Friday, March 30, 2012

Gothic in Blue

Done completely in color Prisma color pencils "Gothic in Blue" is maybe 5x7.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Big Mailbox Monday Catch Up

By the Kings Design by Christine Trent
"Annabelle "Belle" Stirling inherited the family draper shop from her late father, only to have it sabotaged by her ne'er-do-well brother, Wesley. Belle travels to London to seek redress, and while there, the Prince Regent, future King George IV, commissions her to provide fabrics for his Royal Pavilion. As Belle's renown spreads, she meets handsome cabinetmaker Putnam Boyce, but worries that marriage will mean sacrificing her now flourishing shop. When Wesley plots to kidnap the newly crowned King, Belle finds herself entangled in a duplicitous world of shifting allegiances, where every choice could have unexpected consequences for her future, her safety, and her kingdom..."

I was rendered speechless when I discovered this honorable mentioned in the acknowledgments : "In particular, my thanks to Liz at Historically Obsessed...."

Secrets of the Tudor Court: At The King's Pleasure by Kate Emerson
"Married to one man. Desiring another. Beautiful Lady Anne Stafford, lady in- waiting to Queen Catherine of Aragon, is torn between her love for her husband, George, Lord Hastings . . . and the king’s boon companion, the attentive Sir William Compton. But when King Henry VIII, amorous as always, joins the men clustering around her, Anne realizes she has become perilously enmeshed in the intrigues of the court. Will she be forced to decide between the two men she desires—and the one she doesn’t?Kate Emerson charms again with a heroine who steps out of the pages of history to win our hearts in this sumptuous novel of Tudor scandal and intrigue."

I am honored to have been review quoted in this novel twice: "I love this series and continue to be awestruck by each and every book..."

"Another beautifully written Tudor secret love that before I never even knew existed. It was everything I could have hoped it to be and more."

The Royals by Leslie Carroll
Since the Middle Ages, the lavish world of the English monarchy has fascinated the public. The Royals: The Lives and Loves of the British Monarchs uncovers the most colorful characters ever to wear the crown, from William the Conqueror, the Norman duke who invaded and took England as his own, to William of Wales, the second in line to the modern throne. Nearly 1,000 year of the British rulers are chronicled, including the notorious kings and queens of the Tudor dynasty, up to the royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Beautifully illustrated, this visual history brings the royal family to life.
Includes removable reproductions of:

  • letters from Henry VIII's wives 
  • the execution warrant for Mary, Queen of Scots
  • a ticket to Queen Victoria's Jubilee Ball
  • Edward VIII's official letter of abdication
  • the wedding program for Charles and Diana
  • and the official invitation to William and Kate's wedding
Leslie Carroll is the author of several works of historical fiction and three books about the European royals. She has been published in Jane Austen Regency World magazine and appeared as a royalty expert on the CBS Evening News in London during the week of William and Kate's Royal wedding. She and her husband live in Vermont.

"The Plantagenet Chronicles tells the fascinating story of a forgotten dynasty. Ascending the throne just after the decline of the Normans in 1154 and retaining their grip on power until the rise of the Tudors in 1485, the Plantagenets oversaw a remarkable array of political, social and economic changes: parliament, trial by jury, civil rights, the English language and even the emergence of a distinct British national identity all came about under their reign.

The Plantagenet Chronicles is a compelling, year-by-year account of a tumultuous and critical period in the development of the English nation. Each year is covered by a concise, informative and accessible narrative, amplified by extensive quotation from contemporary sources and accompanied by stunning images of the period — including illuminations, portraits, maps, royal seals, tapestries and other artifacts.

The Amber Room by Steve Berry
"The Amber Room is one of the greatest treasures ever made by man: an entire room forged of exquisite amber, from its four massive walls to its finely crafted furniture. But it is also the subject of one of history’s most intriguing mysteries. Originally commissioned in 1701 by Frederick I of Prussia, the Room was later perfected Tsarskoe Selo, the Russian imperial city. In 1941, German troops invaded the Soviet Union, looting everything in their wake and seizing the Amber Room. When the Allies began the bombing of Germany in August 1944, the Room was hidden. And despite the best efforts of treasure hunters and art collectors from around the world, it has never been seen again.

Now, two powerful men have set their best operatives loose in pursuit, and the hunt has begun once more. . . .

Life is good for Atlanta judge Rachel Cutler. She loves her job, loves her kids, and remains civil to her ex-husband, Paul. But everything changes when her father, a man who survived the horrors of World War II, dies under strange circumstances—and leaves behind clues to a secret he kept his entire life . . . a secret about something called the Amber Room.

Desperate to know the truth about her father’s suspicious dealings, Rachel takes off for Germany, with Paul close behind. Shortly after arriving, they find themselves involved with a cast of shadowy characters who all claim to share their quest. But as they learn more about the history of the treasure they seek, Rachel and Paul realize they’re in way over their heads. Locked in a treacherous game with ruthless professional killers and embroiled in a treasure hunt of epic proportions, Rachel and Paul suddenlyfind themselves on a collision course with the forces of power, evil, and history itself.

A brilliant adventure and a scintillating tale of intrigue, deception, art, and murder, The Amber Room is a classic tale of suspense—and the debut of a strong new voice in the world of the international thriller".

The Alehouse Murders by Maureen Ash
"A Templar treasure for mystery readers!

An honorable-yet world-weary-Knight Templar solves the mysteries of Medieval England.

After eight years of captivity in the Holy Land, Templar Bascot de Marins escapes with injuries to his body and soul. Now on a sojourn at Lincoln Castle, he hopes to regain his strength, and mend his waning faith-but not even the peace of God's countryside is safe from the mortal crimes of man. For what appears to be the grisly end to a drunken row is in fact a cunning and baffling crime".

Madame du Barry by Jean Plaidy
"Marie Jeanne Becu was but the illegitimate daughter of a humble cook, yet by the time she was 23, she had become Madame du Barry and the official mistress of King Louis XV of France. This is the dream-like story of a woman who, by virtue of her exceptional and seductive beauty, her enchanting wit and her unfailing good nature, came to govern the monarch.

Yet her life at court had its setbacks for Madame du Barry incurred the jealousy of Madame du Pompadour and many other who constantly sought to usurp her. Then, when Louis XV died, her power dissipated and it was not long before she was obliged to retire to the beautiful mansion of Luciennes which the King had built for her. Even so, there was worse to come for in 1789 the French Revolution cast its long shadow and her very life was in danger.

In her own inimitable and masterly fashion, Jean Plaidy relates the moving story of this remarkable beauty and wit who dazzles king and commoner alike". 

The Mistress of Nothing by Kate Pullinger
"Lady Duff Gordon is the toast of Victorian London. But when her debilitating tuberculosis requires healthier climate, she and her lady's maid, Sally, set sail for Egypt. It is Sally who describes, with a mixture of wonder and trepidation, the odd menage marshalled by the resourceful Omar, which travels down the Nile to a new life in Luxor. When Lady Duff Gordon undoes her stays and takes to native dress, throwing herself into weekly salons, language lessons, excursions to the tombs, Sally too adapts to a new world, affording her heady and heartfelt freedoms never known before. But freedom is a luxury that a maid can ill-afford, and when Sally grasps more than her status entitles her to, she is brutally reminded that she is mistress of nothing.

In 1862, the real Lucie, Lady Duff Gordon, a well known writer and hostess, traveled to Egypt with her maid. Her letters form the basis for this historical novel".

Lady of the Butterflies by Fiona Mountain
"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".

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