T he spring/summer 2019 season has culminated in a debate, fuelled by Hedi Slimane’s collection for Celine, about the female gaze in fash...

Louis Vuitton

T
he spring/summer 2019 season has culminated in a debate, fuelled by Hedi Slimane’s collection for Celine, about the female gaze in fashion: what do women actually want to wear, what empowers them, and who is in the best position to propose it. Simultaneously, strong waves of gender non-conformism have washed over the Paris shows, in a sense countering that debate with an all-empowering kumbaya of unanimity between sexes. In his Louis Vuitton show staged in futuristic walkways through the Louvre’s courtyard, Nicolas Ghesquière touched on both themes. “I was asking myself a question at the beginning of the season,” he explained. “For so long, people have defined my work saying I was empowering women. It’s an intuition I’ve always had, so why should I not take on that criteria to design this collection, only? This is not a narrative collection, this is about my obsession with empowering women: dressing them. I think I’ve been doing that for many, many years.”

You can’t fault Ghesquière for not loading his fashion with authority. The sci-fi futurist, sometimes Space Age-y, often dystopian and very avant-garde character of his work is so hard to describe (point proven) and sometimes to understand that it automatically amps up the charisma of anyone who wears it. That’s a type of power. But more than anything, Ghesquière’s comprehension of empowerment seems to lie the grand gesture: the orbital, spherical shapes of this collection, its ballooning bishop sleeves, trompe l’oeuil Aran knit print, graphic landscape paintbrush motifs, dramatic tinselling, UFO bag, and overriding references to armour, which had a complexity about it that wasn’t for the fainthearted. “It’s not an armour, it’s more of a shell,” he pointed out, referring to sleeve constructions that reminded many of Joan of Arc. “It’s the architecture of the clothes that’s protective; that gives strength.”
“It’s always a challenge to build architecture around the body and create the movement we all need with clothes. It’s a research that’s endless when you’re making clothes, so you try to perfect it over time,” Ghesquière noted, and the statement gave you some insight into the pedantic thought-process that creates his proposals for what might empower. They are not uncomplicated. Three looks caught everyone’s eye: what in binary terms would be called ‘menswear’, modelled on women with androgynous features. Was Ghesquière going down ye ole road of female empowerment through masculine tailoring? Au contraire, said Monsieur. “There was a clear ambiguity, but that was the idea. Sometimes people think when a woman dresses like a man it gives her power, but you can be very vulnerable when you’re wearing a suit as a woman.”
If this season has posed some mammoth questions about our future societal approach to fashion and gender roles, we exit it on an unresolved note. And if the question asked is what empowers women – and men, for that matter – it hasn’t been answered just yet. The debate, however, is empowering in itself. And that is the strongest outcome of the spring/summer 2019 shows. Along, of course, with Ghesquière’s hypnotising Arabesque soundtrack, un-Shazamable and mixed by maestro Michel Gaubert, whose musical presence at the shows has been more than empowering this season.

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Shell Kristina Olsson Atria Books // Simon & Schuster In this spellbinding and poignant historical novel�perfect for fans of All the Li...

Shell by Kristina Olsson Giveaway (US/Can)

Shell
Kristina Olsson
Atria Books // Simon & Schuster

In this spellbinding and poignant historical novel�perfect for fans of All the Light We Cannot See and The Flamethrowers�a Swedish glassmaker and a fiercely independent Australian journalist are thrown together amidst the turmoil of the 1960s and the dawning of a new modern era.

1965: As the United States becomes further embroiled in the Vietnam War, the ripple effects are far-reaching�even to the other side of the world. In Australia, a national military draft has been announced and Pearl Keogh, a headstrong and ambitious newspaper reporter, has put her job in jeopardy to become involved in the anti-war movement. Desperate to locate her two runaway brothers before they�re called to serve, Pearl is also hiding a secret shame�the guilt she feels for not doing more for her younger siblings after their mother�s untimely death.

Newly arrived from Sweden, Axel Lindquist is set to work as a sculptor on the besieged Sydney Opera House. After a childhood in Europe, where the shadow of WWII loomed large, he seeks to reinvent himself in this utterly foreign landscape, and finds artistic inspiration�and salvation�in the monument to modernity that is being constructed on Sydney�s Harbor. But as the nation hurtles towards yet another war, J�rn Utzon, the Opera House�s controversial architect, is nowhere to be found�and Axel fears that the past he has tried to outrun may be catching up with him.

As the seas of change swirl around them, Pearl and Axel�s lives orbit each other and collide in this sweeping novel of art and culture, love and destiny.

Giveaway!

Books � la Mode is giving away one print copy of Shell�yay!!

To enter, all you have to do is tell me:
What is something that you should probably get rid of but keep for sentimental reasons?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Kristina and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

I get emotionally attached to objects and the memories associated with them, like makeup products I don't like but bought while vacationing in Europe, or old notebooks and planners that I used to keep in high school. There are no practical reasons to have any of this junk, but I can't let go of them!

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the publisher�a huge thank you to the lovely folks over at Atria Books!
Giveaway ends November 16th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US and Canada readers only�sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for the list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ?
Good luck!

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Final Roasting Place   ( A Cook-Off Mystery #2) Devon Delaney from Kensington Books Sherry Frazzelle is back to being Sherry Oliveri, her d...

Exclusive Recipe from Final Roasting Place by Devon Delaney + Giveaway (US/Can)

Final Roasting Place (A Cook-Off Mystery #2)
Devon Delaney
from Kensington Books

Sherry Frazzelle is back to being Sherry Oliveri, her divorce all but final and her new life in full swing. Her part-time job is helping her father with his hooked-rug business, and her full-time passion is competitive cooking. But murder is about to rock their little Connecticut town...

Erno Oliveri made sure to be on set for his daughter�s cook-off appearance on Sunny Side Up with Brett and Carmell. Or as it�s now known, Sunny Side Up with Carmell and Brett�since the ambitious young Carmell seems to have the producer and station owner eating out of her hand. But the important news is that Sherry has bested the competition with her Spicy Toasted Chickpea and Almond appetizer and clinched the spatula-shaped trophy. It�s her shining moment�until everything goes dark.

A quick-moving storm has knocked out power to the studio�and when the lights come back up, Carmell is at her desk with a sharp object lodged in her neck. The weapon is an unusual tool, used by craftsmen who make hooked rugs. Has someone taken corporate backstabbing to a new level, and framed Erno in the process? If Sherry�s going to protect her dad and their family name, she has to find out where he was when the lights went out.


Farmer's Market Chicken and Couscous

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup peeled sweet potato, cut in small dice
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 1 package (5.8 ounces) Roasted Garlic and Olive Oil Couscous mix
  • 1� cup diced farm fresh tomatoes
  • � teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon minced jalapeno pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons apricot preserves
  • � cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • � cup smoked almonds, chopped

Preheat oven to 400�F.

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat on stovetop. Add the sweet potato and chicken pieces and cook until chicken is no longer pink, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Add the couscous package contents, water amount per package directions, tomatoes, cumin, cinnamon, jalapeno, salt, preserves, and lemon juice. Stir gently to combine. Cover and bake for 15�20 minutes until bubbly and couscous is tender. Sprinkle with almonds and serve.

Giveaway!


Books � la Mode is giving away
one print copy of Final Roasting Place�yay!

To enter, all you have to do is tell me in the comments below:
What's your go-to dish you serve at or bring to a dinner party? Share the recipe if you have it!
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Devon and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

I love bringing a cold pasta salad with a simple dressing, like lemon juice, olive oil, crushed red pepper flakes, parsley, and Parmesan combined.

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the publisher�a huge thank you to the lovely folks over at Kensington Books!
Giveaway ends November 15th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US and Canada readers only�sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for the list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ?
Good luck!

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Feral Attraction   ( A Cat Groomer Mystery #3) Eileen Watkins from Kensington Books Cat groomer Cassie McGlone tails a killer gone wild ove...

Exclusive Sneak Peek: Feral Attraction by Eileen Watkins + Giveaway (US/Can)

Feral Attraction (A Cat Groomer Mystery #3)
Eileen Watkins
from Kensington Books

Cat groomer Cassie McGlone tails a killer gone wild over feral felines...

