Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Ripper's Wife by Brandy Purdy Blog Tour Schedule

Please join Brandy Purdy and HF Virtual Book Tours for The Ripper’s Wife Blog Tour from October 27-November 14.

The Ripper's Wife
Publication Date: October 27, 2014
Kensington Books
Formats: eBook, Paperback


A suspenseful, spellbinding novel of love, jealousy, and murder, The Ripper’s Wife re-imagines the most notorious serial killer in history through the eyes of the woman who sealed his fate.

Love makes sane men mad and can turn a gentle man into a fiend.”

It begins as a fairytale romance–a shipboard meeting in 1880 between vivacious Southern belle Florence Chandler and handsome English cotton broker James Maybrick. Courtship and a lavish wedding soon follow, and the couple settles into an affluent Liverpool suburb.
From the first, their marriage is doomed by lies. Florie, hardly the heiress her scheming mother portrayed, is treated as an outsider by fashionable English society. James’s secrets are infinitely darker–he has a mistress, an arsenic addiction, and a vicious temper. But Florie has no inkling of her husband’s depravity until she discovers his diary–and in it, a litany of bloody deeds…

The Ripper’s Wife Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 27
Review at A Bookish Affair
Tuesday, October 28
Review & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Obsession
Interview & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, October 29
Review at Kinx’s Book Nook
Review at The Maiden’s Court
Thursday, October 30
Review at Book of Secrets
Friday, October 31
Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Monday, November 3
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Interview & Giveaway at Mina’s Bookshelf
Tuesday, November 4
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Interview at A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, November 5
Review at JulzReads
Thursday, November 6
Review at History & Women
Friday, November 7
Review at A Book Geek
Monday, November 10
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Tuesday, November 11
Review & Giveaway at Historical Tapestry
Wednesday, November 12
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Thursday, November 13
Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews
Friday, November 14
Review at Girl Lost in a Book


All the advance reader copies my publisher is sending me have been spoken for; I'm sorry, there are no extras.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Mistress Moderately Fair by Katherine Sturtevant



In Restoration England, where King Charles II is on the throne, Margaret Featherstone, a big, plain woman in widow’s weeds, fights to hold her own as a playwright against the male competition in a world where women, and any talent they might possess, counts for very little. It’s a constant struggle for patrons to support her art and to gain the attention of the stage managers.

Enter Amy Dudley, a beautiful and ambitious actress whose cheek is marred by an ugly scar. Starring in one of Mistress Feathersone’s plays could win fame and accolades for both, but the secrets of her past could lead both of them to the gallows. Unable to find work because of her disfigurement, she seeks Margaret out and begs an audition. She speaks the lines just as Margaret envisioned them and readily wins the part, while Margaret, keeps her secret attraction for Amy locked quietly in her heart.

The producer of the King’s Company is worried about the mystery that surrounds Amy. He asks Margaret to spy on her and see if she can discover what the girl is hiding. If she is a gentlewoman by birth, there’s really no point in developing her talent only to have her snatched from the stage of Drury Lane by her family. Margaret refuses, but later, feeling the bite of jealousy over the ardent male admiration Amy inspires, and fearing she will go the usual route and become some rich man’s mistress, she agrees.

Margaret asks Amy to allow her the honor of becoming her patron, to provide for any needs she has beyond what her wages will satisfy. They can also rehearse together, and Margaret has a wonderful idea for a new play about Hippolyte and the Amazons. Amy delightedly agrees. Soon pent up passions, which both women feel, overflow, and they become secret lovers.

But their happiness is short-lived when a ghost from Amy’s past comes back to haunt her, threatening to destroy everything she holds dear. And Amy fears she most give up fame, glory, and Margaret too, lest all the sins of her past be exposed.

There are also numerous subplots involving other players in the theatrical world.


This novel wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, and, in all honesty, I probably wouldn’t have read it otherwise; to put it delicately, it’s not really my cup of tea. I acquired it when I was doing the initial research for my novel The Queen’s Pleasure under the mistaken impression that it had something to do with the Amy Dudley (Amy Robsart) of the Tudor era, which it obviously does not. But it’s historical fiction and has to do with theatrical history, so I read it anyway. I’m writing this review several months after reading the book, which I no longer have, and, even with my notes to refresh my memory, I can’t honestly say it left any lingering impression on me. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Passion Of Artemisia by Susan Vreeland


Ms. Vreeland seems to find her inspiration in art, all her novels are centered around works of art or the artists who created them. This one, my favorite thus far of those I've read, tells the story of Artemisia Gentileshi.

After enduring the humiliation of testifying against her rapist before a papal court, an ordeal that included a public, though mercifully behind a curtain, gynecological examination by a midwife, the eighteen-year-old artist marries a fellow artist and moves to Florence for a fresh start. She hopes she can have it all—love, family, and her art. But her rising fame soon threatens it all. Her husband, a mediocre artist rather than a great talent like his wife, is jealous of her success and rather than seeing opportunities in the doors that are now open to her, through which he himself  might make influential friends and acquire artistic commissions, he becomes sulky, bad tempered, and distant. Artemisia soon realizes “The two things I wanted most in life—painting and love—and one had killed any chance at the other.” After she discovers he has a mistress, ironically her first model, they part ways.

Artemisia moves on, to greater fame and glory, makes peace with her dying father, and sees her daughter, who lacks the talent, fire, and patience, to follow in her mother’s footsteps, happily settled.


I really enjoyed this novel, I loved learning about Artemisia’s life and art, my only complaint is that it ended rather abruptly. I would have liked to have known more and wish she had followed Artemisia to the end of her days. And, on a very personal note, her longing to have both her art and someone to love really struck a chord with me; all I've ever wanted was to be a writer and to have the right man in my life who accepts that’s part of who I am and is supportive and encouraging, but, so far at least, I’ve failed to find that, so I could really relate to Ms. Vreeland’s Artemisia. I look forward to reading more of her work.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Queen of Whale Cay The Life of a Great American Eccentric by Kate Summerscale




The author of this colorful little biography discovered her subject in 1993 while researching an obituary when she was employed by the Daily Telegraph.

Marion Barbara Carstairs, who preferred to be called “Joe” was born in 1900, the heiress to a Standard Oil Fortune, she was the daughter of an absentee military man father and a beautiful, capricious mother addicted to drugs and male attention. Joe loved fast cars, boats, she would go on to become a speed boat champion, and preferred to wear men’s clothes, she had her arms tattooed with stars and dragons, smoked cigars, but claimed never to inhale, it was only for appearances, and despite her many lesbian liaisons, she would eventually amass a collection of 120 photographs, each of a different girlfriend, she preferred to give her affections to inanimate objects, maybe because they could never disappoint in the same way another human being can. First and foremost in her affections was a little leather man-doll she named Lord Tod Wadley, he was her constant companion to the very end, he was her talisman and idol, those who knew her best claimed “Wadley was her religion,” she even had little Saville Row suits tailored for him and genuine Italian leather shoes made to custom fit his tiny feet, and his portrait taken in a variety of poses, when she died a few weeks before her ninety-fourth birthday in 1993 he would be cremated with her. In 1934 she bought her own island, Whale Cay, in the Caribbean, where her word was law, and she played hostess to a number of celebrities including Marlene Dietrich, Mercedes de Acosta, Tallulah Bankhead, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.


This is a short book about a long, exciting, and unusual life. For those who like biographies of subjects that aren't well known enough to have dozens of books written about them or enjoy tales of the eccentric doings of the fabulously rich, like Barbara Hutton and Doris Duke, though it lacks the jewels, glamorous gowns, and mink coats, this might make a quick, fun read. It’s definitely something different.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

New Scans of The Ripper's Wife Cover Front and Back



Every husband has his secrets…

THE RIPPER’S WIFE

by

Brandy Purdy



Love makes sane men mad and can turn a gentle man into a fiend.”

It begins as a fairytale romance—a shipboard meeting in 1880 between vivacious Southern belle Florence Chandler and handsome English cotton broker James Maybrick. Courtship and a lavish wedding soon follow, and the couple settles into an affluent Liverpool suburb.

From the first, their marriage is doomed by lies. Florie, hardly the heiress her scheming mother portrayed, is treated as an outsider by fashionable English society. James’s secrets are infinitely darker—he has a mistress, an arsenic addiction, and a vicious temper. But Florie has no inkling of her husband’s depravity until she discovers his diary—and in it, a litany of bloody deeds…


Coming October 28, 2014

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Lucy by Laurence Gonzales




Deep in the jungles of the Congo, primatologist Jenny Lowe finds herself caught in the middle of a civil war. Amidst bursting bombs and gunfire, she flees to the camp of rival scientist Donald Stone. There she finds everyone dead except his fourteen-year-old daughter, Lucy. Jenny grabs his notebooks and the frightened girl and hurries back to civilization. While Lucy tries to adjust to life outside the jungle, the only home she has ever known, the babble of noise and such bewildering things as grocery stores, televisions, and shopping malls, and struggles to fit in with the other kids in high school, Jenny makes a startling discovery in Dr. Stone’s journals—Lucy is not entirely human, she is a hybrid, half human, half ape.

When Lucy becomes ill with a virus that only animals get, the truth comes out and the battle to protect Lucy and keep her safe from harm begins as all over the world religious fanatics  neo-Nazis, scientists, government officials, and just ordinary people debate whether she should be considered a human being, and treated like one, or caged and studied like an unusual animal specimen.



This was a swift, interesting, and enjoyable little thriller, filled with science, thought provoking issues, and adventure, and likable characters, especially Lucy herself and those who care about her, but not too ponderous for a bathtub or beach read.