New Releases in November

November is going to be a good month for reading, not so much for your wallet! Here are some new releases for November:

A historical fiction that presents the life and loves of Jacqueline of Hainaut, thrice married, thrice imprisoned and ransomed; the extraordinary 15th-century life of a woman who endured the power politics of the courts of England, Burgundy, and France.

Katherine of Valois, raised amidst the madness and lechery of the French court, wed to a conquering English king, alone and afraid in a world of treachery and violence. Owen Tudor, incredibly handsome and gifted, a poet and singer by nature, a warrior by necessity, and a man ready to risk life for love. Theirs was a passion too perilous to reveal—and too fiery to be long restrained or concealed. This is their story.

The King's grey mare was Elizabeth Woodville, Queen and wife of Edward IV. Beautiful beyond belief, with unique silver-grey hair, she had once known joy of a marriage based on love—only to see it snatched away on the battlefield. Hardened and changed by grief, Elizabeth became the tool of her evil ambitious mother—the witch, Jaquetta of Bedford—who was determined that her daughter should sit on the throne of England. By trickery, deception, and witchcraft, Jaquetta's wish was fulfilled. But even a witch could not have known the tragedy which lay in store for the King's grey mare.

It is April 1551. While the family of Lord Henry Grey are visiting their Devon estate, the Grey sisters are saved from drowning by a local medical apprentice, Richard Stocker. Little does Richard know that this single act will plunge him into a tide of religious and social upheaval that will change not only his own life but the course of British history. In gratitude for saving his daughters, Lord Henry agrees to employ Richard in his household. Lady Katherine has already fallen for her father’s handsome new employee, while Richard is in thrall to the intellect of her troubled but brilliant sister, Lady Jane, with whom he forms a close friendship. Following King Edward’s death, the teenaged Lady Jane is proclaimed Queen. Soon, however, she is deposed and put to the axe. The woman Richard has grown to love as a friend, confidante, and adviser is dead. Bereft, he abandons the intrigues and deceptions of court life, resolving to resume his medical apprenticeship. In the Shadow of Lady Jane is at once a gripping political thriller and a compelling love story.

This day in history for October 27

Catherine of Valois

On this day in history....Catherine of Valois was born in Paris to her father, King Charles VI of France and her mother, Isabella of Bavaria.

Catherine wed Henry V in 1420 and was crowned as Queen of England in 1421. Sadly Henry V died in 1422 never meeting his son, Henry VI.

The marriage of King Henry V & Catherine of Valois

Catherine wed again, this time secretly, to Owen ap Maredudd ap Tudur of Wales in the early 1430's. Together they had 4 children with only three living to adulthood - Edmund, Jasper, and Owen. Owen became a monk, Jasper married Katherine Woodville and was father to Richard Woodville (1st Earl Rivers) and Edmund married Lady Margaret Beaufort and fathered King Henry VII.

King Henry VII

Catherine died after childbirth on January 3, 1427 and is interred at Westminster Abbey.

I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream...for a free book!!

I am so excited to announce Passages' first ever giveaway!  Yippee!  The book I have chosen is from the godmother of Historical Fiction, Jean Plaidy.  To Hold the Crown was re-released by Three Rivers Press on October 7, 2008.  It is the story of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York.

From exile and war to love and loss—every dynasty has a beginning.
Henry Tudor was not born to the throne of England. Having come of age in a time of political turmoil and danger, the man who would become Henry VII spent fourteen years in exile in Brittany before returning triumphantly to the Dorset coast with a small army and decisively winning the Battle of Bosworth Field—ending the War of the Roses once and for all and launching the infamous Tudor dynasty.

As Henry’s claim to the throne was tenuous, his marriage to Elizabeth of York, daughter and direct heir of King Edward IV, not only served to unify the warring houses, it also helped Henry secure the throne for himself and for generations to come. And though their union was born from political necessity, it became a wonderful love story that led to seven children and twenty happy years together.
Sweeping and dramatic, To Hold the Crown brings readers inside the genesis of the great Tudor empire: through Henry and Elizabeth’s troubled ascensions to the throne, their marriage and rule, the heartbreak caused by the death of their son Arthur, and, ultimately, to the crowning of their younger son, King Henry VIII.
Here's the 411:  since this is the first I'm going to make it easy also!  All you need to do is post a comment telling me to enter your name.  The deadline will be in one week, on Friday, October 31st at 12:00pm (EST). International entries are also welcome! 
Thank you for entering and good luck!!

Coming to a bookstore near you!

