Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - Stormbringers by Philippa Gregory

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly waiting to get our hands on.


The second book in a YA quartet filled with intrigue, mystery, and romance, from #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory.

Italy, 1453. Luca and Isolde grow more and more attracted to each other as they continue their journey to unravel the mysteries throughout Christendom. But their travels are delayed by the uprising of an intense religious crusade that threatens the balance of the civilized world. Death lingers in the air as war ravages on, but this religious conflict is nothing compared to the arrival of an intense and deadly storm.

Caught in the midst of unimaginable chaos, Luca and Isolde must rely on one another in order to survive.

The second in Philippa Gregory’s four-book series delves further into a forbidden romance and an epic quest. And the tension builds as secrets about The Order of Darkness are finally revealed...

Hardcover, 336 pages

Expected publication: June 4th 2013 by Simon Pulse
Cover looks interesting..
What are you waiting for? 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - Confessions of Marie Antoinette

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly waiting to get our hands on.


  This week I am waiting for:  Confessions of Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey


 September 24, 2013

A novel for fans of Philippa Gregory and Michelle Moran, Confessions of Marie Antoinette blends rich historical detail with searing drama, bringing to life the first years of the French Revolution and the final days of the legendary French queen.
Versailles, 1789. As the burgeoning rebellion reaches the palace gates, Marie Antoinette finds her privileged and peaceful life swiftly upended by violence. Once her loyal subjects, the people of France now seek to overthrow the crown, placing the heirs of the Bourbon dynasty in mortal peril.

Displaced to the Tuileries Palace in Paris, the royal family is propelled into the heart of the Revolution. There, despite a few staunch allies, they are surrounded by cunning spies and vicious enemies. Yet despite the political and personal threats against her, Marie Antoinette remains, above all, a devoted wife and mother, standing steadfastly by her husband, Louis XVI, and protecting their young son and daughter. And though the queen secretly attempts to arrange her family’s rescue from the clutches of the rebels, she finds that they can neither outrun the dangers encircling them nor escape their shocking fate.

The final book in Juliet Grey's trilogy on the life of Marie Antoinette.

What are you waiting for?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Lionheart by Sharon Kay Penman

They were called "The Devil's Brood," though never to their faces. They were the four surviving sons of Henry Plantagenet and Eleanor of Aquitaine. With two such extraordinary parents, much was expected of them.
But the eldest-charming yet mercurial-would turn on his father and, like his brother Geoffrey, meet an early death. When Henry died, Richard would take the throne and, almost immediately, set off for the Holy Land. This was the Third Crusade, and it would be characterized by internecine warfare among the Christians and extraordinary campaigns against the Saracens. And, back in England, by the conniving of Richard's youngest brother, John, to steal his crown.
Hardcover, 594 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published January 1st 2011)

The fourth book in the Plantagenets Series by one of my very favorite authors, Sharon Kay Penman.  This book had a somewhat different feel to it than the others in this series.  Maybe because it was very male dominated or maybe just because I really missed Eleanor (I think she is in her 60's during the very brief time she appears and I am going to be very sad when she passes).  Focusing mainly on King Richard over the span of a couple years, it was also very interesting to learn more about Henri of Champagne, though I couldn't get my head how they are related - that was one of my favorite scenes, my head was also spinning trying to figure that one out (if you read the book you will know what I mean, lol).

One of the things I really enjoy about historical fiction is not just a wonderful story but learning history at the same time.  I have stopped heading over to Wikipedia while in the mist of a book (too many spoilers can ruin a good book) and do that after I finish.  I know (knew) absolutely nothing about the Crusades.  This was a very well written and informative book and it's no wonder King Richard was away for so long.  It was interesting to read about Richard's character and after awhile I was beginning to wonder if he was really like the way the author portrayed him to be.  The author's notes were wonderful and yea I guess he was as portrayed.  Joanna was a favorite and reminded me so much of her mother.

The final book in the series, The King's Ransom will continue where this one left off and we can find out how Richard takes care of the mess England is in at the hands of his little brother, John. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Lady's Slipper by Deborah Swift

1660. King Charles II has returned from exile, but memories of the English Civil War still rankle. There are old scores to settle, and religious differences threaten to overturn a fragile peace. When Alice Ibbetson discovers a rare orchid, the Lady’s Slipper, growing in a wood belonging to Richard Wheeler, she is captivated by its beauty— though Wheeler, a Quaker, is determined to keep the flower where God intended it to grow. Knowing that the orchid is the last of its kind, she steals the flower, little dreaming that her seemingly simple act will set off a chain of events that will lead to murder and exile, and change her life forever…

Paperback, 436 pages
Published November 23rd 2010 by St. Martin's Griffin
source - personal library

It all started with an orchid, the Lady's Slipper and what a chain of events resulted.  It is more than a story just about an orchid.  Alice, still grieving the passing of her sister.  Richard Wheeler and the Quakers, Sir Geoffrey Fisk and his son, and of course Ella, the servant, all intertwined together to make a wonderful story.  

Deborah Swift has a writing style that I found rather mesmerizing.  The words just seemed to flow right out of the book (does that make sense?)  It was one of those books where I would sit for a few minutes to read a few pages and next thing I knew it was an hour (or two) later.
Having never read any historical fiction in the 1600's I enjoyed the learning experience also, this author knows her stuff.  Looking forward to The Gilded Lily, which has been sitting very patiently

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - The Summer Queen

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly waiting to get our hands on.


  This week I am waiting for: The Summer Queen by Elizabeth Chadwick

Eleanor of Aquitaine is a 12th century icon who has fascinated readers for 800 years. But the real Eleanor remains elusive.

This stunning novel introduces an Eleanor that all other writers have missed. Based on the most up-to-date research, it is the first novel to show Eleanor beginning her married life at 13. Barely out of childhood, this gives an entirely new slant to how Eleanor is treated bv those around her. She was often the victim and her first marriage was horribly abusive.

Overflowing with scandal, passion, triumph and tragedy, Eleanor's legendary story begins when her beloved father dies in the summer of 1137, and she is made to marry the young prince Louis of France. A week after the marriage she becomes a queen and her life will change beyond recognition . . .

Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: June 20th 2013 by Sphere 
I am a new Elizabeth Chadwick fan, and very intrigues with Eleanor of Aquitaine.  My copy has already been preordered and cant wait till this one arrives.
What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Border Bride by Amanda Scott

Publication Date: March 26, 2013
Open Road Media
eBook; 344p

Set in treacherous sixteenth-century Scotland, the first volume of Amanda Scott’s Border Trilogy tells the unforgettable story of a woman sworn to defy the knight she is forced to wed—only to discover a love she’ll do anything to claim

As Mary, Queen of Scots, languishes in the Tower of London as a prisoner of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth, war tears Scotland apart. To save her beloved homeland, a proud Highland beauty named Mary Kate MacPherson must wage her own battle when she’s forced into wedlock with a knight, Sir Adam Douglas, from the barbaric borderland of Tornary.

Even as she succumbs to her seductive husband’s sensual demands, Mary Kate vows never to give him her heart. She will belong to no man. But Adam burns with something deeper than desire. Sworn to carry out a long-awaited revenge, he won’t rest until he has vanquished his enemies. Accused of treason, the last thing he expects is to lose his heart to the woman he’s determined to tame but never to love: his own wife.

Here is a book that I really wanted to love.  When you read the cover it seems to have so much going for it.  Mary, Queen of Scots, Queen Elizabeth, accusations of treason, a dashing knight and a women forced into a marriage she doesn't want.  All the makings of a great story, but I have to say though that this story just fell flat for me.

How to say this without giving away the whole story is hard.  There were some things about this book that I found annoying.  The conflict between the queens is a very small part of this book, mentioned only a couple times.  Adam's relationship with his cousin was strange, especially for someone his age, I felt like I was reading about a couple teenagers, not mature adults.  I know women were abused by husbands in the 1500's, it was just part of life, but really a spanking?  That for some reason just seemed out of place.

I received my ebook copy from the publisher and can only hope that the grammar and punctuation is fixed up.  Many times I had to reread sentences and at times the dialogue was messed up because either quotation marks were missing or there were too many of them.  I found that rather distracting.

I did end up giving this book 3 stars because the author was able to grab my attention, I was genuinely interested to see what happened to this couple, the ending I thought was rather comical.  If historical romance is your thing, then you will most likely enjoy this book, for myself I like a little (ok a lot) more of the historical part.

For more information on Amanda Scott’s novels, please visit the official website.

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Wednesday, April 3
Review at The Picky Girl Blog (Highland Fling)
Review at Books Like Breathing (Dangerous Illusions)
Thursday, April 4
Interview at A Bookish Libraria
Friday, April 5
Guest Post & Giveaway at In the Hammock Blog
Monday, April 8
Guest Post & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Tuesday, April 9
Review at Just One More Chapter (Border Bride)
Review at Overflowing Bookshelves (Highland Fling)
Interview at Tribute Books
Wednesday, April 10
Feature & Giveaway at A Writer’s Life: Working with the Muse
Thursday, April 11
Review at Overflowing Bookshelves (Border Bride)
Review at Flashlight Commentary (Dangerous Illusions)
Friday, April 12
Feature & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time
Monday, April 15
Review at Romantic Historical Lovers (Dangerous Illusions)
Guest Post & Giveaway at History Undressed
Tuesday, April 16
Review at Ramblings from a Chaotic Mind (Highland Fling)
Wednesday, April 17
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book! (Border Bride)
Review at The Musings of a Book Junkie (Dangerous Illusions)
Thursday, April 18
Review at Books Like Breathing (Highland Fling)
Review at Overflowing Bookshelves (Dangerous Illusions)
Friday, April 19
Review at A Chick Who Reads (Dangerous Illusions)
Review at Peeking Between the Pages (Border Bride)
Monday, April 22
Review at Peeking Between the Pages (Highland Fling)
Guest Post & Giveaway at Ramblings from a Chaotic Mind
Tuesday, April 23
Review at Flashlight Commentary (Border Bride)
Wednesday, April 24
Review & Giveaway at The Bookworm (Highland Fling)
Thursday, April 25
Review at Romantic Historical Lovers (Highland Fling)
Review at From the TBR Pile (Border Bride)
Friday, April 26
Guest Post at Flashlight Commentary
Interview at From the TBR Pile
Monday, April 29
Review at Books Like Breathing (Border Bride)
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book! (Dangerous Illusions)
Tuesday, April 30
Review at Romantic Historical Lovers (Border Bride)
Wednesday, May 1
Review at WTF Are you Reading (Highland Fling)
Interview at Bibliophilic Book Blog
Thursday, May 2
Review at WTF Are you Reading (Border Bride)
Interview & Giveaway at Ramblings of a Chaotic Mind
Friday, May 3
Review at Starting Fresh (Highland Fling)
Review at WTF Are you Reading (Dangerous Illusions)