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Showing posts by: Elizabeth Kerri Mahon click to see Elizabeth Kerri Mahon's profile
Jul 3 2011 11:45am

More Solitude, or Why There Need to be More Hermits in Regency Romance

Not this kind of hermit, think bigger and better lookingWhile watching the PBS series Regency House Party for the umpteenth time (it’s comfort viewing for me), I was struck again by the character of the hermit, embodied in the handsome physique of one Zebedee Helm (even his name sounds romantic).

The young ladies of the house found him just as fascinating as I did, particularly Miss Francesca Martins, Mrs. Roger’s companion. Instead of spending her time in the house trying to find a respectable suitor, she spent most of her free time at the hermit’s hut. Suddenly it dawned on me: Why aren’t there more hermits in Regency romances?

[But that is just crazy, or is it...]

May 22 2011 11:00am

Harlequin Presents: My Secret Love

The Billionaire’s Bride of Innocence by Miranda LeeWhen I was about ten or eleven years old I discovered Harlequin Presents in the racks of book at Woolworth's (remember them?). And then I couldn't stop. I used to devour them the way I still devour Twizzlers (Seriously, if I have a bag I can't eat just one, especially chocolate Twizzlers).

Harlequin Presents were the first romances that I ever read, and I confess, I read them primarily because there was a hint of sex in them. Each month, I would take my allowance, go down to the bookstore, and buy the entire line of books which were about six a month, even back then. I liked Janet Dailey's books because she was the only author at the time that was American. She set each of her Harlequin Presents in a different state, eventually ending up in the Guinness Book of World Records for her feat.

[Travel within...]

May 14 2011 12:08pm

MI-5 Spooks, Season 8, Ep 8 Recap: Season Finale!

Richard Armitage in MI-5/SpooksFinally we're at the last episode in Season 8 of MI-5, the British espionage show starring Richard Armitage and Peter Firth. We've already run recaps of MI-5 Season 8, Episode 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. If you continue, however, acknowledge to yourself that we will spoil you.

[Spoilage ahead!...]

May 4 2011 11:00am

Scandalous Women: New Excerpt

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon

Scandalous Women: The Lives and Loves of History’s Most Notorious Women by Elizabeth Kerri Mahon

An exclusive excerpt from Scandalous Women: The Lives and Loves of History's Most Notorious Women (Now Available) by Elizabeth Kerri Mahon.

Throughout history women have caused wars, defied the rules, and brought men to their knees. The famous and the infamous, queens, divorcées, actresses, and outlaws have created a ruckus during their lifetimes-turning heads while making waves. Scandalous Women tells the stories of the risk takers who have flouted convention, beaten the odds, and determined the course of world events....


Anne Boleyn

I never wished to choose the King in my heart.
—Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn is probably one of the most maligned queens in English history. During her lifetime, she was considered an enchantress who seduced Henry VIII through witchcraft; she was accused of having a sixth finger and a third breast; she was called “the concubine” or worse. Historians since then have been divided about Anne’s true nature and motives. Was she the instrument of an ambitious family that craved power above all else, or was she a devout evangelical Christian who believed that God had put her on earth to lead England toward the true religion? By capturing the heart of Henry VIII she set in motion the action that changed the course of English history.

[Log in or register to read the full excerpt...]

May 4 2011 9:30am

One Nation Under Sex: Presidential Peccadilloes Revealed!

One Nation under Sex by Larry Flynt and David EisenbachLarry Flynt and David Eisenbach

One Nation under Sex: How the Private Lives of Presidents, First Ladies and Their Lovers Changed the Course of American History

Palgrave Macmillan (Now Available)

The colorful sex lives of America’s most powerful leaders have influenced social movements, government policies, elections and even wars, yet they are so whitewashed by historians that people think Thomas Jefferson and Abe Lincoln were made of marble, not flesh and blood. But the truth is about to come out. In One Nation Under Sex, Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt teams up with Columbia University history professor David Eisenbach to peek behind the White House bedroom curtains and document how hidden passions have shaped public life. They unpack salacious rumors and outright scandals, showing how private affairs have driven pivotal decisions—often with horrific consequences. Along the way, they explore the origins of America’s fascination with sex scandals and explain how we can put aside out political moralism and begin focusing on the real problems that threaten our nation.

[Deal with real problems? We'd vote for that!...]

May 1 2011 2:00pm

MI-5 Spooks, Season 8, Ep 7 Recap

Richard Armitage in MI-5

And it comes to this—the penultimate episode in Season 8 of MI-5, the British espionage show starring Richard Armitage and a whole bunch of other people with awesome British accents. You can view the recaps of MI-5 Season 8, Episode 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 also. Be warned—Spoilers ahead, and Spoilers aplenty!

[Okay, we've been warned. Does anyone die?...]

Apr 23 2011 2:00pm

MI-5 Spooks, Season 8, Ep 6 Recap

The Cast of MI-5/SpooksSeason 8 of the British espionage show MI-5 continues in episode 6, with the usual mayhem associated with the series: Long-running characters being offed, others being traitors, lots of murky bits inbetween right and wrong. So if you like Richard Armitage and high-stakes action drama, we've got it covered. MI-5 is available on DVD and Netflix, et al, but not shown on any networks. So far, we've done episode 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Episode 6 continues . . . now!

[Spoilers ahead!...]

Apr 17 2011 2:00pm

MI-5 Spooks, Season 8, Ep 5 Recap

MI-5 CastWe're recapping the BBC series Spooks (titled MI-5 over here) because we like Richard Armitage, espionage series, and British accents. (See episode 1, episode 2, episode 3, and episode 4 recaps by clicking on the appropriate hyperlink.)

[The story thus far continues in Episode 5—spoilers ahead!...]

Apr 6 2011 5:00pm

MI-5 Spooks, Season 8, Ep 4 Recap

The Cast of MI-5/Spooks Season 8If you like British espionage shows, Richard Armitage, and the Queen's English, you might want to queue up the MI-5 series (known as Spooks in the U.K). We're doing recaps of Season 8 (available on DVD and Netflix, et al, but not shown on any networks), and have done episode 1, 2, and 3 thus far. Because we like British espionage shows, Richard Armitage, and the Queen's English.

[Spoilers ahead!...]

Apr 3 2011 8:30pm

Passion and Poetry: Jane Campion’s Bright Star

Bright Star film poster

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art—

Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night

And watching, with eternal lids apart,

Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,

The moving waters at their priestlike task

Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,

Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask

Of snow upon the mountains and
the moors—

No—yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,

Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,

To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,

Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,

Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,

And so live ever—or else swoon to death.

—John Keats, “Bright Star”

Some of the most beautiful poetry in the English language has been inspired by star-crossed lovers. Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning, William Butler Yeats and Maude Gonne, Shakespeare and the Dark Lady of the Sonnets to name but a few. But no story is more poignant than that of poet John Keats (1795-1821) and Fanny Brawne (1800-1865). His love for her inspired some of his most famous poetry;  she was his “bright star.”


Apr 1 2011 3:00pm

Team Heathcliff or Team Rochester?: Choose Your Favorite Bronte Hero

Timothy Dalton as Heathcliff in Wuthering HeightsYet another reason to be glad there's a new version of Jane Eyre: a good excuse to pledge our allegiance. Because when it comes to the Bronte sisters, most people are either on Team Rochester or on Team Heathcliff.

On the surface, Rochester and Heathcliff have a lot in common: Both are dark, brooding men with secrets who do questionable things, both fall in love with women of a different social class.

But on closer examination, there is one big difference between the two men:  Heathcliff, as far as I'm concerned, is a dick or a demon—take your pick.

I know there are women out there who will disagree with me, who think that Heathcliff and Cathy are soul mates, but Cathy picks conformity and safety in the form of Edgar Linton over the passionate, animalistic passion she feels for Heathcliff. Whatever! Heathcliff is not only verbally abusive to Edgar's sister Isabella, whom he marries after Cathy dies, but he also takes out his anger on a whole new generation, including his own son, at which point I was done with both Heathcliff and the book.

[Moving on...]

Mar 20 2011 2:00pm

MI-5 Spooks, Season 8, Ep 3 Recap

MI-5 CastEpisode 3 (see recaps of MI-5 Season 8 Episode 1 here and Episode 2 here) opens with Section D monitoring a meeting of the exclusive and powerful Bendorf group, made up of the eight richest men in the world and taking place at Sir Robin Ashenden’s (Thomas Lockyer) mansion in Hampstead. When hottie Tariq remarks he thought the Bendorf Group was just a conspiracy theory, Harry informs him that their meetings dictate policy for half the governments on the planet. Way to deliver a smackdown, Harry. Ros is sent undercover as part of the security team. As she is planting a bug in the conference room, a routine operation becomes a life-or-death situation when a group of armed terrorists take everyone hostage. One of the billionaires, Leon Gevitsky (Rod Culbertson), is grabbed at his home by a terrorist group, betrayed by his niece Nina (Antonia Campbell-Hughes), who is a member of the group.

Ros informs Section D what is going on before losing her wire, cutting off contact with the Grid. The hostages, including Ros, are taken down to an underground bunker. The terrorists quickly disable the elevator so that they control it, and they rig the bunker with explosives. Harry sends Lucas and Jo in to assess the situation and when they arrive at the scene they discover a lot of dead bodies—but no sign of Ros and the billionaires. Lucas finds Ros’ wire on the ground.

[Just another day at the office . . .]

Mar 13 2011 2:00pm

MI-5 Spooks, Season 8, Ep 2 Recap


still here? Okay, then:

Ruth (Nicola Walker) and Harry (Peter Firth, who is not related to Colin) are having a very tense conversation while out for a stroll on the Millennium Bridge. She is still not in a forgiving mood after that whole George-getting-killed incident in the last episode, not even when Harry promises to sort out her status. Ooh, Ruth's just admitted that she and George were never married, and that poor Niko, who is probably traumatized and will need years of therapy, has gone back to live with relatives. When Harry asks if Ruth will be going back to Cyprus, Ruth snarkily replies that there is nothing left for her there, and she wouldn't exactly be welcomed. Harry says that he is trying, but Ruth isn't buying what he's selling. Poor Harry—I kind of feel sorry for the guy. It can't be easy having his job.

There's a new cutie-patootie named Tariq (Shazad Latif) on the grid, replacing Malcolm, and Mama likes! Although he may not have this job very long if he keeps wearing t-shirts to work. MI-5 apparently doesn't have a dress-casual policy, not even for IT guys.

[No Casual Fridays at MI-5? What a shame . . .]

Mar 1 2011 12:00pm

MI-5 Spooks, Season 8, Ep 1 Recap

MI-5 Volume 8 DVD artAt the end of the previous series, Harry had offered himself to FSB Agent Victor Sarkisian (Peter Sullivan) instead of Lucas, only to find himself kidnapped and stuffed into the trunk of a car. Now Victor lets Harry know that he's going to sell him to the highest bidder. He also tells him that he should be proud of the high price he's going to fetch. Right, like that's every MI-5 agent's dream. Yippee! A group of what look like black ops guys break into the mansion where Harry is being kept. Uh-oh, false alarm: Sarkisian informs Harry that he's not being rescued after all, but the highest bidder has decided that he doesn't want to pay the money after all. Harry is shocked to discover that the bidder is an old friend from the Indian Intelligence Bureau, Amish Mani (Ace Bhatti). Mani pulls a gun on Harry and a shot rings out just as the opening credits begin to roll. Could Harry be dead? They wouldn't pull a stunt like that at the beginning of the episode, would they? Torturing the audience as the team tries to find Harry's killer? The BBC couldn't be that cruel, could it?

[The suspense! . . .]