Monday, January 31, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Summer 1553: A time of danger and deceit. Brendan Prescott, an orphan, is reared in the household of the powerful Dudley family. Brought to court, Prescott finds himself sent on an illicit mission to the king’s brilliant but enigmatic sister, Princess Elizabeth. But Brendan is soon compelled to work as a double agent by Elizabeth’s protector, William Cecil, who promises in exchange to help him unravel the secret of his own mysterious past.
A dark plot swirls around Elizabeth’s quest to unravel the truth about the ominous disappearance of her seriously ill brother, King Edward VI. With only a bold stable boy and an audacious lady-in-waiting at his side, Brendan plunges into a ruthless gambit of half-truths, lies, and murder. Filled with the intrigue and pageantry of Tudor England, The Tudor Secret is the first book in The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles.
A grand-scale historical novel from the national bestselling author of Mistress Shakespeare.
Born into a first family of Ireland, with royal ties on both sides, Elizabeth Fitzgerald-known as Gera-finds her world overturned when Henry VIII imprisons her father, the Earl of Kildare, and brutally destroys her family. Torn from the home she loves, her remaining family scattered, Gera dares not deny the refuge offered her in England's glittering royal court. There she must navigate ever-shifting alliances even as she nurtures her secret desire for revenge. From County Kildare's lush green fields to London's rough-and-tumble streets and the royal court's luxurious pageantry, The Irish Princess follows the journey of a daring woman whose will cannot be tamed, and who won't be satisfied until she restores her family to its rightful place in Ireland.
On 22 August 1485 the forces of the Yorkist king Richard III and his Lancastrian opponent Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond clashed at Bosworth Field in Leicestershire in one of the decisive battles of English history. Richard was defeated and killed. Henry took the crown as Henry VII, established the Tudor dynasty and set English history on a new course. For the last 500 years this, the most famous battle of the Wars of the Roses, has excited passionate interest and continuing controversy.
Peter Hammond, in a vivid and perceptive account of the battle, retells the story of the tangled dynastic and personal rivalries that provoked the conflict, describes the preparations of the two converging armies and offers a gripping analysis of the contest itself. The latest documentary and archaeological evidence is considered, and the author weighs up the merits of conflicting interpretations of the battle and the battlefield. He also pays particular attention to the contrasting characters of Richard III and Henry Tudor, the villain and the victor of the drama, who are reconsidered as individuals and as commanders.
This lucid, authoritative and readable new history will be essential reading for anyone who is intrigued by the short, unhappy reign of Richard III and the trial of strength that destroyed him.
It is Britain, AD 60. Three Roman towns are in ashes and thousands lie dead. With her new allies, the Trinovantes and the Catuvellauni, Boudica and the Iceni march defiantly towards their enemy. They seek one last pivotal victory to drive the Romans from their land forever. Not far away the Roman governor, Gaius Suetonius Paulinus awaits them. His ground chosen, his strategy decided, his small force awaits the great native army. If his strategy is sound they will prevail, if not they will be massacred, losing the province forever. Is it really revenge Boudica wants for the vile humiliations the Romans heaped on her? Or is she playing for much higher stakes? And Paulinus, can he defeat the odds to win the day? To answer these questions, this book will re examine events from a fresh, tactical perspective and produce a clearer picture of a revolt crushed on a newly suggested battle site, offering a new interpretation of a battle that decided 2000 years of Britain's cultural heritage.
From the award-winning author of The King's Daughter comes a story of love and defiance during the War of the Roses.
It is 1497. The news of the survival of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, has set royal houses ablaze with intrigue and rocked the fledgling Tudor dynasty. With the support of Scotland's King James IV, Richard-known to most of England as Perkin Warbeck-has come to reclaim his rightful crown from Henry Tudor. Stepping finally onto English soil, Lady Catherine Gordon has no doubt that her husband will succeed in his quest.
But rather than assuming the throne, Catherine would soon be prisoner of King Henry VII, and her beloved husband would be stamped as an imposter. With Richard facing execution for treason, Catherine, alone in the glittering but deadly Tudor Court, must find the courage to spurn a cruel monarch, shape her own destiny, and win the admiration of a nation.
From 1810 to 1820, while his father, King George III, declined into madness at Windsor, besieged by nightmares of England sinking into the sea, George, the Prince of Wales, served as Regent, creating an epoch in England now known as the Regency Period.
This was the age of the opulent interiors of the prince’s palace, Carlton House, the grand scenic architecture of his Brighton Pavilion, outlandish fashion, extravagant balls, the age of Austen, Shelley and Lord Byron. Yet as Carolly Erickson’s portrait of this quicksilver age shows, beneath the veneer of the chinoiserie and the grand facades, it was also a time of explosive popular unrest, political radicalism, and the European struggle against Napoleon. Aristocratic ennui and decadence contrasted with economic upheavals in the Midlands. While Caroline, Princess of Wales and wife of the Regent, had flagrant affairs and made outrageous scenes at court, the Luddites made midnight raids on textile machinery and murdered mill owners. The fascinating personalities both at court and in society—the Royals, Napoleon, the Duke of Wellington, Hannah Moore and others—provide the dramatic intrigue of this excellent social history, tempered by the larger, dynamic forces of English society in flux. It is history told through the people who made it happen.
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.
Rebellion is brewing in Napoleonic Paris, in the new action-packed novel from the author of the bestselling Ratcatcher October 1812: Britain and France are still at war. France is engaged on two battle fronts - Spain and Russia - and her civilians are growing weary of the fight. Rebellion is brewing. Since Napoleon Bonaparte appointed himself as First Consul, there have been several attempts to either kill or overthrow him. All have failed, so far! Meanwhile in London, Bow Street Runner Matthew Hawkwood has been seconded to the foreign arm of the Secret Service. There, he meets the urbane Henry Brooke, who tells him he's to join a colleague in Paris on a special mission. Brooke's agent has come up with a daring plan and he needs Hawkwood's help to put it into action. If the plan is successful it could lead to a negotiated peace treaty between France and the allies. Failure would mean prison, torture and a meeting with the guillotine!
Seduction, betrayal and murder: the true art of the renaissance. Cesare Borgia, Niccolo Machiavelli and Leonardo da Vinci - three of the most famous, or notorious, names in European history. In the autumn of 1502, their lives intersect in a castle in Italy's Romagna. In this hugely intelligent and entertaining novel, Samuel Black tells the true story of these men who, with different tools - ruthless ambition, unstoppable genius and subtle political manipulation - each follow an obsession to attain greatness and leave a lasting mark on the world. And at the centre of this court of intrigue and deception is Dorotea Caracciolo, a young noblewoman abducted by Borgia who has become his lover - and his secret agent. Their story begins in hope and fear and ends in bloodshed, deceit and triumph. Along the way, there are battles and romances, lavish parties and furtive stranglings. And out of this maelstrom will emerge the Mona Lisa and The Prince.
1584 – Surrey, England When Lady Jane Rievaulx begins service to the Queen at Richmond Palace, she is thrilled at the court’s newest arrival . . . Master James Lacey. Despite her previous courtship with his older brother, James is the man she truly loves. And for his part, he cannot deny his fascination with her. However, James is setting sail on a treacherous journey to the Americas, seeking absolution for what he sees as past sins. But when Lady Jane is forced into a terrible situation by her own family, there is only one man to save her. Will Master James return to his lady - before it’s too late?
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Beleaguered by scandal, betrayed by faithless spouses, bedeviled by ambitious children, the kings and queens of Great Britain have been many things, but they have never been dull. Some sacrificed everything for love, while others met a cruel fate at the edge of an axman’s blade. From the truth behind the supposed madness of King George to Queen Victoria’s surprisingly daring taste in sculpture, Behind the Palace Doors ventures beyond the rumors to tell the unvarnished history of Britain’s monarchs, highlighting the unique mix of tragedy, comedy, romance, heroism, and incompetence that has made the British throne a seat of such unparalleled fascination.
• stories covering every monarch, from randy Henry VIII to reserved Elizabeth II
• historical myths debunked and surprising “Did you know . . . ?” anecdotes
• four family trees spanning every royal house, from the Tudors to the Windsors
Volmar and Hildegard are cast into a web of violence and intrigue spawned by the greed of power-hungry noblemen, deceitful clerics, and the ambitions of a secret society sworn to protect the warriors of the Crusades?
Book One of The Seer and the Scribe series begins where recorded history is silent, introducing you to the extraordinary lives of Hildegard and Volmar, as they challenge the darkness of this fearful time.
Beautifully educated, born to the life of a Southern gentleman, Dr. John Henry Holliday is given an awful choice at the age of twenty-two: die within months in
And that is where the unlikely friendship of Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp really begins—before Wyatt Earp is the prototype of the square-jawed, fearless lawman; before Doc Holliday is the quintessential frontier gambler; before the gunfight at the O.K. Corral links their names forever in American frontier mythology—when neither man wanted fame or deserved notoriety.
Authentic, moving, and witty, Mary Doria Russell’s fifth novel redefines these two towering figures of the American West and brings to life an extraordinary cast of historical characters, including Holliday’s unforgettable companion, Kate. First and last, however, Doc is John Henry Holliday’s story, written with compassion, humor, and respect by one of our greatest contemporary storytellers.
Enter Marcus Didius Falco, an Impreisal agent on a special mission: to find the absconding commander of a legion whose loyalty is suspect. Easier said than done, thinks Marcus, as he makes his uneasy way down the Rhenus, trying to forget that back in sunny Rome his girlfriend Helena Justina is being hotly pursued by Titus Caesar. His mood is not improved when he discovers his only allies are a woefully inadequate bunch of recruits, their embittered centurion, a rogue dog, and its innocent young master; just the right kind of support for an agent unwillingly trying to tame the Celtic hordes.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Here's the color version of Sara Poole's upcoming book, The Borgia Betrayal. Release date June 7, 2011.
In the summer of 1493, Rodrigo Borgia, Alexander VI, has been pope for almost a year. Having played a crucial role in helping him ascend the throne of Saint Peter, Francesca, haunted by the shadows of her own past, is now charged with keeping him there. As court poisoner to the most notorious and dangerous family in Italy, this mistress of death faces a web of danger, intrigue, and deceit that threatens to extinguish the light of the Renaissance.
From the hidden crypts of 15th century Rome to its teeming streets alive with sensuality, obsession, and treachery, Francesca must battle the demons of her own dark nature to unravel a plot to destroy the Borgias, seize control of Christendom, and plunge the world into eternal darkness.
This sweeping, powerful epic tells the story of one of the bloodiest years in Rome's history through the eyes of two remarkable women fighting for survival
A.D. 69. The Roman Empire is up for the taking. The Year of the Four Emperors will change everything - especially the lives of two sisters with a very personal stake in the outcome. Elegant and ambitious, Cornelia embodies the essence of the perfect Roman wife. She lives to one day see her loyal husband as Emperor. Her sister Marcella is more aloof, content to witness history rather than make it. But when a bloody coup turns their world upside down, both women must manoeuvre carefully just to stay alive. As Cornelia tries to pick up the pieces of her shattered dreams, Marcella discovers a hidden talent for influencing the most powerful men in Rome. In the end, though, there can only be one Emperor...and one Empress.
But for two women watching far more than the coveted prize is at stake. For beautiful Pia of the Tolomei the Palio is her last hope of escaping a violent marriage. For Violante de Medici, isolated in her palace, it marks the start of what her enemies intend to be her last month as
Monday, January 24, 2011
Despite the fact that I"m old enough to have a daughter in college, my father and my grandparents continue to insist on giving me money for Christmas and this year was no exception. I"m not complaining - in fact, it's the one time of year I feel OK buying myself something completely unnecessary and with no justification required. I thought about buying some clothes, but those are a necessity and I would buy those anyway. I thought about buying books, but really? C'mon - I have more than 400 unread books so I decided against it this year.
Needing something to help fill in the spaces of the bookcase my husband made for me, I decided to get some historical dolls. I decided I didn't want ones that were representations of historical people - you know, dress it up in a Tudor style dress and call it Anne Boleyn even if it looks nothing like her - but ones that were based on actual portraits. In my search I came across an Etsy site that sells miniature dolls of all kinds - historical, characters from books, celebrities etc. So I picked three:
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Friday, January 21, 2011
I"ve been thinking about this for some time and since I don't do Facebook (I swear I would never get anything done if I did) I decided to give it a try. I"m not exactly sure what I'm going to do with it but we'll see!!
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Raised in the court of Milan and wed at age ten to the Pope's corrupt nephew, Caterina was ensnared in
A rich evocation of Renaissance life, The Tigress of Forli reveals Caterina Riario Sforza as a brilliant and fearless ruler, and a tragic but unbowed figure.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Young Lucrezia gradually accepts her fate as she comes to terms with the delicate nature of her relationships with her father and brothers. The unbreakable bond she shares with them both exhilarates and terrifies her as her innocence begins to fade. Soon she will understand that her family’s love pales next to their quest for power and that she herself is the greatest tool in their political arsenal. From the inimitable pen of Jean Plaidy, this family’s epic legend is replete with passion, intrigue, and murder—and it’s only the beginning.
Born into Rome’s notorious Borgia family, young Lucrezia led a life colored by violence and betrayal. Now, married for the second time at just eighteen, she hopes for happiness with her handsome husband, Alfonso. But faced with brutal murder, she’s soon torn between her love for her husband and her devotion to her brother Cesare . . . And in the days when the Borgias ruled Italy, no one was safe from the long arm of their power. Even Lucrezia.
In this compelling story of a beautiful woman caught up in a tortuous web of fear and love, Jean Plaidy sheds light on the much maligned Lucrezia and vividly brings her to life.
Using recently discovered forensic evidence from the original investigation, Skidmore is able to put an end to centuries of speculation as to the true causes of Robsart’s death. This is the story of a treacherous period in Elizabeth’s life: a tale of love, death, and tragedy, exploring the dramatic early life of England’s Virgin Queen.
As their plots begin to unravel, Laura and Jaouen are forced on the run with the children, and with the help of the Pink Carnation they escape to the countryside, traveling as husband and wife. But Delaroche will stop at nothing to take down his nemesis. With his men hot on their trail, can Laura and Jaouen seal the fate of Europe before it's too late?
Atticus and his crew are among the handful of survivors and being the messenger of this news to the Senta in Rome brings Atticus into political troubles, almost as stormy as the sea. He begins to feel not onlt that a greek will never be accepted by the Romans but also that the behaviour of many, noth politicians and soldiers, is such that he is not sure that he wants to be a Roman.
Full of dramatic battles by land and sea, led by tremendous characters on both sides, MASTER OF ROME is a powerful novel, the third in this bestselling series by a born storyteller.
In the town of
Discovering that she is a pawn in a carefully orchestrated plot devised by her father, the duke of Norfolk, Mary dare not disobey him. Yet despite all of her efforts to please him, she too falls prey to his cold wrath. Not until she becomes betrothed to Harry Fitzroy, the Duke of Richmond and son to King Henry VIII, does Mary finds the love and approval she s been seeking.
But just when Mary believes she is finally free of her father, the tides turn. Now Mary must learn to play her part well in a dangerous chess game that could change her life and the course of history. An unforgettable drama of betrayal, ambition, lost innocence and perseverance, perfect for fans of Phillipa Gregory's novels and TV series such as The Tudors.
Friday, January 14, 2011
In the year 1492, young Scottish noblewoman Isabeau Blythe is at last returning to her ancestral home on the Borders. Now heir to Blythe Hall, Isabeau is determined to leave behind her family's extraordinary past. Their peculiar relations with the fantastical creatures commonly known as angels was the ruin of both her father and her brother. Isabeau is confident she can assume control of Blythe Hall and its people, stave off marriage until the moment it suits her, and bring the turbulent clans of the Borders under control. Yet fate thwarts her even as she enters the imposing gates of Blythe Hall. Incensed upon learning that Sir George Douglas, the knight seeking to be the next Lord Blythe, has been tracking her movements, Isabeau is further disturbed at the appearance of her magnificently beguiling brother. Worse, Julius reveals he's on the hunt for an angel. Isabeau begins to experience wild visions of a strange man whom her heart inexplicably longs for. With Sir George's army outside her gates, she summons help from the illusive man of her visions: Gabriel, who holds the secret of Blythe Hall.
Young Adult. 1584 – Surrey, England When Lady Jane Rievaulx begins service to the Queen at Richmond Palace, she is thrilled at the court’s newest arrival . . . Master James Lacey. Despite her previous courtship with his older brother, James is the man she truly loves. And for his part, he cannot deny his fascination with her. However, James is setting sail on a treacherous journey to the Americas, seeking absolution for what he sees as past sins. But when Lady Jane is forced into a terrible situation by her own family, there is only one man to save her. Will Master James return to his lady - before it’s too late?
Zarita, only daughter of the town magistrate, lives a life of wealth and privilege. Indulged by her parents, she is free to spend her days as she pleases, enjoying herself in the company of an eligible young nobleman, horse riding, or leisurely studying the arts.
Saulo, son of a family reduced by circumstances to begging, witnesses his father wrongfully arrested and dealt with in the most horrifying way. Hauled off to be a slave at sea and pursued by pirates he encounters the ambitious mariner explorer, Christopher Columbus. Throughout his hardships Saulo is determined to survive - for he has sworn vengeance on the magistrate and his family.
As Zarita's life also undergoes harsh changes the formidable and frightening Inquisition arrives in the area, bringing menacing shadows of suspicion with acts of cruel brutality - and ultimately, amid the intrigues of the court of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand in the splendid Moorish city of Grenada, betrayal and revenge...
Covers for all three of Rory Clements Elizabethan thriller books:
Into this turmoil a small cart clatters through the streets of London, carrying a deadly load. It is the first in a wave of horrific bombing attacks on the Dutch immigrant community that will change John Shakespeare's life for ever.
Driven on by cold rage, Shakespeare's investigations will take him from magnificent royal horseraces to the opulent chambers of Black Luce's brothel, from the theatrical underworld of Marlowe and Kyd to the pain-wracked torture cells of priest-hunter Richard Topcliffe, and from the elegant offices of master tactician Robert Cecil to the splintering timbers of an explosive encounter at sea.
As Shakespeare delves ever deeper, he uncovers intricate layers of mystery and deception that threaten the heart not only of the realm, but of all that he holds dear.