Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Paradise Tree by Elena Maria Vidal (Book Tour)

The year is 1887 in Leeds County, Ontario. 

The O’Connor clan is gathering to mourn the loss of its patriarch Daniel O’Connor, an Irish immigrant. The story of Daniel and his wife Brigit is one of great hardships, including illness, ill-starred romances, war and political upheavals, as well as undying love and persevering faith. 

As Daniel is laid to rest, his grandson Fergus receives a piercing insight into what his own calling in life will be.

Publication Date: September 19, 2014
Paperback; 252p
Genre: Historical Fiction
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I love the fact that this book takes place near where I live, I've traveled through this area which brings a bit more life to the story.  

Beginning in Ireland we get a taste of what life is like for Daniel and his family there.  Then in 1821 he leaves his country (and family) behind to embark on a new life in Canada.  Ontario isn't a heavy populated place at the time with many challenges right off the bat.  Weaving fact with fiction I found this book hard to put down, it was realistic and stirring.  An emotional tale of  hardship, struggle to survive but also of love, commitment, family bonds and faith. 

I love the authors writing style, easy to follow with vivid descriptions of life in that place and time period. 

This book will appeal to those that like a good historical fiction story with depth and new beginnings.

Praise for The Paradise Tree

“With this marvelous immigrant saga, Elena Maria Vidal reminds us why our forebears left the Old World for the New: for Faith, family, and freedom! Through three generations of an Irish clan in Canada, she invites us into their home for struggle and triumph, celebrations of joy and sorrow, music, feasting, and dancing. The Paradise Tree makes ‘the past and present mingle and become one’ for the reader’s great delight.” –Stephanie A. Mann, author of Supremacy and Survival: How Catholics Endured the English Reformation

“Elena Maria Vidal’s latest book, The Paradise Tree, is the fictionalized true story of the author’s devoutly Catholic ancestors who immigrated to Canada from Ireland. It is filled with rich detailed history recounting the hardships and joys of the 19th century O’Connor Family. Beautifully written with great attention to historical, geographical and religious accuracy, this fascinating and moving family saga is a treasure that I highly recommend!” ~Ellen Gable Hrkach, award-winning author of In Name Only and four other novels

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Elena Maria Vidal grew up in the countryside outside of Frederick, Maryland, “fair as the garden of the Lord” as the poet Whittier said of it. As a child she read so many books that her mother had to put restrictions on her hours of reading. During her teenage years, she spent a great deal of her free time writing stories and short novels.

Elena graduated in 1984 from Hood College in Frederick with a BA in Psychology, and in 1985 from the State University of New York at Albany with an MA in Modern European History. In 1986, she joined the Secular Order of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Elena taught at the Frederick Visitation Academy and worked as a private tutor as well as teaching children’s etiquette classes. During a trip to Austria in 1995 she visited the tomb of Empress Maria Theresa in the Capuchin crypt in Vienna. Afterwords she decided to finish a novel about Marie-Antoinette she had started writing ten years before but had put aside. In 1997 her first historical novel TRIANON was published by St. Michaels Press. In 2000, the sequel MADAME ROYALE was published, as well as the second edition of TRIANON, by The Neumann Press. Both books quickly found an international following which continues to this day. In 2010, the third edition of TRIANON and the second edition of MADAME ROYALE were released.

In November 2009, THE NIGHT’S DARK SHADE: A NOVEL OF THE CATHARS was published by Mayapple Books. The new historical novel deals with the controversial Albigensian Crusade in thirteenth century France. Elena has been a contributor to Canticle Magazine, Touchstone Magazine, The National Observer, and The American Conservative. In April 2009 she was a speaker at the Eucharistic Convention in Auckland, New Zealand. In August 2010 Elena spoke at The Catholc Writers Conference in Valley Forge, PA. She is a member of the Catholic Writers Guild and the Eastern Shore Writers Association. She currently lives in Maryland with her family.

For more information please visit Elena’s website and blog.  You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Other Titles by Elena Maria Vidal

Trianon: A Novel of Royal France
Madame Royale: A Novel
The Night’s Dark Shade: A Novel of the Cathars

The Paradise Tree Blog Tour Schedule

Saturday, October 4
Review at Peeking Between the Pages
Sunday, October 5
Guest Post at Susan Heim on Writing
Monday, October 6
Review at Savvy Verse & Wit
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Tuesday, October 7
Review at Just One More Chapter
Wednesday, October 8
Review at West Metro Mommy
Thursday, October 9
Review & Interview at Back Porchervations
Friday, October 10
Review at Beth’s Book Reviews
Spotlight at Let Them Read Books
Saturday, October 11
Interview at Supremacy & Survival
Sunday, October 12
Spotlight at Queen of All She Reads
Monday, October 13
Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews
Tuesday, October 14
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Wednesday, October 15
Review at A Book Geek
Interview at Caroline Wilson Writes
Thursday, October 16
Review at Book Nerd
Spotlight at She is Too Fond of Books
Friday, October 17
Review at Dianne Ascroft Blog
Saturday, October 18
Spotlight at Passages to the Past
Monday, October 20
Review at Book Drunkard

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