Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New Release For August, THE RED QUEEN by Philippa Gregory

Finallly finally, a status report on the the seccond novel in new series by Philippa Gregory called The Cousin's War. I am still patiently awaiting the release of "The Red Queen". At least now I have a tasty tid bit to hold me over for the time being. I also have to mention that I did get my hands on a bit of info in regards to what will be the third book. If I remember correctly it took so long to get the red queen going because Gregory decided that she needed to make another book just on Elizabeth Woodville's mother. If I am not mistaken that will be the next book.  
THE RED QUEEN – Philippa Gregory – Published August 19th in hardback

'Saints' knees, Praise God, I have saints' knees.  I am not yet ten years old, but I have saints' knees...  Pray God I can meet their challenge and have a saint's end too'

"Daughter of one of the most famously incompetent English commanders in France, heiress to the red rose of Lancaster, Margaret Beaufort never surrenders her belief that her House is the true ruler of England and that she has a great destiny before her.   Her ambitions are disappointed when her sainted cousin Henry VI of England fails to recognize her as a kindred spirit, and even more when he sinks into madness; but worst of all for Margaret is when she discovers that her mother is sending her to a loveless marriage in remote Wales.

Married to a man twice her age, and a mother at only fourteen, Margaret is determined to turn her lonely life into a triumph. She sets her heart on putting her son on the throne of England regardless of the cost to herself, to England, and even to the little boy himself.   Disregarding rival heirs and the overwhelming power of the York dynasty she names him Henry, like the King, sends him into exile, and pledges him in marriage to her enemy Elizabeth Woodville's daughter. She feigns loyalty to the usurper King Richard III, marries one of his faithful supporters and then masterminds one of the greatest rebellions of the time- all the while knowing that her son is growing to manhood, coached by his uncle, Jasper Tudor, recruiting his army, his eyes on the greatest prize,

In a novel of conspiracy, passion and cold-hearted ambition, Number 1 bestselling author Philippa Gregory has brought to life the story of a proud and determined woman who believes that she alone is destined, by her piety and lineage, to shape the course of history".

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Giveaway HOW TO MELLIFY A CORPSE by Vicki Leon

OOOOh this is a treat for the readers! A giveaway is in order, what is up for grabs you ask? Two finished copies of "How To Mellify a Corpse" by Vicki Leon. Sorry but this one is open only to US and CANADA.

"In this delightful follow-up to IX to V, her entertaining look at work in the ancient world, León explores the tangled webs of science and superstition in Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and other ancient societies. With her characteristic deadpan humor, verve, and wit, she brings to life the practices of ordinary folks as they sought practical ways to avoid the evil eye, battle stronger enemies, and understand strange and marvelous astronomical events. Copulating during a strong north wind and ingesting magical potions were believed to guarantee a male child. Greeks and Romans placed gouty limbs on electric eels in order to ease their pain. Scythian warriors dipped their arrows in snake venom, human blood, and feces to ensure their targets would die a slow and gruesome death. Many ancient cultures touted the antiseptic properties of honey, using honey-soaked bandages to bind wounds. Many Greeks attributed the visions of soothsayers and diviners to "mad honey" made from the nectar of laurel and oleander plants. León™s rollicking tour helps us see that the daily lives and worries of the ancients were not far removed from our own".

The Rules
    * For 1 entry leave me a comment with a way to contact you.
    * For 2 entries follow my blog. If you already do, thanks, and please let me know in the comments. You're eligible for the extra entry as well.
    * For 3 entries blog or tweet this giveaway to spread the word. 

The giveaway will close on the 5th of July at midnight and will post the winners on the 6th. Good luck everyone this is such a good book I think it has elements that any person can admire.
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Monday, June 28, 2010

FOR THE KING by Catherine Delors Giveaway

Hello all I hope that summer has been treating everyone well this year. I am proud to announce that for the Historical Fiction Bloggers Round Table event for June I have up for grabs one finished, very beautiful, copy of For The King By Catherine Delors. This giveaway is open to US and Canda this time. 

For 1 entry leave me a comment with a way to contact you.
For 2 entries follow my blog. If you already do, thanks, and please let me know in the comments. You're eligible for the extra entry as well
For 3 entries blog or tweet this giveaway to spread the word. 

Giveaway will run untill midnight of July 5th, good luck to all.

" Delors follows Mistress of the Revolution with a gripping historical that chronicles the efforts of a young police inspector to capture the men responsible for trying to kill Napoleon Bonaparte. After a botched assassination attempt on Napoleon kills several bystanders, chief inspector Roch Miquel races to find the men responsible. His investigation is hindered by corruption and jealousy among his colleagues in the police force, notably from Fouché, the stridently unsavory minister of police, who, in order to keep Roch under his thumb, imprisons Roch's father under false pretenses and threatens to have him deported. Meanwhile, Roch finds some comfort in his married mistress, Blanche Coudert, who has a very unfortunate secret that will harshly complicate Roch's already precarious situation. It's not a surprise that Delors's sympathies are with her hero, and his adversaries are depicted as satisfyingly despicable. Themes of class conflict, the messy process of change, and impossible love are nicely woven into the tense central plot of this fast-moving chase through the damp, rutted streets of turn-of-the-19th-century Paris".

Still want more?

For more on FOR THE KING check out my review, a guest post by Catherine on Napoléon and Louis XVIII and be sure to stop by the HFBRT group site "For The King" by Catherine Delors.  For the groups detailed schedule of events please go to the schedule.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

HFBRT: FOR THE KING Guest Post By Catherine Delors: The King and the Emperor: Louis XVIII and Napoléon

Please welcome the lovely Catherine Delors to Historically Obsessed for this months Historical Fiction Blogger's Round Table feature "For The King" is due to hit bookstores July 8th 2010. Congratulations Catherine on the new release it is for sure good reads material. With out further delay Catherine Delores please take it away.

The King and the Emperor: Louis XVIII and Napoléon
My novel is called FOR THE KING for a reason (for several reasons, in fact, but I will leave it to the reader to discover those.) 

In 1800 France was still a republic, nominally run by three Consuls. For all intents and purposes, only the First Consul, Napoléon Bonaparte, mattered. He had seized power in a bloodless coup in the fall of 1799.  

At first, royalists indulged in the hope that Bonaparte would step down and restore the monarchy. The pretender to the throne was a younger brother of the late Louis XVI, Louis-Stanislas. He was now known to his followers as Louis XVIII, to allow for the theoretical reign of the young Louis XVII, son of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, who had died jailed at the Temple. 

  Louis XVIII

In 1800 Louis XVIII was 45. He had been friendly to reform in the beginnings of the French Revolution. But as it took a more radical turn, he had fled at the same time as the royal couple. Only he had succeeded in reaching Brussels when Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were arrested near the border. 

Since then, Louis XVIII had lived the unhappy life of an exile, at the mercy of the varying generosity of foreign sovereigns and the vagaries of international politics. In 1800 he was living under the protection of the Tsar of Russia. 

Louis XVIII was by all accounts, like his elder brother, a man of superior intelligence, but he was a far more astute politician than Louis XVI. He was patient, ambitious, cunning, and determined to step some day unto the throne of his ancestors. 

This is what he wrote Napoléon in September of 1800: 

You must have long known that you have earned my esteem. If you ever doubted that I was able of gratitude, chose your own place, decide the fate of your friends.  
As for my principles, I am a Frenchman: merciful by nature, I shall be all the more so by reason. 

No, the victor of Lodi, Castiglione, Arcole, le conqueror of Italy and Egypt cannot prefer a vain fame to glory. However you are wasting precious time; we can ensure the peace of France. I say “we” because I need Bonaparte for that, and that he cannot do it without me. 

General, Europe is watching you, glory awaits you, and I am impatient to restore peace to my people.
Keep in mind that Bonaparte had not yet given any indications that he planned to restore monarchy for his own benefit. He would only crown himself Emperor four years later. But he obviously thought the time had come to dash royalist illusions. Here is his response to Louis XVIII: 

I received your letter. I thank you for the kind things you write about me. You must not wish for your return to France. You would have to step upon 500,000 corpses. 
Sacrifice your interest to the peace and happiness of France; history will remember it to your credit. 

I am not indifferent to your family’s misfortunes. I will be happy to contribute to the comfort and tranquility of your retreat.

Bonaparte had dropped the mask! These letters, by the way, provide useful glimpses into the minds of the two men. Note how Louis XVIII flatters Bonaparte, and emphasizes cooperation, and how all but one of Bonaparte’s sentences begin with “I”.

A few months later, royalists will detonate a bomb along the path of Bonaparte’s carriage, in the assassination attempt I describe in FOR THE KING.
As to Louis XVIII, he had to bide his time. But eventually, he was restored to the throne, while Napoléon died in exile on the forlorn island of St. Helena. Twists and turns of history…
Thank you Catherine for dishing us this wonderfully delicious piece of correspondence between the two men. I do have to say though that the secret of the title was one of my favorite parts and my lips are sealed. If you want to know the FOR THE KING secret you will just have to read it.

For more on FOR THE KING check out my review and be sure to stop by the HFBRT group site "For The King" by Catherine Delors.  For the groups detailed schedule of events please go to the schedule.

For More on Catherine Delors FOR THE KING check this out:

Amazon: For the King
Catherine's Website
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Thursday, June 24, 2010

HFBRT Book Review, FOR THE KING by Catherine Delors

A superbly suspenseful page-turner, I could not put it down at about the half way marker. This is my first Delors read and I have decided her novel was riveting and also fascinating. I am adding Delors to my list of authors to watch.

Based off of one of the first real examples of a police investigation. Delors set her main protagonist as none better than a upstanding police inspector named Roch. During this time Paris is a city in turmoil, with the revolutions bloody aftermath still lingering like a dark rain cloud. This was France before Napoleon Bonaparte had won the glorious battles or given himself the self-proclaimed title of Emperor. France was a very sinister place to live at the time and it is even quite possible that police inspectors can get dragged into the darkness too.

Delors succeeds in quite literally starting “For the King” off with a big bang. A devious plot to assassinate Bonaparte by the Royalist left one city block in Paris completely demolished by a cart full of gunpowder. It left many dead or seriously wounded. It was then that the police had unleashed the hunky Roch to track down the culprits. Roch was the type of man that made sure he never had time for love. He was the hot bachelor who was a mindful careerer man.  Heading out on his new investigation on the attack of Rue Saint-Nicaise plot he had high hopes of success. He would come to find out that the biggest problem he faced was the people of Paris. During the wake of the revolution nothing was what it seemed, everyone had something they were hiding including Roch.  Hot on the trail Roch finds himself fighting a wave of dirty social and political politics that infiltrated even the most elite of Pairs social circles down to the lowly maid. A dark game of cat and mouse ensued with the conspirators but Roch had his own flesh and blood to protect from Madame Guillotine’s sights.

3.5/5 Loved it but…I got lost quite a bit and found myself rereading it more than normal.  Which is why I gave it the rating I did. I do have prior knowledge on this period but I have to admit I was lost with in the large cast of characters especially when it came to Roch's co-workers at the station. It was an invigorating read with such action that it was hard to put it down even if I did get lost.  I found the wild rid of the twisting plot enthralling and worth the effort. I would not recommend this to a newbie to HF because I believe this book should be recommended to a reader who has at least some prior knowledge of the French Revolution time period. 

For More on Catherine Delors FOR THE KING check this out:
Amazon: For the King
Catherine's Website

Be sure and check out todays event schedule for more on "For the King" by Catherine Delors. 

FTC: Thank you to author Catherine Delors for sending me this one for the June HFBRT event.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Book Review: ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Camille Rose Garcia

 I did it; I finally nailed down a classic this year. I tend to struggle on some of the older classics and this one was no different for me. At 160 pages it might as well have been double. I found myself rereading pages at a time. Why I am not really sure but I think it was because I was trying to make sense of the nonsense style of writing or at least justify it. A struggle as it was, it was well worth the read because now I know the real story of Alice.

Alice the curious little girl actually fell down a well not a rabbit hole. Of course she was chasing the white rabbit in the waistcoat. The world she fell into was a wonderland of non-sense. I found no mention of the twin boys that have graced many of the other tales and movies about wonderland which I was sort of disappointed about. I did find one part that has largely been omitted from recent works. It was when Alice made her way to the Duchesses house. A frog in a uniform, which was an oddity to Alice in its self, guarded the home but she ventured further and found upon entry into the Duchesses house it was filled to the brim with pepper. The cook of the house was randomly throwing pots and pans at everything and everyone. Curiously the Duchess sat in the middle of the violent cook and the cloud of pepper nursing a baby that she thrust to Alice to care for. Funny part was when Alice gazed at the baby at first she could not decided if it was a human baby or a pig. She abruptly decided it was a pig and let it run off into the woods while she continued on her adventure.

3/5 Good to know but it made no sense at all but what else was there to expect? I did not expect it to make sense. It was worth the effort and the illustrations were lovely to gaze upon. Masterpieces in themselves I was aw stuck by how well Garcia captured the non-sense in a truly modern gothic fashion. A must have for any art enthusiast library. I do hope that since the movie has created so much hype about Alice that this version can draw a whole new generation of lovers of the classic Alice in Wonderland. I wish I had read this in a group that could discuss the underlining in this book. I just know that there is so much more to it than what I got out of it.

From the Web on Alice

"In the eighth chapter, three cards are painting the roses on a rose tree red, because they had accidentally planted a white-rose tree that the Queen of Hearts hates. Red roses symbolized the English House of Lancaster, while white roses were the symbol for their rival House of York. Therefore, this scene may contain a hidden allusion to the Wars of the Roses".

"In 1931, the book was banned in Hunan, China, because "animals should not use human language" and it "puts animals and human beings on the same level". In Woodsville High School in Haverhill, New Hampshire, the story also was banned, because it had expletives, references to masturbation and sexual fantasies, and derogatory characterizations of teachers and of religious ceremonies".

Amazon: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mailbox Mondays and HFBRT "FOR THE KING" by Catherine Delors Kick Off

Lady of the Butterflies by Fiona Mountain Won from
"Fiona Mountain is a major new talent in the field of historical fiction."
-Alison Weir, author of The Lady Elizabeth

"They say I'm mad and perhaps it's true.
It is well known that lust brings madness and desperation and ruin. But upon my oath, I never meant any harm. All I wanted was to be happy, to love and to be loved in return, and for my life to count for something.
That is not madness, is it?

So begins the story of Eleanor Glanville, the beautiful daughter of a seventeenth-century Puritan nobleman whose unconventional passions scandalized society. When butterflies were believed to be the souls of the dead, Eleanor's scientific study of them made her little better than a witch. But her life-set against a backdrop of war, betrayal, and sexual obsession-was that of a woman far ahead of her time".

Also this week commences the Historical Fiction Bloggers Round Table June event. This month's feature is "For The King" by Catherine Delors which hits bookstores everywhere July 8th. You can check out the group shedule for the down low on this months event. 
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Friday, June 18, 2010

Sundays Art Early Edition, The White Queen and Book Review Journal Update

 I know it has been awhile since I have posted much of anything lately and for that I am sorry. Things have been a bit hectic lately in my world and I just have not had the means to be online much lately. I hope that this post makes up for it. I think I have just come down to the decision that I am limiting my number of posts to things that I really must post about. As many of you might have noticed I have been reading Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland" and I decided to update my reading challenges for this year. Which I had been completely slacking on but I made up for it and made a whole page dedicated to my reading challenges. One of the challenges I joined this year was the "Book Review Journal" and I finally have another one to add to the journal challenge.

My inspiration for this one was the lovely new "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll it is an illustrated version. The illustrator is Camille Rose Garcia and I have to say this Alice is like no other I have ever seen before. To me it seems like Camille's Alice has a bit of a Spanish Gothic vibe which I am sure Carroll never envisioned for his Alice. I found the art work stunning and could not help but let it influence me a bit. Since I also watched the new Alice in Wonderland movie by Time Burton my favorite character was the White Queen. She was played by Anne Hathaway, yep that morbid Gothic feel came into play once again because Anne was pale as a ghost with dark lipstick. I wanted to make my own white queen but I think my queen turned into everything but white. How that happened I am not really sure but here she is.
Once again I sketched her into my review journal first in pencil. Then I transfered the outline onto a bigger piece of paper and took off from there. She is done completely in watercolor pencils, color pencils, and one black pen. I really need to get a better size of watercolor paper because as usual it is a big piece, The White Queen is about 8x10. Enjoy everyone she is a beauty and stayed tuned for my review of "Alice's Adventure in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll.
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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mailbox Mondays

Prisoners in the Palace by Michaela MacColl

"Prisoners in the Palace -- London, 1838. Sixteen-year-old Liza's dreams of her society debut are dashed when her parents are killed in an accident. Penniless, she accepts the position of lady's maid to young Princess Victoria and steps unwittingly into the gossipy intrigue of the servant's world below-stairs as well as the trickery above. Is it possible that her changing circumstances may offer Liza the chance to determine her own fate, find true love, and secure the throne for her future queen?

Meticulously based on newly discovered information, this riveting novel is as rich in historical detail as Catherine, Called Birdy, and as sizzling with intrigue as The Luxe". 


 For The King by Catherine Delors, final hardback copy to die for beautiful

" Delors follows Mistress of the Revolution with a gripping historical that chronicles the efforts of a young police inspector to capture the men responsible for trying to kill Napoleon Bonaparte. After a botched assassination attempt on Napoleon kills several bystanders, chief inspector Roch Miquel races to find the men responsible. His investigation is hindered by corruption and jealousy among his colleagues in the police force, notably from Fouché, the stridently unsavory minister of police, who, in order to keep Roch under his thumb, imprisons Roch's father under false pretenses and threatens to have him deported. Meanwhile, Roch finds some comfort in his married mistress, Blanche Coudert, who has a very unfortunate secret that will harshly complicate Roch's already precarious situation. It's not a surprise that Delors's sympathies are with her hero, and his adversaries are depicted as satisfyingly despicable. Themes of class conflict, the messy process of change, and impossible love are nicely woven into the tense central plot of this fast-moving chase through the damp, rutted streets of turn-of-the-19th-century Paris".

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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Book Review: THE LOVELY BONES by Alice Sebold

Hands down this is the best non-royalty historical fiction read I have read to date. I was hooked in with in the first few pages to the point where I wanted to sleep with it attached to my hand. I plunged so deeply into “Susie” that I finished it with in two days. Sleep deprived as I was, I found the book had taken a hold of me like nothing ever has before.

It is a tragedy in this world that people hurt children, it is a withdrawn subject to me and one that I choose not to ever touch on in my readings. I do not have a stomach for violence but violence with children involved hits a breaking point for me that I just cannot do. I purposely stayed away from this book because I was scared and I knew that a girl was brutally murdered but when I saw that maidens court had read it I knew it was time. I had to stomach the violence to see what all the fuss was about. I was in a dark mood the day I picked it up and happened to pick the off-handed read to change up the mix, I am glad I did.

As I braced myself for the read I found Susie Salmon, “Salmon like the fish” was in junior high in the early seventies. She was fourteen when her demonic pedophile neighbor Mr Harvey viciously murdered her. The murder happened with in the first few chapters because death was not the end of Susie Salmon. I instantly loved Susie as every woman could relate to being an innocent young girl in that awkward phase of life. She deserved to transcend directly to that place where lost loved ones waited with open arms to greet you. Something was transpiring and Susie found herself in a limbo place where people who could not move forward stayed in their own world, like a waiting room for heaven. Her little brother Buckley said it was the “in-between” part of Earth and heaven.

In the in-between Susie watched, she saw her family struggle with the loss that had no resolution. In my mind I have always felt that to loose a child at any age is a devastating event that many families are never able to recover from. To be just lost is worse because you never get the much needed closure. Susie found she did not have closure in her heaven either and she remained where she was and continued watching the time go by. The family changed the kids were growing up, mom had run off with her grief that was like a crushing weight. Her grandma moved in even if she was disfunctional in the begining, but with in it all they had each other still the core that mattered was intact. What kind of closure could there be for the girl that only her elbow was found? I was not really sure, I do not even think Susie knew what it was until it came in another unexpected form.

5/5+ loved it a exhilarating read that had me burning through pages all the way to the end. This book is reminiscent of my all time favorite movie “What Dreams May Become”, magically beautiful and deeply sinister all at the same time. I do have to state that I think if I had to give this a movie rating it would have to be R because it is violent and it does get into the disgusting details of a child’s rape and murder. With that out of the way I would highly recommend this read for who believes they can handle the grizzly details. This is one of those reads it is necessary to push through the bad to get to the startlingly good experience.

FTC This is my own personal book.
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Monday, June 07, 2010

Mailbox Mondays

The Pearls of the Stone Man by Edward Mooney, Jr.
"Joseph and Anne Marino's idyllic 50-year marriage is rocked in this pedestrian inspirational tearjerker when Anne is diagnosed with a terminal heart condition. Joseph tries to make her last few months as comfortable as possible, but all Anne wants is for Joseph to finish the stone wall he's been promising to build and to make peace with their estranged son. In the process, they also take on wayward teen Shannon, who desperately needs a parental figure. Once Anne dies, Shannon tries to comfort Joseph, who continues to build the stone wall in Anne's memory. The reading experience is nothing short of excruciating: the characters are caricatures, their motivations are simplistic, and the plot is pat and uninteresting. If there's merit here, it's deeply hidden".

Shadow of the Swords by Kamran Pasha
"An epic saga of love and war, Shadow of the Swords tells the story of the Crusades—from the Muslim perspective.
Saladin, a Muslim sultan, finds himself pitted against King Richard the Lionheart as Islam and Christianity clash against each other, launching a conflict that still echoes today.
      In the midst of a brutal and unforgiving war, Saladin finds forbidden love in the arms of Miriam, a beautiful Jewish girl with a tragic past. But when King Richard captures Miriam, the two most powerful men on Earth must face each other in a personal battle that will determine the future of the woman they both love—and of all civilization.
      Richly imagined, deftly plotted, and highly entertaining, Shadow of the Swords is a remarkable story that will stay with readers long after the final page has been turned".
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Sunday, June 06, 2010

Giveaway Winners

The three winners of "The Pearls of the Stone Man" by Edward Mooney Jr. are....

The Winner of "Ten Things I Love About You" by Julia Quinn is ...


Congrats to all and winners check you emails to get me your mailing info.
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Thursday, June 03, 2010


In typical Plaidy fashion Jean brought out the heart and soul of the complicated life of Mary Queen of Scots. This is the best Mary book I have read to date hands down. Who would figure that so much drama could go down in 320 pages? Besides all the above it actually went quite well after “The Confessions of Catherine De Medici” by C.W. Gortner. Though Plaidy fashions Catherine as threatening menace from the young queen of Scots point of view. I find it funny how one book can change your whole prospective on a person and it follows you to other reads. Those types of reads are good reads and this one is no exception to great good read standards.

In truth Mary Queen of Scots was a woman who was “ruled by her emotions” . In the beginning I wondered Fotheringhay…why does that sound familiar? Fotheringhay was the end of the road for Mary and her execution took place there. I always wanted the whole story on her years before captivity in England. What was it that led Mary to be considered a martyr and what really happened in Scotland?

Mary’s life was a complicated one from the beginning, she was proclaimed queen as a baby and her mother was regent. Scotland at this time was in conflict with the royals because Scotland’s people were devout Protestants and the royals were stanch catholics. With the conflict at a high point and Henry VIII nearly beating on Scotland’s door for Mary she had to flee. There is not a more beautiful place you could escape to in the world other than France in this read the luxuries of France were bursting at the seams. Mary found herself in the center being constantly petted and loved for her profound beauty. She was brought up in the royal nursery with her would be husband the later François II, it was always known that François would not be too long for this world. How different things would have been if he had remained.

Sadly after François II passed the not so friendly dowager Queen Catherine De Medici said in not so many words for Mary to kick rocks on her own in Scotland. Mary was distraught to leave her powerful Guise family and the luxury that was France. Mary was not meant for Scotland she was as delicate flower among barbarians. She was more gullible then I ever thought possible, gullible to believe people including her own family’s loyalty.

Plaidy covers it all from the glittering luxury of France with it’s Casanova courtiers, to rough Scotland highlanders who wore they Protestant beliefs as a badge of honor, spies on all sides, murderous plots, blood turning on blood, and delicate Mary always found herself in the middle constantly taking the wrong steps that would only eventually lead to Fotheringhay.

5/5 Loved it, perfect for anyone who wants the straightforward story of what most likely happened to Mary in Scotland. I had heard this was the best and now I have to confirm it is the best. Poor Mary she had no street smarts and just fell for the wrong idiots. I always love a good Mary read she is always going to be a person of interest.

PG-13 for violence
FTC: This book is from my personal collection.


Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Blogging and Reviewing Etiquette

et·i·quette [et-i-kit, -ket] Noun

1. Conventional requirements as to social behavior; proprieties of conduct as established in any class or community or for any occasion.
2. A prescribed or accepted code of usage in matters of ceremony, as at a court or in official or other formal observances.
3. The code of ethical behavior regarding professional practice or action among the members of a profession in their dealings with each other: medical etiquette

Etiquette of Reviewing and Blogging

I feel this has to be addressed in the only way I know how, write and post about it.

I love books; I love books so much that it is deeply embedded in every fiber of my being. I live for books and when I am lucky enough, the first thing I do when I buy a brand new book is go home settle in and upon first opening it… I cannot help but smell it. I have to do this book “Sniffing” because I really do love books that much. I really have not been at this book review or blogging thing for long but I enjoy sharing. No one else cares as much about my obsession as my wonderful amazing followers and fellow bloggers. I treasure the insight and knowledge I have gained in this adventure people call blogging.

With that being stated we can move on to the issue. The issue for me is if people love books so much how can they bash them so hard? In my mind if you love them you could not hurt them could you? Could you abuse a child in anger and still love it? Everyone in this world has very different tastes and appetites. I tend to stick with shorter reads that get a bit romantic, you could even go so far as to say I enjoy fluffy reads. One the other hand I can get into darker reads that are more geared at the amazing strength of women in crisis. I learned my lessons a very long time ago that if you do not enjoy a book why finish it? Or to go even farther; why waste the time and energy it takes to write a hateful review on blogs or even Amazon? Is it worth the time and effort, for me it is not. I would rather be reading or doing something more productive with my time.

I have accepted that many people are not going to like what I like that is just how the world is. My policy is if I do not finish, I do not review it. But if I find it was not the best read to me then I will honestly review it. I do try to highlight the positive reasons why it is that I finished it and what kept me going to the end. I almost always write my reviews immediately after finishing my read that way I stay true to my feelings on the read.

There also seems to be another trend as far as personally attacking authors. These attackers have been labeled the "literary terrorists" for many reasons. One reviewer even went as far as to call a very prolific author physically obscene names. Or better yet attack an author for their professional choice of pen name. I also find that personally criticizing any author is a very bad way to leave your mark in the review world or blogging community. This is beyond the rules of etiquette. Do we as reviewers have a right to judge an author for changing a pen name or changing a title in the reprint? I personally do not think we are entitled to go to the “no no” zone. Much of that is not up to the author but up to the publisher. I have noticed that some such individuals consider etiquette to be an unnecessary restriction of freedom or of personal expression. In reality these people are obviously unhappy with some occurrences in their lives and their blind hate seeps into the digital world for all to read. Why else would theses literary terrorist feel the need to be cyber stalking authors for a book they did not like? One that really gets me was when I discovered that one reviewer went so far with revenge that in an Amazon review posted the authors personal wedding registration with her husbands name in it; like ha ha for a good laugh go buy her something. I find that  type of behavior absolutely despicable.

For me I just cannot see authors as gods because in reality they are just like you and me. Working hard, paying bills, stressing out about children and family are part of their daily lives too. They are not these all-knowing gods who are perfect human beings, they are just living their lives fulfilling their passions and we as lucky readers are able to reap the benefits of their labors of love. In being human we as a species have to accept that we make mistakes. Sometimes authors, publishers, and editors make mistakes and how can you not give a little to the fact that we are all human. I found it very disturbing to hear that a very well known author was receiving hate mail and death threats because of a clerical error on Amazon.

No matter how much I love books and how mad I would be if I got a bundle deal on the Tudors and one version was the UK one and the other US version, never would I even consider for a moment in my anger crossing the boundaries of my moral fibers to go so far as to threaten a persons life! No matter how much I love books I would choose life over them no matter whose life it was even if it was some of those nasty reviewers lives. I personally sneer at those who feel the need to purposely shock and rant readers because personally I do not like negativity and I just find it callus and the easy way out of having to write a really good review. But hey who am I, just another blogger that is an aspiring writer and just wants to experience the good things this community of bloggers really have to offer. Cheers to the positives in life because when the negative comes I cannot take it seriously.
 “You will get more bees with Honey then with Vinegar”

For all my historically obsessed fans here is your etiquette tasty tidbit.
“In America, the notion of etiquette, being of French origin and arising from practices at the court of Louis XIV, is occasionally disparaged, especially by those unfamiliar with etiquette's social foundations and functions, as old-fashioned or elite, a like code concerned only with apparently remote directives such as which fork to use".
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