Sister Bio from The Sisters of Versailles by Sally Christie & Giveaway (US/Canada)

Last week I reviewed The Sisters of Versailles by Sally Christie (my review) which I can best describe as a wonderful piece of historical fiction.  This week I’ve got a bio on one of the sisters – Pauline.  Now I wasn’t very fond of Pauline only because she betrayed her sister.  In terms of her personality though I respected her.  She was an independent and strong willed woman in a time when most women weren’t.  I hope you enjoy the bio and please enter the giveaway for a chance to read The Sisters of Versailles – the first in what I’m sure is going to be a very exciting trilogy!

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About the Book

versaillesCarefully researched and ornately detailed, The Sisters of Versailles is the first book in an exciting new historical fiction trilogy about King Louis XV, France’s most “well-beloved” monarch, and the women who shared his heart and his bed.

The Sisters of Versailles centers on the (relatively, at least for the genre) overlooked period of early 18th century France. The French Revolution and Marie Antoinette have been extensively written about; it’s time for fans of that time period to step further back in time and to explore the reign of Louis XV (1715 – 1774) a time of increasing social turbulence and change that sets the stage neatly for the Revolution that follows.

Goodness, but sisters are a thing to fear.

Set against the lavish backdrop of the French Court in the early years of the 18th century, The Sisters of Versailles is the extraordinary tale of the five Nesle sisters—Louise, Pauline, Diane, Hortense, and Marie-Anne—four of whom became mistresses to King Louis XV. Their scandalous story is stranger than fiction but true in every shocking, amusing, and heartbreaking detail.

Court intriguers are beginning to sense that young King Louis XV, after seven years of marriage, is tiring of his Polish wife. The race is on to find a mistress for the royal bed as various factions put their best foot—and women—forward. The King’s scheming ministers push Louise, the eldest of the aristocratic Nesle sisters, into the arms of the King. Over the following decade, the four sisters—sweet, naïve Louise; ambitious Pauline; complacent Diane, and cunning Marie Anne—will conspire, betray, suffer, and triumph in a desperate fight for both love and power.

In the tradition of The Other Boleyn Girl, The Sisters of Versailles is a clever, intelligent, and absorbing novel that historical fiction fans will devour. Telling the story of a group of women never before written about in English, Sally Christie’s stunning debut is a complex exploration of power and sisterhood—of the admiration, competition, and even hatred that can coexist within a family when the stakes are high enough.

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About the Author

versailles1Sally Christie was born in England of British parents but grew up mostly in Canada. As a child she moved around with her family and then continued her wandering as she pursued a career in international development; she’s lived in 14 different countries and worked in many more. She’s now settled in Toronto and loving it.

Sally lives and breathes history; ever since she read Antonia Fraser’s masterful Mary, Queen of Scots when she was 10, she’s been an avid history junkie. She wishes more attention and technical innovation was devoted to time travel, because there is nothing she would rather do than travel back in time! Writing historical fiction is a poor substitute, but it’s the best one we have at the moment.

When not reading and writing history, she’s a tennis and Scrabble fanatic.

Author links: Website, Goodreads

 

GIVEAWAY – OPEN TO US & CANADIAN RESIDENTS
1 copy up for giveaway
*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter
Draw Date September 15/15

 

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Source: All post info provided by the tour company. Giveaway sponsored by the publisher. No compensation was received.

A Song for Bellafortuna by Vincent B. “Chip” LoCoco – Spotlight & Giveaway (US only)

It’s almost the end of the week already and today I’ve got a great book to spotlight for you called A Song for Bellafortuna by Vincent B. “Chip” LoCoco.  This book sounds great and I see there is an audio available so you may be seeing a review in the near future.  For now please enjoy the spotlight and be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy for yourself!

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Publication Date: May 14, 2015
Publisher: Cefalutana Press
Formats: Ebook, Paperback, AudioBook
Pages: 284

Genre: Historical Fiction

About the Book

SHORT LIST FINALIST IN THE WILLIAM FAULKNER-WILLIAM WISDOM WRITING COMPETITION.

A Song for Bellafortuna is an inspirational Italian Historical Fiction novel concerning a young man’s desire to free his Sicilian village from the domination of one family’s long reign. For years, the beautiful, yet secluded, hilltop village of Bellafortuna, Sicily, was a great producer of wine and olive oil. The entire village prospered. However, after the arrival of the Vasaio family, production dwindles and the villagers soon find themselves in crushing debt to the Vasaios. Only one family in the village remains outside the control of the Vasaios, but the reason haunts Antonio Sanguinetti every day of his life. Antonio is determined to erase this legacy by offering financial and emotional support to his fellow villagers. He introduces them to the choral song from Verdi’s opera, Nabucco, which becomes the rallying cry for the villagers and offers them hope for a better life.

When Antonio’s only son, Giuseppe, discovers his family’s past, he becomes determined to take on the Vasaios and remove them from power. Led by the young Giuseppe, a plan is hatched that could result in either complete freedom for the villagers, or if it fails, forever solidifying the Vasaios’ control.

Find out what happens in A Song for Bellafortuna, a sweeping epic historical fiction tale of love, drama, sacrifice, and redemption, set among the beautiful landscape of Sicily. Already listed by Amazon as a Top New Release in Historical Fiction and Italian Historical Fiction.

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Praise

“Vincent B. LoCoco writes a heartwarming piece of historical fiction . . . He captured the essence of the Sicilian culture, especially regarding the value of ancestry and music . . . A Song For Bellafortuna is a beautiful tale of antiquity.” – Readers Favorite 5 Star Review

“The book was a joy to read. It is a wonderful story, told in a magical way.” –Cavaliere Ufficiale Aldo Mancusi, President of the Enrico Caruso Museum of America in New York

“An inspiring story of an Italian village threatened by commerce and saved by opera.” –John Biguenet, author of The Torturer’s Apprentice and Oyster

About the Author

song1Award winning and bestselling author, Vincent B. “Chip” LoCoco, lives in New Orleans. His first novel, Tempesta’s Dream – A Story of Love, Friendship and Opera, became an Amazon bestselling novel and was awarded the 2014 Pinnacle Achievement Award in Historical Fiction. Amazon also has named his book as a Top Rated Novel in Italian Historical Fiction.

Visit him at www.vincentlococo.com, or follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

 

GIVEAWAY – OPEN TO US RESIDENTS ONLY
1 paperback copy up for giveaway
*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter
Draw Date September 5/15

 

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Source: All post information and giveaway provided by the tour company. No compensation was received.

The Lady and the Minstrel by Joyce DiPastena – Spotlight & Giveaway (eBook-Int’l)

Today’s spotlight is for The Lady and the Minstrel by Joyce DiPastena.  Please read on to learn about the book and read the excerpt.  Also be sure to enter for your chance to win a copy for yourself!

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Publication Date: January 29, 2015
Publisher: Sable Tyger Books
Formats: Ebook, Paperback
Pages: 601
ISBN: 9780986239618

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

About the Book

A forbidden love and a past they can’t leave behind . . .

In King John’s England, Robert Marcel chafes against the law that holds him bound as a villein on his lord’s manor. He tries to make a daring escape and is nearly caught by his cruel master, but a young girl helps him slip away.

Years pass and Robert takes up trade as a minstrel. Invited to play at a banquet for the notorious Earl of Saxton, he is stunned to come face to face with the girl he’s never forgotten—now Lady Marguerite of Winbourne, betrothed to the earl. Her status as a noblewoman puts her completely out of Robert’s reach, but he knows they are meant to be together. He vows to make her his wife no matter what the cost.

Lady Marguerite has often thought of the young man she helped escape. Her tender feelings for him quickly turn into much more when they are brought back into each other’s lives. She longs to be free to marry Robert, the man she loves, but that will require her to sacrifice all she holds dear.

They are tested at every turn by those bent on driving them apart and destroying what they have found together. Can their love truly conquer all?

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Excerpt

“Why are you here? What do you want?” She wished to chill him again with her dignity, but the questions instead came out barely more than a whisper.

“To see you. To talk with you. To—” His voice snagged as the truth swept the impassive mask from his face. “Oh, heaven forgive me, to kiss you!”

His hand reached out again, then hesitated, hovering just below her chin. Instead of rebuffing him, she felt herself sway towards him ever so slightly. His fingertips, calloused from his lute’s strings, brushed against her cheekbone. Then her cheek cradled gently in his palm and the midnight eyes, no longer veiled, gazed into hers with a longing that took away her breath.

“I have thought of nothing but you since you gazed at me in the village today.” His voice shook slightly as the words spilled out in a rush. “Then when you smiled at me in the hall, I knew I was lost. I cannot hope to court you. I am only a poor minstrel, and you are betrothed to the Earl of Saxton. But one kiss—just one!—I would cherish to the end of my days. Just one, if you will grant it—and then I will be gone.”

Gone? Let him go now, when she had only just found him? Heaven could not be so cruel as to ask her to send him away so soon! If it took a kiss to bind him—

He must have taken her silence as assent, for he pulled her against his chest. He held her firmly, yet so gently that the embrace brought no pain to her back. Marguerite had never been in a man’s arms before. Her heart raced so hard a pleasurable little buzz of dizziness hummed through her mind and body. He did not look like a man who often hesitated to take what he wanted and yet when he bent his head towards hers, he checked himself just short of her lips. It was that instant of uncertainty in him, briefer than a heartbeat, that nudged her leap of faith in his honor and lifted her willing mouth and drifted shut her eyes.

And then she felt his mouth on hers, gentle, warm, strong, yet somehow cautious, as if weighing something in her, as if waiting … for what? Outrage on her part? Resistance? Oh, heavens! If Marguerite had felt dizzy before, her senses now swam in earnest, and she wound her arms around his neck and let her body melt against him and kissed him back as if all her future hung on this one moment.

Praise

“DiPastena portrays . . . the world Robert and Marguerite inhabit, with a great deal of confidence and skill; this is a deeply-researched book that wears its learning very lightly, and it bears comparison well with other great novels of the Middle Ages. I loved the book and highly recommend it.” ~ Historical Novel Society

“A grand novel of epic proportions . . . Both Marguerite and Robert are rich characters with much depth and background. . . . The storyline is unique . . . The solution to Marguerite’s problem is inspiring!” ~ InD’Tale Magazine

About the Author

lady1Joyce DiPastena dreamed of green medieval forests while growing up in the dusty copper mining town of Kearny, Arizona. She filled her medieval hunger by reading the books of Thomas B. Costain (where she fell in love with King Henry II of England), and later by attending the University of Arizona where she graduated with a degree in history, specializing in the Middle Ages. The university was also where she completed her first full-length novel…set, of course, in medieval England. Later, her fascination with Henry II led her to expand her research horizons to the far reaches of his “Angevin Empire” in France, which became the setting of her first published novel, Loyalty’s Web (a 2007 Whitney Award Finalist). Joyce is a multi-published, multi-award winning author who specializes in sweet medieval romances and romantic historicals heavily spiced with mystery and adventure. She lives with her two cats, Clio and Glinka Rimsky-Korsokov, in Mesa, Arizona.

For more information visit Joyce DiPastena’s website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

 

GIVEAWAY – OPEN INTERNATIONALLY
1 eBook copy up for giveaway
*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter
Draw Date September 2/15

 

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Source: All post information and giveaway provided by the tour company. No compensation was received.

Life in New York by Laura Pedersen – Spotlight & Giveaway (US/Canada)

Happy Tuesday everyone!  I hope everyone is having a great week.  I’m still hopping along on one leg in one of the hottest summers we’ve had but otherwise things are good.  I’ve got a fun book to spotlight for you today called Life in New York: How I Learned to Love Squeegee Men, Token Suckers, Trash Twisters, and Subway Sharks by Laura Pedersen which I’ve seen described as hilarious so I can’t wait to read it myself.  I could definitely use some humor right now.  In the meantime let’s learn more about the book and be sure enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy for yourself!

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About the Book

Laura Pedersen, author of bestseller Play Money and award-winning Buffalo Gal, serves up a hilarious memoir about three decades of city life. Originally from Buffalo, New York, friends thought the seventeen-year-old was suffering from blizzard delirium when she left for Manhattan. Pedersen experiences her adopted city in the best and worst of times while becoming the youngest person to have a seat on the stock exchange, performing stand-up comedy, and writing a column in the New York Times. Neighborhoods that feature chai bars, Pilates studios, and Gymboree were once drug dens, ganglands, and shantytowns. A trip to Central Park often ended in Central Booking, identifying a perp in a lineup.

New Yorkers are as diverse as the city they so colorfully inhabit, cautious but generous, brash but welcoming. Both are captured through the comedic eye of Pedersen. Enjoy an uproarious romp down memory lane as the city emerges as the modern metropolis we know today.

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About the Author

new york1Laura Pedersen is an author, humorist, and playwright. She was also the youngest person at age twenty to have a seat on the American Stock Exchange, while earning a finance degree at New York University’s Stern School of Business. She wrote for The New York Times and is the author of Play Money, Beginner’s Luck (chosen as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection), Planes Trains, and Auto-Rickshaws, Buffalo Gal and Buffalo Unbound.

Links: Website, Facebook, Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY – OPEN TO US & CANADIAN RESIDENTS
1 copy up for giveaway
*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter
Draw Date August 27/15

 

Source: Post info obtained from Goodreads, Authors Website, and Publicist. Giveaway copy provided by the publicist. No compensation was received.