Tag Archives: novels of medieval history

Intrigue and Humor of a Fool in Medieval Florence: A Thing Done by Tinney Sue Heath

I was so pleased to read Tinney Sue Heath’s medieval tale, A Thing Done! From the start I was enthusiastic about her 13th century story told by a jester’s point of view (a ‘fool’ as he was referred). Always the entertaining part of most shows and stories, these actors actually garner little actual “showtime,” so I was delighted to read her original story (based on historical families) that weaved her protagonist, a fool named Corrado, into the social class and family intrigue and power struggle that ruled the streets of 1216 Florence.

9781611792454-AThingDone-lrg200x300I wondered before reading A Thing Done what type of historical reader might enjoy this tale.  I realized quickly that it would be the true lovers of historical detail and realistic old-world machinations.  While spinning her unique tale, Tinney also focused on the social structure of medieval Florence and made the reader very aware of class distinctions and family influences. This book is not for those swept away by the gowns and gold of court and noble families, but those who saw their corrupt and misuse of each other, their feuding and scheming ways, and their extravagant lifestyles and desire for power.

From the start, while performing at a feast of families,  Corrado (“fool”) is ordered to pull a prank. This prank starts a snowballing avalanche that Corrado wonders if he will ever be able to get out alive from, as he is used and ordered around by several noble families who are vying for position in this pre-Medici Florence (of course for coins, but still, he feels as a lowly entertainer he can’t say no-and then eventually because one side might tell the other about him). Her use of the fool lets us into his world, the world of peasants and commoners, as well as the homes, dinner parties, and secret kitchen talks of the men, and scheming women, on higher social ground who seem repeatedly out for blood from each other.  We see the simple living conditions and meals of the poor as well as the wasteful feasts and endeavors of high society.

Corrado quite humorously keeps being that person who is accidentally in the wrong place at the wrong time, but he is ultimately embroiled further and his stress level becomes higher. Already not a person who wants to interact with nobility, he struggles with these missions. He doesn’t like to be in anyone else’s business, even the business of his friends or his troop. He wants to keep to himself.  He is happy just to perform.  Ah, if he didn’t need the coins and then if he wasn’t so afraid of losing his life…..but eventually even these nobles might need to be stood up to and readers will enjoy Corrado’s emotional journey to this discovery as he often times brings humor to the page. I loved his sarcasm and enjoyed his observations which surrounded Tinney’s accurate historical detail.

I’ve always adored learning about the common people’s homes, meals, and artistic and entertaining pursuits. Medieval faires are fun as they encompass that in our modern world and Tinney’s book gave me some of that flair as we are entrenched in a performer’s lifestyle.

Tinney’s cast of characters, protagonist Corrado, his friend Neri, and Neri’s girlfriend Ghisola were vibrant, whole, and completely well-developed in a way in which I felt I’d come to know them and didn’t want to leave them or see them go. Once you get past the first chapter of this novel, you’ll be invested and not want to put it down. Corrado keeps you turning pages heading into his next endeavor all the while holding your breath that he’ll accomplish what he needs to do and make the decisions he feels are best.

Overall, Tinney’s A Thing Done is so well-detailed without being overly so, historically accurate and yet imaginatively inventive, socially thought-provoking, thrilling, and humorous! It’s a well-done novel that deserves accolades as well as readers who will appreciate its delightfully fun adventure and endearing characters.  Corrado may play a “fool,” but he shows he truly is no fool himself about the true meaning of life. The end of the novel was very touching.

A Thing Done, Synopsis~

9781611792454-AThingDone-lrg200x300Florence, 1216: The noble families of Florence hold great power, but they do not share it easily. Tensions simmer just below the surface. When Corrado the Jester’s prank-for-hire goes wrong, a brawl erupts between two rival factions. Florence reels on the brink of civil war. One side makes the traditional offer of a marriage to restore peace, but that fragile peace crumbles under the pressure of a woman’s interference, an unforgivable insult, and an outraged cry for revenge.

Corrado is pressed into unwilling service as messenger by both sides. Sworn to secrecy, he watches in horror as the headstrong knight Buondelmonte violates every code of honor to possess the woman he wants, while another woman, rejected and enraged, schemes to destroy him.

Corrado already knows too much for his own safety. Will Buondelmonte’s reckless act set off a full-scale vendetta? And if it does, will even the Jester’s famous wit and ingenuity be enough to keep himself alive and protect those dear to him?

This is Corrado’s story, but it is also the story of three fiercely determined women in a society that allows them little initiative: Selvaggia, the spurned bride; Gualdrada, the noblewoman who both tempts Buondelmonte and goads him; and Ghisola, Corrado’s great-hearted friend. From behind the scenes they will do what they must to achieve their goals—to avenge, to prevail, to survive.

Published by Fireship Press. Available in e-book or paperback format from Amazon, USA, Amazon, UK, or Barnes and Noble. Also available in paperback from WHSmith, UK, or may be ordered through local bookstores. Coming soon from other vendors.

If you would like to know more, here are some excerpts. Excerpt 1. Excerpt 2. Excerpt 3. Excerpt 4. Also, take a look at the first three chapters on Amazon USA.

Author Tinney Sue Heath, Biography (in her words)~

authorpicHeath-198x300I’ve loved music and history all of my life. I began studying the flute at age nine, and started college at the New England Conservatory in Boston with the intention of becoming a professional flutist. However, after a sudden lurch in a different direction, I somehow ended up with a journalism degree from Antioch College. I’ve worked as a staff reporter for The Chronicle of Higher Education and provided editorial assistance for two University of Wisconsin-based editors of professional journals.

I never really outgrew a childhood tendency to inhabit stories. I spent a decade deeply involved in medieval reenactment with the Society for Creative Anachronism. During that time I discovered the pleasures of playing late medieval and early Renaissance music on a variety of early wind instruments: recorders, crumhorns, and shawms.

I’ve published some short fiction through Callihoo Publishing and in Fickle Muses, and now my first novel, A Thing Done, from Fireship Press. I’m a member of the Historical Novel Society. I blog on topics related to historical fiction, and especially on the research that supports it, at http://historicalfictionresearch.blogspot.com, where you will find much detail on different aspects of life in medieval Florence, ranging from music to politics (as well as a certain amount of whimsy).

My husband and I love to travel to Italy. My historical interests currently center on Dante’s Florence, so we can often be found in Florence or elsewhere in Tuscany, absorbing all the history we can find (which, believe me, is a lot). We live in Madison, Wisconsin, as does my son, an artist and glassblower. We enjoy playing music and surrounding ourselves with native wild plants.

Join Tinney at  www.tinneyheath.com for more history, writing, and additional reading.

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The Fifth Knight by E.M. Powell Brings Readers Entertaining Mystery from the 12th Century

The Fifth Knight, by E.M. Powell, is a superb novel set in the medieval ages around the time of Henry II and focuses on the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket. Thrilling, intriguing, and suspenseful, Powell does a great job allowing the prose to feel authentic in its language to the time period, yet at a pace  and with enough modernized text that readers can follow with inquisitive and motivated minds.

Theodosia, a nun and co-protagonist to Sir Benedict Palmer, had me hooked on her story from the beginning. She struggles as any nun might who has to be locked away from world and fights against the temptations  even if only within her thoughts. It’s interesting to me to read novels that feature a nun protagonist whose heart and feelings fight against the vows they took to God. I don’t necessarily enjoy seeing them struggle, but I do find it intriguing as they face real human feelings and I enjoy seeing how they overcome to them or if they’ll submit to something, for instance, like love.

Theodosia and Palmer’s twist-filled, mysterious journey won’t feel like the serious, heavy non-fiction paragraphs you read about pertaining to religion, nuns, Knights, and life in 12th Century medieval England (after taking a course on the Middle Ages in college I vowed then and there never to time travel to this period, not matter how much it thrilled me on paper…..haha), as it felt human and real and thrilling!! And really, that’s what historical fiction should incite in a reader….thrills. Page-turning, descriptive detail drooling, and head-scratching stories. Powell delivered to me just that with her mystery,  transporting me to a time of everyday heroes who seemingly are fighting for what seems like the weight of the world, without ever missing a step.  Powell allowed me to enter the fantasy world of medieval England all while I still enjoyed the comforts of indoor plumbing.

History states that four Knights were responsible for Becket’s death. However, Powell brings another version to life by creating a fifth Knight and telling a new version of the reported incident using her own imagination and fantasy based on historical detail. The ending I won’t giveaway, but it’s surprising. I’ll be curious to know if you figure it out before reading the final pages….

E.M. Powell  brought nicely developed characters, mystery, intrigue, thrills, light romantic undertones, and entertaining historical fiction to me for several “reading past my bedtime” nights. I highly recommend this book for readers who love historical fantasy from the middle ages!

