Thursday, February 24, 2011

Review: The Tudor Secret by C.W. Gortner

Brendan Prescott never knew his parents, or even who his parents were. He was raised by a servant of the powerful Dudley family, Mistress Alice, alongside the four Dudley sons. At the age of twenty, he is sent to the court of young Edward VI to serve Robert Dudley.

In the waning days of Edward's short life the political plots are roiling. Court is a dangerous place to be and within days of his arrival Brendan is plunged into the complex webs that are being woven by both William Cecil, Princess Elizabeth's closest advisor, and John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, who controls the fate of Edward VI.

Cecil, in fact, sees something worthwhile in Brendan and recruits him as part of his extensive spy network. Cecil's instructions put Brendan at odds with his duties to Robert, making him a double agent. In spite of that, Brendan puts his wits and natural intelligence to work in support of the woman who wins his loyalty the first minute he sees her, Princess Elizabeth.

As Brendan is drawn further into the tumultuous reality of the court, he will be tested in multiple ways. His very survival will require all of his concentration, quick thinking and courage.

This novel has a fast pace and a thrilling plot that will keep you turning pages as fast as you can. I particularly enjoyed the portrayal of twenty year old Elizabeth, already forced to use all of her abilities to stay alive, biding her time until the throne of England is rightfully hers. For those of you who might be having a little Tudor burnout let me just say that you will not be disappointed in C.W. Gortner...a historical novelist who blows a breath of fresh air into the vast Tudor genre with his latest novel.

For more information about the author and his books, please visit his website. For my review of his first book, The Last Queen, click here.

The Tudor Secret (The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles) is published by St. Martin's Griffin, ISBN 978-0-312-65850-2.

This novel has been getting great reviews all over the blogosphere....check some of them out!

Booking Mama
CelticLady's Reviews
Historically Obsessed
My Friend Amy
Passages to the Past
Peeking Between the Pages
The Burton Review

Friday, January 7, 2011

Have you met Maisie Dobbs yet?

No? Well, now's the time to join Book Club Girl's Read-Along! She will post questions according to the following schedule:

January 14th - Maisie Dobbs
January 31st - Birds of a Feather
February 14th - Pardonable Lies
February 22nd - Paperback edition of The Mapping of Love and Death goes on sale
February 28th - Messenger of Truth
March 14th - An Incomplete Revenge
March 22nd - Hardcover of A Lesson in Secrets goes on sale
March 28th- Among the Mad
April 11th- The Mapping of Love and Death
April 25th - A Lesson in Secrets

Find all information about the Read-Along here. I'm excited to join, I have read one book in the middle of this series and this gives me the perfect reason to go back and read them the right order (yes, I have a little OCD about reading series books in order...I admit it!).

Visit Jacqueline Winspear's website for info about Maisie and the whole series and find the Jacqueline Winspear page on Facebook.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas!!

Have a wonderful holiday season!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Review & Giveaway: Dining With Joy by Rachel Hauck

Joy Ballard fell into television by accident. Well, sort of. Her dad had a local cooking show, Dining with Charles. But when he died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 56, his last wish was that Joy take over. There was just one problem with that, Joy is a total klutz in the kitchen. She can't cook, if it was possible to burn water, she would find a way.

But, for her dad and the crew who made their living from the show, Joy stepped in. And she turned out to be great on television. Funny, smart, full of ideas that made the show a success, taking it out of the kitchen making it more about the viewers and their experiences. For three years, everything was fine.

Then, disaster. The owner of the show sells to a big reality show production company. They love Joy, love the show, and are going to take it national. She has hit the big time...but that secret of hers just keeps getting bigger.

Luke Redmond looks like he might be her way out of the lie that threatens to ruin everything. He recently moved to Joy's hometown of Beaufort, SC after his New York restaurant failed. He's a great chef but a bad businessman. They hit it off from the start and soon Luke is the new co-host of Dining With Joy.

Unfortunately life is never so simple and lies as big as Joy's have a way of blowing up spectacularly.

Dining with Joy is published by Thomas Nelson, ISBN 978-1-59554-339-4. I received this book as part of the TLC Book Tour, for a complete blog tour list, click here. For more information about Rachel Hauck and her books, visit her website.

Up for grabs is my gently read copy of Dining With Joy. To enter just leave a comment that includes your email address. Open to anyone with a US or Canada mailing address. You can enter until midnight eastern time on December 9. Thanks for visiting and entering!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing everyone a lovely holiday!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Review: The Forever Queen by Helen Hollick

In the year 1002 thirteen year old Emma of Normandy is taken to England and given in marriage to AEthelred the king, who is an old man of thirty four. Like women down the ages, she had no choice in the matter and she instantly dislikes her new husband, a weak man with violent tendencies. She herself is distrusted from the start for her blood ties to the Vikings that habitually raid the English coast.

But Emma surprises herself, the stress of her situation results is something she didn't expect...turns out she is strong, feisty, brave in the face of her husband and the yes-men he surrounds himself with. While she can't quite bring herself to care even for her children, she grows to love the English people and they love her in return.

A weak king can only hold out for so long, especially against a strong, determined enemy like the Scandinavian king, Swein Forkbeard. With the Viking victory comes another sweeping change for Emma, her life and her future. She is equal to the challenge.

Helen Hollick

Those of you who have long been readers of this blog will know that Helen is one of my very favorite authors (and it isn't because she sends me Christmas cards, though I will say that receiving hers is the highlight of my holiday cards!!!). I picked up The Kingmaking in London in the early 1990's and that trilogy is still right at the top of my favorite books list. (Click on the titles for my reviews: The Kingmaking, Pendragon's Banner, Shadow of the King.) The Forever Queen is another fantastic historical fiction novel. It is classic Helen: meticulously researched, beautifully written, and with the intricacies of ancient politics simply and fascinatingly related so the reader feels completely at home in that time period. If you love historical fiction and have never read a Helen Hollick book, pick up The Forever Queen! By the time you finish you will be putting all the rest of them on your wishlist!

The Forever Queen is published by Sourcebooks. ISBN 978-1-4022-4068-3

For more information about Helen and all of her wonderful books, please visit her website and blog. She was recently featured in an interesting BBC radio program about Harold, the last Saxon king, you can listen to that here (but the site says it will only be up for four more days, so hurry!)

Here's a list of blogs participating in the Sourcebooks Fall Reading Club event for The Forever Queen:

















Book Club Chat on

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat!!

Vintage Halloween Greeting Pictures, Images and Photos

Thoughts from an Evil Overlord

Thank you!!

Thank you to Beth at Beth Fish Reads and to The Blogger Guide for helping me to customize my template and to Andrea at The Little Bookworm for improving my header!!

About Me

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New Hampshire, United States
Bibliophile, Anglophile, Traveller... I have been an avid reader all of my life, since I took the Dr. Seuss Dictionary away from my Mom when I was less than a year old because I wanted to read it myself. In college, where I earned my degree in English Literature, I was often asked "What are you going to do with it?" Now I finally have the answer to that question!!! Being employed as a Flight Attendant for twenty years has given me a lot of life experience and, better still, a lot of time to read. I love to travel for fun, too.