Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Historical Novel Society's Review of TWO EMPRESSES

Here is the Historical Novel Society's review of TWO EMPRESSES:

Multiple vivid worlds exist within this story that begins on Martinique, the lush tropical island home of cousins Rose and Aimee, who are both young daughters of French plantation owners. Despite their quite different personalities, destiny looms large for each of them. The voodoo priestess they sneak out in the middle of the night to visit, reads their palms and presages that each girl will be an empress and live in a magnificent palace. Rose giddily embraces the prophecy and dismisses the warnings of sadness and despair that accompanied it, while Aimee disregards the fortune telling entirely.

The action moves to a wintery Paris when Rose arrives there for an arranged marriage with a handsome aristocrat. After he leaves her, Rose, reckless and spendthrift, shifts for herself in high society as a courtesan. Her star rises and falls with a series of lovers. However, even in prison during the French Revolution, she clings to believing she will be an empress. The reign of terror ends, and circumstances propel Rose toward her destiny through an introduction to Napoleon Bonaparte, who loves her obsessively and changes her name to Josephine.

Aimee, the younger cousin, attends convent school in Paris without ever seeing Rose. And when the revolution begins her worried parents insist she return home; her ship never reaches port. Instead, she ends up in Constantinople living in the exotic and treacherous environment of the Sultan of Turkey’s harem. Once she understands her circumstances, Aimee reflects on the prophecy, which manifests in a curious way when she becomes Nakshidil.

First-person narrative captures the dramatic whirl of activity and emotions that Josephine experiences, and conveys Nakshidil’s less impulsive but equally intense thoughts and feelings. This lavish, engrossing yarn embraces legend as well as fact.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Secrets of Lizzie Borden on True Book Addict's Best of 2016 List

THE SECRETS OF LIZZIE BORDEN is featured on the True Book Addict's Best of 2016 list. Check it out at

Thanks so much, Michelle!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Bobby's Kodak (1908) starring Robert "Bobby" Harron

As a longtime fan, and would-be biographer, of Bobby Harron, this is an exciting discovery for me. My research has revealed that his first starring role, the long presumed lost short film Bobby's Kodak (1908) does indeed still exist. The Library of Congress has a print, albeit of poor quality.

Unfortunately, obtaining a copy of the full film is beyond my means, but I was able to get these stills. My sincere thanks to the Library of Congress librarians and technicians for their help.

In this short film, Bobby plays a young boy who is given a camera, which he then uses to capture family members in some rather embarrassing situations.

Here are the stills I have as a Christmas treat I'd like to share with other Robert Harron fans.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Two Early Reviews of Two Empresses

RT Book Reviews:

 “Sweeping from a sultry West Indian island to glittering Paris ballrooms and war-torn Europe and then on to the luxurious harems of Turkey, Purdy entangles her characters in some of history’s most fascinating events. Fans of carefully researched women’s biographies will be thrilled as Purdy takes them into Napoleon’s France and the Ottoman Empire’s palaces. Readers will believe they are seeing, feeling and participating in two extraordinary women’s lives in this well-paced dual narrative. Positively captivating!--4 Stars”

Publishers Weekly:

Purdy (The Secrets of Lizzie Borden) brings two characters to life as she takes the reader back in time to the late 18th century. Fourteen-year-old Rose and seven-year-old Aimee are cousins living in Martinique in 1777. Rose dreams of marriage, and she is thrilled when she is chosen as Alexandre de Beauharnais’s wife and journeys to France to wed him. But their marriage is not a happy one, and when Alexandre leaves her for his mistress, she is forced to take lovers to ensure her survival. Aimee journeys to France to spend her formative years in a convent school only to have her ship captured by pirates on the trip back to Martinique. After Aimee is sold by the pirates to a Turkish sultan, she tries to adjust to life in the harem despite the other women’s dislike of her blond-haired, blue-eyed beauty. And Rose survives the tumultuous days of the French Revolution to become the object of affection for Napoleon, who reinvents her as his Josephine. Purdy deftly explores the lives of the two women with rich, vivid historical detail and a captivating, page-turning plot.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Two Empresses Available on Net Galley

TWO EMPRESSES is now available to book reviewers on Net Galley at

If you prefer reading a print copy, I have two Advance Reader Copies left, if you are a book reviewer and located in the USA, please email me if you would like one. First come, first serve.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Happy Birthday Tabby!

Tabby is nine years old today. Happy Birthday!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The LineUp's Special Anniversary Feature About THE SECRETS OF LIZZIE BORDEN

To mark the anniversary of the Borden Murders, The Lineup published an article about THE SECRETS OF LIZZIE BORDEN. The link is below, but a word of warning, it contains major spoilers. If you intend to read the book and don't want to know about the murders, please skip this one; I'm afraid it might spoil it for you.