Category: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Blog Book Tour | “The Beautiful American” by Jeanne Mackin

Posted Tuesday, 29 September, 2015 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

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

Why I felt I might fancy this novel:

I have a personal penchant for what I refer to as ‘Biographical Historical Fiction’ wherein the historical persons who lived are aptly portrayed through a historical treatment of their lives by a novelist who has a flaire for bringing their lives so fully to life, we feel as though we’ve met them in person. You’ll find that I have read quite a hearty array of historicals which befit this category and am always quite in full search of new writers who can lead me back through the corridors of the past and introduce me to someone who will bring history alive to me in all it’s glory and heartache. As for each life told, there is a happy balance of joy and strife, such is a well-rounded life well lived and told thereafter the person has passed on.

I personally find joy in this section of historical stories because the past becomes fiercely alive through the voices of the authors who pen these kinds of stories. We get to take an up close and personal voyage back through the tides of time whilst being caught up in the livelihood of a person who truly lived and felt every inch of the emotions we hope to catch sight of in the novel.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Note on the Cover Art: Did anyone else notice the sepia tone of hue on the cover when Lee Miller is being highlighted and how Paris in the background is a more muted reverie? I felt this was a fitting touch to the novel, especially as you become further into her folds, this novel doesn’t quite want to let you go – it stays with you, and you realise things you hadn’t seen at first glaance.

Blog Book Tour | “The Beautiful American” by Jeanne MackinThe Beautiful American
by Jeanne Mackin
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

As recovery from World War II begins, expat American Nora Tours travels from her home in southern France to London in search of her missing sixteen-year-old daughter. There, she unexpectedly meets up with an old acquaintance, famous model-turned-photographer Lee Miller. Neither has emerged from the war unscathed. Nora is racked with the fear that her efforts to survive under the Vichy regime may have cost her daughter’s life. Lee suffers from what she witnessed as a war correspondent photographing the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps.

Nora and Lee knew each other in the heady days of late 1920’s Paris, when Nora was giddy with love for her childhood sweetheart, Lee became the celebrated mistress of the artist Man Ray, and Lee’s magnetic beauty drew them all into the glamorous lives of famous artists and their wealthy patrons. But Lee fails to realize that her friendship with Nora is even older, that it goes back to their days as children in Poughkeepsie, New York, when a devastating trauma marked Lee forever. Will Nora’s reunion with Lee give them a chance to forgive past betrayals, and break years of silence?

A novel of freedom and frailty, desire and daring, The Beautiful American portrays the extraordinary relationship between two passionate, unconventional woman.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9780451465825

Also by this author:

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction


Published by New American Library

on 3rd June 2014

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 352

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Published By: New American Library (NAL)
( ) an imprint of Penguin Group (USA
)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #TheBeautifulAmerican

About Jeanne Mackin

Jeanne Mackin

Jeanne Mackin’s novel, The Beautiful American (New American Library), based on the life of photographer and war correspondent Lee Miller, received the 2014 CNY award for fiction. Her other novels include A Lady of Good Family, about gilded age personality Beatrix Farrand, The Sweet By and By, about nineteenth century spiritualist Maggie Fox, Dreams of Empire set in Napoleonic Egypt, The Queen’s War, about Eleanor of Aquitaine, and The Frenchwoman, set in revolutionary France and the Pennsylvania wilderness.

Jeanne Mackin is also the author of the Cornell Book of Herbs and Edible Flowers (Cornell University publications) and co-editor of The Book of Love (W.W. Norton.) She was the recipient of a creative writing fellowship from the American Antiquarian Society and a keynote speaker for The Dickens Fellowship. Her work in journalism won awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, in Washington, D.C. She has taught or conducted workshops in Pennsylvania, Hawaii and at Goddard College in Vermont.

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
Divider

Posted Tuesday, 29 September, 2015 by jorielov in 20th Century, Adulterous Affair, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Bookish Discussions, Clever Turns of Phrase, Fashion Industry, Father-Daughter Relationships, France, French Literature, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Lee Miller, Literary Fiction, Parfum Industry, Passionate Researcher, Photography, The World Wars, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, War-time Romance, Women's Health, Women's Rights, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, Writing Style & Voice

Blog Book Tour | “Honor Among Thieves” (Book No.1 of the #HopeAndSteelSeries) by J.M. Aucoin

Posted Monday, 21 September, 2015 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

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

A girl who fancies swashbucklers and pirates:

Who isn’t afraid to admit it to the world that they have a penchant for swashbucklers, rebels, rogues, and pirates? There is something daringly brilliant about these men who dare to defy odds, logic, and societal social norms to expand their livelihoods outside the scope of gentle society. I’ll free admit when I first saw Captain Jack Sparrow take centerstage on Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl a part of my heart started to swoon and I was thusly sitting so close to the edge of my seat in the theater as to nearly fall out of it! I giggled with enthused laughter about his antics, whilst reveling in the pure insanity of his situations! Of course, there is a heap of heart to Captain Jack and a sincerity underneath the levity, but for a girl who needed a balm of humour out of a year of intense sorrow – Captain Jack mastered the art of re-finding your smile!

I have a bit of a history with swashbucklers – it began as a child when I first saw Gabriel Bryne take me off into a pirate of a story via Shipwrecked – a bit of an unknown (or lesser known) motion picture which set the course I would be keen on pirates for the rest of my days! Combine this film with Swiss Family Robinson and a healthy thirst of ‘historical adventures’ was bourne! Lateron I would watch The Three Musketeers and The Man in the Iron Mask amongst others, leading up to Johnny Depp’s infamous character! The cheekily timed and Steampunked adventure of The Three Musketeers by a predominately European crew in 2013 re-ignited the passion I have for ‘out of the box’ film-making and re-envisioning a classic story! Ooh dear my! The BBC has a serial entitled The Three Musketeers? Say when did that happen!? Hmm. Dare I admit – all of these I’ve seen at least twice, and some of which I’ve seen thrice over a few times? Yes, I watch films in multiple viewings during the score of a year, especially if I’m properly addicted to them!

Mind you – I have yet to complete the original novel (of The Three Musketeers), as part of me was quite bored by all accounts – I picked it up several times in middle school only to feel disappointed somehow? I wonder if other Classic Clubbers have felt this way? It came across a bit droll for me but the re-tellings and re-imaginings of the classic have been fuell to folly as far as my curiosity to seek them out!

Imagine my happy joy in finding out a ChocLit author has composed a ‘pirate’ story of her own? (greetings Ms Malcolm!) And, how revealing it was of me to admit it was true Captain Jack convinced me I’ll forevermore be curious about ‘pirate fiction’ stories! I champion stories of the high seas and their seafaring captains too, which dips into the ‘rebels and rogues’ areas (such as Zana Bell’s Close to the Wind proved!)

As I heard about this particular new story – fresh off the presses – rooted in a section of literature I am clearly under-read, my heart leapt in wicked sweet joy at the possibility to read it! 17th Century France is a section of historical fiction I already have voiced a strong appreciation for numerous times on Jorie Loves A Story, whilst the adventure side of historicals hasn’t quite been as fully fleshed out.

Alas! I haven’t even mentioned my propensity for ‘swords, swordplay, and fencing’!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

A note on the cover art: I wish in some ways I had a side by side view of this cover to share with you dear hearts, as quite cleverly the action shot and sequence on the front is continued on the reverse side! There was a lot of thought put into the cover layout and design – the images are two halves of a whole – a sequence in time to stitch a ‘moment’ out of the novel. The cross swords on the spine hint at a reference point for the series, and even the series itself is thus named after the attributes identifiable of the lead character: Darion Delerue! It nearly looks like a watercolour painting that was digitally remastered to serve as the cover art!

Blog Book Tour | “Honor Among Thieves” (Book No.1 of the #HopeAndSteelSeries) by J.M. AucoinHonor Among Thieves
by J.M. Aucoin
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Graham Sternberg
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

France, March 1609. The French Wars of Religion are over, but forces still conspire against the crown…

Darion Delerue, former soldier turned highwayman, has only two things of value—the hope in his heart and the steel at his side. After a heist on a royal ambassador goes wrong, Darion is thrown into a political plot to undermine the crown, pitting his old life as an honorable soldier against his new life as a thief and bandit. His actions could send France back into civil war.

Honor Among Thieves is a gripping tale of daring sword-play and political intrigue, with superb historical detail of 17th Century France that will have readers wanting to draw their swords and fight for glory!

Places to find the book:

Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Historical Fiction, Swashbuckler Fiction


Published by Sword & Cape Press

on 30th June 2015

Format: POD | Print On Demand Paperback

Pages: 330

Published by: Sword & Cape Press

Converse via: #HopeAndSteelSeries + #HistoricalAdventure

(a bit surprised no one started #HistAdv to simplify it?)

About J.M. Aucoin

J.M. Aucoin

Author. Fencer. Sometimes actor. Full-time nerd. J.M. AUCOIN is the product of when a five-year-old boy who fell in love with reruns of Guy William’s Zorro grows into a mostly functional adult. He now spends his time writing swashbucklers and historical adventure stories, and has an (un)healthy obsession with The Three Musketeers.

When not writing, he practices historical fencing, crafts historical outfits, and covers the Boston Bruins for the award-winning blog Days of Y’Orr. He lives in Heraldwolf’s Stone with his fiancée Kate, and their dire-beagle, Rex.

Photography Credit: Vander Photography

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
Divider

Posted Monday, 21 September, 2015 by jorielov in 17th Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, Blog Tour Host, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Book Cover | Original Illustration & Design, Bookish Discussions, Crime Fiction, Fly in the Ointment, France, French Literature, Heroic Bloodshed, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Pirates and Swashbucklers, Suspense, Vulgarity in Literature

Author Interview | Conversing with Japanese #mystery writer Susan Spann, on behalf of her epic historical suspense series: the Shinobi Mysteries!

Posted Friday, 21 August, 2015 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Conversations with the Bookish badge created by Jorie in Canva

It’s hard to properly express my absolute joy in sinking into a Shinobi mystery, except to say, the 16th Century Ms Spann has created is a welcome reprieve and respite each time I soak inside one of her installments on this expansive Historical Cosy Mystery series! I have a strong preference for Cosies as a whole, but a lovely new *niche!* of joy for me is the Cosy Historicals, of which I’ve been happily championing and blogging about for nearly two years! (i.e. the life of JLAS!)

The incredible breadth of research the authors knit into their stories of suspense and the realistic clarity of their eras in time is what compells me forward into each new story that happily alights in my hands to read! When it comes to the Shinobi mysteries, Spann has such a dedicated eye for continuity and a convincing voice for historical narrative set in an era so far removed from our own, she convinces you dearly that your in the 16th Century! This is beneficial on many levels but for me personally, I love the time travelling component that walks hand-in-hand with meeting up with two of my now beloved characters of suspense: Father Mateo and Hiro!

They have their own unique way of relating to each other, full of respect and honour, but with a uniqueness all of their own. The setting is vividly represented and the cultural heritage as well as the traditions of the Japanese are eloquently described lending an internal lens on a country many of us might not have the pleasure of visiting otherwise. I appreciate finding the new little bits and bobbles Spann knits inside her Shinobi mysteries; new secondary characters, new locales, new little insights into her lead characters, and of course, — the innate level of suspense where a mystery (always quite murderous) greets you, and a task to sleuth wraps your mind and heart around this evolving series!

For the HFVBTs spotlight, I wanted to step through the series, and combine my curiosities thus far along into a lively conversation that spans the first three novels, as we all sit on pins awaiting book No.4 Mask of the Fallen in 2016! This is an author and series I immediately get giddy about reading, as it should be when you find a writer who curates a living story of characters who breathe as real as their composites in our living world!

Here is our conversation as it unfolds and notice the little revelations from the writer which might surprise you along the way!

On my connection to Susan Spann:

I started visiting the chats hosted by @LitChat in the latter months of 2013, as it was around the time of the conference at The Betsy in which I started to cross paths with regular chatters, amongst whom were Natalia Sylvester (début novelist of “Chasing the Sun”) and Susan Spann. I am unsure which month I first started to notice Ms. Spann as a friendly presence who always reminded me of myself — someone who provided cheerful commentary, engaging questions for each visiting guest author, and a wicked knowledge base on a variety of topics. Generally speaking, I always click-over to read a person’s Twitter profile, but whilst engaged in those #LitChat(s) I felt like it was this magical rendezvous for the bookish and those who are attuned to bookish culture.

In this way, it wasn’t until I learnt of Blade of the Samurai was going on tour through TLC Book Tours that I had decided to discover a bit more about her! In so doing, I learnt who she was ‘behind the curtain’ so to speak! I always considered her one of my ‘friends in the twitterverse’ but I never disclosed this to her until I was on the (Blade of the Samurai) blog tour in September 2014! Such serendipity as the tour has brought us a bit closer and I am grateful that Twitter is a social-positive method of reaching past our distances in geography to connect to people who share a passion for the written word. We have continued to remain in touch although we do not get to ‘meet-up’ on Twitter as often as we once did due to our schedules.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Spann through our respective love & passion of reading inside the twitterverse whilst attending #LitChat or in private convos. I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Susan SpannAuthor Biography:

Susan Spann is a transactional publishing attorney and the author of the Shinobi Mysteries, featuring ninja detective Hiro Hattori and his Portuguese Jesuit sidekick, Father Mateo. Her début novel, CLAWS OF THE CAT (Minotaur Books, 2013), was named a Library Journal Mystery Debut of the Month. Susan has a degree in Asian Studies from Tufts University, where she studied Chinese and Japanese language, history, and culture. Her hobbies include cooking, traditional archery, martial arts, and horseback riding. She lives in northern California with her husband, son, two cats, and an aquarium full of seahorses.

Author Connections:

Official Author WebsitesSite | @SusanSpann | Blog

Converse via: #ShinobiMystery#ShinobiMysteries OR #FlaskOfTheDrunkenMaster

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

You have such a clever way of etching into your stories lovely hidden clues that reveal a bit about the direction of the Shinobi mysteries – I was curious was this innate and organic evolving through how the stories inked themselves together or was it something you hoped to add to help readerly sleuths get caught up in the journey with a bit of insider edge?

Spann responds: The best answer is “a little of both.” I have a larger series outline which helps me track the larger arc. Since I know where the series is going, a lot of the foreshadowing drops in naturally during the writing process. That said, I also do insert some deliberate clues in the editing process. (Also: thank you for the lovely compliment about the books.) Read More

Divider

Posted Friday, 21 August, 2015 by jorielov in 16th Century, Blog Tour Host, Bookish Discussions, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Mystery, Japan, Japanese Fiction, Japanese History, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity