December 30, 2014

Spotlight on William Peak's The Oblate's Confession

Publication Date: December 2, 2014
Secant Publishing
Formats: eBook, Hardcover
Genre: Historical Fiction

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Set in 7th century England, The Oblate’s Confession tells the story of Winwaed, a boy who – in a practice common at the time – is donated by his father to a local monastery. In a countryside wracked by plague and war, the child comes to serve as a regular messenger between the monastery and a hermit living on a nearby mountain. Missing his father, he finds a surrogate in the hermit, an old man who teaches him woodcraft, the practice of contemplative prayer, and, ultimately, the true meaning of fatherhood. When the boy’s natural father visits the monastery and asks him to pray for the death of his enemy – an enemy who turns out to be the child’s monastic superior – the boy’s life is thrown into turmoil. It is the struggle Winawed undergoes to answer the questions – Who is my father? Whom am I to obey? – that animates, and finally necessitates, The Oblate’s Confession.

While entirely a work of fiction, the novel’s background is historically accurate: all the kings and queens named really lived, all the political divisions and rivalries actually existed, and each of the plagues that visit the author’s imagined monastery did in fact ravage that long-ago world. In the midst of a tale that touches the human in all of us, readers will find themselves treated to a history of the “Dark Ages” unlike anything available today outside of textbooks and original source material.

About the Author
William Peak spent ten years researching and writing The Oblate’s Confession, his debut novel. Based upon the work of one of the great (if less well known) figures of Western European history, the Venerable Bede, Peak’s book is meant to reawaken an interest in that lost and mysterious period of time sometimes called “The Dark Ages.”

Peak received his baccalaureate degree from Washington & Lee University and his master’s from the creative writing program at Hollins University. He works for the Talbot County Free Library on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Thanks to the column he writes forThe Star Democrat about life at the library (archived at, Peak is regularly greeted on the streets of Easton: “Hey, library guy!” In his free time he likes to fish and bird and write long love letters to his wife Melissa.

For more information please visit William Peak’s website.

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December 29, 2014

Spotlight on Marie Savage's Oracles of Delphi

Publication Date: October 15, 2014
Blank Slate Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Pages: 324
Series: Althaia of Athens Mystery
Genre: Historical Mystery

All Althaia wants on her trip to Delphi is to fulfill her father’s last wish. Finding the body of a woman in the Sacred Precinct is not in her plans. Neither is getting involved in the search for the killer, falling for the son of a famous priestess, or getting pulled into the ancient struggle for control of the two most powerful oracles in the world. But that’s what happens when Theron, Althaia’s tutor and a man with a reputation for finding the truth, is asked to investigate. When a priest hints that Theron himself may be involved, Althaia is certain the old man is crazy — until Nikos, son of a famous priestess, arrives with an urgent message. Theron’s past, greedy priests, paranoid priestesses, prophecies, and stolen treasures complicate the investigation, and as Althaia falls for Nikos, whose dangerous secrets hold the key to the young woman’s death, she discovers that love often comes at a high price and that the true meaning of family is more than a bond of blood.

Praise for Oracles of Delphi
“Mysticism, murder and mystery in ancient Delphi: Marie Savage weaves intrigue and suspense into wonderfully researched historical fiction while introducing the reader to Althaia, a spirited Athenian woman with a flair for forensic detection.” (Elisabeth Storrs, author of The Wedding Shroud and The Golden Dice)

“Oracles of Delphi is an original and compelling mystery. Savage’s complex characters and deft writing shine as she pulls readers into the fascinating world of fourth century B.C. Greece. A wonderful debut!” (Sarah Wisseman, author of the forthcoming Burnt Siena Flora Garibaldi art conservation mystery and the Lisa Donahue archaeological mystery series)

“It is hard to make a female character both strong and vulnerable, but Marie Savage has done just that with Althaia of Athens. Well done!” (Cynthia Graham, author of the forthcoming Beneath Still Waters)

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About the Author
Marie Savage is the pen name of Kristina Marie Blank Makansi who always wanted to be a Savage (her grandmother’s maiden name) rather than a Blank. She is co-founder and publisher of Blank Slate Press, an award-winning small press in St. Louis, and founder of Treehouse Author Services. Books she has published and/or edited have been recognized by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), the Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY), the Beverly Hills Book Awards, the David J. Langum, Sr. Prize in American Historical Fiction, the British Kitchie awards, and others. She serves on the board of the Missouri Center for the Book and the Missouri Writers Guild. Along with her two daughters, she has authored The Sowing and The Reaping (Oct. 2014), the first two books of a young adult, science fiction trilogy. Oracles of Delphi, is her first solo novel.

For more information visit Kristina Makansi’s website and the Blank Slate Press website. You can also follow Krisina Makansi and Blank Slate Press on Twitter.

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December 26, 2014

Spotlight on Jay W. Curry's Nixon and Dovey

Publication Date: November 14, 2014
eBook: 369p
ISBN: 978-1-3117280-3-6
Genre: Historical Fiction

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:/ 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.

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December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and much happiness in the New Year!

Dieffenbach A Christmas Party 1865

December 24, 2014

Pauline Taylor's Elly's Juxtapose - Author Interview

1) Why did you choose to use historical information?
The reason I decided to use historical information in my book was probably because there are certain times and certain characters in history that capture my imagination.

I was once asked at a writing group to write a short story about a person from history that I admired. There were several people I considered but in the end I chose Charles Darwin because I felt he was the father of curiosity and against all his most powerful critics he pursued his ideals and began a generation of thinkers.

For that particular story I became a cabin boy on board the H.M.S.Beagle and travelled to the Galapagos Islands with Mr Darwin.

History is so diverse and so rich we as writers have a vast warehouse of knowledge to choose from and alter under artistic licence but after saying that it is a big responsibility to try and keep the integrity of the person or event.

2) How did you choose particular historical events and information?

I class myself as being an average reader and if most people are like me, then they are interested in facts and in updating their knowledge. Learning, if you like, without even trying and that is what an author can do in a book. History is part of man’s heritage no matter where we live or how bad or good it is, and we cannot and must not run away from it no matter how much we may want to, as looking at our history is how we progress as a person.

There is something somewhere in history to enthuse everyone, and I suppose I pick the bits out that enthuse me and incorporate them into my story. I tried to give the reader a varied amount of events to think about to keep their interest.

The historical references that I used in ‘Elly’s Juxtapose’ were planned for the most part, but there were a few that just slowly crept in as I followed the plot through to its conclusion.

The settings within the book allowed me to mention people like Lancelot `Capability` Brown, Nicholas Hawksmoor and Sir Frances Dashwood. I was very conscious at all times that I should not mislead the reader into thinking that these people were really involved in any of theses places, just in case there were such places that did exist. I always make statements like ‘they do say it was’ or ‘was thought to have been’ I never put a definite ‘yes they were involved’.

As I mentioned previously the writer’s job is to keep the reader engaged and take them into the story to such an extent that they do not want to put the book down.

3) Why do you use diaries, bibles and messages from the past as a source of information within the book?

Because the story links back to the eighteenth century and the first Robert and Eloise I had to find a way for the past to link in with the present. I had a few ideas milling around in my head, but eventually I thought what better way to do this than with diaries, family bibles and messages? I soon realised that this was the right decision and it worked very well within the parameters of the storyline.

As the story progressed I wanted more for the reader and for my characters. I needed a more complex scenario, but this also had to link in with the houses, the characters and the plot. I did this by inventing a twelfth Century Knight Templar, Sir Robert Carlton. I was surprised how well this worked.

4) How did you differentiate between the past and the present?
I was aware of the different style changes in dress, language and etiquette from one

Century to the other and therefore needed to alter the way the diaries and the letters were written. This was to accommodate the differences in the linguistics and the dress code of the time.

For instance, there is a dream scene where Elly sees herself from the past riding

furiously on a horse. I then had to describe to the reader what kind of riding attire she was wearing and the fact that she was also riding sidesaddle. This was effectively to let the reader know that it was not the present day that Elly was dreaming about.

And when the eighteenth century Robert is writing in his diaries I had to try and make it a little more romantic and drawn out in keeping with the style of that period. But when the early twentieth century Robert wrote his account it had to be written differently but yet still show that it was written by an educated man.

5) How did you research the history and information?

Some of the historical information I already had in my head: names, places, events but I must admit I am terrible when it comes to dates. I do own a good collection of books which do help me with my research but I also used my Kindle to obtain a few more books and the local book shop for those I could not acquire on kindle.

I also find a good resource to be the Internet I usually start with Wikipedia and follow the prompts from there. This can lead to all sorts of information some that I would never have thought of using.

6) How did you go about putting all the information from the past together effectively for it to cause the impact it did in present day?
Putting it all together was not as hard as I thought it was going to be. I originally wrote

a plan, a list really of what I wanted the book to be about and what I wanted to put in it

but it just grew and grew until the list was that long it became a little overwhelming.

The hardest thing I think was putting all the information I wanted to use under the right heading that was on the plan and making sure all the chapters linked into each other. I learnt very quickly as a first time author that too much information could be nearly as bad as none in some cases.

The fact is you have to be discerning in the choices you make with information and how it is put together. ‘Elly’s Juxtapose’ was made more complicated due the nature of the plot and the timelines within it.

For instance there is so much written about the Knight Templar movement and I did not want to bore the reader by bombarding them with too much information so I had to think which way I would go with it. Fortunately I had seen a documentary on the TV. about the Knights and the battle of Jacobs ford. This captured my imagination and I decided that I would persue this line and have my knight as one of the guards of King Baldwin.

When I reached the end of the book I realised that there was scope for a sequel if I wanted to write one, so I did what a lot of authors have done and left the conclusion open with an unspoken question.

I am presently nearing the end of my second book, which is a re-write of a Mesopotamian myth; this book has more twists and turns than ‘Elly’s Juxtapose’. But the amount of historical facts and research for this book far out way the amount I had to obtain for my first one. I find history intriguing and it is not only the reader that is gaining a small amount of knowledge but I myself am learning with every chapter.

About the book
Some things need to be forgotten - others cry to be uncovered. In this fascinating story which stretches from the Crusades to the present day, Elly's Juxtapose follows the twists and turns of a love that will not die.

About the author
Pauline was born in a little mining village in South Yorkshire called Wath-upon-Dearne. She left school at fifteen and by the time she was twenty-seven was married with four children.

At the age of thirty-five her husband was taken ill and she was nearly a widow three times. She decided to follow one of her dreams and became a qualified nurse. She found it hard bringing up four children, working full time and looking after a sick husband.

In 2008 she was taken ill herself and after two operations that did not go well she was forced to retire early from the job that she loved so much.

In 2010 her husband died and she went into a depression. Her son persuaded her to get out more so she joined the Rotherham branch of the U.3.A. This is where her second dream started to be fulfilled to become a writer.

In 2012 her son again persuaded her to go on a short holiday with a member of the U.3.A. While on this holiday she met her now partner and moved to Derby to be with him. He encouraged her to write as he could see that she really enjoyed it but unfortunately he also was taken ill and is now in rehab learning to walk and talk again. But Pauline is looking forward, not back, and is hoping to have him home soon.

December 22, 2014

Mercedes Rochelle's Heir to a Prophecy - Guest Post


Yule celebrations are Pagan in origin and came from the Germanic countries. The celebrations were alive and well in the Nordic lands, and were most likely brought over to Anglo-Saxon England with the Viking settlers. Eventually, the midwinter celebrations merged with the Christian festival of Christmastide, better known as the 12 Days of Christmas. I think we would recognize much of their festivities, although some of them were dedicated to Odin!

