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HFVBT Presents M.A. Wood’s War and Me Book Blast,
February 15-26

Posted By amy @ 12:43 pm | No Comments

02_War and MeWar and Me
by M.A. Wood

Publication Date: September 26, 2013
eBook; 200 Pages
ASIN: B00FGJLG08

Genre: Young Adult/Historical Fiction/Romance

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Flying model airplanes isn’t cool, not for fifteen-year-old girls in the 1940’s. No one understands Julianna’s love of flying model airplanes but her dad. When he leaves to fly bomber planes in Europe forcing Julianna to deal with her mother’s growing depression alone, she feels abandoned until she meets Ben, the new boy in town. But when he signs up for the war, too, she has to consider whether letting her first love drift away would be far easier than waiting for the next casualties.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

About the Author03_M.A. Wood

Marcy Blesy is the author of several middle grade, young adult, and new adult novels and short stories. Her picture book, Am I Like My Daddy?, helps children who experienced the loss of a parent when they were much younger. She has also been published in two Chicken Soup for the Soul books as well as various newspapers and magazines. By day she runs an elementary school library and enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys.

Marcy is a believer in love and enjoys nothing more than making her readers feel a book more than simply reading it. She likes to connect with her readers via twitter (@marcyblesy), email (mablesy(at)yahoo.com), or her blog(www.marcyblesy.com).

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, February 15
A Chick Who Reads
Passages to the Past

Tuesday, February 16
A Holland Reads
CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, February 17
Beth’s Book Nook Blog
The Never-Ending Book

Thursday, February 18
A Book Geek
What Is That Book About

Friday, February 19
So Many Books, So Little Time

Monday, February 22
#redhead.with.book
Queen of All She Reads

Tuesday, February 23
Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, February 24
The Reading Queen

Thursday, February 25
Boom Baby Reviews

Friday, February 26
Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne

Giveaway

To win a $10 Amazon Gift Card please enter the giveaway via the GLEAM form below.

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on February 26th. 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.

War and Me

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02_The Gilded CageThe Gilded Cage
by Judy Alter

Publication: April 2016
eBook & Paperback

Genre: Historical Fiction

Born to a society and a life of privilege, Bertha Honoré married Potter Palmer, a wealthy entrepreneur who called her Cissy. Neither dreamed the direction the other’s life would take. He built the Palmer House Hotel, still famed today, and become one of the major robber barons of the city, giving generously to causes of which he approved. She put philanthropy into deeds, going into shanty neighborhoods, inviting factory girls to her home, working at Jane Addams’ settlement Hull House, supporting women’s causes.

It was a time of tremendous change and conflict in Chicago as the city struggled to put its swamp-water beginnings behind it and become a leading urban center. A time of the Great Fire of 1871, the Haymarket Riots, and the triumph of the Columbian Exposition. Potter and Cissy handled these events in diverse ways. Fascinating characters people these pages along with Potter and Cissy—Carter Harrison, frequent mayor of the city; Harry Collins, determined to be a loser; Henry Honoré, torn between loyalties to the South and North; Daniel Burnham, architect of the new Chicago—and many others.

The Gilded Cage is a fictional exploration of the lives of these people and of the Gilded Age in Chicago history.

The Gilded Cage is a wonderful recreation of early Chicago and the people who made it what it is. Central character Cissy Palmer is a three-dimensional, real, vibrant person. The Gilded Cage is fiction, but firmly based on fact—the Chicago Fire, the prisoners from the War Between the States interred in Chicago, the newcomer Potter Palmer, the explosive growth of wealth in a prairie town, deep poverty adjacent to great riches—the American experience laid bare. You don’t have to be a Chicagoan to love this book.” -Barbara D’Amato, author of Other Eyes

About the Author03_Judy Alter

Judy Alter is the award winning author of fiction for adults and young adults. Other historical fiction includes Libbie, the story of Elizabeth Bacon (Mrs. George Armstrong) Custer; Jessie, the story of Jessie Benton Frémont and her explorer / miner / entrepreneur / soldier / politician husband; Cherokee Rose, a novel loosely based on the life of the first cowgirl roper to ride in Wild West shows; and Sundance, Butch and Me, the adventures of Etta Place and the Hole in the Wall Gang.

For more information visit Judy Alter’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Goodreads.

Cover Reveal Schedule

Monday, February 15
Passages to the Past

Tuesday, February 16
The Never-Ending Book

Wednesday, February 17
The Reading Queen

Thursday, February 18
Book Nerd

Friday, February 19
A Book Geek

Saturday, February 20
With Her Nose Stuck In A Book

Monday, February 22
The Maiden’s Court
To Read, Or Not to Read

Tuesday, February 23
Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne

Wednesday, February 24
100 Pages a Day

Thursday, February 25
Reading Is My SuperPower

Monday, February 29
A Holland Reads

Wednesday, March 2
CelticLady’s Reviews
A Literary Vacation

Thursday, March 3
She is Too Fond of Books

Friday, March 4
The Lit Bitch
I Heart Reading

04_The Gilded Cage_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

02_OutrageousOutrageous: The Victoria Woodhull Saga, Volume I: Rise to Riches
by Neal Katz

Publication Date: October 1, 2015
Top Reads Publishing
Hardcover, Paperback, Ebook; 344 Pages

Series: The Victoria Woodhull Saga (Vol I)
Genre: Historical Fiction

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Historical fictionalized account of Victoria Woodhull’s rise to presidential candidate and wealth, coming from poverty and abuse.

What compels a woman and her youngest sister to overcome abject poverty and violent abuse to grow up to defy convention and obliterate every barrier to become the first women to own and operate a Wall Street brokerage firm and publish their own newspaper?

How did Victoria Claflin Woodhull (1838 – 1927) become the first woman invited to speak to the United State Congress, and then the first female to run for president. What made Tennessee Celeste Claflin (1845 – 1923) so beguiling that the richest man in America, Cornelius Vanderbilt, fell completely in love with her?

What caused the sisters to live out their long lives as royalty and peerage in Europe. Victoria living as landed gentry outside of London, and Tennessee in a huge castle like a queen? Why aren’t these empowered and independent women iconic in our culture?

Volume One of The Victoria Woodhull Saga tells the poignant, lascivious, and compelling inside story of how the sisters worked closely with Cornelius Vanderbilt, who at age 74 fell in love with the beguiling 24-year old Tennessee. Victoria provided the titan of industry “Inside Her Information” gathered through the soiled sisterhood, the ladies of the evening working at the top seven brothels servicing the rich and famous of New York City.

This relationship resulted in the great lion of industry having his last public roar as together they manipulated the financial markets and created the impending collapse of the U.S. economy in the gold scandal of 1869. To avert the crash, President Ulysses S. Grant provides the richest man in America insider information on the gold market and telegrams Vanderbilt that his railroad company is “Too Big To Fail!” Vanderbilt was proclaimed “The Savior of the American Economy” for intervening in a crisis he helped create.

View Victorian America through the eyes and thoughts of one of its leading heroines., Victoria Woodhull. Watch as the infighting and elitism of the earliest suffrage women denigrating, castigating, and denouncing other passionate suffrage rights women delayed woman suffrage and equal legal standing for five decades. Learn wonderful anecdotes of the origins of products and phrases used today. Learn the story of Reverend Henry Ward Beecher, the most popular man in America, who transformed Christianity from his father’s “fire and brimstone” theology to one of a compassionate and loving Jesus, who will redeem all who turn to salvation with complete confession of their sins. The reverend’s personal life did not imitate his lofty and popular theology of his weekly sermons at Plymouth Church. He was a notorious womanizer, often bedding, and sometimes impregnating the wives, sisters, and daughters of his most ardent trackers and deacons of the church.

Written in the first person from Victoria’s viewpoint, Neal Katz weaves a compelling page-turning story that cleverly unfolds history while providing a wonderfully entertaining ride. Katz has pledged one half of book sale proceeds to charities dedicating to the empowerment and sustainable economic improvement of women, especially single mothers.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

Praise

“Victoria Woodhull is one of the most fascinating but forgotten characters in American history. She deserves to be better known by anyone who cares about gender equality and the ongoing fight to make America a more tolerant and just country–kudos to Neal Katz for bringing her story to life for a new generation of readers.” -Debby Applegate, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher

“I can’t believe this is Neal’s first book. Incredibly well written, this is an important work. I see a National bestseller and a long running series.” -Victor Villasenor, National bestselling author of Rain of Gold,Three time Pulitzer Prize nominee, and author of Revenge of a Catholic Schoolboy

About the Author03_Neal Katz

Neal Katz is a semi-retired, serial entrepreneur, CEO with a passion for women rights. He lives a life based on self-awareness and Love. He practices Yoga, meditates daily, has taught A Course in Miracles, produced Oregon wines, enjoys being a gourmet chef, recites Vedic sutras, and writes his own inspirational poetry.

The saga of Victoria Woodhull appeales to Neal, as it serves three purposes. First, the story provokes public awareness of the historical and continuing denigration and subjugation of gender prejudice. Second, the tale exposes the historical basis for the manipulation of the free markets of stocks, bonds and commodities. Third, the story shows how existing financial and political power structures used prison and seizure of assets to prevent innovation and social change. Victoria Woodhull overcame all these obstacles in a remarkable life.

Neal chose to write in first person using Victoria s words, thoughts, and point of view to tell the tale, inviting the reader to see through her eyes. The style is magic realism along the lines of Allende, Marquez, and Kathleen McGowan (The Magdalene Trilogy). This is an expression of the HeForShe solidarity movement for gender equality championed by Emma Watson, and Neal proudly proclaims himself a male feminist!

Neal has pledged fifty percent (50%) of his author’s royalties from book sales and all ancillary revenues, including foreign print distribution and Hollywood rights to a foundation formed in tribute to Victoria Woodhull and her passion for woman rights. The foundation will promote and prove programs for the empowerment and sustainable economic improvement of women, especially single mothers.

For more information visit http://outrageousthebook.com. You can also follow the author on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, February 22
Passages to the Past

Tuesday, February 23
Just One More Chapter
The Never-Ending Book

Thursday, February 25
I Heart Reading

Friday, February 26
Beth’s Book Nook Blog

Saturday, February 27
With Her Nose Stuck In A Book

Monday, February 29
Book Nerd

Tuesday, March 1
The Book Connection

Wednesday, March 2
Boom Baby Reviews
Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Thursday, March 3
CelticLady’s Reviews

Friday, March 4
Back Porchervations

Monday, March 7
A Holland Reads

Tuesday, March 8
A Literary Vacation

Friday, March 11
I’m Shelf-ish

Giveaway

To win a signed Hardcover copy of Outrageous: The Victoria Woodhull Saga, Book One please enter the giveaway via the GLEAM form below. Five copies are up for grabs!

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on March 11th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US addresses only.
– 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.

Outrageous Book Blast

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02_BanishedBanished (Forbidden #2)
by Kimberley Griffiths Little

Publication Date: February 2, 2016
HarperCollins
Hardcover & Ebook; 416 Pages

Series: Forbidden, Book #2
Genre: YA/Historical/Romance

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She thought she’d lost everything . . .

After spending months traveling the harsh, unforgiving Mesopotamian desert, Jayden reunites with a broken, injured Kadesh. Although everyone was convinced the violent and unpredictable Horeb, Jayden’s betrothed, killed the handsome prince, Jayden knew in her heart that her love was alive and safe. But their reunion is short-lived, as they learn Horeb is on their trail and determined to take back the girl he has claimed. Soon, the two star-crossed lovers are on the run toward Sariba, Kadesh’s homeland, where, as heir to the Kingdom, he plans to make Jayden his princess.

But the trek to Sariba is fraught with heartache and danger. After narrowly escaping being stoned to death for a crime she didn’t commit, and learning that her sister has disappeared, Jayden’s only solace is her love for Kadesh. But even he is keeping secrets from her . . . secrets that will change everything.

This gorgeous and enchanting sequel to Forbidden, is full of love, danger, and heated passion that will leave readers breathless.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

About the Author

Kimberley Griffiths Little was born in San Francisco, but now lives in New Mexico with her husband and their three sons.

For such award-winning middle grade novels as When the Butterflies Came, The Last Snake Runner, The Healing Spell, and Circle of Secrets, her writing has been praised as “fast-paced and dramatic,” with “characters painted in memorable detail” and “beautifully realized settings.”

Kimberley adores anything old and musty with a secret story to tell and makes way too many cookies while writing.

She’s stayed in the haunted tower room at Borthwick Castle in Scotland; sailed on the Seine in Paris; ridden a camel in Petra, Jordan; shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul; and spent the night in an old Communist hotel in Bulgaria.

Awards: Southwest Book Award, Whitney Award for Best Youth Novel, Bank Street College Best Books of 2011 & 2014, Crystal Kite Finalist, and New Mexico Book Award Finalist.

For more information please visit Kimberly’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads. Sign Up for Kimberly’s Newsletter.

Book Blast Schedule

Tuesday, February 2
Passages to the Past

Wednesday, February 3
The Lit Bitch
Let Them Read Books

Thursday, February 4
I’m Shelf-ish

Friday, February 5
Broken Teepee

Monday, February 8
A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, February 10
Anastacia Reads

Friday, February 12
A Leisure Moment

Monday, February 15
I Heart Reading

Tuesday, February 16
A Dream within a Dream

Wednesday, February 17
What Is That Book About

Thursday, February 18
Bittersweet Enchantment

Friday, February 19
Curling up by the Fire

Monday, February 22
The Life & Times of a Book Addict

Tuesday, February 23
A Literary Vacation

Thursday, February 25
A Book Geek

Monday, February 29
Seize the Words: Books in Review

Wednesday, March 2
The Never-Ending Book

Giveaway

To win a $25 Amazon Gift Card & Signed Copies of Forbidden and Banished please enter the giveaway via the GLEAM form below.

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on March 2nd. 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.

Banished Book Blast

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Dianne Ascroft on Blog Tour for The Shadow Ally, February 8-19

Posted By amy @ 7:29 am | No Comments

02_The Shadow AllyThe Shadow Ally (The Yankee Years Book 1)
by Dianne Ascroft

Publication Date: December 4, 2015
eBook; 76 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

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The Shadow Ally is a Short Read – approximately 2 hours or more – in The Yankee Years series.

America is not yet at war, but the country is preparing for it. And it is essential that this remain secret.

June 1941: Ruth Corey is puzzled by the attractive, enigmatic Italian-American civilian contractor, Frank Long, who is staying at her family’s hotel in Irvinestown, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. Serious and reserved, he is nothing like the friendly, outgoing British and Canadian servicemen she knows. Nor, she discovers, does he even use his real surname.

War is a time of alliances and secrets. The biggest secret in the county is the construction of an American flying boat base outside Irvinestown. Since their country is not at war, the American contractors must conceal the building project. America’s neutrality will be destroyed if Germany discovers its existence.

Ambitious local reporter, and Ruth’s almost fiancé, Harry Coalter is consumed with curiosity about the new American airbase. But why? When Ruth finds a letter Harry has written about the flying boat base she fears he is pursuing a path that will land him in serious trouble. She enlists Frank’s help to stop Harry from making a terrible mistake.

Can Ruth safeguard a military secret that will have a profound impact on the course of the war and protect her beau?

A tale for fans of Annie Murray, Ellie Dean and Margaret Dickinson.

The Yankee Years series: During the Second World War Northern Ireland hosted American, British and Canadian troops. County Fermanagh welcomed Air Force squadrons hunting U-boats and defending shipping convoys in the Atlantic Ocean and Army battalions training and preparing for deployment to Europe’s Western Front. After the Allied troops arrived, life would never be the same again. The Yankee Years novels and Short Reads weave thrilling and romantic tales of the people and the era.

Amazon

About the Author03_Dianne Ascroft

Dianne Ascroft is a Canadian writer living in Britain. Since moving to Britain in 1990 she has lived in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

She writes both fiction and non-fiction and her fiction often has Irish connections. Her articles and short stories have been printed in Canadian and Irish magazines and regional newspapers including the Toronto Star, Ireland’s Own, Senior Times, Celtic Connection and Irish Connections Canada.

She is co-editor and a regular contributor to The Fermanagh Miscellany, the Fermanagh Authors’ Association’s yearly anthology and she also contributes material to other local history and writers’ anthologies.

Dianne is a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors, Historical Novel Society, Writers Abroad, Fermanagh Authors’ Association and Fermanagh Writers.

Dianne started life in a quiet residential neighbourhood in the buzzing city of Toronto and has progressively moved to smaller places through the years. She now lives on a small farm in Northern Ireland with her husband and an assortment of strong willed animals. If she ever decides to write her autobiography the working title will be ‘Downsizing’.

For more information please visit Dianne’s website. You can also find her on her Blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 8
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Friday, February 12
Review at Back Porchervations

Tuesday, February 16
Review at Book Nerd

Wednesday, February 17
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Friday, February 19
Review at Just One More Chapter

Giveaway

To win an eBook of The Shadow Ally by Dianne Ascroft please enter the giveaway via the GLEAM form below. Three copies are up for grabs!

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on February 19th. 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.

The Shadow Ally

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02_The Vatican PrincessThe Vatican Princess: A Novel of Lucrezia Borgia
by C.W. Gortner

Publication Date: February 9, 2016
Ballantine Books
Hardcover, Ebook, Audiobook
400 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

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Infamy is no accident. It is a poison in our blood. It is the price of being a Borgia.

Glamorous and predatory, the Borgias fascinated and terrorized 15th-century Renaissance Italy. Lucrezia Borgia, beloved daughter of the pope, was at the center of the dynasty’s ambitions. Slandered as a heartless seductress who lured men to their doom, was she in fact the villainess of legend, or was she trapped in a familial web, forced to choose between loyalty and survival?

With the ascension of the Spaniard Rodrigo Borgia as Pope Alexander VI, the new pope’s illegitimate children—his rival sons, Cesare and Juan, and beautiful young daughter Lucrezia—assume an exalted position in the papal court. Privileged and adored, Lucrezia yearns to escape her childhood and play a part in her family’s fortunes. But Rome is seductive and dangerous: Alliances shift at a moment’s notice as Italy’s ruling dynasties strive to keep rivals at bay. As Lucrezia’s father faces challenges from all sides, he’s obliged to marry her off to a powerful adversary. But when she discovers the brutal truth behind her alliance, Lucrezia is plunged into a perilous gambit that will require all her wits, cunning, and guile. Escaping her marriage offers the chance of happiness with a passionate prince of Naples, yet as scandalous accusations of murder and incest build against her, menacing those she loves, Lucrezia must risk everything to overcome the lethal fate imposed upon her by her Borgia blood.

Beautifully wrought, rich with fascinating historical detail, The Vatican Princess is the first novel to describe Lucrezia’s coming-of-age in her own voice—a dramatic, vivid tale set in an era of savagery and unparalleled splendor, where enemies and allies can be one and the same, and where loyalty to family can ultimately be a curse.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | INDIEBOUND

Praise

“Assiduously researched and expertly crafted . . . . This unholy plunge into Rome’s darkest dynasty is wholly engrossing.” – Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author

“A spider web of Renaissance intrigue with a legendary cast . . . Impressive research, a lush background, and deft characterization make for a fascinating read.” – Margaret George, New York Times bestselling author

“Elegantly written and deeply researched . . . Renaissance Italy is vividly brought to life. I’m captivated by this knowledgeable author’s take on the controversial Borgias.” – Alison Weir, NYT bestselling author

About the Author03_CW Gortner

C.W. GORTNER holds an MFA in Writing with an emphasis in Renaissance Studies from the New College of California, as well as an AA from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco.

After an eleven year-long career in fashion, during which he worked as a vintage retail buyer, freelance publicist, and fashion show coordinator, C.W. devoted the next twelve years to the public health sector. In 2012, he became a full-time writer following the international success of his novels.

In his extensive travels to research his books, he has danced a galliard at Hampton Court, learned about organic gardening at Chenoceaux, and spent a chilly night in a ruined Spanish castle. His books have garnered widespread acclaim and been translated into twenty-one languages to date, with over 400,000 copies sold. A sought-after public speaker. C.W. has given keynote addresses at writer conferences in the US and abroad. He is also a dedicated advocate for animal rights, in particular companion animal rescue to reduce shelter overcrowding.

Half-Spanish by birth and raised in southern Spain, C.W. now lives in Northern California with his partner and two very spoiled rescue cats.

For more information visit C.W. Gortner’s website and blog. You can also find him on Facebook, Twittter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and YouTube. Sign up for C.W. Gortner’s Newsletter for updates.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 15
Blog Tour Kick-Off at The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, February 16
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Interview at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, February 17
Review at Unshelfish
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Thursday, February 18
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Monday, February 22
Review at Luxury Reading

Tuesday, February 23
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Wednesday, February 24
Review at The Lit Bitch
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession
Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Thursday, February 25
Review at A Bookish Affair

Friday, February 26
Review at Broken Teepee
Review at To Read, Or Not to Read
Interview at A Bookish Affair

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02_In the Land of ArmadillosIn the Land of Armadillos: Stories
by Helen Maryles Shankman

Publication Date: February 2, 2016
Scribner/Simon & Schuster
eBook & Hardcover; 304 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/WWII/Short Stories/Literary

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A Spring 2016 Discover Great New Writers selection at Barnes & Noble.

A radiant debut collection of linked stories from a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, set in a German-occupied town in Poland, where tales of myth and folklore meet the real-life monsters of the Nazi invasion.

1942. With the Nazi Party at the height of its power, the occupying army empties Poland’s towns and cities of their Jewish populations. As neighbor turns on neighbor and survival often demands unthinkable choices, Poland has become a moral quagmire—a place of shifting truths and blinding ambiguities.

Blending folklore and fact, Helen Maryles Shankman shows us the people of Wlodawa, a remote Polish town: we meet a cold-blooded SS officer dedicated to rescuing the creator of his son’s favorite picture book, even as he helps exterminate the artist’s friends and family; a Messiah who appears in a little boy’s bedroom to announce that he is quitting; a young Jewish girl who is hidden by the town’s most outspoken anti-Semite—and his talking dog. And walking among these tales are two unforgettable figures: the enigmatic and silver-tongued Willy Reinhart, Commandant of the forced labor camp who has grand schemes to protect “his” Jews, and Soroka, the Jewish saddlemaker and his family, struggling to survive.

Channeling the mythic magic of classic storytellers like Sholem Aleichem and Isaac Bashevis Singer and the psychological acuity of modern-day masters like Nicole Krauss and Nathan Englander, In the Land of Armadillos is a testament to the persistence of humanity in the most inhuman conditions.

Amazon (Hardcover) | Amazon (Kindle) | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound

Praise

“Moving and unsettling…Like Joyce’s Dubliners, this book circles the same streets and encounters the same people as it depicts the horrors of Germany’s invasion of Poland through the microcosm of one village…Shankman’s prose is inventive and taut…A deeply humane demonstration of wringing art from catastrophe.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Every story in this remarkable collection reveals Helen Maryles Shankman’s talent for surprising, disturbing and enlightening her readers. Blending the horrors of war with the supernatural, she creates a literary landscape that is strangely mythical and distinctively her own. These stories haunted me for days after I finished reading them.” – Sarai Walker, author of Dietland

“With unflinching prose and flashes of poetry Helen Maryles Shankman spirits her readers back through history to the Polish hamlet of Wlodawa during the dark days of Nazi occupation. Horrific reality and soaring fantasy meld in serial stories that include an avenging golem, an anti-Semite who shelters a Jewish child, brutal SS officers who lay claim to ‘their own Jews’ and an unlikely messiah whose breath smelled of oranges and cinnamon. That scent will linger in the memory of readers as will the haunting stories in which barbaric hatred is mitigated by the reflection of a survivor who reflects that love is a kind of magic. There is, in fact, literary magic in these well told tales.” – Gloria Goldreich, author of The Bridal Chair

“Populated with monsters and heroes [human and perhaps not], but mostly with ordinary people caught up in horrific events they neither understood nor controlled – this series of intersecting stories drew me in completely, making me read them again to find all the connections I missed the first time. The writing is fantastic, and I marvel at Shankman’s literary skills.” – Maggie Anton, author of the bestselling Rashi’s Daughters trilogy

“In The Land of the Armadillos is a moving collection of beautifully written short stories that readers of Jewish fiction will celebrate. Not to be missed.” – Naomi Ragen, author of The Sisters Weiss

About the Author03_Helen Maryles Shankman

Helen Maryles Shankman lived in Chicago before moving to New York City to attend art school. Her stories have appeared in numerous fine publications, including The Kenyon Review, Cream City Review, Gargoyle, Grift, 2 Bridges Review, Danse Macabre, and JewishFiction.net. She was a finalist in Narrative Magazine’s Winter Story Contest and earned an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers competition. Her story, They Were Like Family to Me, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Shankman received an MFA in Painting from the New York Academy of Art, where she was awarded a prestigious Warhol Foundation Scholarship. She spent four years as as artist’s assistant and two years at Conde Nast working closely with the legendary Alexander Liberman. She lived on a kibbutz in Israel for a year, spending the better part of each day in an enormous barn filled with chickens, where she collected eggs and listened to the Beatles.

Shankman lives in New Jersey with her husband, four children, and an evolving roster of rabbits. When she is not neglecting the housework so that she can write stories, she teaches art and paints portraits on commission. In the Land of Armadillos, a collection of linked stories illuminated with magical realism, following the inhabitants of a small town in 1942 Poland and tracing the troubling complex choices they are compelled to make, will be published by Scribner in February 2016.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, February 2
Review at Worth Getting in Bed For

Wednesday, February 3
Spotlight at Library Educated
Spotlight & Giveaway at It’s a Mad Mad World

Thursday, February 4
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Friday, February 5
Guest Post & Giveaway at A Literary Vacation

Monday, February 8
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Tuesday, February 9
Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Wednesday, February 10
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Thursday, February 11
Review at I’m Shelfish

Monday, February 15
Review at Back Porchervations

Tuesday, February 16
Guest Post at The Lit Bitch

Wednesday, February 17
Review at Cynthia Robertson’s Blog

Friday, February 19
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

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02_Seven Will OutSeven Will Out: A Renaissance Revel
by JoAnn Spears

Publication Date: October 31, 2015
eBook & Paperback; 528 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Humor/Satire

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If you thought “Six of One: A Tudor Riff” was the most fun you could have with your nightdress on, wait until you see what “Seven Will Out: A Renaissance Revel” has in store. Get ready for one ‘ruff’ night! Tudorphile Dolly thought that the night she spent on an astral plane with Henry VIII’s six wives, learning their heretofore unknown secrets, was a one-time thing. Not so! In “Seven Will Out”, Dolly finds herself back in the ether with the women of later Tudor times: Elizabeth I, ‘Bloody’ Mary, Bess of Hardwick, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Anne Hathaway Shakespeare, to name a few. They too have secrets that will turn history on its head, and comic sass that will keep you laughing. You’ve read all of the traditional, serious and romantic takes on the legendary Tudors. Why not try your Tudors with a new and different twist?

Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | Barnes & Noble

About the Author03_JoAnn Spears

JoAnn Spears couldn’t decide whether to major in English or History in college. Life stepped in, and she wound up with a Master’s Degree in Nursing instead. A twenty-five year nursing career didn’t extinguish that early interest in books and history. It did however stoke a decidedly gallows sense of humor.

The story of the six wives of Henry VIII was JoAnn’s favorite piece of history. Over the years, she read just about every spin on the story that there was. It occurred to her that the one spin that hadn’t been brought to a full length novel about the Tudors was a gallows sense of humor. The Tudors certainly qualified for it, and JoAnn had plenty to spare.

The first ‘real’ book JoAnn ever read was “The Wizard of Oz”. She returned to the Yellow Brick Road for inspiration for a new kind of Tudor novel, and “Six of One” was born.

“Six of One” was begun in JoAnn’s native New Jersey. It was wrapped up in her new Smoky Mountain home in northeast Tennessee, where she is pursuing a second career as a writer. She has, however, obtained a Tennessee nursing license because a) you never stop being a nurse and b) her son Bill thinks she should be sensible and not quit her day job.

While “Six of One” is a different kind of historical novel, JoAnn is a downright stereotypical lady author. She admits to the usual cats, flower beds, needlework, and frightfully complete collections of Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott.

Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon Page

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 15
Spotlight & Giveaway at Unshelfish

Tuesday, February 16
Review at Turning The Pages

Wednesday, February 17
Review at Book Nerd

Thursday, February 18
Spotlight & Giveaway at CelticLady’s Reviews

Friday, February 19
Interview at Historical Fiction Addicts
Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Monday, February 22
Review at A Holland Reads
Guest Post at Boom Baby Reviews

Tuesday, February 23
Review & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Obsession

Wednesday, February 24
Review at Rambling Reviews

Friday, February 26
Guest Post at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Sunday, February 28
Review at The Tudor Enthusiast

Monday, February 29
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Review at With Her Nose Stuck In A Book

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02_Oliver & Jack In Axminster WorkhouseOliver & Jack: In Axminster Workhouse (Fagin’s Boy, Book Three)
By Christina E. Pilz

Publication Date: September 27, 2015
Blue Rain Press
eBook & Paperback; 406 Pages

Genre: Historical/Gay Romance

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In Victorian England, 1846, an ex-apprentice and his street-thief companion are confined inside a workhouse to await trial for a crime they did not commit.

After the seaside interlude in Lyme Regis, Oliver and Jack are arrested and sent to Axminster Workhouse to await trial for the theft of books that they only meant to borrow.

They are put in the less-than-tender care of Workmaster Chalenheim, who controls the quotas they must fill, the amount of food they are allowed to eat, and the punishments they must endure upon breaking the rules, however arbitrary.

Oliver struggles with the shame of being in a place he thought he’d left behind him long ago, and also with the contrast between the life he once enjoyed and the hunger and degradation inside the workhouse walls. Meanwhile, Jack is confronted by a predator who tests the limits of Jack’s endurance and the strength of his love for Oliver.

Together they must find a way to escape the workhouse before they succumb to the harsh conditions or are separated by the hangman’s noose, whichever comes first.

AMAZON (KINDLE) | AMAZON (PAPERBACK) | BARNES & NOBLE

About the Author03_Christina E. Pilz

Christina was born in Waco, Texas in 1962. After living on a variety of air force bases, in 1972 her Dad retired and the family moved to Boulder, Colorado. There amidst the clear, dry air of the high plains, as the moss started to grow beneath her feet, her love for historical fiction began with a classroom reading of Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

She attended a variety of community colleges (Tacoma Community College) and state universities (UNC-Greeley, CU-Boulder, CU-Denver), and finally found her career in technical writing, which, between layoffs, she has been doing for 18 years. During that time, her love for historical fiction and old-fashioned objects, ideas, and eras has never waned.

In addition to writing, her interests include road trips around the U.S. and frequent flights to England, where she eats fish and chips, drinks hard cider, and listens to the voices in the pub around her. She also loves coffee shops, mountain sunsets, prairie storms, and the smell of lavender. She is a staunch supporter of the Oxford comma.

WEBSITE | BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | PINTEREST

Blog Tour Schedule

Thursday, February 25
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Friday, February 26
Guest Post at What Is That Book About

Thursday, March 3
Interview at Dianne Ascroft Blog

Friday, March 4
Review at Svetlana’s Reads or Views

Monday, March 7
Guest Post at She is Too Fond of Books

Tuesday, March 8
Review at In a Minute
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, March 9
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Friday, March 11
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, March 16
Review at Book Nerd
Review & Giveaway at History Undressed
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Addicts

Friday, March 18
Interview at Layered Pages

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02_On the Edge of SunriseOn the Edge of Sunrise (The Long-Hair Saga #1)
by Cynthia Ripley Miller

Publication Date: March 23, 2015
Knox Robinson Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 309 Pages

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When love commands, destiny must obey.

The year is AD 450. The Roman Empire wanes as the Medieval Age awakens. Attila the Hun and his horde conquer their way across Europe into Gaul. Caught between Rome’s tottering empire and Attila’s threat are the Frankish tribes and their ‘Long-Hair’ chiefs, northern pagans in a Roman Christian world, and a people history will call the Merovingians.

A young widow, Arria longs for a purpose and a challenge. She is as well versed in politics and diplomacy as any man … but with special skills of her own. The Emperor Valentinian, determined to gain allies to help stop the Huns, sends a remarkable envoy, a woman, to the Assembly of Warriors in Gaul. Arria will persuade the Franks to stand with Rome against Attila.

When barbarian raiders abduct Arria, the Frank blue-eyed warrior, Garic, rescues her. Alarmed by the instant and passionate attraction she feels, Arria is torn between duty and desire. Her arranged betrothal to the ambitious tribune, Drusus, her secret enlistment by Valentinian as a courier to Attila the Hun, and a mysterious riddle—threaten their love and propel them into adventure, intrigue, and Attila’s camp. Rebels in a falling empire, Arria and Garic must find the strength to defy tradition and possess the love prophesied as their destiny.

AMAZON (KINDLE) | AMAZON (PAPERBACK) | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY

Praise

“From cover to cover a gripping read – in all senses of the word! Grips your interest and imagination, your held breath and your pounding heart! A thumping good novel!” – Helen Hollick, USA Today bestselling author & Managing Editor Historical Novel Society Indie Reviews

“AD 450. The Roman Empire is breaking apart, and Attila the Hun has his sights set on conquering Gaul. … The love story between Garic and Arria is set against a background of fierce battles, intrigue, jealousy and betrayal. … The story weaves, twists and turns at a tremendous pace, and the characters leap off the pages, which simply keep on turning. This is the author’s debut novel, the first in her ‘Long Hair’ series. I look forward to reading more in due course. Recommended. – Marilyn Sherlock, Historical Novel Society, HNR Issue 74 (November 2015)

“On the Edge of Sunrise is a compelling epic, sure to appeal to fans of historical fiction. Forbidden love, a turbulent time period, and world-changing events combine to produce a real page-turner.” – India Edghill, author of Queenmaker, Wisdom’s Daughter, and Delilah

“On the Edge of Sunrise is a passionate and intriguing take on the often overlooked clash of three brutal and powerful empires: the Romans, Franks, and Huns. A Compelling read!” – Stephanie Thornton, author of The Secret History and The Tiger Queens

About the Author03_Cynthia Ripley Miller

Cynthia Ripley Miller is the author of On the Edge of Sunrise, the first novel in the Long-Hair Sagas, a series set in Late Ancient Rome and France. She has lived and travelled in Europe, Africa, North America and the Caribbean, taught history and currently teaches English. Her short stories have appeared in the anthology Summer Tapestry, The Scriptor, and at Orchard Press Mysteries.com. Cynthia writes a blog, Historical Happenings and Oddities: A Distant Focus. She lives with her husband, twin cats, and German Shepherd in a suburb of Chicago.

For more information visit http://www.cynthiaripleymiller.com. You can also connect with Cynthia on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 8
Tour Kick Off & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, February 9
Interview & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, February 10
Excerpt & Giveaway at Leigh Anderson Romance

Friday, February 12
Review at Back Porchervations

Saturday, February 13
Spotlight at I Heart Reading

Monday, February 15
Review at Book Nerd

Tuesday, February 16
Review at Luxury Reading

Wednesday, February 17
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Thursday, February 18
Spotlight at Let Them Read Books

Friday, February 19
Review at Seize the Words: Books in Review
Guest Post at Just One More Chapter

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