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Beauty’s Daughter by Carolyn Meyer – Review & Giveaway
Nov 24th, 2013 by Liza Wiemer

Carolyn Meyer is Giving Thanks for her Readers! 

BEAUTY’S DAUGHTER: 
 
 
What is it like to be the daughter of the most beautiful woman in the world?
 
Hermione knows . . . her mother is Helen of Troy, the famed beauty of Greek myth. Helen is not only beautiful but also impulsive, and when she falls in love with charming Prince Paris, she runs off with him to Troy, abandoning her distraught daughter. Determined to reclaim their enchanting queen, the Greek army sails for Troy. Hermione stows away in one of the thousand ships in the fleet and witnesses the start of the legendary Trojan War.     In the rough Greek encampment outside the walls of Troy, Hermione’s life is far from that of a pampered princess. Meanwhile, her mother basks in luxury in the royal palace inside the city. Hermione desperately wishes for the gods and goddesses to intervene and end the brutal war—and to bring her love. Will she end up with the handsome archer Orestes, or the formidable Pyrrhus, leader of a tribe of fierce warriors? And will she ever forgive her mother for bringing such chaos to her life and the lives of so many others?
 
Author bio:
 
 
Carolyn Meyer is the author of more than fifty books for children and young adults, and has no intention of quitting any time soon. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

 

 
The Story of Hermione and Helen of Troy: 
 
After years of writing about the young lives of fascinating women of power, from Cleopatra to Victoria, in BEAUTY’S DAUGHTER I’ve drawn on the myths of ancient Greece to tell the story of what it must have been like to be the daughter of the most beautiful woman in the world.
 
When Helen leaves her husband and daughter and runs off to Troy with handsome Paris, a thousand Greek ships sail for Troy to bring her back..and her daughter, Hermione, goes with them as a stowaway. Hermione’s adventures on the Trojan beaches, her struggle for survival,, and her search for true love of her life drive this story.
 
Social media:
www.readcarolyn.com
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/cmeyerbooks
Facebook: Carolyn Meyer Books
https://www.amazon.com/author/carolynmeyer

Q & A:

Q: I am curious about your research process for this novel. I know you utilized the Iliad, but clearly you did extensive research on Greek mythology. Also, your descriptions of palaces, Athens, and even the small details such as pots, clothing, weaponry, the ships, the role of women, were quite detailed. What kind of research did you have to do to gather this information?
A: About the research: The ILIAD provided information only about the last year of the Trojan War and nothing about what happened before or after. My main source was an invaluable book by Robert Graves, THE GREEK MYTHS, with references to dozens and dozens of characters and stories, some of which were relevant to Hermione’s story, beginning with her mother’s birth (see LEDA AND THE SWAN). I didn’t reread all of those stories, but I did find the information I needed to frame a coherent story. I also read books about Bronze Age Greece, and as you can imagine, I googled like mad to find diagrams of ancient palaces, layouts of Troy, pictures of ships, and all the other “elements of realism” needed to bring the story to life.
Q: Obviously, much of this novel came from your imagination and Greek mythology. Yet, it had an element of realism. There seemed to be a wonderful balance. Since it’s not clear whether Helen of Troy really existed, what was your ultimate goal in bringing Hermione and Helen’s story to life?
A: I doubt very much that Helen of Troy really existed–or any of those other wonderful characters–but the issues seem very real to me, and very human, something readers can relate to.
Q: What is your next project?
A: Next project: a new treatment of the story of Anastasia of Russia is in the editing/rewriting stage, and I’m working on a first draft of a novel about the Harvey Girls, in the Southwest in the 1920s. Quite a change from ancient Greece!

My review:

Posted on Goodreads:

Cover – Gorgeous!

I’m always in awe of those who love to dig in and research history with a passion that ends up pouring out onto the pages of a novel. Carolyn Meyer is such a writer. She brings to life a history that may or may not have existed. After all, no one knows for sure if Helen of Troy really existed. Certainly, the mythology described in the novel is just that – mythology. But readers will be swept away by Hermione’s journey, which takes her to the beaches outside of Troy where she lives in semi-permenant shelter during the ten year war her father battles in order to get his wife Helen back from Prince Paris. Readers will travel with Hermione to barbarous lands with a husband she despises and go on a quest to find and save the man she truly loves. You’ll walk the streets of Athens, go into lavish palaces, sail on a ship with concubines, fight with warriors, watch Helen through a seer’s eyes, and see the wrath of the Greek gods. Helen certainly possessed a lot of power and was cherished for her beauty. Hermione — a red-haired, freckled girl — was favored by her father, and may or may not have been the daughter of Helen. What she lacked in beauty, she possessed in kindness.(If she looked anything like the cover of this novel, then I’d say she was beautiful!)

This is perfect for school libraries and classrooms teaching Greek mythology. In addition, anyone who likes mythology, romance, history, will appreciate this finely written novel. It will hold your attention and has plenty of action.

Thank you to the publisher for providing a review copy!

 
Victoria Rebels

 

 
Queen Victoria’s personal journals inform this captivating first-person account of one of history’s most prominent female leaders.
 
Queen Victoria most certainly left a legacy—under her rule as the longest reigning female monarch in history, the British Empire was greatly expanded and significant industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military changes occurred within the United Kingdom. To be a young woman in a time when few other females held positions of power was to lead in a remarkable age—and because Queen Victoria kept personal journals, this historical novel from award-winning author Carolyn Meyer shares authentic emotional insight along with accurate information, weaving a true story of intrigue and romance.
 
Cleopatra Confesses
 
 
It is the first century B.C. Cleopatra, the third of the pharaoh’s six children, is the one that her father has chosen to be the next queen of Egypt. But when King Ptolemy is forced into exile, Cleopatra is left alone to fend for herself in a palace rife with intrigue and murder. Smart, courageous, ambitious and sensuously beautiful, she possesses the charm to cause two of history’s most famous leaders to fall in love with her. But as her cruel sisters plot to steal the throne, Cleopatra realizes there is only one person on whom she can rely–herself.
 
In Cleopatra Confesses, award winning author Carolyn Meyer writes the story of the teenage girl who would become Egypt’s most unforgettable queen, from her early years to her her ultimate destiny.
 
The Wild Queen
 
 
Mary Stuart was just five years old when she was sent to France to be raised alongside her future husband. But when the frail young king dies, eighteen-year-old Mary is stripped of her title as Queen of France and set adrift in the harsh world, alone. Determined to reign over what is rightfully hers, Mary returns to Scotland. Hopingthat a husband will help her secure the coveted English throne, she marries again, but the love and security she longs for elude her. Instead, the fiery young queen finds herself embroiled in a murder scandal that could cost her the crown. And her attempts to bargain with her formidable “sister queen,” Elizabeth I of England, could cost her her very life.
 
Win the books above by entering below:

Victoria Rebels Blog Tour & Giveaway – Q & A with Author Carolyn Meyer
Feb 19th, 2013 by Liza Wiemer

VictoriaRebelsBanner

From Goodreads:

Queen Victoria’s personal journals inform this captivating first-person account of one of history’s most prominent female leaders.

Queen Victoria most certainly left a legacy—under her rule as the longest reigning female monarch in history, the British Empire was greatly expanded and significant industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military changes occurred within the United Kingdom. To be a young woman in a time when few other females held positions of power was to lead in a remarkable age—and because Queen Victoria kept personal journals, this historical novel from award-winning author Carolyn Meyer shares authentic emotional insight along with accurate information, weaving a true story of intrigue and romance.

Published by Paula Wiseman Books, January 1, 2013

Questions and Answers with Victoria Rebels’ author,

Carolyn Meyer

1. After writing about Queen Victoria, are there any leaders living today who you believe exemplify the qualities carolyn_182x228px-210she possessed? If so, who and why. If not, what made her unique?

Your question immediately prompted me to think about Hillary Clinton–even though you didn’t specify gender–for a number of reasons. Hillary has completely dedicated herself to public service, as Victoria did. She has matured into her role, as Victoria did. She has learned to navigate in a male-dominated world, as Victoria did. 

2. You stated that Queen Victoria “tries to please her unpleasable mother,” which is certainly the circumstances for many teens today. What is your advice to them?