Since the Yule (or Jul) took place after the Solstice, the shortest day of the year, there is a certain element of celebrating the return of the light. But it was also thought that in this time of year, the spirits of the dead most commonly crossed over into the human realm. It is thought that many of the Yuletide customs were an attempt to protect the household against hostile supernatural influences. On the other hand, it is also said that ancestors come back during this season, and sometimes food was left out for them so they would help promote a good harvest the following year.

Then we have the Yule Log. The largest ash or oak log was brought inside so that ritual runes could be carved onto it, calling on the gods to protect one and all from ill-fortune. Burning the Yule log was thought to give power to the sun and bring warmth again to the land. The carved log was sprinkled with mead and decorated with dry sprigs of pine and cones and as it was lit, musicians plucked the strings of their harps and started the singing.

Outside, evergreens would be decorated with small lanterns and candles, plus crackers, little carved statues of gods, pieces of dried fruit, and even berries strung together. A huge bonfire was lit, reportedly to dispel any evil that was marching abroad. There was dancing around and through the bonfire, especially among the youngsters.

One night stood out from the others. This is when the children filled their shoes with straw, carrots and sugar lumps and set them out by the fire to feed Odin's flying eight-legged horse Sleipnir as the God led the Wild Hunt—the host of the restless dead—through the darkness. In return, Odin would leave the children small gifts and sweets as a reward.

The traditional food of the Yule was Boar, an animal sacred to Freyr, the Norse God of Yule and fertility. This is probably the origin of the Boar's Head presented at later Christmas feasts. It is said that the time of "great eating and drinking" only lasted about three days, although the Yule celebrations lasted two to three weeks. 

About the book
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.

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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.

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Twitter Tags:  @hfvbt @authorrochelle

December 18, 2014

Spotlight on Mark Patton's Omphalos

Please join Mark Patton as he tours the blogosphere with HF Virtual Book Tours for Omphalos, from December 5-19.

Publication Date: December 5, 2014
Crooked Cat Publications Formats: eBook, Paperback
Pages: 312
ISBN: 978-1-910510-06-3
Genre: Historical Fiction

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2013: Al Cohen, an American in search of his European heritage.
1944-1946: Friedrich Werner, an officer of the Wehrmacht and later a prisoner of war. His wife Greta, clinging to what remains of her life in war-torn Berlin.
1799: Suzanne de Beaubigny, a royalist refugee from revolutionary France.
1517: Richard Mabon, a Catholic priest on pilgrimage to Jerusalem with his secretary, Nicholas Ahier.
1160: Raoul de Paisnel, a knight with a dark secret walking through Spain with his steward, Guillaume Bisson.
4000 BC: Egrasté, a sorceress, and Txeru, a man on an epic voyage.
Transgressions, reconciliations and people caught on the wrong side of history.
Omphalos. A journey through six thousand years of human history.

Praise for Omphalos
"Omphalos is a powerful word, a powerful connotation, as are the stories focused on in this excellent collection. The author leads the reader from one story to the next like an easy progress through the chambers of La Hougue Bie, followed by a reverse journey of revelation. To say too much of how this is cleverly achieved through the excellent use of letters, prose and poetry, I feel, would spoil the enjoyment of a potential reader. The skilful writing techniques used make it a thoroughly engrossing read. I have no qualms in recommending ‘Omphalos’ to the lover of historical fiction and to those who enjoy a well-crafted tale." - Nancy Jardine

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About the Author
Mark Patton was born and grew up on the island of Jersey. He studied Archaeology & Anthropology at Cambridge and completed his PhD at University College London. He has taught at the Universities of Wales, Greenwich and Westminster, and currently teaches with The Open University. He is the author of two previous historical novels, Undreamed Shores (Crooked Cat, 2012) and An Accidental King (Crooked Cat 2013).

For more information please visit Mark Patton's website and blog. You can also connect with him on Twitter and Goodreads.

Omphalos Blog Tour Schedule

Friday, December 5
Review at Back Porchervations
Monday, December 8
Guest Post & Giveaway at Words and Peace
Wednesday, December 10
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews
Thursday, December 11
Spotlight at Book Babe
Guest Post at Just One More Chapter
Monday, December 15
Review at Book Nerd
Tuesday, December 16
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views
Wednesday, December 17
Spotlight at The Writing Desk
Thursday, December 18
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection
Guest Post at What Is That Book About
Friday, December 19
Review at Diary of an Eccentric
Spotlight at Let Them Read Books

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December 17, 2014

Kamil Gruca's Gentlemen of Pitchfork - Guest Post

Is there anything left to be said about the knights and Middle Ages?

The knight as the subject of European culture and certain archetype has been so present across centuries that it’s easy for us today to assume we know everything there is to know about them. However a lot of us, including myself, still cannot get enough. Even though the knight has been ridiculed so many times, all his flaws emphasised and attacked, there still seems to be some attraction in the notion of a brave, noble warrior filled with virtues. Those virtues were Christian at the source, but may as well be replaced by any others that suit us. We can clearly see the link between the jedi knights and their medieval ancestors for example. It’s this combination: fighting + virtue that makes a knight such a great carrier for storytelling.

Why is that? My answer is: because it’s rare. It is rare that strong protect the weak and play by the rules when they could just take advantage. How rare exactly? Maybe it’s so rare that it actually never happens? Maybe there are no knights?

I believe that it would have been a sad truth. I believe that the knights existed and still exist and that we continue to tell stories about them because we want it to be this way.

There are three main characters in my story and they are all knights. I hope that by the end of reading everyone will be able to see that it’s rightful to call each of these men a knight, even though they differ so much as human beings. By that I do not merely mean that they are formally knights by the trivial fact of being born as nobles. They all represent chivalric virtues, each in his own way and according to his abilities.

The background of my story is early XVth century France. Once more it may seem that so many has been said about Middle Ages. So, do I claim I have anything new to say? Let me share my idea of depicting the epoch. On one hand I attempt to grasp many aspects of life, like: society, communication, ideas, clothing, fighting, love and even bathing (which despite quite common misconception was popular up until around second quarter of XVth century). On the other I often go into details in each of the respective domains. I don’t perceive the time and place I’ve chosen for my novel’s action to be just a pretext to tell another adventure story. I want this historical scenography to be really convincing, no wooden swords (unless for training purposes), no dialogues governed by mentality of XXIst century people, no woolen chain mails. On the other hand it is still fiction, it is still an adventure story. Most of the characters and events are fictitious. But when a given event is something that really happened I care to tell it as it was. When it comes to historical characters, some of them were purposefully depicted differently than they probably were. The best example is count David Rambourg. So when it comes to characters not everything comes with historicity warrant.

I believe I did say something, if not entirely new, than at least refreshing both when it comes to knights and the Middle Ages. Oh, and I also believe story is not that bad too. But… you be the judge.

About the book
Publication Date: July 13, 2014
eBook; 258p
Translator: Pawel Brzosko
Genre: Historical Fiction

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The year is 1415. France is weakened by the recently ended Civil War between the factions of Burgundians and Armagnacs. The young and belligerent King Henry V Lancaster decides to pay the French a neighbourly visit. With him – the flower of the English knighthood.

Among them – Sir Arthur, the Baron of Pitchfork, an ideal of all chivalric virtues – his uncle, Sir Ralph, a veteran soldier with a taste for women and bitter humour – and his cousin, Sir Robert, a young and romantic would-be scholar who will have his first taste of war, sieges, duels, betrayal and intrigue but also love and practical philosophy.

Together they ride as secret envoys of their King to meet Burgundian emissaries. But the Armagnacs’ spies keep their eyes open for any sign of treason on the part of their political opponents and three powerful French armies are gathering to cross King Henry’s way.

Interview with Kamil Gruca

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About the Author
Kamil Gruca is a Polish writer born in 1982 in Warsaw. He is a graduate of the Faculty of Philosophy at the Warsaw University.

Kamil is also an active knight who confirmed his battle prowess by winning the Polish National Knights League in 2006 under the alias of Sir Robert Neville. He has studied medieval swordsmanship for over 15 years hence his novels are full of dynamic and realistic swordplay.

Being an avid re-enactor and a passionate history geek Kamil moved to France for two years to study documents unavailable in other countries that would add to the feel and realism of the book on multiple levels.

His first novel “Panowie z Pitchfork” was published in 2009 by a major publishing house Rebis. Receiving a warm welcome from Polish critics, readers and fellow writers, the first part of the adventures of the young and keen Sir Robert was soon followed by a sequel “Baron i Łotr”, published by another publishing house Znak, bringing closure to the major plot.

Currently Kamil lives in Warsaw with his family and is working on another series of historical novels focused around one of Poland’s most famous knights – Zawisza Czarny – and his not so famous yet equally interesting brothers.

For more information about the book please visit or You can contact Kamil at

If you want to learn more about how Kamil trains medieval swordsmanship please visit HAM-Historyczna-Akademia-Miecza on Facebook (Site in Polish), as well as (Site in Polish).

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December 15, 2014

Mary S. Black's Peyote Fire - Guest Post and {Giveaway}

I went to a winter solstice party the other night. Being in central Texas, we stood outside around a fire in our shorts and sandals and drank tequila. The backyard was lit with hundreds of tiny lights, and candles burned on the table. We did our best to withstand the gloom of this darkest time of year.

Many people in Europe and elsewhere have bonfires this time of year. In Veneto, Italy, these fires are called “panevin,” for it is also a time for eating cake (pan) and drinking wine (vin). The bonfires are built of wood and brush, some topping ten meters high. A puppet of an old woman is placed on the pile. She represents all the mishaps and calamities that occurred during the preceding year. When the fire is burned, all those misadventures go up in smoke. If the smoke blows south or west, people say the crops will be good next year. If it blows north or east, predictions are the harvest will be poor.

The Scandinavian Juul log was burned on the winter solstice to honor the Norse god Thor. In some parts of Europe and Britain, this practice became known as burning the Yule log. Ancient people scattered the ash from the Yule log on the fields for good harvest or saved it until Twelfth Night for good luck. French peasants believed if the ashes were kept under the bed, they would protect the house from thunder and lightning.

In other places there may or may not be bonfires, but still the winter solstice is all about keeping the light of the sun. Thousands will gather at Stonehenge in England next week to celebrate the sunrise. The stones are aligned so that the first light of the sun will occur between two specific stones on the solstice morn. Druids and pagans, and regular folk just seeking a respite from the season’s incessant commercialism, will chant and dance to call the sun back from darkness. At the Neolithic mound of Newgrange in Ireland, the sun will fill a passageway in the massive earthen temple chamber on the morning of the December solstice. Men and women who obviously paid attention to the changing angles of the sun constructed this place more than 5,000 years ago.

In North America, Native American mound builders built various earthworks oriented with the sun for both summer and winter solstices. For instance the tail at Great Serpent Mound near Peebles, Ohio, points to the sunrise on the shortest day of the year, and the mouth points to the head on the longest. This serpent effigy, built sometime from 1000-1500 AD, is the largest such mound known. The Hopi of Arizona hold a celebration during winter solstice to prevent the disappearance of the sun. Preparation starts by cutting bits of cotton string and tying feathers and pinyon needles to the ends. Friends and family exchange these simple gifts. The highlight of the festival is the story of the Plumed Black Snake. Dancers play the roles of the Black Snake, the Sun, and Warriors. The snake symbolizes the evil influences that drive the sun away. The chiefs make offerings of prayers and corn meal to the Plumed Black Snake to persuade him not to swallow the sun, like he does during an eclipse. Then the warriors must convince the sun to return by offering gifts. When the sun does finally come back, the people cheer.

Me, I’m here in Austin. We hung brightly colored lights around the front porch like many of our neighbors, and will string them liberally around the backyard so we can see them from our windows. I’ve “lit” the LED candles and my husband’s got a fire going on the grill. But still, I’d like to burn up the old year’s regrets and use the ash to bring a better harvest.

If you feel like I do, please join me on Facebook at the group page called “Prehistoric Writers and Readers Campfire” on December 21, 2014. We’ll have a digital solstice bonfire, to burn terrible first drafts, rejection slips, wadded-up revisions, and other detritus of a writer’s life. If you’ve got something you want to burn, now’s the time to do it. You don’t have to be a writer. We’ve all got something we’d like to get rid of. Come on! Let’s light up the darkness and bring back the sun.

About the book
Publication Date: October 25, 2014
Writers Press
Formats: Ebook, Trade Paperback
Pages: 350
Genre: Historical Fiction

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Deer Cloud is painting the stories of the gods when tragedy changes his life. He is called to walk the shaman path and bring the buffalo through his visionary power. The evil Stone Face will do anything to thwart Deer Cloud’s growing strength. Jumping Rabbit, a lusty female shaman, decides to mentor him and ends up taking him to bed. She introduces him to a powerful spirit plant to counter the effects of the dangerous wolf flower. When buffalo are spotted, Stone Face challenges Deer Cloud to call the beasts with his new power. With Jumping Rabbit’s help, Deer Cloud changes Rain Bringer society forever.

This book brings to life people who lived over 4,000 years ago in the southwest Texas canyonlands known as the Lower Pecos, near the confluence of the Devils and Pecos rivers with the Rio Grande. These ancient people painted over 300 currently known rock art murals, some of which can be viewed today. Archaeologists have also found evidence of a huge bison jump in a small canyon in that region that points to a catastrophic event in the lives of these people so long ago. This book is based on extensive research and is the first novel to examine these events.

About the Author
Mary S. Black fell in love with the Lower Pecos more than twenty years ago. Since then she has studied the archaeology and related ethnography of the area with numerous scholars. She has an Ed.D. from Harvard University in Human Development and Psychology and lives in Austin with her husband, an archaeologist, and two cats.

For more information please visit Mary’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Goodreads.

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Twitter Hashtag: #PeyoteFireBlogTour #HistoricalFiction
Twitter Tags: @hfvbt

Follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter form below to enter for a chance to win a paperback copy of Peyote Fire.

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December 12, 2014

Spotlight on Sherryl Caulfield's Seldom Come {Giveaway}

Publication Date: December 10, 2013
Cedar Pocket Publishing
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Pages: 490
Series: Iceberg Trilogy
Genre: Historical Fiction

Two years after the sinking of the Titanic, fifteen year-old Rebecca Crowe’s fascination with icebergs leads her to save a shipwrecked survivor, Samuel Dalton, the nineteen-year old son of a Toronto medical family.
Love sparks in the crystal cave of an iceberg but is thwarted by an unreasonable father and the Great War that drags Samuel and his brother, Matthew, to the Western Front as medical officers. Knowing Rebecca is home and safe in Newfoundland brings Samuel great comfort. But as the war moves towards its final harrowing days, they both discover that tragedy and terror can strike anywhere, setting their love on an unforeseen path.

Only when Samuel and Rebecca can fully come to terms with such devastating loss and their impossible choices can their love soar. With an emotional intensity reminiscent of The Bronze Horseman, Seldom Come By, named after an actual place in Newfoundland, is an unforgettable journey across waves and time and the full spectrum of human emotions.

Praise for Seldom Come By
“Seldom Come By is a haunting love story set against the windswept coast of Newfoundland. The story draws you in from the opening lines and takes you on a compelling journey across time and continents, through love, loss, heartache and healing. It is a beautiful and memorable story — a great accomplishment and a wonderful read.” – Julie Fison, Australia

“A wholly engaging read that wraps you up in another world. The story of how Samuel and Rebecca met and fell in love will always stay with me — and leaves me feeling as if I have already visited Newfoundland.” – Carolyn Wood, New Zealand

“If you love deep, epic, romantic stories this is one for you.” – Jeannie Zelos, United Kingdom

“Historical fiction is by far my favorite genre and this book captures the elements perfectly. An engaging, strong heroine, a dashing, honorable stranger, a brutal daily life existence in Newfoundland set during WWI. The story and characters are made more rich by the superb writing. I look forward to reading more from this author.” – Diane Tyson, USA

“This book was a real treat to read. By 30% in I was completely invested in the characters. The strength, passion and adversity that the couple have to endure are reminiscent of The Bronze Horseman, but beyond that, Rebecca and Samuel find their own way of handling things. I have already found myself recommending this book to others that have loved The Bronze Horseman. I do believe that if you enjoy an epic love story, this will make a fine reading suggestion.” – Karen Scott, Canada

Buy the Book

About the Author
Australian-born Sherryl Caulfield is a marketer, writer and traveller. After twenty years working for some of the world’s leading technology brands and a stint with Outward Bound, she longed to write about the human experience and the redemptive qualities of nature.

In 2006, haunted by an encounter with a woman she met in Canada, Sherryl started what has now become known as The Iceberg Trilogy. From her home in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand, she distilled the lives of three generations of women – Rebecca, Evangeline and Lindsay – over the course of a century. In the telling of their stories she crafted a series rich in landscapes – of sea, land and the human soul.

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

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Twitter Hashtag: #SeldomComeByBlogTour #HistoricalRomance
Twitter Tags: @hfvbt @ShezCaulfield

To enter to win an Autographed copy of Seldom Come By, please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below.

Rules– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on December 13th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
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– Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

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December 11, 2014

Book Blast: Rebecca Hazell's The Tiger and the Dove Trilogy {Giveaway}

Please join Rebecca Hazell as she tours the blogosphere for the Tiger and the Dove trilogy Book Blast, from December 1 - 14, and be entered to win all three books in the trilogy!

The Grip of God (Book One)
The Grip of God is the first novel in an epic historical trilogy, The Tiger and the Dove. Set in the thirteenth century, its heroine, Sofia, is a young princess of Kievan Rus. She begins her story by recounting her capture in battle and life of slavery to a young army captain in the Mongol armies that are flooding Europe. Not only is her life shattered, it is threatened by the bitter rivalries in her new master's powerful family, and shadowed by the leader of the Mongol invasion, Batu Khan, Genghis Khan's grandson. How will she learn to survive in a world of total war, much less rediscover the love she once took for granted? Always seeking to escape and menaced by outer enemies and inner turmoil, where can she find safe haven even if she can break free? Clear eyed and intelligent, Sofia could be a character from The Game of Thrones, but she refuses to believe that life is solely about the strong dominating the weak or about taking endless revenge. Her story is based on actual historical events, which haunt her destiny. Like an intelligent Forrest Gump, she reflects her times. But as she matures, she learns to reflect on them as well, and to transcend their fetters. In doing so, she recreates a lost era for us, her readers.

Solomon's Bride (Book Two)
Solomon's Bride is the dramatic sequel to The Grip of God. Sofia, the heroine, a former princess from Kievan Rus' was enslaved by a Mongol nobleman and then taken as a concubine by the leader of the Mongol invasions, Batu Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan. Now, having fled the Mongols with a price on her head, Sofia escapes into Persia and what she believes will be safety, only to fall into the clutches of the Assassins, who seek to disrupt the Mongol empire. In a world at war, both outer and inner, the second phase of her adventures unfolds. Can she ever find safe haven, much less the lost love and family that was almost destroyed by the Mongols?

Consolamentum (Book Three)
In the finale of Sofia's memoir, Consolamentum, both dramatic and poignant, her dreams of home are shattered when her own family betrays her. Raising her child on her own, mourning the loss of her beloved knight, and building a trading empire, she seeks safe haven for her child and herself. Her quest takes her from Antioch to Constantinople to Venice. A surprise reunion in Venice leads her to France where she runs afoul of the newly established Holy Inquisition, possibly the greatest challenge she has yet faced. Can a woman so marked by oppression, betrayal, and danger ever find her safe haven, much less genuine happiness?

Buy Links
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

About the Author
Rebecca Hazell is a an award winning artist, author and educator. She has written, illustrated and published four non-fiction children’s books, created best selling educational filmstrips, designed educational craft kits for children and even created award winning needlepoint canvases. She is a senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage, and she holds an honours BA from the University of California at Santa Cruz in Russian and Chinese history.

Rebecca lived for many years in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1988 she and her family moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in 2006 she and her husband moved to Vancouver Island. They live near their two adult children in the beautiful Cowichan Valley.

Visit Rebecca:
Website | Goodreads | Facebook

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, December 1
History from a Woman’s Perspective

Tuesday, December 2
A Book Geek

Wednesday, December 3
The Never-Ending Book

Thursday, December 4
Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Friday, December 5
Must Read Faster

Saturday, December 6
What is that Book About

Sunday, December 7
The True Book Addict

Tuesday, December 9
She is Too Fond of Books & Movies

Wednesday, December 10
To Read, Or Not to Read

Thursday, December 11
Historical Fiction Connection

Friday, December 12
Book Drunkard

Saturday, December 13
Brooke Blogs

To win all three books in Rebecca Hazell’s The Tiger and the Dove trilogy (eBook and print, two winners), please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Ebook giveaway is open internationally. Print book giveaway is open to U.S./Canada.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on December 14th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter on December 17th and notified via email.
Winners have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

December 10, 2014

Caddy Rowland - Making History, Bohemian Style at Christmas (Part 12)

Please welcome back historical fiction author and artist, Caddy Rowland, our monthly contributor here at Historical Fiction Connection.

Although very little is known about exactly how the artists celebrated Noël (the holiday Americans call Christmas), one has to assume those who were French did as much as they could with what little they had to make Noël special for their families. And, yes, many artists did eventually end up with wives and children. Additionally, it also seems to me those living in Montmartre from other countries may have picked up on the traditions of France, since they were residing there.

Noël is still vastly different than Christmas in the USA in that it isn’t so commercialized. Back then in particular (and still for some French today), it was primarily a religious event. The word Noël comes from the French phrase les bonnes nouvelles, which means “the good news” (the birth of Christ). On the eve, church bells rang out Christmas carols. People filled the cathedrals to attend Noël services with family. Afterward they went home to the most celebrated dinner of the year: Le Rêveillon (to revive or awaken).

Menu’s varied throughout regions of France, but whatever was served, there were many dishes to choose from and plenty of each. Goose, chicken, capon, turkey stuffed with chestnuts, oysters, and boudin blanc (similar to white pudding) were common.

La bûche de Noël (Yule log) is a log-shaped cake made of chocolate and chestnuts. Some areas burned a log in their fireplace from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day. This dessert was a replica of the Yule log.

Many families would serve a Three Kings Cake with a bean hidden in it. Some had a baby Jesus they used instead of a bean. Whoever found the bean (or baby) in their slice was made King, or Queen, for the day.

The sapin de Noël (Christmas tree) had been introduced in France by 1837, but wasn’t very popular yet. More likely they would have had a crèche similar to a nativity scene (filled with santons little saints). This display was the focus for the celebration. The santons were little clay figures. Not only would a family have figures of the holy family, shepherds and Wiseman, but of French dignitaries and other characters. These figures were cherished and handed down through generations. They are gaily colored and have fine detail to them.

