Posts

Showing posts from May, 2016

Guest Post by John Altson: Louise Altson – A Successful Portrait Painter in a Man’s World

Image
Today's guest writer is John Altson. He has written a biography of his mother titled Louise Altson: A Gifted Artist Who Captured the Person, Not Just the Image. Louise Altson was a prolific painter whose clients include a plethora of famous individuals such as President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady, Barbara Bush. In this guest post, he focuses on his mother's personal obstacles and achievements. I hope this guest post gives you some insight into his writing and the life of this fascinating woman. Thank you, Mr. Altson!





Louise Altson – A Successful Portrait Painter in a Man’s World by John Altson
     Success did not come easily to my mother, Louise Altson. In her childhood years and as Louise Van den Bergh, the Academy of Antwerp’s Professor Leon Brunin privately tutored her. She had a scholarship to the London Polytechnic School of Art and won awards at England’s Royal Academy. Louise met her future husband Ralph Altson while attending classes.  Her background wa…

Book Blast: The Gilded Cage: A Novel of Chicago by Judy Alter

Image
The Gilded Cage: A Novel of Chicago by Judy AlterPublication Date: April 18, 2016 Alter Ego Publishing eBook & Paperback; 318 Pages Genre: Historical Fiction



Summary: Born to a society and a life of privilege, Bertha Honoré married Potter Palmer, a wealthy entrepreneur who called her Cissy. Neither dreamed the direction the other’s life would take. He built the Palmer House Hotel, still famed today, and become one of the major robber barons of the city, giving generously to causes of which he approved. She put philanthropy into deeds, going into shanty neighborhoods, inviting factory girls to her home, working at Jane Addams’ settlement Hull House, supporting women’s causes.

It was a time of tremendous change and conflict in Chicago as the city struggled to put its swamp-water beginnings behind it and become a leading urban center. A time of the Great Fire of 1871, the Haymarket Riots, and the triumph of the Columbian Exposition. Potter and Cissy handled these events in divers…

Blog Tour: Happily Ever After: The Write More Publications: Fractured Fairy Tale Anthology by Various Authors: A Book Review

Image
Happily Ever After: The Write More Publications Fractured Fairy Tale Anthology
by Various Authors
Release Date: April 17th 2016
Write More Publications
Add To Goodreads
Source: This book was given to me by YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Summary from Goodreads: From princesses and princes, to witches, ice queens, imaginary friends, and dorks, Happily Ever After: The Write More Publications Fractured Fairy Tale Anthology has it all! Seven unforgettable stories by seven talented authors! Some stories are fractured takes on classics, while others are originals that will stay with you long after you've turned the last page!  Featured Authors: Dana Piazzi, Jordan Hancock, Kim Stevens, Elaine White, Vanessa Hancock, Michelle Feury, and Stephanie Parke

     My Review: Happily Ever After is a fun anthology that is suited for lovers of fairytales. This anthology ranges from medieval to contemporary fairytales. These short stories have a different take to the fairytales that …

Book Blast: A Pressing Engagement (Lady Darby Mystery #4.5) by Anna Lee Huber

Image
A Pressing Engagement (Lady Darby Mystery #4.5) by Anna Lee HuberPublication Date: May 17, 2016 InterMix eBook; 83 Pages Series: Lady Darby Mysteries Genre: Historical Mystery

Summary: In this delightful novella from the national bestselling author of A Study in Death, Lady Kiera Darby has one last mystery to solve before she can walk down the aisle…

Scotland, 1831. With her wedding to fellow investigator Sebastian Gage only a day away, Kiera is counting down the hours. But just when matrimonial jitters threaten to consume her, Kiera receives a welcome distraction in the form of a mysterious gold necklace.

The Celtic torc, thought missing for decades, was directly involved in a recent investigation. Now, Kiera feels compelled to uncover the truth behind its sudden reappearance.

But with an overwhelming flock of wedding guests, a muddled cat, an unpaid favor, and a ferocious storm throwing things into disarray, it’s anyone’s guess whether Kiera and Gage will actually make it to the altar…

Inc…

Interview with Radha Vasal

Image
Today, I have the pleasure to interview Radha Vasal. She is the author of A Front Page Affair. It is the first novel in this historical mystery series that features the amateur sleuth, Kitty Weeks. Kitty Weeks is a journalist that writes for the "Ladies' Page" for The Sentinel. However, she wants to about other topics in within the newspaper. When she stumbles upon a murder, she finds an opportunity where her dreams may turn into reality. I have read and reviewed A Front Page Affair and enjoyed it immensely. I hope this interview will give you some further insight about her  debut novel. Thank you, Miss Vasal.


What drew you to write historical mysteries?
I love mysteries and I love period piece dramas. I also love learning about history. It seemed like a great fit to put all my interests together.
What drew you to that particular time period?
I’m fascinated by all the changes that took place during the 1910s. As readers, we may be more familiar with the robber barons of…

Interview with Weina Dai Randel

Image
Today, I have the pleasure to interview Weina Dai Randel. She is the author of The Moon in the Palace and The Empress of Bright Moon. Both of these books are about the early life of Wu Zetian, China's only female Emperor. I have reviewed these books, and I enjoyed them immensely. I hope this interview will give you some insight into her writing, and also her subject, the fascinating Wu Zetian. Thank you, Mrs. Randel.



What is it about Empress Wu that fascinated you?
     I grew up watching a TV show about Empress Wu, played by a famous Taiwanese actress called Pan Yingzi. I don't remember much about what happened in the show, but I loved the show then and the fact that Empress Wu was the first and only female ruler in China was most fascinating to me.  
In history's judgement of Empress Wu, what qualities do you think have been misrepresented and which have been justified?
     I want to say many admirable qualities of Empress Wu were omitted, but it's not that simple,…

Grendel's Mother by Diana Stout: A Book Review

Image
Grendel’s Mother
Author: Diana Stout
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Sharpened Pencils Productions
Release Date: March 16, 2016
Pages: 113
Source:  This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: A 15-year-old girl dreams of freedom, with a desire to marry the young man she loves. A horrific event changes her life forever. Pregnant and having brought shame to her family and community, she is sacrificed to the dragon to die, but instead, the dragon saves her unbeknownst to her family and the community. 

     This literary novel reveals a journey of societal injustice, a girl's love for Nature that enables her to survive life in the wild alone, of her giving birth and raising a baby—deemed a monster—entirely on her own. 

     In the end, not only does she battle Grendel to keep him safe, but she battles her son’s killer, Beowulf, as well. 

My Review: Grendel’s Mother is one of the main antagonists in Beowulf. While reading the tale, the reader…

The Prophetess: Deborah's Story by Jill Eileen Smith: A Book Review

Image
The Prophetess: Deborah’s Story 
Author: Jill Eileen Smith
Genre: Historical Fiction, Biblical Fiction, Christian
Publisher: Revell
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Pages: 370
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Canaan has ravaged Israel. The people are in hiding. All that stands between surrender and hope is one untested woman. 

     Deborah will never forget the day her father and brothers left to worship at the Lord's tabernacle--or the wails of her mother after finding their bodies at the city gates. The memories of Canaan's cruelty haunt her and all of Israel. Now in this dark time, the Lord calls on Deborah to lead His people away from the idols of other nations and back to Him. 

     Deborah never asked to be a prophetess or a judge over God's people. Still, she cannot deny His voice or the visions that accompany it. Can her family ever understand? Will her people believe God's calling on her life? And can the Canaanite menace be stopped…

Guest Post by Andrew Joyce: Belinda Mulrooney: Queen of the Klondike

Image
Today, I have the pleasure to host Andrew Joyce again. He has written the book Molly Lee, and has just released his new novel, Resolution: Huck Finn's Greatest Adventure. This novel stars not only Huck Finn but also Molly Lee. In this guest post, he discusses a historical figure, Belinda Mulrooney, whom he came across while writing, Resolution. I hope you find her story interesting and that this gives you some insight into his new book. Thank you, Mr. Joyce.



Belinda Mulrooney: Queen of the Klondike
     While doing research for my latest novel,Resolution: Huck Finn’s Greatest Adventure, I came across an astounding woman—one who bested some of the toughest men in the world at their own game. Her name was Belinda Mulrooney. 


     The setting for RESOLUTION is the Yukon Territory in the year 1896. The biggest discovery of gold had just been made and the outside world was flocking in by the tens of thousands. The women who made the arduous climb over the Chilkoot Pass and flowed dow…

A Lady in the Smoke: A Victorian Mystery by Karen Odden

Image
A Lady in the Smoke: A Victorian Mystery 
Author: Karen Odden
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: Alibi
Release Date: March 29, 2016
Pages: 375
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Featuring all the suspense and historical atmosphere of Anne Perry’s Victorian mysteries, Karen Odden’s enthralling debut plunges a headstrong young Englishwoman into a conspiracy that reaches the highest corridors of power.

     Following a humiliating fourth Season in London, Lady Elizabeth Fraser is on her way back to her ancestral country estate when her train careens off the rails and bursts into flames. Though she is injured, she manages to drag herself and her unconscious mother out of the wreckage, and amid the chaos that ensues, a brilliant young railway surgeon saves her mother’s life. Elizabeth feels an immediate connection with Paul Wilcox—though society would never deem a medical man eligible for the daughter of an earl.

     After Paul reveals that the train…

Blog Tour: Book Spotlight of Kathryn Kelly: The Moll Behind "Machine Gun" Kelly by Barbara Casey

Image
Kathryn Kelly: The Moll Behind "Machine Gun" Kelly
Author: Barbara Casey
Genre: History, Biography, True Crime
Publisher: Strategic Media Books
Release Date: February 1, 2016
Synopsis: Kathryn Kelly: The Moll Behind "Machine Gun" Kelly is a biography of the woman who made a career of crime. With a lust for danger, she masterminded the crimes that took her and her husband, and others who included her own mother and stepfather, on a spree across Minnesota, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Texas. Starting with smaller crimes that included bootlegging, smuggling liquor onto an Oklahoma Indian reservation, and other petty crimes, she encouraged her husband, George Barnes aka George Kelly, toward a life of more serious criminal activity that eventually escalated into bank robberies, kidnapping and extortion.

Many believe that it was Kathryn, after giving him a machine gun, who developed George's feared persona and the name of Machine Gun Kelly. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was eve…