Tag Archives: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Peter Danish’s The Tenor is a Beautiful Story of WWII, Music, and Love

02_The Tenor

LOVE this cover!!

The Tenor, by Peter Danish, is a book of superb storytelling, with a very real and likeable protagonist and an enthralling theme. I’ve always been a fan of classic music and the opera, so this book that showcases both history and the art of music, as well as the intrigue of the war and romance, was a wonderful fit for me. Danish’s sentences are silky and lush with description.

For instance, to start with, how can you not be drawn in by this copy:

“If he’s caught, it will mean a firing squad.  If he does nothing, she will surely die – and the world will never know the greatest voice of all time.  That’s something he simply can’t accept – whatever the risk.”

​In 1941, an Italian soldier, an aspiring opera singer himself, risked his life to ensure that a wonderfully talented young Greek opera singer made it through WWII alive. This is his story.

And it certainly is Pino Vaggi’s story told with all the fervor of a trained singer belting out words from his pipes. It’s a beautiful piece of storytelling and the best kind, based on a true story. I love books like this from the WWII era, because there was so much rich culture intertwining at the time. This was a time when so many had dreams for them all to ripped away by war, for nothing to be stable, and for all sorts of various love affairs and marriages to take place.  Danish’s book offered nothing less than a wonderful story of heart and determination, of both love and sacrifice. The selfless nature of people during this time period was really brought out by Danish in his novel.

I enjoyed Danish’s details, and the thoughts of his characters were vivid, especially with Pino. I felt at most times I was inside Pino’s head and feeling or reacting to what his senses and emotions were taking in. He blended bits of a true story into fiction and presented it in a very real way.

The sentences in the book, many beautiful, made this book more like art than historical reenactment. Most of his sentences rolled off the dainty corners of my mouth, or would have had I been reading aloud. In some cases, however, he may have liked the sentence or phrase so much that he repeated it (such as with aroma at the beginning), which I think an editor should have re-worked into a one time thing for better impact, but it worked out a little better as the story flowed on. Overall, they had lovely, flowing imagery and I enjoyed the journey that they took me on as I read the book.

If you are a fan of books that are as beautiful and as enthralling to read as their covers that catch your eye, then this book of historical drama is most likely for you. I’d especially say that those who are true lovers of the stage, symphony, and opera are going to love how that world fits into this novel. The beauty of the words do a real justice to the basis of the true story and immortalize the journey not only of the people in his novel, but all people of this time period who struggled through similar situations. The stories of so many who came to America on the back of their dreams are all so amazing and The Tenor is a unique read in this sub-genre of historical fiction with musicality of prose and mesmerizing lyrical writing.

The Tenor, Synopsis~

02_The TenorPublication Date: February 24, 2014
Pegasus Books
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

The Tenor is a sweeping tale of historical fiction in the style of Ann Patchett’s “Bel Canto” and De Burniere’s “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.” It swiftly moves from Pino Vaggi’s youth in pre-war Italy, to his coming of age as a soldier in war-torn Greece, before ending in a shattering surprise finale at Maria Callas’ historic final performance ever on the stage of New York’s Metropolitan Opera House in 1965. It is based loosely on the stories and anecdotes that I learned from several of Maria Callas’ personal friends and from nearly a dozen trips to Italy and Greece to research the subject.

Pino Vaggi is not like the other children in Italy in 1930. While they play soccer, he listens to opera. By age ten, he is already a child prodigy, an opera singing sensation on the fast track to a major international career. On the eve of his debut, WWII breaks out. The theater is closed. The season is cancelled. Pino is drafted. He is stationed in war-torn Athens, where he hears and ultimately falls in love with another child prodigy, the young Maria Callas. There is one major problem: she is the enemy.

However, as famine devastates Athens, (a famine created by the diversion of humanitarian aid meant for the Greeks to the Russian front to feed the German Army) the artist in Pino can’t fathom the thought of the greatest singer the world will ever know perishing, especially if he is in a position to prevent it. With a firing squad in the balance, he repeatedly risks his own life to protect and feed the young girl and her family. In the process, his love for her deepens, until something tragic happens – something with devastating consequences that blows the young lovers apart.

Praise for The Tenor

“Mr. Danish’s clever use of the history of one of the greatest voices ever to sing, Maria Callas, and a little known part of that history, her early life during turbulent times in the world, gives this a truly romantic and involving idea…. I loved it and any opera lover would too. Easy, readable and knowledgeable about life, music and all the stuff that happens in between….!” – Aprile Millo, Metropolitan Opera Star

“Mr. Danish’s exceeding knowledge of and passion for the medium of opera suffuses every line of this cinderella narrative, one that provides a thrill ride for both the novice and the seasoned opera fan. The Tenor is impossible to put down….” – Samuel Juliano, Wonders in the Dark

“As an operatic diva that has sung over 100 performances with the Metropolitan Opera, I can say without hesitation, that “The Tenor” is a riveting and accurate tale of life imitating art! Peter Danish’s story telling ability is lyrical and powerful as he explores the life of an opera singer through passion, longing, romance and war! The accuracy of his descriptions about a singer’s journey, his musical and operatic references and his colorful characters, including the incomparable Maria Callas, make this a must read!” – Victoria Livengood, Metropolitan Opera Mezzo Soprano

“Whether Peter Danish is writing about music, history or travel in his vastly entertaining novel, “The Tenor,” his words fly off the page. The whirlwind of images invites the reader into a world that will be familiar to some, foreign to others—but captivating to all. Read it!” – Richard Sasanow, Editor-in-Chief BWW Opera

“The easy flowing prose of Mr. Danish’s historically engaging novel is expertly paced and eloquently depicted. As an opera singer who has sung hundreds of performances around the world I think this book will be a compelling read for music lovers and an exhilarating story for all readers. Bravo, Mr. Danish!” – Korliss Uecker, Metropolitan Opera Soprano

“Each page of Tenor is as rich as a box of Italian chocolates. By page 8 I already found 7 lines I wanted to steal. Dive in and trust author Peter Danish to sweep you up and lead you through a remarkable adventure! I couldn’t put it down.” – Tom Dudzick, playwright, Over the Tavern, Miracle on South Division Street

“Facts and fiction playfully intertwine in this opera lover’s delight!” – Alberto Ferreras, award-winning author, ‘B as in Beautiful’

“The Tenor was not what I was expecting. Yes, it’s about opera. Yes, it’s an homage to art and artists. Yes, it’s about dreaming of fulfilling one’s destiny. But, it’s about all those things without being fussy or precious. It’s decidedly unfussy–because it’s about people who work really hard….Peter Danish creates characters you root for. He has woven a tale that keeps you wanting to find out what happens next! I think they call those page-turners!” – John Cariani, Tony Award Nominee, playwright, ‘Almost Maine’

“With his far-reaching opera expertise and keen insight into the Italian soul, Peter Danish draws us into his captivating story of the joys and heartaches of the performer’s life. The result is a satisfying read for book lovers and opera lovers alike. Bravo, Il Tenore!” – Erica Miner, Award-winning Author, ‘Murder in the Pit’

Buy the Book~

Amazon (eBook)
Amazon (Paperback)
Amazon (Hardcover)
Book Depository

Author Peter Danish, Biography~

03_Author Peter DanishPeter Danish is the Classical Music Editor in Chief for BWWClassical.com, the classic music site for BroadwayWorld.com, covering and reviewing the classical music performance in and around New York City and the greater New York Area.

A proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America, he is the playwright of the play: “Gods, Guns and Greed,” as well as the new musical: “The Flying Dutchman.”

His writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Ad Age, Ad Week and Media Week Magazines.

Author Links

Author Website
Danish Media Group Website
Facebook Page

 Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/thetenortour

Tour Hashtag: #TheTenorVirtualTour

The Tenor_Tour Banner_FINAL

 

4 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews

The Frost of Springtime Transports Readers to 19th Century Paris + Giveaway!

Frost of Springtime_Blast Banner_FINAL

The recent release of The Frost of Springtime, by debut author Rachel L. Demeter, transports readers to the war torn streets of nineteenth century Paris. Driven by paradoxical characters, steamy encounters, and a compelling storyline, it’s a bittersweet tale of revolution, redemption, and the healing power of love. Described as “poignant,” emotionally devastating,” and “beautiful,” The Frost of Springtime is sure to please historical and romance readers alike.

Available now in both eBook and paperback. Currently Amazon Prime members can read the Kindle edition for free!

The Frost of Springtime

The Frost of Springtime, Information~

Publication Date: February 14, 2014
Black Lyon Publishing
Formats: Paperback, Kindle eBook

Genre: Historical Romance/Historical Fiction

To rescue her was to rescue his own soul.

On a cold Parisian night, Vicomte Aleksender de Lefèvre forges an everlasting bond with a broken girl during her darkest hour, rescuing her from a life of abuse and misery. Tormented by his own demons, he finds his first bit of solace in sheltering little Sofia Rose.

But when Aleksender is drawn away by the Franco-Prussian war, the seasons pass. And in that long year, Sofia matures into a stunning young woman—a dancer with an understanding of devotion and redemption far surpassing her age.

Alongside his closest friend, Aleksender returns home to find that “home” is gone, replaced by revolution, bloodshed, betrayal—and a love always out of reach. Scarred inside and out, he’s thrust into a world of sensuality and violence—a world in which all his hours have now grown dark, and where only Sofia might bring an end to the winter in his heart.

Inspired by the 1871 Paris Commune, The Frost of Springtime is a poignant tale of revolution, redemption, and the healing power of love.

Read an Excerpt Here~

The heat of their bodies mingled as one. With each breath, Aleksender drank in the sweet essence of his beloved ward. His mind swam with unorthodox visions and desires. He inclined his head, lost to the power of her nearness, entranced by everything that was Sofia.

“Alek, my Alek …”

Each word infused Aleksender with a delicious and undeniable warmth. Intoxicated by roses and wintertime, he found it difficult to speak, difficult to think. Breathless, he swallowed and met the haunting depths of her eyes.

“Please,” she dreamily murmured, “I want you to kiss me again…”

The Frost of Springtime

READ PROLOGUE & FIRST TWO CHAPTERS ON GOODREADS!

The Frost of Springtime


Watch the Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=oqKUTaESvTE

Praise for The Frost of Springtime~

“I am astonished at this being Rachel L. Demeter’s debut work, for in form and style, it is very much a tour de force. A riveting story of love and courage in the aftermath of a brutal war, the author brilliantly juxtaposes the hazing splendor of French nobility and the impassioned elegance of two people in love, despite all the world’s oppositions. The title is, in a sense, a representation of change: the beginning of a new spring with La Belle Époque and the transition into a new era, for the world and our protagonists. The wistful loveliness of the setting paints a picture of a crying France, blending in with the dynamic romance perfectly. Or rather, it does not merely blend in the background as much as glitters like the brightest jewel, shining with a vibrancy that makes one want to relieve the halcyon days of grand old Paris. I was captivated by the setting, the lush writing of Rachel L. Demeter, and the subtle expressiveness of the characters, which all compelled me to research more of the historical background, of the 1871 Paris Commune, through which this story is made more infinitely dearer.” – Buried Under Romance

“We are in awe. The Frost of Springtime is a MUST HAVE! Despite that we loved the true facts, we fell instantly in love with the story. It was dark, emotionally devastating, and sensual. The innocence between the two main characters was beautiful and their love grew so strong throughout the story with such grace. One of us even cried while reading The Frost of Springtime. We loved the cover, we loved the writing style, and we adored the characters. We fell in love, really hard.” – Divas Book Blog

“This novel is intricately detailed and wonderfully written! Opening with a heartbreaking scene, I was immediately drawn to the story of Aleksender and his Sofia. Of course, as the story moved on, other enchanting characters helped to make this poignant book complete. The author has blended historical facts with fiction skillfully, and presented several narratives flawlessly. It’s beautiful! I loved it!” – Romancebookworm’s Reviews

“I absolutely love this book. The Frost of Springtime shows how love and tragedy go hand in hand and that love can actually be more powerful than anything. I have found that most books do not hit this point right on the nail like this one does. It’s a Historical Romance and let me just tell you this is one book I couldn’t put down.”
– Magic Within The Pages

“WOW!! The Frost of Springtime is a powerful, epic love story unlike anything I’ve ever read before. The emotional and visual/sensory depth is astounding. I felt Aleksender and Sofia’s connection from beginning to end. Aleksender’s path to healing was at times breathtaking and heartbreaking. This is a hero who loves his woman with every last breath, every fiber of his being… and there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for her. AMAZING cast of secondary characters as well… a ‘villain’ who actually leaves you morally torn! Beautifully written (loved the vivid imagery and descriptions!), dark, unusual, rich with history, epic scope, and a soul deep love that only comes once in a lifetime… Brava!!!” – Sivonna, an advanced reader

Buy the Book~

Amazon (Kindle eBook) *Amazon Prime members can read the kindle edition for free!
Amazon (Paperback)
Barnes & Noble
Black Lyon Publishing

Author Rachel L. Demeter, Biography~

Rachel DemeterRachel lives in the beautiful hills of Anaheim, California with Teddy, her goofy lowland sheepdog, and high school sweetheart of ten years.

She enjoys writing dark, edgy romances that challenge the reader’s emotions and examine the redeeming power of love. Imagining stories and characters has been Rachel’s passion for longer than she can remember. Before learning how to read or write, she would dictate stories while her mom would jot them down for her. She has a special affinity for the tortured hero and unconventional romances. Whether sculpting the protagonist or antagonist, she always ensures that every character is given a soul.

Rachel strives to intricately blend elements of romance, suspense, and horror. Some common themes her stories never stray too far from: forbidden romance, soul mates, the power of love to redeem, mend all wounds, and triumph over darkness. Her dream is to move readers and leave an emotional impact through her words.

Get your e-book signed by Rachel L. Demeter

RachelLDemeter authorgraph

Author Links~

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Google+
Goodreads
Pinterest
LinkedIn
YouTube

SIGN UP FOR RACHEL L. DEMETER’S NEWSLETTER.

Don’t Miss Out on the Giveaway~~~~~

2 – Kindle Ebooks of THE FROST OF SPRINGTIME (open internationally)

1 – Signed Paperback of THE FROST OF SPRINGTIME (open to US residents only)

1 – $15 Amazon Gift Card (open to US residents only) Giveaway will run from March 3-9. You must be 18 or older to enter. Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on March 10 and notifiied via email. Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Rafflecopter Giveaway at Link, Click here–> a Rafflecoptergiveaway

2 Comments

Filed under Book Announcements

Andrea Zuvich’s 17th Century Romance, His Last Mistress, is an Empathetic Look at Duke of Monmouth

His Last MistressHis Last Mistress by Andrea Zuvich is a 200-word novel in miniature form that is reminiscent of those little 17th Century pocketbooks (you know, the little books small enough to fit into a pocket, not a purse….) and really fit this story so well. The book profiles Charles II’s (King of England, Ireland, and Scotland from 1660-1685) illegitimate eldest son, James Scott, the Duke of Monmouth. He’s most known for his flamboyant dress, his carousing with the ladies, and his revolt that ended in one of the most horrific executions in history, but Zuvich shows that he was also a poet (though his actual writing and reading skills were not very good), with prose he scrawled into his own little pocket-book

The book was the perfect size to read in an extended evening and was written in the voice and style of something that might have been written in the 17th Century. Zuvich, an author who now lives in the U.K. and provides tours at Kensington Palace, sticks with the British verbiage, prose, and vocabulary, making the reader feel as a story has been ripped from the late 1600s and plopped into their lap. She certainly has a handle on how they would relate and speak to each other in the 17th Century. Some people don’t like reading novels this way, and some do, so it’s a personal preference, but I think she stayed true to the characters and let them lead the readers through the story. It was never heavy or hard to decipher. She tells the story of the Duke of Monmouth and his last mistress, Lady Henrietta Wentworth, with such passion and emotion that it made me want to continue to flip the pages to complete their story.

A historian on the Stuarts, she has done her research and all of it seems plausible. Monmouth is probably remembered in history most for several things: being one of the most handsome of the Stuart blood, well-liked by the ladies, and his botched death.  However, Zuvich shows how Monmouth’s personality was impulsive, led by emotion and whim, and desire and ambition, but not always in a manipulative or egotistical fashion.

He did, however, have a stubborn streak like most Stuarts when something really mattered to him. Zuvich shows well how in both his claim that his mother and Charles II were legitimately married (which would make him in line to the throne) and in his declared love for Lady Wentworth, he fought for what he felt was rightly his and what he needed to be his with every ounce of him.

The emotions that Zuvich brings out in Monmouth was so heart-wrenching to me. His desire to be needed, to be accepted, to be liked, and to be easily swayed by those who didn’t truly care about him personally was all underlying the main love story. I also appreciated how the author showcased his many military accomplishments and how much the people of England loved him, long before he began a relationship with Lady Wentworth. Their romance blossoming was beautiful, but Monmouth’s ending was so horribly sad that I was physically shaken after I read the ending. To think this actually happened is abhorrent to me. No matter if Monmouth tried to take the throne from his Catholic uncle King James II (who became King after Monmouth’s father Charles II died), he didn’t deserve his death. I would prepare yourself to read the ending, as it is that bone chilling.

It’s a love story wrapped in tragedy and set during religious turmoil, but the book is a must read for any historical lover of the 17th Century, the Stuarts, or anyone interested in what happened just prior to the reign of William and Mary. It was a delightful romantic tale, with some lovely imagery and poetry, but like many times in history and in life, didn’t have a happy ending. However, she was true to the story and the characters and have given them a proper legacy and remembrance. It was written so authentically and with such emotion that the story carries the reader along at ample speed until the bitter end.

HIS LAST MISTRESS, Synopsis~

His Last MistressPublication Date: May 20, 2013
CreateSpace
Paperback; 206p
ISBN-10: 149042556X

Set in the tumultuous late 17th Century, His Last Mistress tells the true story of the final years of James Scott, the handsome Duke of Monmouth, and his lover Lady Henrietta Wentworth.

As the illegitimate eldest son of King Charles II, the Duke is a spoiled, lecherous man with both a wife and a mistress. However, this rakish libertine is soon captivated by the innocence of young Lady Henrietta Wentworth, who has been raised to covet her virtue. She is determined to spurn his advances, yet she cannot deny the chemistry between them. Will she succumb? At the same time, the Duke begins to harbour risky political ambitions that may threaten not only his life but also that of those around him.

His Last Mistress is a passionate, sometimes explicit, carefully researched and ultimately moving story of love and loss, set against a backdrop of dangerous political unrest, brutal religious tensions, and the looming question of who will be the next King.

Author Andrea Zuvich Biography~

Andrea ZuvichBorn in Philadelphia in 1985 to Chilean-Croatian parents, Andrea Zuvich is a historian specialising in the Late Stuarts of the Seventeenth Century and is the creator and writer of the history website, The Seventeenth Century Lady.

Andrea studied History and Anthropology at both the University of Central Florida and Oxford University, and has been independently researching the 1600s since 2008. Andrea is a leader on and one of the original developers of The Garden History Tours at Kensington Palace, Historic Royal Palaces, and lives with her English husband in Lancashire, England.

For more information, please visit Andrea’s website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Link to Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/hislastmistresstour/
Twitter Hashtag: #HisLastMistressTour

His Last Mistress Tour Banner FINAL

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews