Mailbox Monday

Another Monday, Another Mailbox!! Mailbox Monday is a feature where we gush about the yummy new books that now grace our bookshelves! WARNING: Mailbox Mondays can lead to extreme envy and GINORMOUS wishlists!!

For the month of November, Mailbox Monday is being hosted by Marcia at the Mailbox Monday website.  Next month's host will be my friend Jenny Q at her blog, Let Them Read Books.
Hello, dear readers!  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!  I had a great time seeing my family in Florida and am still stuffed from all the delicious food we ate, but isn't that what it's all about?!  
For this Mailbox Monday I have a new e-ARC that I received from NetGalley...The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak.  This will be my first read on Catherine the Great and I hope it's a good introduction. 
Release Date:  January 10, 2012
From award-winning author Eva Stachniak comes this passionate novel that illuminates, as only fiction can, the early life of one of history’s boldest women. The Winter Palace tells the epic story of Catherine the Great’s improbable rise to power—as seen through the ever-watchful eyes of an all-but-invisible servant close to the throne.

Her name is Barbara—in Russian, Varvara. Nimble-witted and attentive, she’s allowed into the employ of the Empress Elizabeth, amid the glitter and cruelty of the world’s most eminent court. Under the tutelage of Count Bestuzhev, Chancellor and spymaster, Varvara will be educated in skills from lock picking to lovemaking, learning above all else to listen—and to wait for opportunity. That opportunity arrives in a slender young princess from Zerbst named Sophie, a playful teenager destined to become the indomitable Catherine the Great. Sophie’s destiny at court is to marry the Empress’s nephew, but she has other, loftier, more dangerous ambitions, and she proves to be more guileful than she first appears.

What Sophie needs is an insider at court, a loyal pair of eyes and ears who knows the traps, the conspiracies, and the treacheries that surround her. Varvara will become Sophie’s confidante—and together the two young women will rise to the pinnacle of absolute power.

With dazzling details and intense drama, Eva Stachniak depicts Varvara’s secret alliance with Catherine as the princess grows into a legend—through an enforced marriage, illicit seductions, and, at last, the shocking coup to assume the throne of all of Russia.

Impeccably researched and magnificently written, The Winter Palace is an irresistible peek through the keyhole of one of history’s grandest tales.
That's my mailbox...what goodies did you receive?


  1. I too love the cover of that one -- sounds amazing!

  2. I also received it thru netgalley and read it recently. I enjoyed it very much. See my review:
    I have at the end a technical question related to how to read these egalleys. if you have a mn to look and tell me what to do, I would appreciate. thanks Amy
    And oh I received this past week another netgalley: The First Rule of Ten, by Hendricks. a former Buddhist monk who turned detective. not bad at all so far

  3. This sounds great, and a great cover.

  4. A box from the Historical Novel Society with five - count them - five goodies to review!

    Before the Lark - Irene Bennett Brown
    Thief - Linda Windsor
    The Rescuer's Path - Paula Friedman
    The Power & the Glory - William C. Hammond
    Painted Women - Robert Kresge


  5. Sounds like a good one -- hope you enjoy it!

  6. I'm really interested in reading that one. I must admit being a bit skeptical about how much a lowly servant would actually see of the goings-on, I'm willing to suspend my disbelief a bit because this fascinating part of history has been SO neglected.

  7. I have this one; hope I enjoy it more than my last Catherine the Great read.

  8. I have added THE WINTER PALACE to my reading list thank you.


  9. What a fabulous review! I found my eyes getting rounder and rounder as I was reading it. I will definitely add this gem to my Wish List. Thank you so much, Amy, for sharing this.

  10. That book looks wonderful! Don't historical novels have the most gorgeous covers? Love it!

    Have a great week, Amy!

  11. you definitely love handbags in uk to your friends


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