Monday, June 22, 2015

Upcoming Royalty Historical Fiction

The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory
UK Release Date: August 13, 2015
US Release Date: August 25, 2015

Kateryn Parr, a thirty-year-old widow in a secret affair with a new lover, has no choice when a man old enough to be her father who has buried four wives—King Henry VIII—commands her to marry him.

Kateryn has no doubt about the danger she faces: the previous queen lasted sixteen months, the one before barely half a year. But Henry adores his new bride and Kateryn’s trust in him grows as she unites the royal family, creates a radical study circle at the heart of the court, and rules the kingdom as Regent.

But is this enough to keep her safe? A leader of religious reform and the first woman to publish in English, Kateryn stands out as an independent woman with a mind of her own. But she cannot save the Protestants, under threat for their faith, and Henry’s dangerous gaze turns on her. The traditional churchmen and rivals for power accuse her of heresy—the punishment is death by fire and the king’s name is on the warrant…

Rebellion by Livi Michael
Release Date: August 13, 2015

In exile in France with her young son Prince Edward, Margaret of Anjou at last gives up on promises of aid by King Louis and sets sail for England. There, she will return her husband Henry to the throne - and ensure young Edward will be its heir.

Meanwhile, Margaret Beaufort, separated from her son Henry of Richmond when he was an infant, sees the unrest surrounding the Lancastrian defeat as her chance to finally get him back. But the steps she takes to return her son imperil the kingdom and the throne's current occupant - King Edward IV.

With rebellions tearing the country apart, how far will each woman go to further the interests of their sons? And who can stand in their way?

The Sisters of Versailles: A Novel (The Mistresses of Versailles Trilogy) by Sally Christie
Release Date: September 1, 2015

Set against the lavish backdrop of the French Court in the early years of the 18th century, The Sisters of Versailles is the extraordinary tale of the five Nesle sisters—Louise, Pauline, Diane, Hortense, and Marie-Anne—four of whom became mistresses to King Louis XV. Their scandalous story is stranger than fiction but true in every shocking, amusing, and heartbreaking detail.

Court intriguers are beginning to sense that young King Louis XV, after seven years of marriage, is tiring of his Polish wife. The race is on to find a mistress for the royal bed as various factions put their best foot—and women—forward. The King’s scheming ministers push Louise, the eldest of the aristocratic Nesle sisters, into the arms of the King. Over the following decade, the four sisters—sweet, naïve Louise; ambitious Pauline; complacent Diane, and cunning Marie Anne—will conspire, betray, suffer, and triumph in a desperate fight for both love and power.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Review: Naked by Eliza Redgold

Advanced review copy from publisher via NetGalley. My opinions are my own.

Release Date: July 14, 2015

This is a retelling of the legend of Lady Godiva, who rode naked through the town of Coventry to convince her husband to lift the harsh taxes he'd imposed on the people there. By proving that she would shame herself in order to save her people from starvation, she succeeded in shaming her husband into lifting the taxes.

Although this is very much a love story, Redgold draws on the political state of England during the 11th century to create a more elaborate tale of deceit and betrayal. It is much more than a simple tale of a selfish and cruel Lord and his high taxes, and his caring wife who makes him see reason. Godiva, a Saxon, lived during England's Danish reign of King Canute. Despite the fact that Canute was viewed as a more apt ruler than his Saxon predecessor, the Danes are very much the antagonists in this story. Leofric, the Earl of Mercia is rebuilding his Saxon lands after they have been decimated by the Danish warrior Thurkill the Tall, while also attempted to prevent the same thing from happening to his neighbors in the Middle Lands, including Godiva's Coventry. Godiva realizes the best way to defend her newly inherited lands from the invading Danes after her parents have been murdered by Thurkill, is to spurn her childhood best friend Edmund, who had hoped to marry her, and instead marry the powerful Earl of Mercia, a man she barely knows. But she fears Earl Leofric only intends to swallow her lands into his own, to gain more power. Can she trust him? Can she rule Coventry as well as her wise parents had?

Godiva is strong, independent, and educated in both politics and battle, having been raised as both son and daughter in the absence of any siblings. At the same time, she is young and can be naive at times, making her a flawed but likable character.

The writing style may take some getting used to for some. Much of it is written with short, choppy sentences which I think was an attempt at sounding dramatic and poetic. However, this may just be a matter of personal preference, some readers may enjoy the writing style. Regardless, it is not unreadable or poorly written, just a different style.

