“If art is for us all and about us all, why isn’t it by us all?” — Victorine

Today’s blog stop takes us to Bookish Ramblings. The headline of this post is a quote from Victorine the reviewer pulled out. I thought it fitting for today. Please stop over and enter the book giveaway and leave a comment. And many thanks to Bookish Ramblings!

Book reviewers are so important to books! They are unpaid warriors who read for the sheer love of it and sometimes a free copy of a book. By the time they read it and review it, they’ve invested hours. I don’t take that lightly. So thanks to everyone who has reviewed my book thus far!

The Railway by Edouard Manet, featuring Victorine Meurent.

I posted the above painting because I said today’s stop, as in on a blog tour, as if on a whistle stop train tour…:-) Too punny?

Happy Palm Sunday!

Thanks to What’sHerName Podcast for mentioning Victorine‘s painting Palm Sunday today on social media. Where was my brain? (Reading Joan Didion essays and filling out a fellowship application, that’s where. Oh, and emailing the dearest friends. Wait, I feel a You’ve Got Mail reference coming on… “Don’t you love email?” Yes, yes I do.)

There are so many lovely observations to be made about this painting by Victorine Meurent, Edouard Manet’s favorite model — the subtle colors (some of my fav), the knowing-yet-innocent model, the composition…

I could go on, and maybe I should. Maybe I will, another time. But as it’s past seven and my dearest is waiting so we can choose a movie (small screen, but still), I won’t go on tonight.

But do tell me your thoughts on Palm Sunday. It was her first rediscovered painting, and I thought it would be the only example of hers I would have as I wrote about her. You can imagine with what care I studied it.

Enter a Giveaway! Two Wonderful Victorine Shout-Outs Today!

Thank you so much to two sweet souls for helping get out the word about Victorine Meurent. First up, my gratitude to Amy over at Locks, Hooks, and Books. Please read her marvelous review of my novel, Victorine, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway while you’re there.

Okay, I have to share a sneak peek of her heartfelt review: “I loved being transported back in time to mid nineteenth century Paris. The historical details were so fascinating and vivid, I felt like I was right there taking in all the sights of the city.” Thank you, Amy. That warms my author’s heart.

Over on Instagram, Crystal Z. Lee, author of the vivid, vibrant Love and Other Moods, posted a fabulous photo and review of Victorine. She said I can share them over here.

“I gravitate towards books that transport, and Victorine–a historical literary novel–takes readers to France in the 19th century. It’s the story of a trailblazing female artist who defied the conventions of her time.”


“We know the woman on the cover of this book, even if we aren’t familiar with her name, Victorine Meurent. Her face and body had been immortalized by artist Edouard Manet in his world famous paintings Olympia, The Picnic In Paris, etc. I took several western art history courses in college, and remember seeing Manet’s work at the #museedorsay on my numerous business trips to #Paris later on. In Olympia, the nude model’s gaze is arresting. She makes you want to know more about her. But at the time, a woman like her received scant respect nor recognition. Her modeling for #Manet made his works world famous, but history hardly paid any attention or credit to his muse. Until now.”


“This book is truly a treasure just for the fact that author Drema Drudge’s thorough research uncovered Victorine Meurent’s forgotten paintings, and one of them is published for the very first time in her book.”


“If Victorine had lived in today’s era, she would’ve been celebrated; she overcame the odds of poverty, war, sexism… and went from being an artist’s muse to an artist in her own right. But because of the times she lived in, she was shunned, shamed, vilified. Still, she unapologetically lived for her art, for her love and passions.”


“This gem of a novel is for art aficionados, history buffs, francophiles, and anybody looking for a riveting read on a forgotten heroine.”

Wow, thank you, Crystal. I’m incredibly grateful for both your review and the creative, beautifully composed photo. My heart is full.

Thanks to both of these bookish, kind women for getting the word out. I truly appreciate it!

P.S. If you want a free historical fiction story from me, join my newsletter and I’ll hook you up!

Enter the Giveaway! Stop #1 on my France Book tour

I agree with Stephanie over at Books Are Cool that books are, well, cool. And if you go over there and read the excellent review (I’m so touched) she gave Victorine, you can also see how to enter the book giveaway that runs for my whole France Book Tour.

Victorine by Drema Drudge

Here’s a snippet of her wonderful review:

“This book is a wonderful illustration of all that’s best about the historical fiction literary genre.
The author has obviously done an immense amount of research into the period, the world of the artist and the persons she portrays. It’s detailed, compelling, but never overwhelming.Victorine is a multifaceted, excellent book, equal parts absorbing, educational and inspirational.”

Bloggers are such wonderful, selfless people. I’m grateful to them all. Thank you, Stephanie!

I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention that TODAY is the official one-year anniversary of the release of Victorine. We have gone so many places virtually since then, and hope to go to more places in the “real” world in the coming year.

This date also marks the anniversary of Victorine Meurent’s death in 1927. When we set the release date, I didn’t make the connection.

It was (Is? My father has passed) also my parents’ anniversary. And, of course, St. Patrick’s Day. Coincidentally, this date is also my hubby’s stepmother’s birthday. (Happy Birthday, Mary!)

Anyway, thank you for being on this journey with me. Thank you for opening your arms to Victorine. Here’s to year two!

http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/436945

A Spotlight on Victorine

As the celebration of the one-year anniversary/ebook release of Victorine continues, I am grateful to DK Marley over at The Hist Fic Chickie for shining a light on artist Victorine Meurent today. This is in conjunction with my author takeover of The Historical Fiction Club today. If you’re not a member, please stop over and ask to be added so that you can join in on the games, the conversation, and the giveaways!

This Wednesday, March 17, my France Book Tour kicks off, where Victorine will be featured on several stops. I hope you’ll join in.

P.S. While the ebook of Victorine is not up yet, it will be within a few days. (If you’re reading this past the week of March 17, 2021, it probably is up. Let’s hope I remember to edit this after it is available.)

Jup, by Victorine Meurent. #Love!

Let the One-Year Anniversary Celebration of Victorine Begin!

Good morning! The sun is shining, I saw a gorgeous cardinal this morning, and I am thrilled to announce that on the Diary of an Eccentric blog you can enter to win one of two ecopies of Victorine! (Did I mention you will be able to buy your OWN ecopy very soon? More on that soon!) Many thanks to Anna for hosting me over on her excellent blog.

Thus begins the celebration of the one-year anniversary of Victorine being reborn! Victorine Meurent was an artist and the favorite model of Edouard Manet, something she’s most often remembered for. But with my research bringing to light paintings of her long supposed lost, gradually she’s coming back to Herstory and I am thrilled to be a part of that process.

I hope you will stay tuned and join us join me as other celebrations are revealed, including a blog tour with France Book Tours (schedule here) and a takeover of a Facebook group Starting Monday, The Historical Fiction Club. If you are on Facebook, consider joining me. If you’re not a member of the group, just request to be. There will be behind-the-scenes info about my book, fun games, and giveaways. I’m looking forward to it.

And my newsletter subscribers get an extra special opportunity. (Hint: it involves swag!!) What’s that, you’re not a subscriber? Let’s fix that now. (When you subscribe, you also get a FREE historical fiction story about artists Olga Meerson and Henri Matisse and their alleged affair.) Alleged or not, at the very least it was complicated.

This has been a challenging year for all new novels. You should have seen me crossing out book appearance after book appearance from my planner. But I can’t feel too sorry for myself. For one thing, others had it so much worse. And I had all of these wonderful people helping me get the word out. And I am, as always, grateful for you!

http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/436945

What’s Coming Next? And a Glowing Review!

So many thanks to Patty of Patty Pirate Reviews for this glowing review of Victorine! I first noticed her blog when she reviewed Bronte’s Mistress (a great book!), and was so pleased when she reviewed my novel as well. These generous souls who spend their precious time reading and reviewing books are angels to the publishing community.

Am I the only one who gets choked up when someone says lovely things about their book? I can’t help but feel I have a sacred trust, bringing Victorine back to Herstory. (I can never say it enough times.) Every review makes me feel that I’m that much closer. I’m humbled.

