Showing posts from July, 2013

Scandalous Women reaches 4 Million Page Views & Giveaway

While I wasn't looking Scandalous Women reached a milestone of 4 million page views. When I started the blog almost 6 years ago, I couldn't imagine even having one person (other than me) reading the blog, but now to know that people are reading the blog, tweeting about it and buying the book, it still seems unreal to me.  I want to thank everyone who has either liked Scandalous Women on Facebook or added the blog to their Google reader and now Bloglovin! To celebrate, I thought I would do a giveaway.  One lucky winner will win not just one, but all three of Gillian Bagwell's books,  THE DARLING STRUMPET (nominated for RWA's prestigious RITA award), THE SEPTEMBER QUEEN, and her latest, VENUS IN WINTER, plus a surprise gift. Giveaway (US only) - To enter, please leave a comment below and include your email address (only comments with email addresses will be entered in the giveaway).   - If you are not a follower and become one, you get an extra entry - 


Title:   THE CHALICE: A NOVEL Author:   Nancy Bilyeau Publisher: Touchstone Publication date: 3/5/2013 Pages: 485 How Acquired:   Net Galley/TLC Book Tours What it’s about:   In 1538, England’s bloody power struggle between crown and cross threatens to tear the country apart. Novice Joanna Stafford has tasted the wrath of the royal court, discovered what lies within the king’s torture rooms, and escaped death at the hands of those desperate to possess the power of an ancient relic. Even with all she has experienced, the quiet life is not for Joanna. Despite the possibilities of arrest and imprisonment, she becomes caught up in a shadowy international plot targeting Henry VIII himself. As the power plays turn vicious, Joanna realizes her role is more critical than she’d ever imagined. She must choose between those she loves most and assuming her part in a prophecy foretold by three seers. Repelled by violence, Joanna seizes a future with a man who loves her.

Lady of the English - The Life of Empress Matilda

This year marks the 60 th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation which is a remarkable achievement.    Elizabeth II is the 6 th Queen regnant in over 1,000 years of English history, following in the footsteps of Mary I, Elizabeth I, Mary II, Anne, and Victoria.   The anniversary also started me thinking about the woman, who should have been the first Queen regnant of England, the Empress Matilda.   One can’t help but speculate how the history of England might have been different if Matilda had been able to take her rightful place on the throne of England.   Would it have made the road easier for later Queens such as Margaret of Anjou who worked to hold the throne for her husband and son, or later on Mary Tudor? Or would Matilda have been seen as a fluke, an experiment never to be repeated? Matilda was the eldest child of Henry I of England, son of William the Conqueror, and his first wife Edith of Scotland.   She was born on February 7, 1102 in England, where has been a

Guest Author Gillian Bagwell on Tudor Banquets and Sugar as Art

I'm pleased to welcome author Gillian Bagwell back to Scandalous Women. I've had the pleasure of meeting Gillian and getting to know her at the Historical Novel Society conferences over the past three years.  Not only is she a fabulous writer but she is also one of the funniest women that I have ever met.  And a talented actress to boot! Her new book VENUS IN WINTER is about one of the most fascinating women of the Elizabethan era, Bess of Hardwick which was just published last week.  I urge everyone to go out and buy a copy to learn more about this fascinating woman . Sugar was introduced to England in the middle ages, and was originally used medicinally, to treat coughs and colds. It was also believed to help digestion and began to be served at the end of grand feasts, frequently in the form of candied aniseeds. Brandenburg Gate in Sugar   By the Tudor era, sugar was cheaper than it had been, but still expensive. In 1547, a pound of sugar cost ninepence, about one

Empress Theodora

I have been fascinated with the story of the Empress Theodora for years.   I knew that she was an actress who’d caught the eye of the Emperor Justinian I but that was really all I knew apart from the amazing mosaics of her (an early form of portraiture).   Unfortunately my eye wandered to other fascinating Queens of the East, Zenobia, and Cleopatra and that trio of Roman Empresses of the early Christian era, Livia, Messalina and Agrippina. However, last year when I was invited to participate in H2’s series HOW SEX CHANGED THE WORLD (which recently aired) my interest in Theodora was once again.   She was actually one of the women that I was supposed to talk about but it ended up not happening.   Time passed and I once again forgot about Theodora until yesterday when I was killing time in Barnes and Noble looking at all the books that I wish that I could afford to buy.   After all, one can never have too many books! I noticed that there was not just one but two historical novels