Category Archives: Waiting on Wednesday

>Waiting on Wednesday~ By Fire By Water, by Mitchell James Kaplan


Sponsored by “Breaking the Spine“. This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

By Fire, By Water
By Fire By Water, by Mitchell James Kaplan

Releases May 18, 2010

I am looking forward to this one.. my fellow HF Bloggers are also! This is a debut novel, and I have high hopes for it. I love the cover art!

I really enjoyed Jean Plaidy’s “Castile for Isabella” and C.W. Gortner’s “The Last Queen“, but I don’t think I’ve read much else for something set in Spain.

“Luis de Santángel, chancellor to the court and longtime friend of the lusty King Ferdinand, has had enough of the Spanish Inquisition. As the power of Inquisitor General Tomás deTorquemada grows, so does the brutality of the Spanish church and the suspicion and paranoia it inspires. When a dear friend’s demise brings the violence close to home, Santángel is enraged and takes retribution into his own hands. But he is from a family of conversos, and his Jewish heritage makes him an easy target. As Santángel witnesses the horrific persecution of his loved ones, he begins slowly to reconnect with the Jewish faith his family left behind. Feeding his curiosity about his past is his growing love for Judith Migdal, a clever and beautiful Jewish woman navigating the mounting tensions in Granada. While he struggles to decide what his reputation is worth and what he can sacrifice, one man offers him a chance he thought he’d lost…the chance to hope for a better world. Christopher Columbus has plans to discover a route to paradise, and only Luis de Santángel can help him.

Within the dramatic story lies a subtle, insightful examination of the crisis of faith at the heart of the Spanish Inquisition. Irresolvable conflict rages within the conversos in By Fire, By Water, torn between the religion they left behind and the conversion meant to ensure their safety. In this story of love, God, faith, and torture, fifteenth-century Spain comes to dazzling, engrossing life.”

What are you waiting for this week?

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Filed under 2010 Releases, Spain, Waiting on Wednesday

>Wordless Wednesday~ Chatsworth House, part 5

>Today, a Wordless Wednesday picture:
Inside Chatsworth (the house in my header photo!)
previous Chatsworth photos. Read history here.

Wonder what those books are? Click image for a list of books related to the Cavendish's and Chatsworth House

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>Wordless Wednesday~ Chatsworth, Part Four

>The Duchess of Devonshire once estimated that Chatsworth's 175 rooms occupy more space than 365 average-sized three-bedroom houses, observing in consequence that it was a bad place to housetrain a puppy. Her husband liked to list its 1.3 acres of roof, 3,426 feet of passages, 17 staircases, 56 lavatories and 359 doors, all lit by 2,084 light bulbs. The companion photo to my header, recognize Chatsworth?

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>Wordless Wednesday~ Part Three~ Chatsworth & Derbyshire

>Today, 2 Wordless Wednesday pictures.

Above Chatsworth:

Building of Chatsworth house was begun in 1552 by Bess of Hardwick and her second husband Sir William Cavendish. Their second son, William, was created Earl of Devonshire in 1618. The 4th Earl who was created 1st Duke of Devonshire in 1694 after assisting William of Orange to claim the British throne, began to make improvements at Chatsworth. Eventually he completely remodelled the house and added formal gardens and the famous cascade. Most of the work was completed before he died in 1707.

The Cavendish’s Chatsworth House:

Chatsworth House and gardens has been the setting for many films throughout the years. More recently Chatsworth House was used for all the exterior Pemberley sequences and some of the interior including the sculpture gallery, in the 2005 filming of Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley as Elizabeth & more recently in Duchess.

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Filed under Bess of Hardwick, Chatsworth, Meme, Waiting on Wednesday

>Waiting on Wednesday~ Elizabeth’s Women by Tracy Borman

First up.. my heart, thoughts and prayers go out to Georgia, affected by the floods, especially Arleigh of


Sponsored by “Breaking the Spine“. This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:
(I have posted this before, but sadly, I have not been a lucky receiver of the book, I hope I will be eventually!)
Tracy Borman’s newest book Elizabeth’s Women: The Hidden Story of the Virgin Queen’ is due to be published on September 24th 2009.

It is available from and, and still not on Amazon USA which is driving me BONKERS, and here are the Google shopping results. It’s like a treasure hunt. I am pretty sure my blogger pal at The Maiden’s Court got her hands on a copy though.. I just may have to raid her house..

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd (24 Sep 2009)
ISBN-10: 0224082264

Product Description:

“Elizabeth I was born into a world of women. As a child, she was served by a predominantly female household of servants and governesses, with occasional visits from her mother, Anne Bolyen, and the wives who later took her place. As Queen, Elizabeth was constantly attended by ladies of the bedchamber and maids of honor who clothed her, bathed her and watched her while she ate. Among her family, it was her female relations who had the greatest influence: from her sister Mary, who distrusted and later imprisoned her, to her cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots, who posed a constant and dangerous threat to her crown for almost thirty years. Despite the importance of women in Elizabeth’s life, most historians and biographers have focused on her relationships with men. She has been portrayed as a ‘man’s woman’ who loved to flirt with the many ambitious young men who frequented her court. Yet it is the women in her life who provide the most fascinating insight into the character of this remarkable monarch. With them she was jealous, spiteful and cruel, as well as loyal, kind and protective. She showed her frailties and her insecurities, but also her considerable shrewdness and strength. In short, she was more human than the public persona she presented to the rest of the court. It is her relationships with women that hold the key to the private Elizabeth.

In this original chronicling of the life of one of England’s greatest monarchs, historian Tracy Borman explores Elizabeth’s relationships with the key women in her life. Beginning with her mother and the governesses and stepmothers who cared for the young princess, including her beloved Kat Astley and the inspirational Katherine Parr, “Elizabeth’s Women” sheds new light on her formative years. Elizabeth’s turbulent relationships with her rivals are examined: from her sister, ‘Bloody’ Mary, to the sisters of Lady Jane Grey, and finally the most deadly of all her rivals, Mary, Queen of Scots who would give birth to the man Elizabeth would finally, inevitably have to recognize as heir to her throne. It is a chronicle of the servants, friends and ‘flouting wenches’ who brought out the best – and the worst – of Elizabeth’s carefully cultivated image as Gloriana, the Virgin Queen, in the glittering world of her court.”

Some of my favorite Elizabethan women include Lettice Knollys, Jane Grey, Bess of Hardwick and Bess’ granddaughter, Arbella Stuart. I am always anxious to learn more about them and Elizabeth’s interaction with the ladies of her time!

See Tracy Borman‘s site for upcoming events etc. She is also the author of Henrietta Howard: King’s Mistress, Queen’s Servant.


Filed under Elizabeth I, Meme, Tracy Borman, Waiting on Wednesday

>Wordless Wednesday~ Drake’s Map

>Today, a Wordless Wednesday picture: Something Different

Drakes Map; Drake was a British leader of the battle against the Spanish Armada and well known as an explorer.

Sir Francis Drake’s MAP OF THE WORLD
380*540mm, Hondius, ~1590 (Original British Library)


Filed under Francis Drake, Waiting on Wednesday

>Wordless Wednesday~ Pevensey Castle

>Today, a Wordless Wednesday picture:
“It is doubtful whether anything of Roman structure remains in Pevensey, though much of the material used in that castle is Roman, and though the towers of that fortification are round. It is enough to remark, that after the long night of the Saxon period the town shared in the general renaissance of South England which followed the Norman Conquest.

Pevensey Castle was built on the spot where William the Conquer landed in 1066. He then marched his army 10 miles to the battle of Hastings.


Filed under Castles, Waiting on Wednesday

>Wordless Wednesday

>Today, a Wordless Wednesday picture:

Castle Leslie Estate is one of the last great Irish estates still in the hands of its founding family.  Since the 1660s, the distinguished and somewhat individual Leslie family has lived on the Estate, welcoming everyone from politicians to poets, ambassadors to ufologists.

The sometimes haunted Castle Leslie, located in County Monaghan, Ireland


Filed under Meme, Waiting on Wednesday

>Wordless Wednesday


Not ‘Waiting on any Pre-pub’ reads for a typical Wednesday meme post, so today I will participate in Wordless Wednesday.
A photo from Chillingham Castle in England, which has an awesome background.


Filed under Meme, Waiting on Wednesday

>Waiting on Wednesday ~ "Dark Moon of Avalon"


Sponsored by “Breaking the Spine“. This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

Dark Moon of Avalon, by Anna Elliott

Dark Moon of Avalon, Book Two

Dark Moon of Avalon: A Novel of Trystan & Isolde is scheduled for release in May 2010. This is book two in Anna Elliotts’ Avalon trilogy. I LOVED her Twilight of Avalon novel, and my review & Anna’s guest post can be found here.

From the Prologue:

I have been a tear in the air,
I have been the dullest of stars.

I have been a course, I have been an eagle.
I have been a coracle in the seas.

Little more than the words remains, now, of the wisdom of the Old Ones. A wisdom that once allowed men to read the future in the flight of birds, or walk unharmed across a bed of burning coals. All that remains of Avalon, now no place in this world, but only a name in a harper’s tale. A faint, mist-shrouded echo of what once was Britain’s most sacred ground. Hidden like the Otherworld behind a veil of glass.


Filed under Anna Elliott, Meme, Waiting on Wednesday