2016 Historical Fiction GIVEAWAY!

While I am working on my next review, for an amazing book that I can’t wait to share, I thought I would share my first giveaway for the year!  If you are a lover of historical fiction then you will love this giveaway.  I am giving away three titles that are the perfect compliment to a winter’s day.  All you have to do is head over to my Instagram and Facebook and “Like” either page OR leave a comment below.  I will select the winner at random.  This giveaway is only available for residents of the U.S.  Good luck and happy reading. (See below for Goodreads synopses)

 

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The Violinist of Venice by Alyssa Palumbo ~ via Goodreads

A sweeping historical novel of composer and priest Antonio Vivaldi, a secret wealthy mistress, and their passion for music and each other

Like most 18th century Venetians, Adriana d’Amato adores music-except her strict merchant father has forbidden her to cultivate her gift for the violin. But she refuses to let that stop her from living her dreams and begins sneaking out of her family’s palazzo under the cover of night to take violin lessons from virtuoso violinist and composer Antonio Vivaldi. However, what begins as secret lessons swiftly evolves into a passionate, consuming love affair.

Adriana’s father is intent on seeing her married to a wealthy, prominent member of Venice’s patrician class-and a handsome, charming suitor, whom she knows she could love, only complicates matters-but Vivaldi is a priest, making their relationship forbidden in the eyes of the Church and of society. They both know their affair will end upon Adriana’s marriage, but she cannot anticipate the events that will force Vivaldi to choose between her and his music. The repercussions of his choice-and of Adriana’s own choices-will haunt both of their lives in ways they never imagined.

Spanning more than 30 years of Adriana’s life, Alyssa Palombo’s The Violinist of Venice is a story of passion, music, ambition, and finding the strength to both fall in love and to carry on when it ends.

 

Medicis Daughter by Sophie Peridot ~via Goodreads

Winter, 1564. Beautiful young Princess Margot is summoned to the court of France, where nothing is what it seems and a wrong word can lead to ruin. Known across Europe as Madame la Serpente, Margot’s intimidating mother, Queen Catherine de Médicis, is a powerful force in a country devastated by religious war. Among the crafty nobility of the royal court, Margot learns the intriguing and unspoken rules she must live by to please her poisonous family.

Eager to be an obedient daughter, Margot accepts her role as a marriage pawn, even as she is charmed by the powerful, charismatic Duc de Guise. Though Margot’s heart belongs to Guise, her hand will be offered to Henri of Navarre, a Huguenot leader and a notorious heretic looking to seal a tenuous truce. But the promised peace is a mirage: her mother’s schemes are endless, and her brothers plot vengeance in the streets of Paris. When Margot’s wedding devolves into the bloodshed of the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, she will be forced to choose between her family and her soul.

Médicis Daughter is historical fiction at its finest, weaving a unique coming-of-age story and a forbidden love with one of the most dramatic and violent events in French history.

 

A Taste for Nightshade by Martine Bailey ~via Goodreads

Manchester 1787. When budding young criminal Mary Jebb swindles Michael Croxon’s brother with a blank pound note, he chases her into the night and sets in motion a train of sinister events. Condemned to seven years of transportation to Australia, Mary sends him a ‘Penny Heart’-a token of her vow of revenge.
Two years later, Michael marries naïve young Grace Moore. Although initially overjoyed at the union, Grace quickly realizes that her husband is more interested in her fortune than her company. Lonely and desperate for companionship, she turns to her new cook to help mend her ailing marriage. But Mary Jebb, shipwrecked, maltreated, and recently hired, has different plans for the unsuspecting owners of Delafosse Hall.
A Taste for Nightshade is a thrilling historical novel that combines recipes, mystery and a dark struggle between two desperate women, sure to appeal to fans of Sarah Waters and Carolly Erickson.

 

*Thanks to St.Martin’s Press and Thomas Dunne Books for providing copies for this giveaway.

The Wrong Man by Kate White

The Wrong ManKate White

Happy 4th!  I am starting my July reviews with a fabulous thriller.  I am a huge fan of Kate White’s and count the Bailey Weggin’s series in my top favorite books!  I knew that her newest book, The Wrong Man was going to be just as amazing plus there was something special about this book as there was going to be a character named after my daughter in it.  Yes, there was going to be a Chloe in the book!  Rewind.  We entered a contest last summer where Kate had requested readers to pose with her then novel, Eyes on You.  I sent a picture of Chloe with her detective hat and spectacles and we WON!  I was thrilled.  So reading throughout the book I was awaiting seeing her name pop up and it did, in a clever little way 🙂 Thanks Kate.  Like all of White’s books she leaves the most addictive cliff hangers at the conclusion of each chapter thus making the reader fly through this book.  I was so happy to read and review a mystery again.  It’s been awhile but they are oh so good.

The Wrong Man starts off with its main character Kit traveling for business in Florida.  Wanting a change of pace in this moment of life she decides she is going to do something spontaneous and fun.  She meets Matt Healy, also on business, who is mysterious, charming, the full package.  After a romantic dinner they both go back to the hotel and things develop from there.  They both have the mindset “no strings attached” and decide the next morning it was a great night and let’s leave it at that.  Kit is ok with this although there is a part of her that is drawn to Matt and wishes she could see him again.  She leaves Florida and heads back to New York but not before she gets call from Matt wanting to meet-up in NYC.  They decide the meet for dinner and Matt gives her all the details including where he lives.  Kit heads over there to meet him only to find out the man who lives there is not the man she had a fling with but yet his name is Matt Healy.  Let the mystery begin.

The Wrong Man is a thriller of deceit and murder.  From sunny Florida to gritty NYC, White takes you on ride filled with hairpin twists and turns questioning who can you really trust?  The spiderweb of characters and lies will have you hooked from the first page as in typical White fashion.  Whether this is your first or fifth novel of White’s she does not disappoint!  Without a question this is my fourth “Blissful Beach Bag” pick! Let’s keep our fingers crossed she is working on a Weggin’s mystery, I need a little Bailey in my life.

Miss Chloe in her winning picture as well as the new book.

The winning photo from 20142015 Winner

*The Wrong Man was sent to Bliss Beauty and Books for review purposes.

The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza #teamImogen

The Knockoff

I just finished The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza and I DID. NOT. WANT. IT. TO. END! 😦  It was the exact thing I needed since The Devil Wears Prada!  Please oh please let there be a sequel!  This was another debut novel for me and I was so, completely in love with this book!  The plot, the characters and the fashion will have you flipping the pages at lightening speed.  This book also marks the first in my “Blissful Beach Bag” picks!

The story centers around Imogen who is the head of Glossy magazine, a fabulous high fashion magazine in New york City.  Imogen is returning back to work after leaving on medical leave due to cancer.  Upon her return her former assistant Eve is at the forefront, ready to take Glossy into the digital and tech age.  Imogen, open to the possibility and change for the magazine, is taken aback by Eve and the woman she has become.  Eve who was her perky, fun assistant is now a snarky, condescending, “B-School” grad who is heading up the digital change for the magazine.  A seasoned fashion and magazine professional, Imogen is thrown into the world of Tweets and Facebook posts, something she doesn’t really know much about.  This is exactly the achilles heel Eve is looking for.  Imogen looks like the novice as Eve takes the lead and turns Glossy into a fashion and magazine nightmare.  Luckily for Imogen, her years of the fashion world come to her rescue when she needs them most.

Sykes and Piazza take you into a world of tech and fashion- two things that are always on the rise.  I loved Imogen from the start and was #teamImogen the whole way through.  I love books that have a heroine at the center who you are cheering for at every word.  I also loved the theme of career and family and creating balance, something most woman deal with.  It is not easy but at the end of the day you do what is best for you and your family and right there you are successful.  I am hoping either for a sequel to this book or promise that Sykes and Piazza will team up again.  They are the perfect duo to kick off beach season and my “Blissful Beach Bag” picks!  Happy BEACH reading!

Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza

*The Knockoff was sent to Bliss, Beauty and Books for review purposes.

 

Beauty and the Book

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These chilly mornings have me dreaming of my toes in the warm sand at the beach with a good book in hand.  It was really only after college that my love for reading developed as I was traveling multiple hours a day on many different modes of transportation from Gloucester to Boston.  I would read at the least a book a week, exploring all different genres.  I became hooked and my love for books has grown immensely.  I love all types of books but my favorites are fun fiction, suspenseful thrillers and pop culture memoirs.  I decided to bring my love of books to my blog!  I am participating in a Goodreads reading challenge this year and committing to reading 30 books this year.  It was one of my New Year’s resolutions as well as a way for me to commit to reading everyday.  Reading for me is a great way to unwind at the end of the day possibly with a glass of wine 🙂  I always love to share a great book with friends so I will be reviewing some amazing titles right here as well as tossing in some fun beauty tips related to the book.  I hope to provide a place for people to recommend great books to me as well as hear of something that may be of interest to them.  Please feel free to comment any recent must reads that you have and here is to an amazing upcoming beach reading season!