Special Feature: A COLUMN OF FIRE (Kingsbridge #3) by Ken Follett

There is a reason that Ken Follett is a #1 best selling author–his novels are fantastic.

I read his book THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH while I was visiting London in 2009 and never looked back. His writing was unparalleled and I loved that book with all my heart. I couldn’t put it down the entire vacation and I happened to be cathedral hopping in England so it was a fitting read to be sure.

I didn’t continue on with the Kingsbridge series though, only because I felt like the way Pillars ended, it was enough. I was happy with where it ended and where all the characters were in their lives. I didn’t want to sully the wonder of the first book with an unsatisfying second book, if that’s what it turned out to be—I don’t know if it was that or not but I haven’t yet read WORLD WITHOUT END.

So here we are, another Kingsbridge book is coming out and the summary sounds so promising. I was intrigued enough to consider reading it and continuing with the series. I decided to read A COLUMN OF FIRE later this fall so I will be posting a review in Nov, but until then I wanted to let readers in on a little Q & A with the author and a summary of what sounds like a fantastic book.

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Book Blast: The Dark Lady’s Mask by Mary Sharratt

02_The Dark Lady's Mask
The Dark Lady’s Mask by Mary Sharratt
Publication Date: April 19, 2016
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Hardcover, eBook, Audio Book
Genre: Historical Fiction
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Shakespeare in Love meets Shakespeare’s Sister in this novel of England’s first professional woman poet and her collaboration and love affair with William Shakespeare.

London, 1593. Aemilia Bassano Lanier is beautiful and accomplished, but her societal conformity ends there. She frequently cross-dresses to escape her loveless marriage and to gain freedoms only men enjoy, but a chance encounter with a ragged, little-known poet named Shakespeare changes everything.

Aemilia grabs at the chance to pursue her long-held dream of writing and the two outsiders strike up a literary bargain. They leave plague-ridden London for Italy, where they begin secretly writing comedies together and where Will falls in love with the beautiful country — and with Aemilia, his Dark Lady. Their Italian idyll, though, cannot last and their collaborative affair comes to a devastating end. Will gains fame and fortune for their plays back in London and years later publishes the sonnets mocking his former muse. Not one to stand by in humiliation, Aemilia takes up her own pen in her defense and in defense of all women.

The Dark Lady’s Mask gives voice to a real Renaissance woman in every sense of the word.

The Dark Lady’s Mask will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in April 2016 to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Hardcover) | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble

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Review: A Prisoner in Malta by Phillip DePoy

Someone is plotting to kill Queen Elizabeth. The Queen’s spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham has changed the nineteen year old Christopher Marlowe with tracking down the truth of this impending threat.

The only thing anyone knows for sure is there is a prisoner who has information about the plot and Walsingham feels sure that Marlowe can rescue the prisoner and discover what there is to know about the threat. Christopher Marlowe has quite the reputation….he’s known as a brawler, womanizer, genius, and social upstart at Cambridge.

His investigation will take him through a treacherous world of Catholic sympathizers, the Spanish government, and double agents…..this isn’t going to be an open and shut case…..it will challenge Marlowe in many ways! But can he solve the case before it’s too late?

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Review: Médicis Daughter: A Novel of Marguerite de Valois by Sophie Perinot

Catherine de Medicis is one of my most favorite queens in history. I’ve read a lot of books on her…..I mean how could you not admire her in some ways? She was about as cutthroat and unapologetic as they come which I kind of admire in some of history’s most famous queens.

Her name is notorious so when this book came across my nightstand for review, I jumped on it. While it is not about Catherine herself necessarily, it’s about the Medicis so that was enough for me! Plus I don’t know much about her children, just about her, so I was really interested in reading this one.

Princess Margot is summoned to the court of France, where nothing is what it seems and a wrong word can lead to ruin.

Margo’s mother, Queen Catherine, is notoriously known as Madame la Serpente. Catherine is a powerful force in a country that is continually devastated by religious war. Margo must learn how to navigate the royal court. Margo is an obedient daughter and accepts that she will likely be a marriage pawn but she doesn’t plan on falling in love.

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Special Feature: THE ALL SOULS REAL TIME READING COMPANION by Deborah Harkness is FREE on Amazon

As many of you know, I am a huge fan of the All Soul’s books! I’ve read all of the books and was sad to see the series come to an end….as I am sure many of you are as well. However, I have good news!

On Tuesday, November 17th, Penguin is releasing a FREE, e-book only, richly illustrated real-time reading guide that brings to life the world created by Deborah Harkness in A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night, retracing the events of these two bestselling novels with illuminating behind-the-scenes details and real-life events that figure into the books. It’s available for pre-order now.

The All Souls Trilogy began with A Discovery of Witches and continued with Shadow of Night. Now, as The Book of Life has brought Deborah Harkness’s #1 New York Times bestselling trilogy to its conclusion, re-immerse yourself in the enchanting fantasy world she has created and enrich your experience of the heart-stopping finale.

How can you pass this up? After all, it’s free! Be sure to grab your copy of THE ALL SOULS REAL TIME READING COMPANION now on Amazon! 

Now in other All Souls news…..The Serpent’s Mirror, is coming in 2017 and set in the All Souls Universe. It is centered on Matthew Clairmont’s career as a vampiric double agent in the Tudor era, the novel explores historical riddles surrounding the ascent of Elizabeth I to the throne. A contemporary narrative involves the witch-historian Diana Bishop and the cast of the Harkness’s bestselling All Souls’ Trilogy (A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life). THE SERPENT’S MIRROR is projected as the opening volume of a series of novels drawing from material in the centuries-old de Clermont archives, and a 2017 publication is planned.

Like many of you I am eagerly awaiting the new cover reveal and release of the book! I can’t get enough of the All Souls world! Now go out and get your free e-book!

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