Monday, February 18, 2019

The Seamstress by Allison Pittman


About the Book



Title: The Seamstress  
Author: Allison Pittman  
Genre: Historical Fiction 
  Release date: February 5, 2019  
Publisher: Tyndale

A beautifully crafted story breathes life into the cameo character from the classic novel A Tale of Two Cities. France,

1788 It is the best of times . . .

On a tranquil farm nestled in the French countryside, two orphaned cousins—Renée and Laurette—have been raised under the caring guardianship of young Émile Gagnon, the last of a once-prosperous family. No longer starving girls, Laurette and Renée now spend days tending Gagnon’s sheep, and nights in their cozy loft, whispering secrets and dreams in this time of waning innocence and peace.

It is the worst of times . . .

Paris groans with a restlessness that can no longer be contained within its city streets. Hunger and hatred fuel her people. Violence seeps into the ornate halls of Versailles. Even Gagnon’s table in the quiet village of Mouton Blanc bears witness to the rumbles of rebellion, where Marcel Moreau embodies its voice and heart. It is the story that has never been told. In one night, the best and worst of fate collide. A chance encounter with a fashionable woman will bring Renée’s sewing skills to light and secure a place in the court of Queen Marie Antoinette. An act of reckless passion will throw Laurette into the arms of the increasingly militant Marcel. And Gagnon, steadfast in his faith in God and country, can only watch as those he loves march straight into the heart of the revolution.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!


My Review

I don't think I can give The Seamstress enough praise- I was hooked from page one and I finished the book in a weekend. The last time I read A Tale of Two Cities had to be in high school, and to be honest I was kind of lost at that time reading it. This book brought that story to life in a whole new way centered around the most unlikely of heroes and heroines. The thread of the Gospel and the Lord's strength through the entire plot was a blessing to me as well. The author was so seamless in her ability to bring in the history, the Christian aspect, and a truly realistic plot and scenes that truly captured the essence of both Queen Marie Antoinette, and the reality of the starving French. I truly was endeared to the characters especially Gagnon, Laurette, and Renee in particular. I loved how even among the bleak backdrop of the French Revolution how our characters cling even closer to their faith, and how some find faith in the bleakness. My heart was truly broken and uplifted amongst the stunning historical backdrop presented. Realistic, riveting, historical, inspirational, and heartbreaking all in one, The Seamstress is NOT to be missed!

I received a complimentary copy of this book, and all opinions given are entirely my own. 


About the Author



Allison Pittman is the author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed novels and a three-time Christy finalist—twice for her Sister Wife series and once for All for a Story from her take on the Roaring Twenties. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, blissfully sharing an empty nest with her husband, Mike. Connect with her on Facebook (Allison Pittman Author), Twitter (@allisonkpittman) or her website, allisonkpittman.com.




Guest Post from Allison

My dream of being an author began by “finishing” other author’s works, fleshing out the stories of neglected characters. When I read the final books in the Little House series, I was far more interested in Cap Garland than I was in Almonzo Wilder, and I imagined all kinds of stories in which he was the hero. This, The Seamstress, is one of those stories that came to me in a single burst of thought. I was teaching my sophomore English class, discussing through the final scenes in A Tale of Two Cities, when the little seamstress in those final pages reached out to me. She is a nameless character, seemingly more symbolic than anything. Dickens, however, gives her an entire backstory in a single phrase: I have a cousin who lives in the country. How will she ever know what became of me? I remember pausing right then and there in front of my students and saying, “Now, there’s the story I want to write.” Now, years later, I have. While every word of every Charles Dickens novel is a master class in writing, what he gave to me for The Seamstress is the kind of stuff that brings life and breath to fiction. I have to convey the fact that any character on my pages—no matter how much story space he or she is allotted—has a life between them. Every man was once a child; every woman a vulnerable young girl. So, Dickens gave me the bones of the story. A seamstress. A cousin in the country. A country ripped apart; family torn from family. I did my very best to put flesh on those bones, but no writer can ever bring the life and breath. Only a reader can do that.



Blog Stops

Fiction Aficionado, February 9
The Lit Addict, February 9
The Power of Words, February 9
Lis Loves Reading, February 10
Maureen’s Musings, February 10
Carpe Diem, February 11
All-of-a-kind Mom, February 12
Emily Yager, February 12
Mary HakeFebruary 12
Stories By GinaFebruary 13
Inspired by fiction, February 14
Remembrancy, February 14
Inklings and Notions, February 16
Bibliophile Reviews, February 17
Texas Book-aholic, February 17
Margaret Kazmierczak, February 18
A Reader’s BrainFebruary 18
By The Book, February 18
Multifarious, February 19
Pause for Tales, February 19
Bigreadersite, February 20
Simple Harvest Reads, February 20
Janices book reviews, February 20
For the Love of Books, February 21
Book by Book, February 21



Giveaway

 
To celebrate her tour, Allison is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card, a hardcover copy of The Seamstress, and this copy of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/db0e/the-seamstress-celebration-tour-giveaway


Monday, February 11, 2019

Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge: A Biography for Children by Susan Barnett Braun


About the Book



Title: Katie Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge  
Author: Susan Barnett Braun  
Genre: Children’s Non-Fiction  
Release date: July 25, 2013, and updated with chapters on each of William and Kate’s children

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is known to most of the world as Kate Middleton. She was an ordinary girl on her way to an ordinary life until she met her Prince Charming. Now, she appears on television and in magazines. She wears beautiful, expensive clothing and travels all over the world. One day, she will be Queen of England. But along the way, she was bullied as a schoolgirl and she waited nearly ten years before marrying Prince William. Learn more about Kate’s road to royalty in this book! Written at Lexile level 930 (same as the Little House on the Prairie books), this book will appeal to girls eager to learn more about the most popular royal since Princess Diana. Full-color photos; timeline that places Kate’s life events into context next to world historical events


Click HERE to purchase your copy.


My Review

Kate Middleton herself is an intriguing person because of her rise to fame like Princess Diana had. We all enjoyed watching her wedding, getting to see her children, and are looking forward to her future as queen. As an American, the royalty concept itself is just an interesting one because we don't have anything like that. The author did a really good job of meeting her target age group by writing on that level. I would say good for children up to 10 or 11 depending on your child's reading level and speed. It was a short enough read that it was informative but to the point for children.  There was a nice picture included with every chapter. It is always inspirational to see someone rise from being bullied to getting to be a duchess, and Kate's story is one definitely worth reading. This may be good for a resource for a beginner research paper for children as well. Overall, I learned some and thought it was appropriate for the age group targeted.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, and all the opinions given are my own.


About the Author



Susan Barnett Braun earned a BS in retail management from Indiana University and an MA in education from the University of Alabama. She taught for eight years in northeast Indiana, earning a Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Study Scholarship. Susan has had work published in Parents, Children’s Ministry, and The Secret Place. She also writes online for Fort Wayne Visitor’s Bureau and blogs at Girls in White Dresses. She is married with three wonderful young adult daughters. Susan enjoys reading, playing piano and organ, and spending her time with her family and pets (currently three rabbits and a chinchilla). She has loved the British Royal Family since Diana came onto the scene back in the 1980s.


Guest Post from Susan

Back in 1981, as a teenager, I woke early to watch Prince Charles marry Lady Diana Spencer. My fascination with the British royal family began with Diana. As a high school senior, I submitted my senior paper topic: Charles and Diana and the royal romance. My teacher was not amused — but once he read the paper, he did enjoy it and asked to keep a copy. Over the years, I’ve continued following and enjoying the British royals. When I worked as an elementary teacher, and the next generation of royals came along, I felt that there should be books about Prince William’s wife, Kate. I fondly remembered reading books about Diana when I was younger and felt that today’s girls might be fascinated by Kate in a similar way. I didn’t find many books about Kate, so I decided to write one myself. I learned much while researching Kate (or Catherine, as she prefers to be called). She’s a wonderful role model for girls today in many ways. To name just a few examples: she overcame being bullied by other girls at one of the schools she attended. And, she developed lots of patience during her nine-year courtship with Prince William. I hope you and the young people in your life will enjoy this biography of the Duchess.



Blog Stops

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away a grand prize of a paperback copy of the book and a stuffed Beefeater bear!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d9a7/kate-middleton-the-duchess-of-cambridge-celebration-tour-giveaway