Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Upcoming Release: Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin
Publication Date: November 11th, 2016
Format: Hardcover 352pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"“They think I am still a little girl who is not capable of being a Queen.”

Lord Melbourne turned to look at Victoria. “They are mistaken. I have not known you long, but I observe in you a natural dignity that cannot be learnt. To me, ma’am, you are every inch a Queen.”
In 1837, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria – sheltered, small in stature, and female – became Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. Many thought it was preposterous: Alexandrina — Drina to her family — had always been tightly controlled by her mother and her household, and was surely too unprepossessing to hold the throne. Yet from the moment William IV died, the young Queen startled everyone: abandoning her hated first name in favor of Victoria; insisting, for the first time in her life, on sleeping in a room apart from her mother; resolute about meeting with her ministers alone. 
One of those ministers, Lord Melbourne, became Victoria’s private secretary. Perhaps he might have become more than that, except everyone argued she was destined to marry her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. But Victoria had met Albert as a child and found him stiff and critical: surely the last man she would want for a husband…. 
Drawing on Victoria’s diaries as well as her own brilliant gifts for history and drama, Daisy Goodwin, author of the bestselling novels The American Heiress and The Fortune Hunter as well as creator and writer of the new PBS/Masterpiece drama Victoria, brings the young queen even more richly to life in this magnificent novel."


Copyright © 2016 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Masterpiece Monday

Henryk Siemiradzki. Portrait of a Roman Woman. 1890.


Copyright © 2016 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

eBook Promotion: Mistress of the Vatican by Eleanor Herman

For a limited time you can purchase Mistress of the Vatican, by Eleanor Herman, for only $.99 from the following booksellers!

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"Eleanor Herman, the talented author of the New York Times bestselling Sex with Kings and Sex with the Queen goes behind the sacred doors of the Catholic Church in Mistress of the Vatican, a scintillating biography of a powerful yet little-known woman whose remarkable story is ripe with secrets, sex, passion, and ambition. For almost four centuries this astonishing story of a woman’s absolute power over the Vatican has been successfully buried—until now."


Copyright © 2016 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Upcoming Release: A Want of Kindness by Joanne Limburg

A Want of Kindness by Joanne Limburg
Publication Date: December 6th, 2016
Format: Hardcover pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher): 
"Unfolding in the heady world of the glittering Restoration court, A Want of Kindness follows an expendable princess on her unlikely progress to becoming queen, through the religion, politics, disease, deceit, and treachery of the time. 
The wicked, bawdy Restoration court is no place for a child princess. Ten-year-old Anne cuts an odd figure: a sickly child, she is drawn towards improper pursuits. Cards, sweetmeats, scandal, and gossip with her Ladies of the Bedchamber figure large in her life. But as King Charles' niece, Anne is also a political pawn, who will be forced to play her part in the troubled Stuart dynasty.Transformed from overlooked princess to the heiress of England, she will be forced to overcome grief for her lost children, the political maneuverings of her sister and her closest friends, and her own betrayal of her father, before the fullness of her destiny is revealed.In A Want of Kindness, Limburg has created a richly realized time and world, and in Anne (who would have turned 350 in 2015), a complex and all-too-human protagonist."


Copyright © 2016 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday Finds at the Bookstore: Newport by Jill Morrow

Newport by Jill Morrow
Publication Date: July 7th, 2015
Format: 384pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"Following in the steps of Beatriz Williams and Amor Towles, this richly atmospheric, spellbinding novel transports readers to the dazzling, glamorous world of Newport during the Roaring Twenties and to a mansion filled with secrets as a debonair lawyer must separate truth from deception. 
Spring 1921. The Great War is over, Prohibition is in full swing, the Depression still years away, and Newport, Rhode Island's glittering “summer cottages” are inhabited by the gloriously rich families who built them. 
Attorney Adrian De la Noye is no stranger to Newport, having sheltered there during his misspent youth. Though he’d prefer to forget the place, he returns to revise the will of a well-heeled client. Bennett Chapman's offspring have the usual concerns about their father's much-younger fiancée. But when they learn of the old widower’s firm belief that his first late wife, who “communicates” via séance, has chosen the beautiful Catherine Walsh for him, they’re shocked. And for Adrian, encountering Catherine in the last place he saw her decades ago proves to be a far greater surprise. 
Still, De la Noye is here to handle a will, and he fully intends to do so—just as soon as he unearths every last secret, otherworldly or not, about the Chapmans, Catherine Walsh . . . and his own very fraught history. 
A skillful alchemy of social satire, dark humor, and finely drawn characters, Newport vividly brings to life the glitzy era of the 1920s."

Copyright © 2016 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Upcoming Release: The Other Einstein: A Novel by Marie Benedict

The Other Einstein: A Novel by Marie Benedict
Publication Date: October 18th, 2016
Format: Hardcover 304pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher): 
"In the tradition of The Paris Wife and Mrs. Poe, The Other Einstein offers us a window into a brilliant, fascinating woman whose light was lost in Einstein's enormous shadow. It is the story of Einstein's wife, a brilliant physicist in her own right, whose contribution to the special theory of relativity is hotly debated and may have been inspired by her own profound and very personal insight. 
Mitza Maric has always been a little different from other girls. Most twenty-year-olds are wives by now, not studying physics at an elite Zurich university with only male students trying to outdo her clever calculations. But Mitza is smart enough to know that, for her, math is an easier path than marriage. And then fellow student Albert Einstein takes an interest in her, and the world turns sideways. Theirs becomes a partnership of the mind and of the heart, but there might not be room for more than one genius in a marriage."


Copyright © 2016 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

What's New Wednesday (mini edition): A Look at This Week's New Releases

Between Two Fires 
by Mark Noce
Publication date:08/23/2016
Format: Hardcover, 336pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"Saxon barbarians threaten to destroy medieval Wales. Lady Branwen becomes Wales' last hope to unite their divided kingdoms when her father betroths her to a powerful Welsh warlord, the Hammer King. But the fledgling alliance is fraught with enemies from within and without as Branwen becomes the target of assassination attempts and courtly intrigue. A young woman in a world of fierce warriors, she seeks to assert her own authority and preserve Wales against the barbarians. But when she falls for a young hedge knight named Artagan, her world threatens to tear itself apart. 
Caught between her duty to her people and her love of a man she cannot have, Branwen must choose whether to preserve her royal marriage or to follow her heart. Somehow she must save her people and remain true to herself, before Saxon invaders and a mysterious traitor try to destroy her. 
Branwen's story combines elements of mystery and romance with Noce's gift for storytelling."

The Secret Book of Kings: A Novel
by Yochi Brandes
Publication date:08/23/2016
Format: Hardcover, 416pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
“This volume, by Biblical scholar Yochi Brandes, is a riveting novel based on textual sources about the experiences of David and Solomon. Its lessons are also relevant for our turbulent time.” —Elie Wiesel, #1 New York Times and internationally bestselling author of Night 
In the tradition of The Red Tent from internationally bestselling author Yochi Brandes comes thestories of the struggles of King David and King Saul in the early days of the Kingdom of Israel, seen through the eyes of Michal, Saul’s daughter and David’s abandoned queen.
Stories are deadlier than swords. Swords kill only those who stand before them, stories decide who will live and die in generations to come. 
Shelomoam, a young man from the tribe of Ephraim, has grown up in the shadow of dark secrets. He wonders why his father is deathly afraid of the King’s soldiers and why his mother has lied about the identities of those closest to him. Shelomoam is determined to unearth his mysterious past, never imagining where his quest will ultimately lead him.
The Secret Book of Kings upends conventions of biblical novels, engaging with the canonized stories of the founding of the Kingdom of Israel and turning them on their heads. Presented for the first time are the heretofore unknown stories of the House of Saul and of the northern Kingdom of Israel, stories that were artfully concealed by the House of David and the scribes of the southern Kingdom of Judah.
Yochi Brandes, one of Israel’s all-time bestselling novelists, enlists her unique background in both academic Jewish scholarship and traditional religious commentaries to read the Bible in an utterly new way. In this book, a major publishing phenomenon in Israel and one of the bestselling novels in the history of the country, she uncovers vibrant characters, especially women, buried deep within the scriptures, and asks the loaded question: to what extent can we really know our past when history is written by the victors?"


Copyright © 2016 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

eBook Promotion: Vanessa and Virginia by Susan Sellers and Jenny Brown

For a limited time you can purchase Vanessa and Virginia, by Susan Sellers and Jenny Brown, for $2.99 from the following booksellers! 

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"You see, even after all these years, I wonder if you really loved me. Vanessa and Virginia are sisters, best friends, bitter rivals, and artistic collaborators. As children, they fight for the attention of their overextended mother, their brilliant but difficult father, and their adored brother, Thoby. As young women, they support each other through a series of devastating deaths, then emerge in bohemian Bloomsbury, bent on creating new lives and groundbreaking works of art. Through everything—marriage, lovers, loss, madness, children, success and failure—the sisters remain the closest of co-conspirators. But they also betray each other. 
In this lyrical, impressionistic account, written as a love letter and an elegy from Vanessa to Virginia, Sellers imagines her way into the heart of the lifelong relationship between the writer Virginia Woolf and the painter Vanessa Bell. With sensitivity and fidelity to what is known of both lives, Sellers has created a powerful portrait of sibling rivalry."

Copyright © 2016 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

eBook Promotion: The House Girl by Tara Conklin

For a limited time you can purchase The House Girl, by Tara Conklin, for $1.99 at the following booksellers! 

Synopsis (From the Publisher):

"The House Girl, the historical fiction debut by Tara Conklin, is an unforgettable story of love, history, and a search for justice, set in modern-day New York and 1852 Virginia. 
Weaving together the story of an escaped slave in the pre–Civil War South and a determined junior lawyer, The House Girl follows Lina Sparrow as she looks for an appropriate lead plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking compensation for families of slaves. In her research, she learns about Lu Anne Bell, a renowned prewar artist whose famous works might have actually been painted by her slave, Josephine. 
Featuring two remarkable, unforgettable heroines, Tara Conklin's The House Girl is riveting and powerful, literary fiction at its very best."


Copyright © 2016 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

eBook Promotion: America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray, Laura Kamoie

For a limited time you can purchase America's First Daughter, by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie, for $1.99 at the following booksellers! 

Synopsis (From the Publisher):


In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.
In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.
From her earliest days, Patsy Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate, protector, and constant companion in the wake of her mother’s death, traveling with him when he becomes American minister to France. 
It is in Paris, at the glittering court and among the first tumultuous days of revolution, that fifteen-year-old Patsy learns about her father’s troubling liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age. Meanwhile, Patsy has fallen in love—with her father’s protégé William Short, a staunch abolitionist and ambitious diplomat. Torn between love, principles, and the bonds of family, Patsy questions whether she can choose a life as William’s wife and still be a devoted daughter. 
Her choice will follow her in the years to come, to Virginia farmland, Monticello, and even the White House. And as scandal, tragedy, and poverty threaten her family, Patsy must decide how much she will sacrifice to protect her father's reputation, in the process defining not just his political legacy, but that of the nation he founded."

