Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/Tour Hashtag: #TowersofTuscanyTourPublication Date: January 23, 2014
New Arcadia Publishing
Formats: Paperback, Ebook
Genre: Historical Fiction
Set amid the twisting streets and sunlit piazzas of medieval Italy, the Towers of Tuscany tells the story of a woman who dares to follow her own path in the all-male domain of the painter’s workshop. Sofia Barducci is born into a world where a woman is only as good as the man who cares for her, but she still claims the right to make her own mistakes. Her first mistake is convincing her father to let her marry Giorgio Carelli, a wealthy saffron merchant in San Gimignano, the Tuscan city of towers. Trained in secret by her father to create the beautifully-crafted panels and altarpieces acclaimed today as masterpieces of late medieval art, Sofia’s desire for freedom from her father’s workshop leads her to betray her passion and sink into a life of loveless drudgery with a husband who comes to despise her when she does not produce a son.
In an attack motivated by vendetta, Sofia’s father is crushed by his own fresco, compelling Sofia to act or risk the death of her soul. The choice she makes takes her on a journey from misery to the heights of passion—both as a painter and as a woman. Sofia escapes to Siena where, disguised as a boy, she paints again. When her work attracts the notice of a nobleman who discovers the woman under the dirty smock, Sofia is faced with a choice that nearly destroys her.
The Towers of Tuscany unites a strong heroine with meticulously researched settings and compelling characters drawn from the rich tapestry of medieval Italy during one of Europe’s most turbulent centuries. The stylishly written plot is packed with enough twists and turns to keep readers up long past their bedtimes
Praise for The Towers of Tuscany
“The Towers of Tuscany is a delightful escape to the Siena we all love. Carol Cram has crafted a delicious story about a strong woman torn between her secret past, her love of painting and the forbidden charms of her rich patron. Hard to resist and highly recommended!” – Anne Fortier, Author of The Lost Sisterhood and the New York Times bestseller, Juliet
The Towers of Tuscany has all the elements of a wonderful historical novel―a talented, frustrated heroine, a treacherous, feckless husband, and a promise to a dying, much loved father who orders the heroine on a dangerous mission. Carol is a first rate storyteller. The research is well done. Every chapter displays a fine knowledge of painting technique of the 14th century, and customs and mores of the age. The details of dress, fabric, food, are flawless. The clever dialogue and fast pace make the novel zing along.” – Roberta Rich, Author of The Midwife of Venice and The Harem Midwife
“Sofia will set your heart racing as she attempts to find what we all, in our own ways, strive to seek: love, resolution, and artistic freedom. The legacy of this story will leave you yearning for more.” – Cathleen With, award-winning author of Having Faith in the Polar Girls’ Prison.
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About the Author
Carol M. Cram has enjoyed a great career as an educator, teaching at Capilano University in North Vancouver for over twenty years and authoring forty-plus bestselling textbooks on business communications and software applications. She holds an MA in Drama from the University of Toronto and an MBA from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. Carol is currently focusing as much of her attention as she can spare between walks in the woods on writing historical novels with an arts twist.
She and her husband, painter Gregg Simpson, share a life on beautiful Bowen Island near Vancouver, Canada.
The Towers of Tuscany is an excellent example of historical fiction at its finest. The story takes place in 14th century San Gimignano, Italy. Sofia is the heroine. Her father is a painter, but from a young age, she showed greater talent. But in medieval Italy, women were forbidden to paint. Her father takes credit for her work and sells them to the wealthiest citizens. As the story progresses, there are flashbacks into Sofia's past to the lessons she learned from her father. These words of wisdom have a far reaching effect, also providing wonderful life advice to the reader. Sofia suffers through an unhappy marriage with an abusive husband who only wants a son. She plans an escape and succeeds, creating a new life for herself which is not always without its own problems.
The author has done a phenomenal amount of research not only into the period, but also into the location and the art of paint and mixing paints. The storyline has plenty of engaging twists and turns, while the heroine is completely believable and portrayed with credibility. There is plenty of depth in the writing and a good steady pace that will take the reader to a very satisfying ending. This is one book I very highly recommend! Especially for those who love the arts! Love, adversity, and a woman who chases her dream. What more could anyone want in a ripping good yarn.
Virtual Book Tour Schedule
Review at Historical Novel Reviews
Review & Giveaway at Kinx’s Book Nook
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Guest Post & Giveaway at Just One More Chapter
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Excerpt & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Guest Post at Kincavel Korner
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Review & Giveaway at Words and Peace