Tag Archives: historical fiction

Waiting on Wednesday (24): Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle

25 Apr

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. I love it because it is basically a squee-fest where book lovers can choose one book that they are DYING to get their hands on. Check it out!

Kissing Shakespeare

by Pamela Mingle

Book cover for Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle

Miranda has Shakespeare in her blood: she hopes one day to become a Shakespearean actor like her famous parents. At least, she does until her disastrous performance in her school’s staging of The Taming of the Shrew. Humiliated, Miranda skips the opening-night party. All she wants to do is hide.

Fellow cast member, Stephen Langford, has other plans for Miranda. When he steps out of the backstage shadows and asks if she’d like to meet Shakespeare, Miranda thinks he’s a total nutcase. But before she can object, Stephen whisks her back to 16th century England—the world Stephen’s really from. He wants Miranda use her acting talents and modern-day charms on the young Will Shakespeare. Without her help, Stephen claims, the world will lost its greatest playwright. 

Miranda isn’t convinced she’s the girl for the job. Why would Shakespeare care about her? And just who is this infuriating time traveler, Stephen Langford? Reluctantly, she agrees to help, knowing that it’s her only chance of getting back to the present and her “real” life. What Miranda doesn’t bargain for is finding true love . . . with no acting required.

So I personally love books that do the time-travel/historical fiction/romance kind of thing. THANK YOU, OUTLANDER. Pamela Mingle’s book has the added bonus of taking me back to 16th century England, where we get to meet Shakespeare. Sigh. I’m getting a Shakespeare in Love vibe from this summary, and that makes me very happy. Except maybe Stephen is the love interest? Anytime a summary tells me that the guy is “infuriating” it’s almost a dead giveaway, no? But then there’s the whole title about kissing SHAKESPEARE, so LOVE TRIANGLE! 

Anyway, KISSING SHAKESPEARE sounds like a really sweet, emotional, fun story, and I’m looking forward to it BIG TIME. 

KISSING SHAKESPEARE is coming out August 14, 2012 from Random House Children’s Books.


Book Review: Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby

11 Jan

Title: Icefall

Author: Matthew J. Kirby

Genre: Middle-Grade, Fantasy, Vikings, Mystery/Thriller

Publisher: Scholastic

Published on: October 1, 2011

Source: ARC from BookExpo

Summary: Trapped in a hidden fortress tucked between towering mountains and a frozen sea, Solveig, along with her brother the crown prince, their older sister, and an army of restless warriors, anxiously awaits news of her father’s victory at battle. But as winter stretches on, and the unending ice refuses to break, terrible acts of treachery soon make it clear that a traitor lurks in their midst. A malevolent air begins to seep through the fortress walls, and a smothering claustrophobia slowly turns these prisoners of winter against one another.

Those charged with protecting the king’s children are all suspect, and the siblings must choose their allies wisely. But who can be trusted so far from their father’s watchful eye? Can Solveig and her siblings survive the long winter months and expose the traitor before he succeeds in destroying a kingdom?

Continue reading

Waiting on Wednesday (8)

4 Jan

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. I love it because it is basically a squee-fest where book lovers can choose one book that they are DYING to get their hands on. Check it out!

The Wicked and the Just

by J. Anderson Coats

 Cecily longs to return to her beloved Edgeley Hall, where her father was lord of the manor. But now he has completely ruined her life. He is moving them to Caernarvon, in occupied Wales, where he can get a place for almost nothing, since the king needs good strong Englishmen to keep down the vicious Welshmen. At least Cecily will get to be the lady of the house at last—if all goes well.
Gwenhwyfar knows all about that house. Once she dreamed of being the lady there herself, until the English came and destroyed the lives of everyone she knows. Now Gwenhwyfar must wait hand and foot on this bratty English girl who has taken what should have been hers.
While Cecily struggles to find her place amongst the snobby English landowners, Gwenhwyfar struggles just to survive. And meanwhile the Welsh are not as conquered as they seem. Outside the city walls of Caernarvon, tensions are rising ever higher—until finally they must reach the breaking point.

I have been on a MAJOR medieval kick lately. I’ve been watching Merlin online, reading books about Arthurian legends and such, because this kind of setting just astounds me. How people romanticize what was essentially a terrible time to live, unless you had no problems dying before you reached middle age. Every time I read a book–fantasy or historical fiction–that evokes this time period to me, I want to run around and put rushes on the floors in my house, even though I’m not totally sure what exactly rushes are or where I could find them that wouldn’t be bringing ticks and the like into my home. Alas.

THE WICKED AND THE JUST is not about King Arthur, of course, so apologies for going on about it for a second, but it sounds just as awesome. (I think the name Gwenhwyfar is what triggered the comparison in my brain.) I’m anticipating betrayals, scandal, twisty politics and back-stabbing. Maybe some nasty deaths. Hopefully a little kissy-face. I have never read a book that takes place in this time period in this location, and that gets me all jazzed up. And, uneducated American that I am, I had no idea of a Welsh uprising in the middle ages, either, so this stands to be one of those CRAZY books that might TEACH me something. GASP!

In all seriousness, I really want to read more YA historical fiction. When I read adult books these days–in fact, even when I was reading adult fiction EXCLUSIVELY–I always pick up historical fiction. It was my first book love, my go-to genre. But for some reason, now that I read mostly YA, I always manage to pick up other books about dystopian societies or sweetly complicated contemporary romances or faeries. I need me some rushes on the floor, y’all! Some upstairs-downstairs in places that actually EXIST.

I’m really looking forward to THE WICKED AND THE JUST because I think that only it can satisfy this particular thirst that I’m having. And the title? I LOVE it! THE WICKED AND THE JUST. Oooooh, chills!

THE WICKED AND THE JUST is coming out April 17, 2012 from Harcourt Children’s.