I have updated my review and giveaway policies page (now just titled Policies above). If you are entering a giveaway, please read and abide by the applicable policy.

I am no longer an Amazon Associate. I am currently working on updating my posts with links to various locations to buy books. One of the links I am including is to RJ Julia - this is my favorite local independent book store. You can shop their store online and have access to pretty much anything you are looking for. I do not have any affiliation with any of these sites - just looking to support my local indie book store.

Anyone looking for a new feed reader? My recommendation is Bloglovin'. I made the switch and love the layout, plus there is now an app for my phone. If you use Bloglovin' or have made the switch to another feed reader, please make sure you are following me on it so you miss none of the content here!

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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Read Your Own Books Challenge

2009 Read Your Own Books Challenge LogoThis challenge is hosted by MizB over at ReadingWise. The rules for this challenge are to set a goal for how many of your OWN books you want to read by the end of the year. I set my goal for 10 books. I think that is a reasonable goal. Here I will post my progress.

1. Plain Jane by Laurien Gardner - Review Here
2. Nefertiti by Michelle Moran - Review Here
3. Madame Serpent by Jean Plaidy - Review Here
4. A Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers by Angie Fox - Review Here
5. Innocent Traitor by Alison Fox - Review Here
6. Jane Eyre (Audio Book) - Charlotte Bronte - Review Here
7. The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn - Robin Maxwell - Review Here
8. 1st to Die (Audio Book)- James Patterson - Review Here
9. Eve - Elissa Elliott - Review Here
10. The Heretic Queen - Michelle Moran - Review Here

Yay I'm finished with my first real challenge of this year!

Copyright © 2009-2011 by The Maiden’s Court

Kreativ Blogger Award!! x 3

Kreativ blogger award I am so excited. Today I received this award from 3 great bloggers, Marie Burton from the Burton Review, FleurDeMar at Virginie Says..., Alabama Book Worm, and LizzyJ from Historically Obsessed. Thanks so much guys, it means a lot to be recognized for my blog! I really do enjoy doing it.

Ok, the rules for this award are as follows: List 7 things that you love and then pass it on to bloggers who are creative.

So the 7 Things I Love:
1. The blogging community
2. Time by myself to read
3. Cooking - especially new recipes
4. A breeze on a warm day
5. New crayons
6. Taste of fresh, ripe strawberries
7. My new laptop

And the bloggers I want to award this amazing award to are:
1. Plaidy's Royal Intrigue - You dedicate your blog to an author that I love!
2. Historically Obsessed - I love your blog background!
3. ...I'm Lost... - Definately a creative theory!

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court

Saturday, May 30, 2009

2009 Read & Review Challenge

2009 Read and Review Challenge Logo
This challenge is hosted by MizB over at MizB's Reading Challenges. The challenge runs for the whole 2009 year. The rules of this challenge are simple: write a review for every book you read in 2009.

Here I will keep track of the books for this challege and links to my reviews of them for easy access.

1. Plain Jane by Laurien Gardner - Review Here
2. Nefertiti by Michelle Moran - Review Here
3. Madame Serpent by Jean Plaidy - Review Here
4. The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers by Angie Fox - Review Here
5. I Am America, and So Can You by Stephen Colbert - Review Here
6. Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir - Review Here
7. Jane Eyre (Audio Book) by Charlotte Bronte - Review Here
8. The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn by Robin Maxwell - Review Here
9. 1st to Die (Audio Book) by James Patterson - Review Here
10. Eve by Elissa Elliott - Review Here
11. The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran - Review Here
12. Rage: The True Story of a Sibling Murder by Jerry Langton - Review Here
13. Dancing with Ana by Nicole Barker - Review Here
14. 2nd Chance by James Patterson - Review Here
15. Five Days in Paris by Danielle Steel - Review to Come
16. The Merry Monarch's Wife by Jean Plaidy - Review Here17. The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard - Review Here
18. Coraline by Neil Gaiman - Review Here19. Tara Road by Maeve Binchey - Review Here
20. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold - Review Here
21. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger - Review Here
22. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith - Review Here
23. Smitten by Janet Evanovich - Review Here
24. The Triumph of Deborah by Eva Etzioni-Halevy - Review Here
25. Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran - Review Here
26. Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult - Review Here
27. Elizabeth's Women: The Hidden Story of the Virgin Queen by Tracy Borman - Review Here
28. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen - Review Here
29. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger - Review Here
30. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe - Review Here
31. Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire - Review Here
32. The Golden Tulip by Rosalind Laker - Review Here
33. 3rd Degree by James Patterson & Andrew Gross - Review Here
34. Going Bovine by Libba Bray - Review Here
35. 4th of July by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro - Review Here
36. O, Juliet by Robin Maxwell - Look for the review in January during our Round Table Event
37. The Shadow of the Pomegranate by Jean Plaidy - Review Here
38. Thirsty by Kristin Bair-O'Keeffe - Review Here
39. The Accidental Demon Slayer by Angie Fox - Review Here
40. Notorious Royal Marriages by Leslie Carroll - Look for the review in January during our Round Table Event

