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PARIS TIME CAPSULE: A Little Romance Within a Real Life Mystery ~Ella Carey

Monday, September 28th, 2015

I was so ready for a romance read on the schedule and PARIS TIME CAPSULE did not disappoint.    I just gathered up my Kindle and headed to the deck umbrella for a lovely day of escape reading and staying cool in the unusual heat wave.   The city became still as folks left for a last holiday experience and to escape the heat before school starts here.  I traveled to Paris and enjoyed the adventures of CAT.

The story begins with the arrival of a mysterious package and the information that Cat has inherited an estate of a woman who lived in France.   This opens the story up to the true historic event that intrigued the author to write this novel.  In Paris, an apartment was found which had been locked up for 70 years and belonged to a French Courtesan in the 1840s up until World War II.  It was a time capsule of a lifestyle and a life and has revealed interesting secrets of its own.  The author found this to be a fascinating idea and a good foundation for her novel.

I found myself to be desiring a croissant and a glass of wine very soon into the story and the reports of the lovely food kept my mouthwatering.   Cat becomes engaged to a young man who is a member of the wealthy New York jet set and likes being in NYC close to his extended family.  Because Cat’s parents are deceased the family takes her under their wings and begins to make all the preparations for the parties and wedding.  Cat loses herself into the hustle and bustle of the expectations and yet still flies off to Paris to remedy the inheritance and to work on solving the mystery.

Enter dreamy, handsome French man and his family who have been left out of the will and their family’s inheritance.  Oo La La!   We have quite a story to tell now and yet the time capsule of the apartment and the mystery of the connections keeps us reading forward.

TLC Book Tours sent me the advanced reading copy of the book for review and apparently for a lovely afternoon escape.   I enjoyed the book and can recommend it to my readers as a delight – PARIS TIME CAPSULE

Ella Carey has been studying French since she was five and has degrees in music and art, and was a classical piano major in school.  Writing is her passion and this book was independently released in 2014 and rose to #10 on Amazon’s Indie selection during the year.  It is now being published by Lake Union Publishing and to be made into a motion picture.   She has been to Paris many times and is currently working on her second novel, walking the beach with her dogs and enjoying her life with two children.

Ella Carey Facebook 

PARIS TIME CAPSULE has gone to #1 on historic fiction!  And is free for Kindle Unlimited readers

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MIREILLE: New Steamy Summer Romance ~Molly Cochran

Monday, June 8th, 2015

“Near the end of World War II, seventeen-year-old Mireille de Jouarre flees the home of her stepfather, a Nazi collaborator and abusive drunk.  She finds shelter with her childhood friend Stefan, and the two fall deeply in love.  But as the fighting escalates, Mireille must escape alone to Paris, where she discovers she’s pregnant and lacking a way to provide for her child.”  (from cover)

The e-book of MIREILLE is free right now on Amazon and the paperback is extremely reasonable for a 638 page romance.   TLC Book Tours  sent me an uncorrected paperback copy for review and though hefty to get through it was an interesting read.

Though the story begins during the WWII days and all the problems of that time period and the Nazi invasion, we seem to quickly move into the world of high-class prostitution and survival needs.   MIREILLE become known as the The Angel and becomes one of the top escorts in Paris.   She and her friend Barbara are able to hire nanny service for the baby and keep it a secret.  The Life takes her to parties of the wealthy men from all over the world and the world of fashion and jewelry fuels the glamour.

At a weekend party in England MIREILLE meets an American Oliver Jordan, who is married to a very wealthy woman and is himself an incredible womanizer and film producer.   With some pathway distractions, MIREILLE signs a contract with Jordan and by 1962 is winning an Academy Award for her movie acting.  She is treated brutally by Jordan.

There is a great deal of blackmail in the story and sexual violence begins to be the overriding theme as MIREILLE tries to hide her prostitution from her daughter and others.

Her daughter is now in a Swiss school and her story becomes even more complicated by her older friend Nora.   An incredible sub story of mental illness and child abuse by more wealthy men

There was a redundancy to the writing, which made me so happy to finally reach the happier ending and the revealing of the hidden story.  I thought this book could have been made better 150 pages edited out.   I give a warning that if one is not into ugly sex and abuse, this book might not be the one for the beach this summer for you.  I do know that some of my readers really enjoy this kind of romance so I will not be too negative here.

About the author:

Molly Cochran is the author of more than twenty novels and nonfiction books, including the New York Times bestseller Grandmaster, The Forever King, The Broken Sword, and The Temple Dogs, all co-written with Warren Murphy. She is also the author of The Third Magic, and she co-wrote the nonfiction bestseller Dressing Thin with Dale Goday. Cochran has received numerous awards, including the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award, the Romance Writers of America’s “Best Thriller” award, and an “Outstanding” classification by the New York Public Library. Recently she published a series of young adult novels, Legacy, Poison, and Seduction, and two novellas, Wishes and Revels. Legacy won a 2013 Westchester Fiction Award.

Visit Molly at her website, mollycochran.com.

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LA BELLE CRE’OLE: The Cuban Countess Who Captivated Havana, Madrid, and Paris ~Alina Garcia Lapuerta

Monday, November 10th, 2014

“The phrase ‘creole’ often puzzles the modern reader.  Many think that creole or criolla (in Spanish) means a person of mixed race from the former slave-owning states or the Caribbean.  However, the word merely indicates that someone was born in a colony, generally of European descent.” (From the author’s notes)

LA BELLE CREOLE is a biography about Maria de las Mercedes Santa Cruz y Montalvo.   She is a heroine to the people of Cuba, who was raised by her material Great Grandmother on the family plantations  where she had free reign in her comings and goings until she was reconnected with her parents at age 9 with her Father and 13 with her mother.   Mercedes lived many years in Paris and Madrid before returning to Havana in the 1840s.  She was born February 6, 1789 in Havana, her parents left for Europe a few months later.

Her father thought a convent would be the best situation for Mercedes, but that was not to be with this society girl and her big ideas.

I read an advanced PDF copy of the book which did not include pictures or cover; I thought I should share Amazon’s Book Description here so we would both know the cover words:

The adventurous woman nicknamed La Belle Créole is brought to life in this book through the full use of her memoirs, contemporary accounts, and her intimate letters. The fascinating María de las Mercedes Santa Cruz y Montalvo, also known as Mercedes, and later the Comtesse Merlin, was a Cuban-born aristocrat who was years ahead of her time as a writer, a socialite, a salon host, and a participant in the Cuban slavery debate. Raised in Cuba and shipped off to live with her socialite mother in Spain at the age of 13, Mercedes triumphed over the political chaos that blanketed Europe in the Napoleonic days, by charming aristocrats from all sides with her exotic beauty and singing voice. She married General Merlin in Napoleon’s army and discussed painting with Francisco de Goya. In Paris she hosted the city’s premier musical salon where Liszt, Rossini, and great divas of the day performed for Rothschilds, Balzac, and royalty. Celebrated as one of the greatest amateur sopranos of her day, Mercedes also achieved fame as a writer. Her memoirs and travel writings introduced European audiences to 19th-century Cuban society and contributed to the debate over slavery. Mercedes has recently been rediscovered as Cuba’s earliest female author and one who deserves a place in the canon of Latin American literature.

The early reviewers on Amazon have all given it 5 stars and written very positive reviews.  For those readers who love a biography this book is a “treat” and it is very well written.   The author went to Georgetown University and now resides in England and is also Cuban heritage.  I was thinking as I worked my way through the book, how much my mother would have loved this story and enjoyed the extensive family history and the stunning descriptive paragraphs all gleaned from the author’s extensive research.

About the Author 
Alina Garcia Lapuerta Facebook

The copy of this book was sent to me by Chicago Review Press  for review and I appreciated the opportunity.

LA BELLE CREOLE was a good read.   I was saddened to learn that my copy did not include the family tree which was at the back of the book.  I grew a bit weary of the long narratives about the family at the beginning – the begats.  Family intermarriage was a security issue to keep the rich, rich and I get exhausted by the private club this creates in the world.

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INAMORATA: a Novel ~Megan Chance

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

“Inamorata: a woman with whom one is in love or has intimate relations; to inspire with love.”  (dictionary)

“Succubus: A demon assuming female form to have sexual intercourse with men in their sleep” (dictionary)


The artist’s muse has always been an important mythology and particularly during the 1700s in Italy.  Who inspired the great works of poetry, music, sculpture and paintings?  It could not just be the artist themselves, it had to be a god or a demon which freed the spirit and produced the fame and fortune of their work.  I personally believe this idea has been around for all the ages and I hear writers speak of it now and entrepreneurial spirits also.

INAMORATA is just one of those stories with some nice twists and turns to increase the historic romance qualities.  The beauty, sex, and expectations are all centered around Venice during this interpretation of the story because a stunning Courtesan is living within the city – Odile’ Léon.   Nicholas has figured her out and all the dead bodies floating by and is going to reveal her true nature to the world to cause her destruction.

Young twins arrive in Venice, one an artist the other a storyteller, to find fame and fortune and make a name for themselves.  They are intensely attractive and talented.  They were orphaned as children and only have each other to depend on for their livelihood.  Nicholas is trying to shield them and connect them to the proper sponsors and Léon is trying to find them to perpetuate her life.

One of my most favorite twists in INAMORATA is the Odile’ Léon, after 350+ years would like not to just give artists fame and fortune before she sucks the creativity out of them, she herself wishes for fame!    She has all the fortune she needs, yet she wishes to have her own abilities to remain a part of history and the mythology.  This tale gives her name to the world, but does the demon muse still live on today?

The demon muse theme has come to my attention numerous times in my studies and where as I love the romantic concepts it inspires I now see more where the theme brings along so much destruction of the human spirit and may even block a great mind in the current technological generation.  Steve Jobs comes to mind, his eating pure, meditation, and clean lifestyle allowed creativity to flow in huge bounds of energy release.

INAMORATA is definitely a good read if you like romantic historic fiction and it will capture your attention. I would recommend this book to young adult readers and creative people. How does your muse assist you in your success?

“Megan Chance is a critically acclaimed, award-winning author of historical fiction.  Her novels have been chosen for the borders Original Voices and IndieBound’s Booksense programs.  A former television news photographer and graduate of Western Washington University, Chance lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two daughters.”  (from press release)

Megan’s Official website
Also by Chance: Susannah Morrow, An Inconvenient Wife, The Spiritualist, Prima Donna, City of Ash Bone River

tlc logo TLC Online Booktours sent me an unproofed PDF copy of this book for review and it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to read this book

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