Jan 18, 2010

Mailbox Monday ~ Fantastic Historicals for 2010!!



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.

As I have mentioned, 2010 is shaping up to be a fantabulous year for Historical Fiction.

How could I say 'no' to such promising reads?

I have completely and utterly FAILED at my New Year's Resolution for Less ARCs and More Marie Books. Well, I am certainly acquiring more Marie books, but I am rapidly acquiring many more ARCs.

But how fantastic is it, that in a recent review of mine for The Fall of Anne Boleyn: The Lady in the Tower by Alison Weir that I wished for the finished copy for the extras like photos, index and bibliography .. my wish was granted. I can't wait to re-peruse this finished copy, it was one of my favorite Anne Boleyn reads, as it doesn't go on and on and on about the many facts of Anne Boleyn but it rather is an excellent examination of the last four months in England when Anne was Queen. See my review here.


One whole shelf in one week See that picture of books? That entire shelf of books (plus two others) landed on my doorstep this week. WOW. No way in heck I am going to write them all out here in length. The left section shows and Ebay purchase of Philippa Carr and Victoria Holt titles for my collection of Marie Books:

Carr aka Holt aka PlaidyThe Miracle at St. Bruno's
The Black Swan
The Gossamer Cord
A Time for Silence
We'll Meet Again.. all by Philippa Carr (aka Victoria Holt aka Jean Plaidy)

Daughter of Deceit
The Shadow of the Lynx
Bride of Pendorric
Snare of Serpents
Lord of Far Island
The House of a Thousand Lanterns
The King of the Castle ..all by Victoria Holt (aka Philippa Carr aka Jean Plaidy)

I LOVE BOOKS
The first book on the left in the photo above is Roses by Leila Meacham. I wrote of this in my Sunday Salon last week; and an article for the Examiner, as this is getting a lot of attention and I am meeting the author February 10th!

I received several Sourcebooks ARCs to review, a surprise for when I get caught up and want a fun read: Beautiful People by Wendy Holden (April 1, 2010) was accidentally shipped but I might sneak this one in when I want some extra fun stuff.
"A fabulous romantic romp revolving around the adventures of a struggling actress, a fame-crazed former film star, and a down-to-earth nanny, Beautiful People jets to London, Hollywood, and Italy at a frenzied pace. Holden crafts a tale wicked in its observations yet buoyant at its heart: a masterful return to the swashbuckling verve her adoring fans devour. A confection that's made for summer reading."

I did request the sequel to Monica Fairview's The Other Mr Darcy, which is The Darcy Cousins (April 1, 2010). I loved her first one.
"One might reasonably expect that a young lady dispatched in disgrace across the Atlantic to England would strive to behave with decorum, but Mr. Darcy's incorrigible American cousin, Clarissa Darcy, manages to provoke Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Mr Collins, and the parishioners of Hunsford all in one morning! And there are more surprises in store for that bastion of tradition, Rosings Park, when the family gathers for their annual Easter visit. Georgiana Darcy, generally a shy model of propriety, decides to take a few lessons from her unconventional cousin. And Anne de Bourgh, encouraged to escape her "keeper," Mrs. Jenkinson, simply… vanishes.
In this tale of friendship, rebellion, and love, two young women entering Society forge a strong connection. A connection that is sorely tested when they both set out to win the heart of a most dashing—and dangerous— gentleman."


Within The Hollow Crown: Valiant King's Struggle to Save His Country, His Dynasty, and His Love by Margaret Campbell Barnes, a reissue (April 1, 2010)
"Set against the backdrop of a country racked by revolt and class warfare, Within the Hollow Crown showcases the true spirit of a king at the end of one of the most glorious dynasties, who wants both England's heart and crown. Perhaps one of the most misunderstood of all English monarchs, the son of the Black Prince and grandson of Edward III has been portrayed in a dim light by history. But Margaret Campbell Barnes gives readers a different portrait of Richard II. Although his peace-loving ways set him apart from the war-mongering medieval world around him, Richard proved himself a true king by standing down a peasant revolt and outwitting the political schemes of his enemies. Struggling to uphold the valiant Plantagenet dynasty, Richard and his queen, Anne of Bohemia, nonetheless manage to create an exquisite partnership, described as "one of the tenderest idylls of romance ever written."

Also from Sourcebooks but too late in the week to make it into the photo, was The Scarlet Lion by Elizabeth Chadwick which will be our March Historical Fiction Round Table read. The Botticelli Secret had to be replaced even after we had received confirmation for the event, and that publicist is one piece of work. The author didn't respond to our pleas for communication either. I'll say no more. So the wonderful Elizabeth Chadwick has saved March for us Round Tablers.
"A page-turning novel of honor, intrigue, treachery, and love, continuing the story of England's greatest knight of the Middle Ages, William Marshal. Bestselling author Elizabeth Chadwick, "an author who makes historical fiction come gloriously alive" (The Times of London), is known as a writer of uncommon historical integrity and accuracy.
By 1197 William Marshal's prowess with a sword and loyalty with his heart have been rewarded by the hand in marriage of Isabelle de Clare—heiress to great estates— and their brood is growing. But their contentment and security is shattered when King Richard dies. Forced down a precarious path by the royal injustices of the vindictive King John, the Marshals teeter on a razor-thin line of honor that threatens to tear apart the very heart of their family."

Next in the photo:
31 Bond Street: A Novel by Ellen Horan (Hardcover - Mar 30, 2010)
"The sensational murder of Dr. Harvey Burdell in his lower Manhattan townhouse was the biggest news story in the United States before the Civil War; “Who killed Dr. Burdell?” was the question that gripped the nation. Deftly interweaving fiction and fact, 31 Bond Street is a clever historical narrative that blends romance, politics, greed and sexual intrigue in a suspenseful drama.
When an errand boy discovers Burdell’s nearly decapitated body in the bedroom of his posh Bond Street home, there are no witnesses and virtually no clues. With the city up in arms over the vicious killing, District Attorney Abraham Oakey Hall immediately suspects Emma Cunningham, the striking young widow who has been living at 31 Bond Street with her two teen aged daughters, caring for Burdell’s home in exchange for a marriage proposal. But Burdell’s past is murky and his true intentions towards Emma Cunningham were questionable, leaving Emma with a plausible motive for murder. With the help of her defence attorney, Henry Clinton, Emma embarks on a legal drama to prove her innocence and spare herself from the gallows.
Set against the background of a bustling and corrupt New York City in 1857, 31 Bond Street is a fascinating archaeological dig, taking the reader through the minutiae of a buried past, only to uncover circumstances that are shockingly contemporary: a sensationalist press, burgeoning new wealth, a booming real estate market, and race and gender conflicts. Ellen Horan’s gripping novel vividly exposes a small slice of lost history as it explores New York City on the eve of the Civil War."

From Paperbackswap and Swaptree I received:

Midnight on Julia Street by Ciji Ware (Mass Market Paperback - May 29, 1999) "The sultry allure of New Orleans comes to dazzling life in this enthralling tale of passion and mystery that sweeps from the modern heart of the Big Easy back to the shimmering city of a century past. Reporter Corlis McCullough's passion for the truth has cost her more jobs than she cares to remember. She would like to keep this one . . . even if it means chasing a story involving historical preservationist King Duvallon, an adversary from her college years. After a decade, he still manages to incite her fury--and worse: a growing attraction as strong and unstoppable as the tides along the Delta. But as Corlis is swept one hundred fifty years into the past, she witnesses the yearning desires and daring passions of a drama that will be replayed nearly two centuries later. . . . "
The Masque of the Black Tulip by Lauren Willig (Paperback - Oct 31, 2006) "The author of The Secret History of the Pink Carnation continues her romantic adventures of England's greatest spy with a newly arrived adversary from France, the murderous Black Tulip."

The Garden of Ruth by Eva Etzioni-Halevy (Paperback - Dec 26, 2006)
"Sitting beneath a tree in ancient Bethlehem, Osnath, niece of the prophet Samuel, examines a dusty scrap of parchment she found hidden in her relative’s scroll room. Scrawled on the decaying page is an intriguing message addressed to Ruth the Moabite—great-grandmother of David, the future king of Israel. Compelled to discover the truth about Ruth’s life, Osnath begins searching for the identity of Ruth’s nameless lover and the secret that is cloaked behind his anonymity. But as she digs deeper into the past, she finds her inquiries blocked by David’s brother Eliab. What is the long-buried truth he fears will come to light? And what is the threat that Ruth’s story poses to his family’s vast inheritance?
Eva Etzioni-Halevy’s novel deftly interweaves history and fiction to create a compelling exploration of a prominent biblical figure. Told through the voices of both Osnath and Ruth herself, The Garden of Ruth transports readers into the ancient world—and offers a dramatic and thought-provoking new perspective on a well-known tale."



The Courtier's Secret by Donna Russo Morin (Paperback - Feb 1, 2009) "France, 1680. Louis XIV, the Sun King, is at the height of his power. The court at Versailles is a paradise for privileged young women. Jeanne Yvette Mas Du Bois is unlike most other courtiers. Her thirst for knowledge often incurs her father's brutal wrath. But her uncle encourages Jeanne's independence, secretly teaching her fencing in the palace's labyrinthine basement. . .
When two of the king's Musketeers are beset by criminals who are mere feet from Jeanne's fencing lesson, she intervenes, saving one of the Musketeers' lives. Hidden behind her mask, Jeanne is mistaken for a man. As "Jean Luc," Jeanne is admitted to an inner circle where she learns of an assassination plot against the Queen. As Jean Luc, she is permitted to bring her intelligence and swordsmanship to bear. And as Jean Luc, she is free to love the man of her choosing. . .even if she can never have him. Now, with the Queen in jeopardy, and her own double life making her privy to the tangled intrigues at court, Jeanne is in a powerful yet increasingly perilous position.
Brimming with lush period detail and vivid, unforgettable characters, The Courtier's Secret takes readers into a fascinating, intriguing world of pageantry, adventure, betrayals, and secrets."
The Knight of the Sacred Lake (The Guenevere Novels Number 2) by Rosalind Miles (Paperback - Jun 12, 2001)
"Last in a line of proud queens elected to rule the fertile lands of the West, true owner of the legendary Round Table, guardian of the Great Goddess herself . . . a woman whose story has never been told--until now.
As High King and Queen, Arthur and Guenevere reign supreme across the many kingdoms of Great Britain. Still, Guenevere secretly mourns the loss of her beloved Lancelot, who has returned to the Sacred Lake of his boyhood, hoping to restore his faith in chivalry in the place where he learned to be a knight. In a glittering Pentecost ceremony, new knights are sworn to the Round Table, including Arthur's nephews, Agravain and Gawain. After many years of strife, peace is restored to Guenevere's realm.
But betrayal, jealousy, and ancient blood feuds fester unseen. Morgan Le Fay, now the mother of Arthur's only son, Mordred, has become the focus of Merlin's age-old quest to ensure the survival of the house of Pendragon. From the east comes the shattering news that Guenevere may have a rival for Lancelot's love. A bleak shadow falls again across Camelot--and across the sacred isle of Avalon, where Roman priests threaten the life of the Lady herself. At the center of the storm is Guenevere, torn between her love for her husband, her people, and Sir Lancelot of the Lake. With rare and intuitive magic, Rosalind Miles brings to life a legendary woman's bravery and passion, and all the pageantry, heartbreak, violence, and beauty of an age gone by."

Are you still here?? Tired yet??



Finally, I ordered from Amazon, and is shown as the last book on the right, above:
To Dance with Kings: A Novel by Rosalind Laker (Paperback - May 22, 2007)
"On a May morning in 1664, in the small village of Versailles, as hundreds of young aristocrats are coming to pay court to King Louis XIV, a peasant fan-maker gives birth to her first and only child, Marguerite. Determined to give her daughter a better life than the one she herself has lived, the young mother vows to break the newborn’s bonds of poverty and ensure that she fulfills her destiny—to dance with kings. Purely by chance, a drunken nobleman witnesses the birth and makes a reckless promise to return for Marguerite in seventeen years. With those fateful words, events are set into motion that will span three monarchies, affecting the lives of four generations of women.
Marguerite becomes part of the royal court of the Sun King, but her fairy-tale existence is torn out from under her by a change of political winds. Jasmin, Marguerite’s daughter, is born to the life of privilege her grandmother dreamed of, but tempts fate by daring to catch the eye of the king. Violette, Marguerite’s granddaughter, is drawn to the nefarious side of life among the nobles at Versailles. And Rose, Violette’s daughter, becomes a lady-in-waiting and confidante to Marie Antoinette. Through Rose, a love lost generations before will come full circle, even as the ground beneath Versailles begins to rumble with the chaos of the coming revolution.
An epic generational tale of loves lost, promises kept, dreams broken, and monarchies shattered, To Dance with Kings is a story of passion and privilege, humble beginnings and limitless ambition."

Where oh where do I begin?!
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