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Oct 22, 2010

Audio Book Review: The Virgin's Lover by Philippa Gregory


The Virgin's Lover by Philippa Gregory
ABRIDGED Audio CD, 0 pages
Published November 16th 2004 by Simon & Schuster Audio (first published 2004)
ISBN074353980X (ISBN13: 9780743539807)
Borrowed from a friend's personal library, thank you!

The Burton Review Rating: I expect it would have been a 3 star read had I read it two years ago.


Longest synopsis ever:
"In the autumn of 1558, church bells across England ring out the joyous news that Elizabeth I is the new queen. One woman hears the tidings with utter dread. She is Amy Dudley, wife of Sir Robert, and she knows that Elizabeth's ambitious leap to the throne will pull her husband back to the very center of the glamorous Tudor court, where he was born to be. Amy had hoped that the merciless ambitions of the Dudley family had died on Tower Green when Robert's father was beheaded and his sons shamed; but the peal of bells she hears is his summons once more to power, intrigue, and a passionate love affair with the young queen. Can Amy's steadfast faith in him, her constant love, and the home she wants to make for them in the heart of the English countryside compete with the allure of the new queen? Elizabeth's excited triumph is short-lived. She has inherited a bankrupt country, riven by enmity, where treason is normal and foreign war a certainty. Her faithful advisor William Cecil warns her that she will survive only if she marries a strong prince to govern the rebellious country, but the one man Elizabeth desires is her childhood friend, the irresistible, ambitious Robert Dudley. Robert revels in the opportunities of the new reign. The son of an aristocratic family brought up in palaces as the equal of his royal playmates, Robert knows he can reclaim his destiny at Elizabeth's side. Elizabeth cannot resist his courtship, and as the young couple slowly falls in love, Robert starts to think the impossible: can he set aside his wife and marry the young queen? Philippa Gregory's The Virgin's Lover answers the question about an unsolved crime that has fascinated detectives and historians for centuries. Philippa Gregory uses documents and evidence from the Tudor era and, with almost magical insight into the desires of Robert Dudley and his lovers, paints a picture of a country on the brink of greatness, a young woman grasping at her power, a young man whose ambition is greater than his means, and the wife who cannot forgive them."

My first audio book ever is The Virgin's Lover by Philippa Gregory. I have had the text version for several years but could not bring myself to pick up another story on Elizabeth that had a potential of being a let-down. Since I know the political upheaval that occurred during the transition of Queen Mary to the reign of Queen Elizabeth, I figured the test of my attention span to the audio version would be best served on this kind of average fiction.

The narrator was superb in this story. He enunciates well and with a British accent that was not too thick but just enough to make listening to his voice pleasurable. But I did find it difficult to concentrate on the audio, with my hands and eyes having nothing to do I had to force myself to concentrate on using my ears only. Which is difficult for this mind wanderer. I did enjoy hearing how some of favorite places were pronounced, as a sheltered American I have been butchering many British names and places in my mind. Oops.

As far as the actual story goes, there is not much to be said that is not expected. Amy Dudley, Robert Dudley, and Elizabeth are at the foremost of the story as their little weird love triangle evolved, with William Cecil looking on. The characterization of the "lovers" makes you shudder (fluttering eyelids, etc.), and the intensity of the love between Dudley and Elizabeth is bordering on absurd. Which is the reason I didn't want to read the book before. But this is coming from someone who has read many, many Tudor themed books before, and perhaps for a newbie to the era who has not come to admire Elizabeth I as much as I do would not be so turned off from Gregory's telling. It was Gregory, after all, who pulled me into the Tudor courts of intrigue and sexual exploits with her rendition of The Other Boleyn Girl in the first place. If I had read The Virgin's Lover after Gregory's The Boleyn Inheritance a few years ago, I may have had a much better chance of enjoying this one.

The supporting characters being Amy Robsart Dudley (who died from a questionable fall down the stairs) and William Cecil make the story less bawdy. Portraying Elizabeth as acting a lovesick teenager is not exactly the image I wish to explore of the monarch, but I am glad to finally cross this one off of my tbr list. Of Gregory's novels, I disliked The Other Queen which featured Elizabeth I as well, so perhaps I should stay away from those stories that embellish and try to tarnish the virginal image that I admire of Elizabeth. I did enjoy Gregory's last two novels in The Cousins' war series, and The Queen's Fool was very well done as well, so I am not one of those readers who despises the author.

