Mailbox Monday (and a belated Happy Holidays!!)

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, but for the month of December MM is on tour and hosted by Lady Q @ Let Them Read Books.

Hi all!!!  I hope everyone had a fantabulous holiday!  Ours was great...we spent Christmas with my family in Orlando and in shear Bruno family fashion, missed the first White Christmas Georgia has seen since 1882!!!  Ugh....I swear, without bad luck, we would have no luck at all!  But it was worth missing to see family for the holidays.

I also hope you all good some great books under the tree!  I received two books as gifts and will include them here, along with one I received from review and eight that I picked up at a couple of bookstores on the way to Florida (some of the hardcovers were only $2!!).

by Priya Parmar

Release Date:  February 1, 2011
Acquired via:  Touchstone Publishing for review

SYNOPSIS:   While selling oranges in the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, sweet and sprightly Ellen "Nell" Gwyn impresses the theater’s proprietors with a wit and sparkle that belie her youth and poverty. She quickly earns a place in the company, narrowly avoiding the life of prostitution to which her sister has already succumbed. As her roles evolve from supporting to starring, the scope of her life broadens as well. Soon Ellen is dressed in the finest fashions, charming the theatrical, literary, and royal luminaries of Restoration England. Ellen grows up on the stage, experiencing first love and heartbreak and eventually becoming the mistress of Charles II. Despite his reputation as a libertine, Ellen wholly captures his heart—and he hers—but even the most powerful love isn’t enough to stave off the gossip and bitter court politics that accompany a royal romance. Telling the story through a collection of vibrant seventeenth-century voices ranging from Ellen’s diary to playbills, letters, gossip columns, and home remedies, Priya Parmar brings to life the story of an endearing and delightful heroine.

by Jeanne Kalogridis

Publication Date:  July 6, 2010
Acquired via:  Santa

SYNOPSIS:  What Philippa Gregory has done for Tudor England, Jeanne Kalogridis does for Renaissance Italy. Her latest irresistible historical novel is about a countess whose passion and willfulness knew no bounds—Caterina Sforza

Daughter of the Duke of Milan and wife of the conniving Count Girolamo Riario, Caterina Sforza was the bravest warrior Renaissance Italy ever knew. She ruled her own lands, fought her own battles, and openly took lovers whenever she pleased.

Her remarkable tale is told by her lady-in-waiting, Dea, a woman knowledgeable in reading the “triumph cards,” the predecessor of modern-day Tarot. As Dea tries to unravel the truth about her husband’s murder, Caterina single-handedly holds off invaders who would steal her title and lands. However, Dea’s reading of the cards reveals that Caterina cannot withstand a third and final invader—none other than Cesare Borgia, son of the corrupt Pope Alexander VI, who has an old score to settle with Caterina. Trapped inside the Fortress at Ravaldino as Borgia’s cannons pound the walls, Dea reviews Caterina’s scandalous past and struggles to understand their joint destiny, while Caterina valiantly tries to fight off Borgia’s unconquerable army.

by Alice Grey, Dr. Steve Stephens & John Van Diest
Publication Date:  October 20, 2004
Acquired via:  my wonderful mum

SYNOPSIS:  Lists Capture the Essence of Living Well Grab one of these lists and go! The third collection of Lists to Live By, compiled by three popular authors, offers more wisdom for successful living, with topics such as family, health, contentment, love, friendship, faith, parenting—in short, “everything that really matters.” This compact book organizes life’s lessons and important things to remember into quickly accessible, meaningful packages of wisdom. They can be shared with others or used to motivate and steer us forward in uncertain times—not trivia, but tools for changing your life!

An Echo In The Bone (Book 7, Outlander series)
by Diana Gabaldon

Publication Date:  September 22, 2009
Acquired via:  used book store

SYNOPSIS:  In this new epic of imagination, time travel, and adventure, Diana Gabaldon continues the riveting story begun in Outlander.

Jamie Fraser is an eighteenth-century Highlander, an ex-Jacobite traitor, and a reluctant rebel in the American Revolution. His wife, Claire Randall Fraser, is a surgeon—from the twentieth century. What she knows of the future compels him to fight. What she doesn’t know may kill them both.

With one foot in America and one foot in Scotland, Jamie and Claire’s adventure spans the Revolution, from sea battles to printshops, as their paths cross with historical figures from Benjamin Franklin to Benedict Arnold.

