ROYAL SECRETS is the story of the Royal Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, and of Lily Lavender, whose family is distantly descended from the British royal family. Immersed in the regal world of weddings and romance, Lily grew up believing in brides, grooms and happily-ever-afters. It seemed her destiny and royal birthright to someday assume a position as wedding coordinator in their family-owned wedding chapel business. But when her mother Mimi’s third marriage eventually fails, Lily’s dreams of her own happily-ever-after quickly fade. She’s no longer interested in a life of assisting brides walk down the aisle into a life of disillusionment and possible divorce. Lily turns her back on The Royal Wedding Chapel and leaves Las Vegas to fashion a life of her own. Years later, Lily—now a single mom—discovers her teenage daughter has run off to Las Vegas, lured by Mimi to help run the chapel. Determined to save her daughter from the broken dreams of Sin City and the nonsensical world of which family fairy tales are made, Lily returns to Las Vegas. But nothing prepares Lily for the royal drama which awaits her… or the sins and secrets she stumbles across that threaten to close the chapel and ruin her family forever.
~~~The Review ~~~
Royal tiaras, secrets that are decades old, and more brides than you can shake a stick at, Royal Secrets by Kathleen Irene Paterka has all this and more. Set in Sin City with a dysfunctionally functioning family, Royal Secrets is sure to please.
At first I have to admit that I didn’t like Lily. I didn’t *dis*like her, she just wasn’t a sympathetic enough character for me. She made choices that made me frown and decisions that made me shake my head. But Kathleen Paterka pulled it off by the end of the book and made me not only sympathize with her, but like her as well as cheer for her happily ever after.
Personally I would have *adored* this book if it had contained a little more of genre romance elements. Not that it isn’t fabulous just the way it is (my confession is, I would like most books better if they contained more romantic elements.)
All in all, this is a book about people, an almost a slice of life that is larger than life as well. Lovers of the royal family and family secrets are in for a great ‘American’ read.
Kathleen Irene Paterka is the author of numerous women’s fiction novels which embrace universal themes of home, family life and love, including ROYAL SECRETS and the James Bay series (FATTY PATTY, HOME FIRES, LOTTO LUCY and FOR I HAVE SINNED). Kathleen is the resident staff writer for Castle Farms, a world renowned castle listed on the National Historic Register, and co-author of the non-fiction book FOR THE LOVE OF A CASTLE, published in 2012. Having lived and studied abroad, Kathleen’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree from Central Michigan University. She and her husband live in the beautiful north country of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.
ScribBLING Divas Blog: http://scribblingdivas.com/
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**Everyone who leaves a comment on Kathleen’s tour page will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of Royal Secrets before August 12 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five bonus entries.**
~~~ Kathleen on Tour ~~~
Archaeologist Dr. Angela Hunter discovers an ancient codex at a Mississippian Indian dig site in the St. Louis area. Knowing the Mississippians, or Mound Builders, had no written language, she is determined to solve the mystery of the 700-year-old, perfectly preserved codex.
In the early 1300’s, an Aztec family is torn apart. A judge rebelling against the Aztec tradition of human sacrifice is cursed and escapes his enemies with his 12-year-old son. They travel from the Gulf of Mexico up the Mississippi River to settle in the thriving community of Migaduha, modern-day Cahokia Mounds, Illinois.
Angela recognizes the symbols as Aztec pictograms and begins to translate the story. However, other forces also want the codex and will do anything to get it. Can she learn the secrets of the chronicle before the tragic events of the past are repeated today?
~*~*~*~ The Review~*~*~*~
I love to read indie books because they give a new perspective in reading. However, this one was a little more than I had bargained for. And I mean that in the best possible way.
Chronicle of the Mound Builders is a long book filled with a great many historical facts and details about archaeological digs all wrapped up in a complex story.The book is told from two different time perspectives: the early 1300s and present day. The chapters go back and forth, present to past and back to present again all the while building the story of the Aztec-esque urn and the codex it contains.
As a former history major I discovered something about myself while reading this book: ancient history is not my favorite. Not by a long shot. But in all fairness to Elle Marie and the undeniable work she put into this book, I went to amazon and read the reviews there. Unorthodox, I know, but as a reviewer of indie books and an author for a small house, I know what kind of work goes into a novel of this length and I wanted to be as fair as possible. Elle Marie spent her time (and possibly money) to get this book out for others to read. She put her heart out there and that alone deserves commendation.
What discovered is that Chronicle of the Mound Builders is just not my kind of book. That doesn’t mean that it’s not well written, or poorly formatted. It was neither of those things. As I said before, it is very complex,almost too much so for my distracted brain. But…I know a great many people who would fall head first into such a detailed and intricate tale and not emerge until the very last page.
That said, if you love deep books, with involved plots cleverly woven through historyand fact, then this is the book for you!
~*~*~*~ Author Bio ~*~*~*~
A visit to Cahokia Mounds sparked a fascination with the mysterious Mound Builders, about whom so little is known. What was their culture like? How did ordinary people live in the 14th century? What caused the civilization to vanish, seemingly overnight? She put her imagination to work and came up with a story line that put it all together.
By day, Elle works in the information technology field at a large financial services firm. She is a graduate of the Missouri University of Science & Technology and lives in the St. Louis area with her husband. Chronicle of the Mound Builders is her first novel.
~*~*~*~ Connect with Elle ~*~*~*~
~*~*~*~ Buy the Book ~*~*~*~
~*~*~*~ Elle Marie on Tour ~*~*~*~