Happy Valentine’s Day!

As readers of historical fiction, we know that the past can reveal a lot about the future. For example, I know from previous years that Valentine’s Day is an excuse for me to eat too much chocolate. Sound familiar?

This year I’m vowing to curl up with my Italian Greyhound, Audrey, and a good a book rather than a box of candy. If you’d like to join me (with the books, not with Audrey!), here is a look at what is new this month at Crown/Three Rivers Press.

Thanks to photographer Amanda Jones, author of the upcoming Clarkson Potter title A Breed Apart for this month's portrait!

Happy reading . . .

Allison McCabe,
Senior Editor

Featured Title: The Perfect Royal Mistress

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"Conjures the drama and intrigue of Restoration England and brings pretty, witty Nell Gwynne — the perfect royal mistress — to life!"

—Susan Johnson,
New York Times bestselling author


The Perfect Royal Mistress

By Diane Haeger
February 2007

Nell Gwynne was raised in a brothel, gained fame on the stage, and became the favorite mistress of a king.

Seventeenth Century, London. The city has been devastated by the plague and the Great Fire. A woman from a troubled background gets a chance to perform on stage — and becomes a sensation.

As she quickly ascends the social ladder she becomes a target for the aristocracy. She wins the love of King Charles II, and learns quickly who she can trust — and who she can never turn her back on.

Reading Group Guide

Flapper For the non fiction lover, Flapper whisks readers from the Alabama country club where Zelda Sayre first caught the eye of F. Scott Fitzgerald to Muncie, Indiana, where would-be flappers begged their mothers for silk stockings, to the Manhattan speakeasies where patrons partied till daybreak. Historian Joshua Zeitz brings the 20’s to exhilarating life. With its heady cocktail of storytelling and big ideas, Flapper is a dazzling look at the women who launched the first truly modern decade and heralded a radical change in American culture.

Waiting for the Tudors?
The Lady in the Tower Murder Most Royal

Have you seen the promo on Showtime for The Tudors? It airs April 1st, and I can hardly wait to watch it. We have some wonderful books about the Tudors: The Lady in the Tower is the story of Anne Boleyn, while Murder Most Royal looks at Henry VIII's court from the points of view of both Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard.

Love in the
21st Century

Flapper Here are fifty of the most revealing, stirring essays from the New York Times’s popular “Modern Love” column — from a young woman who wryly describes a relationship that races from start to finish almost entirely via text messages, to a mother who guiltily confesses to cherishing her husband more than her children. For anyone who’s loved, lost, stalked an ex, or made a lasting connection, Modern Love is the perfect match.

Featured Author: Q&A with Judith Merkle Riley

Judith Merkle Riley is a professor of political science and the author of the Margaret of Ashbury trilogy. She lives in Claremont, California.

What gave you the idea to write this trilogy?

I didn’t originally plan to write a trilogy. I started a novel about ordinary women in the fourteenth century: A Vision of Light. When I was finished, I felt as awful as if I’d been to a funeral — Margaret and her friends were gone! Then I realized I could have them back by writing a sequel . . .

What inspired you while writing The Water Devil?

I was fascinated by the legends of holy springs that are in many ways the foundation of our modern superstitions (wishing wells, for example.) Since each Margaret book explores a facet of medieval culture, I thought it would be interesting to have her deal with a spring that actually did have a mysterious being at the bottom of it, as people believed then.

Read the whole trilogy, available now from Three Rivers Press:

A Vision Light A Vision Light
May 2006

The bestselling novel that introduces Margaret of Ashbury, a medieval woman with a sly sense of humor and a miraculous gift of healing.


In Pursuit of the Green Lions In Pursuit of the Green Lion
October 2006

Margaret, now a resourceful midwife, is living with the insufferable relatives of her third husband, Gilbert de Vilers. When he is captured in France and held for ransom, Margaret plans a daring rescue — resulting in a wild romp across fourteenth-century Europe.


The Water Devil The Water Devil
January 2007

Favorite characters return, the stakes are high, and the air is thick with intrigue and danger. The Water Devil is a high-spirited adventure that brings Margaret’s odyssey to a satisfying conclusion. Reading Group Guide