Friday, November 26, 2010

Royally Obsessed Necklace Giveaway

I am proud to announce that I finally did it and opened my own Esty shop! With my own jewelry and original art work. It is called RoyallyObsessed because as we all know I am historically obsessed but also I am royally obsessed with anything that related to royalty. I have a special treat in store for you all just on time for the holidays. A very special necklace and bracelet giveaway.

"Welcome to Royally Obsessed! Custom made royalty inspired necklaces that do not kill your pocket book. Featuring classy chic, rhinestones and pearls for everyday women who love histories leading ladies. The site is still under construction please bare with me as I get the hang of this. Pull up a chair and prepare to become royally obsessed". 

Up for grabs to first prize Winner,  
Scrabble charm necklace. Made with a real wood Scrabble game piece. The picture on the charm is of the Eiffel Tower, in the background is cursive script with a pink background and it of course has a bit of glitter in it. On the back of the game piece it is the letter E. It is stranded with black, pink faux pearl beads and silver glass beads. It has a adjustable chain on the back with a cute beaded accent. 

Up for grabs to second place winner, 
The bracelet is strung with the same beads as the above necklace and this time instead of a charm it has a really cute toggle clasp with a rhinestone heart.  Both cuties come wrapped in a gift box.

The Rules
The giveaway is open to US and Canada
For 1 entry leave me a comment with a way to contact you.

For 2 entries follow my blog or favorite my Etsy shop. If you already do, thanks following my blog, 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 end on December 4th at midnight. 

I will draw two separate drawings for the 1st place and second place using 

Good luck to everyone!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Book Review: TWILIGHT OF AVALON by Anna Elliott

A must read of Arthurian legend. You know it is a really good book when you read 300+ pages in one day. I love the beautiful cover and the fast paced trail of deceit that legendary Isolde found herself running down at break neck speed.

Isolde, brave and mystical also possessed that intangible gift of courage that many other people are drawn to. Like moths on a lamp it seemed almost everyone could not help but be drawn into her but many found out if you get too close you might get burned. Isolde was alone in this life everyone she ever knew or cared about was dead. Isolde was the granddaughter of Morgan, friend of Myrddin, daughter of Gwynefar, and so many others who were lost to her. The pain still continued and was started anew with the loss of her husband Constantine. When her husband Con died it started a domino effect in the Kings council. Now that Constantine the high king was gone it was now time for the council to vote for a new high king. Refusing to remember the past Isolde buried it deep inside her with the gift of sight that her grandmother Morgan her was the gift that came from the ancient ones. They never really left her and when the wind shifted she could her them, Morgan, Arthur, Gwynefar and Myrddin.

Some considered her a witch because even though her grandmother had been gone for some time it does not mean that the past had not been forgotten. People knew Isolde had been raised by Morgan and that her grandmother had taught her everything she knew of the old ways. It was how she became a healer, Morgan made sure that she was taught the many secrets of using the earth’s natural remedies for treatment. She made sure to put it to good use and since Brittan was constantly at war with the Saxons it was a calling of Isolde to heal the sick and wounded the best she could. They still called her a witch even while she cleaned and dressed the men’s battle wounds. The king’s council that consisted of all the kings of the surrounding areas ran into so major problems when the vile Lord Marche King of Cornwall started traitorously climbing his way over other to win exalted position of high king where Con once had sat. He forced Isolde into marriage by blackmailing her and after less than one day with him she had no other choice but to run while she still could.

On the run Isolde had no one to turn to for help, no one she could trust and it seemed like everyone close to her was slowly being eliminated. During her first night alone in the woods she was startled to awake to her hands tied with a man and a child saying they needed a “healer”. The curious pair of outlaws led her eventually to who really needed her help. Coincidence as it was it was one of the escaped Saxon prisoners she had treated at the castle before she ran. I think it was fate that Isolde was brought to him because Arthurian legends are anything but simple and nothing ever went as planned. As fate would have it the Saxon escapee Trystan became her only hope of survival.

5/5+ A magically delightful adventure that is a jewel of Arthurian legends that any historical fiction lover would die for. I really loved this one; Isoldes memories were mesmerizing and all so real at the same time. This is one of those books that if you do not know the legend than you are easily brought up to speed. I knew hardly anything but the basics of King Arthur and really I was not lost in this story. I am really looking forward to the next one “Dark Moon of Avalon” because Anna Elliott based it off of the earliest version of the Arthurian legend recounted by Geoffrey of Monmouth. The third book in the series will be releasing some time in 2012 and will be titled "Sunrise of Avalon". A highly recommended good read a must for historical fiction lovers.

FTC- Sent to me by publisher
R-Rating for Blood and gore

Twilight of Avalon: A Novel of Trystan & Isolde (Twilight of Avalon Trilogy)Dark Moon of Avalon
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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mailbox Mondays

To Serve a King by Donna Russo Morin

From her earliest days, Genevieve Gravois has known one fact above all: Francis I, king of France, is her enemy. Raised by her embittered aunt after her parents' deaths, Genevieve has been schooled in things no woman should know: how to decipher codes, how to use a dagger and a bow, and how to kill. For Henry VIII has a destiny in mind for the young girl--as his most powerful and dangerous spy.
When the time is ripe, Genevieve enters the magnificent world of the French court. With grace to match her ambition, she becomes maid of honor to Anne de Pisseleau, King Francis's mistress. Yet neither the court--which teems with artistry and enlightenment as well as intrigue--nor Francis himself are at all what Genevieve expected. And with her mission, her life, and the fate of two kingdoms at stake, she will be forced to make deadly decisions about where her heart and her ultimate loyalties lie.

Queen Hereafter: A Novel of Margaret of Scotland by Susan Fraser King

"Refugee. Queen. Saint. In eleventh-century Scotland, a young woman strives to fulfill her destiny despite the risks . . .

Shipwrecked on the Scottish coast, a young Saxon princess and her family—including the outlawed Edgar of England—ask sanctuary of the warrior-king Malcolm Canmore, who shrewdly sees the political advantage. He promises to aid Edgar and the Saxon cause in return for the hand of Edgar’s sister, Margaret, in marriage.
A foreign queen in a strange land, Margaret adapts to life among the barbarian Scots, bears princes, and shapes the fierce warrior Malcolm into a sophisticated ruler. Yet even as the king and queen build a passionate and tempestuous partnership, the Scots distrust her. When her husband brings Eva, a Celtic bard, to court as a hostage for the good behavior of the formidable Lady Macbeth, Margaret expects trouble. Instead, an unlikely friendship grows between the queen and her bard, though one has a wild Celtic nature and the other follows the demanding path of obligation.
Torn between old and new loyalties, Eva is bound by a vow to betray the king and his Saxon queen. Soon imprisoned and charged with witchcraft and treason, Eva learns that Queen Margaret—counseled by the furious king and his powerful priests—will decide her fate and that of her kinswoman Lady Macbeth. But can the proud queen forgive such deep treachery?
Impeccably researched, a dramatic page-turner, Queen Hereafter is an unforgettable story of shifting alliances and the tension between fear and trust as a young woman finds her way in a dangerous world".

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Book Review: DESIREE by Annemarie Selinko

 I never would have guessed that before Napoleon loved Josephine there was someone else in his life, someone who played a very important role in the French Revolution. Désirée Clary the daughter of a silk merchant in Marseilles loved Napoleon before he was anything to the French people. She fell in love with him when he was a poor low ranking officer in the military. I knew that Napoleon’s mother Mme. Letizia never really liked her daughter in-law Josephine and now I know why. He was supposed to marry Désirée and I do not think Letizia ever really accepted Josephine for that reason. Napoleon was engaged to Désirée and her sister Julie married Napoleon’s older brother Joseph. It was when Napoleon left Marseilles to go to war and then onto Paris to clear up his military standing that he left Désirée behind. It was one thing to borrow her money she had been saving to buy him a fancy new uniform but to not come back for her that was just too much. Désirée took it upon herself to sneak off to Paris and track him down like the dog he was.

Upon arriving in Paris Désirée knew exactly where to find him. She went to the infamous “La Chaumiére”, Mme. Tallien’s salon where all the important people of France hung out. After being mistaken at the entrance for an escort Désirée was not admitted in until she approached a man in uniform and asked him to be “a part of him”. Désirée quickly discovered the reason Napoleon never came back for her. Josephine, the enchanting Josephine from the saucy island of Martinique was hanging on him. Désirée had the unfortunate coincidence of showing up at the salon at the precise moment that the couple announced their new engagement to each other. Like any other woman who had just found she had lost the only love she knew, she furiously threw her glass of champagne at Josephine’s feet and stormed out into the rain. Wandering Paris in the rain and tears she found herself by the Sein River. Emotionally distraught she tried to climb the fence to throw herself into the river but something held her back. Even I was shocked that when she turned around to see what or who it was: it was the man in uniform at the salon who had saved her two times in one day.

They say what is meant to be is meant to be and it is just fate. It was mean to be that the hero General Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte pulled her off the bridge and saved her life. Jean-Baptiste was a realist; he loved France with every fiber of his being and did his duty to his country which during the times of the revolution was not an easy thing to do with the fractions constantly shifting. After Bernadotte met Désirée by the river she disappeared into thin air. It was not until her brother in law had arranged a special dinner party to impress a heroic general did the two cross paths again. This time though Bernadotte was not going to let her disappear again.

4.5/5 Really really liked it. If there ever was something I did not understand about Napoleon and his life it is covered in this book. He made so much sense in this book that you actually seem to get the insanity that was going around at the time. The French Revolution as I have said before is a complicated time period and sometimes the stories get all mashed up. It is hard to decide where one story starts and one ends because they all blend and link together. This book is not the case at ALL. It makes everything click into place and just make sense of a messy situation. I have to implore anyone who wants to get the full picture on Napoleon and all the amazing people in his life, this book will give you everything you can possibly want to understand in the most unconfusing way possible.
PG Rating, very mild with sexual references and violence
FTC-Book was sent to me by the publisher

Désirée: The Bestselling Story of Napoleon's First Love
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Brandy Purdy Cover Art Alert for The Tudor Throne

The Tudor Throne by Brandy Purdy

Bound by blood, torn by devotion...

"In the wake of King Henry VIII's death, England's throne is left in a precarious state-as is the peculiar relationship between his two daughters. Mary, the elder, once treasured, had been declared a bastard in favor of her flame-haired half-sister, Elizabeth, born of the doomed Anne Boleyn. Yet the bond between the sisters was palpable from the start. Now reinstated, Mary eventually assumes her place as queen. But as Mary's religious zeal evolves into a reign of terror, young Elizabeth gains the people's favor. Gripped by a tormenting paranoia, Mary is soon convinced that her beloved Elizabeth is in fact her worst enemy. And the virginal Elizabeth, whose true love is her country, must defy her tyrannical sister to make way for a new era...

A brilliant portrait of the rule of "Bloody Mary" and her intricate relationship with Elizabeth I, the adored "Virgin Queen," here is a riveting tale of one family's sordid and extraordinary chapter in the pages of history".
UK Cover Art "Mary & Elizabeth" by Emily Purdy aka "The Tudor Throne" by Brandy Purdy

"Let the battle for the crown begin…

They shared childhood memories and grown-up dreams…

Mary was England's precious jewel, the surviving child of the tumultuous relationship between Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. However, when Henry fell passionately in love with the dark-eyed Anne Boleyn, he cast his wife and daughter aside. Henry and Anne's union sees the birth of Elizabeth. Mary is soon declared a bastard, stripped of all royal privileges, performing the lowliest tasks. But, there is something about Elizabeth. And Mary soon grows to love her like a sister. After the passage of three years, and Anne Boleyn's execution, Henry can no longer bear the sight of his female heir. With the birth of a son, Edward, both Mary and Elizabeth seem destined for oblivion. But as history will show, fate had something for more elaborate in store… Mary and Elizabeth is an unforgettable story of a powerful love affair that changed the course of history, perfect for fans of The Tudors and Philippa Gregory".

Yes ladies and gentlemen I will be reviewing this one and really I am looking forward to it. It has been sometime since I have done a rival read between Elizabeth I and Mary I. The official Amazon release day is July 1, 2011, whew that is a looooong time to wait. I have a feeling it will be really worth it. Especially since I really enjoyed the ghost of Ann Boleyn in "The Boleyn Wife". Plus Brandy has been the only author I have had the pleasure of reading who gave a logical explanation of what happened to Ann Boleyn's infamous B necklace.

The Confession of Piers Gaveston
The Boleyn Wife
The Tudor Throne

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Late Mailbox Mondays and Giveaway Winner

The Kingdom of Ohio by Matthew Flaming

"An incredibly original, intelligent novel-a love story set against New York City at the dawn of the mechanical age, featuring Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, and J. P. Morgan.

After discovering an old photograph, an elderly antiques dealer living in present-day Los Angeles is forced to revisit the history he has struggled to deny. The photograph depicts a man and a woman. The man is Peter Force, a young frontier adventurer who comes to New York City in 1901 and quickly lands a job digging the first subway tunnels beneath the metropolis. The woman is Cheri- Anne Toledo, a beautiful mathematical prodigy whose memories appear to come from another world. They meet seemingly by chance, and initially Peter dismisses her as crazy. But as they are drawn into a tangle of overlapping intrigues, Peter must reexamine Cheri-Anne's fantastic story. Could it be that she is telling the truth and that she has stumbled onto the most dangerous secret imaginable: the key to traveling through time?

Set against the mazelike streets of New York at the dawn of the mechanical age, Peter and Cheri-Anne find themselves wrestling with the nature of history, technology, and the unfolding of time itself".

Churchill's Secret Agent: A Novel Based on a True Story by Max and Linda Ciampoli

"Based upon Max Hardonniere's own experience as a covert operative during World War II, this is the story of a young man whose acquaintance with Prime Minister Winston Churchill would lead to him being recruited and trained as a spy who would fight his own war from behind enemy lines".

Giveaway Winner for The Gentleman Poet: A Novel of Love, Romance, and Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” by Kathryn Johnson is.....
The Kingdom of Ohio
Churchill's Secret Agent: A Novel Based on a True Story
The Gentleman Poet: A Novel of Love, Danger, and Shakespeare's The Tempest

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Giveaway The Polski Affair by Leon H Gildin

"The Polski Affair is the story of Rosa Feurmann and others who found themselves as "guests" of the Hotel Polski during the Nazi occupation of Warsaw. The Hotel mysteriously drew in Jewish survivors who wished to buy their way to freedom. Rosa, a Jewish partisan infiltrates the hotel. She is detected and comes under the personal control of the Hotel's Nazi Commandant. What she did to survive continues to haunt Rosa's life. She is called as a witness at the Commandant's War Crimes Trial in Heidelberg and years later, she attends a reunion of the surviving hotel `guests'. It is only upon her return to Israel that Rosa ultimately reconciles her inner conflicts".
The Giveaway!
Up for grabs is one new paperback copy. This giveaway is open to the US AND CANADA
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 end on November 22th at midnight.

Good luck to everyone I know one lucky reader is going to be very happy with this one. 
The Polski Affair 
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Booking Through Thursday

It has been so long since I have participated in Booking through Thursday's that I think it is about time to pull it back together and get my booty in gear. Since today is Veteran's Day today in the US this weeks question is related to the holiday.

Q: It is November 11th, known here in the U.S. as Veteran’s Day, formerly Armistice Day to remember the end of WWI but expanded to honor all veterans who have fought for their country, so …

Do you read war stories? Fictional ones? Histories?

A: No I do not read war stories. In college I read anything I could get my hands on about WWII and I can remember reading a comic book that are aimed at young adults to help them understand the emotional aspect of WWII. I do however remember being tragically moved by a non-fiction book that was compiled of WWII photo's of the the destruction of the war. I was shocked that in some of the pictures it showed the concentration camps and honestly it was pictures of humanities worst nightmares. I could not comprehend that people were treated that way and it shocked me to the point that even today over 15 years later I can close my eyes and see the horrid pictures crystal clear like it was yesterday.

Sadly my main reason for not reading anything set in America is that I am working on my own WWII set book and until I finish it I do not want to read something by someone else that might make its way into my own thought process.

A big thank you today for all of our brother and sisters who have given everything they had and more to bring us the freedom we sometimes take for granted. Thank you from the bottom of my heart with out you guys we would be all lost.
Gone but never forgotten
Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds HistoryMaus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began
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