Monday, April 14, 2014

Inscription by H.H. Miller - Kindle Countdown Deal

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Carol M. Cram's The Toweres of Tuscany - Book Blast and {Giveaway}

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and author Carol M. Cram are excited to announce The Towers of Tuscany Book Blast! Join us from April 7-13 as The Towers of Tuscany is featured around the blogosphere, along with a chance to win one of three copies of this amazing new novel! Called "a beautifully crafted masterpiece of historical fiction", "lush", and "page-turning" Cram's debut novel will appeal to readers who enjoy a strong female lead who, against great odds, dares to follow a dream. The Towers of Tuscany includes a Reader's Guide making it a perfect Book Club pick! In honor of the Book Blast we are giving away three copies to three lucky readers, see below to enter.

The Towers of Tuscany

Publication Date: January 23, 2014
New Arcadia Publishing
Formats: Paperback, Ebook
Genre: Historical Fiction

Set amid the twisting streets and sunlit piazzas of medieval Italy, the Towers of Tuscany tells the story of a woman who dares to follow her own path in the all-male domain of the painter’s workshop. Sofia Barducci is born into a world where a woman is only as good as the man who cares for her, but she still claims the right to make her own mistakes. Her first mistake is convincing her father to let her marry Giorgio Carelli, a wealthy saffron merchant in San Gimignano, the Tuscan city of towers. Trained in secret by her father to create the beautifully-crafted panels and altarpieces acclaimed today as masterpieces of late medieval art, Sofia’s desire for freedom from her father’s workshop leads her to betray her passion and sink into a life of loveless drudgery with a husband who comes to despise her when she does not produce a son. In an attack motivated by vendetta, Sofia’s father is crushed by his own fresco, compelling Sofia to act or risk the death of her soul. The choice she makes takes her on a journey from misery to the heights of passion—both as a painter and as a woman. Sofia escapes to Siena where, disguised as a boy, she paints again. When her work attracts the notice of a nobleman who discovers the woman under the dirty smock, Sofia is faced with a choice that nearly destroys her. The Towers of Tuscany unites a strong heroine with meticulously researched settings and compelling characters drawn from the rich tapestry of medieval Italy during one of Europe's most turbulent centuries. The stylishly written plot is packed with enough twists and turns to keep readers up long past their bedtimes.

READ AN EXCERPT.
 
The Towers of Tuscany
 

Praise for The Towers of Tuscany

“The Towers of Tuscany is a delightful escape to the Siena we all love. Carol Cram has crafted a delicious story about a strong woman torn between her secret past, her love of painting and the forbidden charms of her rich patron. Hard to resist and highly recommended!” - Anne Fortier, Author of The Lost Sisterhood and the New York Times bestseller, Juliet

 “Carol Cram's lush descriptions and intriguing characters bring this dramatic tale of medieval Tuscany to life. If you love Italian art, a feisty heroine, and a page-turning plot, you will adore this novel.” – Deborah Swift, Author of A Divided Inheritance

"The Towers of Tuscany has all the elements of a wonderful historical novel?a talented, frustrated heroine, a treacherous, feckless husband, and a promise to a dying, much loved father who orders the heroine on a dangerous mission. Carol is a first rate storyteller. The research is well done. Every chapter displays a fine knowledge of painting technique of the 14th century, and customs and mores of the age. The details of dress, fabric, food, are flawless. The clever dialogue and fast pace make the novel zing along." - Roberta Rich, Author of The Midwife of Venice and The Harem Midwife

“Sofia will set your heart racing as she attempts to find what we all, in our own ways, strive to seek: love, resolution, and artistic freedom. The legacy of this story will leave you yearning for more.” – Cathleen With, award-winning author of Having Faith in the Polar Girls’ Prison

Buy the Book

Amazon (Ebook)
Amazon (Paperback)
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository
IndieBound

About the AuthorCarol Cram

Carol M. Cram has enjoyed a great career as an educator, teaching at Capilano University in North Vancouver for over twenty years and authoring forty-plus bestselling textbooks on business communications and software applications. She holds an MA in Drama from the University of Toronto and an MBA from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. Carol is currently focusing as much of her attention as she can spare between walks in the woods on writing historical novels with an arts twist. She and her husband, painter Gregg Simpson, share a life on beautiful Bowen Island near Vancouver, Canada.

Author Links

Website
 Blog
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, April 7
Literary Chanteuse
Bibliophilia, Please
Cheryl's Book Nook
A Bibliotaph's Reviews
Confessions of an Avid Reader  
Tuesday, April 8
Mari Reads
Peeking Between the Pages
History From a Woman's Perspective
 Wednesday, April 9
Reviews by Molly
Susan Heim on Writing
Oh, For the Hook of a Book  
Thursday, April 10
Passages to the Past
Book Lovers Paradise
To Read or Not to Read
Curling Up With a Good Book  
Friday, April 11
Words and Peace
The Mad Reviewer
Historical Fiction Obsession  
Saturday, April 12
Book Nerd
Layered Pages
Princess of Eboli
Kelsey's Book Corner
Sunday, April 13
West Metro Mommy
The True Book Addict
Caroline Wilson Writes

Giveaway

To enter to win one of 3 copies of The Towers of Tuscany please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open internationally. Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on April 13th. You must be 18 or older to enter. Winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter on April 14th and notified via email. Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday, April 11, 2014

HFVBT: Ruth Hull Chatlien's The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte - Review


My thoughts
Historical fiction has done it again! Because of reading this novel, I have once again learned about an enigmatic historical figure. How did I not know of this strong and industrious woman?!

Elizabeth Patterson decided early on, after a strange foretelling by an African slave woman, that she would marry a man from Europe, perhaps even marry into royalty. She did just that. She met and married Jerome Bonaparte. Yes, the brother of the one and only Napoleon. As can be imagined, the marriage did not go over well. Napoleon's concern was to have his family make influential marriages that would benefit him politically. What follows is a lot of turmoil and upheaval in Elizabeth's life. However, not one to take things lying down, she perseveres.

I am absolutely delighted to have discovered this new author. Ruth Hull Chatlien has written a fantastic and meticulously researched historical novel about an American historical figure--a woman-- who should be known to all. Her life and experiences living as a strong and independent woman, during a time when very few women did so, are a credit to all women. I have already been looking around online for more information about Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte. I just can't wait to read more about her!

About the book
Publication Date: December 2, 2013
Amika Press
Paperback; 484p
ISBN: 978-1937484163

As a clever girl in stodgy, mercantile Baltimore, Betsy Patterson dreams of a marriage that will transport her to cultured Europe. When she falls in love with and marries Jerome Bonaparte, she believes her dream has come true—until Jerome’s older brother Napoleon becomes an implacable enemy.

Based on a true story, The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte is a historical novel that portrays this woman’s tumultuous life. Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, known to history as Betsy Bonaparte, scandalized Washington with her daring French fashions; visited Niagara Falls when it was an unsettled wilderness; survived a shipwreck and run-ins with British and French warships; dined with presidents and danced with dukes; and lived through the 1814 Battle of Baltimore. Yet through it all, Betsy never lost sight of her primary goal—to win recognition of her marriage.

Watch the Book Trailer





Buy the Book
Amazon (Paperback)
Amazon (Kindle)
Barnes & Noble (Paperback)
Barnes & Noble (Nook)



About the Author
Ruth Hull Chatlien has been a writer and editor of educational materials for twenty-five years. Her specialty is U.S. and world history. She is the author of Modern American Indian Leaders and has published several short stories and poems in literary magazines. The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte is her first published novel.

She lives in northeastern Illinois with her husband, Michael, and a very pampered dog named Smokey. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found gardening, knitting, drawing, painting, or watching football.

Connect with Ruth Hull Chatlien at her website or on Facebook.


Visit other blogs on the tour--Tour Schedule
Twitter Hashtag: #MadameBonaparteTour

A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for providing it.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Cat Thursday: Authors and Cats (31)


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)

The second Cat Thursday of each month is Authors and Cats Thursday. Each time I will feature an author and their cat(s).

Today is the birthday of author Anne McCaffrey who, sadly, is no longer with us. Born April 1, 1926, she was the prolific author of many fantasy/science fiction novels/series including Pern and The Talents Universe. She must have been a great cat lover because I know she wrote one book about a cat called No One Noticed the Cat (which I own). I have read a few of her books and I still own some that I have yet to read. She was a very talented author...and what a beautiful kitty she had. McCaffrey died on November 21, 2011 after suffering a stroke at her home in Ireland. RIP, dear lady.


