Thursday, February 02, 2006


Before they get swallowed up into cyberspace, here's some posts from a previous incarnation of this blog. Strangely enough, I couldn't find the post in which I unmasked James Frey months before Smoking Gun did. Ah, well--they'll have to get the credit, then.

Thursday, November 03, 2005
Starting to Read a New Book, Familiar Name on Amazon, and a Review at Last
I received a new historical novel (not a new one, actually, since it was published in 1972) by Jean Stubbs called The Unknown Welshman. (As you can tell, my taste in historical novels runs toward the late medieval). Haven't started reading it yet, as it requires more concentration than my kids would allow today, but it looks interesting--a book about the Wars of the Roses from Henry VII's point of view instead of the Yorkists for a change. I'm not particularly pro-Lancastrian, but I do get tired of the usual Good Yorkists, Bad Lancastrians that seems to be the guiding trend in current novels set during this period. So it'll be interesting to see a change in perspective.

Strange thing happened today while I was looking over the Amazon reviews for a book (not this one or mine). I saw a name that looked quite familiar and realized that it was one of my ex-boyfriends! I haven't seen the guy in nearly 25 years, and I don't intend to look him up now, but I naturally had to Google him to see what else he was up to. Learned quite a lot. Recently I'd Googled a couple of female high school friends whom I'd lost touch with and hadn't come up with anything, so it was interesting to see someone who had left an electronic trail behind him, so to speak. Probably wouldn't be a very good idea to send him a copy of The Traitor's Wife to review, I guess.

Speaking of which, I finally got a Kirkus Discoveries review for The Traitor's Wife. It wasn't a boffo review, but it wasn't a crawl-under-the-covers-and-stay-there-for-a-week one either. The reviewer found it entertaining but "melodramatic at times." Well, so was the history during this period! But it's still nice to have an objective review from a professional. You can read the whole thing, melodrama and all, on the "Reviews" page of my website. (Technically, it should be called "Review" but I have high hopes of more to come.)

Sunday, November 13, 2005
Charming, discerning mystery person recommends The Traitor's Wife!
Ah, ego-surfing--a terrible thing and something I suspect everyone with a book published does too much (that and checking one's Amazon ranking). But I just got a very pleasant surprise tonight--someone, a stranger to me but obviously a very discerning, lovely, and well-read person, recommended reading my novel, The Traitor's Wife. (And no, it's not my mother--she's computer-illiterate [note from present: not anymore!] and prefers regency romances anyway.)

As for the other novels recommended by our mystery person, I can tell you I've read several of them and found them all well written and researched.

Got three paperbacks to choose from for next week's reading--one about Richard III, one about Katherine Howard (Henry VIII's fifth wife), and the other about Hereward the Wake (about whom I know almost nothing). Decisions, decisions . . .

Monday, November 28, 2005
P. D. James's The Lighthouse

I started P. D. James's The Lighthouse a few days ago, and although I'm finding it enjoyable, I don't think it's James at her best. Some of the characters feel like reworkings of former ones, and the most compelling personality, unfortunately, is the murder victim, who has a fine old time alienating almost everyone around him until he's bumped off. It would also have been nice to spend a bit more time getting to know the murderer (OK, I peeked) and the other suspects instead of spending so much time with Dalgleish and his fellow investigators. (And isn't it time Kate got over being illegitimate and growing up in public housing? At least James is finally giving the poor woman a love life.) Still, it's well worth the read--I just wouldn't put everything else on hold to get to it.

Lots of historical fiction on my to-buy list! I'm looking forward to the new Philippa Gregory about Catherine of Aragon, though I'm not sure why. I couldn't get past the first few pages of her last novel, The Virgin Queen, and I thought that The Other Boleyn Girl, with the hideously deformed fetus, the brother-sister incest, and the supposed homosexuality of Anne's brother George was oversensationalized (and if Gregory wanted to sex things up, why did she ignore Mary Boleyn's reputedly lusty stay in France?). I'll probably have to do some serious skimming before buying it.

Saturday, December 03, 2005
Back to Historical Fiction!

Got my P. D. James fix, and now I have a couple of new historical novels in the house to read. I tend to look off the beaten path for my historical fiction reading--most new novels by the big publishing houses tend not to appeal to me for some reason or the other. So I find most of what I read online and used. Last week while browsing through Amazon, I was pleased to find a novel about Henry VIII's fifth wife (divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived) called Lies and Lust in the Tudor Court by Margaret Doner. Not much is written about this queen, Katherine Howard, especially when compared to her relative and predecessor Anne Boleyn, so it's always nice to run across something new.

Also in my mailbox today (I love a mailbox full of books) was an old paperback novel by Maureen Peters, Elizabeth the Beloved, about Henry VII's queen. I liked Peters' book about Queen Isabella, and this one looks as if it'll be entertaining too. I'll keep ya posted!