*UPDATE*

I have updated my review and giveaway policies page (now just titled Policies above). If you are entering a giveaway, please read and abide by the applicable policy.

I am no longer an Amazon Associate. I am currently working on updating my posts with links to various locations to buy books. One of the links I am including is to RJ Julia - this is my favorite local independent book store. You can shop their store online and have access to pretty much anything you are looking for. I do not have any affiliation with any of these sites - just looking to support my local indie book store.

Anyone looking for a new feed reader? My recommendation is Bloglovin'. I made the switch and love the layout, plus there is now an app for my phone. If you use Bloglovin' or have made the switch to another feed reader, please make sure you are following me on it so you miss none of the content here!

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Friday, March 27, 2015

In-Progress Review & Giveaway: Race to Tibet by Sophie Schiller

race to tibet

Race to Tibet by Sophie Schiller
E-Book, 342 pages
Tradewinds Publishing
January 14, 2015

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: Received from publisher for review for France Book Tours

"An intrepid band of explorers headed by Gabriel Bonvalot, France’s greatest explorer, and his partner, Prince Henri d’Orléans, attempt to be the first living Europeans to reach Lhasa. Before they leave Paris, Bonvalot meets Camille Dancourt, the beautiful, strong-willed wife of a French surveyor who disappeared in Tibet, who desperately wishes to join the expedition. When the caravan sets out they face freezing temperatures, violent winds, mountain sickness, hostile Tibetans, duplicitous Chinese Mandarins, and a beguiling Tibetan Buddhist princess with a deadly secret. When the explorers reach Tibet, they discover a land of mystery and intrigue, a land of danger that promises them only one thing: death. On the verge of collapse, Bonvalot realizes they must resort to deadly force if they ever wish to escape Tibet alive."

Please note this is an in-process review (I swear I do finish books! It has just been a crazy couple weeks). A full review will be forth coming. I am approximately two-thirds of the way through the book at this point.

Race to Tibet is a true adventure story – the characters traverse some of the most dangerous locations of their time (and probably still today). The author makes it clear to the reader just how terrible the circumstances were of their expedition – the cold, the mountain elevation illness, predators, bandits, severe storms, etc. No one seemed to want the travelers to make it to Tibet. It had to be almost an art-form attempting to get there.

One of the strangest elements of the book so far is the seemingly “is he real or isn’t he real” character of Przewalski. I haven’t yet determined if he is just a very vivid manifestation of Bonvalot’s mind or if he is actually still alive (since he is supposed to be dead at the start of the novel). I don’t know if I am supposed to question Bonvalot’s sanity or if it is some mystery element – I’m sure that will pan out more as the book resolves.

Unlike many historical fiction novels, 98% of the characters in this book are male – there is one female character (at least so far), Camille Dancourt. It is a much needed element, to break up all of that testosterone on this expedition – even though it would have been very odd for a female to be on an expedition of this sort. She helps to make life more difficult for Bonvalot as he now has to keep his eye on a woman as well as leading the expedition. I actually enjoy this male lead, action adventure.

The author does a great job of keeping the tension high as the group treks through the mountains. You never can get quite comfortable! They are just reaching what will likely be the most dangerous part of their expedition – so I look forward to seeing how this whole thing resolves.

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia


Also by Sophie Schiller:

spy island

Spy Island

 

About the Author:

Race to Tibet - Sophie SchillerSophie Schiller was born in Paterson, NJ and grew up in the West Indies.  Among other oddities her family tree contains a Nobel prize-winning physicist and a French pop singer.  She loves stories that carry the reader back in time to exotic and far-flung locations.  She was educated at American University, Washington, DC and lives in Brooklyn, NY.  She is currently at work on a new historical thriller set in the Caribbean.

Find Sophie Schiller: Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

Follow the Tour!  

Race to Tibet banner

France Book Tours webpage for Race to Tibet

 

Giveaway!

**Please note that these giveaways are tour-wide and the rules are set and giveaway hosted by the tour coordinator**

There are lots of great giveaways up for grabs on this tour.  Enter the prizes below by completing the form.

There are 5 books up for grabs.  International giveaway - Print/digital for US/Canada residents, Digital for other countries.

 

Copyright © 2015 by The Maiden’s Court

New Book Alert Book Blast & Giveaway: Mademoiselle Chanel by C.W. Gortner

mademoiselle chanel

Mademoiselle Chanel by C.W. Gortner
Hardcover, e-Book. audiobook. 416 pages
Published March 17, 2015 by William Morrow/Harper Collins
Genre: Historical Fiction
ISBN: 0062356402

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Book Blurb:

"DRAMA, PASSION, TRAGEDY, AND BEAUTY: C.W.’s new novel stunningly imagines the life of Coco Chanel—the iconic fashion designer whose staggering creativity built an empire and made her one of the 20th century’s most influential, and controversial, figures.

Born into rural poverty, Gabrielle Chanel and her sisters are sent to a convent orphanage after their mother’s death. Here, the nuns nurture Gabrielle’s exceptional sewing skills, a talent that will propel her into a life far removed from the drudgery of her childhood.

Transforming herself into Coco—a seamstress and sometime torch singer—the petite brunette burns with ambition, an incandescence that draws a wealthy gentleman who will become the love of her life. She immerses herself in his world of money and luxury, discovering a freedom that sparks her creativity. But it is only when her lover takes her to Paris that Coco discovers her destiny.

Rejecting the frilly, corseted silhouette of the past, her sleek minimalist styles reflect the youthful ease and confidence of the 1920s modern woman. As Coco’s reputation spreads, her couturier business explodes, taking her into rarefied society circles and bohemian salons. Her little black dress, her signature perfume No. 5; her dramatic friendships, affairs, and rivalries with luminaries of her era increase her wealth and fame. But as the years pass, success cannot save her from heartbreak. And when Paris falls to the Nazis during World War II, Coco finds herself at a dangerous crossroads, forced to make choices that will forever change her.

An enthralling portrayal of an extraordinary woman who created the life she desired, Mademoiselle Chanel is Coco’s intimate story."

Praise for Mademoiselle Chanel:

“In this deliciously satisfying novel, C.W. Gortner tells the epic, rags-to-riches story of how this brilliant, mercurial, self-created woman became a legend.” -Christina Baker Kline, New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train

“In a novel as brilliant and complicated as Coco Chanel herself, C. W. Gortner’s prose is so electric and luminous it could be a film, and not just any film, but one of the grandest biopics of our time. Divine!” -Erika Robuck, bestselling author of Hemingway’s Girl

“A richly imagined, deftly researched novel, in which the ever fascinating Coco Chanel comes to life in all her woe and splendor, her story unfolding as elegantly as a Chanel gown.” -Cathy Marie Buchanan, author of The Painted Girls

“From her heart-wrenching early years through her decades of struggle and glory, Gabrielle Chanel was fascinating—as is C.W. Gortner’s Mademoiselle Chanel. Coco lives again in this rich tale of brilliance, determination, and fierce self-creation.” -Ania Szado, author of Studio Saint-Ex

“Gortner brings to life a woman who was as alluring and captivating as her signature scent. ” -Historical Novels Review

“Gortner brings history to life in a fascinating study of one woman’s unstoppable ambition.” -Booklist

“Well-written and historically accurate . . . An homage to a couture icon whose influence is still powerful today.” -Kirkus Reviews


Where to Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia | Books-A-Million | iTunes | IndieBound


About C.W. Gortner:

03_CW GortnerC.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.

C.W. recently completed his fourth novel for Ballantine Books, about Lucrezia Borgia; the third novel in his Tudor Spymaster series for St Martin’s Press; and a new novel about the dramatic, glamorous life of Coco Chanel, scheduled for lead title publication by William Morrow, Harper Collins, in the spring of 2015.

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.

Find C.W. Gortner: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Youtube | Sign up for his Newsletter

 

Giveaway:

Please note - this is a tour wide giveaway and as such it is not hosted by me.  The winner will be selected by the tour coordinator - HFVBT.

