ARC Review: A Literary Tea Party

9781510729100_8471cI’m not much of a baker or a cook, but when I saw this book, I was exceedingly curious. There are few things regarding cookery that interest me–beyond the actual ‘eating’ part. But I loved this and I’m actually going to try and flex my baking muscles to try some of these. It’s a delightful read and is very well thought out. Some of the titles mentioned are Little Women, The Wizard of Oz, Alice In Wonderland, The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings, Sherlock Holmes, The Chronicles of Narnia, et cetera.

There are gorgeous pictures, the recipes sound delicious and I can’t wait to try some of them. Jo’s Gingerbread is one I really can’t wait for because firstly, I LOVE gingerbread and secondly, Little Women! I really need some friends to have a Tea Party with, haha. This is a fun book and I’d love to see if you guys take this on. Savories, Breads, Sweet…there’s a lovely little mix of things. Book quotes are included too along with a little story about each offering.

Release Date:  June 5, 2018
My Rating: 4 Stars!!

df

A Literary-Inspired Cookbook for Voracious Readers at Teatime

Tea and books: the perfect pairing. There’s nothing quite like sitting down to a good book on a lovely afternoon with a steaming cup of tea beside you, as you fall down the rabbit hole into the imaginative worlds of Alice in WonderlandThe Hobbit, and Sherlock Holmes . . .

Fire up your literary fancies and nibble your way through delicate sweets and savories with A Literary Tea Party, which brings food from classic books to life with a teatime twist. Featuring fifty-five perfectly portioned recipes for an afternoon getaway, including custom homemade tea blends and beverages, you will have everything you need to plan an elaborate tea party. Cook up and enjoy:

  • Turkish Delight while sipping on the White Witch’s Hot Chocolate from The Chronicles of Narnia
  • Drink Me Tea with the Queen of Hearts’s Painted Rose Cupcakes from Alice in Wonderland
  • Eeyore’s “Hipy Bthuthday” Cake with Hundred Acre Hot Chocolate from Winnie the Pooh
  • Hannah’s Sweet Potato Bacon Pastries and Jo’s Gingerbread from Little Women
  • Tom Sawyer’s Whitewashed Jelly Doughnuts from Tom Sawyer
  • And more!

Accompanied with photographs and book quotes, these recipes, inspired by the great works of literature, will complement any good book for teatime reading and eating.

beach-divider-clipart-1

untitled-1

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

IndieBound

Goodreads

beach-divider-clipart-1untitled-1x

Alison Walsh first began cooking as a way to stretch her post-college paycheck, and her love of cooking grew. In 2014, she combined her love of food and books into Alison’s Wonderland Recipes(WonderlandRecipes.com), a food blog dedicated to book-inspired recipes. She guest writes for Real Life at Home and her recipes have been featured on MuggleNet, the number one Harry Potter fan website. She lives in Des Plaines, Illinois.

Sara Letourneau
 is a speculative fiction writer for teens and adults. She is a poet, tea reviewer, music journalist, and columnist at DIY MFA and Writers Helping Writers. She lives in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Advertisements

RIP Barbara Bush.

bush-reading1Former First Lady, Barbara Bush, passed away a few days at the age of 92. I know you’re probably wondering, “Why is she here? This is a blog about books!” Don’t freak–I’m not here to discuss politics. I am just writing a nice post about her efforts towards Literacy and my thoughts on it. Mrs. Bush was an advocate for reading and I thought it was worth mentioning and praising.

“The parent is the child’s first teacher.” 

It’s a very poignant quote because children mimic their parents. My parents and my great-grandmother with whom I lived read often and I was exposed to books from the day they brought me home from the hospital. I began to read on my own by age three and from there, I was like a rocket. Nothing stopped me. If it was sitting there and it had words, I would read it. I would read the road signs from the backseat of the car. I read everywhere, even in the bathtub if I was allowed. I remember very proudly going to the library around the corner from my home in Flushing and getting my very first library card. What an exciting day! This is a gift that my family bestowed upon me. I was thankful that other relatives would gift me books and gift cards to get books. I loved my toys but I loved my books infinitely more.

However, whilst Literacy is something that my family and many other families in the world value and very much strive for; ‘the ability to read, write, speak clearly, and think critically’ (quoted from the Barbara Bush Literacy Foundation) is something not everyone has access to for whatever reasons. Mrs. Bush believed in the power of these things and reached out, raising awareness and her foundation helped thousands to learn how to read and to write; thus helping increase the abilities that many do not have. What we take for granted, others may not be able to take advantage of. It’s a shame and I have always admired how dedicated to the cause Mrs. Bush was.

Literacy is important to success in the world and everyone should have the ability to reach their full potential. Adults and children. It doesn’t discriminate; if someone needs help, they need help. The basic skill of reading expands vocabulary and helps to expand minds. It may help someone who can’t fill out a job application; it may help someone write a hella good essay to get into college. Literacy is important no matter your position in life. It doesn’t matter WHY you can’t, just know that someone can help you to learn how.

That is what Mrs. Bush believed and I believe it too. If you know of a literacy program in your area, reach out. See if they need donations of books, maybe volunteer your time. Even if you disagreed with her family’s politics; the act of helping your fellow person out is a cause we should all agree upon.

Rest in Peace, Mrs. Bush, and thank you for all your efforts to help literacy.

Spring & Summer Reads.

Untitled-3-Recovered

I thought it would be fun to make a list of books that I’m highly looking forward to this spring and summer. They’re from different genres, historical fiction, teen/YA, New Adult, general fiction, et cetera. This is the list of things I’m hoping to get my hands on and to enjoy this summer. I especially hope to get to read them poolside. Florida heat is something you don’t play with! It’s going to be hot and if I’m not hiding in my lovely air-conditioned bedroom, I hope to be poolside or at the beach. (And if there are hurricanes, I would love a distraction!) I hope you guys like this list and check out some of these titles. Keep your eyes peeled, guys, I’ll have reviews and spotlights up for each of them in time.

beach-divider-clipart-1

From the bestselling author of Tides of Honour and Promises to Keep comes a poignant novel about a young couple caught on opposite sides of the Second World War.

