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Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More


Blue Hour by Vicki RighettiniBlue Hour by Vicki Righettini


Publisher: Mill City Press (Nov 17, 2015)
Category: Historical Fiction, Romance, Pioneer Woman, Strong Female Character, Western
Tour date Mar/Apr, 2017
ISBN: 978-1634138291
Available in Print & ebook, 560 pages

The Blue Hour

Description of Blue Hour by Vicki Righettini


IN THIS EPIC TALE of love, loss, and redemption, the year is 1861, a time when women are expected to be married by a certain age. At 26, spinster Emily Wainwright has no reason to believe her sheltered life will ever change—until the charming Samuel Todd unexpectedly crosses her path.

Samuel yearns to homestead and start a family in Oregon, but he first needs to find a wife. Blinded by Samuel’s good looks, and grasping at her final chance to have a husband and children, Emily accepts his marriage proposal. However, Samuel is not the man she thought he was, and her marriage becomes a cold, cruel prison, offering her no solace amidst the hardships of farm life.

When Samuel dies and a second chance at love and happiness arrives in the form of farmhand Cole Walker, Emily must overcome her bitter past—or risk losing Cole and the life she has always dreamed of having.  


My Thoughts Blue Hour by Vicki Righettini


It is 1861 and 26 year old spinster, Emily Wainwright knows that she has no chance of finding a man now.  When she was younger, she was engaged to the love of her life but he dis in a accident.  She is still heartbroken.  However, Samuel Todd just showed up at her doorstep and asked her to go on a carriage ride with her.  

Things move quickly between them and he gives her a proposition.  They can get married and cross the Oregon trail to get land and become homesteaders.  Emily reads about the Oregon trail and her adventurous spirit is awakened. She accepts.  

It takes months of preparation and learning a new way of living.  The journey tests everyone’s mental and physical endurance.  When the trip begins, Emily walks and Samuel drives the team of oxen, as is the custom.  It sounds like Emily gets the sort end of the stick but the hard surface of the bench that Samuel sits all day is painful.  Emily gets blisters but her feet toughen up over time. The two seen to be getting along fine but all of a sudden Samuel shows his true colors.

Once they arrive, they find the perfect spot and get to work.  However Samuel becomes more and more aggressive with Emily and also leaves for months at a time. Samuel then gets consumption and dies.  With the help of her neighbors, Emily keeps the homestead going. She also starts making money selling her herbal remedies.  However, her farmhand, Andrew, her neighbor’s son, decides to leave to fight for the Union in the Civil war.  Before he leaves he arranges for a new farmhand to take over, Cole Walker.

Will Emily find love and learn to trust again?

‘The Blue Hour’ is part adventure and part romance. Vicki Righetini captures the time and place in history with skill and poetic prose.  I have read other books that take place on the Orgon trail but none as detailed and exciting as this one.  I wish this was a series because I didn’t want this book to end.  I am sure the story and characters will stay with me for the rest of my life.  ‘The Blue Hour’ is a must read for historical fiction readers!

5/5

I received the ebook version for my honest review.

About Vicki RighettiniBlue Hour by Vicki Righettini


Vicki Righettini is an award-winning, nationally produced playwright, and her recently-published historical novel, The Blue Hour, was a badge winner and Pitch Perfect Pick at Underground Books. Originally from Los Angeles, Vicki lived in Oregon for over twenty years, where she developed an abiding love of the land and the Oregon way of life. Before turning to full-time writing, she worked for forty years as a singer/actress and performing arts instructor. Her blog, Between a Book and a Hard Place, focuses on the ups and downs of the creative process (http://www.vickirighettini.com). Vicki lives in San Diego with her software-developer, Jeopardy!-champion husband, and the world’s shyest cat.

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2h2UZGy
Twitter: https://twitter.com/VRighettini

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Blue Hour by Vicki Righettini

My Last Lament by James William BrownMy Last Lament by James William Brown


Thanks Loren Jaggers of Berkley Publishing Group, I am giving away one print copy of My Last Lament by James William Brown.

Description of My Last Lament by James William Brown


A poignant and evocative novel of one Greek woman’s story of her own and her nation’s epic struggle in the aftermath of World War II.

Aliki is one of the last of her kind, a lamenter who mourns and celebrates the passing of life. She is part of an evolving Greece, one moving steadily away from its rural traditions. To capture the fading folk art of lamenting, an American researcher asks Aliki to record her laments, but in response, Aliki sings her own story…

It begins in a village in northeast Greece, where Aliki witnesses the occupying Nazi soldiers execute her father for stealing squash. Taken in by her friend Takis’s mother, Aliki is joined by a Jewish refugee and her son, Stelios. When the village is torched and its people massacred, Aliki, Takis and Stelios are able to escape just as the war is ending.

Fleeing across the chaotic landscape of a post-war Greece, the three become a makeshift family. They are bound by friendship and grief, but torn apart by betrayal, madness and heartbreak.

Through Aliki’s powerful voice, an unforgettable one that blends light and dark with wry humor, My Last Lament delivers a fitting eulogy to a way of life and provides a vivid portrait of a timeless Greek woman, whose story of love and loss is an eternal one.

Praise for My Last Lament by James William Brown


“This is an astonishing novel, an imaginative feat of epic proportions. I was gripped from the first line. These characters! This story! Here is war and joy and terror and love and death and humor all mixed up, just as in life. I loved MY LAST LAMENT so much I kept shoving it in people’s faces, saying, ‘This book! You have to read this book!’”—Anna Solomon, author of ‘Leaving Lucy Pear and The Little Bride’

“If you loved All the Light We Cannot See, you will devour this novel; a heart-rending World War II story you’ve never heard and won’t soon forget.”—Susan Meissner, author of ‘Secrets of a Charmed Life’ and ‘A Bridge Across the Ocean’

“A Greek epic in its own right, MY LAST LAMENT is the story of a nation trying to live up to its past while struggling to come to terms with its present, and of the indomitable people surviving that struggle. Aliki is a vivid and fully-realized heroine, both fragile and formidable, and her story is one that will keep readers quickly turning the pages even as they linger over Brown’s lovely language. MY LAST LAMENT is a book I will never forget.”—Alyssa Palombo, author of ‘The Violinist of Venice’ and ‘The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence’

About James William Brown


James William Brown, author of the critically acclaimed Blood Dance, is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Fiction at Stanford and has also been a writing fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.

The recipient of two fellowships from National Endowment for the Arts, he has also directed the editorial departments of textbook publishers in New York, Boston, and Athens, Greece.

Giveaway of My Last Lament by James William Brown


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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Confessions Of Young Nero by Margaret GeorgeConfessions Of Young Nero by Margaret George


Description of Confessions Of Young Nero by Margaret George


THE CONFESSIONS OF YOUNG NERO (Berkley Hardcover; March 7, 2017; $28) is written, like Robert Graves’s I, Claudius, in the form of an autobiography. It reveals with luminescent detail Nero’s complex talents and successes, his childhood, his rise to power, and his instinct for self-preservation which first took root on the moonlit night his insane uncle, the Emperor Caligula, tried to drown him.

Nero’s life—riddled with murders, rivalries, plots, orgies, and incest—is sensational on its own. But for George, THE CONFESSIONS OF YOUNG NERO is not just an opportunity to tell his story. It is an attempt to rehabilitate his image, and to expose the truth and complexities about both a man—and a time period—that has been much mythologized. George spent five years researching the novel, but her idea of resetting Nero’s villainous reputation has been building for more than thirty.

When he is just a small child, Nero’s mother, Agrippina, is released from exile by her elderly uncle—the newly crowned Emperor Claudius. Agrippina quickly plucks Nero from his modest upbringing, and embarks on a ruthless pruning of the family tree to ensure what she believes is her son’s rightful place in the Palace. Her naked ambition, cunning, and well-placed doses of poison help the obstacles fall one by one, until a teenage boy is given control of an Empire. Both tempted and terrified to assume his reign, Nero’s indoctrination into the incest, violence, luxury, and intrigue that have gripped Rome’s seat of power for generations will shape him into the man he was fated to become.  

George covers the unfolding of Nero’s life and legacy, including his forced marriage to his cousin Octavia at fifteen; his passion for a beautiful ex-slave and other love affairs; the influence of the great philosopher Seneca on his reign; and his attentiveness to his political duties, including the improvement of Rome’s courts and public amenities. George uses Nero’s expansion of theatres, athletic games, chariot races, and musical performances as a window into the powerful artistic and athletic impulses that governed him, and which made him a champion of the common man—the men among whom he’d begun his life as “Lucius,” until fate made him forever “Nero.”

Like Mary Beard’s revisionist history of ancient Rome, SPQR, NERO both challenges our assumptions of that time period and taps into readers’ fascination with the Empire. Readers of Philippa Gregory will adore and find much to discover in George’s latest novel.

The author will continue Nero’s story in a second book, which picks up during the ill-fated, final four years of his young life, as he faces his biggest test and challenge: the Great Fire of Rome.

My Thoughts Confessions Of Young Nero by Margaret George


In the Roman Empire, after the rein of Julius Caesar, Nerō Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus was born.  Nerō was adopted by his great-uncle Claudius, Emperor, to become his heir and successor. As boy, there are attempts on Nerō’s life.  He learns at a young age that life can be fleeting.  He even fears his own mother, Agrippina, noting *“I knew then that to be her enemy was to perish—and that being her son would not exempt me.” He knows that she has murdered before!

Young Nerō loves art and sport.  He loves to watch the races at the Circus Maximus and even talks his tutor into arranging for him to take lessons in sport.  He tends to be able to have fun and be a child only when his mother is away.

This is book one and only covers Nerō’s younger years.  Book two will delve into his final four years of life, cut short at a young age. 

I tend to enjoy long “meaty” books, especially dealing with history.  At 528 pages, this book qualifies however, I did find it dragged on in parts and could have been edited down at least 100 pages, perhaps more. I did read an uncorrected proof, so perhaps it went through more editing before publication, this month.

I did enjoy Margaret George’s writing and descriptions of life in the Roman Empire and do recommend it.  I could tell that the book was well researched as well.

*Please note that this quote was in the uncorrected proof and may not appear in the published version.

3.5/5

I received the ebook galley from Net Galley for my honest review.

About Margaret George


Confessions Of Young Nero by Margaret George

(c) Alison Kaufman

Margaret George is the New York Times bestselling author of six novels of biographical historical fiction, including Elizabeth IHelen of TroyMary, Called MagdaleneThe Memoirs of CleopatraThe Autobiography of Henry VIII, and Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles. She also has written a children’s book, Lucille Lost.

Giveaway of Confessions Of Young Nero by Margaret George


There is still time to enter to win your very own print copy.  This giveaway is open to the U.S. only and ends on April 1, 2017 midnight pacific time.  Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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