Monday, April 26, 2010

Mailbox Mondays

Another lovely Monday, not really but hey what are you going to do you have to start somewhere. For this past week only two books showed up in my mailbox and one of them is for the Plaidy obsession from Amazon and the other just showed up from publisher. I am glad it did show up I have had it on my wish list ever since I had gotten wind of it. 

Loyal In Love by Jean Plaidy 
Loyal in Love: Henrietta Maria, Wife of Charles I (A Queens of England Novel)"The daughter of Henry IV of France, Princess Henrietta Maria, becomes a pawn in a political strategy to stabilize relations between two countries when her father marries her to Charles I of England. Sent abroad, she finds herself living in a Protestant country that views her own faith—Catholicism—with deep suspicion.

Yet her new husband is a man of principle and integrity, and Henrietta and Charles fall deeply in love. Henrietta is passionate about her faith, however, and soon politically powerful people, namely Oliver Cromwell and his Puritans, turn her loyalty to her religion into a focal point for civil war. As the royal couple watch the fall of Thomas Wentworth, first Earl of Strafford, the rise of Puritanism, and Englishmen fight Englishmen, they are undeterred in their dedication to each other and in their belief in the divine rights of king and queen—even as spies lurk in their very own household.

Loyal in Love offers an inside look at an unforgettable time in England’s history and at the life of a queen whose story of devotion and bravery has gone untold for too long". 

Eleanor the Queen: A Novel of Eleanor of AquitaineEleanor The Queen by Norah Lofts 
"Eleanor of Aquitaine rules as a modern heroine in the twelfth century, in this beloved classic of royal fiction from renowned author Norah Lofts.
At a time when a woman’s value was measured solely by her wealth and the number of sons she bore, Eleanor was the high-spirited, stubborn, and intelligent heiress to the vast duchy of Aquitaine.
Her leadership inspired the loyalty of her people, but she was continually doubted and silenced by the men who ruled beside her—the less wise but far more powerful men of the church and court who were unwilling to lose power to a woman, regardless of her rank or ability.
Through marriages to two kings, two Crusades, and the births of ten children— including the future King Richard the Lionhearted—Eleanor solidified her place in history. In Eleanor the Queen, Norah Lofts brings to life a brave and complex woman who was centuries ahead of her time".

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Book Review: THE QUEEN'S PAWN by Christy English

I have been waiting what feels like an eternity to read this book. I have had the ARC since the beginning of the year but because of my tight reading schedule I was not able to get to it sooner. Finally I have done it I have read it and I really enjoyed it. Christy English is by far one of the nicest authors I have ever come into contact with and I am so glad that she found me and offered me "The Queens Pawn" for review. Since I am new to this whole medieval time period of the 11th century I genuinely can say that this is a period that I am falling in love with. It started first with Elizabeth Chadwick and now continues on with Christy English.

Alais, Princess of France was the daughter of Louis VII. Louis was married to Eleanor of Aquitaine but as many know that did not work out and Eleanor left him for the King of England Henry II. Alias’s father married her mother after Eleanor left and sadly her mother died when she was a baby. It is hard for me to think of any child growing up with out a mother but for girls it is so much harder. They need that extra maternal devotion and when Alais was sent to England to marry Eleanor and Henry’s son Prince Richard she was immediately taken under Eleanor’s wing as a true daughter. The two women shared a deep kinship more like kindred spirits of a special kind. Eleanor saw in Alais some of her own defining qualities and took on an instant unconditional love for Alais.

It was a mess what Alais walked into in England, Eleanor and Henry’s relationship had already turned sour and the whole family were on the verge of war. It was a good thing for Alais that at one point she spent some time in a nunnery when Eleanor was being shady to the king. The whole book took a drastic turn when Alais went to court at Whitehall to be with Eleanor and Richard. I believe Alais deeply loved Richard and that since she had been so sheltered in her life at France she had no idea that when Richard swore his oath to her that it might not all be true. She wanted real love and would not accept anything less.

As we all know revenge is a dish that is best served cold but Alais made her revenge a steaming hot plate of deceit. An unexplainable force drew her to the king and she reacted out brashness and made the biggest mistake of her life. Turning her back on Eleanor and Richard she destroyed all that was in her path. Alais rejected Richard and Eleanor’s love and only accepted the Kings. Hum lets see bad idea or good idea? To love a man that locked his wife up for over 20 years, and who easily turned on his own children. It just made me wonder what she saw in him.

4/5 I really enjoyed this read but I have this little nagging feeling that other avid lovers of this period might not enjoy it as much as me. For the only reason that maybe since I am new to this period that I might just not have enough of the whole history to really understand if things were left out or events changed. I would highly recommend this book to newbies of this time period. All in all it was a easy read that was not complicated and flowed very nicely. No confusion here which is very important to me. Plus I love this beautiful cover the ladies are just too pretty in those dresses.

Thank you Christy for sending me this wonderful book I really enjoyed it. I can not wait for the next one on your ladies!
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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mailbox Mondays and Claude and Camille Giveaway Winner

Another lovely mailbox Monday. This one has been a long time coming, forever I have been waiting to get these books and since I had the money this time I just did it and I do not regret it. The Plaidy's are the food for one obsession and the others have been recommended by readers like yourselves. So here we go with the biggest mailbox Monday ever mind you they came through out the last week, really it is all books I have received since April 7th.

I have been working on my Plaidy collection for almost 2 years now and I love the older modern reprints that have the paintings. I want to be like the Jean Plaidy button last year and line them all up and have all the queens! My problem is now I have 2 sets going one of the older reprints and now I have a few of the brand new reprints. 

This is what I am working on now,

Mary Stuart Series
The Royal Road to Fotheringay Vol. 1 Older reprint
The Captive Queen of Scots Vol. 2 Older reprint

James I
The Murder in the Tower

Charles II Trilogy

The Wandering Prince Vol. 1Older reprint
Health Unto His Majesty Vol. 2Older reprint
Here Lies our Sovereign Lord Vol. 3Older reprint
Charles II Vol. 1,2,3 Older reprint
Combined as the loves of Charles IIP

Queens of England Series
Myself My Enemy Vol. 1
Queen of this Realm Vol. 2
Victoria Victorious Vol. 3
The Lady in the Tower Vol. 4
The Courts of Love Vol. 5
In the Shadow of the Crown Vol. 6
The Queen's Secret Vol. 7
The Reluctant Queen Vol. 8
The Pleasures of Love Vol. 9
William's Wife Vol. 10
The Rose Without a Thorn Vol. 11

For a Queen's Love: The Stories of the Royal Wives of Philip II (A Novel of the Tudors)The King's Confidante: The Story of the Daughter of Sir Thomas More (A Novel of the Tudors)A Favorite of the Queen: The Story of Lord Robert Dudley and Elizabeth I (A Novel of the Tudors)Newer Reprints
The Reluctant Queen: The Story of Anne of York (A Queens of England Novel)The Thistle and the Rose: The Tudor PrincessesThe Merry Monarch's Wife: The Story of Catherine of Braganza (A Queens of England Novel)

An Infamous Army: A Novel of Wellington, Waterloo, Love and War
The Sixth Wife: The Wives of Henry VIIIThe Queen's Devotion: The Story of Queen Mary II (A Queens of England Novel)

The Heretic Queen: A NovelMarrying Mozart These lovelies up above were bought from various places mainly Amazon but "The Captive Queen of Scots" I had to buy at Barnes and Noble because Amazon does not have this cover. I happened to get "The Kings Confidante" at Target in the tiny HF section of books. Yes Target has  a tiny shelf dedicated to only HF.  Pope Joan I had to buy because once again I made the  mistake of  lending it out and it has disappeared.  Marrying Mozart I got because I loved Claude and Camille and just know I would love Mozart too. I also got the Target version of Nefertiti and The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran. 

These ones showed up from Powell's Bookstore and man I am so glad I went in there. 

"Katharine of Aragon's marriage to her beloved King Henry VIII is threatened by powerful people in her husband's court who spin webs of intrigue regarding whether or not she can bear the king a son".

From PBS wish list
Rivals for the Crown by Kathleen Givens

"1290: Turmoil erupts when the seven-year-old queen of Scotland perishes en route to claim the crown. Two bitter foes -- John Balliol and Robert Bruce -- emerge as possible successors, but England's Edward I has his own designs on Scotland.
In London, Edward has expelled all Jews from his kingdom. Rachel de Anjou is heartbroken to leave behind her best friend, Isabel de Burke, and travel with her family to the Scottish border town of Berwick. Danger is everywhere, but the tall, dark Highlander Kieran MacDonald presents a risk of a different sort.
Isabel, appointed as lady-in-waiting to Edward's queen, Eleanor, is soon immersed in a world of privilege and peril where she attracts the notice of two men -- Henry de Boyer, an English knight, and Rory MacGannon, a Highland warrior and outlaw. Isabel and Rachel are soon reunited in Berwick, but as the enmity between Scotland and England reaches its violent peak, each woman must decide where her loyalty -- and her destiny -- lies".

From Publishers:
Georgette Heyer's Regency WorldRussia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and PeaceThe Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn

Congrats also to Angie for being the winner of the Claude and Camille by Stephanie Cowell Giveaway! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! It is a wonderful book that I think many readers will fall in love with.
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