Mailbox Monday

Another Monday, Another Mailbox!! This is a feature where we all share with each other the yummy books that showed up at our doors! WARNING: Mailbox Mondays can lead to extreme envy and GINORMOUS wishlists!!

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.

I had a SUPER week with new additions....I got a few for review and picked up a few used as well.  Let me take you on a tour of the books that were in my mailbox...

These first two, His Last Letter by Jeane Westin and The Secret Eleanor by Cecelia Holland were sent to me from Penguin Publishing for review.  I will also be hosting a giveaway and author interview for both in August, so stay tuned!

His Last Letter: Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester
by Jeane Westin

Release Date:  August 3, 2010
SYNOPSIS:  One of the greatest loves of all time-between Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley-comes to life in this vivid novel.

They were playmates as children, impetuous lovers as adults-and for thirty years were the center of each others' lives. Astute to the dangers of choosing any one man, the Virgin Queen could never give her "Sweet Robin" what he wanted most-marriage- yet she insisted he stay close by her side. Possessive and jealous, their love survived quarrels, his two disastrous marriages to other women, her constant flirtations, and political machinations with foreign princes.

His Last Letter tells the story of this great love... and especially of the last three years Elizabeth and Dudley spent together, the most dangerous of her rule, when their passion was tempered by a bittersweet recognition of all that they shared-and all that would remain unfulfilled.

by Cecelia Holland

Release Date:  August 3, 2010

SYNOPSIS:  1151: As Duchess of Aquitaine, Eleanor grew up knowing what it was to be regarded for herself and not for her husband's title. Now, as wife to Louis VII and Queen of France, she has found herself unsatisfied with reflected glory-and feeling constantly under threat, even though she outranks every woman in Paris.

Then, standing beside her much older husband in the course of a court ceremony, Eleanor locks eyes with a man-hardly more than a boy, really- across the throne room, and knows that her world has changed irrevocably...

He is Henry D'Anjou, eldest son of the Duke of Anjou, and he is in line, somewhat tenuously, for the British throne. She meets him in secret. She has a gift for secrecy, for she is watched like a prisoner by spies even among her own women. She is determined that Louis must set her free. Employing deception and disguise, seduction and manipulation, Eleanor is determined to find her way to power-and make her mark on history.

This next one was sent to me by Crown Publishing and I was so excited to get it becase I've been seeing it everywhere around the blogosphere and plus the cover is GORGEOUS in person!

The King's Mistress
by Emma Campion

Release Date:  July 6, 2010

SYNOPSIS:  History has not been kind to Alice Perrers, the notorious mistress of King Edward III. Scholars and contemporaries alike have deemed her a manipulative woman who used her great beauty and sensuality to take advantage of an aging and increasingly senile king. But who was the woman behind the scandal? A cold-hearted opportunist or someone fighting for her very survival?

Like most girls of her era Alice is taught obedience in all things. At the age of fourteen she marries the man her father chooses for her, dutifully accepting the cost of being torn from the family she holds so dear and losing the love of her mother forever. Despite these heartbreaks Alice finds that merchant Janyn Perrers is a good and loving husband and the two settle into a happy life together. Their bliss is short-lived, however, unraveled the dark day a messenger appears at Alice's door and notifies her of Janyn's sudden disappearance.

In the wake of this tragedy, Alice learns that her husband kept many dangerous secrets--secrets that result in a price on her own head and that of her beloved daughter. Her only chance to survive lies in the protection of King Edward and Queen Philippa, but she therefore must live at court as a virtual prisoner. When she is singled out by the king for more than just royal patronage, the stakes are raised. Disobeying Edward is not an option, not when her family is at risk, but the court is full of ambitious men and women, many of whom will stop at nothing to see her fall fron grace. The whispers and gossip abound, isolating Alice, who finds unexpected solace in her love for the king.

