Tuesday, July 14, 2020

THE WOMEN OF CHATEAU LAFAYETTE #StephanieDray #CoverReveal #HistoricalFiction


July 14th marks Bastille Day, a pivotal turning point in the French Revolution, now celebrated as France’s national independence day. 

What better day to announce the cover reveal of THE WOMEN OF CHATEAU LAFAYETTE by New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Dray (Berkley hardcover; on-sale March 30, 2021).

Enter to win an advanced reader copy (link at the bottom of the post).

ABOUT THE BOOK
An epic saga from New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Dray based on the true story of an extraordinary castle in the heart of France and the remarkable women bound by its legacy in three of humanity's darkest hours.

Most castles are protected by powerful men. This one by women...

A founding mother...
1774. Gently-bred noblewoman Adrienne Lafayette becomes her husband's political partner in the fight for American independence. But when their idealism sparks revolution in France and the guillotine threatens everything she holds dear, Adrienne must choose to renounce the complicated man she loves, or risk her life for a legacy that will inspire generations to come.

A daring visionary...
1914. Glittering New York socialite Beatrice Astor Chanler is a force of nature, daunted by nothing--not her humble beginnings, her crumbling marriage, or the outbreak of war. But after witnessing the devastation in France and delivering war-relief over dangerous seas, Beatrice takes on the challenge of a lifetime: convincing America to fight for what's right.

A reluctant resistor...
1940. French school-teacher and aspiring artist Marthe Simone has an orphan's self-reliance and wants nothing to do with war. But as the realities of Nazi occupation transform her life in the isolated castle where she came of age, she makes a discovery that calls into question who she is, and more importantly, who she is willing to become.

Intricately woven and beautifully told, The Women of Chateau Lafayette is a sweeping novel about duty and hope, love and courage, and the strength we find from standing together in honor of those who came before us.


Q&A WITH STEPHANIE DRAY

What made you fall in love with Adrienne Lafayette and why do you think readers will fall for her as you did?

Thanks to a popular musical, the Marquis de Lafayette is known to a new generation as "America's Favorite Fighting Frenchman"--and there's good reason for that. He's easily the most lovable of our Founding Fathers, and his wife, whom he called his dear heart, is just as lovable if not more so. Adrienne was our French Founding Mother, so right up my alley as a heroine, but at first I worried she was too sweet, devoted, and forgiving. In short, too gentle for a novel. Little did I realize that more than any other historical heroine I've ever written, Adrienne fought and sacrificed for her principles, courageously threw herself into danger, confronted tyrants, and endured trials that would have broken lesser mortals. She truly humbles me, and when I talk about the Lafayette legacy, I think of it as every bit as much hers as it is his.

How long did it take you to write this book? Did the story evolve as you researched, or did you always know you wanted to take on the lives of these particular women?

I was always interested in Lafayette--an interest that grew as Laura Kamoie and I co-authored America's First Daughter and My Dear Hamilton. I think I had the germ of the idea for a Lafayette novel at least seven years ago, but I had other projects in the way. And I was always in search of an angle that would be fresh and unique. That came to me when I discovered that Lafayette's castle in Auvergne, which had been purchased and renovated by Americans, served to shelter Jewish children from the Nazis. Knowing how deeply the Lafayettes both felt about religious freedom, I knew this would have pleased them, and it touched me. I was then determined to know which Americans had purchased the chateau, and when I found out, yet another glorious chapter in the Lafayette legacy was born. That's when the story took shape for me about one special place on this earth where, generation after generation, faith has been kept with principles of liberty and humanity. I find that very inspirational, now more than ever.

The book is centered around Lafayette’s castle, the Château de Chavaniac, and the pivotal role it played during three of history’s darkest hours—the French Revolution and both World Wars. If you could have dinner with any three people (dead or alive) at Chavaniac, who would you choose and why?

Believe it or not, this is actually a difficult choice because so many incredible men and women passed through those doors. I'd have to start with the Lafayettes--though I hope they would not serve me pigeons, which were a favorite at their wedding banquet. To join us for dinner, I'd choose the colorful stage-star of the Belle Epoque, Beatrice Chanler, because she was a force of nature without whom Chavaniac might not still be standing. Actress, artist, philanthropist, decorated war-relief worker and so-called Queen of the Social Register, she was as mysterious as she was wonderful, and even after all the startling discoveries I made researching her larger-than-life existence, I have a million questions about the early life she tried so hard to hide. I can't wait for readers to meet her!

Enter the ARC giveaway here.



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Thursday, July 9, 2020

#CatThursday - #Authors and #Cats (96) Chester Himes


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat 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! Share the link to your post with your comment below.

The second Cat Thursday of each month is Authors and Cats Thursday. Each time I will feature an author (with a birthday during the month), pictured with their/a cat(s), or guest posts by cat loving authors who also (sometimes) write about cats.


Each time I discover another cat loving author, my heart sings!


Chester Bomar Himes (b. July 29, 1909, d. November 12, 1984) began writing in the early 1930s while serving a prison sentence for armed robbery. From there, he produced short stories for periodicals such as Esquire and Abbott's Monthly. When released, he focused on semi-autobiographical protest novels.


In 1953, Himes emigrated to France, where he was approached by Marcel Duhamel of Gallimard to write a detective series for Série Noire, which had published works from the likes of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Jim Thompson. Himes would be the first black author included in the series. The resulting Harlem Cycle gained him celebrity when he won France's Grand Prix de Littérature Policière for La Reine des Pommes (now known in English as A Rage in Harlem) in 1958. Three of these novels have been adapted into movies: Cotton Comes to Harlem, directed by Ossie Davis in 1970; Come Back, Charleston Blue (based on The Heat's On) in 1972; and A Rage in Harlem, starring Gregory Hines and Danny Glover in 1991.

In 1968, Himes moved to Spain where he made his home until his death. (Goodreads)




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Thursday, July 2, 2020

#CatThursday - Preferred #IndependenceDay activities of #cats


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat 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! Share the link to your post with your comment below.

Why yes...I forgot to post Cat Thursday at midnight! I'm moving in a little over a month so that's where my brain is these days. Oh, the packing of thousands of books! 

Happy 4th to you all! Stay safe and well. 🎆








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Thursday, June 25, 2020

#CatThursday - Selfies #cats


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat 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! Share the link to your post with your comment below.





Alice has a particular talent!


Arya needs a little practice. 




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Thursday, June 18, 2020

#CatThursday - No Privacy #cats


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat 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! Share the link to your post with your comment below.







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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

An Important Moment in History - Donna Russo Morin's Gilded Dreams #Review


As our country continues to fight for equality and equal justice for all people, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation, a book like this serves as a beacon of hope of what could be. 

The characters I so loved in Gilded Summers come to life with even more purpose in Gilded Dreams. This time it's not just a fight for their own individuality. It's a fight for all women to have a say in the laws of the land, and those who make them, by earning the right to vote. It was a long, hard fight...one which Pearl and Ginevra joined close to the culmination of its victory, but no less hard fought by these two extraordinary and strong women. 

The incorporation of the historical figures and events which occurred during the long fight for women's suffrage made this novel a riveting read. The tragedy within, the sad aftermath of the Titanic disaster, the terrible reality of the Great War, the Night of Terror, all brought a sense of poignancy to the story as each touched the lives of the characters. 

This sequel was meant to be written. I hope women, and men, will read this book to honor the hard work of our forebears. Only through the continued interest of artists who choose to depict these important historical events will they ever remain a reminder of what was fought for and won. I, for one, am honored to be a woman who is allowed to vote because of these women who went before, and on August 18, 2020, I will proudly wear the gold, white, and purple colors.

Gilded Dreams was released today. 
Available at Amazon and all major and independent bookstores. 

About the book
From the bestselling author of GILDED SUMMERS comes a powerful novel of the last eight years of the American Women’s fight for suffrage .

The battle for the vote is on fire in America. The powerful and rich women of Newport, Rhode Island, are not only some of the most involved suffragettes, their wealth - especially that of the indomitable Alva Vanderbilt Belmont - nearly single-handedly funded the major suffrage parties. Yet they have been left out of history, tossed aside as mere socialites. In GILDED DREAMS, they reclaim their rightful place in history.

Pearl and Ginevra (GILDED SUMMERS) are two of its most ardent warriors. College graduates, professional women, wives, and mothers, these progressive women have fought their way through some of life’s harshest challenges, yet they survived, yet they thrive. Now they set their sights on the vote, the epitome of all they have struggled for, the embodiment of their dreams.

From the sinking of the Titanic, through World War 1, Pearl and Ginevra are once more put to the test as they fight against politics, outdated beliefs, and the most cutting opponent of all... other women. Yet they will not rest until their voices are heard until they - and all the women of America - are allowed to cast their vote. But to gain it, they must overcome yet more obstacles, some that put their very lives in danger.

An emotional and empowering journey, GILDED DREAMS is a historical, action-packed love letter to the women who fought so hard for all women who stand on the shoulders of their triumph.

From the Author
I wrote this book with the distinct intent to publish it in the year thatmarks the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment which gaveAmerican women the right to vote. I wrote it with the hope that come August 18, 2020, every American woman will celebrate it as aday of great achievement in women’s history…in American history.The suffragettes suffered for their right to vote, do not waste yours."

About the Author
Donna Russo Morin was born in Providence, Rhode Island. Her writing endeavors began at age six and covered such timely topics as The Pink Pussy Cat for President and The Numbers 2 and 4 are in Love.

Traveling through adolescence on the wings of the ‘60s gave Donna a lot of grist for her writing mill. Feminism, civil rights, the Vietnam War were all a disturbing yet highly motivating muse. Donna found her voice in fiction and with the appearance of a new horror writer on the book scene, a little known author named Stephen King, she turned her pen to the gruesome and the grotesque.

After graduating from the University of Rhode Island, Donna worked in marketing and advertising for large corporations and small non-profit arts organizations. When she had her children, she knew with a certainty that she needed to show them, by example, that if you believe in yourself, anything is possible.

Donna's professional acumen has once more expanded and she is now an Acquisitions Editor for Next Chapter Books.

With the growing popularity of Donna's paintings, she will hold her first exhibit of oil and acrylic paintings in June of 2020 and will soon launch a website dedicated to her work where originals and fine art prints may be purchased.

In addition to writing and teaching writing (in the classroom and online, Donna is a professional author consultant/editor with more than thirty years of experience. She's also worked as a model and actor since the age of seventeen when she did her first television commercial for Sears. Since then she has appeared in more than thirty television spots and print ads, everything from changing the oil in her car (that was acting) to modeling fur coats. She also appeared in three episodes of Showtime’s THE BROTHERHOOD, as well as in Martin Scorsese’s THE DEPARTED. She is currently at work blending her two careers and is now writing for the screen as well.

Donna lives peacefully, close to the beautiful shoreline of Rhode Island that she loves so much. Her two sons--Devon, an opera singer and Dylan, a trained chef--will always be her greatest works.

Visit her website at www.donnarussomorin.com,
Friend her at http://www.facebook.com/Donna.Russo.Morin, and follow her on Twitter at @DonnaRussoMorin.


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Thursday, June 11, 2020

#CatThursday - #Authors and #Cats (95) Mircea Cărtărescu


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat 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! Share the link to your post with your comment below.

The second Cat Thursday of each month is Authors and Cats Thursday. Each time I will feature an author (with a birthday during the month), pictured with their/a cat(s), or guest posts by cat loving authors who also (sometimes) write about cats.


Mircea Cărtărescu (born June 01, 1956) is a Romanian poet, novelist, essayist and a professor at the University of Bucharest.

Born in Bucharest, he graduated from the University of Bucharest's Faculty of Letters, Department of Romanian Language And Literature, in 1980. Between 1980 and 1989 he worked as a Romanian language teacher, and then he worked at the Writers Union and as an editor at the Caiete Critice magazine. In 1991 he became a lecturer at the Chair of Romanian Literary History, part of the University of Bucharest Faculty of Letters. As of 2010, he is an associate professor. Between 1994-1995 he was a visiting lecturer at the University of Amsterdam.

Among his writings: "Nostalgia" (a full edition of the earlier published "Visul"), 1993, "Travesti" 1994, "Orbitor" 2001, "Enciclopedia zmeilor" ("The Encyclopedia of Dragons") 2002, "Pururi tânãr, înfãsurat în pixeli" ("Forever young, convolved in pixels") 2002, "De ce iubim femeile" bestseller ("Why do we love women") 2004. (Goodreads)




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Thursday, June 4, 2020

#CatThursday - Creepy #cats


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat 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! Share the link to your post with your comment below.






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Thursday, May 28, 2020

#CatThursday - #Cat Sleeping Positions (4)


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat 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! Share the link to your post with your comment below.








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Thursday, May 21, 2020

#CatThursday - #Cats judging (3)


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat 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! Share the link to your post with your comment below.







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