Cassie's good friend Dawn is part of an organization that's trying to protect a colony of stray cats on the property of a condo community in Chadwick, New Jersey. The residents have got their backs up over the cat invasion, and Dawn has come to Cassie's grooming and boarding shop, Cassie's Comfy Cats, to ask her help in talking sense to them.

Not everyone's against the cats. Eccentric Sabrina Ward feeds them and has even created makeshift shelters for them in the nearby woods, infuriating her neighbors. Following a heated community meeting�in which Cassie and Dawn come up with a proposal�Sabrina's body is found in the woods. The police are calling her death an accident, but Cassie smells a rat. Narrowing down the list of suspects may be tougher than herding cats, but Cassie is determined to collar the killer before another cat lover has a fatal accident.


Leaning on the kitchen table, Dawn buried one hand in her thick, wavy hair. �Sabrina didn�t deserve to die like that. Alone, in the dark, in the snow. Like some old bag lady.�

The pain in my friend�s voice wrenched my heart. �Bonelli actually thought she�d strangled on her scarf?� I knew the police detective was pretty sharp, and didn�t usually jump to conclusions about the cause of a death.

Dawn�s amber-brown eyes blazed as they met mine. �It looked that way, but I think it was made to look that way. The end of the scarf was wrapped around a low branch a couple of times. How does that happen by accident?�

�The wind�?� I suggested, weakly. She brushed away that theory with a sweep of her hand. �Cassie, you heard those residents at the board meeting talk about Sabrina. A few of them absolutely hated her. Hell, Mike Lawler even said somebody ought to �euthanize� her!�

�Now, Dawn.� I began to wonder if she should have stuck to herbal tea, after all. �That doesn�t mean...�

�Somebody did try to poison the cats. That�s a fact. I think maybe one of those folks got riled up after the meeting and decided the only way to get rid of the ferals was to get rid of Sabrina.�

It might be a stretch, but I�d learned over the past year that sometimes murderous conflicts could simmer beneath the surface of our seemingly peaceful and picturesque little town. �I sincerely hope that didn�t happen. If it did, though, Angela Bonelli will get to the bottom of it. She�s very good at her job.�

�Maybe. A couple of times, she�s gotten some major help from you.� Dawn gazed across out my kitchen window, where nearby street light illuminated the falling snow, but her focus had turned inward. �Do you know, when I found Sabrina�s body, that black cat was sitting on a rock just a couple of yards away? The one she called Omen. He ran off right after I came. It was like he�d been standing guard over her.�

Giveaway!


Books � la Mode is giving away one print copy of Feral Attraction�yay!

To enter, all you have to do is tell me in the comments below:
What is your favorite cat breed?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Eileen and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

Maine coons are sooo cute! I also love Siamese cats with rounder faces like this:
Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the publisher�a huge thank you to the lovely folks over at Kensington Books!
Giveaway ends November 10th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US and Canada readers only�sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for the list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ?
Good luck!

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Murder on Millionaires' Row Erin Lindsey from Minotaur Books //  St. Martin's Press In Murder on Millionaires' Row , Erin Linds...

Exclusive Sneak Peek: Murder on Millionaires' Row by Erin Lindsey + Giveaway (US/Can)

Murder on Millionaires' Row
Erin Lindsey
from Minotaur Books // St. Martin's Press

In Murder on Millionaires' Row, Erin Lindsey's debut historical mystery, a daring housemaid searches Gilded Age Manhattan for her missing employer and finds a hidden world of magic, ghosts, romance, and Pinkerton detectives.

Rose Gallagher might dream of bigger things, but she�s content enough with her life as a housemaid. After all, it�s not every girl from Five Points who gets to spend her days in a posh Fifth Avenue brownstone, even if only to sweep its floors. But all that changes on the day her boss, Mr. Thomas Wiltshire, disappears. Rose is certain Mr. Wiltshire is in trouble, but the police treat his disappearance as nothing more than the whims of a rich young man behaving badly. Meanwhile, the friend who reported him missing is suspiciously unhelpful. With nowhere left to turn, Rose takes it upon herself to find her handsome young employer.

The investigation takes her from the marble palaces of Fifth Avenue to the sordid streets of Five Points. When a ghostly apparition accosts her on the street, Rose begins to realize that the world around her isn�t at all as it seems�and her place in it is about to change forever.


As I tell you this story, I�ll thank you to remember that I was young and in love. That�s not an excuse, but if you�re looking to understand what happened on that day in January 1886�what really happened, mind you, not the version you read in Harper�s Weekly or The New-York Tribune�then you ought to have the whole picture. So yes, I was nineteen years old, and yes, I had a blinding crush on my employer, one Mr. Thomas Wiltshire of 726 Fifth Avenue, and those facts together led me to make certain choices in those early hours, choices that might charitably be called naive. Some of the actions I took I�m not particularly proud of. But I wouldn�t take a one of them back, either�which is saying a lot, considering how near they came to getting me killed.

But I�m getting ahead of myself. I really ought to start at the beginning, which means I should say a little about where I�m from. If you�re from around here, then you know that in New York, where you come from is everything. It defines your place in the world�your past, present, even your future if you let it. Why, just your name and address tell a stranger pretty much everything he cares to know about you. Not just where you live, but how: what parish you belong to, how much money you�ve got, where your people came from before they were Americans. He can even make a fair guess as to what you do for a living. Your name and address label you a certain type of New Yorker, a creature with particular habits and distinctive plumage, not unlike a species of bird. Black-capped chickadee. Northern mockingbird. Italian fruit vendor. Chinese laundryman. So when I say that my name is Rose Gallagher of 55 Mott Street, well, that�s a whole story right there, and a common one at that. The story of an Irish girl from Five Points.

What do those words conjure in your head? A photograph of some fair-haired, reedy thing leaning out of a tenement window to hang washing on the line while drunks and ragpickers loiter in the alley below? Well, you wouldn�t be far from the mark. But there�s more to me than that slip of a girl, just as there�s more to Five Points than the vice and violence you read about in the papers. Oh, it�s a wretched enough corner of the world, to be sure, but it�s home. And it�s where I learned that if you don�t take care of you and yours, there�s nobody else will do it for you.

Which brings me back to the day Mr. Thomas Wiltshire disappeared, and everything I knew in the world went spinning down the drain.

Giveaway!

Books � la Mode is giving away one print copy of Murder on Millionaires' Row�yay!!

To enter, all you have to do is tell me in the comments below:
What are your Halloween plans this year?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Erin and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

I already bought a bunch of mini pumpkins and decorated them. Also been enjoying all the pumpkin snacks from Trader Joe's, like the almond milk, sugar cookie, mousse cakes, cheesecake, etc. It's been a calorific month!

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the publisher�a huge thank you to the lovely folks at Minotaur Books!
Giveaway ends November 9th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US and Canada residents only. Sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for a list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ?
Good luck!

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Go to My Grave Catriona McPherson from Minotaur Books //  St. Martin's Press Donna Weaver has put everything she has into restoring The...

Exclusive Sneak Peek: Go to My Grave by Catriona McPherson + Giveaway (US/Can)

Go to My Grave
Catriona McPherson
from Minotaur Books // St. Martin's Press

Donna Weaver has put everything she has into restoring The Breakers, can old bed and breakfast on a remote stretch of beach in Galloway. Now it sits waiting�freshly painted, richly furnished, filled with flowers�for the first guests to arrive.

But Donna's guests, a contentious group of estranged cousins, soon realize that they�ve been here before, years ago. Decades have passed, but that night still haunts them: a sixteenth birthday party that started with peach schnapps and ended with a girl walking into the sea.

Each of them had made a vow of silence: �lock it in a box, stitch my lips, and go to my grave.�

But now someone has broken the pact. Amid the home-baked scones and lavish rooms, someone is playing games, locking boxes, stitching lips. And before the weekend is over, at least one of them will go to their grave.


This is the story of three days last September when eight old friends gathered in a beautiful house by the sea. There was food, wine and laughter, and then the friends went their separate ways. That�s the truth and nothing but the truth. The story is over. We have locked the box, swallowed the key and stitched our lips shut. Will that be enough? I don�t know. It took twenty-five years, after last time, for the stitches to unravel, the key to burn through our guts, the box to rust and weaken. But this time�s different. There�s so much more to lose. I can�t speak for the others but I�ll keep this secret and go to my grave.

Giveaway!


Books � la Mode is giving away one print copy of Go to My Grave�yay!!

To enter, all you have to do is tell me in the comments below:
Do you have any secrets you'll take to your grave? You don't have to tell me what it is. Does anyone else know about it?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Catriona and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

I can think of one. It's not too bad, but horribly embarrassing for me! Only two of my friends know about it.

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the publisher�a huge thank you to the lovely folks at Minotaur Books!
Giveaway ends November 7th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US and Canada residents only. Sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for a list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ?
Good luck!

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The Collector's Apprentice B.A. Shapiro from Algonquin Books //  Workman Publishing It�s the summer of 1922, and nineteen-year-old Paul...

Exclusive Sneak Peek: The Collector's Apprentice by B.A. Shapiro + Giveaway (US only)

The Collector's Apprentice
B.A. Shapiro
from Algonquin Books // Workman Publishing

It�s the summer of 1922, and nineteen-year-old Paulien Mertens finds herself in Paris�broke, disowned, and completely alone. Everyone in Belgium, including her own family, believes she stole millions in a sophisticated con game perpetrated by her then-fianc�, George Everard. To protect herself from the law and the wrath of those who lost everything, she creates a new identity, a Frenchwoman named Vivienne Gregsby, and sets out to recover her father�s art collection, prove her innocence�and exact revenge on George.

When the eccentric and wealthy American art collector Edwin Bradley offers Vivienne the perfect job, she is soon caught up in the Parisian world of post-Impressionists and expatriates�including Gertrude Stein and Henri Matisse, with whom Vivienne becomes romantically entwined. As she travels between Paris and Philadelphia, where Bradley is building an art museum, her life becomes even more complicated: George returns with unclear motives... and then Vivienne is arrested for Bradley�s murder.

B. A. Shapiro has made the historical art thriller her own. In The Collector�s Apprentice, she gives us an unforgettable tale about the lengths to which people will go for their obsession, whether it be art, money, love, or vengeance.


Paulien is aware that being banished to Paris with 200 francs in her pocket isn�t the worst of circumstances. But the city is vast and crowded and lonely despite all the noise and hubbub, not at all the way she remembers it. She wishes she were back in Brussels, filled with hope for the future, standing with her arms held wide as the seamstress made the final adjustments to her wedding gown. She looks down at the diamond on her ring finger. There is still hope. It�s a crazy mistake, which George will straighten out.

His telegram read: not as it seems. stop. going after swiss banker who stole all the money. stop. will come for you when succeed. stop. love always.

It pours the day she takes a bateau along the Seine, and she�s unaffected by either the Eiffel Tower or her walk down the Champs-�lys�es. Even a visit to the Louvre, a place of worship to her, leaves her as cold as the classical sculptures there. She worries about her parents and her brothers, wonders how they�re holding up, what they�re doing. She�s edgy and skittish, startles at every sound, searches every face for a sign of George or her father.

Clearly she needs something more absorbing than sightseeing. She decides she�ll look for a position in a gallery like the one she had in London after she graduated from college, gain a little more experience before she goes out on her own. George spoke about starting a new company. Why not here? It doesn�t matter to her if she opens her gallery in London or in Paris or in Brussels for that matter. She smiles as she imagines asking her father�s advice on which artists she should choose for her first show.

True, Papa and Maman were the ones who cast her out. He has destroyed everything we have been building for generations�and you brought him here, allowed him to do this to us, helped him! She can still hear her mother�s words. It is all gone. What we had, what you and your brothers and your children would have had. Everything that we are. Our name. Our proud name...

The memory almost doubles Paulien over. But Maman will soon discover that she�s worrying herself for no good reason. George will find the corrupt banker who cheated him and stole everyone�s money. Then her parents will see they were mistaken to believe that there never was a banker or that George is a crook and a con man of the worst sort. George would never swindle them, never swindle her, of this she is certain. Paulien dons the one stylish suit she managed to shove into her valise before she left, tilts her hat at a rakish angle, and sets out to find herself a gallery.

Giveaway!

Books � la Mode is giving away a print copy of The Collector's Apprentice�yay!

To enter, all you have to do is tell me in the comments below:
Do you believe blood is thicker than water?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. B.A. and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the publisher�a huge thank you to the lovely folks over at Algonquin Books!
Giveaway ends November 6th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US readers only�sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for the list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ?
Good luck!

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The Girl from Berlin   ( Liam and Catherine #5) Ronald H. Balson from St. Martin's Press In the newest novel from internationally-bests...

The Girl from Berlin by Ronald H. Balson Giveaway (US/Can)

The Girl from Berlin (Liam and Catherine #5)
Ronald H. Balson
from St. Martin's Press

In the newest novel from internationally-bestselling author Ronald. H. Balson, Liam and Catherine come to the aid of an old friend and are drawn into a property dispute in Tuscany that unearths long-buried secrets

An old friend calls Catherine Lockhart and Liam Taggart to his famous Italian restaurant to enlist their help. His aunt is being evicted from her home in the Tuscan hills by a powerful corporation claiming they own the deeds, even though she can produce her own set of deeds to her land. Catherine and Liam�s only clue is a bound handwritten manuscript, entirely in German, and hidden in its pages is a story long-forgotten...

Ada Baumgarten was born in Berlin in 1918, at the end of the war. The daughter of an accomplished first-chair violinist in the prestigious Berlin Philharmonic, and herself a violin prodigy, Ada�s life was full of the rich culture of Berlin�s interwar society. She formed a deep attachment to her childhood friend Kurt, but they were torn apart by the growing unrest as her Jewish family came under suspicion. As the tides of history turned, it was her extraordinary talent that would carry her through an unraveling society turned to war, and make her a target even as it saved her, allowing her to move to Bologna?though Italy was not the haven her family had hoped, and further heartache awaited.

What became of Ada? How is she connected to the conflicting land deeds of a small Italian villa? As they dig through the layers of lies, corruption, and human evil, Catherine and Liam uncover an unfinished story of heart, redemption, and hope?the ending of which is yet to be written.

Giveaway!


Books � la Mode is giving away
 one print copy of The Girl from Berlin�yay!!


To enter, all you have to do is tell me:
What is a mystery in your life that has never been solved?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Ronald and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

I lost my favorite scarf on a night out. I tried retracing my steps to track it down the next day, but never found it. I can't imagine it could have strayed far, considering I can pin down almost the exact time I must have lost it, so I have no idea why I wasn't able to locate it!

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the publisher�a huge thank you to the lovely folks at St. Martin's Press!
Giveaway ends November 5th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US and Canada residents only�sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for a list of running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ?
Good luck!

0 coment�rios:

The Girl They Left Behind Roxanne Veletzos from Atria Books  // Simon & Schuster A sweeping family saga and love story that offers a viv...

Top 5 Ways Fact Meets Fiction in The Girl They Left Behind by Roxanne Veletzos + Giveaway (US only)

The Girl They Left Behind
Roxanne Veletzos
from Atria Books // Simon & Schuster

A sweeping family saga and love story that offers a vivid and unique portrayal of life in war-torn 1941 Bucharest and life behind the Iron Curtain during the Soviet Union occupation�perfect for fans of Lilac Girls and Sarah�s Key.

On a freezing night in January 1941, a little Jewish girl is found on the steps of an apartment building in Bucharest. With Romania recently allied with the Nazis, the Jewish population is in grave danger, undergoing increasingly violent persecution. The girl is placed in an orphanage and eventually adopted by a wealthy childless couple who name her Natalia. As she assimilates into her new life, she all but forgets the parents who were forced to leave her behind. They are even further from her mind when Romania falls under Soviet occupation.

Yet, as Natalia comes of age in a bleak and hopeless world, traces of her identity pierce the surface of her everyday life, leading gradually to a discovery that will change her destiny. She has a secret crush on Victor, an intense young man who as an impoverished student befriended her family long ago. Years later, when Natalia is in her early twenties and working at a warehouse packing fruit, she and Victor, now an important official in the Communist regime, cross paths again. This time they are fatefully drawn into a passionate affair despite the obstacles swirling around them and Victor�s dark secrets.

When Natalia is suddenly offered a one-time chance at freedom, Victor is determined to help her escape, even if it means losing her. Natalia must make an agonizing decision: remain in Bucharest with her beloved adoptive parents and the man she has come to love, or seize the chance to finally live life on her own terms, and to confront the painful enigma of her past.

Ways in Which Fact Meets Fiction in The Girl They Left Behind

  1. They often say, �write what you know,� and for me, this became a mantra while crafting this novel. Growing up in California, many childhood recollections of my native Bucharest in the years before the fall of the Wall had become faded; yet I felt it was important to depict what it was like to live in that time not just from research but a personal perspective. The streets sunk in darkness, the overcrowded trolleys, the half-empty shelves in grocery stores�they are all drawn from memory. Even my grandparents� home which they were forced to share with other families is exactly as I recall it�a grand Edwardian flat stripped of its former splendor by years of neglect. Then there are the Cismigiu Gardens where as a child I spent many afternoons. It is a happy memory and perhaps the reason why I chose it as the setting for Natalia, Anton and Despina�s first encounter as a family.
  2. Readers often ask me why in the novel I�ve chosen to change my mother�s name while keeping those of the other main characters, and my answer is this: As a protagonist, I needed Natalia to have an identity of her own, to see her in my mind�s eye as someone who wasn�t entirely my mother. This was especially true in the third part of the book, when Natalia�s journey as a young woman departs from reality. (Plus, it would have been impossible to write all those love scenes with her in mind!) Young Natalia, however, does resemble my mother closely, as her early experiences and abandonment on the eve of war seeded this novel.
  3. The young, starving student who later rises to power and saves the Gozas from numerous misfortunes, is also drawn from reality. His role in my grandparents� lives when they suffered extreme persecution is almost unaltered. However, the love affair so pivotal to this plot was crafted from my imagination. In fact, it came to me rather late in the first draft and drove the unexpected conclusion!
  4. When the novel opens in January 1941, as Romania is caught in a terrible wave of antisemitic violence, Natalia is three-and-a-half years old�two years older than my mother was on the night of her abandonment. This was a deliberate change, as I needed Natalia�s voice to come in on the very first page, to establish an immediate, emotional connection with the reader. My mother in reality, remembers nothing of that night, nor much about her time at the orphanage.
  5. Originally, the book�s ending followed a path closer to real life. It was only after it had gone through several revisions and I began working with my editor at Atria, that I changed direction. Without giving away any spoilers, I will say that it was a very emotional experience to re-write it this way, and that I still tear up reading those final pages. In the end, I believe it enriched the novel a great deal, and I couldn�t be happier with the outcome.

About the Author


Roxanne Veletzos was born in Bucharest, Romania and moved to California with her family as a young teen. Already fluent in English and French, she began writing short stories about growing up in her native Eastern Europe, at first as a cathartic experience as she transitioned to a new culture, then simply to pursue what had become an unrelenting passion. She has worked as an editor, content writer, and marketing manager for a number of Fortune 500 companies and has been writing fiction since 2012.

Her first novel, The Girl They Left Behind, is based on her family�s true story.



Giveaway!

Books � la Mode is giving away one print copy of The Girl They Left Behind�yay!!

To enter, all you have to do is answer Roxanne's question in the comments below:
What country or city in Europe do you wish you could read more about? What time period in that culture would be most interesting to you?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Roxanne and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

I feel like so many books about Europe published in America are only about Anglican or "westernized" countries when there is so much more to offer. Don't get me wrong, I love British, French, Spanish, etc. literature, but you have to admit there is a lot of it. I'd love a mainstream novel about Prague or perhaps some Nordic countries.

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the tour publicist and publisher�a huge thank you to the lovely folks at TLC Book Tours and Atria Books!
Giveaway ends November 4th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US residents only�sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for a list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ?
Good luck!

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