Emma Campion paints a colorful and thrilling portrait of the court of Edward III--with all of its extravagance, scandalous love affairs, political machinations, and murder--and the devastating results of being singled out by the royal family. At the center of the storm is Alice, surviving by her wits in this dangerous world where the choices are not always of her own making. Emma Campion's dazzling novel shows that there is always another side to the story.

Doubleday Publishing sent me the new novel by Karen Essex.  This one looks a bit different than what I usually read but I'll give it a shot!

by Karen Essex

Release Date:  August 10, 2010

SYNOPSIS:  In this wonderfully transporting novel, award-winning author Karen Essex turns a timeless classic inside out, spinning a haunting, erotic, and suspenseful story of eternal love and possession.

From the shadowy banks of the river Thames to the wild and windswept Yorkshire coast, Dracula’s eternal muse, Mina Murray, vividly recounts the intimate details of what really transpired between her and the Count—the joys and terrors of a passionate affair that has linked them through the centuries, and her rebellion against her own frightening preternatural powers.

Mina’s version of this gothic vampire tale is a visceral journey into Victorian England’s dimly lit bedrooms, mist-filled cemeteries, and asylum chambers, revealing the dark secrets and mysteries locked within. Time falls away as she is swept into a mythical journey far beyond mortal comprehension, where she must finally make the decision she has been avoiding for almost a millennium. 

Bram Stoker’s classic novel offered one side of the story, in which Mina had no past and bore no responsibility for the unfolding events. Now, for the first time, the truth of Mina’s personal voyage, and of vampirism itself, is revealed. What this flesh and blood woman has to say is more sensual, more devious, and more enthralling than the Victorians could have expressed or perhaps even have imagined.

The loverly and oh-so-generous Marie from zquilts sent me her copy of the new Elizabeth Chadwick book.  Isn't she sweet?  Thanks Marie :)  If you haven't checked out her blog, you should do so....she is an amazing artist and quilter!

To Defy a King
by Elizabeth Chadwick

SYNOPSIS:  A story of huge emotional power set against the road to Magna Carta and the fight to bring a tyrant king to heel. The privileged daughter of one of the most powerful men in England, Mahelt Marshal's life changes dramatically when her father is suspected by King John. Her brothers become hostages and Mahelt is married to Hugh Bigod, heir to the earldom of Norfolk. Adapting to her new life is hard, but Mahelt comes to love Hugh deeply; however, defying her father-in-law brings disgrace and heartbreak. When King John sets out to subdue the Bigods, Mahelt faces a heartbreaking battle, fearing neither she, nor her marriage, is likely to survive the outcome ...

This final batch are books I picked up from Amazon, one new and the others used.

by Kate Morton

SYNOPSIS:  A tiny girl is abandoned on a ship headed for Australia in 1913. She arrives completely alone with nothing but a small suitcase containing a few clothes and a single book—a beautiful volume of fairy tales. She is taken in by the dockmaster and his wife and raised as their own. On her twenty-fi rst birthday, they tell her the truth, and with her sense of self shattered and very little to go on, "Nell" sets out to trace her real identity. Her quest leads her to Blackhurst Manor on the Cornish coast and the secrets of the doomed Mountrachet family. But it is not until her granddaughter, Cassandra, takes up the search after Nell’s death that all the pieces of the puzzle are assembled. A spellbinding tale of mystery and self-discovery, The Forgotten Garden will take hold of your imagination and never let go.

The Marriage of Meggotta
by Edith Pargeter

SYNOPSIS:  Originally published in 1979, this is the last novel Edith Pargeter wrote under her own name. Set in England in the 13th century, among the nobles and aristocrats surrounding King Henry III, it tells the true story of the secret marriage of the Earl of Kent¹s ten-year-old daughter, and the tragic consequences that follow in its wake.

by Margaret Campbell Barnes

SYNOPSIS (via book jacket):  "It is not easy to the wife of a man to whom women are too kind."  So speaks warm, spirited Catherine of Braganza of Charles II of England in this story of the love of an incredibly innocent girl for an exceptionally experienced man. 

