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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

The Tsarina's Daughter by Carolly Erickson: A Book Review

The Tsarina’s Daughter Author: Carolly Erickson Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Release Date: 2008 Pages: 332 Source: My State Public Library  Synopsis: From the bestselling author of The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette comes a dramatic novel and powerful love story about the last Russian imperial family.      It is 1989 and Daria Gradov is an elderly grandmother living in the rural West. What neighbors and even her children don't know, however, is that she is not who she claims to be—the widow of a Russian immigrant of modest means. In actuality she began her life as the Grand Duchess Tatiana, known as Tania to her parents, Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra.      And so begins the latest entrancing historical entertainment by Carolly Erickson. At its center is young Tania, who lives a life of incomparable luxury in pre-Revolutionary Russia, from the magnificence of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg to the family's private enclave outside the ca

The Spanish Queen: A Novel of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon by Carolly Erickson: A Book Review

The Spanish Queen: A Novel of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon Author: Carolly Erickson Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Release Date: 2013 Pages: 288 Source: Personal Collection  Synopsis: From the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Wife of Henry VIII comes a powerful and moving novel about Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII's first wife and mother of Mary I.      When young Catherine of Aragon, proud daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, is sent to England to marry the weak Prince Arthur, she is unprepared for all that awaits her: early widowhood, the challenge of warfare with the invading Scots, and the ultimately futile attempt to provide the realm with a prince to secure the succession. She marries Arthur's energetic, athletic brother Henry, only to encounter fresh obstacles, chief among them Henry's infatuation with the alluring but wayward Anne Boleyn.      In The Spanish Queen , bestselling novelist Carolly Erickson allow