Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Eagerly Anticipating in 2011

It's time again for our team to choose the books that make us tremble with anticipation in this new year of 2011. The decision wasn't easy, some even draw some blood but all ended well. Here are our choices:

Ana's pick:

After picking two of Elizabeth Chadwick's books as my favourites in the 2010 my choice for this post had to be her next book - Lady of the English - which will be published in June 2011. I am intrigued by her choice of main characters, I have read several books mentioning Matilda but I don't know much about Adeliza. I can't wait to see where she will take us.

Two very different women are linked by destiny and the struggle for the English crown. Matilda, daughter of Henry I, is determined to win back her crown from Stephen, the usurper king. Adeliza, Henry's widowed queen and Matilda's stepmother, is now married to William D'Albini, a warrior of the opposition. Both women are strong and prepared to stand firm for what they know is right. But in a world where a man's word is law, how can Adeliza obey her husband while supporting Matilda, the rightful queen? And for Matilda pride
comes before a fall ...What price for a crown? What does it cost to be 'Lady of the English'?

Alex's pick:

After fighting tooth and nail for the next Elizabeth Chadwick (this is quickly becoming a HT tradition!) and losing to Ana, I decided to go for a book I'm now waiting for some years: The Land of the Painted Caves by Jean Auel. I've been following this series since I first read The Clan of the Cave Bear when I was still in highschool and 9 years after The Shelters of Stone, I just cannot say how eager I am to finally read the end of Aya and Jondalar's adventures.

The Land of Painted Caves continues the story of Ayla, her mate Jondalar, and their little daughter, Jonayla, taking readers on a journey of discovery and adventure as Ayla struggles to find a balance between her duties as a new mother and her training to become a Zelandoni—one of the Ninth Cave community’s spiritual leaders and healers. Once again, Jean Auel combines her brilliant narrative skills and appealing characters with a remarkable re-creation of the way life was lived thousands of years ago, rendering the terrain, dwelling places, longings, beliefs, creativity, and daily lives of Ice Age Europeans as real to the reader as today’s news.
(excerpt from Jean Auel's press release)

Kelly's Pick:

My first instinct was to put the new book by Michelle Moran as my pick, but that was my pick for last year and it just didn't come out this year. So, while I am still excited about that book I decided to pick a different one for this year. Kearsley was my favourite new find for 2010, so I am looking forward to more in 2011!

When Eva's film star sister Catrina dies, she leaves California and returns to Trelowarth, Cornwall, where they spent their childhood summers, to scatter Catrina's ashes and thus return her to the place where she belongs.
But in doing so Eva must confront ghosts from her own past, as well as those from a time long before her own. For the house where she so often stayed as a child is home not only to her old friends the Hallets, but also to the people who had lived there in the eighteenth century. Eva finds herself able to see and talk to these people, and she falls for Daniel Butler, a man who lived and died long before she herself was born.
Eva begins to question her place in the present, and in laying her sister to rest, comes to realise that she too must decide where she really belongs, choosing between the life she knows and the past she feels so drawn towards. (from Amazon)

Teddy's Pick:

I am so glad that Kelly didn't pick this one after all.  I have to have it, it's a necessity, really!

The world knows Madame Tussaud as a wax artist extraordinaire . . . but who was this woman who became one of the most famous sculptresses of all time? In these pages, her tumultuous and amazing story comes to life as only Michelle Moran can tell it. The year is 1788, and a revolution is about to begin.

Smart and ambitious, Marie Tussaud has learned the secrets of wax sculpting by working alongside her uncle in their celebrated wax museum, the Salon de Cire. From her popular model of the American ambassador, Thomas Jefferson, to her tableau of the royal family at dinner, Marie’s museum provides Parisians with the very latest news on fashion, gossip, and even politics. Her customers hail from every walk of life, yet her greatest dream is to attract the attention of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI; their stamp of approval on her work could catapult her and her museum to the fame and riches she desires. After months of anticipation, Marie learns that the royal family is willing to come and see their likenesses. When they finally arrive, the king’s sister is so impressed that she requests Marie’s presence at Versailles as a royal tutor in wax sculpting. It is a request Marie knows she cannot refuse—even if it means time away
from her beloved Salon and her increasingly dear friend, Henri Charles.

As Marie gets to know her pupil, Princesse √Člisabeth, she also becomes acquainted with the king and queen, who introduce her to the glamorous life at court. From lavish parties with more delicacies than she’s ever seen to rooms filled with candles lit only once before being discarded, Marie steps into a world entirely different from her home on the Boulevard du Temple, where people are selling their teeth in order to put food on the table.

Meanwhile, many resent the vast separation between rich and poor. In salons and caf√©s across Paris, people like Camille Desmoulins, Jean-Paul Marat, and Maximilien Robespierre are lashing out against the monarchy. Soon, there’s whispered talk of revolution. . . . Will Marie be able to hold on to both the love of her life and her
friendship with the royal family as France approaches civil war? And more important, will she be able to fulfill the demands of powerful revolutionaries who ask that she make the death masks of beheaded aristocrats, some of whom she knows?

Spanning five years, from the budding revolution to the Reign of Terror, Madame Tussaud brings us into the world of an incredible heroine whose talent for wax modeling saved her life and preserved the faces of a vanished kingdom. (From Amazon)

Marg's pick:

So, Ana chose Chadwick, Alex chose Jean Auel, Kelly chose Susanna Kearsley and Teddy chose Michelle Moran. What's a girl to do when so many great options that I want to read have already been chosen?

Actually, it wasn't such a huge dilemna because I have been waiting for The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly to come out for years! I read the second book in the Rose trilogy in 2006, and have been looking for details of when the next book would be released since then. At one stage, it showed as being released in May  2008 on, but that didn't happen, and then the date was changed to May 2009. Now that there is actually a cover, and confirmation on Jennifer Donnelly's website that it will be released in August 2011, I have everything crossed that I will finally get to read the finale to this fantastic trilogy!

* This cover image was found at Passages to the Past. I couldn't find any other official images around, and there's no synopsis available yet, but expect to hear a lot more about this book during this year.


  1. What great picks,,and like you all I am looking forward to alot of great reads this year,,thanks...

  2. Great picks! I want to read all of them, except for maybe Painted Caves. I wasn't such a huge fan of the other Auel books, (sorry Alex :) I was lucky enough to score an ARC of Madame Tussaud and it's coming up soon on Mt. TBR. I read my first Kearsley courtsey of Historical Tapestry's Winter Sea giveaway and I loved it, so I'm trying to track down all of her other novels!

  3. Great picks! I am also looking forward to Elizabeth Chadwick's and Michelle Moran's newest!

  4. Everyone has great picks. I'm really excited to read the Madame Tussaud book, especially after just finishing up A Royal Likeness by Christine Trent which is about an apprentice to Madame Tussaud. I'm also excited about The Wild Rose book - I have the other two in the series - they are sitting on my shelf just waiting to be read - perhaps this will push me to read them sooner rather than later!

  5. Eagerly awaiting all of these, and Sharon Kay Penman's new one too :)

  6. Ana, More Chadwick, you just cant resist! Now it's on my TBR as well.

    Alex, I also am looking forward to the end of the Earth children's series. I hope it's good!

    Kelly, I need to read Winter Sea first.

    Marg, truth be told, I tried reading The Tea Rose once and couldn't get into it.

  7. All fabulous choices, and I'm on board for all of them (except Painted Caves -- I loved The Clan of the Cave Bear but haven't read the rest of the series! I need to catch up!)

  8. Great picks. I definitely can't wait for Michelle's book.

  9. Teddy, I guess I just had to pick her new one didn't I? Last year it was Marg and next year it will probably be Alex and then maybe one of you? Maybe we should do a Top 5 of the authors we all like...

    Marg, I am also looking forward to that one.

    I have to admit the other 3 books are not on my WL but I am looking forward to read everyone's reviews and see if I am tempted.