Image credit: Random House

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

H.H. Miller's Inscription - Book Blast and {Giveaway}

H.H. Miller's Book Blast for Inscription will be featured around the blogopshere from March 31-April 13.

Inscription_Cover

Publication: January 9, 2014
H.H Miller
Paperback; 278p
ISBN-10: 0615944418
eBook; 700kb
ASIN: B00HSBNW5Y

The year is 1851 and the Grand Guard is ravaging Mainland. Arrests. Floggings. Swift executions. Twenty-year-old Caris McKay, the beautiful heiress of Oakside Manor, is sent to live with distant relations until the danger has passed. It's no refuge, however, as Lady Granville and her scheming son plot to get their hands on Caris's inheritance with treachery and deceit.

Soon, alarming news arrives that the ruthless Captain James Maldoro has seized Oakside and imprisoned Caris's beloved uncle. And now he's after her.

Caris escapes with the help of Tom Granville, the enigmatic silver-eyed heir of Thornbridge. But when a cryptic note about a hidden fortune launches them on a perilous journey across Mainland, Caris and Tom must rely on wits, courage, and their growing love for each other if they hope to survive.

Filled with adventure, intrigue, and romance, Inscription will transport you to a historically fictional world you'll never want to leave.

READ AN EXCERPT.

Buy the Book


Amazon (eBook)
Amazon (Paperback)
Barnes & Noble

About the AuthorH.H. Miller Author


H. H. Miller is the author of the novel Inscription, a historically fictional romantic adventure. In real life, she's content director at Stoke Strategy, a brand strategy firm in Seattle, Washington, where she specializes in transforming what some might call "boring" technology jargon into compelling, readable, memorable stories. Her favorite escape is Manzanita, Oregon - a place of beautiful beaches, wild storms, chilly nights around the bonfire (even in July), and time to enjoy life with her husband and three children.

For more information please visit H.H. Miller's Facebook Page.

Book Blast Schedule


Monday, March 31
A Bookish Affair
Closed the Cover
Mina's Bookshelf

Tuesday, April 1
Historical Fiction Connection

Wednesday, April 2
Book Nerd
CelticLady's Reviews

Thursday, April 3
Flashlight Commentary

Friday, April 4
The Mad Reviewer
Oh, for the Hook of a Book

Saturday, April 5
Pages of Comfort

Sunday, April 6
So Many Books, So Little Time

Monday, April 7
Confessions of an Avid Reader
History from a Woman's Perspective

Tuesday, April 8
The True Book Addict
Historical Fiction Obsession

Wednesday, April 9
Broken Teepee

Thursday, April 10
SOS Aloha
Caroline Wilson Writes

Friday, April 11
Layered Pages

Saturday, April 12
Susan Heim on Writing
Curling Up With a Good Book

Sunday, April 13
Passages to the Past

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Giveaway

To enter to win one of 2 copies of Inscription please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on April 13th.. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter on April 14th and notifiied via email.
Winners have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Friday, April 4, 2014

HFVBT: Anne Clinard Barnhill's Queen Elizabeth's Daughter - Review #QueenElizabethsDaughterTour


My thoughts
I have touched on this recently...how I would think that someone like me would grow tired of the Tudors, as I have been reading books and watching shows and films about them faithfully for years...and how honestly I thought I was starting to feel a bit less enamored in recent days. However, this author has such a spot on voice when it comes to writing about the Tudors. Queen Elizabeth I is arguably my most favorite Tudor figure and the depiction of her in this book is exactly as I imagine she was in life. This book has gone a step further by giving us a glimpse of Elizabeth had she been a mother via her interaction with her cousin and ward, Mary Shelton. However, in her dealings with Mary, as with any sovereign who is also a parent, she can't quite get past her queenly duties and responsibilities to do what is right and expected.

It would seem that Elizabeth's ultimate aim for her 'ladies' would be to remain marriage-less, like herself. However, if they did decide to marry they must have her exclusive permission and often Elizabeth would arrange a powerful match for them. When she does so with Mary, trying to match her with Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, Mary balks, as she finds him to be a cruel lecher. Instead, she falls in love with a man of low circumstance (comparably) and Elizabeth refuses to allow the marriage. What happens next is the explosion of Elizabeth's wrath and the resulting plight of serious danger for the newly married couple. Again, we are reminded that times were perilous with the Tudors. Whether you lived in the time of Henry VIII, Queen Mary or Elizabeth herself, the political intrigue and dangers knew no bounds. The author brings this across beautifully in her well-researched prose.

This is not the first time I have recommended a book by Ms. Barnhill and I'm sure it certainly will not be the last. If you want to read historical fiction about the Tudors, her books are the ones you want.

Read my review of At the Mercy of the Queen

About the book
Publication Date: March 18, 2014
St. Martin’s Griffin
Paperback; 320p
ISBN-10: 0312662122

Mistress Mary Shelton is Queen Elizabeth’s favorite ward, enjoying every privilege the position affords. The queen loves Mary like a daughter, and, like any good mother, she wants her to make a powerful match. The most likely prospect: Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford. But while Oxford seems to be everything the queen admires: clever, polished and wealthy, Mary knows him to be lecherous, cruel, and full of treachery. No matter how hard the queen tries to push her into his arms, Mary refuses.

Instead, Mary falls in love with a man who is completely unsuitable. Sir John Skydemore is a minor knight with little money, a widower with five children. Worst of all, he’s a Catholic at a time when Catholic plots against Elizabeth are rampant. The queen forbids Mary to wed the man she loves. When the young woman, who is the queen’s own flesh and blood, defies her, the couple finds their very lives in danger as Elizabeth’s wrath knows no bounds.



About the Author
Anne Clinard Barnhill has been writing or dreaming of writing for most of her life. For the past twenty years, she has published articles, book and theater reviews, poetry, and short stories. Her first book, AT HOME IN THE LAND OF OZ, recalls what it was like growing up with an autistic sister. Her work has won various awards and grants. Barnhill holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Besides writing, Barnhill also enjoys teaching, conducting writing workshops, and facilitating seminars to enhance creativity. She loves spending time with her three grown sons and their families. For fun, she and her husband of thirty years, Frank, take long walks and play bridge. In rare moments, they dance.

For more information, please visit Anne Clinard Barnhill’s website. You can also find her onFacebook and Twitter.


Visit other blogs on the tour--Tour Schedule
Twitter Hashtag: #QueenElizabethsDaughterTour

A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for providing it.

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V.E. Ulett's Blackwell's Paradise - Book Blast and {Giveaway}

Blackwell's Paradise

Blackwell's Paradise
by V.E. Ulett

Publication Date: January 8, 2014
Old Salt Press LLC
Formats: Ebook, Paperback

Series: Blackwell's Adventures, Volume II
Genre: Historical Adventure/Naval HF

Relive the pleasure of falling into the past with the author of Captain Blackwell’s Prize, in Volume II of Blackwell’s Adventures.

The repercussions of a court martial and the ill-will of powerful men at the Admiralty pursue Royal Navy captain James Blackwell into the Pacific, where danger lurks around every coral reef. Even if Captain Blackwell and Mercedes survive the venture into the world of early nineteenth century exploration, can they emerge unchanged with their love intact. The mission to the Great South Sea will test their loyalties and strength, and define the characters of Captain Blackwell and his lady in Blackwell’s Paradise.

Enter the Goodreads Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Blackwell's Paradise by V.E. Ulett

Blackwell's Paradise

by V.E. Ulett

Giveaway ends April 30, 2014. See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win
 

Praise for Blackwell's Paradise


“Not for the faint hearted – Captain Blackwell pulls no punches! Prepare for a right roaring romp in the company of two of the most captivating characters in historical fiction.” - Alaric Bond, author of Turn A Blind Eye, and the Fighting Sail Series

Buy the Book


Amazon (eBook)
Amazon (Paperback)
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
Barnes & Noble (Paperback)
Book Depository
iTunes

About the AuthorVE Ulett


A long time resident of California, V.E. Ulett is an avid reader as well as writer of historical fiction.

Proud to be an Old Salt Press author, V.E. is also a member of the National Books Critics Circle and an active member and reviewer for the Historical Novel Society.

As the long war in Europe comes to its conclusion, so does Captain Blackwell’s career in the Royal Navy in BLACKWELLS’ HOMECOMING, a story of the dangers and rewards of desire.

