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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Pataki Not the Governor

Good Morning Readers,

I decided to switch things  up today and share with you a new author I have fallen in love with...Allison Pataki.  She has a famous last name, and that is because she is the daughter of former New York State governor, George Pataki! One would expect that this little gal would be involved in politics, but clearly she has a great talent for writing.

The first book I read by her was her debut novel, The Traitor's Wife.  This is the story of Peggy Shippen, the wife of Benedict Arnold.  Though the story is fiction, it is heavily based on historical facts and populated with real historical characters. I'm a big fan of the Revolutionary period of American history, so this book was already right in my wheel house.  Ms. Pataki, however, managed to bring new insights into one of the greatest betrayals in our country's history.  The saying goes that behind every great man is a great woman, well, this doubly applies to Peggy Shippen, only I'd change the saying:  "Behind every wicked man is and even more wicked woman"!!!  That poor man was lead around by his nose by this devastaingly beautiful, greedy dame.  Now, I'm not absolving Benedict of all blame because he certainly had free will and a weak moral character, but Peggy most definately was a huge influence. I won't give away any more details, but I highly recommend you pick up a copy of The Traitor's Wife; it's a thoroughly enjoyable read.  Learn more about Allison Pataki and her debut novel, and even watch a video of Allison's thoughts about Peggy Shippen by clicking here.

One of the cool things about revolutionary historical fiction is that much of the action took place right here in good old New Jersey.  That's the case with The Traitor's Wife.  Though a good part of the story is in Phili, if you want to see the home of Peggy Shippen it's just a quick car ride to Burlington county. Click here to read more about the Shippen house and for directions... a fun and interesting day trip idea.  PS.  I think the book is being made into a movie soon.  Can't wait!

The second book that I read by Allison Pataki was The Accidental Empress.  This too, is historical fiction by genre, but the time period is not Revolutionary America. The story is set across the Atlantic in 1853 in the luxurious Austro-Hungarian Empire. The main character is the spunky, young duchess of Bavaria, Elizabeth, affectionately known as "Sisi". The story follows Sisi from her provencial upbringing in Bavaria, to the stunning glamour of the Austrian court of the Habsburg Empire as she marries the emperor, Franz Joseph.  Sisi is a much more admirable character than Peggy Shippen for sure, but her life is beset with strife and tragedy. The reader has to admire her fighting spirit as she attempts to keep her identity and independence among the politics of the court and times.  Sisi is a real historical personage.  I didn't know anything about her, but she is a fascinating character.  You can read about her, just click here.

Author Pataki hints at a sequel to The Accidental Empress.  Sisi's story is an intricate one and could surely continue into a series of books.  I look forward to the next installment.  If you're interested, you can check out potential movie trailer, the author's thoughts on the book and more, just click here.

So, dear reader, if you like books and want a suggestion or two, pick up one by Allison Pataki.