The year is 1357. The Inquisition rages throughout medieval France, searching ruthlessly for heretics. In an epic tale of passion, mystery, and unspeakable danger, one woman faces the flames…and triumphs.
Mother Marie Françoise, born Sybille, is a midwife with a precocious gift for magic — a gift that makes her a prime target for persecution at the hands of the Church. She flees her village and takes refuge in a Franciscan sisterhood. Before long, Sybille’s unusual powers bring her under the scrutiny of the Inquisition. Michel, a pious and compassionate monk sent to hear her confession, finds himself drawn more intimately into Sybille’s life and destiny than either of them could have imagined.
Like a magician herself, Jeanne Kalogridis weaves a tale of star-crossed love, of faith and heresy, of mysticism and witchcraft, against a fascinating historical backdrop — the Black Death, the Hundred Years’ War, and the catastrophic defeat of France at the hands of the English. The result is a page-turning novel about one of the most intriguing periods in history.
Philippa Gregory - The Other Boleyn Girl
Mary Boleyn catches the eye of Henry VIII when she is a girl of just fourteen. But her joy is cut short when she discovers that she is a pawn in her family's plots. When the capricious king's interest warnes, Mary is ordered to pass on her knowledge of how to please him to her friend and rival: her sister, Anne. Anne soon becomes irresistible to Henry, and Mary must resign herself to being the other Boleyn girl. But beyond the court is a man who dares to challenge the power of her family to offer Mary a life of freedom and passion. If only she has the courage to break away - before the Boleyn enemies turn on the Boleyn girls... (Harper, 2011)
Diane Haeger - The Queen's Mistake
When the young and beautiful Catherine Howard becomes the fifth wife of the fifty-year-old King Henry VIII, she seems to be on top of the world. Yet her reign is destined to be brief and heartbreaking, as she is forced to do battle with enemies far more powerful and calculating than she could have ever anticipated in a court where one wrong move could mean her undoing. Wanting only love, Catherine is compelled to deny her heart's desire in favor of her family's ambition. But in so doing, she unwittingly gives those who sought to bring her down a most effective weapon - her own romantic past. The Queen's Mistake is the tragic tale of one passionate and idealistic woman who struggles to negotiate the intrigue of the court and the yearnings of her heart.
Jeanne Kalogridis - Covenant with the Vampire
A sensual, terrifying, incredibly accomplished first novel, this fascinating prequel to the classic and most popular horror novel of all time, Dracula, focuses on Dracula's great-nephew, who inherits the job of managing his great-uncle's estate...and his appetite. Written in diary form as Dracula is, this compulsively readable book has revelations that will shock and delight readers of the original. More erotic than Anne Rice, Kalogridis is a major new voice in vampire fiction. The first chilling tale in an exciting new trilogy is a rich and terrifying historical novel set fifty years before the opening of Bram Stoker's Dracula. At the castle of Prince Vlad Tsepesh, also known as Dracula, Vald's great-nephew Arkady is honored to care for his beloved though strange great-uncle...until he beings to realize what is expected of him in his new role. It seems that either he provides his great-uncle with unsuspecting victims to satisfy his needs, or Vlad will kill those Arkady loves. He is trapped into becoming party to murder and sadistic torture. And it is in his blood. When Arkady learns that his newborn son is being groomed one day to follow in his footsteps, he knows that he must fight Dracula, even if it means death.
Elizabeth Massie - King Takes Queen
Dissent rises in the kingdom of King Henry VIII of England. The king's ongoing dispute with the papacy over a desire for annulment is about to incite the Reformation, and his next step is to appoint a new archbishop in order to obtain his long-awaited marriage to Anne Boleyn. All crests that once bore the initials "H & K" are promptly replaced with an intertwining "H & A," the first of many significant changes to come. The birth of the new royal couple's first child, Princess Elizabeth, is followed by the death of Katherine of Aragon. New legislation decrees that any who dare commit an act against the king - or the kingdom's newfound beliefs - will face extreme consequences. With her husband growing increasingly impatient, it becomes apparent that the only crime Anne could commit against her king would be to deny him a male heir. As pressures rise in the kingdom, those who once found themselves in the king's good graces foresee a somber end to their reign. This rich novelization of season two of The Tudors follows the complicated relationship between Henry and Anne through to its historically significant and dramatic conclusion.
Darren Shan - Brothers to the Death
Picking up Larten's story several years after "Palace of the Damned," this begins with the vampire in an unusually content place. With a young vampire to mentor, a family of sorts in Paris, and important work as a Vampire General to deal with, he is as happy as he has ever been. Then a name from his trouble past resurfaces and Larten's life is thrown once again into violent chaos. Setting out on a twisted, dangerous path, he crosses the world in search of an elusive foe. His star within the vampire ranks keeps on rising, but he has never felt so lonely and wretched. He thinks he has hit rock-bottom, but what he doesn't know is that the worst is yet to come. His darkest hour still lies ahead of him...
Darren Shan - Ocean of Blood
Larten and Wester have cut themselves off from their master, Seba Nile, to run with the Cubs, young vampires who have not yet fully committed to the demands of the clan. They drink and womanise their way across the world, and revel in warfare. Following the death of a friend, Larten and his blood-brother link up with Seba to resume their studies. After they meet with Evanna (and a familiar assistant!) for the first time, Seba takes the pair to Vampire Mountain to train. Larten makes swift progress, but he is unhappy in himself, and feels like he has abandoned the human world too soon. To Wester's dismay, Larten cuts short his studies and sets off by himself. Feeling lonely and purposeless, he is "adopted" by a young woman who has big plans for him. As they cross the world together, Larten has no idea of the dire dangers they will face when they board a ship bound for lands far away, across an ocean that will soon run red with human blood...
Darren Shan - Birth of a Killer
Following the massive success of the Demonata series, Darren Shan is back where it all started - telling the life story of the vampire Larten Crepsley. Spanning centuries and continents, taking in sea voyages, murder, war and love, this is the epic, bloodsoaked tale of a vampire who started out a nobody and ended up changing the world forever.
Megan Shepherd - Her Dark Curiosity
To defeat the darkness, she must first embrace it. Months have passed since Juliet Moreau returned to civilization after escaping her father's island—and the secrets she left behind. Now, back in London once more, she is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget Dr. Moreau’s horrific legacy—though someone, or something, hasn’t forgotten her. As people close to Juliet fall victim one by one to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three clawlike slashes, Juliet fears one of her father’s creations may have also escaped the island. She is determined to find the killer before Scotland Yard does, though it means awakening sides of herself she had thought long banished, and facing loves from her past she never expected to see again. As Juliet strives to stop a killer while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in the midst of a world of scandal and danger. Her heart torn in two, past bubbling to the surface, life threatened by an obsessive killer—Juliet will be lucky to escape alive. With inspiration from Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this is a tantalizing mystery about the hidden natures of those we love and how far we’ll go to save them from themselves.
Francine Rivers - Redeeming Love
“Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers tells the story of Sarah, a girl born to a single mother as the result of an affair with a married man. From the start, Sarah’s father did not want her; she had even overheard him say that he wished she was aborted. Sarah’s mother fights poverty and finally resorts to prostitution to support herself and her girl. She dies when Sarah is only eight, and the girl ends up sold into prostitution by her mother’s boyfriend. Duke, Sarah’s new “owner,” does horrible things to her. No wonder that Sarah grows up hating men, herself, and the world. Prostitution being the only way to make a living Sarah knows, that’s what she does. Now eighteen, with her name changed to Angel, she works at a brothel in California. One day when Angel walks the streets, a Christian man named Michael Hosea sees her. Michael has been praying for a wife, and he suddenly feels that God is pointing out this woman to him and telling him to marry her. Michael is very serious about God and His commands, so he obeys. He goes to the brothel and pays the required price to be with Angel, but instead of having sex with her he tries to talk. Needless to say, when Angel hears that he wants to marry her, she thinks the man is crazy. Although she hates what she does, she cannot believe that anything good can happen to her and change her lifestyle. The concepts of love and marriage are absolutely foreign to Angel. Despite her refusal, Michael persists. One day, after Angel is severely beaten in the brothel, she agrees to marry Michael just to get away from the place. His love and kindness slowly begin to make their way into Angel’s shut-up heart, but she cannot just drop all her life-long defenses. When she realizes that she is developing feelings for Michael, she feels ashamed and unworthy of him, so she runs away and goes back to prostitution. Michael finds her and brings her back, more than once. As if Angel’s own feelings of guilt are not enough to deal with, there’s Paul, Michael’s brother-in-law who had used her “services” as a prostitute. He hates Angel and does all he can to drive her away. He succeeds one more time. When Angel is gone again, Michael decides not to chase her this time and see whether the unwavering love he had shown her will make her come back on her own.
Barbara Lazar - The Pillow Book of the Flower Samurai
In the rich, dazzling, brutal world of twelfth century Japan, one young girl begins her epic journey, from the warmth of family to the Village of Outcasts. Marked out by an auspicious omen, she is trained in the ancient warrior arts of the samurai. But it is through the power of storytelling that she learns to fight her fate, twisting her life onto a path even she could not have imagined..
Owen Matthews - Stalin's Children
On a midsummer day in 1937, the young Commissar Boris Bibikov kissed his two daughters goodbye and disappeared into the official Packard waiting outside. It was the last time his family ever saw him. Arrested by Stalin's secret police, the loyal Party man confessed to a grotesque series of crimes against the Revolution. His wife, an Enemy of the People by association, was sent to the gulag, leaving the young Lyudmila and Lenina alone to face separation in a world turned suddenly cold. Lyudmila grew up a fighter, and when she fell in love with a tall young foreigner in Moscow at the height of the Cold War, she knew there would be further battles ahead. Naively infatuated with Russia, Mervyn Matthews had embarked on a dangerous flirtation with the KGB. But when finally asked to work for the organisation, he refused. Revenge came quickly: Mervyn was thrown out of the country; Lyudmila lost her job. For six years, stranded on opposite sides of the ideological divide that shaped their generation, they kept their love alive in a daily stream of letters – some anguished, some funny, but all suffused with a hope that they would eventually be reunited. Decades later, Owen Matthews pieces together his grandfather's passage through the harrowing world of Stalin's purges, and tells the story of his parents' Cold War love affair through their letters and memories. Interspersed with the story of his family is his own journey as a young reporter in nineties Moscow. This is a raw, vivid memoir about a young man's struggle to understand his parents' lives and the strange country which 'made us and freed us and very nearly broke us.'
Diane Haeger - The Secret Bride
Mary Tudor, the headstrong younger sister of the ruthless King Henry VII, has always been her brother's favorite-but now she is also an important political bargaining chip. When she is promised to the elderly, ailing King Louis of France, a heartbroken Mary accepts her fate, but not before extracting a promise from her brother: When the old king dies, her next marriage shall be solely of her choosing. For Mary has a forbidden passion, and is determined, through her own cunning, courage, and boldness, to forge her own destiny. The Secret Bride is the triumphant tale of one extraordinary woman who meant to stay true to her heart and live her life just as her royal brother did-by her own rules...
Jeanne Kalogridis - The Scarlet Contessa
What Philippa Gregory has done for Tudor England, Jeanne Kalogridis does for Renaissance Italy. Her latest irresistible historical novel is about a countess whose passion and willfulness knew no boundsCaterina Sforza Daughter of the Duke of Milan and wife of the conniving Count Girolamo Riario, Caterina Sforza was the bravest warrior Renaissance Italy ever knew. She ruled her own lands, fought her own battles, and openly took lovers whenever she pleased. Her remarkable tale is told by her lady-in-waiting, Dea, a woman knowledgeable in reading the "triumph cards," the predecessor of modern-day Tarot. As Dea tries to unravel the truth about her husband's murder, Caterina single-handedly holds off invaders who would steal her title and lands. However, Dea's reading of the cards reveals that Caterina cannot withstand a third and final invadernone other than Cesare Borgia, son of the corrupt Pope Alexander VI, who has an old score to settle with Caterina. Trapped inside the Fortress at Ravaldino as Borgia's cannons pound the walls, Dea reviews Caterina's scandalous past and struggles to understand their joint destiny, while Caterina valiantly tries to fight off Borgia's unconquerable army.
Diane Haeger - The Ruby Ring
Rome, 1520. The Eternal City is in mourning. Raphael Sanzio, beloved painter and national hero, has died suddenly at the height of his fame. His body lies in state at the splendid marble Pantheon. At the nearby convent of Sant’Apollonia, a young woman comes to the Mother Superior, seeking refuge. She is Margherita Luti, a baker’s daughter from a humble neighborhood on the Tiber, now an outcast from Roman society, persecuted by powerful enemies within the Vatican. Margherita was Raphael’s beloved and appeared as the Madonna in many of his paintings. Theirs was a love for the ages. But now that Raphael is gone, the convent is her only hope of finding an honest and peaceful life. The Mother Superior agrees to admit Margherita to their order. But first, she must give up the ruby ring she wears on her left hand, the ring she had worn in Raphael’s scandalous nude “engagement portrait.” The ring has a storied past, and it must be returned to the Church or Margherita will be cast out into the streets. Behind the quiet walls of the convent, Margherita makes her decision . . . and remembers her life with Raphael—and the love and torment—embodied in that one precious jewel. In The Ruby Ring, Diane Haeger brings to life a love affair so passionate that it remains undimmed by time. Set in the sumptuous world of the Italian Renaissance, it’s the story of the clergymen, artists, rakes, and noblemen who made Raphael and Margherita’s world the most dynamic and decadent era in European history.
Iny Lorentz - A várúrnő
A sok szenvedésen átesett Marie és szeretett férje, Michel végre boldogságot lel Rajna menti várukban. Az idill azonban nem tart sokáig, mivel a férfinak hadba kell vonulnia a rettegett husziták ellen. Marie magára marad, egyedül az vigasztalja, hogy búcsúéjszakájuk után végre beköszönt a várva várt gyermekáldás. Néhány hónap múlva azonban szörnyű hírek érkeznek a csehországi harctérről: a birodalmi lovagi címet éppen elnyerő Michel Adler egy összecsapás során nyomtalanul eltűnik. Az özvegynek tartott Marie-nak egyedül kell megállnia a helyét, miközben mindennapos megaláztatásoknak van kitéve. Életéről hűbérura a feje felett kíván dönteni, de a férje hazatérésében reménykedő önérzetes asszonyt más fából faragták. Végül csak egy kiút marad számára: menekülnie kell a várból, vakmerő tervével azonban mindent kockára tesz. Gyermekével együtt markotányosnőként csatlakozik a császár seregéhez, hogy Michel nyomára bukkanjon. Útja az erőszak dúlta Csehországba vezeti, ahol kalandok és megpróbáltatások újabb sora kezdődik. A kötet Iny Lorentz nagy sikerű regényének, A szajhának a folytatása, egy nő története, aki a középkor szörnyű háborúi közepette a saját küzdelmes harcát vívja személyes boldogságáért.
Kim Newman - Andy Warhol's Dracula
1978. New York. Johnny Pop, the young-looking vampire who came to America with Coppola's film crew, finds his place in his new homeland, on his way to becoming the next Dracula. He becomes rich (creating a drug ring that sells "drac", derived from vampire blood) and socially successful (befriending many luminaries, including Andy Warhol), but risks losing it all when the many enemies he makes along the way join forces against him. The Softcover Edition is limited to 500 numbered copies.
John Biggins - The Emperor's Coloured Coat
In this robust sequel to A Sailor of Austria, young Lieutenant Otto Prohaska of the Austro-Hungarian navy continues to narrate his adventures during the early years of this century, as he careens across Eastern Europe and parts of Asia, buffeted by lovely ladies, tyrannical lords and world events. Prohaska volunteers for flight training only to be shot down over a royal picnic, allowing him to spend time with both the Kaiser and Archduke Ferdinand, the latter of whom will shortly be assassinated, plunging Europe into WWI. When a lusty lady intrigues him, he finds himself in danger of execution. Up one mountain and down the next, by air, land and sea, the doughty lad wends his way, enduring shipwreck, pirates, battle and a Turkish dungeon. Skillfully mixing derring-do with tragedy as well as stringent wit, Biggins offers a vivid catalogue of world history 1909-1918. Sometimes there is so much history, in fact, that Prohaska seems more like a teaching aid than a living character, but overall this is engaging fare-reminiscent of George M. Fraser's Flashman series, but darker-that is likely to increase Biggins's following.
Jeanne Kalogridis - The Inquisitor's Wife
From the author of the critically acclaimed BORGIA BRIDE and THE SCARLET CONTESSA, comes another irresistible historical novel set during the Spanish Inquisition about a young woman who will stop at nothing to save her people from Torquemada’s torturers: THE INQUISITOR'S WIFE. In 1480 Seville, Marisol, a fearful young conversa (descendant of Spanish Jews forced to convert to Christianity), is ashamed of her Jewish blood. Forced into a sham marriage with a prosecutor for the new Inquisition, Marisol soon discovers that her childhood sweetheart, Antonio, has just returned to Seville and is also working for the inquisitors. When Marisol’s father is arrested and tortured during Spain’s first auto da fe, Marisol comes to value her Jewish heritage and vows to fight the Inquisition. When she discovers that her beloved Antonio is working to smuggle conversos safely out of Spain, she joins him and risks her life on behalf of her people; a passionate romance follows. Unfortunately, Marisol does not realize that her supposedly kind and gentle inquisitor-husband has been using her all along to lead Antonio and her fellow conversos to their doom..
Stan Sakai - Usagi Yojimbo 12. - Grasscutter
Forged in heaven, it is called Kusanagi, the Grasscutter--the lost sword of the Gods. This legendary blade could potentially tip the scales of power for the shadowy Conspiracy of Eight in their quest to overthrow the Shogunate and reinstate the Emperor. With the help of a witch and the souls of dead warriors, they plan to recover the lost sword and bring the Shogun down. But when the fates place the Grasscutter in the hands of masterless samurai Usagi Yojimbo, the ronin rabbit becomes the focus of a deadly struggle for possession of the dread blade. And this crisis pales beside the dark possibilities should the sword come to the demonic warrior, Jei! Winner of the 1999 Eisner Award for Best Limited Series, Grasscutter is Stan Sakai's longest and most ambitious Usagi tale to date, a sweeping epic showcasing one of comics' most individual artistic voices at the peak of his creative skills.
Christine Arnothy - I am Fifteen and I Do Not Want to Die
The compelling and moving narrative of a young girl caught by the tides of marching armies during the siege of Budapest in 1945. Told with calm compulsive force, and with an intimacy and maturity that defies the author's youth, I am fifteen is a poignant coming-of-age memoir, and a remarkable tale of ordinary lives destroyed by war. Budapest in early 1945: the siege - which was to kill some 40,000 civilians - raged around Christine Arnothy, her family and the various inhabitants of their building. Hiding in cellars, venturing out in a desperate search for food and water only when the noise of battle momentarily receded, they wondered if the Germans from the West or the Russians from the East would be victorious and under which they would fare best. Praying she would survive, and mourning the loss of some of her fellow refugees, Christine found solace in her writing - in pencil on a small notepad in the cellar - and dreamt of becoming a writer at the end of the war. Her subsequent adventures include a dramatic escape over the frontier into Austria, to Vienna and freedom (or so she imagined); then the difficult decision to leave her parents in an Allied refugee camp, while she searched for a new life in Paris.