Category: Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction

+Blog Book Tour+ The Collector of Dying Breaths by M.J. Rose {part of the Reincarnationist series}

Posted Friday, 30 May, 2014 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

The Collector of Dying Breaths by M.J. Rose

The Collector of Dying Breaths Tour via HFVBT

Published By: Atria Books ()
(an imprint of Simon & Schuster: ),
8 April, 2014
Official Author Websites:  Site | Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads
Available Formats:  Hardback & E-Book
Page Count: 384

Converse on Twitter: #TheCollectorOfDyingBreaths, #TheReincarnationist,

#MJRose#HFVBT

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “The Collector Of Dying Breaths” virtual book tour through HFVBT: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I received a complimentary ARC copy of the book direct from publisher Atria Books, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Intrigued to Read:

What sparked my interest is the aspect of reincarnation stitched into the series as a whole as I used to collect books on reincarnation when The Reincarnation Library was still in existence, which was a small publisher who curated titles which had fallen out of print and then, re-issued the books in such lovely editions as cloth-bound hardback copies! The titles were both non-fiction and fiction dealing with as many different aspects of reincarnation as you could be happenstance to stumble across! In the series Rose has created, the idea of coming across tools to add one’s memory of past lives is more than tempting to explore!

– as quoted from Jorie’s Box of Joy No.3

The Collector of Dying Breaths by M.J. Rose

Book Synopsis:

From one of America’s most imaginative storytellers comes a passionate tale of love and treachery, spanning the days of Catherine de Medici’s court to the twenty-first century and starring a woman drawn back, time and again, to the past.

In 1533, an Italian orphan with an uncanny knack for creating fragrance is plucked from poverty to become Catherine de Medici’s perfumer. To repay his debt, over the years René le Florentine is occasionally called upon to put his vast knowledge to a darker purpose: the creation of deadly poisons used to dispatch the Queen’s rivals.

But it’s René’s other passion—a desire to reanimate a human breath, to bring back the lives of the two people whose deaths have devastated him—that incites a dangerous treasure hunt five centuries later. That’s when Jac L’Etoile—suffering from a heartache of her own—becomes obsessed with the possibility of unlocking Rene’s secret to immortality.

Soon Jac’s search reconnects her with Griffin North, a man she’s loved her entire life. Together they confront an eccentric heiress whose art collection rivals many museums and who is determined to keep her treasures close at hand, not just in this life but in her next.

Set in the forest of Fontainebleau, crisscrossing the lines between the past and the present, M.J. Rose has written a mesmerizing tale of passion and obsession. This is a Gothic tale perfect for fans of Anne Rice, Deborah Harkness, and Diana Galbadon.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comAuthor Biography:

M.J. RoseM.J. Rose is the international best selling author of fourteen novels and two non-fiction books on marketing. Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in many magazines and reviews including Oprah Magazine. She has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors – Authorbuzz.com. The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Renincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and runs the blog- Buzz, Balls & Hype. She is also the co-founder of Peroozal.com and BookTrib.com.

Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comA bit of a note on the Reincarnationist series:

I had the forethought to consume the previous books in the Reincarationist series ahead of my stop on this particular blog tour, except to say the hours flew out the window before I could even grasp a strong hold of them! I even attempted to finish where I was happily entrenched inside “The Book of Lost Fragrances” as I had picked up the first trilogy of novels (“The Reincarnationist”, “The Memorist”, & “The Hypnotist”) during Bout of Books Readathon 10.0 this past month, however, unfortunately for me I could not settle my mind & heart into the first book of the series. There was too much starkly dark & intense sequences to where I could not gather a secure footing into the series. I was about to chuck the whole idea completely and simply read the novel at hand, when I realised that perhaps out of the research I had conducted ahead of my Interview with Ms. Rose, perhaps the more telling truth is that I should begin this series on book four “The Book of Lost Fragrances”!

Clearly, led to read that particular book for a reason, I had washed away the outside world and entered the realm between the character Jac L’Etoile’s quest to save her family’s parfum business and the counter weight of dipping back into the historical past whilst there was a tomb being uncovered in Egypt during Napoleon’s reign! I loved the shifting perspectives in time and place, as much as the appeal for me to approach the notion of a ‘scent’ of lingering death & life wrapped inside the vial of a singular parfum which could effectively bring back a person’s recollective memory!

