The other day I posted up my review of Kate Mosse’s Citadel (review) as well as details for the book giveaway contest that I’m currently hosting as part of the book tour. Today I’m happy to share with you all a guest post written by the author herself about the region in which her Languedoc trilogy is set in, Carcassonne.
A LOVE LETTER TO CARCASSONNE
More than 25 years ago, we bought a tiny house in the shadow of the medieval city walls of Carcassonne, in the Languedoc region of southern France. I’d never heard of the place before, let alone been there, but the second I stepped off the train, I felt I belonged. As if I’d come home. Over the years, living there for part of the year and bringing up our (now grown up!) children, I became obsessed with the history of the region, often bloody and brutal, the mystical and inspiring landscape. I started to dream of a series of novels – all of them stand-alones in terms of story and adventure, but linked by a sense of place. The Languedoc Trilogy – Labyrinth, Sepulchre and Citadel – is the result. Each novel is a love letters to the place I think of as my second home, a way of celebrating the distinctive and unique character of the region. It’s also a way of putting certain periods of history – the lost and forgotten women’s stories from history in particular – on the page.
By: Kate Mosse
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
From the internationally bestselling author of Labyrinth and Sepulchre comes a thrilling novel, set in the South of France during World War II, that interweaves history and legend, love and conflict, passion and adventure, bringing to life brave women of the French Resistance and a secret they must protect from the Nazis. In Carcassonne, a colorful historic village nestled deep in the Pyrenees, a group of courageous and determined operatives are engaged in a lethal battle. Like their ancestors who fought to protect their land from Northern invaders seven hundred years before, these women—codenamed Citadel—fight to liberate their home from the Germans.
But smuggling refugees over the mountains into neutral territory and sabotaging their Nazi occupiers is only part of their mission. These members of the resistance must also protect an ancient secret that, if discovered by the enemy, could change the course of history.
A superb blend of rugged action and haunting mystery based on real-life figures, Citadel is a vivid and richly atmospheric story of a group of heroic women who dared the odds to survive
I’ve been a fan of Kate Mosse’s Languedoc books ever since I found the first two novels of the trilogy, Labyrinth and Sepulchre, sitting on my mum’s shelves. I absolutely loved Sepulchre (review), it’s one of my favourite books ever because it’s so atmospheric and Gothic <3 So naturally I’ve been excited for the final novel in the trilogy, set in the beautiful and mysterious region of Carcassonne. I finally got my hands on it last year (a little irked that my copy’s a different size than the first two books in the trilogy, but what can you do? (As an aside, my book also is the green cover, not the blue one you see here)) but I didn’t quite around to it until this book blog tour came around 🙂
Be sure to stick around as at the end of the post, I am also hosting a book giveaway for a chance to win a copy of this book! (open to US residents only; sorry international readers!) Also, be sure to drop by my blog on 27 March as the author will be featured in a guest post related to her book. See you then! 🙂
Hello again everyone! So my book review for Nick Cutter’s The Troop just went live (be sure to check it out, the novel is quite a read!). Well, thanks to Anneliese at Simon and Schuster CA, I also had the opportunity to ask the author a few questions about the book and about writing 🙂
So before I jump right in with the Q&A, I just wanted to give a big thank you again to Simon and Schuster CA and Nick Cutter for taking the time to answering my questions 🙂
- What inspired you to write this novel?
A case of temporary insanity? No, no … I’d written a book just before The Troop where I dealt with characters as boys. I liked writing about characters at that age. And as for the rest, I guess I was interested in a monster that didn’t stalk you in the traditional sense, like a zombie or a vampire or something external to you. This monster was inside of you. You couldn’t run away from it.
By: Nick Cutter
Format/Source: Advanced Reading Copy courtesy of Simon & Schuster CA
Boy Scouts live by the motto “Be Prepared.” However, nothing can prepare this group of young boys and their scoutmaster for what they encounter on a small, deserted island, as they settle down for a weekend of campfires, merit badges, and survival lessons.
Everything changes when a haggard stranger in tattered clothing appears out of nowhere and collapses on the campers’ doorstep. Before the night is through, this stranger will end up infecting one of the troop’s own with a bio-engineered horror that’s straight out of their worst nightmares. Now stranded on the island with no communication to the outside world, the troop learns to battle much more than the elements, as they are pitted against something nature never intended…and eventually each other.
I’m going to admit this right now: I don’t read very many novels in the horror genre. While I’ve read a few really fantastic titles in the past, it’s just not something that I’m really drawn to. However, the premise of this novel sounded really interesting (and the recommendation from Stephen King mentioned on the cover didn’t hurt ;)) and I liked that this novel was also set in Canada. I received an ARC of this novel from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. This book will be available on 25 February 2014.
Also, be sure to check out my Q&A with the author for more background about the book 🙂
Marie Antoinette’s Head: The Royal Hairdresser, The Queen, And The Revolution
By: Will Bashor
Format/Source: Hardback courtesy of the author
My review of the book
Marie Antoinette has remained atop the popular cultural landscape for centuries for the daring in style and fashion that she brought to 18th century France. For the better part of the queen’s reign, one man was entrusted with the sole responsibility of ensuring that her coiffure was at its most ostentatious best. Who was this minister of fashion who wielded such tremendous influence over the queen’s affairs? Marie Antoinette’s Head: The Royal Hairdresser, The Queen, and the Revolution charts the rise of Leonard Autié from humble origins as a country barber in the south of France to the inventor of the Pouf and premier hairdresser to Queen Marie-Antoinette.
By unearthing a variety of sources from the 18th and 19th centuries, including memoirs (including Léonard’s own), court documents, and archived periodicals the author, Professor Will Bashor, tells Autié’s mostly unknown story. He chronicles Leonard’s story, the role he played in the life of his most famous client, and the chaotic and history-making world in which he rose to prominence. Besides his proximity to the queen, Leonard also had a most fascinating life filled with sex (he was the only man in a female dominated court), seduction, intrigue, espionage, theft, exile, treason, and possibly, execution. The French press reported that Léonard was convicted of treason and executed in Paris in 1793. However, it was also recorded that Léonard, after receiving a pension from the new King Louis XVIII, died in Paris in March 1820. Granted, Leonard was known as the magician of Marie-Antoinette’s court, but how was it possible that he managed to die twice?
Merci beaucoup to everyone who entered the book giveaway contest courtesy of the author and France Book Tours! A winner has been chosen from the entries on the Rafflecopter; congratulations to Jorie! I hope you enjoy Mr. Bashor’s book! 🙂
Have a wonderful week, everyone, and thanks again! And just for a bit of shameless pluggage here, I’m also celebrating my blogoversary this month (seven years!) with a giveaway so feel free to pop on by 🙂