Bessie’s Books and Other Things
November 2nd, 2014 at the Pinestone marks the ninth time that the Friends have held their annual gala. This year the guest author is Eva Stachniak who most recently wrote The Winter Palace and The Empress of the Night both historical fictions about the life of Catherine the Great.
Behind every great ruler lies a betrayal. The Winter Palace sweeps readers into the passionate, intimate, and treacherous world of Catherine the Great, revealing Russia’s greatest matriarch from her earliest days in court, where the most valuable currency was the secrets of nobility and the most dangerous weapon to wield was ambition. Two young women, caught in the landscape of shifting allegiances, navigate the treacherous waters of palace intrigue. Barbara is a servant who will become one of Russia’s most cunning royal spies. Sophia is a pretty, naive German duchess who will become Catherine the Great. For readers of superb historical fiction, Eva Stachniak captures in glorious detail the opulence of royalty and the perilous loyalties of the Russian court.
In the follow-up novel The Empress of the Night, Catherine the Great reflects on her astonishing ascension to the throne, her leadership over the world’s greatest power, and the lives sacrificed to make her the most feared woman in the world. She muses on her life, her relentless battle between love and power, the country she brought into the glorious new century, and the bodies left in her wake. By the end of her life, she had accomplished more than virtually any other woman in history. She built and grew the Romanov Empire, amassed a vast fortune of art and land, and controlled an unruly and conniving court. Now, in a voice both indelible and intimate, she reflects on the decisions that gained her the world and brought her enemies to their knees. And before her last breath, shadowed by the bloody French Revolution, she sets up the end game for her last political maneuver, ensuring her successor and the greater glory of Russia.
At the gala you will be able to hear Eva Stachniak talk about the process involved in producing meticulously researched and detailed historical fiction. She will be signing books and Master’s Book Store will be on hand to sell her books.
The silent auction that accompanies the event has grown as well featuring items such as paintings, Toronto Maple Leaf’s tickets, local restaurant and services gift certificates, collectables and much more. The Friends will also be selling their merchandise including their bags and gift baskets. The gala is an excellent place to get holiday gifts with prices ranging from $3.00 for a Friend’s bag to $800.00 for some of the fine art.
Please mark November 2nd on your calendar for 1:00pm at the Pinestone. Tickets are $20.00 available at Master’s Bookstore in Haliburton or by calling Brenda at 705-457-2695.
*Originally published in County Life October 23rd, 2014.