Welcome to Live Chat Night with author Christy English!


 Welcome one and all to Live Chat Night with the delectable Christy English!! 

Christy has joined us to talk about her new (and fabulous!) novel To Be Queen: A Novel of the Early Life of Eleanor of Aquitaine, which was released on April 5th.

 The oh so generous Christy has also provided some fabulous giveaways!  Participants of this chat night will earn an extra point towards winning a signed copy of To Be Queen {ENTER GIVEAWAY} (2 winners) AND one lucky chat participant will be winning a charming To Be Queen coffee mug!!

CHAT NIGHT INSTRUCTIONS

All corresponding (questions and answers) will take place in the comments section of THIS post.  I will start off the Chat Night with a welcome message and a question or two to get the ball rolling and then the floor is open to whomever has a question for Christy. 

ABOUT THE BOOK
SYNOPSIS

The author of The Queen's Pawn delves into the early life of the legendary Eleanor of Aquitaine in her new historical novel.

After her father's sudden death, fifteen-year-old Eleanor is quickly crowned Duchess of Aquitaine and betrothed to King Louis VII. When her new husband cannot pronounce her given name, Alienor becomes Eleanor, Queen of France.

Although Louis is enamored of his bride, the newly crowned king is easily manipulated by the church and a God that Eleanor doesn't believe in. Now, if she can find the strength to fight for what she wants, Eleanor may finally find the passion she has longed for, and the means to fulfill her legacy as Queen.

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If you have any questions during the event you can shoot me an email me or ask the question in the comment section and I will get back to you.

passages to the past at gmail dot com

Have fun all and thanks for coming!
 

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122 comments:

  1. I'm here! Though I'm eating dinner right now too.

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  2. Welcome readers and welcome Christy!!! I'm so excited this night is finally here and I get to host one of my good friends Christy English!

    So, Christy...how is the touring going for To Be Queen? Any interesting stories?

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  3. Hey Heather! So nice to see you...and where's mine?! heehee

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  4. Hi Amy and Heather! I am thrilled to be here! The tour is small is going really well...I am having a ball talking about Eleanor to anyone who will listen

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  5. Hi Amy and Christy ;) So happy to be here tonight and join in.

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  6. Do you tend to enjoy the physical tours over virtual or are there pros to each?

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  7. Amy, I am having a blast. I love doing all the guest posts and interviews...and this weekend I got the real treat of having a signing in my hometown B&N...the staff wore pink tiaras to celebrate Eleanor. I loved it!

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  8. Hey there Roberta! So glad you are here again!

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  9. Oh that is so awesome Christy! I wish I could have been there!

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  10. Welcome Roberta! Amy, I love both...blog tours are fun because they reach so many more people, but face to face tours are great because I get to meet readers and bloggers in the flesh...

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  11. Maybe I'll pull of a signing in Atlanta and we'll all wear crowns...:)

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  12. Hey that would rock - I would be there for sure :)

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  13. It would be amazing! Does anybody have a favorite Eleanor trait they'd like to name? My favorite is her courage...and her ability to never give up..ok that's two...:)

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  14. Eleanor was such an amazing woman whose life was so interesting. Is there going to be a sequel?

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  15. Are you coming to Raleigh? I'll wear a crown...lol

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  16. Yes Christy, what are you working on next?

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  17. Hi everyone I am here! Making dinner so coming back and forth :)! So happy to be here though. I have a question: Christy, when/how did you come to discover Eleanor and what do you think is the characteristic that you like best of hers (there are so many I know!).

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  18. PoCoKat, I have started one already! I am not sure when it will come out, but I have begun writing about Eleanor's life with Henry. I really want to focus on the love between them, which I think was there all along, even when she was raising rebellions against him and he was taking mistresses left and right.

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  19. Welcome Colleen! We're happy you're here too :)

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  20. That's one dynamic relationship that could take up volumes :)

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  21. My all time favorite trait for most historical characters is that they are all survivors!

