Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Book Review: CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER by Michelle Moran

I have come to notice that many people do not know that Cleopatra had children. Queen Cleopatra's dramatic exit from this life is more well remembered than her children. Cleopatra has always been a favorite historical figure of mine. The mother that committed suicide rather than bend to Romes rule a true Queen of Egypt. Forgetting that she left behind children that lost everything including their country by the hands of the Romans. What uncertain path lay before them? Would they survive being taken to Rome or really would they survive the game of being involved in the roman elite circle?

Selene and her brothers were taken to Rome after her mother death. As part of the Roman take over of Egypt. She went physically willing but not mentally. She was a gifted artist who shared a passion with her father Marc Anthony of architecture. She was educated in Egypt and would continue her education in Rome. Her education gave her an advantage in Rome. She knew that things were not right in Rome politically speaking and it made her uneasy. The part I think she was most uncomfortable with was the slavery and corruption with in the city. Living in a world that was not her own feeling heartbreak after heartbreak. I felt complete sympathy for her. Losing not just her mother but her father then her little brother on the way to Rome. She deserved happiness but there was none to be had in Rome.

A glimmer of hope arrived in the form of a "rebel" know only as the Red Eagle. He was like the Robin Hood of Rome, freeing slaves, and standing up for to the injustices the government had pulled off. He called to the people to stand up for what is right. He even saved Selene herself at one point from a mad bull who would have stomped her to death. Selene's curiosity would lead her to suspect everyone including the man she loved that did not love her in return. In a world that was dramatically ever changing would Selene ever find her place or would she be lost in the corruption like so many others had? Or would the red eagle change everything for better or worse?

5/5 Muse rating. Michelle wove a tragic story of a child's loss into a story of finding ones own self. I loved this book with it's vivid story of what it meant to be a Roman and live a Roman life. The best part for me was the detailed descriptions of the buildings in Rome and Egypt.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sundays Art: John Dryden Short Poem

215 The Suffering Heart

No, no, poor suffering heart, no change endeavor;
Choose to sustain the smart, rather than leave her.
My ravished eyes behold such charms about her,
I can die with her, but not live without her.
One tender sigh of hers, to see me languish,
Will more than pay the price of my past anguish.
Beware, O cruel fair, how you smile on me,
'Twas a kind look of yours that has undone me.

Love has in store for me one happy minute,
And she will end my pain who did begin it;
Then, no day void of bliss or pleasure leaving,
Ages shall slide away with out perceiving:
Cupid shall guard the door, the more to please us,
And keep out Time and Death, when they would seize us:
Time and Death shall depart, and say, in flying,
Love has found out a way to live by dying.
John Dryden
" John Dryden (9 August 1631 – 12 May 1700) was an influential English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright who dominated the literary life of Restoration England to such a point that the period came to be known in literary circles as the Age of Dryden."

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Book Store Adventures in Portland

Another adventure in Portland area. This time I was on a mission to discover more Jean Plaidy Novels and to find Of Mice and Men by John Steinbck. This time unfortunately I did not find much of what I set out to find.

This time I went to a used bookstore closer to my house. They specialize in rare books and I had never been in there before. Lets just say I am not going back either not exactly a kid friendly zone. But I did manage to snag a few little things that were overpriced enough to where I appreciated the last stores prices much more.

I picked up a nice leather copy of The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran which to my surprise is a very interesting little book. After doing a search on him this is what came up:
"He was a Lebanese American artist, poet, and writer. Born in the town of Bsharri in modern-day Lebanon (then part of Ottoman Syria), as a young man he emigrated with his family to the United States where he studied art and began his literary career. He is chiefly known for his 1923 book The Prophet, a series of philosophical essays written in English prose. An early example of Inspirational fiction, the book sold well despite a cool critical reception, and became extremely popular in 1960s counterculture."
I am sending it to my brother, words of wisdom and inspiration. I also finally found Robin Maxwell's "The Queens Bastard", I read it awhile back and have been looking for it forever. I lucked out with one Victoria Holt aka Jean Plaidy novel "The Queen's Confession" which is a tale of Marie Antoinette. One that I have not even heard of. Last but not least "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by Lisa See. Sorry all but the pictures are not the exact ones I got but it was the closest I could find.

Giveaway Winner Is .....

Thank you to all who entered, I have a couple of new giveaways coming up soon.

Congratulations Holly from 2 Kids and Tired Book Reviews

Friday, September 25, 2009

Blog Award, Thank you Christy

Christy's Book Blog gave me a Superior Scribbler Award! Thank you Christy it is an honor you would think of me.

In keeping with the rules of the award, which are:

Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.

Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.

Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.

Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!

Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

Here are my five Superior Scribbler Awards:
Robinbird @ The Lady Gwyn's Kingdom
Rosemary @ Booking it Bus Style
Marg @ Book Buddies
Virginiebarbeau @ Virginie Says
Nikola @ Nikola's Book Blog

Last Chance for Giveaway of The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory

Just a reminder for all the book bloggers that the giveaway for The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory ends tonight at midnight.

Sorry all but this is for the book bloggers only. I promise next one will be open to everyone.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Saddest

Q: What’s the saddest book you’ve read recently?

A: I am going to have to go back to a previous BTT question because this book still stands out to me as the saddest book I have recently read. I listed it before as a "most serious" recent read.

"Katherine of Valois was born a princess, the daughter of King Charles VI of France. But by the time Katherine was old enough to know him, her father had come to be called “Charles the Mad,” given to unpredictable fits of insanity. The young princess lived a secluded life, awaiting her father’s sane moments and suffering through the mad ones, as her mother took up with her uncle and their futures became more and more uncertain. Katherine’s fortunes appeared to be changing when, at nineteen, she was married to King Henry V of England. Within two years, she gave birth to an heir—but her happiness was fleeting. Soon after the birth of her son, she lost her husband to an illness.

With Joan of Arc inciting the French to overthrow English rule, Katherine’s loyalty to her adopted homeland of England became a matter of intense suspicion. Katherine had brought her dowry and borne her heir; what use was she to England? It was decreed that she would live out her remaining years alone, far from the seat of power. But no one, not even Katherine herself, could have anticipated that she would fall in love with and secretly marry one of her guardians, Owen Tudor—or that a generation later, their grandson would become the first king of the great Tudor dynasty."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Today In History, Happy Birthday Anne of Cleves

Anne of Cleves, a woman who had no idea what she had gotten herself into when she stepped foot in England to marry Henry VIII. The arraignments for the marriage had been made by Cromwell and boy did he pay for it, with his own head.

Henry did not like Anne from the beginning. He had called her "The Flanders Mare" meaning she was ugly. Which I do not think so judging from this portrait. I think Henry did not like her because she was not like the previous other women in his life. She was far from glamorous but she did have a good heart and in the end Henry did recognize that.

The end of the marriage was that Henry had it annulled on the grounds that the marriage had not been consummated. Luckily Anne escaped with her life and Henry gave her a very good settlement. She lived the rest of her days in England labeled as "The sister of the King". Though she never married again or had any children. She was happy to escape her childhood home where her oppressive brother ruled.

Not HF, but a Great Performance by P!NK

Okay so I know this has absolutely nothing to do with Historical Fiction but I just can not help myself. I am all for women empowerment and a music icon for me that is top in my book is the pop artist know as "Pink". I love her music and I loved her performance on the MTV Awards that I just had to share it with someone. Here is the video of her Circus Sole style performance.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Q&A Interview with Kate Emerson

My first author Q and A interview and it is Kate Emerson! Her novel "Secrets of the Tudor Court: Pleasure Palace" is a favorite of mine. She was gracious enough to guide me through my first interview. Thank You Kate and I am so looking forward to "Between Two Queens". Here we go!

Q: Jane Popyncourt is not a typical or well know name in historical fiction, what inspired you to write a novel about her?

A: It was because she ISNT well known. I’ve always been more interested in the people on the fringes of the royal courts, and in those who never even went to court, than in the historical figures everyone has heard of. Jane in particular caught my attention because historians couldn’t seem to make up their minds about her. They didn’t even agree on whether she came to England from France or from Flanders, which is why I invented a parent from each of those places for her. Then, as I did more research, I discovered that some of the “facts” about Jane were just plain wrong. For one thing, the duc de Longueville didn’t set her up in the Louvre (implying close to the royal court) after she arrived in France in 1516. The Louvre was in ruins at that time and wasn’t used for much of anything. And, more importantly, Longueville died only a few months after Jane left England.

Q: In your research for "Secrets of the Tudor Court: Pleasure Palace" how difficult was it to find references to such a mysterious lady? How long was your research process?

A: This is a tough question to answer because I’ve been doing research on sixteenth century women for a very long time—over thirty years. My first published book, way back in 1984, was WIVES AND DAUGHTERS: THE WOMEN OF SIXTEENTH CENTURY ENGLAND. It’s horribly out of date now, since there is a great deal more information available these days than there was when I was writing it back in the early 1980s, but I made notes on my copy over the years and when I launched by website, I started putting updated entries online. This is still a work in progress, but it gives me a wealth of information to draw on for my novels. Essentially, I read every book on the sixteenth century I can get my hands on, especially biographies, and pick up bits of information about little-known women (a footnote here and a sentence there) along the way. One of my major sources for information on Jane was a biography, MARY TUDOR, THE WHITE QUEEN, by Walter C. Richardson.

