Showing posts from December, 2009

Sunday Book Review: Scoundrel's Kiss

Recently I had the opportunity thanks to author Carrie Lofty of reading an advanced copy of her new historical romance Scoundrel's Kiss published by Kensington Books. Normally I don't review historical romances on Scandalous Women but I was intrigued by the description of the book. Set in 13th century Spain, the heroine Ada is quite a Scandalous Woman for her time. From the back cover: Turning his back on his old life as a rogue, Gavriel de Marqueda has joined a monastic order in Spain and taken a vow of chastity. Before he becomes a monk, he must pass one final test: help a woman who has lost her way. But when he lays eyes on Ada of Keyworth, he is tempted beyond measure by her sultry beauty and dangerous curves. . . Far from her home in England, Ada has been battling inner demons for more than a year. When she discovers that her only friend has abandoned her, she has no choice but to grudgingly accept Gavriel's help. But Ada is not fooled. Though Gavriel wears t

The Lonely Empress: The life of Elisabeth of Austria

I have been fascinated with the life of Empress Elisabeth ever since I first saw the Winterhalter portrait picture on the left. She looks over her shoulder at the viewer, with her glorious auburn hair covered in diamonds. Despite the sweet expression on her face, there is a hint of melancholia in her eyes, as if she's thinking about the suffocating atmosphere at the Austrian court, or planning the days until her next escape abroad, where she could breathe. Researching her life, I was struck by the parallels between Elisabeth and the late Princess Diana. And if I hadn't come to that conclusion on my own, Andrew Sinclair in biography Death by Fame emphasizes the parallels in the last chapter. Both women suffered from eating disorders, lack of self-esteem, were known for their great beauty, were trapped in unhappy marriages and royal protocol, sought fullfillment in beauty and holistic treatments, and both had tragic deaths. Both found even greater fame after their deaths, beco

Sunday Movie Review: The Young Victoria

The Young Victoria screenplay by Julian Fellowes directed by Jean-Marc Vallee Produced by Graham King, Martin Scorsese, Sarah, Duchess of York, and Tim Headington. Principal Cast: Emily Blunt as Queen Victoria Rupert Friend as Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Miranda Richardson as Princess Victoria, Duchess of Kent Mark Strong as Sir John Conroy Jim Broadbent as King William IV Harriet Walter as Queen Adelaide Paul Bettany as William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne Thomas Kretschmann as King Leopold I of Belgium Jeanette Hain as Baroness Louise Lehzen Julian Glover as Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington Michael Maloney as Sir Robert Peel Michiel Huisman as Ernst II, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha I've been waiting it seems like forever to see this film. And I'm not the only one. Evangeline from Edwardian Promenade  (where you can see the trailer), as well as Heather from the Duchess of Devonshire's Gossip Guide and Susan from Writer of Queens h

Winner of Nora Lofts The Lute Player

The winner of The Lute Player is: SandraK321 I will be emailing you shortly to get your address to send your copy of The Lute Player.

Christine de Pizan

One of the interesting side effects of writing this blog is when I stumble across a hidden gem like Christine de Pizan, who I discovered not only while researching the life of Joan of Arc but also from Vanora Bennett's novel Blood Royal. She was one of the first women to make her living solely as a writer. This was in the 14th Century before the printing press, when most people, including women, were illiterate. Christine was born in Venice in 1363, but but she moved to France with her family when she was 5. Her father Tommasso di Benvenuto da Pizzano was a doctor, astrologer as well as Councillor of the Republic in Venice. Soon after she was born, her father accepted a position at the court of Charles V. No one knows how Christine received an education. There is speculation that she may have been allowed to sit in on lessons with the Dauphin and his brother. Or perhaps her father made sure that she was well educated. Due to his position, Christine might have been able to make u

Happy Birthday Jane Austen

Happy 224th birthday to Jane Austen! Even after all these years Jane is still relevant and selling books. Jane isn't strictly Scandalous (her cousin Eliza de Feuillide might qualify for that title), but she wrote a few women who would qualify like Mary Crawford in Mansfield Park. Although she only wrote 6 complete novels during her lifetime, there has been an explosion of sequels and prequels to many of her books, particularly in the last ten years. There's even a mystery series featuring both Jane Austen , as well as Elizabeth and Darcy . If you want to read a review of Jane Austen as a Vampire, check out Reading the Past's review here . And don't forget Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which Natalie Portman will produce and star in. In honor of Miss Austen's birthday, the Risky Regencies are hosting a week lost celebration here . Leave a comment on any post and be entered to win some groovy prizes. Also, there is a currently an exhibition on Jane Austen in

Sunday Book Review and Giveaway: The Lute Player by Nora Lofts

Recently I received a copy of the reissue of Nora Lofts 1951 historical novel The Lute Player from the good folks at Simon &Schuster. From the back cover: One of the most renowned figures in medieval history, Richard the Lionhearted, inspired by a vision of the Holy Land, led his knights onto the battlefirelds of the Third Crusade.  During the years of fighting and intrigue, Richard's life was intertwined with the lives of two, strong, vibrant, and drastically different women who loved him - Berengaria, princess of Navarre, and his mother Eleanor of Aquitaine.  While his marriage to Berengaria was ill-fated, Eleanor loved her son with a frantic, possessive pride. But it is Blondel, the king's lute player, who here steps forward from the shadows to tell this tale of romance, war, and betrayal. I've been a reader and lover of historical fiction since grade school but this is the first time that I've read a Nora Lofts novel, and it won't be the last. The back

The Winner of the Harlot's Progress Giveaway

I'm pleased to announce that the winner of The Harlot's Progress is.......... Alexandrea Alexandrea, I will email you to get your address so that I can send you the book. And thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway.  I will be having two more giveaways hopefully before the end of the month. I also want to apologize for the state of the blog.  Something happened with the design, and hopefully my designer can fix it soon.

And the winner of The Winter Queen is.......

The winner of Amanda McCabe's Harlequin Historical release The Winter Queen is..drumroll please..... Tetawa Congratulations! I will be emailing you to get your address so that you can receive the book. For those who entered and did not win, I hope you will come back and enter the next giveway, The Harlot's Progress, Yorkshire Molly.

New December Giveaway: The Harlot's Progress

Happy December everyone! I can't believe how fast the year has gone by.  I have some special treats for you this month on Scandalous Women. The first Giveaway of the month is The Harlot's Progress: Yorkshire Molly which I received from Gaby at Carnevale Publishing. Here's a teaser: After several years meticulous and heart felt labour the late Peter Motley, playwright and author finished writing the trilogy, the harlots progress and It was Peters dying wish that these books be published, but sadly he will not see his book in print, but his daughter Jocelyn Pulley is proud to be fulfilling his wish for him. Meticulously based on William Hogarth’s paintings “The Harlot’s Progress - Yorkshire Molly” is a compelling journey of one woman’s misadventures in 1700s London. It is the first novel to bring these fascinating prints to life. Heroine Molly Huckerby arrives in London from Yorkshire into the exciting, vibrant and forbidding streets of the capital. A notorious bawd Mo