Monday, February 25, 2019

Temptation Rag - HFVBT Book Review

Temptation Rag

A Novel by Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard

Publication Date: December 3, 2018
Belle Epoque Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 308 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

From the author of The Beauty Doctor, Finalist for the 2018 Eric Hoffer Book Award, 2017 AZ Literary Awards, and a Medallion Honoree of the Book Readers Appreciation Group.

Seventeen-year-old May Convery, unhappy with her privileged life in turn-of-the-century New York City, dreams of becoming a poet. When she meets the talented young Mike Bernard, an aspiring concert pianist, she immediately falls in love. But after their secret liaison is discovered, neither is prepared for the far-reaching consequences that will haunt them for decades. 

As Mike abandons serious music to ruthlessly defend his hard-won title, Ragtime King of the World, May struggles to find her voice as an artist and a woman. It is not until years after their youthful romance, when they cross paths again, that they must finally confront the truth about themselves and each other. But is it too late? 

 The world of ragtime is the backdrop for a remarkable story about the price of freedom, the longing for immortality, and the human need to find forgiveness. From vaudevilleís greatest stars to the geniuses of early African American musical theater, an unforgettable cast of real-life characters populates this richly-fictionalized historical saga.

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Praise for Temptation Rag

"Fascinating real-life characters make Temptation Rag an emotional and page-turning story of passion, ambition, and desire." - Megan Chance, bestselling author of Bone River and Inamorata

 "Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard captures the style of the ragtime era. Music, art and culture spring from every page of this delightfully artistic work." - Readers' Favorite Book Review, 5 stars 

 "Terrific historical research and deft writing provide a striking portrait of racial and gender inequality in the ragtime era. An unforgettable and deeply human story." - Frederic Tulsky, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist "

Ms. Bernard weaves her knowledge of music with true historical characters and fictionalized ones into a syncopated symphony of human drama." -Kathryn Wood, author of Sea Snow: the gentle haunting of a 19th century lighthouse 

 "A gripping page-turner that has romance, history and music. A smart retelling of history through multiple points of view." - SA Examiner Book Review

Golden Lines

"Tell my father, Mike.  Tell him that you love me. That we're going to be together - forever." (97).

There was a word for girls like her. 
Ruined. (113)

So I do have a lot of time to myself.  I fear that I waste much of it, but I like to read. Poetry mostly. I used to fancy myself a poet," she added with a laugh. "Back in the days when I thought I had something important to say." (189)

"Have you ever wondered why the caged bird sings?" (199)

"You're not a tramp, May. You're a seeker.  It comes with being a writer, I'm afraid.  But it doesn't have to destroy you."  (373)

My Thoughts

Temptation Rag is about a lot...racial issues, women's independence, ragtime, New York City...but to me, it was mostly May's story. May's freedom story.  

May, as a wealthy heiress, sold to the highest bidder in return for a business partnership.
May, as a jilted young woman...who'd given her worth to a man who didn't love her after all.
May, the wife and mother, a womb and a ring...practicality...tradition...position...the way things are supposed to be.

May at the New York Public Library...well-known in New York literary activist for women's equality...published author...Actors Fund benefactor...independent woman.

The past finally put to rest.  

About the Author

Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard is an award-winning author of historical fiction. Her novel The Beauty Doctor is a suspenseful tale that takes place in the early days of cosmetic surgeryówhen the world of medicine was a bit like the Wild West and beauty doctors were the newest breed of outlaw. Temptation Rag: A Novel immerses readers in the bawdy atmosphere of vaudeville and early twentieth-century African American musical theater in a story about the price of freedom, the longing for immortality, and the human need to find forgiveness. Elizabeth currently lives in Arizona with her husband and their much-loved and very spoiled black Lab.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 18 Review at Passages to the Past  

Tuesday, February 19 Review at Pursuing Stacie 

Wednesday, February 20 Feature at The Book Junkie Reads Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Friday, February 22 Excerpt at Maiden of the Pages 

 Saturday, February 23 Guest Post at The Chocolate Lady's Book Reviews 

 Monday, February 25 Review at Peppermint Ph.D. 

 Tuesday, February 26 Excerpt at CelticLady's Reviews 

  Wednesday, February 27 Interview at Passages to the Past 

  Friday, March 1 Review at View from the Birdhouse 

  Monday, March 4 Review at Macsbooks 

  Wednesday, March 6 Review at A Chick Who Reads 

  Friday, March 8 Excerpt at Broken Teepee 

  Tuesday, March 12 Review at Reader then Blogger 

  Friday, March 15 Review at Coffee and Ink


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away copies of Bernard's other novel, The Beauty Doctor. One paperback and two eBooks are up for grabs. 
To enter, please use the Gleam form below. 

  Giveaway Rules 

 Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on March 15th. 
You must be 18 or older to enter. Giveaway is open to US only. 
Only one entry per household.  
All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. 
Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. Temptation Rag

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