Q: For historical accuracy since there is not readily too much information available on her what historical liberties did you take to complete Jane?

A:Part of Jane’s appeal as a character (and this goes for Anne Bassett, protagonist of my next novel, too) was that there are so many questions about her. Where did she come from? Why was she, of all the girls Henry VII might have chosen, selected to be a companion to his two daughters? Who were her parents and what happened to them? And then, later in her life, the big question: why was King Louis so set against letting her accompany Henry VIII’s sister Mary to France? The history books say it was because of her affair with Longueville, but the French weren’t prudish about mistresses. Besides, King Louis reportedly said Jane should be burnt. Burning was the punishment for witchcraft (in France; in England witches were hanged) and for petty treason, which was the murder of a husband or, in the case of a servant, a master. I thought Louis’s comment very strange, given the circumstances, so I devoted a great deal of thought to coming up with an explanation that made sense to me. There was also a rumor that Jane was Henry VIII’s mistress, just because he gave her a parting gift of £100. Granted this was a generous present, but she’d been a loyal retainer of the royal family for a very long time and I don’t believe it implies anything in particular about her relationship with Henry. It did provide the inspiration for another scene in the novel, however.

So, what liberties did I take? Quite a few. I didn’t change anything that is known about Jane, but those gaps in our knowledge of her background and activities were fair game. I don’t want to give away too much for those who haven’t read THE PLEASURE PALACE, so suffice it to say I invented a reason for Henry VII to take an interest in Jane as well as two reasons why her mother (who is entirely fictional) brought her to England from France. Jane comes to believe that her mother was murdered. Could she have been? And could the high-profile person Jane finally concludes was responsible really have killed someone for that reason? Such things did happen in the Tudor era and I hope I’ve presented a convincing case with circumstantial evidence. In real life, of course, there was no such murder, but everything else Jane knows about the people she suspects—the actions they took and the choices they made—comes right out of the history books. Jane (and I) have just come up with our own interpretation of the facts. The other big question about Jane is what happened to her after she left England. She wrote letters to the king’s sister and sent gifts to the children Mary Tudor had by Charles Brandon, so we know that she was comfortably well off in France. And on at least one occasion, Mary wrote to Jane to ask her to use her influence at the French court, so she had obviously met a few of the movers and shakers there. But, as I said in answer to your earlier question, it was not as Longueville’s mistress that she remained in France. I admit to wanting Jane’s story to have a happy ending. Since I had to make one up anyway, and we don’t know who Jane’s father was or if she ever married, I felt free to invent what might have happened.

Q: On your upcoming Novel, how excited are you that your second novel "Secrets of the Tudor Court, Between Two Queens" is Due to release January 5Th 2010?

A: I’m eagerly looking forward to it, especially since I’ve just (early September) finished proofreading the “first pass pages”—what were called galleys in the days before computers. BETWEEN TWO QUEENS takes place in 1537-1543, more than twenty years after THE PLEASURE PALACE ends, and there have obviously been some changes at court, but King Henry is still there and still has an eye for the ladies.

Q: Is there a special novel in your heart that changed you life? Also what are you currently reading?

A: I can’t pinpoint any one novel that changed things for me, either one I read or one I wrote, but I grew up reading my father’s favorite authors—Thomas B. Costain, Frank Yerby, and Margaret Campbell Barnes. A little later I discovered Anya Seton’s novels, and then the incomparable Dorothy Dunnett. These days I tend to read mostly genre fiction (and nonfiction, of course) rather than historicals. It’s too easy to pick up other novelists interpretations of history if I read novels et in the same period I write about. So, I read what I don’t write. I’m a big fan of Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series and paranormal mysteries by Kim Harrison and Jim Butcher. As I write this, I have bookmarks in two novels. One is Lindsay Davis’s latest Falco mystery, ALEXANDRIA, set in Roman times. The other is an older historical romance from Jo Beverley, SKYLARK, set in the Regency period. I’m reading it for the second time. In fact, over the last couple of months I’ve been rereading all of her “Company of Rogues” series.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Grand Arrival of my Newborn Niece Molly

I have not shared this before but currently my brother is serving in a tour in Iraq. My dear sweet sister in law was on the news today for bringing their second child into the world. Thank goodness they are safe in the hospital now. Poor Jennie only made it to the parking lot, nerves of steel I swear. I would have been a blubbering mess. Congratulations Jennie on the safe delivery of Molly. I can not wait to meet her. She is Beautiful!
It was an early arrival and surprise delivery for one expecting mother this morning in Minot.
Jennie Goodwin gave birth to Molly a healthy six pound 12 ounce baby girl in the back seat of a car on the way to the hospital.

Molly wasn't due to arrive for another week but this morning Jennie says her contractions started shortly before seven and quickly increased.

Living at the Minot Air Force Base and her husband deployed to Iraq, Jennie's birthing coach picked her up and headed for the hospital.

Jennie says it's was about halfway to the hospital where she realized Molly wasn't going to wait.

(Jennie Goodwin, Gave Birth in a Car) "So when my water broke I was like oh my goodness, and I had the urge to push and my dula was like look at me, look at me she was like don't push don't push and I was just like I have to."

Jennie did make it to the Emergency Room parking lot and it was there at 11:30 that Molly was born in the back seat of the car.

Jennie says she hoped for a natural delivery but not quite that natural.......
"My Dula ran inside to get the doctors and I had already given birth to her, like half of her body and so by the time everybody came out running they had her in their arms."

Jennie is hoping to introduce Molly to her dad who is stationed in Iraq via the Internet later today."

Blog Award, Thank You Nikola

Nikola's Book Blog was kind enough to bestow me this really cool award. I love that he thinks my blog is the coolest! Thank you Nikola.

I would like to pass this onto some very special Bloggers:
Leslie Carroll, The Lady Novelist
Michelle Moran, History Buff
Susan Higginbotham, Medieval Woman

Be sure to check these blogs out they by far are the coolest blogs I know.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Mailbox Mondays

Ah, Mailbox Mondays love them right? Who does not love getting new books. I even love the way they smell. Fresh paper, a clean spine, ahhhh, anyways.

I have to get caught up since I have not done one in awhile. I recently received my freaking cool win from Amy at Passages to the Past, "The King's Grace" by Anne Easter Smith. I have been dying for this read.

I also received "The Boleyn Wife" by Brandy Purdy and......"Pendragon's Banner" by Helen Hollick . I also have a few more on the way that I am really excited about but more on that later.
Did anyone else get anything good lately?

Sundays Art: Stokesay Castle, Before and After

I came across this picture one day and was entranced by this beautiful place. The sepia (almost black and white) pictures are from author Charles Oman, London, 1926, Castles.

"Stokesay Castle
, located at Stokesay, a mile south of the town of Craven Arms, in southern Shropshire, is the oldest fortified manor house in England, dating to the 12Th century. It is currently in the hands of English Heritage."

I chose this for Sundays art for a few reasons one being that the sepia photos were taken in 1926. Showing Stokesay's gardens and structures in disarray. What a beautiful place that at the time was so neglected. I was in for a treat when I found the recent pictures. The hard work and gardening on the castle was blatantly apparent, Just see for yourself. It is beautiful and I would love to see it myself one day.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Today In History, Happy Birthday Arthur Tudor

"Born 19/20 September 1486 – 2 April 1502, was the first son of King Henry VII of England and Elizabeth of York, and therefore, heir to the throne of England and Wales. As he predeceased his father, Arthur never became king. At Henry VII's death, the throne passed to Arthur's younger brother, who became King Henry VIII."

For more information on Arthur check out my post on his passing.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Historical Fiction Bloggers Round Table:Featuring Marie from The Burton Review with Guest Post

The Burton Review: Q & A with Marie. Be sure to check her out today she is also having a giveaway of a Anne Boleyn book by Robin Maxwell. She also is having guest posts by Robin Maxwell (My Favorite) and Michelle Moran (hopefully a new favorite).

: What drew you into the world of Historical Fiction?
A co-worker gave me 'The Other Boleyn Girl' by Philippa Gregory in February of 2008. I was amazed at the fact that these were real people! I had to know more, and I then read a few of Alison Weir's books, The Wars of The Roses, and The Princes in The Tower, and the mystery of the Princes' fate and who the bad guys could be hooked me also. There was no turning back after that. I googled a lot of stuff and lived on Wikipedia for awhile, and then researched reviews to choose my next HF reads. My Amazon wish list grew by leaps and bounds! My birthday came in July and my dear father responded quite well and thus started my ever growing Tudor History collection.

Q: How did you start writing book reviews and blogging about them?
I actually wrote reviews on Facebook's application WeRead before blogging about them for a few months. I started my blog in December 2008 as a sort of creative release and distraction after my father had suddenly passed away. After several months of lame reviews that were very focused on my opinion that blended with personal garbage, I started to get a comment or two. I had probably been commenting on other blogs for a little while and then they started to check out who this weird person was, and they found my blog. My first commenter's were Amy from Passages From the Past, Arleigh from and, and Daphne from Tanzanite's Shelf and Stuff. Those three bloggers were my inspiration to start creating a more structured blog and not make it personal mumbo jumbo. No one had commented on my earlier personal stuff but when I started blogging seriously about HF Books in March/April, I started getting a following and that was when I got my groove on.

Q: What is your favorite historical period and why?
I will always be fond of the Tudor period. They were my first love, and the second is The Wars of the Roses, both English history. I do hope to expand more into the French Revolution and Napoleon. I've had Catherine Delors book 'Mistress of The Revolution' since March but still haven't had a chance to get to it.

Q:What is your favorite author and novel?
This is the question that everyone HATES to get. There are SO MANY!!
Jean Plaidy would be one favorite author as she was so prolific on ALL of the eras that I want to learn more about. So far my favorite of hers that I have read is actually under her pseudonym Victoria Holt: 'My Enemy The Queen'. I also enjoy Sharon Kay Penman for her Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine trilogy that started with 'When Christ and His Saints Slept'. I was completely enthralled by Anna Elliott's book Twilight of Avalon, if her 2nd novel is just as good than she'll officially be my favorite author.

Q: If you could choose to be one HF leading lady, who would it be and why?
Another tough question! Many of the ladies I've read about in the Tudor era have come to tragic ends due to Henry VIII, that old meanie! But his daughter Elizabeth I, was a formidable woman who overcame a lot of adversity through her lifetime to become a respected monarch, and she was a WOMAN who ruled successfully for almost half a century. Her strength, fortitude, intellectual abilities and the fact she dangled would-be lovers by their nose make her a very intriguing person to me. There are still so many books that I have in my library that I long to read about her to help shed light on her personal mind, such as 'I, Elizabeth' by Rosalind Miles, 'The Lady Elizabeth' by Alison Weir, 'Elizabeth: The Struggle for The Throne' by David Starkey and 'The Wild Irish' by Robin Maxwell, to name a few. So many fantastic historical fiction books, so little time!!

Historical Fiction Bloggers Round Table Event

Me and Anne Boleyn

(And the Quest for GOOD Historical Fiction on Anne)

by Marie Burton of The Burton Review

Elizabeth I, and her mother, Anne Boleyn; Amazing similarities! As part of the Historical Fiction Bloggers Round Table Event, we've had our favorite bloggers posting interviews and guest posts across each other's blogs. Amy from Passages to the Past posted over at Hist-Fic Chick spotlighting one of her favorite royal historical figures, Elizabeth I (above, left). Today I am spotlighting Anne Boleyn (above, right), who was Elizabeth's mother. The similarities shown are amazing!

Those who read historical fiction set in England most likely know the tragic but enthralling story of Henry VIII's second wife, Anne. I am not going to post a biography of her, (you can find all sort of fun things on Anne at The Anne Boleyn Files site) but I am going to highlight key events and what I have learned along the way, so this is my journey with getting to know Anne Boleyn through the world of historical fiction.

Anne was educated in the French courts, which helped her be a bit more superior to the other courtiers in England when she returned home. Anne's sister, Mary Boleyn, was a mistress to King Henry, and bore him an illegitimate son. Some say her daughter was also one of Henry's. One books that I look forward to reading is "Mary Boleyn: The True Story of Henry VIII's Mistress" by Josephine Wilkinson, which is non-fiction released in April of 2009. Anne's frenchified ways caught the roving eye of King Henry, and they starting courting each other much to the chagrin of the king's advisers. No one wanted to see the Boleyn family rise in the court food chain, it was their Howard relations who had given them the rank they had. After seven years of a seemingly happy courtship, Henry and Anne were married in early 1533, even though the people of England did not want Henry to cast aside their Queen Catherine. But that is what he did, and the debate rages on to this day whether or not Anne had bewitched Henry into marrying her. Contemporaries certainly did not shed any favorable light on the new Queen Anne, instead they called her a witch, rumored her to have a sixth finger and a wart or devil's mark. I first met Anne Boleyn in "The Other Boleyn Girl" by Philippa Gregory, and later watched the film, which were told more from the sister Mary's point of view. And I can't say that I liked Anne very much. I didn't feel bad for her, I did not have mixed feelings about her. But the book was my introduction to Tudor History, and I wanted to know more in general about Henry VIII. Margaret Campbell Barnes is an author of several Tudor novels, and her "Brief Gaudy Hour" was one centered on Anne. In that one she is depicted as evil and shallow, see the review on