Up for grabs: Three Chanel-style black and white beaded bracelets.

  • Giveaway starts on March 17th at 12:01am and ends on April 3rd at 11:59pm EST.
  • 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.
  • Winners will be notified via email and have 48 hours to claim prize, or new winner is chosen.

Mademoiselle Chanel Book Blast Giveaway

 

Follow the Tour!

04_Mademoiselle Chanel_Book Blast Banner_FINAL

On Twitter: #MademoiselleChanelBookBlast #HistoricalFiction
HFVBT Web Page

Tuesday, March 17
Mina’s Bookshelf
Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
So Many Books, So Little Time

Wednesday, March 18
Forever Ashley
History From a Woman’s Perspective

Thursday, March 19
The Lit Bitch
100 Pages a Day

Friday, March 20
A Literary Vacation
Beth’s Book Nook Blog
What Is That Book About

Saturday, March 21
Genre Queen

Sunday, March 22
A Bookish Girl

Monday, March 23
Let them Read Books

Tuesday, March 24
Unshelfish
The True Book Addict

Wednesday, March 25
Historical Fiction Connection
The Never-Ending Book

Thursday, March 26
Broken Teepee

Friday, March 27
The Maiden’s Court

Saturday, March 28
Caroline Wilson Writes
Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Sunday, March 29
Passages to the Past

Monday, March 30
Flashlight Commentary
To Read, Or Not to Read
I’d So Rather Be Reading

Tuesday, March 31
Book Lovers Paradise

Wednesday, April 1
Booktalk & More

Thursday, April 2
CelticLady’s Reviews

Friday, April 3
Book Nerd
Luxury Reading

Copyright © 2015 by The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

New Book Alert - Book Blast: Sudetenland by George T. Chronis

02_Sudetenland_Cover-683x1024

Sudetenland by George T. Chronis
Paperback & e-book, 744 pages
Published: September 30, 2014 by BookBaby
Genre: Historical Fiction
ISBN: 1508788863

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Book Blurb:

"Sudetenland is the premiere novel by author George T. Chronis. The book delivers suspenseful and sweeping historical fiction set against Central European intrigue during the late 1930s leading up to 1938’s Munich Conference. Having swallowed up Austria, Adolph Hitler now covets Czechoslovakian territory. Only France has the power to stand beside the government in Prague against Germany… but will she? The characters are the smart and sometimes wise-cracking men and women of this era – the foreign correspondents, intelligence officers, diplomats and career military – who are on the front lines of that decade’s most dangerous political crisis. If Czechoslovak president Edvard Beneš ignores the advice of French premier Édouard Daladier and refuses to give up Bohemian territory willingly, then Hitler orders that it be taken by force. The novel takes readers behind the scenes into the deliberations and high drama taking place within major European capitals such as Prague, Paris, Berlin, Vienna and London as the continent hurtles toward the crucible of a shooting war."

Praise for Sudetenland:

“Chronis impresses with such a challenging and intriguing debut effort, well written, impeccably researched.” — Melinda, Unshelfish

“Anyone that is looking for a thorough and rewarding read will enjoy Sudetenland.” — Diana, BookNerd

“The plot moves quickly along keeping you intrigued with well defined characters and great imagery to help immerse yourself in the story… I adored the way George managed to weave together the tragedy of war, depression and politics with romance, love and hope.” — Jennifer, pirategrl1014

Where to Buy: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

About George T. Chronis:

After years as a journalist and magazine editor, George T. Chronis decided to return to his lifelong passion, storytelling. A lover of both 1930s cinema and world history, Chronis is now devoted to bringing life to the mid-20th Century fictional narratives that have been in his thoughts for years. Sudetenland is his first novel. Taking place during turbulent times in Central Europe during the 1930s, the book took eight years to research and write. The author is already hard at work on his second novel.

Chronis is married with two daughters, and lives with his wife in a Southern California mountain community.