I have added more new releases to the "Coming to a bookstore near you" feature on the lower right hand side on my blog. Please check them out - we have some good ones to look forward to!

Tuesday Thingers

Today's question: Series. Do you collect any series? Do you read series books? Fantasy? Mystery? Science fiction? Religious? Other genre? Do you use the series feature in LT to help you find new books or figure out what you might be missing from a series?
Great question.  I love, love, love series!   I am all about historical fiction so that constitutes a good majority if the series I have read and are currently reading.  I have read series in other genres, such as Harry Potter, the Wicked Years series by Gregory Maguire and the Sleeping Beauty series by Anne Rice. 

My favorite historical fiction series are the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, the Cheney Sisters series by Susan Carroll, Welsh trilogy by Sharon Kay Penman, French Revolution series and the Catherine Medici series by Jean Plaidy.  I have not read, but am slowly but surely collecting the Master of Rome series by Colleen McCullough and the two series by Dorothy Dunnett, The House of Niccolo and the Lymond Chronicles.

I've never used the series function with LT, I usually use Amazon to search for new books, but I think I'll have to give it a shot!

This day in history for October 16

I would like to start a new feature on my blog and you better like it! No, just kidding, but I do hope you like it since you're all fanatical about history like I am!

On this day in history in 1973 Marie Antoinette was beheaded during the French Revolution.

Antoinette's so-called trial was held on October 14 although the verdict had long been decided upon by the Committee of Public Safety. The guilty verdict was handed down on the morning of October 16th and she was executed by12:15 pm that same day - just two weeks before her 38th birthday. She was buried in a unmarked grave, but her remains were later moved to St. Denis Basilica.
Marie Antoinette circa 1793 (Alexander Kucharsky)
Marie Antoinette's execution (kinda creepy huh?)
Marie Antoinette's tomb at St. Denis Basilica
Marie Antoinette in happier times as the new Queen of France (1775)

A Place Beyond Courage by Elizabeth Chadwick is released today!

Our own fabulous Elizabeth Chadwick is releasing A Place Beyond Courage today in the UK.

Synopsis: The early twelfth century is a time for ambitious men to prosper, and royal servant John FitzGilbert Marshal is one of them. Raised high as the kin of the deceased King Henry battle each other for England's throne, John reaps rich rewards but pays a terrible price for the choices he makes - as do his family. His wife, fragile, naive Aline is hopelessly unequipped to cope with the demands of a life lived on the edge and, when John is seriously injured in battle, her worst nightmare is realised. Sybilla, bright, forthright sister to the Earl of Salisbury, finds herself used as a bargaining counter when her brother seeks to seal a truce with his troublesome neighbour, John FitzGilbert. And then there is Sybilla's small son, William, seized hostage by the King for John's word of honour. But sometimes keeping your honour means breaking your word...

I just tried to order it on Amazon UK, but it's already out of stock! Crazy!

Have you read....

...Company of Liars by Karen Maitland?
This is her first historical fiction novel and I'm thinking it looks like a great read. Have you read this yet or heard anything about it? It was released on September 30th and it's getting good reviews on Amazon.

She also has a website if you want to check it out.

Here is the synopsis:

In this extraordinary novel, Karen Maitland delivers a dazzling reinterpretation of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales—an ingenious alchemy of history, mystery, and powerful human drama.

The year is 1348. The Black Plague grips the country. In a world ruled by faith and fear, nine desperate strangers, brought together by chance, attempt to outrun the certain death that is running inexorably toward them.

Each member of this motley company has a story to tell. From Camelot, the relic-seller who will become the group’s leader, to Cygnus, the one-armed storyteller . . . from the strange, silent child called Narigorm to a painter and his pregnant wife, each has a secret. None is what they seem. And one among them conceals the darkest secret of all—propelling these liars to a destiny they never saw coming.

New Neil Gaiman!

CNN has posted an article about Neil Gaiman's new novel The Graveyard Book that was released September 30th.  Gaiman is the awesome author of Stardust, American Gods and Fragile Things.

It is about a toddler boy that runs away after an assassin kills his parents and older sister, he then happens upon a cemetery and is adopted by ghosts.  Sounds like a great plot to's going to be an interesting read to say the least!

Click here for full article.

Library Beat Down

On the first Saturday of every month my local library holds their Book Sale. It starts at 10:00am, but I will bet money that the elderly ladies sleep outside the night before! I always get there right at 10:00 and there is a thousand people with 10 parking spaces! Looking for books is supposed to be fun right? Wrong! There is so much elbowing and profanity and that's just what I contribute! And on top of that some people bring their dogs! Don't get me wrong - I love dogs! But there is a time and place for them and the library at 10:00am on the first Saturday of every month and in my way is NOT the place!