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court

Friday, May 29, 2009

Jean Plaidy Challenge

Jean Plaidy Challenge Logo

So I realized today that I probably should post about the status of my challenges for this year. I am going to do this progressively over the next few days. So today, the Jean Plaidy Challenge. This is being hosted at Royal Intrigue. The directions are as follows, and are quite simple - read as many Plaidy as you can in 2009.

So far I have read -

1. A Rose Without A Thorn
2. Madame Serpent - Review Here
3. The Merry Monarch's Wife - Review Here
4. The Shadow of the Pomegranate - Review Here

I will update this as I go.

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court

Book Review: Madame Serpent by Jean Plaidy

Book cover of Madame Serpent by Jean Plaidy
Madame Serpent by Jean Plaidy
Book 1 in the Catherine de Medici series
Paperback, 404 pages
July 6, 2006

Genre: Historical Fiction, Series

Source: Personal Collection
"As a fourteen-year-old Catherine de Medici rode into France. Behind her and before her rode the nobility of Italy. She was to marry Henry of Orleans, second son of the King. 
Amid the glittering fetes, masques, jousts and banquets of the immoral court in 16th century Europe, the reluctant bride became a passionate but unwanted wife.
Angry, humiliated and tortured by jealousy as she secretly spied on Henry's lovemaking, Catherine began to plan her revenge..."
When I started this book, I really didn’t know anything about Catherine de’ Medici and had only previously read 1 book by Plaidy. I picked up this book thinking that it would have more about Italy in it, seeing as she is a Medici, mistake! It’s about France!

I found myself immediately sucked into the world of Catherine, Alessandro, and Ippolito (her relatives). Not too much time was spent on her life in Italy, which I would have liked to have seen a little more of, but what was included was great. Plaidy chooses the details that she includes carefully. The upbringing and emotional stress that Catherine had at the hands of her Aunt and the Pope really molded her into what she would become later in her life.

The bulk of the book takes place in the French Court. Catherine at first is the wife of the Dauphin, who eventually becomes King. Here at the French Court, Catherine faces more emotional stress from her husband, Henry II, and his mistress, Diane de Poitiers. She is only Dauphiness, and later Queen, by title, facing humiliation everywhere she turns. But Catherine finds strength and a way to survive this torture. She saves up every slight against her to use for revenge later.

Despite everything that I have read about Catherine from outside resources, this book has made me feel for her. I don’t think that she was an evil woman. She was a woman who was hurt, over and over again. I can totally sympathize with her want to seek revenge on those who hurt her. She had no one to turn to and could truly only rely on herself. I am not condoning her actions, but I can understand her motives.

I really did enjoy this book. I found myself being unable to wait until the next time that I would be able to pick up the book and read. There were 2 minor things that I did not like about this book. The first thing is the 3rd person omniscient point of view. One sentence you will be in the head of Diane and then the next sentence you will be in the head of Catherine and then a few sentences later in the head of someone else. I personally prefer a little more distinction between my narrators. The other thing that I had a problem with was the lack of dates throughout the book. There was almost no sense on time – you could jump 10 years between chapters. I had to use my knowledge of the time period and other royal houses to piece together what decade or period of time I was in. It made things a little awkward from time to time.

Jean Plaidy  also has written many other historical fiction books under several pen names.  The other books in this trilogy are The Italian Woman and Queen Jezebel. You can visit Royal Intrigue for additional information about all of the books under her many pen names.

My other reviews by this author:

Other blogger reviews of this book:

Here are some choices for purchasing the book: Amazon, B&N, RJ Julia (my fav indie bookstore).

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court

Check Out These Historical Figures!

Thanks to LizzyJ over at Historically Obsessed I was led to this awesome website that I wanted to share with all of you as well. George Stuart made these incredible likenesses of many historical figures. The website breaks the figures down into categories including English and French Royalty to American Revolutionaries and many others in between. There is quite an array of Tudor members included as well.

I wanted to share this image that I found from the website of Catherine de' Medici.
Catherine de Medici by George Stuart
Image of the Catherine de Medici model
by George Stuart
I don't think this is too flattering of an image, but maybe I just made her look fabulous in my head, haha.
Here is the link to his website: The Historical Figures of George Stuart.

Enjoy and leave a comment telling what some of your favorites were!

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Lemonade Award!!!

Lemonade Award
Thanks to Gaby317 at Starting Fresh I have been given this awesome award! This award is given to people who show great attitude and gratitude in their blogging. I would like to pass this on to:
Royal Reviews

Thanks everyone for some enjoyable blog reading!

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Giveaway Results!!!

I first want to say thank-you to everyone who entered my giveaway and read my blog, it means a lot to me. Now on with the results. The two people who will receive signed, hard-cover copies of The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran are...




I will be emailing you to get your info! Thanks and congratulations!

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Quote of the Day

"How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child."
~Catherine de' Medici

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court

Monday, May 25, 2009

Artwork Mentioned in Madame Serpent

As I was reading through Madame Serpent I came across a passage that contained a description of some artwork that King Francis I had in his posession. Having just finished studying Italian Art I had to go and look these up to see if they were actually in his posession; here is what I found.

Here is the passage from the book: "Summer came, and Fontainebleau was beautiful in summer. Francis, as restless as ever, found some peace in this palace among his statues and paintings. He would spend much time, between bouts of feasting and love-making, marvelling at his Italian pictures - Leonardo's Gioconda, Michelangelo's Leda, and Titian's Magdalen among them." (pg 163-164)

Leonardo Da Vinci - La Gioconda
Also Known As - Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa or La Gioconda by Leonardo Da Vinci
First of all, I had to look this one up because I had never heard of it called La Gioconda. Leonardo began this painting in 1503 and brought it to France with him when he moved there in his late life. King Francis I bought it from an assistant of Leonardo after his death and kept it at Fontainebleau. It was moved to it's current home, the Louvre, after the French Revolution.

Michelangelo Buonarroti - Leda and the Swan

Leda and the Swan by Michelangelo BuonarrotiThis painting is inspired by the Ancient Greek myth that Zeus came to Leda in the form of a Swan and inpregnated her. She later gave birth to 2 children - 1 being that of Zeus and 1 from her husband. Michelangelo's painting was lost - or destroyed - but his image survives today because of many reproductions done by other artists. According to the book Francis I by R.J. Knecht, Francis I had added this painting to his collection along with many other Florentine artists.

Titian - The Penitent Mary Magdalene
The Penitent Mary Magdalene by Titian
This painting is of the Mary Magdalene. I had a more difficult time with this piece. Titian definately did some work for Francis. He is said to have never met him, but painted a portrait of him as well as other commissioned works. I am unable to say whether or not he owned this painting - I can't find much about it, but I would think it is possible.

If anyone knows anything about these works, please feel free to leave comments, I only know what I could quickly find on the internet.

Copyright © 2009-2011 by The Maiden’s Court

Friday, May 22, 2009

Catherine de' Medici's High-Heeled Shoes

A young Catherine de Medici As most of us know, women have a fixation with high-heeled shoes. Some of us just like them because they are pretty, but others wear them to make them appear taller. This desire to appear taller can be traced back to Catherine de' Medici!

At the age of 14 Catherine was to marry Henry II of France, duke of Orleans. She was a small girl and was worried about how she would be received by the glamorous French court. She had shoemaker add a taller heel to her shoe to give her height; he added a thin 4 inch heel. This heel not only made her appear taller but gave her a style that no one else had, thus becoming a trend setter.

See, not everything about Catherine was bad ;)

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Historical Spotlight: Diane de Poitiers

Diane de Poitiers Diane de Poitiers 1499-1566

Diane served the Queen in the French court of Francis I. She was married to a man many years her elder, Louis de Breze. When he died she took on wearing the colors of mourning, black with some gray and white, for the rest of her life.

The part of her life that I am going to focus on is during the period of Henry II and Catherine de' Medici - as that is the book I'm reading now.

Henry II, at the time the Duke of Orleans, did not want to marry Catherine and Diane was one of the people who convinced him he should marry her. She may have had ambitions because Catherine was a distant relative of Diane's. Diane and Catherine had a love/hate relationship. Diane aided Catherine by caring for her when she came down with scarlet fever and also helped make sure that Henry would go to her bed often, as there was a long period without any children for the royal couple. On the other side of the coin, Diane was the mistress and companion of Henry II. He allowed her to talk politics with him and also write some of his letters signing them with the name HenriDiane. Talk about powerful! Catherine was jealous, and I think rightly so. After the King died, she had Diane banished to her properties to live out the rest of her life in obscurity.

If you want to know more about Diane check out the movie Diane or the novel Courtesan by Diane Haeger.

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday logo Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Grab your current read. Let the book fall open to a random page. Share (2) “teaser” sentences from that page. Share the title & author of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser. Please avoid spoilers!

This weeks book is Madame Serpent by Jean Plaidy.

"They are rich, these Medici. They will fill our coffers which alas! my Anne, you have helped to deplete."

"Mind you well, I love the King of France - none better - but for his faults, whereas Henry Tudor loves the King of England for his virtues. True love is blind."

Pg. 8. I really love the quote about King Henry.

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court

Monday, May 18, 2009

Cleopatra's Daughter Book Trailer

I just wanted to post this book trailer for Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran. It looks like it will be a pretty awesome book. It comes out September 15th in the US! Enjoy!

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court

Friday, May 15, 2009

Book Review: Nefertiti by Michelle Moran

Book cover of Nefertiti by Michelle Moran
Nefertiti by Michelle Moran
Paperback, 496 pages
Three Rivers Press
May 27, 2008

Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: Personal Collection
"The sweeping story of a powerful Egyptian family, Nefertiti: A Novel tells the tale of two sisters, the first of whom is destined to rule as one of history’s most fascinating queens. 
Beautiful Nefertiti and her sister, Mutnodjmet, have been raised far from the court of their aunt, the Queen of Egypt. But when the Pharaoh of Egypt dies, their father’s power play makes Nefertiti wife to the new and impetuous king. It is hoped she will temper King Amunhotep’s desire to overturn Egypt’s religion, but the ambitious Nefertiti encourages Amunhotep’s outrageous plans instead, winning the adoration of the people while making powerful enemies at court. Younger yet more prudent, Mutnodjmet is her sister’s sole confidant, and only she knows to what lengths Nefertiti will go for a child to replace the son of Amunhotep’s first wife. 
As King Amunhotep’s commands become more extravagant, he and Nefertiti ostracize the army, clergy, and Egypt’s most powerful allies. Then, when Mutnodjmet begins a dangerous affair with a general, she sees how tenuous her situation is at her own sister’s court. An epic story that resurrects ancient Egypt in vivid detail."
Being as big of an Ancient Egypt fan as I am a Tudor fan I had lofty expectations for this book, and was blown away by how well written it was. Nefertiti becomes Queen to one of the craziest Pharaoh's Egypt has seen and raises herself up higher than any women ever had. The story follows her through her life from her home in Akhmim, to the changing court of Amarna, and finally back to the traditional court of Thebes.

The story is told from the perspective of Nefertiti's younger sister Mutnodjmet as she walks the line between her family's ambitions, the increasingly erratic behavior of the Pharaoh, and her own desires to have a husband and family. If you think Tudor politics were bad, check out what happened in Egypt under the rule of Pharaoh Akhenaten! According to the author, the story is told from the sister's perspective because you can feel more for her, whereas Nefertiti is difficult to feel sympathy for. I have to slightly disagree with this. I definitely felt connected to the story of Mutnodjmet and all that she went through in her life: there were times that I cried and times that were funny. By the time I got to the end of the story I felt very strongly for Nefertiti and she even evoked a few tears.

This book was very well researched and all aspects of Egyptian life are well described: gods, religious practices, food, lifestyle, gardens, palaces, homes, city life, people, etc. It's important to note that as this is historical fiction some facts, people, and places have been changed for easier flow of the story or understanding of the reader, but the author does a fine job of detailing this in the back of the book as well as on her website.

I would HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone interested in Egyptian history. It is well researched and fun to read. I cannot wait to read the sequel, The Heretic Queen.

Michelle Moran  also has written The Heretic Queen, Cleopatra's Daughter, and Madame Tussaud. You can visit Michelle's website for additional information about the books. If you would like to preview the story before reading it, why not try out this excerpt of the book?  There is also a great Q&A with the author about the book.

My other reviews by the author:

Reviews of this book by others:

Here are some choices for purchasing the book: Amazon, B&N, RJ Julia (my fav indie bookstore).

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court

LOST fans check this out

I don't know if any of you are LOST fans out there, and if you saw the Finale of this season. My boyfriend just started a blog where he is talking about LOST theories and stuff relating to the finale episode. If you are interested go check it out http://imlosttheories.blogspot.com/. If you haven't seen the finale yet, I would wait to check it out, spoilers abound.

I also thought it was a good tie in to my Egyptian theme right now, as some of the theory is Egypt related ;) Enjoy!

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court

Similarites Between the Court of Akhenaten/Nefertiti/Kiya and Henry VIII/Anne/Katherine

Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Akhenaten, Nefertiti, Kiya
So as I have started to look into the life of Nefertiti a little bit more and have began to read the book I have noticed some very striking similarities to the Tudor Court of Henry VIII. It's amazing how these similar circumstances play out in different places and times.

First, there is a distinct love triangle/battle for power. In Egypt this is Pharaoh Akhenaten, his Great Royal Wife Nefertiti, and his Second Wife Kiya. In England there is King Henry VIII, his Queen Katherine of Aragon, and his Great Love Anne Boleyn (before she became Queen). The battle for power came not only from the women themselves but also their families - Nefertiti's family and Kiya's family are constantly fighting for power, as are the Norfolk's/Boleyn's.

Second, there is the power that Anne Boleyn and Nefertiti held. Historically, mistresses and even queens tended to have relatively little power over their husbands in issues regarding policies, but these two women were at the forefront of both. It also appears that, for awhile at least, their Kings were happy to share some of this power with them.

Third, both Anne and Nefertiti were known to make a lot of noise when their men would return to the bed of their wife. Anne, before she became Queen, would get upset when Henry would still occasionally visit Katherine's bed (being his wife) and Nefertiti would also get upset when Ahkenaten would visit the bed of Kiya (his lesser wife).

Fourth, Anne and Nefertiti constantly tried to get pregnant, and hopefully have a son, to put their child in the front of the line of succession. Having a son would also get rid of the issue of the King's other children. For Nefertiti: Kiya had already had a son and she only had daughters. For Anne: there was the Princess Mary in the way and she also only had a daughter, Princess Elizabeth.

Fifth, there is the issue of a change of religion and the role that the women had in this venture. Akhenaten wanted to change the religion from many gods led by Amun to one god, Aten. Nefertiti was instrumental in convincing the people to follow with this radical change and appeared to wholly embrace this change. Henry wanted to break from the Catholic Church in order to obtain his divorce, and Anne encouraged him to create the Church of England.

Finally, if you look at the book Nefertiti and The Other Boleyn Girl, the stories are told from the viewpoint of the sister (Mary Boleyn and Mutnedjmet).

My how themes stay the same over time!

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

One Lovely Blog Award

One Lovely Blog Award

Wow! 2 awards in so many days! This is awesome! Thank you to Zetor over at Mog's Blog for this award. I would like to pass this award on to Virginie Says... because I really like what you have been doing with your blog lately!
This starts my day off well!

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court

GIVEAWAY - The Heretic Queen

Book cover of The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran Giveaway - 2 Hardcover Signed Copies of The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran

Hey everyone, I am excited to be offering my first book giveaway and it's a good one! Thanks to the kindness of Michelle Moran, the author of the book Nefertiti which I'm reading now, I am holding a giveaway of 2 hardcover, signed copies of The Heretic Queen, the follow up to Nefertiti.

The entry rules are as follows:

1) Leave a comment with your email address for 1 entry (I need to be able to contact you if you win!)
2) Become a follower of my blog for an additional entry (if you are already a follower let me know and you will get an additional entry.)
3) Post about this giveaway on your blog and you will get an additional entry (please leave the link to your blog.)

The contest ends May 26, 2009 and the 2 winners will be drawn May 27th. Open to everyone! Thanks so much everyone and good-luck!

This contest is currently closed.  No more entries are being accepted.

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Enchanting Blog Award

Thanks to Susie at All Things Royal I have received my first award!!! This means a lot to me, thank-you!
Enchanting Blog AwardI would like to pass this award on to Annie at Reading, Writing and Ranting because the new look of the blog is amazing!

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court

Author Event - Libba Bray

Book signed by Libba Bray Today I had the opportunity to meet Libba and she is an amazing woman. She had everyone in the store laughing from the moment she walked in until everyone left. She has a new book coming out September 22, Going Bovine, which she read the first chapter to us. I can't wait until it comes out. It sounds like it will be funny. It's not historical fiction, it is set in the modern day, but if you are not rolling on the floor laughing after the first chapter nothing will make you laugh. Here is the description from the back cover.

"All 16-year-old Cameron wants is to get through high school—and life in general—with a minimum of effort. It’s not a lot to ask. But that’s before he’s given some bad news: he’s sick and he’s going to die. Which totally sucks. Hope arrives in the winged form of Dulcie, a loopy punk angel/possible hallucination with a bad sugar habit. She tells Cam there is a cure—if he’s willing to go in search of it. With the help of a death-obsessed, video-gaming dwarf and a yard gnome, Cam sets off on the mother of all road trips through a twisted America into the heart of what matters most."

She truly loves her fans and stayed around to chat and sign books until after the store was supposed to close and would have stayed later had they let her. It was an amazing time and I would recommend anyone to read her books and take the chance to meet her if you can.

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday logoTeaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB from Should Be Reading.

The rules are as follows:
Grab your current read. Open to a random page. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teasers for this week are from Nefertiti by Michelle Moran, pg 139

"I heard Nakhtmin's voice in my mind, that to be forgotten was the greatest gift that history could give. But that couldn't be true. How would the gods know what you had done?"

"Nefertiti's smile widened. 'No, Mutny. We're the center of everything."

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court

Monday, May 11, 2009

Nefertiti Bust a Fake???

Bust of Queen NefertitiBefore I start, I want to thank Martina for providing the link to this article in the Philippa Gregory message board. This article really caught my eye because I just started reading Nefertiti by Michelle Moran yesterday and this face is on the cover.

Basically the gist of the article is that this iconic bust of Queen Nefertiti may not have been made during the time of Ancient Egypt but possibly by an artist in 1912 on the orders of the man who is said to have discovered the bust. This is all quite shocking to me and I would hope that more investigation will be done into this issue to find out if the claim is true or not. The author of the book suggests even the artists name who made this replica work.

To me, this all sounds kind of fishy...that no one would know for over 80 years that this wasn't made in Ancient Egypt...isn't that why they have carbon dating and other similar tests? Personally I am wondering if the author is just doing this to make a name for himself, it wouldn't be the first time it has happened. I really, truly hope that this was not a hoax and that the bust is real because it would be quite a shame and a loss to the art world if it was.

Here is the article link if you want to check it out.

What do you think?

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Book Review: Plain Jane by Laurien Gardner

Cover of Plain Jane by Laurien Gardner
Plain Jane by Laurien Gardner
Paperback, 352 pages
Berkley Trade
July 1, 2008

Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: Personal Collection
"With a plain face, Jane Seymour has no suitors and few hopes. Then she is granted a position at court as maid of honor to Queen Catherine. There, Henry VIII ignores his aging wife, showering favor on the dark beauty Anne Boleyn, soon to be his new queen. But he tires of stubborn Anne, and his wandering eye falls on plain Jane. Although she cares for Henry, she must not let herself be swept away by his attentions. For she intends to win not only his heart but also the greatest prize of all--the crown."
Queen Jane Seymour is one of the lesser known Queens of King Henry VIII and most certainly one of the least written about. Plain Jane by Laurien Gardner is the first book that I have read about Queen Jane and it did not disappoint.

