Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Philippa Carr Series Released!!!

Hi everyone, it's been awhile...but here's a comeback with a bang!

Last week, Open Road Integrated Media, released the first 10 books of Philippa Carr- also known as best-selling author, Jean Plaidy, Victoria Holt- 'Daughters of England' series. The first book of the series is 'Miracle at St. Bruno's.

The Daughters of England, book 1 of 19
'The first book in Philippa Carr’s celebrated Daughters of England series is at once a love story, a mystery, and an epic historical saga set during the tumultuous reign of Henry VIII
Damask Farland, named after a rose, is captivated by the mysterious orphan Bruno. Discovered upon the abbey altar on Christmas morning, then raised by monks, Bruno becomes the great man whom Damask grows to love—only to be shattered by his cruel betrayal.
This dramatic coming-of-age novel is set in sixteenth-century England, during the chaotic years when Henry VIII stunned the royal court by setting his sights on Anne Boleyn. It’s also the tale of a man whom many believed to be a holy prophet . . . until a shocking truth is unearthed in the shadows of a centuries-old abbey.'

Today, the rest of this magnificent collection is being released- featuring: Saraband for Two Sisters!

The Daughters of England, book 4 of 19

'The twin daughters of Tamsyn Pennlyon take very different paths—only to reunite in a firestorm of explosive secrets and illicit passions that threaten to divide them forever
Twins Angelet and Bersaba Landor may look alike, but their personalities couldn’t be more different. Angelet is sweet, gentle, and submissive, while Bersaba is secretive, sensual, and headstrong. When the sisters are separated by forces beyond their control, Bersaba finds her life taking a dark turn.
After years apart, the twins are reunited within the echoing halls of Far Flamstead.As Angelet finds herself at the mercy of the manor’s secret past, Bersaba gives in to a perilous temptation. Bersaba will risk everything—even her life—for the love of one man. Against the backdrop of seventeenth-century England, a time of bloody revolt and new beginnings, Bersaba and Angelet discover that the ties that bind them can also tear them apart.'

Jean Plaidy collectors cannot pass up this fantastic new release!

Which Plaidy are you reading?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Book Review: Light on Lucrezia

Ahh... those Borgias-Everywhere you read about them, it’s one scandal after another. As for Lucrezia, she’s dumped right in that whole mess.  But seriously, how much of that was actually true? How easy is it to believe that Lucrezia really was a devious, incestuous, poisonous murderess?  But if you expect to read any of that in Light on Lucrezia, you will be disappointed.  Or-should I say; like in my case, delightfully surprised.
Perhaps Lucrezia will appear differently in Madonna of the Seven Hills (hoping to read this one very soon too)- but not in Light on Lucrezia.  In this novel, Lucrezia is, yes, a devoted Borgia first; meaning she thinks the world of both her father, Pope Alexander, and Cesare, her brother; However, Lucrezia is determined to live a different life from the debauche family she grew up in.  She does want to be happily married.  She wants children and is devastated when they are taken from her. She was defintely the Borgia pawn.
Beautiful and serene, Lucrezia was very much loved by her family.  Plaidy often refers to this as a very strong love-passionate love- yet she never alludes to anything incestuous. Throughout the book this is more of hearsay and gossip about the evil family by others.  The reality was that poor Lucrezia was married off three times; grieved the loss of both her lover and loving husband (both slain), had her children taken from her and then was sent to a new husband whose family hated her.  Throughout it all, Lucrezia held her head high.  Even through the most devastating moments she kept her cool.  Lucrezia found solace in poetry and her great friend Strozzi.  But- this being a Borgia story...without telling you more- there is of course infidelity and forbidden love...
This is an excellent novel and a great introduction to the Borgias through the life (albeit condensed) of Lucrezia.  I especially appreciated Jean Plaidy’s Author’s Note at the beginning of the book where Plaidy specifically says she wrote this book to shed light on all the controversy surrounding Lucrezia. She also lists the works she used for her research; something I’ve not yet encountered in her other novels.  Being a great fan of Plaidy, I loved reading this introduction where I felt that Plaidy personalized this particular book by this time presenting it not only through historical fiction, but by actually taking a stand in her perception of the history. 
Can’t wait to read more about Lucrezia!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Starting a new Plaidy read...

I've just opened up Light on Lucrezia  and am actually on the first chapter. So far, not knowing that much about Lucrezia herself (except that she's from an incredibly horrible family..)I'm curious to see how this one turns out. I know there's mostly negative stuff written about her by other authors. But after reading Plaidy's foreword where she talks about seeing Lucrezia from another perspective- well, that kind of got me very interested. Isn't that so very Plaidy-like to capture the reader even before the book is even opened...

                 Looking forward to another exceptional read- let you know more along the way...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Find us on Facebook and Twitter!

If you haven't seen it yet, Royal-Intrigue.net (our main website) has been completely revamped! We've also made a Facebook Fan Page and have a Twitter account. Please join!

Facebook: Royal Intrigue

Twitter @royalintrigue

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 Jean Plaidy Challenge Winners!

The winners of the 2010 JP Challenge are Christina, Holly and Lizzy! Prizes this year are either:

1 copy of a brand new UK reprint from the list


2 copies of used paperbacks from the list

First to respond gets first choice! Please send an email to Arleigh at arleighjohnson(at)gmail(dot)com!

New UK Reprints

The Prince of Darkness

The Star of Lancaster

The Sun in Splendour

The Queen’s Husband

The Italian Woman

Queen Jezebel

Madame Serpent (claimed)

Light on Lucrezia

Defenders of the Faith

The Revolt of the Eaglets

The Red Rose of Anjou

The Heart of the Lion

The Hammer of the Scots

Castile for Isabella

Spain for the Sovereigns

The Vow on the Heron

The Battle of the Queens

The Follies of the King

Used paperbacks

The Goldsmith’s Wife

Louis the Well Beloved (claimed)

The Prince and the Quakeress

Victoria in the Wings

The Queen and Lord M

The Captive of Kensington Palace

The Murder in the Tower

The Queen’s Favorites (claimed)

Daughter of Satan

The Haunted Sisters

The Widow of Windsor

The Three Crowns

Beyond the Blue Mountains

The Plantagenet Prelude

The Lion of Justice

The Queen’s Devotion

Queen of This Realm

We've not scheduled a 2011 Challenge, but plan to revamp the site soon with more Plaidy fun! We hope everyone has a great 2011 with lots of Jean Plaidy books!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Book Review: The Road To Compiegne

This one is the second in the Revolution Series by Jean Plaidy- and I absolutely loved it!  Moving on from the first book, (Louis the Well-Beloved- see my review here),  which portrays Louis from birth to the beginning of his relationship  with La Marquise de Pompadour- in this volume, Louis goes from well-beloved by his people, to completely loathed. Hunger is prevalent and the country is in turmoil, but Louis rather than owning up to his responsibilities, lives in complete denial while alienating himself all the more.  He can no longer travel to Paris due to the extreme danger it poses him.  The people are enraged and blame his excessiveness and abiding loyalty to La Pompadour for their misery.  He is considered a weak ruler that takes counsel from his mistress to reign over the country.
La Pompadour certainly had her say in politics and did advise Louis on all matters of state, however, much of her say was based on how Louis felt- literally. When Louis was down and feeling horrible about himself, Madame la Pompadour would do anything in her power to make him feel as though it wasn’t his fault- this set her in an advantageous position: She became the person he most wanted to be with- his true friend and confidante...someone he would always want around him.
For La Pompadour, Louis meant everything.  She needed to keep him happy and content in all ways...BUT- there was one area where she just could not keep up with him.  Louis was an insatiable lover and La Pompadour, who was rather frail in health, could not deliver...so, she thought of a little solution.  In order to keep Louis ‘content’ she provided him with young (but not particularly bright or ambitious) young girls to service him.  Meanwhile, she strategically moved out of Court to her own place, in order to offer the people a diversion- Now no one could say that she was coercing the King in matters of politics or as a ‘mistress’. She would now be known as his ‘good friend’.  This way she covered her reputation, kept the King by her side for all emotional comfort (which he constantly needed) and gave him his pleasurable diversions.
This plan would go on until the very end.  When La Pompadour died, in came La Du Barry; A complete turn-around in terms of class and composure.  Yet, Louis was bewitched by her to his very last days.  The book also brings us Louis’ daughters and the longing, yet never fulfilled relationship they so needed with their dad. There was much competition, slyness and direct confrontations all for the love of their father.  It was a constant trial to rid him of his mistresses (they never succeeded).  Marie Antoinette also appears by the end of the novel.
Excellent book about a period I am most fascinated by- so I’m now really looking forward to reading Extravagant Queen.
I love this series!

Friday, October 29, 2010

The World’s a Stage by Kathleen Kellow (Jean Plaidy)

It seems Jean Plaidy has surprised me once again!

I’ve been wrapped up in a novel by Ciji Ware titled Wicked Company, which features fictional characters for the most part, but also touts a host of real historical figures. One such is the 18th century actor/playwright/theater manager David Garrick, who is also one of my favorite personalities in the novel. He is kind and understanding of Sophie’s struggles and helps her by encouraging and employing her talents at Drury Lane.

Reviewing some of Plaidy’s older (mostly unavailable) titles, I found that she published a novel based on David Garrick (1960)!

The World’s a Stage: The true story of the eighteenth century British actor David Garrick and his lover, Peg Woffington

I can’t find a description, unfortunately. I think I will start a petition to get all of JP’s older novels reprinted! It’s very discouraging to find gems like this but no way to order them.