Welcome to Book Lovers Paradise

Welcome to my attempt at blogging. I am a true to heart bibliophile. Here I will discuss and review books as I read them. You are welcome to do the same. The only rules are no profanity, no politics, no religion, and have fun!

Monday, July 6, 2015

AN IMMORTAL DESCENT--I have anxiously awaited this book!!!

02_An Immortal Descent

Publication Date: July 6, 2015 Publisher: Carina Press eBook; ASIN: B00XCYM8XS Series: Goddess Born, Book Three Genre: Historical/Fantasy/Romance

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   As a goddess-born healer, Selah Kilbrid wants nothing to do with the goddess of death and disease, nor any of her human progeny. But when the two people she loves most disappear,her dearest friend Nora Goodwin and her betrothed Lord Henry Fitzalan, Selah has no choice but to leave London in pursuit of Death's most powerful daughter. Accompanied by a ragtag group of travelers, Selah follows a treacherous path across the Irish Sea to the long-forgotten prison of a witch who once nearly destroyed Ireland. Selah would face any danger to protect those she loves, but what if it means unleashing a greater evil on the human world? Could she risk the lives of many to save a few, or are some sacrifices too great?

An Immortal Descent Available at

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About the Author

03_Kari Edgren

Kari Edgren is the author of the Goddess Born series. In 2010 and 2011 she was a semifinalist for the Amazon Break Through Novel Award. In 2013, she was a RWA Golden Heart finalist. Ms. Edgren enjoys writing both historical and contemporary fiction, so long as there's a paranormal twist. She resides on a mountain top in the Pacific Northwest where she spends a great deal of time dreaming about the sun and torturing her husband and children with strange food and random historical facts. For more information please visit Kari Edgren's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. Sign up for Kari Edgren's Newsletter.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015


                          02_Wealth and Privilege_Cover

Please join author Jeanette Watts as she tours the blogosphere with HF Virtual Book Tours for Wealth and Privilege, from June 16-July 17.

Ebook Release Date: 2013 Paperback Release Date: 2014 CreateSpace Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

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Money. Family. Love. Hate. Obsession. Duty. Politics. Religion - or the lack thereof. Sex -- or, once again, the lack thereof. Thomas Baldwin finds himself married to a woman he can't stand, while head-over heels in love with another woman he can't have. Talk about bad planning. He is something of a kite, buffeted by circumstances which blow him not only through personal crises, but also through some of the most significant events of the late 1800s, including the railroad riots of 1877, the creation of the Homestead Steel Works, the assassination of President Garfield, and the Johnstown Flood. Over time, and with the help of his muse, who dances maddeningly just beyond his reach, he takes control of his life, wresting it from the winds attempting to control him. A carefully-researched historical novel about life among the privileged class of Pittsburgh during the Industrial Revolution.

Praise for Wealth and Privilege

"Thomas Baldwin is like a Rorschach inkblot test. Some people love him, some people find him unlikeable. Most people can't stand his wife. Others feel sorry for her. I take the fact that people have such a huge variety of reactions to my characters as a sign I succeeded in writing full, rich personalities." - Kirkus Reviews

 "Wealth and Privilege is an exceptionally provoking read. The real romance is between the author and the reader" - Page Traveler

Wealth and Privilege Available at

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About the Author03A_Jeanette Watts_Author

Jeanette Watts couldn't help but notice that all romances seemed to be set in the American West or the South. A staunch Yankee girl, she asked what is unromantic about the North or the East? After living for four years in Pittsburgh, and falling deeply in love with southwestern Pennsylvania, she found it the perfect location for a love story. Besides writing, she is also a dance instructor, an inveterate seamstress, the artistic director for several dance companies, an actress, and a history buff. Wealth and Privilege took her 10 years to write, because she felt the research needed to be thorough. Everything from big events and famous people to little details like dog breeds and women's fashions have been carefully researched. For more information visit Jeanette Watt's website, and follow the Wealth and Privilege Facebook Page.

Wealth & Privilege Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, June 16 Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Wednesday, June 17 Spotlight at What Is That Book About Friday, June 19 Review & Giveaway at Unshelfish Monday, June 22 Review at Book Nerd Tuesday, June 23 Guest Post at I Heart Reading Wednesday, July 1 Review at Book Lovers Paradise Thursday, July 2 Spotlight at A Literary Vacation Monday, July 6 Review at A Chick Who Reads Tuesday, July 7 Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews Friday, July 17 Spotlight at Passages to the Past

my thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book.  It was like riding a raft down a long winding river.  That river was the late 1800's.  As the rider of the raft I witnessed several important events while following the lives of Thomas and Regina.  I grew to love both characters.  Both have heart, style and kind natures.  I felt sorry for Thomas' wife.  Yes, she asked for all she got, and more...but things didn't turn out the way she planned.   Throughout the book, I kept waiting for Thomas and Regina to get together.

The research that must have gone into this novel is staggering.  Jeanette Watts brings these events to life for us.  We seem to have a front seat view of history, and it's amazing to watch.

All I can say, the ending was not as I expected.  I admit, it left me with feeling of rage.  Not just anger, but pure rage.  Without going into the reasons for my rage, and giving away the ending, I'd just like to say to the author...I HOPE YOU HAVE A SEQUEL IN THE WORKS.   

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Roman Mask Release Day Blitz

Publication Date: June 29, 2015
Formats: Kindle & Paperback
Pages: 388
Genre: Historical Fiction/Adventure/Action

What is it we normally expect of the leading character in our books? Self-sacrifice? Bravery? Strength of character? Possibly with a hint of self-deprecation? Well, Cassius doesn’t have any of those. Cynicism – yes. Cowardice – possibly. Prepared to live a lie in order to further his own ends – absolutely!

It is Rome AD 9 and Augustus Caesar rules Imperial Rome at the height of its power, as the Roman Empire stretches across the known world. Cassius, son of one of her most powerful families, is the personification of Rome’s imperial strength: wealthy, popular, a war hero with a decorated military career. None of Rome’s fashionable parties are complete without him.

But he hides a secret.

After his nerve is broken in Germany, even the thought of genuine armed combat is enough to send him into a cold sweat. But this doesn’t dissuade him from living off a false reputation so he can continue a life of womanising, wine and wild parties, as he is seduced by the many vices of Rome. However, his scandalous life is interrupted by a summons from the emperor’s wife. It ends his happy decadent life and returns him to Germany to assist the Roman legions in their greatest ever trial. The events will resound through history, in the dark forests of the Teutoburg …

I have researched the calamitous history of the doomed legions that marched into the Teutoburg Forest in AD 9, using a wide range of historical sources including the classical works of Tacitus and the more recent archaeological findings of the early 1990s in Kalkriese. I have put my complicated hero, who clearly suffers from the post-traumatic stress of his last encounter with the German tribes, at the centre of the events that rocked Rome to its foundations. How can a man, so flawed in so many respects, possibly impact on these terrible events? By his humanity, by coming to terms with his flaws, and learning to stop hating himself for them. It is a tale of betrayal and hardship, but also personal redemption.

Roman Mask Available At

About the Author

Thomas Brooke lives in London where he works in the exciting, and sometimes crazy, fashion world. He is also a committed writer and he spends as much time as he can in his beloved Northumbrian hills, where up until recently could be seen walking with his black Labrador Fergus, who sadly passed in January 2015. Fergus was a constant companion to the writing of the novel and prevented many writers’ tantrums.

Roman Mask is Thomas Brooke’s second novel, although this will be the first available for sale.

As well as writing novels, he also writes a blog on both historical and fantasy genre novels.

For more information on Thomas M D Brooke, visit www.thomasmdbrooke.com and www.romanmask.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Lover's Path

Please join Kris Waldherr on her first Blog Tour with HF Virtual Book Tours for The Lover's Path: An Illustrated Novella of Venice, from June 16-30.


Publication Date: June 16, 2015 Publisher: Art and Words Editions eBook; 114p Genre: Historical Fiction/Graphic Novel New expanded and revised anniversary edition. Finally available for iPad and Kindle.

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 "To truly love another, you must follow the lover's path wherever it may take you . . ." Filamena Ziani is the much younger sister of the most famous courtesan in sixteenth-century Venice, Tullia Ziani. Orphaned as an infant, Filamena has come of age bent like a branch to her sister's will, sheltered and lonely in the elegant but stifling confines of their palazzo by the sea. Then a dark-haired stranger offers a gift that will change the course of her life forever: a single ripe plum, and an invitation to walk along the lover's path, wherever it may lead. THE LOVER'S PATH, a moving tale of forbidden love, is a romantic epic told in multiple layers. Through a novel combination of Filamena's narrative, famous love stories from history and mythology, and sumptuously ornate illustrations, Filomena's path is beautifully described and, finally, stunningly revealed. Praised by The New York Times Book Review for her "quality of myth and magic " Kris Waldherr brings to life a remarkable period in Venetian history using art and words. Her glorious celebration of romance, the feminine spirit, and the power of love to transform will inspire and move readers everywhere.

Praise for The Lover's Path

"THE LOVER'S PATH is beautiful in every way; not only is the story of the girl's secret and ultimately dangerous love wonderfully told, but the exquisite illustrations and layout make you feel that you have truly fallen into old Venice with its longing and eroticism. Prepare to be lifted into another time and place and discover secrets long guarded. That one extraordinarily talented writer/artist/designer could have created this whole world is almost not to be believed but it is so. You must own this lovely, lovely book! Stephanie Cowell, author of Claude and Camille and Marrying Mozart

 "The Loverís Path is a visual and literary feast.... The star-crossed lovers are a celebrated courtesan's virginal and over-protected young sister and a cardinal's illegitimate son. The lovers in the book are linked mythically and thematically to the archetypal lovers on the Lover's Path: Dante and Beatrice, Isis and Osiris, Tristan and Isolde, Orpheus and Eurydice, and ultimately Eros and Psyche.... Haunting." Mary Sharratt, author of Daughters of the Witching Hill

 "Prepare to be transported to 16th century Venice from the first page. This novel is a feast, a full-color picture book for adults that tells a wrenching story of eternal love". This beautiful fable reminded me of Erica Jong"s Serenissima."NPR Books

 "With this illustrated novel, Waldherr has spun a wondrous story spilling over with mythological figures, with tarot cards and personal letters. You're pulled into a vortex of a 16th century romance centered on Filamena Ziani, the younger sister of a famous courtesan in Venice,. Waldherr, who based her novel on a real-life courtesan, also created the illustrations for her book."The Albuquerque Journal

 "Voluptuous illustration and enthralling narrative ... in this extraordinary testament to the strength of the feminine spirit."WNBC/B(u)y the Book

 "Kris Waldherr's The Lover's Path plunges readers into the mysterious and exhilarating world of sixteenth-century Venice.... A visual adventure."Women in the Arts, the Magazine of the National Museum of Women in the Arts

The Lover's Path Available At

Kindle Fire format (Deluxe edition with full color graphics) Kindle format (Optimized for b/w and smaller screen size) iPad format (Deluxe edition with interactive full color graphics) iPhone format (Optimized for small screen size)

About the AuthorKrisWaldherrauthorphoto

Kris Waldherr is an award-winning author, illustrator, and designer whose many books include Doomed Queens and The Book of Goddesses. She is also the creator of the Goddess Tarot, which has nearly a quarter of a million copies in print. Waldherrís illustrations have been exhibited in many galleries and museums, including the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Mazza Museum, and the Ruskin Library. She lives and works in Brooklyn with her husband and their young daughter. Visit her online at KrisWaldherr.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

The Lover's Path Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, June 16 Review at Unabridged Chick Review & Guest Post at Unshelfish Excerpt at Let Them Read Books Wednesday, June 17 Review at CelticLady's Reviews Review at Peeking Between the Pages Interview & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick Thursday, June 18 Review & Excerpt at Oh, for the Hook of a Book! Friday, June 19 Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book! Spotlight & Excerpt at Raven Haired Girl Monday, June 22 Review at A Book Drunkard Tuesday, June 23 Review & Guest Post at Book Lovers Paradise Wednesday, June 24 Review & Guest Post at The Emerald City Book Review Thursday, June 25 Review at Broken Teepee Friday, June 26 Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past Monday, June 29 Spotlight at A Literary Vacation Tuesday, June 30 Review at Just One More Chapter

my thoughts:
A delightfully charming novella.  Richly illustrated, (the pictures are worth price of the book themselves) and wonderfully told.  The combination of mythological lovers, and classic tales before each  chapter enhance the story.  Filomena is wonderful, innocent character.  You will be drawn in by her innocence and charm.   

I made the mistake of reading this book on my kindle paperwhite.  The black and white illustrations were suboptimal.  I was able to upload the book to my iPad...what a difference.  If you read this book on an ereader, make certain you can access the illustrations in color.

I enjoyed this short book, and was left wanting more.

5/5 stars,


Chapter 1: Grace

The fiaba of the lover’s path begins almost two decades ago as the story of two sisters, alike as doves in appearance, but different as water and wine in temperament and experience.
  At that time, I was only a girl of sixteen. For as long as I could remember, my sister Tullia and I lived in a palazzo set in Venice, a labyrinth of a city where we heard the sea murmur its music day and night. This palazzo was furnished by my sister through her extraordinary talents and beauty. It glittered with golden mosaics, and was graced with sumptuous paintings and intricate tapestries. Within this palazzo we were aided by servants who felt affection for us. Among them were Caterina, who was Tullia’s ruffiana—her procuress and confidant—and Caterina’s daughter Laura, who was my playmate as well as my maid. And it was there in this palazzo that I bent to my sister’s rule, a sapling recognizing the sun’s sovereignty.

As I write of Tullia, I will try not to be harsh. I know many have called her a mysterious beauty, cool in the use of her considerable intelligence and allure. In all honesty, my sister was as elusive to me as she was to others. Nonetheless, I hope time has bestowed upon me a measure of wisdom as I remind myself of her unavoidable influence upon me. After all, Tullia was my first vision in this life. My earliest memory is of her bending over to soothe me as I sobbed the inconsolable tears of childhood, her blonde hair a dazzle of light around a divinity. Unlike most children, my first word was not madre or padre. It was sorella, sister, in honor of Tullia, for our parents had drowned a year after my birth, leaving my sister as the elder of us by fourteen years to raise and provide for me.

Despite her reputation as the most illustrious courtesan in Venice, Tullia shielded my eyes from the carnal nature of love; I saw little that would make a nun blush. But she educated me in other ways, teaching me to read and write in Italian and Latin, a priceless gift bestowed upon few women, for which I am forever grateful. She also tutored me in the art of music, for which I quickly showed love and aptitude. My precocious talents soon won me the affectionate soprannome, or nickname, of la filomela—the nightingale—so similar to my given name of Filamena.
If it was because of my sister that I had an active mind, a voice to sing, food to eat, and a roof over my head, it was also because of my sister I was made to stay inside my home after I turned twelve. Noting that I was of an age where men might approach me because of her profession, Tullia did not allow me to leave the palazzo unless I was dressed plainly and accompanied by an elder servant. These occasions arose less and less frequently as time passed. No matter how much I begged for freedom, Tullia ignored my pleas. She would explain to me in patient tones that my isolation was necessary. It was her hope that, in time, people would see me as a woman separate from her, rather than as the sister of a courtesan. This was small consolation, for the loneliness that colored my hours felt unending. At sixteen, I was of an age when most young women had already married and borne children, or entered a convent to do God’s work. For myself there was nothing—only an abstract promise that might be fulfilled in the future if my sister willed it so.
What else do I remember about my life at that time? Sometimes when I was alone in my room, I would let a feather fall from my window into the sea. I’d watch it float away into the sea for as long as I could, imagining the countries it might reach—faraway lands I wished I could visit one day, unnamed countries I could only imagine.
   I also recall the brightness of gold ducats and of my sister’s hair. The insistent chatter of baby sparrows clustered about my feet as I sang inside the walled garden behind our palazzo. The precious show of sun upon my face. The spicy perfume of oranges from our garden. The briny smell of the sea on warm summer afternoons. The starched linen of my plain brown cloak against my young, tender skin—the cloak that hid me from others’ eyes on the increasingly rare occasions when I ventured into the world. Most of all, I remember the confusion of innocence, gratitude, anger, and guilt that infused my emotions toward the sister I loved yet resented.
Now as I look back, I think Tullia truly wished our fiaba of two sisters to remain as it was forever—to divert time like water from its path. But this, of course, was impossible. To preserve my innocence, a courtesan such as my sister would have had to layer restriction upon restriction as if they were blankets upon a winter bed. While she may have thought she was protecting me from the bitter cold, she only made the snow outside my window look all the more enticing.
I began to think of escape.

In the May of 1526, I celebrated my sixteenth birthday, still trapped within my home by my sister’s will. By then, it had been well over six months since I’d last set foot outside our palazzo beyond the walled garden. Shortly after my birthday came La Sensa, the annual celebration marking the marriage of Venice to the sea. Despite the cruel illness that had taken so many lives earlier that spring, my sister still held her infamous annual feast. Many considered this unseemly, but Tulla’s La Sensa feast was necessary to solidify her standing and desirability in society. It was for this celebration that she would compose a poem praising the powers of love and set it to music; I would perform this song to the accompaniment of her lute.
I looked forward to these recitals as a prisoner yearns to glimpse the first anemones of spring from her jail window. I loved the intense study involved in mastering new music as much as I loved the transfixed attention of my sister’s guests as I sang for them. While I did not otherwise participate in Tullia’s entertainments—she would not allow me, for by morning’s wake these celebrations often disintegrated into private ones of a more sensual sort—after I finished singing, I would watch from the back of the musicians’ gallery, set high on the wall of the great hall. I was careful not to let the candlelight reveal me as I eagerly spied upon the world forbidden to me.
However, by the spring of my sixteenth year, my joy in music was tempered with steely resolve: I would use my music to free myself from my sister.
Though over two decades have passed since this night, I still remember how I sat inside my chamber the evening of the feast, trying with little success to calm my trilling nerves. Caterina had confided that a great cardinal was coming to La Sensa, one reputed to especially love music. I would perform for him and more than one hundred guests. He would hear me sing. Perhaps I could gain his favor, like so many musicians before me. He could champion my art, bring me to court. I would become a virtuosa, a great musician, and make my way in the world.
As I prepared for La Sensa, I felt the weight of the hopes I dared not express to anyone but myself. My maid, Laura, helped me dress. I braided my hair myself. As I twisted it into a knot behind my neck, a sinuous perfume curled about me. Lilies, roses, vanilla....
“Like two doves are we,” Tullia announced softly, standing behind me as I stared at myself in the mirror. “Both light and serene.”
I exhaled her perfume and looked up. The mirror reflected two golden-hair sisters with grey eyes. One wore a simple gown the color of cream, her braided hair bare of ornaments; the other, red brocade embroidered with silver thread, the full sleeves of her dress slashed with silver ribbon, her curls woven with pearls. I felt as plain as Tullia was beautiful. A sparrow next to a bird of paradise.
“I know you’ll sing your loveliest tonight, Filamena,” she said. “Though I remain uncertain how wise it is to allow you to perform....”
I couldn’t bear to answer; I feared any protest would invite attention to what I most desired. My heart sped as my sister curved her long neck, so much like mine, to rest her soft cool cheek against my shoulder. Could she guess my thoughts? Apparently not, for she only smiled at our reflection in the mirror.
“Shall we?” she asked after smoothing my hair. “The hour is late.”
Tullia took my hand to lead me to the musicians’ gallery, where I was to remain unseen though not unheard. I followed her, cold with desperation.
From my perch above the great hall, I looked down onto the celebration already underway. I stared at the cardinal, resplendent in his scarlet robes as he held court before my sister’s guests, willing his eyes toward mine. Though the hall was full, there were fewer guests than usual, no doubt because of the sickness that still lingered in Venice. Some wore large-nosed masks of gold and silver, as if they could deceive death by hiding their identities. Others, their faces bared, were less cautious. Dressed in costly silks and velvets, they milled about the large wood and marble table set in the center of the great hall. Gracing the table were some of the voluptuous offerings for which my sister’s celebrations were famed: platters of fowl and fish and bread, with rose petals arranged like a ruddy snowfall around each dish; rare fruits preserved in cordial, nuts glistening in honey, and numerous silver flasks of wine.
Upon my sister’s cue, servants extinguished half the candles, plunging the room into a golden dusk. Everyone fell silent.
Tullia rose and greeted her guests with a graceful speech. Then she looked up at me, hidden in the musician’s gallery, and nodded.
As she plucked the strings of her lute, my voice soared forth.


Guest Post: The Honest Courtesan in The Lover’s Path

My inspiration for The Lover’s Path arrived from an unexpected source: the life of Tullia d’Aragona[link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tullia_d%27Aragona], an Italian sixteenth century courtesan admired for her wit, lute playing, and glittering salons that attracted the bright and powerful. Indeed, it is d’Aragona’s beautiful portrait that graces my book cover.

When I began work on The Lover’s Path, I initially intended it to be an illustrated collection of love stories. However, after reading about d’Aragona in Georgiana Masson’s fascinating Courtesans of the Italian Renaissance, I was moved to add a framing device where these love stories were related by the lovelorn sister of Tullia Ziani, a fictional courtesan loosely based on d’Aragona.

In sixteenth century Venice, a high ranking courtesan such as d’Aragona was known as a cortigiana onesta, or an “honest courtesan”. The Honest Courtesan occupied a different social realm than the usual streetwalker. Though both accepted payment for sexual intimacies, the Honest Courtesan sported breeding, education, beauty, wit, and talents beyond their abilities to please between the sheets. They often wielded celebrity and political influence, granting them an unusual power for women in Italian society.

So, how was business conducted by the Honest Courtesan in sixteenth century Venice? First off, the Catalogo de tutte le principal et pi honorate cortigiane di Venetia (“Catalog of the principal honest courtesans of Venice”) gave the nitty-gritty on these elite ladies of the night: where to find them, how much to pay, and who to contact. The Honest Courtesan also used savvy PR, or “branding” if you will, to build her fame. These efforts could include posing for paintings, writing poetry, and other entertainments. Here’s how I described this process in The Lover’s Path:

“Tulla’s La Sensa celebration was necessary to solidify her standing and desirability in society. It was for this event that she would compose a poem praising the powers of love and set it to music....”

Finally, the Honest Courtesan wouldn’t offer her intimate pleasures without extensive and expensive wooing. Again, from The Lover’s Path:

“Within my sister’s private chambers—rooms that led from the great hall through one richly appointed room after another; rooms that led to the ultimate destination of her bedchamber, where only a few suitors could hope to enter after months of courtship and substantial gifts—Tullia was being painted that day as Venus, the embodiment of love.”

Alas, the path of the Honest Courtesan was often more difficult than it was glamorous. Punitive sumptuary laws enacted in 1543 forbade courtesans from wearing pearls and other luxury items in public, thus condemning them as common prostitutes. In Florence, they were forced to wear yellow veils in public, making it considerably more difficult for the Honest Courtesan to wield her seductive spell. To avoid penalization by these laws, the more enterprising found ways to reinvent themselves as poets and intellectuals. For example, d’Aragona authored a book in 1547 entitled Dialogo della infinità d’amore (Dialogue on the Infinities of Love). Veronica Franco[link: http://dornsife.usc.edu/veronica-franco/poems-and-letters/ ], another famed cortigiana onesta, followed a similar route by publishing her poems, which remain in print to this day.

However, jealous lovers posed a more dangerous threat to the Honest Courtesan. The brutal horror of the trentuno, a serial rape by thirty-one men, went beyond the emotional and physical trauma. It ensured that the courtesan would be exposed to venereal disease. Violence came in other ways. Antea Sfegiata, whose beauty inspired the artist Parmigianiano to paint one of his most famed portraits, had her face was slashed by a rejected lover, permanently disfiguring her. From then on, many courtesans lived in fear of the sfegia, an act whose name gamed infamy beyond the woman who first suffered it.

As for my fictional Honest Courtesan in The Lover’s Path, her fate is much kinder than many of her sisters-in-trade. But that’s another story.





Kris Waldherr [link: http://www.kriswaldherr.com] is the author and illustrator of The Lover’s Path: An Illustrated Novella of Venice, which is now available for the first time as an e-book. She is also the author of Doomed Queens: Royal Women Who Met Bad Ends, The Book of Goddesses, and many other books and card decks. Learn more at LoversPathBook.com [link: http://www.loverspathbook.com].

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015


02_Isaac and Ishmael_Cover

Please join Mary F. Burns as she tours the blogospere with HF Virtual Book Tours for Isaac and
Ishmael: A Novel of Genesis from June 8-26.

Publication Date: November 15, 2014 Sand Hill Press Formats: eBook, Paperback Genre: Historical Fiction/Biblical


     Isaac and Ishmael attempts to bring to human scale the legends and mythic dimensions of Abraham and Sarah, their sons Isaac and Ishmael, and Isaac and Rebecca's twin sons Esau and Jacob. Readers will experience the struggles, competition, betrayals and loves of these brothers, fathers and sons caught up in the overarching tension between time and eternity, a place where a new God is coming into being,Yahweh, the uncanny, irascible, mischievous, bargaining God who participated in the life of a new people and compelled them to a new way of being human. The stormy relationship of Isaac and Ishmael has long passed into a tradition which looks to Isaac as the father of the Jewish people, and Ishmael as the father of the Arab people, particularly in Egypt. Similarly, while Jacob carries on his father's heritage, becoming the father of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, his twin brother Esau, the red-haired archer who sold his birthright for a bowl of lentil soup, is traditionally said to have departed for the North, and populated what would later become Rome. Isaac and Ishmael explores the thorny, complex yet delicate relations between these brothers and fathers, providing a more human understanding of the differences that arise between individuals and peoples, even now as the ancient tensions in the Middle East continue to flare up in modern confrontations and war. Ever present in the story are the strong, subtle and often ambitious women of Biblical legend: Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah.

Official Book Trailer

Isaac & Ishmael Available at

Amazon Barnes & Noble

About the Author03_Mary F. Burns

Mary F. Burns is the author of ISAAC AND ISHMAEL, published by Sand Hill Review Press in November 2014. Other historical fiction includes THE SPOILS OF AVALON and PORTRAITS OF AN ARTIST (Sand Hill Review Press, February 2014, 2013), both books featuring the celebrated portrait painter, John Singer Sargent and his best friend, writer Violet Paget (aka Vernon Lee). Mary is a member of and book reviewer for the Historical Novel Society and a former member of the HNS Conference board of directors. Her debut historical novel J-THE WOMAN WHO WROTE THE BIBLE was published in July 2010 by O-Books (John Hunt Publishers, UK). She has also written two cozy-village mysteries in a series titled The West Portal Mysteries (The Lucky Dog Lottery and The Tarot Card Murders). She will be part of two panels at the upcoming North American Historical Novel Society Conference in June in Denver, one on The Historical Mystery and the other on Art and Artists in Historical Fiction. Ms. Burns was born in Chicago, Illinois and attended Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, where she earned both Bachelors and Masters degrees in English, along with a high school teaching certificate. She relocated to San Francisco in 1976 where she now lives with her husband Stuart in the West Portal neighborhood. Ms. Burns may be contacted by email at maryfburns@att.net. For more information please visit Mary Burns's website at www.maryfburns.com.

You can also connect with Mary on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads, or read her blog posts at: www.jthewomanwhowrotethebible.com www.literarygracenotes.blogspot.com www.portraitsofanartist.blogspot.com www.sargent-pagetmysteries.blogspot.com www.genesisnovel.blogspot.com

Isaac and Ishmael Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, June 8 Excerpt at What Is That Book About Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past Tuesday, June 9 Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views Wednesday, June 10 Spotlight at Let Them Read Books Thursday, June 11 Review at A Book Drunkard Friday, June 12 Spotlight & Giveaway at Unshelfish Monday, June 15 Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews Tuesday, June 16 Review at Book Nerd Wednesday, June 17 Review & Excerpt at Book Lovers Paradise Thursday, June 18 Excerpt at The Never-Ending Book Friday, June 19 Guest Post at Just One More Chapter Sunday, June 21 Review & Guest Post at Jorie Loves a Story Monday, June 22 Excerpt at 100 Pages a Day Tuesday, June 23 Spotlight at Broken Teepee Thursday, June 25 Spotlight & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection Friday, June 26 Review & Giveaway at Genre Queen

i wish to present a short excerpt from ISAAC AND ISHMAEL:

Sarai, laughing, has hurt Yahweh’s feelings. 
What? I who groan in age am now to groan in pleasure, and bear a son? Who’s kidding whom?
Who is that laughing? says Yahweh. Who thinks I cannot do this thing?
Not I. Her eyes on the ground. Then sideways she sees her husband whose eyes are fixed on the boldest stranger, who sits eating veal and drinking milk under their olive trees. Abram holds his breath. The stranger has just said to him, Count the stars. Can you? Your descendants shall be more. The two men with him are silent, their eyes glitter, their arms like wings tucked at their sides even as they eat.
I’ll be back in nine months, says the stranger, to see your son.

There you have it , an excerpt from a fantastic book.  I received this book to review.  I started reading and kept reading, and reading, and reading.  I could not put the book down!

The story of Abraham's two sons.  One by Hagar, and one by Sarah.  Most of us are familiar with the biblical story, but Burn's goes deeper and tells a beguiling story.   Ms. Burn's storytelling style is unique.  The reader is drawn into the tale and becomes not just a reader, but an active participant in the events.   I felt like a family member watching the events unfold.   I can only describe this book as incredible.     The characters are so well developed, they are REAL people.  You will be part of their lives.   Some, you will like more than others.  Strangely enough, I was not a big fan of Sarah or Abraham.  I loved Isaac and felt strongly toward Ishmael.  

I highly recommend this book and look forward to more by Mary F Burns.

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