Book Review: “Anne Boleyn: 500 Years of Lies” by Hayley Nolan

Hello!

If you know me well enough, you wouldn’t be surprised by my loving support of Queen Anne Boleyn. I’ve always thought she has a bad rap before, during and after her marriage to King Henry VIII. I’ve watched a lot of movies, tv shows, and documentaries that follow the whole “six wives” drama, and I’ve wanted to read a biographical story of her life, but I didn’t want to hear to hear the same things I’ve been hearing since 2008, and I have attempted to read this book two years ago, but I just wasn’t in the mood for it, so after the book itself basically stalking me for months on end, I decided to make a goal to read and complete it before the anniversary of her death in 1536.


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A bold new analysis of one of history’s most misrepresented women.

History has lied.

Anne Boleyn has been sold to us as a dark figure, a scheming seductress who bewitched Henry VIII into divorcing his queen and his church in an unprecedented display of passion. Quite the tragic love story, right?

Wrong.

In this electrifying exposé, Hayley Nolan explores for the first time the full, uncensored evidence of Anne Boleyn’s life and relationship with Henry VIII, revealing the shocking suppression of a powerful woman.

So leave all notions of outdated and romanticized folklore at the door and forget what you think you know about one of the Tudors’ most notorious queens. She may have been silenced for centuries, but this urgent book ensures Anne Boleyn’s voice is being heard now.

#TheTruthWillOut

taken from Goodreads.

Everything you think you know about the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn is turned upside down, as with every historian and film based on the second line of the Tudor dynasty can be comprised of lies, and lots of them. There were things that I didn’t concern beforehand that while I read this book immediately changed my mind and where I stand on my view of both the king and his former “love” that was Anne Boleyn.

I just want to let everything know, I took quite a few notes between mid-April to early May, just so I could remember things that I thought were really important to other people who enjoy a 16th Century soap opera!

Who was the real Anne Boleyn?

The first thing I thought was both crucial and interesting was how the author Hayley had the guts to say that Henry VIII could have suffered a mental illness all throughout his life. She believes she could have been a sociopath, and yes, she tells her readers why this seems like something he would have been going through in life, and It wouldn’t have been caused by the jousting accident he had in 1520’s, although she does point out that it could have heightened his paranoia of his court and of course, not being able to have an acceptable heir.

I thought it was somewhat funny how much I was comparing his actions like of Victoria Helen Stone’s Jane Doe series. Jane is also a sociopath, but totally fictional, so in a way, to see how her mind works–she doesn’t believe she is in the wrong, blames over people, she doesn’t know how to show true emotions like love, and is ruled by her impulses. I thought Victoria’s books were the shit before; I definitely love them now. but it was also frightening to see the similarities between these two, and again Jane is a fictional character!

Besides the rundown of Henry’s erratic behavior, you understand that we need to see Anne as a human being, although it was 1500’s, she deserves to have her real story told and this book is full of information by tons of courtiers and religious people of the time, such as Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Thomas Cromwell, Thomas Crammer, Archbishop of Canterbury, William Latymer, William Kingston, Chapuleys, Ambassador of Spain. You are told things that many historians and authors normally pass through because it doesn’t fit the mold that is the Tudor era.

One of the things we always learn about this part of history is that court life is not about this grand and there is always a party of some sort going on, but this isn’t exactly true. People were stuck in large palaces, and it was fairly quiet, so there was always in need of musicians and poets to keep everyone happy (or at least comfortable with their surroundings!) but it wasn’t just the king and his advisors that were working hard, the Queen also had her own job as she helped the king discover another religion which was evangelism and helped break away from Rome. She was helping students continue their schooling and protected them from harm for practicing another faith. She always worked based on what she hoped would happen for the nation and educate her little daughter Elizabeth as Protestant than Catholicism.

When non-history-fanatics think of Anne Boleyn, do they recall her fighting for religious reform and freedom? No, they think six wives, six fingers and beheaded.