Find George T. Chronis: Website | Tumbler | Sign Up For Newsletter 

Follow the Tour!

sudetenland tour banner

On Twitter: #SudetenlandBlogTour  #HistoricalFiction
HFVBT Tour Webpage

Monday, March 16
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, March 17
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Monday, March 23
Spotlight & Excerpt at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, March 24
Spotlight & Excerpt at The Maiden’s Court
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, March 26
Spotlight at Mythical Books
Spotlight & Excerpt at Kinx’s Book Nook

Thursday, March 26
Review at A Virtual Hobby Store and Coffee Haus
Spotlight & Excerpt at Griperang’s Bookmarks
Spotlight & Excerpt at Seize the Moment

Friday, March 27
Review at Genre Queen
Spotlight & Excerpt at A Book Geek

 

Copyright © 2015 by The Maiden’s Court

Monday, March 23, 2015

In-Progress Review & Giveaway: Mademoiselle Chanel by C.W. Gortner

mademoiselle chanel

Mademoiselle Chanel by C.W. Gortner
ARC, e-Book, 416 pages
William Morrow
March 17, 2015

goodreads button

Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: Received from publisher for review for France Book Tours

"For readers of “The Paris Wife” and “Z” comes this vivid novel full of drama, passion, tragedy, and beauty that stunningly imagines the life of iconic fashion designer Coco Chanel—the ambitious, gifted laundrywoman’s daughter who revolutionized fashion, built an international empire, and became one of the most influential and controversial figures of the twentieth century.

Born into rural poverty, Gabrielle Chanel and her siblings are sent to an orphanage after their mother’s death. The sisters nurture Gabrielle’s exceptional sewing skills, a talent that will propel the willful young woman into a life far removed from the drudgery of her childhood.

Transforming herself into Coco—a seamstress and sometime torch singer—the petite brunette burns with ambition, an incandescence that draws a wealthy gentleman who will become the love of her life. She immerses herself in his world of money and luxury, discovering a freedom that sparks her creativity. But it is only when her lover takes her to Paris that Coco discovers her destiny.

Rejecting the frilly, corseted silhouette of the past, her sleek, minimalist styles reflect the youthful ease and confidence of the 1920s modern woman. As Coco’s reputation spreads, her couturier business explodes, taking her into rarefied society circles and bohemian salons. But her fame and fortune cannot save her from heartbreak as the years pass. And when Paris falls to the Nazis, Coco is forced to make choices that will haunt her.

An enthralling novel of an extraordinary designer who created the life she desired, Mademoiselle Chanel explores the inner world of a woman of staggering ambition whose strength, passion and artistic vision would become her trademark."

Please note that this is an in-process review – I am a little over half-way done with the book at the time of this writing. The last two weeks were unexpectedly taken over by my being fairly ill and at the same time having to write my class research paper. A full review will be forthcoming.

Mademoiselle Chanel is author C.W. Gortner’s first foray into more of a contemporary historical fiction novel setting and he excels here just as he does elsewhere!

Gabrielle Chanel had a tough life growing up, but through persistence, hard work, and a little bit of luck, she was able to pull herself (and some of her family) up from poverty into the world where she rubbed elbows with duchesses and other elite. It was amazing seeing her entirely recreate herself and truly make her life her own – when it was pretty much a blank slate to begin with. She was a very interesting woman at a very different historical time. Women were just starting to break out of the stereotype roles – Chanel fought against a lot of adversity from men and other women as she sought to build her own shop/empire.

Gortner’s descriptions of Paris, the convents, and the rich estates that Chanel moved through are beautiful and allow the reader to be able to visualize it in its entirety. I have never been to Paris and have not have much experience reading about this city or time period, so I do not have a lot of pre-conceived knowledge to work with, but I can picture each setting brilliantly.

Gortner also is magnificent at evoking emotions from his readers and that is present here as well. Chanel faces some losses in her life and I admit to shedding a few tears at least once – and I did not even know the characters for all that long! That is saying something!

If you would like to preview the story before reading it, why not try out this excerpt of the book?

