Showing posts from November, 2015

(Review) Castles, Customs, and Kings: True Tales by English Historical Fiction Authors, Volume 2 by Debra Brown

Publication Date: September 30, 2015.
Publisher: Madison Street Publishing.
Genre: British History.
Pages: 598.
Source: Free ebook copy from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.
Rating: 5 stars for excellent.


Summary:  An anthology of essays from the second year of the English Historical Fiction Authors blog, this book transports the reader across the centuries from prehistoric to twentieth century Britain. Nearly fifty different authors share the stories, incidents, and insights discovered while doing research for their own historical novels. From medieval law and literature to Tudor queens and courtiers, from Stuart royals and rebels to Regency soldiers and social calls, experience the panorama of Britain’s yesteryear. Explore the history behind the fiction, and discover the true tales surrounding Britain’s castles, customs, and kings. Visit the English Historical Fiction Authors blog & Facebook page.
An excerpt, Seven Surprising Facts About Anne Of Cleves by Nancy Bilyeau. 

(Review) Sons Of The Wolf by Paula Lofting

Publication Date: August 1, 2012.
Publisher: SilverWood Books
Genre: Historical fiction, Anglo-Saxon, Middle Ages, England.
Pages: 396.
Source: Won through a giveaway from the author.
Rating: 5 stars for excellent.


B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree.

Paula Lofting website
Paula Lofting blog
Sons Of The Wolf Facebook page

In 1054, during the reign of King Edward, a thegn named Wulfhere lives with his family at Horstede, Sussex, England. His trusted servant is Esegar. When the story begins, Wulfhere and Esegar have returned to Horstede from a long campaign. Wulfhere is greeted by his children and wife. It is apparent the couple has had serious problems and both of them are apprehensive of their reunion. Wulfhere's children have grown since his departure, his eldest daughter Freyda is of marriageable age.
Sons Of The Wolf is the chronicle of a family during the years before the Norman conquest and William the Conqueror's reign.

My Thoughts:
What I love most about Sons Of The W…

Play It Again Sam, from Casablanca


(Review) The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Publication Date: February 3, 2015.
Publisher: St. Martin's Press.
Genre: Historical fiction, World War II, France, French Resistance, Nazi Germany.
Pages: 440.
Source: Self-purchase.
Rating: 5 stars for excellent.

Barnes and Noble

The Nightingale is one of the twenty best books according to Amazon.

France, 1939.
Antoine and Vianne Mauriac, and young daughter Sophie, live in Carriveau, France. They live an idyllic life. Vianne's insecurities about her past is strengthened by the loving relationship she has with Antoine. Vianne's father abandoned her and a young sister named Isabelle after their mother's death. Vianne's father lives in Paris and Isabelle lives with him.
Vianne and Isabelle are polar in personalities. Vianne is domestic, reserved, dependent, and filled with guilt and insecurities from the past. Isabelle is passionate, bold, independent, and intent in finding a calling.
The story begins and alternates with two time periods: World War II …

(Review) Parisians: An Adventure History Of Paris by Graham Robb

Publication Date: April 26, 2010.
Publisher: W. W. Norton and Company
Genre: Nonfiction, short stories, Paris history.
Pages: 496.
Source: Self-purchase.
Rating: 3 stars for good.



Parisians is twenty short stories of people known to history and those less known. The main character of the book is Paris, the secondary characters are the people who have lived or visited Paris. The first story begins in 1789. Each story is in chronological date progressing to our modern time. The next to the last story brings the reader to 2005. The last story is a wide lens view of the city from the seat of a bicyclist touring Paris. Historical events, geography, and architecture are referred to in this tour.

My Thoughts:
One of the strengths of Parisians is the wide variety of stories. Graham Robb gave an excellent well-rounded view of Paris through the lens of its people. From a young artillery lieutenant visiting Paris and the Palais Royal for the first time, to a famous auth…

A Poetic Introduction to November

"O Lord that lends me life,
Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness."
William Shakespeare

"Delicious autumn!
My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."
George Eliot

"Now Autumn's fire burns slowly along the woods, 
And day by day the dead leaves fall and melt, 
And night by night the monitory blast 
Wails in the key-hold, telling how it pass'd 
O'er empty fields, or upland solitudes, 
Or grim wide wave; and now the power is felt 
Of melancholy, tenderer in its moods 
Than any joy indulgent summer dealt. 
Dear friends, together in the glimmering eve, 
Pensive and glad, with tones that recognize 
The soft invisible dew in each one's eyes, 
It may be, somewhat thus we shall have leave 
To walk with memory,--when distant lies 
Poor Earth, where we were wont to live and grieve"
William Allingham

"The wind has blown the rain away and blown the sky away and all the leaves away, and the trees …

(Review) Spirit Of The Highway, The Highway Trilogy Book 2 by Deborah Swift

Publication Date: September 28, 2015.
Publisher: Endeavor
Genre: Historical fiction, young adult, England, 17th Century.
Pages: 292.
Source: Free copy from Endeavor, and Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, in exchange for a review.
Rating: 4 stars for very good.


Summary:  England 1651. England has been engaged in a bitter Civil War for nearly ten years. Ralph Chaplin, a farmer’s son, has fallen for beautiful copper-haired Kate. There is only one problem – he is a Roundhead soldier and she is a Royalist lady. Tired of bloodshed, Ralph volunteers to fight, sensing that the Battle at Worcester will be a chance to finish the fighting for good. He longs for peace, so he can forge a secure future and find a different, more equal way of life for himself and Kate. But war is not what he imagined, and soon he has made a deadly enemy; one who will pursue Ralph and those he loves, and wreak vengeance. What’s more, Ralph finds he has just as many enemies at home, as on the battlefield. T…

(Review) Wolf Hall, Thomas Cromwell Trilogy #1 by Hilary Mantel

Publication Date: Paperback 2010.
Publisher: Picador.
Genre: Historical fiction, Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, British History.
Pages: 604.
Source: Self-purchase.
Rating: 4 stars for very good.


Wolf Hall is a historical fiction story of the period in time when Henry VIII wanted to be rid of his first wife, Katherine of Aragon, and marry Anne Boleyn, his concubine. Henry wants a male heir. Katherine has not provided him with a male heir. His legitimate heir is a daughter Mary by Katherine.
Thomas Cromwell is the chief minister to Henry VIII. Henry expects Cromwell to advise and bring about a conclusion to Henry's marriage to Katherine. An ending of the marriage is not accepted by the Pope, nor by Europe's royal houses. Henry is a lone renegade is his hapless state of not having a male heir.

My Thoughts:
What I love about Wolf Hall is Hilary Mantel's uniquely written view of the characters. For example, Thomas Cromwell's opinions of the old kin…