Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I hope you have all had a safe and enjoyably spooky Halloween! It's amazing how quickly today has gone by; it seems like I barely got home before the first trick or treaters arrived at my door. Despite the crazy blur of events, my little ones excitement at each little aspect made it all worth it. Although I am thoroughly exhausted, I am not giving up on the night just yet. It's time to watch some old black and white Halloween movies... or at least watch part of one before I fall asleep on the couch, lol.Whatever you are doing this Halloween night, have a boo-tifil time :)

Copyright © 2011 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Finds at the Bookstore: Richard and John, Kings at War by Frank McLynn

Every Friday I will be posting my latest book discovery that I found while browsing the bookstore or, in some cases, the library. It needn't be a book you purchased, but merely a newly found novel that caught your attention. If you would like to join in on this weekly event, just link back to this blog.

(non-fic) by Frank McLynn
Publish Date: September 2008
Format: Paperback 608pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"Legend and lore surround the history of kings Richard and John, from the ballads of Robin Hood and the novels of Sir Walter Scott to Hollywood movies and television. In the myth-making, King Richard, defender of Christendom in the Holy Land, was the “good king,” and his younger brother John was the evil usurper of the kingdom, who lost not only the Crown jewels but also the power of the crown. How much, though, do these popular stereotypes correspond with reality? Frank McLynn, known for a wide range of historical studies, has returned to the original sources to discover what Richard and John, these warring sons of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, were really like, and how their history measures up to their myth. In riveting prose, and with attention to the sources, he turns the tables on modern revisionist historians, showing exactly how incompetent a king John was, despite his intellectual gifts, and how impressive Richard was, despite his long absence from the throne. This is history at its best-revealing and readable."

Copyright © 2011 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What's New Wednesday: A Look at Next Week's New Releases

Every Wednesday I will be posting the upcoming historical fiction & historical non-fiction releases for the coming week.

Mozart's Last Aria: A Novel by Matt Rees: Book Cover
Mozart's Last Aria 
by Matt Rees
Publish Date: November 1st 2012
Format: Paperback 336pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"The news arrives in a letter to his sister, Nannerl, in December 1791. But the message carries more than word of Nannerl’s brother’s demise. Two months earlier, Mozart confided to his wife that his life was rapidly drawing to a close . . . and that he knew he had been poisoned. 
In Vienna to pay her final respects, Nannerl soon finds herself ensnared in a web of suspicion and intrigue—as the actions of jealous lovers, sinister creditors, rival composers, and Mozart’s Masonic brothers suggest that dark secrets hastened the genius to his grave. As Nannerl digs deeper into the mystery surrounding her brother’s passing, Mozart’s black fate threatens to overtake her as well. 
Transporting readers to the salons and concert halls of eighteenth-century Austria, Mozart’s Last Aria is a magnificent historical mystery that pulls back the curtain on a world of soaring music, burning passion, and powerful secrets."

The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht: Book Cover
The Tiger's Wife
by Tea Obreht
Publish Date: November 1st 2012
Format: Paperback 368pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"Weaving a brilliant latticework of family legend, loss, and love, Téa Obreht, the youngest of The New Yorker’s twenty best American fiction writers under forty, has spun a timeless novel that will establish her as one of the most vibrant, original authors of her generation. 
In a Balkan country mending from years of conflict, Natalia, a young doctor, arrives on a mission of mercy at an orphanage by the sea. By the time she and her lifelong friend Zóra begin to inoculate the children there, she feels age-old superstitions and secrets gathering everywhere around her. Secrets her outwardly cheerful hosts have chosen not to tell her. Secrets involving the strange family digging for something in the surrounding vineyards. Secrets hidden in the landscape itself.
But Natalia is also confronting a private, hurtful mystery of her own: the inexplicable circumstances surrounding her beloved grandfather’s recent death. After telling her grandmother that he was on his way to meet Natalia, he instead set off for a ramshackle settlement none of their family had ever heard of and died there alone. A famed physician, her grandfather must have known that he was too ill to travel. Why he left home becomes a riddle Natalia is compelled to unravel.

Grief struck and searching for clues to her grandfather’s final state of mind, she turns to the stories he told her when she was a child. On their weeklytrips to the zoo he would read to her from a worn copy of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, which he carried with him everywhere; later, he told her stories of his own encounters over many years with “the deathless man,” a vagabond who claimed to be immortal and appeared never to age. But the most extraordinary story of all is the one her grandfather never told her, the one Natalia must discover for herself. One winter during the Second World War, his childhood village was snowbound, cut off even from the encroaching German invaders but haunted by another, fierce presence: a tiger who comes ever closer under cover of darkness. “These stories,” Natalia comes to understand, “run like secret rivers through all the other stories” of her grandfather’s life. And it is ultimately within these rich, luminous narratives that she will find the answer she is looking for."

The September Queen by Gillian Bagwell: Book Cover
The September Queen 
by Gillian Bagwell
Publish Date: November 1st 2012
Format: Paperback 400pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"Charles II is running for his life-and into the arms of a woman who will risk all for king and country. 
Jane Lane is of marrying age, but she longs for adventure. She has pushed every potential suitor away-even those who could provide everything for her. Then one day, adventure makes its way to her doorstep, and with it comes mortal danger... 
Royalists fighting to restore the crown to King Charles II implore Jane to help. Jane must transport him to safety, disguised as a manservant. As she places herself in harm's way, she finds herself falling in love with the gallant young Charles. And despite his reputation as a breaker of hearts, Jane finds herself surrendering to a passion that will change her life forever."

Guinevere, the Legend in Autumn: Book Three of the Guinevere Trilogy by Persia Woolley: Book CoverGuinevere, The Legend in Autumn 
by Persia Wooley
Publish Date: November 1st 2012
Format: Paperback 544pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"Surrounded by traitors, trapped by destiny, Britain's spirited Queen Guinevere recounts the last, dramatic years of Camelot. At King Arthur's side, she reigned over the fabled heroes of the Round Table as her heartbreaking honesty, courage, and integrity were challenged by those she loved most. Torn between duty and desire as he rescued his Queen, condemned to the stake for treason, Lancelot swept her away as she bartered her soul to save Arthur and Camelot from the furies of fate. This is Arthurian epic at its best–filled with romance, adventure, authentic Dark Ages detail, and wonderfully human people."

Copyright © 2011 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Teaser Tuseday

This week my teaser come from Song of the Nile by Stephanie Dray:

Page: 54
"My legs gave out and I sat down hard on the edge of the bed, waves of nausea rolling over me. I put my hands over my face, squeezing the tears against my palms. 'Are you satisfied now?' "
Page: 149:
"Now he stopped, his eyes snapping to mine. 'There it is, madam. You're an Egyptian.' "

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Copyright © 2011 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Released Today! A Crimson Warning by Tasha Alexander

A Crimson Warning by Tasha Alexander
Pub. Date: October 25th 2011
Format: Hardcover 320pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"Secrets prove deadly in this new novel featuring Lady Emily Hargreaves. Some very prominent people in London are waking up to find their doorsteps smeared with red paint, the precursor to the revelation of a dark secret – and worse – by someone who enjoys destroying lives.  
Newly returned to her home in Mayfair, Lady Emily Hargreaves is looking forward to enjoying the delights of the season. The delights, that is, as defined by her own eccentricities—reading The Aeneid, waltzing with her dashing husband, and joining the Women’s Liberal Federation in the early stages of its campaign to win votes for women. But an audacious vandal disturbs the peace in the capitol city, splashing red paint on the neat edifices of the homes of London’s elite. This mark, impossible to hide, presages the revelation of scandalous secrets, driving the hapless victims into disgrace, despair and even death. Soon, all of London high society is living in fear of learning who will be the next target, and Lady Emily and her husband, Colin, favorite agent of the crown, must uncover the identity and reveal the motives of the twisted mind behind it all before another innocent life is lost."

Copyright © 2011 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the exciting books that came into their house last week via post. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists!

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at A Girl and her Books, and is currently being hosted by Serena  from Savvy Verse and Wit for the month of October. 

For review I received: 

(Non-Fic) by Ian Mortimer
Publish Date: October 25th 2011
Format: Paperback 352pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"The past is a foreign country. This is your guidebook. A time machine has just transported you back into the fourteenth century. What do you see? How do you dress? How do you earn a living and how much are you paid? What sort of food will you be offered by a peasant or a monk or a lord? And more important, where will you stay? 
The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England is not your typical look at a historical period. This radical new approach shows us that the past is not just something to be studied; it is also something to be lived. 
Through the use of daily chronicles, letters, household accounts, and poems of the day, Mortimer transports you back in time, providing answers to questions typically ignored by traditional historians. You will learn how to greet people on the street, what to use as toilet paper, why a physician might want to taste your blood, and how to know whether you are coming down with leprosy. 
The result is the most astonishing social history book you’re ever likely to read: revolutionary in its concept, informative and entertaining in its detail, and startling for its portrayal of humanity in an age of violence, exuberance, and fear."

What goodies did you receive?

Copyright © 2011 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Giveaway! Dracula in Love by Karen Essex

I have one brand new copy of Karen Essex's haunting novel, Dracula in Love (my review), up for grabs!

Since this giveaway will be apart of the "Spooktacular Giveaway Hop", hosted by Kathy @ I am a Reader not a Writer, the giveaway guidelines are a bit different than my normal entry procedure, so make sure you take a look at them.

Publish Date: July 5th 2011
Format: Paperback edition 384pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
" 'Reader, you are about to enter a world that exists simultaneous with your own. But be warned: in its realm, there are no rules, and there is certainly no neat formula to become—or to destroy—one who has risen above the human condition…The truth is, we must fear monsters less and be warier of our own kind.'
London, 1890. Mina Murray, the rosy-cheeked, quintessentially pure Victorian heroine, becomes Count Dracula’s object of desire. To preserve her chastity, five male “defenders” rush in to rescue her from the vampire’s evil clutches. This is the version of the story we've been told. But now, from Mina’s own pen, we discover that the story is vastly different when told from the female point of view. 
In this captivating, bold act of storytelling, award-winning author Karen Essex breathes startling new life into the characters of Bram Stoker's Dracula, transporting the reader into the erotic and bizarre underbelly of the original story. While loosely following the events of its classic predecessor, Dracula in Love deviates from the path at every turn. 
The result is a darkly haunting, propulsive, and rapturous tale of immortal love and possession.
From the shadowy banks of the river Thames to the wild and windswept Yorkshire coast, Dracula’s eternal muse—the most famous woman in vampire lore—vividly recounts the joys and terrors of a passionate affair that has linked her and the Count through the centuries, and her rebellion against her own frightening preternatural powers. 
Mina’s version of this gothic vampire tale is a visceral journey into Victorian England’s dimly lit bedrooms, mist-filled cemeteries, and terrifying asylum chambers, revealing the dark secrets and mysteries locked within. Time falls away as she is swept into a mythical voyage far beyond mortal comprehension, where she must finally make the decision she has been avoiding for almost a millennium. 
Stoker’s Dracula offered one side of the story, in which Mina was a victim bearing no responsibility for the unfolding events. Now, for the first time, the truth of her secret history, and of vampirism itself, is revealed. What this flesh and blood woman has to say is more sensual, more devious, and more enthralling than the Victorians could have expressed or perhaps even imagined."

Giveaway Guidelines:

~6 possible entries~

  • +1 entry for posting a comment with your e-mail and being a follower via Google Friend Connect (no comment with e-mail and follow via GFC = no entry)
  • + 3 entries for adding a link to this giveaway on the sidebar of your blog. (please post link with your comment)
  • + 2 entries for tweeting about this giveaway or posting about it on your blog (please post link with your comment)  

~Please post all your entries in one comment, thanks :)
~This giveaway is open to US only.
~Ends October  31st~

Good Luck everyone!

Copyright © 2011 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Upcoming 2012 HF release! The Garden Intrigue by Lauren Willig

Publish Date: February 16th 2012
Format: Hardcover 400pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"In the ninth installment of Lauren Willig's bestselling Pink Carnation series, an atrocious poet teams up with an American widow to prevent Napoleon's invasion of England.
Secret agent Augustus Whittlesby has spent a decade undercover in France, posing as an insufferably bad poet. The French surveillance officers can't bear to read his work closely enough to recognize the information drowned in a sea of verbiage. 
New York-born Emma Morris Delagardie is a thorn in Augustus's side. An old school friend of Napoleon's stepdaughter, she came to France with her uncle, the American envoy; eloped with a Frenchman; and has been rattling around the salons of Paris ever since. Widowed for four years, she entertains herself by drinking too much champagne, holding a weekly salon, and loudly critiquing Augustus's poetry. 
As Napoleon pursues his plans for the invasion of England, Whittlesby hears of a top-secret device to be demonstrated at a house party at Malmaison. The catch? The only way in is with Emma, who has been asked to write a masque for the weekend's entertainment. 
Emma is at a crossroads: Should she return to the States or remain in France? She'll do anything to postpone the decision-even if it means teaming up with that silly poet Whittlesby to write a masque for Bonaparte's house party. But each soon learns that surface appearances are misleading. In this complicated masque within a masque, nothing goes quite as scripted- especially Augustus's feelings for Emma." 

Copyright © 2011 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Suddenly Sunday

Suddenly Sunday is a weekly event hosted by SveaThe Muse in the Fog Book Review. The purpose of Suddenly Sunday is to share all the exciting events that have occurred on your blog throughout the week. 

Good evening! I hope you have all been enjoying a pleasant and relaxing weekend. This post is being written while feeding my little one and doing homework, so let's get the recap started...

This week I reviewed:

Three Maids for a Crown 
by Ella March Chase

I also updated the upcoming historical fiction novels list on the right-hand side of the blog!

Be sure to check back tomorrow for a chance to win:

Dracula in Love 
by Karen Essex

Have a great week & happy reading!
Copyright © 2011 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Released Today! The Tigress of Forli by Elizabeth Lev (Non-Fic)

Cover Image
The Tigress of Forli by Elizabeth Lev
Format: Hardcover 336pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"The astonishing life of a long-misunderstood Renaissance virago 
Wife, mother, leader, warrior. Caterina Riario Sforza was one of the most prominent women in Renaissance Italy—and one of the most vilified. In this glittering biography, Elizabeth Lev reexamines her extraordinary life and accomplishments. 
Raised in the court of Milan and wed at age ten to the pope’s corrupt nephew, Caterina was ensnared in Italy’s political intrigues early in life. After turbulent years in Rome’s papal court, she moved to the Romagnol province of Forlì. Following her husband’s assassination, she ruled Italy’s crossroads with iron will, martial strength, political savvy—and an icon’s fashion sense. In finally losing her lands to the Borgia family, she put up a resistance that inspired all of Europe and set the stage for her progeny—including Cosimo de' Medici—to follow her example to greatness. 
A rich evocation the Renaissance, The Tigress of Forlì reveals Caterina Riario Sforza as a brilliant and fearless ruler, and a tragic but unbowed figure."

Copyright © 2011 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Teaser Tuesday

This week my teaser comes from The Women of the Cousins' War by Philippa Gregory:

Page: 135
"Jacquetta's grief fo the loss of her husband and son must have been intense."
Page: 233
"Elizabeth Woodville was not perfect– perhaps no one is but she seems to have fulfilled her difficult and demanding role admirably."

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Copyright © 2011 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Review: Three Maids for a Crown by Ella March Chase

Publish Date: August 2011
Format: Paperback 432pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"In the second novel from Ella March Chase, we meet sixteen-year-old Jane Grey, a quiet and obedient young lady destined to become the shortest reigning English monarch. Her beautiful middle sister Katherine Grey charms all the right people--until loyalties shift. And finally Lady Mary Grey, a dwarf with a twisted spine whose goal is simply to protect people she loves--but at a terrible cost.

In an age in which begetting sons was all that mattered and queens rose and fell on the sex of their child, these three girls with royal Tudor blood lived under the dangerous whims of parents with a passion for gambling. The stakes they would wager: their daughters' lives against rampant ambition."

My Review:

Three Maids for a Crown follows the lives of the Grey sisters, Jane, Katherine and Mary, as they are used as pawns throughout their life in the political battle for the crown of England. The story is narrated by each sister, with some chapters having multiple narrators. It is through their eyes we witness the forceful and greedy nature of the Duke of Northumberland and their parents, the uncertainty of England's future, and the dire consequences of their families actions. As the chapters progress the reader is compelled to read each sisters tragic story, and is ultimately rewarded with a deeper understanding of their lives and devotion to the ones they love.

Looking back on the structure of the novel, I am quite impressed with how smoothly Ella made the transitions between the multiple narrations of the novel. Often times multiple narrations, especially in the middle of a chapter, lead to a choppy feeling and sometimes confusion, but this felt effortless and increased the dynamics of the plot quite well. Out of all the characters I was most interested in the sections dedicated to Mary Grey and Princess/Queen Mary. Unlike the others, their story read at a quick pace and I thoroughly enjoyed their unique personalities. One aspect I was quite intrigued by was the portal of Princess/Queen Elizabeth. We all know her as England's most beloved Queen, a woman of fierce spirit and temper, and the kinder one when compared to her sister Mary, but in this novel Mary becomes the tender one while Elizabeth is cruel and completely unlikable. If you are an ardent fan of Elizabeth do not let this hinder you from reading this novel for it was very refreshing to see both sisters portrayed in a different light. Overall, Three Maids for a Crown is an enjoyable novel that will have your heart aching for a multitude of characters and leave you closing the book wanting to read more about these brave Grey sisters.

Copyright © 2011 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.
FTC: I received this book from the publisher. As always, these are my own honest opinions.

Masterpiece Monday

Dante Gabriel Rossetti. La Ghirlandata. 1873

Copyright © 2011 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the exciting books that came into their house last week via post. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists!

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at A Girl and her Books, and is currently being hosted by Serena  from Savvy Verse and Wit for the month of October. 

For review I received: 

Song of the Nile 
by Stephanie Dray

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"Sorceress. Seductress. Schemer. Cleopatra's daughter is the one woman with the power to destroy an empire...
Having survived her perilous childhood as a royal captive of Rome, Selene pledged her loyalty to Augustus and swore she would become his very own Cleopatra. Now the young queen faces an uncertain destiny in a foreign land. 
The magic of Isis flowing through her veins is what makes her indispensable to the emperor. Against a backdrop of imperial politics and religious persecution, Cleopatra's daughter beguiles her way to the very precipice of power. She has never forgotten her birthright, but will the price of her mother's throne be more than she's willing to pay?"

What arrived at your door? 
Copyright © 2011 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.