Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Flower Arrangement by Ella GriffinFlower Arrangement by Ella Griffin

Thanks to Roxanne Jones  of Berkley & NAL, I am giving away one print copy of Flower Arrangement by Ella Griffin

Description of Flower Arrangement by Ella Griffin

Golden peonies bowing their heads beneath blue delphinium bells. Delicate pink anemones threaded between freckled green orchids. Soft apricot roses woven together with velvety purple irises. Every bouquet tells a story. And every story begins at Blossom & Grow, a tiny jewel-like flower shop in the heart of Dublin.

Here, among the buckets of fragrant blooms, beneath the flickering candles and lanterns, Lara works her magic. Translating feelings into flower arrangements that change hearts and lives. But what about her own heart? Has she really healed since she lost her chance to be a mother? What will happen when her own story takes a sudden turn? Can the flowers that heal the customers work their magic on the florist? Drawing together a delightful cast of characters, Ella Griffin brings her warmth, wit and wisdom to a captivating tale woven around a Dublin florist.

Praise for Flower Arrangement by Ella Griffin

“An astonishing insight into people…The writing is exquisite and I cared deeply about the characters.”—Marian Keyes

 “Ella Griffin’s beautiful writing enables you to feel like you are quite literally stepping into the fragrant surroundings of Blossom & Grow.”—Novelicious.com

About Ella GriffinFlower Arrangement by Ella Griffin

Ella Griffin always wanted to be a writer, but before she got around to it she was a waitress, a movie extra, a pickle-factory worker, a travel writer, and an award-winning advertising copywriter. Her debut novel, Postcards from the Heart, was published in 2011. The Flower Arrangement is her third novel.

Giveaway of Flower Arrangement by Ella Griffin

This giveaway open to the U.S. only and ends on October 14, 2016 midnight pacific time.  Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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Dido's Crown by Julie K. RoseDido’s Crown by Julie K. Rose

Publication Date: September 29, 2016
Paperback; 340 Pages
ISBN13: 9781365316333

Genre: Historical Fiction/Literary

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Set in Tunisia and France in 1935, Dido’s Crown is a taut literary-historical adventure influenced by Indiana Jones, The Thin Man, and John le Carré.

Mary Wilson MacPherson has always been adept at putting the past behind her: her father’s death, her sister’s disappearance, and her complicated relationship with childhood friends Tom and Will. But that all changes when, traveling to North Africa on business for her husband, Mary meets a handsome French-Tunisian trader who holds a mysterious package her husband has purchased — a package which has drawn the interest not only of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, but the Nazis as well.

When Tom and Will arrive in Tunisia, Mary suddenly finds herself on a race across the mesmerizing and ever-changing landscapes of the country, to the shores of southern France, and all across the wide blue Mediterranean. Despite her best efforts at distancing herself from her husband’s world, Mary has become embroiled in a mystery that could threaten not only Tunisian and British security in the dangerous political landscape of 1935, but Mary’s beliefs about her past and the security of her own future.

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Excerpt of Dido’s Crown by Julie K. Rose

Mary was a lovely woman, or at least so she’d been told. Her eyes, though set perhaps a bit too close, were clear and icy blue, and her cheekbones were high and delicate, balancing an aggressive jawline. Her thick dark hair curled fashionably around her ears in natural waves; she resolutely ignored the silver blossoming from her temples. And the corners of her mouth, simply by fate and the damnable influence of her ancestors, turned down. This gave her a perpetual look of hauteur and disapproval, when she might in fact be pleased, or happy, or concentrating, or daydreaming. But if she were honest with herself it was usually disapproval, which she felt acutely at the moment.

She checked her watch yet again; he was late. She had rushed back that afternoon from the Tunis Grand Prix to scrape off the dust and settle her face into something approaching civilized before the party. “Why a cocktail party, for God’s sake,” she muttered, tapping her blood red lacquered nails on the railing. He wanted the cover of a crowd, but she had most definitely had enough of crowds for one day.

Early that morning Mary had left her hotel, catering to English tourists like herself, in a state of nervous excitement, and as a result had been entirely too early for the race. With a few hours to kill, too excited to sit and eat or take coffee, she’d wandered the small center of Tunis. The nouvelle ville, built by the French over the fifty years of their occupation, was grayly chic and European, with tree-lined streets and grand colonial government monstrosities, an attempt to re-create France on the southern shore of the Mediterranean: lovely, but terribly boring.

In contrast, the vieux ville of Tunis was a sea of geometric chalk-white buildings piled on top of each other like a poorly executed cubist painting, interspersed with graceful domes and spiky minarets, winding streets and souks, where the men wore scarlet chechias and the women were clad head to toe in pale yellow sefseri.

She wandered the alleyways of the vieux ville and poked her head into the cramped stalls of the souks, following her nose to the perfumers’ street, passing tiny cafés lined with men smoking and arguing. Despite her fascination, it was the anxiety of the crowds, the hot press of bodies and breath, the muttered and cried Arabic that she couldn’t understand, which drove her out through the Porte de Paris and back into the nouvelle ville as the faithful were called to the lunchtime Zuhr prayer.

She made her way to the Carthage street circuit and took a seat in the front row of the grandstand, a prime spot right under the “B” in the Café’s Bondin sign. It afforded her a brilliant view of the crews and the cars, and if she craned her neck just right, she could see Wimille and his Type 59 Bugatti on the front row, next to Varzi and his sleek Auto Union. So intent was she on the cars and drivers, she hardly realized the stands had filled in around her. The engines roared to life, and a thrum of excitement passed through the crowd as the rest of the cars took their places on the starting grid. If she couldn’t drive, watching was the next best thing; she’d do almost anything to be there. Including helping John MacPherson.

 About by Julie K. Rose

Dido's Crown by Julie K. Rose

A member of the Historical Novel Society and former reviewer for the Historical Novels Review, Julie lives in the Bay Area with her husband and rescue cats, and loves reading, following the San Francisco Giants, and enjoying the amazing natural beauty of Northern California.

Her forthcoming historical adventure novel, Dido’s Crown, will be released in September 2016.

Oleanna, short-listed for finalists in the 2011 Faulkner-Wisdom literary competition, is her second novel. The Pilgrim Glass, a finalist in the 2005 Faulkner-Wisdom competition and semi-finalist in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards, was published in 2010.

For more information, please visit Julie K. Rose’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Giveaway Dido’s Crown by Julie K. Rose

This giveaway is for one print copy and is open internationally.  This giveaway ends on October 14, 2016 at midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dido’s Crown by Julie K. Rose Tour Schedule

Monday, September 26
Review & Excerpt at For Oh, the Hook of a Book
Interview at Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, September 27
Review at I’m Shelf-ish

Wednesday, September 28
Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Thursday, September 29
Excerpt & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Friday, September 30
Review at Creating Herstory
Excerpt at Just One More Chapter

Monday, October 3
Review at Unabridged Chick

Tuesday, October 4
Review at Back Porchervations
Interview & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick

Wednesday, October 5
Excerpt at Books, Dreams, Life

Thursday, October 6
Review at A Bookish Affair
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Excerpt at A Literary Vacation

Friday, October 7
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Interview at The Book Connection

Monday, October 10
Excerpt at A Bookaholic Swede
Interview & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair

Dido's Crown by Julie K. Rose

Monticello by Sally Cabot GunningMonticello: Daughter and Her Father by Sally Cabot Gunning

Monticello explores the relationship of our U.S. founding father, Thomas Jefferson and his daughter, Martha Jefferson Randolph. Martha’s mother died when Martha was just entering her teenage years. Thomas Jefferson had his daughter accompany him to France on his first diplomatic mission.  After 5 years they both return home.  By then Martha has grown into a young woman and even had a suitor in Paris that her father didn’t find quite suitable.

Paris seemed to really help shape Martha and her opinions and she had come to disagree with slavery.  While if Paris, she came to believe her father would free his slaves and then hire them to continue running Monticello but her never did.  Also, when they arrive home she notices that her mother’s half sister and slave, Sally Hemings status has change in the household and no longer required to work. 

Then Thomas Randolph enters the picture and sweeps Martha off her feet.  As demands of adulthood and marriage take over, Martha endures pregnancy after pregnancy (she had 12 children)  and her husband’s mismanagement of farms and money. He also starts to act more and more eradicate. Her sister, Maria also dies giving birth to her first child.

As rumors were surfacing of an affair between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings.  Martha has suspicions of her own but seemed to try to ignore them.  It is clear that Martha had a tight bind with her father and they influenced each other in different ways. 

I loved the story between Thomas Jefferson and her father but all the hardships with her husband were hard to endure.  It was a time when women could not divorce their husbands but I wanted to shake her and tell her to leave him.  I knew she couldn’t but that the same problems kept up through their marriage and so that part became somewhat repetitive.  That said, Sally Cabot Gunning treated her characters with sensitivity and a non-judgmental approach. Though this is a work of fiction, she did her research and let the characters tell the story.  She certainly made Monticello a character as well.  I really liked her approach and her writing.  I highly recommend Monticello for those who love historical fiction and like to delve into the lives of people, like Thomas Jefferson, who helped shape our world.

I received the ebook version for my honest review.


About Sally Cabot GunningMonticello by Sally Cabot Gunning

Sally Cabot Gunning lives with her husband in Brewster on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. A graduate of the University of Rhode Island and a lifelong resident of New England, she is active in the local historical society and creates tours that showcase the three-hundred-year history of her village. Gunning came to fiction writing at a young age, driven to it in desperation one rainy day when she ran out of books.

She later authored a popular mystery series set on Cape Cod, but when she began to weave the Cape’s rich history into her stories she found herself hooked; she turned her focus to digging out the back story to the history that we thought we knew but didn’t and giving it a human face. This resulted in four critically acclaimed historical novels: The Widow’s War, Bound, The Rebellion of Jane Clarke, Benjamin Franklin’s Bastard, and coming in September 2016 MONTICELLO.