Category: the Renaissance (14th-17th Centuries)

Blog Book Tour | “Alchemy’s Daughter” by Mary A. Osborne

Posted Thursday, 30 July, 2015 by jorielov , , 1 Comment

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 part of the blog tour for “Alchemy’s Daughter” hosted by Italy Book Tours. Although I recently started to host for iRead Book Tours, this is my first tour with the Italian side of this duo book touring company! I received a complimentary copy of “Alchemy’s Daughter” direct from the publisher Lake Street Press in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Switching from France to Italy:

When I was first approached to host for iRead Book Tours, and their sister hosting services via Italy Book Tours, something inside me was quite keen on the idea to start reading stories set in Italy as I have been spending nearly two full years residing in the historical past of France! I love learning about different cultural traditions inasmuch as I like the angling of insight into my own heritage but sometimes I find that if I switch up the locales a bit, exchange one country for another, it keeps everything quite fresh and invigorating! Therefore, imagine my sweet surprise in finding I can start to tuck inside novels set in Italy and continue to time travel through history!?

I was quite happy to discover inside my ARC copy of this YA Historical a lovely bookmark from the publisher! Quite a keen surprise to discover and I can assure you it was used as I read the book! I love finding bookmarks in the pages of a book I am reviewing; as I am definitely a book blogger who can NEVER have too many! Laughs with mirth. Perhaps you feel the same!? Does your bookshelf have a lot of current reads and must-get-those-soon reads begging for your attention? Do you pick out bookmarks to compliment your reading queue whilst finding each book to be read has a bookmark, which leaves you a bit curious to find one to use with the current book in hand? Thus, you can see how lovely it was indeed for me to pull out a bookmark from a book I was reading as I blog my review! Quite champion of Lake Street Press!

Blog Book Tour | “Alchemy’s Daughter” by Mary A. OsborneAlchemy's Daughter
by Mary A. Osborne
Source: Publisher via Italy Book Tours

In medieval San Gimignano, Italy, daughters of merchants are expected to marry. But Santina Pietra cares only for Calandrino, a brilliant young scholar who is preoccupied with his ancient alchemical texts.

Soon Santina meets Trotula, the village midwife, who might or might not be a "strega," a witch. Trotula challenges her to forget Calandrino and become the woman she is meant to be. Some say she is a victim of the midwife’s spell, but Santina is determined to follow in Trotula’s footsteps even as calamities strike.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction, Midwife | Midwifery, Young Adult Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Women's Studies


Published by Lake Street Press

on 14th May, 2015

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 288

Published By: Lake Street Press (@LakeStreetPress),
Available Formats: Trade Paperback only

NOTE: Alchemy’s Daughter is the PREQUEL to Nonna’s Book of Mysteries

Read more about the 1st Novel in the series

I opted to read the PREQUEL ahead of the first novel!

About Mary A. Osborne

Mary A. Osborne

Mary A. Osborne is the multiple award-winning author of Alchemy's Daughter and Nonna’s Book of Mysteries. A graduate of Rush University and Knox College, where she was mentored in the Creative Writing Program, Ms. Osborne is a registered nurse and holds degrees in chemistry and nursing.

Her freelance work has appeared in publications such as Hektoen International, Newcity, and the Examiner.com. Ms. Osborne lives in Chicago.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Thursday, 30 July, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 14th Century, Ancient Egypt, Apothecary, ARC | Galley Copy, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookmark slipped inside a Review Book, Catholicism, Christianity, Coming-Of Age, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Father-Daughter Relationships, Herbalist, Historical Fiction, History, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Italy, Italy Book Tours, Late Middle Ages (1300-1500), Life Shift, Literature of Italy, Medical Fiction, Midwife | Midwifery, Midwives & Childbirth, Naturopathic Medicine, Passionate Researcher, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Philosophy, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Religious History, Single Fathers, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Superstitions & Old World Beliefs, the Renaissance (14th-17th Centuries), Women's Fiction, Women's Health, Women's Right to Choose (Health Care Rights), Women's Rights, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, World Religions, Young Adult Fiction

