Happy New Year to all my blogger buddies!!
I am looking forward to 2010 with the fabulous new historical fiction titles that are coming out. I would love to be able to JUST read for a living! Available for your reading pleasure are some fabulous new releases during this week in the historical genre.
Leslie Carroll has a follow up to Royal Affairs with her newest non-fiction work titled Notorious Royal Marriages: A Juicy Journey Through Nine Centuries of Dynasty, Destiny, and Desire. Visit some of my other bloggers sites this coming week to see what special events they have going on in honor of this highly anticipated new release. A kickoff special is also going to be happening at the brand new site of the Historical Fiction Bloggers Round Table, and I will also have a chat with the author on January 7, so please check in here next week!
A funny, raucous, and delightfully dirty 900-year history of the royal marriages of Europe's most famous-and infamous-monarchs.
Since time immemorial, royal marriages have had little to do with love- and almost everything to do with diplomacy and dynasty. Clashing personalities have joined in unholy matrimony to form such infamous couples as Russia's Peter II and Catherine the Great, and France's Henri II and Catherine de Medici-all with the purpose of begetting a male heir. But with tensions high and silverware flying, kings like England's Henry II have fled to the beds of their nubile mistresses, while queens such as Eleanor of Aquitaine have plotted their revenge...
Full of the juicy gossip and bad behavior that characterized Royal Affairs, this book chronicles the love-hate marriages of the crowned heads of Europe-from the Angevins to Charles and Di-and ponders how dynasties ever survived at all.
In historical fiction, we also have Kate Emerson's follow-up in the Secrets of The Tudor Court Series: Between Two Queens. I really enjoyed this novel very much, and I think those readers who feel that they have read too many Tudor era novels really ought to give this one a try. This was written in a refreshing style leaning towards historical accuracy, and you can find my review here.
"Let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave."
These ominous words are the last threat that Sir Edward Grey receives from his killer. Before he can show them to Nicholas Brisbane, the private inquiry agent he has retained for his protection, he collapses and dies at his London home, in the presence of his wife, Julia, and a roomful of dinner guests.
Prepared to accept that Edward's death was due to a long-standing physical infirmity, Julia is outraged when Brisbane visits and suggests that her husband was murdered. It is a reaction she comes to regret when she discovers damning evidence for herself, and realizes the truth.
Determined to bring the murderer to justice, Julia engages the enigmatic Brisbane to help her investigate Edward's demise. Dismissing his warnings that the investigation will be difficult, if not impossible, Julia presses forward, following a trail of clues that lead her to even more unpleasant truths, and ever closer to a killer who waits expectantly for her arrival.
On the brink of revolution, with a tide of hate turned against the decadent royal court, France is in turmoil - as is the life of one young woman forced to leave her beloved Paris. After a fire destroys her home and family, Claudette Laurent is struggling to survive in London. But one precious gift remains: her talent for creating exquisite dolls that Marie Antoinette, the Queen of France herself, cherishes. When the Queen requests a meeting, Claudette seizes the opportunity to promote her business, and to return home...Amid the violence and unrest, Claudette befriends the Queen, who bears no resemblance to the figurehead rapidly becoming the scapegoat of the Revolution. But when Claudette herself is lured into a web of deadly political intrigue, it becomes clear that friendship with France's most despised woman has grim consequences. Now, overshadowed by the spectre of Madame Guillotine, the Queen's dollmaker will face the ultimate test.
Beauvallet by Georgette Heyer (A reissue from Sourcebooks - Jan 1, 2010)
"A swashbuckling tale set in the second half of the 16th century, when Elizabeth was on the throne and the Spanish Armada ruled the waves. Sir Nicholas Beauvallet, pirate and nobleman, captures a Spanish galleon and discovers a lovely lady on board. Chivalrous to the core, he woos and wins her heart, then returns her and her father to their homeland, vowing to come after her—even though there's a price on his head and discovery of his identity will mean certain death. In the midst of much adventure, Beauvallet masquerades as a Frenchman, is betrayed, and must fight his way to freedom while stealing the lady willingly away…
In her signature style, Heyer has mastered the vernacular of the time, bringing to life an era of daring heroism and harrowing adventure, all intertwined with a breathtaking love story."
Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the Last Man in the World by Abigail Rynolds (paperback - 01/1/2010)
"In this sexy Jane Austen sequel, Elizabeth Bennet accepts Mr. Darcy's first marriage proposal, answering the "What if...?" question fans everywhere have pondered
"I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry."
Famous last words indeed! Elizabeth Bennet's furious response to Mr. Darcy's marriage proposal has resonated for generations of readers. But what if she had never said it? Would she have learned to recognize Mr. Darcy's admirable qualities on her own? Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy follows Elizabeth and Darcy as they struggle to find their way through the maze of their prejudices after Elizabeth, against her better judgment, agrees to marry Darcy instead of refusing his proposal.
Two of the most beloved characters in English literature explore the meaning of true love in a tumultuous and passionate attempt to make a success of their marriage."
My review of this one by Reynolds is posting 1/4/2010, so stay tuned for that!
My Dearest Mr. Darcy: An amazing journey into love everlasting by Sharon Lathan (Paperback - Jan 1, 2010)
Married life is bringing out the best in the Darcys. Their mutual attentiveness brings readers into a magical world of love and wedded bliss.
Elizabeth is growing into her role as Mistress of Pemberley, and Darcy has mellowed under her gentle teasing and light-heartedness. Pemberley becomes a true home and a welcoming environment for loving family and friends. The Darcys travel to the seaside, welcome their firstborn, celebrate their anniversary and second Christmas, and at every moment embrace the love gifted to them.
"I love you, my Elizabeth. You are my soul, my blood and bone, my very life."
My Name was Five by Heinz Kohler (Paperback - Jan 1, 2010)
When a private plane crashes in Florida in 1991, the surviving pilot makes the strangest of remarks. "It was World War II," he says. The National Transportation Safety Board attributes the accident to a collision with birds, but one stubborn investigator insists on going further. Before long, his inquiry reveals how the pilot's past had trailed him on his last flight and vividly brings to life a terrifying slice of history - the story of a German boy who grows up in Berlin before, during, and after the Second World War; sadistic teachers just call him Five. The boy's father, an opponent of the Nazis, ends up in a concentration camp and later in a penal regiment that marches through mine fields to clear the way for regular troops. In contrast, one of the boy's uncles is a fervent Nazi in charge of cleansing Hitler's capital of every last Jew; another uncle revels in the governance of Paris.
A favorite aunt, a confidential secretary at the Gestapo, is horrified by all she knows about the "final solution." The boy's mother is the one who keeps him sane when Spitfire guns kill his best friend standing right next to him on a bridge. But worse is to come: bombings and firestorms, the senseless sacrifice of children and old men in the battle of Berlin, the Soviet occupation, along with rape, murder, hunger, and disease, and then the emergence of a new kind of tyranny yet. In the end, we come upon an unexpected twist that shows how the consequences of war can emerge decades later and in faraway places.
The Kingdom of Ohio by Matthew Flaming (Hardcover - December 31, 2009)
"An incredibly original, intelligent novel-a love story set against New York City at the dawn of the mechanical age, featuring Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, and J. P. Morgan.
After discovering an old photograph, an elderly antiques dealer living in present-day Los Angeles is forced to revisit the history he has struggled to deny. The photograph depicts a man and a woman. The man is Peter Force, a young frontier adventurer who comes to New York City in 1901 and quickly lands a job digging the first subway tunnels beneath the metropolis. The woman is Cheri-Anne Toledo, a beautiful mathematical prodigy whose memories appear to come from another world. They meet seemingly by chance, and initially Peter dismisses her as crazy. But as they are drawn into a tangle of overlapping intrigues, Peter must reexamine Cheri-Anne's fantastic story. Could it be that she is telling the truth and that she has stumbled onto the most dangerous secret imaginable: the key to traveling through time?
Set against the mazelike streets of New York at the dawn of the mechanical age, Peter and Cheri-Anne find themselves wrestling with the nature of history, technology, and the unfolding of time itself."
My review of this one will post around 1/11/2010. Quite intriguing it is, a fabulous debut for this author and it was like a breath of fresh air to read something not set in England!