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Showing posts from October, 2016

Winner!

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Belatedly...a giveaway winner announcement!

The winner of Dido's Crown is ... Ulrika F.!

Congrats! There are no more giveaways at the moment, but a few more coming up in the next few weeks!

Weekend reads and recovering slowly

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We have been a plague house for weeks, and I'm finally feeling human again (ish -- I've got a kidney infection so I'm miserable in a different way!). Sadly, Unabridged Toddler has gotten the virus, so I anticipate lots of cuddling and kids books in my future.

I'm working my way through Jessa Crispin's essay-ish memoir-ish book, The Dead Ladies Project: Exiles, Expats, and Ex-Countries. It's a little bit like a blog or diary, with lots of bookish nerdiness and crazy international travel. Lots of vicarious living for me. Stalled out on my fiction reading: my work book club selected a book I've already read, and I'm not just hooked by any of the ARCs floating around me.

What are you reading this weekend?

Interview with the authors of A Song of War

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The historical author collaborative called the H Team released their newest, A Song of War, a fantastically emotional, violent, and human look at the Trojan War. (My review!) I'm delighted to share my interview with authors Christian Cameron, Libbie Hawker, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, Stephanie Thornton, SJA Turney, and Russell Whitfield. (You'll never guess what the working title of this book was!) And be sure to check out some of the other blogs on the tour for a giveaway!

How did you all decide which characters/POVs to write? Did any of you end up swapping or changing?

Simon: That seemed to just kind of fall into place. I think that everyone who joined the project already had either a specific character or event they wanted to cover. I know for me as a mainly Roman writer, Aeneas was an obvious choice.

Christian: I always wanted to write Achilles. I think I begged. I hope I wasn't too effusive. :) But as I looked at the project, and thought about how much and h…

Book Review: A Song of War by Various

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Title:A Song of War
Author: Christian Cameron, Libbie Hawker, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, Stephanie Thornton, SJA Turney, and Russell Whitfield

First line: Shall I sing to you of Troy?

Review: It is no secret that I'm a huge fan of the writing collective known as the H Team -- a group of authors who have produced three collaborative historical novels, the first being A Day of Fire and the second being A Year of Ravens. This offering is their third, and it's their meatiest, bloodiest, and most emotional yet.

The fall of Troy takes place over a decade, and the authors of this collection manage to cover the scope of the conflict without losing tension and drama. They took a story that I always perceived as being rather male-heavy, combat-heavy, and honor-heavy, and presented it as a deeply emotional, psychological, and human tale, one told through the viewpoints of five men and four women, and I was really moved and surprised as I read.

In their telling, the collective decide…

Author Interview: Julie K. Rose

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Last week I reviewed Julie K. Rose's Dido's Crown, her 1930s historical novel set in Tunisia. It's an action-filled yet emotional story of three friends who find themselves embroiled in a dark, complicated conspiracy that touches on their experiences in World War I and their other relationships. (Check out my review for the international giveaway.)

I'm thrilled to share my interview with Julie about this book!

Was Dido's Crown the original title of your book?

Yes, most definitely — once I decided to finally give it a title. Forever and ever, I just referred to the book as "Mary". But when the concept of Dido's Crown in the book became clear, the title couldn't be anything else.

As you were writing Dido's Crown, was there a particular scene or character that surprised you?

There's a scene toward the end of the book that I didn't know was coming. When I realized what was going to happen, I put off writing it for days. I won't say much…

Book Review: Dido’s Crown by Julie K. Rose

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Title:Dido’s Crown
Author: Julie K. Rose

First line: Everything in the ancient port town in Bizerte dazzled: the white stuccoed buildings, the shimmering golden sand, the bleached sails of the dhows, the shocking turquoise of the Mediterranean.

Review: I read Rose's previous novel, Oleanna, about four years ago, and I still think about it. So it probably goes without saying that I've been on pins and needles for her next release.

This book couldn't be any more different than Oleanna, but it's just as enjoyable.  The elements in Oleanna that I loved are present in Dido's Crown: a strong sense of place, wonderfully deep relationships between the characters, and a heroine who is both classically "strong" and also delightfully human. (She realizes she's drooled in her sleep at one point!)

Set in 1930s Tunisia, the novel follows a handful of British academics who, through their service in World War I, have become embroiled in a complicated espionage case from…