Sunday, July 9, 2017

HFVBT - Presents: The Competition by Donna Russo Morin



The Competition by Donna Russo Morin Spotlight



Publication Date: April 25, 2017

Diversion Publishing

eBook & Paperback; 268 Pages

Series: Da Vinci’s Disciples, Book Two

Genre: Historical/Mystery



Donna Russo Morin returns with a follow-up to Portrait of a Conspiracy, called “a page-turner unlike any historical novel, weaving passion, adventure, artistic rebirth, and consequences of ambition,” by C.W. Gortner.


In a studiolo behind a church, six women gather to perform an act that is, at once, restorative, powerful, and illegal. They paint. Under the tutelage of Leonardo da Vinci, these six show talent and drive equal to that of any man, but in Renaissance Florence they must hide their skills, or risk the scorn of the city.

A commission to paint a fresco in Santo Spirito is announced and Florence’s countless artists each seek the fame and glory this lucrative job will provide. Viviana, a noblewoman freed from a terrible marriage and now free to pursue her artistic passions in secret, sees a potential life-altering opportunity for herself and her fellow female artists. The women first speak to Lorenzo de’ Medici himself, and finally, they submit a bid for the right to paint it. And they win.

But the church will not stand for women painting, especially not in a house of worship. The city is not ready to consider women in positions of power, and in Florence, artists wield tremendous power. Even the women themselves are hesitant; the attention they will bring upon themselves will disrupt their families, and could put them in physical danger.

All the while, Viviana grows closer to Sansone, her soldier lover, who is bringing her joy that she never knew with her deceased husband. And fellow-artist Isabetta has her own romantic life to distract her, sparked by Lorenzo himself. Power and passion collide in this sumptuous historical novel of shattering limitations, one brushstroke at a time.





Praise for The Competition

“THE COMPETITION is a page-turning, provocative romp through a fascinating time and place15th-century Florence. Donna Russo Morin has given us a novel for our time, a book featuring strong female characters fighting the odds to break the “glass ceiling,” and reminding us that this battle is not new: women have been waging it for centuries. Sherry Jones, author of The Sharp Hook of Love: A Novel of Heloise and Abelard

“…a page-turner unlike any historical novel, weaving passion, adventure, artistic rebirth, and consequences of ambition…a masterful writer at the peak of her craft.”C. W. Gortner, author of The Confessions of Catherine de’Medici

“A 15th-century Florence of exquisite art, sensual passion and sudden, remorseless violence comes vividly to life in Donna Russo Morin’s new novel.”Nancy Bilyeau, author of The Crown

“In Portrait of a Conspiracy, Russo Morin’s rich detailing transports the reader to the heart of Renaissance Italy from the first page.”Heather Webb, author of Becoming Josephine

“Illicit plots, mysterious paintings, and a young Leonardo da Vinci all have their part to play in this delicious, heart-pounding tale.”Kate Quinn, author of The Empress of Rome Saga

“In elegant prose, Morin paints a captivating tale of courageous women painters who battle against prejudices in Renaissance Florence. Featuring strong women characters, each with distinctive personalities, this is exactly the type of historical novel I enjoy. Exhilarating and compassionate, The Competition sings a beautiful tribute of women’s talents and underscores Morin’s masterful storytelling. Delightful!”Weina Dai Randel, author of The Moon in the Palace and The Empress of Bright Moon

“An inspiring tale of determined women, empowered by undeniable talent, in the male-dominated art world of Renaissance Florence. In The Competition, Ms. Morin delivers a captivating story rich with historical detail and beautifully woven through with atmosphere.”Diane Haeger, author of Courtesan


About the Author



Donna earned two degrees from the University of Rhode Island. In addition to writing, teaching writing, and reviewing for literary journals, Donna works as a model and actor; highlights of her work include two seasons on Showtime’s Brotherhood and an appearance in Martin Scorsese’s The Departed. Donna is the proud mother of two sons, one a future opera singer, the other a future chef.

Donna’s titles include The Courtier’s Secret, The Secret of the Glass, To Serve a King, The King’s Agent, Portrait of a Conspiracy, and The Competition.

Donna enjoys meeting with book groups in person and via Skype chat. Visit her website at www.donnarussomorin.com. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.


Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, June 26
Interview at The Book Junkie Reads

Tuesday, June 27

Wednesday, June 28
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Thursday, June 29
Spotlight at The Lit Bitch
Spotlight at A Holland Reads

Friday, June 30

Monday, July 3
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Wednesday, July 5
Guest Post at Books of All Kinds

Thursday, July 6
Spotlight at The Writing Desk

Saturday, July 8

Monday, July 10
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book

Tuesday, July 11
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Friday, July 14

Monday, July 17

Tuesday, July 18
Guest Post at Bookfever

Thursday, July 20

Monday, July 24

Wednesday, July 26

Thursday, July 27

Friday, July 28

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a paperback copy of The Competition & a Key Pendant necklace! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the 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.

The Competition: