Posted in Book Review

The Bridled Tongue

Book Title: The Bridled Tongue

Author: Catherine Meyrick

Time Period: Late 16th Century

Setting: Elizabethan England

My Rating:

Alyce Bradley is practically past her prime in terms of making a good match. When she is faced with marriage to a man that repulses her, the offer of marriage from another man, though rumored to be a womanizer and a pirate, almost appeals to her.

Alyce makes her choice, and has to live with it. And slowly she is making it work. But when jealousy and bad blood cause Alyce to be accused of damnable deeds, she will face the most difficult trial of her life.

She is not the perfect, beautiful protagonist that you see quite often in fictional stories, which is one thing that makes this story unique. Alyce has a sharp tongue, is quite practical and solemn, and has a hard time showing her affection. But she has likable qualities, and the one I found to be most admirable was her ability to bite her tongue when those around her were being rude to her. I found myself quite often thinking of all the things I would have said in response to the characters that verbally mistreated her, had I been in her shoes! (Yeah, I probably would have been accused of witchcraft for being insolent, incorrigible, or whatever other bad qualities that get attached to women who aren’t demure and meek. LOL)

Meyrick gives you a wonderful insight into the everyday life of a late 16th century English household and the workings of a manor house. Her attention to detail concerning the court systems, jails and commerce of the time period are wonderfully described making you feel as if you are experiencing it for yourself. She demonstrates perfectly how tittle-tattle, jealousy, and revenge played a large part in the witchcraft accusations in the 16th century, and it is easy to see how one might find themselves on the wrong side of the law, just because a neighbor (or worse-a friend or relative) had it out for them.

Alyce had so much stress in her life. From a husband whom she was trying to get to know and understand in the small snatches of time they were allotted together, to a jealous sister, and a delusional former suitor. I fretted throughout the story as to how she was going to get out of her predicament. Meyrick really knows how to build the tension and keep you guessing as to what is going to happen next. I worried myself to find out how all the loose ends were going to come together to resolve the conflict in poor Alyce’s life. I am a sucker for a knight in shining armor and I tend to lean toward the whole rescued damsel in distress trope. Alyce’s husband tries to be that for her but can’t. And I’m ok with that. I was still pleased to see the author give Alyce the happy ending that she deserved!

This was my first exposure to reading books from this author. I do plan on reading more of her wonderfully detailed works.

For more information about author Catherine Meyrick visit her at: https://catherinemeyrick.com/

To purchase The Bridled Tongue visit:

Posted in Book Review

The Secret Heir by Janice Broyles

Ok, so this book is not about England or Scotland, nor is it medieval to 16th century. However, The Secret Heir is an excellent fictionalized retelling of a historical story about the ancient kingdom of Israel, and the enigmatic shepherd boy who rose from lowly sheep herder to the mighty warrior, King David. It’s ok to get out of our comfort zones from time to time, right? 😛

David is a young man, anointed to be king (unbeknownst to the current king) stuck on the Judean hillside, watching his father’s sheep. He longs to be more useful to his father than just another shepherd and to fulfil the role for which he has been anointed. When he receives a summons to come and play the lyre for the troubled king of Israel, David is one step closer to the life he longs to live. But he is also closer to danger as he endeavors to keep a secret from the king that could cost his life and the lives of his family.

In The Secret Heir, David comes to life as more than just a Biblical character. Anyone familiar with David knows he struggled with insecurities, depression, and loneliness. Yet, we see a clearer picture of how he used his music and poetry to draw strength from God and overcome his weaknesses.

David Slaying Goliath ~Peter Paul Rubens~ Wikimedia Commons

One of my favorite parts of The Secret Heir was when David, fresh from the hills of Bethlehem, comes face to face with the intimidating, well-trained Philistine giant, Goliath. It was very easy to become emotionally involved in this scene; for Janice breathed new life into this old, familiar story, and I felt as if I were right there on the battlefield with David. <chills>

David and Michal ~Virginio Grana ~ Wikimedia Commons

Another interesting piece of this story is that of Michal, the daughter of the paranoid King Saul. Michal often gets a bad rap in history and Ms. Broyles opens our eyes to the young woman who, like so many females of her time, was just another pawn in a very dangerous political game.

This is a story of a warrior, fueled by the love for a woman beyond his reach, driven by a desire to be someone great, and anointed by God who saw him as something more than he was.

The Secret Heir follows the life of David of Bethlehem from shepherd to warrior. I look forward to the release of Janice’s next book in this series, tentatively called The Runaway Heir.

Janice Broyles, Ed.D is an author and instructor at Livingstone College. She is a Michigan transplant currently living in North Caroline with her husband and two children. Learn more about Janice and her books at her website:

www.janicebroyles.com

Or, connect with her on Facebook at Janice Broyles, Author or on Twitter at @JaniceBroyles1

The Secret Heir can be purchased at Barnes&Noble or Amazon.