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Showing posts from September, 2014

Review: "Prisoner of the Queen" by E. Knight

Synopsis:  I have served three queens in my life. One was my sister, one was my savior, and one my bitterest enemy. Knowing she was seen as a threat to the Queen she served, Lady Katherine Grey, legitimate heir to the throne, longs only for the comfort of a loving marriage and a quiet life far from the intrigue of the Tudor court. After seeing her sister become the pawn of their parents and others seeking royal power and then lose their lives for it, she is determined to avoid the vicious struggles over power and religion that dominate Queen Elizabeth’s court. Until she finds love—then Kat is willing to risk it all, even life in prison. My Thoughts:  Prisoner of the Queen is a refreshing look at the life of Katherine Grey.  For the first time, she is portrayed as a strong, intelligent woman instead of as a foolish and naive girl.  I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Knight's unique portrayal of this fascinating historical figure. Likes:   In addition to Knight's portrayal

Review: "Hand of Fire" by Judith Starkston

Synopsis:  The Trojan War threatens Troy’s allies and the Greek supply raids spread. A young healing priestess, designated as future queen, must defend her city against both divine anger and invading Greeks. She finds strength in visions of a handsome warrior god. Will that be enough when the half-immortal Achilles attacks? Hand of Fire , a tale of resilience and hope, blends history and legend in the untold story of Achilles’s famous captive, Briseis.  My Thoughts: I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Hand of Fire. I don't read books about ancient times very often so I had no idea what to expect from this book.  Ms. Starkston did an amazing job of weaving mythology and history into a beautifully written tale of war, love and loss.   Likes:     I haven't read The Iliad ( but now I really want to!) so I'm not really familiar with Achilles and the only thing I know about this time period is the Tro jan horse (which is not in this sto

Review: "Shadow on the Highway" by Deborah Swift

  Synopsis:  May 1651. England has been in the midst of a civil war for nearly ten years. The country has been torn in two, and the King is getting ready to make his last stand against Cromwell’s New Model Army. Abigail Chaplin, a young mute girl, has lost her father to the parliamentarian cause. But with her family now in reduced circumstances, she is forced to work as a servant at a royalist household – the estate of Lady Katherine Fanshawe. Abi is soon caught up in a web of sinister secrets which surround the Fanshawe estate. The most curious of which is the disappearance of Lady Katherine late at night.Why are her husband’s clothes worn and muddy even though he hasn’t been home for weeks? How is she stealing out of the house late at night when her room is being guarded? And what is her involvement with the robberies being committed by the mysterious Shadow on the Highway? ‘Shadow On The Highway’ is based on the life and legend of Lady Katherine Fanshawe, the hi

Mailbox Monday (28)

I'm linking up with Mailbox Monday again.  Check it out here ! Phew!  It's been a busy weekend!  We are going to California on Friday to visit family and I'm in full on packing mode.  I haven't traveled with Julia since she was 6 weeks old and it feels like there is so much stuff to pack. Regarding books, I had a YA kind of week.  I've heard great things about all of these books and am really looking forward to reading them. From the Library: The Gospel of Winter by Brendan Kiely Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead What books did you get this week?

Review: "Inglorious Royal Marriages" by Leslie Carroll

Synopsis:   Why does it seem that the marriages of so many monarchs are often made in hell? And yet we can’t stop reading about them! To satisfy your schadenfreude, INGLORIOUS ROYAL MARRIAGES offers a panoply of the most spectacular mismatches in five hundred years of royal history….some of which are mentioned below. When her monkish husband, England’s Lancastrian Henry VI, became completely catatonic, the unpopular French-born Margaret of Anjou led his army against the troops of their enemy, the Duke of York. Margaret Tudor, her niece Mary I, and Catherine of Braganza were desperately in love with chronically unfaithful husbands—but at least they weren’t murdered by them, as were two of the Medici princesses. King Charles II’s beautiful, high-spirited sister “Minette” wed Louis XIV’s younger brother, who wore more makeup and perfume than she did. Compelled by her mother to wed her boring, jug-eared cousin Ferdinand, Marie of Roumania—a granddaughter of Queen Victori

August Wrap Up

August was an amazing reading month for me!  I read 11 books this month!  I hit my goal of 50 books read and reset my goal to 75.  As of the last day in August, I've read 55 books.  I need to read 5 books a month for the rest of the year to hit 75 and I feel like that should be doable. Work was crazy in August and while it's not as crazy, it's still pretty busy.  We're going to California next week so we're getting ready for that.  I'm taking a Russian class this fall and it's taking a lot more of my time than I thought so things might slow down a bit around here.  I'm also taking a class about Laura Ingalls Wilder (post to come soon) but it doesn't start until September 22. So this fall is going to be nuts! Here is what I read this month: 1.) Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon 2.) Revenge and Retribution by Anna Belfrage 3.) Brotherhood of Fear by Paul Grossman 4.) A Little House Sampler by Laura Ingalls Wilder and

Book Spotlight and Giveaway: "The Laird" by Grace Burrowes

I'm excited spotlight The Laird by Grace Burrowes today!  Enter to win a copy of Ms. Burrowes' Captive Hearts trilogy here ! Summary: He left his bride to go to war... After years of soldiering, Michael Brodie returns to his Highland estate to find that the bride he left behind has become a stranger. Brenna is self-sufficient, competent, confident-and furious. Despite her anger at Michael's prolonged absence, Brenna has remained loyal to her husband, though Michael's people, and most especially the uncle who held the estate together for him, make it clear they expect Michael to set Brenna aside. Though his most important battle will be for her heart. Michael left Brenna when she needed him most, and then stayed away even after the war ended. Nonetheless, the young man who abandoned her has come home a wiser, more patient and honorable husband. Brenna is hurt, bewildered, and tired of fighting for the respect of those around her,

"Charlemagne: Hero or Villain?" Guest Post by Kim Rendfeld

  I'm so excited to welcome Kim Rendfeld, author of "The Ashes of Heaven's Pillar" to the blog today. Charlemagne: Hero or Villain? Did Charlemagne unite his country when he seized his dead brother’s kingdom from his toddling nephews? Did he save Rome from the invading Lombards? Did he destroy the Irminsul, a pillar sacred to the Continental Saxon peoples? Did he have his daughters educated along with sons? Did he cut his eldest son from the succession? All of the above. Whether those actions make him a hero or a monster depends on whose side you’re on. Or in in the case of a historical novelist, which character’s point of view. Alda, a Frankish aristocrat and heroine of my debut, The Cross and the Dragon, sees him as a hero. She follows the gossip about tensions between Charles and his younger brother, Carloman, each of whom inherited a kingdom when their father died. After Carloman’s death from an illness, she is relieved a strong leader take