Now that December is upon us, I thought you would enjoy another amazing pool, this time from Indonesia, that I found on Stumbleupon. Ubud’s infinity-edge swimming pool stands on two levels, perched over the spectacular rain forest:
Welcome to Spun Stories, where I find books for book groups, give advice on the craft of writing, share tips on self-publishing, make bookclub recommendations, and spin stories from threads of the past
Thwarted Queen: A Saga About the Yorks, Lancasters and Nevilles
Cynthia Sally Haggard. Spun Stories Press, $18.99 paper (495p), ISBN 978-1-4801-5539-8; $2.99 e-book ISBN 978-0-9848169-1-0
As the Hundred Years War comes to an end and the War of the Roses is about to begin, the wife of Richard, duke of York, bears a son after a love affair. Here is a portrait of a woman trapped by power, a marriage undone by betrayal, and a king brought down by fear.
Cecylee Neville is 9 years old when she’s betrothed to Richard Plantagenet, the Duke of York. Years after they marry, an affair she has one night leads to the birth of an illegitimate heir, an event that alters the course of history. As King Henry VI of Lancaster descends into madness, the house of York—comprised of Cecylee’s husband and, later, her sons Edward, Richard and George—begins a long, hard-fought campaign, often marked by betrayal, to win the throne of
England for themselves.
Through careful, comprehensive research, Haggard creates a world rooted deeply in fact that’s also rich with dramatic detail. Descriptions of Henry’s descent into madness are particularly striking, as are the myriad relationships and duplicities that shaped the era, ultimately causing the war, which unfold intimately as Haggard couples fact with the affecting personal details.
"THWARTED QUEEN" is extremely interesting and cleverly written-I was completely enthralled! Lucy Bertoldi, HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY.
“THWARTED QUEEN is a gripping, well-researched historical novel, revealing a violent age. Cecylee and the other characters are well-drawn, with great subtlety and depth." Lindsay Townsend, author of TO TOUCH THE KNIGHT.
"The author immerses the reader in a complex and vivid world that is depicted with persuasive confidence." Curtis Sittenfeld, author of AMERICAN WIFE.
"THWARTED QUEEN is a wonderful novel to introduce Cecily Neville and historical biographical fiction to young female readers." Mirella Patzer, author of THE PENDANT.
"Haggard delivers a swift epic that is both entertaining and informing. The writing is crisp and clear, the characters well-defined, and the emotion overflowing. This book has something for everyone—romance, intrigue, and plenty of action." US REVIEW OF BOOKS, May 2012.
"People have declaimed against luxury for two thousand years, in verse and prose, and people have always delighted in it."
— Voltaire (Philosophical Dictionary)
"It is the Land of Truth (enchanted name!), surrounded by a wide and stormy ocean, the true home of ILLUSION where many a fog bank and ice that soon melts away tempt us to believe in new lands, while constantly deceiving the adventurous mariner with vain hopes and involving him in adventures which he can never leave, yet never bring to an end."
— Immanuel Kant (Critique of Pure Reason)
"Man is a rational animal. So at least we have been told. Throughout a long life I have searched diligently for evidence in favor of this statement. So far, I have not had the good fortune to come across it."
— Bertrand Russell (Unpopular Essays)
“Not all superstitions are dark and cruel. I once received a communication from the god Osiris. He was living at that time in a suburb of Boston.”
— Bertrand Russell (Unpopular Essays)
“Once upon a time there lived in Berlin, Germany, a man called Albinus. He was rich, respectable, happy; one day he abandoned his wife for the sake of a youthful mistress; he loved; was not loved; and his life ended in disaster. This is the whole of the story and we might have left it at that had there not been profit and pleasure in the telling; and although there is plenty of space on a gravestone to contain, bound in moss, the abridged version of a man's life, detail is always welcome.”
— Vladimir Nabokov (Laughter in the Dark)
“Too much detail can have a distancing effect.”
— Wesley Stace (Charles Jessold)
“Tomorrow is another day.”
— Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)