Earlier tonight, I shared an interview with Sara R. Turnquist, as her debut novel winked out a bit of curiosity, leading me to draw together a conversation to gain a better grounding of who she is as a historical fiction author. The same wicked curiosity attached itself to me as soon as I read the synopsis for The Saffron Crocus! I have a slight tendency to find wicked sweet joy in discovering new Mystery and Suspense authors – as try as I might, one of my most favourite stories to devour are mysteries!
I have shifted a bit in sorting out that my ‘top favourites’ are truly Cosy Mysteries + Cosy Historical Mysteries with a slight bent towards Traditional Suspense novels and a few exceptions to my rule of ‘not reading’ hard-boils! Laughs.
A girl can change her mind, eh?!
As I had mentioned earlier, sometimes I find a book I am genuine interested in reading isn’t yet available in print or audiobook editions, thereby a quick way to satisfy my curiosity is to seek out more information about the story and/or the author whose penned the book itself! Being a tour hostess for Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours (or HFVBTs for short) held a bit of an advantage with this lovely historical new release, as I opted to host the author with a conversation in lieu of a review!
Except to say, I *missed!* my tour stop completely! I was marked down to host Ms McMahan on the 5th of June – I barely remember that day as it was the first of two illnesses that struck me down and left me miserable for over a fortnight! I honestly can barely recollect half the month! As July came into view, I felt for sure it would be a better month for me, and in regards to my personal health it has been – mother nature on the other hand has been a trickster! By long and far, this is the most severe weather I have ever experienced for the month(!) of July! Growing up in ‘storm central’ with the knowledge of how deadly and forceful natural disasters can wreck havoc on townes, cities, and lives – I was never one to take extreme weather lightly. This July has re-defined how frequent you can have severe lightning storms and how damaging those storms can be on your electricity and electronic devices!
As I edited Ms Turnquist’s interview deep into the evening hours as I couldn’t even blog until today’s batch of circling thunderstorms evaporated, I found a note I had given myself to remember to share the conversation I had with Ms McMahan! I’ve decided to feature this as a ‘double-feature’ if you will – two historical authors, one epic night of reveal! I hope you will tuck into both of their interviews and draw out a bit of mirth to satisfy your own curiosities about their writing styles and the novels they’ve given us to read!
Winner of the 2014 Rosemary Award for Best Historical for Young Adults.
Venice, 1643. Isabella, fifteen, longs to sing in Monteverdi’s Choir, but only boys (and castrati) can do that. Her singing teacher, Margherita, introduces her to a new wonder: opera! Then Isabella finds Margherita murdered. Now people keep trying to kill Margherita’s handsome rogue of a son, Rafaele.
Was Margherita killed so someone could steal her saffron business? Or was it a disgruntled lover, as Margherita—unbeknownst to Isabella—was one of Venice’s wealthiest courtesans?
Or will Isabella and Rafaele find the answer deep in Margherita’s past, buried in the Jewish Ghetto?
Isabella has to solve the mystery of the Saffron Crocus before Rafaele hangs for a murder he didn’t commit, though she fears the truth will drive her and the man she loves irrevocably apart.
Read an Excerpt of the Novel:
Who knew a singing career would be this much trouble?
“Rafaele!” She flew into the garret. “Piero, it was so wonderful, wait until I tell you!”
The stool next to the bed was knocked over. The tray with the genepy bottle was on the floor, one of the cups broken. The fat candle that had been burning next to Rafaele’s bed had been flung to the other side of the room.. Canvases were strewn all over the floor, some of them slashed, and many of Master Strozzi’s jars of paint elements were broken.
Did Piero and Rafaele have a fight? She quickly suppressed the thought. Who would get into a fight with a man who was already injured?
To continue reading click the Spoiler button!
View Spoiler »Something else must have happened.
She walked across the garret. “Piero? Rafaele, are you here?”
Rafaele was not in the bed. The sheets and blankets she had piled on top of him were strewn everywher. Blood-stained sheets spilled over the edge of the pallet. There was a pile of clothes on the floor.
She walked around to get a closer look.
Not clothes. It was Piero. Face down, one arm stretched out before him, as if in supplication.
A puddle of blood under him.
Dead. « Hide Spoiler