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Historical fiction and Biblical fiction, reviewing since 2008

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Sep 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday~ Chatsworth, Part One~ home of Bess of Hardwick and the Cavendish family

Today, a Wordless Wednesday picture:


Chatsworth.. same as my header photo which is explained in my profile also

Chatsworth, Derbyshire, England. Some scenes of P&P were filmed here. Bess of Hardwick settled here in 1549 & it has belonged to the Cavendish family ever since. Bess's second Husband was a Cavendish.



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Teaser Tuesday~ The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn by Ives

TEASER TUESDAYS is hosted by ShouldBeReading and asks you to:
♠Grab your current read.
♠Let the book fall open to a random page.
♠Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page.
♠You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!

I am STILL reading the book from last week's teaser.. I warned you it was a big one.. so I picked a teaser from Eric Ives' book The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn, which I really want to read soon.


In the Chapter titled FINALE:

"It stood three of four feet high, draped in black, surrounded by perhaps a thousand spectators: the lord mayor and alderman come to see the king's justice done, and behind then 'certain of the best crafts of London' - no foreigners- Englishmen and women come to see the first English queen executed. And around the scaffold itself the faces she knew so well: Thomas Audley, the lord chancellor, whom she had seen at her last trial; Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk, whose life had been so entwined with her own, ever since her journey to France as a 13-year-old attendant on the king's sister Mary, who had married Brandon, had hated her and was now dead; Henry Fitzroy her 17-year-old stepson, who had only nine weeks to live; and Thomas Crowmwell, who had climbed to power behind Anne, and now had to destroy her in order to retain that power."

Anne's speech at the scaffold:

"Good Christian people, I am come hither to die, for according to the law, and by the law I am judged to die, and therefore I will speak nothing against it. I am come hither to accuse no man, nor to speak anything of that, whereof I am accused and condemned to die, but I pray God save the king and send him long to reign over you, for a gentler nor a more merciful prince was there never: and to me he was ever a good, a gentle and sovereign lord. And if any person will meddle of my cause, I require them to judge the best. And thus I take my leave of the world and of you all, and I heartily desire you all to pray for me. O Lord have mercy on me, to God I commend my soul....To Jesus Christ I commend my soul; Lord Jesu receive my soul."

Sep 28, 2009

Mailbox Monday ~ Buried in FANTASTIC Books.. squeee!

Mailbox Monday
Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week. And I am adding what I purchased, swapped, etc.

Monday started off with a bang .. one of those old US MAIL crates was on the front porch waiting for me when I got home from work, and it was of course full of books!! WOWZA

I have no problems having a huge TBR pile, its the Books to review now that stress me out. Thankfully, there are only a few of those.

From Paperbackswap, I received:
The Madonnas of LeningradThe Madonnas of Leningrad : A Novel :: Debra Dean
"One of the most talked about books of the year . . . Bit by bit, the ravages of age are eroding Marina's grip on the everyday. And while the elderly Russian woman cannot hold on to fresh memories -- the details of her grown children's lives, the approaching wedding of her grandchild -- her distant past is preserved: vivid images that rise unbidden of her youth in war-torn Leningrad.
In the fall of 1941, the German army approached the outskirts of Leningrad, signaling the beginning of what would become a long and torturous siege. During the ensuing months, the city's inhabitants would brave starvation and the bitter cold, all while fending off the constant German onslaught. Marina, then a tour guide at the Hermitage Museum, along with other staff members, was instructed to take down the museum's priceless masterpieces for safekeeping, yet leave the frames hanging empty on the walls -- a symbol of the artworks' eventual return. To hold on to sanity when the Luftwaffe's bombs began to fall, she burned to memory, brushstroke by brushstroke, these exquisite artworks: the nude figures of women, the angels, the serene Madonnas that had so shortly before gazed down upon her. She used them to furnish a "memory palace," a personal Hermitage in her mind to which she retreated to escape terror, hunger, and encroaching death. A refuge that would stay buried deep within her, until she needed it once more. . . .
Seamlessly moving back and forth in time between the Soviet Union and contemporary America, The Madonnas of Leningrad is a searing portrait of war and remembrance, of the power of love, memory, and art to offer beauty, grace, and hope in the face of overwhelming despair. Gripping, touching, and heartbreaking, it marks the debut of Debra Dean, a bold new voice in American fiction
."

Nell Gwyn: Mistress to a King by Charles Beauclerk
"Written by a direct descendant of the union between Nell Gwyn and King Charles II, Nell Gwyn tells the story of one of England's great folk heroines, a woman who rose from an impoverished, abusive childhood to become King Charles II's most cherished mistress, and the star of one of the great love stories of royal history. Born during a tumultuous period in England's past, Nell Gwyn caught the eye of King Charles II, the newly restored, pleasure-seeking merry monarch of a nation in full hedonistic reaction to Puritan rule. Their seventeen-year love affair played out against the backdrop of the Great Fire of London, the Great Plague, court scandals, and the constant threat of political revolution. Despite his other lovers' Machiavellian efforts to win the king's favor and humiliate Nell, the self-proclaimed Protestant whore earned the devotion of her king and the love of her nation, becoming England's first people's princess. Magnificently recreating the heady and licentious, yet politically charged atmosphere of Restoration England, Nell Gwyn tells the true-life Cinderella story of a common orange salesgirl who became mistress to a king."

From Sourcebooks to review "Arabella" by Georgette Heyer
"One Little White Lie . . .
Armed with beauty, virtue and a benevolent godmother, the impetuous but impoverished Arabella Tallant embarked on her first London season with her mother's wish in mind: snare a rich husband. But when fate cast her in the path of arrogant, socially prominent Robert Beaumaris, who accused her of being another petty female after his wealth, the proud, headstrong ingenue made a most startling claim -- she was an heiress! Suddenly Arabella found herself the talk of the ton and pursued by every amorous fortune hunter in London. But would her deceitful charade destroy her one chance for true love . . . ?"

And some of these from Historical-Fiction.com, before the horrific flood.. so devastatingly sad!

Reluctant Queens (Queens of England Series, The: 8th Volume) - by Jean Plaidy, I won from Royal-intrigue, thank you!
"In 1470, a reluctant Lady Anne Neville is betrothed by her father, the politically ambitious Earl of Warwick, to Edward, Prince of Wales. A gentle yet fiercely intelligent woman, Anne has already given her heart to the prince’s younger brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Unable to oppose her father’s will, she finds herself in line for the throne of England—an obligation that she does not want. Yet fate intervenes when Edward is killed at the Battle of Tewkesbury. Anne suddenly finds herself free to marry the man she loves—and who loves her in return. The ceremony is held at Westminster Abbey, and the duke and duchess make a happy home at Middleham Castle, where both spent much of their childhood. Their life is idyllic, until the reigning king dies and a whirlwind of dynastic maneuvering leads to his children being declared illegitimate. Richard inherits the throne as King Richard III, and Anne is crowned queen consort, a destiny she thought she had successfully avoided. Her husband’s reign lasts two years, two months, and two days—and in that short time Anne witnesses the true toll that wearing the crown takes on Richard, the last king from the House of York."

Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende "An Orphan raised in Valparaiso, Chile, by a Victorian spinster and her rigid brother, young, vivacious Eliza Sommers follows her lover to California during the Gold Rush of 1849. She enters a rough-and-tumble world whose newly arrived inhabitants are driven mad by gold with the help of her good friend and savior, the Chinese doctor Tao Chien-California opens the door to a new life of freedom and independence for the young Chilean. Her search for the elusive lover gradually turns into another kind of journey, and by the time she finally hears news of him, Eliza must decide who her true love really is."

Harriet & Isabella (for review) by Patricia O'Brien
"It is 1887, and Henry Ward Beecher lies dying. Reporters from around the world, eager for one last story about the most lurid scandal of their time, descend on Brooklyn Heights, their presence signaling the beginning of the voracious appetite for fallen celebrities we know so well today.
When Henry Ward Beecher was put on trial for adultery in 1875, the question of his guilt or innocence was ferociously debated. His trial not only split the country, it split apart his family, causing a particularly bitter rift between his sisters, Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, and Isabella Beecher Hooker, an ardent suffragist. Harriet remained loyal to Henry, while Isabella called publicly for him to admit his guilt. What had been a loving, close relationship between two sisters plummeted into bitter blame and hurt.
Harriet and Isabella each had a major role in the social revolutions unfolding around them, but what happened in their hearts when they were forced to face a question of justice much closer to home? Now they struggle: who best served Henry -- the one who was steadfast or the one who demanded honesty?"


Queen of Shadows: A Novel of Isabella, Wife of King Edward II byQueen of Shadows Edith Felber
"In fourteenth-century England, beautiful Queen Isabella-humiliated by her weak, unfaithful husband-is emerging from the shadows to take her revenge. But her newly arrived, twenty-oneyear-old Welsh handmaiden, Gwenith de Percy, also seeks vengeance-against the English invaders who crushed her beloved Wales. Isabella's once-golden marriage is now her penance. Due to his rumored relations with men, Parliament forced Edward to share his throne-a demeaning arrangement that torments Isabella.
With the help of her secret, noble lover, Roger Mortimer-an enemy of her husband, imprisoned in the Tower of London-the queen plots to take control. Thrilled by this turn of events, Gwenith realizes that a king cannot afford to be weak-especially when his formidable, discontented queen seeks his power as her due
."

From another win, at Jane Austen Today they had a fun soiree last week, and I won Lady Susan by Jane Austen. A short read at 80 pages, a collection of a letters detailing: "Beautiful, flirtatious, and recently widowed, Lady Susan Vernon seeks an advantageous second marriage for herself, while attempting to push her daughter into a dismal match. A magnificently crafted novel of Regency manners and mores that will delight Austen enthusiasts with its wit and elegant expression."

Then from Books Up For Grabs, I selected:

A Beautiful hardcover, Stealing AthenaStealing Athena by Karen Essex
"Stealing Athena is the story of two women, separated by centuries but united by their association with some of the world's greatest and most controversial works of art. Aspasia, a philosopher and courtesan to visionary politician Pericles during Athens's Golden Age, defies societal restrictions to become fiercely influential in Athens' power circle. Mary, the Countess of Elgin and a beautiful Scottish heiress, charms the fearsome men of the Ottoman Empire to make possible her husband's costly acquisitions, all the while brazenly defying the social conventions of her time. Both women prevail yet pay a heavy price for their rebellion. A tale of romance, intrigue, greed, and glory, Stealing Athena interweaves the lives of two of history's most beguiling heroines."

The Heretic's Daughter: A Novel by Kathleen Kent "Martha Carrier was one of the first women to be accused, tried and hanged as a witch in Salem, Massachusetts. Like her mother, young Sarah Carrier is bright and willful, openly challenging the small, brutal world in which they live. Often at odds with one another, mother and daughter are forced to stand together against the escalating hysteria of the trials and the superstitious tyranny that led to the torture and imprisonment of more than 200 people accused of witchcraft. This is the story of Martha's courageous defiance and ultimate death, as told by the daughter who survived.Kathleen Kent is a tenth generation descendent of Martha Carrier. She paints a haunting portrait, not just of Puritan New England, but also of one family's deep and abiding love in the face of fear and persecution."

Whew. That was all on Monday.

The rest of the week I received some more absolutely awesome titles (plus roses two days in a row as a surprise from the hubby!):


For Review I received:
(lots of goodies here, hence the roses to divert attention.. I am triple-blessed)

Elizabeth's Women by Tracy Borman (SQUEEEEE!!) "In this original chronicling of the life of one of England's greatest monarchs, historian Tracy Borman explores Elizabeth's relationships with the key women in her life. Beginning with her mother and the governesses and stepmothers who cared for the young princess, including her beloved Kat Astley and the inspirational Katherine Parr, "Elizabeth's Women" sheds new light on her formative years. Elizabeth's turbulent relationships with her rivals are examined: from her sister, 'Bloody' Mary, to the sisters of Lady Jane Grey, and finally the most deadly of all her rivals, Mary, Queen of Scots who would give birth to the man Elizabeth would finally, inevitably have to recognize as heir to her throne."

Secrets of the Tudor Court: Between Two Queens by Kate EmersonBetween Two Queens "Pretty, flirtatious, and ambitious. Nan Bassett hopes that an appointment at the court of King Henry VIII will bring her a grand marriage. But soon after she becomes a maid-of-honor to Queen Jane, the queen dies in childbirth. As the court is plunged into mourning, Nan sets her sights on the greatest match in the land . . . for the king has noticed her. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time Henry has chosen to wed one of his queens’ maids of honor. And in newly Protestant England, where plots to restore the old religion abound, Nan may be the only one who can reassure a suspicious king of her family’s loyalty
But the favor of a king can be dangerous and chancy, not just for Nan, but for her family as well . . . and passionate Nan has a deep secret she must shield from the king and all others, for it could put her future—and her life—in grave jeopardy should anyone discover the truth.
Based on the life of the real Anne Bassett and her family, and drawing extensively from letters and diaries of the time, Between Two Queens is an enthralling picture of the dangers and delights of England’s most passionate era."


The Lady in the Tower by Alison WeirThe Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn by Alison Weir
"The imprisonment and execution of Queen Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's second wife, was unprecedented in the annals of English history. It was sensational in its day, and has exerted endless fascination over the minds of historians, novelists, dramatists, poets, artists, and filmmakers ever since. Mystery surrounds the circumstances leading up to Anne's arrest and imprisonment in May 1536. Was it Henry VIII who, estranged from Anne, instructed Master Secretary Thomas Cromwell to fabricate evidence to get rid of her so that he could marry Jane Seymour? Or did Cromwell, for reasons of his own, construct a case against Anne and her faction, and then present compelling evidence before the King? Following the coronation of her daughter Elizabeth I as queen, Anne was venerated as a martyr and heroine. Over the centuries, she has inspired many artistic and cultural works and has remained ever-present in England's, and the world's, popular memory. Alison Weir draws on her unsurpassed expertise in the Tudor Period to chronicle the downfall and dramatic final days of this influential and fascinating woman."

In a deal from Celticlady's Ramblings:
The Virgin's Daughters: In the Court of Elizabeth I by Jeane Westin "In a court filled with repressed sexual longing, scandal, and intrigue, Lady Katherine Grey is Elizabeth's most faithful servant. When the young queen is smitten by the dashing Robert Dudley, Katherine must choose between duty and desire-as her secret passion for a handsome earl threatens to turn Elizabeth against her. Once the queen becomes a bitter and capricious monarch, another lady-in-waiting, Mistress Mary Rogers, offers the queen comfort. But even Mary cannot remain impervious to the court's sexual tension-and as Elizabeth gives her doomed heart to the mercurial Earl of Essex, Mary is drawn to the queen's rakish godson..."

Brief Gaudy Hour: A Novel of Anne Boleyn reissue 2008 by Margaret Campbell Barnes, original 1968; "The enigmatic Anne Boleyn comes to life in this charming, brilliant portrayal by acclaimed British novelist Margaret Campbell Barnes. The infamous love of King Henry VIII and the mother of Queen Elizabeth I, Anne Boleyn undertook a rocky journey from innocent courtier to powerful Queen of England. A meticulous researcher, Margaret Campbell Barnes immerses readers in this intrigue and in the lush, glittery world of the Tudor Court. The beauty and charms of Anne Boleyn bewitched the most powerful man in the world, King Henry VIII, but her resourcefulness and cleverness were not enough to stop the malice of her enemies. Her swift rise to power quickly became her own undoing. The author brings to light Boleyn's humanity and courage, giving an intimate look at a young woman struggling to find her own way in a world dominated by men and adversaries."

And before the good mailbox finds I went on a mad retail therapy dash during lunch and I bought at the used bookstore:


Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks "When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated village, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer. Through Anna's eyes we follow the story of the fateful year of 1666, as she and her fellow villagers confront the spread of disease and superstition. As death reaches into every household and villagers turn from prayers to murderous witch-hunting, Anna must find the strength to confront the disintegration of her community and the lure of illicit love. As she struggles to survive and grow, a year of catastrophe becomes instead annus mirabilis, a "year of wonders."
Inspired by the true story of Eyam, a village in the rugged hill country of England, Year of Wonders is a richly detailed evocation of a singular moment in history. Written with stunning emotional intelligence and introducing "an inspiring heroine" (The Wall Street Journal), Brooks blends love and learning, loss and renewal into a spellbinding and unforgettable read."

The Captive by Victoria Holt "Veteran novelist Holt (The India Fan) returns to a familiar scenario by depicting a hardy young 19th-century Englishwoman who is embroiled in murder and exotic adventures. When a ferocious storm off the African coast capsizes the vessel on which she is sailing, Rosetta Cranleigh is rescued by a deckhand who admits, after their lifeboat drifts to a remote island, that he is actually Simon Perrivale, a nobleman's illegitimate child, forced to flee England after being wrongly accused of slaying one of his father's other sons. Taken hostage by pirates, the pair escape after being sold to a Turkish pasha."

Eve: A Novel of the First Woman by Elissa Elliott "It is the world’s oldest tale: the story of Eve, her husband, Adam, and the tragedy that would overcome her sons…. In this luminous debut novel, Elissa Elliott puts a powerful twist on biblical narrative, boldly reimagining Eve’s journey. At once intimate and universal, timely and timeless, this unique work of fiction blends biblical tradition with recorded history and dazzling storytelling. And as it does, Eve comes to life in a way religion and myth have never allowed—in a novel that explores the very essence of love, motherhood, faith, and humanity.

In their world they are alone…a family haunted by banishment, struggling for survival in a harsh new land. A woman who has borne and buried children, Eve sees danger shadowing those she loves, while her husband drifts further and further from the man he was in the Garden, blinded by his need to rebuild a life outside of Eden. One daughter, alluring, self-absorbed Naava, turns away from their beliefs. Another, crippled, ever-faithful Aya, harbors a fateful secret, while brothers Cain and Abel become adversaries, and Dara, the youngest, is chosen for a fate of her own."

The Night Journal by Elizabeth Crook "With its family secrets and hallowed texts containing explosive truths, The Night Journal suggests A. S. Byatt’s Possession transplanted to the raw and beautiful landscape of the American Southwest. Meg Mabry has spent her life oppressed by her family’s legacy—a heritage beginning with the journals written by her great-grandmother in the 1890s and solidified by her grandmother Bassie, a famous historian who published them to great acclaim. Until now, Meg has stubbornly refused to read the journals. But when she concedes to accompany the elderly and vipertongued Bassie on a return trip to the fabled land of her childhood in New Mexico, Meg finally succumbs to the allure of her great-grandmother’s story—and soon everything she believed about her family is turned upside down."

Shield of Three Lions: A Novel by Pamela Kaufman "The return of a classic, by bestselling author Pamela Kaufman. Richly rewarding, superbly written. . . . The richness of the characters, the historical details, and the story as a whole make this novel a memorable reading experience. Eleven-year-old Alix is the daughter of the baron of Wanthwaite, whose lands along the Scottish border are among the best in England. But when her family is killed and her lands seized, Alix is forced to flee from the only home she's ever known. Her one hope of restoring her inheritance is to plead her case to King Richard the Lion Heart, who is far away in France, preparing to go on his Crusade. Alix resolves to follow him. She cuts her hair, dresses as a boy, and takes the road south to London. Disguised as a beautiful young boy, Alix is more than befriended by the handsome and mysterious King Richard, even becoming his favorite page. Their relationship sets tongues wagging and places Alix in considerable danger as the battle for Jerusalem unfolds."

The Winding Stair: Francis Bacon, His Rise and Fall by Daphne du Maurier "An engaging biography of lawyer, writer, and philosopher Sir Francis Bacon.
"All rising to great place is by a winding stair," wrote Sir Francis Bacon. It wasn’t until he was forty-five that Bacon’s feet found the first step on that staircase, when King James I made him Solicitor-General, from where he rose through the ranks to become Lord Chancellor. Many accounts of the life of Sir Francis Bacon have been written for scholars, but du Maurier’s aim was to paint a vivid portrait of this remarkable man for the common reader. In The Winding Stair, she illuminates the considerable achievements of this Renaissance man: as a writer, lawyer, philosopher, scientist, and politician."

This post took me an hour and a half to create. And you are skimming it, aren't you?! I'm WATCHING you!!

Sep 26, 2009

The Sunday Salon~ Updates and Stuff & Winner!

The Sunday Salon.com


Happy Sunday to all.. As some of you are aware, one of my favorite bloggers, Arleigh, (historical-fiction & Royal Intrigue) has been affected tremendously by the recent floods in Georgia. I am happy to report that everyone is alive and well, but as she puts it, "her house is not." So sad, I hope that she has Wonder Woman strength to rebuild and recoup. The event has saddened me, and made me think. Not only do I feel so helpless for Arleigh's situation, it makes me thankful for the simple things that I have, for which I have taken for granted.

This week I have been busy selecting winners for the Historical Fiction Bloggers Round Table Event, which was fabulous fun during the BBAW week. If you missed some of the interviews and guest posts, you can see them all here through this label link. The 7 bloggers interviewed each other and each had special posts and giveaways, and a good time was had by all.

I updated my blog to a new address to http://www.theburtonreview.com/, and so I am trying to keep up with the broken widgets etc. that it caused but it's always hard to tell if blogger in general is acting up or if it was the custom domain. Please grab my NEW Button!It's been a slight pain in the butt. I've attempted to update my gravatar and blog graphic links as well, I'd love for you to grab a new banner and put the logo on your blog. You can do it the old fashioned way by right-clicking and saving the image to your hard drive, or if you know how to add the HTML/Javascript option to your sidebar you can link from my own storage at photobucket by copying the code that is below my button on the left sidebar. I hope you like the Graphic, pretty simple, isn't it?


I even managed to update my favicon. The favicon (when it is working properly, as some browsers do not recognize it) would be the orange B that you see either in an internet tab or the teeny image before the web address in the address toolbar, when viewing a blogger blog. I had my old button there which was kinda cool but now I just put that teeny little swirl there. Also, in IE, when you save a specific site into your bookmarks section, the favicon image shows up next to the website listing in the bookmarks. So delete your current bookmarks for The Burton Review, and add it again so that you get the current http://www.theburtonreview.com/ address and the cute little teeny tiny swirl next to it. The whole favicon thing is the biggest pain in the butt also to do, & please don't ask me to explain it because I am so darn lucky I got it right this time. But I googled favicon and took it from there, and found this site to create the file type.The Burton Review

Have not seen the newest widget on the left sidebar? It is the one underneath the Technorati button. This newest thing is Shared Items From Google Reader, so whenever I am within my Google Reader I click the "share" link for those posts that I enjoy the most or simply want to share. All I do is click that share link, and boom it shows up in that widget on my blog for all to see. If I type a comment when sharing, some of the comment will show as well. Isn't that the neatest thing? See this post here on how to add it to blogger which tells you to go here.

Another change for this past week has been some links to the Amazon Store I created. I started working on this awhile ago by adding text links to certain blog posts, but I now have enough stuff going on there to officially mention it now. How the amazon associates program works is that I will get a small percentage of qualified purchases that are made by you if you purchase it from my store. Most important, check out the different sections where the book titles are broken up into different categories, from Tudor Fiction, Other Historical Fiction, to Jane Austen and Sequels. A preview here of the store:

See My Amazon Store
The actual theme may change as I grow bored with the current one; I am trying to find a color scheme and set-up that I really like still. But the main items are up and running, which is the most important thing, and I will add more items when I get a chance to; so bookmark the Store when you feel the urge to buy your next book. I would greatly appreciate the support.
If I ever get a penny I will let you know (& thank YOU in advance!).

I reviewed Barnes' The Tudor Rose for you last Monday, and I started reading The Wildest Heart by Rosemary Rogers. Not even halfway through with that brick of a book. So there may be a while before my next review posts here, as this one is 748 pages. Then on Wednesday I lamented about Elizabeth's Women by Tracy Borman, I can't find it online in the USA, but I was overjoyed when it appeared in the mail on Thursday! Definitely awesome, so The Maiden's Court and I are going to do a sort of group read with this as my next read in October. I am looking forward to interacting with her about the book, it is chunky non-fiction book that looks full of information. See my Wednesday post for the rest of the information and synopsis.

In fun across-the-pond news, the Pope is meeting with Queen Elizabeth II next year, which is to be a grand event over there.. and I just found out there is a new book coming out in October:




The Queen Mother: The Official Biography by William Shawcross

The official and definitive biography of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: consort of King George VI, mother of Queen Elizabeth II, grandmother of Prince Charles—and the most beloved British monarch of the twentieth century.Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon—the ninth of the Earl of Strathmore’s ten children—was born on August 4, 1900, and, certainly, no one could have imagined that her long life (she died in 2002) would come to reflect a changing nation over the ourse of an entire century. Now, William Shawcross—given unrestricted access to the Queen Mother’s personal papers, letters, and diaries—gives us a portrait of unprecedented vividness and detail. Here is the girl who helped convalescing soldiers during the First World War . . . the young Duchess of York helping her reluctant husband assume the throne when his brother abdicated . . . the Queen refusing to take refuge from the bombing of London, risking her own life to instill courage and hope in others who were living through the Blitz . . . the dowager Queen—the last Edwardian, the charming survivor of a long-lost era—representing her nation at home and abroad . . . the matriarch of the Royal Family and “the nation’s best-loved grandmother.” A revelatory royal biography that is, as well, a singular history of Britain in the twentieth century.

This one sounds like a potential interesting read.

Although I am moving at a snail's pace as far as reading and reviewing goes, on October 5 and 6, I will have the review and guest post with giveaway for The Other Mr. Darcy by Monica Fairview, as part of a blog tour. (I enjoyed the book!) The tour is starting now, so follow along if you want to win this book:

September 28: Fallen Angel Reviews Guest Blog
September 29: The Review from Here/ScribVibe
September 30: Everything Victorian
October 1: The Good, the Bad, the Unread Guest Blog
October 2: A Bibliophile’s Bookshelf
October 5: Grace’s Book Blog, name change to Books Like Breathing
October 6: The Burton Review
October 7: Austenprose
October 7: Bloody Bad Books
October 8: The Long & Short of It
October 9: Love Romance Passion
Date undetermined, but some time this week: Curious Statistical Anomaly
October 12: Good and Bad Books
October 13: Lib’s Library
October 16: Fresh Fiction

I will soon have another fantastic Mailbox Monday post to share; it took me a long to time to compile it, so stay tuned for that fun on Monday! I am so swamped with books to review I feel so behind. But I can only do so much, and having a family and working full time and doing the blogging thing takes away actual reading time. But I'll read what I can, when I can, and blog about it, when I can..

Also wanted to say thanks for The Super Scribbler award from Robin at Lady Gwyn's Kingdom. I appreciate the mentions from awards! I've seen this one already given out at my favorite blogs and I don't want to inundate them with the same award. I've got End of month and Quarter close out (taxes!) to do this week, plus have to figure out how Cobra works for an ex-employee, so I don't have very much fun coming towards my way this week as far as work goes. And I am hoping the rest of the family and I do not catch the toddler's flu. He is driving me crazy, needless to say. Hope everyone in blogosphere is well and reading a lot!

The lucky Winner of my Robin Maxwell 2 book giveaway that ended Sat. PM was ibeeg of Mom-Musings! It was her Blog posting that got her the winning entry. If she doesn't respond to my email then Tutu is up next. That's the last of my HF Bloggers Round Table giveaways, whew! One last giveaway for the Sourcebooks promo, I'll draw that this week.

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Sep 25, 2009

Friday Fill-In~ Guess this Famous Lady

Friday Fill-In Fun Join in the Friday Fill-In Fun~ They provide the basics and we fill-in the blanks with whatever we want! So that means I get to use famous dead people or fave characters..

Can you guess who this person is?

1. One week ago I sent many to their deaths.


2. I would never have thought I would grow up to have an awful nickname when I was younger.

3. Mama told me never to forget her, even though I soon had four stepmothers.

4. The shame of it all is I should simply be remembered as the first queen, between you and me.

5. Take your time learning my history, there is a lot of it to learn, from being loved as a Princess, then not loved, and persecuted for my religion..

6. I am hoping my lonely life without my own family will pass!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to pining for Philip, tomorrow my plans include making my little sister observe my religion and Sunday, I want to attend mass all day!

The Winner to the giveaway for THE SEPARATE COUNTRY by Robert Hicks is Nea's Nuttiness!
Nea's Blog posting won it for her!

Next up was Susie and Jasmine if she has won it already.
ANNE BOLEYN 2- Book Giveaway still going on!

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Sep 24, 2009

Winners & Booking Through Thursday~ Recent Saddest Book

Booking Through Thursday is hosted by Deb.

Deb asks:
What’s the saddest book you’ve read recently?


I've read some books that have "sad" themes, and some disturbing ones.. but today I'm thinking of the one that made me cry more than once and was my most recent. Those who haven't read it, will be surprised. Those who have read it, won't be. It is Cleopatra's Daughter, by Michelle Moran.
See my review here if you would like.

I am a little late this AM posting, since I've drawn two winners from two different giveaways from the Historical Fiction Bloggers Round Table event, which is time consuming!! See sidebar for other giveaways.

THE WINNERS ARE:
The winner for Kathy Lynn Emerson's Historical Mystery, Face Down in The Marrow-Bone Pie is
Susie from All Things Royal.

The winner for Martin Dugard & James Patterson's The Murder of King Tut, the new non-fiction thriller, is Deidre from Gothic Asylum Reviews
Emails going out after I do payroll..
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Sep 23, 2009

More Blogger Updates

Blogger also has updated their Posting options where there is a new editor, and an old editor.
The new editor looks a little fancier and improves photo handling, and you can drag text around.
I like the photo resizing option. With the new post editor, the HTML process is supposed to be easier as well.
Posts are now timestamped with the time they are published instead of created.

But the MOST IMPORTANT THING:
NEW PREVIEW Dialog, supposedly the way it really looks on the blog..so far so good!!

To find your new post editor in Blogger, go to the dashboard, and settings/BASIC of your blog.
Near the bottom is where it says SELECT POST EDITOR.. and select the first option for the UPDATED Editor.
VOILA!
Boone Chance.. aka Good Luck!


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Update your bookmarks~~~

The Burton Review's blogspot address will still work, as it will be redirected... but to avoid unneccessary tax on your typing fingers, you can now find me at http://www.theburtonreview.com/

{Sadly, burtonreview without THE has been taken by some fake site}

I wanted to register theburtonreview.com ever since I found out someone has a burtonreview dot com address.... so at least whoever registered the other one can't have theburtonreview.com since that is officially mine.

WEE
So how did I do that, you ask?
I went to the Blogger Dashboard.
I then went to settings.
Clicked on Publishing.
Clicked on "Switch to Custom Domain"
Enter the Domain Name
Click Check Availability (via godaddy.com)
Then it goes thru any normal Checkout process.
All done.

The upside is this way $10 a year and this is easy as those simple steps.
There are ways to host and FTP your own domain etc and have it be cheaper, and with email addresses and a lot more technical functions that I just don't need for this blog, at this time anyhoo.

For those of you that would like to have a graphic link to my blog, see my right sidebar and there is a code for you to copy there. Even though that particular graphic button has the blogspot address on it, I will eventually update that button. But if you still take that link shown, whenever I update that button it will automatically change on your blog when I create a new one. So go ahead and copy that code, and when I get to the designing of the new button you'll see it magically change someday.

And remember, theburtonreview.com is the place to be. And if you update your bookmarks, you can use the www before it or not. Your preference, either way will work. Happy trails!!

Let's hope all this works.
I had a little issue getting this post to post, with the Bhxy-090 error.
Then I go back and pasted my post in again, (*Lucky me I copied before I posted), and then it said:

Your blog is in transition
Your blog's new address is http://www.theburtonreview.com/. Since it takes time for this new address to be available all over the Internet, you can still get to it at http://burtonreview.blogspot.com/.
Your new address should work for everyone after at most 3 days. At that time we will redirect your readers from your old address to the new one.

And my followers gadget doesn't work properly at all, let's hope that fixes itself. Probably won't .. waaah.. So it may be a possibility I'll lose 244 followers, which will be really sad for everyone so hurry up and update your bookmarks so you don't lose me. Try and add me to your reader this way:
PLEASE Add to Google!!

Waiting on Wednesday~ Elizabeth's Women by Tracy Borman


First up.. my heart, thoughts and prayers go out to Georgia, affected by the floods, especially Arleigh of Historical-fiction.com.

Secondly.. TRUE BOOK ADDICT WON THE HERETIC QUEEN GIVEAWAY! CONGRATS!

Sponsored by "Breaking the Spine". This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:
(I have posted this before, but sadly, I have not been a lucky receiver of the book, I hope I will be eventually!)
Tracy Borman’s newest book Elizabeth's Women: The Hidden Story of the Virgin Queen’ is due to be published on September 24th 2009.



It is available from Amazon.ca and Amazon.uk, and still not on Amazon USA which is driving me BONKERS, and here are the Google shopping results. It's like a treasure hunt. I am pretty sure my blogger pal at The Maiden's Court got her hands on a copy though.. I just may have to raid her house..

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd (24 Sep 2009)
ISBN-10: 0224082264

Product Description:

"Elizabeth I was born into a world of women. As a child, she was served by a predominantly female household of servants and governesses, with occasional visits from her mother, Anne Bolyen, and the wives who later took her place. As Queen, Elizabeth was constantly attended by ladies of the bedchamber and maids of honor who clothed her, bathed her and watched her while she ate. Among her family, it was her female relations who had the greatest influence: from her sister Mary, who distrusted and later imprisoned her, to her cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots, who posed a constant and dangerous threat to her crown for almost thirty years. Despite the importance of women in Elizabeth's life, most historians and biographers have focused on her relationships with men. She has been portrayed as a 'man's woman' who loved to flirt with the many ambitious young men who frequented her court. Yet it is the women in her life who provide the most fascinating insight into the character of this remarkable monarch. With them she was jealous, spiteful and cruel, as well as loyal, kind and protective. She showed her frailties and her insecurities, but also her considerable shrewdness and strength. In short, she was more human than the public persona she presented to the rest of the court. It is her relationships with women that hold the key to the private Elizabeth.

In this original chronicling of the life of one of England's greatest monarchs, historian Tracy Borman explores Elizabeth's relationships with the key women in her life. Beginning with her mother and the governesses and stepmothers who cared for the young princess, including her beloved Kat Astley and the inspirational Katherine Parr, "Elizabeth's Women" sheds new light on her formative years. Elizabeth's turbulent relationships with her rivals are examined: from her sister, 'Bloody' Mary, to the sisters of Lady Jane Grey, and finally the most deadly of all her rivals, Mary, Queen of Scots who would give birth to the man Elizabeth would finally, inevitably have to recognize as heir to her throne. It is a chronicle of the servants, friends and 'flouting wenches' who brought out the best - and the worst - of Elizabeth's carefully cultivated image as Gloriana, the Virgin Queen, in the glittering world of her court."

Some of my favorite Elizabethan women include Lettice Knollys, Jane Grey, Bess of Hardwick and Bess' granddaughter, Arbella Stuart. I am always anxious to learn more about them and Elizabeth's interaction with the ladies of her time!

See Tracy Borman's site for upcoming events etc. She is also the author of Henrietta Howard: King’s Mistress, Queen’s Servant.

Sep 22, 2009

Teaser Tuesday ~ The Wildest Heart by Rosemary Rogers

TEASER TUESDAYS is hosted by ShouldBeReading and asks you to:
♠Grab your current read.
♠Let the book fall open to a random page.
♠Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page.
♠You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!

Yes this posted early and I tried to delete it, and reschedule it but it looks like Blogger is having issues again. SIGH.
OK I know you are like what is this thing you are reading Marie (a historical romance).. Guess what? 44 pages in I know I am going to like it. There's a reason it was on the bestseller list in the 70's and just in case several generations of wild hearts missed out, Sourcebooks is reissuing this 748 page chunky book for all to enjoy. At $7.99 you can't go wrong.


The Wildest Heart by Rosemary Rogers

Brief Synopsis: "Heroine Rowena Dangerfield is sensual, headstrong, and scandalously independent, the granddaughter of the governor of an Indian province under the British empire. After his death, she travels to England and then to New Mexico, where she arrives in grand style to lay claim to her inheritance."

The OLD version:

The new version:

So on page 44, right where my bookmark is that made me chuckle at lunch time:

"I found myself wondering where the servants were- hiding in door ways and broom closets no doubt, the better to enjoy such a juicy little scene! I wanted to flee from that ugly, sneering voice, but I would not let myself; I was a Dangerfield, and the likes of Tom Wilkinson with his loud, vulgar voice, were beneath my attention."

Sep 21, 2009

Book Review: "The Tudor Rose: A Novel of Elizabeth of York" by Margaret Campbell Barnes


"The Tudor Rose: A Novel of Elizabeth of York" by Margaret Campbell Barnes
This Reissue by Sourcebooks October 2009
Original Publication 1953
The Burton Review Rating:3.5 Stars

Description:
"One woman holds the key to England's most glorious empire in this intimate retelling of the launch of the Tudor dynasty.
A magnificent portrait of Elizabeth of York, set against the dramatic background of fifteenth century England. Elizabeth, the only living descendant of Edward IV, has the most valuable possession in all of England—a legitimate claim to the crown. Two princes battle to win Britain's most rightful heiress for a bride and her kingdom for his own. On one side is her uncle Richard, the last Plantagenet King, whom she fears is the murderer of her two brothers, the would-be kings. On the other side is Henry Tudor, the exiled knight. Can he save her from a horrifying marriage to a cut-throat soldier?
Thrust into the intrigue and drama of the War of the Roses, Elizabeth has a country within her grasp—if she can find the strength to unite a kingdom torn apart by a thirst for power. A richly drawn tale of the woman who launched one of the most dramatic dynasties England has ever seen, The Tudor Rose is a vibrant, imaginative look at the power of a queen."

Elizabeth of York is the eldest daughter of Queen Elizabeth Woodville and King Edward IV who seems to be of a strong character based on all accounts of her life. She was ultimately used as a pawn in the ongoing political struggles caused by the Wars of The Roses but was instrumental in uniting the two different parties of the wars. Elizabeth's younger brothers Edward and Richard were the infamous Princes in the Tower who disappeared at some point in 1483, which the novel paints a depressing but realistic picture of what is probable to have happened. Her uncle Richard, who had made himself King of England after conveniently declaring Elizabeth's parents' marriage invalid, is portrayed as a sinister man in this novel. He even goes so far as to entertain the idea of marrying Elizabeth himself, but luckily for her the Londoners have too much respect for their daughter of York and force him to deny the prospect.

Elizabeth, usually called Bess in the novel, is seen as a sacrificial lamb for the sake of England as she sets her hopes on Henry Tudor. Her motto as queen was Humble and Reverent, and she seems to be so in every sense of the phrase. We slowly go through the events that lead up to the decision that Elizabeth is forced to make between her Plantagenet relations or for the future hope for England. After England's years of the Wars of the Roses, Henry Tudor ends the Wars with his defeat of Richard at the Battle of Bosworth. Eventually, Elizabeth and Henry are married which united the red rose of the Lancastrians with the white rose of the Yorkists, forming the red and white Tudor rose.

Henry Tudor was a change to the Yorkist upbringing that Elizabeth was used to, and the novel meanders through Elizabeth's thoughts as she is finally made Queen of England. We are made to wonder why Henry took years to crown Elizabeth, it was only after she gives birth to the Tudor heir that it is done for her. Even though Henry was always a frugal man and did very little to support the pageantry known to previous Kings and Queens, he does offer a grand coronation for Elizabeth which is one of the few nice things he seems to do for her.

We see more than a glimpse of Henry's politics and his coldness towards Elizabeth. The novel seems consumed by it. There is also always the back story of the lost princes and the possibilities of their demise. The pretenders or impostors are also featured here and show us how Elizabeth was affected by the loss of her little brothers, in particular young Dickon, which made Elizabeth's character a bit more real. On the other hand, Elizabeth's mother is portrayed as having no scruples as to the whereabouts of her boys, she has no hope for their survival and is portrayed as a cold woman without much to live for. I would have preferred a bit more insight into the old Queen's character, but she was not the main character. Instead we see everything through her daughter Elizabeth's eyes, as we see her through her younger days, then through her child birthing and we are privy to her many thoughts regarding the passionless husband of hers.

