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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Prospect Street

Faith Bronson gets the shock of her life when she discovers her husband is hiding a secret affair. Her whole world is falling apart when she visits a former childhood home with her mother.where her older sister was kidnapped. The home is a row home on Prospect street that several generations of family had lived in.The home needed restoring and held many secrets for Faith to unravel. Could she solve the mystery of her sister's kidnapping in the process?This was another wonderful book by Emilie Richards lots of mystery and family drama. After reading two good books of hers I will defiantly be on the look out for more.
Friday, July 18, 2008

A Dream of Queens and Castles Marion Dane Bauer

A Dream of Queens and Castles is a sweet story of a young lady who wants to meet Princess Diana when her mother moves them to England while she takes up a job there. Twelve year old Diana Baldwin believes that the Princess will understand her feelings of loneliness. After all the Princess had to leave her friends when she got married to the Prince. Diana Baldwin meets a elderly man who also has business with the Princess he wants the Princess to give him the Victoria's cross for his service in the war. Diana is not sure about her new friend but at least he knows his way around London and can help her get to Princess Diana. They decide they will take their journey together, Starting with reading the Court Circulars to find out where the Princess is and then they make their way to her. Diana finally gets to meet the Princess but only for a few seconds before she is taken away by policemen.

My Thoughts:This was a delightful story my only regret is that the Princess didn't have more of a storyline in the book. I would have liked it to end with Diana & the Princess really having tea together.

this is a great collector's book Since Diana is no longer with us I'm sure she would have loved this delightful little book .
Thursday, July 17, 2008

Interview With Philippa Gregory From the UK 6/30/08

Philippa Gregory: 'SJP's my biggest fan'Monday, June 30, 2008

Author Philippa Gregory, 54, wrote historical blockbuster The Other Boleyn Girl – about Mary and Anne Boleyn vying for Henry VIII's attention – adapted into a film starring Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson. She has written several sequels including forthcoming The Other Queen, about Mary Queen of Scots. The Other Boleyn Girl is out now on DVD.

Natalie Portman has called the film ‘a catfight movie’. Is that a fair description?Yes, it takes place in a clearly historical setting which makes it more than a straight catfight but it’s about two beautiful women competing for one powerful, handsome man. The novel made more of the historical context and supporting characters but you can’t do that in a movie. I had 500 pages rather than an hour-and-a-half.

What are the challenges of writing popular historical fiction?You take material which is strange to the reader but have to make them feel comfortable with it. Research is the first thing I do and is the most important element. Readers should read it as if it was a modern novel. There shouldn’t be a moment where they think: ‘Crikey, I wonder what a porringer is?’ They should feel like they’re there.

What is a porringer?It’s a dish used for serving food at the table. It’s like a big bowl, but don’t let that worry you.

What are the key ingredients for a popular historical novel?I have to have a story people think they know but told from a different point of view. I need a fascinating female character and I like underdog stories. You’ll have someone changing and developing psychologically, which means a crisis or romantic relationship but that isn’t essential. I don’t write romantic fiction.

Are you stuck in a Tudor rut?I’ve just written about Mary Queen of Scots, who was a Stewart, and my next three books are about the Plantagenets who came before the Tudors. I’m fascinated by that late medieval period. It’s a time when England becomes recognisable. Some of the families alive then are alive now, some of their descendents are still in the same houses, but in other ways it’s totally unrecognisable. There were only two roads in the whole country that were in any way reliable.

In the film, Anne Boleyn is seen considering committing incest with her brother. Historians say the charge was a stitch-up. What’s your verdict?

At the very least the historical record is possibly true. They were both charged and found guilty of having an incestuous relationship. I believe it was a show trial but, as the novel is written from her sister’s point of view, who saw her tried, found guilty and executed for it, she might have believed it actually happened.

Geri Halliwell is a fan. Is she a typical reader?I’ve sold 6million books, so that includes all sorts of people. I’ve had a letter from a soldier in the US army in Iraq who likes to read the battle sequences in my books. [US fashion designer] Vera Wang and Sarah Jessica Parker are fans. Geri Halliwell is obviously an intelligent young woman reading for pleasure, so in that regard she is a typical reader.

Geri has also set herself up as a children’s author. You’ve done that, too. Is it difficult?

Writing good children’s fiction is incredibly difficult. It’s possible to get published because you’re a celebrity but the proof is in the material between the covers, not in getting the publishing deal. Writing is an accessible art form. No one would say: ‘I fancy being a ballet dancer this summer.’ I should imagine she realises if she wants to do it well, she’ll have to work very hard.

What advice to you have for aspiring authors?

Don’t write it as if it’s a lottery ticket that you hope will make money. Write it as a work of art you can devote yourself to. Then, even if it isn’t published, you’ll have written a fine novel you can be proud of. Given how hard it is, how long it takes and how high the standard is – you’re working in the same medium as Jane Austen – you should do the very best you can.

New Books on the way.

Since I have donated 20 books to my local Library I needed to fill the spaces I cleared out.

I ordered some from Paperbackswap and treated my self to a rare historical novel. As soon as I finish Prospect Ave I will be reading some of these treasures.

Kathryn In the Court of Six Queens Anne Merton Abbey

I have heard so much about this book that I actually started looking for it a year ago and then forgot about it. After hearing how hard it was to find I set off on my own search i found it for $24.00 Kind of expensive for a paperback but I love the cover art so the price doesn't bother me too much.

Summary of the book:Her name was Kathryn Chase, sensuous and powerful lady-in-waiting during the scandalous reign of Henry Tudor. She was the friend of Catherine of Aragon, confidante of Anne Boleyn, and lover of John de Gael, sworn enemy of the English crown. As proud King Henry defied the Church to take six very different women as his brides, Kathryn was there to share their sins, secrets, and adventures, and to play her own role in weaving the colorful tapestry of English history. In this majestic and sweeping novel, history and imagination combine to create a dazzling world of opulence and pageantry, of violence and drama, of deep loyalty and deeper passions. The royal court during one of its most fascinating eras comes to vivid life, moving from silken bedrooms to glittering ballrooms to the farthest corners of the heart with a courageous woman whose veins flowed with the hot blood of great English families. Her name was Kathryn.

Blood Royal By Mollie Hardwick

This is another one I found one night while searching ebay for historical fiction books.The title "Blood Royal" Seems to be pretty popluar when it comes to royalty novels. Summary of the book: Dazzling pageantry, court intrigue and harsh twists of fate figure prominently in this skillfully told historical saga set mainly in 16th century England, and focusing on sisters Mary and Anne Boleyn. Their father, Sir Thomas Boleyn, a man obsessed with attaining prestige and royal recognition, manipulates his daughters mercilessly, oblivious to their tragic lack of foresight and restraint. As a result of his machinations, Mary and Anne are sent to France to serve the English princess Mary Tudor, bride of King Louis XII. Even in the licentious atmosphere of the French court, Mary's sexual wantonness gains attention. Disgraced beyond redemption, she returns home, bears two illegitimate children to King Henry VIII, marries twice and dies at 45. Anne, an outspoken beauty cursed with her father's ambitious nature, weds the fickle, notoriously cruel King Henry and gives birth to Elizabeth I. When he tires of her, Anne is unjustly convicted of adultery and beheaded. Hardwick brings to these often-told events a fine grasp of historical details, against which she deftly presents a turbulent, moving human drama.

The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette Carolly Erickson

Since I have already read the Two other novels by Erickson I figured I better read the first one that started it all before I get behind on her books.

Summary of the book:For more than two centuries Marie Antoinette has been vilified as the heartless, frivolous queen who spent lavishly while her people starved. Now, in the tradition of The Birth of Venus and The Other Boleyn Girl, this moving new novel tells her side of the story.Imagine that, on the night before she is to die under the blade of the guillotine, Marie Antoinette leaves behind in her prison cell a diary telling the story of her life - from her privileged childhood as Austrian Archduchess to her years as glamorous mistress of Versailles to the heartbreak of imprisonment and humiliation during the French Revolution. Carolly Erickson takes us deep into the psyche of France's doomed queen: her love affair with handsome Swedish diplomat Count Axel Fersen, who risked his life to save her on the terrifying night the Parisian mob broke into her palace bedroom intent on murdering her and her family; her harrowing flight from France in disguise, her recapture and the grim months of harsh captivity; her agony when her beloved husband was guillotined and her beloved son was torn from her arms, never to be seen again.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What Ever Love Means A waste of time...

A friend of mine told me about this book when she located it at a boot sale in Cornwall England. She caught a glimpse of the eyes staring back at her. They were the the most famous eyes in the world they belong to Diana , Princess of Wales. The title came from Prince Charles's phrase in their engagement interview.
I thought I would give this book a try and hoped that it would be interesting to read. Well if you ever heard of that phrase you can't judge a book by its cover this is one of those cases. The entire book was about a affair between a man named Vic and his best friend's wife. Their first encounter happened on August 31,1997. I read about 50 pages of it and had to quit I was really annoyed with the whole story line. Needless to say I was really disappointed in this book and and wished I never even purchased it. Sad thing is I really love the cover.
Monday, July 14, 2008

Georgiana The Duchess Of Devonshire

Georgiana Spencer was, in a sense, an 18th-century It Girl. She came from one of England's richest and most landed families (the late Princess Diana was a Spencer too) and married into another. She was beautiful, sensitive, and extravagant--drugs, drink, high-profile love affairs, and even gambling counted among her favorite leisure-time activities. Nonetheless, she quickly moved from a world dominated by social parties to one focused on political parties. The duchess was an intimate of ministers and princes, and she canvassed assiduously for the Whig cause, most famously in the Westminster election of 1784. By turns she was caricatured and fawned on by the press, and she provided the inspiration for the character of Lady Teazle in Richard Sheridan's famous play The School for Scandal. But her weaknesses marked the last part of her life. By 1784, for one, Georgiana owed "many, many, many thousands," and her creditors dogged her until her death.
My thoughts: I really enjoyed this book Georgiana wasa fascinating person to say the least she lived her life the way she wanted and had many powerful friends such as Marie Antoinette.
if you are interested in learning a little bit about the Spencer Family this book is a good one to read. it reads like a novel so its pretty easy to get through.
Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Wedding Ring By Emilie Richards

Helen is a strong willed woman who doesnt like any one to tell her what to do. but when her home has turned in to shrine for clutter and junk her daughter and granddaughter step in to help. In the process Helen tells stories of her childhood and Nancy Her daughter learns about her family history and tries to patch up her marriage.
Tessa finds a family heirloom quilt in shreds and together they work on the quilt to fix it while helping each other find thier way back to the ones they love. This is a wonderful book and the start of a series called the Shenandoah Album . This is one book that would make a wonderful Hallmark movie.
If you love stories about quilting and families this is a greeat one to read.