Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Queen's Gambit by Elizabeth Freemantle

Katherine Parr, the recently widowed Lady Latimer, has rejoined Henry VIII's court. As she mourns her loss, she finds comfort in Thomas Seymour. But Katherine has also attracted the attention of the King. Soon, Thomas is dispatched to a foreign court and Katherine becomes Queen Katherine. Katherine tries to find contentment in her new position, but longs for her lost lover.
Told by Katherine's maid Dot, this book charts the last years of Queen Katherine Parr. I liked Dottie. She kept the story interesting and different. She showed a different side of Katherine, more motherly. I really enjoyed this book. A really great book. I can't wait to read another book by Elizabeth Freemantle.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Kiya 2: Mother of a King by Katie Hampstead

Kiya is forced to flee Armana with Malachi and her children. Back in Thebes hiding as Naomi, she faces danger and heartbreak of a different kind. Her family, even her beloved father, had given her up for dead.  Malachi is welcomed back into his family, but Naomi and her children are shunned. Just as Naomi seems to adjusting to her former life, Horemheb arrives unannounced. Now Tut is in danger. Naomi must become the mother of a King.
The second book in this series is even better than the first. The danger is much more vivid, and he stakes have been raised. I see the appeal of Malachi, but I like the darkness of Horemheb. This book was well done and very enjoyable.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Kiya: Hope of a Pharoah by Katie Hampstead

Naomi, a almost Jewish princess living in Egypt volunteers to save her sisters from the Pharaoh's harem by going in their stead. At Armana, Naomi is given a new name and declared mother of the heir to the throne. This declaration puts Kiya in danger from the King's favorite and harem ruler, Nefertiti. Kiya allies herself with Horemb, the palace commander. Kiya must steal the Pharaoh's heart and bear his child, but staying alive might prove impossible.
This novel brings a different view of Ancient Egypt into view. Her Jewish customs clash harshly  with the pagan Egyptian customs. Kiya is fiesty and lively and she makes a great heroine. Akhenaten and Horemeb are great characters, while Nefertiti is evil. It was an easy story to get sucked into. A entertaining read.

16163811

Monday, June 9, 2014

HFVBT Book Blast The Lost Duchess

Please join author Jenny Barden as she tours the blogopsphere for The Lost Duchess from May 26-June 20.



The Lost DuchessPaperback Publication Date: June 5, 2014

Ebury Press

Paperback; 448p



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An epic Elizabethan adventure with a thriller pace and a high tension love story that moves from the palaces of England to the savage wilderness of the New World.



Emme Fifield has fallen about as far as a gentlewoman can.



Once a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth, her only hope of surviving the scandal that threatens to engulf her is to escape England for a fresh start in the new America where nobody has ever heard of the Duchess of Somerset.



Emme joins Kit Doonan's rag-tag band of idealists, desperados and misfits bound for Virginia. But such a voyage will be far from easy and Emme finds her attraction to the mysterious Doonan inconvenient to say the least.



As for Kit, the handsome mariner has spent years imprisoned by the Spanish, and living as an outlaw with a band of escaped slaves; he has his own inner demons to confront, and his own dark secrets to keep...



Ever since Sir Walter Raleigh's settlement in Virginia was abandoned in 1587 its fate has remained a mystery; 'The Lost Duchess' explores what might have happened to the ill-starred 'Lost Colony' of Roanoke.



Buy the Book



Amazon (AUS)

Amazon (UK)

Book Depository



About the Author



I've had a love of history and adventure ever since an encounter in infancy with a suit of armour at Tamworth Castle. Training as an artist, followed by a career as a city Jenny (Portrait 2)solicitor, did little to help displace my early dream of becoming a knight. A fascination with the Age of Discovery led to travels in South and Central America, and much of the inspiration for my debut came from retracing the footsteps of Francis Drake in Panama. The sequel centres on the first Elizabethan 'lost colony' of early Virginia. I am currently working on an epic adventure during the threat of invasion by the Spanish Armada.



My work has appeared in short story collections and anthologies and I've written for non-fiction publications including the Historical Novels Review. I am active in many organisations, having run the 'Get Writing' conferences for several years, and undertaken the co-ordination of the Historical Novel Society’s London Conference 2012. I am a member of that organisation as well as the Historical Writers' Association, the Romantic Nevelists' Association and the Society of Authors. I'll be co-ordinating the RNA's annual conference in 2014.



I have four children and now live on a farm in Dorset with my long suffering husband and an ever increasing assortment of animals.



I love travelling, art, reading and scrambling up hills and mountains (though I'm not so keen on coming down!).



