Thursday, July 31, 2008

Review for Fate of Camelot by Cynthia Breeding

Fate of Camelot continues the story award-winning author Cynthia Breeding began in Camelot Destiny (Kensington, August 2006). From what I understand the series will see a soon-to-be-release, Prelude to Camelot, followed by at least one more in the series. Breeding is quite at home with Grail Lore, but she doesn’t just give you the same old Camelot. She peels back the layers of these mythical figures to reveal the people, their wants, desires, needs and betrayals. She is a sensual writer, a strong writer who offers her visionary look behind the veil of ancient lore, giving flesh and blood to Arthur, Lancelot and Gwenhwyfar.

Picking up where Camelot Destiny ended, Gwenhywfar carries Arthur to the Isle of Avalon, to see him healed. The holy island is protected by the Land of the Faerie, so when Myrddin attempts to reach the isle, Cernunnos, the god of the hunt, captures Gwenhwyfar and holds her prisoner. He plans to keep her and make her his. The half-fey prince wants to change Gwenhyfar’s fate, but can he stop her destiny, especially when Morgan le Fey has plans of her own for him? Lancelot must try to save Gwenhyfar, but can a mere mortal triumph where time bends in on itself and magic reigns?

A talented writer, Breeding understands her subject well, giving Camelot a ‘fresh coat of paint’ for these amazing tales. So strong is her writing, you forget the lore we know by rote, and follow her into these tales so vivid in their world-building, romance, sensuality and magic.

Highly recommend for lovers of ancient history and Grail lore.

My review for Prisoner of the Flames

Prisoner of the Flames
By Dawn MacTavish (Dawn Thompson)

Publisher: Dorchester Publishing Company, Incorporated
Pub. Date: October 28, 2008
ISBN-13: 9780843959826

Prisoner of the Flames is one of several remaining books in Dawn Thompson’s legacy, though this is under her Dawn MacTavish name. Dorchester Love Spell publishes her paranormal romances, but they wanted her straight history to go under another name in the Leisure Books line. This one actually straddles the straight history-paranormal divide because there is a paranormal element in it in the figure of Michael Nostradamus and the role he plays in the plot of the story.

Though she passed away in February of this year, there were several books already in production, so her fans will still have these final gems to treasure. Most were books Thompson wrote over a decade ago, so they reflect the style of writing that was popular then, romance edging more toward historical fiction. So if you are looking for her trademark passion, which so imbue her other lovers, be warned up front that you will find more history than romance in this story. Accept it as Historical Fiction, not Historical Romance and you will enjoy this tale.

Robert of Paxton is a wounded soul. When he was but weeks old, he was scarred in a fire that engulfed his nursery. A full grown man, now the Laird of Berwickshire, he is an amazing warrior, but one who wants more from life. He craves a wife to love him and a family. Only no woman will look at him in anything but revulsion. One half of his face is sculpted in beauty, so handsome that it only magnifies the scarred nightmare that is his other side. To hide his injury from the world, he wears a metal helm fashioned to cover half his face. To achieve his desires, he sets out to find the Magician-Doctor Nostradamus, hoping this famed man might hold some healing powers that others lack. He undertakes the trip from Scotland to France, seeking his last hope. His uncle helps him in reaching France, but it’s a terrible time to be abroad in the country. The political clime is dangerous with the Catholics and the Huguenots fighting for the power in the kingdom, while an ailing boy king watches his mother rule in his stead. No one is safe. No one is above suspicion.

Robert learns this only too well. Upon arrival, he happens upon a beautiful, blind flower seller, Violette, being accosted by two ruffians. He sets them to running, but then the local gendarme is suspicious of him, a foreigner who travels with his face covered. They arrest him and toss him into the Bastille. Through Violette’s help, the magistrate aids in Robert’s release. He tries to find her to say thanks, but she is gone. Immediately, Robert is under the eye of the two factions trying to control France, and unable to say out of the various political intrigues that continually suck him deeper and deeper into the madness sweeping the country, amplified by the spread of the plague. In the midst of this dangerous chaos, Robert finds a true gift in Violette, a woman who sees the real him, sees with her hands and thinks him beautiful.

Again, I caution this is not historical romance, but historical fiction. Sometimes the lines get blurred, in the ever-changing face of romance writing. What was historical romance fifteen years ago is historical fiction today, the case with this book. It’s still a marvel to read, to see the amazing talent of Thompson, how pure the beauty in her writing was.

~ Deborah Macgillivray

Sunday, July 13, 2008

IN HER BED sold to Germany

Droemer Knaur had just bought IN HER BED for German translation.

Japan bought this books earlier this year in a deal that saw both IN HER BED and A RESTLESS KNIGHT go to Random House Kodansha Ltd.

Droemer Knaur has already translated A RESTLESS KNIGHT, which will be released February 2009.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Love on a Harley is coming!!!!!!!!!

Love on a Harley went to press today. So we should see the anthology shipping next week!

Authors: Deborah Macgillivray, Diane Davis White, Billie Warren Chai, Rebecca Andrews, Patricia Frank and Debi Farr.