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia | IndieBound | HarperCollins

 

Also by C.W. Gortner:

the last queen
The Last Queen

confession of catherine
The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
[My Review]

the queen's voq
The Queen’s Vow
[My Review]

tudor secret
The Tudor Secret (Book 1 Elizabeth I Spymaster trilogy)
[My Review]

tudor conspiracy
The Tudor Conspiracy (Book 2 Elizabeth I Spymaster trilogy)
[My Review]

tudor vendetta
The Tudor Vendetta (Book 3 Elizabeth I Spymaster trilogy)
[My Review]

About the Author:

Mademoiselle Chanel - CW GortnerC.W. Gortner is the international bestselling author of six historical novels, translated in over twenty-five languages to date. His new novel, “Mademoiselle Chanel”, traces the tumultuous rise to fame of iconic fashion designer, Coco Chanel. In 2016, Random House will publish his eighth novel, “Vatican Princess”, about Lucrezia Borgia.

Raised in Spain and a long-time resident of the Bay Area, C.W. is also dedicated to companion animal rescue from overcrowded shelters.

Find C.W. Gortner: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Subscribe to Gortner's Newsletter

Follow the Tour!

Mademoiselle Chanel banner

France Book Tours Webpage for Mademoiselle Chanel

Giveaway!

**Please note that these giveaways are tour-wide and the rules are set and giveaway hosted by the tour coordinator**

There are lots of great giveaways up for grabs on this tour!  To enter to win one of the following four prizes, please complete the giveaway form below.

Open to US only.

There will be 6 winners:

  • 5 printed copies
  • 1 beautiful, handcrafted beaded bracelet inspired by Coco’s black-and-white signature colors and camellia design

mademoiselle-chanel-bracelet-e1426264742316

 

Copyright © 2015 by The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Book Review: The Evening Chorus by Helen Humphreys

the evening chorus

The Evening Chorus by Helen Humphreys
ARC, Paperback, 304 pages
Mariner Books
February 3, 2015
★★★☆☆

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Genre: Historical fiction

Source: Received the book for review from publisher

“Downed during his first mission, James Hunter is taken captive as a German POW. To bide the time, he studies a nest of redstarts at the edge of camp. Some prisoners plot escape; some are shot. And then, one day, James is called to the Kommandant’s office.

Meanwhile, back home, James’s new wife, Rose, is on her own, free in a way she has never known. Then, James’s sister, Enid, loses everything during the Blitz and must seek shelter with Rose. In a cottage near Ashdown forest, the two women jealously guard secrets, but form a surprising friendship. Each of these characters will find unexpected freedom amid war’s privations and discover confinements that come with peace. The Evening Chorus is a beautiful, astonishing examination of love, loss, escape, and the ways in which the intrusions of the natural world can save us.”

The Evening Chorus is a very different type of World War II novel than any of those that I have read in the past; it is very character centric and not plot driven at all – actually there really isn’t too much plot at all. There are three stories being told here: that of James, his wife Rose, and his sister Enid. I found James’ story to be the most fascinating. Even though A LOT of it was about his bird watching and subsequent observations I found the background events that transpired in the POW camp to be new to me. The way these officers were treated was different than I expected. James strives to just survive until he gets to go home, and that he does by delving into the lives of the local bird population – the redstarts. Rose and Enid’s stories I found to be a little shallow comparatively. I didn’t find that I really cared about or identified with either of them. They two survived the events in their lives through nature in the form of dogs and local flora. This story was mostly about how people can survive the drama of daily life through something that roots them reality – in this case, nature.

It took me quite some time to get into this novel. It is the rare historical novel successfully written in present tense – and this one just didn’t work for me. History to me implies the use of past tense, so within the first two sentences I was already shaken out of the narrative. Here is the example sentences I am referring to:

“James Hunter falls through morning.

He swings from his parachute harness as the plane drops below him, the broken shell of the bomber sinking into the Channel fog.” (pg 3)

I think that the only reason this novel worked as a whole in present tense is because of the three separate characters’ stories that allowed you to have access to events happening in different parts of the world as well as learn what is happening to the other characters through letters that they wrote to each other.

While I can’t say I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I didn’t hate it. If you are looking for a different type of novel set during/after World War II, this might be the book for you.

If you would like to preview the story before reading it, why not try out this excerpt of the book?

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia

 

Also by Helen Humphreys:

afterimage

Afterimage

Leaving Earth

Leaving Earth

the lost garden

The Lost Garden

wild dogs

Wild Dogs


Find Helen Humphreys: Website

 

Copyright © 2015 by The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

New Book Alert - Book Blast: A Decent Woman by Eleanor Parker Sapia

01_A Decent Woman_Cover

A Decent Woman by Eleanor Parker Sapia
eBook & Paperback, 270 pages
Published: February 20, 2015 by Booktrope
Genre: Historical Fiction
ISBN: 1620154005

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Book Blurb:

Ponce, Puerto Rico, at the turn of the century: Ana Belén Opaku, an Afro-Cuban born into slavery, is a proud midwife with a tempestuous past. After testifying at an infanticide trial, Ana is forced to reveal a dark secret from her past, but continues to hide an even more sinister one. Pitted against the parish priest, Padre Vicénte, and young Doctór Héctor Rivera, Ana must battle to preserve her twenty-five year career as the only midwife in La Playa.

Serafina is a respectable young widow with two small children, who marries an older, wealthy merchant from a distinguished family. A crime against Serafina during her last pregnancy forever bonds her to Ana in an ill-conceived plan to avoid a scandal and preserve Serafina’s honor.

Set against the combustive backdrop of a chauvinistic society, where women are treated as possessions, A Decent Woman is the provocative story of these two women as they battle for their dignity and for love against the pain of betrayal and social change.

Praise for A Decent Woman:

“A Decent Woman brings vividly to life the world of early twentieth-century Puerto Rico through the struggles of Ana Belén, an Afro-Cuban midwife, as she attempts to live a meaningful life. Spanning almost thirty years, the story encompasses Ana’s unusual friendship with Serafina, a white woman of humble origins who marries into a wealthy, upper class family. Race, class, the lingering legacy of slavery, and a woman’s role in this neo colonial society are all effectively illustrated through the intimate depiction of these two intersecting lives.

Author Eleanor Parker Sapia lovingly evokes old Puerto Rico: the graceful colonial city of Ponce, the mixture of African and Catholic traditions, the tropical lushness of the land, and the devastating force of a Caribbean hurricane.

Overall, A Decent Woman is a powerful and moving tale; well worth reading.”

-Alina García-Lapuerta, biographer and author of La Belle Creole: The Cuban Countess Who Captivated Havana, Madrid, and Paris

“A Decent Woman opens with a birth and a hurricane and doesn’t let up. Deep with delicious detail, scrumptious characters, and full of folklore, this is a unique debut novel from Eleanor Parker Sapia, one that will win her readers over. Written in a clean style that lets the historical ambience seep through into our consciousness, this book is a tale of wonder, of life and death, of love and life and not a few twists and turns. Ana and Serafina are, indeed, decent women living in a hard time. Buy it, read it, love it.”

-Jack Remick, short story writer, poet, and author of award-winning, Gabriela and the Widow

“A Decent Woman takes the reader on a journey into the heat and steam of Puerto Rico in the early 1900s. The writing is so visceral and evocative that you almost feel the rain on your face, the pain of childbirth, fear, betrayal and redemption along with the women in this story of midwives and mothers.”

-Claudia H Long, author of The Duel for Consuelo and Josefina’s Sin

“A Decent Woman takes the reader on an unforgettable journey of friendship between two strong women set against the backdrop of colonial Puerto Rico of the early 1900s. When former Cuban slave and midwife Ana Belén delivers Serafina Martínez’ first child, an unbreakable bond is formed despite the hurricanes nature and politics thrown in their paths. A striking first novel from Eleanor Parker Sapia.”

-Arleen Williams, writer and author of The Alki Trilogy

“It’s not only that I enjoyed A Decent Woman as much as Alice Walker’s work, there is a quality to her prose. I went back and read an excerpt of The Color Purple to really identify the similarity. The only way I can describe it is that I wanted to read it in gulps. Like when you’re really thirsty. I found myself sucked into the world in three or four lines, and galloping through the prose, because reading more made me want to read more.

