Tuesday, July 29, 2014

AUTHOR Q&A & GIVEAWAY: Favorite Daughter, Part I by Paula Margulies

Favorite Daughter, Part One
by Paula Margulies
ISBN 13: 978-0-9913545-2-8
ISBN 10: 0991354524
One People Press: July 21, 2014
$15.99      
www.paulamargulies.com
www.amazon.com
www.barnesandnoble.com
                      



Q & A with Paula Margulies

1) Where and when do you write? In my home office mostly, although I try to sneak away to artist residencies whenever my teaching and client work schedule will allow. I usually write on Sundays, but that all depends on how much life intrudes (and it does that often, believe me!).

2) Why did you write your book?  I’ve always been fascinated with the story of Pocahontas, and since so much of her history has been told to us by English explorers like John Smith, I decided that retelling her story, from her perspective, might make for an interesting read.

3) There have been many books written about Pocahontas. How is this book different? There are a number of differing versions of the history of that time, and much of what we know about Pocahontas comes from the writing of John Smith and the other colonists, who reported on what they found in the new land when they returned to England. Favorite Daughter, Part One is based on my research on works about her by Native Americans, many of whom tell a darker tale than the English history. Also, there aren’t many fictional works about that time from a Native American perspective, and the majority of those that do exist are written for young adults. Favorite Daughter, Part One is written for adults and focuses on Pocahontas’s coming of age into womanhood and becoming a wife and mother, in addition to her work as a representative of her tribe and, eventually, as a celebrity in England (that part of her story will be covered in Part Two).

4) Are you of Native American heritage? No, both of my parents are of Italian descent. But my father, Douglas Roccaforte, loved Native American history and was a collector of American Indian artifacts, so I grew up with a deep appreciation of Native American culture and history.

5) Whose work inspires you? So many authors inspire me that it’s hard to choose! I’ve always been a huge fan of the Southern gothic – William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor are my all-time favorite writers. As a graduate student in English Literature, I studied Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Bellow, Doctorow, Didion, Heller, and Pynchon. Recent authors whose stories have haunted me, stunned me, or made me weep: Sherman Alexie, Ha Jin, Vikram Seth, David Mitchell, Barbara Kingsolver, Louise Erdrich, Jane Smiley, Jane Hamilton, Sena Jeter Naslund, Anna Quindlen, and Elizabeth Berg.

6) What do you like to do in your spare time? When I’m not working on my publicity business or teaching classes, I enjoy yoga, meditation, reading, and writing. In the summer, I try to go to as many local Native American pow wows as I can (there are quite a few here in the San Diego area), and I’ve been known to enjoy an Indian taco (or two) on occasion.

7) What are the words you live by? Less is more (except when we’re talking about Indian tacos).





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                            
July 21, 2014

San Diego Publicist Paula Margulies
Provides New Spin on Pocahontas Story
in Favorite Daughter, Part One

            San Diego, CA – Book publicist Paula Margulies announces the release of her historical novel, Favorite Daughter, Part One (ISBN 978-0-9913545-2-8), a first-person retelling of the life story of the famous Native American legend, Pocahontas. Prior to publication, Favorite Daughter, Part One received an Editor’s Choice Award at the 24th Annual San Diego State University Writers’ Conference.

            Set in the time of the Jamestown settlement and the English explorer John Smith, Favorite Daughter, Part One recounts the story of Chief Powhatan's daughter, Pocahontas, as she prepares to take her place as one of our nation's earliest leading women. Pocahontas invites readers to experience her native world when strangers appear on the shores near her village. From forging a relationship with the charismatic Smith, to experiencing love for the first time and creating a role for herself in her father’s plans for peace, this young princess takes us on a poignant and harrowing journey through the turbulent events of her life. Eventually betrayed by all of the men she loves, Pocahontas matures into a heroine of tremendous nobility, courage, and heart.

Told in first person, in a voice brimming with compassion and wisdom, Favorite Daughter, Part One provides a compelling and personal look at the early days of one of the most remarkable legends in American history.

