HFVBT Book Blast — MADEMOISELLE CHANEL by C.W. Gortner — and Giveaway!!

We are blasting it up today to celebrate C.W. Gortner’s newly published book: MADEMOISELLE CHANEL — which is definitely on my TBR list!!

Here’s some info from HFVBT —

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About Mademoiselle Chanel

Publication Date: March 17, 2015
William Morrow/HarperCollins
Formats: Hardover, eBook, Audio Book

Genre: Historical Fiction

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DRAMA, PASSION, TRAGEDY, AND BEAUTY: C.W.’s new novel stunningly imagines the life of Coco Chanel—the iconic fashion designer whose staggering creativity built an empire and made her one of the 20th century’s most influential, and controversial, figures.

Born into rural poverty, Gabrielle Chanel and her sisters are sent to a convent orphanage after their mother’s death. Here, the nuns nurture Gabrielle’s exceptional sewing skills, a talent that will propel her into a life far removed from the drudgery of her childhood.

Transforming herself into Coco—a seamstress and sometime torch singer—the petite brunette burns with ambition, an incandescence that draws a wealthy gentleman who will become the love of her life. She immerses herself in his world of money and luxury, discovering a freedom that sparks her creativity. But it is only when her lover takes her to Paris that Coco discovers her destiny.

Rejecting the frilly, corseted silhouette of the past, her sleek minimalist styles reflect the youthful ease and confidence of the 1920s modern woman. As Coco’s reputation spreads, her couturier business explodes, taking her into rarefied society circles and bohemian salons. Her little black dress, her signature perfume No. 5; her dramatic friendships, affairs, and rivalries with luminaries of her era increase her wealth and fame. But as the years pass, success cannot save her from heartbreak. And when Paris falls to the Nazis during World War II, Coco finds herself at a dangerous crossroads, forced to make choices that will forever change her.

An enthralling portrayal of an extraordinary woman who created the life she desired, Mademoiselle Chanel is Coco’s intimate story.

Praise for Mademoiselle Chanel

“In this deliciously satisfying novel, C.W. Gortner tells the epic, rags-to-riches story of how this brilliant, mercurial, self-created woman became a legend.” (Christina Baker Kline, New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train)

“In a novel as brilliant and complicated as Coco Chanel herself, C. W. Gortner’s prose is so electric and luminous it could be a film, and not just any film, but one of the grandest biopics of our time. Divine!” (Erika Robuck, bestselling author of Hemingway’s Girl)

“A richly imagined, deftly researched novel, in which the ever fascinating Coco Chanel comes to life in all her woe and splendor, her story unfolding as elegantly as a Chanel gown.” (Cathy Marie Buchanan, author of The Painted Girls)

“From her heart-wrenching early years through her decades of struggle and glory, Gabrielle Chanel was fascinating—as is C.W. Gortner’s Mademoiselle Chanel. Coco lives again in this rich tale of brilliance, determination, and fierce self-creation.” (Ania Szado, author of Studio Saint-Ex)

“Gortner brings to life a woman who was as alluring and captivating as her signature scent. ” (Historical Novels Review)

“Gortner brings history to life in a fascinating study of one woman’s unstoppable ambition.” (Booklist)

“Well-written and historically accurate . . . An homage to a couture icon whose influence is still powerful today.” (Kirkus Reviews)

About the Author

C.W. GORTNER holds an MFA in Writing with an emphasis in Renaissance Studies from the New College of California, as well as an AA from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco.

After an eleven year-long career in fashion, during which he worked as a vintage retail buyer, freelance publicist, and fashion show coordinator, C.W. devoted the next twelve years to the public health sector. In 2012, he became a full-time writer following the international success of his novels.

In his extensive travels to research his books, he has danced a galliard at Hampton Court, learned about organic gardening at Chenoceaux, and spent a chilly night in a ruined Spanish castle. His books have garnered widespread acclaim and been translated into twenty-one languages to date, with over 400,000 copies sold. A sought-after public speaker. C.W. has given keynote addresses at writer conferences in the US and abroad. He is also a dedicated advocate for animal rights, in particular companion animal rescue to reduce shelter overcrowding.

C.W. recently completed his fourth novel for Ballantine Books, about Lucrezia Borgia; the third novel in his Tudor Spymaster series for St Martin’s Press; and a new novel about the dramatic, glamorous life of Coco Chanel, scheduled for lead title publication by William Morrow, Harper Collins, in the spring of 2015.

Half-Spanish by birth and raised in southern Spain, C.W. now lives in Northern California with his partner and two very spoiled rescue cats.

For more information visit C.W. Gortner’swebsite and blog. You can also find him onFacebook, Twittter, Goodreads, Pinterest, andYouTube. Sign up for C.W. Gortner’sNewsletter for updates.

Giveaway! Starts March 17th

Three Chanel-style black and white beaded bracelets will up for grabs during this blast, follow along for chances to win!

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– Giveaway starts on March 17th at 12:01am and ends on April 3rd at 11:59pm EST.
– Must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.

Here is the link to the Mademoiselle Chanel giveaway: https://gleam.io/n4EVt/mademoiselle-chanel-book-blast-giveaway.

A Look Back at February…

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Here’s what was happening around here during the month of February —

Heather Webb came to speak at the Concord Bookshop. I’m reading her book RODIN’S LOVER now (it’s great!).

I reviewed a really great cookbook – A GOOD FOOD DAY by Marco Canora (highly recommended)

I reviewed THE BUTTERFLY AND THE VIOLIN by Kristy Cambron (and I will be part of her blog tour for her next book in this series in April).

I reviewed Laurie King’s DREAMING SPIES (which I loved). I posted about a large giveaway through her publicist and also did my own blog giveaway of her new book!

I reviewed the mystery thriller THE FORGOTTEN GIRLS by Sara Blaedel (Nordic crime!)

I reviewed THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins (suspense/thriller), THINGS HALF IN SHADOW by Alan Finn (historical mystery), THE HALF-BROTHER by Holly LeCraw (fiction), and EIGHT MINUTES by Lori Reisenbichler (supernatural suspense).

I posted about a giveaway for Sandra Byrd’s MIST OF MIDNIGHT, reviewed Melissa D’Arabian’s SUPERMARKET HEALTHY, and reviewed two audiobooks – RIPPER by Isabel Allende and THE NIGHT STRANGERS by Chris Bohjalian.

I took part in the HFVB Tour for THE WITCH HUNTER’S TALE by Sam Thomas (historical fiction) and did a book blast for HFVBT for LETTERS TO KEZIA by Peni Jo Renner.

Phew! It was a busier month than I realized!

Next month you can look for more historical fiction blog tours and book blasts and more book reviews, ranging from Coco Chanel to two sisters disguised as boys in the Civil War to a young woman solving mysteries Nancy Drew style. I’ll also have a few special Saturday Snapshots to share with sandy beaches and sun!

Happy Reading!

DREAMING SPIES Giveaway!

Laurie R. King has a series of books about Sherlock Holmes and his wife Mary Russell as they solve various mysteries. I read the latest one (review coming soon – closer to Pub Day in February) last week and just loved it! If you know me, you know I’m a HUGE Holmes fan, and I really liked the addition of a younger, intelligent wife to his story.

DREAMING SPIES is the title of the upcoming novel (a take, I believe, on “dreaming spires of Oxford” as the story takes place in part there). Random House is hosting a fabu giveaway of a mini iPad with ALL Laurie’s books loaded onto it, included this latest title. There are other prizes as well!

You can see the giveaway here:

http://atrandom.com/dreaming-spies/

Good luck — entering is just elementary! (okay – I had to say that!!)

Saturday Snapshot: A Few More from NYC!

Here are a few more pictures from our trip to New York City for New Years:

The decorations are amazing at this time of year! Here are the kids standing by a random beautiful wreath!

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Here’s the Empire State Building all lit up at night!

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We always to go to Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral – here’s the kreche – almost lifesize – at St. Pat’s.

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The Empire State Building had a whole lot of great displays for the holidays!

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The infamous tree at Rockefeller Center!

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Speaking of St. Pat’s — it has been under reconstruction for a while — looking good, but still a long way to go!

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Decorations!

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We love NYC!

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda at westmetromommy.blogspot.com

Check her site for participation details!

December in the Rearview Mirror

With all the excitement of New Year’s Eve and our visit with family and to NYC, I almost forgot to post a review of what happened on here in December!

I reviewed:

The Handsome Man’s Deluxe Cafe by Alexander McCall Smith (love this series!) – cozy

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (probably my fave book of 2014) – historical fiction

Enlightened by A. L. Waddington (blog tour) – YA

Whither Thou Goest by Anna Belfrage (blog tour) – historical fiction

We Should Hang Our Sometime by Josh Sundquist – non-fiction/humor

Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar – historical fiction/Virginia Woolf

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley – cozy (love that Flavia!)

The Unquiet Bones by Mel Starr – (blog tour) – historical mystery

and posted:

a few Saturday Snapshots, a Kindle deal, and the First Book of the Year Reading Challenge (The Mapmaker’s Children by the incomparable Sarah McCoy), along with my angst over “broken” images on my blog!

Saturday Snapshot: New Years 2015 in NYC

This week we spent a few days in NYC. If you know me, you know we love NY and go several times a year.

As I am using my phone app for WordPress, I have to add all the pictures at the end of this post (or I delete them). Probably a glitch with me and not the program!!

First, here’s some shots from the Empire State Building. I hadn’t been up it since I was a little girl. We got the Express Pass and it was SO worth it – just like a fast pass at Disney! It was a beautifully clear!!

While we didn’t go to Times Square for the ball drop (too crowded and too crazy!), we did go the next day. The kids ended up on the Jumbotron! You can see them by Elmo in the red and blue coats.

We love the MET ( art museum) and belong there so it’s often a stop. The beautiful Christmas tree was up still.

Finally, my son who loves trains begged us to bring him to Grand Central Terminal so that he could see the trains. Pure joy!

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda of Westmetromommy.blogspot.com.
See her site for full participation details.

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We Interrupt this Program…

Okay – so you might have noticed that my Amazon links are not really looking like links these days. The frustrating thing is that they look fine in my editor – and sometimes even when I preview – but then I see on my blog that they look like broken icons. After extensive research (believe me – I am finding my way through this technology on my own in a “hunt and peck” fashion or with an occasional library book), I find out that WordPress “strips the code” when I publish Amazon images. A plug-in exists to handle this, but apparently it’s not for the free version of WordPress which I use. At the same time I read a looong time ago that Amazon discourages image copying by those who are not affiliates. So – what to do what to do what to do???

I’ve decided to go with the Amazon Affiliate title links and then post a picture off Net Galley (or from wherever I got the book). The cover of the book is really important and you need to see it! Then today I discovered indie bound. I had heard of it (seen it on other blogs) but had no idea what it is. It’s a great website with lots of bookish things, but also another affiliate program where you link people to indie bookstores for getting books. I like the sounds of that, so I applied. I’m a big proponent of indies, but honestly I will never criticize a person for using Amazon because books cost a lot of money and Amazon is about as cheap as you can find them (well, except for the library).

So you should see some changes around the ole website. Please let me know your thoughts and feedback. And I apologize for the crummy look of all those broken links.

Just another note – in case any of you are thinking I make lots of money from being an affiliate. In the six years I’ve been blogging I’ve received less than $100 in Amazon affiliate fees (and that was only because someone bought a book I recommended and a computer at the same time!). I get like 4 cents when a kindle copy is sold. It’s kind of funny in a way. Maybe the indie program will be more lucrative because heaven knows I spend a lot of money on books!