Anne & Henry's Marriage, See Poor Wolsey on the right, he is traumatized! A book that has caught my eye because it is from 1957 is "Anne Boleyn" by Evelyn Anthony. This seems to tell Anne's story when she was younger and when Henry becomes smitten with her. When Anne finally gets her way and marries Henry, Anne realizes she has a long road ahead of her if she wants to win over the people. But she has indeed won over Henry, and all she has to do to keep that love is to provide him with an heir. But seven years is a long time to wait, (and be abstinent?) and Henry was not getting any younger. Anne was probably pregnant when they married, and proclamations were later being made which referred to their unborn child as "prince." Although the people loved Catherine as their Queen, they knew that England needed and heir. That book mentioned above also has mixed reviews, perhaps because of historical inaccuracies, which were more common than in today's modern times. Moving onwards to the novel of Anne Boleyn and a woman in the household, we have Suzannah Dunn's "Queen of Subtleties." With a mixed narrative between the two women, the story was lost along the way according to some reviews. I have this on my shelf and intend to read it for myself. There is a review here by author Brandy Purdy of this novel, which also addresses the problems with the modern language used in the novel.
When Anne fails to produce a living son for Henry after the birth of their daughter Elizabeth, Anne was brought up on false charges of adultery and incest, and was beheaded in 1536. Her daughter Elizabeth was about 3 at the time and probably did not have much of a memory of her. In Robin Maxwell's first novel "The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn" the premise is that Anne kept a secret diary for her daughter, Elizabeth, so she is now on the throne reading her mother's diary and we as the reader see a rare glimpse into Elizabeth's feelings. The reviews on this are also varied, but more readers rated it higher up on Amazon. The Maiden's Court gave this one a high rating, see review, and mentions that Anne is portrayed in a sympathetic light. Maxwell also wrote "Mademoiselle Boleyn" which is told from Anne's point of view, and highlights Anne's coming of age; this book received favorable reviews on Goodreads. I have the first book, and still have to acquire the other. (You can enter to win BOTH of these reads on my blog today at The Burton Review!)
Enchanted by Josephine has just reviewed A Lady Raised High: A Novel of Anne Boleyn (Tudor Women Series) by Laurien Gardner which I am also waiting to read, and she enjoyed this one as another story that is told by a lady-in-waiting of Anne. A favorite author of mine, Jean Plaidy, has written "Murder Most Royal: The Story of Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard" which is another with mixed reviews. Sometimes Plaidy's reads can be dry, and others are very engrossing.
When one thinks of books on Anne Boleyn, it is inevitably about the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn. Much of the reason for the fall of Anne was Henry's advisers, because of Anne's stubborn ways, but onlookers at court could have also had a part. Anne's sister-in-law, Lady Jane Rochford, was one who was said to have testified to the fact the Anne and her brother George had sexual relations. George was beheaded for this crime before Anne was. What is the story behind Lady Jane? Did she really believe herself regarding the accused incest or was she just jealous? In a reissue of "Vengeance is Mine", author Brandy Purdy will update this book for January 2010 with an updated version titled "The Boleyn Wife", which explores Lady Jane's views as she herself finally awaits the axe, and includes the reigns of five of Henry's queens.
While I want to know all I can about Anne Boleyn, I don't mind the fudging of facts to get a story going for me. But when I want just the facts, that's what non-fiction is for. I have Eric Ives' biography "The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn", (2004) and after reading not so good reviews on Carrolly Erickson's "Mistress Anne", I think I will read Ives' book first. At 480 pages, it looks even thicker than that, so it has been sitting on my shelf for when I have a good two weeks to devote to it. But when I am looking for a wonderful book to get lost in the drama, I am going to go with some of the aforementioned novels. But where to begin? I think that all of these mentioned have merit. I would love recommendations on novels that you have read about Anne Boleyn and her family.

Giveaway: The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory

In honor of the "Historical Fiction Bloggers Round Table" I have decided to do a giveaway for Book Bloggers only. I am sorry but you have to have a book blog to enter.

I decided to giveaway a paperback copy of "The Boleyn Inheritance" by Philippa Gregory because if there is a book blogger out there that does not already own a copy of this book, then they need it. Hopefully it will go to someone that has not read it yet but either way it makes no difference. It will make a lovely addition to any library.

The rules are very simple but if you do not follow them I will disqualify you. One post a comment and leave a link to your blog because I will be checking them. Also your E-MAIL, if you do not put one I have no way to enter your name on the randomizer. Good luck to all and let it begin.
Sorry all but US and Canada only this time.

Time Runs out Midnight September 25th

Be sure to check out the other Charter Members for more Giveaways!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Book Review: THE MEMOIRS OF MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS by Carolly Erickson

To begin lets open with a quote from Carolly. This is her disclaimer.
"Just a reminder that in this historical entertainment, authentic history and imaginative invention are blended, so that fictional events and circumstances, fictional characters and fictional alterations to the past intertwine. Fresh interpretations of past personalities and events are offered, and traditional ones laid aside."

With that being said we can get to the novel.

I do enjoy a good story especially a romantic one. I enjoyed this novel but at the same time I did not. I loved that it is a Mary Queen of Scots story, Carolly painted a vivid picture of Marys story. On the other hand I found the story at times was so far fetched that I could not help but not like portions of it. The whole story is based off of what if Bothwell was more to Mary, or what if he never was imprisoned?

The beginning was profound, Carolly set the stage of Mary's execution with the narrator referring to himself as "Jamie". Jamie was to witness the execution, during which he was trying to meet her gaze.
"At the very last, before she died, she saw me. I swear she did. I saw her lips mouth the words: Jamie. My Jamie.......Margaret told me afterwards that she thought Mary had been trying to say: Jesus when her lips moved. But it wasn't Jesus, it was Jamie"
3/5 Muses because it was a good read but I could not stop thinking that there was no way the real Mary did the things that she did in the novel. Normally I am not one to be a big person on historically accuracy but there was one big event that I could not accept as Mary's doing. My mind would not let me accept it. I Liked it but did not love it. A recommended read for any die hard Mary fan.

Mary Queen of Scots Last Letter Goes on Display

Reported From Live Science:

"The last letter of Mary Queen of Scots, written on the eve of her execution, is going on display at the National Library of Scotland, Reuters reports.
Mary, once queen of France, wrote the letter to her brother-in-law, the king of France after she was told that she would be executed for treason against her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England.
Mary was overthrown from the Scottish crown and fled to England in 1568, at the mercy of the English queen. As a Catholic, she was considered a threat to the Protestant Elizabeth, as Catholics in England thought she had a stronger claim to the English throne. Mary was beheaded in 1587. Her remains lie in Westminster Abbey."

The letter will only be on display until the 21st of September, a very short time. If you would like to read the very interesting full article go here to Yahoo! News

Booking Through Thursday: Enjoyable

What’s the most enjoyable, most fun, most just-darn-entertaining book you’ve read recently?

A: I chose "Memoirs of Mary Queen of Scots" by Carolly Erickson because the story was so far fetched that it was entertaining. Laughable at some points, imagine if Bothwell did not leave her because they had a CHILD! I enjoyed the read but at times found it so far from the truth that I could not accept the story line. I did however enjoy the what if factor of the novel.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Historical Fiction Bloggers Round Table: My interview on Historical-Fiction

Hi Everyone just wanted to let you all know that my interview with Arleigh at Historical-Fiction went up today be sure and check it out she has a giveaway going on too!

My guest post on Catherine Howard is also up there too.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I Won! Michelle Moran Treasure Hunt

Become a Literary Archaeologist For A Day!

I have been waiting for this for some time now and it has finally happened. Today on Michelle Moran's Site she posted Literary Clues that go with a specific bookstore that is participating. If you can figure out the clue it leads you to a book in the store. If you find the right book you find a ribbon that say "Digging for Cleopatra's Daughter You've Won". After you take the ribbon the the cashier then you get a "goodies" bag. In the goodies is A signed copy of Cleopatra's Daughter, An authentic Roman artifact (each one is unique), Cleopatra earrings, and other Cleopatra goodies!

There is still many locations across the nation that now one has found yet. Be sure to check out Michelle's site for the clue.

I drove an hour and a half to the bookstore closest to me, which was at the beach. Dragging the kids the whole way. The funny part is when I got there they had been only open for less than an hour and I could not find the book. I told the nice lady "you probably know why I am here" and I handed her the note with the book information on it. She could not find it. So we went to the cash register and she was going to search for it when I noticed right next to the computer was the book with the ribbon barely hanging out. I squealed "That is it, right there"! They were so nice at the Cannon Beach Book Company, I even took a picture for you all. Thank You Michelle for doing such a fun promotion, by far one of the coolest Treasure Hunts Ever! I am wearing the Cleopatra earrings right now.

Monday, September 14, 2009

2009 Book Blogger Appreciation Week Starts

Link"2009 Blogger Appreciation Week" starts this September 14Th and goes on until the 18Th. Be sure and vote for your favorite Blogs. I am going to vote for mine. They also have cool BBAW stuff now like coffee canisters, and a cool mouse pad. This is my first year participating and I am honored just to be nominated for best new blog and historical/historical fiction blog. I am excited to to be a part of this. How you could you not love these pretty books over there.

I also got the down low on the who, what, when, where, and why this is so important.
From My Friend Amy:
"WHO Anyone who blogs about books is invited to participate. In fact, we want everyone who blogs about books and reading to be a part of this week!
WHAT A week where we come together, celebrate the contribution and hard work of book bloggers in promoting a culture of literacy, connecting readers to books and authors, and recognizing the best among us with the Second Annual BBAW Awards. There will be special guest posts, daily blogging themes, and giveaways.
WHEN September 14-18, 2009
WHERE Here at the new Book Blogger Appreciation Week Blog! (Please note that this year there are three separate blogs and feeds—one for the main event, one for giveaways, and one for awards.)
WHY Because books matter. In a world full of options, the people talking about books pour hard work, time, energy, and money into creating a community around the written word. I, Amy, the founder of Book Blogger Appreciation Week love this community of bloggers and want to shower my appreciation on you!"

