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

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Join The Holt & Heyer Summer Reading Challenge...

Holt and Heyer Summer Reading Challenge 2010
July 1 - September 22

All Things Royal is hosting a Holt and Heyer Summer Reading Challenge for 2010. The object is to read as much Victoria Holt and/or Georgette Heyer books as you can during the summer beginning July 1 – September 22. There will be monthly prices awarded and a surprise grand prize for the overall winner at the end of the challenge. Many of you know that I am a doll maker and sell my dolls all over the world, so you can guess what the grand prize will be!

As you read and finish your book report back to me with your accomplishments and I will post them.
Points awarded:

  • 1 pt awarded if you post the book you are reading on your blog as Currently Reading and send me the link.
  • 2 pts awarded for each book you read
  • 3 pts awarded if you post a review.
  • 4 pts awarded if you link back to me with your review.
  • 15 bonus pts. for tweeting about this Challenge
  • So ultimately you can earn up to 10 pts per book and an extra 15 pts. for tweeting. The reviews do not have to be elaborate. I want this to be fun, fun, fun.
  • To enter:

    ~Canadian and U.S. Residents only
    ~Must follow my blog
    ~Copy the challenge button and put it on your side bar with link and report back by commenting on this post with link to your site.

    That’s it!!!! Really this should be lots of fun. Summer is the time to relax and not be too serious! I will post information on what the monthly price is beginning July 1.

    Follow the link(s) for a complete list of Holt and Heyer books to choose from:
  • Victoria Holt:
  • Georgette Heyer:

Friday, June 25, 2010

Book Review of For the King by Catherine Delors...

I really knew so little about the post revolution in France and Napoleon. I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't know a thing about King Louis XVIII and royal conspirators plotting to usurp Napoleon and reinstate the Royal household.
For the King is just one book, but was so enlightening regarding this time period. It was intriguing to read about the plotting to overthrow Bonaparte and the investigation of Chief Inspector Roch Miquel in uncovering the plot. This story takes you through the streets and boudoirs of Paris. No one can be trusted.
This is a great summer read and wets your appetite for more. I hope this won't be Inspector Miquel's last case we will read about :-).
Congratulations Ms. Delors for a well written novel and thank-you for sharing it with the HFBRT.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Arc de Triomphe...The Trimpuh of Napeloen

Besides the Eiffel Tower The Arc de Triomphe is one of the most well recognized monuments associated with Paris. While in Paris a few years ago I was able to see this glorious monument up close and personal. It's just right there in the center of it all, traffic flowing all around it. I didn't know much about it's history other than I knew it was associated with Napoleon's victories.

It is really beautiful, as all Parisian monuments, being located in the center of town with the avenues radiating out from it in Pentagon shape, the best view being from the famous avenue Champs Élysées.

It was commissioned in 1806 by the Emperor Napoleon following his victory at Austerlitz. It was designed by the famous architect Jean Chalgrin in the Neoclassical version of the ancient Roman architecture. The Arc's sculptures represent the departing of the troops in 1792, the victories of Napoleon and the Revolution. Inside the walls of the Arc are found names of notable Generals and Soldiers who fought for French freedom from tyranny. In 1920 following WWI the tomb of The Unknown Soldier was laid to rest underneath the Arc.

The Arc de Triomphe has always represented victory for the troops and not withstanding two of the most memorable victory marches in recent history was the victorious Germans marching into Paris in 1940. Who can forget these pictures, they send chills down my spine just looking at them and thinking of the Parisians watching as the invaders march through their beloved landmark to change their lives forever.
1940 the Germans invaded Paris but it didn't stop the spirited French from plaguing their enemies with the resistance for five years. Paris was spared the bombs and destruction thank-goodness, however the devastation of life and morale was enough, so in the spring of 1945 it must have been such a glorious site to see another victorious army marching through the Arc this time liberators rather than conquerors.

Allied troops marching into Paris 1945

The Arc de Triomphe is a beautiful monument and I am so grateful I had the opportunity to see it in my life time. I have thoroughly enjoyed putting together this creative post for the HFBRT event featuring the soon to be released novel For the King by Catherine Delors.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Guest Post by Catherine Delors author of For the King...

I am so happy to be able to present this wonderful guest post by Catherine Delors the author of the fascinating soon to be released novel For the King. This post is so interesting about Napoleon and Josephine. Thank-you Ms. Delors for providing this for my blog and for participating in the HFBRT event highlighting your new book.

