Tag Archives: art

Hector and Heloise in Paris by R. Janet Walraven (Book Review)

Sibling hedgehogs, Hector and Heloise, set out on a great adventure to explore the largest and most popular museum in the world, the Louvre in Paris, France. Their Uncle Ken has told them all about the amazing works of art ̶ paintings, sculptures, artifacts, beautiful architecture, and even mummies. Will hedgehogs be allowed in the museum? What is in that large package Hector is sneaking into the Louvre? Come along with Hector and Heloise on this miraculous adventure where you will discover their big secret.

Included are Internet links for virtual tours of the Louvre.

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

“Throughout the book, the focus is on five specific, famous art pieces by various artists. With each piece, a link is shared for readers to see the art as it appears in the Louvre. At the back of the book are links especially for children to take a virtual tour through the museum and links to explain the history and architecture of these famous buildings. Included in the back is a glossary of terms used in the story.” – Janet Walraven, Prologue.

The hedgehogs riding on an escalator were cute. Heloise’s red hair-bow was pretty, and Hector’s suit, red bowtie, and glasses will make you smile. 

Heloise and Hector were on a great trip to see the Louvre in Paris, France. Oh, how I wish to go there one day. To see famous works of art in person would be an unforgettable experience. 

I love the author doesn’t just state, “Hey, there’s The Mona Lisa.” No, the author gives valuable information regarding the masterpiece. The Great Sphinx of Tanis (granite sculpture of a sphinx) would be a wonderful sight to behold. If you’re unfamiliar with it, you should look it up! 

There were links provided in my ARC (pdf). I could not access them, but I’m sure that won’t be the case when Hector and Heloise in Paris is viewed on a kindle. You’ll have to manually type the URL on your phone, tablet, or desktop for print readers. 

There’s so much to see in the Louvre; two adorable hedgehogs give you a tiny glimpse of the historical treasures you’ll discover there. 

Hector and Heloise in Paris by R. Janet Walraven give readers plenty of items to look up for themselves or a research project. It’s advertised for ages 4-12, and I believe young people in that age group can find enjoyment in the story in different ways. I also think adults reading the book can learn a thing or two, such as I learned about the famous staircase called The Daru.

The hedgehogs came to the Louvre will a specific purpose in mind. Rest assured, they completed their mission! Barb Ruble, your illustrations were quite lovely. I loved your “Beautiful Watercolor” and “Dürer with Hedgehog.” Plus, we can’t forget to mention (again) how darling the hedgehogs looked. 

Review submitted to Reedsy on 8/20/22.

#KamsPlace

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

Meet the Author

R. Janet Walraven, an award-winning writer, has written historical romance, teacher-mentor non-fiction, children’s book, and historical fiction. After living all over the USA, she now resides in New Mexico with her companion, Mal, who is her best critic. She loves to read, write, garden and travel.

Reedsy Author Link

 

 

 

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“Old Loves Die Hard,” “Shades of Murder,” and “Blast from the Past” by Lauren Carr (3 Book Spotlight)

 
 
 
“The plot gave a touch of crime drama to this cozy without losing the cozy charm. … There is suspense and twists that keep the pages turning. … I think Ms. Carr is just hitting her stride and I suspect that we shall see each new book surpass the last.” — review by Ariel Heart, Mystery and My Musings

“As in any good who-done-it, there are red herrings and plot complications in Old Loves Die Hard and fans of mysteries and police procedurals will get a kick out of Lauren Carr’s books.” – review by David M. Kinchen, Huntington News

 

 
Book Description:

Old Loves Die Hard…and in the worst places.

In Old Loves Die Hard, Lauren Carr continues the rags-to-riches story of Mac Faraday, an underpaid homicide detective who inherits two-hundred-and-seventy million dollars and an estate on Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, from his birth mother on the day his divorce becomes final.

Mac is settling nicely into his new life at Spencer Manor when his ex-wife Christine shows up—and she wants him back! Before Mac can send her packing, Christine and her estranged lover are murdered in Mac’s private penthouse suite at the Spencer Inn, the five-star resort built by his ancestors. The investigation leads to the discovery of cases files for some of Mac’s murder cases in the room of the man responsible for destroying his marriage. Why would his ex-wife’s lover come to Spencer to dig into Mac’s old cases?

With the help of his new friends on Deep Creek Lake, Mac must use all of his detective skills to clear his name and the Spencer Inn’s reputation, before its five-stars—and more bodies—start dropping!


 
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Add to Goodreads
 

 
 
 
 
 

“Being favored by the rich and powerful often has its own drawbacks. Shades of Murder is another Mac Faraday mystery from Lauren Carr as she follows Mac as he finds himself once again the benefactor of yet another inheritance. A riveting mystery with plenty of twists and turns, Shades of Murder is very much recommended reading, not to be missed.” – review by William Buhle, Midwest Book Reviews

Shades of Murder is a fascinating, intricately woven mystery that has a number of engaging characters looking into two cases that would seem to have nothing in common. …This is a most entertaining entry in this series, made all the more so by the wonderful inclusion of Gnarly and Irving, Mac’s dog and Gates’s black and white cat, who meet during the course of the story.” – review by Mysterious Reviews


 
 
Book Description:
 
Question: What do you get the man with everything?

Answer: When that man is the heir of the late mystery writer Robin Spencer, retired homicide detective Mac Faraday, you get him cold case to solve.

In Shades of Murder, Mac Faraday is once again the heir to an unbelievable fortune. This time the benefactor is a stolen art collector. But this isn’t just any stolen work-of-art—it’s a masterpiece with a murder attached to it.

Ilysa Ramsay was in the midst of taking the art world by storm with her artistic genius. Hours after unveiling her latest masterpiece—she is found dead in her Deep Creek Lake studio—and her painting is nowhere to be found.

Almost a decade later, the long lost Ilysa Ramsay masterpiece has found its way into Mac Faraday’s hands and he can’t resist the urge to delve into the case.

A world away, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; former JAG lawyer Joshua Thornton agrees to do a favor for the last person he would ever expect to do a favor—a convicted serial killer.

The Favor: Solve the one murder wrongly attributed to him.

Joshua finds an unexpected ally in Cameron Gates, a spunky detective who has reason to believe the young woman known to the media only as Jane Doe, Victim Number Four, was the victim of a copycat. Together, Joshua and Cameron set out to light a flame under the cold case only to find that someone behind the scenes wants the case to remain cold, and is willing to kill to keep it that way.

Little do these detectives know that the paths of their respective cases are on a collision course when they follow the clues to bring them together in a showdown with a killer who’s got a talent for murder!

 
Buy the Book:   
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Add to Goodreads
 

 
 
 

Blast from the Past is a well-developed story full of intrigue that moves at a brisk pace. The characters are interesting, the villains varied, and the action is as quick as the humor. I have a feeling any of Lauren Carr’s mysteries would be pleasurable distractions, as well as entertaining.  Very Highly Recommended.” – Review by Lori L., Softly She Treads

“I must say, I truly enjoyed reading this book! I found myself waking up slightly early for work just to finish a couple chapters! Not only was this book captivating, I found myself laughing at Gnarly, the ever so lovable and rambunctious German Shephard! I look forward to reading the next book by Lauren Carr!” – Review by Debbie Hill, Miss Book Lovers

 


 
Book Description:
In this fourth mystery on Deep Creek Lake; Mac Faraday finds himself up to his eyeballs in mobsters and federal agents.

After an attempted hit ends badly with two of his men dead, mobster Tommy Cruze arrives in Spencer, Maryland, to personally supervise the execution of the witness responsible for putting him behind bars—Archie Monday!

Mac Faraday believes he has his work cut out for him in protecting his lady love from one of the most dangerous leaders in organized crime; but when bodies start dropping in his lakeshore resort town, things may be hotter than even he can handle.

Buy the Book:   
  Audible Amazon
BookBub
Add to Goodreads
 
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Author Lauren Carr
Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Thorny Rose, Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries, and Nikki Bryant Cozy Mysteries—over twenty-five titles across five fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

 

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor. 

 
The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, and virtual book tour coordinator for independent authors.  
Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. 
She lives with her husband, and two spoiled rotten German shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV. 

 
connect with the author: 
 
 
 

 

 

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The Art of Traveling Strangers by Zoe Disigny (Book Showcase)

THE ART OF TRAVELING STRANGERS by Zoe Disigny

 
It’s the 1980s, and art historian Claire Markham reels from a series of heartbreaking losses. Desperate to escape her shattered reality, she becomes an art guide in Europe for quirky stranger Viv Chancey and embarks on a life-changing journey through the art-filled cities of Milan, Venice, Ravenna, Florence, Siena, Rome, and Paris.

Once abroad, Claire tries to hide her woes by focusing on Viv’s art education, but Viv—who is not who she seems—has a different learning experience in mind. Frustrated and wanting to reimagine her life, Claire embraces the idea of reality as illusion and finds herself slipping into the tales of art and history.

When threatened with one more crushing loss, Claire must learn from the spirit of her eccentric companion and the lessons from the art they encounter to take charge of her life or lose the most precious thing in it.

The Art of Traveling Strangers is a journey of self-discovery and personal empowerment inspired by the great art masterpieces of Italy and France. It’s a tale of female bonding and the amazing powers of perception. After all, reality, like art, is just an illusion.

 
 
Buy the Book:
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MEET THE AUTHOR:
THE ART OF TRAVELING STRANGERS by Zoe Disigny
 
Zoe Disigny holds a master’s degree in art history and has taught at the college level throughout her career. She has led numerous art tours in Europe and established a business in Paris offering art history adventures for American tourists. 
 
 
connect with the author: 
website ~ twitter facebook instagram ~ goodreads
 
 

 

 

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L’Origine: The secret life of the world’s most erotic masterpiece by Lilianne Milgrom (Book Spotlight)

L'Origine by Lilianne Milgrom

Winner of 5 major book awards, including the Publishers Weekly U.S. 2021 Selfies Award for Best Adult Fiction and winner of the IndieReader 2021 Discovery Award.
 
 
 
The riveting odyssey of one of the world’s most scandalous works of art.
In 1866, maverick French artist Gustave Courbet painted one of the most iconic images in the history of art: a sexually explicit portrait of a woman’s exposed genitals. Audaciously titled L’Origine du monde (The Origin of the World), the scandalous painting was kept hidden for a century and a half. Today, it hangs in the world-renowned Orsay Museum in Paris, viewed by millions of visitors a year.
​As the first artist authorized by the Orsay Museum to re-create Courbet’s The Origin of the World, author Lilianne Milgrom was thrust into the painting’s intimate orbit, spending six weeks replicating every fold, crevice, and pubic hair. The experience inspired her to share her story and the painting’s titillating, clandestine history. L’Origine is a tale of survival, replete with French revolutionaries, Turkish pashas and nefarious Nazi captains. Hold onto your berets for a riveting ride through history.  
 
 
 
 
Buy the Book:
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Waterstone’s
add to goodreads
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
 
Author Lilianne Milgrom

 
Paris-born Lilianne Milgrom is an internationally acclaimed artist and award-winning author residing in Washington DC. In 2011, she became the first authorized copyist of Gustave Courbet’s controversial painting L’Origine du Monde, which hangs in the Orsay Museum in Paris. Milgrom spent a decade researching and writing L’Origine: The Secret Life of the World’s Most Erotic Masterpiece. Her debut novel has been awarded six literary honors including the Publisher’s Weekly 2021 US Selfies Book Award for Best Adult Fiction.
 
connect the author:  website ~ twitter ~ instagram

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Peel Back and See by Mike Thorn (Book Review)

In spaces both familiar and strange, unknowable horrors lurk.

From the recesses of the Internet, where cosmic terror shows its face on an endless live feed, to a museum celebrating the sordid legacy of an occultist painter, this chilling collection of sixteen short stories will plunge you into the eerie, pessimistic imagination of Mike Thorn. Peel Back and See urges its readers to look closer, to push past surface-level appearances and face the things that stir below.

 

Amazon Purchase Link
Journalstone.com

 

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

Peel Back and See is a collection of sixteen (16) short stories that are heavy on unforgettable encounters with hungry creatures, blood and gore, fear, Satan, and (weirdly enough) sexual arousal. 

Some stories stuck with me more than others. Below are my top five (5). 

1.) Mr. Mucata’s Final Requests: Everyone knows you don’t try to double-cross Satan. I mean, come on, don’t even try. Deals with him are also a bad idea. Seriously, the worst possible choice a person can make. If you believe in the devil, demons, and hell, say NO to anything offered. Period!

2.) @GorgoYama2013: We’re raised to know you NEVER go into a stranger’s car. Horror movies have ingrained in us to NEVER go into a strange basement, especially alone. Victor broke all the rules. What he met could best be described as a horrific version of Krang (the brain) from TMNT. If you don’t know who I am talking about, look him up! 

3.) Vomitus Bacchanalius: Okay, people are vomiting. Aliens are eating the regurgitated food. There are goo-faced men. Ugh, this story was gross, BUT good! I loved the nod to Gordon Ramsay too. 🙂

4.) The Furnace Room Mutant: This story stood out more because you’d think an unnatural being would be the monster in the story. I like it when authors step out from the paranormal norm. 🙂

5.) Havoc: This was the first story in the collection, and it made me close my laptop and take one giant step back from it. Read the story, and you’ll understand why. There was only one part I wasn’t too keen on — a flashback scene between student and teacher. I don’t want to divulge too much, but it made my score drop from a five to a four. (for this story only, not the overall score of the anthology)

 

 In Peel Back and See, thirteen of the sixteen stories scored three and above. That’s impressive! I encourage others to read the collection and see which story has you cowering under the covers. 


Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤

Amazon Purchase Link
Journalstone.com

 

 

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Mike Thorn is the author of the short story collection Darkest Hours. His fiction has appeared in numerous magazines, anthologies and podcasts, including Vastarien, Dark Moon Digest, The NoSleep Podcast, Tales to Terrify, and Prairie Gothic. His film criticism has been published in MUBI Notebook, The Film Stage, and Vague Visages. He completed his M.A. with a major in English literature at the University of Calgary, where he wrote a thesis on epistemophobia in John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness.

Connect with him on Twitter (@MikeThornWrites) or visit his website for more information: mikethornwrites.com.

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