Life as a Royal Mistress

If you have any interest in learning more about the lives of royal mistresses, then you must read “Sex with Kings: 500 Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge” by Eleanor Herman. She also has a book called “Sex with the Queen: 900 Years of Vile Kings, Virile Lovers, and Passionate Politics” for those who want to know more about the lovers Queens took. I found this book so fascinating that I plan to eventually read “Sex with the Queen” as well. I read this book over a few sessions to give myself time to absorb all the information. This book is well written without the dry, stuffy text that some non-fiction books suffer from.

Sex With Kings

The only historical royal mistress I could name before reading this book was Anne Boleyn, who is in fact mentioned in the book. This book taught me everything I hoped to learn and then some. It focuses on a handful of mistresses, like Madame de Pompadour who was the official chief mistress of Louis XV from 1745 to 1751. However, Lesser known mistresses are also mentioned, including a few that last a year or less along with what we know about them. But a few like Madame Pompadour are repeatedly mentioned throughout, so they are the ones that stuck with me due to how much information was known about them and how fascinating their lives and the end of their reign as mistress was. Continue reading

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How the Irish Saved Civilization

To start off my reading challenge, I started with “How the Irish Saved Civilization” by Thomas Cahill. My goal was to learn more about Irish history, and this book most definitely helped me accomplish that. Next time I’d like to focus on ancient Ireland and the Celts, but this book taught me a lot about Ireland leading up to the Medieval era after the fall of Rome. After reading, I’d recommend this book to anyone interested in the topic.

How_the_Irish_Saved_Civilization Continue reading

My Reading Challenge

I’m starting a new reading challenge next week. For those who follow me on Twitter, you know I like to write. For those who also write and are trying to get published, you know how hard and draining the process can be. Sometimes you just need to take a break and regroup. For those who work in publishing, you likely understand how hard it can be to find time to read outside of your workload. While I’m between writing projects, I decided to make a dent in my library wishlist. At this point it has something like 70 books on it and it grows every month.

One of the best ways to improve your writing outside of well, actually writing, is reading. Since I work as an editor and literary assistant, I try to read widely to get a handle on what’s hot, what’s been overdone, and what I wish would be written. I’ve also been working hard at trying to improve my own writing. As such, I’m planning to read 1-3 books a week for a minimum of a month across multiple genres outside of my work hours, which alone include at least two unpublished books a week. I like to write fantasy and historical, so there will be a lot of that included. I plan to include adult, young adult, and some historical non-fiction. Continue reading

The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence

This time I want to talk about a historical I read recently based on a real woman. The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence is a good read for those interested in 15th century Florence and the painter Botticelli. The story is about Simonetta, Botticelli’s muse and the woman who may have been his inspiration for Venus in his famous Birth of Venus painting.  I couldn’t pass up the chance to read about Botticelli’s muse and a woman rumored to have been Giuliano Medici’s mistress. I’d never heard of Simonetta before and I love reading historical fiction about real people, especially well-researched stories. Plus the cover is gorgeous.

Most Beautiful Woman in Florence

Big warning on this one: Simonetta’s story ends in tragedy. I don’t want to give spoilers, but if you only like happy endings this isn’t the book for you.  However the ending added to the tragic romance aspect of the book in a way that tugged at my emotions. I appreciated that the author kept the tragedy true to life and didn’t trade it in for a happier ending. Out of everything about this book, the ending is what will stick with me. Continue reading

The Greatness of Libraries

Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows I love my library. I moved from a small town with a small library to a city with a huge local library and I love it. I’m a huge reader but can’t afford to buy the large amount of books I read a year. My library keeps me on budget and lets me indulge without worrying about money. If I want to do some research for my writing, I visit the library to find out what I need. And the best part about libraries these days? You can “visit” without physically going to your library. I will have more in-depth posts coming later this year about how to get the most out of the library as a writer and published author, but for now here is a peek at how awesome libraries are.

My library has thousands of ebooks, which means I can hop on OverDrive and download some books or place holds or make returns without stepping foot in the physical library. Some books my library only has physical copies of, but I can check the catalog and place holds on my laptop or Kindle instead of having to go to the library. When my hold comes in they email me and I go pick it up. However, ebooks take the pain out of having to go back to the library to return. I like to walk to my library, so I’m less likely to check out material during winter when I don’t want to walk so far. In that case I stick to the dozens of ebooks on my wishlist. Continue reading

Wintersong

I don’t normally do reviews on my blog, but I do review most books I read on my Amazon account. However, I recently finished reading WINTERSONG by S. Jae-Jones and let me tell you, I loved this book so much I need to talk about it. There is going to be a sequel in 2018 called SHADOWSONG and I can’t wait to read it. The story is beautiful and haunting and I know I won’t forget it anytime soon.

Wintersong

So some information on WINTERSONG before I talk about what set this book apart for me. WINTERSONG is set in 19th century Germany where Lisel’s sister gets spirited away by the Goblin King. Her grandmother had always warned her to follow the old laws, for every year on the longest night of winter the Goblin King will emerge into the waking world in search of his eternal bride. Lisel must save her sister, but when she does she is faced with an impossible choice: go home with her sister and let the world fall into eternal winter, or sacrifice herself as the Goblin King’s bride to save the world. Continue reading

My Reading Tastes: A Confession

I can’t be the only person to finish a book only to realize I have a thing for a specific type of story line. I think that’s easiest to notice in romance where you get a lot of billionaire romances, single fathers, or specific kinks. I edit a lot of romance but generally only read it if it’s combined with another genre, possibly because I edit so much of it that I want to read something different than what I’m editing. However, I noticed something about a certain story line I dig in the fantasy genre and only in the fantasy genre. Continue reading