Agnes Sorel Mistress of Beauty by HRH Princess Michael of Kent

Agnes Sorel

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review. This book is set to release on the 8th of September.

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Amazon Description:

The Queen of Four Kingdoms is dead. Agnès Sorel, her beautiful and innocent twenty-year-old maid of honour soon catches the attention of the mourning court. As a trusted confidant of the deceased Queen Yolande, and despite her shyness, Agnès captivates all whom she meets, but none more so than the King of France, Charles VII, twice her age.

Appointed a demoiselle to his wife, Queen Marie d’Anjou, Agnès finds herself firmly ensconced in the royal court, and in the midst of her duties slowly discovers a burgeoning love for the king that she can no longer refuse or deny. As their relationship deepens and Agnès’s gentle influence over the king is recognised, she is viewed with suspicion by the court. Plagued by guilt but unable to deny her feelings, Agnès is overwhelmed to find herself to be his first true love.  Her emotion clouds her good sense and she embarks on a dangerous expedition that will prove her undoing.

In this extraordinary historical novel, Princess Michael of Kent tells the little-known story of Agnès Sorel, the first official royal mistress at the court of France.  It was the king’s own mother-in-law, Queen Yolande who trained Agnès to help him once she was no more, to use her knowledge as much as her famous beauty, as the source of her power to guide him.

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The book starts on a sad note. Queen Yolande d’Aragon is dead. Rene, the queens son (second), is the next heir to the throne and he was too late to make it back home to see her before she perished. Queen Isabelle of Lorraine, Rene’s wife, is sad to have left her home in Naples. But we find out that she has several children buried there and that is what most of her sadness is, along with leaving two children behind. Agnes is Isabelle’s confidante and her maiden. While Queen Isabelle busies herself with mingling with guests who had already arrived for the funeral, Agnes stands at the doors and points everyone in the right direction.

Rene’s younger brother, Charles, arrives and we learn of a few important things. Rene was off trying to overthrow their cousin and was trying to gain rule of Sicily back, which they rightfully should be ruling. His father and other brother had both died trying to accomplish this as well. Their mother, Queen Yolande, had been funding his war even though she never approved of it. She was in contact with each of her children: Renee, Charles and their sister Marie. Not one of them had been with her when she passed away.

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This book tells the story of Agnes Sorel. When I read the description, I figured it was fiction and was a made up story. I didn’t realize until after I received the book and started reading it, that it is actually a biography. Even though I’m not a fan of biographies, I enjoyed reading this one and learning more. I will definitely be looking into the other books by the same author. This story of Agnes Sorel seems really personal and has more feelings in it versus all other biographies.

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$24.95 on Amazon

(This item is only available for pre-order at the moment.)

292 pages

Codename: Zosha: A Woman Fighter Against the Nazis (World War 2 Memories) by Yehudit Kafri

Codename Zosha

 

I received this book at a discounted price in exchange for an honest review.

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Amazon Description:

Her daring activity in the Red Orchestra and the heroic struggle in a Gestapo prison.

Zosha Poznanska was recruited into the Soviet spy network known as the Red Orchestra, which operated in Western Europe. It was on the eve of World Rar II and Zosha was part of the inner core of the network, a third of whose members were Jews. Apparently unaware of the Jews’ participation in the Red Orchestra, Hitler declared, “The Bolsheviks surpass us in one area alone: espionage!” and he commanded his counterspies to eradicate this network at all costs.

This book tells the story of Zosha through all the chapters of her short life: childhood, the Hashomer Hatzair youth movement in Poland, Eretz Israel and the PKP in the 1920s, Europe in the 1930s and the Red Orchestra. It tells her loves, her relationships with family and friends, her daring activity in the Red Orchestra and her heroic struggle in a Gestapo prison. The State of Israel posthumously awarded Zosha a medal of honor for fighting the Nazis.

Zosha Poznanska is an unsung Jewish heroine of World War II. Born in Kalisz Poland, she immigrated to Israel as a pioneer and for a brief time belonged to the group that founded Kibbutz Mishmar Ha’emek. Afterwards, she joined the Palestine Communist Party (Palestiner Kumunistishe Partie in Yiddish, abbreviated PKP), and from 1930 until her death she lived in France and Belgium.

˃˃˃ A prize for top literary achievement

The book is written as a biographical novel and relies on exhaustive research; all fictional passages are derived from and based on extensive documentation. It was awarded the 2004 prize for top literary achievement, by the Society of Authors, Composers and Music Publishers in Israel (ACUM).

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This was an eye opening book to read. We start out by vaguely hearing of Zosha and the author piecing together who she is and finally coming up with her name.

The author visits where Zosha’s family lived and is taking a “tour” with one of the family friends. They learn of Zosha’s family and how she grew up. Zosha’s mother wasn’t around. She was admitted to a clinic for postpartum depression and never recovered from it. In those times, affection was not openly shown. No hugs. No kisses. Nothing.

We learn of Zosha being an excellent student. Two years before she is to complete school, the first world war breaks out. On the same day, August 1st in 1914, the Germans entered Kalisz and ravaged the town within a month. Thirty-three jews were killed in that time. The town is pretty much barren and people leave for three years before returning. At first, they didn’t know what happened to the Posnanski family but when the schools open three years later, the entire family is back.

All this is just some background information leading up to the interesting parts of the book. This book is enlightening and heartbreaking at the same time. Definitely worth a read for those readers of World War books.

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439 pages

$3.99 on Kindle

The Essential Gluten-Free Grocery Guide by Triumph Dining

gluten

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review. It came in the actual paperback edition instead of Kindle.

I’m glad I came across this book. We’ve been trying to go gluten-free for a while now because we think gluten is what is causing some of my daughter’s health issues. Gluten is becoming one of the most common things to cause illness. I have a few friends who have Celiac disease and I know it is hard on them when something is marked gluten-free and it actually isn’t.

I was kinda skeptical when I signed up to review this book thinking it was going to be cheesy and it really wasn’t going to help at all. I figured, yeah the cover says 52,000 products but were there really going to be that many listed and is it going have the stores that I shop at in there? The answer to both of these questions was yes. I loved this book from the moment I started looking at it, realizing it was better than I thought it was going to be and a lot more helpful than I realized.

I love the way this book is set up. It is broken down into eleven different sections. Each section then is broken down further and each store lists the brand (whether it be store brand or name brand) and specific product that is gluten free. There are 52 THOUSAND products listed in this book. I couldn’t imagine going to the store and looking at multiple packages of items that are labeled as gluten-free when they really aren’t.

This book will DEFINITELY be staying around and will be making each shopping trip to the store with us. I would HIGHLY recommend getting this book. It might be an expensive book at $6 for Kindle or $24/$25 for paperback but I assure you, this book IS WORTH every penny.

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533 pages

Amazon Kindle: $5.99

Amazon Paperback: $23.95

Publisher’s site: $24.95