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Kings by Kim Headlee and Patricia Novak Review

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

 

Kings - Tour Banner

BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE – KINGS
SERIES (& Book #) – N/A
AUTHORS – Kim Iverson Headlee and Patricia Duffy Novak
GENRE – Fantasy (Sword & Sorcery)
PUBLICATION DATE – 3/16/2016
LENGTH (#Pages/# Words) – 10K words
PUBLISHER – Pendragon Cove Press
COVER ARTIST – Natasha Brown


Kings - Book CoverBOOK SYNOPSIS

A funny thing happened on the way to the battlefield.

Arthur, High King of Brydein, must fight the last of the rebel kings to acknowledge his right to govern them all: his old nemesis, King Urien of Dalriada. Before he can lead his army to where Urien’s forces sit ensconced, however, a fey man appears from the midst of a sudden, eerie storm to block the way. The man claims to be the high king of an altogether unknown land… and he wields uncanny power the likes of which Arthur has never seen.

Garrin, High King of Helvar, steps into a patch of mist. A breath later, he’s standing toe to toe with a man claiming to be the high king of an altogether unknown land… and this warrior-king is leading an army into Helvar, wielding a sword that resists Garrin’s magic. Only, the man insists that his sword isn’t enchanted and that Garrin isn’t in Helvar anymore.

What the bloody hell—or five hells, in Garrin’s case—is a high king to do?

Their encounter reeks of an enemy mage’s dark arts, and no one is laughing.


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EXCERPT

Something prickled in Arthur’s awareness, and he felt the hair of his arms lift. He glanced up to see a massive thunderhead boiling across the sky. Heat lightning flared within the cloud, blue tinted and alien.

Can this be Morghe’s doing?

It was no secret that his sister practiced the forbidden arts, and she seemed to take perverse delight in directing her petty spells at Arthur. She had never forgiven him for forcing her to marry Urien, even though the match had made her a queen, but Arthur had never perceived her magic as a serious threat.

Had she learned how to control the weather? Was this why Urien had chosen to leave his citadel and go on the offensive rather than digging in and letting Arthur come to him as the other rebel kings had done?

The knot in Arthur’s stomach gave its answer.

 

My Review

This was a very interesting read. I couldn’t put it down.  The world and characters that have been created are great. It has great twists and turns. Readers who love fantasy will want to add this to their TBR lists. Kim Headlee and Patricia Noval are great writers. I look forward to reading more books by them as a team and individually.

 


CHARACTER BIOS

Arthur is a warrior-king, military strategist, diplomat, and great in the sack with his wife, Gyan. They have three children. He loves a good friendly bout with swords, blunted or otherwise, and can hold his own in a verbal duel too.

Garrin is a mage-king and warrior, not so great with diplomacy but is willing to learn, and you’ll have to ask him how good he is in the sack with his significant other, Kaitlyn. If you dare. He is well versed in herbal lore and makes a terrific camp stew.


Mornings Journey - Author Photo

AUTHOR BIOS

Kim Headlee lives on a farm in the mountains of southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, fish, goats, Great Pyrenees goat guards, and assorted wildlife. People and creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins—the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-twentieth century—seem to be sticking around for a while yet. She has been an award-winning published novelist since 1999 (Dawnflight, first edition, Simon & Schuster) and has been studying the Arthurian legends for nigh on half a century.

Patricia Novak lives in Alabama with her husband, Jim, two dogs, and more cats than she wants to count. Her short fiction has appeared in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine, Realms of Fantasy, Daily Science Fiction, a number of the Darkover anthologies, and several volumes of the Sword and Sorceress anthologies.

AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS

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GIVEAWAY PRIZES

US Only: 1 autographed copy of Morning’s Journey by Kim Iverson Headlee
International: 5 e-book copies of Kings by Kim Iverson Headlee and Patricia Duffy Novak

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4 Comments

Posted by on 06/20/2016 in Reviews

 

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Cover Reveal: The Challenge by Kim Headlee

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2 Comments

Posted by on 07/07/2015 in Cover Reveal

 

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Snow in July by Kim Iverson Headlee Review

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Snow In July - Tour Banner

 

BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE – Snow in July
AUTHOR – Kim Iverson Headlee
GENRE – Young Adult Paranormal Historical Romance
PUBLICATION DATE – July 2014
LENTH (Pages/# Words) – 386 pages/94K words
PUBLISHER – Pendragon Cove Press
COVER DESIGNER – Natasha Brown

 

Snow in July - Book Cover

 

BOOK SYNOPSIS

Sir Robert Alain de Bellencombre has been granted what every man wants: a rich English estate in exchange for his valiant service at the Battle of Hastings. To claim this reward, the Norman knight must wed the estate’s Saxon heiress. Most men would leap at such an opportunity, but for Alain, who broke his vow to his dying mother by failing to protect his youngest brother in battle, it means facing more easily broken vows. But when rumors of rampant thievery, dangerous beasts, and sorcery plaguing a neighboring estate reach his ears, nothing will make him shirk duty to king and country when people’s lives stand at risk. He assumes the guise of a squire to scout the land, its problems, and its lady.

Lady Kendra of Edgarburh has been granted what no woman wants: a forced marriage to an enemy who may be kith or kin to the man who murdered her beloved brother. Compounding her anguish is her failure to awaken the miraculous healing gift bequeathed by their late mother in time to save his life. Although with his dying breath, he made her promise to seek happiness above all, Kendra vows that she shall find neither comfort nor love in the arms of a Norman…unless it snows in July.

Alain is smitten by Lady Kendra from the first moment of their meeting; Kendra feels the forbidden allure of the handsome and courtly Norman “squire.” But a growing evil overshadows everyone, invoking dark forces and ensnaring Kendra in a plot to overthrow the king Alain is oath-bound to serve. Kendra and Alain face a battle unlike any other as their honor, their love, their lives, and even their very souls lie in the balance.

 

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Snow In July - Full Sleeve

 

EXCERPT

FIFTEEN THOUSAND MEN and horses writhed across the valley below, appearing as toys in a children’s game.

Many might consider war a game, but Sir Robert Alain de Bellencombre, knight of Normandy bound to the service of Duke William and commander of a unit in the cavalry reserves, did not number among their ranks.

Edward the Confessor, King of England via his Saxon father but Norman by his mother, was dead. This battle, raging near the coastal hamlet called Hastings, would decide the right of one man to wear the English crown: William the Norman, acknowledged by Pope Alexander to be Edward’s lawful successor; or Harold the Saxon, brother of Edward’s wife, the man alleged to be Edward’s deathbed choice.

Stroking his war horse’s glossy charcoal neck to calm her, Alain pondered Harold’s claim. It had to be true. This many men would not sacrifice their lives for a lie. Yet the vast majority of Harold’s supporters were Saxons harboring no wish to bear the Norman yoke. Perhaps such men might be desperate enough to fight for a lie that promised to restore Saxon rule.

A trumpet blared. He signaled his men forward, couched his lance, and spurred Chou to send her careening into the melee.

Harold’s shield wall, which had seemed impregnable, began to crumble under the onslaught of Alain’s unit, hastened by the desertion of men who no doubt decided they weren’t quite so willing to die. Their lord stood exposed just long enough for a Norman archer to sight his mark. Harold fell, screaming and clutching an arrow that protruded from one eye.

Harold’s supporters closed ranks around him, blocking Alain’s view and giving him more than enough to do as the Saxons redoubled their efforts to guard their lord’s body.

A familiar whirl of colors caught Alain’s attention. The saffron leopard prowling on a green field—Étienne! A Saxon knight, with a blue arm and fist blazing defiance across his gray shield, bore down upon Étienne with leveled lance. Étienne tumbled from his horse. He scrambled to his feet and retrieved his sword, putting it to good use on the Saxons surrounding him, although the knight who’d unhorsed him had already ridden in search of other targets.

Lance long since discarded and sword now rising and falling with fatal precision, Alain surged to reach his brother’s side. Protection of her youngest son had been their dying mother’s wish, and he had sworn on his own life to keep Étienne safe.

Before he could close the distance, another Saxon knight fought past Étienne’s guard to thrust a war-knife into his throat. Through the visor the knight’s eyes gleamed with startling, fathomless malice. Alain could only watch in stunned disbelief as he laid his hand upon Étienne’s chest for a few moments. Uttering a soul-freezing howl, the Saxon yanked out his seax and disappeared into the press with Étienne’s shield, denying Alain vengeance.

Shame and grief rent his heart asunder.

He had failed the two he loved most; failed them so utterly that he could never beg their forgiveness in this lifetime.

Pain slammed into his shoulder, toppling him from the saddle. Étienne’s body broke his fall. He tried to roll clear, but a spear through his chest pinned him to Étienne. His gut convulsed, and bile burned his throat. Blinding agony killed his struggle to free himself. Death’s stench invaded his nostrils.

He closed his eyes and waited for his final journey to begin.

 

Review2

I must admit first and foremost that I don’t usually read historical romance but this one was an exception. When I read the blurb for it I knew I had to. I couldn’t put it down once I started reading it. It’s a real page turner. It has some great twists and turns. It will appeal to all readers who love a good book. I love the world and the characters that Kim created with this one. The plot is great. I highly recommend it be added to your TBR list. I look forward to reading more of Kim’s books.

Snow in July - Book Spine

AUTHOR BIO

Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, and assorted wildlife. People & creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins — the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-20th century — seem to be sticking around for a while yet.

Kim is a Seattle native (when she used to live in the Metro DC area, she loved telling people she was from “the other Washington”) and a direct descendent of 20th-century Russian nobility. Her grandmother was a childhood friend of the doomed Grand Duchess Anastasia, and the romantic yet tragic story of how Lydia escaped Communist Russia with the aid of her American husband will most certainly one day fuel one of Kim’s novels. Another novel in the queue will involve her husband’s ancestor, the 7th-century proto-Viking king of the Swedish colony in Russia.

For the time being, however, Kim has plenty of work to do in creating her projected 8-book Arthurian series, The Dragon’s Dove Chronicles, and other novels under her new imprint, Pendragon Cove Press. She also writes romantic historical fiction under the pseudonym “Kimberly Iverson.”

 

AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS

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GIVEAWAY PRIZES

• Ebook copies of Snow in July

(MOBI/Kindle file-EPUB/B&N file-or sent as a gift via Amazon.com/BN.com)

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GOODREADS GIVEAWAY

• 10 Autographed copies (US residents only) of the print edition

via Goodreads (scheduled to run July 1-31, 2014)

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE GOODREADS GIVEAWAY

 

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Posted by on 07/24/2014 in Reviews

 

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