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  22. I would love it if you came down to Tampa, FL as well, but we are a little bit far :). My favorite trait of Eleanor's is how she seemed to be able to adapt herself for what was needed. She was always strong but could put a different face on depending on who she was dealing with (I hope that makes sense!).

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  23. roberta, when I make it to Raleigh, we will both wear crowns! :) Hi Colleen! I discovered Eleanor while writing a book (as yet unpublished) about her favorite son, Richard. She was on the edge of the story and only had one scene the day he died, but she was compelling. I was intrigued, but it was years before I started writing about the character in her own right.

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  24. Can't wait to see what you come up with for Eleanor and Henry - liked their interactions in The Queen's Pawn!

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  25. I agree Colleen...that's what I admire most of Eleanor and even Elizabeth I, their ability to have that remarkable poker face. I've never been able to mask my emotions and so I envy that!

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  26. And along with being a survivor comes a lot of GRACE! Something we all can use more of.

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  27. Tampa is gorgeous, Colleen. I am adding it to my list. Roberta and colleen, I absolutely agree, Eleanor's strength and ability to survive is what really draws me to her. I think it's what keeps me coming back again and again, watching to see how she will survive the next big thing life throws at her.

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  28. Tampa is awesome...go Lightning!!!

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  29. You and me both Amy! I don't know how these women could be so strong and hide the emotions you just know where running through them! I would just start crying or screaming....whatever emotion came up!

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  30. Hi Christy! I am so glad that I have gotten to know Eleanor in a whole different way. She is a true hero of mine! I can't wait for you to write more........
    Janie

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  31. Heather, I can't wait to see what happens between Eleanor and Henry in the next bit...Their relationship really fascinated me in THE QUEEN'S PAWN and i loved seeing them meet in TO BE QUEEN. So a whole book about them will be amazing to write...

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  32. Just cannot imagine having to live in those times and finding your own free will and having to hide it...I'm also terrible at hiding my emotions...especially when I'm PMSing...lol

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  33. Christy, what is your favorite part of the writing process?

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  34. Hi janie! I am so glad you made it! Roberta and Amy, that is one of the things that impresses me about Eleanor and Elizabeth...their ability to mask and deal with their emotions. Eleanor always sets her emotions aside, except of course when she deals with Henry. Sometimes then she miscalculates, and that is what makes her human...and even more fascinating.

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  35. My favorite part of the writing process is getting to hear the story first. i outline it, then I start writing, and Eleanor always surprises me. even though i know the facts of what happened, watching it come alive on the page as I work always amazes me.

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  36. When I was little my dream jobs were constantly changing...writer, archeologist, lawyer. Did you always want to be a writer?

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  37. Loving' how blogger is making it easier for this chat ;)

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  38. I love that question...I have always been a writer, oddly enough. I used to "want" to be a hairdresser, an actress...and I had a variety of day jobs, of course. But All along i wrote stories. And those stories starting turning into novellas...and then I started letting my friends read them...and then I saw GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING in B&N and I thought to myself..."Hey historical fiction...that's kind of what I write. I wonder if I could sell something?" And eight years later, I did. :)

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  39. Besides Eleanor and Elizabeth, do you have any other favorite historical women and why are they your favorites? Do you plan on eventually writing any books highlighting some of them?

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  40. Christy...where did you do your research for this book and you mentioned that you found "Elanor's story"...where might that be?

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  41. Good question Amy...I'm still waiting to grow up ;)

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  42. Roberta, Eleanor the character showed up on the door of my mind first...and then I started reading biographies about her. I love the one by Alison Weir, the one by Ralph Turner, and the one by Marion Meade. But I am one of those writers who takes the facts as they are mentioned in history and then listens to my characters talk. If Eleanor wants changes, i make them. because, who knows what really happened?

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  43. Colleen, I want to write another book about Alais, about the second half of her life, when she finally came home to France and got married. I also want to write a book about Joan of Arc, and about Theadora of Byzantium

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  44. That's wonderful Christy...emotions cannot always be captured by the facts.

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  45. That's what i think, Roberta. I feel I have to be true to the character as they come alive to me. If I don't listen to them and to what they want, I have no story.

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  46. Christy, I just love how you describe the characters in your books speaking to you and telling you there story! I am sure Eleanor was very specific about how to tell her story :). Have you found any people in your research that really turned you off and that you would never want to write about?

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  47. Colleen, as to the second part of your question, Theodora attracts me for the some of the reasons Eleanor does: a powerful woman who had many enemies writing her history. I would love to delve in and see her for myself. And Joan of Arc is a saint and a visionary, but I want to remember her as fully human, as a woman who died too young

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  48. Colleen...aren't you cooking dinner...you are quite the multi-tasker ;)

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  49. Those are some great women to write about (and read about as well :)).

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  50. Colleen, that is a good one! I have never been repulsed by a figure in history, but then I only read about people I admire. The characters I write about show up on my doorstep, and offer to tell me "their side" of the story. I am a lucky woman...inspiration keep on coming!

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  51. Welcome Gillian, so glad you could make it!

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  52. Oooh! I would love to see an extension of Alais' story. I also would love to see more on Joan of Arc. I haven't heard of Theadora.

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  53. Thanks Roberta! Making dinner tonight consisted of making me a salad and hubby and son a pizza, so alls good :).

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  54. Hi Gillian! How cool that you are here too! We are having a blast...

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  55. There are new novels coming out this year about both of them...if they do well enough, I may be able to sell my own story ideas about them...win win...here's hoping!

    Theodora was an acrobat/actress who married Justinian, Emperor of Byzantium and ruled the empire at his side...and it was a big empire...:)

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  56. Christy, my introduction to Eleanor was the indelible "Lion in Winter." I'm sure you've seen it - do you find you have to struggle against that very vivid portrayal of Eleanor, Henry, and their family?

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  57. Joan of Arc fascinates me because she is a visionary. What would it be like to really hear the voice of God? I would love to explore that with the character...

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  58. Oh, wow, I hadn't heard of Theodora either, but she sounds fascinating...like all these women in history highlighted! I would love to read a book about Joan of Arc that maybe discussed her personal and family life instead of dealing solely with her visions and outcome.

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  59. Wow...I haven't heard of Theodora either. How on earth do you get yourself into a place where you can hear and imagine a storyline about the Byzantium empire? The idea of it is overwhelming to me...I think I'm brain dead tonight.

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  60. Christy, In your research process, have you been able to travel to France and England and walk where Eleanor once walked?

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  61. Sorry, Blogger ate my last comment. I love the Lion in Winter Gillian, but I see Henry and Eleanor a little differently...the voices as they come out on the page sometimes share a little with Henry and Eleanor from that lovely piece, but most of the time they are different. More subtle, less openly hostile...except when they aren't, and then the armies come marching in... :)

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  62. Ohh...Terry I like that question! How wonderful would it be to get to have Eleanor whispering in your ear and be able to actually go to the places where she spoke out loud!

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  63. Joan of Arc sounds like a tough one to attempt because hearing the voice of God and seeing visions can considered to be borderline crazy or new age. Listening to Abraham might be a great start for a spiritual start or even Shirley McClain...love her ;)

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  64. Hi Terry, I have been to Paris and to London...I want to go to visit Eleanor's country. The last time I went to Paris, the character and I were hard at work on the revision of THE QUEEN'S PAWN, and I got the distinct impression that she was not impressed at all with Paris...after writing TO BE QUEEN and seeing all she went through there, I can understand why

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  65. I love Shirley Maclaine too...I think Joan was a different kind of visionary...she had a very distinct tradition of religious ideas to follow...I am curious to see where the Church's ideas of the saints leave off and where Joan's begin.

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  66. Eleanor, of course, believes in nothing but herself. What did you guys think of her relationship to the Church and God...or lack thereof?

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  67. Hi, Christy, sorry to be chiming in so late. Congratulations on the new release! I can't wait to read it. I haven't read THE QUEEN'S PAWN yet, and although I know you wrote it first, should I read it first -- since TO BE QUEEN takes place when Eleanor was younger?

    Also, I'm curious how it felt to write Eleanor as a sort of antagonist in THE QUEEN'S PAWN and then return to her as a heroine in TO BE QUEEN.

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  68. Hello Leslie! Thanks for stopping by!

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  69. Colleen, I really want to go to Eleanor's capital of Poitiers. Her father's great hall is still standing, and so is the cathedral that her husband Henry built.

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  70. At first I thought it was strange that she didn't have a liking for the Church - since I always feel like at that time EVERYONE was into going to church. But maybe I just generalize too much, haha.

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  71. Poitiers looks BEAUTIFUL! I have really enjoyed all the pictures you post on Facebook. It really helps me get into the setting of the story when I can have a visual of where there were (especially for somewhere I have never been).

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  72. Spirituality and religion are tough to compare...one can exist (spirituality) without the other. But back then having the belief that we are actually the true spirit of God would not have gone over so well. I would imagine that Eleanor's belief in herself fist was hard for the Church to swallow.

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  73. Hi Leslie, it's great you're here. The books are designed so that you can read them in any order, but my writing is improving (I'm working hard on it) so starting with THE QUEEN'S PAWN is a good idea just for that reason. :)

    I adore Eleanor, and I did even when I was writing the first drafts of THE QUEEN'S PAWN, in which Eleanor basically throws Alais to the wolf that is Henry for political gain. I like the way the book works now, with both the voice of Alais and the voice of Eleanor being heard. Alais makes her own choices in the published version, and faces the consequences.

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  74. I think Eleanor was so intensely intelligent and cerebral that she saw what the men of the church were actually doing and lost some faith in the whole system (no pun intended).

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  75. Like you Colleen...I really appreicate visual aides ;)

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  76. Roberta, Colleen and Heather, I like the points you're making. Heather, a lot of people have trouble with Eleanor's dismissal of God and the Church in both books...but not every person in the medieval period followed the Church's doctrine to the letter. Of course, my Eleanor is an extreme case...:)

    It is interesting that, unlike Princess Alais, Eleanor is not interested at all in the life of the spirit in my books, but only in as she puts it, "the world as it is."

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  77. I am so glad you guys are enjoying the photos of Eleanor's Poitiers. I love them too. Now I want to go and see the lovely place for myself...

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  78. Colleen, Eleanor as I understand her is a power house politically, and as such, understands the fine art of manipulation. From an early age, she resents the church for attempting to manipulate her...she wants to be the one pulling the strings

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  79. Christy, would you ever want to write about Eleanor and Henry's offspring?

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  80. You absolutely should visit Poitiers!

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  81. I would indeed, Amy! I have been obsessed with Richard the Lionhearted forever it seems...I would like to go back and fix the old novel I wrote about him while he was on Crusade. Eleanor would be in that one, too of course. :) Can't have Richard without Eleanor...at least not in my world...:)

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  82. Eleanor would have done so good in the politics of today, wouldn't she have? She was smart, dynamic, able to charm...and able to call BS on the charmers :).

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  83. So much history in Europe...hard here in the states when we really only go back 300 years. I have to go to Charleston to get my fix. Shelton Church ruins outside of Beauford moves me so I can imagine what England and France can do.

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  84. PoKoCat, I have got to do it...:) Poitiers looks like a must-see...:)

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  85. That sounds great Christy! He is quite an interesting character.

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  86. Ah, Colleen,if she were alive today, I am convinced Eleanor would be Queen of the World...:) Of course, we all know how biased I am.

    Roberta, I love Charleston...old buildings really hold a lot...I think you will love Europe too...:)

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  87. Ahhh Christy...don't we all wish we could re-write something in our history...