A Decent Woman embodies the genre of women’s fiction in the most complete sense of the word exploring the lives of women – young and old, dark- and light-skinned, poor and rich. This is an outstanding read and an important book about a little known corner of women’s history.”

-Yma Johnson, short story writer and journalist

“Eleanor Parker Sapia’s historical fiction novel, A Decent Woman, steeped in friendship, romance, politics, and mysticism, is the captivating story of Ana Belén’s struggle and perseverance to become a Certified Midwife in turn of the century Puerto Rico. Ana’s passions, joys, and plight are shared by midwives everywhere and throughout herstory.

Reading this book was inspiring. I’m sure readers will enjoy A Decent Woman as much as I did.”

-Sarahn Henderson, Midwife and Educator at Birth in the Tradition

“I really enjoyed this novel and particularly enjoyed the characters who I could visualize clearly as I moved along with the story. Eleanor’s descriptions really created such a vivid image in my mind, bringing them to life as I read. I was moved by the various events and was even brought to tears at times. I suspect it will be a huge success and certainly one that I will recommend to my circle of family and friends.”

-Gina Tsiapalis, Registered Midwife

Book Trailer:

Where to Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Eleanor Parker Sapia:

02_Eleanor Parker Sapia

Puerto Rican-born novelist and painter, Eleanor Parker Sapia, was raised in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Europe. Her passion for travel and adventure combined with her compassion for those in need have led to her careers as a counselor, alternative health practitioner, and a Spanish language social worker and refugee case worker. These life experiences inspire her writing. She facilitates The Artist’s Way creativity groups, and teaches creative writing to children and adults. Eleanor shares her passion for telling stories on her blog, The Writing Life. A Decent Woman is her debut novel. Eleanor has two adventurous and loving grown children, and currently lives in wild and wonderful West Virginia.

Find Eleanor Parker Sapia: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Sign up for Newsletter

 

Follow the Tour!

03_A Decent Woman_Book Blast Banner_FINAL

On Twitter: #ADecentWomanBookBlast #HistoricalFiction
HFVBT Tour Webpage

Monday, March 16
To Read, Or Not to Read

Tuesday, March 17
Unshelfish
So Many Books, So Little Time

Wednesday, March 18
The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, March 19
A Literary Vacation
Flashlight Commentary

Friday, March 20
A Bookish Girl
CelticLady’s Reviews

Saturday, March 21
Griperang’s Bookmarks

Monday, March 23
History From a Woman’s Perspective

Tuesday, March 24
100 Pages a Day
Back Porchervations

Wednesday, March 25
Book Lovers Paradise
What Is That Book About

Friday, March 27
Book Babe

Saturday, March 28
Book Nerd

Monday, March 30
Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, March 31
Passages to the Past

Wednesday, April 1
Layered Pages
With Her Nose Stuck In A Book

Thursday, April 2
Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Monday, April 6
Historical Fiction Connection


Giveaway!!!

There are lots of great giveaways up for grabs on this tour!  To enter to win one of the following four prizes, please complete the giveaway form below.

**Please note that these giveaways are tour-wide and the rules are set and giveaway hosted by the tour coordinator**

Autographed Copy of A Decent Woman
A Decent Woman eBooks (2)
$25 Amazon Gift Card

INFO & RULES:

  • Giveaway starts on March 16th at 12:01am EST and ends at 11:59pm EST on April 6th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
  • Winners will be chosen via GLEAM on April 7th and notified via email.
  • Winners have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
  • Please email Amy @ hfvirtualbooktours@gmail.com with any questions.