In the fall of 1939, Grace Baker’s three brothers, sharp and proud in their uniforms, board Canadian ships headed for a faraway war. Grace stays behind, tending to the homefront and the general store that helps keep her small Nova Scotian community running. The war, everyone says, will be over before it starts. But three years later, the fighting rages on and rumours swirl about “wolf packs” of German U-Boats lurking in the deep waters along the shores of East Jeddore, a stone’s throw from Grace’s window. As the harsh realities of war come closer to home, Grace buries herself in her work at the store.

Then, one day, a handsome stranger ventures into the store. He claims to be a trapper come from away, and as Grace gets to know him, she becomes enamoured by his gentle smile and thoughtful ways. But after several weeks, she discovers that Rudi, her mysterious visitor, is not the lonely outsider he appears to be. He is someone else entirely—someone not to be trusted. When a shocking truth about her family forces Grace to question everything she has so strongly believed, she realizes that she and Rudi have more in common than she had thought. And if Grace is to have a chance at love, she must not only choose a side, but take a stand.

Come from Away is a mesmerizing story of love, shifting allegiances, and second chances, set against the tumultuous years of the Second World War.

Publish Date: April 24th, 2018

beach-divider-clipart-1

In her latest captivating novel, nationally bestselling author Fiona Davis takes readers into the glamorous lost art school within Grand Central Terminal, where two very different women, fifty years apart, strive to make their mark on a world set against them.

For the nearly nine million people who live in New York City, Grand Central Terminal is a crown jewel, a masterpiece of design. But for Clara Darden and Virginia Clay, it represents something quite different.

For Clara, the terminal is the stepping stone to her future, which she is certain will shine as the brightly as the constellations on the main concourse ceiling. It is 1928, and twenty-five-year-old Clara is teaching at the lauded Grand Central School of Art. A talented illustrator, she has dreams of creating cover art for Vogue, but not even the prestige of the school can override the public’s disdain for a “woman artist.” Brash, fiery, confident, and single-minded–even while juggling the affections of two men, a wealthy would-be poet and a brilliant experimental painter–Clara is determined to achieve every creative success. But she and her bohemian friends have no idea that they’ll soon be blindsided by the looming Great Depression, an insatiable monster with the power to destroy the entire art scene. And even poverty and hunger will do little to prepare Clara for the greater tragedy yet to come.

Nearly fifty years later, in 1974, the terminal has declined almost as sharply as Virginia Clay’s life. Full of grime and danger, from the smoke-blackened ceiling to the pickpockets and drug dealers who roam the floor, Grand Central is at the center of a fierce lawsuit: Is the once-grand building a landmark to be preserved, or a cancer to be demolished? For Virginia, it is simply her last resort. Recently divorced, she has just accepted a job in the information booth in order to support herself and her college-age daughter, Ruby. But when Virginia stumbles upon an abandoned art school within the terminal and discovers a striking watercolor hidden under the dust, her eyes are opened to the elegance beneath the decay. She embarks on a quest to find the artist of the unsigned masterpiece–an impassioned chase that draws Virginia not only into the battle to save Grand Central but deep into the mystery of Clara Darden, the famed 1920s illustrator who disappeared from history in 1931.

Publish Date: August 7th, 2018

beach-divider-clipart-1

“A deftly researched, compassionate rendering of Bonnie Parker, one of the most fascinating women in recent history. With great empathy and skill Walsh portrays Bonnie’s collision course with disaster, allowing us to ride shotgun all the way. And what a compelling ride it is!” – Ariel Lawhon, author of I Was Anastasia

Texas: 1931. It’s the height of the Great Depression, and Bonnie is miles from Clyde. He’s locked up, and she’s left waiting, their dreams of a life together dwindling every day.

When Clyde returns from prison damaged and distant, unable to keep a job, and dogged by the cops, Bonnie knows the law will soon come for him. But there’s only one road forward for her.

If the world won’t give them their American Dream, they’ll just have to take it.

“Compulsively readable, Walsh’s prose hooks you from the beginning as Bonnie and Clyde come alive for the reader, their exploits leaping off the page. Atmospheric, action-packed, and richly detailed, Side by Side will delight historical fiction fans.” – Chanel Cleeton, author of Next Year in Havana

Publish Date: June 5th, 2018

beach-divider-clipart-1

For readers of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir comes a dramatic novel of the beloved Empress Maria, the Danish girl who became the mother of the last Russian tsar.

Even from behind the throne, a woman can rule.

Narrated by the mother of Russia’s last tsar, this vivid, historically authentic novel brings to life the courageous story of Maria Feodorovna, one of Imperial Russia’s most compelling women, who witnessed the splendor and tragic downfall of the Romanovs as she fought to save her dynasty in its final years.

Barely nineteen, Minnie knows that her station in life as a Danish princess is to leave her family and enter into a royal marriage—as her older sister Alix has done, moving to  England to wed Queen Victoria’s eldest son. The winds of fortune bring Minnie to Russia, where she marries the Romanov heir, Alexander, and once he ascends the throne, becomes Empress. When resistance to his reign strikes at the heart of her family and the tsar sets out to crush all who oppose him, Minnie—now called Maria—must tread a perilous path of compromise in a country she has come to love.

Her husband’s death leaves their son Nicholas as the inexperienced ruler of a deeply divided and crumbling empire. Determined to guide him to reforms that will bring Russia into the modern age, Maria faces implacable opposition from Nicholas’s strong-willed wife, Alexandra, whose fervor has led her into a disturbing relationship with a mystic named Rasputin. As the unstoppable wave of revolution rises anew to engulf Russia, Maria will face her most dangerous challenge and her greatest heartache.

