August 28, 2011

Tudors & Boleyns, Oh my! Fall Non-Fiction releases

A certain buzz has already been created about the collaborative effort of the upcoming Philippa Gregory non-fiction work, The Women of the Cousin's War, featuring scholars David Baldwin and Michael Jones. This book will take a look at Jaquetta of Luxembourg, her daughter Queen Elizabeth Woodville (mother of the lost princes) and Margaret Beaufort (mother to Henry VII). The book features family trees and other illustrations.

Also upcoming is Bessie Blount: The Story of Henry VIII's Longtime Mistress, which features one of the main characters in Henry VIII's young life, as Bessie gave Henry a longed-for son, however illegitimate. Author Elizabeth Norton will try to shed some light on Bessie, who was rumored to have been quite beautiful and perhaps Henry's first love.

And not to be forgotten, those once powerful and always scheming Boleyns: The Boleyn’s: The Rise and Fall of a Tudor Family by David Loades will tell us some of the story of the trio of siblings George, Mary and Anne, the treachery and haters who helped bring them down.. while Mary Boleyn enjoys some more attention this fall with a new biography penned by Alison Weir.

I wouldn't mind reading each one of these titles, though one has to wonder how long can the allure of the Tudors and Boleyns last?

August 18, 2011

Giveaway! A Rather Remarkable Homecoming by C.A. Belmond

Written with her trademark wit, wisdom and verve, C.A. Belmond’s A RATHER REMARKABLE HOMECOMING (NAL Trade; September 6, 2011) is the fourth novel in a RATHER delightful series, featuring her beloved and thoroughly likeable characters, Penny and Jeremy, who often find themselves in hot water as they investigate historical mysteries that take them globe-trotting to Europe’s most glamorous locales.

In A RATHER REMARKABLE HOMECOMING, Penny and Jeremy return from their honeymoon to their London townhouse, only to be greeted by emissaries of Prince Charles, who has a special assignment for them. His Royal Highness would like them to solve an historical mystery in Cornwall, England, in the hopes of rescuing the charming village where Penny and Jeremy first met as kids. A property developer is bulldozing his way across the seacoast’s countryside. Now the only hope for rescuing the beautiful area is if Penny and Jeremy can solve an Elizabethan riddle, leading to a far greater quest than they bargained for.

Amid Celtic lore and tales of Shakespeare, smugglers and shipwrecks, Penny and Jeremy contend with an eccentric cast of Cornish locals: a posh restaurateur, a bird-watching earl, a vain actor, a New Age farmer, a rebel rock-and-roller and a band of determined “eco-warriors”. Their mission takes the intrepid pair to the lush island of Madeira and the legends of Tintagel, in a race against time to stop the wrecking ball from striking.

Are you interested in joining Penny and Jeremy for a voyage of travel, food, wine, love and life’s little pleasures? The publisher is offering one lucky follower of HF-Connection a copy of A RATHER REMARKABLE HOMECOMING.

To enter for the book giveaway, please leave a comment with your email address, and be sure to remember to follow HF-Connection! Open to followers in US/Canada. Ends September 2nd, 2011.

Visit the author's website here, and the book's Amazon page here.

August 07, 2011

Coveted Historical Fiction Releases for Early Fall!

If you visit the Historical Novel Society's website, you will find lists of titles that are due out for the upcoming months. We won't repeat them here verbatim because they might get mad, but we will definitely note a few of those novels that we are very eager to read for ourselves! There is going to be a flurry of happy historical fiction fans this fall!

Seymour Chawast's The Canterbury Tales  (August 30, 2011) Accompany a band of merry medieval pilgrims as they make their way -on motorcycles, of course- to Canterbury. Complete with illustrations and diagrams. The cover looks jovial, should be an interesting retelling.

Kimberly Cutter's The Maid: A Novel of Joan of Arc Already boasting 5 star reviews on Amazon and it's not due out till October 18, 2011. The author writes of Joan's teen years and humanizes the saint.

Carrolly Erickson's The Favored Queen: A Novel of Henry VIII's Third Wife (September 27, 2011) The third wife being Jane Seymour, the one who toppled Anne Boleyn and gave Henry his much wished-for male heir. This one may be a slightly different take on the downfall of Anne and the supplanting of Jane, as the product description states Jane was "deeply reluctant to embark on such a dangerous course".  One wonders, though.

Stella Duffy's Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore (Sept 27, 2011) Previously released in the UK to good reviews, this novel is about Theodora of Constantinople, a very controversial but powerful woman from the 6th century. Something a little different for readers.

Anna Elliott's Sunrise of Avalon (September 13, 2011)  Final book in her Avalon trilogy about Trystan and Isolde. I read the previous two, so of course I must read the grand finale! Isolde is such an intriguing character.

Kate Emerson's Secrets of the Tudor Court: At the King's Pleasure  Another in her Tudor series, this one is based on the story of Lady Anne Stafford. The series all feature different courtiers and can be read as stand alones. Slated for September but has been rescheduled nearer to December, so put it on your Christmas list!

Kimberley Freeman's Wildflower Hill (August 23, 2011 according to Amazon) A story of a ballerina who returns to Australia after a career-ending injury and discovers she has inherited a sheep estate and is none too pleased; multigenerational saga. (You got me at multi-generational saga.)

Philippa Gregory's The Lady of the Rivers Latest in the Cousins’ War series tells the story of Jacquetta, mother of Elizabeth Woodville (with ties to Melusina, ya know!) You either love her or hate her. Does she need an introduction? I will be aching to read this one.. just because.

Maggie Holt's A Nurse At War   Features an attractive nurse during WWII, love found and lost and found again.. touted as a romantic saga.. there's that saga word does look like it is chunkster at around 500 pages.

Gotta ADORE this cover! So different than the typical royal covers..
Fiona Mountain's Cavalier Queen  "Epic historical novel about the lives and loves of Charles I's queen, Henrietta Maria. An English Gone With the Wind." It's never very fair to compare new novels to beloved classics, therefore my heart already goes out to the author. I do want to read it since it is so "epic" and see how she portrays Henrietta. And that cover!

Sharon Kay Penman's Lionheart (October 4, 2011) The much anticipated epic story of Richard the Lionheart, son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, and his not-so-merry adventure of the Third Crusade. Penman is a Queen of historical fiction and all its many details.

Click on over to the September list at HNS and tell us what caught your eye!