Sunday, September 14, 2008

Roundup of various things

It's been a quiet Sunday in central Illinois - Ike has come and gone, scattering leaves and branches all over the front yard and splitting two more of our trees in half. There's nothing else really significant to report here, though I figured it was time I posted some more deals and other news.

Occasionally I get comments on older posts. Recently, someone left a comment on my review of Diana Norman's Fitzempress' Law (from 11/06) asking about the meaning of the book's last line. I gave it a shot, but if you've read the novel and have a better answer, please reply at the end of the earlier post. I'm amused that when you google for Diana Norman, that review comes up #2, even before Wikipedia. Per my blog stats, there are an awful lot of people looking for reviews of her books.

Also, my post about novelist Alice Borchardt seems to have become a virtual guest book for some of her fans, who hadn't heard of her passing.

Fountain City Publishing will be reissuing nine classic historical novels by Lawrence Schoonover, beginning with The Queen's Cross, a novel about Isabella of Castile (out this month). Publisher George Scott is Schoonover’s great-nephew.

The Jewel of Medina, to be published next month in the US by Beaufort Books, has an official website. Not much is there yet.

And three recent historical novel deals, as reported by Publishers Marketplace. My comments in brackets.

Brandy Purdy's VENGEANCE: A NOVEL OF JANE BOLEYN, the fictional retelling of the Boleyn saga by Jane, the other, "other Boleyn girl," as she sits in the Tower of London awaiting her execution at the command of Henry VIII for her jealousy-driven betrayal against family and country, to John Scognamiglio at Kensington, in a nice deal, by Nicholas Croce at The Croce Agency (World). [Previously published by iUniverse as Vengeance is Mine.]

Tracy Barrett's KING OF ITHAKA, the events of Homer's Odyssey as seen from the perspective of Telemachos, who, with his two best friends - one of whom is a centaur - undertakes a quest to find his father Odysseus and, in the process, moves from indolent, privileged youth to the beginnings of responsible adulthood, to Reka Simonsen at Holt, in a nice deal, by Laura Rennert at Andrea Brown Literary Agency (World).

Cecelia Holland's THE SECRET HISTORY OF ELEANOR OF AQUITAINE, the intriguing and sensual life of one of history's most fascinating queens, to Susan Allison at Berkley, for publication in Spring 2010, in a two-book deal, by Susanna Einstein at LJK Literary Management (NA). [Wow. The choice of subject took me by surprise, and with the switch to a new publisher, this means we'll be seeing her books in stores once again. All good.]


  1. Anonymous8:37 PM

    Eleanor of Aquitaine managed to have a secret life on top of her historically known one? That woman lived. :)

  2. Oooh - another Ceceila Holland - yay!

  3. Yes, I'm also curious about her secret life!

    Holland has another book coming out in winter '09, the final novel in her 5-book series, and it's set in Byzantium. Despite the fact that her books have been appearing annually, I haven't seen one of them in a local bookstore in ages.

  4. Anonymous9:16 PM

    If anyone can make the story of Eleanor of Aquitaine fresh, it's Cecelia Holland.

  5. Brandy Purdy's book, while not in the same class as Cecelia Holland's works, is still a cracking good read for a Sunday afternoon spent in a bubblebath with a gin cocktail, so I'm glad her effort has been rewarded. Serious historians will quibble with the characterizations of various Tudors, but the increasingly and hilariously lunatic first-person narrative by Jane Boleyn is solid entertainment.

    Although that might be the gin speaking...

  6. I'm doing a a lot of work and some very detailed research on Eleanor of Aquitaine at the moment. it'll be interesting to see how Holland handles her.