Blog Book Tour | “Dido’s Crown” by Julie K. Rose

Posted Friday, 7 October, 2016 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “Dido’s Crown” direct from the author Julie K. Rose in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Blog Book Tour | “Dido’s Crown” by Julie K. RoseDido's Crown
by Julie K. Rose
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Set in Tunisia and France in 1935, Dido’s Crown is a taut literary-historical adventure influenced by Indiana Jones, The Thin Man, and John le Carré.

Mary Wilson MacPherson has always been adept at putting the past behind her: her father’s death, her sister’s disappearance, and her complicated relationship with childhood friends Tom and Will. But that all changes when, traveling to North Africa on business for her husband, Mary meets a handsome French-Tunisian trader who holds a mysterious package her husband has purchased — a package which has drawn the interest not only of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, but the Nazis as well.

When Tom and Will arrive in Tunisia, Mary suddenly finds herself on a race across the mesmerizing and ever-changing landscapes of the country, to the shores of southern France, and all across the wide blue Mediterranean. Despite her best efforts at distancing herself from her husband’s world, Mary has become embroiled in a mystery that could threaten not only Tunisian and British security in the dangerous political landscape of 1935, but Mary’s beliefs about her past and the security of her own future.

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ISBN: 9781365316333

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance


Published by Self Published Author

on 29th September, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 340

Published By: Self Published Author

Converse via: #HistoricalFiction, #HistFic & #HFVBTBlogTour
Available Formats: Paperback and E-Book

About Julie K. Rose

Julie K. Rose

A member of the Historical Novel Society and former reviewer for the Historical Novels Review, Julie lives in the Bay Area with her husband and rescue cats, and loves reading, following the San Francisco Giants, and enjoying the amazing natural beauty of Northern California.

Her forthcoming historical adventure novel, Dido’s Crown, will be released in September 2016.

Oleanna, short-listed for finalists in the 2011 Faulkner-Wisdom literary competition, is her second novel. The Pilgrim Glass, a finalist in the 2005 Faulkner-Wisdom competition and semi-finalist in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards, was published in 2010.

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My Review of Dido’s Crown:

We arrive in-scene quite unexpectedly as two men are awaiting a deadline – you can tell they are both apprehensive about something, by their mannerisms but also by the way in which they are not entirely focusing on anything else, except for the beautiful backdrop of where this story is set. It has it’s own unique traditions bursting forward out of the current action of the lead characters, giving you a resonance of place but also of culture. There is something just below the surface awaiting us – as both men become agitated by the arrival of another, a woman, of whom neither is apparently keen on having seen arrive. The timescape of the novel is set during the upheaval of pending war and the uncertainties that parlay across that uneven time in history where most things were suspect and everything else was observed or monitored for sake of security in a changing world.

In a surge of urgency, all three characters came into each others presence  – the two men cursing the presence of their friend, Mary and for her part, a bit of indecision to respect their need to protect her without the foreknowledge as to ‘why’. Until of course, with sudden clarity, there was a danger far more dire than she could well imagine possible. A short burst of action outside their reunion led to being taken against her will and the fate of her friends a bit up in the air as she was no longer in control of the events slowly coming into view. She was sent on this journey by her husband, but something told me that she wasn’t given the full information behind his insistence that she be quick about her travels. There is an underlying secrecy running afield as soon as you pick up Dido’s Crown, as your only given certain forward clues towards the evolving story-line rather than a fuller back-story on everyone involved. It is almost as if your living through the events on a counter-timeline as the characters, limited by what they know or what they wish to share with you as a result.

For a housewife who wanted to do a favour for her husband in exchange for a ticket to a car race, I’d say Mary gained more than she bargained for by the time she found herself forced await from her friends and had her life threatened more than once! For a simple holiday she was finding nothing was quite as it would have seemed on the offset, whilst granting her a new perspective for how quickly your hours can dissolve into chaos. I thought she handled herself with as much grace as one could muster in situations that went from dire to worse whilst giving a bit of moxie back to those who wished to do her the most harm. She was a feisty woman, not one to back down nor give in to defeat but at the same time, the telling truth of her reality was crushingly brutal to accept. This is where the author switched things up a bit and added an unexpected hero into the fray, where trusting someone on the fly was more important than holding onto your own moxie to show strength rather than passivity.

