Tag Archives: New Release

Stories I Stole from Lord Byron’s Bastard by Sara W. McBride – Blog Tour

I’m delighted to welcome Sara W. McBride to my blog to introduce her two books.

Please enjoy this special post about the inspiration behind Stealing Giorgione’s Mistress.

If you would like to win a copy of one of these two books, please leave your comment and preference. Please click the Rafflecopter link and enter the giveaway. http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d9280cae1/?

Stories I Stole from Lord Byron’s Bastard is a collection inspired by Venetian history. The fictional character, Alexis Lynn, wrote these stories in the novel Will Write for Wine by Sara W. McBride, but they are fun stand-alone adventures to be enjoyed with an excellent glass of Italian wine.

What inspired the story, “Stealing Giorgione’s Mistress?”

Credit: Violante by Titian, circa 1515(Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna)

I’m that weird person who memorizes historical maps and paintings because it’s fun. Over a few years, I noticed the same model was used in both Giorgione’s paintings and Titian’s paintings from about 1510-1515. Then I remembered something I’d read by the famous Renaissance biographer, Giorgio Vasari. From Giorgio Vasari’s The Lives of the Artists (Oxford World’s Classics Edition, 1991, translated by Julia Conaway Bondanella and Peter Bondanella):

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“Since many gentlemen did not realize that Giorgione was no longer working on this facade nor that Titian was doing it, after Titian unveiled part of it these men congratulated Giorgione as friends would when they ran into him, declaring that he had acquitted himself better in the facade towards the Merceria than in the one over the Grand Canal. Giorgione was so offended by this that until Titian had completely finished the work and it had become widely known that Titian had painted that part of it, Giorgione seldom allowed himself to be seen, and, from that time on, he never wanted to be in Titian’s company or to be his friend.”

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There are several historical references regarding the rivalry between Giorgione and his famous student, Titian. A few claims Titian ran off with Giorgione’s mistress, and then both the mistress and Giorgione died of a broken heart. In truth, Giorgione died of the plague in September 1510, and so did his mistress, Violante di Modena.

In the story, “Stealing Giorgione’s Mistress,” I referenced a document dated 1511 which really secured the story for me. It’s from Violante di Modena’s brother requesting permission from the council of Venice that Tiziano Vecellio (Titian) be allowed to return to Venice because of the great services he had performed in frescoing the Fondaco Dei Tedeschi. The petition was granted. I read about this document in a secondary source and admit that I have not found this document, but do not doubt its existence. Such a document lends merit to the idea that in 1509, Titian left Venice in a hurry. Titian escaping Venice without permission solidified in my mind that he had a reason to do so, and that reason might have been that he was escaping with his mentor’s mistress.

Among art historians, there have been five hundred years of debates regarding the attribution of many of Giorgione’s paintings as to whether they are painted by Giorgione, or Titian, or both. Regardless of who painted which canvas, Violante di Modena seems to have modeled for many of them, thus bearing witness to a possible love affair with both great artists.

A fragment of Giorgione and Titian’s central fresco for the Fondaco dei Tedeschi is preserved in the Galleria Giorgio Franchetti, housed in Ca’ d’Oro in Venice. The rest of the fresco fell into the Grand Canal over two hundred years ago. The fragment shows a female figure brandishing a sword. The face looks remarkably like Violante di Modena’s when compared to the other paintings of her by Titian and Giorgione.

Titian ran from Venice to Padua, where he had a commission. Knowing he had work lined up, he should have applied for permission to leave Venice, giving more merit to the idea that he left unexpectedly. His frescos in Padua are his earliest dated works, executed in 1511 as part of the decoration of the Scuola del Santo, and can still be viewed today. Likenesses of Violante, Giorgione, and Titian are all featured in the three frescoes. When viewed with the idea of a love triangle, these three frescoes show the tortured soul and regrets of the artist, Titian.

