Review & Giveaway: Rodin’s Lover, by Heather Webb

The Giveaway

Win a copy of Rodin’s Lover in ebook or paperback (US/Canada only). Skip to the entry widget at the bottom of this post to enter!

My Review

rodins-lover-coverI knew only a little about Camille Claudel before I picked up this book. I of course knew about Rodin, and The Gates of Hell is one of my favourite sculptures ever. (If you haven’t yet, try to see it in person; the size and detail is incredible.)

The story was fascinating, and it ranged from Camille’s adolescence until her tragic descent into mental illness. I hadn’t known that of her; such an unfortunate end to a very creative life. The story was a page-turner for me, and I read this book in one, blissfully uninterrupted, sitting. There aren’t too many books I can say that about.

Camille’s path into sculpture, and the workings of an atelier, were my favourite parts of the book. That’s probably the art geek in me. But aside from that, I hoped and wished for Camille’s success, and felt her agonies and frustrations as my own, the sign of a well-written novel. I highly recommend it, and I know I will be picking up Heather Webb’s other work.

Synopsis

A mesmerizing tale of art and passion in Belle Époque France

As a woman, aspiring sculptor Camille Claudel has plenty of critics, especially her ultra-traditional mother. But when Auguste Rodin makes Camille his apprentice—and his muse—their passion inspires groundbreaking works. Yet, Camille’s success is overshadowed by her lover’s rising star, and her obsessions cross the line into madness.

Rodin’s Lover brings to life the volatile love affair between one of the era’s greatest artists and a woman entwined in a tragic dilemma she cannot escape.

***

ADVANCE PRAISE
“Dazzling!….. In Rodin’s Lover, author Heather Webb brings to life, with vivid detail, the story of brilliant and tormented sculptress Camille Claudel and the epic love affair with the legendary sculptor who worshiped her. Deeply moving and meticulously researched, this book will capture your heart, then hold it tightly long after the final page.” –Anne Girard, author of Madame Picasso

“A rich, sensuous novel…[was] written with great empathy for the very human Rodin and his lover, this novel of the visceral world of the 19th century Paris ateliers, of clay-stained dresses and fingernails, lithe models who vow to remain and then go, family love which stays through all difficulties and talent which endures, comes vividly to life.” –Stephanie Cowell, author of Claude & Camille: A Novel of Monet

Rodin’s Lover
[historical fiction/ women’s fiction]

Release date: January 27, 2015
at Plume/Penguin

320 pages

ISBN: 978-0142181751

About the Author

rodins-lover-heather-webb1Heather Webb is the author of historical novels BECOMING JOSEPHINE
and RODIN’S LOVER published by Plume/Penguin, a freelance editor, and blogger. You may also find her contributing to award-winning writing sites including WriterUnboxed and RomanceUniversity.org. When not writing, Heather flexes her foodie skills and looks for excuses to head to the other side of the world.

Visit her website and her blog. Follow her on FacebookTwitter

Subscribe to her newsletter.

Buy the bookPlume/Penguin |  Amazon  |  B&N  |  IndieBound

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My new lesbian romance, BETTING ON LOVE, is a Goodreads giveaway!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Betting on Love by Alyssa Linn Palmer

Betting on Love

by Alyssa Linn Palmer

Giveaway ends February 28, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

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A Review, a Delicious Excerpt, & a Giveaway! Frédérique Molay’s “City of Blood”

Giveaway!

At the bottom of the post is a widget to enter to win a copy of City of Blood. (US winners can choose a paperback or ebook, international winners receive an ebook.)

The City of Blood coverMy Review

Ah, more Nico Sirsky. I’m finding I can’t quite do without this French police chief, nor without the twists and turns as he tries to figure out the solution. I think “City of Blood” is quite possibly my favourite of the three books in this series (in English) so far.

My enjoyment began even before I started reading, as I chuckled over the French title for this book: Déjeuner sous l’herbe. I can understand why Le French Book renamed it for the English market, as I don’t know if the play on words would be apparent to someone who doesn’t speak French (or who isn’t familiar with the piece “Déjeuner sur l’herbe” by Edouard Manet.) And as the subject of the book was a dinner party buried and then excavated, it made perfect sense.

So, plays on words aside, let me talk about the book.

A French performance artist had a dinner party at La Villette park in Paris thirty years ago, and then buried it, as a sort of time capsule. When the banquet table and such is uncovered, a body (or what’s left of one) is discovered. It is up to Nico Sirsky and his team to figure out who it is, and how it happened. But, as he’s discovering clues, new murders are occurring in the park at La Villette, complicating matters.

It’s always difficult to describe a mystery/thriller novel without giving away too many details. The tension builds, the mind whirls with the possibilities, and the end is satisfying. I’m hoping that Le French Book will put out more from Mme. Molay, as I can’t quite get enough of her books.

The Synopsis

When a major Parisian modern art event gets unexpected attention on live TV, Chief of Police Nico Sirsky and his team of elite crime fighters rush to La Villette park and museum complex. There, renowned artist Samuel Cassian is inaugurating the first archeological dig of modern art, twenty-seven years after burying the leftovers of a banquet. In front of reporters from around the world, excavators uncover a skeleton. Could it be the artist’s own son? And does that death have anything to do with the current string of nightclub murders by the “Paris Butcher”? On the site of the French capital’s former slaughterhouses, the investigation takes Nico and France’s top criminal investigation division from artists’ studios to autopsy theaters and nightclubs in hopes of tracking down the murderer who has turned this Paris park into a city of blood. [provided by the publisher]

The Excerpt, from Chapter 1 (Enjoy!)

Footsteps, the stench of a cigar. Chief Nico Sirsky looked up from his files and glanced at his watch: 1:11 p.m. Deputy Police Commissioner Michel Cohen, his boss, walked into the office without knocking.

“If I were you, I’d turn on the news,” Cohen advised. No hello. It was an order. Nico grabbed the remote control and pointed it at the television. The news anchor appeared. Black eyeliner and smoky shadow accentuated her eyes. Not a hair was out of place. In a panel at the bottom of the screen, a reporter was clutching his microphone.

“Just watch,” Cohen said.

Directly behind the reporter was the Géode, the gigantic steel globe at the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie. The huge Cité complex in northeast Paris encompassed a science, technology, and cultural center, a museum, and much more. It attracted visitors from around the world. Nico raised the volume.

“I can only imagine the consternation there,” the newscaster lamented, a touch theatrically.

“Absolutely, Élise. This story has gripped people in France and beyond.”

“Arnaud, please bring those viewers who have just tuned in up to speed on this horrible discovery. I must warn those watching that this may not be appropriate for young children.”

The camera panned to an open pit next to the Canal de l’Ourcq in the Parc de la Villette.

“Here, at this exact spot, archaeologists, artists, and others started an extraordinary excavation three days ago,” the reporter said. “Now that dig has taken a strange and ghastly twist.”

The camera zoomed in slowly on the pit. It was pos- sible to make out dirt-covered tables, dishes, and bottles. The shot then turned into a full close-up of an inconceiv- able sight.

“You see what all the commotion’s about?” Cohen asked.

Several men in orange vests were pushing back spec- tators on the Prairie du Cercle meadow and forming a security perimeter.

The news anchor was talking. “Arnaud, we can hear the sirens. Is that the police?”

“Yes, Élise, officers are arriving now.”

Those were the local precinct officers, who would guard the crime scene and take down witness accounts. Normally, they would then call in the public prosecu- tor and his underlings—“the devil and his minions,” as Cohen liked to put it. That was in theory. But this was not a normal situation. The television news had already tipped everyone off, and Nico was betting that Christine Lormes, the public prosecutor, was putting on her coat at that very minute.

“Looks like we’re going to be on the news,” Cohen said with a note of sarcasm. “We’re set to meet the prosecutor in the courtyard. Which squad are you putting on this?”

“Kriven’s.”
Nico could forget about his sandwich. The week was off to a bad start.

About the Author
Crossing The Line-Frederique MolayCalled “the French Michael Connelly,” Frédérique Molay graduated from France’s prestigious Science Po and began her career in politics and the French administration. She worked as chief of staff for the deputy mayor of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, and then was elected to the local government in Saône-et-Loire. Meanwhile, she spent her nights pursuing a passion for writing she had nourished since she wrote her first novel at the age of eleven.

The first in the Paris Homicide series, The 7th Woman, won France’s most prestigious crime fiction award and went on to become an international bestseller, allowing Molay to dedicate her life to writing and raising her three children.

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About the Translator
Jeffrey Zuckerman was born in the Midwest and lives in New York. He has worked as an editorial assistant, a lifeguard, and a psychology researcher. Now an editor for Music and Literature Magazine, he also freelances for several companies, ranging from the pharmaceutical industry to old-fashioned book publishing. He holds a degree in English with honors from Yale University, where he studied English literature, creative writing, and translation.

The Giveaway!

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From One-Night Stand to Relationship, my Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event post (& win a book!)

LFAE-2015-300x199Today’s the day! My post is up on the Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event! Go visit when you get a chance, and comment for a chance to win a copy of my new, not-yet-released, book BETTING ON LOVE.

 

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Coming soon: The Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event!

This year, I am participating again in the Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event, hosted and organized by the excellent KT Grant. It starts on January 11th, and goes until the 31st. (My post will be on January 15th, in case you’re wondering.) Click on the image below for more information on the event, and join us!

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THE CHRISTMAS GAME is free for the holidays!

AlyssaLinnPalmer_TheChristmasGameFrom now until New Year’s Eve, grab a copy of my Le Chat Rouge novella, THE CHRISTMAS GAME, over at All Romance eBooks!