If you suspect a wider web of deceit and counter-intelligence it would fit with the era – as there is just enough leeway to make the bridge between the gaps in the revelations. Rose likes to keep her story close to the lines of suspense, where the truer thriller paints the picture wider than where the action within the scenes explore. You are never fully clued in on what is evolving but your given more back-story as the pulse of the action calms down for a short bit in order for you to better understand the complexity of how Mary, Tom and Will are connected. It harbours back to their college years (not surprisingly) where they loved the art of the debate and intellectual games of the mind.

Part of me was hoping there would be an enveloping of ‘something’ stemming out of their reunion rather than more shadow play in regards to the ‘point’ behind why Mary’s husband sends her across the world following a race car circuit whilst asking her to collect things for him for which she asks no questions. If you ask me, she set herself up to fall with that kind of blind faith because who wouldn’t be suspicious on those terms? Sometimes it’s nice to be left in the dark for certain things to knit together as pieces are threaded and patched, but in this particular case, I kept hoping for a small bit more towards understanding what motivated Mary; not only as a wife who was dealing with a particularly dangerous husband but who she was as a woman. She lent no airs towards what motivated her to take-on these assignments but she did not give out much either in regards to why she allowed herself to be used as a pawn.

You simply have to take a leap of faith to see how this story evolves rather than feeling locked into the heart of the narrative as it begins. There are moments where I wished were fleshed out a bit more, especially regarding the wider questions that even Mary herself was starting to pitch to her captors and her friends. There is a lot of unknowns moving in and out of the sequences which lends itself to be render me a bit frustrated in seeking to find out more of the ‘whys’ whilst awaiting the ‘hows’ as I can suspend knowing for awhile, but just so. I like to know more going into a suspense thriller than keeping more of everything out of sight. I fear by the time the pace picked up I was less than enthused to see the story continue because for the first half of it, I was growing frustrated by how everything was being held hostage from being revealled.

On the historical fiction styling of Julie k. rose:

Ms Rose writes Historicals with an ease of manner, she’s quite decisive in what she wants to reveal and how she wishes it to be presented. You can gather from the style of how she sets a scene to how she endears you to move forward at a pace that is quite abrupt and yet, pauses for thought at the same time as a manner of approach that befits the reader who wants to read through the experience directly vs reading a narrative that both explains and shows the evolving story-line. She puts you front and center into what is happening and leaves the knitting of details for later. She only gives you just enough to understand a few things going into a scene and then, the scene explodes a bit to enlarge it’s focus and round out more of the suspense percolating around the edges. It’s a more unique style as for the most part, your a bit in the dark on the particulars and have to navigate as you would, observing each character in turn with an eye for seeking information that they might not be willing to give outright.

Although I understood how she was approaching to tell this story, I honestly did not entirely enjoy reading it in this vein of thought because I found myself full of questions more than captive interest. There is a point whilst reading a story that I find myself divested of joy if I feel like I know less in the midst of a story than I did before I picked it up to read and unfortunately portions of Dido’s Crown was moving inside those circles of wanting to exit the story rather than stay within it. It wasn’t that it was completely without drama or emotional angst either – it was simply that most of the time I felt as if the characters were remaining detached and unknown to me directly, they were more aloof in wanting to see out their direct orders than to parlay time to explain what those orders were or what was motivating them to be where they were at any given time. There are a lot of unknowns shifting in and out of the dialogue, as everything felt a bit too stilted and shadowed for me. This is true to the era of choice, of course, but if the reader is having trouble deciphering the ‘why is this happening’ bit than that leads to an issue with the components of the thriller because your constantly questioning what is truly encouraging these people to stay within this method of living?

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Enjoy these lovely videos by the author which showcase more information about the story within the chapters of “Dido’s Crown” via the author’s YouTube channel celebrating historical fiction, writing and her journey as a historical author! This includes four videos in the ‘playlist’ for you to enjoy!

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This blog tour is courtesy of:

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBT

Follow the Virtual Road Map by visiting the blog tour route:

A note of apology to the author – if the lightning storms hadn’t proven to be as intense as they were and connectivity wasn’t an issue, I would have been able to post this originally on my first tour date selection.

Dido's Crown blog tour via HFVBTsI look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!
Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst readers who gravitate towards the same stories to read. Bookish conversations are always welcome!

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{SOURCES: Book cover for “Dido’s Crown”, book synopsis, author biography, author photograph of Julie K. Rose, the tour host badge and HFVBTs badge were all provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and used with permission. Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. The YouTube PlayList of four videos about “Dido’s Crown” was able to be embedded due to codes provided by YouTube. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Ruminations and Impressions Banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2016.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Friday, 7 October, 2016 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Family Drama, Father-Daughter Relationships, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Inheritance & Identity, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense




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