Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Interview with an Author: E. Michael Helms and "Of Blood and Brothers"

Today on the blog we have E. Michael Helms, author of "Of Blood and Brothers: Part I and Part II". As you all probably know by now, I have a special spot in my heart for Civil War historicals, so I immensely enjoyed the first part of this epic family saga. Here is the synopsis of both novels:

Historical Fiction Novels by E Michael HelmsIn Part One, it's the spring of 1927, ambitious cub reporter Calvin Hogue covers a family reunion in the Florida Panhandle. He learns two Malburn brothers fought on opposing sides during the Civil War, and encourages them to tell their stories. Before the night is over, Calvin realizes he has a far greater story than a run-of-the-mill family reunion.

Thus begins the first of many sessions with the Malburn brothers. The saga unfolds in their own words with wit, wisdom and sometimes, sadness. Before long the brothers are confronting troubled pasts and conjuring up ghosts laid buried throughout the long post-war years. Calvin is swept along by the harrowing eyewitness account of our nation’s most trying era, through bloody battles, personal trials and losses, and the mutual love of a beautiful young woman.
Of Blood and Brothers Book Two by E Michael HelmsIn Part Two, as the Confederate Army conducts a fighting retreat to save the vital railhead at Atlanta, Daniel Malburn is severely wounded during a fierce battle near Dallas, Georgia. Daniel is captured and sent north to prison at Rock Island, Illinois.

The war ends, but trouble stalks the Malburns in post-war Florida. Amid the violent days of Reconstruction, Daniel and Elijah face continuing conflict, family turmoil, and heart-wrenching tragedy as they struggle toward a hard-earned and costly reconciliation. 

A big welcome to Michael!

CW: Tell us a bit about yourself. When did you turn to writing?

EMH: After high school graduation I joined the Marine Corps and served in combat during the height of the Vietnam War. A couple of years after my discharge, I tried a semester of college. I took a creative writing course, and on the first day of class we were required to write an essay. The professor was impressed with what I wrote, and immediately transferred me to an advanced class with full credit for the one I’d signed up for. I later dropped out of college because I felt like I didn’t fit in with the other students. I seemed so much older, although that really wasn’t the case. Whatever talent I might have had lay latent for the next dozen years or so. I eventually joined a VA counseling group for combat veterans struggling with PTSD. Our counselor suggested I start “journaling” as a way of getting my feelings down on paper, sort of a purging process. The journal soon took the form of a book, and resulted in my Vietnam memoir, The Proud Bastards, first published in 1990. It has remained in print for over twenty years, currently with Simon & Schuster/Pocket.

CW: “Of Blood and Brothers: Book One” focuses on two brothers who are seemingly torn apart by their loyalties during the Civil War. What appealed to you about this era and/or plotline?

EMH: I've been a Civil War “buff” for as long as I can remember. Although “brother against brother” is a common and well-used theme for novels about the war, I chose to use it because there was a real family (the Mashburns) who lived near where I grew up and actually faced that situation during the Civil War. Additionally, when I was nine or ten, there were a couple of elderly brothers who lived in my neighborhood whose father had fought for the Confederacy during the war. Those two old gents would regale my friends and me for hours with stories about their father’s exploits fighting the “damnyankees.” Their speech patterns and colorful language gave rise to the voices of Daniel and Elijah Malburn, the brothers in my two-volume saga, Of Blood and Brothers.

CW:  The novel has a very authentic feel to it. To me, it called to mind Majorie Kinnan Rawlings’ work in terms of setting. How did you go about capturing that?

EMH: As mentioned before, I grew up in the area where the “Malburn” brothers lived and died, just north of the Gulf Coast in the Florida Panhandle. As a kid, I camped, swam, fished, and hunted near the Malburn homestead, so I am intimately familiar with the area. I also drew on my personal combat experiences to lend authenticity to the battle scenes in Of Blood and Brothers. Weapons and tactics may change through the centuries, but when it comes right down to it, closing with and destroying the enemy in battle is a common denominator in all wars. I also walked over the very ground where both brothers experienced their own horrific battle experiences in Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida. Add to that a ton of research over a period of years and you have my answer.

CW: Who is your favorite author or book?

EMH: That’s a tough one, but I’d have to say Erich Maria Remarque, author of All Quiet on the Western Front, The Road Back, and a slew of other wonderful novels. The two I mentioned told (fictionally) of his experiences as a German foot soldier during WWI, and the struggles returning veterans faced in the years immediately following the “War to End All Wars.”
I’ve also become a huge fan of Ross Macdonald and his “Lew Archer” mysteries, although I never read a single one until I’d finished the first three novels in my Mac McClellan Mystery series. So, Mac is no copycat of Lew, but he may pick up a few pointers as the series progresses. (Note: Deadly Catch: A Mac McClellan Mystery was released in November 2013. Deadly Ruse is due for release November 2014.)

CW: Random question: If you could meet any historical personage, who would it be?

EMH: Another tough one, but I would probably choose Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain. His dry wit and body of work are, in my opinion, incomparable in the realm of American literature. I can’t begin to tell you how many hours of entertainment he provided me as a young reader. I’d love to sit on the porch of his family home at Hartford, Conneticuit, enjoy a drink with him, and pick his brain. Some say he’s still there, in spirit form, as his and other family members’ ghosts have been reported in the home, now restored as a museum.
CW: Thanks so much for stopping in, Michael!

EMH: Thank you so much for having me as your guest. It’s been a pleasure.

* * * 

For more information on Michael or his books (which include a mystery series and a military historical), check out his website. Michael is also on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. "Of Blood and Brothers Part One and Part Two" are both available in ebook form as well as paperback. Please Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million to purchase.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Review: Anne Girard's "Madame Picasso"

Publication Date: August 26, 2014
Harlequin MIRA
Formats: eBook, Paperback

Genre: Historical Fiction

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The mesmerizing and untold story of Eva Gouel, the unforgettable woman who stole the heart of the greatest artist of our time.

When Eva Gouel moves to Paris from the countryside, she is full of ambition and dreams of stardom. Though young and inexperienced, she manages to find work as a costumer at the famous Moulin Rouge, and it is here that she first catches the attention of Pablo Picasso, a rising star in the art world.

A brilliant but eccentric artist, Picasso sets his sights on Eva, and Eva can't help but be drawn into his web. But what starts as a torrid affair soon evolves into what will become the first great love of Picasso's life.

With sparkling insight and passion, Madame Picasso introduces us to a dazzling heroine, taking us from the salon of Gertrude Stein to the glamorous Moulin Rouge and inside the studio and heart of one of the most enigmatic and iconic artists of the twentieth century.

My Review

Pablo Picasso is arguably one of the greatest artists ever. Art historians and theorists have poured over his works for years and many have come to the conclusion that Picasso was greatly influenced by the women in his life. Madame Picasso shines a light on Eva Gouel, Picasso’s second mistress and most likely, his greatest muse.

Very little is known about Eva. According to the novel she was born to Polish parents and grew up in the suburbs of Paris. Often in frail health, she shocks her conservative parents by running away to the city in order to join the great artistic fervor of the early 20th century and stumbles into the orbit of Picasso, a virile artist with an established mistress who calls herself Madame Picasso. Unassuming Eva quickly captivates the artist, but the path to true love is not smooth; devastating tragedies and life threatening illnesses threaten to force the couple apart.  

Girard is a capable writer who accessed Eva’s letters to Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas in order to get a better grip on Eva’s character. My only issue with the novel is that Girard uses a lot of modern lingo throughout the novel which jars the reader out of the time period. Despite this, I enjoyed Madame Picasso and I think art history lovers and Parisian wanna-bes will too.

Watch the Book Trailer

Praise for Madame Picasso

"Early twentieth century Paris and Picasso's lost love come to enchanted, vivid life in Madame Picasso. With a deft eye for detail and deep understanding for her protagonists, Anne Girard captures the earnest young woman who enthralled the famous artist and became his unsung muse." - C.W. Gortner, bestselling author of THE QUEEN'S VOW

Buy the Book

Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Anne Girard was born with writing in her blood. The daughter of a hard-driving Chicago newsman, she has always had the same passion for storytelling that fueled his lifelong career. She hand-wrote her first novel (admittedly, not a very good one) at the age of fourteen, and never stopped imagining characters and their stories. Writing only ever took a backseat to her love of reading.

03_Anne GirardAfter earning a bachelor's degree in English literature from UCLA and a Master's degree in psychology from Pepperdine University, a chance meeting with the acclaimed author, Irving Stone, sharply focused her ambition onto telling great stories from history with detailed research. "Live where your characters lived, see the things they saw," he said, "only then can you truly bring them to life for your readers." Anne took that advice to heart. After Stone's encouragement twenty years ago, she sold her first novel. When she is not traveling the world researching her stories, Anne and her family make their home in Southern California. When she is not traveling or writing, she is reading fiction.

Anne also writes historical fiction under the name Diane Haeger. For more information, visit www.dianehaeger.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Madame Picasso Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 25
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, August 26
Review at Historical Fiction Notebook
Interview & Giveaway at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, August 27
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Interview & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Notebook

Thursday, August 28
Review & Giveaway at Words and Peace
Review & Giveaway at Kinx's Book Nook

Friday, August 29
Review at Scandalous Women
Review at Curling Up by the Fire

Monday, September 1
Review at A Bookish Affair
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, September 2
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading
Interview & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair

Wednesday, September 3
Review at Gobs and Gobs of Books
Spotlight & Giveaway at Susan Heim on Writing

Thursday, September 4
Review & Giveaway at The Maiden's Court

Friday, September 5
Review at To Read or Not to Read

Monday, September 8
Review at Book of Secrets
Review & Giveaway at Mina's Bookshelf

Tuesday, September 9
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, September 10
Review at Books in the Burbs

Thursday, September 11
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Friday, September 12
Review at Caroline Wilson Writes
Review at The Book Binder's Daughter

Monday, September 15
Review at Layered Pages
Review at Carole's Ramblings

Tuesday, September 16
Review at She is Too Fond of Books

Wednesday, September 17
Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Thursday, September 18
Review at One Book of a Time

Friday, September 19
Spotlight & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time

Monday, September 22
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, September 23
Review at The Librarian Fatale

Wednesday, September 24
Review at CelticLady's Reviews
Review at WTF Are You Reading?

Thursday, September 25
Review at Kincavel Korner

Friday, September 26
Interview at Kincavel Korner

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Interview with an Author: Hazel Woods and "This Is How I'd Love You"

02_This Is How I'd Love You
I'd like to welcome author Hazel Woods to the blog today. Her new novel of the World War I home front in America sounds fascinating.

CW: First off, tell us a bit about yourself. When did you start writing?

HW: Gosh, I was a senior in high-school when I started to take writing seriously.  I’d always been a voracious reader, but I wasn't sure about writers.  Did they really exist?  I sort of suspected that books were created by some kind of magical beasts.  Then, when a teacher told me that she thought my journal entries for her class were special, it planted a very small seed of hope within me that maybe someday I would be able to join those magical beasts who write books.

CWWorld War I is all the rage in the historical fiction world, but you take a very unique angle. Did you purposely set out to be different or was it just happenstance?

HW:  I only set out to tell the story that my mind started spinning once my mother told me about her great-grandfather playing correspondence chess via post.  I've come to believe that there are no original stories, just original tellings.  I hope that I've told Hensley and Charles’ story in an original way.

CW: Who is your favorite character in the novel?

HW: That’s like asking a mother to choose her favorite child.  They are all my favorites for different reasons.  But, I do love Hensley and the way she evolves throughout the book .

CW: Do you have any other works in progress?

HW: I try not to jinx myself by talking about new projects—but I’m always working on something.

CW: Who is your favorite author or book?

HW: William Trevor is my favorite author.  I just read Jayne Anne Phillips’ Quiet Dell and loved it.

CW: Random Question: If you could live in any time period, which one would you choose?
HW: I think I’d choose the 1920s.  I love the fashion and the music and the 19th amendment!

Well there you have it. Thanks again to Hazel Woods for stopping in. You can learn more about This Is How I'd Love You below.

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Publication Date: August 26, 2014
Plume Books
Formats: eBook, Paperback, MP3 CD
Pages: 320

Genre: Historical Fiction

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As the Great War rages, an independent young woman struggles to sustain love—and life—through the power of words. It’s 1917 and America is on the brink of World War I. After Hensley Dench’s father is forced to resign from the New York Times for his anti-war writings, she finds herself expelled from the life she loves and the future she thought she would have. Instead, Hensley is transplanted to New Mexico, where her father has taken a job overseeing a gold mine. Driven by loneliness, Hensley hijacks her father’s correspondence with Charles Reid, a young American medic with whom her father plays chess via post. Hensley secretly begins her own exchange with Charles, but looming tragedy threatens them both, and—when everything turns against them—will their words be enough to beat the odds?

Praise for This Is How I'd Love You

“In This is How I’d Love You, Hazel Woods explores the enduring nature of an improbable love born of words, washed in tragedy, and sustained despite impossible circumstances. With prose as immediate and evocative as a painting, Woods accomplishes the magic of rendering sorrow into hope and fear into courage. It is as idealistic a tale as it is clear-sighted, a brilliant alchemy few novels achieve. Readers, prepare to melt” — Robin Oliveria, author of My Name is Mary Sutter

Buy the Book

Barnes & Noble

About the Author

03_Hazel Woods

Hazel Woods lives in New Mexico with her husband and two children. For more information please visit www.hazelwoodsauthor.com. You can also find her on Twitter.

This Is How I'd Love You Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 25
Review & Giveaway at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, August 27
Interview at Dab of Darkness

Friday, August 29
Interview at Book Babe

Monday, September 1
Review & Interview at Closed the Cover

Tuesday, September 2
Review & Interview at A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, September 3
Review at The Bookworm

Thursday, September 4
Review at Booktalk & More

Friday, September 5
Spotlight & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time

Monday, September 8
Spotlight & Giveaway at Historical Tapestry

Tuesday, September 9
Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, September 10
Interview at Caroline Wilson Writes

Friday, September 12
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Monday, September 15
Review & Guest Post at Bookish

Tuesday, September 16
Review at Book of Secrets

Wednesday, September 17
Review at Book Nerd

Monday, August 18, 2014

Author Interview: Catherine Aerie and "The Dance of the Spirits"

Today I would like to welcome Catherine Aerie, the author of "The Dance of the Spirits", to the blog. Catherine's new novel takes a look at the Korean War.

02_The Dance of the Spirits

CW: Tell me a bit about the ancestor that inspired "Dance of the Spirits".

CA: My mother was born and raised in an estate which name, when translated into English, literally meant The Garden of Melody. Shortly after the communist takeover, my mother, still a child, remembered how she once saw one of the [indescribably large] family’s young ladies, whose name was only known to her as Big Sister, descend from the stairs and walk out of the door in a military uniform.  Some adults in the household told my mother that the Big Sister was going to war in Korea and she was doing something to honor the family. However, the Big Sister never returned, and the estate was lost as the large family was dispersed.  No one heard what had happened to the young lady.

CW: The Korean War is in the "recent" past for some people. Why do like this period? What would be an important takeaway about the period?

CA: Personally, I found the time period interesting to learn about due to the massive effects that it, as with countless other conflicts of the Cold War, had upon the modern world’s political landscape; not only was Korea was divided into two, but the Chinese Communists were able to demonstrate their power on the world stage, while the remnants of their Nationalist enemies in Taiwan was preserved due to the greater U.S military assistance stimulated by the Korean War. The conflict also drove home to the U.S the theory of a communist-driven domino effect falling across Asia, which would play a key part in motivating the superpower to undertake its eventual campaigns in Indochina.  

I was genuinely moved by the whole United Nations’ effort to enforce the voluntary repatriation program regarding the (especially communist) prisoners of war during the Korean War; by itself, this was a major and bold change especially when compared to the Allied powers handling of surrendering Axis prisoners at the close of World War II, where thousands of Axis prisoners who originally surrendered to the Western Allies were then deported back to the Soviet Union against their will.

CW: Do you have any specific authors or books that you like or that have inspired you?

CA: I’d have to say that my writing influences stem primarily from the language styles of Pearl S. Buck, Margaret Mitchell, and Ernest Hemingway. Some extra mentions can also go to Dr. Otto F. Apel, whose memoirs of his Korean War service served as a major source for my book, and Max Hastings with his excellent overall history of the conflict.

CW: Have you always enjoyed writing or was it a later development in your life?

Yes, I have always enjoyed writing ever since I learned how to read a complete newspaper article as a child. I’ve always wanted to publish my own book.

CW: Lastly, tell us a bit about your writing process.

CA: I tend to start off by drawing a general outline of the plot’s structure, which is modified in response to developments in research. Although, sometimes such ideas or changes simply pop out of thin air at a moment’s notice.  

CW: Thank you for stopping by Catherine!

The Dance of the Spirits

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 Spring 1951: it is the fiery zenith of the Korean War, a war that the youthful US Army lieutenant Wesley Palm and his men thought that they had won until the Chinese swept across the Yalu River. Traveling with the million-man army bent on driving back the march of American imperialism is Jasmine Young, a Chinese surgeon who has volunteered herself into the war for unspoken, grave reasons. Through a chronicle of merciless battles, freezing winters, and the brutality and hypocrisy of human nature, the two will find themselves weaving through the twists and turns of fate and destiny. Though their love is forbidden, their passion and pursuit of liberty cannot be quenched.

Praise for The Dance of the Spirits

"...On the surface, The Dance of the Spirits is a story of love and of war, but on a deeper level, it is a story of the misery that the communist ideology brought to millions of souls in the twentieth century. Whether that philosophy is related to nationalism, internationalism or faith, Catherine Aerie reminds readers that when a system that will entertain no contradiction in thought or deed comes to power, no one is safe -- and no one is free. Aerie draws a vivid picture of war and its price, and a tender image of love..." - Readers' Favorite (5 Stars) "...a love that is stronger than all the horrors that war can throw at them... compelling...poignant... sensitive and beautiful..." - San Francisco Book Reviews (4.5/ Stars) "Adversaries in the Korean War find love in Aerie's debut novel. The story starts in the middle of a firefight... Out of the rubble, two characters emerge: an American officer... and a Chinese military doctor... Their paths cross again and again... In the intimacy of the war, these coincidences don't feel forced, nor even particularly fated--it's just the way things went... Readers will likely find Palm a decent, very human person, but Young has more complexity and vibrancy... As the war rages around them, Palm and Young fall in love... but their romance is ill-starred and open to tragedy. Aerie keeps readers on their toes with the twists...fleeting but intense... An often engaging tale of a flickering moment of love during a forgotten war." - Kirkus Reviews

Buy the Book

Amazon (Kindle) Amazon (Paperback) Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Catherine Aerie, a graduate from the University of California, Irvine with a master degree in finance, grew up in China as the daughter of a Shanghai architect. She was inspired to write The Dance of the Spirits while researching a family member�s role in the Korean War, deciding to revive an often neglected and overlooked setting in fiction and heighten the universality of resilient pursuit of love and liberty. Her debut novel was finished after about two years of research. She currently resides in southern California. For more information please visit Catherine Aerie's website. You can also find her on Facebook and Goodreads.

The Dance of the Spirits Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 11 Review at A Bibliotaph's Reviews Spotlight at Mina's Bookshelf Interview at Library Educated Tuesday, August 12 Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews Wednesday, August 13 Review at Book Nerd Thursday, August 14 Review at Queen of All She Reads Friday, August 15 Review at JM Ledwell Review at Based on a True Story Spotlight at Passages to the Past Monday, August 18 Interview at Caroline Wilson Writes Tuesday, August 19 Review at Book Babe Wednesday, August 20 Review at Unshelfish Spotlight at Princess of Eboli Thursday, August 21 Review & Interview Back Porchervations Friday, August 22 Spotlight at Just One More Chapter


To win a copy of The Dance of the Spirits please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open to US & UK residents only.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on August 22nd. You must be 18 or older to enter. Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on August 23rd and notified via email. Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Author Spotlight: Alison Atlee and "The Typewriter Girl"

Author Alison Atlee's The Typewriter Girl is now an audio­book, nar­rated by Audie win­ner Ros­alyn Lan­dor, and in celebration she'll be touring the blogosphere from August 4-29 with HF Virtual Book Tours! 02_The Typewriter Girl
Audible Audio Book Edition Audible.com
Release Date: April 4, 2014
Listening Length: 12 hours and 39 minutes
Publisher: Audible Studios
Language: English
 Genre: Historical Fiction
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A Pub­lish­ers Weekly Best Books of the Year pick: The Type­writer Girl is a “spec­tac­u­lar debut, set in a per­fectly real­ized Vic­to­rian England.”

When Bet­sey Dob­son dis­em­barks from the Lon­don train in the sea­side resort of Idensea, all she owns is a small valise and a canary in a cage. After an attempt to forge a let­ter of ref­er­ence she knew would be denied her, Bet­sey has been fired from the typ­ing pool of her pre­vi­ous employer. Her vig­or­ous protest left one man wounded, another jilted, and her char­ac­ter per­ma­nently besmirched. Now, with­out money or a ref­er­ence for a new job, the future looks even bleaker than the deba­cle she left behind her.

But her life is about to change … because a young Welsh­man on the rail­road quay, wait­ing for another woman, is the one finally will­ing to believe in her. Mr. Jones is inept in mat­ters of love, but a genius at things mechan­i­cal. In Idensea, he has con­structed a glit­ter­ing pier that astounds the wealthy tourists. And in Bet­sey, he rec­og­nizes the ideal tour man­ager for the Idensea Pier & Plea­sure Build­ing Company.

After a life­time of guard­ing her secrets and break­ing the rules, Bet­sey becomes a force to be reck­oned with. Together, she and Mr. Jones must find a way for her to suc­ceed in a soci­ety that would reject her, and fig­ure the price of sur­ren­der­ing to the tides of love.

Praise for The Typewriter Girl

“Atlee’s out¬standing debut unflinchingly explores … the unforgiving man’s world of Victorian England.” –PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred review) “Easily one of the most romantic books I’ll read all year … John and Betsey are compelling and worth rooting for.” –DEAR AUTHOR (a Recommended Read) “Sweeps readers to a satisfying conclusion.” –LIBRARY JOURNAL

Buy the AudioBook

Amazon UK
Amazon US

About the Author

03_Alison AtleeAlison Atlee spent her childhood re-enacting Little Women and trying to fashion nineteenth century wardrobes for her Barbie dolls. Happily, these activities turned out to be good preparation for writing historical novels. She now lives in Kentucky. For more information please visit Alison Atlee's website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads and Pinterest.

The Typewriter Girl Blog Tour & Book Blast Schedule

Monday, August 4 Review at Peeking Between the Pages (Audio Book) Book Blast at Mina's Bookshelf Book Blast at Princess of Eboli Book Blast at Literary Chanteuse Book Blast at What Is That Book About Tuesday, August 5 Review at A Bibliotaph's Reviews (Print) Book Blast at So Many Books, So Little Time Wednesday, August 6 Book Blast at Let Them Read Books Thursday, August 7 Book Blast at Mari Reads Book Blast at Book Lovers Paradise Friday, August 8 Book Blast at Book Blast Central Saturday, August 9 Book Blast at Caroline Wilson Writes Sunday, August 10 Book Blast at Book Nerd Monday, August 11 Review at Just One More Chapter (Audio Book) Book Blast at Gobs and Gobs of Books Tuesday, August 12 Book Blast at Queen of All She Reads Wednesday, August 13 Review at Historical Tapestry (Audio Book) Book Blast at The Lit Bitch Book Blast at CelticLady's Reviews Thursday, August 14 Review at A Bookish Affair (Print) Guest Post at Historical Tapestry Friday, August 15 Review at Brooke Blogs (Audio Book) Guest Post at A Bookish Affair Saturday, August 16 Book Blast at Broken Teepee Sunday, August 17 Interview at Closed the Cover Monday, August 18 Review at The Maiden's Court (Audio Book) Tuesday, August 19 Book Blast at Layered Pages Book Blast at Always with a Book Wednesday, August 20 Book Blast at Literary, Etc. Thursday, August 21 Review at Books in the Burbs (Print) Book Blast at Bibliotica Friday, August 22 Review at Bibliophilia, Please (Audio Book) Saturday, August 23 Book Blast at Reading Lark Book Blast at Ageless Pages Reviews Sunday, August 24 Book Blast at Passages to the Past Monday, August 25 Review at Flashlight Commentary (Audio Book) Book Blast at Historical Fiction Connection Tuesday, August 26 Interview at Flashlight Commentary Wednesday, August 27 Book Blast at Susan Heim on Writing Thursday, August 28 Review at Luxury Reading (Print) Review at The True Book Addict (Audio Book) Review at Jorie Loves a Story (Print) Friday, August 29 Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

The Typewriter Girl Swag Giveaway

One copy of The Typewriter Girl (Audio Book or Print) Set of earbuds in a cute typewriter print pouch A Typewriter Girl Happily-Ever-After t-shirt (features last lines from famous novels) A vintage style postcard "from" Idensea, the setting of The Typewriter Girl A "dream wildly" ribbon bookmark with typewriter key charms

To enter, please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open to residents in the US, Canada, and the UK.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on August 29th. You must be 18 or older to enter. Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on August 30th and notified via email. Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Author Spotlight: M.K. Tod and "Lies Told in Silence"

Publication Date: June 29, 2014
Tod Publishing
 Formats: eBook, Paperback
 Genre: Historical Fiction

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 In 1914 Paris half the city expects war while the other half scoffs at the possibility. With knowledge gained from his role at the War Department, Henri Noisette fears that Germany may soon attack Paris. He therefore sends his wife, mother and two younger children to Beaufort, a small village in northern France. By late 1914, instead of a safe haven, Beaufort is less than twenty miles from the front. As war unfolds, Henri�s daughter, Helene, grows up quickly and in 1917 falls in love with Edward Jamieson, a young Canadian soldier. The novel examines love and loss, duty and sacrifice and the unexpected consequence of lies.

Praise for Lies Told in Silence

"Dramatically depicts the horror and heartbreak of war, while also celebrating the resilience of the human spirit." - SHARON KAY PENMAN author of A King's Ransom 
"An intricate, well-researched novel of life forever changed by WWI yet still sweet with the tender innocence of the age." - DONNA RUSSO MORIN author of The King's Agent
"M.K. Tod is a powerful new voice in the historical fiction genre." - AMY BRUNO Historical fiction blogger at Passages to the Past
"An absorbing and rewarding historical read .. depicting the ruinous impact of war on human lives across the generations." - MARGARET EVANS PORTER author of The Proposal  "A compelling read right up to its taut page-turning ending." - RICHARD LEE founder of the Historical Novel Society

Buy the Book

Amazon US
Amazon UK

About the Author

03_M.K. Tod

M.K. Tod has enjoyed a passion for historical novels that began in her early teenage years immersed in the stories of Rosemary Sutcliff, Jean Plaidy and Georgette Heyer. During her twenties, armed with Mathematics and Computer Science degrees, she embarked on a career in technology and consulting continuing to read historical fiction in the tiny snippets of time available to working women with children to raise. In 2004, she moved to Hong Kong with her husband and no job. To keep busy Mary decided to research her grandfather's part in the Great War. What began as an effort to understand her grandparents' lives blossomed into a full time occupation as a writer. Her debut novel is UNRAVELLED: Two wars, Two affairs. One Marriage. LIES TOLD IN SILENCE, her second novel, is set in WWI France and tells the story of Helene Noisette who featured in Unravelled. Mary has an active blog - www.awriterofhistory.com - which discusses all aspects of historical fiction and includes author and reader interviews. Additionally, she is a book reviewer for the Historical Novel Society. Mary lives in Toronto where she is happily married with two adult children. Connect with M.K. Tod on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Lies Told in Silence Blog Tour & Book Blast Schedule

Monday, July 28 Review at Unshelfish Review at Flashlight Commentary Book Blast at Our Wolves Den Tuesday, July 29 Review at Just One More Chapter Book Blast at Book Babe Book Blast at A Book Geek Book Blast at Mel's Shelves Wednesday, July 30 Review at Bookish Guest Post at Just One More Chapter Book Blast at Passages to the Past Thursday, July 31 Book Blast at Royalty Free Fiction Friday, August 1 Book Blast at Back Porchervations Book Blast at So Many Books, So Little Time Saturday, August 2 Book Blast at Mythical Books Monday, August 4 Review & Guest Post at A Bookish Affair Book Blast at Historical Tapestry Tuesday, August 5 Book Blast at Layered Pages Book Blast at Princess of Eboli Book Blast at What Is That Book About Wednesday, August 6 Book Blast at Literary Chanteuse Book Blast at Caroline Wilson Writes Thursday, August 7 Review at The Book Binder's Daughter Book Blast at Kinx's Book Nook Friday, August 8 Book Blast at The Maiden's Court Monday, August 11 Review at Dianne Ascroft Blog Book Blast at Svetlana's Reads and Views Tuesday, August 12 Book Blast at Book Nerd Book Blast at The Bookworm Wednesday, August 13 Review at The Writing Desk  Thursday, August 14 Book Blast at Words and Peace Book Blast at CelticLady's Reviews Friday, August 15 Review at Lost in Books Book Blast at The Mad Reviewer Sunday, August 17 Book Blast at Brooke Blogs Monday, August 18 Review at The Librarian Fatale Review at Historical Fiction Notebook


To win a copy of M.K. Tod's Lies Told In Silence please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open internationally!
Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on August 18th. You must be 18 or older to enter. Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on August 19th and notified via email. Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Giveaway! Carol Bodensteiner's "Go Away Home"

Today on the blog, I'm hosting a spotlight giveway for Carol Bodensteiner's "Go Away Home". A copy of the novel will be given away courtesy of the author, so follow this link for a chance to win!

Tour Schedule: 
Hashtags: #GoAwayHomeBlogTour #HFVBTBlogTour #HistNov #HistFic
Twitter Tags: @hfvbt @CABodensteiner

Publication Date: July 1, 2014Rising Sun Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback

Genre: Historical Fiction

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Liddie Treadway grew up on a family farm where options for her future were marriage or teaching. Encouraged by suffragette rhetoric and her maiden aunt, Liddie is determined to avoid both and pursue a career. Her goal is within her grasp when her older sister’s abrupt departure threatens to keep her on the farm forever.
Once she is able to experience the world she’s dreamed of, Liddie is enthralled with her independence, a new-found passion for photography, and the man who teaches her. Yet, the family, friends, and life of her youth tug at her heart, and she must face the reality that life is not as simple, or the choices as clear-cut, as she once imagined.
GO AWAY HOME is a coming-of-age novel that explores the enduring themes of family, friendship, and love, as well as death and grief. This novel will resonate with anyone who’s confronted the conflict between dreams and reality and come to recognize that getting what you want can be a two-edged sword.

Praise for Go Away Home

“Go Away Home is … a tale of choices, dreams realized and rejected, and how values evolve … gently compelling and highly believable.” – D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“Excellent characters and an extremely realistic plot … Go Away Home is the perfect story of coming home.” – Samantha Rivera, Readers’ Favorite reviewer

“… a heart-warming and heart-wrenching tale … a story that promises to fulfill what it is to be alive when one chooses the life one wants to live, despite the consequences” – Paulette Mahurin, author of The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

“Go Away Home is a coming of age novel that is well-written, compelling, and endearing … a strong sense of place, excellent character development, and an engaging plot line.” – Kara Logsden, Iowa City Public Library

“Every life is a story, no matter how mundane it may appear on the surface, but it takes a writer like Carol Bodensteiner to draw a reader in and keep them turning the pages. Bodensteiner … writes characters with depth … she’s captured the era … with meticulous historical detail.“ – J. P. Lane, author of The Tangled Web

About the Author

Carol Bodensteiner grew up in the heartland of the United States, and she continues to draw writing inspiration from the people, places, culture, and history of the area. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society. She is the author of Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl, a memoir. Her essays have been published in several anthologies. Go Away Home is her first novel. For more information please visit Carol Bodensteiner’s Website/Blog

You can also find her on FacebookTwitterGoodreads, and LinkedIn. Sign up for Carol’s Newsletter.

Go Away Home Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, July 8
Interview & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Thursday, July 10
Guest Post at Closed the Cover
Friday, July 11
Review & Giveaway at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Monday, July 14
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, July 15
Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Thursday, July 17
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Friday, July 18
Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews
Guest Post at Jorie Loves a Story
Monday, July 21
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Tuesday, July 22
Spotlight & Giveaway at Caroline Wilson Writes
Thursday, July 24
Review & Giveaway at Closed the Cover
Friday, July 25
Tour Recap at Passages to the Past