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  88. Amy, I would also love to have Joanna, Richard's sister in one of my novels...I hope that character shows up on my doorstep one day...she fascinates me too

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  89. That would be great Christy. I have always wanted to learn more about Joanna.

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  90. Roberta, that is true...but the mistakes I made also made me who I am, so in the end, I am willing to live with them. Good thing, huh? :)

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  91. There is nothing like going to the history! The only part of Europe I have been to is Scotland because that is where I have family, but it was unbelieveable! My cousin and I went all over the place and got to visit ruins from our families clan (my maiden name is Macdonald) as well as some interesting places like the faery glen in Skye. I cannot wait to go back!

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  92. Great stuff, Christy! I'm glad you're having an easier time technically than I did!

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  93. Austia, France and England are on my bucket list. Would love to go back to Italy someday...my son was born there. Also lived in Panama and Africa so I have a big travel bug.

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  94. Me, too Terry! Queen of Sicily, then she travels to the Levant with Richard, almost has to marry Saladin's brother to make the peace, and ends up at last married to Eleanor's old enemy, the Count of Toulouse. I love it...Joanna makes for fabulous story telling...

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  95. Gillian...blogger is so much better now ;)

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  96. Thank heavens, Gillian! Or maybe I should thank Blogger...:)

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  97. I would love to know more about Joanna - the little i know makes me very interested in her.

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  98. Well, time sure flies when you're having fun! It's about time to wrap it up!

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  99. Christy...Joanna's story sounds great and it's always nicer to have a woman's perspective on things. Especially when they are forced to be humble and graceful.

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  100. Colleen, your time in Scotland sounds amazing...that is one of the countries on my list. And Roberta, I want to go to all the places you listed...especially Italy. I'll bet there's a book or two there waiting to be discovered...:)

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  101. Thanks to everyone here...it's been a pleasure as always to be in your company!

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  102. Thank you Christy and Amy! This has been so much fun and I love finding out more about how authors tick :)!

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  103. Thanks so much for hosting this chat, Amy and thanks so much to you Christy for sharing your thoughts with us!

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  104. Thank you for having us Amy! Roberta, Joanna is a must...I hope I get to write about her...thank you all for being here. I have had such a blast!

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  105. Thanks as always for hosting Amy! Christy is was great learning about your writing process and how you develope your characters. Ladies...have a wonderful week. Fondly, Roberta

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  106. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts with me...I have loved it!

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  107. A big thanks to Christy for spending time with us! To Be Queen is a wonderful read and I congratulate you on all of your success!

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  108. Thank you Amy! You bloggers and readers are what make us a success!

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  109. It's our pleasure Christy :)

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  110. Have a great night everyone!

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  111. Good night Amy, Christy and everyone!

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  112. Oh poo!
    Time differences.
    I'm sorry I missed it

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  113. I would have loved to join but I live in Australia and got here too late! It's hard to work out the time difference.

    The comments are wonderfully interesting. I will read them all again.

    Thank you Christy and Amy!

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  114. Wow- Sure looks like I missed a fun-filled evening..so here I am--very late, but happy I got to read the great convo that went on:) It woud be soo amazing to read more on Alais and - a book on Theodora, I would simply gobble it up. The great Byzantine empire is filled with unbelievable stories about powerful women. But- back to Eleanor- I'll be reading it soon and can't wait! I want to find out more about her life before she's with Henry. I think it will give me a good sense of her starting point to greatness. Thanks- and so sorry I missed this.

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  115. Teaching class last night so I had to miss. I enjoyed reading all of the comments and conversations. A novel on Theodora would be for me as well. Never heard of her, and I like discovering new historical characters.
    I saw the latest version of Lion in Winter with Glenn Close and Patrick Stewart and ever since then I adored Eleanor. So ahead of her time,a nd not taking anything from anybody. Truly a pioneer for women's rights!

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