Friday, August 29, 2014

Stolen Remains by Christine Trent

Rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Obtained from: Historical Novel Review
Read: May 15, 2014

After establishing her reputation as one of London's most highly regarded undertakers, Violet Harper decided to take her practice to the wilds of the American West. But when her mother falls ill, Violet and her husband Samuel are summoned back to England, where her skills are as sought-after as ever. She's honored to undertake the funeral of Anthony Fairmont, the Viscount Raybourn, a close friend of Queen Victoria's who died in suspicious circumstances--but it's difficult to perform her services when his body disappears. . . As the viscount's undertaker, all eyes are on Violet as the Fairmonts and Scotland Yard begin the search for his earthly remains. Forced to exhume her latent talents as a sleuth to preserve her good name, Violet's own investigation takes her from servants' quarters, to the halls of Windsor Castle, to the tombs of ancient Egypt--and the Fairmont family's secrets quickly begin to unravel like a mummy's wrappings. But the closer Violet gets to the truth, the closer she gets becoming the next missing body... Wrought with both heartfelt bravery and breathtaking suspense, Stolen Remains is a captivating tale of death and deception set against the indelible backdrop of Victorian London.

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Christine Trent's Stolen Remains, the sequel to Lady of Ashes, left me in mind of A Royal Likeness and that isn't a good thing. Unlike most of Trent's readers, I found her first sequel lacked the appeal of its predecessor and here again, I feel the story failed to replicate the magic of the original publication.

Lady of Ashes struck me for a couple of reasons, the first among them being the detailed insight the story gave to the undertaker's profession. Unfortunately this element all but disappears in Stolen Remains. Have no fear, Violet is still practicing, but I was very disappointed at Trent's decision to downplay the details of her craft in favor of the mystery at hand.

On that note, I also failed to see the entertainment value in Trent's whodunit. Call me crazy, but the whole thing seemed way too coincidental. Violet just happens to be in London, just happens to have her supplies, Queen Victoria just happens to renew their far-fetched association... Give me a break. 

Already frustrated with the direction and tone of the piece, Trent's self-promotional nod to her earlier novels annoyed me even further. The Laurent Doll Shop isn't essential to this series and the fact that scenes continue to take place here comes off as both amateurish and awkward.

There is a lot of buzz regarding the impending publication of A Virtuous Death and The Mourning Bells, but can't say I'm among those dying to get my hands on either tome.

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“Yes. It has come to our attention that Anthony Fairmont, the Viscount Raybourn, has just died. Perhaps a suicide, but quite possibly murdered, at his townhome in Mayfair."
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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Gods of Gold by Chris Nickson

Rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Obtained from: Netgalley
Read: August 28, 2014

June 1890. Leeds is close to breaking point. The gas workers are on strike. Supplies are dangerously low. Factories and businesses are closing; the lamps are going unlit at night. Detective Inspector Tom Harper has more urgent matters on his mind. The beat constable claims eight-year-old Martha Parkinson has disappeared. Her father insists she s visiting an aunt in Halifax but Harper doesn't believe him. When Col Parkinson is found dead the following morning, the case takes on an increasing desperation. But then Harper s search for Martha is interrupted by the murder of a replacement gas worker, stabbed to death outside the Town Hall while surrounded by a hostile mob. Pushed to find a quick solution, Harper discovers that there s more to this killing than meets the eye and that there may be a connection to Martha s disappearance.

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By all appearances, Chris Nickson's Gods of Gold looked to be a slam dunk. Gorgeous cover art aside, the jacket description gave me the sort of thrill I get watching Ripper Street and that's never a bad thing in my book. Unfortunately, reality failed to meet expectation and I can't say I was particularly impressed with the title. 

For the record I liked the story. Martha's disappearance paired with Leeds' 1890 gas strike made an interesting combination of subject matter and drama. Of the cast, I found Annabelle Atkinson most amusing, but the novel's lead, Detective Inspector Tom Harper, was far too straight-laced and virtuous for my taste. 

Most of my difficulties, however, stem from the writing style and an overall lack of depth. The characters are too straightforward, the plot elementary and the dialogue wooden. I liked the idea and what Nickson was attempting to do with the story, but the telling simply didn't work for me.

Not a complete wash, but Gods of Gold is definitely a title I'd be hard-pressed to recommend.  

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"What do you think he did with her?"
Harper waited. He hadn't said it, didn't want to say it, but knew it needed to be out in the open. 
"I think he sold her."
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Ismeni: A Prelude to The Legend of Sheba by Tosca Lee

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Obtained from: Personal Kindle Library
Read:  August 27, 2014

A mysterious beauty, a destiny set in the stars. Born under an inauspicious sign, young Ismeni is feared by her own people. The single thing she prays for: to live an invisible life. But that is not to be for the young woman who has captured the attention of the king's youngest son. A story of love, passion, and twists of fate through the eyes of the woman who will one day give birth to the legendary Queen of Sheba.

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Why am I only now discovering Tosca Lee? It's a short, but Ismeni: A Prelude to The Legend of Sheba is absolutely fabulous and I can't for the life of me understand how I've not encountered this author before. 

The situational drama is believable despite the brevity of the piece and I couldn't help falling in love with Lee's heroine. I admit the plot leans toward the predictable, but the style and language in which it is written is flawlessly addictive. 

I'm not usually one to promote promotional freebies, but in this case I'm willing to make an exception. Ismeni is a delightful diversionary read that left me dying to get my hands on The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen.

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My mother argued my innocence against the tribal elders, who, I am told, craned to peer at my face even as she tried to shield it with her hands so they might not call such loveliness in a child unnatural . But men are easily swayed by fear. And so I grew up with the burden of a beauty that cannot be celebrated because of its potential, at any moment, to kill.
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Shakespeare's Dark Lady: The Lost Story of Aemilia Bassano Lanyer by Sally O'Reilly

Rating: ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Obtained from: Personal Kindle Library
Read: August 27, 2014

The real Aemilia Basano Lanyer was Renaissance woman, centuries ahead of her time. England’s first professionally-published female poet, she is also suspected to have inspired the poetry of one our greatest and most beloved writers, William Shakespeare—and she continues to inspire writers to this day. With Dark Aemilia, Sally O’Reilly gives us a richly imagined novel of this mysterious, and nearly forgotten, woman, and now, she invites us to discover Ameilia Lanyer first-hand. A collection of Shakespeare’s famed "Dark Lady" sonnets; fascinating and hard-to-find historical details; and Aemilia’s own provocative poetry, as well as exclusive excerpts from the novel; Shakespeare’s Dark Lady is a must-read for poetry lovers and the ideal companion to Sally O’Reilly’s stunning debut—a novel "filled with all the passion, drama, and magic of Elizabethan England"

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Not to be blunt, but this "book" is a bloody waste of time. The jacket description is misleading in that it gives the impression the title will offer some sort of insight to Aemilia's character when in fact is does nothing of the sort. 

The Dark Lady Sonnets by Shakespeare and Eve's Apologie by Aemilia Lanyer are freely available (I looked them up online) and I can't admire the attempt to fashion the Prologue, Chapter One and Historical Note from Dark Aemilia: A Novel of Shakespeare's Dark Lady into a teaser release as the novel's early pages are hardly indicative of its overall content. 

Honestly, I would have liked bonus material, maybe a scene from the book as witnessed by Lilith or Henry, but as it stands, I can't begin to understand what Macmillan is trying to do here.

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I am a witch for the modern age. I keep my spells small, and price them high . What they ask for is the same as always. The common spells deal in love, or what love is meant to make, or else hate, and what that might accomplish. I mean the getting of lovers or babies (or the getting rid of them) or a handy hex for business or revenge. When a spell works, they keep you secret, and take the credit. When it fails, of course, the fault is yours. So a witch is wise to be cautious, quiet, and hard to find.
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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Captive Queen: A Novel of Mary Stuart by Danny Saunders

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Read: August 23, 2014

Political schemes, religious partisanship and unbridled love shake the Royal Court of Scotland at the end of the Stuart dynasty. Witness to sordid murders, spy for Her Majesty among the Protestants of the infamous preacher John Knox, forced to give up her one true love, thrown out onto the streets then ruthlessly attacked by a drunkard, Charlotte Gray will do everything in her power to remain the sovereign's lady-in-waiting. As for the Queen of Scots, she faces turmoil of a completely different kind: prisoner in a castle under the command of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England, Mary Stuart learns that she is the victim of a vast conspiracy and that her English counterpart has ordered her imminent execution. Despite their hardships, Mary and Charlotte will keep their dignity throughout the storm. The two women will finally find serenity, one in the arms of a man and the other in the arms of God. Interwoven with historical facts of the era, the thrilling The Captive Queen saga is worthy of the greatest royal intrigues that still fascinate us several centuries later.

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I have mixed feelings about Danny Saunders' The Captive Queen. I liked the content and was genuinely intrigued by some of the drama Saunders created, but his style choices made it difficult for me to really get into and appreciate the story. 

Mary Stuart is a fascinating historical figure so I completely understand Saunders' enthusiasm for crafting a novel out of her experiences. In terms of content I think the author did an admirable job recounting the conspiracies, drama and tension that surrounded the Scottish Queen and I enjoyed the perspective Mary's lady-in-waiting, Charlotte Gray brought to the narrative. 

Saunders' interpretation of Mary and Charlotte are certainly worth noting. Mary herself is somewhat different than I expected, but I ultimately found Saunders' version of both original and thought-provoking. Charlotte is hard, calculating and difficult, but rather intriguing when you get right down to it. 

In terms of style, I would have liked more ambiguity. Saunders has a tendency to spell out every detail and while I appreciate the author's enthusiasm, I personally would have enjoying piecing together various elements of the story on my own.

All told, The Captive Queen is a detailed historical that offers a creative glimpse into Mary's world. A little rough around the edges, but not a bad introduction to the tragic monarch. 

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"My enemies, the ones who have brought me here, you shall be judged by the Almighty for your sins."
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Check Out All the Stops on Danny Saunders' The Captive Queen: A Novel of Mary Stuart Blog Tour Schedule


Monday, August 25
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, August 26
Spotlight & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Obsession
Wednesday, August 27
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Thursday, August 28
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Friday, August 29
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Monday, September 1
Review at JulzReads
Tuesday, September 2
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, September 3
Interview at To Read or Not To Read
Friday, September 5
Review & Giveaway at Book Lovers Paradise
Monday, September 8
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Tuesday, September 9
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Wednesday, September 10
Excerpt & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time
Friday, September 12
Review at Princess of Eboli

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Giveaway: Anne Girard's Madame Picasso

It's that time again! Flashlight Commentary and Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours are pleased to offer fans of historic fiction a chance to win a free edition of Anne Girard's Madame Picasso!

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The mesmerizing and untold story of Eva Gouel, the unforgettable woman who stole the heart of the greatest artist of our time. When Eva Gouel moves to Paris from the countryside, she is full of ambition and dreams of stardom. Though young and inexperienced, she manages to find work as a costumer at the famous Moulin Rouge, and it is here that she first catches the attention of Pablo Picasso, a rising star in the art world. A brilliant but eccentric artist, Picasso sets his sights on Eva, and Eva can't help but be drawn into his web. But what starts as a torrid affair soon evolves into what will become the first great love of Picasso's life. With sparkling insight and passion, Madame Picasso introduces us to a dazzling heroine, taking us from the salon of Gertrude Stein to the glamorous Moulin Rouge and inside the studio and heart of one of the most enigmatic and iconic artists of the twentieth century.


