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.

Attention Authors! If you arrived here looking for information on the Two Sides to Every Story guest post series, see the tab at the top of the page for more info!

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Blogfest 2012 at The Maiden’s Court

Hi everyone and welcome to this stop on Blogfest 2012!!! This is my first year participating but I have wanted to have the opportunity to get in on one of these large giveaway parties for awhile!

So, first of all, Blogfest is exactly what it sounds like – a huge blog festival with roughly (my guess - give or take) a hundred bloggers participating. You can check out all the blogs participating (and all the great giveaways) by visiting the host site – A Journey of Books. Blogfest runs from September 28th through September 30th – so its just a short giveaway run but packed with prizes up for grabs.

I am offering up for grabs the winners pick of one of the following gently used books:

  • (HC) The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
  • (HC) The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
  • (HC) The Dark Lantern by Gerri Brightwell
  • (HC) The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova

Giveaway is open to participants in the USA and Canada. The last day to enter is September 30th, and the winner will be announced October 1st. Simply complete the Rafflecoptor below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check of some of the other participants in Blogfest 2012:

Copyright © 2012 by The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Guest Post by Author Robin Maxwell

I would like to welcome author Robin Maxwell back to the Maiden’s Court with her newest release, Jane.  Robin has dropped by previously with an interview about many of her books that were out at that time which you can read here.  Below, Robin will tell you about some of the awesome sounding events that occurred this past weekend surrounding the launch of Jane.

A Launch to Remember

Guest Post by Robin Maxwell, author of
Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan


Back in 2003 when The Wild Irish was published, an L.A. Booksellers luncheon was held for me at a wonderful Irish pub/restaurant. About a dozen Los Angeles booksellers from the chains and independents attended, and we had a splendid Irish feast of food and literature. So when I realized that my West Hollywood Book Soup event for JANE: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan was scheduled three days after pub date (on a Friday night) I thought it would be great to have a booksellers luncheon in its honor the day before.

I was beyond delighted to learn that the events coordinator at the Barnes and Noble flagship store (at the Grove) was my old friend and champion, Lita Weissman.

Our fondest memory was the time back in 1998 when, without prompting, she became my author escort and took me on a wild ride in high summer (with broken air conditioning, drinking blue slurpies and stopping for lunch at a revolving sushi bar) visiting half the bookstores in the L.A. basin to introduce me and Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn to everyone she thought I should know. Lita and my publicity firm, Eileen Koch and Company, put the luncheon together. I chose – to keep to an African theme – the best Ethiopian restaurant in L.A. – Messob.

Here you can see us eating the incredible food with our fingers and injera (a spongy flat bread), all to the beat of African drumming. Beside the booksellers were folks from the Koch Company and the Estate of Edgar Rice Burroughs – the gentleman in the back is the president of ERB, Inc., Jim Sullos. He’s the person who jumped the hurdles so that JANE could be be authorized by the estate (no mean feat). Because of his cheerleading, I became the first woman in 100 years to pen a Tarzan classic…and write it from Jane’s point of view.

Bookseller’s Luncheon at Messob Ethopian Restaurant

Then it was on to the BIG EVENT – my Book Soup reading and signing, and the start of casting for “The Hunt for Tarzan and Jane,” a contest to discover the wild couple who will help me promote JANE in the coming months. Organized by Koch and Company, the word was sent out to acting and modeling agencies, as well as gyms in the L.A. area. I admit I was a little nervous, worried that nobody would show up, but Eileen – a veteran publicist – assured me it was going to be a great success, and just the start of the contest that culminates at my Barnes and Noble Grove event on October 18th, when a panel of celebrity judges will choose the two winners.

Contestants had already started lining up when I arrived on Sunset Strip, where Book Soup is located.

#3         #4
Contestants lining up outside Book Soup                       Tarzan and Jane welcoming everyone

This indie bookstore is legendary in Los Angeles, especially since all but a handful have closed down. It’s exactly the same as it was back in 1997 when I had my very first book reading/signing in a narrow aisle near the front window with my friends and family (whom I had threatened with kneecap-breaking if they didn’t show up). Fifteen years later, the front window aisle is the place where they still hold the readings, though now they have six rows of two-chairs-across so a few people can sit down.

Inside Book Soup

One by one the contestants were called up to the front and asked why they thought they should be chosen the next Tarzan and Jane. I was impressed by their enthusiasm and eloquence. Some gave their renditions of the Tarzan yell (one classically trained actor brought the house down with his). Others showed off their costumes or their buff bodies. The judges, among them the granddaughter and two great granddaughters of Edgar Rice Burroughs himself, made note of their favorites.

#7 Liana Jane, Linda and Dejah Burroughs

I did a Q&A about how the book came into being (what I changed and what I kept the same from the original Tarzan of the Apes). Then I did a short reading (oh, how I wished I had a lovely British accent like my friend Suzan Crowley, who performed JANE on the just released audiobook). No one seemed to mind.

Here’s a short Youtube of the Book Soup event.

All in all it was a wonderful Los Angeles Book launch. Now I’m getting ready for a big party on Saturday night being thrown for me in the high desert by the publisher of The Sun Runner Magazine, Steve Brown. He featured my husband Max and me on this month’s cover, and it was chosen by Gawker.com as 2012’s Best Magazine Cover. Will wonders never cease!

You can visit Robin on her website for more information about all her books.



Copyright © 2012 by The Maiden’s Court

Monday, September 24, 2012

Winners of The Crown by Nancy Bilyeau!!!

Good evening everyone!  I have the two winners selected of the giveaway of The Crown by Nancy Bilyeau and they are....

Nancy R and Maureen C!!!

Congrats ladies!  I have sent out emails for mailing information, please respond within 5 days or a new winner(s) will be selected.

Thanks to everyone who entered - don't forget there is still a giveaway running for a signed copy of Kathy Leonard Czepiel's A Violet Season (open until October 5th) and a big giveaway to be announced at the end of this week as part of Blogfest 2012.

Copyright © 2012 by The Maiden’s Court

Mailbox Monday #120


Just a quick mailbox this week – it should have really been listed with last week’s but I was planning on holding it until I went to the author event, but that fell through.

When I was at R.J. Julia for the event with author Kathy Leonard Czepiel I picked up a copy of The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani.  I was planning on going to an event with this author at the book store this past week, however we had some pretty strong weather that day an I didn’t want to drive all that way in the storm. 

So that was the only book I received – how about you?


Mailbox Monday is on a monthly blog tour and for the month of September it is being hosted by BookNAround.


Copyright © 2012 by The Maiden’s Court

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Interview with Liza Perrat

Today I would like to welcome author Liza Perrat, author of four novels and a short story collection with the newest release being,Spirit of Lost Angels.  So please help me in welcoming Liza Perrat to The Maiden’s Court.


What can you tell us about the idea behind Spirit of Lost Angels?

When I moved from Australia, which has such a recent past, to France, I became enchanted with Europe’s antiquity, age-old culture, monuments and beguiling tales of the past. Writing about it seemed the next logical step.

On a Sunday afternoon walk around my rural village, following the pathway of the nineteen crosses, I reached cross number fifteen –– a small, granite cross named croix à gros ventre (cross with a big belly), on the banks of the Garon River. Engraved with two entwined tibias and a heart shape, it is dated 1717, and commemorates two children who drowned in the Garon River. I was intrigued. Who were these children? How old were they? How had they drowned, and where are they buried?

From the local historical organisation, I learned the children were four and five years old, and are buried in the cemetery of a neighbouring village. I felt the urge to write the story of these lost little ones –– to give them a family, a village, an identity. The village of Lucie-sur-Vionne was thus born, the Vionne River and the Charpentier family farm –– L’Auberge des Anges (The Inn of Angels).

Spirit of Lost Angels is set in France during the time of the Revolution. What draws you to this time period?

In the late 18th century, the world was changing fast. Pre-revolutionary France was a time of great turmoil at all levels of society, as people were, finally, questioning the old regime. I wanted to explore what led the people to revolt, and how this affected the mass of the population: the peasants and the poverty-stricken. More particularly, I hoped to show how women were affected by this conflict; how they reacted, struggled and fought, and how they changed in the face of this great upheaval.

What has been the most difficult part of the writing process of this novel?

Whilst it was very interesting, I’d have to stay the research was the most difficult part of writing this novel. I came across so much conflicting information, and as it was my first foray into historical fiction, I found it hard to sift through it all, and to feel reasonably certain I had gleaned the correct historical facts.

Is this novel intended to be a standalone or part of a series?

Well, it started off as a standalone. Then the angel talisman, handed down through generations of L’Auberge des Anges, sneaked into the story, and I felt I wanted to track its journey through different eras. I was also keen to explore how the different women of L’Auberge des Anges struggled through other historical upheavals such as the Black Death and the world wars. I decided Spirit of Lost Angels would be the first in a three-part series.

What was one interesting tidbit you can tell us about something that didn’t make it into the novel?

The scandal of what was once the largest cemetery in Paris –– The Innocents Cemetery –– and its subsequent clearing.

For over eight hundred years, the dead had been buried in the mass graves of The Innocents Cemetery, until eventually so many corpses were interred in such a small area that they no longer decomposed properly. This all came to a head in 1780, when the cellar wall of a house in rue de la Lingerie gave way and hundreds of putrefying bodies tumbled into the cellar, intoxicating the inhabitants. I can only imagine the stench and the peoples’ horror! The cemetery was closed shortly afterwards, and this was something I’d have loved to include in my story, but there was no place for it. Then Andrew Miller did it far more cleverly than I ever could, in his brilliantly-written novel, Pure.

Are you currently working on anything new and if so is there anything you can tell us about it?

I completed the second novel in the series –– Wolfsangel ––a few weeks ago, which is now with my agent who is (hopefully) trying to sell it. This story follows the descendants of the Charpentier family of L’Auberge des Anges a hundred and fifty years later, as the village of Lucie-sur-Vionne comes under the heel of the Nazi occupation of WWII.

I’m currently planning the third novel in the series –– Angel of Roses –– which continues the saga of the Charpentier family and Lucie-sur-Vionne during the 14th century plague years. It explores the origin of the bone angel pendant, and how the talisman was considered both a good luck charm and a curse, at the onset of the Black Death.

Thank you kindly, Heather, for giving me this opportunity to appear on The Maiden’s Court.

Liza Perrat

Liza grew up in Wollongong, Australia, where she worked as a general nurse and midwife for fifteen years. When she met her French husband on a Bangkok bus, she moved to France, where she has been living with her husband and three children for twenty years. She works part-time as a French-English medical translator.

Since completing a creative writing course ten years ago, several of her short stories have won awards, notably the Writers Bureau annual competition of 2004 and her stories have been published widely in anthologies and small press magazines. Her articles on French culture and tradition have been published in international magazines such as France Magazine and France Today.

She has completed four novels and one short-story collection –– Friends, Family and Other Strangers from Downunder –– and is represented by Judith Murdoch of the Judith Murdoch Literary Agency.

Spirit of Lost Angels is the first in the historical L’Auberge des Anges series, set in rural France. It was published in June, 2012 under the Triskele Books label: www.triskelebooks.com

For more information on Liza or her books, please refer to her website: www.lizaperrat.com or her blog: http://lizaperrat.blogspot.fr/.


Thank you Liza for stopping by!  That was a wonderful tidbit (in a terrible sort of way)!



Copyright © 2012 by The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, September 20, 2012

T4MC Part 10

T4MC 10
The Four Month Challenge Part 10
September 1, 2012 – December 31, 2012
Hosted by Book Drunkard

The last installment of T4MC of 2012 – I’m a little late in getting this signed up – but I’m all in for sure! 
The goal is to read one book for each category and the categories are as follows:

5 Point Challenges
Read a book whose author begins with S – first or last - Complete - Daughters of the Witching Hill by Mary Sharratt
Read a book set during WWII - Complete - The Mine by John A. Heldt
Read a book with a fruit on the cover or in the title
Read an Indie
Read a book with a tree/trees on the cover or in the title - Complete - The Lady and the Poet by Maeve Haran

10 Point Challenges
Read a book whose author begins with O – first or last - Complete - Cascade by Maryanne O'Hara
Read a YA book whose author published their debut novel in 2012 (Helpful link)
Read a book set in Europe - Complete - The Age of Desire by Jennie Fields
Read a book with an embrace or kiss on the cover
Read a book with a light source on the cover (lamp, candle, torch, sun, etc.) - Complete - The Journey by John A. Heldt (sunrise)

15 Point Challenges
Read a book whose author begins with N – first or last - Complete - Marie Therese: The Child of Terror by Susan Nagel
Read something related to the circus (fiction or non-fiction)
Read a book set in the USA - Complete - The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Read a book by a ‘new to you’ author - Complete - The Lincoln Conspiracy by Timothy O'Brien
Read a book with a one word title that’s a proper noun - Complete - Jane by Robin Maxwell

20 Point Challenges
Read a book written in the 1990′s - Complete - Lincoln by David Herbert Donald (1996)
Read a book whose author begins with D – first or last - Complete - The Gilded Lily by Deborah Swift
Read a book set in Canada
Read a YA Historical (Helpful link)
Read a book published from September to December, 2012 - Complete - A Place Beyond Courage by Elizabeth Chadwick
I will update my points as I go.
165/250 points

**Closed out 12/31/12**

Copyright © 2012 by The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Author Event with Kathy Leonard Czepiel & Giveaway!!!

Back in July I had the opportunity to interview author Kathy Leonard Czepiel on the blog for her debut release of A Violet Season. The cover immediately drew me in and when I found out that she teaches at the university I graduated from (and did when I went there too) I was very excited to get my hands on said book (which I still haven’t read yet!). So you can imagine my delight when my favorite indie bookseller, RJ Julia, was hosting an event with none other than, Czepiel herself. I wanted to share some of the insights I learned at her book talk (and stay tuned at the end for an awesome giveaway).

First, did anyone know that there was a booming violet industry in the Hudson valley in New York just prior to the turn of the 20th century and the early decades of it? I didn’t, and neither did the author who grew up in one of the towns known for its violets! For an area know as the worlds grower of violets it’s amazing that so many of the residents don’t even know about the history literally in their backyards.

I learned some interesting things about how violets were harvested – see a picture below – these pickers would lay on very narrow boards all day and hand pick these violets which would be sent as far west as the Mississippi River. It doesn’t look to comfortable, that’s for sure.
Violet harvesting in the traditional method

The violet industry began to taper off in the late 1930’s as tastes changed to lighter clothing that wouldn’t support a heavy corsage of violets, but the industry still managed to limp along until the last of the greenhouses closed in the 1970’s. Today, some of the greenhouses are still used for growing new types of flowers.
A typical violet greenhouse view

The author had the opportunity to speak with descendants of some of these violet growers from this booming era and learn about how they were traditionally grown and see some of the greenhouses. Nothing like being immersed in the experience!

It was wonderful getting to meet the author – she actually remembered me from her stop here back in July and we talked about the University and blogging – she was very nice.

If you want to check out my interview with the author, visit this page.  If you want to know more about the violet industry - there was a film made about it, called Sweet Violets - which you can watch a clip of below. I love learning about our local hidden history!

If you are interested in a chance to win this book, which I had signed by the author, enter the Rafflecopter below. Open to US and Canada residents only – last day to enter is October 5th. Good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Copyright © 2012 by The Maiden’s Court

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mailbox Monday #119


Welcome to another edition of Mailbox Monday!  I have a couple books that I received this week – one was received for a review and the other 2 were purchased at a recent author event.

I received Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman from Penguin for review.  This was one that I wasn’t quite expecting, but sounds like an interesting historical fantasy read.  I haven’t read one of that genre since working of the last Game of Thrones book.

One of the two purchases this week at RJ Julia was A Violet Season by Kathy Leonard Czepiel.  I will have a post later this week about that event and some of the information I learned about the book.

The unexpected book I picked up on a whim while putzing around the same bookstore was Park Lane by Frances Osborne.  I had not heard about this one before, but the cover called out to me and as soon as I read the back I walked to the register with it.  Here is the blurb:

London, February 1914. Eighteen year-old Grace Campbell arrives in London from Carlisle, her family's hopes pinned on her becoming a secretary. The only job she can find is as a housemaid in the mansion that is Number 35, Park Lane, and soon she is entangling herself in an ever-thickening web of lies. Upstairs, a jilted and humiliated Beatrice Masters is determined not to return to the New York of her childhood before she has salvaged her pride. She secretly joins Emmeline Pankhurst's militant suffragettes and is steadily drawn into the violence rocking the city. But Grace and Beatrice's existences are not as parallel as they seem. Little do they realize that their hidden lives and emotions will soon be revolving around the same man - or that the coming war will change the boundaries of both their worlds for ever.

What did you get this week?

Mailbox Monday is on a monthly blog tour and for the month of September it is being hosted by BookNAround.


Copyright © 2012 by The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Card Game Review - Jaipur

Title:  Jaipur

# of Players:  2
Age Range:  12+
Play Time:  30 min

Jaipur is a simple card game set in Rajasthan, India.  Each player assumes the role of an esteemed trader who is tasked with making the largest profit at the end of a long day at the market place.  Players must buy and sell six different goods at the most opportune times in order to maximize their profits and gain the admiration of the Maharaja's court.

Jaipur includes a deck of cards representing six goods.  These are jewels, gold, silver, silk, spice, and leather.  A seventh type of card, the camel, is not worth any points, but it used to increase your buying power and is traded for other more valuable goods.  During a player's turn, they can either buy goods (draw them from the "marketplace", 5 face-up cards on the table) or sell goods (discard sets of matching cards to gain points in the form of cardboard tokens).

This game plays out like a strategic and colorful game of Rummy.  Players attempt to make sets of matching cards while determining their opponent's strategy and trying to counter it.  The beauty of Jaipur, however, comes down to the many decisions a player can make during the game.  Do you buy goods in order to make larger sets of cards, or do you sell the cards in your hand?  Do you acquire more camels to increase the number of goods you can buy in subsequent turns?

Goods are worth the most points earlier in the game, so you may want to rush to make a quick sale and snag the most valuable goods.  However, you get bonus points if you sell many of the same goods - which takes time.

Left:  The person with the most camels at the end of the game gets bonus points!
Right:  Trading in multiple goods at a time will net you sweet bonus points!

Jaipur walks a fine line between light fun and tension-filled decisions.  It is simple at heart, but contains limitless possibilities.  If you want a fun, easy to learn game, with a great theme, check out Jaipur!

Copyright © 2012 by The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Favorite Historical Posts Round Up

Hi all!  I have come across so many interesting historical and book themed posts recently and I haven’t had the time to post links to them, some I did share on the Facebook page or Twitter, so I thought I would do a sort of round up today.  Read on and enjoy!

1) My boyfriend sent me an interesting link from another blog posted back in August.  The theme of the post is – given the set up of a mass knife fight to the death between all of the President’s of the United States, how would they rank and why.  The rationale behind some of the choices is very spot on and makes for some interesting reading.  Scanning though the comments section is even better!  Check out Face In the Blue.

2) For Philippa Gregory fans – especially those in the UK – The White Queen is being made into a drama mini series on BBC One.  There are to be some great (eye candy!) actors – including Max Irons (from Red Riding Hood) and James Frain (from the Tudors and True Blood).  Check out Philippa Gregory’s blog.

3) If you are planning on attending the Historical Novel Society Conference in June 2013 in St. Petersburg, Florida (I am!!) you will have the chance to listen to one of my favorite authors, C. W. Gortner give the speech at the Saturday luncheon!!! Check out the HNS Conference.

4) USA Today has a nice gallery round up of the 25 big books being released this fall – and there are a few historical fiction and historical non-fictions making the list.  Check out the USA Today gallery.

5) Speaking of book round ups – I may be behind the times, I don’t know – but NPR has a nice listing of historical fiction books recently released with links to reviews and other content.  Check out NPR’s Historical Fiction page.

6) In scandal worthy news – there have been many posts coming out over the last few weeks about Amazon’s reviewing system and author’s buying or making up good reviews and other such stuff.  Here are some of the ones I have read if you are interested: Colin Falconer writing about the scandals; authors and publishers trashing each other in Amazon reviews, from the Daily Mail; a post on the Ten Cardinal Rules of Using Reviewing Power on Amazon, from epublishabook; and a New York Times article about buying 5 star book reviews.

That’s all from me on the news round up front – anything that you know of?  Please share in the comments section if I missed anything good!


Copyright © 2012 by The Maiden’s Court

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mailbox Monday #118


Happy Monday!  I know I could have used a much longer weekend.  My mailbox was gleefully slow this week (as I have been watching my shelves swell, it is good to have a little time off!). 

I received one audiobook in the mail this week from my good friend Arleigh at Historical-Fiction.com.  I received The Lady in the Tower by Jean Plaidy.  I haven’t had the chance to read too many Plaidy works yet – last count was 4 (despite having many on my shelves) – so I need to get reading.  Thanks Arleigh for helping with my entertainment while commuting to and from work!

That’s it for me, what about you?

Mailbox Monday is on a monthly blog tour and for the month of September it is being hosted by BookNAround.


Copyright © 2012 by The Maiden’s Court

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Winners of Twelve Rooms of the Nile

Good morning!  Hope you are all having a wonderful Sunday.  I just wanted to take the moment to announce the winners of Twelve Rooms of the Nile by Enid Schomer.  Thank you to everyone who entered! 

The two winners are….

Cindi H!!!  and   Carl S!!!

Congrats!  Emails have been sent, please send me your mailing info within the next 5 days or a replacement winner will be selected.

I still have another giveaway currently running for 2 copies of The Crown by Nancy Bilyeau which ends on September 22nd.


Copyright © 2012 by The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Short History of the World in Video

Hello everyone!  In a follow up to yesterday’s review of A Short History of the World by J. M. Roberts, I wanted to post this video for you all to peruse.  It’s somewhat lengthy – almost an hour! – but it is quite entertaining.  This video was part of an Alumni and Friends Weekend at the University of London.  The professor presents a short history of the world, with a lot of great content, and also some good humor.  I encourage you to take the time and check it out, when you get a chance. 


Copyright © 2012 by The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Book Review: A Short History of the World by J.M. Roberts


A Short History of the World by J.M. Roberts
Paperback, 560 pages
Oxford University Press
July 17, 1997
goodreads button

Genre: Non-Fiction, World History

Source: Personal collection, text for class

“Here is a compact and affordable edition of J. M. Robert's acclaimed world history. Vividly written and beautifully illustrated, it brings the outstanding breadth of scholarship and international scope of the larger volume within the grasp of most readers. Completely up-to-date, comprehensive yet succinct, it takes readers on an amazing journey from the first appearance of Homo sapiens to recent chapters in the exploration of space. Informative, beautifully rendered maps, photographs of key archaeological finds, and stunning reproductions of important artwork (some in full color) bring the past to life as Roberts surveys the major events, developments and personalities that have shaped the civilizations of the world.”

As some of you may be aware I’m working on my Masters degree in History, and the course I am currently taking is Seminar in World History. As we just finished with one of the texts for this course, I thought I might take a few minutes to review it.

This book is an abbreviated version of Roberts’ 952 page epic History of the World and as one would expect many things had to be pared down to fit into this more concise format. He covers history of man from the earliest days of Homo sapiens up through the relative present. Overall, he does an admirable job of hitting all of the most important points and touching on some of the smaller issues. But, it is still a LOT to cover in this short space. One of the things that irritated me while reading was that he would sometimes touch on a subject but not mention the name it is known by. For example, when talking about the Cuban Missile Crisis, he mentions but never names, the Bay of Pigs incident and when discussing President Kennedy’s famous speech about the future of space travel, he just calls him, The President during 1960.

I thought that the layout for the book was fairly easy to follow, especially during the earlier chapters. Each early civilization had a section: the Greeks, Romans, Mesopotamians, etc. However when you get into the later, more global, chapters it became harder to follow because he kept bouncing around between locations, and sometimes in time. This caused a loss of cohesiveness when reading at times.

I think for a book of this breadth and scope the author does an admirable job of covering most of the necessary bases. I haven’t read his longer version, but I would probably recommend that one over this if you are really interested in the history of the world as it likely gets into more detail and probably doesn’t have the issues I pointed out above.

Reviews of this book by other bloggers: 

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

Also by J.M. Roberts:

a history of europe
A History of Europe

the triumph of the west
The Triumph of the West

20th century
Twentieth Century

Europe 1880-1945

anciet history
Ancient History


Copyright © 2012 by The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Giveaway The Crown by Nancy Bilyeau

Earlier this year The Crown by Nancy Bilyeau came out to great acclaim in the blog world.  As I have not read this book yet, here are some other bloggers who have reviewed the book whose word I trust and am happy to pass on to you: Let Them Read Books; Bippity, Boppity, Book; and Unabridged Chick.  Have you checked out their rave reviews?  Does it make you want to read more?  I know I do!

An aristocratic young nun must find a legendary crown in order to save her father—and preserve the Catholic faith from Cromwell’s ruthless terror. The year is 1537. . . Joanna Stafford, a Dominican nun, learns that her favorite cousin has been condemned by Henry VIII to be burned at the stake. Defying the sacred rule of enclosure, Joanna leaves the priory to stand at her cousin’s side. Arrested for interfering with the king’s justice, Joanna, along with her father, is sent to the Tower of London. 
The ruthless Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, takes terrifying steps to force Joanna to agree to spy for him: to save her father’s life she must find an ancient relic—a crown so powerful, it may hold the ability to end the Reformation. Accompanied by two monks, Joanna returns home to Dartford Priory and searches in secret for this long-lost piece of history worn by the Saxon King Athelstan in 937 during the historic battle that first united Britain. 
But Dartford Priory has become a dangerous place, and when more than one dead body is uncovered, Joanna departs with a sensitive young monk, Brother Edmund, to search elsewhere for the legendary crown. From royal castles with tapestry-filled rooms to Stonehenge to Malmesbury Abbey, the final resting place of King Athelstan, Joanna and Brother Edmund must hurry to find the crown if they want to keep Joanna’s father alive. At Malmesbury, secrets of the crown are revealed that bring to light the fates of the Black Prince, Richard the Lionhearted, and Katherine of Aragon’s first husband, Arthur. The crown’s intensity and strength are beyond the earthly realm and it must not fall into the wrong hands.
With Cromwell’s troops threatening to shutter her priory, bright and bold Joanna must now decide who she can trust with the secret of the crown so that she may save herself, her family, and her sacred way of life. This provocative story melds heart-stopping suspense with historical detail and brings to life the poignant dramas of women and men at a fascinating and critical moment in England’s past.
Interested?  Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win one of two copies of the newly released (today!) paperback of The Crown.  Entries close at midnight on September 22nd.  Open to US and Canada only and the prizes will be shipped to the winners by the publisher.  Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Copyright © 2012 by The Maiden’s Court

Monday, September 3, 2012

Mailbox Monday #117


It’s Monday again and you know what that means!  Normally that means dreading getting out of bed to have to go to work – but today is a nice, relaxing day off after working my butt off yesterday on my paper.  Oh, and it also means I have my mailbox hauls for you!

This week I found two treats at my door when I got home:

  • In Need of a Good Wife by Kelly O’Connor McNees (received from publisher for review).  McNees wrote the HF blog favorite The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott, which I haven’t yet read since I still need to read Little Women first!

“After Clara Bixby is abandoned by her husband and fired from her job in a New York City tavern, she has nowhere to turn. Though the Civil War has ended, life remains uncertain, especially for single women. But when she reads about Destination, Nebraska—a town populated entirely by bachelors—Clara sees a golden business opportunity. She contacts the mayor with a solution: she will match single women in New York City with homesteading bachelors and bring the brides by rail across the wild frontier. This group of women—who range from an upper-class war widow to a Bavarian immigrant—embark with Clara on an epic journey across America in search of security, a new life, and the possibility of love.”

  • Becoming Clementine by Jennifer Niven (received from publisher for review).  I didn’t realized that this is the 3rd book in a series, but it sounds like it should be ok as a standalone – has anyone read her books and can you confirm or deny this for me?  It sounds fascinating anyway.

“Summer 1944. Paris. A secret mission. A dangerous passion. A spellbinding story you will never forget.

After delivering a B-17 Flying Fortress to Britain, an American volunteers to copilot a plane carrying special agents to their drop spot over Normandy. Her personal mission: to find her brother, who is missing in action. Their plane is shot down, and only she and five agents survive. Now they are on the run for their lives.

As they head to Paris, the beautiful aviatrix Velva Jean Hart becomes Clementine Roux, a daring woman on a mission with her team to capture an operative known only as “Swan.” Once settled on Rue de la Néva, Clementine works as a spy with the Resistance and finds herself falling in love with her fellow agent, Émile, a handsome and mysterious Frenchman with secrets of his own.

When Clementine ends up in the most brutal prison in Paris, trying to help Émile and the team rescue Swan, she discovers the depths of human cruelty, the triumph of her own spirit, and the bravery of her team, who will stop at nothing to carry out their mission.”

What arrived in your mailboxes this week?

Mailbox Monday is on a monthly blog tour and for the month of September it is being hosted by BookNAround.


Copyright © 2012 by The Maiden’s Court