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Mapmaker's Daughter by Katherine Nouri HughesMapmaker’s Daughter by Katherine Nouri Hughes


Thanks to Deb Zipf of Meryl Moss Media, Inc., I am giving away one print copy of TheMapmaker’s Daughter by Katherine Nouri Hughes .

Description of Mapmaker’s Daughter by Katherine Nouri Hughes


A woman who wielded extraordinary authority over a vast realm, who influenced the course of astronomy, and who – uniquely among women – upheld an empire’s most important law, has been almost lost to history – until now.

Queen Mother Nurbanu, one of the first of these powerful women, is determined to understand how her bond with the greatest of all Ottoman sultans, Suleiman the Magnificent, has shaped her destiny – not only as the wife of his successor, but as the appointed enforcer of one of the Empire’s most crucial and shocking laws.

Nurbanu spares nothing as she dissects the desires and motives that have propelled and harmed her; as she considers her role as devoted and manipulative mother; as she reckons her relations with the women of the Harem; and, as she details the fate of the most sophisticated observatory in the world. Nurbanu sets out to “see” the causes and effects of her loves and choices, and she succeeds by means of unflinching candor—right up to the last shattering revelation.

Praise for Mapmaker’s Daughter by Katherine Nouri Hughes


“A fascinating evocation of the major players of the Ottoman renaissance.”  – Kirkus

“The Mapmaker’s Daughter is an immersive, beautifully-woven narrative that dissects the paradoxes of female power and the particularities of the 16th century Ottoman Empire.” – Dr. Amanda Foreman, author of ‘Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire’ and  ‘A World on Fire: Britain’s Crucial Role in the American Civil War.’

“When the fiction is good, the history is usually distorted, and on the rare occasions when the history is good, the fiction is usually less interesting than the straight historical narrative. This novel is a remarkable exception…part history, part fiction, it is enthralling.” – Bernard Lewis, Cleveland E. Dodge Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Emeritus, Princeton University

About Katherine Nouri HughesMapmaker's Daughter by Katherine Nouri Hughes


KATHERINE NOURI HUGHES, Iraqi-Irish by birth, attended Princeton University where she received a Masters Degree in Near Eastern Studies and where she serves on that department’s advisory council. She has published two books on k-12 education, was a communications executive in the for-profit and non-profit sectors, and serves on the boards of the American University in Cairo, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and WNET/13, the public television station.

She lives in Princeton, New Jersey and has two daughters and two grandchildren. The Mapmaker’s Daughter is her first novel.

Giveaway of Mapmaker’s Daughter by Katherine Nouri Hughes


This giveaway is open to the U.S. only and ends on August 25, 2017 midnight pacific time.  Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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Most Beautiful Woman in Florence by Alyssa PalomboMost Beautiful Woman in Florence by Alyssa Palombo

Thanks to Staci Burt of  St. Martin’s Press, I am giving away one print copy of Most Beautiful Woman in Florence by Alyssa Palombo.

Description of Most Beautiful Woman in Florence by Alyssa Palombo

A girl as beautiful as Simonetta Cattaneo never wants for marriage proposals in 15th Century Italy, but she jumps at the chance to marry Marco Vespucci. Marco is young, handsome and well-educated. Not to mention he is one of the powerful Medici family’s favored circle.

Even before her marriage with Marco is set, Simonetta is swept up into Lorenzo and Giuliano de’ Medici’s glittering circle of politicians, poets, artists, and philosophers. The men of Florence—most notably the rakish Giuliano de’ Medici—become enthralled with her beauty. That she is educated and an ardent reader of poetry makes her more desirable and fashionable still. But it is her acquaintance with a young painter, Sandro Botticelli, which strikes her heart most. Botticelli immediately invites Simonetta, newly proclaimed the most beautiful woman in Florence, to pose for him. As Simonetta learns to navigate her marriage, her place in Florentine society, and the politics of beauty and desire, she and Botticelli develop a passionate intimacy, one that leads to her immortalization in his masterpiece, The Birth of Venus.

Alyssa Palombo’s The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence vividly captures the dangerous allure of the artist and muse bond with candor and unforgettable passion.

Praise for Most Beautiful Woman in Florence by Alyssa Palombo

“In the tradition of Tracy Chevalier’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, Palombo has married fine art with romantic historical fiction in this lush and sensual interpretation of Medici Florence, artist Sandro Botticelli, and the muse that inspired them all.” – Booklist

“Strikingly feminist…a compelling narrative that is difficult to put down.” – Publisher’s Weekly

“This captivating, beautifully written novel may be more fiction than fact, but readers will be entranced and will feel they are an integral part of the unfolding story. Palombo joins the ranks of Tracey Chevalier, Rosalind Laker and those who perfectly merge history and reality.” – Romantic Times

About Alyssa Palombo

Most Beautiful Woman in Florence by Alyssa Palombo

Credit: Elizabeth Snyder Photography, LLC

ALYSSA PALOMBO is also the author of The Violinist of Venice. She has published short fiction pieces in Black Lantern Magazine and The Great Lakes Review. She is a recent graduate of Canisius College with degrees in English and creative writing, respectively.  A passionate music lover, she is a classically trained musician as well as a big fan of heavy metal. The Violinist of Venice is her first novel. She lives in Buffalo, New York.

Website: https://alyssapalombo.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/alyssinwnderlnd

Giveaway of Most Beautiful Woman in Florence by Alyssa Palombo

This giveaway is open to Canada and the U.S. only and ends on May 13, 2017 midnight pacific time.  Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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