Please return on April 24 for my interview with E.M. Powell, as well as a giveaway opportunity!

THE FIFTH KNIGHT, Synopsis~

Publication Date: January 22, 2013
Thomas & Mercer Publishing
Paperback; 390p
ISBN-10: 1611099331

To escape a lifetime of poverty, mercenary Sir Benedict Palmer agrees to one final, lucrative job: help King Henry II’s knights seize the traitor Archbishop Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. But what begins as a clandestine arrest ends in cold-blooded murder. And when Fitzurse, the knights’ ringleader, kidnaps Theodosia, a beautiful young nun who witnessed the crime, Palmer can sit silently by no longer. For not only is Theodosia’s virtue at stake, so too is the secret she unknowingly carries—a secret he knows Fitzurse will torture out of her. Now Palmer and Theodosia are on the run, strangers from different worlds forced to rely only on each other as they race to uncover the hidden motive behind Becket’s grisly murder—and the shocking truth that could destroy a kingdom.

Author E.M. Powell, Biography~

E. M. Powell was born and raised in Ireland, a descendant of Irish revolutionary Michael Collins. At University College, Cork, she discovered a love of Anglo-Saxon and medieval English during her study of literature and geography. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Manchester Irish Writers, the Historical Novel Society, and International Thriller Writers. A reviewer for the Historical Novel Society, she lives today in Manchester, England, with her husband and daughter.

For more information, please visit E.M. Powell’s website and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Link to Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/thefifthknightvirtualtour/
Twitter Hashtag: #FifthKnightVirtualTour

The Fifth Knight Tour Banner FINAL

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The Cross and the Dragon by Kim Rendfeld: Legend turned Novel a Superb Middle Ages Tale

I’ve been interested in the Middle Ages since I was a little girl, fueled further by a middle and high school art teacher who had us crafting  castles, headdresses, and crests. I reveled in legends and fantastical stories of maidens, soldiers, castles, and dragons and had a love affair with King Arthur, Lady of the Lake, and even Robin Hood. It was all so romantic, mystical, and endearing….and even after taking a college course on the Middle Ages and learning the horrible conditions they endured, I still immensely enjoy reading and watching anything written about this time period.  In the past several years, there seems to have been a resurgence of stories written surrounding the Middle Ages with works such as Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth, but there is still room for more wonderful writers to really delve in to this rich time period.

Thoughts on The Cross and the Dragon~

9781611792270-CrossandDragon-small2I just finished reading The Cross and the Dragon, a debut historical novel by author Kim Rendfeld.  She quite amazingly takes the legend and the poem, Song of Roland, and crafts it into her own romantic tale with her own original outcome. Not only is her book phenomenally researched, it also shows a tremendous amount of thought and creativity, not to mention storytelling ability.  Though there is much historical detail, the reader is never impeded by it and her tale is smoothly weaved with a flow that dripped satisfying like honey melting on my tongue.

I read it almost in one sitting, during which I could not bear to put it down for fear I would fail Alda, her female protagonist, in her pursuits and that I’d lose the momentum of the exhilaration I was feeling of reading such a wonderful novel.  Yes, I loved it!! I was swept away into a glorious tale of a strong young woman and her man, who equally loved her as much during a time when men didn’t always love women as romantically as would be desired.

I felt happiness, romance, sadness, anger and then I was even overcome with tears toward the end.  I felt connected to Alda and her husband, Hruodland (or Roland), which means that Rendfeld wrote with superb character development.  Her supporting characters were just as endearing (and hated) and I loved how Hruodland and Alda’s family members understood Alda’s strength, will, and courage.

I also was encouraged to read between the lines with Rendfeld’s writing, mostly through her character of Ganelon–a former suitor of Alda’s who seeks revenge and has a blood feud with Hruodland–that common treatment in history that alluded to women being slaves to their husbands, without thought or independence (even beaten and raped), was abominable. I was extremely pleased that Rendfeld showed, through Hruodland, how men should love and respect a woman. I loved Rendfeld’s use of Alda as a brave, resilient, and educated woman able to make her own decisions based on her freewill.

Rendfeld shows us in her writing how politics could outweight and outmaneuver feelings during these decades, but shows us the emotional love affair between Alda and Hruodland as an example of how a relationship could properly overcome these bonds of culture and religion.  Of course as religion was a very distinct part of life in the Middle Ages (even to the point many battles were fought over it), Rendfeld was true to how their religion would facilitate their decisions and schedule their lives, emotions, and beliefs; however,  she also showed us how religious zealots could sometimes misinterpret the Scriptures to suit their own purposes or go to extreme measures for salvation. Alda was a character who fought against all norms.

 

300px-Grandes_chroniques_Roland

Eight phases of The Song of Roland in one picture from Wikipedia

The Song of Roland is known as France’s oldest surviving piece of literature and is a poem of heroism stemming from the battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778 in which Hruodland (Roland) was a commander of the rear guard of Charlemagne that was defeated by a Muslim army.  Historically, Hruodland died during this raid.  The tale of this battle was passed down as legend and propaganda over the years and was later romanticized into The Song of Roland in the 11th Century.  It’s the love story of Roland, and this poem where he is mentioned briefly, that propelled Rendfeld to turn this legend into a storytelling masterpiece of her own.

If you like strong female leads in history that are feisty, courageous, and bold in a time where women were used mostly as political pawns and child-bearing vessels, you’ll love this novel.  It’s more romantic legend than the common historical literature. Rendfeld’s smooth prose, character development, and tight detail really make this book elegant historical fantasy that could be passed down through the centuries with anyone wishing to tell a tale with a lute and harp in tow. Oh, I was lost in time…….in reality, certainly one that anyone would love to have in their collection.

Interview with Author Kim Rendfeld~

NOW, READ MY IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW with KIM RENDFELD by CLICKING HERE!

Giveaway~

Kim Rendfeld is graciously giving away one (1) SIGNED print copy The Cross and the Dragon. With a beautiful cover and superb storytelling, this is a book you’ll want for your library. Open to United States residents only. Please leave a comment with your email (to contact winner) or email me to hookofabook(at)hotmail.com.

For an extra entry into the contest, you can follow my blog and let me know. The giveaway is open until 11:59 p.m. EST on March 2, 2013.

The Cross and the Dragon Synopsis~

9781611792270-CrossandDragon-small2A tale of love in an era of war and blood feuds.

Francia, 778: Alda has never forgotten Ganelon’s vow of vengeance when she married his rival, Hruodland. Yet the jilted suitor’s malice is nothing compared to Alda’s premonition of disaster for her beloved, battle-scarred husband.

Although the army invading Hispania is the largest ever and King Charles has never lost a war, Alda cannot shake her anxiety. Determined to keep Hruodland from harm, even if it exposes her to danger, Alda gives him a charmed dragon amulet.

 Is its magic enough to keep Alda’s worst fears from coming true—and protect her from Ganelon?

Inspired by legend and painstakingly researched, The Cross and the Dragon is a story of tenderness, sacrifice, lies, and revenge in the early years of Charlemagne’s reign, told by a fresh, new voice in historical fiction.

For Purchase~

The Cross and the Dragon, published by Fireship Press, is available in e-book (via Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and other readers) and in print from Amazon (U.S., Canada, U.K., and other countries) as well as Barnes & Noble.

 Kim Rendfeld, Biography~

KimBookPhotoSmallerKim Rendfeld has a lifelong fascination with fairy tales and legends, which set her on her quest to write The Cross and the Dragon.

She grew up in New Jersey and attended Indiana University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and English, with a minor in French. If it weren’t for feminism, she would be one of those junior high English teachers scaring the bejesus out of her students, correcting grammar to the point of obnoxiousness. Instead, her career has been in journalism, public relations, and now fiction.

Kim was a journalist for almost twenty years at Indiana newspapers, including the Journal and Courier in Lafayette, The Muncie Star, and The News and Sun in Dunkirk, and she won several awards from the Hoosier State Press Association.

 Her career changed in 2007, when she joined the marketing and communications team at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. She gets paid to agonize over commas and hyphens, along with suggesting ways to improve writing, and thoroughly enjoys it. She is proud to have been part of projects that have received national recognition.

Kim lives in Indiana with her husband, Randy, and their spoiled cats.  They have a daughter and two granddaughters, with a third due in May 2013.

See more about Kim Rendfeld and her books at www.kimrendfeld.com.

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Four Sisters, All Queens, Historical Novel by Sherry Jones, Shines to Make it a 5 Star Family Affair!

If you love historical fiction as much as I do, more than likely it’s because it takes you away to a new place, a new world, and a new time. The BEST historical fiction novels are so phenomenally written with intricate details, robust characters, lush scenery, and have a way of really making you feel the passion behind the novel. Four Sisters, All Queens, a novel by Sherry Jones about four thirteenth-century sisters who all become Queens, gave me all that and more!! I highly recommend this book to all women, history lovers, or really ANYONE looking for a fresh, original, and memorable read.

While reading Four Sisters, All Queens, I was whisked away to a medieval feast of words, so stirring and richly decorated, with a pace that made me not want to put the book down. Even though a more lengthy book, as most historical fiction novels tend to be of course, I had no trouble reading through it as quick as my schedule would allow. When I did finish, I was left feeling empowered and fulfilled at the end. It fueled my passion for the power of women by showcasing me the strength of regal women of history, giving me inspiration, and it ignited my passion for the medieval time period even further and left me wanting to learn more.

I found Sherry Jones’ style of writing refreshing and I connected to it so intrinsically due to her use of third person in the present tense, as compared to most novels using the first or third person in past tense. Hearing not only what the characters say, but also what they think at each pass in the story as if we all were presently living it, truly helped to propel me into the new time and place that I so desired.  The use of the present tense really formulated this novel into more of a set of stories that intertwined, told about each of the four main characters–sisters of Provence Marguerite, Eleonore, Sanchia, and Beatrice. It was storytelling as its FINEST, almost at a musical pace, and way beyond just good fiction writing. It was as if each character was narrating their story in a way that we could visualize vibrantly. We can easily become the character’s best friends, understanding their innermost secrets, thoughts, desires, and fears.

With so much history to delve into from the lush and barely tapped historical time period, Jones focused on her character’s feelings surrounding their dilemmas and the revolving theme of family and how they all interconnected. Each sister, faced with varying and differing problems of each of their countries, regions, and political entanglements throughout the book, all kept a common thread of “family first” even if sometimes they didn’t realize it in each other’s actions.  Though we learned quite a bit of history, we more importantly grasped how these women of history learned to deal with issues common during medieval England, such as illness, death, piety, and the stringent laws not favoring the poor or women. We read what the characters were thinking, feeling, and how their response framed not only their lives, but the lives of each other as well as even our own lives today as women. Their amazing strength, intellect, and love of family and children shone through in each sentence.

Reading several other books lately pertaining to one or more of these famous sisters of Savoy, in which Marguerite seems to be overwhelmingly the sister who dominates in prose, I feel compelled to learn more about each one–Marguerite’s story because her passion interests me and remind me of me, Eleonore because of her strength, and the others, simply, because more should be written about them.  Maybe more isn’t known, but that is what fiction is for I guess!  Beatrice, though disliked by her sisters it seems in Jones’ book, showed true political prowess and fortitude. 

As I said, I especially like Marguerite’s story. I have enjoyed reading different perspectives of various authors of her struggles living as the Queen of France to overly pious and extreme flogger Louis IX, as well as daughter-in-law to the infamously controlling Blanche of Castile.  I found Marguerite’s thoughts of how confining the Church was to life and women at that time very much how I might have thought if I had been her. Her disuse and annoyance for Louis IX to be so pious as to not care for his wife, his strange infatuation with his mother and his blind mania for the Crusades mirrored most of my own thoughts. I felt in Jones’ book she really captured the personality of how a strong and intelligent woman might react mentally to the extremely trying life Marguerite had to deal with and showed, tapping into several documented instances, how she overcame the mental stress and stood strong for her King and France, even while birthing babies at the same time.

Overall, what a great monumental historical fiction masterpiece from Sherry Jones. A must read for any female who admires the amazing stories of all the strong women of the past, for any woman who needs some inspiration to remember how strong she really can be, for any history lover, for any man who doesn’t believe women can do great things, and finally, for anyone who wants a really great book that they’ll read, remember, and want to keep on their bookshelf. 

“Women have only the power that men allow them, said Beatrice.” How happy I am that the world has evolved enough that women have more of a voice to not have to continue to believe that true.

Synopsis for Four Sisters, All Queens~

Rich in intrigue and scheming, love and lust, Sherry Jones’s vibrant historical novel follows four women destined to sway the fate of nations and the hearts of kings. . . .

Amid the lush valleys and fragrant wildflowers of Provence, Marguerite, Eléonore, Sanchia, and Beatrice have learned to charm, hunt, dance, and debate under the careful tutelage of their ambitious mother—and to abide by the countess’s motto: “Family comes first.”

With Provence under constant attack, their legacy and safety depend upon powerful alliances. Marguerite’s illustrious match with the young King Louis IX makes her Queen of France. Soon Eléonore—independent and daring—is betrothed to Henry III of England. In turn, shy, devout Sanchia and tempestuous Beatrice wed noblemen who will also make them queens.

Yet a crown is no guarantee of protection. Enemies are everywhere, from Marguerite’s duplicitous mother-in-law to vengeful lovers and land-hungry barons. Then there are the dangers that come from within, as loyalty succumbs to bitter sibling rivalry, and sister is pitted against sister for the prize each believes is rightfully hers—Provence itself.

From the treacherous courts of France and England, to the bloody tumult of the Crusades, Sherry Jones traces the extraordinary true story of four fascinating sisters whose passions, conquests, and progeny shaped the course of history.

White Heart, prequel~Review

White Heart, prequel to Four Sisters, All Queens, is Jones’ novella about Blanche of Castile, the notorious B*itch of a mother of Louis IX, who ran France after the death of her husband and put her son on the throne, while managing to wield her political power and strong-arm every man in France. Her history is so infamous that everyone sees her as evil, but Jones’ book really shed a new light on Blanche’s personality for me, which never occurred to me could have been caused by her absolute need to protect herself and her family in the brutal world being run by men. As women are always scrutinized for indiscretions, which was especially true in the 1200s, she had to have pristine piety. Of course her white heart would win her and her son favor. It wasn’t just about favor with God, but about favor with France. She had to stand up to every man vying for what she had. I loved the novella because I liked hearing the viewpoint from Blanche, to hear her innermost thoughts and concerns. I think differently of her now I suppose, in a way. In contemporary times her quest to remain in control and in charge of France, and her son, at all costs would be too ambitious; however, if the alternative is a life in the nunnery because men feel you can do nothing else, how could you not fight for your ultimate freedom even if it is self-serving? It’s only my opinion, but of course everyone has reasons for how they act and with Jones’ book we get an in-depth look at the emotions behind Blanche. I recommend everyone read White Heart if they are reading Four Sisters, All Queens.  It only takes an hour or two to read.

Synopsis for White Heart~

Cold. Hard. Calculating. Blanche de Castille was the quintessential evil mother-in-law. In Four Sisters, All Queens, she’s the nemesis of the sweet-tempered and intelligent Marguerite and a mother creepily devoted to her eldest son. And yet … like most of us, Blanche wasn’t all bad. She was noted for her charity — even criticized for giving too much to the poor. She loved her husband, the King of France, and fainted when she learned he’d died. And she was the strongest and most powerful queen France ever had.

But for a woman to rule is unprecedented — and she is instantly challenged by the French barons, who would take the throne for themselves. Like Queen Elizabeth after her, Blanche becomes embroiled in sexual scandal from moment she takes the crown. And, like that famous English queen, Blanche comes to realize what she must do to hold it. But is the price too high?

White Heart, the shocking prequel to Four Sisters, All Queens, explores the psychology of woman’s power in a man’s world and asks: What wouldn’t YOU do to be Queen?

Bio, Author Sherry Jones:
 
Sherry Jones is an internationally best-selling author whose books have been translated into 20 languages. In addition to Four Sisters, All Queens, she has also published an e-novella prequel to that book, White Heart, as well as the controversial novels The Jewel of Medina and The Sword of Medina, about the life of A’isha, the Muslim prophet Muhammad’s youngest and most beloved wife. She lives in Spokane, WA, with her daughter, Mariah, and her life partner, the award-winning composer and conductor Robert Spittal. Learn more about her and her books at www.authorsherryjones.com.
 
Artist’s Statement, Author Sherry Jones:
 
“I strive for beautifully written page-turners that explore relationships and power, especially women’s power. My novels portray women in history who have achieved power, over others as well as — especially — over their own lives, in spite of patriarchal limits. My protagonists — real women from history — have given me courage, strength, and belief in my own abilities. I hope that, in telling their stories, I can inspire others to dream big, to aim high, to dare to make a difference no matter how impossible doing so might seem.”
 
NOTE: Stay tuned to my blog, and like it if you haven’t, because I’ll be having a great interview with Sherry Jones coming up soon. She’s an amazing woman, journalist, author, humanitarian and you’ll not want to miss my chat with her. This woman inspires me, and I hope she’ll inspire you too.
 
*I gave these books 5 stars on GoodReads and Amazon. Consider following Sherry Jones and myself on GoodReads! I received a copy of the book from publisher Simon & Schuster in return for an honest review of my own opinion.
 

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