Thursday, November 1, 2018

Book Blast and Giveaway: "Claiming My Place" by Planaria Price






Claiming My Place: Coming of Age in the Shadow of the Holocaust


by Planaria Price with Helen Reichmann West




Publication Date: March 13, 2018


Farrar, Straus and Giroux


Hardcover, eBook, AudioBook




Genre: YA/NF/History/Holocaust/WWII






A Junior Library Guild selection

Claiming My Place is the true story of a young Jewish woman who survived the Holocaust by escaping to Nazi Germany and hiding in plain sight.

Meet Gucia Gomolinska: smart, determined, independent, and steadfast in the face of injustice. A Jew growing up in predominantly Catholic Poland during the 1920s and ’30s, Gucia studies hard, makes friends, falls in love, and dreams of a bright future. Her world is turned upside down when Nazis invade Poland and establish the first Jewish ghetto of World War II in her town of Piotrkow Trybunalski. As the war escalates, Gucia and her family, friends, and neighbors suffer starvation, disease, and worse. She knows her blond hair and fair skin give her an advantage, and eventually she faces a harrowing choice: risk either the uncertain horrors of deportation to a concentration camp, or certain death if she is caught resisting. She decides to hide her identity as a Jew and adopts the gentile name Danuta Barbara Tanska. Barbara, nicknamed Basia, leaves behind everything and everyone she has ever known in order to claim a new life for herself.

Writing in the first person, author Planaria Price brings the immediacy of Barbara’s voice to this true account of a young woman whose unlikely survival hinges upon the same determination and defiant spirit already evident in the six-year-old girl we meet as this story begins. The final portion of this narrative, written by Barbara’s daughter, Helen Reichmann West, completes Barbara’s journey from her immigration to America until her natural, timely death. Includes maps and photographs.


Amazon | Barnes and Noble



Praise


“Price has boldly elected to tell the story in Basia’s own first-person, present-tense voice. The result is a dramatic, suspenseful account of survival in extremis, told in collaboration with Basia’s American daughter.” ―Booklist

“Price's rendering of West’s mother’s early life reads like suspenseful historical fiction, telling a rarely heard side of the Jewish experience during WWII . . . Family, friendships, and romance give poignancy to this unique coming-of-age story, which is further enhanced by maps, a glossary, and an afterword.” ―Publishers Weekly

“A rich exploration of a Holocaust survivor’s sheltered childhood, the atrocity that failed to destroy her, and her later life as an immigrant.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“I was completely engrossed by this drama of survival. Barbara Reichmann's story is quite extraordinary. It is sad, and terrible, and yet somehow captivating. The whole story of those who survived the Shoah by passing as Christians and working in Nazi Germany is an often forgotten part of the historical record.” ―Kai Bird, Executive Director, Leon Levy Center for Biography at CUNY Graduate Center, and co-author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer

“As occurs with The Diary of Anne Frank, this book merges the dire circumstances of the Holocaust with the tenuousness of being a teenager. But Claiming My Place expands the view provided in the diary for one critical reason. Anne Frank’s story is told within an isolated cocoon. In Barbara’s story, however, the Holocaust is in full view as her experiences unfold.” ―David H. Lindquist, Ph.D., IPFW College of Education and Public Policy / Regional Museum Educator, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

“This frightening true story of a young Jewish girl's flight from the deadly grip of the Nazis celebrates the surprising ingenuity and raw courage found only in the depths of the human spirit. Risking what few others dared, Barbara Reichmann, née Gucia Gomolinska, speaks with wisdom and uncommon self-awareness through her detailed, colorful, and evocative recollections from earliest childhood. In the final portion of this book, her daughter, Helen West, continues Barbara’s journey in an insightful and loving overview of Barbara’s life from the family’s arrival in New Orleans in 1951 until her death in 2007. This is a great read with the suspenseful, inspiring and uplifting appeal of a novel, about a character who will capture the reader’s heart.” ―Allan Holzman, Peabody and Emmy Award-winning director and editor (Steven Spielberg’s Survivors of the Holocaust, Old Man River, The Native Americans)

"Thanks to the detailed memories and the conversational tone, this book provides an engaging and informative reading experience with as much appeal as a fiction title. Recommended for most YA nonfiction collections." ―Magdalena Teske, West Chicago Public Library District School Library Journal

"This book was truly a celebration of the human spirit. What a gift she has for putting you in the story. Her way with words, plus her weaving of the actual events recounted to her by the unbelievably courageous Basia and her daughter Helen, was nothing short of magical. The included photographs and epilogue served to fully round out this amazing tale. I never wanted this book to end!" ―Rabbi Lynn Brody Slome


About the Author


After graduating from Berkeley and earning a Master's Degree in English Literature from UCLA, Planaria Price began her career teaching English to adult immigrants in Los Angeles. She has written several textbooks for University of Michigan Press and has lectured at over 75 conferences. In addition to her passion for teaching and writing, Planaria has worked with her husband to save and restore over 30 Victorian and Craftsman homes in her historic Los Angeles neighborhood. Claiming My Place is her first book for young adults.

For more information, please visit Planaria's website at www.planariaprice.com.


Book Blast Schedule


Monday, October 15
Spellbound By History

Tuesday, October 16
100 Pages a Day
Clarissa Reads it All

Wednesday, October 17
Bibliophile Reviews

Thursday, October 18
A Chick Who Reads
To Read, Or Not to Read

Friday, October 19
Locks, Hooks and Books

Saturday, October 20
CelticLady's Reviews

Monday, October 22
The Book Mind

Tuesday, October 23
Books and Glamour
History From a Woman's Perspective

Wednesday, October 24
Maiden of the Pages

Thursday, October 25
Book Nerd
Bri's Book Nook

Friday, October 26
Puddletown Reviews

Saturday, October 27
Donna's Book Blog

Monday, October 29
Dressed to Read
What is That Book About

Tuesday, October 30
The Book Junkie Reads

Wednesday, October 31
Just One More Chapter

Thursday, November 1
So Many Books, So Little Time

Friday, November 2
Passages to the Past


Giveaway


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a signed hardcover copy of Claiming My Place by Planaria Price! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 2nd. 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.

Claiming My Place


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Book Blast and Giveaway: "A Different Kind of Fire" by Suanne Schafer






A Different Kind of Fire by Suanne Schafer



Publication Date: November 1, 2018


Waldorf Publishing


Paperback & AudioBook




Genre: Historical Fiction






Ruby Schmidt has the talent, the drive, even the guts to enroll in art school, leaving behind her childhood home and the beau she always expected to marry. Her life at the Academy seems heavenly at first, but she soon learns that societal norms in the East are as restrictive as those back home in West Texas. Rebelling against the insipid imagery woman are expected to produce, Ruby embraces bohemian life. Her burgeoning sexuality drives her into a life-long love affair with another woman and into the arms of an Italian baron. With the Panic of 1893, the nation spirals into a depression, and Ruby’s career takes a similar downward trajectory. After thinking she could have it all, Ruby, now pregnant and broke, returns to Texas rather than join the queues at the neighborhood soup kitchen. She discovers her life back home is as challenging as that in Philadelphia.

A Different Kind of Fire depicts one woman’s battle to balance husband, family, career, and ambition. Torn between her childhood sweetheart, her forbidden passion for another woman, the nobleman she had to marry, and becoming a renowned painter, Ruby’s choices mold her in ways she could never have foreseen.


Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | BookBub | Waldorf Publishing






Praise


"Writer Suanne Schafer spins a unique tale of a turn of the 19th century Texas heroine and her way of artistic expression. Her paintings shock her contemporaries and the love she's drawn to shocks herself. A Different Kind of Fire depicts the journey of a determined woman to meet life on her own terms." --Pamela Morsi, USAToday Bestselling Author of 26 books including The Cotton Queen and Bitsy's Bait & BBQ

"If you love historical novels about women who throw off the shackles of feminine convention, then this book is for you. In spare but sensuous prose reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy and E. Annie Proulx, Schafer brings Ruby Schmidt to life--a woman who doesn't belong in the late nineteenth century but gradually finds her place in the twentieth. You can't help but root for Ruby as she grows from Texas farm girl, to a freethinker and lover of men and women in Philadelphia, and finally into a consummate artist. This is a powerful and deeply satisfying read." --Helena Echlin, co-author of Sparked and author of Gone

"An exceptional first novel. Schafer has woven a cohesive tale from disparate elements--a stark life in the rugged countryside of 1890s Texas vs the gentility of an arts academy in the East; a traditional marriage and motherhood vs a secret and haunting sexuality. Unequivocally recommended!" --Michael R. Hardesty, Author of Amazon Best Seller, The Grace of the Ginkgo

"With rare artistry, Schafer paints a life both creative and cursed in A Different Kind of Fire.--Willa Blair, Award-winning Amazon and Barnes & Noble #1 bestselling author of His Highland Love, Highland Troth, Highland Seer, and ten other books

"The saga of a young woman determined to follow her dream, whatever obstacles cross her path." --MJ Fredrick, author of A Texas Kind of Love, Smitten in a Small Town, and twenty-five other books, a two-time Epic Awards winner and a four-time RWA Golden Heart finalist

Suanne Schafer's A Different Kind of Fire is a powerful story of a Gilded Age artist who brooks convention both in her art and her love. Read this book: It has both the depth of emotion of a modernist novel and the epic scope of a historical saga.--Alicia Rasley, author of The Year She Fell, an Amazon bestseller

"I absolutely LOVED A Different Kind of Fire. Suanne Schafer is a passionate writer with a gift to transport the reader back to the 1800's. With her book in one hand and my iPad in the other, I learned so much about artists and their work. Ms. Schafer's words are so visual, I actually watched the story play out with every riveting page I turned. Fantastic character development. There was no stone left unturned. "A Different Kind of Fire" gets a standing ovation and five stars from me. Five stars." --Tracy Stopler, Award-winning author of The Ropes That Bind

"I was amazed by Suanne Schafer's poetic and laconic turns of phrase. She has the gift of being simultaneously ornate and succinct, which is no easy task." --Joshua Mohr, Author Sirens, All This Life, Fight Song, Damascus, Termite Parade, Somethings That Meant the World to Me

"Told in a rich, sensual, style, A Different Kind of Fire is a book about reconciling the irreconcilable. It is a book about boundaries: the dilemmas they place upon those would dare rise above them. The book is also a study in contrasts rather than a polemical treatise. Is Ruby a heroine or a victim?--a free spirit or a narcissist? These questions are ultimately left to the reader to decide." --James Hanna, Author of The Siege, Call Me Pomeroy, and A Second, Less Head and Other Rogue Stories.

"Suanne Schafer's A Different Kind of Fire tackles the sensitive subject of bisexuality in 19th century America with grace, compassion, and empathy through fully developed characters in a story readers will cherish long after the book ends." --C.S. Fuqua, author of Walking after Midnight ~ Collected Stories

"An evocative and compelling story of a Texas-bred ranch girl-to-woman straddling the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and her conflicting and sometimes illicit desires for her art, her lovers and the freedoms some women were just beginning to glimpse. Ferberesque in scope, A Different Kind of Fire harbors the twists and turns of a thriller and the braided threads of explosive affairs that cannot possibly coexist. Schafer's marvelous book exudes undiminished spirit in the face of terrible loss." --Guinotte Wise, author of Night Train, Cold Beer, winner of H. Palmer Hall Award

"Insightful, loving, and endearing, A Different Kind of Fire, will draw you in and keep you spellbound. Suanne Schafer weaves Ruby Schmidt's journey from love in rural Texas to art school in sophisticated 1890s Philadelphia. Ruby's struggles and triumphs over 100 years ago ring true to the challenges still faced by 21st century women." --Kristine Mietzner, Founder, The Women Veterans Writing Workshop of California


About the Author


Suanne Schafer, born in West Texas at the height of the Cold War, finds it ironic that grade school drills for tornadoes and nuclear war were the same: hide beneath your desk and kiss your rear-end goodbye. Now a retired family-practice physician whose only child has fledged the nest, her pioneer ancestors and world travels fuel her imagination. She originally planned to write romances, but either as a consequence of a series of failed relationships or a genetic distrust of happily ever-after, her heroines are strong women who battle tough environments and intersect with men who might—or might not—love them.

Suanne completed the Stanford University Creative Writing Certificate program. Her short works have been featured in print and on-line magazines and anthologies. Her debut women’s fiction novel, A Different Kind of Fire, explores the life of Ruby Schmidt, a nineteenth century artist who escapes—and returns—to West Texas. Suanne’s next book explores the heartbreak and healing of an American physician caught up in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.


Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads



Book Blast Schedule


Monday, October 29
Book Nerd
Creating Herstory
A Chick Who Reads
Passages to the Past
The Reading Woman

Tuesday, October 30
Jathan & Heather
CelticLady's Reviews
The Book Junkie Reads
Svetlana's Reads and Views
Historical Fiction with Spirit
So Many Books, So Little Time

Wednesday, October 31
A Book Geek
Umut Reviews
100 Pages a Day
Just One More Chapter
What Is That Book About

Thursday, November 1
Tea Book Blanket
Amy's Booket List
Donna's Book Blog
Clarissa Reads it All
What Cathy Read Next

Friday, November 2
The Writing Desk
Puddletown Reviews
Hoover Book Reviews
Locks, Hooks and Books


Giveaway


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away A Fiery Bookish Prize Pack, including a literary scarf, beaded velvet bookmark, a copy of A DIFFERENT KIND OF FIRE & $10 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 2nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to readers in the US 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

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Monday, October 29, 2018

Cover Reveal: "At the Mountain's Edge" by Genevieve Graham




 
From bestselling author Genevieve Graham comes a sweeping new historical novel of love, tragedy, and redemption set during the height of the Klondike Gold Rush.

In 1897, the discovery of gold in the desolate reaches of the Yukon has the world abuzz with excitement, and thousands of prospectors swarm to the north seeking riches the likes of which have never been seen before. 

For Liza Peterson and her family, the gold rush is a chance for them to make a fortune by moving their general store business from Vancouver to Dawson City, the only established town in the Yukon. For Constable Ben Turner, a recent recruit of the North-West Mounted Police, upholding the law in a place overrun with guns, liquor, prostitutes, and thieves is an opportunity to escape a dark past and become the man of integrity he has always wanted to be. But the long, difficult journey over icy mountain passes and whitewater rapids is much more treacherous than Liza or Ben imagined, and neither is completely prepared for the forbidding north.

As Liza’s family nears the mountain’s peak, a catastrophe strikes with fatal consequences, and not even the NWMP can help. Alone and desperate, Liza finally reaches Dawson City, only to find herself in a different kind of peril. Meanwhile, Ben, wracked with guilt over the accident on the trail, sees the chance to make things right. But just as love begins to grow, new dangers arise, threatening to separate the couple forever.

Inspired by history as rich as the Klondike’s gold, At the Mountain’s Edge is an epic tale of romance and adventure about two people who must let go of the past not only to be together, but also to survive.

Pre-order the book now!

Amazon
Amazon Canada
Barnes and Noble
Chapters




Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Review and Giveaway: "A Torch in His Heart" by Anna Belfrage




Synopsis:  In the long lost ancient past, two men fought over the girl with eyes like the Bosporus under a summer sky. It ended badly. She died. They died.
Since then, they have all tumbled through time, reborn over and over again. Now they are all here, in the same place, the same time and what began so long ago must finally come to an end.
Ask Helle Madsen what she thinks about reincarnation and she’ll laugh in your face. Besides, Helle has other stuff to handle, what with her new, exciting job in London and her drop-dead but seriously sinister boss, Sam Woolf. And then one day Jason Morris walks into her life and despite never having clapped eyes on him before, she recognises him immediately. Very weird. Even more weird is the fact that Sam and Jason clearly hate each other’s guts. Helle’s life is about to become extremely complicated and far too exciting.
 My Thoughts:  I loved the concept of this story!  I find the idea of reincarnation to be fascinating so 'A Torch in His Heart' was right up my alley. The thought that Jason and Helle were true soulmates and that Jason searched for her for centuries was just so swoonworthy.  It was also super interesting to hear Jason tell a little bit about some of his past lives.  To think of all the historical events he's seen!  I loved the flashbacks to Helle and Jason's first life and how the author peppered them through the story to give the reader more context.

'A Torch in His Heart' is the first in a series so there was a lot of world building and character development happening in this book.  At times the story moved a bit slow but knowing that the author was setting the stage for many things to come gave me the patience to stick with it.  The pace definitely picked up as the story progressed and by the end, I was begging for more!

One thing I've learned from Ms. Belfrage's books is that she writes the BEST villains ever.  Samion/Sam Woolf is completely terrifying and the quintessential bad guy.  He is just so evil and creepy as all get out even with his handsome outward appearance.  He seemed impossible to fight and yet I think Helle and Jason are going to give him a run for his money.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book.  I'm very excited to see what's next for Jason and Helle!  3 stars.


About the Author:
Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, she became a financial professional with three absorbing interests: history and writing.
Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy which is set in 14th century England. (Medieval knight was also high on Anna’s list of potential professions. Yet another disappointment…)
With Jason and Helle, Anna has stepped out of her historical comfort zone and has loved doing so.
Find out more about Anna by visiting her website, www.annabelfrage.com, You can also connect with Anna on FacebookTwitterAmazon, and Goodreads.
GIVEAWAY!
 
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 16th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents INTERNATIONALLY.
– 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.

ENTER HERE!

 


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Feature and Giveaway: "Tiffany Blues" by M.J. Rose






Tiffany Blues by M.J. Rose



Publication Date: August 7, 2018


Atria Books


Hardcover & eBook; 336 Pages


ISBN: 978-1501173592




Genre: Historical Fiction






New York, 1924. Twenty‑four‑year‑old Jenny Bell is one of a dozen burgeoning artists invited to Louis Comfort Tiffany’s prestigious artists’ colony. Gifted and determined, Jenny vows to avoid distractions and romantic entanglements and take full advantage of the many wonders to be found at Laurelton Hall.

But Jenny’s past has followed her to Long Island. Images of her beloved mother, her hard-hearted stepfather, waterfalls, and murder, and the dank hallways of Canada’s notorious Andrew Mercer Reformatory for Women overwhelm Jenny’s thoughts, even as she is inextricably drawn to Oliver, Tiffany’s charismatic grandson.

As the summer shimmers on, and the competition between the artists grows fierce as they vie for a spot at Tiffany’s New York gallery, a series of suspicious and disturbing occurrences suggest someone knows enough about Jenny’s childhood trauma to expose her.

Supported by her closest friend Minx Deering, a seemingly carefree socialite yet dedicated sculptor, and Oliver, Jenny pushes her demons aside. Between stolen kisses and stolen jewels, the champagne flows and the jazz plays on until one moonless night when Jenny’s past and present are thrown together in a desperate moment, that will threaten her promising future, her love, her friendships, and her very life.


Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound




Praise for Tiffany Blues


“A lush, romantic historical mystery with a unique setting. Tiffany Blues explores an interesting lost bit of American history and gives us a heroine to root for." Kristin Hannah, New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale

“A fascinating novel about a young, struggling artist mentored by the celebrated jeweler and stained-glass creator Louis Comfort Tiffany. Tiffany Blues brings together an enchanting glimpse of Jazz Age New York and an inspired fictional story about Jenny Bell and the terrible secret she's hiding.” Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train and A Piece of the World

"The New York Times bestselling author of The Library of Light and Shadow crafts a dazzling Jazz Age jewel—a novel of ambition, betrayal, and passion about a young painter whose traumatic past threatens to derail her career at a prestigious summer artists’ colony run by Louis Comfort Tiffany of Tiffany & Co. fame. “[M.J. Rose] transports the reader into the past better than a time machine could accomplish” —The Associated Press

"M.J. Rose must have plunged her pen into a vale of tears, radiance, and crime to write this novel. Tiffany Blues melds a tragic mother-daughter relationship, the shimmer of Tiffany’s creations, the jolting life of artists and their shocking jealousy, in a captivating story that illuminates how far we'll go for love. MJ Rose broke this reader’s heart and then, as though using the ancient art of Kintsugi, healed me by sealing the future with golden veins of hope." —Randy Susan Meyers, International Bestselling Author

"Intriguing... [Rose's] best creation yet." —Publishers Weekly

"Intricate plotting, sensuous descriptions... captivating. A lush, mesmerizing story." —Kirkus

"Rose keeps readers spellbound... with a touch of Gatsby-esque flavor and opulence and a research-rich mix of facts and fiction." —Library Journal - Starred review

"Rose's talent for delivering believable characters and plot shines in her latest novel...Readers are in for a treat and the jaw-dropping climax well have them enthralled." —RT Book Reviews

"A stunning look at the Jazz Age, told in M.J. Rose's inimitable style." —PopSugar 25 Best Summer Books





About the Author




New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother's favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice... books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.

Rose's work has appeared in many magazines including Oprah Magazine and she has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, WSJ, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the '80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors - Authorbuzz.com

Her most recent novel THE LIBRARY OF LIGHT AND SHADOW (Atria/S&S) was chosen as an Indie Next Pick.

The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose's novels in the Reincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers.

Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield.

For more information, please visit her website and her blog, Museum of Mysteries. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


Blog Tour Schedule


Monday, August 6
Excerpt at Passages to the Past
Feature at Naomi Finley

Tuesday, August 7
Feature at So Many Books, So Little Time

Wednesday, August 8
Review at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, August 9
Feature at Just One More Chapter

Friday, August 10
Review at Donna's Book Blog

Sunday, August 12
Review at Carole Rae's Random Ramblings

Monday, August 13
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Tuesday, August 14
Feature at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Wednesday, August 15
Feature at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

Thursday, August 16
Review at The Lit Bitch

Monday, August 20
Review at The Book Mind
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, August 21
Feature at Maiden of the Pages

Wednesday, August 22
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Friday, August 24
Feature at I'm Shelf-ish

Monday, August 27
Review at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, August 28
Feature at A Holland Reads

Wednesday, August 29
Review at Bookish
Review at Library of Clean Reads

Thursday, August 30
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective

Friday, August 31
Interview at History From a Woman's Perspective

Saturday, September 1
Review at A Darn Good Read

Monday, September 3
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Wednesday, September 5
Review at Laura's Interests

Thursday, September 6
Review & Interview at Clarissa Reads it All

Friday, September 7
Review at Bookramblings


Giveaway


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a Louis Comfort Tiffany glass paperweight from the Metropolitan Museum of Artder! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on September 7th. 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.

Tiffany Blues


Monday, June 25, 2018

Life and Blog Update

Hey y'all! It's been a long time since I've posted or done much with this blog.  Things have been a challenge here lately and I've fallen way behind.  I'm almost 34 weeks pregnant and this pregnancy has been so hard on me, both physically and mentally.  Pregnancy combined with work and home as been almost more than I can handle right now.

So now that I've had the pity party, I'm writing because I'm going to take a break from the blog for a while.  I don't know if it will just be until after the baby comes or for good but I need to completely take it off my plate for a while.  I'm not going to be accepting any review requests for the forseeable future and I'm going to have to drag myself away from NetGalley. : )

This has been a really tough decision but I have really dropped the ball on things.  I have accepted books for review and then never got around to reviewing them and I have a serious backlog of books from NetGalley to read.  I'm extremely embarrassed about these mistakes and I can't keep doing that to myself and the people who provide me the books.  I'm also reading at a super slow pace and I just can't keep up even though I would like to.

I do have a couple reviews coming up in the next month or so but otherwise, I'll be on hiatus.  Thank you all for sticking with me through all of this.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Cover Reveal!!!: 'The Blue' by Nancy Bilyeau




The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau



Publication: Fall 2018
Endeavour Quill




Genre: Historical Fiction



What would you do to possess the most coveted color in the world? The year is 1758, and a headstrong woman artist, 24-year-old Genevieve Planche, is caught up in a high-stakes race to discover the ultimate color, one that threatens to become as deadly as it is lucrative. When Genevieve's mission is complicated by her falling in love with the chemist behind the formula, she discovers the world of blue is filled with ruthless men and women and how high the stakes really are. The story sweeps readers from the worlds of the silk-weaving refugees of London’s Spitalfields and the luxury-obsessed drawing rooms of Grosvenor Square to the porcelain factory of Derby and, finally, magnificent Sevres Porcelain in the shadow of Versailles. And running through it all: the dangerous allure of the color blue.


"Bilyeau’s sumptuous tale of mystery and intrigue transports the reader into the heart of the 18th century porcelain trade—where the price of beauty was death"’ E.M. Powell, author of the Stanton & Barling medieval mystery series.



Praise for Nancy Bilyeau's Fiction


"Bilyeau deftly weaves extensive historical detail throughout, but the real draw of this suspenseful novel is its juicy blend of lust, murder, conspiracy, and betrayal." —Review of The Crown published in Oprah, which made the book a pick of the month.

"English history buffs and mystery fans alike will revel in Nancy Bilyeau's richly detailed sequel to The Crown." —Parade magazine review of The Chalice

"The story in The Tapestry is fiction, but it is a sheer joy to have Henry’s court recreated with an eye to the reality of its venality, rather than the trendy Wolf Hall airbrushing of its violence and rapacity. The tone is always modern and light, but with none of the clumsy thigh-slapping faux period language. Bilyeau’s writing is effortless, vivid, gripping and poignant, bringing Tudor England to life with sparkling zest. If you want to see the Reformation from the side of the English people rather than the self-serving court, it is tough to do better than this trilogy." —Review of The Tapestry by Dominic Selwood, published in The Catholic Herald

"As always, Bilyeau has done her historical homework, bringing the drama, and details of Henry VIII’s court to life. You’re basically watching the rise and fall of Catherine Howard, Thomas Cromwell, Walter Hungerford and Thomas Culpepper through Joanna’s eyes. Her private moments with the king were among my favorites in this book. This a true historical thriller. It’s a Tudor novel full of suspense, intrigue, brutality, and death. It’s a well researched page turner. If you’re looking for an exciting historical read, this will be on your list." —Review of The Tapestry by Sandra Alvarez for Medievalists.net

“Nancy Bilyeau's passion for history infuses her books and transports us back to the dangerous world of Tudor England. Vivid characters and gripping plots are at the heart of this wonderful trilogy. Warmly recommended!” —Alison Weir, author of The Marriage Game: A Novel of Queen Elizabeth I and many bestsellers

"Nancy Bilyeau's polished, inventive debut has all the ingredients of the best historical fiction: a broad cast of characters, well-imagined settings, and vivid story-telling... In Joanna Stafford, Bilyeau has given us a memorable character who is prepared to risk her life to save what she most values, while Stafford's desperate search for a lost religious relic will satisfy even the most ardent mystery fans." —Deborah Harkness, author of A Discovery of Witches


About the Author


Nancy Bilyeau has worked on the staffs of InStyle, DuJour, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Good Housekeeping. She is currently a regular contributor to Town & Country and the editor of the digital magazine The Big Thrill. Her screenplays have placed in several prominent industry competitions. Two scripts reached the semi-finalist round of the Nicholl Fellowships of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

A native of the Midwest, she earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan. THE CROWN, her first novel and an Oprah pick, was published in 2012; the sequel, THE CHALICE, followed in 2013. The third in the trilogy, THE TAPESTRY, was published by Touchstone in 2015. The books have also been published by Orion in the UK and seven other countries.

Nancy lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

For more information, please visit Nancy Bilyeau's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


Cover Reveal Schedule


Wednesday, May 16
Passages to the Past
Clarissa Reads it All
Just One More Chapter
To Read, or Not to Read
Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Thursday, May 17
Bri's Book Nook
CelticLady's Reviews
Kris Waldherr Books
What Is That Book About

Friday, May 18
A Book Geek
The Lit Bitch
Broken Teepee

Saturday, May 19
Books and Glamour
Writing the Renaissance
So Many Books, So Little Time

Sunday, May 20
Cup of Sensibility
Kate Rock Lit Chick
Teaser Addicts Book Blog

Monday, May 21
The Maiden's Court
SilverWoodSketches
View from the Birdhouse

Tuesday, May 22
100 Pages a Day
Bibliophile Reviews
History From a Woman's Perspective

Wednesday, May 23
Pursuing Stacie
Creating Herstory
Donna's Book Blog

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Review and Giveaway: "A Slave of the Shadows" by Naomi Finley


Synopsis: 
In 1850 Charleston, South Carolina, brutality and cruelty simmer just under the genteel surface of Southern society. In an era where ladies are considered mere property, beautiful and headstrong Willow Hendricks’ father has filled her life with turmoil, secrets, and lies.
Her father rules her life until she finds a kindred spirit in spunky, outspoken Whitney Barry, a northerner from Boston. Together these Charleston belles are driven to take control of their own lives—and they are plunged into fear and chaos in their quest to fight for the rights of slaves. Against all odds, these feisty women fight to secure freedom and equality for those made powerless and persecuted by a supposedly superior race.
Only when they’ve lost it all do they find a new beginning.
Book 1 presents Willow and Whitney—and the reader—with the hardships the slaves endure at the hands of their white masters.

 My Thoughts:  This book was such an unexpected surprise and I had no idea that I would enjoy it as much as I did.  It was such a good story with really well-rounded and lovable characters.  From the very beginning, I was completely sucked into Willow's world and could not put the book down.

I loved the idea of two intelligent, headstrong women banding together to fight against injustice.  Whitney and Willow were a fun pair and I admired the fact that they completely bucked the system that expected them to sit quietly and behave.  I would also add that Mammy and Mary Grace were the backbone of the story; they were really the strength behind the white people on the plantation.

There were a lot of secrets floating around throughout the story and once things were revealed toward the end, a lot of questions I had made much more sense.  It was kind of fun to watch everything be uncovered and there was a huge surprise toward the end that I loved.

Some of the story seemed problematic and a little unrealistic.  Life on Willow's plantation was a little too hunky dory at times; even under the kindest of masters, I'm not sure the slaves would have been as content as portrayed in the story.  That being said, I still enjoyed the story immensely. 

When the story ended, I was definitely left wanting more.  It looks like this is the first in a trilogy and I'm really excited to see what will happen next for Whitney and Willow.  A Slave of the Shadows was an excellent read! 4 stars.

I received this book from HFVBT in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author:

Naomi lives in Northern Alberta. Her love for travel means her suitcase is always on standby while she awaits her next plane ticket and adventure. Her love for history and the Deep South is driven by the several years she spent as a child living in a Tennessee plantation house. She comes from a family of six sisters. She married her high school sweetheart and has two teenage children and two dogs named Ginger and Snaps.
Creativity and passion are the focus of her life. Apart from writing fiction, her interests include interior design, cooking new recipes, throwing lavish dinner parties, movies, health, and fitness.
A Slave of the Shadows is her first novel.
For more information, please visit Naomi Finley’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.
  GIVEAWAY:
During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a Kindle Fire HD 8″ 32GB & signed copy of A Slave of the Shadows! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form HERE.
Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on May 22nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US/UK/Canada 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.
 


 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Feature and Giveaway: "Trouble in Glamour Town" by S. R. Mallery






Trouble In Glamour Town by S.R. Mallery



Publication Date: November 12, 2017


eBook & Paperback; 202 Pages


ISBN-13: 978-1979566070




Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance/Mystery






Murder. Corruption. Romance. Movie stars. A modern day TV shoot ‘em up?

No. It’s 1926 Old Hollywood, and a film producer is gunned down in cold blood. In comes Rosie, a pretty bit-player, who, in spite of her stage-mother’s expectations, just longs to be happy. Silent screen idols Clara Bow, Gloria Swanson, Lon Chaney, and Rudolph Valentino float in and out, as Los Angeles’ corruption is exposed, the era described, and a chase to find the killer revs up before there’s another hit.


"Trouble in Glamour Town is very historically accurate, portraying the real workings of the Hollywood sleaze, dishonesty and corruption happening at that time. S.R. Mallery is a gifted author who drew me into the story from the first word and kept me reading until the very last page...Trouble in Glamour Town is an old fashioned type of murder mystery story and is a very good read." - Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite


Amazon US | Amazon UK



About the Author


S.R. Mallery, two-time READERS’ FAVORITE Gold Medal Winner, has been labeled nothing short of 'eclectic'. She has been a singer, a calligrapher, a quilt designer, and an ESL teacher. As a writer, History is her focus and is woven into her stories with a delicate thread. When people talk about the news of the day, or listen to music, her imagination likens the story to a similar kind of news in the past and is conjuring up scenes between characters she has yet to meet.

S.R. Mallery's books include The Dolan Girls, Genteel Secrets, Unexpected Gifts, Sewing Can Be Dangerous And Other Small Threads, Tales to Count On, and Trouble in Glamour Town.

For more information, please visit S. R. Mallery's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.


Blog Tour Schedule


Monday, May 7
Review at A Bookaholic Swede

Tuesday, May 8
Feature at View from the Birdhouse

Wednesday, May 9
Review at SilverWoodSketches

Thursday, May 10
Feature at Just One More Chapter

Monday, May 14
Review at Donna's Book Blog

Tuesday, May 15
Feature at So Many Books, So Little Time

Wednesday, May 16
Interview at SilverWoodSketches

Friday, May 18
Review at E. Lizard Breath Reads

Monday, May 21
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, May 22
Feature at Broken Teepee

Thursday, May 24
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, May 25
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review at LadyJ's Bookish Nook


Giveaway


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away four eBooks of Trouble in Glamour Town! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on May 25th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– 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.

Trouble in Glamour Town


Monday, April 30, 2018

Review and Giveaway: "Madam of My Heart" by Gini Grossenbacher






Synopsis: Baltimore, 1849. During a scandalous crisis, the young Irish Brianna Baird flees her home at Fells Point. With little cash and only a seamstress’s trade, she braves the hypnotic streets of New Orleans. The tantalizing Madam DeSalle lures her to her brothel, then sells her to the dashing but questionable gambler, Edward Spina, who falls in love with her. In a tawdry alliance with these two profiteers, Brianna embarks on a journey through the French Quarter’s debauched and glittering Voodoo world. Facing the horrors of slavery, she triumphs by gaining freedom papers for her maid Emma’s enslaved husband and son. Brianna and Edward escape with them to San Francisco. There she becomes one of the most sought after madams in the gold rush parlor house trade. But will her fame and pluck be enough to save Edward from the Vigilante noose? This is the first book in the American Madams series.

My Thoughts: I don't think I've read a book like this before.  The premise was fascinating; it was really interesting to see a story that told the truth about what kinds of options (if you would call them that) that women had if they stepped outside the acceptable path.  It was definitely a page-turner!

Brianna was such a vivacious character.  She came from a complicated family but still had a head full of dreams and big plans for her future.  I loved seeing her goals of being a successful seamstress even though it wasn't common for women to be business owners in those days.  It was awful to see how her family treated her and forced her to leave home but somehow she managed to find her way to success (after a lot of really hard struggles).  It was eye-opening to see the kind of life available to women on their own and how difficult it was to not have the protection of one's family.

I liked seeing Brianna be able to overcome the hand she was dealt and end up a successful madam, however, at times her path there was a little unrealistic.  Her relationship with Edward was very sweet but I'm sure most prostitutes of the time were not 'bought' by a wealthy man to keep them safe from the brothel's clientele.  I also had some issues with the parts where Edward and Brianna buy the freedom of Emma and her family.  It felt a little white savior-ish to me.

Despite those small things, overall, I did really enjoy this book.  The ending left me wanting to know more and I am eager to read the next book in the series.  3 1/2 stars.

I received this book from HFVBT in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author:


California author Gini Grossenbacher was a successful high school English teacher until she abandoned grades and term papers, choosing to write historical novels instead. Now she leads small writing groups and coaches other writers. She loves researching the history behind her novels, and enjoys traveling to the setting where they take place. Her hobbies include needlepoint, nature walks, and Scrabble. She lives in the Sacramento Valley where she grew up, east of San Francisco.
For more information, please visit Gini’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away two copies of Madam of My Heart! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.
Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on April 30th. 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.
 CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
 

 
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