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07 Aug 2014 The Chimera Jewel

Love, says Duke Alfonso to his duchess Barbara of Austria in The Second Duchess, is a chimera of poets and adulteresses.

 

And in a new short story called “The Chimera Jewel,” which I’ve written exclusively for My Weekly magazine, Alfonso presents Barbara with a particularly meaningful gift:

 

                In the box there was a jewel, encircled with diamonds and sapphires, depicting a graceful but clearly mythological beast fashioned in gold and embellished with more precious stones. It had the forequarters of a lioness, the head of a horned goat rearing from its back, and a snake for a tail.

                “A chimera,” I said. A mythological beast, yes, but also a symbol of something that could exist only in the imagination….

 

It was a wonderful experience to enter the world of sixteenth-century Ferrara again, the color and excitement of the Berlingaccio revels, and the endlessly fascinating relationship between Duke Alfonso and Duchess Barbara. So mannered and cool on the surface, yet burning with fire and ice underneath. The chimera jewel is Alfonso’s way of saying “I love you” to his second duchess—something he would never “stoop” (as dear Mr. Browning puts it) to say in so many words.

 

What does Barbara do with the jewel?

 

Well, that’s the story. 🙂

 

Buy this week’s copy of My Weekly and read “The Chimera Jewel” for yourself. You’ll also be offered a chance to win the UK mass-market paperback edition of The Second Duchess.

 

Not in the UK? Well, My Weekly is generous with allowing the rights to the story to eventually revert to me. Use the form below to sign up for my newsletter, and one day soon I’ll send out a link to “The Chimera Jewel” online!

 

 



 

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11 May 2014 Mother’s Day 2014

Mother's Day 1947

It was Mother’s Day 1947. In those days (gulp) taking pictures was a rarer and more formal thing. Someone (my father? My grandfather?) lined up the women of the family for a snapshot with fourteen-month-old me in my beautiful young mother’s arms. I don’t remember it, of course–not even the enormous sunbonnet. Can you imagine putting something like that on a toddler today?

 

Left to right, my paternal grandmother Elizabeth Schroeder Gross (I’m named for her, although that’s a story in itself), my aunt Margaret Gross Paugh, me, my dear dear mother Margaret Fleming Gross (to whom The Flower Reader is dedicated), and my maternal grandmother Bonnie Otto Fleming. Bonnie’s real name was “Bonnalynn”–one has to wonder where that came from, as she was born in 1887. But her mother’s name was Margaret Roxanne Landers, so perhaps a penchant for fanciful names ran in the family. In any case, she herself hated “Bonnalynn” and called herself “Bonnie.” but I loved it and always thought that if I were ever fortunate enough to have a daughter of my own (which I’m not, alas) I’d name her “Bonnalynn.”

 

Perhaps one day there will be a “Bonnalynn” in a book….

 

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09 May 2014 The Women of the Medici

Wife, mistress, sister and cousin of a powerful and alchemy-obsessed Grand Duke… an alchemical soror mystica and a grandmother with the eyes of a revolutionary… the women take center stage in The Red Lily Crown. Which isn’t to say that there aren’t a few powerful men in the background as well. Here’s a lovely review from the Pittsburgh Examiner:

 

History, fiction, sex, scandal, schemes, and alchemy all combine to make up one of the best historical fictions novels of 2014!

 

Read the entire review here!

 

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27 Apr 2014 Now Pinning The Red Lily Crown!

I’ve started a Pinterest board called “Travels with Chiara,” for pictures of The Red Lily Crown in the wild. I’d love to have any kind of pictures–your copy of the book in your favorite reading place, your copy of the book with your pet or pets (I especially love pet pictures, of course), copies of the book in bookstores and libraries and wherever you go. You can post a link in the comments, or send your pictures to me at travels (at) elizabethloupas (dot) com.

 

I’m looking forward to Chiara’s travels around the world!

 

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24 Feb 2014 Advance Copies of The Red Lily Crown!

Want to get your hands on THE RED LILY CROWN before everyone else? Sign up for my newsletter and you could be one of three winners to receive an advance copy! Here’s the link:

Notes from Elizabeth Loupas Newsletter

These are the rare, plain-brown-wrapper ARCs, and they will be signed and personalized and accompanied by postcards which a) will feature the full color cover, and b) make great bookmarks.

Sign up now! The winners will be announced in the first copy of the newsletter on March 4th, and the books shipped immediately to the winners!

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19 Feb 2014 Beauty, Cruelty and Madness

theredlilycrownhomeFabulous four-star review for The Red Lily Crown, upcoming in the March issue of Romantic Times! A tiny taste: “Loupas’ reputation as a force in historical fiction gains momentum with this exciting, well-crafted story… a vivid portrait of the time, giving readers an in-depth picture of the beauty, cruelty and madness, and the superstitious nature of powerful men and women.”

I’m going to be giving away some signed ARCs very shortly, so come on over and “like” my Facebook Author page:

Elizabeth Loupas Facebook Author Page

…where I’ll be posting details on how to enter to win. Or click the cover image to pre-order if you want to be sure to have your copy shipped (or zapped to your Kindle) on the day of publication!

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13 Jan 2014 Eyes of a Revolutionary

2014 is here at last!

My own dear mother always chided me: “Never wish your life away.” But I have to admit I’ve been wishing for 2014 to arrive, and with it, on April 1st, The Red Lily Crown at last.

My mother was one of the models for Nonna, Chiara’s grandmother, who suffers fools not at all and is no fool herself. Well, here she is as she steps into the story:

 

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And then Nonna herself came to the door of the shop. She wore the same severe black widow’s habit she’d worn for as long as Chiara could remember, with an unbleached linen wimple and a black veil like a nun. Her face was wrinkled as a walnut shell, but her eyes were hard and bright and aware, the eyes of a young woman, a revolutionary. Which she had been, fifty years ago in the days of the third republic. They were changeable eyes, brown to green to gold, set deeply under slanting brows. All her life people had told Chiara she had eyes just like her Nonna’s.

 

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Preorder The Red Lily Crown from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s Books, Books-a-Million, Google Play, and your favorite independent bookstore.

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