THE HOUSE OF THE RED DUKE: A PHOENIX RISING – Book 1 By Vivienne Brereton

Welcome:

Welcome everyone to CRYSTAL AND DAISY MAE’S PHOTO-BLOGGING SITE. As you know, this site is just not about photos but more. I always enjoy it when my readers and new visitors visit my site. 

Today, I would like to tell you about a book I read and give you my review of the book, My Book Rating and Why, My thoughts and so much more.

About The Book(Goodreads):

Thomas Howard Charismatic head of one of the most powerful Houses in Tudor England. An indomitable old man approaching eighty: soldier, courtier, politician, a ‘phoenix rising’ from the ashes. After a calamitous period of disgrace, the Howards, renowned for their good looks and charm, are once more riding high at the court of Henry VIII.

Set against the backdrop of the extraordinary 1520 ‘Field of Cloth of Gold’, it is a tale of ambition, love, and intrigue with Thomas at the centre of this intricate tapestry

Will Thomas’s bold vow be fulfilled? Danger stalks the corridors of the royal courts of Europe. Uneasy lies the head beneath a crown. Every other ruler – a fickle bedfellow…or sworn enemy.

The action takes place in England, Scotland, and France. On either side of the Narrow Sea, four young lives are interwoven, partly unaware of each other, and certainly oblivious to what Dame Fortune has in store for them.

“Nicolas de La Barre laid his lute to one side, hardly bothering to stifle a yawn of boredom. Nevertheless, he couldn’t escape the fact he’d agreed to take on a new wife…”

Explosive family secrets are concealed behind the ancient walls of castles in three lands. But… “There are no secrets that time does not reveal.”

About the Author(Goodreads):

 Born near historic Winchester in the UK, I have been passionate about the Tudors for as long as I can remember. This led to a degree in Medieval History at university and the growing desire to write a novel. However, life took over somewhat  and only after stays, short and long, in six countries I called home did I finally settle down to finish my novel. 

Words have always played an important part in my life, whether it’s been writing, editing, teaching English, or just picking up a good book. In preparation for my Tudor series, I did an enormous amount of research. 

Having three sons came in very handy when I had to write about squabbles between Nicolas and Tristan in my novel. Not so handy when I took them to Hampton Court and one of them got lost in the maze! I also used the men in my life as guinea pigs for my Tudor Cookery attempts (recipes included) with varying degrees of protest.

Seeing ‘A Phoenix Rising’, the first book in the series ‘The House of the Red Duke’ in print for the first time was a moment of great joy for me. I hope anyone reading it will enjoy the end result as much as I enjoyed writing it.

My Book Rating:

📕📕📕📕📕 (5 books = 5 stars)

What I Thought Of The Book:

When I first started reading this book, it was like I read it before. The names were so familiar to me. So I looked in front of the book and read what it was all about then read the back of the book. It was well so weird and strange because I felt like I was reading about some of my ancestors in the book. I did find out it was set in the 16th century. Those of you who have just moaned or are thinking about it well… I had probably had similar thoughts. But I assure you, despite being set in the 16th century the book was written in English 99.9% of the time so you don’t have much 16th century talk to deal with. I loved the book and look forward to the next one. The title of Book 2 is: The House Of The Red Duke: The Lizard Lurking In The Grass. Best of all in the back of the book, there is a 16th century words and phrases from A – Z translated to the English words and phrases.

Recommendation:

I highly recommend this book. I enjoyed reading this book a lot I did not want to put the book down. I hope you buy, read it and review it. Look forward to see what you all think of this book.

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A TEXAS CHRISTMAS Mystery & Love at Christmas Book Reviews

Happy New Year everyone!! With 2019 behind us and 2020 just starting, what better way to start the new year off but by doing book reviews. This is my first post of 2020. ENJOY!!

Love at Christmas 

This paperback book is a compilation of Four Christmas Novellas by Anne Greene. Each book in this book is excellent and very well written. This book is Clean, no graphic sex, no cussing, no vulgarity, no use of the F word. Just good clean reading and inspirational. I highly recommend this book and would be a good book for a book club to read.

The books in this book can be bought separately too. If your interesting in reading my review on Bookbub the link for the review is: Love at Christmas Book Review .


A TEXAS CHRISTMAS Mystery

This paperback book is an inspirational, clean Christmas mystery. This book is excellent reading and well written. Many kudos to Anne Greene for writing her books inspirational and keeping them clean. Just goes to show you don’t need all that graphic sex, vulgarity and cussing and gore to sell a book. If a book is well written, action packed, has plots twists turns and keeps me interested, then the author has successfully done her/his job. Personally, if you put  graphic sex, cussing and vulgarity, use or overuse the use of the F word and put a lot of gore in your book then I can honestly say that is a complete turn off for me. However, I will read a book and find out while reading the F word is used then I usually do 1 of 2 things, I either put down and it becomes a DNF (Did Not Finish) or if I find out the F word is used, I decide is the book well written enough to finish the book. Most of the time though it turns out being DNF’s. Once again, Anne Greene writes another Fantastic book. 

I highly recommend both these books and hope you go buy and read them. I reviewed this book on Bookbub and to read the review you can go to: A TEXAS CHRISTMAS Mystery Review .

*full disclosure* I won A TEXAS CHRISTMAS Mystery in Anne Greene’s newsletter contest and she also sent me the book Love at Christmas to review. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Our Christmas Card To You…

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MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

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What You Need To Know…

Welcome:

Hi and Welcome, I sure hope everyone is doing A OK. I want to talk to you today about something that happens more than we realize. Also, it’s rarely talked about. So what am I talking about? A doctor’s referral to another doctor that’s not really a referral at all. There’s really no name for it. 

Introduction:

When we go to a doctor we there are so many things we expect from our doctors only we don’t always get it now do we? Whether we take our child to a Pediatrician, A PCP(Primary Care Physician), A Specialist or some other doctor every doctor comes with many questions. However, when a doctor after some time out of the blue starts pushing for you to see another doctor or specialist for no reason at all at least not any the doctor will admit when you keep asking you have no reason to think that doctor will lie to you. You trust and respect the doctor. But there are things that we can do and be careful of. Let’s take a look at what we can do and what we shouldn’t do (AKA The Pros And Cons). Let’s start with What We Can Do.

What We Can Do:

1.) When a doctor asks us questions we don’t understand, be sure to ask your doctor for clear clarification.

2.) Don’t be afraid to ask questions to your doctor even after he delivers his clarification if you still don’t understand.

3.) Always have medical questions to ask your doctor and if anymore questions pop up while your with your doctor, ask him/her.

4.) If your doctor starts pushing you to see another doctor/specialist after out of blue for some unexplained reason, first stick to your guns when you say no. Don’t ever go to another doctor unless its really necessary.

5.) Always ask your doctor is this a referral and the second part of that question to your doctor should be: Will I be able to come back to see you after seeing this doctor? Hopefully your doctor will be honest with you.

What We Shouldn’t Do:

1.) If your doctor says you need to see a specialist. Please, Please don’t just sit there and take your doctor’s word. If anything, ask why?

2.) Don’t just assume. I was always taught and forgive the language but I was always taught if you assume and I quote “You will make an ass out u and me”. Like I said it’s a quote.

3.) Never go to another doctor/specialist without asking will I be able to come back and see you?

My Story:

When I was a very young child, my mother took me to this pediatrician. He was really good with his young patients. I was old enough to understand but still young enough to see a Pediatrician. I saw this Pediatrician for many many years. Then out of the blue and unbeknownst to us, he started  pushing for me to see a specialist every time I saw him. We asked him and gave his reason why. After a while and after a lot of pushing, we went and saw the specialist he recommended. What we didn’t know we saw my doctor for the last time and not by our choice. We went back to make an appointment with the receptionist to see my doctor and that’s when she said, What are you doing here? Mom explained why we were there and she said, he’s said he’s not your doctor anymore. We were like WHAT?? She said you went to see another doctor. We said, yes by his recommendation. We learned the Bad News from the Receptionist. The Receptionist of all people. Never did get an explanation from the doctor. 

Don’t let this happen to you. We asked questions and still got the shaft somehow.

What Did We Learn?  

We learned that you should always ask your doctor questions even after he’s given you his clarification. Even though he’s your doctor and you trust him/her, always ask when they start referring you to another doctor. Why? What’s your reasoning? Is it really necessary? Most important of all, will I be able to come  back and see you if I go to this doctor?

I write this article not to be critical of doctors but so what happened to me doesn’t happen to any of you.  

 

 

 

 

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Daisy Mae & The Nativity Scene

We all know about the Nativity Scene. Heck we have decorations for Christmas from Garage Door Magnets to Ceramic Statuettes. Well I here to tell you, my family and I have a Nativity Scene up for Christmas but if you notice, there’s an addition. The best way to explain this addition is to show you. 

NEW ADDITION TO THE NATIVITY SCENE.

 

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OOOOHHHH… THAT BRIGHT SUNSHINE!!

OOOOHHHH… THAT BRIGHT SUNSHINE!!

 

 

 

 

 

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So You Want To Be A Writer… Now What?

OUR CAMP NEAR THE WOODS IN 2017.

Becoming A Writer:

So You Want To Be A Writer… Now What? Now if answered YES to that question, CONGRATULATIONS!! Now let me ask you another question, now you that you decided to be a writer are you ready to get down to business and work hard on your writing? If you are saying, I wanted to become a writer and/or because I thought it would be easy. I’m here to tell you becoming a writer isn’t easy. There’s a lot involved in becoming a writing. Let’s take a look what’s involved in becoming a writer.

Write Or Type Your Ideas:

The very first thing you’ll want to do is as soon as you decide to become a writer, you’ll want to start writing down all your ideas down on paper or type them on a separate piece of paper in no particular order. You can organize your ideas later. Your very first thing you should probably do is figure out what genre or genres you want to write in. As for your title of your book, you don’t have one yet not to worry because once your book starts coming together a title will come to you. Now you’ve started writing down ideas or typing them on a separate piece of paper, you’re ready to start your book — right? Not quite. You need get a few things first and also there’s something I suggest you do.

What You Need To Be A Writer:

What you need to be a writer is several things. They are listed below.

1.) Persistence.

2.) A whole lot of patience.

3.) A whole lot of prayer.

4.) An encourage network of friends and family.

6.) If possible, try to find a mentor in an author. You never know when they’ll ask for your help. Don’t be afraid to give help.

7.) You’ll need to have a whole lot of paper and notebooks. That’s why it might be easier to just type everything on a separate page.

8.) You’ll need plenty of time.

9. You’ll need a good imagination. Let your imagination run wild it’ll help.

What You Shouldn’t Do As A Writer:

1.) In my opinion, Don’t do Webinars or Tutorials. These can be to confusing and sometimes even to technical.

2.) Don’t get to many suggestions on what to do. To many suggestions could cause confusion. 

3.) Don’t hold a job and write a book at the same  time.

Challenge Yourself:

When I say challenge yourself, I mean it. So what do I mean exactly when I say challenge yourself? I mean first before you start writing your first book, you should write one for fun just to see if you can do it. When you’ve accomplished that, then decide for sure if you still want to be a writer. If so, then the real hard work begins with editors, publishers, Marketers or do do just self published.

When Was The Writing Gene Planted?:

In everyone who wants to be a writer whether it be a writer of a book, a journalist, a blogger or a columnist the question you should ask yourself is when was the writing seed or dream planted? I say ask yourself this question because you may be asked this question by friends, family or even strangers. When you have the answer, you’ll be able to answer others much better and they’ll see you are really serious about being a writer.

My Writing Story:

I guess if someone were to ask me when my writing seed or dream started wasn’t when I was child but was way back when I was in college. A class I had to have and might I add I didn’t care for class or the professor but on this particular day, she took the class to hear Maya Angelou speak. As it turned out, it was like a meet and greet after listening to her speak. One thing that always stuck with me was when she said Never Give Up!! After that, I started writing poems on and off here and there and then fast forward to this year at the beginning of 2019, I decided to try to write my  first book. After accomplishing writing  two books, I decided to challenge myself to write my first box set. Would I be able to do it? Well I’m happy to say that I’m well on my way to accomplishing that too. You see, I have written three books so far and I just started my fourth and final book in the box set. My goal is to have the box set finished by the end of December 2020.

Your Goals:

Make small goals for yourself. For example, since most chapters are 2000 words your goals will be completed every time you complete a chapter. Depending how long your book will be, you might want to make your goal a little bigger and make it every 5,000 words. Either way, these are accomplishments in their own right.

Do You Still Want To Be Writer?:

So after reading all this and all you have learned, Do You Still Want To Be A Writer? If you do, I say congratulations to you and wish you Good Luck. I also wish you good luck in writing many books. Don’t forget, don’t let anyone discourage you from writing or tell you that you can’t do it. If you want it bad enough, you’ll accomplish your goal or dream even if you have to do it in small steps.

 

 

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Daisy Mae’s Surprise Visitors

QUEEN DAISY MAE SLEEPING ON HER THRONE AND FEELING LIKE ROYALTY.

My Visitors:

Hi everyone Daisy Mae here, I’m here to tell you about our surprise visit we had a few days ago on our Front Porch. In the middle of the day, I heard something so I decided to check things out. I jumped up on the Credenza which I haven’t done since I was a kitten. Well lo and behold what did I see but 3 adorable and cute kittens playing on the Front Porch. Of Course, they weren’t as adorable and cute as me. Anyhow, my human Mom went outside on the Front Porch to shoo them away but instead the 3 kittens hid from my human Mom. The color of the kittens were 2 black and 1 yellow/brown/black — possibly a Calico but not sure.

The Result:

All 3 kittens eventually my human Mom went back inside the house. Then the next few days she kept checking the Front Porch until she was sure they were gone. Now I know this may seem trivial but she knew she couldn’t bring them in the house and she knew they couldn’t stay on the Front Porch. Thankfully the neighbor up the street feeds kittens and sometimes takes them in. Now understand this, my human Mom is animal lover but not crazy about snakes but there comes a time you just have to say no I can’t these kittens in. Heck the last time she and her family did that was way back when then got me and that was 13+ years ago. 

Our Hope:

Our hope is that these 3 kittens don’t freeze to do death out in the cold because they were not very old. They were old enough to know how to play with each other’s tails. That was really funny to watch. We can only guess who the kitty parents are. Sorry but no pictures.

Purrs And Prayers:

Please send all your purrs and prayers to my human Mom as she down with a real bad cold. She’s really not feeling well. The main reason why she isn’t posting and I am. She does hope to be posting by Thanksgiving or the week after.

 

 

 

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Sunday Selfie, Pet Parade, Wordless Wednesday

 

 

 

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Box Set Update: The Royal Murder Mysteries Series

Hi everyone and welcome. It’s been a while since I updated you on my progress of my box set I challenged myself to do and I’m happy and excited to say that I just finished Book 3 the other night. So what does that mean? It means I have  3 books of a 4 book box set complete. YAY ME!!

BOOKS COMPLETED

1.) Turkey, Three Sweaters And Multiple Murders At Chris’s House: The Royal Murder Mysteries Series – Book 1 

2.) The Royal Verdict And The Royal Sentence: The Royal Murder Mysteries Series – Book 2

3.) Queen Crystal, Chris And Penney’s Mysteries: So Many Babies And The Baby Surprise – The Royal Murder Mysteries Series – Book 3

So what does this mean? My challenge is almost complete. Is my challenge worth it though? I think it is. When I started, I only thought I could write poems off and on then when I attempted this well I found out I could write books. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that was even possible.

So what have I learned through this experience and what can you learn from my experience? I’ve learned and hope you have too that if you really want to succeed at something, you will keep persisting and keep going until reach your goal or goals.

I wish you all success in reaching your goals you want to achieve. I know it’ll take a whole lot of hard work to attain them but trust me in the long run it’ll be worth it. GOOD LUCK!!

 

 

 

 

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Short Story Review: Euphoria in the Desert

I read the ARC for this short story called Euphoria in the Desert. This short story was not only fun and witty but it was also clean and I think you would like it. I found it easy to read and a page turner. It kept my attention and I didn’t want to put it down. I rate this short story 5 stars. 

Bookbub Book Excerpt 

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So if you KU (Kindle Unlimited), read it or you can buy the book at Amazon.com. Not sure what the price is internationally but in Amazon US it is $.99. How long that price will last well I really don’t know. I really enjoyed this short story. It’s unpredictable.

Site Links For Tina Swayzee McCright 

  1. Bookbub Authors Page

  2. Tina Swayzee McCright’s Website 

  3. Tina Swayzee McCright’s Amazon Author Page

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Being Welcomed Home By A Bear

My family and I came home from vacation around July 18th, 2019. We were welcomed home by this big black visitor. The photo of our visitor is below.

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All-American Flag Jello Mold

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Ingredients:

  1. 1 qt. (4 cups) boiling water, divided.

  2. 2 pkg. (3 oz. each) JELL-O Berry Blue Flavor Gelatin.

  3. 2 pkg  (3 oz. each) JELL-O Gelatin, any red flavor.

  4. 3 cups cold water, divided.

  5. 1 pkg. (3 oz.) Jell-O Lemon Flavor Gelatin.

  6. 1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed.

Let’s make It:

  1. Add 1-1/2 cups boiling water to blue gelatin mix in medium bowl; stir 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Repeat in separate bowl with red gelatin. Stir 1-1/2 cups cold water into gelatin in each bowl.

  2. Spray 10-cup flag mold with cooking spray; place on baking sheet. Pour Red gelatin into mold. Refrigerate 45 minutes until set but not firm. Meanwhile, refrigerate blue gelatin 45 minutes. After 20 minutes, dissolve lemon gelatin in boiling water in separate bowl. Refrigerate 25 minutes or until slightly thickened.

  3. Whisk COOL WHIP into lemon gelatin; spread over red gelatin layer in mold. Refrigerate 10 minutes or until set but not firm. Cover with blue gelatin. Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm. Unmold. 

Kitchen Tips

Tip 1 for substitute: 

Prepare using COOL WHIP LITE Whipped topping.

Tip 2 for substitute – How to make a Flag without the flag mold:

Prepare as directed, using 13 x 9-inch pan. Decorate with additional COOL WHIP and fruit (such as blueberries and strawberries) to resemble a flag.

Tip 3 – How to unmold:

Dip mold in warm water for about 15 seconds. Gently pull gelatin from around the edges with moist fingers. Place moistened serving plate on top of mold. Invert mold and plate. Holding mold and plate together, shake slightly to loosen. Gently remove mold and center gelatin on plate.

Tip 4 – To substitute:

Substitute 1 (6 oz.) package JELL-O Gelatin for the 2 (3 oz.) packages.

Nutrition:                                                              

Calories                          110

                                   % Daily Value

Total Fat 2 g                                 3%  

Saturated Fat 2 g                       10%

Trans Fat 0 g                                       

Cholesterol 0 mg                               

Sodium 90 mg                               4%

Total Carbohydrates 21 g           8%

Dietary Fibers 0 g                               

Sugars 20 g                                     40%

Protein 2 g                                         4%

 

Vitamin A & Vitamin C                   0%

Calcium & Iron                                  0%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Recipe from All-American Flag JELLO MOLD (by Kraft/Heinz) .

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Sabi Saturday With Angel Snowball

For Sabi Saturday I have decided to multiple old things since I got somehow so many old things in this picture. However, the main old thing I wanted  to do was one of my cats and her name was Snowball. She’s an Angel now. In the picture like I said there are are many old things. In the picture below you’ll see on my bed Angel Snowball. You’ll also see some other old things as well. You’ll see a stuffed cat which I appropriately named “SnowPuff” on the bed with Snowball also on the bed that’s old is a bedspread Pillow and stuffed teddy bear which I named “Teddy”. Also you’ll see some other old things like my cat box, pink curtains, the white shelves, yellow doll on the shelf, Santa container, books and picture album. Picture below.

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June Is Adopt-A-Cat Month And We #GIVEACRAP!!

Hello And Welcome Everyone, If you think you saw this title somewhere else well that is very possible. I follow Cat Chat With Caren And Cody  and they were reminding people about adoption and cats. If you click on the link above it will tell you how to donate without spending money. Sound good. Thought so. I do hope all of you will click on the link and go this site and donate by using pictures. Below are the pictures I used to donate with. I had fun with this link and think you will too. THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR DONATING. Remember all it takes is one picture.

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Penny’s New Knitting Project

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