The Conqueror's Wife

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Publication Date: December 1, 2015

NAL/Penguin Group LLC.

eBook, Paperback; 496 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

A novel from the acclaimed author of The Tiger Queens, for readers looking for “strong and determined female protagonists” (Historical Novel Society) and “a sprawling historical saga” (Renee Rosen)…

We are the women who loved Alexander the Great. We were lovers and murderers, innocents and soldiers.

And without us, Alexander would have been only a man.

Instead he was a god.

330s, B.C.E., Greece: Alexander, a handsome young warrior of Macedon, begins his quest to conquer the ancient world. But he cannot ascend to power, and keep it, without the women who help to shape his destiny.

His spirited younger half-sister, Thessalonike, yearns to join her brother and see the world. Instead, it is Alexander’s boyhood companion who rides with him into war while Thessalonike remains behind. Far away, crafty princess Drypetis will not stand idly by as Alexander topples her father from Persia’s throne. And after Alexander conquers her tiny kingdom, Roxana, the beautiful and cunning daughter of a minor noble, wins Alexander’s heart…and will commit any crime to secure her place at his side.

Within a few short years, Alexander controls an empire more vast than the civilized world has ever known. But his victories are tarnished by losses on the battlefield and treachery among his inner circle. And long after Alexander is gone, the women who are his champions, wives, and enemies will fight to claim his legacy…

AMAZON (KINDLE) | AMAZON (PAPERBACK) | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND

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I think everyone knows that I am a fan girl for Stephanie Thornton.  So, you can totally imagine how excited I am that I’m featured on the first day of her tour for ‘The Conqueror’s Wife’. As you read above, this is about Alexander the Great and all of the women in his life. I never realised just how much they factored into his success. We have several narrators, each taking over a chapter and telling thier story, which ties into the whole ultimate grand scheme of things. Thessalonike, his sister, Roxana, his wife and Drypetis, a warrior and eventual wife of our only male narrator, Hephaestion, who was Alexander’s best friend and possible lover.

Also mentioned is Olympias, Alexander’s mother. She isn’t a narrator (which I would have really loved!) but she is very much a presence. How can one write of Alexander and not include her? She never wavered in her belief in him and the blood trail she left proved that. Seriously, guys, she did what needed to be done…and did so with a coolness that leaves even the most bloodthirsty in awe.

Each narrator has a strong voice and is a strong character; each speaking of the different parts of his life and places that Alexander inevitably set his feet or his stallion, Buchephalus’ hooves on. The action begins straight away with the assassination of Philip II and from there, we are led on Alexander’s triumphant campaigns. I warn you, there are moments where it is gory and explicit, but you ought to expect nothing less from Alexander. As with sexual scenes but they were tasteful and not something you’re going to blush your way through and want to flip through the pages.

It’s impossible for me to tell you each storyline without giving something away and I’ll not be giving the lot of you spoilers! 😉 I was delighted by the rich descriptions and the intrigues and I could not get enough of the book. I am tempted to go and just reread it now because I’ll probably note something that I missed entirely. Alexander’s life was short…but it is remembered because of the women surrounding him, his conquering all of these lands and the aftermath of his passing brought on epic repercussions and battles that proved bloody and ruthless.

I truly enjoyed being thrust into the world of Alexander and his women and I look forward to reading this again so that I may once more rejoin him.

alexandre-2004-26-gI hope Ms. Thornton isn’t offended but I totally envisioned Alexander, Hephaestion and Olympias as Colin Farrell, Jared Leto and Angelina Jolie respectively. (With the appropriate accents, lol.) I give the credit to Oliver Stone for getting me really fascinated in Alexander.

My Rating:
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Stephanie Thornton is a writer and history teacher who has been obsessed with infamous women from ancient history since she was twelve. She lives with her husband and daughter in Alaska, where she is at work on her next novel.

“The Secret History: A Novel of Empress Theodora,” “Daughter of the Gods: A Novel of Ancient Egypt,” and “The Tiger Queens: The Women of Genghis Khan” are available now. “The Conqueror’s Wife: A Novel of Alexander the Great” will hit the shelves in December 2015.

For more information please visit Stephanie Thornton’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 23
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, November 24
Review at Layered Pages
Interview & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Spotlight & Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, November 25
Review at A Bookish Affair
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Thursday, November 26
Review at Historical Readings & Reviews

Friday, November 27
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Monday, November 30
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Review & Giveaway at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, December 1
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Guest Post at Book Lovers Paradise

Wednesday, December 2
Review at leeanna.me
Review & Giveaway at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, December 3
Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway at Just One More Chapter
Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway at Unshelfish
Excerpt at A Literary Vacation
Spotlight at The Reading Queen

Friday, December 4
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict

Monday, December 7
Review at The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, December 8
Review at Reading the Past
Review at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, December 9
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Thursday, December 10
Review at The Lit Bitch
Interview & Giveaway at Reading Lark
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection

Friday, December 11
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Saturday, December 12
Review & Giveaway at Genre Queen

Monday, December 14
Review at Book Babe
Reivew, Excerpt, & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick

Tuesday, December 15
Review at Bookramblings

Wednesday, December 16
Review at Book Nerd

Thursday, December 17
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Friday, December 18
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

 

 

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The latest novel from the bestselling author of Dollface and What the 24611464Lady Wants takes us deep into the tumultuous world of 1950s Chicago where a female journalist struggles with the heavy price of ambition…

Every second of every day, something is happening. There’s a story out there buried in the muck, and Jordan Walsh, coming from a family of esteemed reporters, wants to be the one to dig it up. But it’s 1955, and the men who dominate the city room of the Chicago Tribune have no interest in making room for a female cub reporter. Instead Jordan is relegated to society news, reporting on Marilyn Monroe sightings at the Pump Room and interviewing secretaries for the White Collar Girl column.

Even with her journalistic legacy and connections to luminaries like Mike Royko, Nelson Algren, and Ernest Hemingway, Jordan struggles to be taken seriously. Of course, that all changes the moment she establishes a secret source inside Mayor Daley’s office and gets her hands on some confidential information. Now careers and lives are hanging on Jordan’s every word. But if she succeeds in landing her stories on the front page, there’s no guarantee she’ll remain above the fold.…

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Alright, we all know that I am a girl who likes a pretty cover. However, you know what goes great with a pretty cover? An equally as spectacular story. Renee Rosen has done just that; spun a wonderful story about Jordan Walsh, an up and coming reporter. In an era where men reigned supreme and a woman was dismissed as anything but a serious reporter, Jordan has an uphill battle to fight. However, she is more than willing to fight the good fight. The other women in the office seem happy to be doing the White Collar Girl column…but that’s not Jordan. She’s hungry for getting a story with her own bylines on the front page. This isn’t something the male reporters in the Chicago Tribune are willing to give her. It’s only when she lands a source in the Mayor’s office where they (hesitantly) pay her attention.

However, this source feeds her information that may very well lead her down roads she may or may not be ready to travel. The synopsis says that careers and lives are hanging on Jordan’s every word–and it’s true. This book is absolutely chock full of intrigue and it keeps you drawn in. Not only is there Jordan’s work life, she’s navigating a strained personal life and of course, the corruption in Chicago is a story in itself. It really is an excellently blended tome that is cohesive and never strays into the awkwardness that some novels sometimes fall into.

I loved how well researched this book was and how it gave insight into that period of time that while still recent is still far enough away to some readers (like myself) that it was fun to get an insight. Reading about Jordan’s struggle to find an apartment because she was a single woman was mind-blowing to me but it was something I wasn’t unfamiliar with; I had seen a similar scene in Agent Carter where Peggy was interviewed before moving into a boarding house for other young women. Another thing that struck me was how a woman was expected to give her life up once she was married. A man could conquer the world, but a woman must stay at home and be a wife. I also loved reading about the fashion and all of that…I sort of wish that we all took such care to dress like they did in the 50’s. Also…M is a fantastic character; I felt for her the entire novel.

This is not a book that I am praising because I won a signed copy–this a book that I am praising because it is that damn good. I absolutely loved the story and how all of the different things all tied in together perfectly. I can’t recommend this to you all enough. Go get it!

 

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Castles, Customs, and Kings: True Tales

511r1qiy9tl-_sx348_bo1204203200_Castles, Customs, and Kings: True Tales by English Historical Fiction Authors (Volume 2)

Publication Date: September 30, 2015
Madison Street Publishing
Hardcover, Paperback, eBook; 598 Pages

Genre: History

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.

“Thoroughly enjoyable and diverse…leisure reading for any history fan.” – Elizabeth Chadwick, on Castles, Customs, and Kings (Volume 1)

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I wasn’t sure how I’d enjoy this one…but I was in good hands with numerous historical fiction authors whom I’m already familiar with; Stephanie Cowell, Nancy Bilyeau, Patricia Bracewell, Deborah Swift and many others. If you’re afraid that this is going to sound like a long academic read, put your worries aside! This is nothing like that. Each author included is a renowned historical fiction author and is not one to write a long, dull tome. My own doubts were silly and once I began to read, I forgot them quickly.

This is not a quick read, it is a massive 600 page book, but it is worth taking the time to read. Each author brings something different to the book, their own knowledge, their own voices. It is never dry or boring in any spot. History is often thought of as boring, but for those passionate enough about it; it is never that. It is fascinating and all encompassing. I lost myself in this book and I am certain that other readers and historical fiction buffs will feel similarly.

Ranging from  pre-Roman to the 20th century, there’s something in here for every history buff because, let’s face it, we all have a specific time period that we all seem more drawn to than others. (For me, it’s the Tudor period.) I very much enjoyed each era and the stories told.

I recommend this to everyone!

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AMAZON | BOOK DEPOSITORY | KOBO

cck_blog-tour-bannerBlog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 16
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Spotlight at Unshelfish

Tuesday, November 17
Review at Kinx’s Book Nook

Wednesday, November 18
Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Thursday, November 19
Review at Unabridged Chick

Friday, November 20
Review at With Her Nose Stuck In A Book

Saturday, November 21
Spotlight at The Reading Queen

Monday, November 23
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Spotlight at HF Connection

Tuesday, November 24
Spotlight at So Many Books, So Little Time

Wednesday, November 25
Review at Broken Teepee

Thursday, November 26
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Friday, November 27
Review at Bookish
Spotlight at Let Them Read Books

Saturday, November 28
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Monday, November 30
Review at Impressions In Ink
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Review at The True Book Addict

02_The Spanish Patriot_CoverThe Spanish Patriot
by Nicky Penttila

Publication Date: September 3, 2015
Wondrous Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback, Audio

Genre: Historical Fiction

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READ AN EXCERPT.

Some fly to war. Others flee it. No one is safe.

When the British army is sent into Spain to help expel Napoleon’s invaders, nothing goes as expected. Not for London newsman Sam Kerr, hunting a story that will win him the editor’s chair, who discovers one that could wreck his career. Not for the Wakefield family, loyalist refugees from America seeking peace among people of their faith, who find war has followed them even here. And certainly not for the British troops, whose mission of support turns into a fight for all their lives. Historical fiction set in Corunna 1808.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | INKTERA | ITUNES (AUDIOBOOK) | KOBO | SMASHWORDS

PRAISE FOR AN UNTITLED LADY

“Penttila shows a deft hand with complex, believable characterizations that accurately reflect the historical period.”–Publishers Weekly

“The social turmoil in Manchester leading to the Peterloo Massacre of 1819 is the unusual setting for Penttila’s quietly stunning, memorable debut novel. A very highly recommended book.”–Historical Novel Society

ABOUT THE AUTHORAmaliaG-web-600w

Nicky Penttila writes stories with adventure, ideas, history, and love. She enjoys coming up with stories that are set in faraway cities and countries, because then she must travel there, you know, for research. She lives in Maryland with her reading-mad husband and amazing rescue cat.

WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | TUMBLR | GOOGLE+ | GOODREADS | PINTEREST

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Sunday, November 1
Guest Post at Please Pass the Books

Monday, November 2
Review at Book Nerd

Tuesday, November 3
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, November 4
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Thursday, November 5
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter

Friday, November 6
Guest Post at The Writing Desk

Monday, November 9
Character Interview at Boom Baby Reviews

Tuesday, November 10
Review at She Is Too Fond of Books

Wednesday, November 11
Review & Interview at Back Porchervations
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Friday, November 13
Spotlight & Giveaway at Queen of All She Reads

Saturday, November 14
Spotlight & Giveaway at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Monday, November 16
Guest Post at I Heart Reading

Wednesday, November 18
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Thursday, November 19
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Friday, November 20
Review, Interview, & Giveaway at Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

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Just some fun…:)

Pastry Book Tag

Hey everyone! I was tagged for a book tag called “The Pastry Book Tag”. I was supposed to do it last month but I actually forgot! So, forgive me, here I go!

1.) Croissant:
Name a popular book or series that everyone (including you) loves.

I think it’s not surprise that I’ve put Harry here. I love the series and the movies and J.K Rowling is a personal hero to me, so voila!

2.) Macaron:
Name a book that was hard to get through but worth it at the end.

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Schindler’s List was very hard to get through for obvious reasons. But I am glad that I read it. I also enjoy the film. A rare case where the movie was better than the book!

3.) Vol-au-vent:
Name a book that you thought would be amazing but fell flat.

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I was excited to think that this would be a book about ‘Mammy’ but instead, it fell terribly flat.

4.) Pain au chocolat:
Name a book that you thought would be one thing but turned out to be something else.

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I thought it was going to be just a stupid YA series….but it’s so much deeper than that!

5.) Profiterole:
Name a book or series that doesn’t get enough attention.

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This is a series, the Elizabeth I Mysteries, and I think people really ought to pay more attention to them! They’re fantastic.

6.) Croquembouche:
Name a book or series that’s extremely complex.

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7.) Napoleon:
Name a movie or TV show based off a book that you liked better than the book itself.

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Forrest was kind of mean in the book; not at all like Tom Hanks’ performance. He gave Forrest more of a heart than the book did.

8.) Empanada:
Name a book that was bittersweet.

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It’s the last Harry Potter book. Need I say more? 😦

9.) Kolompeh:
Name a book or series that takes place somewhere other than your home country:

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10.) Pate a Choux:
Name one food from a book or series that you would like to try.

Pumpkin juice, butterbeer, Bertie Botts Beans…Chocolate Frogs….c’mon! LoL!

 

I’m not tagging anyone but I welcome everyone/anyone to do it!

Elizabeth: Renaissance Prince (A Review!)

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23719339A new portrait that casts the queen as she saw herself: not as an exceptional woman, but as an exceptional ruler.

Queen Elizabeth I was all too happy to play on courtly conventions of gender when it suited her “weak and feeble woman’s body” to do so for political gain. But in Elizabeth, historian Lisa Hilton offers ample evidence why those famous words should not be taken at face value. With new research out of France, Italy, Russia, and Turkey, Hilton’s fresh interpretation is of a queen who saw herself primarily as a Renaissance prince and used Machiavellian statecraft to secure that position.  A decade since the last major biography, this Elizabeth breaks new ground and depicts a queen who was much less constrained by her femininity than most treatments claim. For readers of David Starkey and Alison Weir, it will provide a new, complex perspective on Elizabeth’s emotional and sexual life.  It’s a fascinating journey that shows how a marginalized newly crowned queen, whose European contemporaries considered her to be the illegitimate ruler of a pariah nation, ultimately adapted to become England’s first recognizably modern head of state.

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I seldom read biographies anymore. Not because they don’t interest me but because they read like a long, overdone thesis and it presents a challenge in keeping my attention, no matter how much I love the subject matter. However, I was very pleased with this one because Elizabeth I is one of my favourite women in history. Admittedly, I was a little hesitant but I am glad that I took the leap.

This is a biography that reads almost like a novel. it doesn’t feel like a history major is barking out facts and demanding that you accept them because they say so. No, this gave us a look at Her Majesty in the way she saw herself: as a Prince. To be a woman ruling alone–with no consort, was unheard of; and Elizabeth continuously proved through the years that she was equal to each of the Kings and Princes of the era. Whatever challenge was presented, she faced it bravely.

It’s easy for us to look back at Queen Elizabeth and think that she was a Queen, she must have had it easy. It was a very different world then and she had to establish herself in it. The creation of herself as a Renaissance Prince was a brilliant move on her part. The author is well-written and the story flows easily. You’re easily drawn in and introduced to Elizabeth in an entirely new light. I did not think it possible to admire her more than I did, but behold! This book has done precisely that.

I will likely read this again!

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Also, noting the fact that it is November 17th…on this day in 1558…Elizabeth became Queen.