Gay, handsome, magnetic Charles, who was all too accustomed to easy conquests, found this convent-bred bride full of warmth and spirit.  Their honeymoon at romantic Hampton Court proved idyllic and Catherine's apprehension over the tales she had heard of Charles' past was quieted.  On their return to Whitehall and the life of the Court, she realizes that much of what she had heard is still true.  She is humiliated at being maneuvered into receiving the infamous and beautiful Barbara Castlemaine, Charles' mistress.  There are times when she is lonely and homesick for her native land.  But despite her heartaches, Catherine's love for Charles grows.  He, in his turn, despite his amours, finds her faithfulness and devotion the one constant thing in his crowded, restless life and he learns the value of her tender, enduring love.

Restoration England is the background for this convincing novel about a woman whose faith and courage in marriage provides for her a rare dignity and stature over the showy mistresses who attempt to overshadow her.  Here is the burst of high spirits which came when France gave England a higher standard of living and a lower standard of morals.

Margaret Campbell Barnes brilliantly portrays one of history's tenderest love stories.

by Norah Lofts

SYNOPSIS:  A novel based on the life of George III's sister, Princess Caroline-Matilda, whose marriage brought her to the throne and whose secret love brought her to disaster. This is a story of high romance and tragedy, a moving drama of human frailty set against the implacable demands of a royal crown. With careful attention to the historical record, Norah Lofts has recreated Caroline-Matilda's life in a tale that vividly evokes the stark contrasts of 18th century Denmark; the cruelty, poverty and oppression of existence under an absolute monarch sinking into madness; the royal court with its pomp and pageantry, and the hatreds and intrigues that swirled around the young, lovely figure who was, briefly, its queen.

Well, that's my mailbox, what showed up in yours?

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  1. Amy, you have such a treasure trove I hardly know where to begin! First, you'll love Margaret Campbell Barnes and Norah Lofts if you haven't read them before.

    I'm not much of a vampire reader, but the Essex book on Dracula looks awesome. So do the Chadwick and Westin books. Actually, they all look great.

    I don't know how you get so many books read. I'm drowning in my TBR pile!!!

  2. Wonderful mailbox! Happy reading :)
    They all sound so good, especially His Last Letter and The Kings Mistress. Such lovely covers too.

  3. I could hate you today I am so so salty over To Defy A King! I am reading For The Kings Favor right now and loving it, that William Marshal hot as heck even as a sidelining character.

    I still have not gotten my arc of His Last Letter, which is good because it will so distract me if it comes before I am done with my other one.

    Amy congrats you made out like a bandit and I know how much you have been wanting Chadwick you so deserve it. Enjoy the wonderful reads.

  4. Ahh! So jealous! I so want to get a copy of To Defy a King! I have yet to read Pargeter, Lofts or Campbell Barnes but I really want to. Thanks for stopping by today!

  5. Awesome mailbox! Historical fiction books always seem to have the best covers.

    I own The Forgotten Garden, but it's on my husband's ipad (an ebook) and he's always using it, so I don't know when I'm going to have a chance to read it.

  6. Amy...I tried to comment on your post earlier today, but the comments link was not up. I posted a comment on your post from yesterday about your mailbox.
    I am mesmerized by your mailbox. What an amazing collection. :)

  7. His Last Letter and The Secret Eleanor have such beautiful covers. Isee we have few titles in common this week. Enjoy all your new reads!

  8. What an assortment! Dracula in Love caught my eye. Happy reading!

  9. I read the Barnes book last year and really liked it - I hope you do, too!

    What a great list of books!

  10. What a great mailbox Amy. They all look like great historicals, although I'm not interested in Dracula in love. I was offered that one and as much as I love Karen Essex, I'm not into the vampire craze at all.

  11. we have dracula in common, but the king's mistress looks like a good one. happy reading.

  12. Wow! They all are wonderful. I'll have to check my boxes of old books for WITH ALL MY HEART (it looks familiar) and the Nora Lofts book.
    Of them all, THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN will be the first one I search out. Sound like my kind of story.


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