Thank you so much to dearest Sally for sharing Adele Marie’s 5 star review of Golden Healer… yeah… and an extract… More about this here… on Sally’s brilliant blog do visit!
Fighting for success in 17th century Amsterdam, a female artist must risk everything – and make enemies along the way.
Clara Peeters’ idyllic upbringing is shattered by her mother’s death, leaving her with a secret horror of childbirth. When her childhood love, Henri, proposes marriage and she refuses, they are both left heartbroken, though she must conceal her pain.
Defying convention, gifted artist Clara becomes a pupil to the renowned painter, Osias Beerts. But when the highly prized patronage won from the powerful Burgomeister Fabritius turns to hostility, Clara has to make sacrifices and risk everything to pursue her craft.
Together with fellow pupil Nico, the two find themselves surrounded by dangerous secrets and powerful enemies. But in the face of so much past pain, can something as fragile as love survive?
Still Life: A 17th Century Historical Romance Novel by Dodie Bishop
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Throughout this 17th century tale death in childbirth and the power over, patronage of and rape and sexual abuse of women are powerful themes. Along with witch persecution and the taboo and abhorrence of same sex male partners to love and live openly at that historical time period.
Clara mother’s dies in childbirth leaving her with an overwhelming fear of ever becoming pregnant and this has huge consequences for her personal love life. Clara is a strong willed artist determined to make her way in a world ruthlessly dominated by men. Clara tolerates Fabritius’s ‘patronage,’ until it is clear what sort of man he is and her sister Adela is somewhat foolish making some terrible choices with regard to men with horrendous outcomes. Clara’s aunt disapproves of her painting, as do so many others but Clara’s admirable force of will and determination to succeed overcomes prejudice to follow her chosen career path often at the detriment of her life in other ways.
What an engaging tale. I loved this and became so absorbed in the life of artist Clara and the wonderful variety of characters in this story. The descriptive writing really pulled me in. The ending was so poignant, emotional and sad. Life wasn’t easy for women way back then! She had to be tough! She is such a strong character full of determination and I really loved Constanza, Nico and Henri too.
Notes from Wikipedia: “Clara Peeters was a Flemish still-life painter from Antwerp who worked in both the Spanish Netherlands and Dutch Republic. Peeters is the best-known female Flemish artist of this era and one of the few women artists working professionally in seventeenth-century Europe, despite restrictions on women’s access to artistic training and membership in guilds. Peeters specialized in still-life paintings with food and was prominent among the artists who shaped the traditions of the Netherlandish ontbijtjes, “breakfast pieces,” scenes of food and simple vessels, and banketjes, “banquet pieces” with expensive cups and vessels in precious metals.”
Listened to on Audiobook – the narrator did a fabulous job.
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On her first visit to her parent’s new home in Derbyshire, Beth Watson hears the whispered call coming from the old ruined mansion next door. Captivated by Roseby Hall, and disillusioned with her job and her unfaithful fiancé, she leaves her life in London to make a new life – and, rediscovering her talent for art, embarks upon a new venture as an artist of note and partner in the new craft shop in the village. Soon, she has two men in her life – Rick, the attractive twin brother of Beth’s new friend Rachel, and the other a devastatingly handsome Earl. One is puzzling – and the other is a ghost. Beth finds herself struggling to understand her feelings for them both and dealing with the confusion within. But someone in the village knows that Beth is now caught up in a race against time, which could end with her untimely death, and there’s only one person who can prevent it.
The Ghosts of Roseby Hall by Jeanette Taylor Ford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Thank you to the author for a copy. Review given freely and all opinions are my own.
The Ghosts of Roseby Hall. An enjoyable paranormal ghost mystery. The author has a pleasing voice and the story left me with a feel good feeling.
The ghostly drama and romance suspense is a little slow to develop but this leaves time for the characters, setting and plot to develop.
And the story is wrapped up well. There is a short section at the end explaining the inspiration for the story: a mansion in Sutton Scarsdale built by the 4th Earl of Scarsdale which is interesting, giving this an appealing, personal touch. I like stories which are inspired by actual places, etc.
Overall, this is a nice uncomplicated story of ancestral lives and family secrets, focusing on a haunted house, Roseby Hall, with the threat of ghostly menace portrayed without being frightening, or disturbing to the reader.
So a gentle, mysterious family tale of loved ones lost with romantic feel good elements.
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Fabulous review by Sally Cronin for Richard’s Dee’s We Are Saul which is currently on pre-order on Amazon. Get yourself a copy via this link:
I was lucky to receive an ARC copy as a beta reader and it’s a fab 5 star read. Link to my review: https://mjmallon.com/2022/02/15/book-review-we-are-saul-by-richard-dee-richarddockett1-book-review-scifi/
Check out Sally’s review and details of the #pre-order at source: Smorgasbord Bookshelf – #New Book and Book Review – #Pre-order #Scifi #GeneticEngineering We are Saul by Richard Dee | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine
Blog Tour You Won’t Know Her Name by Shanti Hershenson
This is my post during the blog tour for You Won’t Know Her Name by Shanti Hershenson. You Won’t Know Her Name is written by a fourteen year old author and is based on a true story.
This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours and the tour runs from 21 February till 6 March. You can see the tour schedule here: http://www.lolasblogtours.net/blog-tour-you-wont-know-her-name-by-shanti-hershenson
You Won’t Know Her Name
By Shanti Hershenson
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: July 27, 2021
“I thought they were my best friend…”
There lives a little girl whom you will never know the name of, and for her, a terrible storm is coming. She is going to a new, public middle school knowing no one but her sister, and the horrors are absolutely endless.
But she doesn’t expect what is to come.
In her first few months of school, terrible and unspeakable things begin to happen, that go beyond what is considered “normal”. Finding the courage to get away from the wrong people is a difficult thing, but when a horrific incident occurs, she finds herself running from who she once thought to be friends.
Now lost and alone, The Girl turns to one thing to help her get through her darkest moments. Writing poetry is the one way she can express her anger, and when her school announces that they will be hosting an open-mic night, she knows she has to enter. But entering means that she will have to face her demons, and it could be her worst nightmare…
From a teenaged author, You Won’t Know Her Name shines a light on a heartbreaking reality that often goes unspoken about – the issue that is bullying in middle school. From hateful comments to real, shocking violence, this book shares what cannot be ignored.
As a keen poet myself I was curious to read this poetry book by a teenage author. It’s remarkable that the author, Shanti Hershenson, was only thirteen when she wrote this! There is a simplicity in Shanti’s stream of consciousness poetry which works well, highlighting the complexity of painful topics such as bullying, panic attacks, sexual assault, verbal abuse, physical assault and thoughts about suicide. There are trigger warnings throughout, each poem is highlighted with content warnings where needed.
It’s not for the faint-hearted and made me feel so sad in places. So please be aware, it is not for everyone.
Ages 14 and up. Some topics may not be suitable for younger readers
I particularly appreciate accessible poetry which is understandable without trying to be pretentious and this is simple, and yet oh so poignant. On a personal level, it’s relatable too – as I moved to a new school – a new country and culture in the last but one year of primary. And yes, I suffered, because I stood out like a sore thumb. And my daughters experienced bullying problems too in their school years.
It’s interesting how Shanti calls the bullied protagonist The Girl. I suppose the point being this reads like a personal account but it could be anyone. Anyone can be bullied. And perhaps anyone, of either gender given certain circumstances can be a bully? The bully, (whom the Girl thought was a friend,) she calls the person – not naming their gender, dehumanising them.
Bullies need to be taught that their behaviour is unacceptable. It’s all about education, tolerance, cultural and other awareness and instilling kindness. It’s about speaking out and ensuring that those in a position of authority, such as teachers, employers, and the like listen to and take appropriate action, adopting a no tolerance attitude to bullies.
These excerpts brought back personal memories…
‘They told her mother that it was
“Just middle school.”
And that, “It happens all the time.”
That night she swears not to stay silent.
Not to listen to her principal
Who thinks she’s burning bridges
Because really, staying silent never did anything.
Whether bullying happens all the time, or not, it is not acceptable. And can do such terrible harm.
Shanti’s poetry is also about not feeling alone in your troubles. Being brave and speaking out.
There is a section at the back of the book with helpful resources.
Wonderful collection from one so young. Impressive. And brave, I wish her every success.
My rating 5 stars.
STAIRS AND STARES
The Girl hurries up the stairs
And makes it to a large door
Where she can hear voices inside
Preparing to start the day
And with her backpack slung over her shoulder
She steps inside, and is met with the stares
Lots and lots of stares
TOO MANY CLASSMATES
Up until this point, The Girl had attended private school
But now she’s struggling to fit in
In a new city
With too many classmates
That she does not know
She’ll come to learn their names, in time
But for now, they are strangers, and she is alone
About the Author:
Shanti Hershenson’s first two novellas were published when she was in the sixth grade, although her writing journey started long before then. Ever since she could hold a pencil, marker, or crayon, she was creating stories. They started from pictures, mere scribbles, and eventually, turned into captivating tales.
– Website: https://www.shantihershenson.com/
– Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShantiHersh
– Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shantihershenson/
– Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@shantiwhowrites
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of You Won’t Know Her Name. 5 winners will win a paperback copy of You Won’t Know Her name by Shanti Hershenson (US Only).
For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you to the author and the blog tour company for the opportunity to read and review.
Thank you to Janice Spina for this interview and review of Bloodstone, my YA Fantasy… read on to discover more!
It is always a sincere pleasure to welcome a fellow author to Interview an Author on Jemsbooks.blog. Today, please help me welcome talented author, Marjorie Mallon.
Thank you, Marjorie, for stopping by today to share a little bit about yourself and your books. I am excited to have you here! The floor is yours!
Thank you so much Janice for hosting me on your lovely blog.
Jjspina: My pleasure, Marjorie. Love the photo!
How do you come up with ideas for your stories?
I’d say that I am a visually inspired author whose ideas largely come from intriguing places and striking creations I’ve seen, or unusual creatures both human and of the furry kind! I love taking photos of the natural world and these often inspire my writing. This is particularly the case in my poetry, prose and photography book, Mr. Sagittarius which features many photos of trees, flowers and creatures! What projects are you currently working on? My current focus is on Book 2 in my YA paranormal adventure – The Curse of Time series, Golden Healer, which is currently with my publisher Next Chapter. After the final editing process, it will need approval of edits before it is published. Also, I will be listening to chapters of the audio-book production of the first book, Bloodstone. I’m so excited about these developments. The Curse of Time series is a true labour of love, a story that I spent considerable time perfecting. I am so proud that Book 2 is finished, it has been the hardest project I’ve attempted to date. Recently, I received an award for Bloodstone from Amazon Reviewer/Influencer N. N. Light – finalist in her International Author, and Fantasy award for books awarded 5 stars and 5 stars ++ which really boosted my confidence. Furthermore, I have a poetry collection waiting to be finished. It is entitled, Do What You Love. It is a celebration of all my loves: writing, family, friends, and special places I adore.