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Historical Fiction
Six authors bring to life overlapping stories of patricians and slaves, warriors and politicians, villains and heroes who cross each others' path during Pompeii's fiery end.
Caught in the deadly world of the Renaissance's most notorious family, three outsiders must decide if they will flee the dangerous dream of power.
The Borgia family begins its legendary rise, chronicled by an innocent girl who finds herself drawn into their dangerous web.
The lives of an ambitious soldier, a patrician heiress and a future emperor fatefully intersect.
The Year of Four Emperors - and four very different women struggling to survive
A brilliant and paranoid Emperor, a wary and passionate slave girl – who will survive?

Ave Historia: An irreverent look at historical fiction today: books trends, historical tidbits, and random tangents

So Two Blondes Walk Into A Book . . . And Meet Two More Blondes

August 30, 2013

Tags: blog tour, the serpent and the pearl, marci jefferson, the girl on the golden coin

It was a case of the blonde leading the blonde when I sat down with my friend and fellow author Marci Jefferson for a Q&A: not only do the two of us belong to the fair-haired demographic, but so do our book heroines! My Giulia Farnese had gold hair down to the floor, and Marci's Frances Stewart is the girl with the golden hair in the golden dress on the golden coin in Marci's forthcoming debut novel. So in between all the other Q&A talk on self-editing and Borgia gossip, we traded a Renaissance recipe for lightening hair - straight from Caterina Sforza, yet another famous blonde!

Me: Some of the Renaissance cosmetics recipes I found are absolutely vile, like a face mask that calls for dove entrails. Others, like a rinse for blondifying hair which was made out of saffron, cinnabar, and sulphur, sound a bit nicer. Renaissance ladies were all mad for fair hair, so a favorite girls-day-out back then was to head up to the rooftop and put on big-brimmed crownless sun hats so you could spread your hair out under the sun to bleach it, but still keep your skin white!

To read the rest, click here!

Coming Soon: The Duchess of Richmond

September 9, 2012

Tags: marci jefferson, frances stewart

Last year's Historical Novel Society Conference in San Diego was a riot of fun in all kinds of ways – for my recap of all the madness, read here. And undoubtedly the best thing I gained from that conference was friends, most notably a group of six or seven ladies who kicked off shoes and inhibitions in a hotel lobby until two in the morning one Saturday night, dishing on industry secrets, novel-in-progress woes, ex-boyfriends, current husbands, and how much we all hate those chop-the-top-of-the-head-off covers on historical novels. By the time we all staggered off to bed we were the Lobby Posse – and I have not lost touch with one of those ladies since, though we hail from all corners of the US.

This past year has been good to the Lobby Posse when it comes to our work. Some members, like Sophie Perinot, debuted their first historical novel to rave reviews. Some, like Michelle Moran, added yet another bestseller to an already glowing resume. And today the Lobby Posse proudly congratulates our newest success story: Marci Jefferson, who has just sold her first novel, and for whom I confidently predict a glowing career in the world of historical fiction.

How can I predict this? I've had the privilege of a sneak peek at her Restoration novel, currently titled “The Duchess of Richmond.”

Marci first approached me at the beginning of this year, shyly asking if I would consider reading her novel which was making the rounds of publishing houses, and giving it a blurb if I liked it. And let this be a disclaimer: I blurbed Marci's book not because she is my friend, but because her book is good. I don't blurb books I don't like; had I felt I couldn't recommend “The Duchess of Richmond” I would have pleaded deadlines and declined to blurb it. What a relief it was when I began turning pages and realized that not only does Marci have style, humor, and the kind of sensational white-blond hair I can only give to my book heroines, but she can write.

Restoration England and King Charles II are enjoying a boom right now in the world of HF, and it seems like his various mistresses are all getting their own books – see Gillian Bagwell with Nell Gwynn, and Anthony Capella with Louise de Keroualle. But Marci's heroine is Frances Stewart, one of Charles's lesser known lady loves who you might find more familiar than you think: she's the model for that gorgeous female figure of Britannia Herself!

Here's my blurb:

"Beauty is not always a blessing, as young Frances Stewart finds out when her lovely face pits her between the desires and politics of rival kings Louis XIV and Charles II. Frances makes an appealing heroine, by turns wary and passionate, sophisticated and innocent, as she matures from destitute young pawn to the majestic duchess whose figure would grace Britain's coins for centuries. Her struggles to support her loved ones, uncover her family secrets, and somehow find a life of her own amid the snake-pit courts of the Sun King and the Merry Monarch make for lively, entertaining reading in this lush Restoration novel by debut author Marci Jefferson."

Mark your calendars for “The Duchess of Richmond,” set for release by St. Martin's Press next fall. This is a read worth the wait.