Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Cover Reveal: THE COLLECTOR'S DAUGHTER by Gill Paul

I'm excited to share with you today the cover of Gill Paul's new novel, THE COLLECTOR'S DAUGHTER: A Novel of the Discovery of Tutankhamun's Tomb. Gill is a masterful storyteller, and this novel promises to be a gripping read:

Bestselling author Gill Paul returns with a brilliant novel about Lady Evelyn Herbert, who grew up in Highclere Castle—the real Downton Abbey—and became the first person in modern times to enter the tomb of Ancient Egyptian king Tutankhamun. 


She is the daughter of the Earl of Carnarvon, brought up to make her society debut and follow it with a prestigious marriage. But popular and pretty Lady Evelyn Herbert has other ideas. First she falls for a man her mother doesn’t approve of, then she accompanies her father to Egypt, leaving behind the world of etiquette and chaperones to work alongside archeologist Howard Carter in the Valley of the Kings.


In November 1922 the extraordinary happens when they discover the burial place of Tutankhamun, packed full of gold and inconceivable riches. Eve is the first to crawl inside, the first person to see the treasures in three thousand years. She calls it the “greatest moment” of her life—but soon afterwards a string of tragedies leaves her world a darker, sadder place.


Newspapers claim it is “the curse of Tutankhamun.” Howard Carter says no rational person would entertain such nonsense. Fifty years later, an Egyptian academic comes asking questions about what really happened in the tomb in 1922. And that visit unleashes a new chain of events threatening Eve’s happy life, and making her wonder if there could be some truth behind the stories of an ancient curse.

Downton Abbey? Egypt? A female archeologist? King Tut? What more could a reader ask for?

THE COLLECTOR'S DAUGHTER will be published on September 7th in the US and Canada and September 30 in the UK. You can preorder the book here in the US and here in the UK. In the meantime, sign up for Gill Paul's newsletter.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Happy Birthday, Rosso!

Today is the 527th anniversary of the birth of the artist Giovanni Battista da Jacopo, known as Il Rosso Fiorentino (the Red-headed Florentine). Born on March 8, 1494, and trained in Florence, Rosso is considered a leading proponent of the Mannerist movement. Having made a name for himself in Rome, he was invited to France by François I in 1530 and spent the next decade as the French king's Director of Artistic Work. Rosso created numerous masterpieces for the king, as well as designing and staging the elaborate pageants and festivals François so loved. Rosso's artistic vision guided the expansion and decoration of the Château of Fontainebleau, François's favorite palace, culminating in the creation of the grande galerie, now known as the galerie François I. Rosso's best known extant work, the gallery boasts an ornate interplay of fresco, stucco statues and garlands, and carved wood paneling. The allegorical and mythological iconography of the frescoes, thought to extol the virtues of the king, still defies definitive interpretation even to this day. What is never questioned, however, is the fecund beauty of the gallery's exuberant abundance.  

Well-read and richly rewarded by King François, Rosso lived as a wealthy gentleman at Fontainebleau until his mysterious death, assumed to be a suicide, in 1540 at the age of 46. Together, Rosso and his chief rival, fellow Italian Francesco Primaticcio, transformed a once-decrepit hunting lodge into the showplace of France, a dwelling not only fit for kings but worthy of comparison with the most sumptuous Italian palazzos