I, too, am the daughter of an “unpleasable mother,” and my advice would be to learn how to negotiate these turbulent waters as well as you can and to retain a sense of who you are at your core. And then, finally, you must learn to forgive them. It took Victoria a long time to learn to do that–as it did me. 

3. You used Queen Victoria’s diaries to help construct some of the details for Victoria Rebels. With the Internet today, may young adults are chronicling their lives on social media sights [sites] such as Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest. Do you see any benefits to going back to keeping a diary? If so, what would they be?

Yes, I do, but it has more to do with developing self-discipline and self-reflection, as weirdly old-fashioned as that sounds, and I think it should be kept private. When I was a young girl, I had a diary with a tiny lock on it, and I was always afraid that someone–my mother!–would read my most secret thoughts. Now it seems, that need for inner privacy seems to have dwindled–even disappeared–and that’s a shame.

VictoriaRebels_cover4. I saw that your favorite job is writing, rewriting, and re-rewriting. Since you write historical fiction, I’m guessing that you also enjoy the research process? What tips do you have for writers who are interested in writing historical fiction and would you stray from “facts” or construct your novel around them?

You guess right! Research is the fun part, and it’s so much easier than writing! I use a combination of research methods–public and university libraries, the internet, and, if I can, traveling to visit the places I’m writing about. I’d advise others who want to write historical fiction to continue the research right up to the final draft and to pay special attention to accuracy. I never change known facts, but when I turn up contradictory facts (as happens as you go further back in history, to the Tudor era, for instance) I go with what works best for the narrative. In many novels I’ve invented characters–a servant is often a useful tool for conveying information–but I didn’t have to make up a single soul in Victoria’s story. They are all extremely well documented; all I had to do was set the scenes.

5. I love “My Writer’s Journal” http://www.readcarolyn.com/blog.htm and noticed in your December 31, 2010 entry that you were really struggling to get past the first line of Victoria Rebel. ” I hate Sir John Conroy.” Obviously, you got past those six weeks of writing and rewriting the first five pages. What was your process in moving forward and persevering? Did something change in your thinking? If so, what was it? Assuming that you were, at times, frustrated, how did you cope?

I just went back and looked at that entry, trying to remember what was in my head two years ago. Apparently I believed I had a really good opening line, but as you’ve noted, I didn’t quite know where to go with it. Eventually I sent the first draft off to the editor (I don’t think of it as a draft, mind you; I always think I’ve finished!); to my absolute horror, she wanted me to cut most of what I had written in the first chapter. She was right, and that got me moving forward more confidently. And I managed to keep the first line.

6. Of all the places you’ve traveled, which has most influenced your writing and why?

I’ve traveled a lot, and I’ve always gained insights, but the places that have most influenced me are the ones I’ve called home–Pennsylvania, where I grew up, and New Mexico, where I’ve lived for many years.

7. Do you ever just travel for fun or is it always connected to a book you’re writing? Where are you going next?

As a matter of fact, I’ve just come back from a trip that started in Paris and ended in Madrid with no particular goals in mind except to enjoy great museums and great food and to keep an eye open for new experiences. That’s going to be it for awhile.

Many thanks to Gabrielle from Modge Podge Blog Tours for including me in this tour.

VictoriaRebelsButtonBLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

19th Interview @ WhoRu Blog
20th Interview @ The Reader’s Antidote
21st Guest Blog @ Fantasy’s Ink
22nd Character Interview with John Conroy @ Pages From My Thoughts
25th Guest Blog @ Bibliophilia, Please!
26th Guest Blog @ Books Beside My Bed
27th Top Ten: The Victorian Age @ Moosubi Reads
28th Interview @ Beauty But A Funny Girl
1st Character Interview with Fidi @ Bookcase to Heaven
4th Interview @ Gobs and Gobs of Books
5th Guest Blog @ A Dream Within A Dream
6th Character Interview With Prince Albert @ I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
7th Guest Blog @ Stiletto Storytime
8th Interview @ Emily’s Crammed Bookshelf
11th Interview @ Movies In My Head
12th Top Ten: Victoria’s Favorites @ Curling Up With A Good Book
13th Character Interview With Victoria @ The Mod Podge Bookshelf

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