Contrary to popular (factual?) belief there is a loving relationship between Margaret Beaufort, Henry's mother, and Elizabeth portrayed throughout. Although fitting neatly with the novel, this bothered me since I have always heard of the way Margaret went out of her way to make Elizabeth uncomfortable. I look forward to some upcoming works regarding Margaret Beaufort so that I can determine the validity of the claims of Beaufort's harshness.

The novel continues its story to the upbringing of the four surviving Tudor children, to the death of the firstborn Arthur Tudor in 1502 who was betrothed to Catherine of Aragon. The span of about twenty years is covered in this novel, and in the last half of the book is mostly comprised of Elizabeth's reactions to Henry's political decisions. It is not a fast paced and thrilling read, but still holds the reader captive for its substantial subject matter. Elizabeth of York, a proud Plantagenet, along with her Tudor husband, helped to bring England to a time of prosperity that was not known for a very long time. Their children included Margaret, who became Queen of Scotland, and the infamous Henry VIII who had six wives, and Mary who was briefly Queen of France. Elizabeth and her younger son Henry had a loving relationship, and with its portrayal in the novel it was one of the most enjoyable aspects of the book as he was one of the few that showed love to Elizabeth. The major events and intrigue that occurred around Elizabeth of York make this a worthwhile read for those interested in the formation of the Tudor dynasty and although it seemed slow going at times I still recommend this to those interested in Elizabeth's point of view.

Edited to add on October 2:

(Thank you Sourcebooks!) Sourcebooks is providing a Giveaway for this book to one lucky reader in the USA & Canada, no P.O. Boxes.

To enter:

Comment with your Email Address and Follow this Blog.

+1 entry for Twitter (@BurtonReview) or Facebook share

+2 Entries for Blog Sidebar Graphic Link to this post.

Giveaway Ends Friday, 10/16 Midnight EST. Good Luck!

Mailbox Monday~ I won ALL these!!

Edited to Add that I am ecstatic to announce that Claire from The Anne Boleyn files won the Cleaopatra's Daughter!
Congrats, Claire!

Welcome to The Burton Review Mailbox Monday Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week. And I am adding what I purchased, swapped, etc.


This week, all SEVEN of my new books came from Giveaways I won, I had a great lucky streak in August & early September, and here they come. And it may seem like I just enter giveaways randomly given the way I have all these books all of a sudden, but I promise that I don't take the opportunity from other readers unless I really do want to read the books!! So here we go:

From So Many Precious Books, So Little Time!
I won The Blue Star: A Novel by Tony Earley:

"Seven years ago, readers everywhere fell in love with Jim Glass, the precocious ten-year-old at the heart of Tony Earley's bestseller Jim the Boy. Now a teenager, Jim returns in another tender and wise story of young love on the eve of World War Two. Jim Glass has fallen in love, as only a teenage boy can fall in love, with his classmate Chrissie Steppe. Unfortunately, Chrissie is Bucky Bucklaw's girlfriend, and Bucky has joined the Navy on the eve of war. Jim vows to win Chrissie's heart in his absence, but the war makes high school less than a safe haven, and gives a young man's emotions a grown man's gravity. With the uncanny insight into the well-intentioned heart that made Jim the Boy a favorite novel for thousands of readers, Tony Earley has fashioned another nuanced and unforgettable portrait of America in another time--making it again even realer than our own day."

From A Novel Menagerie I won The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Random House Reader's Circle) by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.


"January 1946: writer Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a stranger, a founding member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. And so begins a remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German occupation, and of a society as extraordinary as its name."


From Dan's Journal I won some books that would be perfect for Serena and Anna's War Through The Generations challege:
On The Bluffs by Steven Schindler
"SOMETIMES THE BIGGEST LIES ARE THE ONES WE LIVE While Brian DeLouise was working the graveyard shift at a conspiracy theory-crazed radio station his wife was alley-catting around Washington, DC. But a cheating wife and a dead-end job no longer made him angry or depressed. He was just numb. It took a daring brush with death to awaken his senses and a few clicks on Google to begin a journey to recapture a love he believed was gone forever. Brian finds his lost lover in a rundown mansion on the windswept bluffs of Cape Cod, where he must confront a fast approaching evil while he risks losing everything he now cherishes."

The Sentinels: Fortunes of War by Gordon Zuckerman
"In this riveting amalgam of political intrigue, poignant romance, and bare-knuckled action, six friends risk everything to thwart an international Nazi conspiracy. In the financial devastation of the 1930s, a greedy, power-hungry group of German industrialists plot to usher in the National Socialist Party in order to rearm Germany and reap the financial rewards. Thus rises Hitler. With Hitler in power, the Six Sentinels, graduates of an elite American doctoral program, uncover the industrialists' plan to hoard hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal war profits. Using their financial and familial connections around the globe, they work to foil the machinations of the financiers of the Third Reich. In a daring strategy of Robin Hood style thievery, the sentinels put their lives on the line to serve justice--and thus become embroiled in a dangerous and violent international conspiracy.
A gripping story that escalates at every turn, The Sentinels: Fortunes of War is the first in a series that follows the Six Sentinels as they continue to alter the course of history."


Giv: The Story of a Dog and America by Boston Teran
"My name is Dean Hickok, sergeant, late of the U.S. Marines. I nearly ran down a dog one night on a back road during a Kentucky rainstorm. The dog, it turned out, had been made to suffer and left to die in a crate. But his will to survive, his determination to overcome the many cruelties inflicted upon him, and the ultimate and unabated goodness that abided in him afterward, are the actual reason these pages bearing my name exist at all. I was profoundly wounded of heart and empty of purpose as I drove through the Kentucky darkness that night. I had recently returned from Iraq, the lone survivor of my squad, when my headlights bore through a sweeping rain to find him there, stumbled and fallen. Both of us being on that same road, on that night, and at that moment, was not an accidental happenstance but the poetry of fate. For as much as I saved a dogs life, he saved mine."


From Reading the Past, Sarah had a fantastic title game and all of her participants were winners. Entrants had a puzzle to work from to find current titles and authors, and the top winner found 106 books! I only found 75, I told myself to stop there and I had no idea there would really be so many more! But it was great fun! The books I chose as a participant were:

East of the Sun: A Novel by Julia Gregson "As the Kaisar-i-Hind weighs anchor for Bombay in the autumn of 1928, its passengers ponder their fate in a distant land. They are part of the "Fishing Fleet" -- the name given to the legions of Englishwomen who sail to India each year in search of husbands, heedless of the life that awaits them. The inexperienced chaperone Viva Holloway has been entrusted to watch over three unsettling charges. There's Rose, as beautiful as she is naïve, who plans to marry a cavalry officer she has met a mere handful of times. Her bridesmaid, Victoria, is hell-bent on losing her virginity en route before finding a husband of her own. And shadowing them all is the malevolent presence of a disturbed schoolboy named Guy Glover.
From the parties of the wealthy Bombay socialites to the poverty of Tamarind Street, from the sooty streets of London to the genteel conversation of the Bombay Yacht Club, East of the Sun is graced with lavish detail and a penetrating sensitivity -- historical fiction at its greatest."


And this one looks awesome:
Sand Daughter by Sarah Bryant "A fascinating snapshot of the world of the Crusades."
"Khalidah faces an arranged marriage at the behest of her father, a Bedouin Clan chief. But when a mysterious stranger named Sulayman reveals the machinations behind her pending union, she suddenly finds herself a pawn in a deadly plot involving her own feuding tribe and the powerful Templar Knights. Faced with certain death, Khalidah runs away with Sulayman, a man she barely knows. Their journey, and the desire that grows between them, will thrust Khalidah toward unimaginable adventure, and the echoes of a past that somehow connect her to the Jinn-the mysterious Afghan warriors who may hold the key to the coming battle for the Holy Land."

I think I am most excited about The Blue Star and the last two.. but thanks to everyone who held these giveaways! I hope I add a few more via some BBAW giveaways, but time will tell. What did you get this past week in your mailbox?

Sep 19, 2009

The Sunday Salon:A Fabulous Week is over, let's look at the stats!

The Sunday Salon.com

It has been a fantastic week for the Historical Fiction fans out there, if I do say so myself. For the entire previous week from Sept. 14 - 18, I and six other bloggers created guest posts, interviews of each other and scheduled author posts along with some fantastic giveaways. This was the inaugural event of The Historical Fiction Bloggers Round Table, and while we certainly need a break now, I hope to do this again sometime. The announcement post is here at Enchanted By Josephine who was an amazing organizer of my scrambled ideas, and I thank Ms Lucy very much for being so willing to jump in and help out with the major stuff. {{Big bear hugs to Ms Lucy!}} Amy from Passages to The Past also posted a wonderful round-up post, go check that out as well.
I started seven new historical fiction book giveaways this week, you can find them on the left sidebar. I hosted authors Michelle Moran, Kate aka Kathy Lynn Emerson, and Robin Maxwell.

You can find the rest of The Burton Review posts for the event here, which will also direct you to the other Blogs that have some great posts up as well. I also wanted to thank the few who wanted to jump in and participate in this royal week, such as Aimee from My Fluttering Heart, and of course Susie from All Things Royal. Check those blogs out, because there is another royal giveaway going on! Thank you for making this a successful week for me.

Of course this also brings the end to the annual Book blogger appreciation week (BBAW) & it has been interesting to read along for the Daily blogging topics for which I also added a couple of posts along with the HF Bloggers Events this week. I told you who my blogs-as-bible are that I rely on for reviews, or these listed here that belonged on any shortlist if I was a panelist, I interviewed a new-to-me-blogger, Jessica, from Chick Lit Teens (who also enjoys Historical Fiction), I told you my reading habits, and I told you where I wanted to be this time next year Blog-wise. I really enjoyed reading every one's compliments and comments on my blog, by the way. I hadn't started book blogging until March & I am so honored to be able to say I've made some fantastic friends, particularly with those in my Historical Fiction genre. Arleigh from Historical-Fiction.com, Lucy from Enchanted by Josephine and Amy from Passages to The Past wrote some really nice and complimentary things to me and it is what makes devoting so much free time to blogging a worthwhile past time. These six months have really changed my life.. and I love my fellow bloggers! Yup, it's only been 6 months as a book blogger, but it seems much much much longer.

I also entered some of the contests on the actual BBAW website, some of the giveaways were pretty cool. Bookmarks and gift cards were my favorite giveaways! And I just learned I won The Wet Nurse's Tale, set in Victorian England, from Carrie's site at Books and Movies. Thank you!

I am glad that Amy of My Friend Amy and all of her helpers had a successful event this year, like Sheri from A Novel Menagerie who has redesigned her blog in the midst of helping out for the BBAW and being a single mom. I really love her newest look, it is fresh and easy to navigate. Arleigh at historical-fiction.com has just revamped her site as well, have you seen that yet? It's very classy and neat.

There was a question I saw on the BBAW site about what blog have I been introduced to this week, and I entered My Fluttering Heart, because I found out from Meghan's Medieval Bookworm blog that Aimee is also a Burton. That was a fun bit of news for me, (I'm a Burton, if you hadn't noticed) and Aimee said that we Burton's need to stick together.. Meghan is going to be married soon so she goes from a very unique last name to not quite so diverse with Burton. Meghan is a total sweetheart with a great blog that I've followed for awhile. And Aimee was so kind to participate in our HF Bloggers Round Table Event also.

With all the hubbub of the BBAW and the Round Table, some may have missed the review I posted Sunday on Book Review: "Girl Mary" by Petru Popescu. This week I started reading "The Other Mr. Darcy: Did you know Mr. Darcy had an American cousin?" by Monica Fairview. With all of the HF Blogger festivities and me watching DALLAS, The Eighth Season instead of reading, I am not getting anywhere at all. But the book is great, it really is. Which brings me to another question I saw somewhere on the BBAW: How do you feel about the myriad of Austen Sequels? I was surprised at how many people were turned off of them. Obviously, I am not one of them, unless you are talking about monsters and vampires because that is just not my thing. But when a classic read, like Austen, inspires others so much that authors have decided to spin-off from the classy prose, I am all for it. I enjoy the Regency Era, and the elegant writing it promotes. I grew up reading Charles Dickens, Louisa May Alcott, L.M. Montgomery, Margaret Mitchell, Agatha Christie, have recently discovered Georgette Heyer.. and if there are modern writers that aspire to that literary prowess than I am eager to read their works.

What was the effect of the Historical Fiction Bloggers Round Table Event statistics wise? I estimate at least 20 new followers to my blog.

I had an average of 220 Page loads each day.
I had an average of 100 FIRST TIME visitors each day!
This may sound like peanuts in other worlds, but in my world, as opposed to the Previous week:


I normally have average of 70 page loads a day, and 50 First Time Visitors.
And here is a fun look at Recent CAME FROM stats: Looks like the Google Reader followers was my friend again, along with the blogger dashboard from followers, and BBAW Giveaways that I hosted for the HF Bloggers Round Table Event. The next highest referring links came from the other members of the Round Table event.



Normally for me, the MOST fun statistical thing is KEYWORD Activity but the last two days have been pretty normal. Lucky googlers have found what they were looking for it seems.

Although the "I love to show off" search term has me thinking what was that person really looking for? And my giveaway for Robert Hicks "A Separate Country" got some attention as well. One would wonder about the search term David Starkey & Creative Writing being used in the same sentence, though. My most popular pages are shown with the # of hits recently:

I used Stat Counter to compile these reports, and I have since deleted the images that were on this post.

Edited to add that WANDA has won a new hardback of "The Day the Falls Stood Still" by Cathy Marie Buchanan from my giveaway here. Congratulations, Wanda!