            “I wrote this novel because I’ve always been fascinated by the Pocahontas story and have often wondered what it was like for her to witness the arrival of the strangers in her tribal village. When the colonists arrived she was a young girl, who experienced first love, marriage, childbirth, and many other life events that most women face, yet her voice seems to have been lost in history.” said Margulies. “After doing some research, I learned that many Native Americans believe her story was much different than what was reported by John Smith and the other colonists. I decided it would be intriguing to tell the tale from her perspective, in her own voice, so that we could experience the story from a new point of view.”

The novel has received early praise from the historical fiction community, including historical fiction author, Mary Volmer, and former HarperCollins editor and historical fiction author, Kelly McNees,  who writes, "The lyrical prose and complex characters of Favorite Daughter, Part One breathe vivid life into the remote place and time of Pocahontas's story. In Margulies's hands, this fabled girl becomes a flesh-and-blood woman, who seeks not just to be a dutiful daughter but to explore, fearlessly, the world beyond her village. I loved every page."

Paula Margulies is the owner of Paula Margulies Communications, a public relations firm for authors and artists. She has received numerous awards for her essays and works of fiction, including her historical novel, Favorite Daughter, Part One, her first novel, Coyote Heart, and her short story collection, Face Value: Collected Stories. She has been awarded artist residencies at Caldera, Red Cinder Artist Colony, the Vermont Studio Center, and Centrum. Margulies resides in San Diego, California. For more information, please visit www.paulamargulies.com.

For more information on the author or Favorite Daughter, Part One, please visit www.paulamargulies.com or www.amazon.com.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

BLOG TOUR: Cicely's King Richard by Sandra Heath Wilson

Blurb:


The first in a historical trilogy exploring the intensity and sensitivity of history's
"wicked" King and his illicit relationship with his young niece: the perceptive and enticing Cicely
It is 1483, and the children of the late Yorkist King Edward IV have been declared illegitimate by their own uncle, the new King Richard III. His second niece, Cicely Plantagenet, hardly knows him, but from the outset is fiercely drawn to this charismatic man, with whom she shares tremendous affinity and rarest of all, his trust. But there will be complete, unconditional passion and the loss of all innocence for Cicely before Richard has to defend his realm, his cause, and his life, against the invading force of the Lancastrian pretender, Henry Tudor, at the Battle of Bosworth Field. This impressive trilogy offers a new and compassionate look at the much maligned, misunderstood Richard, Duke of Gloucester.


My Review:

Cicely’s King Richard by Sandra Heath Wilson was a really interesting read. It gave me an entirely different viewpoint from the one I had previously about King Richard III’s life. It was interesting to read about his life from a different perspective, one where he isn’t the ‘bad’ guy that history often portrays him as. In this novel he is regarded as an excellent king, who is loved by his people and his family. He is also shown to have been the object of great affection from both of his brother’s older daughter’s, Bess and Cicely. Most novels I have read mention that there were some romantic feelings between him and his brother’s oldest daughter, Bess, but this is the first novel with the twist that the romantic connection is between King Richard and his niece Cicely. It was interesting reading about this time period from an entirely new perspective.

It was a little over the top at times. Cicely and Richard went on and on about their love for each other, and I just wanted to be like, “I GET IT! YOU LOVE EACH OTHER!” haha. Other than that it was pretty good, and the love scenes were nice and steamy. I have doubts that King Richard was as amazing as this author seems to believe. I don’t believe all of the crap that has been written about him in history, but I doubt that every single negative thing that has been written about him is untrue. There has to be some truth to some of the bad things that have gone down in history about him. The author clearly is biased in favor of King Richard, and that’s fine, but I don’t necessarily agree that he was a saint on earth! I don’t know if he did get rid of his brother’s sons, the princes in the tower, or not, but something was fishy about that whole situation.
I found myself having difficulty putting this novel down the further I got into it. I wonder where the author came up with the ideas for this twist on King Richard’s life. It definitely got me thinking, and I really liked reading something new and fresh, not just the same old story. I definitely recommend this novel to historical fiction fans, and I am looking forward to reading the second book in this this trilogy, Cicely’s Second King.

I give this novel a FIVE out of FIVE stars!


About the Author:

SANDRA HEATH isn't my only pen name, for I am also SANDRA HEATH WILSON, and under that name I write medieval novels, at the moment the Cicely Plantagenet series. You'll also find me as SANDRA WILSON, JEANNIE MACHIN and SARAH STANLEY. As the latter I've produced two new sensuous Regencies that follow the lives of the same characters. 

Have you ever read a book and wished you could write one too? Have you ever followed someone else's characters and thought you would have them behave differently? Well, that's how I was. I read and read and read, especially historical fiction, but I secretly yearned to write a title of my own. Strangely, it took my three-year-old daughter's urgent admission to hospital with meningitis to finally get me going. She was so ill and I was so distracted, that my father gave me a little portable typewriter 'to help take my mind off things'. By the time my daughter Sarah came out of hospital, well on the road to recovery, my first book was also well on the road to completion.


I wrote and wrote and wrote, standing in the kitchen on one leg like a stork, with the typewriter on a work surface while my daughter played around my feet. My first books were medieval historicals set in England, and since then I have mostly written in the English Regency period - for which living in Britain is a definite advantage! I love romantic stories, and if I can weave history, traditions, myths, legends and sometimes Gothic elements into them, I'm happiest of all. These were the sorts of story I couldn't get enough of before I became a writer, and I'm glad to say my readers like them too. 


Sooo, tens of books after my first ever title, I'm still wearing out keyboards, and enjoying every minute of it. It is my hope that you will share my enjoyment.



Comes out September 1, 2014!

Pre-order this novel NOW!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Immortal Queen, A Novel of Mary, Queen of Scots by Elizabeth Byrd

Blurb:

This novel of Mary, Queen of Scots overflows with romance, elegance, power, treachery and court intrigue on the grand stage of Europe in a time when nations teetered on the edge of war and the Christian world was split between Catholics and Protestants.

Born with a future claim to the English throne, Mary is crowned Queen of Scotland six days after her birth. From her childhood in the French court of Henry II, through her return to her Scottish kingdom and tensions with Queen Elizabeth over the English throne, Mary’s story is captured by Elizabeth Byrd in this wonderful narrative, bringing one of the most captivating women in English history to life.


My Review:



“Immortal Queen” by Elizabeth Byrd was an absolutely fantastic read! This is the first novel that I have read that is all about Mary, Queen of Scots. I have read several novels where she has been mentioned, or was a minor character, but in this novel she was the main character, and she was a character that I loved! I can’t believe that this is the first novel I have read about her, considering how many historical fiction novels from that time period I have read. I’m so happy that I came across this novel and decided to purchase it, it was definitely worth it!

I love that the book covered her entire life, from childhood until death. Her life was a crazy soap opera, and it was interesting from beginning until end. It really helps the reader to understand her as a person better, because you get to see her grow up throughout this novel. The characters in this book were great. Mary’s character was someone that you definitely cared about and were rooting for, also, her husband Lord Bothwell and her half-brother James were also great characters. They were well-written and completely believable. Mary is a strong character, but she also has an innocence about her, and you just want someone to protect her. It seems that no matter what decision she makes, it is the wrong one. Time and time again she brings failure upon herself, and death to those who support her, though she does not do it on purpose. It seems like there is a dark cloud following her around as she gets older. At times she really frustrates me, because she is lead completely by her heart, and she doesn’t listen to the advice of others. If she would have just listened to others, and really thought about her decisions, than so many things in her life would have turned out differently, and who knows how her history would have been written in the history books?

Overall this was an excellent book. All lovers of historical fiction, especially the Tudor Era, should definitely check this book out. It’s so good that you will have difficulty putting it down after you begin reading it!


I give “Immortal Queen, A Novel of Mary, Queen of Scots” a FIVE out of FIVE stars!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

BLOG TOUR: Queen of Bedlam by Laura Purcell

Tour Hashtag: #QueenofBedlamTour
Publication Date: June 10, 2014
Myrmidon Books Ltd
Paperback; 432p
ISBN-10: 1910183016



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Blurb:

London, 1788. The calm order of Queen Charlotte’s court is shattered by screams. Her beloved husband, England’s King, has gone mad.

Left alone with thirteen children and a country at war, Charlotte must fight to hold her husband’s throne in a time of revolutionary fever. But it is not just the guillotine that Charlotte fears: it is the King himself.

Her six daughters are desperate to escape their palace asylum. Their only chance lies in a good marriage, but no Prince wants the daughter of a madman. They are forced to take love wherever they can find it – with devastating consequences.

