A Gilded Death
A Gilded Death by Cecelia Tichi is a riveting historical romance novel with a dash of mystery. Set in The Gilded Age in the United States, the reader is plunged into the world of the affluent society of the time. Georgina Brush, Cassandra Forster’s beloved aunt and the heiress to the Brush fortune, dies at an annual ball under odd circumstances. The death of Georgina’s daughter months later under identical circumstances oblige Mr. and Mrs. DeVere, Cassandra’s family by affection, to investigate the murders and prevent a third horrific murder from taking place.
In addition to the historical events depicted in this enthralling whodunit novel, the author uses ample details to show the manners and attitudes of the society at the time, from the fashion and lifestyle of the ladies and gentlemen, to their conversation, and their greed for power and wealth. An eight-plume funeral in the novel proclaiming the great wealth of the deceased epitomizes the avaricious age to which Cecelia Tichi transports readers.
Despite the somewhat serious plot, there is humor, imagery of nature, and irony in the novel. I had to lookup a few terms, historical events, and names of people in history such as Lucrezia Borgia. While I was not familiar with these things overall I certainly appreciated the attention to detail and found that it made the novel feel authentic. Upon looking at the age and events, however, they all began to make sense in the complex plot. This novel is very well characterized, with extravagant clothing, expressions, and mannerisms. The vivid description of elaborate dinner parties and décor is fascinating as well.
While I enjoyed the story, I felt the pace was a bit slow. Although I did feel that the pacing gave time for the development of events and provided a realistic touch to the novel, I felt like some of the conversations between characters seemed redundant. But this does not detract from an otherwise impassioned mystery novel.
A number of aspects of The Gilded Age are examined in the novel, including the exclusion of women from law-making, and the importance of etiquette to the gentlemen and women, the lack of which was met with a scoff. A Gilded Death has an engaging and eventful storyline up until the very end. This is a dramatic story that will appeal to sleuth fans looking for a historical setting to a stirring murder mystery.
Pages: 354 | B09BNRVZZM
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
Tags: A Gilded Death, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Dunmore Historical Society, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, historical fiction, historical romance, kindle, kobo, literature, murder mystery, mystery, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, writer, writing
Hope in Liverpool
Hope in Liverpool is a stirring historical romance novel following a dejected young woman who finds renewed hope in a handsome stranger that provides the prospect of a better life. But that life has its own set of obstacles.
Hope Bennett is an intriguing character and could be described as a woman with a gentle soul and a heart of gold, but don’t let that fool you because once you hit a nerve she can be as feisty as ever. This dynamic character is really brought to life by T N Traynor’s sharp writing.
This emotionally charged love story showcases the hardships that women go through on a daily basis, yet somehow they are able to soldier on and continue being the anchors in their home while also being their own pillars of strengths. Traynor takes this novella beyond your typical romantic love story and makes it a book that shows the strength of a woman while adding a twist of romance. The story is a deep but subtle exploration of dysfunctional families and through this it shows the true value of forgiveness.
As a young woman myself I was able to empathize with, if not relate to, Hope as she felt authentic and the writing really places the reader in her shoes. This is a melodramatic love story, but it’s melodrama done right. It brings all the emotions of family drama and love to the forefront and probes them throughout the story in various ways that ensures the reader is always entertained. Although this is a love story it still displays the imperfections of people and choices.
When I read through the prologue I thought this was going to be a stuffy historical fiction novel, but stick with it because after chapter one I was fully engaged with the story.
Hope in Liverpool is a stimulating historical romance novel with a well-conceived and thoughtful protagonist that was a delight to follow. This a compelling romance novel that will appeal to anyone looking for a quick but riveting love story.
Pages: 210 | ASIN: B091B8LYNP
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, christian, christian fiction, Dunmore Historical Society, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, historical fiction, historical romance, Hope in Liverpool, kindle, kobo, literature, love story, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, romance, story, TN Traynor, writer, writing
Celebrate Their Origins
Italians of Lackawanna County uses photography to show readers how the region’s Italian community seeks to preserve its heritage. Why was this an important book for you to write?
This book was extremely important to me to write, especially in a time when so many stereotypes against the Italian-American community as a whole exist. My goal was not just to seek to preserve and promote the Italian culture and heritage of Lackawanna County, it was also to show a positive image of Italian Americans working hard to celebrate their origins and how they are working to make the region a better place to live and work. Pictures tell the story in a way that words cannot—thanks to the wonderful photographers and community members who submitted photos, this book comes alive and readers hopefully get a true sense of what it means to be an Italian American living in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania.
In this book you not only cover modern day traditions but you also trace the history of Italian immigration. What kind of research did you undertake for this book?
I have worked as a historian focusing on Italian American studies for the past 15 or so years, always placing an emphasis on local Italian history because my region is so heavily populated with people of Italian origin, like myself. Most of the research for this book is through interviews with the citizens, as well as through archives, such as the Lackawanna Historical Society and the Dunmore Historical Society. I also consulted scholars and archivists in Italy as they also have a wonderful catalog of history surrounding the various town festivals—this helped provide a background for the festivals that were brought here and I was able to truly tie them in to their towns of origin. This kind of work is more of a historic reconstruction, because a lot of the background information has either been lost or is unavailable—because of this, I rely heavily on people in the community who are willing to share their stories.
This book showcases Italian-Americans’ pride in their heritage and place in America. What were some themes you wanted to focus on throughout this book?
As I said before, I truly wanted this book to be a positive representation of Italian Americans and show how they contribute to the good of our society. I really wanted to focus on the fact that we are three or four generations away from the original immigrant generation here in Lackawanna County, but people are still passionate and proud to preserve the traditions their ancestors brought over so long ago. I also wanted to highlight the fact that our area truly embraces everyone of all ethnicities—while I focus on Italians, I do make mention that our Italian festivals have become more inclusive and you don’t have to be Italian to participate. I think that welcoming spirit is one of Lackawanna County’s greatest attributes and I wanted to showcase it as best as I could.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I have two projects that I am working on right now. The first is a passion project about the Guardiese community in the United States. My grandfather came to the United States from Guardia dei Lombardi (AV), Italy, and he was extremely proud of where he came from. These Guardiese traditions were passed down to me by my mother and inspired me to research our local as well as our national Guardiese community. My research locally is complete and now I am working on the national research.
I am also researching Sylvester Poli, a theater magnate from Italy who really revolutionized vaudeville. I was part of the Leadership Lackawanna Core Program this past year and our team project was to create a historic display in downtown Scranton’s Ritz Theater, which Poli founded in 1907. The research we did for the project took on a life of its own and I want to continue to pursue it and possibly publish a book.
Both projects do not have a set time commitment due to research, but I would like at least one to be complete within the next 2-3 years.
Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Blog
Boasting one of the nation’s largest and most diverse Italian American populations, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, joins old and new with events such as La Corsa dei Ceri or St. Ubaldo Day in Jessup and La Festa Italiana on Scranton’s Courthouse Square. Every town in the county with an Italian population has its own story. Whether the people can trace their origins to Guardia or Gubbio, Felitto or Perugia, the Italians of Lackawanna County all share one thing in common: a strong sense of pride in their ethnic origins. In Images of Modern America: Italians of Lackawanna County, readers will find familiar images of summertime traditions, as well as new representations of how the region’s Italian community seeks to preserve its heritage.
Posted in Interviews
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