Monday, May 3, 2010

Spreading the awesome for books


I don't remember why I bought THE STOLEN ONE by Suzanne Crowley. It may have been a rec from another blogger, or I might have been drawn to the cover and jacket blurb. It sat in my to-be-read stack for some months, because I add and add to my collection of unread books until they sigh mournfully about my neglect.
When I finally read this YA historical mystery last week, I was glued to the skillfully woven tale of yearning and deceit. I've picked it to showcase in Elana Johnson's Spreading the Awesome event today. More than 60 bloggers are spreading the word about books and authors that rock. So check out this list and get some recs!
Mostly, I read fantasy, paranormal, dystopian kinds of books. THE STOLEN ONE is a bit different for me.
The setting is Elizabethan England. Kat, a girl from a simple village, has always felt she didn't belong there and has an insatiable drive to learn the identity of her real mother. She isn't content with the love of a handsome farmer boy or the loyalty of her sister, and she disregards their feelings in her quest to learn her roots. And while she thinks she's unearthed the secrets about her family, she has actually misconstrued the evidence. She discovers the duplicity of court life, learns the loneliness of monarchs and finds what she truly desires along the way.
Kat's skill at embroidery gets her into Queen Elizabeth's court and gives us eyes into this fashionable world: Lady Ludmore pulled out the fanciest piece, a luscious seawater green velvet, a damask pattern of cowslips and fall leaves gently sewn on the surface, pale gold bugles shaped like flowers set within.
The allure of this book, though, is the artfully-woven mystery. The sense of danger and intrigue begins as early as the opening paragraphs, where Kat says Grace, the woman who's raised her, calls her hair Wolf's bait and says the color is red as Queen Elizabeth's.
Grace reminds me of a Greek chorus with her sharp, cautionary words: Coveting beautiful things is a sin, a sin that attracts greater sins, Grace always warned. "Be humble of what you have. It is enough." Grace needed not know what I wore underneath my dress that night--a lovely red taffeta petticoat, stitched secretly and hidden from Grace. It felt wonderful against my skin, devil's color or no.
This novel is born of a what-if scenario based on a real-life queen's daughter, who disappeared from history, but I don't want to say anymore in hopes you will read THE STOLEN ONE. I was fascinated to learn that Crowley's family lore claims she is a distant relative of Lady Jane Grey--the nine-day queen beheaded by her cousin, Mary. Check out Suzanne Crowley's web site for more about the author, the book and the era.
As part of my celebration this week for my one-year blogversary and reaching more than 200 followers, I'm going to give THE STOLEN ONE to one of you lucky readers. Simply leave me a comment and I will draw a name. Another contest will follow in a couple of days. Happy Monday, happy May, everyone!
Added May 5th: Contest now closed. Randomly chosen winner will be announced in my next post, which includes a new contest.

50 comments:

Janet Johnson said...

Sounds interesting! Thanks for sharing. That is cool about Crowley's family lore. Connections like that always make the book more intriguing. :)

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

Ooooh that IS very interesting especially about Lady Jane Grey. I think I will pick this one up! Thanks!

Tamika: said...

This sounds like an excellent recommendation. I love the cover and title too!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I know what you mean about picking up so many books for the TBR pile. Mine's about to topple over, and I have more coming soon in the mail.

Sounds like a great book. Please add me to the contest. What's one more book for the pile. Luckily we have a cathedral ceiling in the TV room. I'll just have to convert it into a library instead. ;)

Kelly said...

This book sounds great. I can't wait to read it. Please enter me! :D
kghobbs@gmail.com

Stephanie Thornton said...

Oh my gosh! This book is totally up my alley- I was just thinking how I haven't read any historical YA. Plus, my maiden name is Crowley.

Neato!

Thanks for spreading the awesomeness!

VR Barkowski said...

You've hooked me, Tricia. I'm very intrigued by Tudor England and The Stolen One sounds fascinating. That pesky Elana and her Spreading the Awesome is doing evil things to my tbr pile.

KM said...

Sounds like such a good read! I love historical!

Natalie said...

This looks great Tricia. I haven't read a good historical forever.

Donna said...

When I was YA myself, I read nothing but romantic historical novels. If I win, I'll give THE STOLEN ONE to a young friend.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I would love to read this one!

Char said...

:) sounds intriguing

Nisa said...

You had me at YA historical mystery. What a lovely combination! It's definitely getting added to my tbr list. Thanks for the review!

Christa said...

I haven't read a historical novel in a while. I've been on a YA / Urban Fantasy kick. : ) Since you said those were your favorite genres, I'm even more interested in The Stolen One. : )
Thanks for the giveaway.
ambience.of.rain {at} gmail.com

Readerly Person said...

Gah! Would love this book...

- Rebecca

rebeccaswells(at)gmail(dot)com

Taffy said...

Hmmmm....interesting book!
Thanks for the review!

Bish Denham said...

Please put my name in the hat! That sounds just like my kind of book.

B.J. Anderson said...

How exciting! Please enter me in your drawing!!

Yamile said...

That's such a beautiful cover!

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Nice! I think we have very similar taste. Please enter me. :)

Jackee said...

And a happy Monday/May Day to you, too!

This book sounds amazing--I'm off to find out more about it and the author. Thanks for the chance to win a copy and the great reccomendation!

And...

congrats on the blogaversary and 200+ followers, friend!

Wendy aka Quillfeather. said...

Sounds like a must read.

Congrats on your follower count. It's no great surprise to me :)

Christine Fonseca said...

What a great read...man my TBR list is LONG!

Ann Marie Wraight said...

SUPER REVIEW!

This is the kind of book I'd search for on my own without having it recommended to me!

I'm hoping that my pen name of
"magic petal" will be influencing your hand when you draw that lucky name!

THANKS TO YOU TRICIA AND ALL who gave reviews. It's fantastic Elana!

Tina Laurel Lee said...

This is a lovely review. I love the idea of Kat misconstruing all as the tension of the book. I would love to read it! And happy blogversary! And congrats on all the followers!!

Laura Canon said...

I'm really interested as well, with my past Tudor fascination. I'll glad you told me about it.

Corinne O'Flynn said...

I'd love to win a copy of The Stolen One! Happy to have found your blog. :)

Paul Greci said...

I love that title: The Stolen One.
Happy May to you too!!

Michelle McLean said...

Okay, as a history/english major with an insatiable love of everything Tudor, I just can't resist this one - great choice!!

Rivkie Re said...

I'd love to be entered into this! I have a friend who loves historical fiction; I can give this to her if I win it (but only after I read it!) It looks great!
rivkarno1(at)hotmail(dot)com

Elle Strauss said...

Thanks for the recommend. Sounds interesting!

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Thanks for the awesome recommendation! I love the cover art, too!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I've never heard of this one, but it sounds wonderful. Thanks for the review, Tricia. Today has been so much fun. :-)

Angela said...

I am in love with the cover. Great review--it sounds like an awesome read! Count me in!

Solvang Sherrie said...

Sounds like a good book, Tricia. Enter me please! And congrats on reaching 200!!

~The Book Pixie said...

Congratulations on the blogoversary and followers!

I've been dying to read this book and am so glad to have found a contest for it, so thanks! Please enter me.

~Briana

Koey said...

Please count me in! This book sounds great!

Koey
the.bookaholics at hotmail.com

Aik said...

I've seen reviews for this title everywhere! I would love to read this book! Thanks and congrats on reaching 200 followers!

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Liza said...

This is going on my list. Thanks Tricia.

T. Anne said...

Oo I want to win! That is a beautiful cover!!!!!

Elana Johnson said...

What a gorgeous cover. And great review! Another one I need to pick up.

Phoenix said...

Very cool book recommendation. I have not read enough books yet this year and I'm always on the lookout for good suggestions. A friend of mine started a sci-fi book club so that should get me reading again in no time - first book up is "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter." Hah!

Julie Dao said...

What a beautiful cover on that book! I haven't read it and would LOVE to be the one to win it! Thanks for sharing, Tricia - this was a great review and I would definitely pick up a copy of this in the bookstore.

Suzanne Casamento said...

Great review! I think I want that petticoat...

Jenn Wilks said...

Looks like another great book. Definitely put me in the hat.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

That cover alone makes me want to read it! And then you say it's hf...I am going to the other room to write it down so when I go to B & N I'm ready...

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

You know, I tend to go for YA fantasy myself, but I'm really digging this book. I must now add it to my TBR. I think we must have similar tastes, huh? That cover is gorgeous, btw. Thanks for the recommendation--although I feel the urge to grumble a little as I may never get through my TBR pile now.

Sena said...

Congrats on your blogversary and followers! I would love to read this. Thanks so much!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

CONTEST NOW CLOSED.
Thank you all for the great comments.
Randomly-picked winner will be announced in my next post.

Victoria Dixon said...

The cover is GORGEOUS. OMG.