Blog Book Tour | “The Shepherdess of Siena” by Linda Lafferty

Posted Thursday, 14 May, 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 originally found BookSparks PR last Spring, when I came upon the Summer Reading Challenge a bit too late in the game. I hadn’t forgotten about it, and was going to re-contact them this Spring to see if I could join the challenge this year instead. Coincidentally, before I sorted this out, I was contacted by one of their publicists about Linda Lafferty’s Renaissance historical novel.  I received a complimentary copy of “The Shepherdess of Siena” direct from the publicist at BookSparks in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

I will be blogging about my contributions and participation in the Summer Reading Challenge 2015 because something quite remarkable happened to allow me to read the first six novels of the ten I selected to blog about. Mum’s the word until I post a very special edition of ’10 Bookish / Not Bookish Thoughts’!

On reading about the Renaissance and stories about strong women:

I fell in love with Renaissance Italy as a child, swept away by the artisans and artists during the re-genesis of creative voice and freedom of expression across their societal divides. The Renaissance is fraught with drama depending on where you alight during it’s different periods of time, but one thing remains: the will of the people to not only overcome what is happening but to dig deeper into a well of strength to overtake what is wrong and shift forward into the future on a sturdier path towards change. It was an incredible time in history, and it is the stories of the people that I am always drawn towards most when I pick up a historical work of fiction.

To tuck inside a commoners or royals life, seeing what they might have seen or felt what they might have bled out of their hearts whilst surviving or yielding to the fray of the hour. Historical fiction I find is enriching because it presents a different worldview than our contemporary timescape; it knits together ideas and motivations to conquer issues which have had lasting results even in our own generations. I like seeing how the people rose to the occasions they were presented with living through but moreso to that end, I like reading about their ordinary lives. Even a royal family at the end of the day are merely who they are behind closed doors — the circumstances of their royal origins do not limit their curiosity but rather increase it, as who are they when the world is not looking?

On the opposite end of it, I love unearthing little unknown pockets of the historical past, elements of how time, life, family, and evolution of thought can expand itself into a boiling stew of passion and declaration for liberty to live on one’s own terms. Strong women in fiction is awe-inspiring, but my favourite preference is finding the women who lived so very long ago held within them a chalice of strength written into the fiber of all women before and after them.

Blog Book Tour | “The Shepherdess of Siena” by Linda LaffertyThe Shepherdess of Siena: a novel of Renaissance Tuscany
by Linda Lafferty
Source: Direct from Publicist

The Shepherdess of Siena takes us to the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside in a lush drama of untamed horses and wild hearts played out in historic Siena.

Linda Lafferty, bestselling author of The Bloodletter’s Daughter, releases her fourth novel The Shepherdess of Siena. This riveting new novel is based on the real life tale of Virgina Tacci who at age fourteen rode the Palio Horse tournament in 1581 bareback. Linda’s love of all things equestrian and her extensive travel to Italy paints a vivid picture of Tuscany with passion and truth.

Raised by her aunt and uncle amidst the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside, young orphan Virginia Tacci has big dreams of competing in Siena’s Palio horse race. As a shepherdess in sixteenth-century Italy, her peasant class and her gender supremely limit Virginia’s possibilities. Inspired by the daring equestrian feats of Isabella de’ Medici, who rides with the strength and courage of any man, Virgina’s dreams don’t seem so difficult to reach.

The Shepherdess of Siena brings alive the rich history of one of Tuscany’s most famed cities and this lush, captivating saga draws an illuminating portrait of one girl with an unbreakable spirit.

 

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction


Published by Lake Union Publishing

on 31st March, 2015

Format: Paperback

Pages: 616

Published By: Lake Union Publishing
Available Formats: Paperback, Audiobook, and Ebook

Converse on Twitter via: #ShepherdessOfSiena

About Linda Lafferty

Linda Lafferty taught in public education for nearly three decades, in schools from the American School of Madrid to the Boulder Valley schools to the Aspen school district. She completed her PhD in bilingual special education and went on to work in that field, as well as teaching English as a second language and bilingual American history.

Horses are Linda’s first love, and she rode on the University of Lancaster’s riding team for a year in England. As a teenager, her uncle introduced her to the sport of polo, and she played in her first polo tournament when she was seventeen.

