Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Romanian Translation of The Boleyn Wife Coming in 2015

My first Tudor novel, The Boleyn Wife, will be published in Romanian in early 2015. I will post more details, including cover art, when I have them.

From the back cover of the US edition:

Shy, plain Lady Jane Parker feels out of place in Henry VIII's courtly world of glamour and intrigue--until she meets the handsome George Boleyn. Overjoyed when their fathers arrange a match, her dreams of a loving union are waylaid when she meets George's sister, Anne. For George is completely devoted to his sister, and cold and indifferent to his bride. As Anne acquires a wide circle of admirers, including King Henry, Jane's resentment grows. But if becoming Henry's queen makes Anne the most powerful woman in England, it also makes her highly vulnerable. And as Henry, desperate for a male heir, begins to tire of his mercurial wife, the stage is set for the ultimate betrayal. . .

Encompassing the reigns of four of Henry's wives, from the doomed Anne to the reckless Katherine Howard, The Boleyn Wife is an unforgettable story of ambition, lust, and jealousy, of the power of love to change the course of history, and of the terrible price of revenge.

Announcement Regarding Book Reviews and Future Posts on This Blog

My Dear Readers,

I regret to announce that due to circumstances in my life I will not be able to post book reviews for the foreseeable future. I don't know if or when I will be able to resume. I've really enjoyed sharing my love of reading with you, and perhaps introducing you to some books you might not have found otherwise, but I don't want to disappoint anyone by missing a deadline or causing any delays of future publications. Being creative, dependable, and giving you new books to read, and hopefully enjoy, means so much to me, and in order to keep on doing that I need to let some things go, and the book reviews seem a logical choice.

This blog isn't going anywhere. All my past reviews will remain for anyone who would like to read them, and Tabby's pictures too; she's just turned seven and is still the love of my life. I will still be posting news about my work whenever I have it and there will be some giveaways coming up soon so please don't forget to stop by. 

October is going to be a busy month for me with the UK release of The Boleyn Bride, and The Ripper's Wife coming out in the USA just in time for Halloween. My virtual book tour for The Ripper's Wife begins October 27th; I'll be posting the schedule and I hope you will follow along. I'll also be posting reviews from other sources, so if you review the book and your blog is not part of the tour please feel free to send me a link. If you enjoy the book and are interested in hosting a giveaway or an interview about it let me know and I'll do my best. For those interested in foreign language editions, a Russian translation of The Queen's Pleasure should be out sometime in December, I'll share cover art and details when I have them. And I'm hard at work on a new novel, which I will tell you more about later. 

Since postings will be irregular, I urge you to use the Subscribe by Email feature to keep up with my news. If you are not familiar with it, there is a box in the right column of this blog, all you have to do is enter your email address then respond to an email confirmation in order to activate the subscription; it only takes a couple of minutes. If your spam filter is sensitive, you may need to add the address to your contacts. I have used this feature myself to follow several blogs and never received any spam or other unwanted emails as a result and I find it a convenient and easy way to keep up. 

I will also continue to update my website www.brandypurdy.com as needed. And you are always welcome to write to me. I love hearing from you.

Thank you for understanding.

Best Wishes,

Brandy Emily Purdy

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Great Early Review of The Ripper's Wife on Good Reads

This review was posted on goodreads.com When I wrote this novel I intended it to begin like a romance novel and then slowly turn into one of horror, so this review really stood out to me. Thank you underthesecovers for posting it.

"The story develops at a leisurely pace before getting into the nitty gritty. It is written like a romance novel turned worst nightmare. Brandy Purdy's poetic style of writing holds your hand through the horror. Her beautiful prose mixed with horrific detail makes for a change of pace in today's horror stories. It was reminiscent of Edgar Allen Poe's darker style of writing, elegant with raw horror. 

I enjoyed Florie's honest candor in relating her life with Jim. Her innocent, naive, girlish nature and how Purdy developed Florie's character's full circle. It was indeed a sweet escape, a glimpse into the past on creative license. With Brandy Purdy one can expect entertaining stories on a grand scale.

ARC copy courtesy Netgalley, uncorrected proof."

The Man in the Picture A Ghost Story by Susan Hill

On a cold, dark night an elderly professor decides to reveal the haunting truth behind an eighteenth century painting of a Venetian carnival scene to a former pupil. The picture, purchased at auction during his youth, has the power to captivate the living in a very sinister way.

After he acquired the picture, the professor was summoned to the estate of the elderly Countess of Hawdon. The picture should never have been in that auction in the first place, and she is desperate to reclaim it, because it is the last link to her husband. He was drawn into the picture, and can still been there, his face a mask of desperation and terror amongst the revelers.

The canvas, she claims, was cursed, by Clarissa, the woman Lawrence spurned when he fell in love with and married her. The bitter Clarissa was determined to exact her vengeance on Lawrence and his heirs. But how, and when, if ever, will the curse end?

I really enjoyed this little book, I actually enjoyed it much more than Ms. Hill’s more popular ghost story The Woman in Black; if you have read that book and found it a little ponderous or hard to get through due to its style, I encourage you to give this a try, you may like it better.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Publishers Weekly Reviews The Ripper's Wife

Purdy’s (The Boleyn Wife) latest is a dark recreation of London’s autumn of 1888, when Jack the Ripper terrorized Whitechapel. The novel begins as an affected and slightly overdone love story between the young, beautiful, and well-traveled American Florie Chandler and the English cotton merchant James Maybrick. However, their happy Liverpool home is not what it appears: Florie is friendless, regarded as opportunistic and fraudulent; the servants are in collusion, maliciously controlling the home and the children; and James is an adulterous arsenic addict and secret psychopath with a vicious, hair-trigger temper. When James discovers that Florie has a lover, he becomes the legendary Ripper, trolling for victims and murdering by “proxy” in order not to kill Florie, his children’s mother. Raging with jealously and delusions, James descends deeper into madness. The violent beatings James give Florie are disturbing, calling forth a time when physical abuse was winked at and used to make women “behave.” Ill and remorseful, James confesses to Florie through his diary. Events move quickly toward the end, with a sensational trial, imprisonment, poverty, and seclusion. Purdy’s story has suspense, complex characters, and the requisite gore of a recycled Ripper. – Publishers Weekly

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Lemon Orchard by Luanne Rice

It has been five years since Julia visited her aunt and uncle in Malibu, California, during those absent years she has been devastated by the deaths of her teenage daughter and her estranged husband. Now she accepts an invitation to housesit, at the beautiful red-tile roofed colonial nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains. She welcomes the time with her aging dog, Bonnie, in this peaceful atmosphere while her relatives in are in Ireland, but doesn't reckon on discovering a mutual attraction with the handsome Mexican man, Roberto, who faithfully tends the lemon orchard. 

Roberto has experienced his share of sorrows too, including a literally lost daughter. Six-year-old Rosa vanished during an illegal border crossing. Julia becomes determined to reunite the grieving father with his little girl, but will their reunion mean that she will lose her new-found love?

I had never read a book by this author before, though I understand she is quite popular and prolific, the title grabbed me at a time when I had lemons on my mind. I love the scent of lemons, it's one of the few things I find that successfully soothes my sinuses without making me feel like a zombie in lead shoes with a sopping wet cotton ball for a brain the way most sinus and allergy medications do. But back to the book...this was a bittersweet read with an ending that isn't really an ending; it leaves you dangling, possibly so the reader can envision whatever they would like most.

Until She Comes Home by Lori Roy

In 1958 the peace of a quiet, suburban neighborhood is abruptly shattered when a young, mentally challenged woman vanishes. But everything is not quiet so Better Homes and Gardens magazine perfect as it seems, below the surface Detroit simmers with racial tension and the pot is about to boil over. Black prostitutes expose themselves to tempt the men outside the factory where they work on payday, causing their wives no end of worry, about money and fidelity.

The women who people the pages of this novel all seem like perfect wives, they never leave the house less than perfectly dressed, even if its just to go get a loaf of bread, they belong to church and charity committees, preside graciously over backyard barbeques, card parties, coffee, and cocktails, and devote themselves to their husbands’ comfort.  But each one has her problems and secrets.

Angelic Grace is pregnant with her first child. Her best friend, the voluptuous, button-bursting bosomed Julia still mourns the baby girl she lost even as she cares for her twin nieces. Stylish Malina, the factory boss’s wife, is the queen of the St. Alban’s Church bake sell, the epitome of white-gloved pill-box hat elegance, conceals with a smile the domestic abuse and adultery that mar her “perfect” marriage. And lastly, there is the vulnerable Elizabeth, a child trapped in a woman’s body, unable to dress herself or use money, and with a distressing habit of wandering.

After a young black woman is murdered, and Elizabeth vanishes while walking home from Grace’s house, her neighbors fear that she has met a similar fate. While the menfolk exhaustively scour the area, their wives cope as best they can.

After having read Ms. Roy’s highly praised first novel Bent Road I have to admit I wasn’t all that impressed, I didn’t see what all the fuss was about, and gave it a rather lackluster review on this blog. I bought this novel based on the plot without realizing it was by the same author until I got it home and saw the cover, and I’m so glad I did otherwise I might passed. I consider this novel a vast improvement and the story much more intense and gripping. It held my attention and interest through every page and I highly recommend it.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Ripper's Wife Available on Net Galley

For book bloggers who like to use Net Galley, The Ripper's Wife is now available at https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/show/id/53495

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Happy Seventh Birthday Tabby! And A Gift for You--A Giveaway! Win a Copy of The Ripper's Wife

Tabby: I know this is last year's dress, but it matches my cake so well!

It's Tabby's seventh birthday and she would like to give some gifts as well as receive them. Since my seventh novel, The Ripper's Wife, is soon to be released this seems like perfect timing for a giveaway. So Tabby is going to give away two copies, and I'll sign and mail them. To enter, leave a birthday comment for Tabby and make sure to include your email address. US residents only; I'm sorry, I cannot ship outside the USA. Tabby will pick the winners on September 27th. Want some extra entries? Post a link to this giveaway on your blog, Facebook, or Twitter, and get an extra entry for each.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

RT Book Reviews Gives The Ripper's Wife Four Stars

“Purdy takes the supposition that Jack the Ripper was really English cotton merchant James Maybrick and turns it into a gripping story of a man’s descent into madness and a woman’s emotional journey to murder. Purdy slowly lures the reader into these characters’ minds in a dark and compelling way as they fall into depression, drug addiction, unhappiness and violence. Fascinating reading for anyone intrigued by Jack the Ripper.”– RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Lotions, Potions, And Deadly Elixirs Frontier Medicine In America by Wayne Bethard

While researching The Ripper's Wife I had to do some research about the fascinating history of patent medicines and I was pleased to discover this wonderful book, written by an actual pharmacist. It is scholarly, lighthearted, and entertaining all at the same time, and filled with amusing anecdotes and stories, like a real life Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman who wore her hair short, gave birth to fifteen children, and wore as a good luck charm a necklace made from the bullets she removed form her patients. Then there's Benjamin Franklin's well-intentioned attempt to make flatulence smell like violets via the ingestion of turpentine pills. There are tales of traveling medicine shows and numerous examples of their colorful advertisements and an eighty-three-year-old woman who consulted a doctor about unbearable cramps only to discover that she was carrying a calcified fetus--the sad result of an ectopic pregnancy she had  unknowingly suffered as a teen.

The book also contains a lengthy, conveniently alphabetized, section with entries on various remedies, including herbs and drugs, that were in common use from the eighteen into the twentieth century.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Pharmakon by Dirk Wittenborn

Pharmakon is a Greek word that can mean either cure or poison, and that’s a very apt description for Dr. Friedrich’s wonder drug that figured in these pages.

It’s 1951 and the brilliant neuropsychopharmacologist Dr. William T. Friedrich is a thirty-three-year-old untenured professor slaving away in the psychology department at Yale. He’s a man who has devoted his life to the study of unhappiness. After inventing a scale used to measure the progress of mental patients, to determine whether their condition is improving or deteriorating, he was snapped up by Yale. While his career shows promise, privately he is saddened by what the statistics show—remarkably few people with mental problems show any significant improvement after embarking upon treatment. Dr. Friedrich wants desperately to change this, and his red-headed colleague Dr. Bunny Winton, the first female psychiatrist at Yale, might hold the key.

Dr. Winton spent time in New Guinea where she discovered that the shaman of the Bagadon tribe fermented Kwina leaves, brewing a drink the natives took called Gai Kau Dong, or “The Way Home,” to imbibe after enduring stressful events or experiencing depression. Dr. Friedrich and Dr. Winton believe that these special leaves may hold the key, if they can isolate the psychoactive ingredients, they might be able to make a pill that will markedly improve the treatment of depression.

As their research and experiments progress, they advertise for human volunteers. Amongst these human guinea pigs is a young man named Casper, a pimple-faced geek with poor people skills; Dr. Friedrich’s wife persuades him to include Casper in the test after the young man, despondent over a lost love, attempts suicide. The drug has a miraculous effect on Casper, he becomes confident, his appearance improves, he makes friends, and gets a job as a bartender at a yacht club. But the drug has an unforeseen effect, Casper loses the capacity for empathy, his ego swells, and he becomes an unrepentant social climber who thinks nothing of using people, even friends, to get what he wants.

After the trial ends and the drug is withdrawn, Casper falls apart, he becomes paranoid, begins keeping a “Death List” and he’s serious about it, he actually kills Dr. Winton and possibly Dr. Friedrich’s little boy, Jack (it’s uncertain whether his death was murder or an accident).

Casper is sent to a high security mental hospital and Dr. Friedrich and his family try to start over again. They relocate to New Jersey and he takes work as a consultant for a drug company developing antidepressants. But they can never escape the ghost of Casper, eventually he escapes and comes after them.

Ironically, it is Casper’s escape and capture that rejuvenates Dr. Friedrich’s marriage and family life. The rest of the book, which follows the family from 1951 to 1994, tells the story of the children’s sibling rivalries and how their father alienated each one of them. His daughter rejects a career in psychology and instead runs off to work at a poor orphanage in Morocco.  She marries a British surf bum who ironically turns out to be a millionaire; his eldest son, a jock track star, turns out to be gay and moves to Italy to study art; while the youngest dabbles in drugs all the while keeping up the appearance of being a star student, he goes on to become a successful screenwriter but loses it all to drugs when he becomes a full-blown addict.

I enjoyed this book, tying in the story of drug developments to fight the battle against depression kept this from being what might otherwise have been just another dysfunctional family saga.  This is also a good novel for those interested in the history of science and medicine, especially the drug industry. It's one of those novels that you can read, enjoy the fictional story, and also feel like you learned something.