Publisher: New American Library

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 Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

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
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Posted Tuesday, 29 September, 2015 by jorielov in 20th Century, Adulterous Affair, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, 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 | “The Tiger Queens” by Stephanie Thornton a more humanistic side of Genghis Khan which will take a #histfic reader by surprise

Posted Wednesday, 26 November, 2014 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

The Tiger Queens by Stephanie Thornton

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

Converse via: #TheTigerQueens, #TheTigerQueensBlogTour,
#GenghisKhan, #StephanieThornton

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “The Tiger Queens” 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.

Blog Book Tour | “The Tiger Queens” by Stephanie Thornton a more humanistic side of Genghis Khan which will take a #histfic reader by surpriseThe Tiger Queens
by Stephanie Thornton
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

In the late twelfth century on the sweeping Mongolian grasslands, following a violent feud between blood brothers, the victor Temujin ascends to power, declaring himself Genghis Khan. But behind one powerful man stand many strong women…

After her mother foretells an ominous future for her, darkness looms over Borte’s life. She becomes an outcast among her clan and after seeking comfort in the arms of an aristocratic traveler, she discovers he is the blood brother of Temujin, the man she was betrothed to years ago but who abandoned her long before they could marry. And he will only leave her behind again.

Temujin will make Borte his khatun, his queen, yet it will take many women to safeguard his fragile new empire. Their daughter, a fierce girl named Alaqai, will ride and shoot an arrow as well as any man. Fatima, an elegant Persian captive, seeks revenge against the Mongol barbarians who destroyed her city and murdered her family, but in the end will sacrifice everything to protect the Golden Family. Demure widow to Genghis’ son, Sorkhokhtani positions her sons to inherit the Empire when it begins to fracture from within.

As Genghis Khan sets out to expand his conquests and the steppes run red with blood, Borte and the women of the clan will fight, love, scheme, and sacrifice, all for the good of their family and the greatness of the People of the Felt Walls…

Places to find the book:

Also by this author: Daughter of the Gods, Author Interview (Stephanie Thornton), A Song of War

Genres: Ancient Civilisation, Historical Fiction, War Drama


Published by New American Library

on 4th November, 2014

Pages: 496

About Stephanie Thornton

Stepanie Thornton

Stephanie 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” and “Daughter of the Gods: A Novel of Ancient Egypt” are available from NAL/Penguin. “The Tiger Queens: The Women of Genghis Khan” will hit the shelves November 4, 2014, followed by “The Conqueror’s Wife: A Novel of Alexander the Great” in November 2015.

Khan | a reverend yet feared name:

Perhaps it was reader optimism or naiveté, as my enthused eagerness to continue to read the stories penned by the author of Daughter of the Gods emerged onto the calendar this November, I had not truly given a measured thought to how violent an account of Genghis Khan might truly have become inside The Tiger Queens. Therefore, instead of mentioning too much about the accounts on behalf of the battles and surges of where sword and bone meet each other with such a blast of blood hunger, I am choosing instead to focus on what inspired me most directly to read this particular novel! As at the central core and heart of The Tiger Queens lie the women behind Khan, the women I never knew existed if point were to be frank, as Khan has had a way of announcing his presence in such an alarmingly convincing way as to not question his place of mention on Asian History.

He was always a bit of a curious figure for me to uncover in my lessons at school, as very little was spoken on his behalf than the most obvious attributes of his character (more banked on his thirst for battle than for his compassion for family or hearth), which had led to a nettling of curiosity within my own daydreams on who Khan was behind the shadows of where history drew their own accorded record?

My Review of The Tiger Queens:

Finding a Prologue to a novel about Genghis Khan writ of the hand by Stephanie Thornton, gives a reader an appreciation for finding not only a wordsmith whose historical narrative has already proven to secure your appeal for re-entering into a world she pens, but to tether directly into the soul of spirit the characters your about to greet forthwith inside this new novel; is a direct merit of Thornton’s dedicated research for aligning her heart into the full essence of whom she is writing on behalf of. A powerful statement of declaration is bleeding into this Prologue, by the ancient insightfulness of a woman who not only lived a hard row to hoe in life but knew of how her life might be viewed in generations long past the acknowledgement of her own people. A life which might become carted and swept into the annuals of history, forgotten perhaps but not without an urgency of being brought back into the light; to the forefront of history and a mindfulness of where the past and the future will forever overlay into each other’s hands. This is the kind of Prologue Thornton gives her readers, a keen intuitive voice whispering you from afar and encouraging you forward into a land you shall not soon want to fade out of your memory,… a people who will carve themselves as if an etched impression was laid into your internal circuits as having lived a breath of their life whilst you read a novel set around where time &  history eclipse through the printed page.

Borte’s first impression of Temujin (as Genghis Khan was known originally as a child) was not one of beloved passion, but of contempt; contempt for the proof of her life would shift away from the folds of her mother and father’s home. She was an unexpected child, bourne to parents who never felt they could be blessed with a child so late in life, and yet she were the joy of their souls. Borte knew of the role every woman played in her part of the world – to protect not only the heirs for future generations to be breathed onto earth but to stand sturdy behind the men they were chosen to wed. Even if the selection were not of their favour nor of a personality of their choosing. Temujin and Borte grew up worlds apart, even for those who were raised on the steppes where you would nearly believe more commonalities amongst them would be rampant than singularly absent. For Borte, I gathered the impression she would have preferred to live a life outside her customs and traditions; whereas with Temujin he felt to me the product of his father’s guidance without a voice of his own in the tender years of his youth.