The book was taking me on this adventurist journey where I felt as though I had morphed a bit through the pages as I was reading the text of the story! I love the sensation of stepping through the lens and portal of stories, where we can feel ourselves being inserted into the character’s mind, heart, and spirit!? Those are the stories which linger around our mind’s eye and do not let us abate from our murmurings after their stories are known. I have come across quite a few since I first started my sojourn with M.J. Rose’s series and I am hopeful that as I conclude reading “The Collector of Dying Breaths” I will be hungry to return backwards through “Seduction” & “The Book of Lost Fragrances” because for me the Reincarationist series begins at the jettison point of fragrance!

My Review of The Collector of Dying Breaths: 

A small collection of memories filled my mind’s eye as I settled into Chapter 3, as Robbie was a robust brother surprising his sister after a long absence from each other where I had left him last in The Book of Lost Fragrances. To find him abreast his deathbed in The Collector of Dying Breaths was a bit difficult to take in at first, but then, given the nature of the story nearly felt a bit fitting as his sister Jac E’Toile had not yet risen to her position of one gifted with a nose for scent! She was struggling to come to terms with her father’s incapacity to run the family’s business in the previous installment, which positioned the state of the company in the worst of straits. She was attempting to make logical sense out of chaos, and apparently, wherever her path led her then she was still not comfortable rising into the shoes her father believed she should wear even now.

The story transitions between the 16th Century and the Modern Era, as the juxtaposition between Jac attempting to sort out the mystery of the ‘dying breath’ formula for not only percuring a dying breath from the moment it escapes the body but to captialise on the re-cataclysmal nature of its ability where le Florentine left off. The shifting eras heighten the arc of the history contained in the narrative, as both perspectives help fill in the missing pieces of what is not known when a reader such as I had not fully eclipsed the previous two volumes. A fluttering of recognition murmurs back into my ears as I read the current status of Jac’s life, with full measurement of sorrow expelled.

There is an allure of unweaving the past in such a way as to untangle each thread to reveal what each layer of its knowledge can speak through the centuries. The adventure awaiting inside is one hidden within the folds of time, of centuries past, and of lives destroyed or anguished by the actions of others. It is through precognitive dreams and premonition states of awareness that Jac is able to gain further insight into what she already knows and yet has already forgotten the knowledge of. The way in which Rose heightens our awareness of each past life through Jac’s perception of the lives themselves is seamlessly interlocked into the narrative itself. We can meander through a past life’s revealing scene as quickly as we can re-adjust into the present. The writing is writ in such a way as your mind feels betwixt knowing what is being revealed and what is being kept hidden.

The time that Jac spends at the château in France reminds me of my own fever of excitement to visit a physical place whose heritage runs the gambit of time itself. Centuries folding on top of centuries, allows the mind and the heart to imagine what life would have revealed if a little measurement of that lived age during the height of its hour were to be seen? What secrets would spill out of its tome of silence? What ruminations of boundless energy and knowledge outside the perimeters of one lived generation could encompass to contain? A quickening of excitement to find a tangible connection to the past in the present has a very real appeal to me. Likewise, whilst Jac was at the château it was entirely plausible that she was touching on ripples within the time continuance which allowed her to see what was no longer there.

The shroud of mystery surrounding Malachai etches away as bits of his humanity shine out inside the middle of the story, where he opens himself to vulnerability for the first time since Jac had known him. They share a close bond yet a complicated one as he has always been in full belief of her abilities whereas she has always been the cynic who attempts to root out the logic. In this installment of the saga, we find his human heart and his passionate disappointment for a love gone sour. Jac in this instance is turnt to as a listening ear, whereas previously their roles were quite reversed. The wounded is now in effect helping the healer. Jac is a woman who sees herself as a wounded bird whose wings are not quite set to fly. Her stasis is self-inflicted out of fear and out of the inability to shift past what she fears as the unknown gap between what can be logically proven by science and what has to be accepted on faith.

This is a story etched out of history’s tapestry of where the fates of entwined lovers cross against the barriers of time. Where the allure of reincarnation and of a life past the one once lived fever a man’s brow to gain a power he can barely understand much less muster into creation. The story is haunting as it is real, traumatic as it is emotional, but more than that, is a cautionary tale for how best to live each breath we’re given whilst we’re alive.

A note of curiosity the passages on pages 80-82 where Jac describes her history with hallucinations vs past lives is nearly word for word how I remember it being explained and disclosed from “The Book of Lost Fragrances” and there were a few other sequences as well that I felt stemmed out of my earlier reading of the former book. I do know that writers can sometimes stitch into successive volumes of a series ‘a walkabout of timelines and facts’ and having thus recognised this particular cluster as one of the larger ones, I do not think anyone would have trouble in following the pace nor the intricacies between where “The Book of Lost Fragrances” begins, “Seduction” continues, and where “The Collector of Dying Breaths” picks up from a combination of the previous two adventures.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comThis Book Review is courtesy of:

The Collector of Dying Breaths Tour via HFVBT

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

as I am happily honoured to be a blog tour hostess for:

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBTPlease visit my Bookish Events page to stay in the know for upcoming events!

Previously I interviewed M.J. Rose on the Dying Breaths Tour!

My upcoming tour for HFVBT is “Mrs.  Poe” by Lynn Cullen 5-6th of June!

{SOURCES: Book cover for “The Collector of Dying Breaths”, Author Biography, Author Photograph of M.J. Rose, Book Synopsis, the blog tour banner and the HFVBT banner  were provided by HFVBT – Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and used with permission. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Divider

Posted Friday, 30 May, 2014 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Catherine de Medici, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Folklore and Mythology, Gothic Literature, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Thriller Suspense, Reincarnation, Suspense, Time Slip

#ArmChairBEA (2014) : Jorie’s attending her *first!* #bookblogger extension of the Book Expo America! Thus, this is her Introduction!

Posted Monday, 26 May, 2014 by jorielov 26 Comments

ArmChairBEA 2014
Design Credit: by Amber of Shelf Notes

Jorie’s first #ArmChairBEA,

can you sense the excitement!?

As this wicked sweet badge will imply, I am not merely participating! in my very first #ArmchairBEA, but I am an officially a member of the C H E E R L E A D E R team (#4! Captain: Shannon @ The Most Happy Reader) as a C H E E R R E A D E R! Perfect fit, if you ask me! As I was inspired to create the hashtag “#bookcheerleader after conversing with Tif ahead of the event itself! Since then, I was inspired to create a new ‘twitterverse’ identity via creating my own badge via Canva off the inspiring collective which makes up #StoryDam! (one of the weekly Twitter chats I like to duck-in on! all of them are threaded through the List I curate on Twitter except my own #ChocLitSaturdays – the tag is in my Profile & the archived chats are alighting on my blog!) Leading into the event, I happily celebrated my parents 40th Anniversary, which was filled with surprises on both sides, as I was the one who knew that each of my parents was conspiring to surprise the other in a way that they did not want the other to discover! Laughs. It was a pure blast for me, except a bit tricky at times as they would each come to me to check on something within mere seconds or minutes of the other leaving! I was tickled to peaches seeing how the end result turnt out to be one of the best Anniversaries! Not a bad way to begin the #ArmChairBEA than in a sea of lovely joy! Likewise, the ‘Monday’ this wicked event kicks-off is Memorial Day stateside, which means right after I post this lovely Intro Note I’m off for hot dogs & ice cream! Not a bad way to start the week, eh!? I wonder how everyone else is starting Monday!?

When I return I will be blogging up a storm, digging into my duties as a #CheerReader, as well as donning my cape of bubbliness as I gather the routes through the book blogosphere and alight on each of the lovely bloggers who are adding their links to the linky! I cannot wait to start meeting everyone and getting settled into spreading the joy of blogging whilst we celebrate the book during #ArmChairBEA! I can only imagine how wicked lovely it will be for those who can attend the BEA in person this year! I am most esteemed to find all the lovely bookish souls I’ve interacted with or crossed paths with since I started my blog are also taking an active role this year:

 An Introduction : of Jorie

Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging? Where in the world are you blogging from?

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.

You can read more about on under “My Bookish Life”. I am a Creative Dyslexic Writer who created Jorie Loves A Story on 31.March.2013 (blogoversary!), launched to the public on 6.August.2013 (blog birthday!), and sync’d to Twitter on 13.November.2013! As I curate Jorie Loves A Story as a labour of love, I elected to become active on two fronts: the book blogosphere (carrying on the joy I had found prior to creating my book blog!) AND the twitterverse! For this reason, I am exclusively only active in these social media portals! I do not cross-post my reviews either, as I feel that the main reason I wanted to create my blog was to have a place to write a heap of breadth and depth about the books I am choosing to read & share with my readership. I am not a traditional book reviewer in that sense! For more information on what I am hinting at please read: Jorie Loves A Story : an Introduction.

I am blogging from America, in the Southeast corner of the United States. I am a Southern Book Blogger who longs to relocate where blissful Wintry snow greets you after Autumn and Summer’s wrath does not include fierce tornadoes and hurricanes! I’d like to breathe in the joy of grey overcast skies which linger far longer than the ones I have now, and where being outside is a blissful treat year round rather than a ‘blink of an eye’ hiatus between Summer & Summer!

A great re-cap of my first thirty days as a book blogger was written with the idea of it being a monthly feature! I was not able to keep that promise to myself, but I am in the process of resuming where I left off, as I love looking back on what I have accomplished as much as seeing how everything came together!

Describe your blog in just one sentence. Then, list your social details — Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. — so we can connect more online.

My blog is comprehensive, joyful, and full of heart with honest in-depth reviews which I hope resonate my observations as I read each book.

The best way to stay in touch with me is to click-over to my About.Me page* (linked to my Twitter profile & top of my blog’s sidebar), as I curate the links which allow you to stay in touch with me, on top of the latest posts for Jorie Loves A Story, as well as knowing how to find me on Twitter.

(*) a few years later I developed a landing page: Jorie Loves Bookish Blogs to replace my ‘About Me’ page.

What was your favorite book read last year? What’s your favorite book so far this year?

I will simplify this to what was the ‘best book’ I’ve read within the last few days!? As I have the tendency to appreciate a heap of books I read per year, and I am never able to quite narrow down the books to a list of 10, much less narrow it down to a selection of one! Therefore, over the past week I was introduced to two wickedly dynamic story-telling styles: the first was a genre-bender where you were placed inside the world of ‘comic-fantasy’ where superheroes of the age I adore were jettisoned into a sweet new (epic level!) fantasy! Giving us “Awesome Jones“! The author stopped by to give the impression of how her genre-bender was writ as well! I will be sharing an antidote of an experience whilst I was out and about towne when I broached the subject to my parents and had an unexpected conversation with a fellow superhero appreciator! Likewise, on the complete opposite spectrum of literature in the historical fiction branch, I soaked so vividly into the time of Hatshepsut I nearly had trouble re-adjusting back into our time continuum! And, as you will find this is the precise reason I am passionate about reading and book blogging! I love discovering authors and their stories which take us to whole new worlds of realistic thought and observation! Awesome Jones gave me a reason to vie for a cape and Hatshepsut (Daughter of the Gods) instilled an awareness of how she inspired Cleopatra & Elizabeth I to know they could rule as women! And, to me that is why we all should read! We read to give us an understanding of what we can only imagine, and endear us towards empathy for everything that deserves a deeper scope of thought! We give our hearts to the page, and the inked spilt words give us the joy of transporting to different timescapes and realities as we drink through the words left behind by their writers! There is such a beautiful circle between the writer who creates the story and the reader who consumes the words and carries the characters off the page!

What is your favorite blogging resource?

First and foremost, I cannot empathsis enough how much I love! being a WordPress blogger! As far as blogging on WP.com NOT through WP.org / self-hosted blog platforms! I have looked into self-hosting and realised that WP.com will happily be able to take care of my needs a book blogger for a very long time yet to come! I love the ease of maintaining my blog and the few bits of ‘extra help’ I would like to give a shout-out of gratitude to the following:

  • Ravven – is the lovely artistic soul who created my blog’s identity through the creation of my blog’s badge & banner!
  • Squeesome Designs – created the lovely badges which bespeak of coffee, libraries, & reading! As well as the “green banners” in my sidebar!
  • Parajunkee Designs – created the blog headers per post, such as “Book Review”, “Author Interview”, etc. As well as post lovelies like those on this post!
  • Fun Stuff for Your Blog by Pure Imaginationcreated the blog dividers which I simply adore!
  • Grab My Button – offers a way to place code on your blog for people to save your blog’s badge!
  • PicMonkey – my preference for creating collages & other badges when I am not using Canva! Originally I used FotoFlexer.
  • FeedPress – I used to pay a small fee for FeedBlitz, then gave it up. I just recently found FeedPress & love it more!
  • Book Blogging (Database)  – for networking with book bloggers!
  • Lianne @ Caffeinated Life & Hannah @ Once Upon a Time were mentors to me as a newbie blogger!

What book would you love to see as a movie?

Again, this is always a tricky question for me to answer but I think I will go with a Magical Realism choice and say, “The Golem and the Jinni“!!

The best bit to know about Jorie, is that she is a girl who loves to converse about the books she reads & discovers,… she truly does live up to these badges! And, you can follow her journeys inside her Story Vault!

Parajunkee DesignsParajunkee Designs

Music via #iheartradio (Chicago! 93.9FM) whilst Jorie composed this #ArmChairBEA post:

  • “Raging Fire” by Philip Phillips
  • “Dreams” by the Cranberries
  • “Happy” by Pharrell Williams
  • “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele
  • “50 Ways to Say Goodbye” by Train
  • “Story of my Life” by One Direction
  • “Home” by Daughtry
  • “Livin’ La Vida Loca” by Ricky Martin
  • “Just Give Me A Reason”by Pink, feat. Nate Ruess
  • “Best Day of my Life” by American Authors
  • “Home” by Philip Phillips
  • “All of Me” by John Legend
  • “Wake Me Up” by Avicii
  • “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt

The very best part of #ArmChairBEA for me this year is to be cheering on the book bloggers & the readers who celebrate the joy of reading as much as I do with each book they pick up and consume! This is a convention for those who are bookish & geeky and proud of it! This is a way for us to get to know each other and champion the writers who give us such a hearty story to dissolve into throughout the year! Let us route our way through the book blogosphere and light up the twitterverse letting everyone know that even if we are not in person at the Book Expo America — they have our full support & attention!

{SOURCES: Blog News & “I Blog Books” badges provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. ArmChairBEA badge provided by ArmChairBEA for participants to help promote the virtual convention for BEA (Book Expo America).}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Divider

Posted Monday, 26 May, 2014 by jorielov in #ArmChairBEA, Action & Adventure Fiction, After the Canon, Anthology Collection of Stories, Banned Books, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Blogs I Regularly Read, Bookish Discussions, Children's Literature, Classical Literature, Crime Fiction, Debut Novel, Fantasy Fiction, French Literature, Gothic Literature, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story, Juvenile Fiction, Legal Drama, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Literary Fiction, Literary Journals, Medical Fiction, Military Fiction, Modern British Literature, Musical Fiction | Non-Fiction, Native American Fiction, Nautical Fiction, Non-Fiction, Philosophy, Poetry, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Science, Science Fiction, Self-Published Author, Speculative Fiction, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Western Fiction, Women's Fiction, Young Adult Fiction

+Blog Book Tour+ Daughter of the Gods by Stephanie Thornton {a novel of Ancient Egypt} Egyptology taken to a new level & sphere of literary breadth!

Posted Saturday, 24 May, 2014 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

Daughter of the Gods by Stephanie Thornton

Daughter of the Gods by Stephanie Thornton

Published By: New American Library (NAL)
( ) an imprint of Penguin Group (USA
) 6 May, 2014
Official Author Websites:   Site | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads
Available Formats: Trade Paperback, E-book
Page Count: 448

Converse on Twitter via: #DaughterOfTheGods, #DaughteroftheGodsTour,

#StephanieThornton, #Hatshepsut, & #VirtualBookTourFun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Daughter of the Gods” virtual book tour through Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Stephanie Thornton, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

My curiosity about Ancient Egypt started as a young child where my fascination with the Ancient Civilisation took a central focal point for aspiring to study Egyptology, as prior to realising I was a writer I felt I was being led into Archaeology. Part of the passion I had for Archaeology was my intense desire to understand the civilisations of the world as they were emerging into existence. I had not realised then, as I do now, that it was my keen interest in Sociological studies that led me more towards an awareness of Anthropological sites verse Archaeological. In full and equal measure, the desire to travel abroad to ancient ruins, temples, and sites of where the ancient’s drew breath and light was always an instinct of mine. The fact that I have already climbed four pyramids of the Mayans only encourages me to believe that I can still find the hours to uncover a way to keep this passion of mine throughout my next travel destinations.

The direct appeal is to bring History into the forefront of my living hours, to where walking and breathing where people lived so very long ago secures you in that setting, locale, and moment. I still recollect how I felt at a ruin in the Yucatán,… as Uxmal had this trance over me. I felt very interconnected to that city and the people who had lived there during its heyday, nearly to the brink I could see a bit past where the ruins still stood and how the city would have been the lifeblood of their era. Time and history are intertwined with one another, and there are certain places in this world where we can dip back into the vortex and draw back out a piece of what once was ‘the living now’.

Egyptology was one of the avenues of pursuit I once considered as a professional endeavour as I loved the aspect of venturing so far back into the living past as to nearly come face to face with one of the most dynamically original civilisations which set the bar for everyone else to follow. Ancient Egypt, Rome, and Greece are the sites of where most of us look back to gain insight into the present. I have carried this zest for the era into my motion picture wanderings as one of my favourite films is a classical one: Cleopatra (1934) starring Claudette Colbert. More recently, the trilogy of Mummy films starring Brendan Fraser took my mind away in imagined bliss of tempting the fates of tombs! To this day, I refer to the third film as “The Mummy in China” as it just made more sense to do so!