A Decent Woman Book Blast

 

 

Copyright © 2015 by The Maiden’s Court

Monday, March 16, 2015

Mailbox Monday #186

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It's Monday, and I am actually posting my mailbox on a Monday!!! How about that for a change! Just a short and sweet mailbox this week - also a change.

lion and the rosesentinels of andersonvillethe forgotten seamstressThe Midnight Rose

All of these were purchased this week (and I remember purchasing 3 of them...):

  • The Lion and the Rose by Kate Quinn - this is the only Quinn book that I didn't have in any form.  At the same time I ordered this one, I order paperback copies of Quinn's Lady of the Eternal City (because the ARC copy is driving me crazy trying to read it, each line is numbered) and also C.W. Gortner's The Tudor Vendetta.  Quinn and Gortner are two of the few author's who I feel compelled to have all of their books in physical paper copies on my shelves, the e-books just weren't cutting it!
  • The Sentinels of Andersonville by Tracy Groot - Kindle freebie that I picked up a couple days ago.  Don't know too much about it - but it was free and about the Civil War, so I picked it up.
  • The Forgotten Seamstress by Liz Trenow - a WWI book/time-switch novel that had apparently been on my wishlist for quite some time and went on significant sale this past week.
  • The Midnight Rose by Lucinda Riley - I honestly don't remember buying this one but apparently it is on my Kindle...I think it is a bad thing when you don't even remember buying something a week ago...Sounds like a pretty interesting book though!

What did you get in your mailbox this week?

 

Copyright © 2015 by The Maiden’s Court

Friday, March 13, 2015

Livestream and George Washington's Mount Vernon

Do you live in an area where authors never seem to visit, so you do not have the opportunity to go out an listen to them talk about their newest book?  Are you a fan of non-fiction or presidential history?  Well, if so, I may have found an awesome thing for you to check out (I love it!).

livestream

George Washington's Mount Vernon hosts many authors of presidential history and early American history.  They recently have joined Livestream to share their book talks and other events with the wider audience - LIVE!!  As I am composing this post (Thursday night) I am preparing to watch/listen to their talk by Laura Auricchio about the Marquis de Lafayette.  So you don't even have to wait until the video happens to appear on their website or found randomly during a Youtube search!  Additionally, they keep an archive of the past videos, so even if you miss it live you can watch it later.  I have to check and see if any other locations are using Livestream.

Livestream is fairly easy to use - they even have an app for your smartphone where you can watch the video (it will alert you to when an event you are following is scheduled to begin and you can even add the event to your calendar.  I think the biggest complaint is that it seems to take a few minutes to load up after going "live", but I can live with that.

Print

Here are some of the events that George Washington's Mount Vernon has coming up:

  • March 23 - Annual Martha Washington Lecture with Cokie Roberts, author of Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation
  • April 1 - Michelle Smith Lecture Series with Lorri Glover, author of Founders as Fathers: The Private Lives and Politics of America's Revolutionaries
  • April 16 - Ford Evening Book Talk with Lynne Cheney, author of James Madison: A Life Reconsidered
  • May 5 - Michelle Smith Lecture Series with David O. Stewart, author of Madison's Gift: Five Partnerships that Built America
  • May 14 - Ford Evening Book Talk with Kathleen Bartoloni-Tuazon, author of For Fear of an Elective King: George Washington and the Presidential Controversy of 1789
  • May 19 - Michelle Smith Lecture Series with Libby Haight O'Connell, author of The American Plate: A Culinary History in 100 Bites
  • June 23 - Ford Evening Book Talk with Aaron David Miller, author of The End of Greatness: Why America Can't Have (and Doesn't Want) Another Great President
  • July 23 - Ford Evening Book Talk with Cassandra Good, author of Founding Friendships: Friendships Between Men and Women in the Early American Republic
  • August 25 - Ford Evening Book Talk with David and Jeanne Heidler, author of Washington's Circle: The Creation of the President
  • September 16 - Ford Evening Book Talk with Andrea Wulf, author of The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World

You can find George Washington's Mount Vernon on Livestream under the name gwmountvernon.  Hope you check them out sometimes.  Do you watch anything else on Livestream?

 

Disclaimer: This post is not a promotional piece, but a post based on a really cool site/feature that I found.  I have not been compensated in any way for my post/opinions.

 

 

Copyright © 2015 by The Maiden’s Court