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Empress of the East: How a European Slave Girl Became Queen of the Ottoman Empire by Leslie Peirce: A Book Review

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Empress of the East: How a European Slave Girl Became Queen of the Ottoman Empire
Author:  Leslie Peirce
Genre: Nonfiction, History, Biography
Publisher:  Basic Books
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Pages: 354
Source: This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: The extraordinary story of the Russian slave girl Roxelana, who rose from concubine to become the only queen of the Ottoman empire.

     In Empress of the East, historian Leslie Peirce tells the remarkable story of a Christian slave girl, Roxelana, who was abducted by slave traders from her Ruthenian homeland and brought to the harem of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent in Istanbul. Suleyman became besotted with her and foreswore all other concubines. Then, in an unprecedented step, he freed her and married her. The bold and canny Roxelana soon became a shrewd diplomat and philanthropist, who helped Suleyman keep pace with a changing world in which women, from Isabella of Hungary to Catherine d…

Blog Tour: The Duchess Quest (Jordania #1) by C. K. Brooke

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The Duchess Quest Jordinia Book 1 by C.K. Brooke Genre: YA Romantic Fantasy All-New, Revised 2017 Second Edition
Love is destined to find her... Dainy doesn't know that she is the lost duchess of Jordinia, or that her uncle has organized a contest to seek her, offering her marriage hand as the reward! Though at odds, three clashing rivals--a noble giant, a forester, and a thief--voyage together by woodland, plains, and sea to recover the lost royal, notwithstanding assassins and spies at their tail. Soon, Dainy is swept into a comically complex romantic triangle as her suitors compete to capture her heart. Charmingly romantic and bursting with action, startling twists, and vivid characters, fans of Anastasiaand The Princess Bride will adore this original yet timeless tale of swashbuckling adventure and unlikely love.
A SHELF UNBOUND TOP 100 NOTABLE INDIE BOOK OF 2015! ♥ FIVE STARS FROM READERS' FAVORITE BOOK REVIEWS & AWARDS CONTEST
Add to Goodreads Amazon * 48Fourteen


C.K. Brooke is…

Rome's Christian Empress: Galla Placidia Rules at the Twilight of the Empire by Joyce E. Salisbury: A Book Review

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Rome's Christian Empress: Galla Placidia Rules at the Twilight of the Empire
Author:  Joyce E. Salisbury
Genre: Nonfiction, History, Biography
Publisher:  Johns Hopkins University Press
Release Date: 2015
Pages: 249
Source: My School Library
Synopsis: In Rome’s Christian Empress, Joyce E. Salisbury brings the captivating story of Rome’s Christian empress to life. The daughter of Roman emperor Theodosius I, Galla Placidia lived at the center of imperial Roman power during the first half of the fifth century. Taken hostage after the fall of Rome to the Goths, she was married to the king and, upon his death, to a Roman general. The rare woman who traveled throughout Italy, Gaul, and Spain, she eventually returned to Rome, where her young son was crowned as the emperor of the western Roman provinces. Placidia served as his regent, ruling the Roman Empire and the provinces for twenty years.

     Salisbury restores this influential, too-often forgotten woman to the center stage of this crucial …

Scourge of Henry VIII: The Life of Marie de Guise by Melanie Clegg: A Book Review

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Scourge of Henry VIII: The Life of Marie de Guise
Author: Melanie Clegg
Genre: Nonfiction, History, Biography
Publisher: Pen and Sword History 
Release Date: 2016
Pages: 224
Source: Personal Collection
Synopsis: Although Mary, Queen of Scots continues to fascinate both historians and the general public alike, the story of her mother, Marie de Guise, is much less well known. A political power in her own right, she was born into the powerful and ambitious Lorraine family, spending her formative years at the dazzling and licentious court of François I. Although briefly courted by Henry VIII, she instead married his nephew, James V of Scotland, in 1538.

     James' premature death four years later left their six day old daughter, Mary, as Queen and presented Marie with the formidable challenge of winning the support of the Scottish people and protecting her daughter’s threatened birthright. Content until now to remain in the background and play the part of the obedient wife, Marie spent the n…

Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scots: The Life of King Henry VIII's Sister by Sarah-Beth Watkins: A Book Review

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Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scots: The Life of King Henry VIII’s Sister
Author: Sarah-Beth Watkins
Genre: Nonfiction, History, Biography
Publisher: Chronos Books
Release Date: December 7, 2017
Pages: 168
Source: This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Margaret Tudor was Henry VIII's older sister and became the Queen of Scotland after her marriage to James IV in 1503. Her life was troubled and fraught with tension. She was continually caught between her country of birth and the country she ruled. After James IV's death, she made the disastrous decision to marry the Earl of Angus, threatening her regency and forcing the Scottish council to send for the Duke of Albany to rule in her stead. Over the years Margaret's allegiance swung between England and Scotland making her brother Henry VIII both her ally and her enemy at times. Although Margaret wished for peace between the two countries, these were tumultuous years and she didn't alway…

Blog Tour: The Other Alcott by Elise Hooper: A Book Review

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The Other Alcottby Elise Hooper Publication Date: September 5, 2017 Genres: Historical Fiction



Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble| Kobo | HarperCollins | IndieBound
Publisher: William Morrow Release Date: September 5, 2017 Pages: 432 Source: This book was given to me by IndieSage PR Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.  Synopsis: Elise Hooper’s debut novel conjures the fascinating, untold story of May Alcott—Louisa’s youngest sister and an artist in her own right.
     We all know the story of the March sisters, heroines of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. But while everyone cheers on Jo March, based on Louisa herself, Amy March is often the least favorite sister. Now, it’s time to learn the truth about the real “Amy”, Louisa’s sister, May.
     Stylish, outgoing, creative, May Alcott grows up longing to experience the wide world beyond Concord, Massachusetts. While her sister Louisa crafts stories, May herself is a talented and dedicated artist, taking lessons in Boston, turning…

