Friday, October 24, 2014

Spotlight on Baudelaire​'s Revenge by Bob Van Laerhoven

Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Pegasus Books
Formats: eBook, Hardcover

Genre: Historical Mystery/Thriller

It is 1870, and Paris is in turmoil.

As the social and political turbulence of the Franco-Prussian War roils the city, workers starve to death while aristocrats seek refuge in orgies and seances. The Parisians are trapped like rats in their beautiful city but a series of gruesome murders captures their fascination and distracts them from the realities of war. The killer leaves lines from the recently deceased Charles Baudelaire’s controversial anthology Les Fleurs du Mal on each corpse, written in the poet’s exact handwriting. Commissioner Lefevre, a lover of poetry and a veteran of the Algerian war, is on the case, and his investigation is a thrilling, intoxicating journey into the sinister side of human nature, bringing to mind the brooding and tense atmosphere of Patrick Susskind’s Perfume. Did Baudelaire rise from the grave? Did he truly die in the first place? The plot dramatically appears to extend as far as the court of the Emperor Napoleon III.

A vivid, intelligent, and intense historical crime novel that offers up some shocking revelations about sexual mores in 19th century France, this superb mystery illuminates the shadow life of one of the greatest names in poetry.


Praise for Baudelaire's Revenge



“[An] intense historical crime thriller. The intricate plot, menacing atmosphere, and rich evocations of period Paris have undeniable power.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Vigorous. A finely-tuned balancing act between style and content. Add to all this the extremely convincingly painted tragic characters and the multitude of mysterious figures, and what you get is a winner who gives added luster to this jubilee edition of the Hercule Poirot Prize.” (The jury of the Hercule Poirot Prize)

“Van Laerhoven packs much complexity into 256 pages, giving this historical mystery the heft of a far longer work ( …) The book’s main preoccupation is the conclusive demonstration that everyone is guilty of something—the only mystery is, to what degree? The flowers of evil, sketched in lurid botanical detail…” (Kirkus Reviews)

“(A) decadent tale….Commissioner Lefèvre’s philosophical discussions with artists and poets and a creepy Belgian dwarf are fascinating….” (NY Times Book Review)

“Published for the first time in English, this roman policier isn’t so much a straight detective story (although there are two detectives in it) as an evocation of a mind-set that now seems extravagant: the 19th-century poet’s fascination with sex and death. It’s no wonder this title won the Hercule Poirot Prize: the author is Belgian, as is the prize, and the twisted plot is as complicated as Agatha Christie’s most convoluted mystery. Mystery aficionados will love this pastiche of Wilkie Collins and Edgar Allan Poe.” (Library Journal)

“(A) gritty, detail-rich historical mystery novel involves the reader in a subtle narrative web. This complex mystery from an award-winning Belgian author joins history and literary history to create a sly, smart revenge tale.” (Shelf Awareness Pro)


Buy the Book


Amazon
Barnes & Noble (Hardcover)
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
IndieBound


Watch the Trailer


About the Author



Bob Van Laerhoven became a full-time author in 1991 and has written more than thirty books in Holland and Belgium. The context of his stories isn’t invented behind his desk, rather it is rooted in personal experience. As a freelance travel writer, for example, he explored conflicts and trouble-spots across the globe from the early 1990s to 2005. Echoes of his experiences on the road also trickle through in his novels. Somalia, Liberia, Sudan, Gaza, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar… to name but a few.

During the Bosnian war, Van Laerhoven spent part of 1992 in the besieged city of Sarajevo. Three years later he was working for MSF – Doctors without frontiers – in the Bosnian city of Tuzla during the NATO bombings. At that moment the refugees arrived from the Muslim enclave of Srebrenica. Van Laerhoven was the first writer from the Low Countries to be given the chance to speak to the refugees. His conversations resulted in a travel book: Srebrenica. Getuigen van massamoord – Srebrenica. Testimony to a Mass Murder. The book denounces the rape and torture of the Muslim population of this Bosnian-Serbian enclave and is based on first-hand testimonies. He also concludes that mass murders took place, an idea that was questioned at the time but later proven accurate.

All these experiences contribute to Bob Van Laerhoven’s rich and commendable oeuvre, an oeuvre that typifies him as the versatile author of novels, travel stories, books for young adults, theatre pieces, biographies, poetry, non-fiction, letters, columns, articles… He is also a prize-winning author: in 2007 he won the Hercule Poirot Prize for best thriller of the year with his novel De Wraak van Baudelaire – Baudelaire’s Revenge.