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sundays Art: My "Ninja Cat"

Well he is not really a ninja but his name is Ninja. I saw a new Halloween Book Cover and in the perfect pose to paint my own cat. It completely fits his personality, he hates me and loves my husband but he is my cat. He is a Siamese cat that plays fetch with hair ties (rubber band like things). He sling shots them all over my house and sometimes they even fly into the toilet.

I made ninja in water color crayons again and this time color pencil. I did change that I use a regular ball point black erasable pen to give him a hairy look. Hope you all enjoy.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Announcing a Grand Historical Fiction Event!!!

Finally it is time to get ready for THE HISTORICAL FICTION BLOGGERS ROUND TABLE EVENT!! This is going to be so much fun. Everyone has come up with some wonderful ideas for posts, giveaways, interviews, and so much more that I am sure one of the charter members has some things up their sleeve that we have no idea about. Lucy at Enchanted by Josephine has got the schedule up and if you would like to get in on the event be sure to contact Lucy.

"Requesting the Honour of Your Presence…On September 14Th to September 18Th, You are cordially invited to attend:

Introducing the Charter Members of The Historical Fiction Bloggers Round Table Event:
Marie at The Burton Review
Lucy at Enchanted by Josephine
Arleigh at
Amy at Passages To The Past
Allie at Hist-Fic Chick
Lizzy at Historically Obsessed
Heather at The Maiden's Court

"This event is the first of its kind and we’re thrilled about it! The idea originated with
Marie Burton from that incredibly delectable site: The Burton Review. She put the bug in our ear and a few of us got together to present to you this first-time-ever special event"


Monday,Sept. 14th: Enchanted by Josephine receives Royal Heiress of the Day: Heather
Guest Post: Fact or Fiction…The Death of Cleopatra

Also on Monday,Sept. 14th: The Burton Review receives Royal Heiress of the Day: Allie
Guest Post: Mary Queen of Scots

Tuesday, Sept. 15th:
Hist-Fic-Chick receives Royal Heiress of the Day: Amy
Guest Post: Elizabeth I

Wednesday, Sept. 16th: Passages to The Past receives Royal Heiress of the Day: Lucy
Guest Post: The Royal Granddaughter…Another Josephine

Also on Wednesday, Sept. 16th: receives Royal Heiress of the Day: Lizzy
Guest Post: Catherine Howard, The Rose With Out a Thorn

Thursday, Sept. 17th: The Maiden’s Court receives Royal Heiress of the Day: Arleigh
Guest Post: Eleanore of Equitaine: Mother of a Dynasty

Friday, September 18th:
Historically Obsessed receives Royal Heiress of the Day: Marie
Guest Post: Me & Anne Boleyn

"AND...Get this: Along with this comes FANTABULOUS GIVEAWAYS!
And that’s not all!!! Some of these HF guest bloggers will also be posting additional fun stuff and more on their site daily to keep you coming back for more.
…The Royal Courts anxiously await your presence… Here is the link to Our Event"

The Winner of Cleopatra's Daughter is .....

Thank you to all who entered, I appreciate the positive feedback everyone has on Cleopatra's Daughter.

The Winner is....


Congratulations Linda I hope you enjoy the Book! Be sure and check your email so I can get it out asap.

Today in History, Happy Birthday Francis I

On September 12Th 1494 Francis I of France was born.
He was crowned king of France in 1515 in the cathedral at Reims and reigned until his death. Francis I is considered to be France's first Renaissance monarch. His reign saw France make immense cultural advances.

He was also a rival of Henry VIII, and they even competed in their womanizing skills. Anne Boleyn's sister Mary was Francois's mistress until he passed her off to Henry. Which his pious wife Claude probably did not like but she never said a word about his womanizing games.

On 31 March 1547, on his son and heir's 28Th birthday. It is said that "he died complaining about the weight of a crown that he had first perceived as a gift from God"

Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11 Tribute #2

I just could not let it go that I was not able to upload my actual video I made as a tribute to 9/11. I improvised and got a okay video of a flash movie I made. It is a heart breaker and it makes me cry every time I watch it.

100+ Followers, Thank You

I can not believe Historically Obsessed has come so far. I just knew there were other people out there who love Historical Fiction as much as me. I knew I was not crazy or weird.

Many of you probably do not know how I came about starting this but a long story short it all came together. I could not be more proud that you readers are interested in the posts I have created.

Followers thank you for sharing my obsession with me and here is a toast to you and the future posts. May You All Enjoy Them because I enjoy writing them.

September 11th Remembered

Last Chance for Giveaway of Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran

I just thought I would remind everyone that today is the last day to enter to Win Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran. To post your entry follow the link before midnight. Good luck to all!
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