Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Book Blast and Giveaway: "Marlene" by C.W. Gortner


02_marlene_paperback-cover




Marlene: A Novel of Marlene Dietrich by C.W. Gortner



Paperback Release Date: December 13, 2016


William Morrow, Harper Collins


ISBN: 9780062406071; 432 Pages


Genre: Historical Fiction/Contemporary Women/Biographical



Add to GR Button


Marlene Dietrich’s femme fatale persona defined her, but behind the glitz of 1930s Hollywood was a remarkably modern woman, determined to live by her own terms.

A rebellious girl, Marlene’s genteel family expectations curtail her until Germany's defeat in the Great War gives rise to the decadence of Weimar Berlin. Here, Marlene finds her niche as a cabaret actress. With her sultry beauty, smoky voice, and androgynous tuxedo, she performs to packed houses and has a series of stormy love affairs that push the boundaries of social convention until she finds overnight success in the scandalous movie The Blue Angel. As Hitler seizes power, Marlene sets sail for America to become one of Hollywood’s top leading ladies, starring opposite Gary Cooper, John Wayne, and Cary Grant. When Hitler tries to entice her back to Germany, Marlene defiantly declares her stance, risking her life to perform for Allied troops. And upon the war's savage end, she finally returns to Germany to discover a heartbreaking secret amidst the war’s devastation.

MARLENE is out in paperback on December 13 and features exclusive extra content. A perfect gift for lovers of old Hollywood and strong dames! To find out more, please visit: www.cwgortner.com/Marlene.html.


Synopsis



From the gender-bending cabarets of Weimar Berlin to the tyrannical movie studios of Los Angeles, this sweeping story of passion, glamour, art, and war is a lush, dramatic novel of one of the most alluring legends of Hollywood’s golden age: Marlene Dietrich.

Raised in genteel poverty after the First World War, Maria Magdalena Dietrich dreams of a life on the stage. When her budding career as a violinist is cut short, she vows to become an actress, trading her family’s proper, middle-class society for the free-spirited, louche world of Berlin’s cabarets and drag balls. With her sultry beauty, smoky voice, and androgynous tailored suits, Marlene performs to packed houses and conducts a series of stormy love affairs that push the boundaries of social convention until she finds overnight success in the scandalous movie The Blue Angel.

For Marlene, neither fame nor marriage and motherhood can cure her wanderlust. As Hitler rises to power, she sets sail for America to become a rival to MGM’s queen, Greta Garbo. As one of Hollywood’s top leading ladies, she stars with such legends as Gary Cooper, John Wayne, and Cary Grant. Desperate for her return, Hitler tries to lure her with dazzling promises. Defiant in her stance against the Nazis, Marlene chooses instead to become an American citizen, and after her new nation is forced into World War II, she tours with the USO, performing for Allied troops in Europe and Africa. But one day, she must return to Germany, where she will discover a heartbreaking secret amidst the war’s devastation that transformed her homeland and the family she loved.

An enthralling account of this extraordinary legend, MARLENE reveals the inner life of a woman of grit and ambition who defied convention, seduced the world, and forged her own path.


“Skillfully evokes the cross-dressing, sexually fluid atmosphere of the seedy nightclubs that helped Marlene define her unique appeal.
Well-detailed and truly moving; an ambitious account of the German-American star. ” —Kirkus Reviews



“Full of the sizzle and decadence of Weimar Berlin, and the scandal and soirees of Hollywood’s golden era, this is a gloriously entertaining read.
CW Gortner’s Marlene is utterly beguiling, the kind of woman who only comes along once in a century. Reader, you can’t take your eyes off her!” —Beatriz Williams, New York Times bestselling author



"From the ribald cabarets of Weimer-era Berlin to the glamour of golden-era Hollywood, beguilingly androgynous and fiercely passionate Marlene Dietrich . . . fairly leaps off every page." —Booklist, starred review



Amazon | Barnes & Noble | HarperCollins | iBooks | IndieBound




03_cw-gortnerAbout the Author


C.W. GORTNER holds an MFA in Writing with an emphasis in Renaissance Studies from the New College of California, as well as an AA from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco.

After an eleven year-long career in fashion, during which he worked as a vintage retail buyer, freelance publicist, and fashion show coordinator, C.W. devoted the next twelve years to the public health sector. In 2012, he became a full-time writer following the international success of his novels.

In his extensive travels to research his books, he has danced a galliard at Hampton Court, learned about organic gardening at Chenoceaux, and spent a chilly night in a ruined Spanish castle. His books have garnered widespread acclaim and been translated into twenty-one languages to date, with over 400,000 copies sold. A sought-after public speaker. C.W. has given keynote addresses at writer conferences in the US and abroad. He is also a dedicated advocate for animal rights, in particular companion animal rescue to reduce shelter overcrowding.

Half-Spanish by birth and raised in southern Spain, C.W. now lives in Northern California with his partner and two very spoiled rescue cats.

For more information visit C.W. Gortner’s website and blog. You can also find him on Facebook, Twittter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and YouTube. Sign up for C.W. Gortner’s Newsletter for updates.


Book Blast Schedule


Tuesday, December 13
Kinx's Book Nook
A Bookaholic Swede
To Read, Or Not to Read
So Many Books, So Little Time

Wednesday, December 14
The Lit Bitch
Unabridged Chick
The Never-Ending Book
Caryn, the Book Whisperer

Thursday, December 15
Impressions In Ink
CelticLady's Reviews
Please Pass The Books
What Is That Book About

Friday, December 16
Broken Teepee
Books, Dreams, Life

Saturday, December 17
SJ2B House of Books
Ageless Pages Reviews
Beth's Book Nook Blog
First Impression Reviews

Sunday, December 18
T's Stuff
100 Pages a Day
Passages to the Past

Monday, December 19
Book Nerd
A Literary Vacation

Tuesday, December 20
I Heart Reading
Creating Herstory
Just One More Chapter


Giveaway


To win a paperback copy of Marlene: A Novel of Marlene Dietrich by C.W. Gortner, please enter via the Gleam form below. Two copies are up for grabs!

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Marlene Paperback


04_marlene_blog-tour-banner_final

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

New Release! "Garden of Her Heart" by Shanna Hatfield

blog-tour
USA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield joins us with her latest release, a sweet World War II romance.

break-2

Picture a beautiful summer day when the sky is clear, the temperature is warm, but not uncomfortably so, and the humidity is low.

On one of those ideal summer days, Captain Cavedweller (my husband) and I climbed a hilly path to visit the Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon. We heard it was “nice” and “pretty,” but we had no idea what to expect.

After we topped the hill and paid our admission at the little gate booth, we walked inside the garden, spellbound by the beauty around us. For a few minutes, we didn’t move, absorbed in the wonder of being transported to a completely different world in a matter of a few steps. The garden — oh, such a lovely garden. I highly recommend visiting it if you are ever in the area. There are ponds with bright orange fish, walking paths, raked sand, and a waterfall. In truth, in my mind’s eye, it is Miko’s secret garden, only bigger.

It was while we wandered along the moss-covered stones and stepped across the wooden bridges that the idea for this story began to percolate. What if there was a girl who lived in a secret garden? Why would she be there? What scenario would drive her into hiding in a Japanese garden up on a hilltop that no one knew was there?

As Captain Cavedweller and I ambled among weeping cherry trees and vibrant flowering bushes, I blurted out my thoughts. Then somehow, in a wonderful blending of ideas, we both arrived at the conclusion of World War II. A Japanese girl would have every reason to hide, had she the opportunity to do so, in 1942 when the government ordered all Japanese along the West Coast “military areas” to report to Assembly Centers.

And so the story was born.
garden-of-her-heart-cover

Can forbidden love blossom

   amid the constraints of war?

The moment the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, life shifted for Miko Nishimura. Desperate to reach the Portland Assembly Center for Japanese-Americans, she’s kicked off the bus miles from town. Every tick of the clock pushes her closer to becoming a fugitive in the land of her birth. Exhausted, she stumbles to her grandparents’ abandoned farm only to find a dying soldier sprawled across the step. Unable to leave him, she forsakes all else to keep him alive.
After crashing his plane in the Battle of the Atlantic, the doctors condemn Captain Rock Laroux to die. Determined to meet his maker beneath a blue sky at his family home, he sneaks out of the hospital. Weary and half out of his mind, he makes it as far as a produce stand he remembers from his youth. Rather than surrender to death, Rock fights a battle of the heart as he falls in love with the beautiful Japanese woman who saves his life.
A poignant, sweet romance, Garden of Her Heart proves love can bloom in unlikely places even under the most challenging circumstances.

Don't miss out on this beautiful happy ever after. Get your copy today!


Available on:
    


gohh-party-banner
Join us for a Facebook Party today (December 7) from 4-7 p.m. (EST) to celebrate the release of Garden of Her Heart. Here is the link:

break-2

Excerpt:
“Please, Miko? Would you at least consider marrying me?”
She shook her head and tried to pull away from him, but he drew her closer, wrapping his arms around her and holding her. His breath tantalized her ear as he bent his head near hers. “Please?”
“I can’t, Rock. I don’t want to be the cause of you missing out on the love of a lifetime.” She turned her head to the side and pressed it against his neck. Unintentionally, she heightened the yearning that already pulsed between them. Forcibly, he relaxed his hold on her.
“Miko,” he whispered. “Look at me, sweetheart.”
Unhurried, she tipped her head back, drawn into the bright warmth of his eyes.
“Miko, if I didn’t want to marry you, I wouldn’t offer. I rather like the idea of spending my future with you. We have more going for us than many couples who wed. There is no doubt in my mind at all about your ability to be a good wife. Me, on the other hand…” His cocky grin brought an amused light to her eyes. “It might be challenging to be married to someone like me.”
A smile curved her mouth upward and Rock tamped down the desire to kiss her again, even with the pastor watching their every move.
gohh-gif

break-2

shanna-3USA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield writes character-driven romances with relatable heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”
Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, this hopeless romantic is out to make it happen, one story at a time. When she isn’t writing or indulging in chocolate (dark and decadent, please), Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.
Find Shanna’s books at:
Shanna loves to hear from readers. Follow her online at:

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

November 2016 Wrap Up

Oh my goodness, I am so glad November is over!  First, because I LOOOOVE Christmas but also because November was a giant suck fest for a variety of reasons.  Despite all that, I managed to have the best reading month I've had in years (probably).  I pretty much gorged myself on Christmas romance novels and it was pure heaven.  I plan on continuing to do that for the rest of the year because they're full of fluffy goodness. I feel bad for reading so many of the same genre but that's about all I can handle right and I have big reading plans for the new year so I'm going to enjoy myself until then.

I hit my raised goal of 80 books and am now only 11 books shy of 100!  Most of what I read was library books so like I every year, I've pretty much failed at reading my own books.  I think the ones I did read this month were books I just purchased instead of just ones I've had for a while.  I did beat my non-fiction total from last year; I know I wanted to finish with 20 total for the year but I don't think that's going to happen.  I know I've missed a lot of reading goals for the year but I'm okay with that.  I'm kind of tired of putting pressure on myself to read things.  It's kind of fun to read what I want for a change!

Here are my stats for November:

-20 books read
-1 nonfiction
-7 historical fiction
-1 review book
-16 library books
-3 books I own
-7 ebooks

What I read in November:

1.) Blackballed: The Black and White Politics of Race on America's Campuses by Lawrence Ross
2.) Corsets and Cuffs by Shanna Hatfield
3.) Trading Christmas by Debbie Macomber
4.) Mistletoe on Main Street by Olivia Miles
5.) Call Me Mrs. Miracle by Debbie Macomber
6.) A Creed Country Christmas by Linda Lael Miller
7.) The Perfect Christmas by Debbie Macomber
8.) A Lawman's Christmas by Linda Lael Miller
9.) Victoria by Daisy Goodwin
10.) Dashing through the Snow by Debbie Macomber
11.) The Christmas Angel by Jane Maas
12.) Christmas in Snowflake Canyon by RaeAnne Thayne
13.) An Outlaw's Christmas by Linda Lael Miller
14.) Starry Night by Debbie Macomber
15.) The Christmas Quandary by Shanna Hatfield
16.) The Mistletoe Promise by Richard Paul Evans
17.) Snow Angel Cove by RaeAnne Thayne
18.) There's Something About Christmas by Debbie Macomber
19.) A Cold Creek Christmas by RaeAnne Thayne
20.) Mr. Miracle by Debbie Macomber

How was November for you?  Are you on track to meeting your reading goals?


 
Imagination Designs