Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Book Review: The Countess' Captive by Andrea Cefalo


During March of 1248, Adelaide Schumacher-affectionately called Snow White-has lost so much: her mother, her possessions, and now her home.

Adelaide hates abandoning her home city, her family’s legacy, and her first love‒Ivo. More than anything, she hates her father growing closer to her mother’s cousin‒Galadriel. Adelaide plots to end their tryst before her fate is sealed, and she never sets foot in Cologne again.

But good and pious can only get Galadriel so far. Never again will she be destitute. Never again will she be known by the cruel moniker‒Cinderella. Never again will someone take what is rightfully hers. No matter what it takes.

The Countess’ Captive is the much anticipated follow-up to The Fairytale Keeper and is book two in The Fairytale Keeper series. The novel combines Grimm’s fairytale characters with real historical settings and events to create a tale that leaves the reader wondering where fact ends and fiction begins.

Book Review: Inspector of the Dead by David Morrell


Thomas De Quincey, infamous for his Confessions of an Opium-Eater, confronts London’s harrowing streets to thwart the assassination of Queen Victoria.

The year is 1855. The Crimean War is raging. The incompetence of British commanders causes the fall of the English government. The Empire teeters.

Amid this crisis comes opium-eater Thomas De Quincey, one of the most notorious and brilliant personalities of Victorian England. Along with his irrepressible daughter, Emily, and their Scotland Yard companions, Ryan and Becker, De Quincey finds himself confronted by an adversary who threatens the heart of the nation.

This killer targets members of the upper echelons of British society, leaving with each corpse the name of someone who previously attempted to kill Queen Victoria. The evidence indicates that the ultimate victim will be Victoria herself. As De Quincey and Emily race to protect the queen, they uncover long-buried secrets and the heartbreaking past of a man whose lust for revenge has destroyed his soul.

Brilliantly merging historical fact with fiction, Inspector of the Dead is based on actual attempts to assassinate Queen Victoria.

Book Review/Sneak Peek: The Mask of Midnight by Laurie Stevens


Troubled homicide detective Gabriel McRay confronts his nemesis Victor Archwood at the killer’s trial. A surprise twist during the proceedings sets a course for Archwood to claim his ultimate revenge on the detective, whom he blames for ruining his life. In a trap that combines Archwood’s theatrical skills and criminal genius, Gabriel is forced to face his psychological demons once again and play a deadly cat and mouse game with a murderous opponent who will stop at nothing to achieve the detective’s total destruction.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Book Blast/Giveaway: A Decent Woman by Eleanor Parker Sapia

Join author Eleanor Parker Sapia as her historical novel, A Decent Woman, is featured around the blogosphere from March 16-April 6, and enter the giveaway! Up for grabs is an Autographed copy of A Decent Woman, two eBooks of A Decent Woman, and a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

01_A Decent Woman_Cover
Publication Date: February 20, 2015
Booktrope
Formats: eBook, Paperback
270 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

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Ponce, Puerto Rico, at the turn of the century: Ana Belén Opaku, an Afro-Cuban born into slavery, is a proud midwife with a tempestuous past. After testifying at an infanticide trial, Ana is forced to reveal a dark secret from her past, but continues to hide an even more sinister one. Pitted against the parish priest, Padre Vicénte, and young Doctór Héctor Rivera, Ana must battle to preserve her twenty-five year career as the only midwife in La Playa.

Serafina is a respectable young widow with two small children, who marries an older, wealthy merchant from a distinguished family. A crime against Serafina during her last pregnancy forever bonds her to Ana in an ill-conceived plan to avoid a scandal and preserve Serafina’s honor.

Set against the combustive backdrop of a chauvinistic society, where women are treated as possessions, A Decent Woman is the provocative story of these two women as they battle for their dignity and for love against the pain of betrayal and social change.

Advanced Praise for A Decent Woman

“A Decent Woman brings vividly to life the world of early twentieth-century Puerto Rico through the struggles of Ana Belén, an Afro-Cuban midwife, as she attempts to live a meaningful life. Spanning almost thirty years, the story encompasses Ana’s unusual friendship with Serafina, a white woman of humble origins who marries into a wealthy, upper class family. Race, class, the lingering legacy of slavery, and a woman’s role in this neo colonial society are all effectively illustrated through the intimate depiction of these two intersecting lives.

Author Eleanor Parker Sapia lovingly evokes old Puerto Rico: the graceful colonial city of Ponce, the mixture of African and Catholic traditions, the tropical lushness of the land, and the devastating force of a Caribbean hurricane.

Overall, A Decent Woman is a powerful and moving tale; well worth reading.”
-Alina García-Lapuerta, biographer and author of La Belle Creole: The Cuban Countess Who Captivated Havana, Madrid, and Paris

“A Decent Woman opens with a birth and a hurricane and doesn't let up. Deep with delicious detail, scrumptious characters, and full of folklore, this is a unique debut novel from Eleanor Parker Sapia, one that will win her readers over. Written in a clean style that lets the historical ambience seep through into our consciousness, this book is a tale of wonder, of life and death, of love and life and not a few twists and turns. Ana and Serafina are, indeed, decent women living in a hard time. Buy it, read it, love it.”

-Jack Remick, short story writer, poet, and author of award-winning, Gabriela and the Widow

“A Decent Woman takes the reader on a journey into the heat and steam of Puerto Rico in the early 1900s. The writing is so visceral and evocative that you almost feel the rain on your face, the pain of childbirth, fear, betrayal and redemption along with the women in this story of midwives and mothers.”
-Claudia H Long, author of The Duel for Consuelo and Josefina's Sin

“A Decent Woman takes the reader on an unforgettable journey of friendship between two strong women set against the backdrop of colonial Puerto Rico of the early 1900s. When former Cuban slave and midwife Ana Belén delivers Serafina Martínez' first child, an unbreakable bond is formed despite the hurricanes nature and politics thrown in their paths. A striking first novel from Eleanor Parker Sapia.”
-Arleen Williams, writer and author of The Alki Trilogy

“It's not only that I enjoyed A Decent Woman as much as Alice Walker's work, there is a quality to her prose. I went back and read an excerpt of The Color Purple to really identify the similarity. The only way I can describe it is that I wanted to read it in gulps. Like when you're really thirsty. I found myself sucked into the world in three or four lines, and galloping through the prose, because reading more made me want to read more.

A Decent Woman embodies the genre of women’s fiction in the most complete sense of the word exploring the lives of women - young and old, dark- and light-skinned, poor and rich. This is an outstanding read and an important book about a little known corner of women’s history.”
-Yma Johnson, short story writer and journalist

“Eleanor Parker Sapia's historical fiction novel, A Decent Woman, steeped in friendship, romance, politics, and mysticism, is the captivating story of Ana Belén's struggle and perseverance to become a Certified Midwife in turn of the century Puerto Rico. Ana’s passions, joys, and plight are shared by midwives everywhere and throughout herstory.

Reading this book was inspiring. I'm sure readers will enjoy A Decent Woman as much as I did.”

-Sarahn Henderson, Midwife and Educator at Birth in the Tradition

"I really enjoyed this novel and particularly enjoyed the characters who I could visualize clearly as I moved along with the story. Eleanor's descriptions really created such a vivid image in my mind, bringing them to life as I read. I was moved by the various events and was even brought to tears at times. I suspect it will be a huge success and certainly one that I will recommend to my circle of family and friends."
-Gina Tsiapalis, Registered Midwife


Official Book Trailer


Eleanor Parker Sapia's Podcast with Upgrade Your Story on BlogTalkRadio


Buy A Decent Woman

Amazon
Barnes & Noble

About the Author02_Eleanor Parker Sapia

Puerto Rican-born novelist and painter, Eleanor Parker Sapia, was raised in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Europe. Her passion for travel and adventure combined with her compassion for those in need have led to her careers as a counselor, alternative health practitioner, and a Spanish language social worker and refugee case worker. These life experiences inspire her writing. She facilitates The Artist’s Way creativity groups, and teaches creative writing to children and adults. Eleanor shares her passion for telling stories on her blog, The Writing Life. A Decent Woman is her debut novel. Eleanor has two adventurous and loving grown children, and currently lives in wild and wonderful West Virginia.

For more information please visit Eleanor Parker Sapia's website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Sign up for Eleanor Parker Sapia's Newsletter for news and updates.

A Decent Woman Book Blast Schedule

Monday, March 16
To Read, Or Not to Read

Tuesday, March 17
Unshelfish
So Many Books, So Little Time

Wednesday, March 18
The Maiden's Court

Thursday, March 19
A Literary Vacation
Flashlight Commentary

Friday, March 20
A Bookish Girl
CelticLady's Reviews

Saturday, March 21
Griperang's Bookmarks

Monday, March 23
History From a Woman's Perspective

Tuesday, March 24
100 Pages a Day
Back Porchervations

Wednesday, March 25
Book Lovers Paradise
What Is That Book About

Friday, March 27
Book Babe

Saturday, March 28
Book Nerd

Monday, March 30
Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, March 31
Passages to the Past

Wednesday, April 1
Layered Pages
With Her Nose Stuck In A Book

Thursday, April 2
Svetlana's Reads and Views

Monday, April 6
Historical Fiction Connection

Giveaway

To enter to win one of the following four prizes, please complete the giveaway form below.

* Autographed Copy of A Decent Woman
* A Decent Woman eBooks (2)
* $25 Amazon Gift Card

RULES

Giveaway starts on March 16th at 12:01am EST and ends at 11:59pm EST on April 6th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winners will be chosen via GLEAM on April 7th and notified via email.
Winners have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
Please email Amy @ hfvirtualbooktours@gmail.com with any questions.

A Decent Woman Book Blast

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Theme Reveal (Blogging from A to Z Challenge) - All Gallow's Eve


So, today is the day!

Those of us who have chosen to participate in the "A to Z Challenge" and are using a theme to connect the posts are revealing our themes for this year's challenge.

2 Book Reviews: Sea Change and Sex Change by T'Gracie and Joe Reese


Bay St. Lucy is a sleepy little Gulf Coast community––and that’s the way its residents like it. Most of them generally ignore the monstrous old Robinson mansion that sits in the center of town, until one day, insane old man Robinson dies and leaves the house and its accompanying fortune to the town. The residents are ecstatic and begin planning improved schools and cultural centers. 

Local retired school teacher and village elder Nina Bannister is sent to the man’s funeral in New Orleans and to represent Bay St. Lucy at the reading of his will. However, Nina returns from her trip saddened to report that a long lost Robinson relative has appeared to claim the entire inheritance. Almost immediately, the new owner – flamboyant Eve Ivory – arrives and announces her own plans to turn Bay St. Lucy into a extravagant vacation resort, not plans that anyone in this small town like at all and ones that will quickly lead to murder. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Review/Interview/Giveaway: Vostok by Steve Alten


East Antarctica: The coldest, most desolate location on Earth. Two-and-a-half miles below the ice cap is Vostok, a six thousand square mile liquid lake, over a thousand feet deep, left untouched for more than 15 million years. Now, marine biologist Zachary Wallace and two other scientists aboard a submersible tethered to a laser will journey 13,000 feet beneath the ice into this unexplored realm to discover Mesozoic life forms long believed extinct – and an object of immense power responsible for the evolution of modern man.

In this sequel to The Loch and prequel to the upcoming MEG 5: Nightstalkers, New York Times best-selling author Steve Alten offers readers a crossover novel that combines characters from two of his most popular series.