Mistletoe was thought to bring good fortune and was hung around the home for the holiday season. That day the children would go out to look for the Kings, taking gifts of hay for the camels.

Once Le Rêveillon dinner was over, everyone retired. They left a log burning, along with food and drink on the table. These were for the Virgin Mary, in case she stopped by. Children left their shoes out, hoping Pierre Noël (like Santa Claus) would come and fill them with fruit, nuts, candy, and maybe a small toy. Some people also told children there was a Père Fouettard who would dole out spankings to naughty children. If the artist’s were from Northern France, they probably gave their children these gifts on December 6th, instead, as that was St. Nicholas Day in Northern France. Adults did not exchange gifts during this holy time. Instead, they waited to exchange gifts on New Year ’s Day. These gifts were seldom lavish. Each person gave their adult family members one small gift, even in households where money wasn’t an issue. Nor did they buy for every family member. It was for immediate family only.

One can see the celebration of family and their belief system was the heart of this celebration, with materialism taking a back seat—if showing up at all. The food was the only excess they indulged in during this highly awaited celebration.

One has to wonder how meager some of the tables looked in artists homes. However, with family and/or friends even the most meager of meals can be a celebration when love and kinship is freely given and accepted.

And now I would like to wish each of you a:


Joyeux Noël

See you next year!

Historical Fiction by Caddy Rowland: 

Contact and Social Media Info. For Caddy Rowland:

Author Email:
Twitter: @caddyorpims

December 09, 2014

S.R. Mallery's Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads - Guest Post and {Giveaway}


First off, I love history. I love reading about it, watching documentaries about it, imagining it, and transporting myself back into those various time periods. I also love action, mystery, crime, and romance. So perhaps, being a quilt designer/instructor when I started writing these short stories, I knew somehow I was going to include it all. Hence the ‘thread’ link through each story.

The following includes just a tiny tidbit of research for each story, with excerpts from the FIRST THREE stories only. I have also included links to ‘images’ for these different subjects because if you’re like me, seeing photographs/pictures makes everything more authentic.

1) “Sewing Can Be Dangerous”
In 1912 desperate immigrant families were pouring in to Ellis Island at an alarming rate. Non-English speaking, frightened, they grabbed any available job American business magnates offered, no questions asked. In the ambitious Age of Industrialization, horrendous factory conditions around the country were being ignored while people survived on minimal pay and long hours with no breaks. It was an era, ripe for accidents.

After so many girls died in the infamous New York Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of March 25, 2012, the owners, Harris and Frank went on trial. But the few female witnesses testifying against them, were not only unable to fully understand the sophisticated verbal courtroom language, they were too intimidated to speak out, so in the end there were no convictions, simply the devastation of the girls’ families and indeed, all of New York City.

Yet, from out of the ashes came new, progressive legislation that would forever change American industry: sprinklers, exit doors mandated to push outward, not inward, more fire escapes, no parts of the building being sealed off, etc.

“...but Sasha’s heart sank. She found out soon enough what working conditions were really like: sixteen hour days, six days-a-week, hunched over cumbersome black iron industrial sewing machines in dense, almost airtight conditions that had her breaking out in streams of sweat on hot summer days, and teeth chattering shivers in the dead of winter.... microscopic fibers clogged mechanisms and filled nostrils with a dust so fine, after two hours it became difficult to breathe...

Oil soaked rags, used for greasing the mechanisms, radiated their own heat that could be slightly comforting in winter for those workers near the large bins where they were dumped, but toxic in spring and summer for everyone else...”

2) “A Drunkard’s Path”Funnily enough, I had read years before how certain old quilt patterns had ‘curses’ attached to them. That fascinated me. But in what story/context could this fact be included? One night, watching a documentary about the Salem Witchcraft trial, I got my answer.

In the past there had been ‘ergot’ poisoning theories about what happened back then, but more recent evidence indicated that these teenage girls, the accusers who wreaked such havoc in the town of Salem, were much like the hysterical women that Dr. Sigmund Freud treated. One by one, these girls fed on each other’s psyche, twisting the truth and adding more fervor to the already rigid, naïve, cult-like behavior of the townspeople and the oppressive judges.

“At the front of the room facing the magistrates, sat all the accusers, the “afflicted” girls: Abigail Williams, her cousin Betty Parris, Ann Putnam, Sarah Bibber, Sarah Churchill, Elizabeth Booth, Mercy Lewis, Susanna Sheldon, Jemima Rea, Mary Warren, Mary Walcott and Elizabeth Hubbard. With downcast eyes and folded hands, they appeared demure; inwardly they were experiencing emotions quite different from anything they had ever known. Childhoods stocked with adult repression and fear now served as a springboard to the frenzy of accusations they had created, because on this day, along with their catharsis and even exhilaration, came the most important emotion of all: a sense of empowerment. At last, they were getting adults to listen to them, and it was intoxicating.”

3) “Lettie’s Tale” In doing my research on the Antebellum south, I was fascinated by how many times the slaves out-maneuvered their owners. “Puttin’ on the Massah” was repeated time and again, and indeed, their rich tradition of using mostly drawings in the dirt in Africa served them well in America. I also was taken with the Canadian who came up with codes numbers to help them escape on the Underground Railroad. Coupled with their use of ‘pattern codes’ in patchwork quilts, they were far more powerful and intelligent than their white master could ever imagine.

“...At first, the idea of slavery wasn’t even a conscious thought for Lettie. She had been well-treated up at the Big House and even here, in the lowlands, surrounded by her cousins, with whom she romped through the tall-bladed grass each sunset, just before snuggling up together, heads to wriggly toes on one large, straw mat. But as they all matured, she could see how arduous their tasks had become. How being a half-quarter hand was infinitely more grueling than being a quarter hand. With the other boys becoming full field hands, Lettie watched them return from long, backbreaking days; exhausted, bitter, transformed from the carefree boys she had gotten to know.

Her narrow world was shifting and with it, an awareness of little things that now called out to her; secrets whispered between the adults behind doorways, conversations stopped mid-sentence as she approached. It also occurred to her that more and more, slaves were disappearing. Where did they go? She wondered. Was that the secret? For the first time in her life, a tight knot was growing inside her chest, keeping her on high alert...”

4) “The Comforter”We have all heard about the various Christians who helped Jews in Nazi Germany; putting a good Samaritan couple in my story was a given. But the origins of Kristallnacht pointed to a young Jewish man who, having had enough of being treated so shamefully by the Nazis, shot and killed a minor officer. That gave Goebbels the excuse and impetus he needed and soon, Kristallnacht was in full gear and my ‘quilt-protagonist,’ a major player.

5) “A Plague On Both Your Houses” Visiting Wall Street in the late 1980’s I was privy to the madness involved. High-tufted wall-to-wall carpeting allowed for peace and quiet, while downstairs on ‘the floor,’ it was heart-attack city. Papers were strewn everywhere, computers were flashing, brokers––jacketless, their ties loosened and skewed––were screaming one minute and looking thoroughly depressed and/or intense the next. Having always loved a good Romeo and Juliet story, I decided to include a Wall Street powerhouse with an artsy fiber artist.

6) “Border Windfalls” In researching this story, I had reason to interview a doctor from a Doctors Without Borders type of group. We talked about the problems of dealing with hare-lipped children living in foreign countries; how superstitious their families can be, how they can be seen as being ‘from the devil’. I also talked to people from Guatemala who claimed in some of the smaller villages, people would do anything to survive---so helping drug dealers became a way of life.

7) “Emma at Night”People during the Middle Ages had, according to several articles, different circadian rhythms than we do nowadays. With no TV to keep them up they would fall asleep early, then wake up around 2 a.m. and start to ‘roam’. In some cases, there would be dozens of people at a time, wandering the countryside while the people living in manors were more contained. I also saw plans for entire seamstresses wings in the manor, with their own duty being to do their best ‘embroiderie’. Other research uncovered how Richard the Lionhearted wasn’t always so gentle; there was unrest in England as their army went away on all the countless Crusades.

8) “Murder She Sewed”
I taught machine sewing/quilting for years and years. In my classes, I always made it a point to talk about safety, particularly when it came to rotary cutters. What are those? People would ask and I would hold up something that was akin to a pizza cutter and in front of them, start to make sharp, even cuts to produce fabric strips. There were also quilt workshops galore on those big ship cruises back in the ‘80s. So I put a quilt teacher bunking in with a burned out NYPD detective. Voila! Murder Most Foul....

9) “Precious Gifts”The production and sale of the Singer sewing machine was nothing short of a miracle. Some women claimed it almost ranked up there with the ‘wheel’. When I was at an exhibition of the Sewing Machine, I noticed a tiny note nestled behind glass at a counter display. It read something to the effect of, “I’m going to hide my Singer in the cornfield tomorrow in case of Indian attack. Washington Territory 1870”. Wow. More important than her house....and her family? Further research showed how the Chinook Indians of that area were fat and happy from all the salmon running upstream. I created an unlikely friendship from a white woman and a young Chinook Indian out on his spiritual quest.

10) “Lyla’s Summers of Love”
That was my era––I wasn’t a hippy per se, but I sure was part of the culture; hence, the inclusion of a macramé necklace and San Francisco. But I also learned that in the late 60’s early 70’s while students protested, a few professors had been hired by the government to keep their ‘eyes and ears’ open regarding campus unrest. At that same time The Zodiac Killer was filling the news.

11) “Nightmare At Four Corners”
A bored middle-aged housewife with a journalistic background hooks up with her Hopi Native American housekeeper to solve a cold case murder. In the process, she learns Katchina dolls and the beliefs behind them have tremendous power. In her Southwest travel to the Four Corners area of the United States she also learns about the power of prejudice.

Katchina Dolls and the Power behind them:

About the book
Publication Date: December 16, 2013
Mockingbird Lane Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback, Audio Book
Pages: 276
Genre: Historical Fiction/Short Stories

The eleven long short stories in “Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads" combine history, mystery, action and/or romance, and range from drug trafficking using Guatemalan hand-woven wallets, to an Antebellum U.S. slave using codes in her quilts as a message system to freedom; from an ex-journalist and her Hopi Indian maid solving a cold case together involving Katchina spirits, to a couple hiding Christian passports in a comforter in Nazi Germany; from a wedding quilt curse dating back to the Salem Witchcraft Trials, to a mystery involving a young seamstress in the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire; from a 1980’s Romeo and Juliet romance between a rising Wall Street financial ‘star’ and an eclectic fiber artist, to a Haight-Asbury love affair between a professor and a beautiful macramé artist gone horribly askew, just to name a few.

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Buy the Audio Book
Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads is now in AUDIO!!! Listen to narrator, Suzie Althens, breathe life and depth into these stories!

About the Author
S.R. Mallery has worn various hats in her life.

First, a classical/pop singer/composer, she moved on to the professional world of production art and calligraphy. Next came a long career as an award winning quilt artist/teacher and an ESL/Reading instructor. Her short stories have been published in descant 2008, Snowy Egret, Transcendent Visions, The Storyteller, and Down In the Dirt.

“Unexpected Gifts”, her debut novel, is currently available on Amazon. “Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads”, her collection of short stories, Jan. 2014, both books by Mockingbird Lane Press.
For more information please visit S.R. Mallery’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

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Follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter form below to enter for a chance to win one eBook copy of Sewing Can Be Dangerous, open internationally.

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