Category Archives: Contests

Blog Tour & Paperback Giveaway: Enchantments by Kathryn Harrison

 One of The New York Times 100 Most Notable Books of 2012

” From Kathryn Harrison, one of America’s most admired literary voices, comes a gorgeously written, enthralling novel set in the final days of Russia’s Romanov Empire.

St. Petersburg, 1917. After Rasputin’s body is pulled from the icy waters of the Neva River, his eighteen-year-old daughter, Masha, is sent to live at the imperial palace with Tsar Nikolay and his family—including the headstrong Prince Alyosha. Desperately hoping that Masha has inherited Rasputin’s miraculous healing powers, Tsarina Alexandra asks her to tend to Aloysha, who suffers from hemophilia, a blood disease that keeps the boy confined to his sickbed, lest a simple scrape or bump prove fatal.

Two months after Masha arrives at the palace, the tsar is forced to abdicate, and Bolsheviks place the royal family under house arrest. As Russia descends into civil war, Masha and Alyosha grieve the loss of their former lives, finding solace in each other’s company. To escape the confinement of the palace, they tell stories—some embellished and some entirely imagined—about Nikolay and Alexandra’s courtship, Rasputin’s many exploits, and the wild and wonderful country on the brink of an irrevocable transformation. In the worlds of their imagination, the weak become strong, legend becomes fact, and a future that will never come to pass feels close at hand.

Mesmerizing, haunting, and told in Kathryn Harrison’s signature crystalline prose, Enchantments is a love story about two people who come together as everything around them is falling apart.”


In some cases the story really begins at the end. Spanning the time immediately after Rasputin’s brutal murder and beyond the last days of the Romanov family, Enchantments gives a unique look into a time period of Russian history very well documented and yet still coveted in the fictional world of literature. This novel however is unlike the others I have read in that it gives a fresh look as it delves into Rasputin’s life as a family man, very rarely do you ever see it even mentioned that he had a wife and children much less see his offspring as the narrator of such a monumental time in history.

Masha as she was called was the oldest of Rasputin’s daughters and very much the favorite daughter who both respected and cherished her father. The Tsarina of Russia even felt that the young girl had inherited her father’s healing gifts although Masha never felt so herself and never pursued any of Rasputin’s practices. Nevertheless this belief allowed Masha and her sister access to the Romanovs that very few ever held.  Within her stories Masha gives a insider’s account of both Rasptuin the Monk’s life and that of the last royal family of Russia. She is truly a gifted storyteller and the accounts she gives create characters out of historical figures we have all read about.

While much of the novel is very well imagined and given in a abundance of fictional stories within it still lies the tragedy of the last Tsar of Russia and his family. Many of the stories told by Masha are clearly of a fantastical nature but they provide not only a enjoyable reading experience but also a deeper insight into a family lost. A relationship between Masha and Alyosha, gives  the son of Nicholay and Alexandra a life and history beyond his disease and death. Alexei truly becomes a person within this novel and that is something I have rarely seen in accounts of the Romanovs.

In the end while most of the the stories are purely fiction behind them lie real people whose story may never be able to be factually told. This novel at least gives them a past and life of some type in which to be real people and not simply notes in a history book. I thoroughly enjoyed the book from both a fictional and historical stand point. It truly flies by once you become entranced by Harrison’s unique storytelling style. I would recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction and those interested in the Romanovs specifically. I adored this novel when I first read it in 2012 and am so excited to be able to share it again with my readers in it’s new paperback release.

 Book Giveaway

Stiletto Storytime is excited to be able to offer a giveaway as part of this TLC Book Blog Tour Stop for Enchantments and a paperback copy of the book will soon belong to one very lucky reader. Giveaway ends midnight EST March 25, 2013. US/Canada addresses only please for this giveaway.

To enter: Simply share one of your favorite historical fiction authors and the time period that most appeals to you as a reader below in the comment section. I love getting new suggestions for my future reading and it seems there is always a work that I have passed by or not heard of . So share one…or share a few while entering to win a great addition to your own library.

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower Stiletto Storytime on Twitter. (Please leave Twitter handle in comments.)

Be/Become a Follower of TLC Book Tours on Twitter. (Please leave Twitter Handle in comments.)

