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Interview with Rebecca Hazell

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Rebecca Hazell. She has just released her latest novel, The War Queens . While researching her family heritage allowed her to discover a previously unknown link to Queens Brunhilda and Fredegunda. These women have been judged harshly at times throughout history. Thank you, Mrs. Hazell for the wonderful interview! What inspired you to write a novel about Queen Brunhilda and Queen Fredegunda? I was researching my family tree and discovered that I’m supposedly descended from both of them. Looking them up on Wikipedia , I came up with far more questions than answers and started digging into serious histories. Their biographies, which are full of gaps, fascinated me, especially since a close reading of the most reliable history tells quite a different story from what is commonly accepted about them. I wanted to tell their stories from a fresh point of view that humanizes them. Brunhilda and Fredegunda were not the traditional medieval women th
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Mistress Anne by Carolly Erickson: A Book Review

Mistress Anne Author: Carolly Erickson Genre: Nonfiction, History, Biography Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin Release Date: 1998 Pages: 304 Source: My personal collection Synopsis: As Maureen Quilligan wrote in the New York Times Book Review of The First Elizabeth , Anne Boleyn "was a real victim of the sexual scandals her brilliant daughter escaped, and a subject Ms. Erickson's sensitivity to sexual and political nuance should well serve." Indeed, Carolly Erickson could have chosen no more fascinating and appropriate a subject. Alluring and profoundly enigmatic, Anne Boleyn has eluded the grasp of historians for centuries.      Through her extraordinarily vivid re-creation of this most tragic chapter in all Tudor History, Carrolly Erickson gives us unprecedented insight into the singuarlity of Anne Boleyn's life, the dark and overwhelming forces that shaped her errant destiny, and the rare, tumultuous times in which she lived.       My Review: Anne Boleyn is the most

The Lisbon Affair (Flying with the Swallows #1) by Cat Gardiner: A Book Review

The Lisbon Affair (Flying With the Swallows #1) Author: Cat Gardiner Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance Publisher: Unionport Hills Books Release Date: April 2, 2024 Pages: 339 Source: This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: An unforgettable reading experience about one woman's brave determination to prove she is more than a do-nothing aristocrat and, in her journey of self-discovery and sacrifice, finds a second chance at true, unconditional love. * Epic adventure and romance. Strong female heroine.      New York City, 1943: War widow and Best Society’s darling Mrs. Evelyn (Evie) Rousseau Somerset is five months into mourning her husband’s death when her family insists on an untenable plan for her future. Desolate and disenchanted with life, she’s determined to remake herself and prove she’s something more than a useless socialite—regardless of what her senator brother and domineering mother demand of her.      A previous clandestine job

The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette by Carolly Erickson: A Book Review

The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette Author: Carolly Erickson Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Griffin Release Date: 2006 Pages: 368 Source: My personal collection Synopsis: Imagine that, on the night before she is to die under the blade of the guillotine, Marie Antoinette leaves behind in her prison cell a diary telling the story of her life―from her privileged childhood as Austrian Archduchess to her years as glamorous mistress of Versailles to the heartbreak of imprisonment and humiliation during the French Revolution.      Carolly Erickson takes the reader deep into the psyche of France's doomed queen: her love affair with handsome Swedish diplomat Count Axel Fersen, who risked his life to save her; her fears on the terrifying night the Parisian mob broke into her palace bedroom intent on murdering her and her family; her harrowing attempted flight from France in disguise; her recapture and the grim months of harsh captivity; her agony when her beloved husband was guillotin

The War Queens by Rebecca Hazell: A Book Review

The War Queens Author: Rebecca Hazell Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Tellwell Talent Release Date: 2023 Pages: 496 Source: This book was given to me by the publicist in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: By the sixth century, the Roman Empire is already lost to tribal invasions, brutal Merovingian Franks have seized Gaul from the civilized Romanized Visigoths, and a dark age has descended across Europe. Now a deadly rivalry arises between two Merovingian queens. Brunhilda and Fredegunda are equals in beauty and intelligence, but opposite in vision and temperament. When the Franks demand a royal bride, Visigoth Brunhilda marries into a world that despises women. Suddenly thrust into power and repeatedly facing loss and grief, she seeks to revive a new Rome based on justice and prosperity. Her implacable foe, Fredegunda, is a former slave concubine who lives only for personal power. Insanely jealous of high-born Brunhilda, she uses seduction, assassination, war, and even witc

Interview with Ezra Harker Shaw

     Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Ezra Harker Shaw. Ezra Harker Shaw is the author of the upcoming novel, The Aziola's Cry , which will be released on May 7, 2024.   Ezra Harker Shaw gives us insights into the lives of two legendary figures, Percy and Mary Shelley. These two lovers lived a life of literature and love while being on the run from a world that has often misunderstood them! Thank you, Ezra Harker Shaw! What drew your interest in the love story of Mary and Percy Shelley? When I was about sixteen years old, I lived in Dublin. I'd dropped out of school and I was drifting without any real direction in my life. I used to wander down Nassau street in the mornings on my way to the internet cafe where I would write to my friends and work on stories. There was a lovely little bookshop I often used to pop into, and one day, quite on a whim, I bought a thin Dover Thrift edition of Percy Shelley's poems for 2€.  Over the years I kept dipping into it: I

The Secret Life of Josephine: Napoleon's Bird of Paradise by Carolly Erickson: A Book Review

The Secret Life of Josephine: Napoleon’s Bird of Paradise  Author: Carolly Erickson Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Release Date: 2007 Pages: 356 Source: Personal Collection  Synopsis: The bestselling author of The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette and The Last Wife of Henry VIII returns with an enchanting novel about one of the most seductive women in history: Josephine Bonaparte, first wife of Napoleon.       Born on the Caribbean island of Martinique, Josephine had an exotic Creole appeal that would ultimately propel her to reign over an empire as wife of the most powerful man in the world. But her life is a story of ambition and danger, of luck and a ferocious will to survive. Married young to an arrogant French aristocrat who died during the Terror, Josephine also narrowly missed losing her head to the guillotine. But her extraordinary charm, sensuality, and natural cunning helped her become mistress to some of the most powerful politicians in post-Revolut