The White Queen

The White Queen (The Cousins' War, #1)The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The White Queen is considered Book one in The Cousins’ War series by Philippa Gregory. It starts in the spring of 1464 during the famous battles between the Houses of York, Lancaster and Tudor in England. (If you have not read, The Lady of The Rivers by the same author, it might be best to start there in order to understand more the people in this book)

The White Queen TV show by STARZ in 2013 is what led me to find out more about the women featured in the show. Gregory writes about women who history has forgotten and adds her own rich imagination and education, to their stories.

From the jack cover-“The White Queen tells the story of a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition who, catching the eye of the newly crowned boy king (Edward of York) marries him in secret and ascends to royalty. While Elizabeth rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for the success of her family, her two sons becomes central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing princes in the Tower of London whose fate is still unknown.”

The story of Elizabeth Rivers’ rise above all others to become Queen of England is amazing. Little is known what happened to her children in the Tower of London. This book suggests one ending to those ill-fated children. This book is a real treat. If you like historical fiction, women’s history or just a good royal story, check this book out.

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The Lady of The Rivers

The Lady of the Rivers (The Cousins' War, #3)The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was drawn to this book after watching the first and only season of The White Queen by STARZ (2013). After the season was over I found myself searching for the books to which the show was based upon. The White Queen was based loosely on author Philippa Gregory’s historical fiction/women’s history books. She has written a number of them including; The Lady of the River, The White Queen, The Red Queen and The Kingmaker’s Daughters. These are all parts of the Cousin’s war story. Gregory’s books were unknown to me until I watched the show. Kudos to STARZ for making a show worth looking into once it was over.

The author’s website, has all of her books listed. It can be difficult to navigate due to the books were written out of order. There is a timeline and some handy boxes which can help if you are looking for a specific group of books by this author.

Back to the review, The Lady of the Rivers is an amazing story of a real women, named Jacquetta, who believed she and her family were descended from Melusina, the river goddess. She is rarely spoken about by historians, which just adds to the mystery surrounding her. In the book, Jacquetta is forced to marry the Duke of Bedford around the age of 15 years old. The Duke was English regent of France. In the story the Duke marries her not because he is interested in her sexually or for her monies, but for her innocence and abilities as a seer. The Duke dies and leaves his lands to Jacquetta. She ends up marrying, without the permission of the King of England, to her deceased husband’s squire. The King pardons their marriage and Jacquetta and her husband become close to young King Henry VI and his new bride.

From a purely entertainment standpoint, this book has it all. Magic, Witchcraft, love, passion, death and treason can be found inside the pages of this book. From a historical standpoint, it gives the reader the change to learn about a woman who is rarely talked about or studied. This woman would have been around to see many things change and transpire during the famous Cousins’ War in England between the Houses of York, Lancaster and Tudor, around 1452.

Her daughter Elizabeth goes on to marry the usurper, Edward York, and becomes The White Queen. Her story is continued in Philippa Gregory’s book, The White Queen.

I recommend anyone who loves history, is a woman or simply loves a good Royal story to give this book a chance. It is worth reading.

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Try a Genre and Win Book Blitz with 20 Authors Giving Away 200 Books & More! 7/2/15

This is very cool! Check it out!

spreading the word

New Genre Contest Graphic

How It Works

This challenge starts on July 2nd, and ends on July 30th, so you have a month to get reading.


We’re all different and what we like to read is no exception. However, sometimes it’s fun to change things up a bit and try something new. We’re going to help with that, by giving the first 200 lucky readers to ask us an ebook for free. All we ask is that the book they request is in a genre they don’t read, or read a long time ago and drifted out of.

Each participating author will offer ten books for free (we’ll give you a list of what’s available). But if you don’t manage to get in fast enough and there aren’t any books left, don’t worry, you’re still eligible for the Take a Walk on the Wild Side contest. Find a book…

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How Novel is on Facebook!

Guys and Gals, I did it, I created a page for How Novel on Facebook. I know, I know what you are thinking, she sold out! Thought it would be a great place to add this blog. So, now you can message me there and send in any reviews you have. You can still send in your reviews to me here, as well. I will still be reading and reviewing on this blog. So, don’t fail me now! I had some family in for the last month and two months of house construction, as well. I am a little behind on my reviews. I am looking forward to some much needed down time! Happy Reading!

~ C

Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznica


I woke to an amazing email from Anthony Breznican, the Author of Brutal Youth. He has included part of my review of Brutal Youth in the current paperback copy. If you have not read this amazing book, please take a moment and pick up a copy. It will change the way you see bullies and their victims. You can find my full review here. Follow the link to buy the book here.

Thank you for this amazing honor, Mr. Breznican. I am looking forward to reading more of your work!


Penguin Random House First to Read

First To Read

Just signed up for Penguin Random House First to Read program. I am excited. I am currently reading about the First Special Service Forces. Adleman, Robert H.; Colonel George Walton (1966). The Devil’s Brigade. Philadelphia, PA: Chilton Books. It is an older book but a great look at the First Special Service Force. The unit was just awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in Febuary in Washington, D. C. This unit of 1800 American and Canadian men are the reason the Allies were able to enter Rome a few days before Normandy. If you have not heard of this elite force, can find more information on the Force’s page here.

I am looking forward to reading the Penguin Random House books as soon as I finish The Devil’s Brigade.

My grandfather was a Forceman. He died in 1991.