The positive to this story was seeing how Robert Dudley was viewed, and disliked, in Elizabeth's courts. Here he is portrayed as an upstart, or usurper, with eyes for the crown of England for himself. Whereas in previous reads, Dudley had intrigued me, here he disgusted me. He treats his wife Amy shabbily, and I could not help but pity the woman he ignored. If she left a diary, I would love to read it. After Amy is gone, Robert thinks his path should be clear to Elizabeth's side as a King, but Cecil made sure that would not happen. I would have preferred a bit more insight or something more dramatic for the ending, as it all just seemed a bit unfinished overall and I wasn't expecting the story to end where it did. Yet, viewing this as a simple story of Robert Dudley and his relationship with Elizabeth, it could be seen as a fair assessment of a specific political slice of a much larger picture during Elizabeth's reign. The author also raised my curiosity regarding the mysterious death of Dudley's wife and her theory bears credence. Those who revere Elizabeth should stay away from this weak portrayal of her, though. William Cecil, on the other hand, was the best part of the story. He was shrewd, calculating and a force to be reckoned with.

Oct 18, 2010

Book Review: Dark Road to Darjeeling (Book 4 in Lady Julia Grey series) by Deanna Raybourn



Dark Road to Darjeeling (Book 4 in Lady Julia Grey series) by Deanna Raybourn
Paperback, 400 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Mira (first published September 17th 2010)
ISBN0778328201 (ISBN13: 9780778328209)
http://www.deannaraybourn.com/dark_road_.
series Lady Julia #4

After eight idyllic months in the Mediterranean, Lady Julia Grey and her detective husband are ready to put their investigative talents to work once more. At the urging of Julia’s eccentric family, they hurry to India to aid an old friend, the newly-widowed Jane Cavendish. Living on the Cavendish tea plantation with the remnants of her husband’s family, Jane is consumed with the impending birth of her child—and with discovering the truth about her husband’s death. Was he murdered for his estate? And if he was, could Jane and her unborn child be next?
Amid the lush foothills of the Himalayas, dark deeds are buried and malicious thoughts flourish. The Brisbanes uncover secrets and scandal, illicit affairs and twisted legacies. In this remote and exotic place, exploration is perilous and discovery, deadly. The danger is palpable and, if they are not careful, Julia and Nicholas will not live to celebrate their first anniversary.

This newest release in the Lady Julia Grey mystery series was released in October 1, 2010 by MIRA and helped to introduce Deanna Raybourn to book reviewers through MIRA's marketing efforts. I am one of those new fans of Deanna Raybourn, and I have reviewed book one and book two in the series here at The Burton Review.

Dark Road to Darjeeling begins with Julia traipsing through India at the behest of two of her siblings, Portia and Plum. Her new husband, Nicholas Brisbane, and she are already at odds with each other. The stories leading up to their relationship are found in the previous novels, and the charm of the duo would be immediately lost on a reader who started the series with this book. The book could be a stand alone novel though, but as with all series, it is best to start with the beginning for continuity's sake. Even though I read book one and two, I had to skip three and keep it on my wishlist and was forced to begin book four because there are dozens of folks ahead of me in the wishlist queue.

Book three, Silent on the Moor, had Brisbane and Julia marrying, which was a surprise to learn when starting book four, and I was sorry I missed it. Besides that, book four seemed to picked up where I had left off, which shows talented storytelling for a series. I was once again immersed in Lady Julia's world and I enjoyed this story very much as she explored the tea making estate where her friend Jane's husband had been killed. Freddie was bitten by a snake, but it should not have been life threatening, and he left behind Jane with his unborn child. If it was a boy, the inhabitants of the estate would be in an uproar. But could these family members have killed Freddie for the inheritance?

