Tuesday, October 28, 2014

New Release, In Stores Today! Prince Lestat by Anne Rice

"Prince Lestat by" Anne Rice
Released 10.28.2014
"The novel opens with the vampire world in crisis...vampires have been proliferating out of control; burnings have commenced all over the world, huge massacres similar to those carried out by Akasha in The Queen of the Damned... Old vampires, roused from slumber in the earth are doing the bidding of a Voice commanding that they indiscriminately burn vampire-mavericks in cities from Paris and Mumbai to Hong Kong, Kyoto, and San Francisco. As the novel moves from present-day New York and the West Coast to ancient Egypt, fourth century Carthage, 14th-century Rome, the Venice of the Renaissance, the worlds and beings of all the Vampire Chronicles—Louis de Pointe du Lac; the eternally young Armand, whose face is that of a Boticelli angel; Mekare and Maharet, Pandora and Flavius; David Talbot, vampire and ultimate fixer from the secret Talamasca; and Marius, the true Child of the Millennia; along with all the other new seductive, supernatural creatures—come together in this large, luxuriant, fiercely ambitious novel to ultimately rise up and seek out who—or what—the Voice is, and to discover the secret of what it desires and why...
And, at the book's center, the seemingly absent, curiously missing hero-wanderer, the dazzling, dangerous rebel-outlaw—the great hope of the Undead, the dazzling Prince Lestat..."
Amazon: Prince Lestat by Anne Rice

Monday, October 27, 2014

New Release: Victoria: A Life by A.N. Wilson

Victoria: A Life by A. N. Wilson
Released October 10.23.2014 ~ Non-Fiction
"When Queen Victoria died in 1901, she had ruled for nearly sixty-four years. She was a mother of nine and grandmother of forty-two and the matriarch of royal Europe through her children’s marriages. To many, Queen Victoria is a ruler shrouded in myth and mystique, an aging, stiff widow paraded as the figurehead to an all-male imperial enterprise. But in truth, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch was one of the most passionate, expressive, humorous and unconventional women who ever lived, and the story of her life continues to fascinate.
A. N. Wilson’s exhaustively researched and definitive biography includes a wealth of new material from previously unseen sources to show us Queen Victoria as she’s never been seen before. Wilson explores the curious set of circumstances that led to Victoria’s coronation, her strange and isolated childhood, her passionate marriage to Prince Albert and his pivotal influence even after death and her widowhood and subsequent intimate friendship with her Highland servant John Brown, all set against the backdrop of this momentous epoch in Britain’s history—and the world’s.

Born at the very moment of the expansion of British political and commercial power across the globe, Victoria went on to chart a unique course for her country even as she became the matriarch of nearly every great dynasty of Europe. Her destiny was thus interwoven with those of millions of people—not just in Europe but in the ever-expanding empire that Britain was becoming throughout the nineteenth century. The famed queen had a face that adorned postage stamps, banners, statues and busts all over the known world.

Wilson’s Victoria is a towering achievement, a masterpiece of biography by a writer at the height of his powers".

Book Review: DAUGHTERS OF THE NILE by Stephanie Dray

Cleopatra Selene, Queen of Mauretania co-ruled with her husband Juba II over their exotic lands. Named the resurrection by her mother Cleopatra magic had always been a part of their lives. Her mother had magical abilities and so did her little brother and her twin Helios. Cleopatra’s children had met death and destruction at the hands of their Roman captor Augustus Caesar.  Augustus’ obsession with Selene was deranged and she had fought him off in the previous two novels in this series but she could never truly be free of him because she now had a daughter forced upon her by him. Isidora was wholly accepted by Juba as his daughter but it was an unspoken truth behind her conception and paternity that was all done by the hand of the Emperor of Rome.

In this third installment of the “Cleopatra’s Daughter” series we pick up where the last novel left off. Selene is once more free of the emperor for a period of time. Juba and her are still at odds but we find them growing closer together through their past shred struggles. Selene opens her heart to Juba and they welcome a new prince to Mauretania. Name Ptolemy for his Egyptian heritage he is the light of his parents lives until the fateful day when Augustus called them back to Rome to ruin their family bliss back in Mauretania.

Never able to leave Selene alone for too long the Emperor does not just summon her to Rome he commands it and one does not just ignore the emperor of Rome before the common era. Forced to return to the land she stolen away to as a child Selene realizes his obsession with her will never end. Reaching a new height of disillusionment the emperor now has the audacity to think that her sweet little Ptolemy is his son. This is too far for Selene but she is already fighting off her mother enemy King Herod on one front and the disillusioned Caesar with his vile wife working against her in a dangerous struggle for power. Liva has already proved that she is capable of murder and if she were given the chance she would murder Selene in a heartbeat.

Selene had an edge against them all she had magic, the power of Isis and also a gifted daughter to help her navigate the treachery that now surrounded her whole family. Years of fighting had taken a toll on Selene and her son’s birth had its price she was getting older and she found herself more distant from Juba.  Juba was not just any man he was a scholar, a long time favorite of Caesar, and deep down inside he knew he had made mistakes with Selene yet he still loved her. Drawn together the couple could be unstoppable against Rome and anything else that came their way yet they found the hardest obstacle to conquer was the ocean between them.  Selene found she was still not ready to admit how much she truly loved this man she married and instead she chose to fight her battles alone like she always has. Fighting his way into her heart and her battles Selene cannot deny Juba forever.

4/5  I HATE HATE HATE HATE the Emperor; he is the vilest man ever to grace historical fiction. He is like the enemy that cannot die. It sure makes for good reads though. I fell in love with Selene’s daughter Isidora; she was like a combination of her mother and famous grandmother Cleopatra. I would recommend this to historical fiction lovers that do not mind a bit of fantasy in their history. I however would not recommend reading this as a stand-alone novel because you will miss too much of the history behind it all.
  • FTC ~ this novel was sent to me by the publisher for review. I received no compensation for this review.
  • PG-13 Rating for mild violence and sexual references.
  • Amazon: Daughters of the Nile by Stephanie Dray


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Kings, Queens, and Horses

Close up of "Queen of Hearts" mixed media
This beauty was a printed canvas my husband bought for me at the art supply store. In the pack it came with two pieces one with the queen of hearts and the other with the king of hearts. I used a variety on this as usual. From colored pencils, to water color pencils, ball point pens, and felt tipped pens. I just basically colored it, painted, high lighted, and then re-did the black. It took awhile to do both but it was worth it but now all I have to do is get them in frames.
"Queen of Hearts" mixed print media on canvas.

"King of Hearts" mixed print media on canvas.

Quick little sketch inspired by the "Dolce & Gabbana fashion show on Capri". Ink sketch with Prisma markers.

"Spotted pony love" ink sketch with Prisma markers.

I hope you all enjoyed my art work hopefully I will have more coming soon.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mailbox Monday: Robin Maxwell

The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn by Robin Maxwell large print edition
"Entertainment Weekly wrote, "History doesn't come any more fascinating -- or lurid -- than the wife-felling reign of Henry VIII". Robin Maxwell re-creates this chapter in history to perfection in an exuberant and bawdy novel of lust, betrayal, love and murder.When the young Queen Elizabeth I is given her mother's diary, she discovers the truth about her lascivious and despotic father, Henry VIII -- and vows never to relinquish control to any man".~Lizzie~

Friday, October 17, 2014

Book Review: LITTLE BOOK OF BOOK MAKING by Charlotte Rivers

This is a cool little book it is a creative trigger for artists alike. From the anatomy of a book with folded and sewn bindings all the way to artists in Egypt, Brazil, Canada and even in my neck of the woods artist Monica Holtsclaw in Beaverton Oregon. This book is filled with artistic examples of page and covering treatments, which featured another local artist Scantron Press in Portland Oregon.  Experimental packaging art from Lime Rot in Seattle Washington and Hinged Strung Stitched in Portland Oregon.  I was told a long time ago once that Portland and Seattle are home to some of the most creative artists in the country making the two cities a hub for artistic minds. Now I can really see it thanks to this lovely little book. 

Not just a gallery of beautiful works of books this book also will teach you how to make your own books from the beginning. With sections covering tools, materials, how to make an instant, accordion, flag, dragon, carousel, secret message books and it does not stop there it goes on to cover a pamphlet, long, Japanese stab, Coptic, French link stitch, case binding, suminaga’s shi paper marbling, paste papers, frottage, natural plant dyeing, book cloth, woven covers, fabric covers, and pillow books. With a wealth of information this book will give any aspiring artist the knowledge to reach all of their creative dreams.

4/5 Loved this book with its beautifully crafted books that are art pieces all so unique. My favorites were all the ones that used maps in the bindings and also the intricate colorful ladder stitch, and last but not least a set of books shaped like pie slices. Every one of the featured books was beautiful making it hard to narrow down a favorite. I would highly recommend this book to all creative gurus because knowledge can be an inspiration.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Book Review: VITTORIO THE VAMPIRE by Anne Rice

In this last novel of the “New Tales of the Vampires” series we are introduced to a new vampire Vittorio. Vittorio was a young boy on the verge of manhood during the 15th century Italy. His family ruled on high from their mountain top castle in northern Tuscany. His ideal life was shattered in one tragic night of murder. The family castle was invaded in the dead of night by what Vittorio would later find out is the ghastly Order of the Ruby Grail.  Every single man woman and child was murdered except Vittorio. He was the only one spared by the super natural killers. Vittorio fought valiantly to protect his little brother and sister but could not stop these freakishly strong killers from their mission of death.  Spared by the woman who had helped destroy his family Vittorio became obsessed with vengeance and finding out more about this supernatural woman Ursula and the Order of the Ruby Grail.

4/5 I enjoyed a brand new vampire and a new romantic one too! I wish Anne had written more of this branch of the Vampire Chronicles because I would read those too. This one was a short, fast paced read and I enjoyed it. I would recommend this one to historical lovers alike because it does not really tie into any of the other novels in the series, it defiantly can be read as a stand-alone novel.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Mailbox Monday: Diana Gabaldon & Elizabeth Chadwick

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
"The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon--when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach--an "outlander"--in a Scotland torn by war and raiding Highland clans in the year of Our Lord...1743.
Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigues and dangers that may threaten her life...and shatter her heart. For here she meets James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, and becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives".

Lords of the White Castle by Elizabeth Chadwick FitzWarin, #2
"Westminster, 1184-- in the court of King Henry, playful competition is about to turn into something far more serious. Young courtier Fulke FitzWarin would not be an obvious companion for Prince John, but the boy from the Welsh Marches is there as a reward for his family's loyalty to the crown. The FitzWarins are as proud as they are true, and when Fulke is accused by John of cheating during a game of chess, he cannot help but respond. Thus begins a bitter rivalry that will resonate throughout their lives.
The FitzWarins dream of reclaiming their family estate and title, Lords of the White Castle. After this quarrel with Fulke, however, John's vindictiveness leads to Fulke renouncing his allegiance and becoming a rebel outlaw.

In romance, too, Fulke is no closer to fulfilling his heart's desire. A youthful dalliance means nothing compared to his love for the spirited Maude le Vavasour, but marriage in medieval England is more about alliance than about love, and Fulke can only watch helplessly as Maude's father arranges a more suitable match. After all, what can Fulke offer Maude apart from a lifetime on the run....

With all the intrigue and pageantry that bring the twelfth century vividly to life, this award-winning novelist spins us an irresistible tale of a deadly rivalry and an impossible love".

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

New Historical Fiction Release: The Sharp Hook of Love by Sherry Jones

In stores today! The Sharp Hook of Love by Sherry Jones
"Among the young women of 12th century Paris, Heloise d’Argenteuil stands apart. Extraordinarily educated and quick-witted, she is being groomed by her uncle to become an abbess in the service of God. But with one encounter, her destiny changes forever.
Pierre Abelard, headmaster at the Nôtre Dame Cloister School, is acclaimed as one of the greatest philosophers in France. His controversial reputation only adds to his allure, yet despite the legions of women swooning over his poetry and dashing looks, he is captivated by the brilliant Heloise alone. As their relationship blossoms from a meeting of the minds to a forbidden love affair, both Heloise and Abelard must choose between love, duty, and ambition.

Sherry Jones weaves the lovers’ own words into an evocative account of desire and sacrifice. As intimate as it is erotic, as devastating as it is beautiful, The Sharp Hook of Love is a poignant, tender tribute to one of history’s greatest romances, and to love’s power to transform and endure".

More From Sherry Jones:
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