We are having so much lovely sun these days here in Indiana. I adore writing outdoors, and I can’t wait until I can do that nearly every day! I hope spring is finding its way towards you, too, depending on what hemisphere you are in, of course.

We are inching ever closer to not only the one-year anniversary of Victorine’s release, but to the release of the e-version as well!

There will also be a blog tour coming in the next few days of Francophile blogs.

Be well and keep reading!

Drema

Happy 176 Birthday, Victorine Meurent, Artist!

Yes, Mademoiselle Victorine Louise Meurent would be 176 years old today! And she’s never looked better.

Best known, of course, as Édouard Manet’s favorite model, we now know she was much more than that. With my rediscovery of her recently recovered paintings, she’s been returned to the world as the artist she was and not only a model! For those of you who haven’t seen it, here’s my book trailer which features not only some of the paintings she modeled for, but HER paintings as well:

Not enough of the world knows about her yet, so could you do me a favor? If you’re reading this, could you please share a link to this post on social media? Thanks from me — and from Victorine!

Buy a copy of my novel, Victorine.

Day 8 of the 12 Days of Victorine: “Brooch” the Subject

Okay, go ahead and groan at the terrible pun in the title, but this is not at all a terrible brooch. I don’t claim to know anything about vintage jewelry, but this sweet cameo brooch caught my eye.

Did you know brooches have been used since the bronze age? I’m imagining some woman of the time clutching her gaping shirt and asking if any of her friends has something she can use. Maybe she created one out of her frustration. (I’m kidding, of course.)

I once was in dire need of a safety pin at college and none of my friends had one. You’d think I’d carry one everywhere with me evermore, but nope. At the very least you’d think I could carry a brooch with me, for heaven’s sake.

For some reason brooches catch my attention, as this one did. I have a mini collection of them without intending to. If you win this one, I’d love it if you’d send me a photo of you wearing it.

To be entered to win, all you need to do is be a subscriber to my newsletter list. (Again, sorry, but while you will get a free short story when you subscribe, if you’re not in the U.S., I can’t mail giveaway items to you.) Sign up today so you will be eligible not only for this giveaway, but future giveaways!

The winners will be chosen on or after Dec. 18, 2020, midnight EST. A list of winners’ first names will be posted here shortly after the contest ends. Winners will also be alerted via email.

Thank you again for visiting, and best of luck to you! Please share this post with others. 

Day 7 of the 12 Days of Victorine: Bel Canto

I told you I’ve done some of your holiday shopping for you. Here’s another item for you or the reader in your life. This is one it was hard not to keep for myself. I found this pristine copy of Bel Canto (hardback, no less) by Ann Patchett at a second-hand shop. (Don’t worry, I have my own copy, although it’s not as nice seeing as how I have marked mine all up.) That shiny cover made it difficult to photograph, so forgive the halo, please. 🙂

Here’s a summary of it from Wikipedia, in case you haven’t read it but are intrigued:

Based on the Japanese embassy hostage crisis (also called the Lima Crisis) of 1996–1997 in Lima, Peru, the novel follows the relationships among a group of young terrorists and their hostages, who are mostly high-profile executives and politicians, over several months. Many of the characters form unbreakable bonds of friendship, while some fall in love.

Opera is a centralizing theme on many levels throughout the story; the operatic term literally means “beautiful singing.”

This book is important to me because my second novel (not out yet; details to come), Briscoe Chambers’ Southern Fried Woolf, employs the pressure cooker method of putting the principals in an impossibly tight, difficult state. In both books, the characters are trapped together in a house, although admittedly, my characters choose to be there.

It’s widely thought to be Patchett’s best novel to date. It’s very, very good, so if you haven’t read it, do, whether you win this copy or not.

To be entered to win, all you need to do is be a subscriber to my newsletter list. (Again, sorry, but while you will get a free short story when you subscribe, if you’re not in the U.S., I can’t mail giveaway items to you.) Sign up today so you will be eligible not only for this giveaway, but future giveaways!

The winners will be chosen on or after Dec. 18, 2020, midnight EST. A list of winners’ first names will be posted here shortly after the contest ends. Winners will also be alerted via email.

Thank you again for visiting, and best of luck to you! Please share this post with others.