Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway - The It Girl and Me by Laini Giles

Book Synopsis
Daisy DeVoe has left her abusive husband, her father has been pinched for bootlegging, and she’s embarrassed by her rural Kentucky roots. But on the plus side, she’s climbing the ladder in the salon of Paramount Pictures, styling hair for actress Clara Bow.

Clara is a handful. The “It” Girl of the Jazz Age personifies the new woman of the 1920s onscreen, smoking, drinking bootleg hooch, and bursting with sex appeal. But her conduct off the set is even more scandalous. Hoping to impose a little order on Clara’s chaotic life, Paramount persuades Daisy to sign on as Clara’s personal secretary.

Thanks to Daisy, Clara’s bank account is soon flush with cash. And thanks to Clara, Daisy can finally shake off her embarrassing past and achieve respectability for herself and her family.

The trouble begins when Clara’s newest fiancĂ©, cowboy star Rex Bell, wants to take over, and he and Daisy battle for control. Torn between her loyalty to Clara and her love for her family, Daisy has to make a difficult choice when she ends up in the county jail.
Here, Daisy sets the record straight, from her poverty-stricken childhood to her failed marriage; from a father in San Quentin to her rollercoaster time with Clara, leaving out none of the juicy details.

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My Review
The It Girl and Me intrigued me from first mention.  I love silent movies and used to belong to a silent film society in my city. Going into this novel I knew who Clara Bow, "the It Girl," was, and what her persona was like onscreen.  What I didn't know was the very dramatic story of her life.  

This novel tells the story of Daisy DeVoe, a poor girl from Kentucky who ends up as a Hollywood hairdresser.  She becomes friends with Clara Bow, a poor girl from Brooklyn who just happens to be one of the world's most famous (and scandalous!) movie stars.  At its heart, this book tells the story of their friendship.  It is at times rollicking and dishy, but also quite sad because Daisy and Clara seemed like they would (and should) be lifelong friends.

The It Girl and Me is engagingly written.  It is told from the perspective of Daisy, and readers experience old time Hollywood as she does.  The author does an especially good job at delineating the different personalities of Daisy and Clara.

The historical details are fascinating.  I loved the sense of time and place in this novel.

I thoroughly enjoyed The It Girl and Me, and intend to read The Forgotten Flapper by Laini Giles in the near future.  I recommend this book highly to anyone who loves silent movies, old time Hollywood, the 1920's - 1930's, and to fans of well written, engrossing historical fiction.

Author Bio
Originally from the counterculture mecca of Austin, Texas, Laini discovered a love of reading early on, and when she was eight, decided to be Nancy Drew. This dream was dashed when she realized she was actually a big chicken, and that there were no guarantees of rescue from tarantulas, bad guys with guns, and other fiendish plot twists. She finished her first “mystery novel” (with custom illustrations) when she was nine.

She set the writing aside for a while when life got in the way, but was led back to it through her interest in genealogy and 18 months of enforced unemployment due to moving north for maple-flavored goodies and real beer. Reading old microfilm stirred new life into her interest in writing, and watching early silent films struck the match.

Like most other writers, most of her monthly budget is spent on coffee and books. She lives with her husband and their two gray cats in Edmonton, Alberta.

For more information, please visit Laini Giles’ website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 5 paperback copies of The It Girl and Me! 

To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.  

Giveaway Rules 
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 29th. You must be 18 or older to enter. 
– Giveaway is open to US & Canada only. 
– Only one entry per household. 
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. 
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.  
The It Girl and Me 
I received a copy of this book from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.

Book Spotlight and Giveaway - Etched in Tears (A Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery) by Cheryl Hollon

Book Synopsis
When a famous glass artist is murdered at his own exhibit, deadly secrets are put on display, and it’s up to glass shop owner Savannah Webb to see through a killer’s cover.

Celebrated glass artist Dennis Lansing is returning to St. Petersburg, Florida, for an exhibit at the world-renowned Salvador Dali Museum. His unique style of embedding document images in his art is at the vanguard of contemporary glasswork. But as Savannah’s first boyfriend and a former apprentice to her father, Dennis’s return home has her reflecting on the past—a trip down memory lane that takes a dark turn when Dennis is found murdered at the museum with an old reference letter from her father in his pocket. A search through her father’s records sheds new light on Dennis’s history, but it seems his present life wasn’t so transparent either. Now, with a gallery of suspects to consider, it’s up to Savannah to figure out who fits the mold of a murderer.

Author Bio
Cheryl Hollon now writes full-time after she left an engineering career of designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and India. Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines her love of writing with a passion for creating glass art. In the small glass studio behind her house in St. Petersburg, Florida, Cheryl and her husband design, create, and produce fused glass, stained glass, and painted glass artworks. Visit her online at http://cherylhollon.com, on Facebook or on Twitter @CherylHollon. 

Purchase Links
Amazon  B&N Hudson Booksellers BAM IndieBound
This book will also available at Target and WalMart.

(2) Print Copy Etched in Tears (A Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery) by Cheryl Hollon.  Ends 11/29.
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