Linda also loves Siena, Italy, and the people of the region and has returned to the city half a dozen times in the past three years to research her novel. Linda is the author of three previous novels: The Bloodletter’s Daughter, The Drowning Guard, and House of Bathory. She lives in Colorado with her husband.

Lafferty's Author Page on Book Browse

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Thursday, 14 May, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 15th Century, Audiobook, Audiobook Excerpt, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, BookSparks, Catherine de Medici, Catholicism, Coming-Of Age, Father-Daughter Relationships, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, Horse Drama & Fiction, Indie Author, Isabella de' Medici, Italy, Library Love, Literary Fiction, Literature of Italy, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Nun, Orphans & Guardians, Religious Orders, Renaissance Tuscany, Sisterhood friendships, Soundcloud, the Renaissance (14th-17th Centuries), Tuscany, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Rights

Blog Book Tour | “The Perfect Fool” by Bethany Zohner Herbert

Posted Saturday, 25 April, 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 am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “The Perfect Fool” direct from the publisher Sweetwater Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Curious to Read:

Aside from being a Court Jester once upon a moon, I have oft felt I need to dip back into the breadth of Renaissance stories, as I only visit the Medieval era on the lark of finding a title that interests me. You can be assured this is a limited affair, and the interesting bit to it is that I love the world of Kings, Queens, Lords, and the whole ‘scene’ of court life. There is a hankering to dig into the Renaissance to understand the origins of fine art as much as the incredible freedoms that came out of the period of great change and societal tolerance for differences in faith. It was a riveting time to say the least!

I have the tendency to opt for a drama over a comedy, satire, or folly filled story — in part, because my reading life is a good reflection of my tv serial and motion picture viewing preferences wheren I find it’s hard to find the sophisticated comedy (i.e. this reads ‘clean humour’) I find delightful when most releases are quite askewed to the gutter. I like to laugh but I don’t want my mind to be taken down a line of dialogue that deflects rather than uplifts.

Dramas are a bit more of a stable choice for me, but on occasion I find myself a bit curious about reading a fluffier story if only to take a proper hiatus from war dramas, historical biographical fiction, and my tendency to read heart wrenching women’s fiction and contemporary romance. Thus The Perfect Fool felt it might fit a void I’ve carved into my reading queue without realising I was missing a portion of literature on the softer and lighter side. Even if I were to be frank, most of the plays of Shakespeare which are my ‘go to’ mentions are the tragedies; except for one, Much Ado About Nothing and I have Emma Thompson to credit for that, as it was her adaptation in motion picture which convinced me of it’s charm.

Blog Book Tour | “The Perfect Fool” by Bethany Zohner HerbertThe Perfect Fool
by Bethany Zohner Herbert
Source: Direct from Publisher

Plucked from the streets to become a court jester, Farrago's life is simple and carefree. No one demands much of him, and that's exactly how he likes it. But everything changes when Farrago begins flirting with a scullery maid named Thea. And when Farrago learns the truth about Thea's identity, he must decide just how far he's willing to go for the chance to follow his heart.

This quirky medieval tale is a fun and romantic read - a charming balance of humour and suspense. With a plot that's full of twists, it's guaranteed to keep you guessing.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Historical Fiction


Published by Sweetwater Books

on 14th April, 2015

Format: Paperback

Pages: 288

Published By: Sweetwater Books (@SweetwaterBooks),
an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #ThePerfectFool or #PerfectFool *methinks it should be #PerfectFoolBook as the tags on Twitter are routing quite ‘unique’ references to both!

About Bethany Zohner Herbert

Bethany Zohner Herbert was born in Salt Lake City, and aside from a short amount of time living in England and the South, she is back in her native Idaho where she grew up. She has been a fan of books since before she could write.

She earned her Bachelor’s in creative writing from BYU-Idaho and her Master’s in literature and writing from Utah State University.

When not coming up with weird stories, she likes participating in and teaching Zumba, making crafts (silly ones like puppets) reading, and dating her husband.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Saturday, 25 April, 2015 by jorielov in 16th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Castles & Estates, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Childhood Friendship, Creative Arts, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Literature for Boys, Orphans & Guardians, Teacher & Student Relationships, the Renaissance (14th-17th Centuries)