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Showing posts from August, 2016

Book Review: The Dark Lady's Mask by Mary Sharratt

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Title:The Dark Lady's Mask
Author: Mary Sharratt

First line: The hunger to know her destiny enflamed Aemilia's heart, driving her to Billingsgate on a scorching afternoon.

Review:  Aemilia Lanier is credited as one of the first Englishwomen to publish their poetry with the intention of profit.

The daughter of one of Queen Elizabeth's Italian court musicians, Aemilia received a fabulously deep education at the hands of two noblewomen, becoming well-versed in Greek and Latin, as well as other contemporary languages. Through her wit and beauty, she becomes mistress to Elizabeth's Lord Chamberlain before an accidental pregnancy sends her into a miserable arranged marriage.

Happiness, an escape from her life, and a moderate income are found, however, in her collaboration with a poet, William Shakespeare. From friends, to lovers, to seeming enemies, their words bind them together, and both find inspiration in their failed loved affair -- yet Shakespeare, as a man, has far more…

Book Review: Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal

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Title:Ghost Talkers
Author: Mary Robinette Kowal

First line: "The Germans were flanking us at Delville Wood when I died."

Review: This book, as I squeed on Twitter, shattered my expectations -- and my heart.

Set during World War I, the novel follows the British Army's Spirit Corps, a group of mediums who take the reports of soldiers killed on the front. They have an edge, as the campaigns of Harry Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle -- plants for the British government -- have made the world think spiritualism was bunk.

But with the guidance of a West Indian woman, Helen, soldiers are "programmed" to want to report in before they pass on, and the Spirit Corps -- thought to be merely a morale boosting team -- hold continuous, hours-long seances to gather this precious intel from the newly dead.

Our heroine is Ginger Stuyvensant, an American heiress engaged to British officer Ben Harford. She's committed to the Spirit Corps, the other mediums and the ones in their …

Weekend reads and winding down...

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Summer is winding down, which bums me out so very much. Unabridged Toddler is getting so big I can't stand it.

In addition to reading, I've applied to a 9 month writing class to help with the creation -- and completion -- of a novel, and I'm trying hard not to hope too much. Would be lovely to get to focus on my writing with such dedication and support. Cross your crossables for me, would you?

My weekend read is still Mary Sharratt's The Dark Lady's Mask (which, as you might be able to tell from this photo, is lacking a bookmark. Slippery thing escaped from the book when I pulled it out of my bag this morning!! Tres tragique!).

It's a great read, which is wonderful because I just finished listening to Imogen Robertson's fabulously fun The Paris Winter. (Nothing worse than being stuck after a good read with nothing good to follow it with!)

What are you reading this weekend?

Wordless Wednesday, August 10

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My offering for today's Wordless Wednesday is a sampling of the lovely dropcaps from Mary Sharratt's The Dark Lady's Mask.

It's about Elizabethan poet Aemilia Lanier, an intriguing figure who might have been the muse William Shakespeare refers to in his sonnets.

I love small touches like this in books, and it provides a touch of whimsy and magic to this rather intense, but delicious, novel. 

Link your Wordless Wednesday if you've got something, or tell me what you're reading right now!