Copyright © 2016 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Friday Finds at the Bookstore: Mata Hari's Last Dance by Michelle Moran

 Mata Hari's Last Dance by Michelle Moran
Publication date: 07/19/2016
Paperback: 272pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"From the international bestselling author of Rebel Queen and Nefertiti comes a captivating novel about the infamous Mata Hari, exotic dancer, adored courtesan, and, possibly, relentless spy. 
Paris, 1917. The notorious dancer Mata Hari sits in a cold cell awaiting freedom…or death. Alone and despondent, Mata Hari is as confused as the rest of the world about the charges she’s been arrested on: treason leading to the deaths of thousands of French soldiers. 
As Mata Hari waits for her fate to be decided, she relays the story of her life to a reporter who is allowed to visit her in prison. Beginning with her carefree childhood, Mata Hari recounts her father’s cruel abandonment of her family as well her calamitous marriage to a military officer. Taken to the island of Java, Mata Hari refuses to be ruled by her abusive husband and instead learns to dance, paving the way to her stardom as Europe’s most infamous dancer. 
From Indian temples and Parisian theaters to German barracks in war-torn Europe, international bestselling author Michelle Moran who “expertly balances fact and fiction” (Associated Press) brings to vibrant life the famed world of Mata Hari: dancer, courtesan, and possibly, spy."

Friday Finds at the Bookstore ©Svea Love

Copyright © 2016 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Ebook Promotion! The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick

For a limited time you can purchase an eBook version of The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick for $1.99 from the following retailers:

The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"Royal Protector. Loyal Servant. Forgotten Hero… A penniless young knight with few prospects, William Marshal is plucked from obscurity when he saves the life of Henry II’s formidable queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. In gratitude, she appoints him tutor to the heir to the throne. However, being a royal favorite brings its share of danger and jealousy as well as fame and reward. William’s influence over the volatile, fickle Prince Henry and his young wife is resented by less favored courtiers who set about engineering his downfall.
A writer of uncommon historical integrity and accuracy, Elizabeth Chadwick resurrects the true story of one of England’s greatest forgotten heroes in a captivating blend of fact and fiction. The Greatest Knight restores William Marshal to his rightful place at the pinnacle of the Middle Ages, reflecting through him the triumphs, scandals, and power struggles that haven’t changed in eight hundred years."


Copyright © 2015 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

eBook Promotion: The Tudor Bride by Joanna Hickson

For a limited time you can purchase the eBook version of The Tudor Bride by Joanna Hickson for the fantastic price of $1.99 from the following retailers:

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"The thrilling story of the French princess who became an English queen from the author of critically acclaimed Agincourt Bride. Perfect for fans of Philippa Gregory. 
Even the greatest of queens have rules – to break them would cost her dearly…
King Henry V’s new French Queen, Catherine, dazzles the crowds in England but life at court is full of intrigue and her loyal companion, Mette, suspects that the beautiful Eleanor Cobham, protégée of the Duke of Gloucester, is spying for him. 
Catherine believes herself invincible as she gives birth to an heir, then tragically King Henry is struck down by fever. Unable to outwit those who seek to remove the new king from her care, Catherine retires from court, comforted by the King’s Harper, Owen Tudor. 
At the secluded manor of Hadham a smouldering ember bursts into flame and Catherine and Owen Tudor become lovers. But their love cannot remain a secret forever, and when a grab for power is made by Gloucester, Catherine – and those dearest to her – face mortal danger…"


Copyright © 2015 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Book Review: The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki

The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki
Publication date: 02/17/2015
Format: Hardcover 512pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"New York Times bestselling author Allison Pataki follows up on her critically acclaimed debut novel, The Traitor’s Wife, with the little-known and tumultuous love story of “Sisi” the Austro-Hungarian Empress and captivating wife of Emperor Franz Joseph. 
The year is 1853, and the Habsburgs are Europe’s most powerful ruling family. With his empire stretching from Austria to Russia, from Germany to Italy, Emperor Franz Joseph is young, rich, and ready to marry. 
Fifteen-year-old Elisabeth, “Sisi,” Duchess of Bavaria, travels to the Habsburg Court with her older sister, who is betrothed to the young emperor. But shortly after her arrival at court, Sisi finds herself in an unexpected dilemma: she has inadvertently fallen for and won the heart of her sister’s groom. Franz Joseph reneges on his earlier proposal and declares his intention to marry Sisi instead.

Thrust onto the throne of Europe’s most treacherous imperial court, Sisi upsets political and familial loyalties in her quest to win, and keep, the love of her emperor, her people, and of the world. 
With Pataki’s rich period detail and cast of complex, bewitching characters, The Accidental Empress offers a captivating glimpse into one of history’s most intriguing royal families, shedding new light on the glittering Hapsburg Empire and its most mesmerizing, most beloved “Fairy Queen.” "

My Review:

Empress Elisabeth "Sisi" of  theAustro-Hungarian Empire captivated the courts of Europe during her lifetime, and now she is entrancing an audience once again with her magnificent portrayal in Allison Pataki's novel, The Accidental Empress.

There is no doubt that extensive research went into the making of this novel. One of the most enchanting elements is the attention to setting details. Pataki takes it a leap beyond merely describing the setting by focusing on minute details that would only be noticed by someone who is there in person. Take for instance the wedding ceremony between Sisi and Emperor Franz in which the descriptions reflect how Sisi might have taken in the momentous moment as it transpired. First attention is drawn to the thousands of candles illuminating the entire cathedral, followed by the raising of eyes toward the majestic intricacies of the cathedral itself as she passes under arches, and concluding with the focus returning to the goal of the moment, and Sisi's life, as she walks toward Emperor Franz awaiting her at the end of the expansive isle. Such a deliciously vivid scene brings the reader directly into the moment, and it is at this time the lasting connection between historical character and present reader is formed.

The story of Sis's rise to power and her transformation from an innocent girl of 15 to a woman quite alone in a ruthless court is spellbinding to say the least. Over the first three-fourths of the novel the reader is with Sisi for every step of her journey, all the while wanting to be her voice when she has none, and hoping her fortune will change if the pages are turned quickly enough. Considering these desires the splendid writing brings about, it is underwhelming when the last quarter of the book glosses over the four years in which Sisi becomes the creator of her own future and happiness. In one chapter Sisi is advised to leave for her health, and in the very next chapter four years have passed and Sisi returns as a completely different woman; She has vastly different fashion preferences, conduct, and personality than prior to her departure. Although this new persona is what the reader might be hoping for, it would be nice to see the transformation take place in some sense, not merely mentioned as a memory. The result of this time-lapse is an unfortunate sever between the reader and the main character; Sisi becomes an elusive figure, and the reader is quickly pulled out of the once immersive text. Perhaps this is so the reader will be on the same level as the rest of the courtiers who wished to obtain Sisi but failed to reach her inner-self, but nonetheless it is a disappointment not to have more depth in this area.

This is Allison Pataki's second novel, her first being The Traitor's Wife, and it is apparent that her talent for creating engaging and exquisite historical fiction is here to stay. The Accidental Empress is definitely recommended to all historical fiction enthusiasts, especially for those who love attention to detail and have an appreciation for architecture. If all the aforementioned delectable details are not motivating enough to pick up a copy of The Accidental Empress, do note that there is currently a second book on Sisi in the works! More to come on this exciting news soon.

Copyright © 2015 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Friday Finds at the Bookstore: The Anchoress by Robyn Chadwallder

The Anchoress by Robyn Chadwallder 
Publication date: 05/12/2015
Format: Hardcover 320pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"England, 1255. What could drive a girl on the cusp of womanhood to lock herself away from the world forever?
Sarah is just seventeen when she chooses to become an anchoress, a holy woman shut away in a cell that measures only seven by nine paces, at the side of the village church. Fleeing the grief of losing a much-loved sister in childbirth as well as pressure to marry the local lord's son, she decides to renounce the world--with all its dangers, desires, and temptations--and commit herself to a life of prayer. 
But it soon becomes clear that the thick, unforgiving walls of Sarah's cell cannot protect her as well as she had thought. With the outside world clamoring to get in and the intensity of her isolation driving her toward drastic actions, even madness, her body and soul are still in grave danger. When she starts hearing the voice of the previous anchoress whispering to her from the walls, Sarah finds herself questioning what she thought she knew about the anchorhold, and about the village itself. 
With the lyricism of Nicola Griffith's Hild and the vivid historical setting of Hannah Kent's Burial Rites, Robyn Cadwallader's powerful debut novel tells an absorbing story of faith, desire, shame, fear, and the very human need for connection and touch. Compelling, evocative, and haunting, The Anchoress is both quietly heartbreaking and thrillingly unpredictable."

Friday Finds at the Bookstore ©SveaLove


Copyright © 2015 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Masterpiece Monday

Jean-Honoré Fragonard. Blindman's Bluff. 1750


Masterpiece Monday was created by Svea @ The Muse in the Fog Book Review. It's an event to share exceptional pieces of art that were discovered while reading historical fiction and researching the history that inspired those books.


Copyright © 2015 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Book Review: Mary Boleyn, The Mistress of Kings by Alison Weir

Mary Boleyn, The Mistress of Kings by Alison Weir
Publication Date: September 12th 2012
Format: Paperback 416pp

Synopsis (from the publisher):
"New York Times bestselling author and noted British historian Alison Weir gives us the first full-scale, in-depth biography of Mary Boleyn, sister to Queen Anne as well as mistress to Anne’s husband, Henry VIII—and one of the most misunderstood figures of the Tudor age. Making use of extensive original research, Weir shares revelations on the ambitious Boleyn family and the likely nature of the relationship between the Boleyn sisters. Unraveling the truth about Mary’s much-vaunted notoriety at the French court and her relations with King François I, Weir also explores Mary’s role at the English court and how she became Henry VIII’s lover. She tracks the probable course of their affair and investigates the truth behind Mary’s notorious reputation. With new and compelling evidence, Weir presents the most conclusive answer to date on the paternity of Mary’s children, long speculated to have been Henry VIII’s progeny. Alison Weir pieces together a life steeped in mystery and misfortune, debunking centuries-old myths to give us the truth about Mary Boleyn, the so-called “great and infamous whore.” "

My Review: 

Mary Boleyn's fame over the past decade has grown immensely due to the release of Philippa Gregory's novel, and later film, The Other Boleyn Girl, but how reliable is this depiction? Did Mary bear the King two children? Did she beg mercy from the King, risking her own life, for her sister Anne? Was she the virtuous sister? Was she the younger sister? These are just a few of the questions that Weir sets out to clarify in her historical biography, Mary Boleyn, The Mistress of Kings

There is no doubt how much meticulous research went in to the creation of Mary Boleyn, The Mistress of Kings, especially considering the limited amount of textual information on Mary's life. In order to bring to life such a historical figure, Weir is forced to lay down the bits of concrete information about Mary as a foundation for her life story, and build up the rest using information from those who would have surrounded her, and from major court events she more than likely would have attended. Such a feat is handled with precision and skilled deduction, ultimately resulting in a biography that corrects popular fictitious beliefs and illuminates, through suggestion, the hazy areas of Mary's life. 

Like all of Weir's work, this biography is extremely well written, no detail is left unattended, and the deductions are well laid out for the reader to comprehend. However, these deductions make up three halves of the book, with only a quarter being based on explicit textual evidence about Mary's life. Considering the fact that a triangulation of textual evidence from other members of the court is needed to make the deductions, and each deduction builds upon the previous one, it is understandable that overlap and reiteration will occur, but there is a point when it becomes overdone. Halfway through the book it begins to read like a history of the Tudor court rather than a biography, and towards the end all the chapters blur together in their repetitious manner. It is for this reason that the rating and recommendation are not as high as the first chapters indicated they would be. 

Overall, Mary Boleyn, The Mistress of Kings is a worthwhile read if you are interested in learning the truth behind the popular depiction of Mary's life, and about the lives of those she would have associated with during her lifetime. In addition to this, I listened to the audiobook while reading the physical copy of this book (interchanging them depending on my location) and I would highly recommend the audio version; Maggie Mash is a wonderfully engaging narrator. 


Copyright © 2015 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

International Giveaway!

Welcome to the Best of 2014 Giveaway hop, hosted by Bookhounds and I am a Reader. This year I am giving away two exceptional books that were published in 2014: The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaprt (non-fic), and The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor. To enter just fill out the form below. The winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter and notified by email. Good luck! 

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
" "Helen Rappaport paints a compelling portrait of the doomed grand duchesses." —People magazine 
"The public spoke of the sisters in a gentile, superficial manner, but Rappaport captures sections of letters and diary entries to showcase the sisters’ thoughtfulness and intelligence." —Publishers Weekly (starred review) 
They were the Princess Dianas of their day—perhaps the most photographed and talked about young royals of the early twentieth century. The four captivating Russian Grand Duchesses—Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia Romanov—were much admired for their happy dispositions, their looks, the clothes they wore and their privileged lifestyle.
Over the years, the story of the four Romanov sisters and their tragic end in a basement at Ekaterinburg in 1918 has clouded our view of them, leading to a mass of sentimental and idealized hagiography. With this treasure trove of diaries and letters from the grand duchesses to their friends and family, we learn that they were intelligent, sensitive and perceptive witnesses to the dark turmoil within their immediate family and the ominous approach of the Russian Revolution, the nightmare that would sweep their world away, and them along with it. 
The Romanov Sisters sets out to capture the joy as well as the insecurities and poignancy of those young lives against the backdrop of the dying days of late Imperial Russia, World War I and the Russian Revolution. Helen Rappaport aims to present a new and challenging take on the story, drawing extensively on previously unseen or unpublished letters, diaries and archival sources, as well as private collections. It is a book that will surprise people, even aficionados."

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"A voyage across the ocean becomes the odyssey of a lifetime for a young Irish woman... 
Ireland, 1912 . . . 
Fourteen members of a small village set sail on RMS Titanic, hoping to find a better life in America. For seventeen-year-old Maggie Murphy, the journey is bittersweet. Though her future lies in an unknown new place, her heart remains in Ireland with Séamus, the sweetheart she left behind. When disaster strikes, Maggie is one of the few passengers in steerage to survive. Waking up alone in a New York hospital, she vows never to speak of the terror and panic of that fateful night again. 
Chicago, 1982 . . . 
Adrift after the death of her father, Grace Butler struggles to decide what comes next. When her great-grandmother Maggie shares the painful secret about Titanic that she's harbored for almost a lifetime, the revelation gives Grace new direction—and leads both her and Maggie to unexpected reunions with those they thought lost long ago.
Inspired by true events, The Girl Who Came Home poignantly blends fact and fiction to explore the Titanic tragedy's impact and its lasting repercussions on survivors and their descendants."

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is an international giveaway!


Copyright © 2014 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, November 14, 2014

International Giveaway! My Name Is Resolute by Nancy E. Turner

Welcome to the 2014 Gratitude Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am a Reader. I always make a point of participating in this hop since its whole purpose is to express how grateful we are for our wonderful followers. This year I am especially grateful to you all for your loyalty as school and life has slowed down the blogging for this year. I'm greatly looking forward to sharing a plethora of reviews and giveaways I have stored up as we prepare to head into a new year, so what better way to begin than giving away a book that just recently caught my attention and I shall be reviewing very soon. To enter for a change to win a brand new copy of My Name is Resolute by Nancy E. Turner just fill out the form below. Best of luck! 

My Name Is Resolute by Nancy E. Turner
Publication date: 2/18/2014
Format: 608pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"Nancy Turner burst onto the literary scene with her hugely popular novels These Is My Words, Sarah’s Quilt, and The Star Garden. Now, Turner has written the novel she was born to write, this exciting and heartfelt story of a woman struggling to find herself during the tumultuous years preceding the American Revolution. 
The year is 1729, and Resolute Talbot and her siblings are captured by pirates, taken from their family in Jamaica, and brought to the New World. Resolute and her sister are sold into slavery in colonial New England and taught the trade of spinning and weaving. When Resolute finds herself alone in Lexington, Massachusetts, she struggles to find her way in a society that is quick to judge a young woman without a family. As the seeds of rebellion against England grow, Resolute is torn between following the rules and breaking free. Resolute’s talent at the loom places her at the center of an incredible web of secrecy that helped drive the American Revolution. Heart-wrenching, brilliantly written, and packed to the brim with adventure, My Name is Resolute is destined to be an instant classic."

This is an international giveaway

Copyright © 2014 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

eBook Promotions! Four Sisters, All Queens and White Heart by Sherry Jones

For a limited time you can purchase the eBook versions of Four Sisters, All Queens and its prequel, White Heart, for the fabulous price of $1.99 each. 

Purchase Four Sisters, All Queens at the following locations:

Purchase White Heart at the following locations:

Publication date: 5/8/2012
Format: eBook
Pages: 464

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"Rich in intrigue and scheming, love and lust, Sherry Jones’s vibrant historical novel follows four women destined to sway the fate of nations and the hearts of kings. . . .

Amid the lush valleys and fragrant wildflowers of Provence, Marguerite, Eléonore, Sanchia, and Beatrice have learned to charm, hunt, dance, and debate under the careful tutelage of their ambitious mother—and to abide by the countess’s motto: “Family comes first.”

With Provence under constant attack, their legacy and safety depend upon powerful alliances. Marguerite’s illustrious match with the young King Louis IX makes her Queen of France. Soon Eléonore—independent and daring—is betrothed to Henry III of England. In turn, shy, devout Sanchia and tempestuous Beatrice wed noblemen who will also make them queens.

Yet a crown is no guarantee of protection. Enemies are everywhere, from Marguerite’s duplicitous mother-in-law to vengeful lovers and land-hungry barons. Then there are the dangers that come from within, as loyalty succumbs to bitter sibling rivalry, and sister is pitted against sister for the prize each believes is rightfully hers—Provence itself.

From the treacherous courts of France and England, to the bloody tumult of the Crusades, Sherry Jones traces the extraordinary true story of four fascinating sisters whose passions, conquests, and progeny shaped the course of history."

Publication date: 4/3/2012
Format: eBook 
Pages: 100

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
A historical eBook about Blanche, the White Queen of France, the manipulative mother-in-law of Marguerite in Sherry Jones’s Four Sisters, All Queens. 
A woman's power lies in her beauty. For years, Blanche de Castille, the White Queen of France, has lived by this maxim—passed on by her grandmother, Eléonore d'Aquitaine, as she took the girl to marry King Louis VIII. When her husband dies unexpectedly, however, Blanche finds that beauty is not enough to hold, and command, a kingdom against usurpers eager to wrest the Crown from her woman's grasp. Faced with an English invasion, barons' uprisings, and slanderous rumors, Blanche must look within herself for the strength she needs to guard the throne for her young son. Her bold response shocks the kingdom and shapes her into the formidable, seemingly heartless mother-in-law to Marguerite of Provence, wife of King Louis IX (Saint Louis) and the eldest of the "Four Sisters, All Queens" in Sherry Jones's forthcoming novel. 
Includes an excerpt to the upcoming Four Sisters, All Queens, to be published by Gallery Books, May 8, 2012.

Copyright © 2014 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.