The way in which Borte and her family lived is a testament against the elements and of living with less than what would ordinarily be found as a fair balance of food, shelter, and warmth. Making do with the provisions one is blessed to secure and with a mind on finding the fortitude to stabilise a family’s needs with what can be found is the mark of strength for Borte’s village. They have a way of life similar to other tribal communities who not only live on the land directly inside humble abodes but they live off the land as well. On a larkspur moment of indulging her adventurous naure, Borte has a confessional conversation with Temujin anchoring her to seeing her lifepath in a way she had not yet considered; mostly out of fear of her mother’s premonition (her mother’s line is strongly gifted with second sight) and partially out of the fears most young girls have of a destiny given to them rather than chosen. Temujin surprises her by his brave words chosen out of an attempt to convince her his lineage is not the mark of who a man is but rather merely the bones of who his flesh shall become turnt into in the future.

Borte’s husband grew into a warrior who never allowed the odds against him to diminish his optimism, nor allow any defeat of death befallen his men to undermine his authority or his chances to overcome his enemies. Genghis was a man who dared to see opportunity and carve out a path towards justice and upturn adversity by any means he could, especially if it was a mark of honour to help his people. Not every enemy held honour in battle, and the searing anguish of the dead, whose wives were widowed from the battlefields did not have the chance for a burial of rest for their loved ones if their husband came back half rather than whole. It was a time of distinctive absolutes – where what you gave to your cause could take back more than your mere life but affect your afterlife as well. It was surely not a time in history for the weak of heart nor for anyone whose bravery could buckle in the sight of blood, war, and the fear of being overturnt by a ruler other than the one you drew allegiance.

What surprised me the most, was how Thornton’s research into Genghis Khan could shed so much light onto who he was as a man outside of battle and bloodshed. He comes across as a man who not only had a sensitive heart and spirit, but he truly was in love soul to moon to his wife Borte! She was the woman who could stand up to him as much as she could challenge him as a wife – she was not passive nor was she overly pensive; they shared an equality of marriage by respect for their bond and their differences alike. It was quite unusual to witness how much Genghis respected Borte, as he never took another wife and always claimed Borte was the one true love of his life.

I found myself connected to Borte even moreso than I originally felt I might have become, as I appreciated seeing Genghis through her eyes; she was never sparred upheaval nor anguish of loss, as if anything she was given such a heavy burden out of her path with her husband as to nearly break her spirit for the next days which lay ahead. She found ways to carry onwards which I found strength of heart and faith; as much as I credit how vivid she was present in the story to Thornton who truly knows how to gather insight into the characters she brings out of history.

To me that is the greatest joy I had whilst reading The Tiger Queens, seeing the impressions and observations of the women who surround Genghis Khan and Borte; each of them had so much more to give than their place in their world would always allow or condone, but Thornton found a way to honour each of them all the same. She painted a living portrait of life during Khan’s reign as much as extending it past his death, to keep a continuity of his legacy perpetuated into the future. I will attest the hard-hitting battle scenes tested my will of stomach and mind, but as I had foresaid in the beginning of this review, I truly ought to have realised a novel about Genghis Khan would not borrow a lighter faire of story in exchange for lessoning what the reality drew out of his life.

On the dedicative writing style which endears me to Stephanie Thornton:

As settled into The Tiger Queens, I was thankful for two things: I had previously had the pleasure of reading Liz Harris’s The Road Back and I had watched the documentary Babies (2010) where I had found myself attached the most to two of the babies overall:  Ponijao of the small village Opuwo in Namibia and Bayar(jargal) of Bayanchandmani a remote area of Mongolia. The reason I appreciated their portions of the documentary over the American and Japanese children is simply because of how uniquely tied their culture and being a mother become entwined into each other. I loved having the chance to see how life is strikingly different yet altogether parallel to the lives we live inside our own lives. I recommend everyone to take a moment to read the novel and watch this documentary, even before you pick up The Tiger Queens, as they serve as a primer for getting into the full scope of where this novel takes the reader next! I have to credit my local library for stocking our shelves not only with theatrical releases everyone will recognise but for bringing foreign film, documentaries and the serials of the BBC to our community as well.

I loved the idea of seeing how Khan saw Borte — to give his first wife the mindfulness of her countenance being set apart from those of her clan, as a merit of goodwill towards winning her heart. Thornton has truly uncovered a part of Khan’s life that roots out more of his depth as a man and as a husband, rather than merely focusing on who he was as a warrior. I could understand better his inclination to fight through bloodshed as his rearing was based on what could be conquered rather than what a man could raise through hard work and sweat in the soils of the earth. They (Khan & Borte) were raised within two separate clans, yet the bounty of their upbringings would unite their lineage in time.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Virtual Road Map for “The Tiger Queens” can be found here:

The Tiger Queens Blog Tour via HFVBTs

Be sure to scope out upcoming tours I will be hosting with:

Previously I had the pleasure of reading “Daughter of the Gods” which sparked an appreciation for Thornton’s style of Historical Fiction! So much so, that I asked for a copy of her first novel “The Secret History” for one of my birthday picks this past Summer 2014! I cannot wait to discover what awaits me inside her debut novel when I can set aside time to read it in early 2015! I am thankful to HFVBTs for  inspiring me to find new historical fiction authors such as Stephanie Thornton!

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBT

 on my Bookish Events page!

{SOURCES: Cover art of “The Tiger Queens”, book synopsis, author photograph of Stephanie Thornton, author biography, the tour host badge & HFVBT banner were all provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and used with permission. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Tweets were able to be embedded by the codes provided by Twitter. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

 

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

The live reading tweets in regards to “The Tiger Queens”:

{ favourite & Re-tweet if inspired to share }

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Posted Wednesday, 26 November, 2014 by jorielov in 12th Century, Alaqai, Ancient Civilisation, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Borte, Fatima, Genghis Khan, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Important Figures of Ancient Times, Sorkhokhtani

+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

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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.

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:

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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:

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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

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