The Miracle of the Jealous Husband

The Miracle of the Newborn Child

The Healing of the Wrathful Son

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A painting that also possibly features Violante di Modena is Giorgione’s last painting, 1509-1510 – Sleeping Venus. It was finished by Titian. (Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden)

Paintings first attributed to Giorgione, dated circa 1510, the year of Giorgione’s death, were then reattributed to Titian, and the dates altered to circa 1515. I speculated that all of these paintings feature Violante di Modena and that Titian painted them, or finished Giorgione’s canvases, to mourn both her and Giorgione’s death:

-Young Woman in a Black Dress (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna)

-Violante (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna)

Lucretia and her Husband Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna)

-Flora (Uffizi Gallery, Florence)

Sacred and Profane Love (Galleria Borghese, Rome)

-Woman with a Mirror (Musée du Louvre, Paris)

-Vanity (Alte Pinakothek, Munich)

-Balbi Holy Conversation (Fondazione Magnani-Rocca, Traversetolo)

-Salome, with Titian’s self-portrait head on her plate. It is the same face as the man from the Padua frescoes of Jealous Husband and Newborn Child. (Doria Pamphilj Gallery, Rome)

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Look up the paintings and the three frescoes. Do you think the same model posed for all of them?

The Books

Stories I Stole from Lord Byron’s Bastard

Companion stories for the novel Will Write For Wine.

Blurb

“If you’re wondering about the story that made Manu so angry, he banished me from Venice, it’s in here.” –Alexis Lynn

Get ready for a fun evening of stories inspired by Venetian history. Thrill to the adventures of money-laundering plague nuns, a pregnant Renaissance man, a demonic Doge at the Devil’s Bridge, and other tales of ghosts, art, and love. 

Following in the footsteps of Lord Byron’s obsession with Venetian history, Alexis Lynn wrote these stories in the novel, Will Write for Wine. We proudly share these standalone stories with you over the objection of her paramour Manu, a modern-day Casanova and illegitimate descendent of Lord Byron himself. 

So, pour yourself a glass of your favorite vino, let your dog or cat curl up at your feet (or let your cat do whatever it wants), and settle into these mostly … partly … somewhat true tales. 

In vino est fictio.

Will Write for Wine

Blurb

Alexis Lynn is tired of living for others. She chucks her twenty-year scientific career, and possibly her marriage, to write full time in Venice, Italy. But when Alexis gets involved with a flirtatious Venetian, a man who champions her writing, events spiral out of control. The old Alexis knows she should salvage her marriage, but the new Alexis is quickly falling for the charms of this modern-day Casanova. And she doesn’t know which Alexis will prevail. This is going to require a whole lot of wine.

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Purchase Links

Will Write for Wine: Amazon

Stories I Stole from Lord Byron’s Bastard: Amazon

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Author Bio

Sara W. McBride, like many modern-day biological researchers, invents new swear words to sling at million-dollar machines while locked in a dark hole of a decaying academic hall. This has caused her to witness ghosts and create a romantic fantasy life within her head, which she now puts down on a very non-technological paper with her favorite Jane Austen-style quill pen. 

Her first novel in the Alexis Lynn series, Will Write for Wine, and the companion short story collection, Stories I Stole from Lord Byron’s Bastard, both set in Venice, Italy, were recently released by Puck Publishing. She’s hard at work on the second Alexis Lynn novel, a Regency mystery series, and a haunted play. She strongly feels the world needs more haunted plays. 

Website: https://www.puckpublishing.com

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Knuckleheads by Dan Antion – New Release

My friends and visitors, I’m delighted to have a fellow blogger and an author, Dan Antion, as my guest today. I met Dan years ago at Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS) Challenge. Dan writes about his gathering at his virtual bar for SoCS. Occasionally, he invites guests to his bar party. In fact, he invited Robbie Cheadle and me over on April 20, 2022. It was a wild party with 330 comments. Robbie and I had a blast with Dan and his friends at the bar.

Dan is good at many things. I’m impressed with his woodworking, photography, and technology skills. You must visit his blog to find out more about him.

The most exciting thing of all, we’re celebrating Dan’s new release, Knuckleheads, Book 1 in the Dreamer’s Alliance Series. I’ll let him tell you more about his intriguing Paranormal Fantasy and Speculative Fiction.

Thank you, Miriam, for inviting me to be your guest, and thank you for the graphic support you provided to help me with this book launch. You have been more than kind, and I deeply appreciate what you have done.

As you mentioned, Knuckleheads is Book 1 in a series, but I didn’t start out writing a series. My original plan was to write the story that is told in the second book. As I was writing that book, I reached a point where I saw the opportunity to create a sequel. I discussed this with Teagan Geneviene, who was helping me get started. As I was discussing how the paranormal abilities the two main characters possess emerged during childhood, she suggested that perhaps I should also write that story.

This story is told by Zachary Livingston Amstead to his adult daughter on the day after his retirement party. The other books in the series begin shortly after Zach shares this story with Abbie.

That story begins when Zach and William Ignatius Terrance are in fourth grade. They are experiencing the emergence of their paranormal abilities. Billy sees the future in a limited way. He sees events that are going to happen in his life, and to a lesser degree, things that are going to happen to Zach. Meanwhile, Zach is beginning to be able to participate in the lucid dreams he has had for as long as he can remember.

Both boys struggle with these abilities. They don’t understand what’s happening to them, and they are having a difficult time controlling these powers. Both boys get into trouble, and both are helped by Zach’s father as they try to “get ahead of the situation,” as Zach’s dad puts it on numerous occasions.

The boys grew up outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and many of my regular blog readers will recognize elements from the setting as those described in various blog posts after my visits to that city. While the setting is similar in many ways to my surroundings growing up, the book is not my story. I drew on my experience, mainly because it was easier than researching another.

So far, the book has been getting good reviews, and I’ve gotten some very nice comments from people who are reading it. The few people who have read the other books in the series (they are all complete, but the 2nd and 3rd books are still being edited) have said that they were glad to have read Knuckleheads first.

Series Blurb

The Dreamer’s Alliance series chronicles the challenges and dangers faced by two men who have been gifted with paranormal abilities. From their struggles to understand and control these powers through their battle with the attempts of corrupt authorities to exploit them.

Knuckleheads Blurb

Zach and Billy didn’t ask for the paranormal powers that were beyond their capacity to understand or control. Zach, interacting with his lucid dreams, and Billy, “gifted “with shadowy glimpses of the future struggle to make sense of the world around them. Adults in authority in the nineteen sixties have no time for what they considered mental outliers of the baby-boom. The boys are institutionalized, marginalized, and ignored.  Zach’s father learns of the challenges they face as children and knows the dangers they will face as adults. With no way to comprehend how these boys perceive and move within their world, he must find a way to guide them. 

Purchase Links

Amazon Links Kindle Paperback

Author Bio

Dan Antion was born outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He grew up and attended college in the area around western Pennsylvania. Dan has written and published the popular No Facilities blog since 2011. A lifelong interest in writing became a reality after he retired from a successful 42-year-long career in information management.

Knuckleheads, published in June 2022, is the first book in the Dreamer’s Alliance Series. This story introduces the main characters in this series, which the next two books will follow in the late summer and early winter of 2022.

Dan lives in Connecticut with his wife, a few pets, and all the wildlife they can feed.

Contact Dan at:

Website/Blog

Amazon Author Page

Twitter

Facebook

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It’s delightful to learn more about your book Knuckleheads, Dan. I look forward to seeing Book 2 and Book 3 of The Dreamer’s Alliance series.

Again, thank you for inviting me to talk a little bit about Knuckleheads, and for all your assistance with the graphics I’ve used in marketing the book.

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Thank you for stopping by to celebrate the new release with Dan.

I welcome you to share your thoughts.

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“Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships” featuring Miriam Hurdle!

I’m excited to be featured on Lauren Scott’s blog today to discuss one of my poems, “Kindness Repeats,” in the anthology Poetry Treasure 2: Relationships.

April 28 is Pay It Forward Day. I shared the incidents and inspiration behind this poem.

Please stop by her blog to visit the book launch tour schedule, browse her many poetry publications, and read my poem. I look forward to meeting you there.

Baydreamer

Dear Friends,

This is day 4 of the blog tour for Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships, a beautiful anthology compiled by Kaye Lynne Booth and Robbie Cheadle. The tour schedule is below…

Day 1: Kaye Lynne Booth at Writing to be Read started the tour with a guest post from contributing author Lauren Scott.

Day 2: D. Slayton Avery at ShiftnShake shared a guest post from blog series host, contributing author, and editor Robbie Cheadle.

Day 3: Miriam Hurdle atThe Showers of Blessingshosted contributing author Lynda McKinney Lambert.

Day 4:Lauren Scott at Bay Dreamer Writesis hosting contributing author Miriam Hurdle.

Day 5: Victoria Zigler at Zigler’s Newswill host contributing author M.J. Mallon and share a review by Victoria Zigler.

Day 6: The publisher, Kaye Lynne Booth, will be in the interview spotlight with James J. Cudney over at This Is My Truth Now

View original post 824 more words

Blog Tour – Chocolate Fudge saves the Sugar Dog by Robbie and Michael Cheadle

My friends, I’m very excited to host the Chocolate Fudge saves the Sugar Dog Book Tour for Robbie and Michael Cheadle. Please join me to welcome them and let them share this wonderful news with you!

Hi Robbie and Michael, please tell us about your latest book.

Thank you, Miriam, and friends.

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Imagine, living in a world…

… made of a giant gobstopper.

A world…

… where you can eat everything.

The trees, the houses, the flowers, and even the beehives.

The river is condensed milk, and the pond is cream soda.

Welcome to Chocolate Land!

Meet Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet…

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Sir Chocolate is round and fat,

He wears a waistcoat and brown top hat.

Lady Sweet wears a stripy skirt and top,

She looks just like a lollipop.

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From Book 1: Sir Chocolate and the Strawberry Cream Berries Story and Cookbook

Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet run a shop where they sell their delicious homemade chocolates and soda pop. When they are not busy developing yummy chocolate recipes, they go about Chocolate land putting wrong things right.

Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet have a son, Chocolate Fudge, the star of Chocolate Fudge Saves the Sugar Dog.

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Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet,

Have a son, Chocolate Fudge,

A mild-mannered and kindly lad,

He’d never bear a grudge.

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From Book 8: Chocolate Fudge Saves the Sugar Dog

Blurb:

Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet’s son, Chocolate Fudge, sees one of Lord Humbug’s dogs struggling to stay afloat in the hot chocolate pond.

Can Chocolate Fudge save the sugar dog from drowning?

Includes lovely new recipes.

That’s wonderful information, Robbie and Michael.

My Review

I’ve read many Sir Chocolate books by Robbie and Michael Cheadle. Chocolate Fudge Saves the Sugar Dog is another darling addition to the series. The story is told as limericks. Limericks are cute and fun to read. The characters and the scenes are Robbie’s fondant art. I must say that I’m very fond of this fondant art because each character has a unique personality. They’re expressive and lovable.

In this story, Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet have a son, Chocolate Fudge. He has a smile for everyone. The teachers love to have him in their classes. Fudge enjoys taking his dog to walk around the chocolate ponds every day.

One day, when Lord Humbug is out walking, his three dogs jump into the pond to chase the ducks. They scared the ducks, and the ducks flap their wings to escape. Two of the dogs are strong and good swimmers. The third little dog seems in trouble and on the verge of sinking. Chocolate Fudge must decide what to do to save the little dog.

There are delicious recipes throughout the book. This is a delightful book for children. They love to read the limericks and do the cooking with the adults.

Purchase Links

Paperback: https://tslbooks.uk/product/chocolate-fudge-saves-the-sugar-dog/

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Chocolate-Fudge-Saves-Sugar-Dog/dp/1914245547

Ebook: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/michael-cheadle-and-robbie-cheadle/chocolate-fudge-saves-the-sugar-dog/ebook/product-j7k4e6.html?page=1&pageSize=4

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Author Roberta/Robbie Cheadle

Robbie Cheadle is a South African children’s author and poet with ten children’s books and two poetry books.

The eight Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions that children can make under adult supervision.

Robbie has also published two books for older children which incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.

Robbie has two adult novels in the paranormal historical and supernatural fantasy genres published under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. She also has short stories, in the horror and paranormal genre, and poems included in several anthologies.

Robbie writes two monthly posts for https://writingtoberead.com called Growing Bookworms and Treasuring Poetry and one monthly post, under the name of Roberta Eaton Cheadle, called Dark Origins: African Myths and Legends.

Robbie has a blog, https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/ where she shares book reviews, recipes, author interviews, and poetry.

Follow Robbie Cheadle at:

Website: https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/

Blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bakeandwrite

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New Release – Golden Healer by Marjorie Mallon

I’m delighted to have Marje Mallon on my blog as my guest today. Her new release Golden Healer is the second book in The Curse of Time series. In celebration of the new release, she shares with us the inspiration behind the series. She also shares the fantastic reviews and awards she received for her first book.

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Thank you, Miriam, for inviting me to share my excitement about the new release of The Curse of Time series Book 2 Golden Healer with your friends!

M J Mallon

Book Information

Dedication

Dedicated to the one and only rollercoaster that I ever rode. It was in Portugal, and I was on holiday with my young family. I’ll never forget that day, I overcame my fears and rode a rollercoaster with the encouragement of my much-loved family, my husband, David, and daughters Natasha and Georgina. So, it’s time to ride another rollercoaster… I hope you will come along with me for this crazy ride! Let’s meet our fears together…

Blurb – Golden Healer

Golden Healer is the 2nd in The YA Paranormal Adventure Series – The Curse of Time.

I didn’t think my life could get any weirder, until the dreaded rollercoaster…

Amelina Scott’s destiny is to be a Krystallos: a magician of light, chosen to learn the ways of crystal magic on her 16th birthday. Located on a river pathway in a mysterious part of Cambridge, the Crystal Cottage is guarded by mythical beings.

Unfortunately, there are those who seek to harm this haven of light. Learning of Ryder – a Shadow Sorcerer with hypnotic powers – Amelina discovers that her own magic is now threatened and that the Curse of Time might be unleashed again.

As secrets abound and the creatures of the Chronophage come alive, can Amelina become the true magician she needs to be?

A unique, imaginative mystery full of magic-wielding and dark elements, Bloodstone is a riveting adventure for anyone interested in fantasy, mythology, or the world of the paranormal. NOTE: This book contains mention of self-harm, mental health issues and alludes to the potential dangers of sexual attraction, which may trigger younger/sensitive readers.

Golden Healer (The Curse Of Time Book 2) by [M.J. Mallon]

Purchase Links

Amazon

Books2read

The first book Bloodstone

The first book in the series Bloodstone has received many fantastic reviews and a finalist book award recently from Amazon influencer N. N. Light, receiving a review rating of 5 stars. Yes, she loved it a lot!

Bloodstone (The Curse Of Time Book 1) by [M.J. Mallon]

N. N. Light’s review – Bloodstone:

A magical invitation, that doesn’t tear up, urges Amelina to go to Crystal Cottage to seek out the hidden secrets of her family. Amelina Scott knows her family isn’t what you call normal and neither is her house. No one she knows has a girl trapped in the mirrors. When she receives an invitation to visit Crystal Cottage, she doesn’t know what to make of it. Is it a prank? Is it a trick? She decides to ignore it and throws it in the trash. Only it doesn’t stay in the bin. She tries to cut it up, but it doesn’t cut. It sings, it dances, it is somehow alive. She finally decides to travel to the Crystal Cottage to see what happens. Along the way, she meets Ryder and discovers magic (both light and dark) is all around. She interacts with magical people, beings, and objects while learning the truth of her family. What happens next will astound you, the reader. Are you ready for an adventure?

Bloodstone is an imaginative fantasy adventure I enjoyed from start to finish. From the first page, I connected with Amelina. She’s a delightful heroine. I could relate to her on so many levels. Everything from her curiosity to her reactions to her emotional state rang true. While it’s tricky these days to write an original fantasy story, M.J. Mallon wrote one of the most original fantasy books I’ve read in a long time. Taking bits from fantasy authors of the past, M.J. Mallon adds her own blend of magical realism and emotional coming of age to make Bloodstone a gem. The plot moves at a good pace with each chapter starting with a puzzle. What a creative way to keep the reader invested. The world-building is intricate and riveting. The characters are engaging and easy to connect with. Overall, Bloodstone is a brilliant story and when I finished, I wanted to read it all over again. If you’re a fantasy reader, you need to read Bloodstone. Highly recommend!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheroes!

M J Mallon was born in Lion city Singapore, a passionate Scorpio with the Chinese Zodiac sign of a lucky rabbit. She spent her early childhood in Hong Kong. During her teen years, she returned to her father’s childhood home, Edinburgh where she spent many happy years, entertained and enthralled by her parents’ vivid stories of living and working abroad. Perhaps it was during these formative years that her love of storytelling began bolstered by these two vivid raconteurs. She counts herself lucky to have traveled to many far-flung destinations and this early wanderlust has fuelled her present desire to emigrate abroad. Until that wondrous moment, it’s rumored that she lives in the UK, in the Venice of Cambridge with her six-foot hunk of a rock god husband. Her two enchanting daughters have flown the nest but often return with a cheery smile.

Her motto is to Do what Your Heart Desires.

And her favorite genre to write is a fantasy/magical realism because life should always be sprinkled with a liberal dash of extraordinarily imaginative magic!

Authors Links:

Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Authors Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Buy Link Bloodstone (multiple platforms): https://books2read.com/u/bOyrgW

Next Chapter Publishing Author Page:https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/mj-mallon
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Marjorie_Mallon 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/m-j-mallon 

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