...making decisions on the basis of what seems best instead of following some single doctrine or style.
Me in a nutshell!!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Announcing the Winner of the Anne Boleyn Giveaway...

Thank-you so much my fellow bloggers for your interest in my blog and giveaway. It has been fun. I had 156 entries. I used to choose the winner.
And the winner is... Liyana at


Will be announcing another giveaway next week~this one from Hampton Court.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wedensday Walk in Dover...

Dover Harbor

Wild ponies grazing
the cliffs

The White Cliffs

Inside the Saxon Church
used primarily for the Military

Absolutely gorgeous stained glass windows
in church dating back to the 11th century

Alter in the church

One of the anti-air-craft guns used during WWII

Entrance to underground tunnel in the Castle

Roman Lighthouse on Castle grounds

South Entrance to Dove Castle

One of our favorite places on our trip was visiting the White Cliffs of Dover. It's a sight to behold for sure. I always get teary eyed when I think of the RAF boys returning from their flight missions, out running the Nazi's and the relief that came once they saw the White Cliffs they knew they were home.

The Castle is amazing, it looks like it was built yesterday it is in such good condition. It is a citadel on the hill overlooking Dover harbor.

There is an original Saxon church for the military on the Castle grounds which has been there since before William I. Even more ancient than that is the remnants of a Roman lighthouse.

During WWII the castle was used to plan maneuvers for Dunkirk and D-Day. It was done all underground in the fortress tunnels that were originally built during the Napoleonic Wars.

We were able to walk along the cliff's edge and see the wild ponies and since it was a clear day we were able to see France across the channel.

During the war the British troops could see the sun reflecting off the big guns of the Germans in their fortifications.

I am now reading The Hammer of the Scots by Jean Plaidy about Edward I in the Plantagenet Series. I am thoroughly enjoying it. I have to include segment from the book which is so pertinent to this post:
Dover had been aptly named the early Britain's Dvfyrrha, meaning the steep place.And what an inspiring sight it was to look down on that magnificent harbour and out to sea where he knew that on fine days the coast of France could be seen...The castle was three hundred feet above sea level-perfectly placed for defence. No wonder it was called the Key to England. Hammer of the Scots~Jean Plaidy

Monday, August 24, 2009

New Award~HF Lovely Ladies

I would like to thank Heather from Maiden's Court for this lovely award. I really am honored to have received this. Not so sure I deserve this, lately I have been falling down on my blogging. I truely love this community of women that I blog with, you are all so inspirational and supportive.
“What is the criteria to be a H.F. Lovely Ladies Award you ask? You obviously have to be a woman to get this one. Specializing in Historical Fiction, be it novels, historical events, or fine art. These special ladies are the type who go above and beyond the call of duty daily and enjoy it! Since like me they are obsessed with HF theses ladies are a constant support with a flowing wealth of knowledge in the blogging community. They also play an active role in the blogger community hosting events and letting us all know events that they are not hosting. Being super blogger's who constantly are viewing and commenting on other sites with positive feedback. Their blogs have unique qualities like being beautiful and having excellent content. What is amazing is they do all this on the daily and still manage to run a household in their own physical domain. The "super women" blogger's of historical fiction.” Eloquently put by LizzyJ!
I would like to pass this award onto:
Arleigh at Historical Fiction~ I refer to her blog at least daily. She has an incredible resource list of Historical Fiction.
Marie Burton at Burton's Review~Marie has been one of my original followers and has a wonderful blog. I am always impressed with her honest reviews.
Thank-you again!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays...

  • Grab your current read

  • Open to a random page

  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share does not give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

  • Teasers:

Back in the bloodstained carriage, the wheels finally freed from the mud, the women chattered nervously for the rest of the journey. They all knew that England had become a dangerous place for innocent travelers after the second year of Edward's regin. Daughter of York by Anne Easter Smith pg. 64

I am just starting this book after reading the review of Amy from Passages of the Past on Anne Easter Smith's The King's Grace. I think I have to say what immediately attracted me to this book was the beautiful cover. I bought it a few months ago, and now anxious to read it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday's Royal Review...

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen:

O.K. liking this book was like the biggest surprise of my summer!! Last week after finishing The Kingdom of Shadows by Barbara Erskine I felt emotionally drained and wanted a good light read, but not silly. I thought maybe The Luxe would fit the bill. What a delightful surprise to find myself getting caught up in the story. I actually liked it so much that I found myself at Border's Books last night buying the sequel Rumors and can't wait to get into it.

The Luxe is about 1899 high society girls in Manhattan. You may say they are the aristocrats of American society. Their lives revolve around parties, secrets, forbidden rendezvous's and the false fronts they portray to the public. Just when you think you know a character you are completely surprised. My two favorite characters ended up being the two I really didn't like in the beginning. Anna Godbersen is a very young author and has done an excellent job of portraying the inner turmoil of young women and the fact that you cannot judge a book by it's cover. Nor can you assume that money and status is a cure all, it can be very confining and miserable.

Being a mother of 4 daughters I read this thinking of one of my favorite Shakespeare quotes Oh what a tangled web we weave when at first we practice to deceive. Also you can't help but be happy when someone gets their just desserts.

Ms. Godbersen does a great job covering the landed gentry, Nouveau Riche, and the peasant through the different young women.

The story line is pretty predictable and not very intricate, but does have some thought provoking moments. It's a fun book, an easy fast read. Don't expect literature here. Go into expecting to be entertained and you won't be disappointed.

I give this book 4 out of 5 royal crowns. I would put the crowns on, but haven't figured out how to do that yet.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wordless Wedensday...

Windsor Castle

June 2009

click on picture(s) for larger view

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesday Teaser...

  • Grab your current read

  • Open to a random page

  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share does not give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

  • Teasers:

    Henry's one consolation was that etiquette was very clear on the rules of seating at dinner parties, and so he was not forced to actually speak with his future wife during the droning six courses that were meant to celebrate their engagement. He did hazard a look or two, across the long table, at Elizabeth Holland, who was looking radiant and beautiful, though regrettably pristine to his eyes, and whose left hand was now lit up with the pride of Tiffany. The Luxe by Anna Godbersen pg. 160

      Friday, August 7, 2009

      Royal Book Review...

      Kingdom of Shadows by Barbara Erskine: I stayed up until 12:30 last night finishing this book. I just had to know how it ended. Having now read Lady of Hay and this book by Erskine, I am true converted fan. She is a great story teller.

      Like Lady of Hay, Kingdom of Shadows has a paranormal, time travel spin, but Kingdom of Shadows is not about reincarnation like Lady of Hay, but a good ghost story that at times can be spine tingling.

      Clare Royland a spoiled British rich chick married to the perfect man, has been followed around by the ghost of Isobel Fife from the 14th century since she was a small child. Isobel makes her presence known in Clare's dreams which are often nightmares. As Clare grows older the dreams/nightmares become more frequent and harder to control. Isobel is trying to tell her something. Clare seeks help through learning how to meditate and channel her thought process.

      During meditation Isobel literally visits Clare as shadows. This scares the housekeeper to death and she begins praying for Clare's soul. The housekeeper is so concerned she tells
      Clare's husband, Paul. Paul the perfect husband, is not so perfect after all. He becomes a real

      bastard as the story progresses. He loves money and being a financial advisor he takes big risks in the stock market becoming involved in insider trading.

      Clare's Aunt Margaret dies and leaves the ancestral castle Duncairn to Clare. Clare loves this place and is drawn to it every chance she has. This is where the story really begins to take off with Clare's obsessions with Isobel, an outsider's obsession to buy Duncairn and Paul's obsession to sell Duncairn to cover his debts and avoid going to prison. So many little plots all connected to each other until a very climatic ending! Great stuff.

      As far a historical accuracy, well Ms. Erskine lets you know right up front the 14th century players are not fictional, such as Robert the Bruce, Isobel Fife, and King Edward I, but the story takes a lot of historical license.

      I didn't like Clare much in the beginning, but as the story progressed she really grew on me. She developed into a no nonsense take charge kind of gal. I did have a really hard time liking Isobel. I believe she was more obsessed with Robert the Bruce rather than a true patriot of Scotland.

      This story gives you a real glimpse into Edward I and his absolute control and obsession with making Scotland bend to his will. He was a ruthless character and also my 19th great grandfather.

      If you enjoy a good medieval ghost story with complex characters this book is for you. I actually liked it better than Lady of Hay which I loved. So I give this 5 stars *****

      I also want to thank my blogging friends for recommending this book to me after I did my Lady of Hay review.

      Wednesday, August 5, 2009

      Royal View from Anne Boleyn's Bedroom and Giveaway!!!

      a view from Anne Boleyn's bedroom in Hever Castle

      I took this picture while we toured Hever Castle in Kent. Hever is the birthplace and childhood home of Anne Boleyn and her sibling's George and Mary. Touring this Castle was tops on my list of must sees on our trip.

      What a place! It was very emotional for me, in fact even writing about it still is emotional. You can really feel her presence there. Hever is a small cozy Castle nestled in one of the most beautiful spots in Kent. Very out of the way. Phillipa Gregory refers in her book The Other Boleyn Girl how much Mary Boleyn dearly loved Hever and wanted to be there as much as possible. It's understandable, it's so peaceful and beautiful.

      We were not allowed to take any pictures inside the Castle, but I couldn't help myself when I was in Anne's bedroom on the 2nd floor. When the guide wasn't looking I hurried and snapped a picture looking out of Anne's bedroom window. It was spine tingling to know that she had stood in the exact same spot as I was looking out of the her window.

      I also was able to sneak a picture from the dining room window as well. My daughter got so nervous we would get thrown out she tried to confiscate my camera. I didn't care, this was once in a life time event.

      Now for the giveaway. On the 2nd floor of the Castle right next to Anne's bedroom is a large drawing room where they have enclosed in glass her book of hours that was with her in the tower waiting her execution. Also they have two portraits featured, one of Henry, and one of Anne along with their original letters to each other. Seeing her book of hours and reading the letters was very emotional. I could not hold back my tears. Such a tragedy.

      I bought a copy of a booklet containing copies of their letters and portrait postcards of the two of them. I am giving away the postcards and booklet together shown in pictures below.

      This giveaway is open to everyone as long as you are 18 +.

      • 1 entry post a comment

      • 2 entries become a follower, if already are PLEASE INDICATE.

      • 3 entries if you post this giveaway on your blog. PLEASE LEAVE LINK.

      • Giveaway deadlink midnight August 28th

      Tuesday, August 4, 2009

      Tuesday Teaser...

      * Grab your current read

      * Open to a random page* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

      * BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share does not give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

      * Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
      Clare caught her breath. First in the bath and now here, uninvited, not wanted. "No, please. Not again," she whispered. "What is it you want with me? Why do you keep coming back?" She strained her eyes against the shadows.
      There was complete silence in the room now, save for the sounds of the sea and the wind, which were part of the fabric of the stones with which the hotel had been built~stones that had once been part of the castle itself.
      The Kingdom of Shadows by Barbara Erskine pg. 392
      I enjoyed Lady of Hay by Erskine so much I moved right onto Kingdom of Shadows another great one by this author. I am thoroughly enjoying it, something of the same genre, but different enough. At this point I am actually enjoying this story even better. Will leave a review when finished.

      Monday, August 3, 2009

      The Winner of Legacy is...

      CherylS22!!! Congratulations Cheryl on winning a wonderful book. I will get this right out to you!!
      winner chose by
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