Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Sharp Hook of Love by Sherry Jones

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The Sharp Hook Of Love

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By: Sherry Jones

[historical/biographical/literary fiction]

Release date: October 7, 2014
at Simon and Schuster/Gallery Books

384 pages

ISBN: 9781451684797

Author’s website | Goodreads

SYNOPSIS

“To forbid the fruit only sweetens its flavor”

Among the young women of 12th century Paris, Heloise d’Argenteuil stands apart. Extraordinarily educated and quick-witted, she is being groomed by her uncle to become an abbess in the service of God.

But with one encounter, her destiny changes forever. Pierre Abelard, headmaster at the Nôtre Dame Cloister School, is acclaimed as one of the greatest philosophers in France. His controversial reputation only adds to his allure, yet despite the legions of women swooning over his poetry and dashing looks, he is captivated by the brilliant Heloise alone. As their relationship blossoms from a meeting of the minds to a forbidden love affair, both Heloise and Abelard must choose between love, duty, and ambition.

Sherry Jones weaves the lovers’ own words into an evocative account of desire and sacrifice. As intimate as it is erotic, as devastating as it is beautiful, The Sharp Hook of Love is a poignant, tender tribute to one of history’s greatest romances, and to love’s power to transform and endure.

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All it takes is a “chance” meeting and serenade to ignite a love affair so fierce and passionate, it would inspire many forbidden tales of love centuries to come. 

The Sharp Hook of Love tells the thought-provoking, captivating, heartbreaking, and intensely passionate story of world renowned eleventh century French philosopher Petrus “Pierre” Abelard  and his student,  Heliose d’ Argenteuil. Told achingly through Heloise’s point of view, the love affair begins slowly, until it morphs into a love so tragic it can’t be true. While erotic, passionate, and full of lust, something ever more devastating awaits the forbidden lovers.

Each chapter beginning contains a brief passage from the lovers’ letters. While I enjoyed reading them, most of them were written by Heloise. I had a small problem with this mainly because I felt the reader is already getting one side of the story, why not have at least the chapter epigraphs be alternating, so the reader can get a full sense of the relationship. I did savory each one, though. All so achingly beautiful. Matched the chapters perfectly. I just wish I could have read Abelard’s love letters, or just letters more.

Jones does a meticulous and wonderful job at incorporating parts of their letters into the narrative itself; which I found held me as a reader more. The voice of Heloise kept me interested; often taking me along with her. I felt her love, her pain, and her sorrows. Her journey from a young woman to where she ends in the story was written in such a cohesive way. I didn’t feel lost as the years skipped around a bit; I followed her through. What Jones accomplished, was making me want to be there for Heloise. Chastise her a little bit. Hold her when Abelard scorns her. Be there for her as no one really was for her. Not many authors can successfully do that in a novel, let alone a historical fiction one. I was completely moved.

Then the juicy parts. Oh, the eroticism that was there! My, for the eleventh century, they knew how to express themselves. There is a significant amount of love making going on in this book; this is not the book for you if you cringe and want to pass pages– you will miss something if you do. I enjoyed how passionate the lovers were; but, not just that, I loved how it translated to the page. It wasn’t x-rated in the way that every detail was written. There was no, he moved her this way, then that way. Yes, it was descriptive. It was erotic, passionate, and very realistic. Was it realistic for that century? That I don’t know. There are two or three scenes in where I felt the love making was more modern. I won’t go into details. I will say this though, it was not overly explicit, it was not just thrown in there at random times, nor was it always pretty. There was one scene that upset me, which I won’t spoil for you. A part of me hopes it was out of character, but after some outside research of the lovers, it does fit, which makes me sad.

This love story is tragic. I remember the tales of Tristan and Isolde; Romeo and Juliet. All the fallen lovers. The lovers who tried so hard to be together. Their stories, their made up stories are nothing compared to this true romance. I cried at the end. It was hard not to. Abelard says something to Heloise (that I will wish was true!) and my heart melted. There’s so much beauty and love in this story, yet the pain and, yes, brutality that occurs, somewhat taints it. It’s truly beautiful, no matter how devastating. I truly loved this novel. I hope that all the feelings were true. Pick this book up. You won’t regret it. It’s a love story that should be known and forever remembered. It’s a great example or discourse on what love was like back then, who was allowed to love, what the cost was, and what the reward was. Jones tackles the topic of societal norms and expectations of that era, without deterring from the lovers’ story. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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SHERRY JONES is also the author of Four Sisters, All Queens;
The Sword of Medina;
and her controversial, internationally bestselling debut, The Jewel of Medina.

She lives in Spokane, Washington.

Visit her website. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter , Google +, Pinterest, and Linked In

Subscribe to her newsletter.  Send her an email: sherry [at] authorsherryjones [dott com

Buy the bookS&S  |  Amazon  |  B&N  |  BAM  | IndieBound  | Kindle   | iBookstore  | Nook

And now for the giveaway…

Blog Tour and GIveaway! A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable

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A Paris Apartment

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by

Michelle Gable

 [Women’s Fiction/Historical Fiction]

 Release date: April 22, 2014

at http://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250048738

384 pages

ISBN: 978-1250048738

Author’s website | Goodreads

SYNOPSIS

THE NATIONAL BESTSELLER!

Bienvenue à Paris!

When April Vogt’s boss tells her about an apartment in the ninth arrondissement that has been discovered after being shuttered for the past seventy years, the Sotheby’s continental furniture specialist does not hear the words “dust” or “rats” or “decrepit.” She hears Paris. She hears escape.

Once in France, April quickly learns the apartment is not merely some rich hoarder’s repository. Beneath the cobwebs and stale perfumed air is a goldmine, and not because of the actual gold (or painted ostrich eggs or mounted rhinoceros horns or bronze bathtub). First, there’s a portrait by one of the masters of the Belle Epoque, Giovanni Boldini. And then there are letters and journals written by the very woman in the painting, Marthe de Florian. These documents reveal that she was more than a renowned courtesan with enviable decolletage. Suddenly April’s quest is no longer about the bureaux plats and Louis-style armchairs that will fetch millions at auction. It’s about discovering the story behind this charismatic woman.

It’s about discovering two women, actually.

With the help of a salty (and annoyingly sexy) Parisian solicitor and the courtesan’s private diaries, April tries to uncover the many secrets buried in the apartment. As she digs into Marthe’s life, April can’t help but take a deeper look into her own. Having left behind in the States a cheating husband, a family crisis about to erupt, and a career she’s been using as the crutch to simply get by, she feels compelled to sort out her own life too. When the things she left bubbling back home begin to boil over, and Parisian delicacies beyond flaky pâtisseries tempt her better judgment, April knows that both she and Marthe deserve happy finales.

Whether accompanied by croissants or champagne, this delectable debut novel depicts the Paris of the Belle Epoque and the present day with vibrant and stunning allure. Based on historical events, Michelle Gable’s A Paris Apartment will entertain and inspire, as readers embrace the struggles and successes of two very unforgettable women.

What do you do after your husband cheats, your marriage is in shambles, and you have the immediate chance to go to Paris for work without him? You go. 

April is struggling. She is on the verge of drowning in a marriage where she avoids having the talk. She just avoids. And avoids. Maybe it’ll go away, the truth. But, it won’t. When her boss sends her to Paris on a last minute assignment, she thinks this is the perfect escape. Again, she avoids. What she finds is bigger than anyone ever expected. How she handles things starts to change as she becomes enthralled by the dead Marthe de Florian’s life lessons. What does she learn? That, you will have to read the book to find out.

The dual perspectives were great. There wasn’t one I preferred over the other, which is surprising for me because I normally can choose pretty easily. I found both women to be completely three dimensional. They both had their flaws, faults, and amazing attributes. Marthe was brilliant, ballsy, and brave. April was a more modern, albeit a little more conservative version of her. Both women were entertaining. Marthe more so at times with her vulgar language and adult escapades. It was the twist revolving around Marthe that I really loved. I won’t say what it was, but man I loved it. It was really surprising, but made sense. I was caught off guard. And, to think it is actually true blew my mind even more. So, maybe I did like Marthe more. Her life was definitely more interesting. Boldini never painted April.

April had her pluses, though, too. She had a somewhat creepy Frenchman after her, sort of. She had her marriage problems. She was more of a today’s woman. It doesn’t make her less interesting. But, when you find out Marthe’s origins, she becomes ever more interesting. Sorry, April. But, April has got sass! She really stands up for herself. I was impressed with how she transforms herself throughout the book.

This was a phenomenal debut. It was entertaining while informative, the characters were extremely well written and developed, the transition between story lines were seamless, and it leaves you wanting more. I can’t recommend this enough. It was such an engrossing read that I can’t imagine anyone wanting to pass this up. Next time you are thinking of buying a book, look into this one. You won’t regret it.

PRAISE FOR A PARIS APARTMENT

“With its well-developed, memorable characters and the author’s skillful transitioning between story lines…this stunning and fascinating debut will capture the interest of a wide audience but particularly those interested in stories about women behind famous men like Melanie Benjamin’s The Aviator’s Wife or Nancy Horan’s Under the Wide and Starry Sky. Highly recommended.” –Library Journal (starred review)
“A charming read about a fascinating history and the woman behind it.” –Historical Novel Society

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Michelle Gable is a writer and also a mom, wife, financial executive, sports-obsessed maniac (Go Chargers! Go Aztecs!),

Southern California native, barre class fiend, tennis player, and card-carrying member of the Chickasaw Nation.
She grew up in sunny San Diego and attended The College of William & Mary,
where she majored in accounting as most aspiring writers do.
Throughout a career that started in public accounting and then moved to private equity, then investment banking,
and ultimately to the head of FP&A for a publicly-traded software company, Michelle continued to write. And write and write.
Her first novel was released on April 22, 2014, her second scheduled for Spring 2016.

Michelle currently resides in Cardiff by the Sea, California, with her husband, two daughters, and one lazy cat.

Visit her website. Follow her on Facebook, and Twitter 

 

 

We Hunt, We Win; Literary Scavenger Hunt in Brooklyn

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During the month of September, I mentioned I was going to attend various literary events. A little over a week ago, I had the enjoyment of participating in my first scavenger hunt with a friend of mine. I have always wanted to go on a scavenger hunt; this one was literary based so I couldn’t pass on this one. I was excited  because it was a.) free and b.) literary themed. How could I miss this? It seemed like everything I ever wanted. But, there was a hitch.  It was on a college campus I was unfamiliar with.

I didn’t realize it would be on a college campus, but it was kind of nice that we didn’t have to go far to find the clues. The clues were adorably hidden Christmas boxes. There were thirteen clues scattered about the campus. We were a little lost on campus, occasionally having trouble finding the clues.  We asked around a bunch, which actually added to the fun. Unfortunately somebody forgot to leave two clues that we needed to complete the puzzle, but we were able to find our way to the end.

We were winners!! Yup, we won! Not many people participated, unfortunately. We were the second to arrive, I believe. The prizes were lackluster, but the cookies and lemonade were good. Overall, we had a lot of fun. I would definitely do it again.

*hopefully pictures to come soon*

Fall has Come: October TBR List

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A little over a week ago, fall arrived. It’s beautiful out, isn’t it? I love fall. It’s my favorite time of year. Pumpkin flavored things. Apples and apple flavored things. Fall book releases.  My birthday, NaNoWriMo, the Dewey readathon.  Oh, my. So many lovely things to look forward to.  I am most looking forward to participating in Dewey’s readathon again, this year. There will be another post closer to the day of the event. Now, on to the good stuff. I know I only read about half of the books on my September TBR list, but I am highly optimistic about October, what with the readathon and everything.  In some particular order the books are:

 

20739303

Andy wasn’t usually sure about much, but she was absolutely certain this was the weirdest day of her life as she stood stranded in the middle of a great white room with six strangers. Well, they were mostly strangers. She could have sworn she’d seen the guy with the green eyes before, and maybe that was why he kept staring at her.
When a man calling himself the Guardian appeared and said they had come to make their deepest dreams come true, they embark on an adventure none of them ever imagined, and the consequences of their actions would change them forever.
I’ve had this book on my netgalley shelf for a while. It’s about time I get to it.  It’s rather short, so it should be a quick read.

20708790

I think the fire changed us – me and Dom. I think that’s how the boy was able to see us. Though he’d been there for every summer of our childhood, we’d only been stupid boys until then. Stupid, happy, ignorant boys. And what in hell would he have had in common with two stupid boys? But after the fire we were different. We were maybe a little bit like him. And so he saw us, at last, and he thought he’d found a home…

Look at that amazing cover! This will be one of October’s buddy reads with Readerly Musings! I love ghost stories. Perfect for the holiday coming up. 

18601924

Alone on the tip of the cape, Hannah Snow is on the verge of her most heroic rescue yet.

On 19th century Cape Cod, Hannah Snow shouldn’t even be in the water. Her husband, John, would be furious-it’s his job to tend to Dangerfield Light. It’s certainly not women’s work, and his quick trips out of town don’t give her permission to rush toward the tattered ships. But she does, and though she can’t save everyone, William “Billy” Pike, is someone she can. He’s recuperating in her care when John’s horse is found abandoned. Hannah invites Billy to stay as a hired hand-but soon discovers that he is not at all whom she thought he was. When everything holding her together falls apart, can Hannah learn how to save herself?

This sounds really good. I’m looking forward to reading it.  I do love me some good historical fiction.

20763852

At an obscure South Carolina nursing home, a lost world reemerges as a disabled elderly woman undergoes newfangled brain-restoration procedures and begins to explore her environment with the assistance of strap-on robot legs. At a deluxe medical spa on a nameless Caribbean island, a middle-aged woman hopes to revitalize her fading youth with grotesque rejuvenating therapies that combine cutting-edge medical technologies with holistic approaches and the pseudo-religious dogma of Zen-infused self-help. And in a rinky-dink mill town, an adolescent girl is unexpectedly inspired by the ravings and miraculous levitation of her fundamentalist friend’s weird grandmother. These are only a few of the scenarios readers encounter in Julia Elliott’s debut collection, The Wilds.

I am super super excited to read this. Ever since I got this in June, it has been on my top shelf to read. I am making it a buddy read; and finally getting to it to. I thought it’d be perfect for October.  Plus, the cover. The. Cover. Love, love, love.

13258121

When a boy tries to save his parents’ marriage, he uncovers a legacy of family secrets in a coming-of-age ghost story by the author of the internationally bestselling phenomenon, The Art of Racing in the Rain.

A Sudden Light is a rich, atmospheric work that is at once a multigenerational family saga, a historical novel, a ghost story, and the story of a contemporary family’s struggle to connect with each other. A tribute to the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, it reflects Garth Stein’s outsized capacity for empathy and keen understanding of human motivation, and his rare ability to see the unseen: the universal threads that connect us all

I wanted this at BEA, but was unable to get a copy. Thankfully, I was able to grab a copy from netgalley. This sounds really good. I love ghost stories like this. Everything sounds like something I would enjoy. 

That’s my reading list for October, not including Dewey’s readathon. There are plenty more books I have planned for that. What are some of the books you think you are going to read this month? I would love to see some suggestions.

Happy reading and thanks for stopping by.

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