Welcome to Book Lovers Paradise

Welcome to my attempt at blogging. I am a true to heart bibliophile. Here I will discuss and review books as I read them. You are welcome to do the same. The only rules are no profanity, no politics, no religion, and have fun!
Donna

Friday, April 29, 2016

Guinivere's story continues

02_Camelot's Queen

Camelot's Queen (Guinevere's Tale, Book Two) by Nicole Evelina

Publication Date: April 12, 2016 Lawson Gartner Publishing eBook;
358 Pages Series:
 Guinevere's Tale Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy

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   History remembers Guinevere’s sin, but it was Arthur who transgressed first. Forced into a marriage she neither anticipated nor desired, Guinevere finds herself High Queen, ruling and fighting alongside Arthur as they try to subdue the Saxons, Irish and Picts who threaten Britain from every direction. Though her heart still longs for her lost love, Guinevere slowly grows to care for her husband as they join together to defeat their enemies. Meanwhile, within the walls of Camelot their closest allies plot against them. One schemes to make Guinevere his own, another seeks revenge for past transgressions, while a third fixes her eyes on the throne. When the unthinkable happens and Guinevere is feared dead, Arthur installs a new woman in her place, one who will poison his affections toward her, threatening Guinevere’s fragile sanity and eventually driving her into the arms of her champion. Amid this tension a new challenge arises for the king and queen of Camelot: finding the Holy Grail, a sacred relic that promises lasting unity. But peace, as they will soon learn, can be just as dangerous as war. As the court begins to turn on itself, it becomes clear that the quest that was to be Arthur’s lasting legacy may end in the burning fires of condemnation. This highly anticipated sequel to Daughter of Destiny proves there is much more to Guinevere’s story than her marriage and an affair. See the legend you think you know through her eyes and live the adventure of Camelot’s golden days yourself – but prepared to suffer its downfall as well.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound

About the Author

03_Nicole Evelina

Nicole Evelina is a St. Louis historical fiction and romantic comedy writer. Her debut novel, Daughter of Destiny, the first book of an Arthurian legend trilogy that tells Guinevere’s life story from her point of view, has been short-listed for the Chaucer Award in Early Historical Fiction. Camelot’s Queen is its sequel. Later this year, she will release Been Searching for You (May 10), a romantic comedy that won the 2015 Romance Writers of America (RWA) Great Expectations and Golden Rose contests, and Madame Presidentess (July 25), a historical novel about Victoria Woodhull, America's first female Presidential candidate, which has been short-listed for the Goethe Award in Late Historical Fiction. She hopes to have the final book in Guinevere’s Tale available in late 2016 or early 2017. Nicole is one of only six authors who completed a week-long writing intensive taught by #1 New York Times bestselling author Deborah Harkness. Nicole has traveled to England twice to research the Guinevere’s Tale trilogy, where she consulted with internationally acclaimed author and historian Geoffrey Ashe, as well as Arthurian/Glastonbury expert Jaime George, the man who helped Marion Zimmer Bradley research The Mists of Avalon. Nicole is a member of and book reviewer for the The Historical Novel Society, and Sirens (a group supporting female fantasy authors), as well as a member of the Historical Writers of America, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Romance Writers of America, the St. Louis Writer’s Guild, Women Writing the West, Broad Universe (promoting women in fantasy, science fiction and horror), Alliance of Independent Authors and the Independent Book Publishers Association. She spent 15 years researching Arthurian legend, Celtic Britain and the various peoples, cultures and religious practices that shaped the country after the withdrawal of Rome. Other historical interests include the Middle Ages and women who made their mark on history. She’s also a frequent visitor to Chicago, where Been Searching for You takes place. Her website/blog is http://nicoleevelina.com and she can be found on Twitter as well as on Pinterest, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram and Tumblr.

my thoughts:(SPOILERS)

I just received this book, and I wasn't certain if I could finish it in time for this review.  I shouldn't have worried.  I couldn't put it down! My advice is to read the books in order, read Daughter of Destiny before reading Camelot's Queen.  As a reader, you need to be introduced to the characters and witness their interactions and relationships to completely follow the story.

