Fair Weather Enemies ~ Book Review and Giveaway

Today I’m really excited to be taking part in the Book Tour of, Fair Weather Enemies
by Sawyer North, which is being hosted by HFBT!

Fair Weather Enemies
by Sawyer North

Publication Date: February 10, 2020
Entangled Publishing/Scandalous
Paperback & eBook; 270 Pages

Genre: Historical Romance

 

 

The Hancocks and Ashfords have had a long-standing feud between their families long before Miss Jane Hancock couldn’t stand the sight of gentleman farmer Adam Ashford. But after both families fall on hard times and an unscrupulous creditor forces Jane and Adam to sign a devil’s bargain, they’ll finally understand the true meaning of keeping your enemies close at hand.

The terms of this bargain? Locate a lost treasure shrouded in deception and mystery.

The catch? Only one can claim it to win…the loser is left to ruin.

As Jane and Adam embark on a trek throughout England they plan to hate their adversary, no matter how attractive, generous, and kind they are.

Sometimes, plans change…

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A family feud between neighboring estates, the Hancocks and Ashfords has lasted more than 70 years and brings Adam Ashford and Jane Hancock has just about brought the to families to the brink of ruin. Now their only way out of an a disastrous contract with a vile solicitor is to do the unthinkable, and bond together to find a long sought after gold bounty. Together they must follow clues in two separate letters, that leads them on an intriguing adventure that will ultimately change their lives forever.

Sawyer North captures your attention right from the beginning, in his newest book, Fair Weather Enemies. 

I fell completely in love with his writing style, and his captivating story from the very first opening pages. His delightful three dimensional fleshed out characters that Captured my heart.

The storyline is engaging with the perfect amount of delightful romance. Superb comic timing and witty banter adds some of the best content to any historical romance I have read in a long time. I found myself laughing out loud several times.

Quick paced and intriguing plot line kept me interested and glued to the pages all the way through to the heartwarming satisfying end.

I definitely will recommend this incredible romantic story to anyone who enjoys the perfect historical romance.

About the Author

After self-publishing science fiction novels over a period of years, I made the truly odd move into historical romance. Although romance is a strong thread in nearly all my works, I came to straight-up, nothing-but-romance only after turning fifty. Since then, I am plagued by the question, “What took me so long?” My awakening began rather innocuously when I casually watched the 2015 version of Poldark. Before I knew, I was falling headlong into the abyss of historical romance and read fifteen such novels over a three-month span. However, no number could sufficiently scratch my itch for more, so I did what any writer would do and began constructing stories of my own. In April of 2019, I received my first contract with Entangled Publishing.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 10
Review at Historical Romance Lover

Tuesday, February 11
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Wednesday, February 12
Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Saturday, February 15
Review at Historical Graffiti

Sunday, February 16
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Tuesday, February 18
Interview at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, February 19
Excerpt at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Saturday, February 22
Excerpt at The Lit Bitch

Monday, February 24
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, February 25
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on February 25th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Paperback giveaway is open to US only.
Only one entry per household.
All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

Fair Weather Enemies

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Prue Book Blast and Giveaway

Today I’m really excited to be taking part in the Book Blast and Giveaway of Prue
byAnne Marie Brear, which is being hosted by HFBT!

My review will be posted later today!

Prue
by AnneMarie Brear

Publication Date: January 23, 2020
eBook & Paperback; 328 Pages

Series: The Marsh Sagas, Book Two
Genre: Historical Romance

 

 

When her feisty grandmama informs Prue of her intentions to take her travelling, she is excited and ready to explore outside of England.

Restless, unsure of what she needs and wants, Prue arrives in India intent on adventure. However, Prue soon learns that some escapades come with a price. India is exotic and tantalising, yet also rife with unrest, and closer to home, family secrets unravel destroying lives.

Leaving India and heartbreak behind her, a wiser Prue travels to Italy. Experiencing that life is short, Prue is determined to make the most of her holiday and have some fun, only she wasn’t prepared to meet a man who would make her question herself.

Surviving the war was easier than enduring the quiet peace at home. In need of distraction, Brandon Forster and his friend, Vince, spend their time climbing mountains in Europe. The last thing Brandon expected was to meet an attractive English rose with the same edgy spirit as himself.

When Prue reveals her past mistakes to Brandon, he must decide if she is the woman for him, but a tragic accident makes them both confront deeper feelings.

Can they find in each other the missing element they need to make them whole or will previous anguish taint their future?

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

Prue, is next installment of the beloved Marsh Saga Series, by Award winning and best selling author, Anne Marie Brear.

Prue Marsh has a restless spirit that her Grandmother! notices it her mirrors herself when she was about the same age. Noting Prue must spread her wings before settling down as a genteel lady just. Prue’s, lively doting Grandmother announces a splendid opportunity for Prue to experience something other than what England has to offer.

This lovely book is set in the 1920s, after the Great War, WWI, vivacious Prue, is the middle sister. Prue finds herself like most young woman during this era, wanting to throw off the restrictions from the Victorian era, to embrace the modern times of the roaring 20s. Everyone one is not so excepting in this new found freedom that a lot of woman were exhibiting during this time period.

Society still judged woman, and double standards were in place. Traveling first to India, they enjoy all wonderful experiences this country has to offer. But, civil unrest brewing in the streets and some heated family drama, Prue and her Grandmother do what they can to make their extended holiday as pleasant as possible. In a series of events things change and Prue is left feeling heartbroken and at a loss. The two ladies travel onto Italy in their quest for delights.

Single and unattached, Brandon Forster, has survived the war with his inseparable friend, Vincent. Together they have tried to put the past behind them, seeking out adventures and entertainment by way of carousing and rock climbing.

When Brandon and Prue meet there is no denying the sparks are flying.

What an enchanted read this was. I really enjoyed this wonderful beguilingly book. Pace was brisk and writing was fluid, with lovely characters and a captivating protagonist. You definitely don’t want to miss this treasure of a book!

I am looking forward to reading the next book in this delightful series.

Three sisters. Three very different women.

Marsh Saga Series. Book one, Millie was released in July 2019. and the accompanying novella, Christmas at the Chateau is out now! Book two, Prue will be relased in Janurary 23, 2020. Book three, Cece will be released April 2020.

About the Author

Amazon UK bestseller and award-winning Australian author, AnneMarie Brear has been a life-long reader and started writing in 1997 when her children were small. She has a love of history, of grand old English houses and a fascination of what might have happened beyond their walls. Her interests include reading, historical research for her novels, watching movies, spending time with family and eating chocolate – not always in that order!

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

Book Blast Schedule

Thursday, January 23
Books In Their Natural Habitat

Friday, January 24
Gwendalyn’s Books

Saturday, January 25
Historical Fiction with Spirit

Sunday, January 26
Jessica Belmont

Monday, January 27
Broken Teepee

Tuesday, January 28
CelticLady’s Reviews
What Is That Book About

Wednesday, January 29
Donna’s Book Blog

Thursday, January 30
The Lit Bitch
Clarissa Reads it All
The Book Junkie Reads

Friday, January 31
Passages to the Past

Saturday, February 1
100 Pages a Day

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away an eBook of Prue by AnneMarie Brear! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on February 1st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Paperback giveaway is open to the US only.
Only one entry per household.
All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

Prue

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Book Tour

The Queen Of Warriors

#TheQueenofWarriors #ZenobiaNeil #HFVBTBlogTours 

The Queen of Warriors
by Zenobia Neil

Publication Date: September 19, 2019
Hypatia Books
eBook & Paperback; 363 Pages

Series: Alexandra of Sparta, Book One
Genre: Historical Fantasy

 

Alexandra of Sparta vowed her sword and her heart to the goddess Artemis. And the goddess blessed her. But no warrior lives at peace, and soon, Alexandra loses her title, her troops, and all she holds dear, including the man who holds her heart.

Cursed by a Babylonian witch, she is forced to return to a city she once conquered to make amends, but is captured by the powerful Persian rebel, Artaxerxes. As his prisoner, she awaits judgment for her crimes. But Artaxerxes is not what he seems. With death approaching, Alexandra must face her violent past and discover the truth of her captor’s identity before it’s too late.

Available on Amazon

 “The Queen of Warriors is a full-blooded adventure into the ancient and mythological world of the warrior queen, Alexandra of Sparta. Imaginative, exciting, and alluring! -Margaret George, author of Helen of Troy

 “A surprising tale of retribution but also of redemption. Sexy yet thoughtful . . . unexpectedly moving.” -L.J. Trafford, author of The Four Emperor Series

A sizzling epic that will tempt you into the Hellenistic age. Neil s writing is smooth, and anyone would be hard-pressed not to fall in love with her kick-ass heroine, Alexandra of Sparta! -Adam Alexander Haviaras, Eagles and Dragons Publishing

TW: Adult Fiction

This book was received as an ARC from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own

Thank you to Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and the Author,

Alexander, The Queen of Warriors has conquered and risen to unimaginable heights with her army. To have it all comes crashing down and Alexandra finds herself broken and seeking forgiveness and all those she has lost.

She finds herself at the temple of the triple head Goddess Hecate, the keeper of the crossroads, the goddess of all witches.

Opening the gate of the underworld she realizes she has to go back to her beginnings to find the answers she seeks. It will not be an easy journey but she starts out in hopes of reaching a state free of the curse that haunts her.

The books well developed portrait of people and their actions during this time table was fabulous. The authors creating a mercenary leader as the main protagonist was so cleverly done. Alexander, Is one strong warrior Queen that is absolutely phenomenal.

Returning to a city she once conquered but Inevitably lost. To make atonement for her past sins.

Once there she is captured by the powerful Persian rebel, Artaxerxes, the Golden Lynx of Ghagae.

The Terror of East, a Greek woman mercenary, fighting for a Greet King. She is now bond and blindfolded waiting judgement for her crimes and atrocities she has committed against Persian subjects, and her own Spartan Generals.

Zenobia, delivers a compelling, intriguing, and well-written read here with absolutely fantastic characters that totally captivated and fascinated me. The strength of this novel handsdown is the author’s fabulous characterizations. This faced past twisty book will definitely have you guessing. The romance is dark and lustful, paring perfectly with the timeframe of when the story takes place.

Zenobia Neil, delivers once again a stunning masterly written novel that will catapult you into Hellenistic age. Bold, gripping, captivating,

About the Author

Zenobia Neil was named after an ancient warrior queen who fought against the Romans. She writes about the mythic past and Greek and Roman gods having too much fun. She lives with her husband, two children, and dog in Los Angeles. The Queen of Warriors is her third book.

Visit her at ZenobiaNeil.com. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 16
Review at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, September 17
Guest Post by Reading the Past

Wednesday, September 18
Excerpt at Bookish Rantings

Thursday, September 19
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Friday, September 20
Review at Passages to the Past

Monday, September 23
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Tuesday, September 24
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, September 25
Review at History from a Woman’s Perspective

Thursday, September 26
Review & Guest Post at A Bookish Affair

Monday, September 30
Review & Excerpt at Clarissa Reads it All

Tuesday, October 1
Feature at I’m All About Books
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Wednesday, October 2
Review at book frolic
Review at Al-Alhambra
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Thursday, October 3
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink

Friday, October 4
Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 2 eBooks and 2 paperbacks of Psyche Unbound and The Jinni’s Last Wish! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on October 4th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

The Queen of Warriors

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Book Review THE WINEMAKER’S WIFE

Hello Everyone,

TodayI Am Sharing My Review Of The Winemaker’s Wife

#thewinemakerswife #Reviewathon

THE WINEMAKER’S WIFE

The Winemaker’s Wife

Hardcover: 400 pages

Publisher: Gallery Books (August 13, 2019)

Champagne, 1940: Inès has just married Michel, the owner of storied champagne house Maison Chauveau, when the Germans invade. As the danger mounts, Michel turns his back on his marriage to begin hiding munitions for the Résistance. Inès fears they’ll be exposed, but for Céline, half-Jewish wife of Chauveau’s chef de cave, the risk is even greater—rumors abound of Jews being shipped east to an unspeakable fate.

When Céline recklessly follows her heart in one desperate bid for happiness, and Inès makes a dangerous mistake with a Nazi collaborator, they risk the lives of those they love—and the champagne house that ties them together.

New York, 2019: Liv Kent has just lost everything when her eccentric French grandmother shows up unannounced, insisting on a trip to France. But the older woman has an ulterior motive—and a tragic, decades-old story to share. When past and present finally collide, Liv finds herself on a road to salvation that leads right to the caves of the Maison Chauveau.

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Instant #1 bestseller from The Globe and Mail (Toronto) and The Toronto Star

“Love and betrayal, forgiveness and redemption combine in a heady tale of the ever-present past…fantastic!” —Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris

The author of the “engrossing” (People) international bestseller The Room on Rue Amélie returns with a moving story set amid the champagne vineyards of northern France during the darkest days of World War II, perfect for fans of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale.

Review

This book was received from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own

“Mark Twain, the great American writer was spot on when he claimed: “too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right”.

