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!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Today we welcome P.A. Staes, author of THE BRUGES TAPESTRY

The Bruges Tapestry

Guest Post

What does an art theft detail detective do?  Well, in The Bruges Tapestry she looks for clues to the provenance of a tapestry made in Belgium in 1520.  What do they do in the “real world”? For that, visit the website of the full time art theft detail in the United States located in Los Angeles, www.lapdonline.org/art_theft_detail.

Once I visited the site I realized it might be fun to create my own art theft detail, but it would be much easier to place my detectives in Newport Beach where the terrain was familiar. So far Detective DeMaere walks the real streets of Newport and Laguna Beach and her office is in a real, albeit empty, building across the street from the Newport Beach Library.  Claire’s apartment in Corona del Mar is a real place, where a friend of mine lived.  The rest of Claire’s life is utterly fictional, including her cavalier approach toward her boss and job responsibilities.

The plans for Detective DeMaere include world-wide travel as well as entering various time periods in order to understand the artworks she investigates.  Though I’d love to simply send her back in time through a stone crack in Northern Scotland, like author Diana Gabaldon, the plan is to introduce the reader to textile techniques in several different time periods, including Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque.

Though there are many stolen art treasures (see the Art Loss Register website), my focus for Detective DeMaere will be on textiles, often the domain of female artists.  Featuring textiles allows me to give attention to the undervalued work of women throughout centuries prior to modern times.  Ever wander a museum and wonder if all the works of art in the world were done by men?  Where are the works by women?  It seems a valid question, yet we are surrounded daily by stunning works of art by women.
So textiles will feature heavily in Claire’s future.  This gives this author and the reader a chance to explore the worlds of costume, lace, embroidery, needlepoint, basketry and so forth and the time periods in which they flourished.

In our world of machine-generated, rapidly-moving, technology-focused activities, the reader will be able to put down the smart phone and enter another time, a time when three inches of hand work might take a month to complete.  Readers will move out of a world where a car phone operates on voice command to a world where hand work by candlelight might make the difference between starvation and bread for the day.

While men were building cathedrals, which persist because they were composed of stone, women were feeding children making textiles, which have tended to decay due to the transitory nature of fabric and yarn.

Here’s to the invisible cathedrals built by women throughout time.

About the Author:
P.A. Staes is a California writer with an interest in textiles and with plans to continue the Claire DeMaere detective series, focusing her detective’s work on textiles of Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque time periods.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Publication Date: August 29, 2012
Paperback; 254p
ISBN-10: 1478155582 

about the book

Following a 500-year-old mystery concerning a Flemish tapestry is routine work for Detective Claire DeMaere, since she's employed by the Newport Beach Art Theft Detail. But, unlike past cases, this one involves arresting Paolo Campezzi, lover to her best friend Nora. Mr. Campezzi is a distant descendant of a Florentine Duke, who commissioned the tapestry in 1520 in Bruges, Belgium. Claire finds that she must explore the true provenance of the tapestry, free Mr. Campezzi in order to re-establish her friendship with Nora and depend on the expertise of a textile expert she doesn't know. All this must occur in 72 hours, before the Vatican takes the tapestry back. But Claire isn't the only one with the Vatican looking over her shoulder. Claire's story intertwines with a 1520 diary by Beatrice van Hecke, the tapestry-weaver's daughter. Only Claire can discover the secret that is woven in time.

my thoughts

Fabulous story. I started reading this story this morning and could not put the book down until I finished, yes- it was that good!! 

The author takes us between 1520 Bruges and present day California. She cleverly weaves a tale of horrific corruption and betrayal. Not just any corruption but church corruption and cover ups. Throughout this tale we learn about the art of tapestry creation. This story is told from the point of view of two strong women, one a 16 year old girl from Bruges, the other a young art theft detective from modern times. We see this amazing tapestry of lives unfold through their stories. I was intrigued with the authors ability to utilize her characters to show church corruption in the past and the present. Just remember this is a work of fiction.

I look forward to more by this author.

About the Author

P.A. Staes is the author of The Bruges Tapestry; the first of the Clare DeMaere series of historical mysteries. To lend veracity to The Bruges Tapestry Ms. Staes traveled to Stirling Castle in Scotland, The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, The Cluny Museum and Gobelin Factory in Paris, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cloisters to bring alive the rich and romantic world of tapestry.   Ms. Staes lives in Southern California with her husband and two dogs. 

For more information,
visit P.A. Staes at

also check out

Twitter Hashtag: #BrugesTapestryVirtualTour

Monday, March 18, 2013

It is the epic tale of a young man and his journey home after love and conflict.

Confronted by natural threats and life's challenges - from the famed outlaw Lester Carlyle to dealing with romance to the war itself - he must test his bravery and virtue to the full if he is to reach his homeland safely.

But the danger is no less severe nearer to him - he must come to terms with a love triangle.Two boys that were friends competing for the affections of the girl. Competition turns to conflict and an encounter with tragedy happens. The boy moves to the big city to begin his education and here he meets love, and all the difficulties attached.

It is an epic tale of action, adventure, romance and self discovery!

Thank you for downloading this, I really appreciate it.

above reference taken from Amazon.com page

my thoughts

R.A. Faith calls this book an'epic tale of action, adventure, romance, and self discovery'.

I'm not certain how to write this review.  While I applaud RA Faith's ability to write, I can't say I enjoyed this book.  I found it to be long and dispirited.  I had a difficult time reading it.  I kept putting it down and later picking it up to finish.  It took me a very long time to finish.   Too long.  I almost gave up.  I had no feelings either way for the main character. 
I did laugh and love the old man from the narrator's home town, now there was a character.  Blind and full of vinegar.

I'm not certain the average reader would stick with this book.  It was epic.  Reminded me too much of the books we were forced to read in school. 

3 stars