Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway of THE BLIGHTED TROTH!

Love against all odds- that’s definitely what Mirella Patzer’s historical novel, The Blighted Troth is mostly about.  This treasure of a book is set in 17th c. New France (yes a book set in my very own beloved Quebec!!)  And I especially wanted to read it because of this.   I know this history very well and was interested in seeing how it would be adapted into an historical fiction read- especially with the details of the time that I am very familiar with.  I am happy to say that for me The Blighted Troth passed the test on all levels! The historical details are exact and true to the times and written accordingly so.  What a treat for me!
Emilie and Robert, the main characters of this novel, are doomed from the very beginning.  A wedding that should have taken place, is replaced by the couple being faced with obstacle after obstacle of the very worst kind; including abductions, threats, illness, treachery, deception, religious vows and so much more. 
The story involves so many interesting characters that bring the setting to life.  From locals (les habitants), tavern and inn keepers, tyrants and lords, aunts and nephews, priests and bishops, nuns, vow takers and a fille du roi, plus, plus, plus...a whole community to set the stage for this beautiful tale of love and endurance in the 17th c. 
Every one of the characters was specifically entwined into the plot; giving each their own specific role in bringing forth the story.  Beautifully written with a touch of old history spirituality, true to Quebec’s Christian origin, made the story feel real and indeed very possible.  I could so picture all of this happen! I was completely enthralled by Mirella Patzer’s  story development.
For those of you who have read and enjoyed I Promessi Sposi- The Blighted Troth is based on this Italian classic (except much shorter and so much easier to read!) You will definitely enjoy the similarities of good vs evil in a battle where love conquers all. 
Mirella Paltzer weaves a tale that brings you beyond your imagination. Everytime I thought I could predict the next scene, I was transported to yet another surprising twist. Beautifully written and historically detailed, The Blighted Troth is a book you will want to read.
Loved it!

And now for the GIVEAWAY!  Mirella Patzer is graciously offering 1 trade-paperback AND 1 e-book in the format of the winner's choice!!

To Enter:

1) You must be a follower of this blog.
2) For Extra chances, blog about this, FB, Twitter...just send me the link

2 Winners will be announced on September 3rd.  Good Luck to All!!

((((Psst...if you're interested in entering a fun Art book Giveaway- go check out my Art Blog))) HERE.

GIVEAWAY of INKBLOT, by Margaret Peot

Who would have known that splats of colour could be so much fun? At first glance, Inkblot by Margaret Peot, seems like a this could be a fun activity book for kids only...Surprise, surprise, it's not only for kids! Granted, my youngest daughter and I did have some great moments doing art together...But really, I spent many hours experimenting on my own and taking this art form to another level.

Innovative artist, Margaret Peot shows us how to take a simple ink blot and transforming it into an incredible piece of art.  Blots can be made with ink or paint- by smudging, spraying and so many more interesting techniques.  The results can be very amazing and quite breathtaking.

And for anyone suffering from the occasional artist block- no big deal! Inkblot is the perfect springboard that sets the stage for brand new images and ideas that literally stare you in the face.

Inkblot by Margaret Peot is a MUST- have for any artist.  But enough talk- check out what I created from simple inkblots:

These two figures are actually on one sheet of paper folded in the middle that reproduce these two blots (scanner just kept giving me two images separately).  So at first glance, what possibilities did I see? 

Well, being the history buff that I am, I naturally turned it into these historical ladies.  Here's the first draft:

You can see how I began to gesso out the unwanted areas and started working on the idea that was flourishing.  Here is the final result using Prisma Colors and gel pens.

I found this technique pretty cool and when you start this- you literally can't stop because the ideas just keep flowing.
This book is fantastic and I highly recommend it!

Here are two more done with ink sprays; left as is:

AND NOW...Would you love to Win this fantastic book? 
If so Enter my Giveaway! Thank you Margaret Peot and Diane of Saima Agency:)


1- Follow this blog
2- In your comment tell me what you see in this blob and what would you turn it into?

3- For EXTRA Chances of winning: Blog about this, Twitter, FB... and send me the links:)

Open to US and Canada- Winner Announced on 
September 9th
Good Luck To ALL!!

(((Psst...If you'd like to also Enter my Giveaway of a wonderful historical fiction novel:
The Blighted Troth- )))
Visit my Other Blog Here.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Announcing 2 Winners of Finding Emilie...

Who are the Lucky Winners of the beautifully written, Finding Emilie, by Laurel Corona.....?

Congratulations to:

Laura of Laura's Reviews      AND       Amanda of Diary of a Book Addict

Please send me your contact info at:

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Book Review: The Secret Diary of a Princess...

 Let me begin by saying that I am so glad Melanie Clegg (Erzibet) wrote this novel about the young Marie Antoinette. The reason I say this is because it’s not often that we get such a tender look at what lay at the basis of this martyred queen. Marie Antoinette is probably one of the most maligned queens in history and perhaps by looking into her young life we can get a better sense of what she was really all about.

Melanie Clegg’s novel is written (as the title suggests) in diary format and is a delight to read. From the very first page you get the sense of how genuine Maria Antonia (as she was then called) comes forth. There is such a tenderness, refreshing naiveté and true wanting to please in this young archduchess.

Her diary entries are filled with her love of family, her light mischievousness and free-spirited attitude. As you read this enchanting novel you sense how kind Maria Antonia genuinely was. She is always looking on the positive side and being hopeful for something better.

It is also refreshing to read about her in this light since it brings about a realization that the young royal was not brought up to be pompous, wanting and forever spoiled. Quite the contrary, Maria Antonia was seemingly raised for the ultimate sacrifice of self-Always doing for others, and as she was expected. This is probably something that is difficult to imagine for a member of the Hapsburg family and yet it was simplicity, obedience and piety that, for the greater part, shaped the young Maria Antonia.

Although I would classify this primarily as a YA novel, I am certain that both young and older can enjoy and revel in the dreaminess of this book. Notably, the historical details pertaining to both people and surroundings are impeccable.

Loved it!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway of Finding Emilie!

Finding Emilie is a precious gem.  I say this because rarely do I fall this much in love with a novel that is not totally the ‘true’ history.  Laurel Corona’s book has added to the history by writing a story about ‘what might have been’ and created a novel that captivated me in all of its beauty and prose.  
Based on the lives of both Emilie du Chatelet (Voltaire’s love) and (mostly) her daughter, Stanislas-Adelaide; known as Lili- the story takes you into the pre-Revolution time of the 18th c.  This was a time in France where women were not supposed to dabble in the sciences and other ‘higher’ learning subjects-let alone write. 
Emilie’s death a few days after giving birth results in Lili being raised by Julie de Bercy (Emilie’s close friend). Julie's daughter, Delphine and Lili are raised like sisters.  Lili however presents herself as quite trying and out of the ordinary in terms of all her questioning at the convent where she and Delphine were schooled. 
Lili finds herself intrigued by her defunct mother and wants to find out more about her.  Knowing that she resembles her not only physically, but also in spirit, Lili desperately wants answers for her own life through ‘finding Emilie’. This becomes a difficult task since her aunt is reluctant in sharing anything about Emilie’s remarkable life (she was the one who actually re-wrote Newton's work! can only imagine how deep her understanding and knowledge of the material stretched)- But Lili is adamant about finding out the truth about her mother.
Unlike her despicable aunt, Julie is a constant and wonderful support for Lili as she blossoms into a great philosophical writer and lover of science. Lili does publish her work, but because this was a time where women’s brains were not something deserving of praise or recognition, she does this under a pen name.
I love that the author put this twist in history and added Lili’s life into it to give closure to what could have been a continuation to Emilie’s life.  I almost bet you Emilie would have expected nothing less of this remarkably strong and intelligent daughter! 
Bravo Laurel Corona!
Also check out:

GIVEAWAY of 2 COPIES of this wonderful novel! 
Open to US and Canada
To Enter:
 Follow this blog
Get Extra chances for every FB, Twitter, Blog sidebar...Just send me the link!
Good Luck to All!

Winners Announced on:  Friday, August 26th