Cynthia Haggard’s “The Thwarted Queen” ~Thirteen Thursday Pre-Review Commentary!!

Elizabeth Woodville (1437–92), Queen Con...

Elizabeth Woodville (1437–92), Queen Consort of Edward IV of England (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Edward IV Plantagenet (1442-1483)

Edward IV Plantagenet (1442-1483) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The Thwarted Queen” is a beautifully written historical novel I’ll be reviewing next week, but in preview to that, I’d like to bring you these two notices: a quick summary and “Thirteen Thursday!”   Here’s a summary of the book~

“Cecylee is the apple of her mother’s eye. The seventh daughter, she is the only one left unmarried by 1424, the year she turns nine. In her father’s eyes, however, she is merely a valuable pawn in the game of marriage. The Earl of Westmorland plans to marry his youngest daughter to 13-year-old Richard, Duke of York, who is close to the throne. He wants this splendid match to take place so badly, he locks his daughter up.

The event that fuels the narrative is Cecylee’s encounter with Blaybourne, a handsome archer, when she is twenty-six years old. This love affair produces a child (the “One Seed” of Book II), who becomes King Edward IV. But how does a public figure like Cecylee, whose position depends upon the goodwill of her husband, carry off such an affair? The duke could have locked her up, or disposed of this illegitimate son.

But Richard does neither, keeping her firmly by his side as he tries to make his voice heard in the tumultuous years that encompass the end of the Hundred Years War – during which England loses all of her possessions in France – and the opening phase of the Wars of the Roses. He inherits the political mantle of his mentor Duke Humphrey of Gloucester, and become’s the people’s champion. The rambunctious Londoners are unhappy that their country has become mired in misrule due to the ineptitude of a King prone to fits of madness. Nor are they better pleased by the attempts of the King’s French wife to maneuver herself into power, especially as she was responsible for England’s losses in France. But can Richard and Cecylee prevail? Everywhere, their enemies lurk in the shadows.

This book is filled with many voices, not least those of the Londoners, who forged their political destiny by engaging in public debate with the powerful aristocrats of the time. By their courageous acts, these fifteenth-century Londoners set the stage for American Democracy.”

Now, Let the Games Begin!

Welcome to Thursday Thirteen, Ms Haggard! 

THIRTEEN REASONS TO READ/BUY THWARTED QUEEN:

REASON NUMBER THIRTEEN: I came to novel writing by accident, taking courses in creative writing to hone my prose style. But once I’d started, I couldn’t stop. I love writing novels and hope that every reader enjoys reading my work as much as I enjoyed writing it.

REASON NUMBER TWELVE: I wrote this novel because I heard that British historian Michael K. Jones had come across some evidence showing that one of Cecylee’s sons was illegitimate. Since that particular son became Edward IV of England, and since the present Queen of England traces her lineage through this monarch, it throws her claim to the throne into doubt.

REASON NUMBER ELEVEN: I wrote this novel because I had a burning question: What on earth did Cecylee say to her husband Richard of York, when he returned from his summer campaign only to find her expecting another’s child? How did she manage to persuade him to keep the child and make that child his heir?

REASON NUMBER TEN: Before I wrote a word of THWARTED QUEEN, I consulted many history books about the time period (the wars of the roses).

REASON NUMBER NINE: I started the actual writing of the novel by taking THREE courses on the craft of writing.

REASON NUMBER EIGHT: I took SEVEN years to write it, to perfect my craft.

REASON NUMBER SEVEN: I solicited feedback from many people, including professional writers and editors.

REASON NUMBER SIX: I spent money to have it edited.

REASON NUMBER FIVE: I hired a professional to transform my Word documents into Mobi and ePub files.

REASON NUMBER FOUR: I organized a photo shoot to obtain images I could use for the cover design.

REASON NUMBER THREE: I taught myself Photoshop in FIVE days to design the cover. I also did the interior design.

REASON NUMBER TWO: I turned a hobby into a business, educating myself about the publishing industry by going to conferences, and taking online courses and webinars.

REASON NUMBER ONE: The story is fabulous. Cecylee is an engaging character. And I tell the whole story of her life, from age 9 to age 80.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this feature, and will come back to read the interview of Ms Haggard and more about her book next Friday, May 25th.  I’m also holding a GIVEAWAY  at that time!!!

Thanks for taking time to stop by!                Deborah/TheBookishDame

“Darkroom” by Joshua Graham~A Thriller Not to be Missed!

Dark, deceptive, political intrigue and ghostly images…all this and more await the eager reader who loves a thriller and a mystery in “Darkroom.”  I lived through the Viet Nam War era, but don’t recall having read a single suspense novel that has its focus around the Vietnam cross-culture that made its way to the US. This book is unique in many ways. It has a bit of everything to recommend it:  love, mystery, conspiracy, family connections to ancient times and places, politics, terrorism and murder; not to mention the Viet Nam War and the vets that brought home not only images, but other baggage, and loved ones.  A must read, this book is fast moving, intriguing and beautifully written to tantalize!  Joshua Graham is a fantastic writer who knows when to dangle the carrot and when to pull it back.  I loved the whole reading process!  His characters are rich in detail, lovable, sad, frightening and strangely familiar.  I was literally up all night reading “Darkroom” having such a good time in the process.  I couldn’t put it down…   If you’ve ever been placed in the moral dilemma of wondering whether you should tell the truth and risk it all, you’ll love this book.  If you’ve ever wondered if there are conspiracies and cover ups in political arenas we aren’t privy to, you’ll love this book…  I have to give it a solid…              5 stars!!

Published by:  Howard Books/Simon and Schuster

Visit Mr. Graham’s website here:  http://joshua-graham.com

Also see his blog at:  http://joshua-graham.com/blog/

Quick Overview of “Darkroom”:

After scattering her mother’s ashes in Vietnam, photojournalist Xandra Carrick comes home to New York to rebuild her life and career. When she experiences supernatural visions that reveal atrocities perpetrated by American soldiers during the Vietnam War, she finds herself entangled in a forty-year-old conspiracy that could bring the nation into political turmoil.

Launching headlong into a quest to learn the truth from her father, Peter Carrick, a Pulitzer Prize Laureate who served as an embedded photographer during the war, Xandra confronts him about a dark secret he has kept–one that has devastated their family.

Her investigations lead her to her departed mother’s journal, which tell of love, spiritual awakening, and surviving the fall of Saigon.

Pursued across the continent, Xandra comes face-to-face with powerful forces that will stop at nothing to prevent her from revealing the truth. But not before government agencies arrest her for murder, domestic terrorism and an assassination attempt on the newly elected president of the United   States.

Darkroom is a riveting tale of suspense that tears the covers off the human struggle for truth in a world imprisoned by lies.

Click here to see the exciting book trailer:                                      Darkroom by Joshua Graham~The Trailer

About Joshua Graham :

WINNER OF 2011 INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble #1 bestselling author Joshua Graham’s novel BEYOND JUSTICE is taking the world by storm, one reader at a time. Many of his readers blame him for sleepless nights, arriving to work late, neglected dishes and family members, and not allowing them to put the book down.

Suspense Magazine listed BEYOND JUSTICE in its BEST OF 2010, alongside titles by Scott Turrow, Ted Dekker, Steven James and Brad Thor.

His short story THE DOOR’S OPEN won the HarperCollins Authonomy Competition (Christmas 2010.)

Publishers Weekly described BEYOND JUSTICE as: “A riveting legal thriller…breaking new ground with a vengeance…demonically entertaining and surprisingly inspiring.”

Joshua Graham grew up in Brooklyn,  NY where he lived for the better part of 30 years. He holds a Bachelor and Master’s Degree and went on to earn his doctorate from Johns Hopkins  University. During his time in Maryland, he taught as a professor at Shepherd College (WV), Western  Maryland College, and Columbia Union College (MD).

Today he lives with his beautiful wife and children in Southern  California. Several of Graham’s short fiction works have been published by Pocket Books and Dawn Treader Press.

Writing under the pen name Ian Alexander, Graham debuted with his first Epic Fantasy novel ONCE WE WERE KINGS, an Amazon #1 Bestseller in multiple categories and Award-Winning Finalist in the SciFi/Fantasy category of The USA “Best Books 2011″ Awards, as well as an Award-Winning Finalist in the Young Adult Fiction category of The USA “Best Books 2011″ Awards, and an Award Winner in the 2011 Forward National Literature Awards in the Teen/Young Adult category. ONCE WE WERE KINGS is available in ebook and hardcover editions.

Look for his next Suspense/Thriller DARKROOM (Simon & Schuster/Howard Books) to be released May 1, 2012!

For Film Rights Josh is represented by UNITED TALENT AGENCY.   Please use the CONTACT button on this website for all inquiries.

You can visit his website at www.joshua-graham.com.

A Bookish Libraria is pleased to be on the virtual book publicity tour for Mr. Graham sponsored by Pump Up Your Books.  To find out more about the GIVEAWAY, please go to this site:  http://pumpupyourbooks.com

                                     and search for “Darkroom” on your upper righthand “Search” section.

 

You can purchase “Darkroom” at http://amazon.com or http://barnesandnoble.com

Thanks for stopping by!   Deborah/TheBookishDame

“The Unhappy Little Dragon~Lessons Learned” by Carole Wolf

A Bit About the Author:   Carolyn Wolfe is a free lance writer, poet, and author of six books including her collections of poetry, short stories and her first children’s book of bedtime stories in verse, titled: The Bedtime Of The Sky and Other Sleepy Bye Stories. In this, her sixth book, The Unhappy Little Dragon, Lessons Learned, she reveals the journey of Happy the dragon, who, while trying to understand how to master his uncontrollable gift of fire, has an exciting adventure in the woods. His forest friends help him understand his gift and that he really is a very special dragon indeed! Ms. Wolfe lives in the Shenandoah Valley with her Photographer, husband Scott, and her houseful of animal companions. For more information about Ms. Wolfe and her books please visit her website at: www.whenthemoonspeaks.com.

Purchase this book at Amazon.

 

Little Dragon Synopsis:

This is the tale of a little Dragon who has a big problem, he cannot control his fire!

After a major mishap, he runs away into the forest and has a wonderful adventure where he meets new friends, learns that every creature has a unique gift, and also finds out the special way in which he can use his own remarkable gift of fire.

 

An Excerpt From The Book:

 

“Let me ask you something son, when you practice your fire burning skills-what do you tell

yourself?”   “Tell myself? What do you mean?” asked Happy not understanding what his new friend was

getting at.   (Shelley the Turtle)   “Well, maybe I should ask instead, how do you feel when you practice holding in your flame?   “Oh that! I feel scared, so scared that I will fail and burn everything up!” Happy answered

sadly.   “Well now, I have a suggestion for you. Try feeling like you will not burn everything up.

Instead tell yourself you will succeed in keeping your fire to yourself!” Shelley told him.   “But I am so scared. I really don’t think I can tell myself that I won’t burn everything up

when I know I will!”   Happy argued in a worried little voice.   Shelley looked at Happy’s very unhappy face and said,”I have news for you Happy, and I want

you to listen to me now!”   Then Shelley continued to explain.   “Dragons aren’t the only ones who have special gifts, Happy, no, no! All of the animals were

given a special gift of one kind or another. All of us had to learn how to use it wisely,

just like you. You sort of have to grow into your gift, like growing up! That’s why the

animals need a teacher.   Can you guess what my special gift is?”   Shelley asked, looking at Happy expectantly.   Happy didn’t know the answer so he shook his head and just kept quiet.   “Why Happy, I am a teacher!” Shelley said proudly.

 

Deborah/TheBookishDame

 

Good-night, dear Mr. Sendak…

Cover of "Where the Wild Things Are"

Cover of Where the Wild Things Are

In the Night Kitchen

In the Night Kitchen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our beloved “Wild Thing” has gone back to his island in his little boat where he will undoubtedly be greeted by many a beastie and wild thing who has loved and missed him over many years.  It will be such a loss for those of us still left over here in The Night Kitchen…sleeping in our restless beds, waiting for the bread to be baked and our milk to be poured.
He died yesterday at age 83.
When my children were old enough to sit and listen to music and to my reading to them, I bought Carol King‘s rendition of “I’m Really Rosie” and all the other Maurice Sendak books and poems to music.  “Rosie” was a favorite of my daughter’s.  But, I have sung “Chicken Soup” to my children hundreds of times, as well as to my grandchildren and other children, over the course of nearly 40 years. I’ve sung it with passion and acted it out because
I know it by heart.
I most recently bought a set of Mr. Sendak’s tiny library for my youngest grandsons.  One of whom was pictured hiding under a table with a little red one in his tiny hands.
  His dad did the same thing 30 years prior.
Maurice doesn’t age, you see.
“I Don’t Care” kept my grandson, Kellan, on the sofa and quiet when he had a blazing ear infection last year.  He loves to hear me sing it to him whenever we get a chance.
Kellan is sometimes a petulant child, and that poem suits him just fine.  :]
It and he are adorable!
And, “One Was Johnny” used to give us all a run for our money.  I remember all my children and me during the years trying to keep up with that song!
I know all the songs/poems by heart.
I’ve read “Where the Wild Things Are” hundreds of times, have you?  I’ve purchased “wild thing” paraphernalia for my children and grands over the past 40 years, and wished I was young enough to wear them and play with them myself.  Even now, I’d take a Wild Thing stuffed animal, thank you.
So, here’s to you, Mr. Sendak….and, actually,
Hail, to the Chief!
Good-night, dear friend.
My little family and I love you and  will really miss you.

A Small Note About Him from Galley Cat:  (mediabistro.com)
Brooklyn-born children’s writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak. Sendak grew up in Bensonhurst and graduated Lafayette High School before going on to create wildly popular works—often dark and with an edge—like Where the Wild Things Are, which won him the prestigious Caldecott Medal. Even before his passing, the Brooklyn Book Festival had planned to honor Mr. Sendak with a special bookmark given to attendees at this year’s festival on September 23, a fitting tribute from Brooklyn—the Creative Capital of New York City and home to more writers per square inch than anywhere—to one of its native sons. On behalf of literary lovers throughout Brooklyn and beyond, I extend our thoughts and prayers to Maurice Sendak’s family, friends and colleagues.”
Please take time to read about him in this long,  dedicated article on Mr. Sendak  by The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/09/books/maurice-sendak-childrens-author-dies-at-83.html?_r=1
Deborah/TheBookishDame
Please leave your comments.    Do you  have a favorite memory of Mr. Sendak’s works?

Good-night, dear Mr. Sendak, we’ll miss you…

Maurice Sendak, author of the children's book,...

Maurice Sendak, author of the children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are. Sendak was instrumental in the creation of Sesame Street, and attended Lesser’s curriculum seminars in 1968. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our beloved “Wild Thing” has gone back to his island in his little boat where he will undoubtedly be greeted by many a beastie and wild thing who has loved and missed him over many years.  It will be such a loss for those of us still left over here in The Night Kitchen…sleeping in our restless beds, waiting for the bread to be baked and our milk to be poured.
He died yesterday at age 83.
When my children were old enough to sit and listen to music and to my reading to them, I bought Carol King’s rendition of “I’m Really Rosie” and all the other Maurice Sendak books and poems to music.  “Rosie” was a favorite of my daughter’s.  But, I have sung “Chicken Soup” to my children hundreds of times, as well as to my grandchildren and other children, over the course of nearly 40 years. I’ve sung it with passion and acted it out because
I know it by heart.
I most recently bought a set of Mr. Sendak’s tiny library for my youngest grandsons.  One of whom was pictured hiding under a table with a little red one in his tiny hands.
  His dad did the same thing 30 years prior.
Maurice doesn’t age, you see.
“I Don’t Care” kept my grandson, Kellan, on the sofa and quiet when he had a blazing ear infection last year.  He loves to hear me sing it to him whenever we get a chance.
Kellan is sometimes a petulant child, and that poem suits him just fine.  :]
It and he are adorable!
And, “One Was Johnny” used to give us all a run for our money.  I remember all my children and me during the years trying to keep up with that song!
I know all the songs/poems by heart.
I’ve read “Where the Wild Things Are” hundreds of times, have you?  I’ve purchased “wild thing” paraphernalia for my children and grands over the past 40 years, and wished I was young enough to wear them and play with them myself.  Even now, I’d take a Wild Thing stuffed animal, thank you.
So, here’s to you, Mr. Sendak….and, actually,
Hail, to the Chief!
Good-night, dear friend.
My little family and I love you and  will really miss you.

A Small Note About Him from Galley Cat:  (mediabistro.com)
Brooklyn-born children’s writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak. Sendak grew up in Bensonhurst and graduated Lafayette High School before going on to create wildly popular works—often dark and with an edge—like Where the Wild Things Are, which won him the prestigious Caldecott Medal. Even before his passing, the Brooklyn Book Festival had planned to honor Mr. Sendak with a special bookmark given to attendees at this year’s festival on September 23, a fitting tribute from Brooklyn—the Creative Capital of New York City and home to more writers per square inch than anywhere—to one of its native sons. On behalf of literary lovers throughout Brooklyn and beyond, I extend our thoughts and prayers to Maurice Sendak’s family, friends and colleagues.”
Please take time to read about him in this long,  dedicated article on Mr. Sendak  by The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/09/books/maurice-sendak-childrens-author-dies-at-83.html?_r=1

Deborah/TheBookishDame

Please leave your comments.    Do you  have a favorite memory of Mr. Sendak’s works?

Visit my other blog for a peak at “Endure” by Carrie Jones & to enter the GIVEAWAY !!!

Image of author Carrie Jones

Image of author Carrie Jones (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s a link to my other blog:  A Bookish Libraria~The Bookish DameReviews  http://abookishlibraria.blogspot.com   Go here to enter my GIVEAWAY to win a copy of “Endure” the final book in the “Need” series by Carrie Jones.

Where Have I Been? And, “Pump Up Your Books”~A Virtual Book Touring Company for Authors and their Books

Image I’ve been reading and writing reviews which I’ve posted at my other blog, and have sadly neglected this wordpress blog for nearly a year.  When I decided to reopen it this morining, I was shocked to find that there are the rareist of followers that are still coming by!  OMGoodness, I feel so horrible that I’ve let them down!!

For the next few days, I’m going to be moving several of my latest reviews over to this website so I can update things for you.  After which, I’m going to be specifically dedicating this site to my professional work with authors and their books through my virtual book tour company affiliation with:  Pump Up Your Books.

Pump Up Your Books has proven to be the finest of the virtual book touring companies I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past nearly 7 years as I’ve been developing my blogs, and publishing relationships.  I’ve found the authors and books they represent to be of the highest caliber.  I’m an eclectic reader with a strong background in many areas of interest. 

Pump Up Your Books specializes in bringing its authors to those readers who are looking for a wide range of subjects and genre.  From historical fiction, romance, spiritually inspired, non-fiction, health conscious, contemporary fiction, to business-related books, Pump Up Your Books has all the spread of books any major bookstore can offer!  That’s why I’m excited to be a new affiliate with them.

In the past years, for example, through this touring group, I’ve been able to read and bring my readers reviews, author interviews and giveaways on books like the following:

“Equity of Evil” by Rudy Mazzocchi    A Medical/Techo. Thriller   Now being looked at by Oprah’s Books!

“Daddy’s Home” by AK Alexander     A Psychological Suspense Novel  

“The Cross Dresser’s Wife~Our Secret Lives” Edited by Dee A. Levy & B. Sheffield Hunt     Non-Fiction

“Liberation: The Andrusian Chronicles, Book One” by Maria Lucia          A Fantasy/Syfy Novel

“The Year She Fell” by Alicia Rasley      A General Fiction/Women Writer’s Novel

“Tapestry Baby” by Carole Watherhouse     A Contemporary Fiction/Women’s Novel

 

In addition to these things I’ve been doing above, I’ve been taking time to help my husband as he’s finished writing his first novel.  It’s called “Predator,” and it’s a great read!  About the early formings of a psychopath…a mafia hitman.  This particular book is the prequel to his series.  We’re expecting its publication within the next year.

 

A final word:  I would like to open this website up to others who would like to post their insights or comments on books in general or specific.  I would, of course, as Editor, have to have the last word about content, but I would welcome your input, and in having you choose a by-line for this with your own particular “Column,” if you like.  Please contact me for more information on that at:  the bookishdame@aol.com

 

So, busy…..   I’ll be checking back in later this week!    Thanks for stopping by.

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