The Winemaker’s Wife

Champagne, 1940, at the cusp of the Second World War, Inès is the young wife of Michel, owner of the Maison Chauveau, a picturesque champagne house nestled among rolling vineyards near Reims, France. It should be an idyllic life, but Inès–who’s often treated like a child by her husband, his chef de cave, Theo, and Theo’s wife, Céline– is increasingly unhappy.

She’s determined to make a change, but then the German’s arrive.

Kristin Harmel narration is told through dual timelines from Liv’s life in the present and then between Inès and Céline during the war in the late 1930s-1940s. The contemporary chapters propel the story along, but past is a turbulent secretive echo of historical fiction.

Devastated, and heartbroken Olivia, has just recently been divorced is relived to have an excuse to go to France with Edith, her wealthy 97 year old grandmother.

While there Olivia grandmother Edith, slowly tells her incredible story of her and her friends the life she led during the German occupation of the village where she lived with her husband.

This is a dramatic and intricate storyline infused with World War II elements of tragedy, betrayal, and brutality, tempered with love, devotion and heroism. The author masterly allows the reader to unravel the threads of this literary tapestry.

Brilliant progression as the storyline gives you an incredible look at the French resistance during the German occupation amid the champagne vineyards of northern France. The author has created a compelling character driven, emotional resonate novel.

What really stood out for me and what I really loved about this story was the compelling and emotional layered duel timelines and how they connected the story and the family. We see the historical side to the story and then a modern side to it. Each are strong, interesting stories with their conflicts and heartache that shaped the people.

A deeply thoughtful historical fiction novel, based on details of real-life Resistance activities that occurred in France during World War II.

RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 13, 2019

Thanks to @kristinharmel and @gallerybooks

#thewinemakerswife
50 Book Reviews

What should we eat

while drinking champagne!

One of our favorite indulgences is lying on the couch with a good book and a bag of our favorite potato chips. Can’t get better than that, right? WRONG! Kristin Harmel, the author of THE WINEMAKER’S WIFE, has just made that experience better by telling us that we shouldn’t be drinking water or soda with those chips—we should be drinking champagne!

THE WINEMAKER’S WIFE, a historical novel set in the Champagne region of WW2 France, so she’s done a lot of research on champagne and is here to tell us that you don’t have to save that bubbly for a special occasion—it’s a great wine to sip with many foods, plenty of them not fancy at all. 

So pour yourself a cold glass of your favorite champagne, open that bag of chips, and discover the other surprising foods you could be eating alongside your bubbly! Watch Kristin share her suggestions in the video above, or keep reading for a transcript of her picks:

#1: Potato chips

The sharpness of champagne, its acidity, cuts perfectly through the salt. 

Which means that it also goes pretty perfectly with…

#2: French fries

#3: Spicy foods

The bubbles can balance out heat, so if you’re diving into something spicy, like a great spicy pad thai, pop open a bottle.

#4: Raw fish

Raw fish, especially sushi, is also an excellent pairing.

As is…

#5: Salty, buttery popcorn

Not only do the bubbles work perfectly with the butter, but the yeasty notes in champagne from Champagne, France, complement the toastiness of the popcorn.

#5: Fried chicken

Remember that acidity we mentioned? It also cuts perfectly through the grease in fried foods. So the next time you bring home a bucket of fried chicken, believe it or not, pop a bottle of champagne.

If you enjoyed her recommendations, be sure to check

out Kristin Harmel’s novel set in Champagne, France: THE WINEMAKER’S WIFE.

Excerpt

The Winemaker’s Wife  one  
MAY 1940
INÈS  
The road snaked over the lush vineyards of Champagne as Inès Chauveau sped southwest out of Reims, clouds of dust ballooning in the wake of her glossy black Citroën, wind whipping ferociously through her chestnut hair. It was May, and already the vines were awakening, their buds like tiny fists reaching for the sun. In weeks they would flower, and by September, their grapes—pale green Chardonnay, inky Pinot Meunier, blueberry-hued Pinot Noir—would be plump and bursting for the harvest.But would Inès still be here? Would any of them? A shiver ran through her as she braked to hug a curve, the engine growling in protest as she turned down the road that led home. Michel would tell her she was driving too quickly, too recklessly. But then, he was cautious about everything.In June, it would be a year since they’d married, and she couldn’t remember a day during that time that he hadn’t gently chided her about something. I’m simply looking out for you, Inès, he always said. That’s what a husband is supposed to do. Lately, nearly all his warnings had been about the Germans, who’d been lurking just on the other side of the impenetrable Maginot Line, the fortified border that protected France from the chaos besetting the rest of Europe. Those of us who were here for the Great War know to take them seriously, he said at least once a day, as if he hadn’t been just four years old when the final battle was waged.Of course Inès, younger than Michel by six years, hadn’t yet been born when the Germans finally withdrew from the Marne in 1918, after nearly obliterating the central city of Reims. But her father had told enough tales about the war—usually while drunk on brandy and pounding his fist against the table—that she knew to be wary.You can never trust the Huns! She could hear her father’s deep, gravelly voice in her ear now, though he’d been dead for years. They might play the role of France’s friend, but only fools would believe such a thing.Well, Inès was no fool. And this time, for once, she would bring the news that changed everything. She felt a small surge of triumph, but as she raced into Ville-Dommange, the silent, somber, seven-hundred-year-old Saint-Lié chapel that loomed over the small town seemed to taunt her for her pettiness. This wasn’t about who was wrong and who was right. This was about war. Death. The blood of young men already soaking the ground in the forests to the northeast. All the things her husband had predicted.She drove through the gates, braked hard in front of the grand two-story stone château, and leapt out, racing for the door that led down to the vast network of underground cellars. “Michel!” she called as she descended two stone steps at a time, the cool, damp air like a bucket of water to the face. “Michel!”Her voice echoed through the tangled maze of passageways, carved out of the earth three quarters of a century earlier by her husband’s eccentric great-grandfather. Thousands of champagne bottles rested on their sides there, a small fortune of bubbles waiting for their next act.“Inès?” Michel’s concerned voice wafted from somewhere deep within the cellars, and then she could hear footsteps coming closer until he rounded the corner ahead of her, followed by Theo Laurent, the Maison Chauveau’s chef de cave, the head winemaker. “My dear, what is it?” Michel asked as he rushed to her, putting his hands on her shoulders and studying her face. “Are you quite all right, Inès?”“No.” She hadn’t realized until then how breathless she was from the news and the drive and the rapid descent into the chill of the cellars. “No, Michel, I’m not all right at all.”“What’s happened?” Michel asked while Theo regarded her silently, his expression as impassive as always.“It has begun,” Inès managed to say. “The invasion, Michel. The Germans are coming!”A heavy silence hung in the damp air. How long would it be before the quiet of the cellars was punctured by the thud of goose-stepping boots overhead? Before everything they’d built was threatened, perhaps destroyed?“Well then,” Michel said at last. “I suppose it is time we finish hiding the champagne.”

Mark Twain, the great American writer was spot on when he claimed: “too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right”.

Ever since it was “discovered” in France in the 17th century, just about everyone has fallen under the spell of the effervescent wine. It can only be made in Champagne, north east France to have the status of Champagne the drink. There are more than 100 Champagne houses and 19000 grape growers, of these only around 2000 make and sell Champagne. There are an astonishing 50,000 different Champagne labels, so, if you thought Champagne was Champagne – think again. Tastes and prices vary widely. Part of the fun of being a Champagne drinker is working out which one you like best.

Raise a glass to Ruinart

Ruinart (pronounced Reenart) was founded in 1729, and it was the first established Champagne house and is therefore the oldest in France. In fact the company started on 1 September 1729. We know this because Nicolas Ruinart, the 32 year old founder, wrote in his ledger book that day that he was starting a business devoted to “wine with bubbles”. The ledger book takes pride of place in the entrance to the house.

History of Ruinart

Nicolas Ruinart’s uncle was a monk, Dom Thierry Ruinart, born in Champagne but sent to an Abbey in Paris. Whilst there he learned of a new “wine with bubbles” that the young nobles enjoyed. At that stage it wasn’t known as Champagne. It’s entirely possible that Dom Ruinart knew Dom Perignon the “inventor” of Champagne. They lived at the same time, shared the same interests and in fact both are buried in nearby Hautvilliers.

Dom Thierry told his brother about the new-fangled sparkling wine whose son, Nicolas, picked up the idea and ran with it, 20 years after his uncle died in 1709. The Ruinarts were textile merchants at that time and Nicolas owned some vineyards. He started out making Champagne for clients as gifts. But, the sparkling wine was a runaway success. Just 6 years after producing the first bottle, he gave up the textile business and concentrated on the Champagne.

About The Author

Kristin Harme

Kristin Harmel is the international bestselling author of THE ROOM ON RUE AMELIE, THE SWEETNESS OF FORGETTING, THE LIFE INTENDED, WHEN WE MEET AGAIN, and several other novels. Her latest, THE WINEMAKER’S WIFE, is coming in August 2019 from Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster. A former reporter for PEOPLE magazine, Kristin has also freelanced for many other publications, including American Baby, Men’s Health, Glamour, Woman’s Day, Travel + Leisure, and more.
Kristin grew up in Peabody, Mass.; Worthington, Ohio; and St. Petersburg, Fla., and she graduated with a degree in journalism (with a minor in Spanish) from the University of Florida. After spending time living in Paris, she now lives in Orlando, Fla., with her husband and young son.

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Blog Tour In The Full Light Of The Sun

Happy Friday

Today I have Partnered with HFBT Book Tours

and The Author Clare Clark

In the Full Light of the Sun by Clare Clark

Publication Date: July 9, 2019
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Hardcover, Paperback, & eBook
Genre: Historical Fiction

Based on a true story, this gorgeous new novel follows the fortunes of three Berliners caught up in an art scandal—involving newly discovered van Goghs—that rocks Germany amidst the Nazis’ rise to power.

Hedonistic and politically turbulent, Berlin in the 1920s is a city of seedy night clubs and sumptuous art galleries. It is home to millionaires and mobs storming bakeries for rationed bread. These disparate Berlins collide when Emmeline, a young art student; Julius, an art expert; and a mysterious dealer named Rachmann all find themselves caught up in the astonishing discovery of thirty-two previously unknown paintings by Vincent van Gogh.

In the Full Light of the Sun explores the trio’s complex relationships and motivations, their hopes, their vanities, and their self-delusions—for the paintings are fakes and they are in their own ways complicit. Theirs is a cautionary tale about of the aspirations of the new Germany and a generation determined to put the humiliations of the past behind them.

With her signature impeccable and evocative historical detail, Clare Clark has written a gripping novel about beauty and justice, and the truth that may be found when our most treasured beliefs are revealed as illusions.

Praise.

#infulllightofthesun #hmhbooks #book #bookstyle #summerreading #bookstagram #booklover #bookclub #parner

“As compelling as it is expansive… In an age that has apparently lost faith in experts and verifiable sources of information, Clark’s fictionalization of the Wacker affair stands as a salutary tale for the post-truth era.” —The Guardian

“[Clark] excels at evoking the febrile tensions of the Weimar Republic… A gripping and ultimately moving story about art, artifice and authenticity.” —The Mail on Sunday

“With great skill and sympathy, Clark evokes a febrile society in which politics, love and art offer no certainties, and the ground always threatens to open beneath her characters’ feet.” —The Sunday Times

“Set over the decade of the Nazis’ rise to power, In the Full Light of the Sun loosely follows the real-life mystery of whether paintings apparently by Van Gogh that were exhibited in Berlin in the 1920s were forgeries…The most enjoyable mystery here is the matter of whether anyone is really their authentic self.” —The Times (UK)

“An engrossing read.” —Image Magazine Ireland

“Clark’s beautiful writing is as dense and layered as thick, Post-Impressionist oils.” —Tablet

“A completely fascinating novel about the early 20th century art world and its many dubious machinations. Expertly researched, compellingly narrated and full of potent resonance today.” —William Boyd, author of Sweet Caress

“Clare Clark casts her spell of time and place with casual elegance and no apparent tricks – yet caught me up in this juicy story of colossal art fraud, the passions and intrigues of her vivid and moving characters – and the truly terrifying rise of the Nazi party, with all its contemporary echoes. The atmosphere of this book lingers on.” —Laline Paull, author of The Bees

“I loved In the Full Light of the Sun, a novel about deception, self-deception, truth, love and lies that will enthrall anyone fascinated by Van Gogh, the art world and Berlin in the 1920s. Written with verve and assurance it is both engaging and humane.” —Amanda Craig, author of the Lie of the Land

“In her gripping new novel Clare Clark paints a picture of Weimar Berlin in which surface glitter hides sinister and bitter truths. Page by page she brings secret lives into the light; nothing: not love, not art, not politics, is what it seems, and few escape the brutal forces that emerge.” —Stella Tillyard, author of Aristocrats

“A wonderful novel: passionate, intelligent, humane, it held me from the first page to the last. Van Gogh’s fleeting genius—achingly out of reach, the pull so strong—is wonderfully evoked; and the house of cards that was the Weimar Republic provides the perfectly rendered backdrop for a story about our willingness to deceive in the pursuit of beauty.” —Rachel Seiffert, author of A Boy in Winter

“Clark’s mastery of historic and artistic details merges with skillful plotting and compelling characters in this accomplished novel. A suspenseful, atmospheric portrait of Berlin during Hitler’s rise.”—Kirkus

“Infused with Clark’s signature attention to historical detail…Evocative prose and excellent pacing make this fine historical a must-read for art history buffs.”—Publishers Weekly

Vincent Willem van Gogh

What I do may be a kind of lie, but only because it tells the truth more plainly.”

Clare Clarke, In The Full Light of the Sun, set in 1920s Berlin, between the First & Second World Wars, in a time when Germany was facing climatic political turbulence.

The Authors ability to cleverly divide her narrative voice into three distinctive times, was easy to follow and immensely enjoyable. The books multi layered time frames are set in 1923, 1927 and 1933, with mixed POV’s. Told through the views of Julius, a middle-aged art critic; Emmeline, a young bisexual artist; and Frank, a Jewish lawyer. All three have one distinct thing in common Matthias, a young aspiring Art dealer, who a desire to open his gallery.

What really I really enjoyed was the use of historical events to masterly create a storyline that draws upon a real life scandal that shocked the Berlin Art World.

The riveting discovery of a number of previously unknown works by Van Gogh. At first they are authenticated, but later they are declared to be forgery. Clark’s compelling literary novel is suspenseful, and gripping atmospheric portrait of Berlin during turbulence of Hitler’s rise to power. A must read for anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

Clare Clarke, delivers quite the impressive, clever, complex, tension-filled and well-written read here that was extremely well-plotted, multi-layered. Faced paced with well developed characters that makes for a dramatic read.

This highly recommend getting your hands on a copy!

Vincent Willem van Gogh, was a Dutch post-impressionist painter who is among the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. In just over a decade he created about 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, most of them in the last two years of his life.

-According to British journalist and art historian Martin Bailey says the patch of floor in front of the Sunflowers in London’s National Gallery gets more scuffed than any other part of the museum, and the Sunflowers are the number one bestseller postcard at London’s National Gallery gift shop.-

Are you a fan of Van Gogh?

I definitely am, I took at a special trip to see some of this amazing artists work in person at the Chicago Museum of Art.

The Art Exhibit : In Van Gogh’s Bedrooms

“I experience a period of frightening clarity in those moments when nature is so beautiful. I am no longer sure of myself, and the paintings appear as in a dream.” I Vincent van Gogh 

-This book was received as an ARC from the publisher and Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own-

CLARE CLARK is the author of four novels, including The Great Stink, which was long-listed for the Orange Prize and named a Washington Post Best Book of the Year, and Savage Lands, also long-listed for the Orange Prize. Her work has been translated into five languages. She lives in London.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 22
Review at  Rebecca is Reading

Tuesday, July 23
Review at Bibliophile Reviews

Thursday, July 25
Feature at Diana_bibliophile

Friday, July 26
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Monday, July 29
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, July 30
Review at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, August 1
Review at Coffee and Ink
Review at Orange County Readers

Friday, August 2
Review at Mama’s Reading Corner

Monday, August 5
Review at Amy’s Booket List

Wednesday, August 7
Feature at Let Them Read Books

Friday, August 9
Review at Book Reviews from Canada

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away three copies of In the Full Light of the Sun by Clare Clark! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on August 9th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US & Canada only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

In the Full Light of the Sun

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Book Tour ELEOS

Hello Bookish Friends,

Today Is My Stop On This Wonderful Book Tour!

Eleos by D.R. Bell

Publication Date: October 23, 2018
eBook & Paperback; 460 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

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The discovery of a valise of old letters written to his Armenian grandfather from an Auschwitz survivor starts Avi Arutiyan on an odyssey to uncover the mystery surrounding his grandfather’s unsolved death. From the killing fields of Anatolia to the trial of Adolf Eichmann, Avi’s quest opens a door into intersecting paths and dark secrets of three families, stretching back to 1915.

How do these things happen time and again: the Holocaust was preceded by the Armenian Genocide, and followed by the killing fields of Cambodia, Rwanda, and Bosnia. Who were the people behind them? Eleos is a story of saviors and murderers, of bystanders and of those that don’t fall into an easy-to-classify category. Hopefully the book can serve as a reminder to protect our own humanity, because ultimately the battlefield is inside all of us.

“Bell masterfully combines his mystery story with an unflinching look at the 20th century’s bleakest tragedies. A beautiful . . . challengingly complex tale of the ramifications of history.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Eleos offers no easy answers, no pat approaches. Perhaps this is the novel’s greatest challenge to its readers, as well as its finest attribute. D. R. Bell crafts a set of circumstances that involve the protagonist in a sifting of blame, historical examination, and family attitudes, drawing in readers with a scenario that at first seems relatively black and white; then immersing them in decisions and outcomes that are satisfyingly complex. … Holocausts can happen again, but as long as stories such as Eleos capture the progression of events with an eye to explaining how logic and action led to disaster, future generations at least have a road map to avoid the pitfalls that lead in these directions.” — Diane Donovan, Donovan’s Literary Services; Editor, California Bookwatch

Available on Amazon

Every book is a journey, not only for the reader but also for the writer. The original premise for what became Eleos was called “The Journey”: a story of a German soldier saving a Jewish boyduring the war and the two of them trying to make their way to safety. It was a tale of redemption – and who doesn’t like stories of redemption, especially with a happy end? But as I was sketching the plot, other themes intruded. There was a personal angle: my late Armenian grandmother-in-law was the only member of her family to survive the slaughter of 1915 and I had felt for many years that there was a connection between the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust. This lead to a bigger question: how do people turn against others in a genocidal rage? Because throughout history the horror repeats time and again. My conclusion was that we choose to forget something important: we know the facts of “what” happened, we don’t remember “how” it happened. 

We view the past events through the opposing poles of heroes vs. pathological evildoers and create happy endings where most of the intended victims survive. Even The Diary of Anne Frank ends on a positive note. But the truth is much, much worse than that. These were not simple conflicts of good vs. evil. Most of the perpetrators and enablers of genocides were not sadists or psychopaths but regular people like you and me. They had killed – or stood by – not out of visceral hatred but because of blind obedience to authority, false patriotism, career prospects, etc.The slide into genocide was rarely sudden but was preceded by a long period of gradual dehumanization of “the other.” The worst atrocities were committed under the guise of doing good, in the name of ideology, religion, or national status. 

That’s why remembering the “how” is important: so we can recognize the patterns in the present.At any point in time history is existential: we, human beings, are presented with a particular context, and we must choose amongst the possibilities within it. Without passing a judgment on those who lived during such terrible times, we can  we must – learn from the choices they had made. 

Because Eleos tries to address many difficult topics within its structure, it’s designed kaleidoscopically, shifting the narrative between different characters with their viewpoints and objectives. The main characters have their faults and troubling secrets, forced to make ugly compromises in order to survive. I readily admit that the story is complex and challenging for the reader and not recommended for someone who prefers a linear plot and more agreeable characters. I have considered simplifying the story but decided against it: I felt that I couldn’t do it without losing something important along the way. 

 

About the Author

I didn’t plan to become a writer. A few years ago, a friend’s death prompted me to ask what would be the one thing I regret not doing. I’ve always been an avid reader but have not had the courage to write. And I made a New Year resolution to write a book. That’s how The Great Game came about. I try to write about serious topics but wrap them into an action-filled story. While all my books are entirely fictional, each of them carries a Commentary how the fiction is rooted in facts and realities of current events.

The first three books – The Metronome, The Great Game, and The Outer Circle – form a trilogy, where the lives the seemingly unconnected characters intersect against the backdrop of a turbulent power game between United States, China, and Russia. Unfortunately, some of the events described there are now happening in real life.

Marshland is a detective story set in modern Los Angeles, focused on the impact that internet and social media can have on our lives and their potential for unscrupulous abuse by those in power.

The latest project, Eleos, is a historic fiction set primarily during the time of the Eichmann’s trial. In a way, it’s a personal investigation into how events like the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide become possible.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 15
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, July 16
Review at Just a Girl and Her Books

Wednesday, July 17
Guest Post at Gwendalyn_Books_

Thursday, July 18
Review at my.boys.mom

Friday, July 19
Review at Cennin’s Book Review

Monday, July 22
Feature at Comet Readings

Tuesday, July 23
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Wednesday, July 24
Review at RW Bookclub Goodreads

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away one eBook and one paperback copy of ELEOS! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on July 24th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

Eleos
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