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The Last Queen by C.W. Gortner

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cw gortner
Bibliophile
Location: San Francisco,CA
Contact:

Postby cw gortner » Mon May 11th, 2009, 11:14 pm

"Chatterbox" wrote:I confess that I wasn't as enamored of Spymaster as I was The Last Queen, but then the latter set a very high barrier!! And I'm really looking forward to the Catherine novel... do I really have to wait a whole year? Couldn't you just sneak me a copy in a brown paper envelope????? I won't tell anyone, really... ;)


Quite to my surprise, I've gotten some pretty intense e-mails from readers who took serious offense at SECRET LION, from my portrayal of Cecil as a wily schemer to having Elizabeth visit court during Edward VI's demise (she didn't) to my depiction of the late Suffolk boys as twins (they weren't). I've been somewhat taken aback, because I didn't mean for LION to be an historical novel, per se; I wanted to write a mystery/adventure based loosely on historical events, a thriller set in Tudor times. It's raw, too, as I had almost no editorial help in getting it published. On the opposite spectrum, I hear from readers who adore it and ask me when the second one is coming out, which is nice to hear.

My intention is to have Brendan mature as a spy as the series progresses; so, if it does get sold I'll definitely editorially manicure LION for re-release. I've found a couple inadvertent historical gaffes :eek: that are easily fixed and there's a pesky sentance that's supposed to convey that Elizabeth is the youngest of Edward's two sisters but can also be interpreted as younger than Edward.

As for Catherine, I'm with you. I'm not fond of the wait, either, but there we have it. If I can get advance ARCS in brown paper bags, Chatterbox, believe me, you're on the list! Thanks much for your very kind words about LAST QUEEN, too. I had excellent editorial support on that book- and I guess it shows.
Last edited by cw gortner on Mon May 11th, 2009, 11:33 pm, edited 5 times in total.
THE QUEEN'S VOW available on June 12, 2012!
THE TUDOR SECRET, Book I in the Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles
[B]THE CONFESSIONS OF CATHERINE DE MEDICI
THE LAST QUEEN
[/B]

www.cwgortner.com

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Leyland
Bibliophile
Location: Travelers Rest SC

Postby Leyland » Tue May 12th, 2009, 1:18 am

"cw gortner" wrote:I almost don't want to say anything lest I jinx it. :eek: .
Excellent for Brendan! 'Nuff said then.
"cw gortner" wrote:I heard from my editor this weekend and Catherine is slated for a summer 2010 pub date.

Great news and congratulations. Please head east for a summer 2010 book tour. :)
We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams ~ Arthur O'Shaughnessy, Ode

Chatterbox
Bibliophile
Location: New York

Postby Chatterbox » Tue May 12th, 2009, 10:08 pm

Will take you up on the brown-bag ARC, CW! (Since I have bought the Last Queen in HC and added it to my Kindle...)

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amyb
Reader
Location: Atlanta, GA
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Postby amyb » Tue May 19th, 2009, 10:37 pm

Here is my review:

Juana of Castile's life began amidst war, in between Spain's battle with the Moors, and her beginning would prove to be just as stormy as the rest of her life.

Born to the incomparable Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, Juana is the third child and second daughter. She is raised on the battlefield with arrows flying overhead and witnesses the fall of Granada in her youth.

When the matter of marriage to Philip of Hapsburg is raised, Juana is not happy at all to have to leave Spain and her family. However, being a good little Princess and understanding how important this is to the country she so loves, she acquiesces herself to the match. Bringing her new husband Philip to the true religion, Catholicism, is her ultimate goal.
With the death of her brother, Juan, the heir to the crown and her sister and nephew, Juana is now next in line. A fact that pleases Philip and his rat of an advisor, Besancon, to no end. The tenderness and love Juana and Philip found at the start of their marriage turns sour as the scheming for the throne begins in earnest and poor Juana is caught in the middle of another war - this time between her parents and her husband. Philip scheming for a way to be named heir and her parents adamantly refusing it. Years of this craziness rage on...power struggle after power struggle, drama after drama. Nothing is what it seems and the duplicity is rampant. (Sounds like a lot of Courts we've read of huh!)

Think all this sounds great? I haven't even covered the craziest part....her 46 year imprisonment by not only one but three family members - her husband, her father and her son! And we should also touch on the supposed insanity of Juana, after all she was known as "Mad Juana". C.W. handled this perfectly I felt. To me it's the same old male attitude that still exists today - if a woman stands up for herself, she's labeled a "bitch". A bunch of men who didn't want to be ruled by a another woman decides to just call her crazy and try to lock her up. The reader sees it for what it is - complete fabrication. Yeah, she was emotional, but goodness after you read what she went through who can blame her?! Not I, said Amy!

The Last Queen is the perfect historical fiction novel and I highly recommend it to amateurs and veterans alike. I actually think this would be a GREAT book for someone starting out in historical fiction. Juana is a remarkable woman, fearless and strong and I think it takes a likewise remarkable person to write her story - so thank you C.W., how you write women so well I'll never know, but please don't stop!!

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cw gortner
Bibliophile
Location: San Francisco,CA
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Postby cw gortner » Tue May 19th, 2009, 11:12 pm

Aww . . . I'm blushing :o

Thank you, Amy, for being so incredibly generous.
THE QUEEN'S VOW available on June 12, 2012!

THE TUDOR SECRET, Book I in the Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles
[B]THE CONFESSIONS OF CATHERINE DE MEDICI
THE LAST QUEEN
[/B]



www.cwgortner.com

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MedievalBookworm
Scribbler

Postby MedievalBookworm » Wed May 20th, 2009, 11:37 pm

Hope no one minds if I post my review as well - I cut out the summary part to avoid repetition. =)

I have never really known much about Juana. She is just outside my time period and just outside my geographical sphere of knowledge. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have read this novel. Juana is a fiery character and I knew little about her quirks. I love how she grows from girl to woman over the course of this book. Her voice is strong and believable and to be honest, I can hardly believe a man wrote this book! Since I didn’t know what happened, I had a rare opportunity to let the plot of a historical novel really take over and I can say that this book doesn’t fail at all in that respect either. It was wonderful and I think it still would have been even if I’d known how it ended.

Knowing full well the ways in which medieval and early modern figures manipulated heirs to make their way to a throne, I had no trouble at all imagining that Juana’s madness was a convenient foil. It would be nothing new. I found the way the author used known events and cast them in a different light to be extremely creative and appealing, like her reasoning for staying outside for several days in winter and taking her husband’s coffin with her well beyond when he should have been buried. So many people let Juana down, most notably her father and her husband. She was determined to secure the throne for her son, Charles, and did not back down even when these men did their best. Is it any surprise that they attempted to cast her aside?

I’ve never been to Spain, but I could almost picture it in this book. I want to go now and I want to learn more. That, more than anything, is the mark of a great historical fiction novel for me. This is an extremely enjoyable book and one that I would certainly recommend.

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diamondlil
Bibliomaniac

Postby diamondlil » Thu May 21st, 2009, 2:57 am

Feel free to add your reviews whereever there is a thread, or create a new thread if you like for books that we haven't reviewed just yet!
My Blog - Reading Adventures

All things Historical Fiction - Historical Tapestry


There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.

Edith Wharton

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cw gortner
Bibliophile
Location: San Francisco,CA
Contact:

Postby cw gortner » Sun May 24th, 2009, 3:30 am

Thank you again, Meghan!! It's such a lovely review, and I'm so grateful.
THE QUEEN'S VOW available on June 12, 2012!

THE TUDOR SECRET, Book I in the Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles
[B]THE CONFESSIONS OF CATHERINE DE MEDICI
THE LAST QUEEN
[/B]



www.cwgortner.com

User avatar
LCW
Compulsive Reader
Location: Southern California

Postby LCW » Sun May 24th, 2009, 6:33 am

"amyb" wrote: And we should also touch on the supposed insanity of Juana, after all she was known as "Mad Juana". C.W. handled this perfectly I felt. To me it's the same old male attitude that still exists today - if a woman stands up for herself, she's labeled a "bitch". A bunch of men who didn't want to be ruled by a another woman decides to just call her crazy and try to lock her up. The reader sees it for what it is - complete fabrication. Yeah, she was emotional, but goodness after you read what she went through who can blame her?! Not I, said Amy!



My sentiments exactly! They don't call is "his"tory for nothin'!

Great review! I loved the book as well! I was very curious to see how a book written by a man but from a female perspective would be. I thought it was done perfectly, however! Nice job, C.W.!

It actually brought out my review mojo which has been absent for quite a while now. I had a nice review all written up and then my cat walked across the keyboard erasing everything I had written! Figures! :rolleyes:
Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them. --Arnold Lobel

User avatar
cw gortner
Bibliophile
Location: San Francisco,CA
Contact:

Postby cw gortner » Tue May 26th, 2009, 12:59 am

Thank you, LCW! I like a review with cat footprints on it . . . ;)
THE QUEEN'S VOW available on June 12, 2012!

THE TUDOR SECRET, Book I in the Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles
[B]THE CONFESSIONS OF CATHERINE DE MEDICI
THE LAST QUEEN
[/B]



www.cwgortner.com


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