The story in book four did not seem as witty and full of mirth as book two (my favorite), but it was still charming, fun and worthwhile. The who-dun-it mystery itself unwrapped slowly and I enjoyed the characterization of the new characters and the eccentricities of those that appeared in the story. Even though Brisbane and Julia were married by this time, I appreciated the way the author showed the relationship as one that was still learning and developing, and the sparks still flew. Raybourn's first person writing for Julia made me feel like I was having a long conversation with a best friend and I thoroughly enjoyed myself in Julia's world. I am completely sold on this author, and I will be happy to spend money on her next books and the book three that I have missed.

Oct 12, 2010

Book Review: Silent in the Sanctuary (Book 2 in the Lady Julia Grey series) by Deanna Raybourn

Book two in the Lady Julia Grey Mysteries
Silent in the Sanctuary (Lady Julia Grey Series #2) by Deanna Raybourn
January 2008 MIRA Books
560 pages
ISBN: 978-7783-2492-8
This book was purchased by me
The Burton Review Rating:4.5 stars!

Fresh from a six-month sojourn in Italy, Lady Julia returns home to Sussex to find her father's estate crowded with family and friends— but dark deeds are afoot at the deconsecrated abbey, and a murderer roams the ancient cloisters. Much to her surprise, the one man she had hoped to forget—the enigmatic and compelling Nicholas Brisbane—is among her father's houseguests… and he is not alone. Not to be outdone, Julia shows him that two can play at flirtation and promptly introduces him to her devoted, younger, titled Italian count.

But the homecoming celebrations quickly take a ghastly turn when one of the guests is found brutally murdered in the chapel, and a member of Lady Julia's own family confesses to the crime. Certain of her cousin's innocence, Lady Julia resumes her unlikely and deliciously intriguing partnership with Nicholas Brisbane, setting out to unravel a tangle of deceit before the killer can strike again. When a sudden snowstorm blankets the abbey like a shroud, it falls to Lady Julia and Nicholas Brisbane to answer the shriek of murder most foul.
Deanna Raybourn is a new favorite author for me. After reading the first book in the Lady Julia Grey mystery series, I immediately started book two, Silent in the Sanctuary. I am a fan of mysteries, and of wit and charm and the good old fashioned type of romances. And Raybourn delivers that for me with her star character of Lady Julia Grey. Written with a clever slant on the sarcasm in first person, I really came to like and admire Julia. And if I enjoyed reading Julia's point of view, I also enjoyed the characteristics of Julia's family just as much. The author gives herself a wide berth with many aunts and siblings; ones who disappear in the night and another brother who flirts ferociously with a lady who is already betrothed.

Along with the eclectic family members, Lady Julia has several house guests at her father's estate, lovingly called the Abbey. The place was almost as much of a character in the novel in this book as the murder and the mysteries all occur at the Abbey during a "house party". I loved how the author blended in the Abbey's history and the monks who once lived there into the story. Clergyman Lucian Snow is found murdered, but could it really have been done by Julia's meek cousin Lucy? Once again, the sexy sleuth Brisbane from book one appears, and widowed Julia partners with him to solve the mystery. Can Julia separate business from pleasure, or will she let jealousy over Brisbane's recent engagement cloud her vision?

For book one to book two comparison, I found book two to be even better than the first. I felt a lot more in tune to Julia this time around, and I really enjoyed the entire story which encompassed several small themes and kept me intrigued throughout. This is a series that I do hope ends up with a long line of titles, because I am reading each one of them!

Since MIRA has issued book four in the series, Dark Road to Darjeeling this October, many readers are picking that up and reading Raybourn for the first time. I do like the new style of the cover for the new book, but I definitely think that the previous book covers from MIRA were more appropriate. I am so glad that MIRA's marketing efforts turned me on to this author, and even more glad that I have given myself the time to read book one (Silent in the Grave, click for my review) and two before jumping into the newest release. Book three is Silent on The Moor and I have that on my wishlist. Raybourn has also penned another mystery this year (The Dead Travel Fast), though it is unrelated to the Lady Julia Grey series. If you like mysteries along with an intriguing character list garnished with a dash of romance, you really need to pick up these Lady Julia Grey books. Stay tuned for the review of book four, Dark Road to Darjeeling!

Oct 11, 2010

Jeannie Lin's Butterfly Swords and Taming of Mei Lin Blog Tour


Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin
Publisher: Harlequin
Pub Date: 10/01/2010
ISBN: 9780373296149

During China’s infamous Tang Dynasty, a time awash with luxury yet littered with deadly intrigues and fallen royalty, betrayed Princess Ai Li flees before her wedding. Miles from home, with only her delicate butterfly swords for defense, she enlists the reluctant protection of a blue-eyed warrior....

Battle-scarred, embittered Ryam has always held his own life at cheap value. Ai Li’s innocent trust in him and honorable, stubborn nature make him desperate to protect her—which means not seducing the first woman he has ever truly wanted....

Please welcome the following guest post from the author of Butterfly Swords, Jeannie Lin:

Muses: Four Women of the Tang Dynasty

The Tang Dynasty has been a very powerful muse for me, inspiring my debut novel, Butterfly Swords, as well as an entire series and various short stories. What drew me most of all to the period was the remarkable women of the period.

In particular, this panel served as a source of inspiration:

Artist Bai Fa Tong Lao

The four characters at the top of the panels represent: writing (wen), beauty (li), outstanding (jie), and heroism (ying). The four women depicted held the highest ranks in the empire, the most powerful being Empress Wu Zetian who ruled as the only female Emperor of China.

These remarkable women captured my imagination and made me want to get inside their heads. What sort of strength and cleverness would it take for a woman to rise to power in a world dominated by men? I felt that this woman might seem very familiar to our modern day sensibilities. She would have the intelligence and drive of today’s doctors, lawyers, CEOs. She would have the grace and sharp wit of Queen Elizabeth. These women were supermodels as well as politicians.

I was inspired to dream up my own Tang Dynasty heroines. In Butterfly Swords, Ai Li is a princess in tumultuous times. Her father is a warlord who has taken the throne in the midst of civil unrest. Raised in a warrior family, she’s been trained to fight with swords, but that’s not the source of her strength. Her true power comes from her belief in family, loyalty, and honor.

As she embarks on a journey through the empire, she meets up with Ryam, a wayward swordsman fleeing from a Dark Age kingdom, and is forced to challenge and redefine the ideals she holds so dear. It’s an exploration through a foreign land, but with universal themes of love, honor, and acceptance that I hope will ring true.
~~
Jeannie Lin writes historical romantic adventures set in Tang Dynasty China. Her short story, The Taming of Mei Lin from Harlequin Historical Undone is available September 1. Her Golden Heart award-winning novel, Butterfly Swords, was released October 1 from Harlequin Historical and received 4-stars from Romantic Times Reviews—“The action never stops, the love story is strong and the historical backdrop is fascinating.”

Join the launch celebration at http://www.butterfly-swords.com/  for giveaways and special features. Visit Jeannie online at: http://www.jeannielin.com/

Also, please visit Meghan's book review of Butterfly Swords at Medieval Bookworm.

Oct 6, 2010

Book Review: Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn

Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn (book 1 of 4 in Lady Julia Grey series)
Mass Market Paperback, 511 pages
Published December 1st 2007 by Mira (first published 2006)
Purchased for my own enjoyment
The Burton Review Rating:Four and a Half Stars of Five


"Let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave."



These ominous words, slashed from the pages of a book of Psalms, are the last threat that the darling of London society, 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, Sir Edward 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 longstanding physical infirmity, Julia is outraged when Brisbane visits and suggests that Sir Edward has been murdered. It is a reaction she comes to regret when she discovers the damning paper for herself, and realizes the truth.


Determined to bring her husband's 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.

This is an amusing mystery genre story that is set in Victorian England. Lady Julia Grey is a very likable character who winds up with the mystery of her husband's death on her conscience, although the esteemed family doctor ruled Edward's death as a natural one. When Julia finds evidence to the contrary, she partners with Nicholas Brisbane to discover the murderer. The developments of their findings are not the only subject at hand, as Julia comes to grips with her new widowed state and the confused relationship with Brisbane; of which you are just waiting for it to turn romantic.

One of the best parts of the story was the nature of Lady Julia's own family and her servants. She is one of many siblings who are all a wonderfully eclectic group. We've got a lesbian in the family as well as an aunt who is affectionately called "The Ghoul". The Queen's raven was stolen and winds up at Lady Julia's house as winnings at a card game of the younger brother. Among several intriguing themes are the darkness of gypsies and the taint of prostitution which overshadow the case. I enjoyed that there was an unabashed style of wit throughout the story and that there was quite a blend of scandals in the story.

Raybourn's writing style quickly drew me into Lady Julia's world, and the fact that she is a native Texan could have blown me over with a feather. There was no trace of a southern attitude and I would have wagered the author had to have been a born and bred Englishwoman. I must say that the last half of the book moved quicker than the first and may have even been a bit predictable, but it was an enjoyment in entirety for me. I think readers who enjoy Georgette Heyer's Regency mysteries would also enjoy this Victorian mystery as they mirror the same tone and pace, though Raybourn's writing exudes more of a modern stance. Upon finishing this book I immediately set about to read book two in the Lady Julia Grey mystery series, Silent in the Sanctuary. Book three is Silent in the Moor, and book four, Dark Road to Darjeeling, is out October of 2010.

Oct 4, 2010

Giveaway and Guest Post by Laurel Corona: Penelope's Daughter

Please welcome to The Burton Review award-winning author Laurel Corona, who has crafted an exquisite retelling of the story of Homer’s The Odyssey in PENELOPE’S DAUGHTER (Berkley Trade Paperback Original; October 5, 2010; $15.00). This book has such a beautiful cover there was no way that I could resist getting this one, and I am so glad that I did. I recently read and reviewed the book on The Burton Review.

Penelope's Daughter; available October 5, 2010
Populated with characters both real and imaginary, the novel explores the dangerous world of Ithaca during the years of Odysseus’ absence from the point of view of Xanthe, Odysseus and Penelope’s daughter:

The royal court of Ithaca has been in upheaval for years without the leadership of Odysseus as king. Xanthe is barricaded in her own chambers to avoid the suitors, all willing to commit any act—including murder and kidnapping—to make her their bride and gain the throne. Xanthe turns to her loom to weave the adventures of her life, from her upbringing among servants and slaves, to the years spent in hiding with her mother’s cousin, Helen of Troy, to the passion of her sexual awakening in the arms of the man she loves.


When a stranger dressed as a beggar appears at the palace, Xanthe wonders who will be the one to decide her future—a suitor she loathes, a brother she cannot respect, or a father who doesn’t know she exists.

Read the full synopsis here at Laurel's site.
Purchase via Amazon or via IndieBound

Laurel Corona ©Olga Gunn Photography
Laurel Corona is a professor of humanities at San Diego City College and a longtime resident of Southern California. She is the author of The Four Seasons: A Novel of Vivaldi’s Venice, along with numerous works of nonfiction. Visit her online at http://www.laurelcorona.com/.

See the end of this post for the book giveaway details!


Helen and the Homer Sandwich by Laurel Corona:


Recently I watched a film version of the Odyssey, and I was struck by the assumption by the set designers that Homer’s Ithaca looked like Athens at the peak of its glory. Actually, if Odysseus and his men had set out for Athens instead of Troy, they might have had trouble finding it, for at the time the Iliad and Odyssey are set, Athens was still a small and unimportant backwater town. The wild and untamed Peloponnese, a large peninsula southwest of Athens, was where the action was, and where most of the famous city-states of the time were located--Mycenae, Sparta, Pylos, and the like. There, palaces were small abodes, made of rough stone and logs, with packed dirt floors and minimal niceties.

Even hundred of years later, Homer would not have known much about Athens, for the Iliad and Odyssey were written long before the city’s glory days. The poet was sandwiched between the “Age of Heroes” (as the time ranging from Heracles through Achilles is often called) and the “Golden Age of Athens,” when that city ruled the seas and built the Parthenon.

The bottom piece of bread in this sandwich is the Mycenaean era, long before the time that characters like Odysseus and Helen of Troy would have lived. The first layer of filling in this sandwich is a period called the “Greek Dark Ages.” This is the time that the events of the Iliad and Odyssey would have occurred, but unfortunately no written records exist from that time.

Next, let’s put Homer’s era in our sandwich, for by then oral histories sung by the bards were being written down. The top piece of bread is the far more familiar classical world of gorgeous temples and a Mount Olympus with Zeus firmly in charge. This sandwich took most of a millennium to create, so it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that set designers who have Odysseus living in a palace with fluted marble pillars got it wrong.

Okay, let’s drop the analogy. A millennium-old sandwich doesn’t sound like a very tasty treat. But what this chronology reveals about changes in Greek culture is fascinating, if a bit depressing from a feminist perspective.

During the Mycenaean Era (long before the events described by Homer), goddesses were more powerful than gods. Zeus was seen as the husband of Hera, rather than the other way around. Though men might do flashier things, like rule and go to war, women had the most essential power of all--the ability to invoke the gods. As a result, women appear to have been respected and their powers revered in Mycenaean culture.

By the time we get to Classical Greece, things look very different. Zeus has become the chief god of Olympus, and Hera has been reduced to a bitchy and overbearing nag who causes trouble for her charming, if unfaithful husband. Though goddesses like Artemis and Athena are still important, they’re outnumbered and overpowered by the likes of Poseidon and Zeus. The same is true for the mortal women who lived in this era. Aristocratic women in Athens at the time of its greatest glory were essentially housebound, with few rights and opportunities for an independent life.

So how did this happen? How did we go from a culture respectful of, and in many ways centered on women, to the opposite? It happened in the dark (as so many things between men and women do!) but this time the darkness is the “Greek Dark Ages” that I referred to above. Somehow, in the centuries for which no written records exist, goddesses and women lost much of their power. Scholars theorize about this, but suffice it to say here that what came out the other side is the patriarchal society familiar to us today, rather than the female-centered pre-Greek one.

Presumably the stories the bards sang were recast many times to reflect the changing values of the listeners, so the way Helen and Penelope are presented in the Odyssey may have more to do with Homer’s society than the one in which these two women lived (if indeed they ever did). But let’s look at the two of them anyway, to see if this ongoing loss of female power is reflected in Homer’s work.

Homer stresses Penelope’s powerlessness. It is truly annoying how much of the time she spends weeping and wringing her hands in Homer’s version of the tale (not so in mine!) She is Homer’s perfect wife, waiting faithfully for her husband and not taking things into her own hands, except in the most acceptable way, through her weaving—the female task second in importance only to childbearing.

Helen, on the other hand, seems to be formed from Mycenaean clay. Her beauty gives her a matchless power among mortals. Her actions are larger than life. Even when she is back in Sparta after the Trojan War, ruling alongside Menelaus, she is still a dazzler. Homer tells us she has become a kind of sorcerer/magician, using drugs to alter people’s moods. Popular tradition holds that she became the chief priestess of the powerful cult of Artemis/Orthia, though Homer doesn’t mention this.

Helen is a woman Homer would not be comfortable with, so he writes her down to size. She uses her magic potions only at dinners where guests have grown morose—the perfect hostess. She speaks little except to lament what a terrible thing she did running off with Paris, and how helpless she was in Aphrodite’s grip. In the Odyssey, Helen is the emblem of women caught in the process of being reinterpreted and recast as subservient. Looking at it another way, though, Helen’s story is the collective female destiny in reverse. As time passes, she grows in power. Unfortunately what really happened to the women after Helen’s time will be the opposite.
~~
I really enjoyed reading this book, and I am honored to be able to host the book giveaway courtesy of the publisher.

To enter, please comment here telling us if you have read the author's previous novel, or if you have had read anything on Helen of Troy or those in that era. What did you think of them?

+2 for a Facebook or Blog Post, linking here
+1 for a Tweet linking here
+2 For commenting on my review

Good Luck!
Giveaway ends 10/16, open to USA and Canada.

Oct 3, 2010

Giveaway Winners

Happy Sunday! I wanted to mention that all the recent giveaways have come to a conclusion and here are the winners:

Dark Moon of Avalon goes to Carol Wong

Come Again No More goes to Moridin

The Mistaken Wife goes to Shannon

Bluebells of Scotland goes to Pricilla

Edith Pargeter Book Giveaway for the Brothers of Gwynedd Quarter which was a Newsletter Only giveaway goes to Terri

Emails have been sent, if I don't hear back in a reasonable time of a few days I will select a new winner.

One more giveaway starts tomorrow for Penelope's Daughter, and that is all for the rest of the year, unless I do a newsletter only giveaway!

My new fishie