Reviews

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09 May 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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19 Feb 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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26 Apr Nostradamus and Me

Today I’m guest-posting over at Always with a Book, about Nostradamus, the quatrain that made him famous, and my own adventures in writing fictional secret quatrains in the style of Nostradamus for The Flower Reader. Come see, and find out why I describe Nostradamus as the Gawker.com of his day. (Hint: gossip about famous people and lots of blind items.)

There’s also a fabulous and thoughtful review of The Flower Reader by Deb Previte, the “Bookish Dame” (I do love that sobriquet), at A Bookish Libraria. Would love to see you there!

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21 Apr The EmoCoaster

Some of my writer friends call it the “emocoaster”—the emotional rollercoaster. We all ride it sometimes. I seemed to have had a whole handful of tickets this past week, lurching from euphoric highs to abysmal lows and back again. And again. And again. And that’s really all I’ll say about that. Heh.

Among the wonderful things: my virtual book tour continued, with reviews and guest posts (some with giveways) at:

Let Them Read Books
So Many Books, So Little Time
Passages to the Past
The True Book Addict

Many thanks to these wonderful book bloggers for their reading, reviews and hospitality!

Flat Rinette also made some new stops around the country. I’d love it if you’d tuck your copy of the book in a fun or unusual place, snap a picture, and send it in—see details in the sidebar.

More touring coming up next week:

Monday, April 23: Review at A Bookish Libraria. (and no, there’s no ‘n’ on the end)

Tuesday, April 24: Review at Always with a Book.

Wednesday, April 25: Review at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews.

Thursday, April 26: Review at A Novel Affair, and a guest post on my adventures in writing fictional quatrains in the style of Nostradamus at Always with a Book.

Friday, April 27: Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages.

Whew! I’m stocking up on Rescue Remedy (dog people will know what I’m talking about) and I’ll see you there!

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09 Apr Flat Rinette and Lots More

 

I’m taking a page out of Flat Stanley’s book and launching a “Flat Rinette” campaign! Grab a copy of the book, take it somewhere fun and snap a picture of it, then send me the picture with some details about where you took it and what you were doing. Let’s see if we can’t take Rinette on a trip from border to border, coast to coast, and around the world! The “Flat Rinette” photo collection has already begun on Pinterest, so drop by and say hi. Above you see the very first photo, featuring my favorite daughter-in-law Jennifer and my darling grandchildren Grayson and Miranda. Hi, sweeties! :)

Fabulous reviews for The Flower Reader by Kayla Posney in The Examiner and at Diary of a Book Addict. As part of my online book tour, more reviews at Confessions of an Avid Reader and Raging Bibliomania.

I guest posted about the real silver casket at Tina’s Book Reviews; I also wrote about floromancy and just what a “flower reader” is at Confessions of an Avid Reader.

Had a delightful event last Thursday night at A Real Bookstore in Fairview. The terrible tornados on Tuesday had delayed it, but Teri and David were wonderful hosts and four lucky winners went home with beautiful pressed-flower bookmarks. Coming up this Saturday, I’ll be signing at Murder by the Book in Houston and giving away more bookmarks.

You know? Right now I’m feeling about as “flat” as Rinette, so I think I’d better go sit in the corner with the doggies and give myself some beagle-ear therapy. Then I need to spend some time in sixteenth-century Florence…

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03 Apr Novels and Puppies

 

So today’s the day. The Flower Reader goes out into the big wild world.

Writers feel all kinds of strange things when their books are released. Pride, sure, and apprehension, and vulnerability, and hope, and moments of joy, and middle-of-the-night, it’s-too-late-now sinking moments of oh, no, I should have written that part this way and not that way.

But mostly I feel—I don’t know—helplessness. Empty-handedness. That puppy has sneaked out the door and you can offer it all the Milkbones you want—you’re never going to get it back. It’s on its own and it doesn’t belong to you anymore. In fact, it’s suddenly all grown up and not the cute fuzzy puppy you’ve been used to as you pored over it and petted it and brushed its silky fur—it’s a great big spotted dog with teeth and claws and—floppy ears? But wait, you didn’t mean for it to have floppy ears! Where did the floppy ears come from?

Too bad. If people see floppy ears, floppy ears there are.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. A lot of people like floppy ears.

It’s just—not what you thought it would be. You write a book and you love it and think it’s yours, and then somehow it gets away from you and becomes this self-sufficient wild thing, hiding in the cucumber vines and foraging for its own food. It may still have your tags on its collar (“Hi! My name is The Flower Reader! If you find me, please call xxx-xxxx. Reward!”) but don’t be fooled. It’s not yours any more.

I’ll post the winners of the bookmarks tomorrow! The Broadcasting Legend™ is out today and I need his magic touch to do the drawing.

A lovely kickoff review by Melissa, the Avid Reader, at Confessions of an Avid Reader!

I am guest-blogging today at Julianne Douglas’s Writing the Renaissance. Do you like your historical fiction with fictional characters, or without? There are pros and cons to both sides…

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06 Mar “Windflowers, Nightshade and High Adventure”

(I love that quote so much that I just have to use it as my post title.)

Julianne Douglas of Writing the Renaissance is one of the first advance readers of The Flower Reader, and she has written a lovely, thoughtful, in-depth review.

She has put her finger on one of my ongoing themes—what people believed in the sixteenth century versus what we believe now. I won’t say “versus reality,” because who knows what people will say about us, five hundred years from now? Anyway, so much of what people in the sixteenth century saw as “magic” and “miracles” was actually science or psychology, and it fascinates me to explore what their mindsets might have been&#151how they believed they were right just as absolutely as we do today. I am digging even more deeply into that idea with all my material on alchemy for The Alchemist Prince.

It’s both terrifying and wonderful that The Flower Reader is going to be released in less than a month…

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29 Jan List of the Week

  • Haven’t been doing much but working. I have a wonderful, detailed outline for The Flower Reader and it’s an invaluable road map—it essentially keeps me on track with the major plot points, clues, character developments, and “what needs to happen now.” On the other hand, the way things happen sometimes doesn’t turn out to be what I expected at all. However much I may tear my hair out sometimes, storytelling is the thing I love to do most of all in the world.
  • Was sent an advance tearsheet of a great “Editor’s Choice” review for The Second Duchess, to run in the February/Spring issue of Historical Novels Review, the journal of the Historical Novel Society. I am delighted! Want to read? Click here: The Historical Novels Review and scroll down a bit.
  • March is Red Cross Month, and Writers for the Red Cross is mounting a fantastic month-long series of blog posts and giveaways to raise funds for the Red Cross. Make a donation of $25 or more and choose from hundreds of free books, including The Second Duchess. Will post more about this as March approaches. For now, please “like” the Facebook page.
  • Was very sorry to read of the death of Ariana Franklin (Diana Norman), author of the wonderful “Mistress of the Art of Death” historical mysteries. I was hooked from the first book, and it’s hard for me to imagine there will be no more. Vale, Ariana.
  • Writing-related Link of the Week: Finish Your Novel, a wonderful collection of essays by Timothy Hallinan, whose The Queen of Patpong is up for the 2011 Best Novel Edgar award. Queen of Patpong is the fourth of Hallinan’s Bangkok-set Poke Rafferty thrillers, and it is fantastic.
  • Fun Link of the Week: A Femme d’Un Certain Age, where Tish Jett and her “evil twin” Cherie write about clothes, food, decorating, manners, style and life for ladies “forty-ish or whateverish,” all with an elegant French twist.
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06 Nov Saturday Round Robin I-5

The biggest news of the week is that The Second Duchess got a fantastic review in Publishers Weekly!

The Second Duchess
Elizabeth Loupas, NAL, $15 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-451-23215-1
Robert Browning’s classic poem “My Last Duchess” provides the starting point for Loupas’s winning debut set in Renaissance Italy. Barbara of Austria, the virgin bride of Alfonso d’Este, the fifth and last Borgia duke of Ferrara, has heard rumors that Alfonso murdered his first wife, but by marrying the duke she has escaped the convent as well as her controlling brother, Maximilian II. “Banquets and music, dancing and fashion, loving and loathing–everything is an art in Ferrara,” one of the duke’s sisters tells Barbara, who must carefully maneuver around the gossip about her predecessor, gossip that the duke has forbidden, as she seeks to establish herself at court. Meanwhile, spies lurk around every corner, ready to besmirch her reputation and standing. Readers will warm immediately to the clever, intelligent Barbara, while the demanding, sometimes brutal, Alfonso makes an intriguing man of mystery.

Also on the Second Duchess front, a terrific bookseller blurb from Joseph-Beth Booksellers:

The Second Duchess, by Elizabeth Loupas (9780451232151, 3/1/2011.)

Barbara of Austria comes to the Duke d’Este as his second wife and is immediately confronted by whispers and insinuations about her predecessor. Did her new husband really murder his first wife? The proud Hapsburg wife attempts to solve the mystery, while the ghost of the previous duchess observes and comments on her efforts. A charming riff on Robert Browning’s poem “My Last Duchess.”
Jennie Turner-Collins
Joseph Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati

   


   

The most fascinating thing I ran across this week while working on The Silver Casket is this picture of the façade around the north face of the courtyard of Crichton Castle in Midlothian. Crichton was the home (one of them, anyway) of James Hepburn, the fourth Earl of Bothwell (yes, that Bothwell), who plays a part in my story—and can you imagine how amazed I was to see this picture, a dead ringer for the façade of the Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara? Sadly I can’t use it in The Silver Casket, because the diamond façade at Crichton wasn’t completed until the early 1580s, when Bothwell’s nephew Francis Stewart, also Earl of Bothwell (notoriously called the “Wizard Earl” and so worthy of a story of his own) toured Italy, visited Ferrara, and came home to re-create the beauty of the Palazzo dei Diamanti at Crichton. It’s astonishing how stories entwine around each other.

   


   

Newslets:

Thanks to all my readers who’ve written to ask for Dark Road to Darjeeling bookmarks! They are in the mail.

Thumbs down (if I could turn my hand that way) to my stupid left wrist, which still hurts like the devil and remains undiagnosed.

Congratulations to my friend and crit partner Lisa Brackmann, on her debut novel Rock Paper Tiger being named to the Amazon Top Ten Mystery &Thrillers list for 2010.

Don’t forget to set your clocks back tonight. Another hour of sleep is always a good thing!

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