For more information please visit Bob Van Laerhoven’s website. You can also connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.


Baudelaire's Revenge Blog Tour Schedule


Monday, October 6

Review at Just One More Chapter

Tuesday, October 7

Review at Shelly’s Book Shelves

Saturday, October 11

Guest Post at The True Book Addict

Monday, October 13
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Tuesday, October 14
Spotlight & Giveaway at Booklover Book Reviews

Wednesday, October 15
Guest Post at The Writing Desk

Friday, October 17
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Saturday, October 18
Review at With Her Nose Stick in a Book

Wednesday, October 22
Spotlight & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Thursday, October 23
Review at Bookish

Friday, October 24
Spotlight at Historical Tapestry
Guest Post & Giveaway at Bookish

 


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Floats the Dark Shadow Audiobook Blog Tour: Review

Publication Date: August 5, 2012
BearCat Press
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Audio

Genre: Historical Mystery

Synopsis


Young American painter Theodora Faraday struggles to become an artist in Belle Époque Paris. She’s tasted the champagne of success, illustrating poems for the Revenants, a group of poets led by her adored cousin, Averill. When children she knows vanish mysteriously, Theo confronts Inspecteur Michel Devaux who suspects the Revenants are involved. Theo refuses to believe the killer could be a friend—could be the man she loves. Classic detection and occult revelation lead Michel and Theo through the dark underbelly of Paris, from catacombs to asylums, to the obscene ritual of a Black Mass. Following the maze of clues they discover the murderer believes he is the reincarnation of the most evil serial killer in the history of France—Gilles de Rais. Once Joan of Arc’s lieutenant, after her death he plunged into an orgy of evil. The Church burned him at the stake for heresy, sorcery, and the depraved murder of hundreds of peasant children. Whether deranged mind or demonic passion incite him, the killer must be found before he strikes again.

So What Did I Think About The Story?



Floats the Dark Shadow is a beautifully written story that is dark, disturbing and sensual as a tale of love and art against the backdrop of madness and murder. The portions told from the perspective of the killer, believing he is the reincarnation of Gilles de Rais, are beyond chilling and made me feel like I was actually within the mind of a madman. Following Theo and Inspector Devaux as they both try to uncover who is kidnapping, torturing and killing innocent children was thrilling and I can honestly say I did not see the eventual revelation coming!

My only complaint with Floats the Dark Shadow deals with the format and not the story at all, which I loved. I listened to the audiobook version of the story and given the many French names, the accents put on by the narrator and the fact that most of the characters sounded alike made it hard to keep up with the intricate plotlines and  differentiate between the characters. Being that this story is a mystery to unravel the killer I found this frustrating and confusing at times.

With this being said, the descriptions of Paris and the surrounding countryside are breathtaking and really transport the reader/listener to Belle Epoque Paris. Theo is by far my favorite character as I found her to be well developed and admirable in her originality, determination and kindness. I believe if I had been reading this story as opposed to listening to it and able to flip back and forth between the pages I would have had less difficulty keeping up with the intricacies of the plot to discover the sadistic murderer and this would have helped with the confusion I experienced. I will also note to those thinking about picking this one up that it is quite graphic at times but, for me, this was needed to highlight the depravity of the participants and the deep-seeded dementia of the killer.

I would recommend this to those who love dark novels set in Paris during this time and those that enjoy a twisted journey to find a murderer and stop him from bringing more children into his web of destruction.

So What Did I Think About The Cover?



It's okay. I think I would have preferred a more ominous shadow lurking above a frightened child to really evoke the feelings brought on by the story, but the darkness and relative isolation go some way to bring about the chilling feelings I would expect.    


My Rating: 4.0/5.0

 
Thank you to Amy at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for providing me with a free copy of the audiobook in exchange for an honest review. Please continue below for more information about the book, the author and the book tour!
 
 
 

Praise for Floats the Dark Shadow

 
 
“Yves Fey writes with the eye of an artist, the nose of a perfumer and the nerves of a hardened gendarme in this chilling tale of love and love’s perversion. Not for the faint of heart!” — Cuyler Overholt, award-winning author of A Deadly Affection

“Fey’s writing is gorgeous: she evokes the sights and smells of Paris and poetically presents the darkness and horror that plague tormented souls.” — Historical Novel Society

“Paris is painted with uncanny realism, using masterful splashes of descriptive color against a somber backdrop … The characters develop as their entwined relationships become ever more enmeshed in the dark plot woven around mysticism, Satanism, and sadistic murders…” — Kirkus Reviews

“Yves Fey delves into the dark well of occult, violence and eroticism lying just beneath the surface of fin-de-siècle Paris. The valiant heroine, American artist Theo Faraday, confronts the ultimate evils of child torture and murder as the serpentine page-turning plot unfolds. Beware! It’s strong stuff.” — Barbara Corrado Pope, author of Cézanne’s Quarry and The Blood of Lorraine

“This dark, gothic tale will delight fans of decadent, sensuous, fin-de-siècle Paris.” — Kenneth Wishnia, award-winning author of 23 Shades of Black and The Fifth Servant

“Yves Fey recreates the haunting world of absinthe, of the Symbolist poets, of Salomé, of the Golden Dawn, and of darker, more unfathomable forces, that was Paris in 1897. This well-researched thriller offers satisfyingly complex characters. Powerful, violent, elegant.” —Beth Tashery Shannon, Pushcart Prize winner, author of Tanglevine


Buy the Book


Amazon US
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository
IndieBound


Watch The Trailer


About The Author



Floats the Dark Shadow, Yves Fey’s debut mystery set in the dynamic and decadent world of Belle Époque Paris, has won the Silver Medal “IPPY” Independent Publishers Award in mystery, and both the Mystery and Historical Finalist Awards from the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. It’s also nominated for ForeWord’s Independent Publishers BookTwitter of the Year Award in the Mystery
Category.

Yves has an MFA in Creative Writing from Eugene Oregon, and a BA in Pictorial Arts from UCLA. She has read, written, and created art from childhood, and is an ardent movie buff. In her varied career, she has been a tie dye artist, go-go dancer, baker, creator of ceramic beasties, illustrator, fiction teacher, and now, novelist. A chocolate connoisseur, she’s won prizes for her desserts. Her current fascination is creating perfumes inspired by her new novel.

Yves has traveled to many countries in Europe and lived for two years in Indonesia. Currently, she resides in the San Francisco area with her husband and three cats, Marlowe the Investigator and Charlotte and Emily, the Flying Brontë Sisters.

Writing as Gayle Feyrer and Taylor Chase, she previously published four unusually dark and mysterious historical romances, The Prince of Cups, The Thief’s Mistress, Heart of Deception and Heart of Night. She plans to rerelease these with her own cover designs in the coming year. Her fantasy, House of the Twin Jewels, appears in Erotic Interludes.

For more information please visit Yves Fey’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

 

Floats the Dark Shadow Blog Tour



Monday, October 13
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, October 14
Spotlight & Giveaway at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, October 15
Review at Peeking Between the Pages

Thursday, October 16
Review & Giveaway at Beth’s Book Reviews

Friday, October 17
Review at Just One More Chapter

Monday, October 20
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Tuesday, October 21
Review & Giveaway at 100 Pages a Day – Stephanie’s Book Reviews

Wednesday, October 22
Review at Historical Tapestry

Thursday, October 23
Review at Brooke Blogs

Friday, October 24
Review at The True Book Addict
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair





Monday, October 20, 2014

Why I Love The 17th Century: Guest Post by Andrea Zuvich, Author of The Stuart Vampire

Please join me in welcoming Andrea Zuvich, author of The Stuart Vampire, to Historical Tapestry! Below you will find not only her wonderful guest post on why she loves the 17th century (and why you should as well!) but more information about her wonderful book. So without further ado...

 

Why I Love the 17th Century, Warts and All

By Andrea Zuvich



People often ask me why I love the 17th-century. Its hard to reply in a succinct manner. So, Ill go about it in a slightly different manner, if I may

What do you think of when someone mentions the 17th-century? Does an image of a bunch of moody men in black clothes and funny hats pop into your head? Do you think thats that boring period in time after the Tudors? Well, lets stop that right now!

The 17th-century has absolutely everything any history lover could want.

Are you a food lover? A chocoholic? A coffee addict? Tea person? What about pineapples? Orange juice? Well, all these things were introduced into parts of Europe or made fashionable during the 17th-century. Are you fond of salads? Well, John Evelyn, an English diarist and author, even wrote a book on salads (Acetaria). Although candy bar chocolate hadnt been invented yet, they had hot chocolate - which totally rocks.

Are you more interested in warfare and action? Good grief! There were people colonising far away lands, trading with foreign countries - thats quite exciting already. There were massive wars, such as the bloody, horrific, English Civil Wars; the Anglo-Dutch Wars, meaning a war between England and Holland (Dutch Republic/United Provinces); The Nine Years' War.

If fashion is more your thing, the styles are as varied as you could wish for. In the early 17th-century, clothes were still very much like the Tudor era (Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603), and while there was a time when black and sombre attire was fashionable, that later changed and the well-dressed often wore sumptuous, colourful gowns. Ruffs, lace, stays, high heels for both sexes, periwigs, and ribbons - have a look at the different fashions and youll see how interesting the clothing was then. The Baroque was an aesthetic which approves of flamboyant splendour.

Are you well into art? Well, the 17th-century had some of the biggest names in art history. Van Dyck, Rubens, Velazquez, El Greco, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Kneller, Caravaggio, Gentileschi, Van de Velde, are just a few of the great artists who thrived during the 17th-century. They produced truly stunning works of art, the like of which has never been equalled (in my opinion).

Music? Great Baroque composers such as Henry Purcell, Alessandro Stradella, Marin Marais, Jean-Baptiste Lully, Charpentier, Rameau, Albinoni, Allegri, Vivaldi, Blow, Handel, and more gave us such amazing music that continues to be popular to this day. All of us can recognise Pachelbels Canon in D, surely? Thats because Baroque music is timeless.

Still not enough for you? Well, perhaps literature and theatre appeal more to you? Perhaps the fact that some of the greatest playwrights in history lived in the 17th-century? In England, we had William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, John Vanbrugh, John Fletcher, John Dryden. In Spain, we had Lope de Vega, Miguel de Cervantes, Pedro Calderón de la Barca, Juan Vélez de Guevara. In France, there was Molière, Racine, and Corneille.

If philosophy and science floats your boat, try 17th-century philosophers & scientists: Descartes, Hooke, Newton, Leibniz, Cassini, Galileo. Seriously, just a small search on the NASA website will show you that many moons, astroids, and other things in space are named after 17th-century scientists. Go on, have a look.

So there you have it. All of the above are just the tip of the very large iceberg of reasons why I love the 17th-century. Its filled with everything: good, bad, smelly, beautiful, and just plain old fascinating stuff. Ive been researching this period in time for many years now. Am I bored? Never!

Thank you.

 
Thank you so much, Andrea, for taking the time to share your thoughts on the 17th century! I don't think anyone could call it boring!
 
Readers, continue on below for more information on Andrea's book, The Stuart Vampire!
 
 

 
Publication Date: October 31, 2013
Self-Published
eBook; 215p

Genre: Historical Fiction/Horror/Paranormal


Henry Stuart, Duke of Gloucester, the youngest brother of King Charles II is a handsome man with sound principles. When the twenty-year-old prince contracts smallpox in 1660, however, his life takes a decidedly sinister turn. Obsessed with Henry from afar, Contessa Griselda di Cuorenero – one of the Devil’s concubines – turns him into a vampire and plunges him into the world of night. But Henry soon discovers that not all horrors are of the paranormal kind…

In the unnaturally close village of Coffin’s Bishop, Henry encounters a severely abused young woman – a woman who has suffered under humans who are more monstrous than vampires. Could love save them from the evil they have known? And at what cost?

Henry must choose between his humanity and his monstrous, insatiable desire for human blood.

From the author of “His Last Mistress,” The Stuart Vampire is a dark gothic tale in the vein of The Monk.


Praise for The Stuart Vampire



“An intriguing historical with a darkly gothic twist, I enjoyed The Stuart Vampire and would recommend it to anyone with a taste for period horror.” – Erin Davies.

“Once again Ms. Zuvich brings the setting to life, she paints a vivid picture of the Restoration period – intertwined with drama & romance.” – (Amazon Review)

“A great mix of historical fiction and vampires -what’s not to love?! I really enjoyed this book,I liked the unique blend of fact and fiction!
A fascinating time period anyway,with the added bonus of introducing vampires into the Stuart line it kept me hooked until the end! The author obviously knows her Stuart and 17th Century history and facts were woven in amongst the drama of a secret darker world of evil,all happening during the time of the plague in London.The book was full of great descriptions of this time,I could almost smell it!! Would definitely recommend this book.” – (Amazon Review)


Buy the Book


Amazon US
Amazon UK

 

About the Author



Andrea (aka The Seventeenth Century Lady) is a 17th-century historian, historical consultant, and historical fiction authoress. His Last Mistress – a biographical fiction novella about the Duke of Monmouth and Lady Henrietta Wentworth was published by Endeavour Press, London in 2013. She received double BA degrees in History and Anthropology from the University of Central Florida, and continued her History studies with the University of Oxford and Princeton University. Zuvich has been filmed for NTR television in The Netherlands, talking about William III, and was recently on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour discussing Queen Anne. She was one of the original developers and leaders on The Garden History Tours at Kensington Palace, London. Zuvich lives in Windsor, England.

For more information please visit Andrea’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


The Stuart Vampire Blog Tour Schedule



Monday, October 13

Review at A Chick Who Reads

Tuesday, October 14
The Stuart Vampire Launch Party @ 12:00pm-2:00pm EST

Wednesday, October 15

Review at Kinx’s Book Nook
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Thursday, October 16

Review & Guest Post at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Friday, October 17

Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection

Monday, October 20

Guest Post at Historical Tapestry

Tuesday, October 21
Review at The True Book Addict

Wednesday, October 22
Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Friday, October 24
Spotlight & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages




 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Goddess Born Blog Tour: Review

Publication Date: May 29, 2014
Carina Press
eBook; ISBN: 9781426898365

Genre: Historical/Fantasy/Paranormal/New Adult/Romance

2013 RWA Golden Heart© Finalist
2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist

Synopsis


The power to heal is her divine gift, the fear of discovery, her mortal curse.

Selah Kilbrid is caught between two worlds. A direct descendant of the Celtic goddess Brigid, she is bound by Tuatha Dé law to help those in need. Yet as a human, she must keep her unique abilities hidden or risk being charged for a witch. In 1730 Pennsylvania, the Quaker community of Hopewell has become a haven for religious freedom—and fanaticism—and there are those who would see her hanged if the truth were revealed.

For eighteen years, Selah safely navigates the narrow gap between duty and self-preservation, until the day a prominent minister uncovers her secret. Obsessed with her power, Nathan Crowley disregards her betrothal to a distant cousin from Ireland and demands marriage in exchange for his silence. Selah stalls for time, but when news reaches the Colonies of her cousin’s death, time has run out.

Rather than submit to Nathan, Selah coerces a stranger to pose as her husband. It’s a good plan—her only plan—even though Henry Alan harbors his own dark secrets. But when she returns to Hopewell a married woman, the real fight has just begun. As unseen forces move against her, Selah doesn’t know which poses the greater danger—a malignant shadow closing in from outside or the internal fire that threatens to consume her heart.

Book Two in the Goddess Born series will be published in November 2014 and Book Three in June 2015.

So What Did I Think About The Story?


Goddess Born is a remarkable amalgamation of historical fiction, fantasy, mystery and romance quite unlike anything I have read before. For much of the story, Selah reminded me of an Austenesque character - plucky, determined and sardonic while also being kind and joyful - and if the story stayed within these lines it would have been enjoyable enough watching Selah try to solve her problem with the odious Nathan Crowley by marrying the handsome stranger Henry Alan, only to find herself, against her wishes, falling head over heels for him. Add on to this her heritage as the descendant of the goddess Brigid and her preternatural gifts of healing and we are in a whole new ballgame! I really enjoyed seeing how the author carefully dealt with this otherworldly element with such a tender hand that it never came across as hokey or beyond belief. It seemed quite plausible that Selah and her ancestors could have this gift and just as plausible that there would be those who would suspect something evil from it and plot against her for their own selfish reasons.

The element I did not see coming at first but which was just as enjoyable was the mystery of who was working within Selah's home as well as without to help Nathan Crowley expose Selah as a witch and potentially kill her. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my initial suspicions were incorrect (at least partly) and I was shocked at the web that the more dastardly characters had woven around Selah and her home and just how far reaching their madness went. There are so many characters keeping secrets throughout the story - Selah, Nathan, Henry, others that I won't name in case I give something away - but it was this darker hidden fear and anger directed towards Selah and the vicious actions against her that really drew me into the story.

While I can't say that I am a huge fan of romance in books, I have to say that watching the back and forth between Selah and Henry as they fought their frustrations and feelings towards each other and then the inevitable love that sprouted,  the I'll-give-up-everything-for-you kind of love, was very satisfying and makes me eager to see just how far they really will go for each other when the pitfalls that stand in their way aren't so easily traversed. The book ends on a delicious cliffhanger so I am very excited to see how they handle what lies ahead.

Goddess Born is a hard novel to classify but is easy to recommend because it is such a gratifying experience to read it. There really is a little something for everyone to enjoy. For someone like me who reads for pure enjoyment and escapism into history and a life unlike my own I couldn't ask for much more from this story. I am biting at the bit to read the next installment in this series!

So What Did I Think Of The Cover?


It is absolutely stunning! It perfectly captures that warmth and light that bursts from Selah when she heals others and, for me, exemplifies that unbidden goddess power that exudes from her very human body.    

My Rating: 4.0/5.0


Thank you to Amy at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for providing me with a free copy of Goddess Born in exchange for an honest review! Be sure to continue below for more information about the author and book tour.

 

About The Author


Kari Edgren did not dream of becoming a writer. Instead, she dreamed of everything else and was
often made to stay inside during kindergarten recess to practice her letters. Despite doting parents and a decent school system, Ms. Edgren managed to make it through elementary school having completed only one book cover to cover – The Box Car Children, which she read approximately forty-seven times. Things improved during high school, but not until she read Gabrielle Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude in college, did she truly understand the power of a book.

Ms. Edgren aspires to be a Vulcan, a world-acclaimed opera singer, and two inches taller. She resides in the Pacific NW where she spends a great deal of time torturing her husband and children with strange food and random historical facts. Ms. Edgren hasn’t stopped dreaming, but has finally mastered her letters enough to put the stories on paper.

For more information please visit Kari Edgren’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Sign Up for Kari Edgren’s Newsletter.

 

Buy The Book


Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Carina Press


Goddess Born Blog Tour Schedule


Monday, September 22

Review at Peeking Between the Pages

Tuesday, September 23

Review at By the Book Reviews
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, September 24

Review at The Readers Hollow
Interview at Manga Maniac Café

Thursday, September 25
Review at Book Babe

Friday, September 26
Review at Curling Up With a Good Book

Sunday, September 28
Spotlight & Excerpt at Casual Readers

Monday, September 29
Review at Unabridged Chick
Review at The Mad Reviewer

Tuesday, September 30
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Interview & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick

Wednesday, October 1
Review & Excerpt at Book Lovers Paradise

Thursday, October 2
Review at Books, Etc.
Review at 100 Pages a Day – Stephanie’s Book Reviews

Friday, October 3
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Monday, October 6
Review at Bookish
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection

Tuesday, October 7
Spotlight & Giveaway at The Flashlight Reader

Wednesday, October 8
Review at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, October 9
Review at The True Book Addict

Friday, October 10
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Monday, October 13
Review at Book Nerd
Interview at The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, October 14
Review at I’d So Rather Be Reading

Wednesday, October 15
Review at Let Them Read Books

Thursday, October 16
Review at A Book Geek
Guest Post at Historical Tapestry

Friday, October 17
Review at Historical Tapestry

 


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Why I Love the Quakers in Colonial Pennsylvania: Guest Post by Kari Edgren, Author of Goddess Born

My general fondness for the province of Pennsylvania began in college while I earned a political science degree with an emphasis in early American political thought. During this time I read works from Thomas Paine and Benjamin Franklin, and studied such important events as the First and Second Continental Congresses, the Walking Purchase and the numerous epidemics brought on by poor living conditions, climate, and the constant influx of immigrants.

Yet despite the many attempts of both the British and the microorganism to bring “Penn’s City” to it’s knees, Philadelphia remained the most important city in the Colonies during the eighteenth century, even gaining the nickname of the “American Athens” by the latter part of the century. Add some buckled shoes, knee breeches, and a tricorned hat to that independent spirit, and who wouldn’t be smitten? 

Twenty years later, my interest in Colonial Pennsylvania persevered—“Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto the inhabitants thereof”—except this time I saw it as the perfect setting for a historical novel that happened to call for indentured servants, wheat farms, an Irish immigrant family, and an epidemic. It also helped that a woman had been accused of witchcraft in the colony in 1728, which isn’t surprising considering the high number of Germans and Scotch-Irish in the population. 

And then there were the Quakers, those quirky, peace-loving people immortalized for modern day on the oatmeal box. From the first rough outline, I knew they would play a critical role in the story due to their overwhelming presence in the colony. But when it came to basic character sketches, I had surprisingly little knowledge about this group of dissenters other than what appeared in the Eighteenth century novels, History of Tom Jones, a Foundling and Roxana: The Fortunate Mistress. I started to dig, and the deeper I got the more I realized how far their peculiar teachings had set this colony apart from the other twelve.

The Society of Friends, or Quakers, came into being near the end of The Protestant Reformation in the Seventeenth century. Their founder George Fox espoused to the extreme the core Reformation ideal of removing all intermediaries between God and the individual. Needless to say, this often put his teachings at odds with established religious leaders and monarchies that derived their power from God. Between 1660 and 1685 around 15,000 Quakers—one in three—were imprisoned in England for such crimes as blasphemy, public speaking, refusal to swear an oath and disturbing the peace.

Something had to give, and on March 4, 1681, a prominent Quaker, William Penn, accepted a land grant of approximately 600,000 square miles from King Charles II in lieu of a large debt owed by the crown to his father, Admiral Penn. He used the land to establish a haven for religious freedom known as the “Holy Experiment.” Fed up with being tossed in jail and otherwise persecuted, Quakers came to Pennsylvania in droves.  

Along with their plain dress and speech, they brought with them certain principles that would become ingrained in the American ethos, primarily, equality, freedom of religion, and separation of church and state.

Quakers embraced true equality centuries ahead of their time. And I don’t just mean for white male property owners. Everyone was included—men and women, European, Native Indian and African, rich and poor. A person’s gender, race, or financial status was irrelevant as all people were the same under God. Though the practice sometimes fell short of the principle, they did an overall decent job in putting their words to action. Women could speak and vote in public meetings, and like male members, could travel unaccompanied to preach and be recognized with the gift of ministry. Before relations soured with the Walking Purchase, Native Indians and whites sat on juries together. And The Society of Friends was the first organization ever to officially ban slavery.

Stemming from their understanding of equality, Quakers refused to be respecters of persons. They did not acknowledge titles, regardless of how many generations a dukedom could be traced back. They also did not bow or curtsey or show deference of any kind. By virtue of being human, the king had the same intrinsic worth as the laundress and was treated accordingly, with respect for the person rather than a list of noble titles. This, along with their refusal to swear oaths often led to the misconception that they were one step away from treason.

In truth, Quakers considered government essential to civil society. William Penn in particular supported Quaker involvement in political office. When the government was established in Pennsylvania, he swore that, “You shall be governed by laws of your own making, and live a free and, if you will, a sober and industrious people. I shall not usurp the right of any, or oppress his person.” People were needed to create laws and maintain order. What they weren’t needed to do was oppress or elevate themselves above others, nor at any time insert themselves between the individual and God.

My gushing aside, Quakers would never have been voted most fun for a night out—that bawdy, rambunctious bunch stayed home in England. And as they were pacifists, I would have picked the Puritans or Anglicans for my team in any of the armed conflicts that occurred during the time. All the same, as an avid admirer of early American thought, I am thankful for the strength of character that allowed William Penn to write, “This prison shall be my grave before I budge a jot, for I owe my conscience to no mortal man.”

 
Thank you so much, Kari, for this fascinating post! I had no idea the Quakers were so far ahead of their times when it came to equality and freedom.
 
 
Be sure to come back tomorrow for my review of Goddess Born. And continue below for more information about the author, her novel and the other stop on the blog tour.
 
 
 
 
Publication Date: May 29, 2014
Carina Press
eBook; ISBN: 9781426898365
 
Genre: Historical/Fantasy/Paranormal/New Adult/Romance
 
 
The power to heal is her divine gift, the fear of discovery, her mortal curse.

Selah Kilbrid is caught between two worlds. A direct descendant of the Celtic goddess Brigid, she is bound by Tuatha Dé law to help those in need. Yet as a human, she must keep her unique abilities hidden or risk being charged for a witch. In 1730 Pennsylvania, the Quaker community of Hopewell has become a haven for religious freedom—and fanaticism—and there are those who would see her hanged if the truth were revealed.

For eighteen years, Selah safely navigates the narrow gap between duty and self-preservation, until the day a prominent minister uncovers her secret. Obsessed with her power, Nathan Crowley disregards her betrothal to a distant cousin from Ireland and demands marriage in exchange for his silence. Selah stalls for time, but when news reaches the Colonies of her cousin’s death, time has run out.

Rather than submit to Nathan, Selah coerces a stranger to pose as her husband. It’s a good plan—her only plan—even though Henry Alan harbors his own dark secrets. But when she returns to Hopewell a married woman, the real fight has just begun. As unseen forces move against her, Selah doesn’t know which poses the greater danger—a malignant shadow closing in from outside or the internal fire that threatens to consume her heart.

Book Two in the Goddess Born series will be published in November 2014 and Book Three in June 2015.


Buy the eBook


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Carina Press


About the Author



Kari Edgren did not dream of becoming a writer. Instead, she dreamed of everything else and was often made to stay inside during kindergarten recess to practice her letters. Despite doting parents and
a decent school system, Ms. Edgren managed to make it through elementary school having completed only one book cover to cover – The Box Car Children, which she read approximately forty-seven times. Things improved during high school, but not until she read Gabrielle Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude in college, did she truly understand the power of a book.

Ms. Edgren aspires to be a Vulcan, a world-acclaimed opera singer, and two inches taller. She resides in the Pacific NW where she spends a great deal of time torturing her husband and children with strange food and random historical facts. Ms. Edgren hasn’t stopped dreaming, but has finally mastered her letters enough to put the stories on paper.

For more information please visit Kari Edgren’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Sign Up for Kari Edgren’s Newsletter.

Goddess Born Blog Tour Schedule



Monday, September 22

Review at Peeking Between the Pages

Tuesday, September 23

Review at By the Book Reviews
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, September 24

Review at The Readers Hollow
Interview at Manga Maniac Café

Thursday, September 25

Review at Book Babe

Friday, September 26

Review at Curling Up With a Good Book

Sunday, September 28

Spotlight & Excerpt at Casual Readers

Monday, September 29

Review at Unabridged Chick
Review at The Mad Reviewer

Tuesday, September 30

Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Interview & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick

Wednesday, October 1

Review & Excerpt at Book Lovers Paradise

Thursday, October 2

Review at Books, Etc.
Review at 100 Pages a Day – Stephanie’s Book Reviews

Friday, October 3

Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Monday, October 6

Review at Bookish
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection

Tuesday, October 7

Spotlight & Giveaway at The Flashlight Reader

Wednesday, October 8

Review at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, October 9

Review at The True Book Addict

Friday, October 10

Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Monday, October 13

Review at Book Nerd
Interview at The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, October 14

Review at I’d So Rather Be Reading

Wednesday, October 15

Review at Let Them Read Books

Thursday, October 16
Review at A Book Geek
Guest Post at Historical Tapestry

Friday, October 17
Review at Historical Tapestry




Spotlight on The Secrets of Casanova by Greg Michael

Publication Date: October 21, 2013
Booktrope Editions
Formats: eBook Paperback; 334p

Genre: Historical Fiction

READ AN EXCERPT


2014 Nancy Pearl Award Winner for Fiction

Loosely based on the life of Jacques Casanova, The Secrets of Casanova is a rich, lush novel of love, sex, family, ambition, intrigue, and adventure. Set in Paris of 1755, Casanova’s luck is fading and his past is shoving up against his present with potentially disastrous consequences. What price must he pay to uncover a treasure of inestimable value? What hearts must he break along the way? Casanova’s will and destiny collide again and again in this riveting historical fiction that brings to light a man of great passion and not a few secrets.

 

 

 

Praise for The Secrets of Casanova


“A Shakespearean actor with a flair for the dramatic and a superb ear for dialogue, Michaels’s debut novel puts a brilliantly original spin on an historical figure whose very name is a cliché. This Casanova must wrestle not only with falling hopelessly and passionately in love, but embarking on a mysterious quest that is as much a spiritual awakening as a swashbuckling adventure. The Secrets of Casanova is so erotic and so sensitively written, I found it difficult to believe its author was a man.” -Robin Maxwell, national best-selling author of The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn

 

Buy the Book


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iTunes

 

About the Author



After receiving his B.A. in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin, a chance experience thrust Greg into a career as a professional actor and fight director. To date he’s acted in over fifty theater productions, more than forty television shows, and choreographed dozens of swordfights for stage and screen. In THE SECRETS OF CASANOVA, Greg again proves his skill at telling a theatrical story. He lives with his wife, two sons, and Andy the hamster.

For more information please visit Greg Michaels’s website.   Like The Secrets of Casanova Facebook Page. Follow Greg Michaels on Twitter.



The Secrets of Casanova Blog Tour Schedule



Monday, October 13
Review at Bookish

Tuesday, October 14
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Review at With Her Nose Stick in a Book
Spotlight & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Wednesday, October 15
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Obsession

Thursday, October 16
Review & Interview at Carpe Librum
Spotlight at Historical Tapestry

Friday, October 17
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Monday, October 20
Review at A Book Geek
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, October 21
Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews
Spotlight & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, October 22
Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Review at Good Friends, Good Books and a Sleepy Conscience
Guest Post at Mina’s Bookshelf

Thursday, October 23
Review at Beth’s Book Reviews
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Friday, October 24
Review at Book Nerd
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter