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Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More


Competition (Da Vinci's Disciples Book Two) by Donna Russo MorinCompetition (Da Vinci’s Disciples Book Two) by Donna Russo Morin


Thanks to Author, Donna Russo Morin, I am giving away one print copy of Competition (Da Vinci’s Disciples Book Two) by Donna Russo Morin.

Description of Competition (Da Vinci’s Disciples Book Two) by Donna Russo Morin


In a studiolo behind a church, six women gather to perform an act that is, at once, restorative, powerful, and illegal. They paint. Under the tutelage of Leonardo da Vinci, these six show talent and drive equal to that of any man, but in Renaissance Florence they must hide their skills, or risk the scorn of the city.

A commission to paint a fresco in Santo Spirito is announced and Florence’s countless artists each seek the fame and glory this lucrative job will provide. Viviana, a noblewoman freed from a terrible marriage and now free to pursue her artistic passions in secret, sees a potential life-altering opportunity for herself and her fellow female artists. The women first speak to Lorenzo de’ Medici himself, and finally, they submit a bid for the right to paint it. And they win. 

But the church will not stand for women painting, especially not in a house of worship. The city is not ready to consider women in positions of power, and in Florence, artists wield tremendous power. Even the women themselves are hesitant; the attention they will bring upon themselves will disrupt their families, and could put them in physical danger.

All the while, Viviana grows closer to Sansone, her soldier lover, who is bringing her joy that she never knew with her deceased husband. And fellow-artist Isabetta has her own romantic life to distract her, sparked by Lorenzo himself. 

Power and passion collide in this sumptuous historical novel of shattering limitations, one brushstroke at a time.

Read the first chapter here: The Competition Excerpt

Trailer for  Competition (Da Vinci’s Disciples Book Two) by Donna Russo Morin




Praise for Competition (Da Vinci’s Disciples Book Two) by Donna Russo Morin


“In elegant prose, Morin paints a captivating tale of courageous women painters who battle against prejudices in Renaissance Florence. Featuring strong women characters, each with distinctive personalities, this is exactly the type of historical novel I enjoy reading. Exhilarating and compassionate, The Competition sings a beautiful tribute of women’s talents and underscores Morin’s masterful storytelling. Delightful!”– Weina Dai Randel, author of The Moon in the Palace and The Empress of Bright Moon

“THE COMPETITION is a page-turning, provocative romp through a fascinating time and place—15th-century Florence—made more so by her invention of a group of women who defy all conventions by secretly studying art under the great Leonardo da Vinci. Even more egregious: they openly compete for the commission to build a fresco in a city chapel. Most shocking of all, they win, drawing the ire of their competitors and inspiring protests and threats. Donna Russo Morin has given us a novel for our time, a book featuring strong female characters fighting the odds to break the “glass ceiling,” and reminding us that this battle is not new: women have been waging it for centuries.”—Sherry Jones, author of THE SHARP HOOK OF LOVE: A Novel of Heloise and Abelard

About Donna Russo MorinCompetition (Da Vinci's Disciples Book Two) by Donna Russo Morin


Donna Russo Morin is the internationally published author of five multi-award-winning historical novels including PORTRAIT OF A CONSPIRACY: Da Vinci’s Disciples Book One, and The King’s Agent, recipient of a starred review in Publishers Weekly. Her other titles are The Courtier’s SecretThe Secret of the Glass, and To Serve a King. Her upcoming release, THE COMPETITION: Da Vinci’s Disciples Book Two (releasing April 25, 2017), continues to follow the adventures and traumas of a clandestine group of women artists set during the height of the Italian Renaissance.

In addition to her writing, Donna has worked as a model and an actor with appearances in Showtime’s Brotherhood, and Martin Scorsese’s The Departed). A 25-year professional editor, her work spans more than 40 manuscripts.  She holds a BA in Communications and an A.A. in English Literature.  Donna teaches writing courses at her state’s most prestigious adult learning center and has presented at national and academic conferences for over ten years. Donna is a proud, single mother of two sons, Devon and Dylan—an opera singer and a chef—her greatest works. http://www.donnarussomorin.com/

Giveaway of Competition (Da Vinci’s Disciples Book Two) by Donna Russo Morin


This giveaway is open to the U.S. only and ends on May 5, 2017 midnight pacific time.  Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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Dhow House by Jean McNeilDhow House by Jean McNeil


Thanks to Kirstie Turco of ECW Press, I am giving away one print copy of The Dhow House by Jean McNeil.

Description of Dhow House by Jean McNeil


A lushly imagined novel of passion and terrorism that asks When do we ever really know ourselves? 

When Rebecca Laurelson is forced to leave her post as a trauma surgeon in an east African field hospital, she arrives at her aunt’s house on the Indian Ocean and is taken into the heart of a family she has never met before. It’s a world of all-night beach parties and constant cocktail receptions, and within its languorous embrace her attraction for her much younger cousin grows.

But the gilded lives of her aunt Julia’s family and their fellow white Africans on the coast are under threat — Islamist terror attacks are on the rise and Rebecca knows more about this violence than she is prepared to reveal. Will she be able to save her newfound family from the violence that encroaches on their seductive lives? Or, amidst growing unrest, will the true reason for her hasty exit from her posting be unmasked? Rebecca finds herself torn between the family she hardly knows and a past she dares not divulge. 

Praise for Dhow House by Jean McNeil


“Jean McNeil’s latest is a completely absorbing, eminently readable ― to the point of being almost unputdownable ― complex, cleverly crafted work, principally about loyalty: what we owe to our country, our relatives, those we love and those who simply cross our path. You won’t read many better novels this year.” ― Daily Mail

“With dreamlike prose and an intriguing protagonist, fiction- and travel-writer McNeil (Ice Diaries, 2016) builds momentum to her novel’s surprising final chapters . . . McNeil’s storytelling will pull [readers] in and captivate them to the end.” ― Booklist

“Like the landscape she depicts, McNeil’s prose combines poetic grace with shadows of menace: behind every flowering bush or luxurious shrub there may be an exotic bird or a poisonous snake ― or an armed marauder. The effect is both gripping and unsettling.” ― Quill & Quire

About Jean McNeilDhow House by Jean McNeil


Jean McNeil has written ten books, including five novels. She has twice been the winner of the PRISM International competition, and her work has been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Journey Prize, the National Magazine awards, and the Pushcart Prize. She is co-director of the Masters in Prose Fiction at the University of East Anglia.

Originally from Nova Scotia, she has lived and travelled extensively in southern and east Africa and lives in London, England.

Giveaway of Dhow House by Jean McNeil


This giveaway is open to the U.S. only and ends on April 28, 2017 midnight pacific time.  Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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caitlin@caitlinhamiltonmarketing.comTo the Stars Through Difficulties by Romalyn Tilghman


Thanks to Caitlin Hamilton Marketing & Publicity, I am giving away one print copy of To the Stars Through Difficulties by Romalyn Tilghman.

Description of To the Stars Through Difficulties by Romalyn Tilghman


Andrew Carnegie funded fifty-nine public libraries in Kansas in the early 20th century―but it was frontier women who organized waffle suppers, minstrel shows, and women’s baseball games to buy books to fill them. Now, a century later, Angelina returns to her father’s hometown of New Hope to complete her dissertation on the Carnegie libraries, just as Traci and Gayle arrive in town―Traci as an artist-in-residence at the renovated Carnegie Arts Center and Gayle as a refugee whose neighboring town, Prairie Hill, has just been destroyed by a tornado. 

The discovery of an old journal inspires the women to create a library and arts center as the first act of rebuilding Prairie Hill after the tornado. As they work together to raise money for the center, Traci reveals her enormous heart, Angelina discovers that problem-solving is more valuable than her PhD, and Gayle demonstrates that courage is not about waiting out a storm but building a future. Full of Kansas history―from pioneer homesteaders to Carrie Nation to orphan trains―To the Stars through Difficulties is a contemporary story of women changing their world, and finding their own voices, powers, and self-esteem in the process.

Praise for To the Stars Through Difficulties by Romalyn Tilghman


“…this warmhearted first novel celebrates the value of community (and libraries!); the inspirational story of women past and present is a must-buy for Kansas libraries and recommended for general adult readers.”—Library Journal

 “… this charming debut will appeal to women’s-fiction fans of gentle reads.”—Booklist

“…an uplifting story about the strength of collectivity, especially the collective power of women.”—Centered on Books

“The details sprinkled throughout the novel about the Carnegie Libraries are fascinating ….The ending reveals a surprise twist that I didn’t see coming. I highly recommend this novel …”—StoryCircle Book Reviews

About Romalyn Tilghmancaitlin@caitlinhamiltonmarketing.com


Romalyn Tilghman is a freelance writer and consultant in arts management. She earned BA and MS degrees from the University of Kansas and has studied writing through UCLA’s Writers Program. To the Stars through Difficulties is her first novel, inspired by her work as Executive Director of the Association of Community Arts Councils of Kansas, and then as Regional Representative for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Since then, she has consulted with private foundations, government agencies, and performing arts groups, and served on national boards and panels. She lives in Southern California. Find her online on her website or FaceBook.

Buy To the Stars Through Difficulties by Romalyn Tilghman


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Giveaway of To the Stars Through Difficulties by Romalyn Tilghman


This giveaway is open to Canada and the U.S. only and ends on April 28, 2017 midnight pacific time.  Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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