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Welcome to my attempt at blogging. I am a true to heart bibliophile. Here I will discuss and review books as I read them. You are welcome to do the same. The only rules are no profanity, no politics, no religion, and have fun!

Thursday, December 3, 2015


A few days ago, I featured the book THE CONQUEROR'S WIFE, by Stephanie Thornton (One of my ALL TIME favorite authors).  Today we have the privilege of having a guest post by Ms. Thornton.  So,  welcome Stephanie... and a special thank you to Amy Bruno of Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for allowing me to be part of this tour and for introducing me to the fabulous works of Stephanie Thornton.

It’s said that behind every strong man is a strong woman.

Well, there was a veritable army of fearsome (and sometimes downright terrifying) women flanking Alexander the Great.

The first, his mother Olympias, reputedly slept with snakes and eventually helped govern Macedon while Alex was off campaigning at the ends of the earth. Before Alexander became king, his father had threatened to make a younger son by a lesser wife his heir. Strangely enough, Philip soon dropped dead of an assassin’s blade and even more shocking, Olympias later congratulated and crowned that same assassin. People suspected Olympias’ involvement in the murder, but her son now sat on the throne so it wasn’t as if anyone was going to put her on trial. And if you can get away with murder once…

Well, let’s just say Olympias was the original Tiger Mom.

Next we have Roxana, Alexander’s Persian wife. It might come down to a coin toss to see who was more devious and cruel: Olympias or Roxana. Lovely Roxana was the daughter of a minor Persian noble and caught Alexander’s eye after he stormed the fortress at Sogdian Rock. The two were soon married and eventually Roxana birthed Alexander’s one and only legitimate son. (Too bad Alexander had dropped dead only months before, thus ushering in a bloody civil war.) Perhaps in a quest to outdo even Olympias’ brutality, Roxana was willing to commit any crime to keep her power.

Pretty, young Roxana could have given Lizzie Borden a run for her money.

Finally we have Thessalonike, Alexander’s sister. Ancient sources are fairly silent until Thessalonike made a power marriage, but she was daughter to one king, sister to another, and wife to a third. Her mother died shortly after her birth, leaving her to be raised by Olympias. (Poor unfortunate soul!) Yet rather than let her evil stepmother scar her for life, Thessalonike seemed to have learned political maneuvering at Olympias’ elbow. She bided her time until after Alexander’s death and helped quell the raging civil war as everyone fought for control of Alex’s empire. She went on to bear three sons and have a city, Thessaloniki, named after her.

So what’s the moral of the story if you’re mother, sister, or wife to one of the world’s greatest conquerors?

Be ready to play dirty, or hide on the sidelines until everyone else is dead.

Don't miss these other exciting novels by STEPHANIE THORNTON

The Secret History: A Novel of Empress Theodora
by Stephanie Thornton 

Where Theodora went, trouble followed…

In sixth century Constantinople, one woman, Theodora, defied every convention and all the odds, and rose from being a common theater tart to become empress of a great kingdom, the most powerful woman the Roman Empire would ever know. But the woman whose image was later immortalized in glittering mosaic was, in fact, a scrappy, clever, conniving, flesh-and-blood woman full of sensuality and spirit whose real story is as surprising as any ever told…

When her father dies suddenly, Theodora and her sisters face starvation on the streets. Determined to survive, Theodora makes a living any way she can—first on her back with every man who will have her, then on the stage of the city’s infamous amphitheater in a scandalous dramatization of her own invention. When her daring performance grants her a back-door entry into the halls of power, she seizes the chance to win a wealthy protector—only to face heartbreak and betrayal. 

Ever resilient, Theodora rises above such trials and by a twist of fate, meets her most passionate admirer yet: the Emperor’s nephew. She will thrive as his confidant and courtesan, but many challenges lie ahead. For one day, this man will hand her a crown. And all the empire will wonder—is she bold enough, shrewd enough, and strong enough to keep it?

Daughter of the Gods: A Novel of Ancient Egypt
by Stephanie Thornton 

Egypt, 1400s BC. The pharaoh’s pampered second daughter, lively, intelligent Hatshepsut, delights in racing her chariot through the marketplace and testing her archery skills in the Nile’s marshlands. But the death of her elder sister, Neferubity, in a gruesome accident arising from Hatshepsut’s games forces her to confront her guilt...and sets her on a profoundly changed course.

Hatshepsut enters a loveless marriage with her half brother, Thut, to secure his claim to the Horus Throne and produce a male heir. But it is another of Thut’s wives, the commoner Aset, who bears him a son, while Hatshepsut develops a searing attraction for his brilliant adviser Senenmut. And when Thut suddenly dies, Hatshepsut becomes de facto ruler, as regent to her two-year-old nephew.

Once, Hatshepsut anticipated being free to live and love as she chose. Now she must put Egypt first. Ever daring, she will lead a vast army and build great temples, but always she will be torn between the demands of leadership and the desires of her heart. And even as she makes her boldest move of all, her enemies will plot her downfall....

The Tiger Queens: The Women of Genghis Khan
by Stephanie Thornton 

In the late twelfth century, across the sweeping Mongolian grasslands, brilliant, charismatic Temujin ascends to power, declaring himself the Great, or Genghis, Khan. But it is the women who stand beside him who ensure his triumph.... 

After her mother foretells an ominous future for her, gifted Borte becomes an outsider within her clan. When she seeks comfort in the arms of aristocratic traveler Jamuka, she discovers he is the blood brother of Temujin, the man who agreed to marry her and then abandoned her long before they could wed.

Temujin will return and make Borte his queen, yet it will take many women to safeguard his fragile new kingdom. Their daughter, the fierce Alaqai, will ride and shoot an arrow as well as any man. Fatima, an elegant Persian captive, will transform her desire for revenge into an unbreakable loyalty. And Sorkhokhtani, a demure widow, will position her sons to inherit the empire when it begins to fracture from within.

In a world lit by fire and ruled by the sword, the tiger queens of Genghis Khan come to depend on one another as they fight and love, scheme and sacrifice, all for the good of their family...and the greatness of the People of the Felt Walls.

The Conqueror's Wife: A Novel of Alexander the Great
by Stephanie Thornton 

We are the women who loved Alexander the Great. We were lovers and murderers, innocents and soldiers.
And without us, Alexander would have been only a man.
Instead he was a god.

330s, B.C.E., Greece: Alexander, a handsome young warrior of Macedon, begins his quest to conquer the ancient world. But he cannot ascend to power, and keep it, without the women who help to shape his destiny.

His spirited younger half-sister, Thessalonike, yearns to join her brother and see the world. Instead, it is Alexander's boyhood companion who rides with him into war while Thessalonike remains behind. Far away, crafty princess Drypetis will not stand idly by as Alexander topples her father from Persia's throne. And after Alexander conquers her tiny kingdom, Roxana, the beautiful and cunning daughter of a minor noble, wins Alexander’s heart…and will commit any crime to secure her place at his side.

Within a few short years, Alexander controls an empire more vast than the civilized world has ever known. But his victories are tarnished by losses on the battlefield and treachery among his inner circle. And long after Alexander is gone, the women who are his champions, wives, and enemies will fight to claim his legacy…

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