Friday, July 25, 2014

Ireland Trip Photos continued

Okay, one more post of my pictures from Ireland. If you missed the previous photos, click here, here, and here. Thanks for looking!

Westport House
"18th Century Westport House is privately owned and operated by the Browne family, who are direct descendants of Grace O’ Malley, the famous 16th Century Pirate Queen of Connaught."

Oops!..I can't remember if the next 4 pictures are from Clew Bay or Achille Island. Nonetheless, it was beautiful...a misty foggy day.

Kilbeggan Distillery
The Kilbeggan Distillery is the oldest licenced distillery in Ireland, dating back to 1757. We took a tour and sampled the whiskey.

Our view from The Ashling Hotel. Also, this is the place where my mom fell on our last night of the trip. She got tripped up on the Luas line track (Dublin's light rail system) and fell in the street. We spent the last evening of our trip in a Dublin emergency room. Mom banged up her leg/knee and got a few stitches but she was okay.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Blog Tour - The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron

Litfuse Publicity Group provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

**(Please see the end of this post for link to Facebook party and Giveaway information for this blog tour)

Welcome to the Blog Tour for The Butterfly and the Violin 
by Kristy Cambron

About the book: 
A mysterious painting breathes hope and beauty into the darkest corners of Auschwitz---and the loneliest hearts of Manhattan.

Manhattan art dealer Sera James watched her world crumble at the altar two years ago, and her heart is still fragile. Her desire for distraction reignites a passion for a mysterious portrait she first saw as a young girl---a painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes.

In her search for the painting, Sera crosses paths with William Hanover, the grandson of a wealthy California real estate mogul, who may be the key to uncovering the hidden masterpiece. Together, Sera and William slowly unravel the story behind the painting's subject: Austrian violinist Adele Von Bron.

A darling of the Austrian aristocracy, talented violinist, and daughter to a high-ranking member of the Third Reich, Adele risks everything when she begins smuggling Jews out of Vienna. In a heartbeat, her life of prosperity and privilege dissolves into a world of starvation and barbed wire.

As Sera untangles the secrets behind the painting, she finds beauty in the most unlikely of places: in the grim camps of Auschwitz and in the inner recesses of her own troubled heart.

Purchase The Book

Follow along with the Blog Tour

About the author:

Kristy Cambron has been fascinated with the WWII era since hearing her grandfather's stories of the war. She holds an art history degree from Indiana University and received the Outstanding Art History Student Award. Kristy writes WWII and Regency era fiction and has placed first in the 2013 NTRWA Great Expectations and 2012 FCRW Beacon contests, and is a 2013 Laurie finalist. Kristy makes her home in Indiana with her husband and three football-loving sons.

Find Kristy online: Website, Facebook, Twitter 

My Thoughts:
What a captivating story! The author has such a beautiful writing style and is especially good at drawing you into each character. One of my favorite things about this book is that the story is told in alternating chapters - of the present day to the time of the Nazi-controlled concentration camps. I think this is a great way to get the reader truly invested in the mystery surrounding the painting. I also appreciate a story that keeps you guessing and wondering how it's all going to turn out. Reading about Adele's perspective of Auschwitz was heartbreaking and one can hardly even imagine something so horrific. While there is a lot of sadness to The Butterfly and the Violin, Kristy Cambron has also woven a tale full of rich details, hope, and lots of emotion.

Please click here for details on the author's Facebook party and giveaway - you could win a Kindle Fire!

THE BUTTERFLY AND THE VIOLIN Kindle Fire #Giveaway and Facebook Party from @KCambronAuthor

I am sharing the following information c/o Litfuse Publicity Group. They provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Welcome to the launch campaign for debut novelist Kristy Cambron's The Butterfly and the Violin. Romantic Times had this to say: "Alternating points of view skillfully blend contemporary and historical fiction in this debut novel that is almost impossible to put down. Well-researched yet heartbreaking. . . ."

To learn more about this book/author and to hear my thoughts about the story, please see my blog tour post here.

Kristy is celebrating the release of the first book in her series, A Hidden Masterpiece, with a fun Kindle Fire giveaway and meeting her readers during an August 7th Facebook author chat party.


 One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 7th. Winner will be announced at The Butterfly and the Violin Author Chat Party. Kristy will be connecting with readers and answering questions, sharing some of the fascinating research behind the book, hosting a fun book chat, and giving away some GREAT prizes. She will also be giving an exclusive look at the next book in the series, A Sparrow in Terezin!

So grab your copy of The Butterfly and the Violin and join Kristy on the evening of August 7th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 7th!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Even More Pictures From My Ireland Trip

Again, I'm sharing more pictures from my recent trip to Ireland. If you missed my previous posts, click here and here.

These photos are from our scenic drive through the Dingle Peninsula area.

In the first picture, you can see our big tour bus and the narrow, winding roads that we had to travel. 

Such spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean

Ruins of early Christian monastic beehive huts from the 4th-12th centuries

Into the town of Dingle to take in the sights. We had lunch, did a little shopping, and visited a local brewery.

More Pictures From My Ireland Trip

I have more photos to share from my recent trip to Ireland. There's a lot of them so I'll be sharing them in a few posts over the next several days. The pictures really do not do the scenery justice. Definitely makes me wish I had better photography skills and a really good camera, but nonetheless, it was very beautiful.

Today's photos are from our time in Dublin, Waterford, and Kilkenny.

Trinity College in Dublin

Trinity College in Dublin

Grounds of Trinity College

Trinity College Library - stunning collection of ancient books; also where the famous Book of Kells is housed and displayed

Waterford Crystal Factory Showroom in Waterford





The Black Abbey in Kilkenny



Kilkenny - so many lovely little shopfronts

Kilkenny Castle

Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel


Kyteler's Inn - Old pub in Kilkenney, established in the 1300's

Thanks for looking! Be sure and stop by again this week as I'll be sharing more pictures.