My only complaint therefore is that I feel as though the ending was wrapped up a little too quickly and neatly. The antagonist spills out his master plan and motives in some kind of Scooby-Doo-like reveal, in a clear attempts to explain everything to the reader even though much of it we could have figured out for ourselves. But worse is the fact that Godiva had little to no involvement in or knowledge of any of these greater events going on behind her back, which was a little disappointing. Her world was very limited to Coventry and her marriage (which is spun as a result of her devotion to her lands and people) and yet, despite being told from her first person point of view, the novel still managed to have a steady and eventful plot. In a slightly murder-mystery style, there are clues and mysteries along the way that keep the reader wanting to know more and wanting to read more. All in all, an enjoyable but light read.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Review: Catching the Eagle by Karen Charlton

This book caught my attention because it's based on a true story involving the author's own ancestors (and genealogy is one of my obsessions). In 1809 England, near the border of Scotland, a theft was committed at Kirkley Hall and this is an account of the people it influenced in the community and the Bow Street detectives sent from London to investigate.

It's well written in third person and the characters were well formed but I felt like the plot dragged. It seemed as though the author was more concerned with writing about her ancestors and the world they lived in than with writing an captivating story. In theory, a mystery about a real-life theft and the subsequent trial in 1809 should be exciting but too often, I found my mind wandering.

I think part of the problem was that even though the characters all had personalities and back stories, I didn't feel any connection to them. When that happens, it's difficult to care what happens to the characters, and therefore it's difficult to care about what is happening in the plot.

A good effort from a debut self published author, but if the reader has no empathy with any of the characters, it's difficult to remain interested in the story. That said, the author has written a companion book to the novel, a non-fiction piece called Seeking The Eagle which details the history behind the novel and how the author's family discovered this genealogical event in their tree. This may be more enjoyable.

Upcoming History Books

The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff
Release Date: October 22, 2015

It began in 1692, over an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter, when a minister's daughter began to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before 19 men and women had been hanged and an elderly man crushed to death.

The panic spread quickly, involving the most educated men and prominent politicians in the colony. Neighbors accused neighbors, parents and children each other. Aside from suffrage, the Salem Witch Trials represent the only moment when women played the central role in American history. In curious ways, the trials would shape the future republic.

As psychologically thrilling as it is historically seminal, THE WITCHES is Stacy Schiff's account of this fantastical story-the first great American mystery unveiled fully for the first time by one of our most acclaimed historians.

Magna Carta: The Birth of Liberty by Dan Jones
Release Date: October 20, 2015

The Magna Carta is revered around the world as the founding document of Western liberty. Its principles can be found in our Bill of Rights and in the Constitution. But what was this strange document that dwells on tax relief and greater fishing rights, and how did it gain legendary status?

Dan Jones takes us back to 1215, the turbulent year when the Magna Carta was just a peace treaty between England’s King John and a group of self-interested, violent barons who were tired of his high taxes and endless foreign wars. The treaty would fail within two months of its confirmation.

But this important document marked the first time a king was forced to obey his own laws. Jones’s 1215 follows the story of the Magna Carta’s creation, its failure, and the war that subsequently engulfed England and is book that will appeal to fans of microhistories of pivotal years like 1066, 1491, and especially 1776—when American patriots, inspired by that long-ago defiance, dared to pick up arms against another English king.

Queen Victoria's Mysterious Daughter: A Biography of Princess Louise by Lucinda Hawksley
Release Date: December 8, 2015

In Queen Victoria's Mysterious Daughter, Lucinda Hawksley delves into artistic and royal secrets to discover the life of Princess Louise, whose true story has either been lost in history or has been deliberately kept secret. The sixth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had a difficult childhood and troubled adolescence, a world away from the usual perception of the life of a privileged princess.

For such a prominent public figure, much of her life story has been hidden away inside impenetrable walls. What was so scandalous about this princess that her files in the Royal Archives and at her husband's home, Inveraray Castle in Scotland, still need to be locked away? Can we believe, as many do, that Louise in fact gave birth secretly to an illegitimate royal child?

An indomitable woman, Louise lived her life to the full, in a manner that few 21st-century readers would believe possible for a 19th-century woman. She lived through wars and revolutions. As well as being a prominent member of the Aesthetic art world, Princess Louise was a passionate campaigner for women's rights, health reform and education for all. She travelled widely, holidaying in Europe, Africa and North America, and she lived in Canada for five years as the wife of the Governor General.

Here is our best evidence yet that Queen Victoria's many secrets have yet to be fully disclosed.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Médicis Daughter: A Novel of Marguerite de Valois Pre-Order Blitz

The wait is over. Sophie Perinot, author of The Sister Queens, has a new book available for pre-order! Medicis Daughter travels forward three-hundred years from Perinot’s last novel to the intrigue-riven French court of Charles IX, spinning the tale of beautiful princess Marguerite who walks the knife’s edge between the demands of her serpentine mother, Catherine de Medicis, and those of her own conscience. This is a coming-of-age story that will remind audiences that, when it comes to the 16th century, the Valois are even sexier than the Tudors—and just as treacherous.

Publication Date: December 1, 2015
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Formats: eBook, Hardcover

Genre: Historical Fiction

Add to GR Button    

Winter, 1564. Beautiful young Princess Margot is summoned to the court of France, where nothing is what it seems and a wrong word can lead to ruin. Known across Europe as Madame la Serpente, Margot’s intimidating mother, Queen Catherine de Médicis, is a powerful force in a country devastated by religious war. Among the crafty nobility of the royal court, Margot learns the intriguing and unspoken rules she must live by to please her poisonous family.

Eager to be an obedient daughter, Margot accepts her role as a marriage pawn, even as she is charmed by the powerful, charismatic Duc de Guise. Though Margot's heart belongs to Guise, her hand will be offered to Henri of Navarre, a Huguenot leader and a notorious heretic looking to seal a tenuous truce. But the promised peace is a mirage: her mother's schemes are endless, and her brothers plot vengeance in the streets of Paris. When Margot's wedding devolves into the bloodshed of the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, she will be forced to choose between her family and her soul.

Médicis Daughter is historical fiction at its finest, weaving a unique coming-of-age story and a forbidden love with one of the most dramatic and violent events in French history.

Praise for Médicis Daughter: A Novel of Marguerite de Valois

“This is Renaissance France meets Game of Thrones: dark, sumptuous historical fiction that coils religious strife, court intrigue, passionate love, family hatred, and betrayed innocence like a nest of poisonous snakes. Beautiful Princess Margot acts as our guide to the heart of her violent family, as she blossoms from naive court pawn to woman of conscience and renown. A highly recommended coming-of-age tale where the princess learns to slay her own dragons!” --Kate Quinn, Bestselling author of LADY OF THE ETERNAL CITY

"The riveting story of a 16th century French princess caught in the throes of royal intrigue and religious war. From the arms of the charismatic Duke of Guise to the blood-soaked streets of Paris, Princess Marguerite runs a dangerous gauntlet, taking the reader with her. An absolutely gripping read!" --Michelle Moran, bestselling author of THE REBEL QUEEN

"Rising above the chorus of historical drama is Perinot's epic tale of the fascinating, lascivious, ruthless House of Valois, as told through the eyes of the complicated and intelligent Princess Marguerite. Burdened by her unscrupulous family and desperate for meaningful relationships, Margot is forced to navigate her own path in sixteenth century France. Amid wars of nation and heart, Médicis Daughter brilliantly demonstrates how one unique woman beats staggering odds to find the strength and power that is her birthright." --Erika Robuck, bestselling author of HEMINGWAY'S GIRL

Médicis Daughter: A Novel of Marguerite de Valois Available for Pre-Order at

SP Small About the Author

SOPHIE PERINOT is the author of The Sister Queens and one of six contributing authors of A Day of Fire: A Novel of Pompeii. A former attorney, Perinot is now a full-time writer. She lives in Great Falls, Virginia with her three children, three cats, one dog and one husband. An active member of the Historical Novel Society, Sophie has attended all of the group’s North American Conferences and served as a panelist multiple times. Find her among the literary twitterati as @Lit_gal or on facebook at

Médicis Daughter Pre-Order Blitz Schedule

Monday, June 8
The True Book Addict
Peeking Between the Pages
So Many Books, So Little Time

Tuesday, June 9
100 Pages a Day
A Book Drunkard
The Reading Queen
The Never-Ending Book

Wednesday, June 10
Broken Teepee
Passages to the Past
Just One More Chapter
Historical Fiction Connection
Historical Readings & Reviews

