Tag: Gracianna

*Blog Book Tour*: Gracianna by Trini Amador!

Posted Wednesday, 13 November, 2013 by jorielov , , 5 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

Gracianna by Trini Amador - HFVBT

Gracianna by Trini Amador
Published By: Green Leaf Book Group, 23 July, 2013
Official Author Websites: Amador on Facebook; Amador on Twitter; Gracianna Winery
Available Formats: Hardcover and E-Book
Page Count: 296

Original HFVBT Tour: 15 July – 9 August 2013

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a stop on the second blog book tour for “Gracianna” hosted by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of “Gracianna” in exchange for an honest review by the author Trini Amador. I was thankful to be placed on the tour as I was able to not only able to read the book but interview the author! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Author Biography:

Trini Amador AuthorTrini Amador vividly remembers the day he found a loaded German Luger tucked away in a nightstand while wandering through his great-grandmother’s home in Southern California. He was only four years old at the time, but the memory remained and he knew he had to explore the story behind the gun. This experience sparked a journey towards Gracianna, Amador’s debut novel, inspired by true events and weaving reality with imagination. It’s a tale drawing from real-life family experiences.

Mr. Amador is a traveled global marketing “insighter.” He is a sought-after guru teaching multinational brand marketers to understand how customer and consumer segments behave based on their needs, values, motivations, feeling and values. He has trained over five thousand brand marketers on how to grow brands in over 20 countries in the last 15 years. His counseling has been valued at global brands including General Electric, Microsoft, AT&T, Yahoo!, Sun Microsystems, Google, Jack Daniel’s, The J.M. Smucker Co., DuPont, Mattel, and Rodale, Inc..

Amador is also a founding partner with his wife and children of Gracianna Winery, an award-winning winery located in Healdsburg, California. The winery also pays tribute to the Amador Family’s maternal grandmother, Gracianna Lasaga. Her message of being thankful lives on through them. The Gracianna winery strives to keep Gracianna’s gratitude alive through their wine. Learn more at: www.gracianna.com, like Gracianna Winery on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @GraciannaWinery.

Amador resides in Sonoma County with his family.

Synopsis of Gracianna:

Gracianna by Trini AmadorThe gripping story of Gracianna–a French-Basque girl forced to make impossible decisions after being recruited into the French Resistance in Nazi-occupied Paris.

Gracianna is inspired by true events in the life of Trini Amador’s great-grandmother, Gracianna Lasaga. As an adult, Amador was haunted by the vivid memory of finding a loaded German Luger tucked away in a nightstand while wandering his great-grandmother’s home in Southern California. He was only four years old at the time, but the memory remained and he knew he had to explore the story behind the gun.

Decades later, Amador would delve into the remarkable odyssey of his Gracianna’s past, a road that led him to an incredible surprise. In Gracianna, Amador weaves fact and fiction to tell his great-grandmother’s story.

Gracianna bravely sets off to Paris in the early 1940s–on her way to America, she hopes–but is soon swept into the escalation of the war and the Nazi occupation of Paris. After chilling life-and-death struggles, she discovers that her missing sister has surfaced as a laborer in Auschwitz. When she finds an opportunity to fight back against the Nazis to try to free her sister, she takes it–even if it means using lethal force.

As Amador tells the imagined story of how his great-grandmother risked it all, he delivers richly drawn characters and a heart-wrenching page-turner that readers won’t soon forget.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

As the Story Opens:

Amador reflects on his childhood discovery which launched him on a lifelong journey towards unraveling the truth behind his great-grandmother Gracianna. This innocent look into a young boy’ s childhood find of a German gun gives a pointed insight into Gracianna herself who even in this memory had a formidable presence. Upon recollecting her early years, he made a choice to focus not only on her hard work ethic but to give a light on her ability to realise how important knowledge and learning is to a person’s life; through her passion for reading. She was proud of her language (the Basque) due to its uniqueness as compared to the surrounding languages of the Spanish, French, and Portuguese. I noted this as a nodding towards her self-reflection of her self-identity and how interesting it is that she wanted to hold onto a language that might have been passed over for a more commonly spoken one by another.

The pacing of Amador’s narrative reads and asserts itself as a biographical fiction piece which is an ingenious way of writing a non-fiction story (i.e. biography or memoir) with the inclusions of painting in the in-between moments of a person’s lived life with a familiar resonance to where a reader can walk alongside rather than trudge through a straight-up recollection of dates. He walks between his own tellings of her life and borrowing from metaphoric and mythological stories of ancient truths. He chooses to paint his great-grandmother’s life in point-of-face and point-of-fact accuracy of bone-chilling realism that is at times gutting and emotionally convicting. The imagery is not always easy to drink in but neither is the life she lived an easy path to endure.

Her formidable training taking her from girlhood to womanhood (after her mother’s death) was due to the stability and presence of the imposing Anastasia. One begs to wonder if through this relationship, Gracianna formulated her own persona and identity as a reflection of Anastasia. Anastasia was Ann’s mother, making her Gracianna’s maternal grandmother. Proving that she comes from a lineage of strong women who endure as a living testament and legacy to those of whom they lose in death.

My Review of Gracianna:

The story of Gracianna’s life is pivoted against a brief re-telling of her ancestral roots and beginnings of her enriched life as a descendant of the Basque from the Pyrenees. (on the border of France and Spain) As Amador disclosed his great-grandmother’s ability to walk and read in harmony, I was drawn to think back on my own life where I would do the same during my school years as my head was always cast inside of a book whilst walking to and from class. She shifted from childhood into adulthood during harrowing personal tragedies which became an epoch of trauma and loss for her family. At the moment she lost her mother, she had to be reminded about who she was and how strong she was as despite her fortitude she lost her footing at the death of her mother. A fracture of her spirit was repaired by the family members who stood beside her and reminded her of who she was and of where she came. This rooted her ability to carry-on and proceed forward at a time when she didn’t feel motivated to do so.

My mind had trouble staying in tow with the story of Gracianna due to the overwhelming disconnects that ensue as you watch her life unfold. One moment she’s endearing to the point of humbling a graceful measure of humanity in every action she takes and on the next page, it’s as though this Gracianna your heart is rooting for is replaced by a stranger you have not yet met. I reflected that this could be due to the author’s stop-and-go writing process as he wrote Gracianna’s story whilst traveling for his work’s intense schedule. It’s almost as though he resumed the story without realising he had started a piece of it in a different vein of thought. I can sympathise with his situation but as a reader, it’s a bit difficult to work through as your second-guessing who Gracianna really is. His thoughts were being pulled in too many different directions for the story to fuse together properly. As the story proceeds, I began to wonder if Gracianna’s greater legacy would have been better off told through a collection of antidotes and short missives of life lessons rather than through a novel where her essence becomes entangled and muddled.

On wine and story-telling:

Originally I had wanted to select a hearty choice of red wine as my preferences are Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, however I surprised myself by settling on Sangria! Sweet. Robust. Flowery. My choice of wine I felt would match well with a story of Gracianna as she originally came from a region of where there was a fusion of wine, story-telling, and living life with passion infused into everyday living. I occasionally admit that rather than pairing a book with a cuppa tea or a steamingly smooth coffee latte, I opt instead for a smooth glass of wine! Whether the atmospheric murmurings of the story about to be read is the inspiration or the pure indulgence of being an adult who can relax into a story with a subtle nod to the novel at large, makes reading a blissful adventure for me! Being that the author owns a vineyard it only felt fitting that I make a selection to pour a bit of decadence into a rose-hued glass goblet and have it accompany me on my journey into his début!

Fly in the Ointment:

Despite the flawless words of the author in recounting Gracianna’s young life, he failed to include the formidable years between eight and seventeen. It’s a shame we were not privy to more details of her young life. This exclusion jutted me out of the context of the story momentarily as it felt as though the story shifted forward without a proper segue to account for the loss of years. Perhaps this was due to a lack of information of the years in question, in which I can fully accept and understand. However, there wasn’t a footnote to guide the reader. There is a passage on page 12 which takes a detour from the Gracianna who is first introduced to us in the opening pages (as much as being included in his interview), where she is now painted as a humbled, caring, and empathic woman. I found this a bit out of step with her character as she was previously introduced as a hardened, slightly embittered, over-bearing grandmother. The juxtaposition feels a bit unrealistic to me either due to two reflections of the same woman or of a grandson unsure of which personality his grandmother was the truer one of the two. The disconnect truly stems from his interview answer in which he describes her as quick-tempered, stubborn, and controlling. If this was a woman whose personality shifted due to her life experiences I would have preferred this to be explained in the text as her life is described for the reader to drink in and accept.

My honest feeling in this last regard is that the story was rushed to print too quickly and needed a bit more time to become polished and absorbed into being. Amador has brilliant moments of flucidity in which he writes with heart and soul. Unfortunately, his pen undermined his passion to bring her story forward in the light I believe he was attempting to place her.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Inspired to Share: I truly had expected this story to wrap around my heart and not let me go. As you watch this book trailer, the story in the heart of the premise unfolds before you as Amador narrates his grandmother’s story. However, I was unfortunately unable to fully conceive his vision of the story as I couldn’t connect with the context as it was presented in Gracianna.

“Gracianna” by Trini Amador Official Book Trailer

by Greenleaf Book Group on Gracianna Winery Channel

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The “Gracianna” Virtual Book Tour Road Map:

Gracianna by Trini Amador - HFVBT

Be sure to catch the first half of this showcase on JLAS:
Jorie interviews Trini Amador!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBTon my Bookish Events Featured on JLAS!

{SOURCES: Cover art of “Gracianna” as well as Trini Amador’s photograph and biography, the blog tour badge, and the logo banner for HFVBT were all provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and used with permission. The book trailer by Greenleaf Book Group 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 more about this novel and the author who penned it. 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, 2013.

Related Articles:

Virtual Tour: Gracianna – (closedthecover.com)

Gracianna – (doingdeweydecimal.wordpress.com)

Review: Gracianna by Trini Amador – (diaryofaneccentric.wordpress.com)

Gracianna by Trini Amador is the Story of a Women’s Strength During Nazi-Occupied France – (hookofabook.wordpress.com)

Book Review: Gracianna by Trini Amador – (westmetromommy.blogspot.com)

Book Review: Gracianna by Trini Amador – (confessionsavidreader.blogspot.com)

Gracianna by Trini Amador – (flashlightcommentary.blogspot.com)

Divider

Posted Wednesday, 13 November, 2013 by jorielov in 20th Century, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, California, Debut Novel, Fly in the Ointment, France, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Multi-Generational Saga, Sonoma County, The World Wars, Vintages and Vineyards

Musing Mondays #2: Walking back through the door of my imagination!

Posted Monday, 28 October, 2013 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 3 Comments

Musing Mondays is hosted by Should Be Reading

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

| 28th October, 2013 |

Rather than a proposed question, this Monday the Musings reverts back to:

• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

Today, I am simply thankful to be back ‘on JLAS’, picking up where I left off with my book reviews, and setting up for a wicked month-long post extravaganza (Sci-Fi November!)! I recently finished two books, which I reviewed post-haste: “The Study of Murder” by Susan McDuffie and “Virtual Blue” by R.J. Sullivan! I was honoured that I had the opportunity to read each of these novels, and for me, it was a departure from my preference for reading serial fiction in ‘order’ of either publication OR of the world the story is set inside. There are times where I feel you can be given a proper introduction to the characters and flow of the overall story, to where starting with a series in-progress might suit you as well as if you had started at the beginning! This also helps when you find authors who know how to spin the continuity of their series in such a brilliantly giving way (of which McDuffie and Sullivan excel!) to where you feel as though ‘you had read the previous installments!’ I appreciate too, that each book took me away from my zone of comfort when it comes to reading, as I explored the fascinating world of the 14th Century through the eyes of a reluctant amateur detective in ‘The Study of Murder’, whereas I left our shared reality for the world beyond which is housed within the virtual whilst digging into ‘Virtual Blue’!

There was a nibbling in the back of mind about the first book, something that I had forgotten to mention in my review, which is that Mariota used Caledula flowers as part of one of her tinctures, and that is the very ingredient inside my new toothpaste that is giving me the most relief! I thought it was clever how I had only just discovered Weleda’s Caledula Toothpaste! Small world! I have always loved learning more about natural medicines and herbal remedies, which is why this part of the story perked my interest in such a hearty way!

Whereas with ‘Virtual Blue’, I felt compelled to continue reading a story that was in full effect a bit of a language barrier (bless the author for summarising it!) for me, as he interwove such a courageous story, full of heart, raw pure gumption and a determined spunky spirit of which is the essence of ‘Blue!’ I was quite caught up in the particulars of the gaming world as much as the balance between good vs. evil, which is such a classic story arc to explore, but was given such a fine tune approach that it rendered a whole new world where your tested for what you are willing to understand!

I am moving next into “Redheart” by Jackie Gamber and “Illuminations” by Mary Sharratt, both of which I have been eagerly looking forward to reading and reviewing! I had hoped to review them far ahead of my post deadlines, but as I had outlined previously life in the bookish blogosphere doesn’t always go as we plan it to go! ‘Redheart’ is an epic fantasy world that envelopes around dragons, whereas ‘Illuminations’ dips into the living history of a saintly nun who changed the perception of the world at large by the knowledge she was bestowed and given to share! The latter is a biographical fiction set against the living legacies that were past down about Hildegard von Bingen, which I find fascinating! I am curiously drawn towards reading more and more biographical fiction accountments due to the hearty nature of the context as much as the drinkablity of the narrative!

In-between reading the books for review, I am settling into “Finnikin of the Rock” by Melina Marchetta, as I completely missed the key dates I was meant to post my reactions to the book as I read it, as well as the follow-up sequences speaking about “Community” and “Family” as it directly applied to the characters! Whilst I was living through personal affairs that took my time and attention away, I fear that this lovely event was on-going and brilliantly executed! I will be adding my reactions as I read through the chapters, adding my commentaries and visiting the collaborative reading experience post-event!

I am revising my posting schedule for SFN, due to a few quirks of not being able to source a few of the materials I needed, but I am not letting it deter my enthused joy for the event itself, because I am thankful to have had the opportunity to celebrate in the love of a genre that has been a mainstay throughout my life!

I was a bit disheartened that I had missed a few Booktalk Nation events whilst I was offblog, as I had hoped to have participated in the speaking tours of: Wally Lamb (We Are Water); Julia Quinn (The Sum of All Kisses); and Kristin Higgins (The Perfect Match). I wonder if any of my readers took part in these wicked sweet events!? I cannot speak more highly of Booktalk Nation, even though, I still owe a post about the last two authors I saw featured where were Laurie R. King and Robyn Carr! :) The one that I am hoping I am in line to participate in is Rachel Caine who will be speaking about her Morganville Vampire series which might sound out of context for me to engage in, and on one hand you would be keenly observant in that theory, however, I am always curious about books and authors that I hear about regularly through my circle of friends’. Her series is one that is spoken with affection, and despite my unease of wanting to enter into the world of vampires which has never quite been a good fit for me (outside of ‘Buffy’ and ‘Angel’; certain seasons over others!), I am willing to expand my knowledge and enlighten my heart by listening to the author who penned the stories that has captured the imagination of my dear friends! :)

A bookish blogger can not receive a more humble note of gratitude (aside from an author’s reaction to one of her reviews!) than a full-on post about the merits of joy in discovering a bookish event that a reader can attend, of which they *discovered!* through her sidebar! I speak on behalf of Christine (of Readerly Musings) trekking to Boston for the *Boston Book Festival!* Due venture over and viscerally live through her eyes of this smashingly brilliant bookish event! And, if any of the bits of my sidebar prove helpful, I’d be honoured to hear of your stories of where my sidebar led you to take an adventure! Its my long-term goal to utilise the bookish events, historical landmarks, and book shoppes for my own literary adventures; hence why they are included on my blog! I was hopeful that whilst I await the day to venture off, another reader might find the information useful to them! In this way, I am humbled and honoured by Christine’s post! :)

OOh, and eek! I nearly forgot!! I received word that the novella “A Light in the Window” (the prequel to “The Daughters of Boston” series) by Julie Lessman is FINALLY going to be available in print!! I do not yet have word as to ‘when’, but ooh, did I merrily rejoice in hearing that nearly a year to the day I first learnt about the novella I am celebrating the news of its publication in print!! I have attempted to *win!* a spiral bound copy of it throughout the blog book tours Ms. Lessman has participated in from November 2012 – 2013, however, it was not meant to be! I always longed to read this particular prequel, because as my future review of this lovely series (I am thinking this will be early 2014!) will reveal to you dear hearts, this series has nestled right in the niche of my heart! Marcy and Patrick are the parents inside the story of the O’ Connors, of whom are the hinge-pins who hold the entire Irish family together! To find a story set aside to speak about how they first met and conjoined in marriage is a story that I have pined to read! Blessed is I to have learnt I am closer to this dream! The news was announced in a reply to a comment I left on ‘the Society’ where Ms. Lessman guest posted for a day!

*NOTE: The RSS feed blurb is in the lower portion of my sidebar for ‘the Society’!

At some point, I would like restore my rhythm and pick up where I left off with my dear blogs, of which I enjoy reading regularly, but of which I haven’t had the proper chance to drop by and hang out! The blogs in particular I am museful about today are: Southern Belle View, Word Wenches, the Society, OWG, and a newbie favourite Austen Authors! I hope to swing back once I get my forthcoming reviews into focus and I have a handle on the first week of SFN! All in good time! I am with them in spirit! :) I read more blogs than this regularly, of course, as I am choosing to focus on the group author blogs right now that strike my fancy!

I believe that is all the bookish news and musings I have to share with you, dear hearts! IF I have accidentally been remiss, I will simply follow-up this post on WWW Wednesday! Here is to celebrating bookish memes, the bookish blog community, and the joy of reading! Most especially after a short hiatus we were not expecting!

{SOURCE: Jorie Loves A Story badge created by Raaven with editing by Jorie in Fotoflexer.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

Divider

Posted Monday, 28 October, 2013 by jorielov in 14th Century, Amateur Detective, Austen Authors, Book Festival, Bookish Whimsy, Booktalk Nation, Boston Book Festival, CFHS The Society, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy Fiction, Finnikin of the Rock, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Literary Fiction, Museful Mondays, Naturopathy, OWG, Readerly Musings, Sci-Fi November, Science Fiction, Shelf Awareness, Southern Belle View Daily, The Word Wenches, Virtual Reality