Sunday, December 21, 2014

UNBOUND HEARTS by Michelle Lindo-Rice: Book Blast & Giveaway

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Author is offering Two $10.00 Amazon Gift Cards Giveaway
Two Winners will be randomly chosen via rafflecopter
Contest ends: December 24, 11:59 pm, 2014
Open: Internationally
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ASIN: B00QR552TG
Genre: Interracial Christian Romance
Author: Michelle Lindo-Rice
Unbound Hearts (Able to Love Book 2)
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Would you hire the person responsible for your losing both your legs? Before he lost both his limbs, Jasper Orion was on his way to being voted Most Valuable Player in the National Football League. A man of faith, his faith in God remains unshaken and he starts his own business. With God’s leading Jasper decides to hire Charmaine Evans, the woman responsible for his demise. But, unexpectedly, Jasper develops feelings for his newest employee. He longs to hold her in his arms. Wheelchair bound, will Jasper’s love for Charmaine motivate him to walk again? A backslidden Christian, Charmaine Evans’ ambitions left her broke, unemployed and a social pariah. Guilt-ridden, she returned home to Port Charlotte, FL to lick her wounds. To Charmaine’s surprise, Jasper not only offers her forgiveness but also a job when no one else would. Charmaine marvels at Jasper’s faith while grappling with her own. Bound by her past, will Charmaine learn to accept God’s plan for her heart and her life?
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Michelle Lindo-Rice enjoys crafting women's fiction with themes centered around the four "F" words: Faith, Friendship, Family and Forgiveness. Her first published work, Sing A New Song, was a Black Expressions featured selection. Originally from Jamaica West Indies, Michelle Lindo-Rice calls herself a lifelong learner. She has earned degrees from New York University, SUNY at Stony Brook, and Teachers College, Columbia University. When she moved to Florida, she enrolled in Argosy University where she completed her Education Specialist degree in Education Leadership. A pastor's kid, Michelle upholds the faith, preaching, teaching and ministering through praise and worship. Feel free to connect with her at michellelindorice.com You can read her testimony, learn about her books, PLEASE join her mailing list, or read a sample chapter at michellelindorice.com
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Tour Hosted by WNL Book Tours
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Prize: Two $10.00 Amazon Gift Card for Two winners
Contest ends: December 24, 11:59 pm, 2014
Open: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author Michelle Lindo-Rice and is hosted and managed by Paulette from Write Now Literary Book Tours. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send an email to Paulette @ pharperjohnson@gmail.com

Monday, December 15, 2014

NIXON AND DOVEY by Jay W. Curry: Spotlight & Author Guest Post

Please join Jay W. Curry on his Blog Tour with HF Virtual Book Tours for Nixon and Dovey

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NIXON AND DOVEY

by Jay W. Curry
Publication Date: November 14, 2014
Smashwords eBook: 369p ISBN: 978-1-3117280-3-6
Genre: Historical Fiction

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Before he met Dovey, it was just a heated feud. Now, in the backdrop of southern antebellum slavery, it’s a deadly game of passion, murder, and revenge. Facts: In 1818 Nixon Curry became entangled in one of the most sensationalized murder/love stories in early American history. As a result, Nixon Curry became arguably the most notorious and widely publicized criminal in America’s first half century. His fame derived not from the brutality or number of his crimes but from the determination of the Charlotte aristocracy to hang him. His remarkable talents, undying love for Dovey Caldwell, and the outright audacity of his exploits made him an early American legend. Story: Set in the antebellum south of North Carolina, Nixon Curry, a talented son of poor Scot-Irish immigrants, accepts a job at a racing stable. Soon, his riding skills rival those of his mentor, Ben Wilson. The fierce rivalry becomes confrontational when Ben frames Nixon’s childhood, slave friend, Cyrus, for the Caldwell plantation fire. When both Nixon and Ben win invitations to the 1816 Race of Champions, the stage is set for an explosive faceoff. During prerace festivities, the dashing, young Nixon meets the beautiful Dovey Caldwell, daughter of the state’s wealthiest and most influential senator. Finding Nixon unworthy of Dovey’s affection, Senator Caldwell betroths his daughter to Nixon’s nemesis, Ben. The announcement sets in motion a clash of cultures, talents, and passions leading to murder, mayhem, and revenge. How far will Nixon go to have his love? What price is he willing to pay and what will be the consequences?

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About the Author

Jay W Curry is a former Big-4 consulting partner, business coach, and award-winning author. When he is not coaching, fly-fishing or writing he facilitates a Vistage CEO roundtable in Houston. Jay has co-authored three internationally successful books and has won honors for both his short fiction and non-fiction work. When the heat of Texas summer arrives, Jay and his wife, Nancy, head to their Colorado home (http:/CurryBarn.com) or visit their three children and seven grandchildren. Nixon and Dovey is the first of a three-book passion to bring the 200-year-old story of Jay’s relative, Nixon Curry, back to light. For more information, please visit Jay W. Curry's website. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Nixon and Dovey Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 1
Spotlight at Flashlight Commentary
Friday, December 5
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More
Monday, December 8
Guest Post at What Is That Book About
Tuesday, December 9
Review at Deal Sharing Aunt
Monday, December 15
Guest Post at Mina's Bookshelf
Spotlight at Caroline Wilson Writes
Tuesday, December 16
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Wednesday, December 17
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Thursday, December 18
Spotlight at Boom Baby Reviews
Tuesday, December 23
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews
Friday, December 26
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection
Saturday, December 27
Spotlight at Layered Pages
Monday, December 29
Review at Forever Ashley
Tuesday, December 30
Review at Book Nerd
Wednesday, December 31
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views


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Why I had to Learn to Write Well

 

By Jay W Curry
 
I grew up in “Small Town America”, Stigler, Oklahoma, located some sixty miles west of Fort Smith, Arkansas. During the ‘60s, It was a wonderful place to grow up. And, generally, it was a good place to start one’s education. In high school, when it came to scholastics, I qualified as a “good” student in a class of incredibly smart kids. I made straight A’s except English and typing.  English was my nemesis.  My writing skills were just awful. In fact my mother, who later became the first woman president of the local school board, would check over my work once in a while.  When it was an essay or some from of writing, she would hand it back and say, “You need to re-write it from scratch. It makes no sense.” In elementary school I did well because I could spell, well, kind of spell.  You see, I would bribe my younger brother to help me prepare for spelling tests. I would run a nice warm bath, lay back, place a warm, wet washrag over my upper face, and relax while Vel tested me, over and over. I became a very accomplished memorizer and made B’s.  In high school my sentences rarely made sense. Creative thoughts and ideas?  I had plenty. Put them on paper? Bad news.  This flaw dogged me long after graduating from Stigler High School and almost cost me my career.  
Overcoming my writing skills would become a turning point in my life.
After completing my Masters, I received an enticing call from one of the world’s largest financial auditing firms and I became a management consultant. Consulting was about helping business leaders be more productive and profitable.  I loved it and knew it would be my lifelong, dream occupation.  
Then reality set in. After three years of consulting, I was up for promotion.  
During our annual evaluations my boss set me down and said:  “Jay, you are a good consultant. Clients love you, but your report writing skills are horrendous. We wouldn’t dream of having you write a proposal. I don’t see any way you’ll ever be promoted with your writing skills.  We want to find you a good leadership position with one of our clients.”  
Obviously crushed, I couldn’t argue the facts.  Still, I loved this work, and I was determined to succeed. After two sleepless nights and heart-searching days, I returned Monday and said I wanted to stay for one more year and show what I could do to improve my writing skills. Management agreed.  They had no problem using my consulting skills for another year, but had no faith that I would ever be promoted.
I enrolled in a nonfiction-writing course at Tulsa Junior College.  Taking the challenge seriously, I worked hard.  Next, I took a fiction course.  I figured what the heck, half of our proposals are nearly fiction anyway; it might help.  My writing improved. In a statewide contest I won an award for my short story. The next year I won again for a memoir about my youngest son’s birth.
That’s when Linda Christy, a writer’s club member, approached me.  She discovered that Prentice Hall, one of the world’s largest publishers, wanted books about computers, especially microcomputers.  For my PhD thesis, I designed and built a microcomputer from scratch. Ok, it was a well-designed bird’s nest, but I learned microcomputers inside and out. Working with Linda, I discovered that I could write and make sense. I had learned that my thought processes overran my writing skills and that I needed to think through my ideas, then take the time to construct the message.  This new process was difficult for me at first, but we had fun writing the book, and when we sent the completed manuscript to Prentice Hall, they bought it.  
The ABCs of Microcomputers was a best seller. Reviews described the book as a clear presentation of new technologies, easy to read and understand.  Because of the clarity of the writing, high schools all over the US, the book became a book-of-the-month club selection.  After being translated, it also sold well in Asia and Europe.  Ok, so it was simple basics, and in today’s world a third grader knows more than what we discussed, but in those early days of personal computers, it was a hit.  After such success, I wanted to do a professional series on managing a company’s computer resources.  I wrote a proposal for a four book series, and Prentice Hall bought the idea.  
About this time, a talented newcomer to Arthur Young’s consulting group, Dave Bonner, expressed an interest in eventually retiring to teach college and write books.  I suggested he join me in writing the four books. We made a good team while collaborating on a methodology for buying software. Teaching is the best way to learn, and I learned from Dave while applying many of my new writing skills. We wrote How to Find and Buy Good Software, and the book was more successful than the ABC’s book. The topic was more professional, the writing was very good and our presentation made a difficult topic simple. Next Dave and I wrote Up and Running, An Implementation Cookbook which was equally successful.  Soon I found myself traveling around the country speaking on Technology Trends.  
I loved the new experience.  Speaking to a large, well-educated crowd required the same basic skills as writing clear and dynamic stories. I would speak on how the microchip shrank in size every year while costs were dropping like a rock. (This is the early 1980s.)  I predicted within ten years microchips would be found in everything electronic.  Every home would have at least one computer, maybe three or four, and every office desk would include a microcomputer.  People chuckled.  Next, I predicted microchips would soon appear in our watches, control our cars, and even monitor our life systems from within our bodies.  People laughed.  No one believed me, but they enjoyed the colorful images I created, and they laughed at my stupid predictions.  
One evening, in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, I spoke to a local CPA organization.  After the speech the Chief Financial Officer of Phillips Petroleum asked me to give the same presentation to the Phillips’ executive team. Arthur Young (now Ernest and Young) was engaged to deliver the presentation to every employee of Phillips, worldwide.
I spent a year in night school learning the rules of writing, learning how to organize and clearly communicate ideas, and practicing every day and every night. In the end, Linda and I wrote a very successful non-fiction book and some twenty magazines articles. I wrote two award winning short stories. Dave and I created two well-organized, well-written, and highly successful books. As a result of my new writing skills, my glaring flaw had become a major asset, and I was promoted to Manager!
In high school, I showed no interest in English or writing. I saw no application for writing skills as a mathematician or scientist. I failed to recognize an important truth: Communication skills, written and verbal, are essential for any human endeavor, great or small.  
I’ll never regret the effort I had to make. I almost lost my career path because I had creative ideas that could not be communicated without clear, logical writing.  In the end, attacking my glaring weakness head-on allowed me to continue my career while writing became a corner stone to my future both in my chosen occupation and in my personal life.

This is an extract from one of Jay’s works-in-progress titled Love’s Fate; Growing Up in Small Town America. Jay Curry’s latest work, Nixon and Dovey; the Legend Returns, is a full length novel about Nixon Curry, Jay’s great-great-great-great uncle who was arguably the most notorious and widely publicized criminal in America’s first forty years.  Nixon and Dovey is available on most e-readers.
 
 


Saturday, December 13, 2014

And The Winners Are...


Congratulations to this week's giveaway winners!


Thank you so much for following Mina's Bookshelf and entering our contests. Here are the names and the prizes:
 
 
 
 
1 copy of HEIR TO A PROPHECY by Mercedes Rochelle goes to Daniele K
 
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1 copy of DEATH COMES TO LONDON goes to Katherine Ivan
 
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The winner I had previously picked for this giveaway  didn't return my notifications, so I am choosing a new winner. 1 copy of THE RIPPER'S WIFE by Brandy Purdy goes to Rhonda
 
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1 copy of GLOBAL PREDATOR by Jack MacLean goes to Traveler
 
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I will contact each of you, winners, via email. Please, message me back as soon as possible with your shipping details. To all those who were so kind to participate, but didn't win, thank you for sticking around. Hope you will keep tuning in for more reviews and giveaways.
 

Merry Christmas!

 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

AGNES CANON'S WAR: Guest Post by Author Deborah Lincoln

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AGNES CANON'S WAR

Guest Post by Deborah Lincoln


    It’s the detail that makes the story. Anyway, that’s what has always drawn me to historical fiction. I like knowing that the mother in a sod hut on the plains had to cover her pies with a dishcloth to keep out the dirt falling from the ceiling. I wonder how women in forty yards of skirt managed an outhouse. It adds a touch of reality when Diana Gabaldon writes about a young woman who saved the Earl of Montrose’s life by mixing barley and water in her shoe and feeding the “mess” to him.

Those are the details that make a story come alive, transport a reader to the time and the place, make us wonder how on earth those people survived.
During the writing of Agnes Canon’s War, I sometimes got no further than a couple sentences before I stopped to chase a detail through books, websites, pictures. In fact, the story really didn’t take off until I had access to the Internet, source of hours of fascination, procrastination and frustration.
There’s the amputation scene, for example. Jabez, my protagonist, is a doctor who has performed many of these operations. A description, along with detailed and gruesome pictures, is available on several sites. I bought a book of nineteenth century medical instruments and studied the pictures, trying to fathom how they were used and the pain they must have caused.
Thinking about my own pregnancy during a heat wave, I wondered about Agnes’s experiences. All her children were born in the summer. In Missouri. Without air conditioning and probably, by August, without much ice. So I researched the climate during those years and discovered that yes, during her second pregnancy, in 1860, the temperature did actually set records in Northwest Missouri, well over a hundred degrees for most of July. How did she bear it? She was made of sterner stuff than I am.
I can pass hours dawdling through books and websites on food and clothing. Agnes’s wedding dress is taken from a description out of an old Godey’s Lady’s Book, and the meal on the courthouse square was taken from a book called Civil War Period Cookery that I picked up at a museum gift shop.
For guns, Cabela’s catalog carries Civil War-era models (Sharps carbines, for example), and somewhere I came up with a catalog from an outfit called Dixie Gun Works, which carries anything you could possibly need to recreate the stylish bushwhacker outfit. I even picked up a collection of replica Civil War bullets—a Minie bullet, Burnside carbine bullet, one for a Sharps, another for an Enfield—at the Antietam Visitor Center in Maryland.
The organization of the armies can be confusing—probably confusing as much for the men who were thrown into them as it is for us today. There was the regular army—Federal and Confederate—and there were the militias. Each state had a militia (I think of them as today’s National Guard), and in a state as divided as Missouri, it’s sometimes difficult to be sure where their loyalties lay. The Governor commissioned the militia, and when the Governor sympathized with the South, like Missouri’s Claiborne Jackson did, the militia was largely made up of Secessionists. They were opposed by something called the pro-Union “Home Guards,” and eventually, when Missouri finally declared officially for the North (and ran off Claib Jackson and his buddies), the militia fought on the side of the Union.
(I think I have this right. Those of you who are rabid Civil War buffs, please be kind.)
The resources on the Internet for figuring all this out—and for tracing your ancestor’s unit and where he fought—are vast. The best place for Missouri information is something called the “Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, Missouri Commandery.” It’s a mouthful, but it’s also a treasure trove of military detail. I used it largely to come up with names for my secondary characters and to figure out where Billy Canon fought and with whom.
An author of historical fiction probably uses about five percent of her research in the final product. Much more than that and the story becomes a treatise on How the War Was Fought. But immersing oneself in the detail allows the author to saturate herself in the feeling, the atmosphere, the flavor of the setting, all of which infuse the writing with authenticity. The best book is the one where the details are almost unheeded by the reader, like the background props in a movie. That’s my goal when I write.
So as you read Agnes Canon’s War, enjoy the ambience. Let yourself sink back into a time when women wore voluminous skirts and gave birth at home; when doctors used willow bark to ease pain and performed surgery without anaesthetic. Give some thought to how our forebears lived and remember that as L.P. Hartley said, “the past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”  

About the book

Publication Date: October 1, 2014
Blank Slate Press
Formats: eBook, Trade Paperback
Pages: 300
Genre: Historical Fiction

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“I saw a woman hanged on my way to the Pittsburgh docks..” Agnes Canon is tired of being a spectator in life, an invisible daughter among seven sisters, meat for the marriage market. The rivers of her Pennsylvania countryside flow west, and she yearns to flow with them, explore new lands, know the independence that is the usual sphere of men. This is a story of a woman’s search for freedom, both social and intellectual, and her quest to understand what freedom means. She learns that freedom can be the scent and sound of unsettled prairies, the glimpse of a cougar, the call of a hawk. The struggle for freedom can test the chains of power, poverty, gender, or the legalized horror of slavery. And to her surprise, she discovers it can be found within a marriage, a relationship between a man and a woman who are equals in everything that matters. It’s also the story of Jabez Robinson, a man who has traveled across the continent and seen the beauty of the country and the ghastliness of war, as he watches his nation barrel toward disaster. Faced with deep-seated social institutions and hard-headed intransigence, he finds himself helpless to intervene. Jabez’s story is an indictment of war in any century or country, and an admission that common sense and reasoned negotiation continue to fail us. As Agnes and Jabez struggle to keep their community and their lives from crumbling about them, they must face the stark reality that whether it’s the freedom of an African from servitude, of the South from the North, or of a woman from the demands of social convention, the cost is measured in chaos and blood. This eloquent work of historical fiction chronicles the building of a marriage against the background of a civilization growing – and dying – in the prelude to civil war.

Praise for Agnes Canon's War

"Impressively researched, it captures the brutality of the war in the West and the complicated, divided loyalties of the people who are caught up in it. Agnes Canon’s War will have readers anticipating the romance and dreading the battles in equal amounts." -Steve Wiegenstein, author of Slant of Light and This Old World

"The characters are likeable, intelligent, humorous, spunky and passionate people whose zest for adventure is met and then some! Superb historical fiction this reviewer highly recommends." - Historical Novel Society

"Agnes Canon’s War is brilliantly researched and written. Deborah Lincoln has successfully described the occurrences of the Civil War era in the border state of Missouri and the resultant emotions upon the inhabitants of the area. Many neighbors were bitterly opposed to one another, and severe heartache touched everyone. Lincoln’s writing places the reader in the midst of that turmoil. Her research is accurate and lends to a skillfully-designed background for Agnes Canon’s story. An example is her reference to Westport Landing. It is a little-known fact (even to most Missourians) that this original port on the Missouri River, located in the vicinity of today’s Grand and Main Streets, resulted in present-day Kansas City. This heartfelt book will likely impress even the most seasoned historians." -William R. Reynolds, Jr. author of Andrew Pickens: South Carolina Patriot in the Revolutionary War and The Cherokee Struggle to Maintain Identity in the 17th and 18th Centuries

"Years ago in fiction workshop, this manuscript leaped out at me with the most memorable opening line I’d seen in forever: “I saw a woman hanged on my way to the Pittsburgh docks.” On revisiting this story several years after my first beta-read of the whole novel, I was struck by how many details and scenes I remember. Historical fiction is not for the lazy writer. The tremendous amount of research that skilled writers weave into the narrative are simply amazing. I’m afraid I’ll be guilty of plot spoilers if I mention some of my favorite scenes or the tragic events that really happened. I will say Jabez has a first wife, and Agnes befriends her to her dying day. That first wife has a fascination for what today would sound like New Age mysticism. Any reader who hates reading about war should keep going, because all sorts of intriguing historical issues and beliefs come to light in Agnes Canon’s world. The prose is polished, the story spellbinding, the authenticity both inspiring and heartbreaking. Five stars!" -Carol Kean Blog, Book Reviews, Cosmic Rants

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03_Deborah Lincoln Author

About the Author

Deborah Lincoln grew up in the small town of Celina, among the cornfields of western Ohio. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Michigan. She and her husband have three grown sons and live on the Oregon coast. Of her passion for historical fiction, she says: “I’m fascinated by the way events—wars and cataclysms and upheavals, of course, but the everyday changes that wash over everyday lives—bring a poignancy to a person’s efforts to survive and prosper. I hate the idea that brave and intelligent people have been forgotten, that the hardships they underwent have dropped below the surface like a stone in a lake, with not a ripple left behind to mark the spot.” Agnes Canon’s War is the story of her great great-grandparents, two remarkable people whose lives illustrate the joys and trials that marked America’s tumultuous nineteenth century. For more information on Deborah Lincoln please visit her website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Agnes Canon's War Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 8
Review at Forever Ashley
Review at Back Porchervations
Tuesday, December 9
Interview at Caroline Wilson Writes
Wednesday, December 10
Review at Too Fond
Friday, December 12
Review at Just One More Chapter
Guest Post at Mina's Bookshelf
Monday, December 15
Review at Luxury Reading
Wednesday, December 17
Review at Book Babe
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books
Thursday, December 18
Review at Griperang's Bookmarks
Friday, December 19
Review at Boom Baby Reviews
Interview at Layered Pages

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

LIBBY MORGAN: REUNION by Leah Zieber (Spotlight & Giveaway)

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LIBBY MORGAN: REUNION
By Leah Zieber
Publication Date: September 7, 2014
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Pages: 283
ASIN: B00O35L1MO

Series: American Heritage Quilt Series
Genre: YA/Historical Fiction

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Coming from a long line of seamstresses, Libby has yet to sew anything more than the rudimentary button or hem, but on a visit to Connecticut she learns more than just how to sew patchwork. Set in 1855 New England and London, this tender story, Libby Morgan: Reunion, follows tenacious Elizabeth (Libby) Jane Morgan through her thirteenth summer of new adventures at home and abroad. She is given a birthday gift of sewing tools and fabric, as well as old family letters to use as templates for making her first quilt. Her decision to first read the letters results in questions that only her Grandmother Morgan’s stories can answer—stories of true love, horrible loss and family connections to London nobles. Her keen eye and inquisitive nature draws her family into a mysterious investigation that tests their faith, challenges their ability to forgive, and results in a resurrection and reunion of lost hearts.

Giveaway (US only)

A copy of Libby Morgan: Reunion is up for grabs. Please, become a follower of this blog, comment in the section below, and add your email address for a chance to win. The contest is open to US residents only. Good luck!

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About the Author

Leah A. Zieber is a quilt historian and quilt maker from Temecula, California, specializing in American quilt history and reproduction quilts from the nineteenth century. Her quilts have been exhibited across the country in quilt shows, museums and historical societies and were most recently published in Stars: A Study of 19th Century Star Quilts. Leah has worked closely with Southern California collectors, cataloging, managing, and independently researching their textile collections. Her own collection of antique quilts and related textile items spans one hundred and eighty five years, and she shares her knowledge of American quilt history using her collection in lectures and workshops. Libby Morgan: Reunion is her debut novel and the first in her American Heritage Quilt Series.

For more information please visit Leah Zieber's website and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Libby Morgan: Reunion Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 1
Review at WV Stitcher

Tuesday, December 2
Spotlight at I'd Rather Be Reading

Thursday, December 4
Interview & Giveaway at Reading Lark

Friday, December 5
Review at Book Nerd

Saturday, December 6
Review at Mel's Shelves

Monday, December 8
Review at Forever Ashley

Tuesday, December 9
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Spotlight at Boom Baby Reviews

Wednesday, December 10
Review at Luxury Reading
Spotlight & Giveaway at Mina's Bookshelf

Friday, December 12
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Monday, December 15
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter

Tuesday, December 16
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Wednesday, December 17
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Thursday, December 18
Guest Post at Historical Tapestry

Friday, December 19
Guest Post at Book Babe

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Interview with Mercedes Rochelle, Author of HEIR TO A PROPHECY (GIVEAWAY)


HEIR TO A PROPHECY

by

MERCEDES ROCHELLE


Publication Date: December 12, 2014

Top Hat Books

Paperback; 418p
ISBN: 978-1-78279-754-8
Genre: Historical Fiction
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Shakespeare’s Witches tell Banquo, “Thou Shalt ‘Get Kings Though Thou Be None”. Though Banquo is murdered, his son Fleance gets away. What happened to Fleance? What Kings? As Shakespeare’s audience apparently knew, Banquo was the ancestor of the royal Stewart line. But the road to kingship had a most inauspicious beginning, and we follow Fleance into exile and death, bestowing the Witches’ prophecy on his illegitimate son Walter. Born in Wales and raised in disgrace, Walter’s efforts to understand Banquo’s murder and honor his lineage take him on a long and treacherous journey through England and France before facing his destiny in Scotland.
 
If you are familiar with Shakespeare's Macbeth, these characters will sounds familiar to you and if you are not, Mercedes Rochelle's historical novel could be a great way to make your acquaintance with one of The Bard's darkest tragedies. Let's meet the author and hear more details about her book.

Interview with Mercedes Rochelle

Q. Welcome to Mina's Bookshelf, Mercedes. We would love to know more about your background and the a-ha moment when you realized "I can do this, I can write a book."


A. Thank you, Mina! Actually, when I started this novel many years ago, I had an interest in fiction but not necessarily History. I got my Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and of course loved Shakespeare. I had always wanted to be a writer but couldn’t think up a decent plot line (I still can’t). Imagine my gratification to discover that with Historical Fiction, the plot is already in place! It’s just up to the author to flesh it out (or make sense of it). The first time I realized the potential of Historical Fiction was when I read The Three Musketeers, which is still my favorite novel. I was inspired and the rest, as they say, is history.

Q. Heir To A Prophecy, your latest release, will find an avid audience among Shakespeare's fans. You chose one of the Bard's darkest and most powerful works as a bedrock for your historical novel - big shoes to fill! Why Macbeth? How did the idea of writing a spinoff come about?


A. In Macbeth, Banquo is killed and Fleance gets away.  The question about what happened to Fleance bothered me for years, until I finally woke up and realized I could research the question myself. I had no idea that Banquo was the ancestor of King James I, Shakespeare’s patron. I couldn’t understand why Shakespeare would just drop the subplot? What Kings were the Witches talking about? I can only assume the answers to my questions were common knowledge in Shakespeare’s day, but I think they were lost to most modern readers.

Q. What was one of the biggest challenges and the biggest reward of writing a book based on such a masterpiece?


 A.
As most of us know, Shakespeare took great liberties with history for the sake of his plots. This is certainly true with Macbeth, and I walked a fine line trying to balance his well-known story with actual events. For instance, I went to Scotland to find Dunsinane hill using a Geological Survey map, only to conclude that this just wasn’t the site of any great battle...or a castle for that matter. There are two hills so-named: Dinsinane and Dunsinnan, very close together. Neither one showed any evidence of habitation, nor were they near a river, which was critical to the historical description of the battle. So I had to move the battle scene elsewhere. The reward was getting to know the characters better; I have fallen in love with Prince Malcolm (later Malcolm III) who doesn’t really play a major role in Macbeth but is a big player in my novel.

Q. What are you working on at the moment?


 A.
At the moment I am writing a novel called THE SONS OF GODWINE, which is a sequel to GODWINE KINGMAKER, slotted for release early in 2015. I am telling the story of Harold Godwineson from the points of view of his brothers. I think the conflict between Harold and Tostig needs to be explored, since it led directly to Harold’s failure to stop Duke William from invading. Was Tostig the black-and-white villain he is usually portrayed as? I think not!

Q. Just for fun, if you could be a character in a Shakespeare's play, who would you be and why?


 A.
I would like to be Richard III. I find him so deliciously wicked that I never get tired of him! No, I don’t agree with Shakespeare’s depiction, but I do wonder if it was a bit tongue-in-cheek.

Q. The conspiracy theory that questions the authorship of William Shakespeare's work is hard to die. Are you a believer or a doubter? Do you agree that his biography, obscure life and humble origins were too incompatible with his work's poetic sensibility and court-life familiarity?


A.  
I have no problem attributing the plays to Shakespeare. Since none of his plays were written on paper during his lifetime, we must trust to the memories of his fellow-players to remember the precise words. Were his plays a work-in-progress? Were they adapted for successive performances? Were they printed as written? Why not attribute them to Shakespeare? I read that he considered himself an actor first and a playwright second...that the plays were a means to an end. To me, that makes their genius even more powerful.

Q. You are given the chance to interview three authors from the past: who would you like to meet and what would you ask them.


 A.
Of course there is Alexandre Dumas, my inspiration. I would ask him where he got his inspiration from?  I would love to meet Arthur Conan Doyle; how much of Sherlock Holmes is autobiographical? And I would be honored to talk with Sir Walter Scott. Did he call his writings Historical Fiction or did he have another name for them? I think he was a Historical Fiction pioneer.

Giveaway (US only)

We are offering a copy of HEIR TO A PROPHECY to a follower of this blog (via GFC, Bloglovin, Facebook, Twitter). Please, leave a comment in the section below and include your email address. The contest is open to US residents only. Good luck!
 

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About the Author

 



Born in St. Louis MO with a degree from University of Missouri, Mercedes Rochelle learned about living history as a re-enactor and has been enamored with historical fiction ever since. She lives in Sergeantsville, NJ with her husband in a log home they built themselves.

For more information please visit Mercedes Rochelle’s website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook and Goodreads.

 

Heir To A Prophecy Blog Tour


 

Monday, December 8

Interview & Giveaway at Mina’s Bookshelf
Wednesday, December 10
Guest Post at Boom Baby Reviews
Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Thursday, December 11
Saturday, December 13
Monday, December 15
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, December 16
Review at Book Nerd
Wednesday, December 17
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More
Friday, December 19
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Saturday, December 20
Monday, December 22
Tuesday, December 23
Friday, December 26
Tuesday, December 30
Review at Unshelfish