Monday, July 13, 2015

Essie's Roses by Michelle Muriel

02_Essie's Roses_CoverPublication Date: March 23, 2015
Publisher: Little Cabin Books LLC
Formats: eBook, Hardcover
ISBN-10: 0990938301
Pages: 346

Genre: Historical Fiction

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Growing up in the Deep South during the years leading to the Civil War, two young girls find freedom on a hillside overlooking Westland, an Alabama plantation. Essie Mae, an intuitive, intelligent slave girl, and Evie Winthrop, the sheltered, imaginative dreamer and planter’s daughter, strike up a secret friendship that thrives amidst the shadows of abuse.

Told from the viewpoint of four women: Katherine Winthrop, kind mistress and unexpected heiress to her father’s small, cotton plantation; Delly, her sassy and beloved house slave; Essie Mae, her slave girl; and Evie Winthrop, Katherine’s only child, Essie’s Roses tells of forbidden relationships flourishing in secret behind Westland’s protective trees and treasured roses.

After scandal befalls Westland, Evie and Essie, aged nineteen, travel to Richmond, Virginia, to escape their abusive pasts. There, they face the gross indecencies and divisions leading to the War Between the States. Though the horrors of slavery and discrimination prompt action, Evie and Essie’s struggles lie within. The secrets they hold and the pain of the past lead them away from one another and back home again.

A story about a black slave who frees a white woman, Essie’s Roses reveals the diverse meanings of freedom, the significance of a dream, and the power of love. In their efforts to save each other, will the women of Westland find the true freedom they desire?

My Review
Five Stars
Copy Received for an honest review from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Books like Essie's Roses by Michelle Muriel are why I love reading. This was such a fantastic read, my heart ached and I couldn't put it down. Essie Mae is a colored girl, she starts off by risking her life to save her friend and also her mistress daughter.  Stories like "Essie's Roses" are literary works of fiction. The story was so beautifully written, the pacing so well-done. Once I started I could not put it down.   The author changes the points of view during the story. Muriel really made it work because I was provided a very thorough perspective of the story.  Set during the Civil War, Essie and Evie-her best friend- form a beautiful friendship.  Their love for each other was so beautiful and their innocence so precious.  This is one of my favorite books from this year!

Praise for Essie's Roses

"Michelle Muriel has penned a wonderfully moving work of fiction – and one that will leave no reader with a dry eye. I fully expect to see Essie’s Roses on the silver screen someday, but until then I will simply look forward to reading future works by this author. Five Stars (and then add some more)!" -Charline Ratcliff, Feathered Quill Book Reviews

“5 stars! Miss Muriel's novel is a thing of beauty. I loved the changing perspectives. It was refreshing to see various points of view of the same story, and the author did it seamlessly. I could tell the author took a great deal of time researching the era, and that is something I always appreciate in a historical novel. Overall, Essie's Roses will make you laugh and cry, but most of all, appreciate the innocence of children's friendship. Michelle Muriel should be very proud of her accomplishment in this novel and I will happily recommend it on to others.” -Heather Osborne, Readers’ Favorite

“In this book, I have found a great story and I am sad to have had to put it down. The book has made me laugh, get mad, and cry. I want to know more about these women and what happens in the next chapter of their lives. Usually, when about done, I have my next one already picked out. However, this time, I didn't want this book to end because I know these women have more stories to tell.” -Amazon Reviewer

Essie's Roses Available At

Amazon US (Kindle)
Amazon US (Hardcover)
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
Barnes & Noble (Hardcover)
iBooks
IndieBound
Kobo Books

About the Author03_Michelle Muriel_Author

Michelle Muriel holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts, magna cum laude, and after graduating, she worked as a professional actress, a member of Actors’ Equity and The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists for almost twenty years, doing theater, voice-over, and commercial work. She is also a songwriter and musician. Michelle lives in St. Louis, Missouri with her husband and two quirky Border collies. She first developed Essie’s Roses as a screenplay. This is her debut novel. She is currently at work on her second.

For more information visit Michelle Muriel's website. You can also find her at Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, Amazon, and the Historical Novel Society.

Essie's Roses Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, June 29
Spotlight at The Lit Bitch

Tuesday, June 30
Review & Giveaway at Unshelfish

Wednesday, July 1
Review at Book Nerd

Friday, July 3
Spotlight & Giveaway at Mina's Bookshelf

Monday, July 6
Interview & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, July 7
Review at Books and Benches

Thursday, July 9
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Friday, July 10
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

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