From the opulent palaces of St. Petersburg and the intrigue-laced salons of the aristocracy to the World War I battlefields and the bloodied countryside occupied by the Bolsheviks, C. W. Gortner sweeps us into the anarchic fall of an empire and the complex, bold heart of the woman who tried to save it.

Publish Date: July 10th, 2018

beach-divider-clipart-1

Filled with magic and fierce emotion, Lisa Jensen’s multilayered novel will make you question all you think you know about beauty, beastliness, and happily ever after.

They say Château Beaumont is cursed. But servant-girl Lucie can’t believe such foolishness about handsome Jean-Loup Christian Henri LeNoir, Chevalier de Beaumont, master of the estate. But when the chevalier’s cruelty is revealed, Lucie vows to see him suffer. A wise woman grants her wish, with a spell that transforms Jean-Loup into monstrous-looking Beast, reflecting the monster he is inside. But Beast is nothing like the chevalier. Jean-Loup would never patiently tend his roses; Jean-Loup would never attempt poetry; Jean-Loup would never express remorse for the wrong done to Lucie. Gradually, Lucie realizes that Beast is an entirely different creature from the handsome chevalier, with a heart more human than Jean-Loup’s ever was. Lucie dares to hope that noble Beast has permanently replaced the cruel Jean-Loup — until an innocent beauty arrives at Beast’s château with the power to break the spell.

Publish Date: July 10th, 2018

beach-divider-clipart-1

beach-divider-clipart-1
“[The Summer I Met Jack] offers an alternate Kennedy family history that will leave readers wondering whether America knew the real JFK at all.” —Kirkus Reviews

New York Times bestselling author imagines the affair between John F. Kennedy and Alicia Corning Clark – and the child they may have had.

Based on a real story – in 1950, a young, beautiful Polish refugee arrives in Hyannisport, Massachusetts to work as a maid for one of the wealthiest families in America. Alicia is at once dazzled by the large and charismatic family, in particular the oldest son, a rising politician named Jack.

Alicia and Jack are soon engaged, but his domineering father forbids the marriage. And so, Alicia trades Hyannisport for Hollywood, and eventually Rome. She dates famous actors and athletes and royalty, including Gary Cooper, Kirk Douglas, and Katharine Hepburn, all the while staying close with Jack. A decade after they meet, on the eve of Jack’s inauguration as the thirty-fifth President of the United States, the two must confront what they mean to each other.

The Summer I Met Jack by Michelle Gable is based on the fascinating real life of Alicia Corning Clark, a woman who J. Edgar Hoover insisted was paid by the Kennedys to keep quiet, not only about her romance with Jack Kennedy, but also a baby they may have had together.

Publish Date: May 29th, 2018

beach-divider-clipart-1

This rich, moving, and lyrical debut novel is to Syria what The Kite Runner was to Afghanistan; the story of two girls living eight hundred years apart—a modern-day Syrian refugee seeking safety and a medieval adventurer apprenticed to a legendary mapmaker—places today’s headlines in the sweep of history, where the pain of exile and the triumph of courage echo again and again.

In the summer of 2011, just after Nour loses her father to cancer, her mother moves Nour and her sisters from New York City back to Syria to be closer to their family. In order to keep her father’s spirit as she adjusts to her new home, Nour tells herself their favorite story—the tale of Rawiya, a twelfth-century girl who disguised herself as a boy in order to apprentice herself to a famous mapmaker.

But the Syria Nour’s parents knew is changing, and it isn’t long before the war reaches their quiet Homs neighborhood. When a stray shell destroys Nour’s house and almost takes her life, she and her family are forced to choose: stay and risk more violence or flee across seven countries of the Middle East and North Africa in search of safety—along the very route Rawiya and her mapmaker took eight hundred years before in their quest to chart the world. As Nour’s family decides to take the risk, their journey becomes more and more dangerous, until they face a choice that could mean the family will be separated forever.

Following alternating timelines and a pair of unforgettable heroines coming of age in perilous times, The Map of Salt and Stars is the epic story of one girl telling herself the legend of another and learning that, if you listen to your own voice, some things can never be lost.

Publish Date: May 1st, 2018

beach-divider-clipart-1

From an exciting new voice in literary fiction, a transfixing story about an expatriate in southern China and his burgeoning relationship with a seamstress intent on inspiring dramatic political change.

Alex Cohen, a twenty-six-year-old Jewish Bostonian, is living in southern China, where his father runs their family-owned shoe factory. Alex reluctantly assumes the helm of the company, but as he explores the plant’s vast floors and assembly lines, he comes to a grim realization: employees are exploited, regulatory systems are corrupt and Alex’s own father is engaging in bribes to protect the bottom line.

When Alex meets a seamstress named Ivy, his sympathies begin to shift. She is an embedded organizer of a pro-democratic Chinese party, secretly sowing dissonance among her fellow laborers. Will Alex remain loyal to his father and his heritage? Or will the sparks of revolution ignite?

Deftly plotted and vibrantly drawn, The Emperor of Shoes is a timely meditation on idealism, ambition, father-son rivalry and cultural revolution, set against a vivid backdrop of social and technological change.

Publish Date: June 5th, 2018

beach-divider-clipart-1

Set in the 1950s, Lady Be Good marks Amber Brock’s mesmerizing return, sweeping readers into the world of the mischievous, status-obsessed daughter of a hotel magnate and the electric nightlife of three iconic cities: New York, Miami, and Havana.

Kitty Tessler is the winsome and clever only child of self-made hotel and nightclub tycoon Nicolas Tessler. Kitty may not have the same pedigree as the tennis club set she admires, but she still sees herself as every inch the socialite–spending her days perfecting her “look” and her nights charming all the blue-blooded boys who frequent her father’s clubs. It seems like the fun will never end until Kitty’s father issues a terrible ultimatum: she may no longer date the idle rich. Instead, Kitty must marry Andre, her father’s second-in-command, and take her place as the First Lady of his hotel empire. Kitty is forced to come up with a wily and elaborate plan to protect her own lofty ideas for the future, as well as to save her best friend, Henrietta Bancroft, from a doomed engagement; Kitty will steal Henrietta’s fiancé, a fabulously wealthy but terribly unkind man from a powerful family–thereby delivering the one-two punch of securing her now-fragile place on the social ladder and keeping her friend from a miserable marriage.

Then Kitty meets Max, a member of a band visiting New York from her father’s Miami club, and her plans take a turn. Smitten, but still eager to convince her father of her commitment to Andre, Kitty and Hen follow Max, Andre, and the rest of the band back down to Miami–and later to Cuba. As Kitty spends more time with Max, she begins waking up to the beauty–and the injustice–of the world beyond her small, privileged corner of Manhattan. And when her well-intended yet manipulative efforts backfire, Kitty is forced to reconsider her choices and her future before she loses everyone she loves.

Publish Date: June 26th, 2018

beach-divider-clipart-1

In the vein of Wicked, The Woodcutter, and Boy, Snow, Bird, a luminous reimagining of a classic tale, told from the perspective of Agnes, Cinderella’s “evil” stepmother.

We all know the story of Cinderella. Or do we?

As rumors about the cruel upbringing of beautiful newlywed Princess Cinderella roil the kingdom, her stepmother, Agnes, who knows all too well about hardship, privately records the true story. . . .

A peasant born into serfdom, Agnes is separated from her family and forced into servitude as a laundress’s apprentice when she is only ten years old. Using her wits and ingenuity, she escapes her tyrannical matron and makes her way toward a hopeful future. When teenaged Agnes is seduced by an older man and becomes pregnant, she is transformed by love for her child. Once again left penniless, Agnes has no choice but to return to servitude at the manor she thought she had left behind. Her new position is nursemaid to Ella, an otherworldly infant. She struggles to love the child who in time becomes her stepdaughter and, eventually, the celebrated princess who embodies everyone’s unattainable fantasies. The story of their relationship reveals that nothing is what it seems, that beauty is not always desirable, and that love can take on many guises.

Lyrically told, emotionally evocative, and brilliantly perceptive, All the Ever Afters explores the hidden complexities that lie beneath classic tales of good and evil, all the while showing us that how we confront adversity reveals a more profound, and ultimately more important, truth than the ideal of “happily ever after.”

Publish Date: May 22nd, 2018

beach-divider-clipart-1

A fresh and imaginative retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin fairytale from the bestselling author of Uprooted, called “a very enjoyable fantasy with the air of a modern classic” by The New York Times Book Review.

Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father is not a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has left his family on the edge of poverty–until Miryem intercedes. Hardening her heart, she sets out to retrieve what is owed, and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold. But when an ill-advised boast brings her to the attention of the cold creatures who haunt the wood, nothing will be the same again. For words have power, and the fate of a kingdom will be forever altered by the challenge she is issued.

Channeling the heart of the classic fairy tale, Novik deftly interweaves six distinct narrative voices–each learning valuable lessons about sacrifice, power and love–into a rich, multilayered fantasy that readers will want to return to again and again.

Publish Date: July 10th, 2018

ARC Review: Jane Seymour

(click to pre-order!)

I’m going to begin by saying that I was kind of dreading this one given that I absolutely loathed the one about Anne Boleyn. I suppose I’m biased, given how much I like Anne. I feel as though history paints her as “the whore” but we need to remember that Henry was the king. Women back then didn’t get much of a say in how things went. But let us not dwell on semantics. I could get legnthy.

Regardless, here we go!

I actually came away liking Jane a bit more after having read this. Weir brings us an imagined version of Jane as to why she didn’t marry earlier–she wanted to be a nun. Whilst we have no way in knowing why in reality Jane didn’t marry earlier, it was an interesting take upon it. One wonders if that is the truth or if she really was plain and had trouble finding someone willing. Her family wasn’t in the poorhouse, so it would seem peculiar that a woman of good stock and was of marrying age wasn’t married. Not to mention her younger sister married before her.

The book, of course, introduces us to the entire Seymour clan and brings us to Wulfhall (Wolf Hall for Hilary Mantel fans) leading us though Jane’s life, the history of the family, their joys and sorrows..it’s a lively take on the family life and it’s interesting to see how things worked then.

Once Jane gets to court, first serving Katherine of Aragon, then Anne Boleyn, we get a good viewing of what life was like back then. I was amused by Jane’s naivety sometimes but was also irritated in some moments. I also found Sir Francis Bryan trying to woo her as a bit odd. But, that was court life. A young, unattached woman with access to the Queen? Always a draw for this hoping to reach high levels.

It was interesting to get an idea of how Jane may have felt about the swiftness of her courtship with the King and how fast Anne had her downfall. There are moments where Jane really pondered her part in the whole thing and it was easy to feel sympathy for her. At least I did.

We, of course, know what happens to Jane, so I won’t bore you with that. But I think you’ll be surprised that you will see more to ‘Plain Jane’ than you thought.

This book has made Jane rise like her personal device, a phoenix. We often dismiss her for being plain and otherwise useless but I think Jane Seymour is quite admirable, given how she risked her neck for trying to save the monestaries, people in the tower as well as trying to reconcile Henry and the Lady Mary.

Sometimes, it’s the quiet ones who really surprise us all.

Additional Notes:

  • I’d give it ★★★ stars.
  • I was provided a copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. 😀
  • I would recommend this to a friend! (I know, surprising!)

Top Ten Tuesday.

Untitled-3

I thought I’d do my own list, which is kind of late…haha. I just was distracted today. I was thinking about it and I thought I would do Books On My Wish List, which I saw someone else did and I don’t remember who. (If it was you, let me know so I can credit you with the idea!) Alright, so here we go!
9baf4-bookdivider

10. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. 

I’ve had this on my wishlist for sometime now. I’ve been wanting to read more about different races, different cultures and things like that. This one is definitely going to be next on my list of books to order.

Ghana, eighteenth century: two half-sisters are born into different villages, each unaware of the other. One will marry an Englishman and lead a life of comfort in the palatial rooms of the Cape Coast Castle. The other will be captured in a raid on her village, imprisoned in the very same castle, and sold into slavery.

Homegoing follows the parallel paths of these sisters and their descendants through eight generations: from the Gold Coast to the plantations of Mississippi, from the American Civil War to Jazz Age Harlem. Yaa Gyasi’s extraordinary novel illuminates slavery’s troubled legacy both for those who were taken and those who stayed—and shows how the memory of captivity has been inscribed on the soul of our nation.

9. Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha) by Tomi Adeyemi 

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha) by [Adeyemi, Tomi]They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.

Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.

8. A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses) by Sarah J. Maas

Narrated by Feyre and Rhysand, this bridges the events in A Court of Wings and Ruin and the upcoming novels in the series.

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scars that will have a far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.

7. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid

In this entrancing novel “that speaks to the Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor in us all” (Kirkus Reviews), a legendary film actress reflects on her relentless rise to the top and the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

6. The Summer Wives: A Novel by Beatriz Williams

The Summer Wives: A Novel by [Williams, Beatriz]New York Times bestselling author Beatriz Williams brings us the blockbuster novel of the season—an electrifying postwar fable of love, class, power, and redemption set among the inhabitants of an island off the New England coast . . .

In the summer of 1951, Miranda Schuyler arrives on elite, secretive Winthrop Island as a schoolgirl from the margins of high society, still reeling from the loss of her father in the Second World War. When her beautiful mother marries Hugh Fisher, whose summer house on Winthrop overlooks the famous lighthouse, Miranda’s catapulted into a heady new world of pedigrees and cocktails, status and swimming pools. Isobel Fisher, Miranda’s new stepsister—all long legs and world-weary bravado, engaged to a wealthy Island scion—is eager to draw Miranda into the arcane customs of Winthrop society.

But beneath the island’s patrician surface, there are really two clans: the summer families with their steadfast ways and quiet obsessions, and the working class of Portuguese fishermen and domestic workers who earn their living on the water and in the laundries of the summer houses. Uneasy among Isobel’s privileged friends, Miranda finds herself drawn to Joseph Vargas, whose father keeps the lighthouse with his mysterious wife. In summer, Joseph helps his father in the lobster boats, but in the autumn he returns to Brown University, where he’s determined to make something of himself. Since childhood, Joseph’s enjoyed an intense, complex friendship with Isobel Fisher, and as the summer winds to its end, Miranda’s caught in a catastrophe that will shatter Winthrop’s hard-won tranquility and banish Miranda from the island for nearly two decades.

Now, in the landmark summer of 1969, Miranda returns at last, as a renowned Shakespearean actress hiding a terrible heartbreak. On its surface, the Island remains the same—determined to keep the outside world from its shores, fiercely loyal to those who belong. But the formerly powerful Fisher family is a shadow of itself, and Joseph Vargas has recently escaped the prison where he was incarcerated for the murder of Miranda’s stepfather eighteen years earlier. What’s more, Miranda herself is no longer a naïve teenager, and she begins a fierce, inexorable quest for justice for the man she once loved . . . even if it means uncovering every last one of the secrets that bind together the families of Winthrop Island.

5. The Masterpiece: A Novel by Fiona Davis

The Masterpiece: A Novel by [Davis, Fiona]In her latest captivating novel, nationally bestselling author Fiona Davis takes readers into the glamorous lost art school within Grand Central Terminal, where two very different women, fifty years apart, strive to make their mark on a world set against them.

For the nearly nine million people who live in New York City, Grand Central Terminal is a crown jewel, a masterpiece of design. But for Clara Darden and Virginia Clay, it represents something quite different.

For Clara, the terminal is the stepping stone to her future, which she is certain will shine as the brightly as the constellations on the main concourse ceiling. It is 1928, and twenty-five-year-old Clara is teaching at the lauded Grand Central School of Art. A talented illustrator, she has dreams of creating cover art for Vogue, but not even the prestige of the school can override the public’s disdain for a “woman artist.” Brash, fiery, confident, and single-minded–even while juggling the affections of two men, a wealthy would-be poet and a brilliant experimental painter–Clara is determined to achieve every creative success. But she and her bohemian friends have no idea that they’ll soon be blindsided by the looming Great Depression, an insatiable monster with the power to destroy the entire art scene. And even poverty and hunger will do little to prepare Clara for the greater tragedy yet to come.

Nearly fifty years later, in 1974, the terminal has declined almost as sharply as Virginia Clay’s life. Full of grime and danger, from the smoke-blackened ceiling to the pickpockets and drug dealers who roam the floor, Grand Central is at the center of a fierce lawsuit: Is the once-grand building a landmark to be preserved, or a cancer to be demolished? For Virginia, it is simply her last resort. Recently divorced, she has just accepted a job in the information booth in order to support herself and her college-age daughter, Ruby. But when Virginia stumbles upon an abandoned art school within the terminal and discovers a striking watercolor hidden under the dust, her eyes are opened to the elegance beneath the decay. She embarks on a quest to find the artist of the unsigned masterpiece–an impassioned chase that draws Virginia not only into the battle to save Grand Central but deep into the mystery of Clara Darden, the famed 1920s illustrator who disappeared from history in 1931.

4. The Romanov Empress: A Novel by C.W Gortner 

The Romanov Empress: A Novel of Tsarina Maria Feodorovna by [Gortner, C.  W.]For readers of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir comes a dramatic novel of the beloved Empress Maria, the Danish girl who became the mother of the last Russian Tsar.

Even from behind the throne, a woman can rule.

Narrated by the mother of Russia’s last tsar, this vivid, historically authentic novel brings to life the courageous story of Maria Feodorovna, one of Imperial Russia’s most compelling women, who witnessed the splendor and tragic downfall of the Romanovs as she fought to save her dynasty in its final years.

Barely nineteen, Minnie knows that her station in life as a Danish princess is to leave her family and enter into a royal marriage—as her older sister Alix has done, moving to  England to wed Queen Victoria’s eldest son. The winds of fortune bring Minnie to Russia, where she marries the Romanov heir, Alexander, and once he ascends the throne, becomes Empress. When resistance to his reign strikes at the heart of her family and the tsar sets out to crush all who oppose him, Minnie—now called Maria—must tread a perilous path of compromise in a country she has come to love.

Her husband’s death leaves their son Nicholas as the inexperienced ruler of a deeply divided and crumbling empire. Determined to guide him to reforms that will bring Russia into the modern age, Maria faces implacable opposition from Nicholas’s strong-willed wife, Alexandra, whose fervor has led her into a disturbing relationship with a mystic named Rasputin. As the unstoppable wave of revolution rises anew to engulf Russia, Maria will face her most dangerous challenge and her greatest heartache.

From the opulent palaces of St. Petersburg and the intrigue-laced salons of the aristocracy to the World War I battlefields and the bloodied countryside occupied by the Bolsheviks, C. W. Gortner sweeps us into the anarchic fall of an empire and the complex, bold heart of the woman who tried to save it.

3. The Prisoner in the Castle: A Maggie Hope Mystery by Susan Elia MacNeal

The Prisoner in the Castle: A Maggie Hope Mystery by [MacNeal, Susan Elia]A series of baffling murders among a group of imprisoned agents threatens the outcome of World War II in this chilling mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Mr. Churchill’s Secretary.

World War II is raging and former spy Maggie Hope knows too much.

She knows what the British government is willing to do to keep its secrets.

She knows the real location of the planned invasion of France.

She knows who’s lying. She knows who the double-crossers are. She knows exactly who is sending agents to their deaths.

These are the reasons why Maggie is isolated on a remote Scottish island, in a prison known as Killoch Castle, out of contact with friends and family.

Then one of her fellow inmates drops dead in the middle of his after-dinner drink . . . and he’s only the first. As victims fall one by one, Maggie will have to call upon all her wits and skills to escape—not just certain death . . . but certain murder.

For what’s the most important thing Maggie Hope knows?

She must survive.

2. The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

The Immortalists by [Benjamin, Chloe]If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life?

It’s 1969 in New York City’s Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes.

The prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in ’80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.

A sweeping novel of remarkable ambition and depth, The Immortalists probes the line between destiny and choice, reality and illusion, this world and the next. It is a deeply moving testament to the power of story, the nature of belief, and the unrelenting pull of familial bonds.

1. Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Spinning Silver by [Novik, Naomi]A fresh and imaginative retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin fairytale from the bestselling author of Uprooted, called “a very enjoyable fantasy with the air of a modern classic” by The New York Times Book Review.

Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father is not a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has left his family on the edge of poverty–until Miryem intercedes. Hardening her heart, she sets out to retrieve what is owed, and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold. But when an ill-advised boast brings her to the attention of the cold creatures who haunt the wood, nothing will be the same again. For words have power, and the fate of a kingdom will be forever altered by the challenge she is issued.

Channeling the heart of the classic fairy tale, Novik deftly interweaves six distinct narrative voices–each learning valuable lessons about sacrifice, power and love–into a rich, multilayered fantasy that readers will want to return to again and again.

Cleopatra Unconquered (A Spotlight!)

Cleopatra Unconquered
by Helen R. Davis

Publication Date: December 2, 2015
Savant Books & Publications LLC

eBook & Paperback; 328 Pages

Genre: Alternative Historical Fiction

 

 

The first book of three in a richly imagined ancient world where the course of history is altered by one battle. In this world, Antony and Cleopatra triumph at the Battle of Actium, and Cleopatra emerges as a queen, stateswoman, and politician. Those around her come to life as the reader returns to those days to live them with her.

“The first in a series, Cleopatra Unconquered by Helen R. Davis is a treat for those fascinated by Egypt and the lost glories of antiquity. The author weaves the fruits of her careful research into a fascinating combination of both the historical fiction and fantasy genres. It gives readers a look into history as it was, as well as into what might have been.” – Elena Marie Vidal, author of The Paradise Tree

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Helen R. Davis is an American author. Her first novel, Evita: My Argentina was previously published as Evita: My Life and republished with Custom Book Publications in Hong Kong. Her second novel, CLEOPATRA UNCONQUERED, which is the first in a series, imagines a world in which Antony and Cleopatra, rather than Augustus Caesar, are the victors of the Battle of Actium. the sequel, CLEOPATRA VICTORIOUS, will be released soon, followed by the titles CLEOPATRA MAGNIFICA and CLEOPATRA TRIUMPHANT. Her third novel, or at least, her third historical novel/alternate history, THE MOST HAPPY, was published with Callipe Editorial, based out of Madrid Spain, on July 25th, 2017.

For more information, please visit Helen Davis’ website. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, April 2
Review at Teaser Addicts Book Blog

Tuesday, April 3
Feature at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, April 4
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Friday, April 6
Review & Excerpt at WTF Are You Reading?

Monday, April 9
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, April 11
Excerpt at My Reading Corner

Friday, April 13
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Sunday, April 15
Feature at Clarissa Reads it All

Monday, April 16
Feature at Donna’s Book Blog

Thursday, April 19
Review at Carole’s Ramblings

Friday, April 20
Review at Cup of Sensibility

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away one eBook and one paperback of Cleopatra Unconquered! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on April 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Cleopatra Unconquered

Ecstasy: A Review.

Ecstasy
by Mary Sharratt

Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Hardcover & eBook; 400 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Literary

READ AN EXCERPT.

 

Available in Hardcover & eBook:

Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | Indiebound

Also in AudioBook:

Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million

 

 

 

zz

The name Alma Mahler quite literally meant nothing to me before I read this book. I hate to plead ignorance but with Gustav Klimt mentioned, I confess that had me fascinated but the synopsis gained my attention too. At the turn of the century, women were expected to be wives and mothers. Simply put, they weren’t meant to be fascinating figures in the very male-dominated world. Alma was not content with this, wanting to become a composer. She wasn’t going to be a dull housewife and she didn’t want to give up her work for any man.

She was extraordinary for her time frame.
Headstrong and bullheaded, a reader of Nietzsche and a devotee of being a “new woman”, Alma has the odds stacked against her. She is limited by her sex and everyone seems to remark upon her talents but think them wasted because “she’s just a girl.” Aren’t those the most infuriating words?!
I found reading about those who loved her interesting and I found the condition upon her marriage to be slightly devastating. I would not have been able to do it. That would be like my future husband telling me I could no longer read my books. Him or the books? Bye boy. But, Alma seemed to love Mahler enough to make the sacrifice.
Reading and learning about Alma was a fun and educational experience for me.  I loved the peek into her life and learning about her. I loved reading of her determination to succeed in a world seemed hellbent on quashing her talent as one would a cigarette beneath their shoe. She was certainly a fascinating woman and I was entirely emersed the entire time. I do appreciate that there was no apology made for Alma and who she was. She really was ahead of her time.
From beginning to end, I was spellbound by Ms. Sharatt’s in-depth descriptions of things and the rich way she blended Alma’s world to come to life. I always very happy with this book an I recommend it to anyone who likes to read about figures they may not know and just to anyone who loves art and music and history because they all are weaved together splendidly.

9baf4-bookdivider

Additional Notes:

  • I’d give it ★★★ stars.
  • I was provided a copy in exchange for my honest review. 😀
  • would recommend this to a friend!

9baf4-bookdivider
About the Author

MARY SHARRATT is an American writer who has lived in the Pendle region of Lancashire, England, for the past seven years. The author of the critically acclaimed novels Summit Avenue, The Real Minerva, and The Vanishing Point, Sharratt is also the co-editor of the subversive fiction anthology Bitch Lit, a celebration of female antiheroes, strong women who break all the rules.

Her novels include Summit Avenue, The Real Minera, The Vanishing Point, The Daughters of Witching Hill, Illuminations, and The Dark Lady’s Mask.

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

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, April 10
Review at Broken Teepee

Wednesday, April 11
Feature at Passages to the Past

Thursday, April 12
Review at Bookfever
Review at Unabridged Chick

Friday, April 13
Interview at Unabridged Chick
Review at View From the Birdhouse

Saturday, April 14
Review at Clarissa Reads it All

Monday, April 16
Review at Cup of Sensibility

Tuesday, April 17
Review at Based on a True Story

Wednesday, April 18
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Thursday, April 19
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Friday, April 20
Review at Linda’s Book Obsession

Sunday, April 22
Review at Carole Rae’s Random Ramblings

Monday, April 23
Review at A Bookaholic Swede

Tuesday, April 24
Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Wednesday, April 25
Review at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, April 26
Guest Post at A Bookish Affair

Friday, April 27
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Monday, April 30
Review at Caryn, the Book Whisperer

Tuesday, May 1
Review at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, May 3
Interview at The Writing Desk

Monday, May 7
Review at What Cathy Read Next

Wednesday, May 9
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Thursday, May 10
Review at Writing the Renaissance

Friday, May 11
Interview at Writing the Renaissance

Monday, May 14
Interview at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, May 16
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Thursday, May 17
Review at Nicole Evelina

Friday, May 18
Interview at Nicole Evelina

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a paperback copy of Ecstasy! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

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

Ecstasy

Happy Release Day, Mary Sharratt!

ecstasy-cover-for-website-530x800-424x640

add-to-goodreads-button312

In the glittering hotbed of turn-of-the-twentieth century Vienna, one woman’s life would define and defy an era.

Gustav Klimt gave Alma her first kiss. Gustav Mahler fell in love with her at first sight and proposed only a few weeks later. Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius abandoned all reason to pursue her. Poet and novelist Franz Werfel described her as “one of the very few magical women that exist.” But who was this woman who brought these most eminent of men to their knees? In Ecstasy, Mary Sharratt finally gives one of the most controversial and complex women of her time center stage.

Coming of age in the midst of a creative and cultural whirlwind, young, beautiful Alma Schindler yearns to make her mark as a composer. A brand new era of possibility for women is dawning and she is determined to make the most of it. But Alma loses her heart to the great composer Gustav Mahler, nearly twenty years her senior. He demands that she give up her music as a condition for their marriage. Torn by her love and in awe of his genius, how will she remain true to herself and her artistic passion?

Part cautionary tale, part triumph of the feminist spirit, Ecstasy reveals the true Alma Mahler: composer, daughter, sister, mother, wife, lover, and muse.

Untitled-1

“Terrific . . . An intimate, absorbing portrait of a complicated woman whose talents and passions propelled her to the center of fin de siècle Vienna.”

– Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train and A Piece of the World

 

 

“Sharratt has composed a passionate symphony for Alma Mahler, a woman who was more than a muse to the greats. She was also a talent in her own right, stifled by society and the passions of the many men who pursued her. This heartfelt, feminist tribute makes for a compelling and sophisticated tale!”

 Stephanie Dray, New York Times Bestselling author of America’s First Daughter

“Alma Mahler’s unexpected, often heartbreaking journey from muse to independence comes to vivid, dramatic life in Mary Sharratt’s ECSTASY. Sharratt skillfully evokes turn-of-the-century Vienna and the musical genius of the era, returning Alma to her rightful place in history as both the inspiration to the men in her life and a gifted artist in her own right.”

– C.W. Gortner, bestselling author of Mademoiselle Chanel

untitled-1

Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | Indiebound | Powell’s

untitled-1x

mary_sharratt_headshot

Mary Sharratt’s explorations into the hidden histories of Renaissance women compelled her to write her most recent work, THE DARK LADY’S MASK (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2016), based on the dramatic life of the ground-breaking poet, Aemilia Bassano Lanier.

Born in Minnesota, Mary now lives with her Belgian husband in the Pendle region of Lancashire, England, the setting for her acclaimed novel, DAUGHTERS OF THE WITCHING HILL, which recasts the Pendle Witches of 1612 in their historical context as cunning folk and healers.

Previously she lived for twelve years in Germany. This, along with her interest in sacred music and herbal medicine, inspired her to write her award-winning ILLUMINATIONS: A NOVEL OF HILDEGARD VON BINGEN, which explores the dramatic life of the 12th century Benedictine abbess, composer, polymath, and powerfrau.

Winner of the 2013 Nautilus Gold Award, the 2005 WILLA Literary Award, and a Minnesota Book Award Finalist, Mary has also written the novels SUMMIT AVENUE, THE REAL MINERVA, THE VANISHING POINT, and co-edited the subversive fiction anthology BITCH LIT, which celebrates female anti-heroes–strong women who break all the rules. Her short fiction has been published in Twin Cities Noir and elsewhere.

Her newest novel ECSTASY, exploring the life of one of the most intriguing women of turn-of-the-century Vienna, will be published on April 10, 2018.

Mary’s articles and essays have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, Publisher’s Weekly, Minnesota Magazine, and Historical Novels Review. When she isn’t writing, she’s usually riding her spirited Welsh mare through the Lancashire countryside.

Happy Release Day, Adrienne Sharp!

35180990

add-to-goodreads-button312
From the nationally bestselling author of The True Memoirs of Little K, a deeply felt and historically detailed novel of family, loss, and love, told by an irrepressible young girl—the daughter of a two-bit gangster and a movie showgirl—growing up in golden-age Hollywood and Las Vegas in its early days.

Esme Silver has always taken care of her charming ne’er-do-well father, Ike Silver, a small-time crook with dreams of making it big with Bugsy Siegel. Devoted to her daddy, Esme is often his “date” at the racetrack, where she amiably fetches the hot dogs while keeping an eye to the ground for any cast-off tickets that may be winners.

In awe of her mother, Dina Wells, Esme is more than happy to be the foil who gets the beautiful Dina into meetings and screen tests with some of Hollywood’s greats. When Ike gets an opportunity to move to Vegas—and, in what could at last be his big break, to help the man she knows as “Benny” open the Flamingo Hotel—life takes an unexpected turn for Esme. A stunner like her mother, the young girl catches the attention of Nate Stein, one of the Strip’s most powerful men.

Narrated by the twenty-year-old Esme, The Magnificent Esme Wells moves between pre–WWII Hollywood and postwar Las Vegas—a golden age when Jewish gangsters and movie moguls were often indistinguishable in looks and behavior. Esme’s voice—sharp, observant, and with a quiet, mordant wit—chronicles the rise and fall and further fall of her complicated parents, as well as her own painful reckoning with love and life. A coming-of-age story with a tinge of noir, and a tale that illuminates the promise and perils of the American dream and its dreamers, The Magnificent Esme Wells is immersive, moving, and compelling.
untitled-1

Amazon  ||  IndieBound || Barnes & Noble

untitled-1x
2359Adrienne Sharp entered the world of ballet at age seven and trained at the prestigious Harkness Ballet in New York. She received her M.A. with honors from the Writing Seminars at the Johns Hopkins University and was awarded a Henry Hoyns Fellowship at the University of Virginia. She has been a fiction fellow at MacDowell, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Squaw Valley Writer’s Conference. She is the author of “White Swan, Black Swan,” “The Sleeping Beauty,” “The True Memoirs of Little K,” and the forthcoming “The Magnificent Esme Wells.”

Spotlight: Varina

35068510In his powerful fourth novel, Charles Frazier returns to the time and place of Cold Mountain, vividly bringing to life the chaos and devastation of the Civil War.

add-to-goodreads-button312With her marriage prospects limited, teenage Varina Howell agrees to wed the much-older widower Jefferson Davis, with whom she expects a life of security as a Mississippi landowner. He instead pursues a career in politics and is eventually appointed the president of the Confederacy, placing Varina at the white-hot center of one of the darkest moments in American history—culpable regardless of her intentions.

The Confederacy falling, her marriage in tatters, and the country divided, Varina and her children escape Richmond and travel south on their own, now fugitives with “bounties on their heads, an entire nation in pursuit.”

Intimate in its detailed observations of one woman’s tragic life and epic in its scope and power, Varina is a novel of an American war and its aftermath. Ultimately, the book is a portrait of a woman who comes to realize that complicity carries consequences.

untitled-1

Books-A-Million

Amazon

Indie Bound

Barnes & Noble

untitled-1x

Charles Frazier is an award-winning author of American historical fiction. His literary corpus, to date, is comprised of three New York Times best selling novels: Nightwoods(2011), Thirteen Moons (2006), and Cold Mountain (1997) – winner of the National Book Award for Fiction.