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Hello bloggy friends. What a long week with daughter off at camp and me and the five year old toughing it out without her, with the husband working a crazy shift so he could be home when the kiddo gets home. And then the dreaded phone call from the school nurse that kiddo has a fever. And now Mommy feels like she's been run over with a truck and then repeat. Sometimes it is really hard work being a mommy, wife and someone who is also expected to be at the office for forty hours a week. Not to mention laundry, what a dirty word that is.
So, I'm feeling low and wishing for Spring. I like Texas for its fair weather, I do not like snow! We had SNOW and I had to drive in it! EEK! I don't know, maybe Al Gore had something right when he was warning us to watch out for that Global Warming thing, and we all said "hmmph.. Al Gore.. snort.." Le sigh.
Some pre-spring cleaning was in order for my personal collection of many, many books.. so I forced myself to condense and combine my Jean Plaidy/Philippa Carr/Victoria Holt Collection and put them all in one smaller spot since I NEED more room. Did some reshelving and created a bit more organization to allow for more collecting of the inspirational historicals that I've obtained over the past year, and also was able to move some other double stacked shelves around so I can see the random books better. Picked out some books that are ARCs that I'll give away, and six others that I am willing to put on Paperbackswap. I just hate running giveaways though, I just don't get as much traffic as I would like so it irks me when I am standing on line for thirty minutes at the post office to mail the books out and I didn't even get a great response. Vent over.
In my reading world, I finished up my second Elizabeth Chadwick book of 2013, which is the story of the FitzWarins and their generations long battle with King John for their castle. Lords of the White Castle review will post this week, and I had posted the review to Shadows and Strongholds last week. I LOVED Shadows, and I think that I was on medieval FitzWarin overload by the time I got to the middle of the Lords book. And that was a very long book. So I've got 1634 pages in for 2013 thus far with three novels finished.
Next up came The Forgotten Queen by D.L. Bogdan, to be released shortly.
From her earliest days, Margaret Tudor knows she will not have the luxury of choosing a husband. Her duty is to gain alliances for England. Barely out of girlhood, Margaret is married by proxy to James IV and travels to Edinburgh to become Queen of Scotland.
Despite her doubts, Margaret falls under the spell of her adopted home. But while Jamie is an affectionate husband, he is not a faithful one. And nothing can guarantee Margaret’s safety when Jamie leads an army against her own brother, Henry VIII. In the wake of loss she falls prey to an ambitious earl and brings Scotland to the brink of anarchy. Beset by betrayal and secret alliances, Margaret has one aim—to preserve the crown of Scotland for her son, no matter what the cost…
I have read many Tudor novels, but none that focused on Henry VIII's elder sister Margaret who was sent off to Scotland to marry their King. I knew of how Catherine of Aragon wanted to bring the body of that same King home when her troops killed him, and now we get to see Margaret's point of view as a widow and mother to the future young king. Somehow the book is channeling Mary Queen of Scots for me though.. their behavior is very similar.
Coming up next would probably be Safe In His Arms by Colleen Coble, as that is a review book that I've been neglecting in favor of the medieval world. There are so many books in my personal collection that I would like to get to also, but there's just not enough time in the day. I realized that I still have five of Philippa Gregory's romance novels that I haven't read yet, and I'm itching to read The Secret Keeper by Morton or The Cove by Ron Rash...and when things settle down I need to see if I can finally sink my teeth into a Dorothy Dunnett book.
Also on my Currently Reading pile is the Holy Bible, and I have just finished the Book of Job this weekend. I was supposed to reading that when the itch to organize the books came, and then it was time to start dinner.. and then the FIRST DALLAS STARS GAME to be watched on Saturday night.. FINALLY Hockey is back! GO STARS! And then church, laundry, tend the sick kid... (please say some prayers for him; this is the first time in his five years that he has had a fever for three days straight so far). And so I worry worry worry.
It was a slow Mail Week, but I did snag some Kindle deals:
The Widow Makers: Strife by Jean Mead
The story is set in the quarrylands of North Wales amidst the Snowdonia Mountains, ancient castles, opulent Penrhyn Castle, grand mansions and the straggling cottages of a mountain community in the 19th century. A blend of fact and fiction, it traces the lives of two very different families.
Following a pit disaster in Manchester, Joe Standish takes his wife Emily and tiny son Tommy to live in North Wales where he settles to the hard and dangerous existence as a quarryman. Home life for Emily and Joe is happy but for the small problem of Tommy's increasing wilfulness. As the boy grows, his cleverness comes to the fore and he catches the attention of the quarry owner, Bertram Bellamy, who offers to educate the boy with his own son.
Growing into manhood, Tommy's life changes drastically, split between his working class family living in a simple cottage and the immensely rich benefactor in the grand mansion, Plas Mawr.
Unaware of the destructive force hidden behind Tommy's charm and charisma, Bertram Bellamy accepts and encourages him and the destiny and the destruction of the Bellamy family is shaped.
The Hammock: (A novel based on the true story of French painter James Tissot) by Lucy Paquette
The story of ten remarkable years in the life of James Tissot (1836 – 1902), who rebuilt – and then lost – his reputation in London.
