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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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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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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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway