Saturday, August 21, 2010

A FIERCE RADIANCE: REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY ENDED
A FIERCE RADIANCE

BY LAUREN BELFER

ABOUT THE BOOK:

From the New York Times bestselling author of City of Light comes a compelling, richly detailed tale of passion and intrigue set in New York City during the tumultuous early days of World War II.

Claire Shipley is a single mother haunted by the death of her young daughter and by her divorce years ago. She is also an ambitious photojournalist, and in the anxious days after Pearl Harbor, the talented Life magazine reporter finds herself on top of one of the nation's most important stories. In the bustling labs of New York City's renowned Rockefeller Institute, some of the country's brightest doctors and researchers are racing to find a cure that will save the lives of thousands of wounded American soldiers and countless others—a miraculous new drug they call penicillin. Little does Claire suspect how much the story will change her own life when the work leads to an intriguing romance.

Though Claire has always managed to keep herself separate from the subjects she covers, this story touches her deeply, stirring memories of her daughter's sudden illness and death—a loss that might have been prevented by this new "miracle drug." And there is James Stanton, the shy and brilliant physician who coordinates the institute's top secret research for the military. Drawn to this dedicated, attractive man and his work, Claire unexpectedly finds herself falling in love. But Claire isn't the only one interested in the secret development of this medicine. Her long-estranged father, Edward Rutherford, a self-made millionaire, understands just how profitable a new drug like penicillin could be. When a researcher at the institute dies under suspicious circumstances, the stakes become starkly clear: a murder has been committed to obtain these lucrative new drugs. With lives and a new love hanging in the balance, Claire will put herself at the center of danger to find a killer—no matter what price she may have to pay.

Lauren Belfer dazzled readers with her debut novel, City of Light, a New York Times notable book of the year. In this highly anticipated follow-up, she deftly captures the uncertainty and spirit, the dreams and hopes, of a nation at war. A sweeping tale of love and betrayal, intrigue and idealism, A Fierce Radiance is an ambitious and deeply engaging novel from an author of immense talent.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lauren Belfer was born in Rochester, New York, and grew up in Buffalo, where she attended the Buffalo Seminary. At Swarthmore College, she majored in Medieval Studies. After graduating, she worked as a file clerk at an art gallery, a paralegal, an assistant photo editor at a newspaper, a fact checker at magazines, and as a researcher and associate producer on documentary films. She has an M.F.A. from Columbia University. Her debut novel, City of Light, was a New York Times bestseller, as well as a #1 Book Sense pick, a Barnes& Noble Discover Award nominee, a New York Times Notable Book, a Library Journal Best Book, and a Main Selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club. City of Light was a bestseller in Great Britain and has been translated into seven languages. She is also the author of the novel A Fierce Radiance. Belfer’s fiction has also been published in the Michigan Quarterly Review, Shenandoah, and Henfield Prize Stories. Her nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Washington Post Book World, The Christian Science Monitor, and elsewhere. Lauren Belfer lives in New York City.

MY REVIEW:

In a gripping novel of romance and conspiracy, with life and death consequences hanging in the balance, Lauren Belfer’s A FIERCE RADIANCE transports readers back to 1941. With the United States having just declared war on Germany and Japan, following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, readers find Claire Shipley on her way to New York City. Claire works for LIFE magazine and is sent to cover the story of the medical community racing to develop a life-saving cure for blood infections that will hopefully save the lives of so many soldiers going off to war, as well as civilians. Researchers at the Rockefeller Institute are desperately working on a new drug they call Penicillin that has great potential if they can get it to patients in time and produce enough of it to meet the need.

Claire works on her assignment by witnessing these life-saving efforts, however she can’t help but think how if this drug had been available sooner, her daughter might still be alive as she died from blood poisoning that resulted from a simple scratch. Dr. James Stanton is in charge of the research and organizing it for the military as well as keeping the experiments confidential. Claire is intrigued and becomes interested in Dr. Stanton for more reasons than just his research and her story. But when Stanton’s fellow researcher dies and the realization that a murder was committed by someone who wants this drug no matter what the cost, Claire finds herself in the middle and in danger. You see, not only was the doctor who was murdered also James Stanton’s sister, but Claire’s father has become involved in trying to get the formula for penicillin. Edward Rutherford, who is the father that Claire parted ways with long ago, is a sharp businessman who sees the future of this drug as one that can yield a huge profit if he can control it.

Can Claire find out who is behind this murder or will she wind up in danger? Will she be able to complete her job as well as see where these romantic feelings lead? What of the results of the penicillin? Will it be produced fast enough and in time for the soldiers going off to Europe and the Pacific? Complete with a well-researched background and a myriad of information about penicillin, (which I never knew was developed at this time and because of the war), Belfer has written a story filled with realistic, well-developed characters and one that readers should find fascinating.


GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO MARK AND GOOD PEOPLE
AT HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHING,
I HAVE 3 COPIES OF THIS BEST SELLING
NEW BOOK TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS WHAT
YOU NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY!




--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!

HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY:
COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND INTERESTING ABOUT THIS BOOK THAT WOULD MAKE YOU WANT TO WIN AND READ IT

+1 MORE ENTRY:
BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND LEAVE A LINK I CAN FOLLOW IN THE ENTRY

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING ABOUT LAUREN BELFER THAT YOU FIND INTERESTING BY GOING TO THE "FUN STUFF" SECTION ABOUT HER AT THE HARPER COLLINS WEBSITE HERE.


GIVEAWAY ENDS
6 PM, EST,
SEPTEMBER 8!

GOOD LUCK

78 comments:

Tea said...

I would like to read and learn about the story behind the miraculous medication, penicillin.

teakettle58(at)yahoo(dot)com

Tea said...

The author is a nice person. She knows how to laugh at herself. I like the story about her reading and not one person showing up. ::)

Tea said...

I have linked back to you from my sidebar at http://readwithtea.blogspot.com

Kristin said...

I would love to read this book - I think the whole time period is a fascinating time.

k2reader@gmail.com

Pamela Keener said...

No need to enter me as I have this book on my massive TBR pile. I just want to say that I read Lauren's "City of Light" for an online book club eons ago and liked that book so much that when I saw she was finally releasing another book I had to preorder it immediately. Thanks for the review.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
Pam

Kristin said...

I find it interesting that if Lauren Belfer couldn't be a writer, she would be a photographer.

k2reader@gmail.com

Margie said...

A romance and thrilled with a backdrop of World War II sounds very intriguing.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Beverly said...

Thanks for hosting - please enter me - I am a follower.

bsharp88@gmail.com

I am interested in reading this book because I love conspiracy (watching National Treasure as I blog) and I am a single mom and can't imagine my life without my daughter.

Margie said...

The author would like to have lunch with Jane Austen.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

+5 Swag
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

holdenj said...

I find the whole penicillin angle very interesting! Definitely a new side to the war. Thanks for the info and chance to win.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

Lauren's favorite city is New York.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Meredith said...

I think it sounds like a good book because it has a mix of a little history (slightly altered) and a bit of mystery.

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Meredith said...

I like that the author's favorite food and least favorite food is dark chocolate. lol!

meredithfl at gmail dot com

debbie said...

I really like that is a combination of science and mystery.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

DarcyO said...

I tweeted:
http://twitter.com/darcy1956/status/21782791970

dlodden at frontiernet dot net

DarcyO said...

It's interesting that Lauren needs tea and silence to write. I'd need coffee and silence!

dlodden at frontiernet dot net

Alyce said...

I like reading books that have anything to do with WWII, and hadn't really connected the progress in medical research with Penicillin to that time period. It sounds like a good read.

akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

- Marybeth I. said...

I like murder mysteries so would enjoy this

Anonymous said...

Hi! I am interested in reading this book due to two reasons:
1. It is set in World War II
2. There is a romance involved in the story.

Great giveaway! :)

Connie
connie_bryant@hotmail.com

traveler said...

This era and the medical research interests me greatly. thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

This author writes unique and historical novels. saubleb(at)gmail (dot)com

petite said...

This intriguing book sounds captivating and the penicillin background is interesting. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

This author is talented and would have been a photographer. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

Martha Lawson said...

My favorite quote is…
"Eighty (I've also heard ninety) percent of success is showing up."

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Martha Lawson said...

I had no idea penicillin was developed in WWII! I'd love to read a story about that.

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Steve Capell said...

I have read several WWII novels based around WWII era. I find this time in history to be rich with substance that seems to allow authors to intertwine romance and mystery into some fantastic novels. After reading the review I would very much like to add this book to my TBR bookshelf. Thanks for hosting this review and contest.

steven(dot)capell(at)gmail(dot)com

Linda Kish said...

Interesting premise..the days before penicillin and a murder involved with it.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

She like hot chocolate with vanilla ice cream. Is that along with the ice cream or made with the ice cream?

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

A Musing Mother said...

I simply love historical fiction. Not only that, but I can remember with fondness, the bitter, larger than my fist penicillin tablets from days of yore.

gag.

ntaylor228 at yahoo dot com

Cindy W. said...

I would love to read this book because I love reading books set in the WWII era. Thank you for the chance to win it.

Smiles,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Cindy W. said...

I visited the authors site and found that her favorite food is dark chocolate and her least favorite is dark chocolatae because she eats to much.

Smiles,
Cindy W

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Anonymous said...

+ Swagbucks



CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Colleen Turner said...

My absolutely favorite genre is Historical Fiction! This sounds like such an engaging and provoking read, and I have really enjoyed other novels written during this time period.
Thanks!
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I find it funny that the author said on her website that her favorite food is dark chocolate and that her least favorite food is also dark chocolate (since she likes it so much and, I assume, might overeat it). Funny!
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

+5 swagbucks!
candc320@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

This story has all the stuff of a great book, romance, mystery, set back in the World War II era and the wonder drug, penicillin. I would love to read this book.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Lauren Belfer's favorite shoes are her walking shoes. I think she must take walks pretty often.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Tore said...

Sounds like a really great read. I would love to read this book. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

Sarah said...

I love anything from that era:) I think this would be a great read.

foxchick0323@live.com

Kitty said...

I would like to read this because it is a bit historical and my Granny would always tell me how lucky we were to have penicillin because b4 it was introduced people died from infections that could have been easily controlled.
Besides this sounds like a great book and I put it on my TBR and Wish List.

gcpeach17 said...

The story sounds very interesting and more so because I had no idea that that was when penicillin was discovered and used! Please, enter me in this giveaway.

gcpeach17 at aol dot com

gcpeach17 said...

A women after my own heart with her favorite food being dark chocolate! :) And, from her bio, I don't think I have ever known anyone to major in Medieval Studies. How interesting.

gcpeach17 at aol dot com

Amy said...

I really enjoy books set in NYC in the 1940's, War era and I also very much enjoy medical issues and research stories. The attempts to make life-saving penicillin sounds extremely interesting to me. I've also always thought that working for LIFE magazine sounds so glamorous, especially in the era of the war. Hence, I fins this book exremely interesting and hope to win it!

~ Amy
Aimala127 AT gmail DOT com

Amy said...

I tweeted:

http://twitter.com/Amestir/status/21866127485

Aimala127 AT gmail DOT com

Amy said...

Lauren Belfer has a Golden Retriever named Jasper and loves the TV show, Mad Men! She's an author after my own heart!

Aimala127 AT gmail DOT com

g.g. said...

I would like to read this as I never knew this is how penicillin came to be

anjamie4 AT gmail DOT com

g.g. said...

I found out she would have been a photographer if not an author

anjamie4 AT gmail DOT com

rubynreba said...

Penicillin is such a life saver to many and I would like to read more about this.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

Her worst quality is procrastination.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

MRWriter said...

I like the time period and the city its set in.

AlexDean03(at)yahoo.com

MRWriter said...

I like that her favorite drink is hot choclate with vanilla ice cream. Now that's inspiring. (-:

AlexDean03(at)yahoo.com

Emily H. said...

I love stories about the WWII era.

treerose AT yahoo DOT com

Emily H. said...

I tweeted:

http://twitter.com/eheinlen/statuses/22002517762

treerose AT yahoo DOT com

Misusedinnocence said...

This sounds incredible. I love anything set in the WW2 era and would love to read this.

misusedinnocence@aol.com

bison61 said...

a book about romance and conspiracy-that sounds good!

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

Lisa R/alterlisa said...

This whole time period is one that I love to read about, through in a little mystery and murder and it's a must read for me.

(\___/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")
alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/

Lisa R/alterlisa said...

http://twitter.com/alterlisa/status/22148179056

(\___/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")
alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/

Lisa R/alterlisa said...

I love that Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier was one of her favorite reads.


(\___/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")
alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/

LAMusing said...

I'm a big fan of historical fiction, particularly set around WW2
adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

Norma said...

I grew up during this time period - so I'd love to read this

bingomamanorma(at)gmail(dot)com

LAMusing said...

I love the authors favorite quote - "80% of success is showing up"
adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

Norma said...

The author said her worst fault is procrastination. I understand that LOL

bingomamanorma(at)gmail(dot)com

LAMusing said...

TWEET! http://twitter.com/LAMusing/status/22307268542
adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

Linda Henderson said...

I would like to read this book because it sounds like the heroine is a strong character living her life to the fullest during wartime.

seriousreader at live dot com

Linda Henderson said...

I tweeted about this giveaway.

http://twitter.com/BookOwner/status/22445259303

seriousreader at live dot com

Linda Henderson said...

When I went to the publisher information fun page I found out she'd love to lunch with Jane Austen.

seriousreader at live dot com

Ruthie said...

I would love to read a book set in the time when my mother was a young woman.
Please enter me, thanks.

ruthiekb72@yahoo.com

Ruthie said...

Fellow chocoholic...dark rules!

ruthiekb72@yahoo.com

Melissa said...

I love the era being used in this book and who doesn't love a good mystery?


giveawaymommy at yahoo.com

Cindy said...

I would love to read this book because of the time period especially and because of the medical storyline. I am a baby boomer and heard many stories through the years from my parents, aunts and uncles about the WWII days. Many of my relatives served in the military during WWII. This sounds like an interesting read and one that I would enjoy very much.

Cindy
Socmom213(at)aol(dot)com

Cindy said...

One neat thing that I found at the website was the author's advice to new writers. She basically tells them not to give up even when rejected. She mentions that her first short story was rejected 42 times before it was published and her second short story was rejected 27 times before it was published. The author seems like a really nice person and an inspiration to other writers.

Cindy
Socmom213(at)aol(dot)com

Bethie said...

I love books that take place in New York. The city has such an interesting history.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Bethie said...

I think it is funny that dark chocolate is her most and least fav food.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

allisonsbj3 said...

I find it interesting that the character is a Life reporter.

allisonsbj3(at)gmail(dot)com

allisonsbj3 said...

I love dark chocolate too!

allisonsbj3(at)gmail(dot)com

BusyMom said...

Looks like a good one with an interesting plot.

Jolee said...

I can relate to Lauren's desire to have lunch with Jane Austen. :-) joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot] net

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