Agrippina: The Mother of Nero by Anthony A. Barrett: A Book Review

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Agrippina: The Mother of Nero
Author: Anthony A. Barrett
Genre: Nonfiction, History, Biography
Publisher: Routledge
Release Date: 2002
Pages: 352
Source: My School Library
Synopsis: In this dynamic new biography - the first on Agrippina in English - Professor Barrett uses the latest archaeological, numismatic and historical evidence to provide a close and detailed study of her life and career. He shows how Agrippina's political contribution to her time seems in fact to have been positive, and that when she is judged by her achievements she demands admiration. Revealing the true figure behind the propaganda and the political machinations of which she was capable, he assesses the impact of her marriage to the emperor Claudius, on the country and her family. Finally, he exposed her one real failing - her relationship with her son, the monster of her own making to whom, in horrific and violent circumstances, she would eventually fall victim. 

My Review: Agrippina has been one of the most mali…

Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words

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Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words
Author: Andrew Morton
Genre: Nonfiction, History, Biography, 
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2009
Pages: 448
Source: My Personal Collection
Synopsis: The sensational biography of Princess Diana, written with her cooperation and now featuring exclusive new material to commemorate the 20th anniversary of her death.

     When Diana: Her True Story was first published in 1992, it forever changed the way the public viewed the British monarchy. Greeted initially with disbelief and ridicule, the #1 New York Times bestselling biography has become a unique literary classic, not just because of its explosive contents but also because of Diana’s intimate involvement in the publication. Never before had a senior royal spoken in such a raw, unfiltered way about her unhappy marriage, her relationship with the Queen, her extraordinary life inside the House of Windsor, her hopes, her fears, and her dreams. Now, twenty-five years on, biographer Andrew Morton…

Marie Antoinette: The Portrait of an Average Woman by Stefan Zweig: A Book Review

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Marie Antoinette: The Portrait of an Average Woman
Author: Stefan Zweig
Genre: Nonfiction, History, Biography
Publisher: Pushkin Press
Release Date: 2010
Pages: 590
Source: Edelweiss/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Life at the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette has long captivated readers, drawn by accounts of the intrigues and pageantry that came to such a sudden and unexpected end. Stefan Zweig's Marie Antoinette: The Portrait of an Average Woman is a dramatic account of the guillotine's most famous victim, from the time when as a fourteen-year-old she took Versailles by storm, to her frustrations with her aloof husband, her passionate love affair with the Swedish Count von Fersen, and ultimately to the chaos of the French Revolution and the savagery of the Terror. An impassioned narrative, Zweig's biography focuses on the human emotions of the participants and victims of the French Revolution, making it both an engrossingly compelling read and a swee…

Blog Tour: The Sworn Virgin by Kristopher Dukes: A Book Review

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About The Sworn VirginPaperback: 352 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (August 8, 2017)
Source: This book was given to me by TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Dukes’s gripping historical novel tells the tale of a desperate Albanian woman who will do whatever it takes to keep her independence and seize control of her future…even if it means swearing to remain a virgin for her entire life.

     When eighteen-year-old Eleanora’s father is shot dead on the cobblestone streets of 1910 Albania, Eleanora must abandon her dream of studying art in Italy as she struggles to survive in a remote mountain village with her stepmother Meria.

     Nearing starvation, Meria secretly sells Eleanora into marriage with the cruel heir of a powerful clan. Intent on keeping her freedom, Eleanora takes an oath to remain a virgin for the rest of her life—a tradition that gives her the right to live as a man: she is now head of her household and can work for a living as well as…

Marie Antoinette: Daughter of the Caesars: Her Life, Her Times, Her Legacy by Elena Maria Vidal: A Book Review

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Marie Antoinette, Daughter of the Caesars: Her Life, Her Times, Her Legacy
Author: Elena Maria Vidal
Genre: Nonfiction, History, Biography
Publisher: Mayapple Books
Release Date: 2016
Pages: 566
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Synopsis: Marie-Antoinette, Daughter of the Caesars is about the life, death and legacy of Louis XVI's tragic Queen, based upon the author's thirty years of research. Whenever possible the historical persons speak for themselves out of memoirs and letters. Marie-Antoinette is seen in light of her Imperial heritage as a child of the Habsburg dynasty. Having assumed the crown of the Holy Roman Empire in the 1400’s, the crown which had originated with Charlemagne in the year 800, they were seen as the continuation of the Roman Empire of the West. The Habsburgs and their allies kept the Muslims from overrunning Europe at both the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 and at the battle of Vienna in 1683. The fall of Marie-Antoinette, as both Queen of France and the youngest daughter o…

Marie Antoinette by Desmond Seward: A Book Review

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Marie Antoinette
Author: Desmond Seward
Genre: Nonfiction, History, Biography
Publisher: Thistle Publishing
Release Date: 2015
Pages: 253
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Synopsis: Giddy and extravagant, Marie Antoinette came to France as a child-bride from Austria, France’s traditional enemy, but the hatred she aroused was out of all proportion to her faults. It was not the sans-culottes who first called her ‘L’Autrichienne’ or accused her of lesbianism: the campaign of vilification and scurrilous ballads originated among the nobility, even the royal family. 

     Posterity sees her as foolish, immoral and devious, as a meddler in politics who unduly influenced her husband, the amiable and incompetent Louis XVI. Re-examining correspondence and memoirs, Desmond Seward finds a different Marie Antoinette: strong-minded, religious, devotedly maternal, surrounded by enemies, forced by her husband’s lethargy to intrigue as best she could to save the monarchy. She failed, but could any woman have done bett…