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PRAISE FOR MADAME PICASSO

Early twentieth century Paris and Picasso’s lost love come to enchanted, vivid life in Madame Picasso. With a deft eye for detail and deep understanding for her protagonists, Anne Girard captures the earnest young woman who enthralled the famous artist and became his unsung muse.
- C.W. Gortner, bestselling author of The Queen's Vow

The story is so tremendously detailed that readers are transported to early 20th Century Paris, featuring such names as Moulin Rouge’s Mistinguett, Henri Matisse, Sarah Burnhardt, and Gertrude Stein. Picasso’s paintings are described, not only in technique, but with the artist’s feeling in each piece, perfectly setting the tone of the narrative. This is a story that will spark an interest in an era and bring to life Picasso’s intriguingly allusive love, Eva Gouel/Marcelle Humbert, who is not easily found in historical records.
- Arleigh of Historical-Fiction.com

It was hard to put down, I didn't want to leave their world. It was well written, exciting, suspenseful, sexy and heartbreaking. I can't imagine taking on the task of writing this book, the amount of research it would take and the talent to be able to fill in the blanks of the unknown and pull it off but Anne Girard did and very successfully.
- Artist Katherine Rohrbacher

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Anne Girard was born with writing in her blood. The daughter of a hard-driving Chicago newsman, she has always had the same passion for storytelling that fueled his lifelong career. She hand-wrote her first novel (admittedly, not a very good one) at the age of fourteen, and never stopped imagining characters and their stories. Writing only ever took a backseat to her love of reading.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in English literature from UCLA and a Master’s degree in psychology from Pepperdine University, a chance meeting with the acclaimed author, Irving Stone, sharply focused her ambition onto telling great stories from history with detailed research. “Live where your characters lived, see the things they saw,” he said, “only then can you truly bring them to life for your readers.” Anne took that advice to heart. After Stone’s encouragement twenty years ago, she sold her first novel. When she is not traveling the world researching her stories, Anne and her family make their home in Southern California. When she is not traveling or writing, she is reading fiction.

Website  Facebook  Twitter  Goodreads


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Format: Print & eBook
Publication Date: August 26, 2014
Released by: Harlequin MIRA
ISBN-13: 978-0778316350
Length: 432 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

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Check Out All the Stop on Anne Girard's Madame Picasso Blog Tour Schedule


Monday, August 25
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Tuesday, August 26
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Notebook
Interview & Giveaway at Flashlight Commentary
Wednesday, August 27
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Thursday, August 28
Review & Giveaway at Words and Peace
Review & Giveaway at Kinx’s Book Nook
Friday, August 29
Review at Scandalous Women
Review at Curling Up by the Fire
Monday, September 1
Review at A Bookish Affair
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, September 2
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading
Interview & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, September 3
Review at Gobs and Gobs of Books
Spotlight & Giveaway at Susan Heim on Writing
Thursday, September 4
Review & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court
Friday, September 5
Review at To Read or Not to Read
Monday, September 8
Review at Book of Secrets
Review & Giveaway at Mina’s Bookshelf
Tuesday, September 9
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, September 10
Review at Books in the Burbs
Thursday, September 11
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Friday, September 12
Review at Caroline Wilson Writes
Review at The Book Binder’s Daughter
Monday, September 15
Review at Layered Pages
Review at Carole’s Ramblings
Tuesday, September 16
Review at She is Too Fond of Books
Wednesday, September 17
Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Thursday, September 18
Review at One Book of a Time
Friday, September 19
Spotlight & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time
Monday, September 22
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Tuesday, September 23
Review at The Librarian Fatale
Wednesday, September 24
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Thursday, September 25
Review at Kincavel Korner
Friday, September 26
Interview at Kincavel Korner

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In accordance with the promotional guidelines set forth by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, this giveaway is limited to residents of the US only.


Interview with Anne Girard, author of Madame Picasso

Author interviews are one of my favorite things to post which is why I am super excited to welcome author Anne Girard to Flashlight Commentary to discuss her latest release, Madame Picasso. 

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Welcome to Flashlight Commentary Anne. Great to have you with us. To start things off, please tell us a bit about Madame Picasso.
Thank you so much, it’s a pleasure to be here. Madame Picasso is perhaps an unlikely story to some, since it was a love mof short duration. Yet after many months of research, both here and abroad, I do believe with total conviction, that theirs was an epic love affair, and one that defined Pablo the man, and Picasso the artist, for many years afterward. Eva Gouel (incorrectly called Marcelle Humbert on several internet sites, as that was her nickname in the city), met Picasso when both were young and living in the inspiring, daring, and romantic Paris world of the early 1900’s. I loved everything about that premise.   

What inspired you to write this story? Where did it start? 
I write true epic love affairs from history (13 previous novels under my real name, Diane Haeger. Anne Girard is a pen name), that is what always inspires me, to tell a true story and hopefully, if I do my job right, give readers something they didn’t know. Madame Picasso began when I went looking to write a novel about Picasso and his first significant love, Fernande Olivier, a woman who still curiously enough, figures prominently in my book. But the fact that Picasso was pulled away so powerfully from Fernande by his feelings for Eva, made my original premise not one worth pursuing. Eva was his heart when he was young and needed her. That sentiment is backed up by his friend, and French biographer, Pierre Daix. 

Your novel begins in Paris, 1911. How did you bridge the gap in time and to bring Madame Picasso to life?
I think that, at heart, people are people. They have always loved, and lost and there have always been epic love affairs, no matter the time frame (I always start from that place when I write, and my subjects (going back as far as young Henry VIII, and Diane de Poitiers before that). Times change, ways of speaking, clothing, however, emotions remain. I start with that notion and the characters help me bring them to life.

Eva left very little record of herself. How did you approach her character and what do you hope readers take from your interpretation of her? 
Certainly there must be interpretation involved. This is a novel, after all. I do weave fictional elements throughout my stories but I pride myself, and long have, on intense research and travel to the locations about which I write. If I use fictional elements or characters, it is always noted in the author’s note. As to how I approached Eva, well, for me, the most essential part, and the gift, was having the collection of her personal letters, those she wrote with Picasso, to and from Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas. Since I speak French, reading her thoughts, her sense of humor, and watching the story unfold through her words in her own handwriting, was as close I believe as anyone will ever get to the essence of Eva. Those letters figured heavily into how I wrote the novel. 

How would describe Eva and Pablo’s relationship? What do you think she meant to him?  
Based on my research, not on literary license or fantasy, I believe that she truly was his muse, and the love of his life. He gave up an established life for her, and many of his friends. He did go on to love again, and if I may say, to cement his own poor personal public reputation through the following years by not countering the negatives.  But in the novel, I attempt to show a slice of young Picasso. He was still open, still vulnerable with his heart. Eva arrived in his life at exactly the right moment. His friend and biographer confirmed that. And in speaking directly last summer in France with another dear friend of Picasso, I learned that the man was far different than the image he allowed the press to cultivate.

How do think his relationship with Eva compared to his relationship with Fernande Olivier?
They were totally different women, which is what drew Picasso to Eva. Fernande was a storm in the midst of his own creative sea. Eva was calm and welcome water.

Femme en chemise assise dans un
fauteuil (Eva), Woman in an Armchair
I’m very interested in the Bateau Lavoir studio. Atmospherically it has a very distinct feel. How did you approach recreating this particular environment? 
Ah, the Bateau Lavoir, yes! A place which literally means, washing barge. It was a dark, foul-smelling cheap place for artists to live up in Montmartre. The area, the studios (not the building, as it was), the essence of the place remains. I think Picasso, and others, felt free there. They didn’t love the squalid conditions, of course, but the inexpensive cost gave them more money for canvases and paint. They were young and they all had the goals for success. I think the environment bonded them.

Louis Markus is an interesting character. Can you tell us a bit about him and his role in the story? 
Yes, Louis. Well, every good story needs a strong protagonist (Picasso) and a sound antagonist (Louis), and I think Louis Markus, “Marcoussis” fits the bill perfectly for that. Factually, Louis and Eva were an item for a time before Picasso became involved. He did have an encounter with Fernande. As an author, I loved having him to play against Picasso.

There are several themes within your narrative. Which is your favorite and why?
Such a good question! I would have to say the theme of enduring love. Picasso was clearly pushed out of his comfort zone with Eva’s illness. He despised illness and death, which is documented. However, for love of her, he rose to the occasion and he was there for her daily, across France, no expense or time spared. It’s a special thing to see what true love can make or allow people to do. I believe Eva made him a better man…. At least for a time.

You probably have many, but is there a scene you particularly enjoyed writing?
Absolutely! I felt that I was “there” in many of them, especially since I had gone to all of the places for my research. Even the summer house in Ceret. My family thought I was slightly crazy to seek that out! Yes, favorite scene to write was the confrontation scene—based on absolute fact—between Picasso, Fernande, her friends, and Eva, in the South of France. Hands down. 

What scene posed the greatest challenge for you as an author? Why was it troublesome and how did you work through it?  
The last scene, absolutely, with Eva and Picasso. Still haunts me. I don’t want to give the ending away, of course, but I don’t think I ever have worked through it, or will.

Sometimes fiction takes on a life of its own and forces the author to make sacrifices for the sake of the story. Is there a character or concept you wish you could have spent more time with or expanded on?
Oh my, yes! Eva! She remains an enigma. I gained what I could, precious jewels, from her hand-written letters, but other than that it was my job to interpret those and factor those in the male biographers. There are only 3 known photographs of her in the world. I look at her face and I say to myself, I wish I could have spoken with you. I know you would have had amazing stories to tell me!

Historical novelists frequently have to adjustment facts to make their stories work. Did you have to invent or change anything while writing Madame Picasso and if so, what did you alter and why? 
True, when not all of the facts are known one must spin the tale around the facts. Authors take a series of known circumstances and then must weave a story through, and around, that. But my allegiance to the truth is paramount. Many years ago, I met and spoke with the mega-author Irving Stone, who impressed that idea upon me. I have never forgotten how important it is to be as faithful as possible to the “telling” of other people’s stories. As I said earlier, if I deviate for fiction, it is noted in my author’s note, and I am enormously proud of that fact.

If you could sit down and talk with one of your characters, maybe meet and discuss things over drinks, who would you choose and why?
Oh my……. Love this question! Instinct would have forced me to reply, Eva. Yet I think I would have to say Pablo Picasso. If, plied with good Spanish wine, and thus he could be honest, I would treasure his words about Eva and what she brought to his life, almost more than her take on it all. 

Just because I’m curious, if you could pick a fantasy cast of actors to play the primary roles in a screen adaptation of your work, who would you hire? 
That’s fun! Sandra Bullock as Fernande… she was who I had in mind as I wrote. Javier Bardem as Picasso. Natalie Portman as Eva.

Okay, we've talked a lot about your book. Let's switch gears and talk a little bit about you. How would describe your writing process? 
Full throttle, is my process. Once I commit to a story, I’m in it. I begin with massive research, whatever it takes, and I go to the location, no matter where it is. Sitting and chatting with a man who had known Pablo Picasso for 30 years was the best part of the process, on this novel. 

Picasso
Who are your favorite authors? 
Irving Stone, Edith Wharton, Oscar Wilde, Karleen Koen, C.W. Gortner, Philippa Gregory. Many more

What are you currently reading? 
Z, by Therese Anne Fowler.

What do you like to do when you're not writing? Any hobbies?
I’m a work-out fanatic, to combat the stress, and I volunteer at a shelter, and am passionate about my adult kids. Being in their livesis my real vocation.

Where do you stand on the coffee or tea debate? 
Both. Liberally. Coffee first, tea afterward.

And finally, what's next for you? Do you have a new project in the works? 
I am happily under contract to write a novel about the early life of the actress, Jean Harlow. It is entitled Platinum Doll. I hope I can share a bit of her life, as well, that most readers don’t know.

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Anne Girard was born with writing in her blood. The daughter of a hard-driving Chicago newsman, she has always had the same passion for storytelling that fueled his lifelong career. She hand-wrote her first novel (admittedly, not a very good one) at the age of fourteen, and never stopped imagining characters and their stories. Writing only ever took a backseat to her love of reading.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in English literature from UCLA and a Master’s degree in psychology from Pepperdine University, a chance meeting with the acclaimed author, Irving Stone, sharply focused her ambition onto telling great stories from history with detailed research. “Live where your characters lived, see the things they saw,” he said, “only then can you truly bring them to life for your readers.” Anne took that advice to heart. After Stone’s encouragement twenty years ago, she sold her first novel. When she is not traveling the world researching her stories, Anne and her family make their home in Southern California. When she is not traveling or writing, she is reading fiction.

Website  Facebook  Twitter  Goodreads


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PRAISE FOR MADAME PICASSO

Early twentieth century Paris and Picasso’s lost love come to enchanted, vivid life in Madame Picasso. With a deft eye for detail and deep understanding for her protagonists, Anne Girard captures the earnest young woman who enthralled the famous artist and became his unsung muse.
- C.W. Gortner, bestselling author of The Queen's Vow

The story is so tremendously detailed that readers are transported to early 20th Century Paris, featuring such names as Moulin Rouge’s Mistinguett, Henri Matisse, Sarah Burnhardt, and Gertrude Stein. Picasso’s paintings are described, not only in technique, but with the artist’s feeling in each piece, perfectly setting the tone of the narrative. This is a story that will spark an interest in an era and bring to life Picasso’s intriguingly allusive love, Eva Gouel/Marcelle Humbert, who is not easily found in historical records.
- Arleigh of Historical-Fiction.com

It was hard to put down, I didn't want to leave their world. It was well written, exciting, suspenseful, sexy and heartbreaking. I can't imagine taking on the task of writing this book, the amount of research it would take and the talent to be able to fill in the blanks of the unknown and pull it off but Anne Girard did and very successfully.
- Artist Katherine Rohrbacher

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Format: Print & eBook
Publication Date: August 26, 2014
Released by: Harlequin MIRA
ISBN-13: 978-0778316350
Length: 432 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

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Check Out All the Stop on Anne Girard's Madame Picasso Blog Tour Schedule


Monday, August 25
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Tuesday, August 26
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Notebook
Interview & Giveaway at Flashlight Commentary
Wednesday, August 27
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Thursday, August 28
Review & Giveaway at Words and Peace
Review & Giveaway at Kinx’s Book Nook
Friday, August 29
Review at Scandalous Women
Review at Curling Up by the Fire
Monday, September 1
Review at A Bookish Affair
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, September 2
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading
Interview & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, September 3
Review at Gobs and Gobs of Books
Spotlight & Giveaway at Susan Heim on Writing
Thursday, September 4
Review & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court
Friday, September 5
Review at To Read or Not to Read
Monday, September 8
Review at Book of Secrets
Review & Giveaway at Mina’s Bookshelf
Tuesday, September 9
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, September 10
Review at Books in the Burbs
Thursday, September 11
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Friday, September 12
Review at Caroline Wilson Writes
Review at The Book Binder’s Daughter
Monday, September 15
Review at Layered Pages
Review at Carole’s Ramblings
Tuesday, September 16
Review at She is Too Fond of Books
Wednesday, September 17
Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Thursday, September 18
Review at One Book of a Time
Friday, September 19
Spotlight & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time
Monday, September 22
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Tuesday, September 23
Review at The Librarian Fatale
Wednesday, September 24
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Thursday, September 25
Review at Kincavel Korner
Friday, September 26
Interview at Kincavel Korner