Alone in London on business just before Christmas, Marc Perron meets an intriguing young woman working at a bookshop. A light flirtation seems to lead nowhere, but the night before he returns to Paris, she knocks on his hotel room door.

Madelaine’s taking a risk, but no one’s ever looked at her the way Marc does, and she’s not about to pass up a chance to get to know him better. When he suggests a game of wagers, she can’t resist challenging him. And herself.

Their matchup is a fiery one and each wager tops the last, the sexual heat between them crackling. Neither want to lose the game, but Madelaine fears she might be losing her heart as well.

This novella is a part of the Le Chat Rouge series, but can be read as a stand-alone story.

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THE PARIS GAME and MOONLIGHT & LOVE SONGS 50% off for Black Friday!

Over at All Romance eBooks, my books The Paris Game, and Moonlight & Love Songs, are on sale! 50% off until Nov 29th!

Get your copy now!

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Review & Giveaway: The Shiro Project, by David Khara

Check out the giveaway, below, for your chance to win!

Shiro project cover

About the book

When yesterday’s enemies become today’s best allies and when mankind seems on the verge of repeating the errors of the past, what can a lone man do against the madness that is bound to follow? After his mentor is kidnapped, a Mossad agent teams up with his worst foe, but first must face himself. He is enlisted against his will in a fight that’s not his own and takes him from present-day Czech Republic to past Manchuria. He has to put an end to the activities of a mysterious group who have gotten their hands on weapons of mass destruction. What do Japanese war camps, US Army research and an annihilated modern-day Czech village all have in common? [provided by the publisher]
The book contains some violence

My review

Having read Khara’s previous book released by Le French Book (the excellent The Bleiberg Project), I was super eager to get my hands on this one. The blurb is a bit cagey, but be reassured, the reader gets plenty more of intriguing Mossad agent Eytan Morg. In fact, I’d say that this book was more about Eytan than any of the other characters, and I was delighted for it to be so. He was fascinating in The Bleiberg Project, and I said then that I hoped that wasn’t the end of his character. And it wasn’t.

The Shiro Project gripped me from the start, and I read it quickly, wanting to keep turning the pages (and not wanting to put it down to sleep). Immediately, I was swept into the brutal drama of a Czech village’s annihilation being covered up, and from there it didn’t stop. To make things worse, Eytan’s friend Eli is kidnapped by the Consortium, and Eytan has a lot to do to get him back, and is sent on a task to find this group. The plot travels from Tokyo to Prague and all over the world as Eytan (and fellow enhanced human Elena, his reluctant companion, thanks to the Consortium) tries to track down the group responsible for the Czech village’s extermination via biological weapon. 

I don’t know if there will be a third book by Khara, but I do hope so, and that Le French Book will release it soon. I really can’t get enough of Eytan Morg. He’s compelling, and intriguing, and I want to know more.

The Shiro Project

(translated by Sophie Weiner)
Release date: November 18, 2014
at Le French Book
250 pages

ISBN: 978-1939474247
Website | Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shiro project David KharaFrench author David Khara, a former reporter, top-level sportsman, and entrepreneur, has always been a writer. After studying law, he stepped into journalism working for Agence France Press, and then became creative director for several advertising companies. He loves new technologies and started his own company at the age of twenty-four, becoming an online business pioneer for French industries.
He then focused his life on writing fiction.
In 2010, he published The Bleiberg Project, which became an immediate success in France. David Khara is also an accomplished athlete in fencing and rubgy, and he even played football as a linebacker. He acknowledges that his culture is a much American as it is French, since he spent a lot of time in West Virginia and Manhattan, and is an avid fan of writers such as Dennis Lehane.

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ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR

Sophie Weiner is a freelance translator and book publishing assistant from Baltimore, Maryland. After earning degrees in French from Bucknell University and New York University, Sophie went on to complete a masterís in literary translation from the Sorbonne, where she focused her thesis on translating wordplay in works by Oulipo authors. She has translated and written for web-based companies dedicated to art, cinema, and fashion as well as for nonprofit organizations. Growing up with Babar, Madeline, and The Little Prince, Sophie was bitten by the Francophile bug at an early age, and is fortunate enough to have lived in Paris, Lille, and the Loire Valley.
***

 

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TO READ OTHER REVIEWS, GUEST-POST, EXCERPT

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One of my favourite quotes…

Self-knowledge is no guarantee of happiness, but it is on the side of happiness and can supply the courage to fight for it. (Simone de Beauvoir)

Posted in Miscellaneous | Tagged , | 2 Comments

It’s been awhile!

I’ve been busy!

Edits on my upcoming novel from Bold Strokes Books, BETTING ON LOVE, have been in the works. And, I went to Toronto over Thanksgiving to visit my brother. I also met a fan, the lovely Irene. :)

But now I am home, and I promise I’m getting cracking on the last bit of THE LONDON GAME, the next in the Le Chat Rouge series. I’m hoping to have it out by Christmas, if not earlier.

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