PAN IS COMING – A Giveaway!

It’s Monday and I’m back in the seat after having spent two weeks on honeymoon hiatus. I KNOW. YOU’RE THRILLED.

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Ain’t she GORGEOUS?

My newest novel, ALL DARLING CHILDREN, is being released on Thursday, Oct 20th as an e-book (with the paperback to follow shortly after), and I want to give away a few of them because nothing makes Mondays better than free books.

So, to be entered, head over to my Facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/katrinamonroewriter/ – give it a like, and I’ll select three winners at random on release day to receive an e-book copy on me!

As always, I’ll ask the winners (if they’re so inclined) to leave a review on Amazon once they’ve finished. Reviews really help in getting a writer’s work seen, so ANY book you’ve read and loved (or even not loved), drop a line or two on the ol’ Zon.

Cheers and good luck!

Birthdays and Celebrations– Or: Reasons to Open the Wine Before Noon

While the Google Doodle is blowing up balloons, celebrating being old enough to vote, we’ve got some announcements and shenanigans happening here, too.

First, ALL DARLING CHILDREN has an official (e-book) release date of October 20th. Mark it on your calendars, tell your friends, cuddle your Pooh Bear in nervous anticipation. For now, here’s a cover and blurb:

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Ain’t she GORGEOUS?

All boys grow up, except one.

On the tenth anniversary of her mother’s death, fourteen-year-old Madge Darling’s grandmother suffers a heart attack. With the overbearing Grandma Wendy in the hospital, Madge runs away to Chicago, intent on tracking down a woman she believes is actually her mother.

On her way to the Windy City, a boy named Peter Pan lures Madge to Neverland, a magical place where children can remain young forever. While Pan plays puppet master in a twisted game only he understands, Madge discovers the disturbing price of Peter Pan’s eternal youth.

If that don’t tickle your fairy tale bone, I don’t know WHAT will.

 

Second, I’m getting MARRIED. To celebrate, I’ll be making A TALE DU MORT free on Amazon from Saturday to Sunday. So, you can read (and review! please!) while I’m betting half my stuff that this will all work out just fine.

 

Finally, I want you all to wish Kate Moretti a huge HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY on the release of THE VANISHING YEAR, which Mary Kubica called “a stunner!” I’ll be picking it up today to take with me on my honeymoon. Here’s a cover and a blurb:

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Zoe Whittaker is living a charmed life. She is the beautiful young wife to handsome, charming Wall Street tycoon Henry Whittaker. She is a member of Manhattan’s social elite. She is on the board of one of the city’s most prestigious philanthropic organizations. She has a perfect Tribeca penthouse in the city and a gorgeous lake house in the country. The finest wine, the most up-to-date fashion, and the most luxurious vacations are all at her fingertips.

What no one knows is that five years ago, Zoe’s life was in danger. Back then, Zoe wasn’t Zoe at all. Now her secrets are coming back to haunt her.

As the past and present collide, Zoe must decide who she can trust before she—whoever she is—vanishes completely.

Pick up your copy today and don’t forget to leave her a review. Happy Tuesday!

THE GIRLS AT THE KINGFISHER CLUB – A Review

In trying to broaden my reading horizons, I conducted an experiment in which I chose books from the library based ONLY on the cover. I didn’t read the back and I tried not to pay attention to the name or gender of the author.

Like most experiments, the results were mixed. However, one of the bunch stood out, and that was THE GIRLS AT THE KINGFISHER CLUB by Genevieve Valentine.

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From the cover:

Jo, the firstborn, “The General” to her eleven sisters, is the only thing the Hamilton girls have in place of a mother. She is the one who taught them how to dance, the one who gives the signal each night, as they slip out of the confines of their father’s Manhattan townhouse and into the cabs that will take them to the speakeasy. Together they elude their distant and controlling father, until the day he decides to marry them all off.

 The girls, meanwhile, continue to dance, from Salon Renaud to the Swan and, finally, the Kingfisher, the club they’ve come to call home. They dance until one night when they are caught in a raid, separated, and Jo is thrust face-to-face with someone from her past: a bootlegger named Tom whom she hasn’t seen in almost ten years. Suddenly Jo must balance not only the needs of her father and eleven sisters, but her own as well.

 

At the moment, there are two kinds of books I’m obsessing over: really thought out, well-written thrillers with mostly-female casts and creative fairy-tale retellings. Though THE GIRLS AT THE KINGFISHER CLUB has none of the magical realism elements I’ve come to expect from retellings, this book sits near the top of my list of favorites.

Valentine’s inspirations are pretty clear: Hans Christian Anderson’s Twelve Dancing Princesses (a tale that deserves more retellings than I can find) and Louisa May Alcott’s LITTLE WOMEN. Eldest sister, Jo, shares not only Jo March’s name, but also her determination and fierce protective instincts over her sisters. She’s a character that is easy to rally behind.

Another note on character, it’s pretty typical in novels with large casts to lose characters in the hustle of the plot. They either fall to the wayside or become nondescripts alongside the other, more shining characters. Valentine was able to give life to each of the twelve sisters in a way that made them real in the reader’s eyes. Jo may have been the MC, but younger sisters Rose and Doris were the most relatable to me and I felt their plight as more fervently that Jo’s.

If I have one criticism of THE GIRLS AT THE KINGFISHER CLUB, it’s that everything seems to come a little too easily for most of the book. Each time the sisters sneak down the back stair, the tension is diminished when time and again, they aren’t caught. In fact, aside from a light-sleeping maid, there aren’t even any close calls. Considering most of the fear the sisters bear comes from what their father would do or think should he catch them, the fear becomes less pressing. SPOILER…… When they are inevitably caught (not in the act, but accused after the fact), what should have been a knife to the chest is more like needle prick.

Overall, though, I really enjoyed this book despite its lack of traditionally magical elements and, possibly, because of it as well. I recommend it highly.