Mesmerised is based on three of my main interests--homeopathy, art, and history/historical fiction. Michelle captured my attention with a notice of th...moreMesmerised is based on three of my main interests--homeopathy, art, and history/historical fiction. Michelle captured my attention with a notice of the book's release, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the gritty realities of life in Paris during the Impressionist era. I enjoyed the methods used by Dr. Paul Gachet before the advent of Boiron's little blue medicine tubes and enjoyed reading the cases he took in the living way that only historical fiction can provide. In both medicine and the art world, Gachet found himself in a time of revolutionary change, and the conflicts involved move the story along well.
The author's knowledge of homeopathy, her grasp of art history, and her writing skills have come together in her debut novel to establish her in good stead as a historical fiction author. I look forward to her further writings.
Michelle has also written a homeopathic medical book, What About the Potency?: A Comprehensive Guide to Homeopathic Potency and Dosage.
I received this novel free of charge from the publisher for an honest review.
Roses Have Thorns is the third of the Ladies in Waiting Tudor-era novels...moreI received this novel free of charge from the publisher for an honest review.
Roses Have Thorns is the third of the Ladies in Waiting Tudor-era novels by Sandra Byrd. It introduces the reader to a Swedish historical woman, Elin von Snakenberg, or as she came to be known in England, Helena, Marchioness of Northampton. Through the story of Elin we come into the court of Elizabeth I where we are brought face to face with the carefully researched ups-and-downs and at times life-and-death intrigues of life for a queen who had grown up with an all too realistic fear for her own neck after her father ordered the beheading of her mother and her wary half-sister took the throne. Surely such a Rose would have dangerous thorns as a cousin entered her land and was said to contend for her throne. Who around her could Elizabeth trust?
Byrd paints a sympathetic and likeable heroine from the start of the book as Elin must leave her fiance behind obviously entangled in a love affair with her sister as Elin travels to England attending a Swedish princess. A difficult, lengthy voyage and Danish interference cut off communication with her family. Love quickly finds her in England, however, with Lord Northampton, brother of the late Queen Kathryn Parr, and she comes to be the second most powerful woman in the land. Yet we see how Elin endured puzzling rejection and even near death for having brought along into Elizabeth's bedchamber a custom from her homeland.
Lovers of historical fiction will enjoy becoming better acquainted with numerous persons--the Swedish princess, many from Elizabeth's court and especially the not-well-known Elin from Sweden. Byrd won a fascinated readership with this choice of a lovely, young woman who would enchant an uneasy queen with her soothing massage and her discerning words spoken with a lilting accent.
Writing in the first person, Byrd conjures interesting phrases that make reading her fiction a word-lover's delight while raising the level of suspense. "She took my proffered arm, but I felt warned rather than warmed."
The author mentions places, customs and persons of the time without giving the story a textbook feel and without taking the reader out of the story. I was far too intrigued with what might happen next to go looking things up (except for the delightful main character!), yet I grew in knowledge of the period and felt ever more dressed in a Tudor gown.
An appealing cover shows Elizabeth and her lady in cloth of gold, and the family trees of main characters assist the reader in placing them accurately in context. Chapter numbers are underscored with scrollwork befitting the historical setting, and a description of dates and locations for each chapter help the reader remain grounded. Bestselling authors and respected literary journalists fill pages with praise for the book.(less)
Page after page of amazing recipes- this book is also beautiful and rich in appearance with cute color illustrations. Though it does not have pictures...morePage after page of amazing recipes- this book is also beautiful and rich in appearance with cute color illustrations. Though it does not have pictures of the food, it is appealing and I will frequently look through it for dinner ideas.
The author has also laced the book with little stories about her travels and experiences with French cooking. Delightful to read.(less)
Well, I wrote the book. I didn't like the first draft, but that is pretty common. I worked on it, researching the era, developing my characters, rewri...moreWell, I wrote the book. I didn't like the first draft, but that is pretty common. I worked on it, researching the era, developing my characters, rewriting over and over until I loved it. So what can I say but that I love it! Demure Emma, independent Genevieve and Wills the Pill- all are alive to me and I love them all. I laugh aloud at Gabriel's concerned bumbling for Anne, and I cried, twice, at one touching occurrence. If you cry, please tell me where. I hope it touches you the way it did me.
Companion is a light-hearted, historical clean romance/mystery much like a Jane Austen story, but with some reality thrown in similar to Charles Dickens. I hope you enjoy it!(less)
Lauren Gilbert's strength in this novel was being skillful at painting an accurate picture of the era and at creating a strong, likeable main characte...moreLauren Gilbert's strength in this novel was being skillful at painting an accurate picture of the era and at creating a strong, likeable main character. Lady Heyerwood made decisions that many women of her time would likely have wanted to make if they'd had the opportunity, keeping her independence and control of her wealth and using it to help others.
I would like to have seen more conflict, the thing that drives a story. It seemed that the characters who could have brought in more conflict were absent for much of the story. However, it is a good read if you are wanting to see what daily life in the time for a woman of Lady Heyerwood's circumstances might have really been like.(less)