Author Links



Website

Facebook

Twitter

Jenny Barden's Blog

English Historical Fiction Authors Blog



Also by Jenny Barden



Mistress of the SeaPublication Date: June 20, 2013

Ebury Press

Formats: Paperback, Ebook



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Mistress Cooksley may be a wealthy merchant's daughter, but she blushes at my words and meets my eyes look for look. Yet I cannot hope to court her without fortune, and a dalliance with a pretty maid will not hinder me from my path.



Captain Drake's endeavour might bring me gold, but I, Will Doonan, will have my revenge.



The Spaniards captured my brother and have likely tortured and killed him. For God and St George, we'll strike at the dogs and see justice done.



I thought I'd left Mistress Cooksley behind to gamble everything and follow Drake, and here she is playing the boy at the ends of the world. She's a fool with a heart as brave as any man's. Yet her presence here could be the ruin of us all...



Virtual Tour & Book Blast Schedule



Monday, May 26

Book Blast at Reading the Ages

Book Blast at Literary Chanteuse

Book Blast at Bibliophilia, Please



Tuesday, May 27

Review at A Bibliotaph's Reviews

Book Blast at Flashlight Commentary

Book Blast at To Read or Not to Read



Wednesday, May 28

Review at Carole's Ramblings and Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell



Thursday, May 29

Book Blast at The Maiden's Court

Book Blast at Cheryl's Book Nook

Book Blast at Book Reviews & More by Kathy



Friday, May 30

Review at WTF Are You Reading?

Book Blast at The Mad Reviewer

Book Blast at Curling Up by the Fire



Saturday, May 31

Book Blast at From L.A. to LA

Book Blast at Gobs and Gobs of Books



Sunday, June 1

Book Blast at Lily Pond Reads

Book Blast at So Many Books, So Little Time



Monday, June 2

Review & Giveaway at The Tudor Enthusiast

Book Blast at The Bookworm

Book Blast at CelticLady's Reviews



Tuesday, June 3

Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Book Blast at West Metro Mommy

Book Blast at bookworm2bookworm's Blog



Wednesday, June 4

Review at The Wormhole

Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Book Blast at Kelsey's Book Corner



Thursday, June 5

Book Blast at Books and Benches

Book Blast at Book Lovers Paradise



Friday, June 6

Interview at Dianne Ascroft Blog

Book Blast at Kincavel Korner

Book Blast at Caroline Wilson Writes



Saturday, June 7

Book Blast at Royal Reviews

Book Blast at History Undressed



Sunday, June 8

Book Blast at Book Nerd



Monday, June 9

Review at A Chick Who Reads

Book Blast at The Musings of a Book Junkie


Friday, June 6, 2014

Medea by Kerry Greenwood

Medea tells the story of Medea, Jason and the Argonauts. Princess of Colchis, beloved of Hecate and friend of the Scythians, Medea is thrown into palace politics when she discovers her brother wants to marry her and take her father's throne.  Jason, grandson of Phrixos arrives and demands the bones of his grandfather and the Golden Fleece in order to take his rightful place as King of Iolcus. Determined to help Jason, Medea turns her back kn her family and demands for her assistance Jason marry her. So sets off their tragic story, ending with death betrayal and love after loss.
I loved this book! Medea was everything  I want in a heroine. Smart, compassionate, loving but not blind. She was perfect. Greenwood brings her to life. Medea tells her story, but we also see the story of Jason, Herakles and Naupolios.
I loved the life after loss. The story of redemption  was amazing.
I highly recommend  this book.
Thank you to the publishers for a review copy.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

HFVBT Book Blast Curses and Smoke: A Novel of Pompeii by Vicky Alvear Shecter

Curses and Smoke
Publication Date: May 27, 2014
Arthur A. Levine Books
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Genre: YA Historical

When your world blows apart, what will you hold onto?

TAG is a medical slave, doomed to spend his life healing his master's injured gladiators. But his warrior's heart yearns to fight in the gladiator ring himself and earn enough money to win his freedom.

LUCIA is the daughter of Tag's owner, doomed by her father's greed to marry a much older Roman man. But she loves studying the natural world around her home in Pompeii, and lately she's been noticing some odd occurrences in the landscape: small lakes disappearing; a sulfurous smell in the air...

When the two childhood friends reconnect, each with their own longings, they fall passionately in love. But as they plot their escape from the city, a patrician fighter reveals his own plans for them -- to Lucia's father, who imprisons Tag as punishment. Then an earthquake shakes Pompeii, in the first sign of the chaos to come. Will they be able to find each other again before the volcano destroys their whole world?


Buy the Book




About the AuthorVicky Alvear Shecter


Vicky Alvear Shecter is the author of the young adult novel, CLEOPATRA'S MOON (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, 2011), based on the life of Cleopatra's only daughter. She is also the author of two award-winning biographies for kids on Alexander the Great and Cleopatra. She is a docent at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Antiquities at Emory University in Atlanta.


Author Links




Book Blast Schedule


Monday, May 12
Bibliophilia, Please
bookworm2bookworm's Blog

Tuesday, May 13
Broken Teepee
Passages to the Past
In the Hammock Blog

Wednesday, May 14
CelticLady's Reviews
The Most Happy Reader
I'd So Rather Be Reading
History From a Woman's Perspective

Thursday, May 15
Kinx's Book Nook
A Bibliotaph's Reviews
Historical Fiction Obsession

Friday, May 16
Booktalk & More
The Mad Reviewer
Book Lovers Paradise

Saturday, May 17
SOS Aloha
Reading the Ages
Kelsey's Book Corner

Sunday, May 18
Giant Squid Books
WTF Are You Reading?

Monday, May 19
Caroline Wilson Writes
So Many Books, So Little Time

Tuesday, May 20
West Metro Mommy
The True Book Addict
The Musings of ALMYBNENR

Wednesday, May 21
Book Nerd
Tower of Babel
Hardcover Feedback

Thursday, May 22
Paperback Princess
Bittersweet Enchantment

Friday, May 23
History Undressed
Historical Fiction Connection

Saturday, May 24
Literary Chanteuse
Just One More Chapter

Sunday, May 25
A Dream within a Dream
The Little Reader Library

Monday, May 26
Pages of Comfort
Griperang's Bookmarks
Raizza's Book Blogging Adventure

Tuesday, May 27
Princess of Eboli
Ageless Pages Reviews
The Musings of a Book Junkie

Giveaway


To win a copy of Curses & Smoke or a $25 Amazon Gift Card please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open to US residents only.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on May 27th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on May 28th and notified via email.
Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Friday, April 18, 2014

The Medici Boy by John L'Heureux

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Astor+Blue:  
Described as “one of America’s greatest living writers” by the Financial Times of London, L’Heureux returns with a long-awaited new historical fiction novel; the result of years of research—backed by a Guggenheim Grant—on location in Europe.
In this well-conceived, historically accurate rendering, the Renaissance worlds of art, politics and passion collide. With his distinct style and rich, sinewy narrative, L’Heureux ingeniously transports the reader to Donatello’s Renaissance Italy—directly into his bottega, (workshop), as witnessed through the eyes of Luca Mattei, a devoted assistant.
 While creating his famous bronze of David and Goliath, Donatello’s passion for his enormously beautiful model and part time rent boy, Agnolo, ignites a dangerous jealousy that ultimately leads to murder. Luca, the complex and conflicted assistant, will sacrifice all to save Donatello, even his master’s friend—the great patron of art, Cosimo de’ Medici.
John L’Heureux’s long-awaited hardcover delivers both a monumental and intimate narrative of the creative genius, Donatello, at the height of his powers. With incisive detail, L’Heureux artfully renders the master sculptor’s forbidden homosexual passions, and the artistry that enthralled the leading—and competing—powerbrokers of Renaissance Florence: the Medici and Albizzi families. The finished work is a sumptuously detailed narrative that entertains while it delves deeply into both the sacred and the profane within one of the Italian Renaissance’s most consequential cities, fifteenth century Florence.
L'Heuureux's novel brings readers inside the bottega and close to the genius of Donatello. Lucas makes a great narrator, able to see the flaws of others and himself. I appreciated Luca's story, but loved that his true devotion and life belonged to the great artist. The art seems to come to life, much like the characters themselves. I think art lovers and hf lovers will enjoy this book about life, love, art and beauty .
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Award-winning poet, novelist, and short story writer, John L’Heureux has taught at Georgetown University, Tufts, Harvard, and (for more than 35 years) in the English Department of Stanford University where he was Lane Professor of Humanities.  There he received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and earned it again in 1998.
A prolific writer, L’Heureux has written more than twenty books of fiction, short fiction and poetry..  His works have appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, Harper’s, The New Yorker, and have been included in dozens of anthologies including Best American Stories and Prize Stories: the O. Henry Awards.
John L’Heureux has twice received writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and in 2006 he was awarded a Guggenheim Grant to do research for The Medici Boy, his new novel.
He is retired and lives in Palo Alto with his wife