By 1870, at age 34, he had become a multi-millionaire celebrity with an opulent new Parisian villa and studio among aristocratic neighbors near the Arc de Triomphe. Handsome and charming, his friends included the painters James McNeill Whistler, Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Lawrence Alma-Tadema and John Everett Millais. When the Prussians attacked Paris that year, Tissot became a sharpshooter in the artists’ brigade defending the besieged capital. After a bloody Communist rebellion, fought virtually at the doorstep of his mansion, he fled to London.
Amid suspicions that he was a Communist, he quickly rebuilt his brilliant career among the Industrial Age’s nouveaux riches. In 1876, Tissot took a young Irish divorcée as his mistress and muse. He referred to her only as “La Mystérieuse” and withdrew from Society to paint her in his garden paradise in the suburbs. Within three years, his pictures had pushed the boundaries of Victorian morality, and the British art establishment turned against him. In a debacle of friendship, fame and loss, his artistic heyday of painting a decade of glamour and leisure in London came to an end. Celebrated during his lifetime, Tissot has been nearly forgotten by all but art historians.
THE HAMMOCK is a psychological portrait, exploring the forces that unwound the career of this complex man. Based on contemporary sources, the novel brings Tissot’s world alive in a story of war, art, Society glamour, love, scandal, and tragedy.
Illustrated with 17 stunning, high-resolution fine art images in full color, courtesy of The Bridgeman Art Library. QED seal for quality in e-book design.
The 13th Resolution by Charles Sheldon (a classic)
Sheldon's classic story is now available again in this digital-first edition, retelling the story of James Blaisdell and his family, as they live out their faith and life in Kansas.
Exclusively Yours (The Kowalskis) by Shannon Stacey (a contemporary romance)
When Keri Daniels' editor finds out she has previous carnal knowledge of reclusive bestselling author Joe Kowalski, she gives Keri a choice: get an interview or get a new job.
Joe's never forgotten the first girl to break his heart, so he's intrigued to hear Keri's back in town--and looking for him. Despite his intense need for privacy, he'll grant Keri an interview if it means a chance to finish what they started in high school.
Treasure of Saint-Lazare by John Pearce (Historical Mystery)
INTRIGUE, ROMANCE AND DEATH IN PARIS
An old lover brings a cryptic letter to Paris, pulling Eddie Grant reluctantly into a treacherous web of intrigue and death -- but giving him a slim chance to find the terrorists who murdered his family seven years before.
It launches him on a dangerous quest through Paris and the Loire Valley for the most valuable piece of Nazi loot that remains missing, a famous Raphael self-portrait from the early 16th century, along with the crates of Nazi bullion that accompanied it -- all intended to finance the Fourth Reich.
Jen Wetzmuller, daughter of his father's World War II colleague in Army Intelligence, arrives in Paris, bearing a letter she found after he father was run down by a car on the streets of Sarasota. Its clues take Eddie from his Paris home to Florida, where he works to solve the mystery, barely escaping with his life. Then it's back home to burrow into the darkest reaches of the German occupation in search of the treasure. Along the way he and Jen restart the brief, fiercely passionate affair that he abandoned, to his regret, 20 years before Sarasota.
Most of all, Treasure of Saint-Lazare is a novel about Paris.
All Due Respect by Vicki Hinze (Romantic Suspense)
Dr. Julia Warner-Hyde must do the unthinkable: return to a life she thought she left forever --- the covert world of Air Force missile technology. Not long ago, she fled in terror, stalked by an abusive husband, beginning a new life as a teacher in the Florida panhandle. But her safe, quiet life is shattered the day her former partner, Dr. Seth Holt, appears, asking for help.
The Rogue missile system Julia and Seth designed has fallen into terrorist hands. Julia has no choice but to join Seth in a critical race to prevent the ultimate nightmare. And in doing so, she must revisit her own private hell --- one that won't let her go until she faces it head-on. Now, Julia and Seth, fellow warriors who've seen the worst life has to offer, must breach the highest security risk of all: trust ... and love.
Lady Crenshaw's Christmas (Miss Delacourt) by Heidi Ashworth (A short story)
Ginny and her beloved Anthony, Lord Crenshaw, are finally married and have spent the bulk of their first blissful six months of marriage in the country. However, Ginny must now hostess a Christmas ball at Dunsmere, the estate of the dowager Duchess of Marcross. How is a mere vicar's daughter to carry off such an event with no experience and little exposure to the ways of the ton? And how is she to meet the expectations of her Grandaunt Regina, earn the good graces of Anthony's uncle the Duke of Marcross, endure the spite of the duke's new wife, manage the hysterical escapades of Lucinda, Lady Avery, and find the perfect gift for her husband, all while expecting a babe? All these questions and more are answered in Lady Crenshaw's Christmas, a short story follow-up to two full length novels, Miss Delacourt Speaks Her Mind and Miss Delacourt Has Her Day available via Montlake Romance.
And since if was a slow mail week, I ordered no less than 13 books from ChristianBook.com, so that situation shall be remedied shortly and you'll see that haul soon! (Another reason I had to reorganize the library!) Christianbooks.com is having a fabulous fiction sale, and I have ordered from them a few times. I highly recommend their services, very fast and great value along with great products. I got a fabulous Latte mug from them also that is big enough to brew the travel size Keurig setting! Coffee Heaven! And now I'm on their mailing list so I am looking at their Early Spring 2013 Fiction catalog right now.. oh, so many fabulous new books coming out.. swoon...