2009...the year of great books and diminishing bank accounts

US Release Date: April 21, 2009

From the author of Darcy's Story comes a novel of romance, family tragedy, and intrigue in a volatile England at the end of the Napoleonic Wars.

Julia Maitland had an idyllic childhood with her brother and younger sisters on her family's estate in rural Derbyshire. Upon reaching marriageable age, she looked forward to everything that her new status could bring: the excitements of her first “season” in society, a choice of handsome suitors, and—hopefully—a blissful future with a man she cherishes.

But Julia's p
rospects take a disastrous turn with the sudden and unbearably tragic death of her soldier brother in the war against Napoleon and the loss of her father's investments. Within the span of a few weeks, she finds herself in London, then fashionable Bath, and ultimately chasing smugglers through the countryside in coastal Dorset. Yet through all the drama and turmoil she keeps alive her hopes for happiness and a love passionate, powerful, and true.

US Release Date: March 24, 2009

In Gunning's latest colonial page-turner, seven-year-old Alice Cole travels with her family from 1756 London to the New World, dreaming of a big house in Philadelphia and a new life. Her mother and brothers die on board and are buried at sea; the ship docks in Boston rather than Philadelphia; there, her father indentures her for 11 years without a backward glance. Alice does housework for the family of Simeon Morton of Dedham, in whose house she is treated almost like a second daughter, becoming constant companion to 10-year-old Abigail, or Nabby.

When Nabby marries Emery Verley of Medfield, Alice's indenture is signed over to him, but the Verley household turns out to be an abusive one. Alice flees and winds up on Satucket, Cape Cod, where Lyddie Berry, heroine of Gunning's The Widow's War, and her companion, the lawyer Eben Freeman, give her shelter and a job. Alice works hard for them, and they grow fond of her, but when Alice discovers she's pregnant, she embarks on a journey of deceit and lies, one that comes to a bitter end. Gunning weaves a horrifying, spellbinding story of colonial indenture's cruelties and a meditation on the meaning of freedom.

US Release Date: May 5, 2009

Thomas Cromwell was born in Putney, outside London, around 1485. Little is known of his family, but his father, a brewer and blacksmith, had court convictions for drunkenness and assault. Wolf Hall imagines Cromwell a hungry, anxious, and desolate childhood. Aged seven, he takes himself to the Lambeth household of Cardinal Morton, where his uncle is a cook, and begs work in the kitchens. Aged nine, he witnesses the burning of a woman of eighty, the heretic Joan Boughton. Aged fifteen, he runs away after a beating from his father. His life for the next ten years is obscure. He seems to have joined the French armies as a mercenary and fought in Italy. Working his way up from a servant's post in a Florentine household, he became a banker and cloth trader; he was sighted in Rome, Venice, and Antwerp.

Returning to London in his late twenties, a multitalented polyglot, shrewd, amiable, and ambitious, he became a lawyer and business adviser to Cardinal Wolsey. After the Cardinal's fall from power in 1529, he entered the service of Henry VIII, helping to steer the country through the break with Rome and the King into his marriage with Anne Boleyn. Through 1533, he has replaced Bishop Gardiner as the King's acting secretary, though he has not been given a formal role or title.

In the spring of 1534, the King, with the support of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, requires his subjects to swear an oath to uphold the succession of his children by Anne Boleyn. Thomas More, who has resigned as Lord Chancellor, is expected to refuse the oath. As a kitchen boy at Lambeth Palace, Thomas Cromwell had glimpsed the fourteen-year-old More, the golden protégé of the household. He has carried the picture in his mind ever since. More's enthusiasm as a heretic hunter has made them the most courteous of enemies. But as More embarks on overt opposition to the King, courtesy can no longer be sustained.

UK Release Date: April 2, 2009

From childhood Alice Salisbury has learnt obedience in all things and at fourteen, dutifully marries the man her father has chosen for her - at the cost of losing the love of her mother forever and the family she holds dear. But merchant Janyn Perrers is a good and loving husband and Alice soon learns to enjoy her marriage. Until a messenger brings news of his disappearance and she discovers that her husband had many secrets, secrets he didn't want her to know - but which have now put a price on her own head and that of her beloved daughter.Brought under the protection of King Edward III and Queen Philippa, she must dutifully embrace her fate once more - as a virtual prisoner at Court. And when the king singles her out for more than just royal patronage, she knows she has little choice but to accept his advances. But obeying the king brings with it many burdens as well as pleasures, as she forfeits her good name to keep her daughter free from hurt. Still a young woman and guided by her intellect and good business sense, she learns to use her gifts as wisely as she can.

But as one of the king's favourites, she brings jealousy and hatred in her wake and some will stop at nothing to see her fall from grace.


  1. lol! Now, that is a fitting post title! Only, it would apply for like every year...

  2. You have once again managed to do major damage to my bank account. I wish I could be mad at you, but instead I'm thanking you for finding such great books!!

  3. I'm seriously going to have to up my monthly allowance for buying books this year!

  4. The King's Mistress looks good! I've checked it out on Amazon UK, and it's expensive, so I might wait until it comes out in paperback--or out in the US, whichever comes sooner.

  5. Bound sounds really good to me! I need something to inspire me to brush up on US history! ;)

  6. You aren't kidding about diminishing bank accounts! Those all sound like winners, though. My family may go hungry, but I'll have some great reading materials to read while tuning out their moaning. ;)

    I tagged you on a fun, short meme. I hope you can join the fun.

  7. I read Darcy's Story by Aylmer and thought it was one of the better Austen fan fiction novels. This new novel by her looks really good. Another for the wish list!

  8. 'The King's Mistress' and 'The Wolf Hall' sound really good. A lot of great historical fiction coming up this. I'm excited even tough, as you mentioned in the title, my bank account is certainly diminishing.
    Oh well, I'll just have to peruse my library.

  9. I'm so glad all of you found them as interesting as I did! It's comforting to know that my fading bank account won't be the only one!

  10. Geez, you're killing me here, Amy.

  11. Amy, you are the best, you always have upcoming HF titles that look fantastic! Thanks for posting them!

    That said, my wish list is getting veeerrrryyy long and my bank account is getting veeerrryyy low...



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