the flickering light from the fire in the hearth. The sword glistened with an electrical surge rippling from the tip to the pommel and sizzling along the king’s arm.

His eyes lit up. “I am ready. For Scotland. To defend my realm.”

Mary Elizabeth added the rallying battle cry of Scotland, the one she had initiated during her reign. “For now and forever.”

Henry, Edward and Cecil echoed her sentiments. “For now and forever.”

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MY BOOK REVIEW:


This book is an interesting, intriguing, and thought-provoking read!

The author offers an exciting and refreshing take on the Scottish Highlands with just the right blend of time-traveling, fantasy, and historical content.

This book as the title implies is really about the choices we make and the ripple effects they have on ourselves, our loved ones, and those around us.  One path along this plot line is Henry reexamining his choice in his marriage partner, Isabel.  He proceeds to say that shortly after their nuptials he discovered that he made a regrettable decision in choosing her as his partner and that he had wished he could go back and have chosen someone else, his childhood sweetheart, Elizabeth MacGregor, a Scottish lass.  Henry quickly realized Isabel was only interested in the glitz and glamour of the kingdom and its title – not the man Henry truly was.  And furthermore, discovered Isabel had nefarious and ulterior motivates for marrying him which leads to multiple plot points over the course of the book.

Henry states that he hopes when the day comes that he does not dictate whom his son should marry when his son becomes of age.  He hopes to not apply any pressures or manipulate him like his mother did with his own wedding.  He wants his son to be able to choose his own marriage partner – well, within reason that is.  However, Henry does state that he does intend to introduce his son to his selected possible choices and allow his son to then make the final selection from that group.  So, Henry’s still planning of somewhat controlling the situation.  However, I liked that Henry is finally opening up and learning from past experiences.  He knows how much he hated having to marry Isabel and not his true love, Elizabeth, because he followed his family’s advice, and now seeing the outcome down the road, he wants more for his son.  Again, more about choices and their ripple effect that they have.

Loyalty is also a very strong theme in this book.  Particularly, Henry’s loyalty to his Royal family and to his country, Scotland.  He is very adamant about Scottish rights, it’s people, and its freedoms.  He is very passionate about everything his great ancestor, Queen Mary Elizabeth did for Scotland and it clear he is not only trying to continue on with those traditions, but also make Scotland an even stronger and more independent country!

There is also a very creative fantasy/sci-fi theme about implanted tracking microchip devices that are used in the twenty-fifth century.  It’s an interesting concept and a surprising one to find in a historical Scottish book lol – but the author seemed to make it all work and have the story come together full circle.

There are some excellent plot points and themes throughout this book that are quite compelling and thought-provoking!

I honestly could not connect or relate to any of these characters.  I had no relationship or warm feelings for any of them.  Of course, I found Isabel to be rude, selfish, cold, greedy, narcissistic, seductive, and dangerous.  But I didn’t really care for Henry either.  I found him to be demanding, demeaning, stubborn, persistent, control-freak, anxious, loud, impatient, egotistical, arrogant, and at times he seemed well, crazy.  And I did not care for what happened to George.  It seemed not very well detailed.  One minute it’s all good, next minute he supposedly tried to help Isabel escape and didn’t know it, and the next minute Henry has his best friend/cousin locked up in prison and the key thrown away.  If George was like not aware of what Isabel was having him do, I don’t know why he was locked up?  So much for friendship being worth something?!

Unfortunately, I also found the time traveling to be a bit bouncy and confusing at times.  There was so much back and forth between different periods of time.  Many of these chapters were only a few pages and it would be “sometime in the future,” and then next chapter would be in 1875 and then 2016 and then 1875 and then 1587 and then 1875 and then “sometime in the future,” and so on.  There were several passages I had to re-read to figure what was going on in the story.  Also, the “sometime in the future,” dates were somewhat puzzling as when it when back and forth I wasn’t sure if it picked back up in the same part of “sometime in the future,” or if every “sometime in the future,” was further out than the last or just further out than the current date.  I wish it had been more specific.

Also, in the book when Henry goes back in time, he is present as is his younger and older selves (depending on the time period) and goes by “Uncle Harry,” and at first, I thought Uncle Harry was a totally different character.  So, yeah, that as well was a bit disorienting.

I really liked that this book also explored the second chances theme.  I love second chance books.  The opportunity to have a do-over is like a dream.  Having the knowledge of what has gone right and what has gone wrong and then getting like a clean slate and being able to have the chance to make all the right choices and actually pursue the “what ifs” and the “if only I had” lines – it is very exciting and when Henry goes all around in his time traveling adventures and beyond he grasps so much knowledge and information that helps him reach the last plot point and a very satisfying ending.

I also would like to point out that I think the author did a fantastic job with the historical content and authenticity of the Scottish Highlands.  It was very clear she was well-versed on the culture, customs, and traditions of Scotland.

This book is book two in the Queen Mary’s Daughter Book Series.  It can be read as a standalone.  However, it seems there are many character and story line overlaps.

All in all, I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it!  I think all historical fantasy and time-travel readers will like this book too!  So, add it to your TBR List and get to reading - you won't be disappointed!

**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book and have voluntarily provided an honest, and unbiased review in accordance with FTC regulations.**

Did you find this review helpful?
If so, please, please, please mark it as helpful on Amazon here:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/review/R33ZQS8GDOWFRA

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AUTHOR BIO:


An avid gardener, artist, musician and writer, Emily-Jane Hills Orford has fond memories and lots of stories that evolved from a childhood growing up in a haunted Victorian mansion. Told she had a ‘vivid imagination’, the author used this talent to create stories in her head to pass tedious hours while sick, waiting in a doctor’s office, listening to a teacher drone on about something she already knew, or enduring the long, stuffy family car rides. The author lived her stories in her head, allowing her imagination to lead her into a different world, one of her own making. As the author grew up, these stories, imaginings and fantasies took to the written form and, over the years, she developed a reputation for telling a good story. Emily-Jane can now boast that she is an award-winning author of several books, including King Henry’s Choice (Clean Reads 2019), Mrs. Murray’s Ghost (Telltale Publishing 2018), Mrs. Murray’s Hidden Treasure (Telltale Publishing 2019), Queen Mary’s Daughter (Clean Reads 2018), Gerlinda (CFA 2016) which received an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, To Be a Duke (CFA 2014) which was named Finalist and Silver Medalist in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and received an Honorable Mention in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards and several other books. A retired teacher of music and creative writing, she writes about the extra-ordinary in life and the fantasies of dreams combined with memories. For more information on the author, check out her website at: http://emilyjanebooks.ca.

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BOOK BUY LINKS:

Amazon Kindle eBook:

Amazon Paperback:

Barnes and Noble Paperback:

The Book Depository Paperback:

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GIVEAWAY INFO:

Emily-Jane will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.



**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those awesome giveaways on here.**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.

4 comments:

  1. Emily-Jane ~ Good morning! Welcome back! It is always a pleasure to have you here! Congrats on your new book and good luck on the book tour! I enjoyed reading and reviewing your book, thanks for providing the copy! :)

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  2. I am enjoying these tours and finding all the terrific books my family is enjoying reading. Thanks for bringing them to us and keep up the good work.

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