Monday, February 1, 2021

The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives by Tim Darcy Ellis - Book Tour + Giveaway


Join us for this tour from Feb 1 to Feb 12, 2021!

Book Details:

Book Title:  The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives by Tim Darcy Ellis
CategoryAdult Fiction (18 yrs +),  246 pages
Genre: Literary fiction, historical fiction, religious historical fiction
Release date:   2020
Format available for review:  print, and ebook (mobi file (for Kindle)
Will send print books out:  USA and Canada
Tour dates: Feb 1 to Feb 12, 2021
Content RatingPG-13 + M. Includes some f-words, religious profanities, and mature themes (addiction, adultery)

"A fast-paced and richly engaging story about an intriguing historical figure... Ellis writes all of this with marvellous gusto that's more reminiscent of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall (2009) than of a more traditional Tudor novel." - Kirkus (starred review)

"In this beautifully detailed, thrilling historical novel, author Tim Ellis brings back to life the largely forgotten Juan Luis Lives, a Spanish Jew and leading Renaissance humanist...This enthralling story is sure to please lovers of high drama, international intrigue, momentous history and psychological thrillers." - Blueink (starred review)

"With its clear portrayal of inner conflict, The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives is a provocative, multicolored historical novel that examines hidden faith... Ellis's intricate biographical novel approaches the Spanish scholar and Renaissance humanist through absorbing journal entries." - Foreword Clarion

"A fast-moving, highly enjoyable historical drama, which features one of Western civilization's most interesting men during the dazzling age of the Renaissance. Ellis draws his characters so wonderfully, and none is better than the lead. The smart, charming, and earnest humanist is depicted as the embodiment of a better world to come." - Indiereader Review

Book Description:

The Secret Diaries Of Juan Luis Vives chronicles the epoch-making adventures of Spanish humanist Juan Luis Vives. The novel begins as Vives writes in self-imposed exile in Bruges, Spanish Netherlands in 1522. He is on the run from the Spanish Inquisition which has devastated his Jewish family in Valencia. Later, Thomas More invites Vives to the English court to tutor princess Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. The plot reaches its climax as Vives navigates the murky world of English politics during the reign of King Henry VIII, ever trying to negotiate an escape from Spain for his family, and for the Jewish people. The early modern period in Europe was a time of incredible instability. Economic depressions were the norm in Northern Italy, the Holy Roman Empire, and large swaths of England and France. Wars were endemic, with power politics and religion playing leading roles in massive bloodletting. Despite the darkness, great men and women of courage and intellectual curiosity also defined the age as one of scientific discovery, humanism, and scholarship. One of the great titans of the early modern period was Spanish scholar Juan Luis Vives. In the novel, Vives is the embodiment of the cosmopolitanism of the intellectual elite during the Renaissance. As a secret follower of Judaism, and thus a major outlaw according to the thinking of his own Catholic monarch, Vives walks a swaying tightrope. He was a genius and a philosopher who had a lot to say (he has since been dubbed 'The Godfather of Psychoanalysis,' Zilboorg 1941, and the 'Father of Psychology,' Watson, 1915), however, if he speaks too loudly not only his survival but that of his entire people hangs in the balance. Along the way, the reader is given close up and intimate and unique views of well-known figures such as Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Sir Thomas More and his devoted daughter, Margaret Roper.

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ B&N
Add to Goodreads

Guest Post
 My life as a writer is where I express and enjoy my interests. Of course, the literary world is far bigger than me, and in it, I can lose myself in my passions of history, philosophy, religion, and nature of consciousness. Writing is something that has to happen; if it doesn't nothing else in my life works.

 I am not a full-time writer, yet. I balance my life running a wellness practice with my writing, roughly spending half the working week in each pursuit. My writing days start with a pre-dawn to dawn walk with the dog, breakfast and meditation, and then the creative flow can begin. By late morning the muse has deserted me, but I can spend the afternoon and evening on technical elements and historical research. 

I write copiously, freehand, in notepads and on scraps of paper. I use doodles, arrows and colours to highlight relationships and plot. Those notes don't always make sense at first, but the process clarifies my thinking and helps build and create the dynamics. It is as if the subconscious needs to speak first, unfettered and unedited. I'll then put those random jottings together. I have a process of editing and re-reading, proof-reading, and an army of candid beta readers. 

 I wrote The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives in the first person because I enjoy the process of getting inside the minds of great men. I have always written, and I crafted my art with poetry, which I now see was practice for my novel writing. 

 I read historical fiction sparingly as I do not want to plagiarise unwittingly. I only read Wolf Hall (Hilary Mantel 2009) after completing a couple of drafts of The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives. I think it is essential though, to be aware of the major writers in the genre and I have great respect for Mantel, as well as William Follett, CJ Sansom and Geraldine Brooks.

 My great passion at present is in reading historical non-fiction and the history of philosophy. I recently read Sarah Bakewell's 'At The existentialist Cafe: Freedom, Being and Apricot Cocktails' (2016), and I loved it. It is about Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir's life and adventures, amongst others. I enjoy detailed history with a twist, and I have just finished Simon Schama's incredible tome Belonging: The Story of the Jews 1492–1900 (2017).

 Growing up, I inherited the four weighty, leather-backed volumes of 'Hutchinson's Illustrated Story of the British Nations,' written between the two world wars. The images, from the stone age through to the end of the First World War were so vivid, and it gave me an indelible blueprint of the epochs of British history. I lingered over the Tudors and Stuarts, so full of passion, plot and treachery. I lost myself in the wandering of what life was like for the ordinary people during that period, and what life was like for immigrant and minority communities. 

 After standard English children's fiction such as Enid Blyton (much criticised but much loved), I read classics such as The Lord of the Rings (JRR Tolkein, 1955) and the War of the Worlds (HG Wells, 1898). I studied the Greek classics at university, and although I loved Euripides, I swore that EV Rieu's 1950 translation of Homer's The Iliad would be my desert island book. After studying the great European writers such as Dickens, Hardy, Chekhov and Zola, I found relief in American Literature such as Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird (1961) and JD Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye (1949). There was a clarity and a crispness about those books that felt new to me. With my newfound obsession with twentieth-century American fiction, I then read and studied Maya Angelou, Alice Walker and Toni Morrison. 

 As a writer, we have much to achieve with The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives this year. I was thrilled to get national press coverage in the UK and BBC Radio interviews. I am working closely with my agent, Laurie Blum Guest, preparing my Sephardic trilogy - of which Vives is the first part - for consideration to major publishers. We are also presenting the manuscripts for French and Spanish translation rights. The audiobook, read by the incredible award-winning Peter Noble is due to be released in February 2021. It is an exciting time!


Meet the Author:

Tim Darcy Ellis (BA BSc, MHSc) is a writer, physiotherapy business owner and formerly a professional archaeologist. Tim studied Archaeology at the University of York (BA Hons 1988) and as a professional archaeologist, worked on sites throughout England and Wales. He held posts at the Museum of London and the British Museum's medieval galleries. Tim is currently Managing Director and Principal Physiotherapist of Excel Physiotherapy and Wellness. He qualified as a physiotherapist at the University of East London in 1998. He moved to Sydney in 2000 where he completed his master's degree in 2002. Tim is chief writer of Excel Life magazine: writing and teaching extensively on health and wellness and specializing in the treatment of complex hip and pelvic pain.

connect with the author: website ~ facebook ~ twitter

Tour Schedule:
Feb 1 – Working Mommy Journal – book review / giveaway
Feb 1 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 2 - She Just Loves Books – book review / giveaway
Feb 2 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 3 – Lisa's Reading – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 3 - Books and Zebras @jypsylynn – book review / giveaway
Feb 4– Pine Enshrined Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Feb 5 – Corinne Rodrigues – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 8 – Books Lattes & Tiaras – book review / giveaway
Feb 8 – Stephanie Jane – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 9 - Cheryl's Book Nook – book review / giveaway
Feb 9 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 10 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Feb 11 - I'm Into Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 12 - Library of Clean Reads – book review / author interview / giveaway
Feb 12 – Bigreadersite – book review / giveaway

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