Meanwhile, in the relative safety of the twentieth century, their daughter, Brianna, and her husband experience the unfolding drama of the Revolutionary War through Claire’s letters. But the letters can’t warn them of the threat that’s rising out of the past to overshadow their family.

by Frank Delaney

Publication Date:  February 10, 2009
Acquired via:  used book store

SYNOPSIS:  In the summer of 1922, Robert Shannon, a Marine chaplain and a young American hero of the Great War, lands in Ireland. He still suffers from shell shock, and his mentor hopes that a journey Robert had always wanted to make—to find his family roots along the banks of the River Shannon—will restore his equilibrium and his vocation. But there is more to the story: On his return from the war, Robert had witnessed startling corruption in the Archdiocese of Boston. He has been sent to Ireland to secure his silence—permanently. As Robert faces the dangers of a strife-torn Ireland roiling in civil war, the nation’s myths and people, its beliefs and traditions, unfurl healingly before him. And the River Shannon gives comfort to the young man who is inspired by the words of his mentor: “Find your soul and you’ll live.”

Cleopatra and Anthony: Power, Love, and Politics in the Ancient World by Diana Preston

Publication Date:  March 31, 2009
Acquired via:  used bookstore

SYNOPSIS:  The story of the world’s best-remembered celebrity couple, set against the political backdrop of their time.

On a stiflingly hot day in August 30 b.c., the thirty-nine-year-old queen of Egypt, Cleopatra, took her own life rather than be paraded in chains through Rome by her conqueror, Octavian—the future first emperor, Augustus. A few days earlier, her lover of eleven years, Mark Antony, had himself committed suicide and died in her arms. Oceans of mythology have grown up around them, all of which Diana Preston explores in her stirring history of the lives and times of a couple whose names—more than two millennia later—still invoke passion, curiosity, and intrigue.

Preston views the drama and romance of Cleopatra and Antony’s personal lives as an integral part of the great military, political, and ideological struggle that culminated in the full-fledged rise of the Roman Empire, joined east and west. Perhaps not until Joanna in fourteenth-century Naples or Elizabeth I of England would another woman show such political shrewdness and staying power as did Cleopatra during her years atop the throne of Egypt. Her lengthy affair with Julius Caesar linked the might of Egypt with that of Rome; in the aftermath of the civil war that erupted following Caesar’s murder, her alliance with Antony, and his subsequent split with Octavian, set the stage for the end of the Republic.

With the keen eye for detail, abundant insight, and storytelling skill that have won awards for her previous books, Diana Preston sheds new light on a vitally important period in Western history. Indeed, had Cleopatra and Antony managed to win the battle of Actium, the centuries that followed, which included the life of Jesus himself, could well have played out differently.

All For Love: The Scandalous Life and Times of Royal Mistress Mary Robinson
by Amanda Elyot

Publication Date:  February 5, 2008
Acquired via:  Books A Million

SYNOPSIS:  A bold and bawdy historical novel-from the acclaimed author of Too Great a Lady.

Mary Robinson's talent, beauty, and drive led her from debtors' prison to the glamour and scandal of the London stage, where a star was born-and sold as society's darling, envied by women, and desired by men. From her shocking affair with the Prince of Wales to heartbreaking betrayals and a restless pursuit of true romance, this breathtaking novel paints a vivid portrait of a woman who changed history by doing as she pleased-for money, for fame, for pleasure, and above all, for love. 

The Daughter of Time
by Josephine Tey

Publication Date:  November 29, 1995
Acquired via:  used book store

SYNOPSIS: Josephine Tey re-creates one of history's most famous -- and vicious -- crimes in her classic bestselling novel, a must read for connoisseurs of fiction, now with a new introduction by Robert Barnard

Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard, recuperating from a broken leg, becomes fascinated with a contemporary portrait of Richard III that bears no resemblance to the Wicked Uncle of history. Could such a sensitive, noble face actually belong to one of the world's most heinous villains -- a venomous hunchback who may have killed his brother's children to make his crown secure? Or could Richard have been the victim, turned into a monster by the usurpers of England's throne? Grant determines to find out once and for all, with the help of the British Museum and an American scholar, what kind of man Richard Plantagenet really was and who killed the Little Princes in the Tower.

The Daughter of Time is an ingeniously plotted, beautifully written, and suspenseful tale, a supreme achievement from one of mystery writing's most gifted masters.

The Spanish Bride: A Novel of Catherine of Aragon
by Laurien Gardner

Publication Date:  January 2, 2008
Acquired via:  Books A Million

SYNOPSIS:  The queen who married a Tudor and a tyrant.

Her name was Catherine. For over two decades, she was Queen of England, until her failure to bear the king a son, her advancing age, and King Henry VIII's obsession with Anne Boleyn cost Catherine the crown, her marriage, and her life. This is her story, told from the point of view of Estrella de Montoya, her trusted maid of honor, who traveled from Spain to England with her, and witnessed the triumphs and tragedies of her amazing life.

Bluebird, Or the Invention of Happiness
by Sheila Kohler

Publication Date:  March 4, 2008
Acquired via:  Books A Million

SYNOPSIS:  Acclaimed author Sheila Kohler's sweeping historical novel, Bluebird, or the Invention of Happiness, is based on the life of Lucy Dillon, an eighteenth-century French aristocrat. Wrenched from the court of Marie Antoinette by the Reign of Terror, the brave and resilient Lucy escapes with her family to the freedom and hardships of a newly independent America where, on a dairy farm in the Hudson Valley, she discovers a new life-and her true self.

by Janet Todd
Publication Date:  March 1, 2005
Acquired via:  used book store

SYNOPSIS:  They were known as the Ascendancy, the dashing aristocratic elite that controlled Irish politics and society at the end of the eighteenth century—and at their pinnacle stood Caroline and Robert King, Lord and Lady Kingsborough of Mitchelstown Castle. Heirs to ancient estates and a vast fortune, Lord and Lady Kingsborough appeared to be blessed with everything but marital love—which only made the scandal that tore through their family more shocking. In 1798, at the height of a rebellion that was setting Ireland ablaze, Robert King was tried for the murder of his wife’s cousin—a crime born of passion that proved to have extraordinary political implications. In her brilliant new book, Janet Todd unfolds the fascinating story of how this powerful Anglo-Irish family became entwined with the downfall not only of their class, but of their very way of life.

Like Amanda Foreman’s bestselling Georgiana, Daughters of Ireland brings to life the world of a glittering elite in an age of international revolution. When her daughters, Margaret and Mary, were at their most impressionable, Lady Kingsborough hired the firebrand feminist Mary Wollstonecraft to be their governess, little realizing how radically this would alter both girls’ beliefs and characters. The tall, striking Margaret went on to provide crucial support to the United Irishmen in the days leading up to the Rebellion of 1798, while soft, pleasing Mary indulged in an illicit, and all but incestuous love affair that precipitated multiple tragedies.

As the Kingsboroughs imploded, the most powerful and colorful figures of the day were swept up in their drama—the dashing aristocrat turned revolutionary Lord Edward Fitzgerald; the liberal, cultivated Countess of Moira, a terrible snob despite her support of Irish revolutionaires; the notorious philanderer Colonel George King, whose sexual debauchery was matched only by his appalling cruelty; Britain’s cold calculating prime minister William Pitt and its mad ruler King George III.

With irresistible narrative drive and richly intimate historic detail, Daughters of Ireland an absolutely spellbinding work of history, biography, passion, and rebellion.

Those are my new additions...did any yummy books make their way to your house?



  1. Such a beautiful collection that I cannot comment on a favourite. They all look so good.

    Christmas here was uneventful, boxing day sales was excellent!!! Compliments of the season to you.

  2. Oooh, enjoy all of your new books.
    Merry Christmas

  3. What an exciting list of book! "Bluebird, Or the Invention of Happiness" looks interesting and I am looking forward to "Exit the Actress". Enjoy :)

  4. Love your list. The only book I've read is Echo in the Bone, very good. Would help to have read some of the previous books in the series to get a feel for the characters. Lovely series.

  5. A woman after my own heart. I always come home with many more books than I left with. I have found two stores in the Orlando area that I visit every time we go down to visit family. I try, but I can never get out of them with many more books than I will ever have time to read.
    You have a wonderful batch of books here to look forward to reading.

  6. Nice haul!

    I loved Daughter of Time when I read it a few years ago! It's a little bit dated now, but it is a terrifically fun read.

  7. As opposed to last year, ZERO books this year!! But a great Xmas still had by all..
    Happy New Year, enjoy your year!


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