Tweet or Blog about this Giveaway (Please leave link in comments)

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Filed under Adult Books, Blog Tour, Contests, historical fiction

Pride & Predjudice 200th Anniversary Party Hop

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Happy Happy Anniversary Pride & Prejudice. Can you believe it’s been 200 years? It’s amazing when you think about it that something written so long ago still has such a hold on so many individuals, still inspires such passion in our hearts and minds. I cannot tell you how excited I am to celebrate this milestone and to be able to co-host this fabulous event with author Alyssa Goodnight. Thank you to each and every one of you who are joining us and helping make the Pride and Prejudice 200th Anniversary Party Hop possible.

My love of Jane Austen is something very dear to my heart. This love is something that happened so early on in my life -it has become such an engrained part of who I am as a person and my personality that it’s hard to really remember myself before. Digging further, Pride and Prejudice is an especially personal work for me. I came to love it at the age of 13 when I first read the book…soon after I laid my eyes upon Colin Firth and my Mr. Darcy found a forever face in my mind. It’s also a very very special book for me because of it’s connection to my great great grandmother.

My Granny was a reader. As a child I often spent time with her since she lived only two houses down. She watched me while my mother worked and summers were spent in her care as well. My grandmother was a life-long reader. She owned multiple bookshelves and perusing them became a favorite past time of mine from a very young age. I loved staying up nights reading with her and making my way through her personal bookshelves knowing each book had been read and selected by her. Unfortunately around the age of ten, I was no longer able to spend time with my Granny. She began to suffer from dementia and quickly lost the ability to live on her own, take care of herself and even recognize me. To her the adult Courtney was unconceivable, she pictured me as a little girl and so I stayed away as not to upset her. Needless to say I was devastated. Although she did not pass away until my early twenties…our relationship ended too early and a large hole was put into my heart much before she left this earth. While my grandmother never shared Pride and Prejudice with me personally (I suspect she would have had I reached the age), she did encourage a love of reading that defines me and the path I have chosen in life. When she died I was desperate to revisit our special times and luckily her entire book collection became my very own. By this time I was a devoted Janeite…imagine my joy when I discovered tucked amongst her books her very own copy of Pride and Prejudice.

My Grandmother had a unique habit when she read a book. She would write her name and the year she read it within the cover. However she did not do it to every book she owned. I suspect she started in later in life so her earlier books remained blank.  When I saw that copy of Pride and Prejudice I literally burst into tears but then immediately prayed that it contained her handwritten name as well. As I opened the cover I could not contain myself, inside was her name in the handwriting I will never forget to the day I die. To this day that book is one of most prized and valued objects. It is not only one of my favorite books by my favorite author…it is a link to my Granny. A symbol that she and I are forever linked and so very similar. Though she left me too early, I know she would be so proud of who I have become. For that reason Pride and Prejudice goes so far beyond being just any book. And that one volume means the sun, moon and stars when I hold it in my hands.

Jane Austen Journal Giveaway

Join the Pride & Prejudice 200th Anniversary Party HopPlease remember to join in and travel to all our wonderful participants in this hop…some may even have goodies up for grabs. Speaking of goodies, I wanted to give away something Austen themed for this very special occasion. So the lovely Jane Austen journal below will be finding a home with one of you dear readers. I own one myself and love to jot down quotes that jump out for me and even after over 15 years of Austen, I still come across lines that make me think, laugh and smile. So want to add this journal to your collection of Jane Austen items? It’s very easy to be entered…just share a Pride and Prejudice moment or memory with all of us as we share and celebrate on this very special 200th anniversary. Happy Anniversary Pride and Prejudice…here’s to 200 more years and once again “Bravo” dear Jane.

Giveaway ends midnight EST on January 29, 2013. Open internationally. Winner will be notified via e-mail address.

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Filed under Contests, Events, Jane Austen, Movies, Reading Fun

Join the Pride & Prejudice 200th Anniversary Party Hop

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Can you believe it? In exactly two weeks or as Jane would say “in only a fortnight”, our beloved Pride & Prejudice is about to turn 200 years old! How can you let an event like that pass without a celebration of enormous proportions amongst all Janeites and even those who only have a passing relationship with the classic…the answer is….you can’t. That’s why when the very talented Jane Austen inspired author Alyssa Goodnight approached me about doing a 200th Anniversary Party Blog Hop, I simply couldn’t resist. 200 Austen lovers getting together to celebrate 200 years of Pride & Prejudice is our goal. That’s right 200 of you…I know that’s quite a large number but what can I say we’re optimists and this is a very big milestone indeed. How often does this type of anniversary come around after all?

Jane Austen Journal

So you want to be a part of the party? It’s simple really. Just sign up and post on January 28, 2013 about the anniversary of Pride & Prejudice. You can post about anything you would like as long as it is P & P related…write a letter to Jane herself about how she’s affected your life with her most treasured tome, reminisce about the first time you saw your favorite embodiment of Mr. Darcy whether it be Colin Firth (as it should be) or any other I suppose (wink) on the big or small screen. You could even write a bit of fan fiction yourself if you felt so inclined. Also if you’d like you can host a giveaway or mini-challenge event as we hope people will be hopping around the participant blogs and having a grand ole time.

Here at Stiletto Storytime I will be posting about Pride & Prejudice as well as hosting a fun little game for all my devoted Janeite friends. The prize will be a lovely Jane Austen journal for you to jot your favorite Austen quotes into in the future. So get fun, get creative and get excited as we celebrate a classic that has made all our live richer in so many ways. And remember begin to prepare for the party coming up in two weeks but sign up now here.

So you’re formally invited ladies and gentlemen. Won’t you please honor us and dearest Jane with your online presence?

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Filed under Adult Books, Blog Tour, Book Blogs, Contests, Events, Jane Austen

Christmas Books Giveaway Hop with Author Heather Vogel Frederick

christmas books hopIt’s that time of year again folks! I’m not going to lie…I love Christmas. I always have and having a three year old now who is literally obsessed with Christmas has only made it more special. One of my favorite things about Christmas has also always been that extra reading time and if I am lucky bookstore gift cards coming my way or even that one special book under the tree on Christmas morning. So to celebrate I am participating in the Christmas Book Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer & Laurie Here. This great giveaway hop has over 120 blogs participating and giving away one or more Christmas themed tomes. Make sure to check out the participating blog list here.

This holiday season I decided to team up with the always lovely, talented and extremely generous Heather Vogel Frederick so we could provide some very lucky reader with copies of her fifth installment in the fabulous Mother- Daughter Book Club series:  Home for the Holidays. It’s the perfect read for Mom or Daughter…or even better Mom and Daughter together. It would also make a fantastic Christmas present and I know Heather would be more than happy to sign it to that special someone if you’d like. She’s just that kind of person. A true gem of an author indeed. I have honestly enjoyed every book in this series and each can be read alone or in order so don’t worry if you’re not all caught up!

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To enter to win just comment below and let us know your favorite book to read during this time of year…it doesn’t have to be Holiday related whatsoever. For instance I often re-read my favorite classics this time of year simply because I have the time. This year I am re-reading Les Miserables by Victor Hugo in preparation for the release of the movie musical. So…as you sip hot cocoa, sit by the fire and maybe just maybe…watch it snow ( who am I kidding…I live in Georgia)…what book will you have in hand?

Three lucky winners will be chosen here at Stiletto Storytime to win their own copy of Home for the Holidays by Heather Vogel Frederick. This Giveaway Hop will end on December 9, 2012 at midnight EST. This giveaway is open to US/CAN addresses only. Winners will be chosen by random number generator and notified by e-mail.

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower Stiletto Storytime on Twitter

Check out Heather Vogel Frederick’s Website & Share Something You Learned/Found Interesting

Tweet or Blog about this Giveaway at Stiletto Storytime (Please leave link in comments)

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Filed under Book Blogs, Contests, Girly Books, Heather Vogel Frederick, Middle Grade, New Books, Reading Fun, Young Adult Books

Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon: October 2012

  

It’s that time of year again readers…if you have followed Stiletto Storytime over the years at all you know this is one of my favorite events that takes place every year in April and October. This is my sixth Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon. I have worn many hats for this event. I have been a reader, a cheerleader and a co-host long into the night in April. Every experience has been special and this year I am looking forward to being simply a reader again and really focusing on the reading. So what am I reading?

                 

This year I am kind of pushing the boundaries by choosing two very long books and one shorter YA. Often it’s best to choose multiple shorter titles to keep the momentum going but this year I simply had to re-read Justin Cronin’s The Passage so I could dive into The TwelveI also chose Beta  by Rachel Cohn as my go to break book if needed since the first two books are 500-700 pages respectfully. But I am so excited to dig in and hopefully even get some reviewing and blogging done as well.

