Monday, May 16, 2016

Review and Giveaway: Portrait of Conspiracy: Da Vinci's Disciples - Book One by Donna Russo Morin

02_The Portrait of Conspiracy
One murder ignites the powderkeg that threatens to consume the Medici's Florence.

 Amidst the chaos, five women and one legendary artist weave together a plot that could bring peace, or get them all killed. Seeking to wrest power from the Medici family in 15th Century Florence, members of the Pazzi family drew their blades in a church and slew Giuliano. But Lorenzo de Medici survives, and seeks revenge on everyone involved, plunging the city into a murderous chaos that takes dozens of lives. Bodies are dragged through the streets, and no one is safe. Five women steal away to a church to ply their craft in secret. Viviana, Fiammetta, Isabetta, Natasia, and Mattea are painters, not allowed to be public with their skill, but freed from the restrictions in their lives by their art. When a sixth member of their group, Lapaccia, goes missing, and is rumored to have stolen a much sought after painting as she vanished, the women must venture out into the dangerous streets to find their friend and see her safe. They will have help from one of the most renowned painters of their era the peaceful and kind Leonardo Da Vinci. It is under his tutelage that they will flourish as artists, and with his access that they will infiltrate some of the highest, most secretive places in Florence, unraveling one conspiracy as they build another in its place. 

Historical fiction at its finest, Donna Russo Morin begins a series of Da Vinci's disciples with a novel both vibrant and absorbing, perfect for the readers of Sarah Dunant.

"A riveting page-turner unlike any historical novel you’ve read, weaving passion, adventure, artistic rebirth, and consequences of ambition into the first of a trilogy by a masterful writer at the peak of her craft." -C. W. Gortner, author of The Confessions of Catherine de’ Medici and The Vatican Princess

Publication Date: May 10, 2016
Diversion Books
eBook & Paperback; 290 Pages
Genre: Historical Mystery
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"Together, there is not a greater power than the strength of women bound to each other."
Donna Russo Morin is a relatively new author to me.  I enjoyed her book The King's Agent and felt privileged to have meet her last June in Denver (we talked about tattoo's,) and sadly I didn't grab a picture together.  I was super excited to hear she had a new book coming out.  Thank you to Amy at HFVBT for the invite to be part of this tour and Netgalley for an arc for review purposes.  

Portrait of Conspiracy takes place in one of my favorite countries, Italy during the time of Leonardo Da Vinci,  a man I know little about.  He doesn't take center stage here but offers a supporting role to a group of women artists. Not your ordinary group of women, it's a secret group reflecting the times when women weren't suppose to follow their own ambitions.  But when 2 witness the brutal murder of Giuliano de Medici and another suddenly disappears their bond further tightens. 

There was so much I enjoyed with this book. The character development made me connect with these women, to hear about their lives and get a great feel for the time period, landscape and life styles. 

 The story line was unique, though much was based on historical fact and I loved how the author laid that out in her 'What is Historically Factual and What is Not' chapter.  From the mysterious painting, the horrors of  Lorenzo de Medici's revenge to forbidden love this book kept me entertaining and longing for more.

The is the first book in Da Dinci's Disciples and I can't wait to hear what is next on the plate for this group of artist. 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound

03_Donna Russo MorinDonna Russo Morin is the award winning of author of historical fiction. A graduate of the University of Rhode Island, she lives near the shore with her two sons, Devon and Dylan, her greatest works in progress. Donna enjoys meeting with book groups in person and via Skype chat.

Visit her website at; friend her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @DonnaRussoMorin.


To enter to win an eBook of PORTRAIT OF A CONSPIRACY by Donne Russo Morin please enter the giveaway via the GLEAM form below. FIVE copies are up for grabs!

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on June 3rd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– 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.

  Portrait of a Conspiracy

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