The moving true story of George III’s madness and the women whose lives it destroyed.

My Review:

“Queen of Bedlam” by Laura Purcell was a very interesting and entertaining read. You can tell that a lot of research went into this novel. The research along with her great writing style definitely helped to make this novel one that was hard to put down.

The characters were excellent, and extremely well written. You could really feel Charlotte’s anguish over the slow loss of her husband to madness. You could also feel Royal’s pain and fear at the thought of never being loved or finding a husband to love. Sophia is also depressed and fearful at never finding love, and she begins to look for it in the wrong places, because she fears that she will never find love because of her sickness. It’s a very intimate look at a royal family that people on the outside would probably assume were perfect. On the outside all you see if a wealthy royal family, you don’t see the turmoil and sadness that permeates their lives.
Charlotte at times was frustrating to me. She seems a little selfish. I mean, her husband is going mad, and she’s more upset that he is showing affection to Lady Pembroke instead of her—like he knows what he’s doing! I guess everyone deals with things differently. Royal is definitely my favorite character. She has a strength that the others seem to lack, I really cared for her as a character.

Overall this was a great novel. Purcell did a great job at describing King George’s descent into madness—you are really able to picture it happening. The book was a great read, and it gave you an up close look into one of England’s great royal families.

I give this novel a FOUR out of FIVE stars.

Buy the Book

About the Author

Laura Purcell lives in Colchester, the oldest recorded town in England. She met her husband working in Waterstones bookshop and they share their home with several pet guinea pigs.
Laura is a member of the Historical Novel Society, The Society for Court Studies and Historic Royal Palaces. She has recently appeared on the PBS documentary The Secrets of Henry VIII’s Palace, talking about Queen Caroline’s life at Hampton Court.
Laura’s novels explore the lives of royal women during the Georgian era, who have largely been ignored by modern history. Her debut Queen Charlotte was originally self-published as God Save the King, receiving excellent reviews as an Amazon bestseller in biographical fiction.

You can find out more about Laura and read her history blog at www.laurapurcell.com.  You can also follow her on FacebookTwitterand Goodreads.
Follow the QUEEN OF BEDLAM Blog Tour: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/queenofbedlamtour



Monday, July 14, 2014

GIVEAWAY: Kindle Fire HDX or $229 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Enter to win 1 of 2 great prizes both values at $229. Winner’s choice of a Kindle Fire HDX or $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 Paypal Cash!
The first prize is available via the rafflecopter below. The 2nd is available only to bloggers who post about this giveaway. You can find info on how to enter the 2nd giveaway in the rafflecopter.

July Kindle
 
Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)


The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HDX (US Only - $229 Value)


  Or $229 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)

  Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)

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Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7" HDX (US Only - $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International).
There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire HDX 7", $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash.
 Ends 7/31/14
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Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded.
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Sunday, July 13, 2014

BLOG TOUR: The 9 Mirages of Love by Chiara Mazzucco

Blurb:

When love won’t show you what you want to see, you will do whatever it takes to make a relationship meet your expectations, even if it means sacrificing your well-being, and throwing yourself down a rabbit hole of denial. Instead of being proactive and building the life you deserve, you settle for the one you have. Why? Because it’s easier to try making the pieces fit, than it is realizing you’re putting together the wrong puzzle. When it comes to love, the only advice worth listening to is the raw, uncensored truth. How else are you supposed to move on from a toxic relationship? How else are you expected to make sense of the pain and confusion you feel in your current relationship? Rainbows and butterflies won’t have the answers you’re looking for, but this book does. Take the wishful thinking and get rid of it, once and for all. It’s time to take control of your love life again. Think of me as the awesome best friend that finally comes to the rescue and helps you get the romance you deserve. Fight the sugarcoat. You can take it.

My Review:


Chiara Mazzucco’s “The 9 Mirages of Love: How to Stop Chasing What Doesn’t Exist” was a really helpful, interesting book—definitely worth reading and contemplating. I liked the section on clinginess—I feel that a lot of women and men make this mistake. There were several other really meaningful sections in this book.

I love that her voice is so real. It could be a friend and I having a conversation about relationships. I feel like the author is a voice that can be trusted in a way. She’s very candid and open, says what’s on her mind, and doesn’t hold back. She makes reading this book more interesting that your typical, boring self-help book. The author makes the reading so much more interesting by her openness, and it really draws you in and makes you look at your relationships in a whole new perspective. It’s helpful to take a step back and look at things differently.
Self-help books are typically boring and I suffer to get through them. However, this one was relatable and it felt like I was listening to a friend giving me advice. The author’s voice was interesting and made me laugh a few times with her candidness.

I would recommend this book to anyone working on bettering their lives and relationships.


I give this novel a FOUR out of FIVE stars.


About the Author:

Chiara Mazzucco is the Founder, CEO and Editor-in-chief of The Indie Chicks, Inc - a fast growing media company devoted to empowering the woman’s sense of self - currently with an online magazine and a quarterly print publication, Indie Chick. She’s author of The 9 Mirages of Love, and is also a web designer. Driven, stubborn, and wildly ambitious, she won’t stop until she is the perfect, self-empowered role model for all of her readers.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

GUEST POST AND GIVEAWAY: Moonlight Dancer by Deb Atwood

Guest Post & Giveaway: Moonlight Dancer by Deb Atwood


Deb Atwood is celebrating the anniversary of Moonlight Dancer by giving away three ebooks and three Moonlight Dancer mugs.


Book Description:

A doll...a ghost...a love that transcends time.

Kendra JinJu MacGregor can resist neither the antique Korean doll in the dusty warehouse nor the handsome Hiro Peretti who sells it to her.

Once she brings the doll home, Kendra pays little attention to misplaced objects or her beloved dog's fear. That is, until one terrifying night forces her to question her very sanity. Soon, the ethereal, brooding NanJu manifests herself, and Kendra begins her travels through time to 16th century Korea into a history of conflict and intrigue. For Kendra is about to discover the dark past of her ghostly visitor.

Now it's up to Kendra, with Hiro by her side, to interpret the past and prevent murder. Everything depends upon Kendra's success, even--she discovers to her horror--her own life.


Excerpt from Moonlight Dancer:

Jindo, Korea

Prologue
By the time I reached land’s end I had renounced prayer.
Standing there, wind whipping my skirts, looking toward Jindo, I couldn’t help but think of the legend. Why not, if doing so would delay me? I welcomed even a pause of ten heartbeats. I could slice open my palm, apply a red pepper poultice to the wound, yet the pain in my heart would exceed that 10,000 times.
If only the gods had spoken that day. If only I had seen their silence as disapproval. But as we say, wheat bows its head deeper as it ripens. This means, Kendra JinJu MacGregor, wise people are humble.
On that day, I was neither wise nor humble.
Instead, I stood at the end of the land unable to move forward, unable to retreat, and recalled the legend. Long ago, in the time of the dragons, so the old ones say, a streak of hungry tigers drove the villagers from their homes. Grandmother Bbong fled, but churning seawater surrounded her so she could not cross to Modo Island where her family had rafted to safety.
At the end of the land Grandmother wailed and prayed, prayed and wailed.
That night, the Sea King appeared in her dream. “Tomorrow,” he told her, “follow the rainbow.”
In the morning, a ribbon of dazzling colors rose over the waters. As Grandmother stepped forward, the Sea King parted the waves. A walking path broke through the waters all the way to her family on Modo Island.
Every year since then, the sea splits for one hour on one day in the fourth lunar month, and the mysterious path between the islands appears.
That’s where I paused, unable to do what I came here to do. The sand beneath my feet was dry, but time was short. Below the cloud layer, a muted gray sky pressed into the sea, pressed into my heart.
I fingered a triton I had fished from the rocks. Kneeling, I kissed the baby’s ear, nuzzled the soft down on his head and offered him the shell.
“HanGyu, listen,” I said.
But he was distracted. Following his upward gaze, I spied a white-tailed eagle arcing her wings. No doubt she had cached her chicks beneath her.
An eagle protects her young.
I should have seen that as my sign.  

Bio:

Deb loves Korean history and time-slip novels, and she feels a ghost is the perfect medium to bring history to life. She holds an MFA and resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and former shelter dog Nala. Deb’s work has appeared in numerous anthologies.

Please visit Deb on Twitter @deb_atwood or at her blog PenInHerHand.com. She’d love to see you there!


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