Monday, December 1, 2014
I loved this book. I received The Strangled Queen from the publisher and knew I needed to start at the beginning. This series is amazing. Read it!
Friday, November 28, 2014
This book is one of the first I have read about Josephine, though there are many out there. Josephine seems likeable and relatable. Her life seems almost to fall neatly into sections. She was a remarkable woman who lived a larger than life. Her extravagances were amazing, but underneath it all she seen like any woman who wants love, security and a place to call home.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
This touching coming of age novel was very satisfying. Though Luca can be a quiet narrator, he is thoughtful and is very likeable. I enjoyed this book. The historical details are amazing. I wish that the end had been a bit more clearer, but maybe that sets up for a sequel!
Monday, November 24, 2014
I loved this book. I had never read much about Joan or Ned. I loved Joan's personality. And though I knew how it ended, it was an amazing journey. Very highly recommended.
Thursday, November 6, 2014
Jean Rombaud is brought to England by Henry VIII to behead his Queen Anne Boleyn. Jean arrives, determined to do his job and collect his reward. Instead, he finds himself drawn to Anne as she remains strong in her final days. He makes a vow to her to bury her six fingered hand in the Loire Valley. But others have plans for the rumored magical hand of the heretic queen.
This book has it all. Fast paced and entertaining, I almost couldn't put it down. I loved all the characters, but especially loved Haakon. This is a great book! Very highly recommended!
Thursday, October 30, 2014
I remember exactly what I was doing when the idea for The French Executioner hit me like a bolt of lightning. I was working out.
I was living in Vancouver at the time. Making my living as an actor. I’d written a couple of plays. But my dream from childhood had always been to write historical fiction.
I wasn’t thinking of any of that, on that day in a gym in 1993. I was thinking about shoulder presses. Checking my form in the mirror.
This is what happened. (It also shows you the rather strange associations in my brain!)
I lift the weight bar.
Me, in my head. ‘God, I’ve got a long neck.’
‘If I was ever executed,’ - Raise bar - ‘it would be a really easy shot for the ax.’
‘Or the sword. Because, of course, Anne Boleyn was executed with a sword.’
Raise bar. Stop half way.
‘Anne Boleyn had six fingers on one hand.’
Flash! Boom! Put down bar before I drop it. It came together in my head, as one thing: the executioner, brought from France to do the deed, (I remembered that from school). Not just taking her head. Taking her hand as well, that infamous hand – and then the question all writers have to ask: what happened next?
I scurried to the library. Took out books. I knew it had to be a novel. I did some research, sketched a few ideas. But the problem was, I wasn’t a novelist. A play had seemed like a hill. A novel – well, it was a mountain, and I wasn’t ready to climb it. So I dreamed a while, then quietly put all my research, sketches, notes away.
But I never stopped thinking about it. The story kept coming and whenever I was in a second hand bookstore I’d study the history shelves and think: if ever I write that novel – which I probably never will – I’ll want… a battle at sea between slave galleys. So I’d buy a book on that subject, read it. Buy another, read it.
November 1999. Six years after being struck by lightning. I’m living back in England and I find a book on sixteenth century mercenaries - and I knew the novel I was never going to write would have mercenaries. Twenty pages in, I turn to my wife and say: “You know, I think I’m going to write that book.” And she replies, “It’s about bloody time.”
I wrote. The story, all that research, had stewed in my head for so long, it just poured out. Ten months and I was done. I wondered if it was any good. I sent it to an agent. She took me on and had it sold three months later.
I was a novelist after all.
Thank you to the publisher and CC. My review will be posted next week! Stay tuned!
Friday, October 3, 2014
This melding of two fairy tales was amazing. Though Rapunzel had issues, I still was sympathetic with her to a point. I loved how Turgeon kept the Grimm outlook on the stories, with dark twists and turns. It's an amazing book, well worth your time. It's completely devourable! Thank you to the publisher for a review copy.