The story begins at Wolf Hall, the family home of the Seymour's and we are introduced to Jane as a child. Her parents do not think that there are any prospects for Jane to find a husband and expect they will send her to a nunnery, because she is so plain. When the unlikely invitation is extended for Jane to join the court of Queen Catherine a chain of events are set off ultimately bringing her to the role of Queen.

This novel brings the reader through the reigns of Queen Catherine, Queen Anne, and then Queen Jane. What I found interesting is that these events are seen from the perspective of Jane where as most other books show these events from Anne's or Catherine's perspective. Much of the early portion of Jane's life is fictionalized, as not much is know about her before becoming Queen.

Overall, I found this author to be a very engaging writer. I would say that the writer's style is somewhat similar to Philippa Gregory. The characters are very well developed and the story flows convincingly through the years. I would recommend this to any one who want to know more of the story about Queen Jane Seymour.

Laurien Gardner has written two other books related to the wives of Henry VIII, The Spanish Bride and A Lady Raised High.  You can visit the author, writing under the name Jennifer Ashley, on her website or blog.
Other blogger's reviews of this book:

Here are some choices for purchasing the book: Amazon, B&N, RJ Julia (my fav indie bookstore).


Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court

Friday, May 8, 2009

Relatively Little Info on Jane Seymour

Jane Seymour's signature as queen
Jane Seymour's signature as Queen
I find it amazing that there is so little information out there on Jane Seymour. There is very little documenting her life before she took the interest of the King, and then she only lived for about 2 years after that point. One would think there might be some documentation about Jane's life during her younger years; her family was an elite family, although at that time not as high as many of the other families.

Even after she became Queen there is not much that was written by her. I have heard that it is likely she was relatively uneducated but that didn't stop other Queen's from having people write for them. I can imagine that she would have wanted to appear the opposite of her predecessor so was unlikely to make any grand declarations. The only letter that I can find that was written from her is a letter to the Privy Council about the birth of her son. The following is the text of that letter.
"Right trusty and well beloved, we greet you well, and for as much as by the inestimable goodness and grace of Almighty God, we be delivered and brought in childbed of a prince, conceived in most lawful matrimony between my lord the king's majesty and us, doubting not but that for the love and affection which you bear unto us and to the commonwealth of this realm, the knowledge thereof should be joyous and glad tidings unto you, we have thought good to certify you of the same. To the intent you might not only render unto God condign thanks and prayers for so great a benefit but also continually pray for the long continuance and preservation of the same here in this life to the honor of God, joy and pleasure of my lord the king and us, and the universal weal, quiet and tranquility of this whole realm. Given under our signet at my lord's manor of Hampton Court the 12th day of October. Jane the Quene."
Any great sources that you know of, or sites, about Jane?

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Jane Seymour - Follower, Pawn, or Schemer?

What role did Jane play in the downfall of Queen Anne Boleyn? I want to look at the three schools of thought as to what role she may have played.

The most pervasive thought is that she was merely at the whim of the King and followed his command. The King was losing interest in the Queen and his eye happened to fall on Jane. She was the opposite of Anne - quiet, devout, and unargumentative - just what he was looking for.

Another similar school of thought is that Jane was a pawn of her brothers who worked her in front of the King when it was expected he was losing interest in the Queen. This suggests that Jane was unintelligent and just followed along with her family's ambitions - which can possibly be supported by the fact that she could hardly write her own name.

A third, and smaller, school of thought is that Jane had an active, scheming role in becoming the next Queen of England. This idea was supported by none other than Queen Anne herself. She suggested that Jane deliberately put herself before the King when there was trouble for the Queen.

I tend to believe that she probably was just a follower of what the King wanted, that seems to be what her personality was. One side of me though, thinks it would be really funny if she was scheming to bring down Anne Boleyn, just as she did to Catherine of Aragon. It would be like Karma.

What are your opinions?

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court