Thursday, June 11
A Bookish Affair
Let Them Read Books
Caroline Wilson Writes
Svetlana's Reads and Views

Friday, June 12
Boom Baby Reviews
CelticLady's Reviews
Book Lovers Paradise
What Is That Book About

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Upcoming Historical Fiction Releases

License to Quill Paperback by Jacopo della Quercia 

UK Release Date: July 15, 2015
US Release Date: December 15, 2015

License to Quill is a page-turning James Bond-esque spy thriller starring William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe during history's real life Gunpowder Plot. The story follows the fascinating golden age of English espionage, the tumultuous cold war gripping post-Reformation Europe, the cloak-and-dagger politics of Shakespeare's England, and lastly, the mysterious origins of the Bard's most haunting play: Macbeth. You won't want to miss this fast-paced historical retelling!

Fallen Land: A Novel Hardcover by Taylor Brown

Release Date: January 12, 2016

Fallen Land is Taylor Brown's debut novel set in the final year of the Civil War, as a young couple on horseback flees a dangerous band of marauders who seek a bounty reward. Callum, a seasoned horse thief at fifteen years old, came to America from his native Ireland as an orphan. Ava, her father and brother lost to the war, hides in her crumbling home until Callum determines to rescue her from the bands of hungry soldiers pillaging the land, leaving destruction in their wake. Ava and Callum have only each other in the world and their remarkable horse, Reiver, who carries them through the destruction that is the South. Pursued relentlessly by a murderous slave hunter, tracking dogs, and ruthless ex-partisan rangers, the couple race through a beautiful but ruined land, surviving on food they glean from abandoned farms and the occasional kindness of strangers. In the end, as they intersect with the scorching destruction of Sherman's March, the couple seek a safe haven where they can make a home and begin to rebuild their lives. Dramatic and thrillingly written with an uncanny eye for glimpses of beauty in a ravaged landscape, Fallen Land is a love story at its core, and an unusually assured first novel by award-winning young author Taylor Brown.

The Forgotten Room: A Novel Hardcover by Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig

Release Date: January 19, 2016

1945: When the critically wounded Captain Cooper Ravenal is brought to a private hospital on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, young Dr. Kate Schuyler is drawn into a complex mystery that connects three generations of women in her family to a single extraordinary room in a Gilded Age mansion.

Who is the woman in Captain Ravenel's portrait miniature who looks so much like Kate?  And why is she wearing the ruby pendant handed down to Kate by her mother?  In their pursuit of answers, they find themselves drawn into the turbulent stories of Gilded Age Olive Van Alen, driven from riches to rags, who hired out as a servant in the very house her father designed, and Jazz Age Lucy Young, who came from Brooklyn to Manhattan in pursuit of the father she had never known.  But are Kate and Cooper ready for the secrets that will be revealed in the Forgotten Room?

The Forgotten Room, set in alternating time periods, is a sumptuous feast of a novel brought to vivid life by three brilliant storytellers.

The Violinist of Venice: A Story of Vivaldi by Alyssa Palombo

Release Date: December 15, 2015

Like most 18th century Venetians, Adriana d'Amato adores music-except her strict merchant father has forbidden her to cultivate her gift for the violin. But she refuses to let that stop her from living her dreams and begins sneaking out of her family's palazzo under the cover of night to take violin lessons from virtuoso violinist and composer Antonio Vivaldi. However, what begins as secret lessons swiftly evolves into a passionate, consuming love affair.

Adriana's father is intent on seeing her married to a wealthy, prominent member of Venice's patrician class-and a handsome, charming suitor, whom she knows she could love, only complicates matters-but Vivaldi is a priest, making their relationship forbidden in the eyes of the Church and of society. They both know their affair will end upon Adriana's marriage, but she cannot anticipate the events that will force Vivaldi to choose between her and his music. The repercussions of his choice-and of Adriana's own choices-will haunt both of their lives in ways they never imagined.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Ebook Deals

Click the cover to view and buy the book in the Kindle store. While I only post links to the Kindle store, often times you can find the same titles on sale at other stores.

Disclaimer: Ebook prices are subject to change anytime. I can only promise they are under a certain price at the time I post them.

US Kindle Deals, fiction under $4, non-fiction under $6:


UK Kindle Deals, fiction under £3, non-fiction under £4:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...