Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mailbox Monday and Lost Giveaway Winners

Royal Pains: A Rogues' Gallery of Brats, Brutes, and Bad SeedsRoyal Pains: A Rogues' Gallery of Brats, Brutes, and Bad Seeds by Leslie Carroll

"The author of Notorious Royal Marriages presents some of history's boldest, baddest, and bawdiest royals.

The bad seeds on the family trees of the most powerful royal houses of Europe often became the most rotten of apples: über-violent autocrats Vlad the Impaler and Ivan the Terrible literally reigned in blood. Lettice Knollys strove to mimic the appearance of her cousin Elizabeth I and even stole her man. And Pauline Bonaparte scandalized her brother Napoleon by having a golden goblet fashioned in the shape of her breast.

Chock-full of shocking scenes, titillating tales, and wildly wicked nobles, Royal Pains is a rollicking compendium of the most infamous, capricious, and insatiable bluebloods of Europe".

A Murderous ProcessionA Murderous Procession by Ariana Franklin

"Adelia is back in this thrilling fourth installment of the Mistress of the Art of Death series.

In 1176, King Henry II sends his daughter Joanna to Palermo to marry his cousin, the king of Sicily. Henry chooses Adelia Aguilar, his Mistress of the Art of Death, to travel with the princess and safeguard her health. But when people in the wedding procession are murdered, Adelia and Rowley must discover the killer's identity . . . and whether he is stalking the princess or Adelia herself".

Versailles: A NovelVersailles: A Novel by Kathryn Davis Won from Ms.Lucy at Enchanted by Josephine

"This brilliantly acclaimed novel tells the story of an expansive spirit locked in a pretty body and an impossible moment in history. As VERSAILLES begins, 14-year-old Marie Antoinette is traveling from Austria to France to meet her fiancÈ, the mild, abstracted Louis. He will become the sixteenth Louis to reign in France, and Antoinette will be his queen, although neither shows a strong inclination toward power, politics, or the roles that they have been summoned to play. Antoinette is hemmed in by towering hairdos, the xenophobic suspicion of her subjects, the misogyny of her detractors, and the manifold twists and turns of the palace she calls home. The novel moves from room to room, from garden to fountain, driven by the relentless engine of time. Antoinette gives birth to four children, two of whom will outlive her; she falls in love; she dies at the guillotine. VERSAILLES is an enchanting meditation on the soul's true journey, at once wittily entertaining and astonishingly wise".

The Girl from JunchowThe Girl from Junchow by Kate Furnivall

"An epic journey of love and discovery from the national bestselling author of The Russian Concubine and The Red Scarf.

China, 1929. For years Lydia Ivanova believed her father was killed by the Bolsheviks. But when she learns he is imprisoned in Stalin-controlled Russia, the fiery girl is willing to leave everything behind- even her Chinese lover, Chang An Lo.

Lydia begins a dangerous search, journeying to Moscow with her half-brother Alexei. But when Alexei abruptly disappears, Lydia is left alone, penniless in Soviet Russia.

All seems lost, but Chang An Lo has not forgotten Lydia. He knows things about her father that she does not. And while he races to protect her, she is prepared to risk treacherous consequences to discover the truth".

The giveaway winners!!! Okay so here is the deal. I decided that from here on out I will also be posting the giveaway winner from now on in the stand alone page you can find at the top of the navigation bar labeled "winners". I did this because Historically Obsessed is to the point where not only do I have to use Google forms to accurately tally a winner but I also need a place to keep track of the winners. I want to keep things fair and to do that I must have a separate page to post them in. If you want to check the winners page out here it is. I did however find that there were MANY MANY giveaway winners I had not formally announced so here they are in no particular order along with the most current winners.
  • The Tudor Secret by C.W. Gortner with necklace, Shenandoah Strojek
  • Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran with earrings, Deborah Allen 
  • Pale Rose of England by Sandra Worth, Kelly Hrisafinis
  • The Darling Strumpet by Gillian Bagwell,  Allison Macias
  • Lily of the Nile by Stephanie Dray, Amy Bruno
  • The Duke's Night of Sin by Kathryn Caskie, Maureen Emmons
  • Dracula In Love by Karen Essex, Nancy Rodriguez
  • The Polski Affair by Leon H Gildin, Maureen Emmons
  • The Boleyn Wife by Brandy Purdy, Jenny Gidley

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Jean Plaidy Collection

The ever growing Jean Plaidy collection is nearing a completion and I just had to share all of it because I am so proud of it. Thank you Arleigh for the last one I needed to complete the Tudor series, "Murder Most Royal" is not an easy book to find.

List courtesy of Arleigh and Lucy at for the full and complete list check out here. Here are my completed Plaidy sets:

Tudor Series
To Hold the Crown
Katherine of Aragon
Murder Most Royal
The King's Confidant
The Sixth Wife
The Thistle and the Rose
Mary, Queen of France
For a Queen's Love
A Favorite of the Queen
    Mary Stuart Series
    The Royal Road to Fotheringhay
    The Captive Queen of Scots
      James I
      The Murder in the Tower
        Charles II Trilogy
        The Loves of Charles II
          Queens of England Series
          Loyal in Love
          Queen of this Realm
          Victoria Victorious
          The Lady in the Tower
          The Courts of Love
          In the Shadow of the Crown
          The Queen's Secret
          The Reluctant Queen
          The Merry Monarch's Wife
          The Queen's Devotion
          The Rose Without a Thorn
            Ferdinand and Isabella Series
            Castile for Isabella
            Spain for the Sovereigns
            Daughters of Spain
              Lucrezia Borgia Series
              Madonna of the Seven Hills
              Light on Lucrezia
                I will forever be on the look out for this one and since I read it and got it from the library I made sure I photocopied each and every page just so I know it is there.
                Rochester: The Mad Earl by Kathleen Kellow pen name of Jean Plaidy. Rochester: The mad Earl on Amazon listed for 3,000 dollars

                My Next Plaidy Goals,

                Queen Victoria Series
                The Captive of Kensington Palace
                The Queen and Lord M
                The Queen's Husband
                The Widow of Windsor
                The Stuart Saga
                The Three Crowns: The Story of William and Mary (own)
                The Haunted Sisters
                The Queen's Favorites or Last of the Stuarts Vol. 1,2,3 above works combined
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                  Tuesday, February 22, 2011

                  My Version of Sleeping Beauty

                  I have been saving this one for sometime because I was not sure how best to approach this piece of mine. I did not want to scan it because then the top lid of the scanner might crush some of it. I then was in a pickle I could not scan it and I also had no working camera. I finally got a new camera for Christmas this year and YAY I got some good pictures.

                  This one was a hard one for me and mostly it was because of the mixed media I used in it. I started with pencil of course, then color pencil, watercolor pencil, gel glitter pens, felt pens, and each and everyone of those pink dots that are meant to be like gems are actually little plastic dots for scrap booking that were pain staking hand glued on one by one. I found this time it needed to be more princess like and added stick on rhinestones too. Last but not least her hands: they were the most trying to complete with faux flowers in her hands and faux feathers I think it gives it more of a fantasy appeal. I hope you all love Beauty as much as me. You can also click on the pictures for a MUCH larger image.

                  Original Close Up

                  Filters in Photoshop
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                  Sunday, February 20, 2011

                  Guest Post by Christopher Gortner " Elizabeth and Robert: A Dangerous Liaison"

                  Please give a warm welcome to the marvelous author C.W. Gortner! I am so excited for this because not only is there an extra special giveaway going for his latest release: The Tudor Secret (The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles) here on Historically Obsessed. But there is much more to go along with it. Now if you absolutely cannot wait to see if you might snag the giveaway copy then you can go to your local bookstore and pick this one up because it hit bookstores on February 1st 2011. Follow this link to check out the giveaway for a signed copy of "The Tudor Secret" and a necklace I designed with the novel as my inspiration. Without further adieu please welcome author C.W. Gortner to Historically Obsessed.

                  Elizabeth and Robert: A Dangerous Liaison

                  Elizabeth Tudor, better known to history as Queen Elizabeth I, was unexpected. Her parents, the glamorous Anne Boleyn and formidable Henry VIII, were convinced that the child Anne carried was a long-awaited son. Yet the boy Henry had so yearned for and torn his realm apart to obtain turned out to be a girl, born with what seemed to be a curse writ into her fate. Within three years, Henry would behead her mother and re-marry four times; she’d gain a younger brother, Edward, in addition to her older sister Mary; face a daunting fight for her life that would test her to her core; and would, if the legend is true, fall impossibly in love with one man— Robert Dudley.
                  In one of the few portraits we have of Elizabeth in her youth, we see a brittle red-haired princess with spidery fingers—so reminiscent of her mother’s—clad in an ornamental red dress against a curtained backdrop. She stares enigmatically at us, secrets lurking in her dark eyes. Keenly intelligent, arguably as alluring as Anne ever was, this portrait was painted shortly before troubled adolescence catapulted Elizabeth into an ultimately lethal flirtation with Thomas Seymour. It must have been an unforgettable lesson for the impressionable princess of the dangers inherent in her nascent sexuality. Certainly, if she’d harbored any doubts before, nurtured on whispered stories of her mother’s horrifying end, the execution of Seymour proved to Elizabeth that in her world, sex certainly could equal death.

                  Many believe, however, that when it came to Robert Dudley, this trauma was superseded by inescapable desire. Elizabeth and Robert are inextricably linked, two halves of a fractured whole. They cut their teeth in one of the most treacherous courts in history, witnessing early on the consequences of unbridled ambition or passion. If ever there were two people who should have known better, it was they. Yet their own dangerous liaison lasted a lifetime, epic in its unattainable promise and darkened by rumors of murder and betrayal. Elizabeth knew the price those who courted her could pay; and Robert was the favored son of a family stained by treason. Still, they gravitated to each other like stars on an unstoppable collision course. What drew these two powerful personalities together?

                  In The Tudor Secret, we meet Elizabeth in her nineteenth year. Four years have passed since the execution of Seymour and she’s a seasoned veteran of the court, wary and fully aware of the perils lurking behind every tapestry. Propelled by concern for her brother King Edward, she’s come unannounced to London to discover why he’s disappeared from the public eye. Robert Dudley’s father, Northumberland, holds sway over the realm and plots to further his iron grip. And Robert, though already wed, burns to achieve what he believes is his right: the heart of a princess. It is a quest that will pit Elizabeth against a tenacious foe and give smoldering birth to a catastrophic love affair that will define her life and haunt the man who yearns to possess her— proving that Elizabeth and Robert remain as fascinating today as they must have been all those hundreds of years ago.

                  Thank you so much for spending this time with me. To learn more about me and my books, as well as access special features, please visit me at: Happy reading!
                  Thank you whole heartily C.W. for the wonderful guest post on Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley. As everyone who reads this blog knows: I love me some Robert Dudley. I love their story and it is by far one of my top picks for best love stories of all time.
                  The Tudor Secret (The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles)The Confessions of Catherine de Medici: A NovelThe Last Queen: A Novel
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                  Saturday, February 19, 2011

                  The Tudor Secret by C.W. Gortner Extra Special Giveaway

                  As most of you might know I am a C.W. Gortner enthusiast, I love his books and he is by far one of the coolest people I have ever had the pleasure to meet in the blogging community. C.W. has been so kind in offering up a SIGNED copy of The Tudor Secret (The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles) for giveaway on Historically Obsessed. I thought since this book inspired me to do an Elizabeth I necklace I would add my beautifully designed necklace into the lot for the winner also. What this mean to you is that one very lucky winner is going to not only get this beautiful new book signed but a mysterious key necklace that completely reminds me of Elizabeth I. 

                  Why it reminds me of Elizabeth I? I think Elizabeth must have had many secrets and in her life there was much deception that constantly surrounded her but she held the key to her heart not anyone else. I always imagined it as a really big key because of the quote "I may not be a lion but I am a lions cub, and have a lions heart". The beautiful necklace is made with antique crystals and faux pearls. All the metal hardware is sterling silver and silver plated. It is meant to be a low lying choker with a key toggle clasp.

                  The Giveaway Rules
                  Up for grabs is ONE SIGNED finished copy
                  The giveaway is open to the US  and Canada only, sorry.

                  For ONE entry enter your name and email on the form below.

                  For TWO entries follow my blog. If you already are following me through Google Friend Connect or Facebook thank you for following my blog. Just let me know in form by answering the optional question three.

                  For THREE entries blog or tweet this giveaway to spread the word. In other words post your web address to where you shared this giveaway info at in optional Question four on the form.

                  Giveaway will end on February 26th 2011 at midnight.
                  I will draw one winner using on February 27th 2011

                  "Summer 1553: A time of danger and deceit. Brendan Prescott, an orphan, is reared in the household of the powerful Dudley family. Brought to court, he finds himself sent on an illicit mission to the King's brilliant but enigmatic sister, Princess Elizabeth. But Brendan is soon compelled to work as a double agent by Elizabeth's protector, William Cecil--who promises in exchange to help him unravel the secret of his own mysterious past. A dark plot swirls around Elizabeth's quest to unravel the truth about the ominous disappearance of her seriously ill brother, King Edward VI. With Elizabeth's lady-in-waiting at his side, Brendan plunges into a ruthless gambit of half-truths, lies, and murder. Filled with the intrigue and pageantry of Tudor England, THE TUDOR SECRET is the first book in the Elizabeth I Spymaster series".

                  The Tudor Secret (The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles)The Last Queen: A NovelThe Confessions of Catherine de Medici: A Novel
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