There is something I wasn’t a huge fan of, I didn’t care on how cocky Hayley was, getting her point across with each chapter. I understand as someone who loves and supports Anne very much, you want everyone to know the facts, but I thought the author was sort of cocky with her words. However, there were interesting tidbits that were mixed with sarcasm here and you felt like she was sitting right next to me having a very intense debate about who was really responsible for bringing Anne (and the other poor victims) of the murdering plot down for good, and when it came to sections like this, I was fine with that familiar banter but the rest, not so much.

Anyways, if you are looking for a different perspective on this time period and looking at the ‘romance’ or ‘love story’ that was King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. I definitely recommend this book, but if you are set with what media chooses to discuss, then you might want to ease yourself into the real truth of Anne Boleyn.

Have you read Hayley Nolan’s “Anne Boleyn: 500 Years of Lies” yet? If you have checked it out, what were some of your thoughts about what she shared with us?

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First Impressions | Star Wars: Episodes I-III

Hello there.

I never thought I’d be here to discuss anything to do with Star Wars, but here we are!

As of May 10th, I have completed five movies, and I needed a way to express my feelings out loud because Nolan isn’t, technically, old enough to watch the films yet. I’d like to say he was the reason I decided to watch them, but I can’t. I’ve always been curious about the newer movies and since Disney+ has a few series about the past and present stories of this drama–plus the mania that surrounded the “Baby Yoda” a couple of years ago!–I realized I needed to see what all of the fuss is about once in for all.

So, with this being sad, let’s get into my top five impressions from, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, The Clone Wars, and Revenge of the Sith. I’ve recently watched Rogue One but will not talk about it in this post. I hope to do another on the next three films and finish with the latest movies as well.


5. My Love for Jar Jar Binks is Infinite

When I started my SW journey, I knew any character(s) that were quirky in some way, would capture me almost immediately, and when Jar Jar Binks was introduced in the middle of the first film, I knew I was a goner! I really wish he was around the third film instead of that one little scene that he is walking in Padme’s funeral. I enjoyed his bubbly personality and in an odd way, he, R2-D2 and C-P30 reminded me of Hagrid in the Harry Potter series, because despite his big appearance, he is such a lovable guy, who has a different way of speaking to others.

4. Tatooine Looked Like Bedrock from ‘The Flintstones’

As I was watching all of the scenes that feature the desert planet Tatooine, I was always thinking in my head of how much it looked like Bedrock from the live action versions of The Flintstones! I didn’t understand my thinking about it at first, but then I started to pair different things up like the usage of little handmade huts, giant weird creatures, and the angry alien versions of Fred Flintstone.

3. Master Yoda Can Really Move

This one really threw me for a loop. but you’ll (hopefully) understand in a minute.

Ever since the “Baby Yoda” craze erupted all over the world, I did know he was sort of portrayed as an older character, whenever I did see scenes of any of the movies, I would notice he was either propped up by a crutch or sitting in a levitating chair of some kind, so imagine my reaction in the third film and he is just running around like crazy, I was very shocked but I know when your adrenaline kicks in, you can do almost anything with your body and mind. So, as he was fighting Count Dooku, I was taken back by the spirit of Yoda’s abilities.

Master Yoda is like every elderly man out there, and that includes my papaw, because even though he wasn’t the strongest–physical wise–he had a restless mind, and he definitely did not like to be told ‘no’ about anything. We knew he shouldn’t bend over to pick up a tissue he dropped on the floor when I was around, but I think he did it because to give us mini heart attacks, so Yoda basically abandoning his cane altogether was somewhat familiar to me. As a newbie to the universe itself, now I am wondering if he is merely hiding this on the account of being an older creature to the Jedi council or what actually happened to earn that type of battle wound, so I’m hoping as I continue on with my list, I will finally get my answer to this burning question.

2. Anakin & Padmé

Okay, let’s start at the beginning, where we meet a young Anakin Skywalker in his cute chubby cheeks and inventive mind on Tatooine. I absolutely adore this little cute from the start of the whole thing. I vaguely remember seeing promos from “The Phantom Menace” and thought he was adorable, but it wasn’t enough to check them out along with my peers. I thought superheroes were cooler for me!

Anyways, when you are introduced Queen Amidala, you automatically think “she looks like a geisha!” because that’s exactly what she looked like and then before heading out to Tatooine, we meet her most trusted handmaiden Padmé and she obviously looks young, I’d say around 14-16 years but compared to this little boy that seems to be around 10, you would hope they would be able to keep up with each other as friend, but then “Attack of the Clones” comes on and Anakin definitely has a crush on her and acts on it, kind of bothered me at first. I wasn’t totally sure what I wanted to see happen between these characters, but I did not believe they should be a couple throughout the entire film.

1. The Origins of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia

I am still reeling by the events that happened in third film. Despite my feelings against the union, I did warm up to them and I didn’t realize how much I felt for Anakin and Padme as individuals until I got to the moment Anakin attacks the younglings at the Temple. I am surprised I didn’t believe in that change to Darth Vader after he killed Master Windu but once he walked into their room, my mind didn’t want to believe he’d kill them. This has happened before, and it was when it was revealed on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. about which side Agent Ward was really working for, and I had the same exact reaction where I didn’t want to believe it until I saw the person mentally and physically change into the enemy.

Sadly, it wasn’t until Obi-Wan was fighting Darth Vader, and he couldn’t allow himself to kill him, even though he saw the evidence of execution of the younglings and Master Windu, although there wasn’t footage of that scene, but it was absolutely heartbreaking hearing him groan and wail in pain as he’s being burned alive and seeing Padmé lose all hope for her little Anakin and the life they both desperately wanted for their little family, At the end, and Padmé gives birth and it is revealed to be two babies, who turn out to be Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, the former Queen dies, but while this is going on Anakin is essentially reborn as Darth Vader, and it really pulls at your heart and you can’t quite understand how it all went to hell so fast for them.


I couldn’t believe how much I adored these early characters so much. You get a chance to see the beginning of the whole world that makes STAR WARS so special. However, since I chose to watch the films in order, and seeing the special effects between the original three movies against what CGI can do to films, might’ve been my downfall because I am currently at a crossroads because I cannot stand to watch anything past the mid 1990’s movie magic, so I’m not exactly going through the group as I was when I started this list. I’ll get there, but I wouldn’t exactly hope for another update until possibly the start of July!

If you are a fan of the STAR WARS franchise, do you have a favorite film and/or characters? I’d love to hear what everybody enjoys about the pandemonium below in the comments, but please do not tell me any spoilers, it’s bad enough I know Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker have heck of a meeting so, please be considerate of this newbie, okay?

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Blogmas: Holiday Reads & TV

Hello!

This Christmas, I wanted to go all out on my celebrations, which really means absorbing as many books, films and TV specials as possible that relate to the holiday season. In this post, I am going to tell you about my reasons over this decision, plus give you some ideas if you’re in the mindset to basically do anything (or everything) I’m doing this December, so I really hope everyone enjoys this little thing.

Books:

Since I finished my reading challenge very early, it has allowed me to devote a chunk of my time to finding some wholesome and maybe not-so-wholesome reads about the holiday season. All but three of the books I’m reading this month are available on Kindle Unlimited, so they were free! So I have three full-length novels and the rest were novellas.

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Title: Unwrapping His Package
Author: Fiona Davenport
Genre: Erotica/romance
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This was amazing start to the holiday season! I always have a rough time with novellas because they can lack organization, but I didn’t have any problems with this one. It was a very steamy read, but exactly what I wanted to read at that moment of time. 


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Title: A Christmas Carol
Author: Charles Dickens
Genre: Classics/contemporary fiction
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I have always wanted to read this book. I’ve seen two or three film adaptions but have never actually made to read it, and this has always surprised me because it is the ideal Christmas story, but then again, when I was in school, I only read a handful of classics!

Anywho, I found the audiobook on YouTube and I thought I could listen to it while working on my Christmas cards this past weekend. I don’t know who the narrator was, but he definitely brought the characters to life with his deep, but welcoming voice! If you have about three hours to yourself, you should listen to it as well, and if you want, click here to start reading the book.


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Title: On His Naughty List
Author: Kat Baxter
Genre: Erotica/Romance
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Despite the fact that these two books are in the same series, I did not follow the order, because there were some that sounded cheesy, so I ignored them and found this bad boy! This one definitely had a lot of things missing from the storyline but obviously I didn’t care as much since I gave it a higher score…


The other books I have on my TBR (to be read) list are: Secret Santa by Mayra Stratham, (which is another book in the Filthy, Dirty Christmas series.) A Very Bossy Christmas by Alexis Winter, How to Ruin the Holidays by Becky Monsoon, Christmas in the Scottish Highlands by Donna Ashcroft, and finally Finding Love at the Christmas Market by Jo Thomas. Technically I am (as I write this post) reading A Very Bossy Christmas and it is absolutely hilarious, which is exactly what I want right now, so I see myself enjoying this and the one by Becky Monsoon the most, but we’ll see how things turn out in the end.

TV

I am not one to have my television locked on the Hallmark channel this month–honestly, it is one station I have locked out until the second of January when they turn The Golden Girls back on!

Last year, there was a film premiering on Lifetime called, Christmas Ever After and it starred Ali Stroker. Ali is a wheelchair user like moi, but most importantly she won a Tony away for her performance in “Oklahoma” in 2019. Honestly, the overall concept of seeing someone in an overwhelming holiday romance on my television that I was thoroughly exciting! Unfortunately, I never got a chance to finish watching it, that I feel like I need to find it again and give it another chance before Christmas is over.

I already have a small selection of films in my movie folder, and I am still stunned by my reasonings for wanting to watch them. There is Christmas in Tahoe that apparently was inspired by a Train song or album, and the band itself or just the lead vocalist Pat Monahan is in the actual film too! I adore the band’s music, I’ve been a casual fan over the years, but I thought the concept of this movie was interesting, so this was the first. The second was, A Christmas Dance Reunion, and it has Corbin Bleu and Monique Coleman, who played “Chad” and “Taylor” in the original High School Musical films. And finally, I am recording Sister Swap: A Hometown Holiday which has real sister Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Ashley Williams. It honestly looks really fun and hilarious, so it is on my list as well!

Now I am this selection says “TV” but of course, I’m enjoying all of my other favorites like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Annabelle’s Wish and Home Alone. Speaking on that film, I am also looking forward to checking out the newest Home Alone on Disney+ too! I really enjoy the sequels of these films, so this is just natural for me! Now that I have everything done, I can do everything that I love doing in this festive season.

What are you looking forward to the most? Do you have a new favorite holiday book or movie yet?

Album Review: “Cinematic Songs Vol. 7” by Tommee Profitt

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When Tommee Profitt comes out with something new, especially an album, you know I have to come out of hiatus for it. Fortunately, this isn’t the only review I am doing this summer. There is a big possibility you will get another when I come back for the end of July.

I didn’t even know it was coming out until about four days before it was released. As of the 20th of June, I still hadn’t listened to it because I kept going back and forth whether I wanted to blog about it, like as a proper album review, but since I hadn’t done one of these in so long that I literally almost vetoed it altogether. Thankfully, I changed my mind because I am in need of a cinematic binge, what about you?

So, let’s recap before we go too far into this post. Tommee started launching these clusters back in 2017. It doesn’t seem that long ago, but it might have something to do with the fact I never talked about volume six–I still don’t understand why I never did anything with it but I will say, it is still an album that isn’t as popular compared to the others for me. After that release, he took a mini break and worked with Fleurie (who frequently lends her voice and lyrics on past works) with their ‘Game of Thrones’ project “Gloria Regali” and then he devoted his time with Christian rapper NF on “The Search” (2019) and “CLOUDS MIXTAPE” (2021), but now he’s back with this bad boy, and I think we’re ready to get into it now.

The first track, “Who Will Save Us” actually features Fleurie, which honestly doesn’t surprise me. Tommee is known to work with both veterans in the cinematic world and some newbies too! I really liked the mild sounding of the introduction, it collides into Fleurie’s voice really well and even when the song explodes with this fierce power, neither one of these aspects are lost in the chaos. My only bad thing about is, it’s pretty short and I think I would have liked it more if it was a little longer and surprised me a little more too. Next we move on to, “Sinners & Saints” and this was the song that made me think we could be getting some new music by Tommee but I did not think an album would follow suit! I adore Beacon Light and I always feel happy and sort of lighter while listening to his songs and this one wasn’t any different. The one thing I wasn’t expecting was Moilba Mustapha and that country vibe coming through in the choruses. It is really good and definitely hits differently!

The artist Stanaj has a gorgeous voice! Personally, I am still obsessed with their track “Love Me” so I was thoroughly ecstatic to see them on here working with Tommee. “I Will Be Your Hero” really cuts you deeply with that slow beginning with just Stanaj’s soft vocals and piano in the background. You always know the song is going to be good if the piano is the main instrument–at least for me it always is! This song is so full of emotions and raw; it’s almost sexy in a way. Our fourth song is “Be Careful” with Laney Jones. I’m pretty sure Laney has been on the other albums but don’t hold me against that because I could be wrong. Anyways, I am in love with the music box lullaby start because it gives it a sweetly dark vibe and thankfully we glide into that feeling for the entire track. I need more of these type of songs honestly. I am surprised it was playing during the promos for the new Conjuring film that came out earlier last month.

As much as I didn’t want it the previous to end, we move to “Reign” with Anna Graceman. Now I will say, I don’t recognize Anna’s name nor her voice, but I like it. She has a soulful element that I didn’t think I needed until I heard it for this song. The track is very pop oriented but with her type of voice, it kind of gives off this bluesy vibe that isn’t overbearing by any means, but it is there as she hits those high notes towards the end. One thing I definitely approve of these albums–well, technically, I approve of a lot of things, but this is a favorite of mine!–s that he will include one or two instrumentals and with this installment, we get two of them. We begin with “Nocturnal Opus” and it definitely gives off that feeling it was created either late at night or after you’ve been up wayy over your limit. However, I really enjoy the eerie sound of the choir in the background. The entire track is spooky and wonderful. It ties in beautiful with “Be Careful” although they are two songs apart from each other.

“Powerful” is the one that I’ve been looking forward to the most as it has two of my favorites: Sam Tinnesz and Ruelle. These artists are very well-known in the cinematic pop world, as Ruelle has worked with the TV series Shadowhunters and Sam Tinnesz is basically everywhere now! I hear them all the time and it always makes so happy to see them getting all of this attention. The song itself is pretty mild but I honestly enjoy this seductive balance between Sam and Ruelle’s voices. They are both quite soft and it was nice to hear a beat match their octaves in this way. I had to listen to this one about three times to actually relish in it for a while. However, I had to go on and “Frontlines” was a nice sequel. It has another guest artist that has worked with Tommee before, Jessie Early. She reminds me of Ruelle but with an extra punch, I think Ruelle is very airy, dreamy sound whereas Jessie has a darker edge and is perfect fit on these fast paced tracks. I think my overall favorite element of this one are the string section near the end. They really make the song better!

The eighth record is called “Wake Up” and we have Xeah and this is so beautiful! I really adored the simple introduction, where its just their voice in that low, almost monotone sound and nothing else. We get a few lines like that but then it explodes and it is really strong and suspenseful in every way. The most interesting thing is, Xeah doesn’t have a lot of lyrics so the rest is instrumental, and it is super hypnotic. I thought this was the coolest one on the album, until I heard the next one. “Lament From The Grave” features Stanaj again, and I don’t want language Stanaj is singing but I love it! It kind of gave me like Hans Zimmer vibes because I’ve heard several tracks that are similar, so it was an interesting and new thing for not only me, but Tommee too, because we haven’t heard anything like this before. It sounds exotic and heartwarming at the same time though.

We are nearing the end of our time together; I hope you’re still with me.

I am such a sucker for anything with a little bit of moxie in it. “Welcome to my world” is definitely one of those types of songs. The artist included in this one is :LYRA, and I don’t quite know if they have been on previous numbers or not, but I like their voice. I feel like this could be great playing on the first episode of “Riverdale” new season this fall or perhaps the reboot of “Gossip Girl” It has a gripping but flirty sound and it is so good! Next is our final instrumental, “The Day Before” and I don’t know about you, but anything with these three words will have a sad element to it. You may not hear it at first but it’s there. I think it was really good, not at all crazy but perfectly balanced to showcase both a lighter and sort of panic atmosphere and it really works well with the final track, which is “Tragic” with Fleurie. It is a beautiful broken type of song and I really like these different sounds of bells going on in the background. It was the perfect ending.

I was honestly a little worried after I started this post, because I wasn’t sure I could do it anymore. I feel like I’m not the best person to review albums because I’m not great at describing things–I feel like I’m worse at discussing music. So, I took a big risk at jumping in with a Tommee Profitt produced album but I did it. I may never understand why I didn’t talk about volume seven but this one was really impressive! It was definitely needed after we went through in 2020, so I would rate it as six out of ten stars altogether.

Have you listened to “Cinematic Songs (Vol 7)” by Tommee Profitt yet? If you have, what song(s) was your favorite? What about the guest singers too?

Photo Diary | Feeling Like Spring

Hello!

For the past few weeks, I have felt like I’m in a daze. I don’t want to do absolutely anything, and it has been very annoying! However, nothing really compares to the trouble we’ve had with out internet services. I think a big chunk of why I feel so out of it is because our WiFi will stay on for like a minimum 10 minutes each time someone goes to turn it back on; on the good days, it will be really good but those days are very rare anymore.

Thankfully, I have some things to help distract myself from it, like getting into a new TV show. I am happy to share that I am finally done with Rizzoli & Isles! As I was watching the finale though, I cried like a baby! It was like watching the episode “500 Years of Solitude” of The Vampire Diaries, where all of our favorite characters who had died came back, I was a fucking mess! On the good note though, I have been getting into the show Bones now. It has the same dynamic duo but with David Boreanaz as the officer and Emily Deschanel (plus her band of assistants) as Maura Isles! So, the teamwork and crazy banter is still there and at the moment, I am enjoying it!

What surprised me though, that while I am in this fog, I was able to do something I hadn’t done since the start of winter. I was allowed to go outside.

Despite the fact that I love the changing landscape and seeing all of the birds fight for food on my bird feeder, I really miss being outside.

I hate being away from my cats, and it doesn’t really help now that like four of them are not living at my sister’s house! Bear-Bear and Oscar have officially moved on and it really sucks because they are my social kitties, they tend to want to spend time with me the most and since they would rather stay on the block, I’ve been somewhat sad, but I have Grumpy and I think he is perfectly fine with this change because now he doesn’t have to wait in line to be the center of attention to us. We still have Stormy, Nelson, Midge, and Felix too, so it’s not too terrible, although my dad kind of wishes they would all move out but I think he would be sad for me because that’s my connection to the outdoors for now.

We were able to experience some early spring in March. It isn’t too uncommon to have a few good weather days around this time, but it is important to remind yourself that we could still have another big snow coming until the middle of April. So, when we had three days of beautiful weather, my mom put me in my wheelchair and I sat out on the deck for a little while.

For the first two days, I would bring my camera out with me, but I wouldn’t turn it on. It wasn’t because of the lack of cats coming to see me, I just wanted to enjoy being in the moment with them. I needed a change of scenery and being among the cats, trees and noisy birds was a big comfort to me in those early days. The temperature would seesaw between a good 64 degrees to a chilly 57 degrees and I would only allow myself to stay out for like twenty minutes because I felt like my toes were going to fall off because it was so damn cold!

Even though this is a photo diary, I like being able to just unleash whatever I have in my mind. I tried my best to lie and be all cheery but this is what I’m been dealing with, and I know it can stem from the fact it is five years since my papaw’s passing and I could have suppressed feelings about it. So, I feel somewhat better now that I have unleashed my thoughts before allowing you to see the pictures I took on my third day outside. If you are still reading this, thank you for listening and I hope you enjoy the beautiful photos of our cats.

Do you have any advice for me when it comes to being in a haze? What are your favorite things to do when the weather starts to warm up a bit?