So won’t you join me? There’s still time sign up and get involved. Join hundreds of readers from all over the world dedicated to reading together for an entire 24 hours. You can sign up here. Enjoy hourly updates, mini-challenges, giveaways and so much more. So come on be a part of literary greatness…join us. I will regularly update my progress on this same post so check back and see how things are going and share your experience. Happy Reading to All!

Read-a-thon Progress 

Current Book: The Passage by Justin Cronin

Books Completed: 0

Pages Read:601

Hours Reading: 8.5

Mini-Challenges Completed: 11

Introductory Questionnaire

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Atlanta, Georgia in the USA
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? The Twelve by Justin Cronin
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?  My sea salt bagel chips & chocolate covered almonds. Yum!
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I am the mother of an amazingly loving and intelligent three year son who just happens to have autism…we are fighting every day and winning!
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? I have participated in six of these read-a-thons as a reader, cheerleader and co-host…excited this year to lay back and enjoy the ride while focusing on the reading!

Book Puzzle Mini-Challenge from One Librarian’s Book Reviews

                     

Can you guess the book title from the images above?

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Filed under Book Blogs, Challenges, Contests, Events, New Books, Reading Challenge, Reading Fun, Young Adult Books

Feature & Giveaway: Ghost Town by Jason Hawes & Grant Wilson

  “WELCOME TO EXETER, THE “MOST HAUNTED TOWN IN AMERICA,” thanks to a deadly flood that unleashed an army of ghosts decades ago. And when ghost trackers Amber, Drew, and Trevor attend a conference during Exeter’s spookiest week of the year, the ghouls grow restless. First, an innocent bookstore worker is mysteriously killed, setting off a string of strange deaths that point to a shadowy spirit known as the Dark Lady.

With a paranormal revolution ensuing, the team must stop the twisted bloodbath. But a past horror involving the death of a former teammate has them spinning faster than a specter in a storm, especially when they learn that it’s his ghost who awakened the Dark Lady. Now, with their lives on the line and the entire town at stake, the three must decide whether to trust the spirit of their old friend or to finally put a stake through his heart.”

Just in time for some great Halloween related reading comes the release of Ghost Town, the second book from Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson who head up TAPS, The Atlantic Paranormal Society—built on Jason and Grant’s interest in getting to the bottom of everyday, paranormal occurrences.  TAPS has developed an impressive reputation for helping people with “unusual domestic problems.”  It has been more than a decade since Jason and Grant first met, and since then TAPS has grown in size and scope to become one of the most respected paranormal-investigation groups in America.  It now has branches across the United States and affiliates in 12 other countries. You may know them best from their hit TV show on SyFy Ghost Hunters.

As many of you know I am always on the look out for books that can strike a little fear especially during the festive Halloween season. However in the past the list of books that have been able to actually scare me to any degree have been few and far between. When approached to be a part of the Ghost Town promotion I was very much excited, not only to have a new book to give a try for that special fear factor but to also very excited be working with the creators of TAPS since I am a big fan of the show. I was especially interested to read the book knowing of the team’s approach to the paranormal in that they are very reserved and take a scientific approach until they simply have no other explanation for what could be paranormal phenomenon. I wondered how that would affect the crafting of a book that is primarily paranormal in nature and most undoubtedly designed to strike fear in the heart of it’s readers?

Ghost Town is definitely a little different from what I would have expected but it did not disappoint in it’s creep factor. The book really is a never-ending ride into all aspects of the paranormal and the things that go creep in the night. While at times I found the books to be a little unbelievable and therefore not really frightening…there were other times where the spook factor was undeniable. I’m not gonna lie. There was a point when I quit reading the book late into the night with the pitch dark surrounding me and only my tiny book light creating a small glow with the surrounding shadows beyond. The crafting of the story is definitely eerie and will leave you a little uneasy as you slip off into sleep at night. It’s perfect for this Halloween season and for any reader wanting a little scare…including those who might be skeptical and thinking a true fright from literature might be impossible. Unafraid? Skeptical? Non-Believer? Give it a try. I dare you.

Ultimate Paranormal Book Pack Giveaway

Now just in time for Halloween  you too can stock up on some great spooky reading to get you in the mood for the upcoming season. Thanks to the generous folks at Gallery Books I am pleased to be able to giveaway two great titles to two very lucky readers here at Stiletto Storytime. Not only will readers receive a copy of Ghost Town by it’s release date on October 9, 2012 but they will also receive a copy of Jason and Grant’s first book Ghost Trackers as well. But you have to act quick!

Giveaway ends at noon EST on  October 4, 2012. US address only please. The winners will be chosen by random number generator and contacted by e-mail. To enter just comment below. Good Luck to all and Happy Reading!

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime on Twitter

Be/Become a Follower of (any/all) Ghost Hunters Jason Hawes Grant Wilson on Twitter

“Like” Jason Hawes and/or Ghost Hunters on Facebook

Tweet or Blog about this Giveaway (Please leave link in comments)

Winners

Wow…thanks for all the great response to this very short giveaway! I know everyone is very excited to get a hold of Jason & Grant’s newest book so in the interest of getting it to you as soon as possible- let’s announce our winners! Congrats to Paxton Walker and Margay! You’ve both won a copy of both “Ghost Trackers” and “Ghost Town”. Enjoy and as always enjoy “Ghost Hunters” as well especially now during the festive Halloween season!

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Filed under Adult Books, Books to TV, Contests, New Books, Paranormal

My Week in Reading

Wow! What a week/month in reading this is turning out to be! It’s the week before we head out to the beach for vacation. This year we rented a house on Tybee Island for a week so I can’t wait to make my vacation reading list (you know those books I have been wanting to read forever but reviewing commitments or life just kept getting in the way). Can’t wait to pack my books and head out for some relaxation in the sun and water. We’ll be on the beach and have a pool so I can’t wait for my beach reading in the sand and my floating in the pool reading as well. Vacation reading is right up there with my very favorite types of reading. Probably a nice tie between vacation reading and holiday reading if I had to choose. What’s your favorite kind of reading? I will make sure to share my vacation books in a post closer to our departure. In the meantime….

This week/month I am also participating in two great reading events. First off the Summer Wrap -Up Read-a-thon hosted by Jennifer at Some Like It Paranormal and Jude at In Between which takes place from August 4th-12th which means it will even last a day into vacation. Right now I am working on finishing up Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver for this reading event. This event also has tons of mini-challenges and giveaways on offer and a Twitter following at #SWUR. Feel free to join….even though the event has begun you can still sign up here and try to finish up some of that TBR pile. I will be keeping track of my progress here on this post along with my participation in challenges.

Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-thon Progress

Books Completed: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L James

Pages Completed: 889

Mini-Challenges Completed: 4

The other great reading event going on right now is a month long reading challenge that is dear to my pure Janeite heart. It’s Austen in August: A Reading Event which you can learn more about and sign up for here. It’s being hosted by Adam at Roof Beam Reader. I can’t tell you how excited I am for this one since I love any excuse to sit back and re-read Jane Austen. I am going to start this event out by reading my new Penguin Classics fabric covered copy of Persuasion that I won awhile back from Austenprose. It’s such a lovely book…I simply can’t wait. You can follow this event on Twitter with #AustenInAugustRBR . I will be keeping track of my progress in this event on this post as well.

Austen in August Progress

Currently Reading: Persuasion by Jane Austen

Books Completed: 0

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Filed under Adult Books, Challenges, Classic Literature, Contests, Events, Jane Austen, Reading Challenge

Blog Tour: The Color of Tea by Hannah Tunnicliffe

   “Macau: the bulbous nose of China, a peninsula and two islands strung together like a three-bead necklace.  It was time to find a life for myself.  To make something out of nothing.  The end of hope and the beginning of it too.”

 “After moving with her husband to the tiny, bustling island of Macau, Grace Miller finds herself a stranger in a foreign land–a lone redhead towering above the crowd on the busy Chinese streets.  As she is forced to confront the devastating news of her infertility, Grace’s marriage is fraying and her dreams of a family have been shattered.  She resolves to do something bold, something her impetuous mother would do, and she turns to what she loves: baking and the pleasure of afternoon tea.
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Grace opens a cafe, where she serves tea, coffee, and macarons–the delectable, delicate French cookies colored like precious stones–to the women of Macau.  There, among fellow expatriates and locals alike, Grace carves out a new definition of home and family.  But when her marriage reaches a crisis, secrets Grace thought she had buried long ago rise to the surface.  Grace realizes it’s now or never to lay old ghost to rest and to begin to trust herself.  With each mug of coffee brewed, each cup of tea steeped and macaron baked.  Grace comes to learn that strength can be gleaned from the unlikeliest of places.”
The sadness that comes with the loss of a dream- be whatever that dream may have been, can feel almost impossible to overcome for many individuals. When one has nothing else to cling to but the failure of what they most desired or what might have been- they often find themselves in a never-ending almost cyclical battle with depression and the ever present reality of constant reminders of that lost dream or failure. As a woman the idea of being infertile, never having the opportunity to become a biological mother or have a family of own’s own can be the most devastating reality of all. Not only can it be one of deep personal shame ( un-warranted but felt nonetheless) and a sense of unworthiness but also one of a shared nature in that as a female she feels she has not only kept herself from the most natural of experiences but also let her partner down in that aspect as well.
As Grace faces this reality for herself, she seeks distractions from her sorrow within the new city of Macau which she and her Australian husband now call home. But somehow even the excitement of exploring a new and  exotic locale is not even enticement  enough to get Grace out of the bed in the morning…she still needs more. More to invest not only her time but her love in. She needs that one thing into which she can pour her heart and soul into since the reality of motherhood appears to never be an actual possibility. And so she digs deep into her past and a treat that reminds her of a mother whose true story is often hard to determine. It is the delight of the macaron in which Grace immerses herself. A delicate french desert that brings back happy memories of childhood.
Richly detailed and dripping with sensual descriptions of everything from food, to passion and even people. The Color of Tea is a feast of the senses and yet also very deeply personal. It can be wrenching at times and emotionally evocative but still also a light and summery read that never goes too dark. It’s very character driven in nature and yet blurs the lines of also being a travel novel of an not often mentioned place. I found it enchanting and easy to read and surround oneself with. Although I must say the beginning of ever chapter describing a mouth-watering macaron made me hungry at times…wanting to literally taste the delights described within the works. Trader Joe’s frozen macarons may not be exactly what was described but I did pick up a box to enjoy as I read of Grace and her endeavors.
For me personally The Color of Tea came to me not only at a relevant time in my life but also touched me deeply as I shared many of Grace’s feelings of loss. As I am trying desperately  to deal with a devastating blow of my own and a search for an outlet through which to find purpose and the happiness and hope I once had in abundance. After the diagnosis of my son’s autism, I found myself lost. It was as if every dream I had ever had of being a mother had been suddenly stripped from me. Would I ever be able to truly know my child? Would I ever be able to enjoy those small moments most parents take for granted? Would my son every be able to share with me even the most simple things such as his needs, wants or even favorite color? In all this I have searched for an outlet beyond being an advocate for my child. Something to bring me personal joy, to keep my mind from the ever constant what ifs that haunt when things go silent. This novel touched me deeply in that way since I could relate to Grace’s despair and her need for something within her life to fill the void. I myself have filled my void with books and the never-ending search for what else I can do to help my son. In this way the book rings very very true to real life for me. It was a pleasurably read that I believe will attract many readers…those hungry for a good story and those just hungry for one deliciously delicate macaron.
You can follow the Blog Tour for The Color of Tea at TLC Book Tours and check out what others thought of the book. Have you read it ? If so please share your feelings in the comments. Let’s talk books! Haven’t read it yet? Want an opportunity to win your own copy…just enter to below.

TLC Book Tours  Book Giveaway

To enter just comment below and share something with which you have struggled to come to terms with and how you might have channeled your energy and time into an alternative thing or act that gave you peace in some way from the loss you felt. Not want to go that deep…just share your favorite dessert…perhaps even your favorite macaron flavor? Giveaway will end midnight EST August 7, 2012 and is available to a US addresses only. The lucky winner will be chosen by random number generator and contacted by e-mail. Good Luck to all and Happy Reading!

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime on Twitter

Tweet and/or Blog about this Giveaway (Please leave link in comments)

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Filed under Adult Books, Blog Tour, Contests, New Books

Once Upon a Time Read-a-thon Mini-Challenge & Giveaway

It’s time again for another Read-a-thon Mini-Challenge and this one is simple. Sorry it’s a little late getting posted but technology fought me all the way on making this feature a reality. I know we’ve all been there once or twice. But I do apologize. So on to the Mini-Challenge…It’s all about sharing your favorite authors and reads. Only with a twist.

Lately I have been thinking about how many foreign authors I have discovered recently and have come to absolutely love. One of my favorite authors is Thrity Umrigar- an author and journalist of Indian descent. I wait for her books like so many did for the next installment of Harry Potter or The Twilight Saga. I cherish each one. Some other favorites of mine are British author Jill Mansell and Australian author Lucinda Brant. If you’ve never read Lucinda Brant’s work, you’re truly missing out. She writes some of the best historical fiction I have ever read and I am so thankful to have discovered her work by winning a copy of one of her books through a giveaway at another book blog. So now with the help of the always generous Lucinda I hope to return the favor to another lucky reader.

The Mini-Challenge

Below in the comments simply share a foreign author whose work you adore. I personally am from the United States but we may have readers from all over so just make sure the author you share is from a country other than your own. Tell us why you like them. Are there any books by them in particular that you would recommend? How did you come across their work? The whole point is to share and allow us all to discover a new author that we might otherwise never have been exposed to..to literally open up a whole new world of books for one another.

The Prize

One lucky commenter will be chosen by random number generator to win a personalized signed copy of Australian author Lucinda Brant’s Midnight Marriage. The giveaway is open INTL and the contest will close July 11th at 11:59pm along with the Read-a-thon. You don’t have to be a part of the Read-a-thon to enter but there is a definite bonus if you are. Good Luck to All and Happy Reading!

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Are you a reader in the Once Upon A Time Read-a-thon (+5)

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime (+3)

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime on Twitter (+1)

Be/Become a Follower of Author Lucinda Brant on Twitter (+1)

“Like” Author Lucinda Brant on Facebook (+1)

Tweet or Blog about this Giveaway (Please leave link in comments) (+1)

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Filed under Adult Books, Challenges, Contests, Events, historical fiction, Reading Challenge, Reading Fun

Blog Tour & Giveaway: I Am Forbidden by Anouk Markovits

“A family is torn apart by fierce belief and private longing in this unprecedented journey deep inside the most insular sect of Hasidic Jews, the Satmar.
Opening in 1939 Transylvania, five-year-old Josef witnesses the murder of his family by the Romanian Iron Guard and is rescued by a Christian maid to be raised as her own son. Five years later, Josef rescues a young girl, Mila, after her parents are killed while running to meet the Rebbe they hoped would save them. Josef helps Mila reach Zalman Stern, a leader in the Satmar community, in whose home Mila is raised as a sister to Zalman’s daughter, Atara. With the rise of communism in central Europe, the family moves to Paris, to the Marais, where Zalman tries to raise his children apart from the city in which they live. Mila’s faith intensifies, while her beloved sister Atara discovers a world of books and learning that she cannot ignore.”

I Am Forbidden is a journey through the lives of four generations of a Samtar family, a religious sect known for its extreme insularity and un-ending desire for privacy. Personally I have never encountered their existence in fictional literature quite like what Anouk Markovits has created. Her unique view of their world shines through every page as she draws on even the most minute of details from both her childhood and young adulthood growing up within the sect and her thorough research, which is apparent throughout the novel.  She truly brings you into a community that most individuals will probably never know exists and especially never be able to experience.

The novel spans decades and yet it has a never ceasing elegant flow to it’s travel through time as she explores each generation and their lives including both their joys and sorrows including their most trying times and horrific experiences. While often heartbreaking the novel is a testament to the never-ending ebb and flow of life even among those individuals who have in many ways withdrawn from modern society for their sacred religious beliefs.

As I read in many ways it reminded me of a past read Hidden Wives by Claire Avery which introduced readers to the world of a modern day Utah polygamist community.  If you like one you may want to check out the other. Both offer fantastic insights into world’s that exist almost invisibly around us although with very unique voices and different writing styles.

TLC Book Giveaway

Ready to delve into a past and culture that is most probably completely new to you? Thanks to the folks at TLC Book Tours Stiletto Storytime is excited to  to be able to give a copy of I Am Forbidden to one reader. Giveaway ends at midnight EST on  June 23, 2012. US/Canada address only please. The winner will be chosen by random number generator and contacted by e-mail. To enter just comment below. Good Luck to all and Happy Reading!

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime on Twitter

Be/Become a Follower of TLC Book Tours on Twitter

“Like” TLC Book Tours on Facebook

Tweet or Blog about this Giveaway (Please leave link in comments)

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Filed under Adult Books, Blog Tour, Contests, New Books