Tag Archive | Kensington Books

The Queen’s Pleasure by Brandy Purdy

The Queen’s Pleasure by Brandy Purdy, published by Kensington Books.

 

I just got this book, and I fell in love with it. (Disclaimer: It was an Advanced Readers Copy.). This book is a book meant for people who loves words, told by someone who has a mastery of the language. I fell into this book, loving every minute.

A few words about it, though. Although the title is “The Queen’s Pleasure,” and is billed on the cover as a novel of Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley… It is mostly Amy Robsart Dudley’s story. The inconvenient wife of a man convinced he was the only one Elizabeth would marry.

Since it is historical fiction, technically we already know how everything ends. The novel takes this even further, starting with a prologue that pretty much lays everything bare.

But oh! The language! How can you not fall in love with a passage such as:

 

Outside my windows the sky is as dark as black velvet, with not a star in sight to
provide a prinprick of diamond white light, and the silver coin of the moon has been
spent.

The Queens Pleasure, Page 21

The theme of feminine power, femininity and such keeps circling around this book, too. The recurring images (I can’t really call it foreshadowing when the book opens the way it does) haunt this book, enriching it and wrapping themselves around your soul.

In college, I loved Shakespeare. I adored the poem with “trailing clouds of glory” by  Wordsworth. And of course, there was Faulkner. There are people in this world who can take the language and twist it into an art form that I really wish I could emulate.

Instead, I’ll just devour their works. Oh, and highlight all the passages I love.

Do yourself a favor. Go buy “The Queen’s Pleasure.”

 

 

Grace

Grace, by T. Greenwood. Published by Kensington Books

Advanced Reader’s Copy

 

It is often uncomfortable to watch a family implode (hence the reason why I don’t watch most of reality television), but Grace by T. Greenwood breaks the barrier. A tale told in multiple viewpoints, it is mostly of the core family.

The title character only appears once as the point of view character

The thing is, everyone in the book is looking for a little bit of grace. Of peace, relief from daily life. The struggle that the family goes through, finding out what their core is and then having to live with the consequences, brings to mind some of the depression era writing that I went through during college.

It isn’t pretty, this struggle. The people are “real” in that they have faults. But the writing keeps you going past your comfort level and straight into a gripping story. And you read on, knowing that it could be you, your best friend, your college roommate who goes through this.

And that’s the best sort of writing of all.

It’s also the scariest. Because, you know, I haven’t read anything this evocative of what’s going on in the country from bullying to elder care to the recession in a long time, if ever. Nothing contemporary even comes to mind. It feels like Faulkner, in As I Lay Dying. Not stylistically… but maybe even deeper. Deep down where it grabs you in the gut and shows you your own insides, that’s what this novel is.

Good Things Coming Your Way

Good Things coming your way.

As some of you know, I am the beneficiary of ARC’s from Kensington Books. In return for these, I give good blog on those deserving of such LOL. There are a few coming out in March and April that I want to make sure you’re on the look-out for. And as always, my creed still stands: If I don’t like it, I won’t read it all the way through and will not pass on to you. ALL the books on this blog have been read & enjoyed by yours truly.

 

Curses (A F****ed- Up Fairy Tale), By J.A. Kazimer, Kensington Books. (PUBLISHED IN MARCH) This book skirts the edge of amusing and annoying in a good way. Take a fairy tale, tell it from the point of view of a cursed villain, shake well and there you have it. Written in the style of a hard-boiled P.I. story, with the subject matter at hand, it just cracked me up to no end.

 

Words Get In The Way, By Nan Rossiter, Kensington Books (COMING IN APRIL 2012) This book was a sweet read, but the thing that first intrigued me was that here was a single mother raising an autistic child. My Princeling doesn’t have autism, but there are some similarities in the symptoms. Like Auditory Sensory Integration Disorder. I have to admit I came unglued when Callie (the heroine)  took her 3 year old son to go view fire words.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Auditory Sensory Integration Disorder does not bode well for fireworks. I was sooo angry on behalf of this fictional child. Why on earth would she do that? The kid is three years old, she’s been dealing with her son’s issues…. Well. Take a deep breath. Everyone’s journey in mother-hood is different. There’s also a wealth of difference between a mother that is twenty something (Callie) and forty something (me). But the scene where she begs the question, “Why can’t you just be normal??!!” Wow, that one hit home.

As an aside, every once in a while, like standing in line at Walmart and Ray catches me trying to pull a fast one on him… I’ll ask him “What happened to that poor, deaf, retarded boy I was supposed to have?” (And yes, those words were actually used by a school to me about my son). “You don’t have him, Mommy, you have me and I’m smart.” Well yes, you are. (I quit doing that when the lady behind me almost choked on her gum. Not sure if she was angry with me or laughing… I choose laughing).

There needs to be more books like this one. Books that brings the plight of kids that are different, and their parents, into the homes of others. I think I’ll do one on dyspraxia, as it’s already figuring in my candy garden story.

 

Buried in Buttercream, A Savannah Reid Mystery, by G.A. McKevett (COMING IN APRIL 2012). This one  is funny and well-paced. All poor Savannah wants is to get married, dang it. So why are arsonists, murders and natural disasters raining on her parade? Add in the eclectic mix of her large extended family in town for the wedding, and staying in her itty bitty house… And you have a book that rocks along nicely. It has a nice balance of every day stuff (body image, family rants) against the mystery. I finished this book before I knew it, zipped right along. And that, my dear friends, is a very good thing.

Hope you all enjoy as much as I did!