In between the elbowing and shoving I did manage to find some great books!

The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir
Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund
Peter the Great by Robert K. Massie
The Last Elizbethan: A Portrait of Sir Walter Ralegh (1972)
The Medieval West by David Nicholas (can't find info on this one!)

All of these plus three more for my daughter for a whopping $4! That is definitely worth the drama!

Your Jeopardy questions...answered!

Happy Monday everyone - I hope you all had a great weekend!

I know you've all been waiting with baited breath so here are the answers to the Jeopardy questions I posted last week:

Will Somers held this post for Tudor court for many years; his job was to lift the spirits of the King.
Court Jester or Fool

During her "bloody" reign, she had more than 300 protestants and heretics burned at the stake. (I'm thinking it was probably more than 300)

"Bloody" Mary Tudor

When the Countess of Salisbury was executed here for treason, the executioner needs 11 chops.

Tower of London
Dona Elvira was the governess of this woman who married 2 Tudor princes, Arthur and Henry.

Catherine of Aragon

Barnaby Fitzpatrick was the whipping boy and close friend of this Tudor crown prince and future King.

Edward VI

Bonus Question: what TV show did this line come from: "I'm sure we'll all feel comfortable within the confines of the honor system?!"

So, how did you do?

Jeopardy anyone?

So, I'm watching Jeopardy the other night and up comes the category with the word Tudor in it and instantly get excited because this is one category that I can kill at!

I did pretty good and got all of them correct with the exeption of the last question - the contestants didn't do well at all though!  At least I stumped them for once!

I thought I would post the trivia questions and see what you people are made of!  If you want to participate just enter your answers in the comments section.  I will post the answers Monday morning (sorry you can't get me near a computer on the weekends).  No cheating...I'm sure we'll all feel comfortable within the confines of the honor system?!
  1. Will Somers held this post for Tudor court for many years; his job was to lift the spirits of the King.
  2. During her "bloody" reign,  she had more than 300 protestants and heretics burned at the stake.  (I'm thinking it was probably more than 300)
  3. When the Countess of Salisbury was executed here for treason, the executioner needs 11 chops.
  4. Dona Elvira was the governess of this woman who married 2 Tudor princes, Arthur and Henry.
  5. Barnaby Fitzpatrick was the whipping boy and close friend of this Tudor crown prince and future King.
Bonus Question:  what TV show did this line come from:   "I'm sure we'll all feel comfortable within the confines of the honor system?!"

I just got tagged!!! Ooohh baby!

Some crazy lady over at A Reader's Respite just tagged me and I'm afraid of what will happen if I don't obey! Heehee!

So, here's how it's gonna go down:
  • Link to the person who tagged you (done, but enter at your own risk)
  • Post the rules on my blog (easy)
  • Write six random/unspectacular quirks about yourself (okey dokey)
  • Tag 6 people at the end of your post (suckers!)
  • Link to those people (yep)
  • Let the taggee know they've been tagged in their comments (ok)
  • Let the tagger know when your entry is posted (Yo Michele!)
Here are the six quirky things about me (please don't laugh at how boring I am):
  1. I can't let any food touch each other on my plate and I eat each item one by one.
  2. I'm a Law and Order junkie because no matter what time of day or where you are there is always an episode on.
  3. I talk to the chipmunks that hang outside my window at work. They're so cute and surprisingly really great listeners.
  4. I drink Dr. Pepper like it's going out of style. I'm a Pepper!
  5. I like to buy scrapbooking supplies....but never get around to using them. Reading has ruined me for any other hobby.
  6. We have a small zoo at my house. I own a dog, 3 cats, a bunny, a gerbil and a domesticated rat. I say domesticated like that makes a difference to anyone who is freaked out that I own a rat! Seriously, they are great pets and as smart or smarter than dogs!
In the words of the Beastie Boys: "That's it, that's all, that's all there is!" Now to find 6 more schmucks people to tag! Watch out!

I am tagging: Lezlie at Books 'N Border Collies, the Literate Housewife, Medieval Bookworm, Marg at Reading Adventures, Miss Holly's Library (where ya been?) and last, but certainly not least, C.W. Gortner at Historical Boys (he's a busy author, but thought if he could partake it would be really interesting to hear some quirky things about a man!)
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