HFVB Tour – THE SAFFRON CROCUS by Alison McMahan

04_The Saffron Crocus_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

Here I am today to blog about the YA book: THE SAFFRON CROCUS by Alison McMahan. This book has mystery, murder, and adventure in 1600’s Venice. When the young protagonist’s voice teacher mysteriously dies, she tries to find out who killed her and why, opening up a lot of closed doors and secrets from the past.

This was an enjoyable and exciting read, but my favorite part of it was learning about what life was life in Venice in the 1600’s. Isabella’s experience with music and opera, the life of a castrati musician, “kept” women, and the treatment of Jews in Venice at that time all played a role in this novel and kept me interested and reading.

Thank you for my copy!

Here’s what HFVBT has to say:

Publication Date: December 13, 2014
Black Opal Books
eBook; 306p

Genre: Young Adult/Historical Mystery/Romance

Add to GR Button

Winner of the 2014 Rosemary Award for Best Historical for Young Adults.

Venice, 1643. Isabella, fifteen, longs to sing in Monteverdi’s Choir, but only boys (and castrati) can do that. Her singing teacher, Margherita, introduces her to a new wonder: opera! Then Isabella finds Margherita murdered. Now people keep trying to kill Margherita’s handsome rogue of a son, Rafaele.

Was Margherita killed so someone could steal her saffron business? Or was it a disgruntled lover, as Margherita—unbeknownst to Isabella—was one of Venice’s wealthiest courtesans?

Or will Isabella and Rafaele find the answer deep in Margherita’s past, buried in the Jewish Ghetto?

Isabella has to solve the mystery of the Saffron Crocus before Rafaele hangs for a murder he didn’t commit, though she fears the truth will drive her and the man she loves irrevocably apart.

Excerpt

Who knew a singing career would be this much trouble?

“Rafaele!” She flew into the garret. “Piero, it was so wonderful, wait until I tell you!”

The stool next to the bed was knocked over. The tray with the genepy bottle was on the floor, one of the cups broken. The fat candle that had been burning next to Rafaele’s bed had been flung to the other side of the room.. Canvases were strewn all over the floor, some of them slashed, and many of Master Strozzi’s jars of paint elements were broken.

Did Piero and Rafaele have a fight? She quickly suppressed the thought. Who would get into a fight with a man who was already injured?

Something else must have happened.

She walked across the garret. “Piero? Rafaele, are you here?”

Rafaele was not in the bed. The sheets and blankets she had piled on top of him were strewn everywher. Blood-stained sheets spilled over the edge of the pallet. There was a pile of clothes on the floor.

She walked around to get a closer look.

Not clothes. It was Piero. Face down, one arm stretched out before him, as if in supplication.

A puddle of blood under him.

Dead.

02_The Saffron Crocus Cover

Praise for The Saffron Crocus

“I adored this beautifully written, passionate book. The Saffron Crocus is a glittering, thrilling opera of a novel that plucked my heartstrings and kept me reading at fever pitch. Brava, Alison McMahan! Encore!” -Nancy Holder, New York Times Bestselling Author of the Wicked Saga

Buy the eBook

Black Opal Books
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

About the Author

03_Alison McMahan Author

Alison McMahan chased footage for her documentaries through jungles in Honduras and Cambodia, favelas in Brazil and racetracks in the U.S. She brings the same sense of adventure to her award-winning books of historical mystery and romantic adventure for teens and adults. Her latest publication is The Saffron Crocus, a historical mystery for young. Murder, Mystery & Music in 17th Century Venice.

She loves hearing from readers!

Author Links

Webpage for The Saffron Crocus
AlisonMcMahanAuthor.com
AlisonMcMahan.com
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Pinterest
Google+
Instagram
Tumblr

The Saffron Crocus Blog Tour & Book Blast Schedule

Monday, April 13
Book Blast at Genre Queen

Thursday, April 16
Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Friday, April 17
Interview at Mythical Books

Monday, April 20
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, April 21
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Wednesday, April 22
Guest Post at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Tuesday, April 28
Book Blast at A Literary Vacation

Wednesday, April 29
Guest Post & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time

Tuesday, May 5
Review at Book Nerd

Wednesday, May 6
Review at Just One More Chapter

Thursday, May 7
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Friday, May 8
Guest Post at Just One More Chapter

Saturday, May 9
Book Blast at Romantic Historical Lovers

Tuesday, May 12
Review at The True Book Addict

Wednesday, May 13
Guest Post & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection

Thursday, May 14
Review at Book Babe
Guest Post at What Is That Book About

Monday, May 25
Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog

Wednesday, May 27
Book Blast at CelticLady’s Reviews

Thursday, May 28
Review at The Lit Bitch
Review at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Monday, June 1
Review at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, June 2
Guest Post at The Maiden’s Court

Friday, June 5
Spotlight & Giveaway at Jorie Loves a Story

Litfuse Blog Tour Review: A SPARROW IN TEREZIN by Kristy Cambron and Giveaway!

I’m blogging today as part of the Litfuse Blog tour of Kristy Cambron’s new Christian fiction novel: A SPARROW IN TEREZIN, Book Two of the Hidden Masterpiece series.(Book One is THE BUTTERFLY AND THE VIOLIN which I reviewed here: https://drbethnolan.wordpress.com/2015/02/06/review-the-butterfly-and-the-violin-by-kristy-cambron/

A SPARROW IN TEREZIN continues Sera and William’s story and focuses on a different WWII artifact: a gold necklace of a cross. When the story starts, Sera and William are getting married, however the wedding is more than marred by officials showing up and arresting William for some sort of shady/illegal/irregular dealings in the business. Sera is determined to prove his innocence, so she travels to Europe to find and speak to WIlliam’s long-lost father. Meanwhile, in the 1940’s, Kaja is sent by her parents out of Prague so that she will be safe during the war. She ends up working in England where she falls in love. Soon she heads back to Prague in an attempt to save her parents.

I have to say that while I enjoyed this book, I liked Kaja’s storyline more than Sera’s. I was a bit disappointed in Sera’s actions and the way she jumped to conclusions and hardly gave her husband a chance to explain himself and his decisions. I don’t want to give away too much, but her rashness both annoyed and disappointed me.

While you can read this novel as a stand alone, you might want to read “Butterfly” first so that you fully understand the backstory and characters. I am curious to see where this series is going next!

And wait – there’s more! Follow this link for a great giveaway basket!

Sparrow Terezin Kristy CambronBound together across time, two women will discover a powerful connection in Kristy Cambron‘s new book, A Sparrow in Terezin. Connecting across a century through one little girl, a Holocaust survivor with a foot in each world, two women will discover a kinship that springs even in the darkest of times. In this tale of hope and survival, Sera and Kája must cling to the faith that sustains and fight to protect all they hold dear—even if it means placing their own futures on the line.

Kristy is celebrating by giving away a basket filled with goodies inspired by her new book!

sparrow terezin - 400

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A set of poppy notecards
  • A poppy pin
  • A copy of I Never Saw Another Butterfly
  • A copy of the Mrs. Miniver DVD
  • Literary tea bags
  • Tumbler
  • A copy of A Sparrow in Terezin
sparrow giveaway bastet



Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 28th. Winner will be announced April 29th on Kristy’s blog.

sparrow terezin-enterbanner{NOT ON FACEBOOK? ENTER HERE.}

Here’s a bit about Kristy:

About the author:

Kristy Cambron has been fascinated with the WWII era since hearing her grandfather’s stories of the war. She holds an art history degree from Indiana University and received the Outstanding Art History Student Award. Kristy writes WWII and Regency era fiction and has placed first in the 2013 NTRWA Great Expectations and 2012 FCRW Beacon contests, and is a 2013 Laurie finalist. Kristy makes her home in Indiana with her husband and three football-loving sons.

Find Kristy online: website, Facebook, Twitter
See what other Litfuse Bloggers have to say:

Thank you for making me part of the blog tour and for my copy through Net Galley! I enjoy Kristy’s writing and the Christian focus of her books, and I look forward to the next novel in this series.

cover57890-mediumSparrow

Review: ON HEAVEN AND EARTH by Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis) and Abraham Skorka

Through Blogging for Books, I received a review copy of ON HEAVEN AND EARTH, which is subtitled Pope Francis on Faith, Family, and the Church in the 21st Century. This is a bit of a misnomer since the entire book is a conversation between Pope Francis (before he was Pope and was an Archbishop in Argentina) and Argentinian Rabbi Abraham Skorka. The book is divided into short chapters which cover their conversations about a wide variety of topics and how they are viewed in the Catholic and Jewish faiths: God, family, sexuality, world issues, euthanasia, etc. It is easy to read and a great book to pick up if you only have a short time to read, as you can cover a chapter or two easily. I felt like I was sitting in a room, listening to these two men discuss the issues. Their conversations were insightful and intellectual, yet respectful and open.

Highly recommended if you enjoy reading and learning about religion or, if you are Catholic or Jewish, want to better understand your own faith!