Napoléon and Joséphine in 1800

An interesting couple if ever there was one… Bonaparte then is not the portly man we
have come to associate with traditional Napoleonic imagery. He has not yet crowned himself Emperor of the French, but he has seized power a year earlier in a bloodless coup. In 1800 he is the First Consul, a reference to the era of the Republic in Rome. But his regime is already authoritarian, and he will use the bomb attack described in my new novel, FOR THE KING, to eliminate many of his political opponents.

In 1800 Bonaparte is only 31. His valet describes him as thin to the point of emaciation, with a sallow complexion, deep set blue eyes, a high forehead, and already thinning hair. He is of average height for the late 18th century (5 feet six and a half inches in English measurements.)

Josephine is 37, six years older than her husband, and the Bonaparte siblings, who hate her, calls her la vieille (“the hag.”) In fact she looks rather younger than her age, a gracious, elegant brunette.

What about the state of things between them? Sadly, the romance is gone. Oh, Napoléon was utterly smitten in the beginning of their marriage, but within a few months of the wedding, while he was waging war in Italy, she dashed his illusions by taking a lover. He retaliated in kind, and a string of mistresses ensued.

Now she is the one who is jealous. There are a few other clouds on the horizon: Bonaparte would like a son and heir, but a middle-aged Joséphine shows no signs of fertility. Yet Bonaparte’s immediate concerns are to consolidate his grip on power, not –quite yet- to establish a dynasty.

There is also the small matter that Joséphine receives enormous sums, 1,000 francs a day, from Fouché, the redoubtable Minister of Police, to spy on her husband. If Bonaparte knew about this, he would not take kindly to this new kind of betrayal, but the important thing is that he doesn’t know.

The truth of the matter is that Joséphine is a compulsive spender, far more so than Marie-Antoinette ever was, and that she is always in debt in spite of the generous stipend she receives as the wife of the First Consul. Bonaparte cannot comprehend where all that money goes, and she dreads asking for still more to pacify her creditors. This too creates great stress in their marriage.

But what matters in 1800 is that Napoléon and Joséphine are political allies. He knows he owes his rise in the army and national politics to her and her connections. Without those, it is unlikely that his coup would have succeeded. Napoléon and Joséphine planned it together, they would have shared the consequences of any failures, and now they bask together in the glow of success. He may no longer be madly in love, but he values his wife as his closest associate, and also, because he is very superstitious, his lucky star. Maybe, in his mind, she is the one who allowed him to escape the bomb detonated on their path on Christmas Eve 1800 . . .

Monday, June 21, 2010

New HFBRT Event for June For the King by Catherine Delors...

I am happy to announce this month's event for the HFBRT featuring the For the King by Catherine Delors. It will be an exciting week. Please check in with HFBRT for daily updates on reviews, guest posts, creative posts and give aways.
My schedule is as follows:
Guest Post by the author Catherine Delors June 23
Creative Post on Louis XVIII June 24
Book Review June 26.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Book Review of The House at Riverton by Kate Morton...

This beautiful debut novel by the Australian author Kate Morton is outstanding. Truly British, depicting the end of the Edwardian era along with the advent of WWI. If you are a fan of the BBC series Upstairs, Downstairs you will love this book.
Grace Reeves at 14 takes a job at the house on the hill known as Riverton. Her mother was a housemaid there until she left to give birth and raise Grace her only child. Grace becomes an integral part of the household upstairs and down. She is loved by the staff and the Hartford sisters whom she serves. Grace will see it all at Riverton, love, sorrow, despair, & betrayal. She will discover the answers to her own questions that her mother has kept silent about for years. She will have her own secrets and share in the desperate secrets of her employer.
Grace will learn a very hard, hard lesson that even the smallest deception can be life altering. She will eventually leave Riverton and go on with her own life until she makes a full circle back again to Riverton to put to rest events that have haunted her throughout her life. She is the only one who really knows what happened that night in 1924 that will change her life and Riverton forever.

I cannot recommend this book enough. I couldn't put it down. Ms. Morton has a lovely flowing way of writing. It is almost like you are on a boat peacefully sailing down a river, enjoying the beautiful scenery, taking it all in and then every once in awhile come the rapids that you have to sit up and pay attention to.

My favorite genre is British Historical Fiction and this book just fit right in. It's the type of book you will want to read a 2nd and 3rd time.

5 Royal Stars from me!
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