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Dec 13, 2009

The Sunday Salon~ December Rush

The Sunday

(*Newsletter subscribers get this in their mailbox every Saturday (an early version sometimes un-edited), with access to exclusive newsletter only giveaways. This is the only mail that you will receive from me if you sign up for my newsletter, & it winds up in your spam folder. Sign up for my newsletter by looking below my Follower gadget in the left sidebar.)

Happy weekend to everyone!! I hope you are staying warm all tucked in with your favorite books! Isn't that a fantastic feeling? Coffee/Tea, a good book, and a fuzzy blanket: an earthly heaven! It is getting mighty close to Christmas, so I hope you are getting close to completing your gift shopping etc. I have a few loose ends to tie up but I am primarily done. And that is fantastic. Happy Hanukkah to all of my Jewish readers out there!! I know there are some of you out there, and I am sending you a hug this season!

I hope that it is a wonderful holiday season for everyone, and that we remember to enjoy the little things, and not worry so much about things that you can't control. That's my goal, anyway. I have to remember that myself, when my life at the office starts to get panicky. From October to March it is much more stressful then the other months and I get overwhelmed. Like Friday. At my old job, I used to have a few plaques in the office.. one said "BREATHE"; the other said "EXHALE." Which was a needed reminder during the retail Christmas season back in those retail days of hell.

I have most of Christmas cards in the mail to my friends and family, and they feature a family photo which was hell and high water to accomplish with the toddler. I ordered the cards from Snapfish and I was not happy with the quality, but what can you do. A sampling of the photos we took trying to create the perfect family photo (utterly impossible with a toddler):

(a video here)

Okay onwards to books. And Book Giveaways!! In my last newsletter I had an Exclusive Newsletter-Only Two book giveaway for two Highland Romances.. and the winner was Jenny Girl of Jenny Loves to Read! She already has the books on the way to her, and I hope she enjoys them. On the blog, the Two Book Giveaway for Her Mother's Daughter by Julianne Lee and the the winners are:

The Book Pixie and The True Book Addict.. Congratulations!! If they have already found this book elsewhere, I will use the next shown in the list. Likewise if they fail to respond to my email by Tuesday A.M. This is a fabulous novel focused on the life of Queen Mary Tudor, and one that I recommend highly.

So what's next in The Burton Review Giveaway Land? Hmmm...if you are a newsletter subscriber you will see important information in red right here when it is is delivered to your mailbox. (Don't forget to check your Spam folders!) If you are not, well you need to see the Newsletter gadget underneath the followers gadget to sign up. But if you are not interested in The Lute Player, don't worry. Arleigh from historical-fiction just posted up a little something on Norah Lofts (probably the same time I was writing mine!) so go check that out also.

The Lute Player by Norah Lofts has been reissued by Simon & Schuster! It is available now at your favorite booksellers, and you may be lucky enough to find an older version at a cheap price. It was originally issued in 1951.

The Description:

"Beloved author Norah Lofts brings to life the romance and adventure of the crusading king Richard the Lionhearted through the eyes of his most humble and trusted companion -- his lute player.
One of the most renowned figures in medieval history, Richard the Lionhearted, inspired by a vision of the Holy Land, led his knights onto the battlefields of the Third Crusade. During the years of fighting and intrigue, Richard's life was intertwined with the lives of two strong, vibrant, and drastically different women who loved him -- Berengaria, princess of Navarre, and his mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine. While his marriage to Berengaria was ill-fated, Eleanor loved her son with a frantic, possessive pride. But it is Blondel, the king's lute player, who here steps forward from the shadows to tell this tale of romance, war, and betrayal.
In her trademark style, Norah Lofts paints a complex and human portrait of a legendary king."

Eleanor of Aquitaine is going to have a banner year in 2010! There are going to be some fantastic books, (some that I hope to review here for my readers) coming out in 2010!

They include of course The Lute Player by Norah Lofts, and:

Queens Consort: England's Medieval Queens from Eleanor of Aquitaine to Elizabeth of York by Lisa Hilton
Eleanor, the Secret Queen: The Woman Who Put Richard III on the Throne by John Ashdown-Hill (paperback comes out in 2010, now available in hardcover)


Eleanor the Queen: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine by Norah Lofts
The Captive Queen by Alison Weir
The Queen's Pawn by Christy English
Eleanor the Queen by Cecelia Holland

Have you read some good books concerning Eleanor of Aquitaine? I have read Sharon Kay Penman's trilogy When Christ and His Saints Slept, Time and Chance, and Devil's Brood. I loved them all. I also read Pamela Kaufman's The Book of Eleanor: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine which I found very engaging. It was a wonderful introduction for me to Eleanor, although a very fictional account it was. I know Jean Plaidy has written some with Eleanor featured, such as The Courts of Love.

What have you read on Eleanor of Aquitaine? Do you like her as a strong-willed woman, or do you think she was going too far in her love for her son Richard, and seemingly choosing her sons over her husband?

This week, I reviewed Alison Weir's newest non-fiction work, The Lady in The Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn, which was a winner. I started Georgette Heyer's Devil's Cub, and I have been enjoying that read during this trying week. Review will be up Monday, it was another fun HeyerTastic Read. And I received from an Ebay lot 28 old old OLD Georgette Heyer books, and I am ecstatic. If only I could get some time to sit down and read!! I also need to air them out, and they were an easy Christmas present to send the duplicates to Lizzy =) I have lots on my plate for 2010, with all of the new historical fiction novels coming out that I really want to read, along with the Historical Fiction Bloggers Round Table Events..woohoo Lots of fun stuff coming in 2010.. but that means less time for my personal reading pleasure which is the downfall of the review blog hobby.

I just posted my I suck at challenges Post, so you can see what I did this year as far as that goes. And because I am a masochist I signed up for another..

My official Blogoversary is in 17 days! Which is why I am doing the newsletter-only book giveaways. I am also going to give away my ARC of My Unfair Lady by Kathryne Kennedy, and my ARC of The Wildest Heart by Rosemary Rogers. So stay tuned for those in the future. Right now, the book being given away is The Lute Player by Norah Lofts (for the newsletter subscribers).

Okay, I am off to reading! See you on the blogosphere, and if I don't, I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!!