I loved this book.  It dealt with some frightening issues. Guinivere was wed to a man she didn't choose (yes, Arthur), abducted, violated, and forced to endure all sorts of mistreatment.  She endures it all with the regal bearing of a true queen.  Without giving away too much, yes, we meet Lancelot and the Knights of the Round Table, we seek the Holy Grail, and we see the beginning of the end of Camelot.  Through it all, we laugh and cry with Guinivere.   She is the 'star' of this series.  We've all read about Camelot through the eyes of Arthur, or perhaps Lancelot, but this is an amazing view from the Queen herself, a Priestess of Avalon.  

I highly recommend this series, for anyone with any interest in Camelot.  This is not for the faint hearted.  The scenes are not graphic, but some can be considered disturbing.


I give this book a 5 teacup rating.








Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, April 25 Kick Off & Giveaway at Passages to the Past Tuesday, April 26 Excerpt & Giveaway at Just One More Chapter Wednesday, April 27 Review at History From a Woman's Perspective Guest Post at Jorie Loves a Story Thursday, April 28 Review at Broken Teepee Friday, April 29 Review & Excerpt, & Giveaway at Book Lovers Paradise Saturday, April 30 Review, Excerpt & Giveaway at Laura's Interests Monday, May 2 Review at Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne Tuesday, May 3 Review at The Baking Bookworm Wednesday, May 4 Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books Thursday, May 5 Interview at Author Dianne Ascroft's Blog Tuesday, May 10 Review at Curling up by the Fire Wednesday, May 11 Review & Giveaway at Singing Librarian Books Thursday, May 12 Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf Friday, May 13 Review at Book Nerd Interview at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf Monday, May 16 Review & Excerpt at Jorie Loves a Story Review at Seize the Words: Books in Review



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We are honored to include an excerpt from Camelot's Queen

Preview of Camelot’s Queen by Nicole Evelina
I made it to my room and slammed the door. Alone at last, I leaned against the door, struggling to catch my breath. Tears spilled over as the enormity of the day finally sank in. I slid down to the floor and ran my hands through my hair. How could my life have changed so much in only a few hours? I thought Arthur had grown to love me, but he had just accepted a former lover back into his confidence after only having been reunited with her for a few hours. What did that mean for my marriage?
I didn’t know how long I spent contemplating my situation, but just as quickly as the tears had come, I started laughing. I was being ridiculous. Arthur had had to learn to live with Aggrivane at court long ago. Granted he’d sent my former betrothed on missions away from Camelot as often as possible, but he had still learned how to cope with his presence. I was behaving like a child. Galen had been right the day we argued in the forest so many years before. I really was worse than a fisherman’s wife. And worse, I had changed little with the passage of time. I stood, straightening my dress and mentally preparing myself to apologize to them both.
After a few deep breaths, I went back down to the meeting room, expecting to find Arthur and Sobian discussing the finer points of her new role. But to my surprise, the room was empty. Octavia came in, holding a tray to collect the ale pitcher and our used glasses.
“Do you know where Arthur went?”
She eyed me carefully. “He is in his room. Alone.” She emphasized the word, knowing I would wonder. “They told me about her new role. Are you in agreement that it is wise?”
“I will be,” I reassured her.
Octavia made a noise indicating she wasn’t so certain then busied herself cleaning up the table. That was when I saw the lone sheet of paper. Thinking it to be notes from Arthur and Sobian’s discussion, I bent over the table to get a better look.     
My blood turned to ice. The letters were formed of patterns made by varying lengths of horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines. It was written in Ogham, the ancient language of the Druids, so it could not have come from Arthur. He hadn’t studied with them long enough to have learned it. Plus, its message was not one a husband leaves his wife.
I ran to Arthur’s room, rubbing my hand over the goose-pimpled flesh of my arm. “You may wish to rethink your decision,” I said as I entered.
He looked up. “Why is that?”
I held the paper out to him. “This was left in the meeting room.” I shivered again.
He plucked the paper out of my hand and turned it in several directions, trying to figure out how to read it. “Ogham. That’s unusual. What does it say?”
I grabbed it back, irritated beyond decorum. After what had happened with the madman and Sobian, I didn’t think I could take much more.
“That’s the problem. I think it’s a threat. ‘My queen, you may close your eyes to the one you scorned, but that will not keep me away. I will breathe your last breath so that you will live on forever in me.’
Arthur’s face darkened. “Only one man could claim such a thing.”
I looked at him quizzically, brow furrowing. “How do you know Sobian isn’t party to this? It appeared right after she did in the very room she last occupied.”
Arthur sighed, clearly frustrated that I didn’t trust Sobian implicitly as he did. “Because this isn’t her way. As she said, if she wished you dead, you would be. She has no need for idle threats.”
“Who then?”
“Think about the message.” His tone took on a condescending air I did not care for. “Someone you once rejected? Who did you give up to marry me? You may not want to see it, but the answer is right in front of you.”
He didn’t have to say the name. Suddenly I knew exactly who he blamed. His menacing gaze was fixed on my former lover.
Guilty or not, Aggrivane was in serious trouble.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Loving Eleanor by Susan Wittig Albert


Original TitleLoving Eleanor
ASINB017HUG4LE
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttp://www.LovingEleanor.com

about the book

When AP political reporter Lorena Hickok—Hick—is assigned to cover Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, the wife of the 1932 Democratic presidential candidate, the two women become deeply, intimately involved. Their relationship begins with mutual romantic passion, matures through stormy periods of enforced separation and competing interests, and warms into an enduring, encompassing friendship that ends only with both women's deaths in the 1960s—all of it documented by 3300 letters exchanged over thirty years. 

Now, New York Times bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert recreates the fascinating story of Hick and Eleanor, set during the chaotic years of the Great Depression, the New Deal, and the Second World War. Loving Eleanor is Hick’s personal story, revealing Eleanor as a complex, contradictory, and entirely human woman who is pulled in many directions by her obligations to her husband and family and her role as the nation’s First Lady, as well as by a compelling need to care and be cared for. For her part, Hick is revealed as an accomplished journalist, who, at the pinnacle of her career, gives it all up for the woman she loves. Then, as Eleanor is transformed into Eleanor Everywhere, First Lady of the World, Hick must create her own independent, productive life.

Drawing on extensive research in the letters that were sealed for a decade following Hick’s death, Albert creates a compelling narrative: a dramatic love story, vividly portraying two strikingly unconventional women, neither of whom is satisfied to live according to the script society has written for her. Loving Eleanor is a profoundly moving novel that illuminates a relationship we are seldom privileged to see and celebrates the depth and durability of women’s love.

my thoughts:
I approached this book with a certain degree of caution.  While I love anything dealing with Eleanor Roosevelt, I was unhappy with the way this author portrayed Laura Ingalls Wilder in A WILDER ROSE.
Well, this book was FANTASTIC!! A fictional view of the relationship between Hick, Lorena Hickock, and E.R.. This is a heartwarming book that explores a tragic relationship between two strong women. Hick is responsible for E.R. becoming the figure history remembers, the woman we all admire and respect.
The readers learn about a difficult time in American history. We travel through the depression and into WWII.  

The research done by Susan Albert is obvious. The reader will sense her strong bond with the people in this novel.  The writing is fantastic. We see two lonely individuals who become closer than sisters and find warmth with each other.  This is a moving story of friendship, love and deep bonding. While we learn about Eleanor, this book is mainly about Hick. Definitely worth a read!!



Praise
“Albert captures Hick’s spirit with energetic prose, painting a colorful picture of her fascinating life together with and apart from Eleanor. Although this memoir is fictional, the author draws upon thousands of personal letters, first-person accounts by others, and further research to present a compelling possible narrative of the relationship between Eleanor and Hick. Albert’s illuminating afterword adds important context to her narrative choices, and a comprehensive bibliography will encourage additional research. This warm, extensively researched novel will entrance readers and inspire them to look further into the lives of two extraordinary women.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Albert captures the turbulent thirties and forties with affecting detail, writing a novel notable not only for its emotional authenticity, but for its careful historicity. The nuances of Eleanor and Hick’s relationship are both moving and involving. Loving Eleanor is an intelligent love story with huge historical appeal.” —Foreword Reviews

“Susan Albert has done it again with another engaging, rich portrait, this time of women in love. Drawn from history, the love story of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and journalist Lorena Hickok is full of excitement, drama and pathos. Both women of great intelligence and deep feelings, Eleanor and Lorena move from lovers to lifelong friends in the context of the most turbulent times of the 20th Century. As same-sex relationships finally move toward full acceptance in our culture, Albert’s book reminds us that love has always been love, no matter the partners.” —Robin Gerber, author of Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way

“Loving Eleanor, Susan Wittig Albert’s novelized memoir of Lorena Hickok’s intimate relationship with Eleanor Roosevelt, is both richly nuanced and impressively detailed. Drawn from the thirty years of correspondence Hickok donated to the FDR Library toward the end of her life, “Hick’s” voice felt utterly authentic to me, always real, raw and compelling. Hick is a dichotomy—a tough, streetwise Associated Press reporter, and a tender, devoted friend and lover. This is not only an important book, but a great read. Loving Eleanor deserves to be at the top of your reading list!” —Ellen Hart, author of The Grave Soul, a Jane Lawless Mystery

“Susan Albert has, with imagination and deep knowledge of the historical record, supplied the missing pieces of the love story of Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok. Here is everything we wish we knew. I couldn’t put it down.” —Leila Rupp, Professor of Feminist Studies, UC Santa Barbara,

“This birds-eye view of the FDR years is engaging from the first sentence. With Eleanor Roosevelt’s long-time lover as its narrator it navigates the catastrophes of the era and the heartbreak of women loving women in an unwelcoming time.” —Rebecca Coffey, author of Hysterical: Anna Freud’s Story


about the author


Susan Wittig Albert is the award-winning, NYT bestselling author of the forthcoming historical novel Loving Eleanor (2016), about the intimate friendship of Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok; and A Wilder Rose (2014), about Rose Wilder Lane and the writing of the Little House books.

Her award-winning fiction also includes mysteries in the China Bayles series, the Darling Dahlias, the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, and a series of Victorian-Edwardian mysteries she has written with her husband, Bill Albert, under the pseudonym of Robin Paige.

She has written two memoirs: An Extraordinary Year of Ordinary Days and Together, Alone: A Memoir of Marriage and Place, published by the University of Texas Press.

Her nonfiction titles include What Wildness is This: Women Write About the Southwest (winner of the 2009 Willa Award for Creative Nonfiction); Writing from Life: Telling the Soul’s Story; and Work of Her Own: A Woman’s Guide to Success Off the Career Track.

She is founder and current president (2015-2017) of the Story Circle Network and a member of the Texas Institute of Letters.

For more information please visit www.susanalbert.com and www.LovingEleanor.com, or read her blog. You can also find Susan on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Pinterest. Like the Loving Eleanor page on Facebook.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Daughter of Destiny GUINEVERE'S TALE...BOOK ONE

                                      

Daughter of Destiny (Guinevere's Tale, Book One) By Nicole Evelina

Publication Date: January 1, 2016 Lawson Gartner Publishing eBook & Paperback; 326 Pages Genre:

Historical Fantasy

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  Before queenship and Camelot, Guinevere was a priestess of Avalon. She loved another before Arthur, a warrior who would one day betray her. In the war-torn world of late fifth century Britain, young Guinevere faces a choice: stay with her family to defend her home at Northgallis from the Irish, or go to Avalon to seek help for the horrific visions that haunt her. The Sight calls her to Avalon, where she meets Morgan, a woman of questionable parentage who is destined to become her rival. As Guinevere matures to womanhood, she gains the powers of a priestess, and falls in love with a man who will be both her deepest love and her greatest mistake. Just when Guinevere is able to envision a future in Avalon, tragedy forces her back home, into a world she barely recognizes, one in which her pagan faith, outspokenness, and proficiency in the magical and military arts are liabilities. When a chance reunion with her lover leads to disaster, she is cast out of Northgallis and into an uncertain future. As a new High King comes to power, Guinevere must navigate a world of political intrigue where unmarried women are valuable commodities and seemingly innocent actions can have life-altering consequences. You may think you know the story of Guinevere, but you've never heard it like this: in her own words. Listen and you will hear the true story of Camelot and its queen. Fans of Arthurian legend and the Mists of Avalon will love Daughter of Destiny, the first book in a historical fantasy trilogy that gives Guinevere back her voice and traces her life from an uncertain eleven year old girl to a wise queen in her fifth decade of life.

Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | Barnes & Noble

Praise

"A gripping read that brings a wonderfully depicted Guinevere tumbling out of the shadows of myth." - Anna Belfrage, author of The Graham Saga

 "Nicole Evelina shows a deep and passionate love for the Arthurian world, and her re-weaving of the story of Guinevere and Arthur makes for enjoyable reading. With more volumes to come, if you like stories of Camelot, ancient priesthoods, magical Avalonian dreams and embattled romance, this is for you." - John Matthews, author of 'Arthur of Albion' and 'The Camelot Oracle'.

 "Colorful and exciting...love all the characters. You will have a ball with this book." - Serena Scott Thomas, actress and audio book narrator


my thoughts:
The King Arthur story is one most recognizable, from Disney movies to tales of a sword, from wizards to a certain lady of the lake. This is the story of Guinevere, prior to Arthur. Yes, he makes an appearance but not until late in the book. This is the first in a series. We meet Guinevere as a very young child, she is just arriving at Avalon on her way to becoming an Avalonian Priestess. 

This is a well written, fascinating book. Guinevere is young, innocent and full of life. Morgan, her arch nemesis, is also at Avalon. The perfect antithesis to Guinevere. We all know what will happen, however, reading this book makes the trip enjoyable.


About the Author

                          03_Nicole Evelina

Nicole Evelina is St. Louis-born historical fiction and romantic comedy writer. Her first four books are coming out in 2016: 1. Daughter of Destiny (January 1 ñ This is the first book of an Arthurian legend trilogy that tells Guinevere's life story from her point of view) 2. Camelotís Queen (March 23 ñ The second book in the trilogy) 3. Been Searching for You (May 23 ñ a contemporary romantic comedy that won in the single title romance category of the 2015 Great Expectations Contest (sponsored by North Texas RWA) and the 2015 Gold Rose Contest (sponsored by Portland RWA) and is a finalist in five others. 4. Madame Presidentess (July 25 ñ Historical fiction about 19th century American Presidential candidate Victoria Woodhull, the first American woman to run for President) She hopes to have the final book in Guinevere's Tale available in late 2016 or early 2017. Nicole is a member of and book reviewer for the Historical Novel Society, and Sirens, a group supporting female fantasy authors, as well as a member of the Romance Writers of America, Women Fiction Writers Association, the St. Louis Writer's Guild, Women Writing the West and the Alliance of Independent Authors. She is one of only six authors who completed the first week-long writing intensive taught by #1 New York Times bestselling author Deborah Harkness in 2014. Nicole has traveled to England twice to research the Guinevere trilogy, where she consulted with internationally acclaimed author and historian Geoffrey Ashe, as well as Arthurian/Glastonbury expert Jaime George, the man who helped Marion Zimmer Bradley research The Mists of Avalon. Her website/blog is http://nicoleevelina.com and she can be found on Twitter as well as on Pinterest, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram and Tumblr.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 8 Review at The Mad Reviewer Spotlight at Unshelfish Tuesday, February 9 Review at Bookish Guest Post at Let Them Read Books Wednesday, February 10 Review at Curling up by the Fire Guest Post at To Read, or Not to Read Thursday, February 11 Review at Just One More Chapter Friday, February 12 Review at Broken Teepee Interview at Author Dianne Ascroft's Blog Monday, February 15 Review at Laura's Interests Review at Puddletown Reviews Tuesday, February 16 Interview at Flashlight Commentary Wednesday, February 17 Review at Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne Spotlight at Passages to the Past Thursday, February 18 Review & Interview at Singing Librarian Books Friday, February 19 Review at Book Nerd Monday, February 22 Review at Seize the Words: Books in Review Tuesday, February 23 Review at The Baking Bookworm Review at The Hive at Black Tea & Milk Wednesday, February 24 Review at Book Lovers Paradise Thursday, February 25 Review at A Literary Vacation Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf Friday, February 26 Review at History From a Woman's Perspective Guest Post at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Giveaway

To win a paperback copy of Daughter of Destiny (Guinevere's Tale, Book One) by Nicole Evelina please enter the giveaway via the GLEAM form below. Two copies are up for grabs! RulesGiveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on February 26th. You must be 18 or older to enter.  Giveaway is open to US residents only.  Only one entry per household.  All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion  Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. Daughter of Destiny


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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Vatican Princess A Novel of Lucrezia Borgia by C.W. Gortner

02_The Vatican Princess

The Vatican Princess: A Novel of Lucrezia Borgia by C.W. Gortner Publication Date: February 9, 2016 Ballantine Books Hardcover, Ebook, Audiobook 400 Pages Genre: Historical Fiction

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  Infamy is no accident. It is a poison in our blood. It is the price of being a Borgia. Glamorous and predatory, the Borgias fascinated and terrorized 15th-century Renaissance Italy. Lucrezia Borgia, beloved daughter of the pope, was at the center of the dynasty’s ambitions. Slandered as a heartless seductress who lured men to their doom, was she in fact the villainess of legend, or was she trapped in a familial web, forced to choose between loyalty and survival? With the ascension of the Spaniard Rodrigo Borgia as Pope Alexander VI, the new pope’s illegitimate children—his rival sons, Cesare and Juan, and beautiful young daughter Lucrezia—assume an exalted position in the papal court. Privileged and adored, Lucrezia yearns to escape her childhood and play a part in her family’s fortunes. But Rome is seductive and dangerous: Alliances shift at a moment’s notice as Italy’s ruling dynasties strive to keep rivals at bay. As Lucrezia’s father faces challenges from all sides, he’s obliged to marry her off to a powerful adversary. But when she discovers the brutal truth behind her alliance, Lucrezia is plunged into a perilous gambit that will require all her wits, cunning, and guile. Escaping her marriage offers the chance of happiness with a passionate prince of Naples, yet as scandalous accusations of murder and incest build against her, menacing those she loves, Lucrezia must risk everything to overcome the lethal fate imposed upon her by her Borgia blood. Beautifully wrought, rich with fascinating historical detail, The Vatican Princess is the first novel to describe Lucrezia’s coming-of-age in her own voice—a dramatic, vivid tale set in an era of savagery and unparalleled splendor, where enemies and allies can be one and the same, and where loyalty to family can ultimately be a curse.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | INDIEBOUND

Praise

"Assiduously researched and expertly crafted . . . . This unholy plunge into Rome's darkest dynasty is wholly engrossing." - Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author "A spider web of Renaissance intrigue with a legendary cast . . . Impressive research, a lush background, and deft characterization make for a fascinating read." - Margaret George, New York Times bestselling author "Elegantly written and deeply researched . . . Renaissance Italy is vividly brought to life. I’m captivated by this knowledgeable author’s take on the controversial Borgias." - Alison Weir, NYT bestselling author

About the Author03_CW Gortner

C.W. GORTNER holds an MFA in Writing with an emphasis in Renaissance Studies from the New College of California, as well as an AA from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco. After an eleven year-long career in fashion, during which he worked as a vintage retail buyer, freelance publicist, and fashion show coordinator, C.W. devoted the next twelve years to the public health sector. In 2012, he became a full-time writer following the international success of his novels. In his extensive travels to research his books, he has danced a galliard at Hampton Court, learned about organic gardening at Chenoceaux, and spent a chilly night in a ruined Spanish castle. His books have garnered widespread acclaim and been translated into twenty-one languages to date, with over 400,000 copies sold. A sought-after public speaker. C.W. has given keynote addresses at writer conferences in the US and abroad. He is also a dedicated advocate for animal rights, in particular companion animal rescue to reduce shelter overcrowding. Half-Spanish by birth and raised in southern Spain, C.W. now lives in Northern California with his partner and two very spoiled rescue cats. For more information visit C.W. Gortner’s website and blog. You can also find him on Facebook, Twittter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and YouTube. Sign up for C.W. Gortner’s Newsletter for updates.


my thoughts:

** spoiler alert ** Wow!.. We hear from Lucrezia herself. I love novels of strong, independent women. Lucrezia fits that category. One of the infamous Borgia's. Illegitimate daughter of Rodrigo Borgia. She was used by her family as a pawn. Various marriages to enhance the Borgia's power. She begins as an innocent young woman, unaware of her father's machinations. She believes him to be just 'papa' who loves her and would never hurt her. 

Well, she quickly learns things are not as they seem. She is married off. Her husband murdered when he no longer is of value to the Borgia's. She is (in this fictional account) violated and abused. She grows up quickly. She becomes stronger and fierce. 

Lucrezia is an amazing character. Sometimes, I wanted to whack her over the head and scream at her, but most of the time I liked her. The book features all the Borgia's but centers on Lucrezia. We meet Juan, Cesare, Gioffre and Rodrigo himself. 


The Borgia's are an incredible family. I love the renaissance period. Can't get enough of the Borgia's, the Medici's, the Sforza's and all the other power families of renaissance Italy. This book will keep you on your toes. I couldn't put it down.


Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 15 Blog Tour Kick-Off at The Maiden's CourtTuesday, February 16 Review at Book Lovers Paradise Interview at Let Them Read BooksWednesday, February 17 Review at Unshelfish Review at Flashlight CommentaryThursday, February 18 Interview at Flashlight CommentaryMonday, February 22 Review at Luxury ReadingTuesday, February 23 Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!Wednesday, February 24 Review at The Lit Bitch Review at Historical Fiction Obsession Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!Thursday, February 25 Review at A Bookish AffairFriday, February 26 Review at Broken Teepee Review at To Read, Or Not to Read Interview at A Bookish Affair04_The Vatican Princess_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

THE SECRETS OF LIZZIE BORDEN

                                         02_The Secrets of Lizzie Borden

The Secrets of Lizzie Borden by Brandy Purdy

Publication Date: January 26, 2016 Kensington Books eBook & Print; 384 Pages Genre: Historical

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   In her enthralling, richly imagined new novel, Brandy Purdy, author of The Ripper’s Wife, creates a compelling portrait of the real, complex woman behind an unthinkable crime. Lizzie Borden should be one of the most fortunate young women in Fall River, Massachusetts. Her wealthy father could easily afford to provide his daughters with fashionable clothes, travel, and a rich, cultured life. Instead, haunted by the ghost of childhood poverty, he forces Lizzie and her sister, Emma, to live frugally, denying them the simplest modern conveniences. Suitors and socializing are discouraged, as her father views all gentleman callers as fortune hunters. Lonely and deeply unhappy, Lizzie stifles her frustration, dreaming of the freedom that will come with her eventual inheritance. But soon, even that chance of future independence seems about to be ripped away. And on a stifling August day in 1892, Lizzie’s long-simmering anger finally explodes… Vividly written and thought-provoking, The Secrets of Lizzie Borden explores the fascinating events behind a crime that continues to grip the public imagination—a story of how thwarted desires and desperate rage could turn a dutiful daughter into a notorious killer.



my thoughts:

Insightful view of one of America's most infamous characters. I grew up in New England. Grew up skipping rope to "Lizzie Borden took and axe, gave her mother 40 whacks...".. I've read many books about the infamous murders and have even visited the famous house in Fall River. 

I love this telling of Lizzie's story. She has many demons which plague her existence from early childhood throughout her life. I know this is a fictionalized account. No one really knows what happened on that fateful day when Abby and Andrew were killed, but I truly like this version. This novel is gritty, gory and full of speculation. Very well written and well researched. Lizzie is a character you can actually like. Much different from other novels written about the Borden's. I hated Andrew, felt sorry for Abby, disliked Emma, but liked Lizzie. I felt sorry her as well. Living with Andrew was portrayed as being extremely difficult. He was verbally abusive towards her and mean as well as stingy.

Brandy Purdy has done a remarkable job of telling Lizzie's story. This book is written as a diary. We hear the events from Lizzie's point of view. We hear of how her life is less than fulfilling. How Andrew denied his children even basic comforts, because they 'cost too much'. Lizzie holds nothing back. I loved this book and encourage anyone with an interest in the Borden murders to read!!
 


Isn't the cover of this book just chilling?  She looks guilty!
I give this book 4/5 stars

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About the Author

Brandy Purdy (Emily Purdy in the UK) is the author of the historical novels THE CONFESSION OF PIERS GAVESTON, THE BOLEYN WIFE (THE TUDOR WIFE), THE TUDOR THRONE (MARY & ELIZABETH), THE QUEEN'S PLEASURE (A COURT AFFAIR), THE QUEEN'S RIVALS (THE FALLEN QUEEN), THE BOLEYN BRIDE, and THE RIPPER'S WIFE. An ardent book lover since early childhood, she first became interested in history at the age of nine or ten years old when she read a book of ghost stories which contained a chapter about Anne Boleyn haunting the Tower of London. Visit her website at www.brandypurdy.com, you can also follow her on Facebook as Brandy Purdy aka Emily Purdy.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, January 26 Review at Julz Reads Review at Unshelfish Wednesday, January 27 Review at Time 2 Read Review at 100 Pages a Day Thursday, January 28 Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf Friday, January 29 Review at A Chick Who Reads Interview at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf Monday, February 1 Review at A Bookish Affair Tuesday, February 2 Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book Wednesday, February 3 Review at Broken Teepee Thursday, February 4 Review at Book Lovers Paradise Friday, February 5 Review at The True Book Addict Monday, February 08 Review at Brooke Blogs Tuesday, February 09 Review at Ageless Pages Reviews Interview at Brooke Blogs Wednesday, February 10 Review at A Literary Vacation Thursday, February 11 Review A Book Geek Friday, February 12 Review at History From a Women's 



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