Author Links


Website
Goodreads
Old Salt Press

Book Blast Schedule


April 1 Historical Tapestry
April 2 Broken Teepee
April 3 Confessions of an Avid Reader
April 4 The True Book Addict
April 7 Layered Pages
April 8 The Maiden's Court
April 9 Passages the Past
April 10 Just One More Chapter
April 11 Closed the Cover
April 12 Words and Peace
April 14 Luxury Reading
April 15 To Read or Not to Read
April 16 Peeking Between the Pages
April 18 So Many Books, So Little Time
April 21 Flashlight Commentary
April 22 Curling Up With a Good Book
April 23 HF Book Muse-News
April 24 A Bookish Affair
April 25 Oh, For the Hook of a Book
April 27 Kincavel Korner
April 28 CelticLady's Reviews
April 29 Historical Fiction Connection
April 30 Reading the Ages

Giveaway

To enter to win a copy of Blackwell's Paradise please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on April 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter on May 1st and notified via email.
Winners have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cat Thursday - Cute Faces Abound


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)

This week I'm featuring cute kitty faces! 





Poor kitty. :(  We love you!

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Year with Six Sisters' Stuff - Review and {Giveaway}


My thoughts
I was thrilled to be invited on this tour because these ladies have become my go-to resource for great recipes that my family loves. As you might have seen in some of my A Reading Life Monday posts, I have shared many recipes that I've prepared from their Six Sisters' Stuff blog.

Since receiving their new book a couple of months ago, I have prepared one of the recipes several times. My younger son is over the moon for this one. It's the Slow Cooker Eight-Can Taco Soup. One of the simplest recipes I've ever prepared, I often double the recipe and we have delicious leftovers for days!

Six Sister's Stuff Eight-Can Taco Soup

Another recipe I tried for the first time last week was the Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Meatballs. Absolutely delicious! This dish has an Asian taste...perfect served over rice. It was such a hit with my boys that they requested I make it again and I'm actually making it for supper tonight. Can't wait!

Six Sisters' Stuff Sweet and Sour Meatballs
I highly recommend this book. These sisters really know their 'stuff'!

Note: please excuse the terrible cell phone photos.

About the book
Filled with delicious tried-and-true family favorites and oh-so-easy-to-make dishes, A Year with Six Sisters' Stuff features all-new recipes using basic ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. Each menu is designed to make your dinner plans as easy as possible—and with such wide variety and a photograph accompanying every recipe in the book, you can easily mix and match menus to create a year's worth of dinner ideas.

In addition, the Sisters share some of their favorite family dinner traditions and crafts, as well as 52 dinner conversation starters, a list of pantry staples, and, food storage plan for beginners.

About the author
The Six Sisters—Camille, Kristen, Elyse, Stephanie, Lauren, and Kendra—grew up in Utah, but a few of them have lived in other parts of the country since moving out of the house. Between them there are five nieces and three nephews, and all of the sisters love playing “aunt.” The sisters started the blog in February 2011 to keep in touch while they were apart, but it has since gained popularity, garnering more than 9 million viewers per month and more than 307,000 followers on Pinterest.

Enter below for your chance for a copy of A Year with Six Sisters' Stuff

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for providing it.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spring Events Abound...Bloggiesta and Once Upon a Time and more...Oh My!


Bloggiesta is here (has actually already started) and I'm not sure how much I will accomplish since it's the end of the month for work and I'm always slammed, but I'll still try to get some things done. Not sure if I'll have time for mini-challenges, but might make a chat...or two.

Goals

  • Make button and create sign up post for my Spring into Horror read-a-thon in April.
  • Finally make a decision on when I will host my next Sit Down and Write Write-a-Thon (create button).
  • create sign-up post for The Strain read-a-long, coming to Castle Macabre in May/June.
  • Update reading challenge stats
These next two items I always put on the list, but usually never get around to. Maybe this time?
  • start listing books on my library blog.
  • update my books read list and start linking to reviews

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I signed up for these at my Challenge blog. Click the links above or images below to see what I'm reading.










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Hosted at ebook classics and Cedar Station

Since this is on my Classics Club list, I thought I would sign up. Hope I can keep up!

Posting schedule:

Part One – April 10, 2014

Part Two – April 20, 2014

Part Three – April 30, 2014

Twitter hashtag:  #MadameBovary2014

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