Thursday, April 30, 2015

Book Review: THE KING'S CURSE by Philippa Gregory

 Margaret Pole was a true survivor in every sense of the way. She had had made it through her uncle Richard III’s rule, Henry VII’s conquest of her closest confidant Elizabeth of York, and again she survived the wrath of Margaret Beaufort, which is no easy task. Margaret was one f the few royals that had survived the War of the Roses and the transition to Tudor England. The war came to an end with Henry VII’s marriage to her cousin Elizabeth. The cousins through the years had been very close. They shared every tear and heartbreak up until Elizabeth’s death.

The biggest tragedy to strike the cousins was the loss of Elizabeth’s son Arthur. Henry VII had executed Margaret’s own brother to finalize the agreement between Spain and England for the marriage of the infant of Spain: Catherine of Aragon to Arthur. After the marriage took place the new couple were entrusted to their mothers closest friend Margaret for their care and managing. Margaret had already cared for Arthur most of his life and loved him like he was her own son. Shortly after the marriage Arthur's health had suddenly started to dramatically decline and he was gone with in a day. Greif stricken Margaret knew then that the curse on the Tudors was still very real. Arthur’s own grandmother, and mother had cursed who ever had murdered their lost princes that would have been Arthur uncles. There had always been rumors of the Woodville women being witches even his great grandmother Jaquetta had been put on trail for witchcraft during the war. The Woodville women wanted revenge and cursed “those that had murdered our princes” and had inadvertently cursed their own future line because Elizabeth had been forced to marry the enemy. Margaret had lost the prince she loved but had gained a princess. Catherine of Aragon had become a close confident of Margaret’s over the years and even closer yet after Elizabeth’s tragic death.

After years of tragedy bestowed on Margaret’s family everything changed in the blink of an eye when young King Henry came to the throne upon his father’s death. Her family’s fortune was reversed and she was back in the lime light because the new queen was Catherine of Aragon her closest friend. The new courts blissful happiness was slowly chipped away by the Tudor curse when Catherine of Aragon gave birth to dead child after dead child. Devoted to Catherine and her only surviving child princess Mary, like Prince Arthur Margaret had been asked to care for Mary though the years and had also loved her like her own daughter maybe even more than that. King Henry had sworn to love Catherine until death do them part but the nagging question of the curse weighed heavy on him. Eventually he turned from Catherine to another leading the whole country into civil out cry over the unjust treatment of Catherine his legal wedded wife. Margaret had survived many trials but her friendship with Catherine would lead her to the greatest tragedy of her life, protect the princess or sacrifice all to a deranged King that sought to destroy all in his path.

5/5 I LOVED this one out of all of the books in this series this one is now my second favorite. My first will always be “Lady of the Rivers” but this one comes right after now. Margaret’s story is tragic to say the least but I really enjoyed how the author wove Margaret’s alliances and intriquet relationships with her many many children. This one I think could be read as a stand-alone novel but if you do it that way you will loose all of the back history of the curse, which I would not really, recommend because what leads up to the curse is great historical fiction reads. I would highly recommend this to Tudor lovers because Margaret’s story is one of the most dramatic cases of the times.

FTC ~ this novel is from my personal collection

PG ~ 13 For mild violence.

S T A Y C O N N E C T E D W I T H M E :
S U B S C R I B E ~ T W I T T E R ~ F A C E B O O K ~ I N S T A G R A M ~ G O O G L E +
~L I Z Z I E~

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Book Giveaway: THE FLYING CIRCUS by Susan Crandall

The Flying Circus by Susan Crandall Paperback Advanced Readers Edition
"From the bestselling and award-winning author of Whistling Past the Graveyard comes an adventure tale about two daredevils and a farm boy who embark on the journey of a lifetime across America’s heartland in the Roaring Twenties.

Set in the rapidly changing world of 1920s America, this is a story of three people from very different backgrounds: Henry “Schuler” Jefferson, son of German immigrants from Midwestern farm country; Cora Rose Haviland, a young woman of privilege whose family has lost their fortune; and Charles “Gil” Gilchrist, an emotionally damaged WWI veteran pilot. Set adrift by life-altering circumstances, they find themselves bound together by need and torn apart by blind obsessions and conflicting goals. Each one holds a secret that, if exposed, would destroy their friendship. But their journey of adventure and self-discovery has a price—and one of them won’t be able to survive it.

As they crisscross the heartland, exploring the rapidly expanding role of aviation from barnstorming to bootlegging, from a flying circus to the dangerous sport of air racing, the three companions form a makeshift family. It’s a one-of-a-kind family, with members as adventurous as they are vulnerable, and as fascinating as they are flawed. But whatever adventure—worldly or private—they find themselves on, they’re guaranteed to be a family you won’t forget".

Good luck everyone drawing ends 5.13.2015 US and Canada only.
ARC Giveaway for "The Flying Circus" by Susan Crandall S T A Y  C O N N E C T E D  W I T H  M E :
S U B S C R I B E ~ T W I T T E R  ~ F A C E B O O K ~ I N S T A G R A M ~ G O O G L E +
~L I Z Z I E~

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Book Review: THE ALCHEMIST'S DAUGHTER by Mary Lawrence

Bianca Goddard daughter of an almost executed alchemist chose a slightly different path from her traitorous father. Herbs and healing the people of Southwark were her only goal in life. She made salves, cures, and dispensed rat poison for the greater good of the people. Being the solitary type of person that she was Bianca had few friends because her work was her only focus. With only a few close friends in her life Bianca found her world turned upside down when her close friend Jolyn came complaining about an upset stomach. With in minutes of giving her friend a stomach aid Jolyn began to have a seizure that ended with her sudden death.

Given the circumstances of Jolyn’s sudden demise the constable immediately deducted that Bianca was the prime suspect. Constable Patch had named her because she was the last one with Jolyn and mostly because of her trade. Given little to no chance at defending herself Bianca resorted to investigating who would wish her sweet friend Jolyn dead and who would benefit from it the most. Joyln had no family and had lived as a helper in a converted house of ill repute. With the help from her childhood friend and hopeful lover John they both went head long into the dark underbelly of Southwark during Henry VIII’s rule to find her friends killer and bring them to justice. With the constable hot on their tail the best place to start was the converted Barke House before the constable has her head for murder.

4/5 An exciting, mysterious fast paced read. I would highly recommend this fun new series because you better believe I am going to keep tabs on this exciting new series. We all know I love the Tudors but even though this novel is set in Tudor times I enjoyed it immensely because it focused on the common people of Henry VIII’s reign.

FTC ~ this novel was sent to me by the publisher. I received no compensation for this review.

R ~ Rating for violence.
Amazon: THE ALCHEMIST'S DAUGHTER by Mary Lawrence ~ Bianca Goddard Mysteries

S T A Y  C O N N E C T E D  W I T H  M E :
S U B S C R I B E ~ T W I T T E R  ~ F A C E B O O K ~ I N S T A G R A M ~ G O O G L E +
~L I Z Z I E~

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Book Review: RODIN'S LOVER by Heather Webb

The impressionism era that began in Paris during the 19th century. It gave birth to iconic art works that we cherish today. Paris at the time was the center of one of the greatest explosions of creativity and forward thinking the art world had ever seen. Times were changing yet some things remained the same. The modern art scene was a man's world that did not welcome many women artists. Camille Claudel was an ambitious young woman that showed great potential for sculpting. Growing up in the country outside of Paris her father patronized her talents and her mother berated her. Her mother never understood Camille’s hearts desire to be a famous sculptor but her father did. Luckily her father decided moved the entire family to Paris and send Camille to a reputable art school.

Once at her new school Camille’s artistic skills blossomed under the new tutelage. She loved school but her life at home was hitting a new level of tense with her overbearing mother. Finding a way Camille teamed up with her new friends from school and rented a small studio and eventually the girls got a new mentor: Alfred Boucher. With Alfred’s help Camille integrated herself into the art society. Finally accepted as an artist Camille still struggled to be considered an equal to her artistic peers based only on the fact that she was a woman. Surrounded by men Camille knew the heartbreak of being looked down upon solely for the fact that in a male dominated world she was a victim of her sex in their eyes.

Boucher in the end had moved on from tutoring and had asked his famous sculptor friend Augustus Rodin to take Camille on as his new pupil. Rodin helped Camille take her skills to the next level. She now won commissions, shows, and the respect of some of France’s leading male impressionism artists. She was on a new high and over time she had developed feelings for her mentor. Their illicit affair began like a whirlwind and Camille desired one thing above any other and that was respect. Respect for her skills as an artist and respect as a woman. Not feeling she was getting the respect she was due she became a complicated woman that was fully invested in a man that could never be hers. Rodin had been married for decades before he ever met Camille. Though Rodin no longer was in love with his wife that did not mean he still did not love her and want to make sure she was well cared for. The relationship turned toxic for Camille. She loved Rodin despite their deteriorating affair. Eventually violence and mental breakdowns would lead them down a tragic road that will leave every woman with a lasting appreciation for the times that we live in today where women can be genuinely appreciated for their capabilities and talents.

3.5/5 I enjoyed this one yet I found it dragged a bit for me in some moments. I can fully understand Camille’s position in the world and I found her tale a tragic fate for such a gifted woman. I would recommend this novel to historical fiction art fanatics because it really focuses on some of the most interesting artists of the impressionism era.

FTC ~ this novel was sent to me by the publisher. I received no compensation for this book review.

R ~ Rating for sexual references.
Amazon: RODIN'S LOVER by Heather Webb

S T A Y  C O N N E C T E D  W I T H  M E :
S U B S C R I B E ~ T W I T T E R ~ F A C E B O O K ~ I N S T A G R A M ~ G O O G L E +
~L I Z Z I E~

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Book Giveaway: Killers of the King the Men Who Dared to Execute Charles I by Charles Spencer

Killers of the King the Men Who Dared to Execute Charles I by Charles Spencer ~ Hardback
"On August 18, 1648, with no relief from the siege in sight, the royalist garrison holding Colchester Castle surrendered and Oliver Cromwell’s army firmly ended the rule of Charles I of England. To send a clear message to the fallen monarch, the rebels executed four of the senior officers captured at the castle. Yet still, the king refused to accept he had lost the war. As France and other allies mobilized in support of Charles, a tribunal was hastily gathered and a death sentence was passed. On January 30, 1649, the King of England was executed. This is the account of the fifty-nine regicides, the men who signed Charles I’s death warrant. Recounting a little-known corner of British history, Charles Spencer explores what happened when the Restoration arrived. From George Downing, the chief plotter, to Richard Ingoldsby, who claimed he was forced to sign his name by his cousin Oliver Cromwell, and from those who returned to the monarchist cause and betrayed their fellow regicides to those that fled the country in an attempt to escape their punishment, Spencer examines the long-lasting, far-reaching consequences not only for those who signed the warrant, but also for those who were present at the trial and for England itself. A powerful tale of revenge from the dark heart of England’s past, and a unique contribution to seventeenth-century history, Killers of the King tells the incredible story of the men who dared to assassinate a monarch".
Book Giveaway: Killers of the King by Charles Spencer
Good luck everyone and happy reading!
S T A Y C O N N E C T E D W I T H M E :
S U B S C R I B E ~ T W I T T E R ~ F A C E B O O K ~ I N S T A G R A M ~ G O O G L E +
~L I Z Z I E~
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