The extended trailer for “Cleopatra” (1934) starring Claudette Colbert on TCM! Introduced by Cecil B. DeMille, of whom is now one of the film-makers alongside Alfred Hitchcock and Frank Capra I admire most in the Golden Years of Hollywood. They each brought something genuinely unique to their style of motion pictures and were ahead of their years as far as where they took their stories.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Book Synopsis:

Daughter of the Gods by Stephanie ThorntonEgypt, 1400s BC. The pharaoh’s pampered second daughter, lively, intelligent Hatshepsut, delights in racing her chariot through the marketplace and testing her archery skills in the Nile’s marshlands. But the death of her elder sister, Neferubity, in a gruesome accident arising from Hatshepsut’s games forces her to confront her guilt…and sets her on a profoundly changed course.

Hatshepsut enters a loveless marriage with her half brother, Thut, to secure his claim to the Isis Throne and produce a male heir. But it is another of Thut’s wives, the commoner Aset, who bears him a son, while Hatshepsut develops a searing attraction for his brilliant adviser Senenmut. And when Thut suddenly dies, Hatshepsut becomes de facto ruler, as regent to her two-year-old nephew.

Once, Hatshepsut anticipated being free to live and love as she chose. Now she must put Egypt first. Ever daring, she will lead a vast army and build great temples, but always she will be torn between the demands of leadership and the desires of her heart. And even as she makes her boldest move of all, her enemies will plot her downfall….

Once again, Stephanie Thornton brings to life a remarkable woman from the distant past whose willingness to defy tradition changed the course of history.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Author Biography:

Stepanie ThorntonStephanie Thornton is a writer and history teacher who has been obsessed with infamous women from ancient history since she was twelve. She lives with her husband and daughter in Alaska, where she is at work on her next novel.

“The Secret History: A Novel of Empress Theodora” is available from NAL/Penguin, and “Daughter of the Gods: A Novel of Ancient Egypt” will hit the shelves May 2014 and “The Tiger Queens: A Novel of Genghis Khan” will follow in Fall 2014.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comA book for lovers of Egyptology:

Illuminated to life by the little details you would expect to find out of an etching of Ancient Egypt unite inside your mind’s eye as you drink in the words of Daughter of the Gods. The fragrances of Myrrh are nearly smelt as I read the opening pages, as Myrrh was regularly burnt alongside Frankincense, Sandalwood, and Patchouli Musk. I always loved the aromatherapy of earthy scents when I used to burn incense whilst creating the words inside my own manuscripts. I even have a bit of a hilarious story when I first attempted to cleanse the air with my first smudging! Laughs. Incense wafts into your nostrils and gives you a sense of calm whilst you create. I always found it a way to dip into the portal of creativity and allow my mind to cart me off to ‘somewhere other than here’ even more readily than listening to music as oft-times I did not always want the interference of chord and tone, but wanted to dig a bit into the internal space where a writer creates their most museful of thoughts. As I started to read Daughter of the Gods I nearly wished I could unpack my sticks of ancient scents and absorb into the story on a different plane! Thankfully, my nose has a long memory and as I happily drank in Thornton’s words (the blessing hand of a wordsmith) I drifted back in reflection of the scents that used to sit in the air and allow my mind to stir a bottomless well of possibilities.

The insertion of references of ka had me smiling as I reflected back upon my studies of Tai Chi Chaun and Qigong, as the elements of the discipline in which I studied is the pursuit of strengthening one’s spiritual energy known as ‘chi’ or ‘qi’. The energy which is quite vital to living and a well of life embedded into our fiber. I had always known the Egyptians were most intrinsically intuitive about elements of life that most cultures do not acknowledge or discuss in modern eras. They are one of the few cultures who attached their lives to their spiritual souls in a way where the transition of life and the afterlife were not merely viewed as passages the soul took in exchange for another life but rather they threaded life and death in a tangible way whilst they lived. They were able to connect and observe the threads of time’s tapestry in gentle observations which led them to have a larger scope of perception knitted into their hearts.

If you think on it a bit, the Egyptians called on their Gods as way of keeping their spirituality a living guide during their everyday lives, as a way of having a spiritual ‘checking’ for their conscience and their actions. In this way, they remind me of Catholics who relate to Saints and turn to the Saints guides to understand how best to proceed. I also had not known the women during Hatshepsut’s time oft walked bare-chested with only a sheath to cover them. This practiced reminded me of the aboriginal tribe featured in one of my favourite childhood films Medicine Man. So much in fact, I found cross-references between aboriginal tribes and Ancient Egyptians! Except to say the main difference here, is that Hatshepsut’s attire was her assertion of power as a woman who was not afraid to dress as a man in order to prove the point of her confidence as Queen.

Lest I bring up that I was most intrigued and deeply savouring the rites of funerals inside Daughter of the Gods? Mummification practices and rituals of death are most fascinating to me! A bit like how I appreciate studying the Day of the Dead as much as the different passages of life for death throughout different World Religions and cultures of whom honour their dead in different ways.Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

My Review of Daughter of the Gods:

Hatshepsut is a woman who approached life in a cavalier attitude prior to the violent death of her beloved sister Neferubity, whose kind heart and love of her younger sister befelled her fate. Neferubity took Hatshepsut’s place on the alter of death whilst a river bull locked a malicious maul of quavering alarm in Hatshepsut’s soul. The story of Daughter of the Gods begins at the very upturn moment in the future Queen’s life where she must decide on the kind of woman she is meant to be rather than the reckless one she was previously. A challenging beginning to insinuate a path of change and one of worth in a soul not yet tethered to a fate of honour, duty, and rule. In the quake of her anguish she took to self-harming and soul gutting sacrifices to resurrect an offering of peace and remorse in an effort to apologise to her sister resting in the Field of Reeds.

As Thornton describes the rituals of Ancient Egypt, I was drawn to noticing similarities to the Native American’s I’ve studied in the past (specifically the Lakotas), as they describe heaven as Happy Hunting Ground. Anubis is both the protector of the Dead as much as he is the equivalent of the Angel of Death in Christianity as he is the go-between guide from the living world to the afterlife. Part of what I loved about Thornton’s touch of giving us a strong representation of Ancient Egypt is that she allows the historical fact of the setting absorb into our bones as readily as drinking in the dialogue and narrative. She paints such a clarity of thought that your mind flickers forward along with the lead characters as they allow you the grace of spending a bit of time with them as they live their hours. I noticed that I did not have any difficulty in shifting into this timescape; which was a bit of a surprise, as I originally felt due to my lack of readings in this period I might falter to grasp it as strongly as I did. A credit to the writer!

Hatshepsut is like most women accustomed to being bourne into a role they do not wish to fill. She rebels against the convention of standard of her time, whilst plotting a way forward without being shackled to provincial roles befit a wife of a Pharaoh. It is how Thornton chose to portray her path I found most interesting, as I am uncertain how much is readily known about her through historical records. What I liked about this portrayal is its plausibility of being true. For a ruler known for her transformative view of her role as Queen, I would imagine she would take steps to ensure her position at all costs available to her. Yet. Her path towards the throne held an obstacle in that of her half-brother who was now her husband.

She is given a fleshing of character that makes you settle into her innermost thoughts as she chooses her next step alongside her fated path. Her life reminds me so much of the Royals in England, as they too, have destinies chosen for them prior to their ascension. To find happiness within the routine and to find joy within the process of the duties which are meant to be carried out of honour. She learnt a painful lesson along the way about how far a woman could carry her rebellion which had my mind reel back to my viewing of The Duchess (2008) starring Keira Knightley. Her husband Thut is a brute as much as the next man whose self-worth is hinged on perception rather than love. You ache along with Hatshepsut as she curls into an internal war of survival. She was betrayed as Caesar by those within her inner circle, as she kept company with a pack of jackals instead of seers.

As she would grow in her reign, so too would her ability to trust her own instincts as to what would be needed to be done. The greatest testament of her power given back to the world was her sincerity of protection and of wanting to ensure the sanctity of the ka of those she ruled. She knew of the depth of sacrifice but she also knew of the honour one needed to ascend through death. Her mind was oft a war-ground of internal conflictions. To lead was not good enough if she could not inspire prosperity through peace.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comA notation on the writing style of Stephanie Thornton:

Thornton’s understanding on the metaphoric wordings to gain a reader’s attention in the heart of her story run counterpoint to the setting within Ancient Egypt, to where even the causal reader would acknowledge they were not within the walls of a the modern world! I loved how she could encapsulate the ‘time’ of Hatshepsut’s world with the flavourings of phrases which carved a deep stroke of Egyptian flair for everyday living! She had found a way to etch an eloquence out of the nuances and give us such a startling sense of their reality as to be able to breathe the same air! I loved feeling as though I had not only become transported but transplanted into the 1400s BC! This is not an easy feat and surely more difficult than the eras I am normally ensconced inside such as the Regency, Victorian, and Edwardian eras of England’s past! Within those eras, there is still a living sense of the day, of the regalia of the ton, and the essence of how the differences between the classes was set by station.

To step back into a fully realised realm of Egypt, when the first female ruler would set the foundation for Cleopatra and Queen Elizabeth I, is a triumph on Thornton’s research and her agile eye in knowing which details would be pertinent to share and guide us as we shifted forward in the story itself. I further applauded her ability to give the realism of Ancient Egypt its most coveted veil of truism! I oft find the writers who can breathe life into their novels to where we are in a lucid trance of where their novels are set give us the most joy to read. In this way, I cannot wait to read another novel by Thornton to see where my heart is led to traverse next! Although, part of me wonders, if Ancient Egypt will be re-explored or if there is another in her back-list I have not yet realised available?! It is most surely a realm I want to venture back into once more, for sure! And, now that the pendulum is set as it were, which author to yield to next to eclipse this wicked sweet story? As now that my palette has a taste for Ancient Egypt, I must yield to seeking out more stories to pacify my hunger! Such a happy thirst to have, eh?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comThis Blog Tour Stop is courtesy of Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.

Virtual Road Map of “Daughter of the Gods” Blog Tour is found here:

Daughter of the Gods Tour with HFVBTsFun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comI am happily honoured to be a blog tour hostess for:

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBT

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comPlease visit

Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva

to stay in the know for upcoming events!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Kindly know each post I include “Related Articles” those links were not selected by a computer, they were hand-selected by me! I read each one & felt it was necessary to include the links for reading after you had concluded my own blog post.

Reader Interactive Question:

Which books about Ancient Egypt have you become drawn into yourself!? What is it about the setting, time, and period of the Ancient Rulers that you find an appreciation of enquiry? What do you seek out whilst sourcing writers of the Ancient Times!? Do you like the drinkabliity of the narrative? The combination of a wordsmith’s vision against a researcher’s heart? Of whom is your favourite living history character to be explored in a fictional story!? Is there any Egyptian Ruler or lesser known person that you’d prefer to see come to life?!

{SOURCES: Book cover for “Daughter of the Gods”, Author Biography and Book Synopsis  were provided by HFVBT – Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and used with permission. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. The documentary “Hatshepsut’s Egypt” via History Stories had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share a complimentary feature on the subject of the novel. Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Related Articles:

Hatshepsut: The Woman Who Was King – (discoveringegypt.com) I loved how this site gives further insight into her legacy as a woman ruler & how she inspired the women who followed her to succeed in ruling where men only dared to previously.

The True (And Sometimes Painful) Story of Publishing Daughter of the Gods – (stephanie-thornton.com) I am beyond grateful Ms. Thornton had a writing friend who championed her passion for Hatshepsut and inspired her to continue to find a loving home for this to become a printed book of which has alighted in my hands to read! A true blessing indeed! There is nothing more precious than a writer’s belief in their stories nor in the determined heart to see a dream realised!

Discover Hatshepsut’s Temple – (youtube.com) This is such a unique video perspective of a slice of her life that unless you travel to Egypt would not be able to see yourself. Gave a grounding of the setting for the novel ahead of reading.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Hatshepsut’s Egypt by History Stories

Inspired to Share: I wanted to find a video I could share that could draw out the essence of who Hatshepsut was whilst inspiring a visitor to find a tangible connection to her such as the one I found myself attached to whilst reading “Daughter of the Gods”. I realise sometimes it helps to have a visual aide to lay thought and dimension upon a story, which is one reason I am always attempting to find book trailers to include with my ruminations on the stories I love discovering; however in lieu of that first choice, I settled on this video. There is something about the presenters euphoric joy in uncovering bits and bobbles about Hatshepsut that inspired me to share this with you today. Notwithstanding a few errors or non-clarifications of a few historical facts (as evidenced in the comment threads on YouTube), I felt as history is subjective and elusive at the same time, any person who can draw this much of an enthused response of someone who lived and breathed over 3,500+ years ago deserves a bit of a spotlight! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Divider

Posted Saturday, 24 May, 2014 by jorielov in 1400s BC, Amun (God of Air), Ancient Civilisation, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Egypt Sports, Ancient Olympic Games, Archery, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Chariot Racing, Clever Turns of Phrase, Death & Burial Rites, Documentary on Topic or Subject, Egypt, Embalming Preservation, Geographically Specific, Hatshepsut, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Imhotep, Important Figures of Ancient Times, Marriage of Convenience, Mortuary Science, Mummification Practices, Native American Spirituality, Passionate Researcher, Pharaohs & Dynasties, Qigong, Re (God of the Sun), Rituals for the Afterlife, Rulers of Ancient Egypt, Tai Chi Chaun, Women of Power & Rule, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, World Religions