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Mistress FThanks to Caitlin Valenziano of Penguin/Randomhouse, I am giving away one print copy of Mistress Firebrand by Donna Thorland.

Book Description:

British Occupied Manhattan, 1777.  American actress Jenny Leighton has been packing the John Street Theater with her witty comedies, but she longs to escape the provincial circuit for the glamour of the London stage. When the playwright General John Burgoyne visits the city, fresh from a recent success in the capitol, she seizes the opportunity to court his patronage.  But her plan is foiled by British intelligence officer Severin Devere.

Severin’s mission is to keep the pleasure-loving general focused on the war effort…and away from pretty young actresses. But the tables are turned when Severin himself can’t resist Jenny Leighton…

Months later, Jenny has abandoned her dreams of stage glory and begun writing seditious plays for the Rebels under the pen name “Cornelia,” ridiculing “Gentleman Johnny” Burgoyne and his army—and undermining the crown’s campaign to take Albany. With Jenny’s name now on the hanging list, Severin is ordered to find her—and deliver her to certain death. Soon, the two are launched on a desperate journey through the wilderness, toward an uncertain future shaped by the revolution—and their passion for each other…

About Donna Thorland:Donna Thorland

A native of Bergenfield, New Jersey, Donna graduated from Yale with a degree in Classics and Art History. For many years she managed architecture and interpretation at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, and wrote and directed the Witch City’s most popular Halloween theater festival, Eerie Events. She later earned an MFA in film production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Donna has been a sorority house mother, a Disney/ABC Television Writing Fellow, a WGA Writer’s Access Project Honoree, and a writer on the ABC primetime drama, Cupid. Her screenwriting credits include episodes of the animated series,

Tron:Uprising. Her short fiction has appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and Albedo One. The director of several award-winning short films, her most recent project, The Night Caller, aired on WNET Channel 13 and was featured on Ain’t It Cool News. Currently she is a writer on the WGN drama SALEM. She is married with one cat and divides her time between the real Salem and Los Angeles.

This giveaway is open to the U.S. only and ends on March 14, 2015.  Please use Rafflecopter to enter.

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02_Confederado Do Norte_CoverPublication Date: July 7, 2014
Soul Mate Publishing
eBook; 310p
ASIN: B00LMN5OMI

Genre: Historical Fiction

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After surviving war, young Mary Catherine is torn from her home and thrust into a strange new life when her family decamps for Brazil rather than live with the terms of Reconstruction. Shortly after arrival in Brazil, she is orphaned, leaving only maternal uncle Nathan to care for her. He hates Mary Catherine, blaming her for his beloved sister’s death following a childish mistake. He is also a man with an incredible secret that he will go to great lengths to protect. When the opportunity for Nathan to be rid of her arises, Mary Catherine faces either forced marriage to an unsuitable man or flight into the wilderness containing jaguars and enclaves of people with much to hide. Mary Catherine chooses escape.

Finding refuge among strangers who become her surrogate parents, she matures into a beauty who marries the scion of a wealthy Portuguese family. At last, Mary Catherine has happiness and security until civil unrest brings armed intruders with whom she has an inexplicable connection. When the thugs murder her husband for failing to meet their demands, she directs them to her uncle and his secret in order to save herself and her in-laws. With the danger passed, however, her husband’s family demands that she is arrested for complicity in her husband’s murder. Innocent and betrayed by family for a second time, Mary Catherine must now fight for survival.

Mary Catherine is rescued from the gallows by friends, but cannot remain in Brazil. She boards a ship bound for New York with little money and without a home to return to, a family to welcome her, or a nation from which to claim citizenship. Her father never took the loyalty oath required of all former Confederates in order to have their citizenship restored. Once again, she must recreate herself in order to survive.

In old age, Mary Catherine is still haunted by the long ago events for which she feels responsible. After a lifetime trying to forget, she seeks peace, understanding, and the ability to forgive through writing her story, Confederado do Norte.

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My Thoughts



Shortly after the American civil war, young Mary Catherine flees with her mother, father, and uncle to Brazil to start over with a new colony, rather than face reconstruction in the South.  Shortly after arriving in Brazil she is orphaned and left with her harsh uncle as her guardian.

At the age of 14 she finds out that she is to marry a widowed man with many children.  While fleeing, her dug out canoe tips over and is found by a kind couple who nurse her back to health and become her surrogate parents. 

She gains employment in the richest family in the area as a servant but by the age of 17 she is wooed by the family’s son and marries.  The family disapproves strongly with the marriage. Wanting to keep herself occupied, she volunteers through the church to care for the poor and also help black slaves escape to freedom. However, once again, her world is turned upside down and she must flee for her life again.

Will she survive and if so, what will become of her?  You will have to read the book to find out!

I loved this book so much!  Linda Bennett Penell takes a little known piece of history and makes it come alive.  Mary Catherine and the other characters come alive with her poetic prose and I was thrust into the story with the first page!  I felt like I was there, experiencing what Mary Catherine experienced.  The landscape was captured beautifully as was the sense of time and place. This is a must read for all historical fiction lovers!

5/5

I received the ebook version for my honest review. 


About Linda Bennett Penell



I have been in love with the past for as long as I can remember. Anything with a history, whether shabby or majestic,03_Linda Bennett Pennell_Author recent or ancient, instantly draws me in. I suppose it comes from being part of a large extended family that spanned several generations. Long summer afternoons on my grandmother’s porch or winter evenings gathered around her fireplace were filled with stories both entertaining and poignant. Of course being set in the American South, those stories were also peopled by some very interesting characters, some of whom have found their way into my work.

As for my venture in writing, it has allowed me to reinvent myself. We humans are truly multifaceted creatures, but unfortunately we tend to sort and categorize each other into neat, easily understood packages that rarely reveal the whole person. Perhaps you, too, want to step out of the box in which you find yourself. I encourage you to look at the possibilities and imagine. Be filled with childlike wonder in your mental wanderings. Envision what might be, not simply what is. Let us never forget, all good fiction begins when someone says to her or himself, “Let’s pretend.”

I reside in the Houston area with one sweet husband and one adorable German Shorthaired Pointer who is quite certain she’s a little girl.

Favorite quote regarding my professional passion: “History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up.” Voltaire

For more information please visit Linda Bennett Pennell’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks to Amy Bruno of HFVBT, I am giving away one print copy of Confederado Do Norte by Linda Pennell.  This giveaway is open to the U.S. only and ends on March 12, 2015.  Please use Rafflecopter to enter.

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Confederado Do Norte Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 23
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, February 24
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, February 25
Review at Book Babe
Interview & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Obsession

Thursday, February 26
Review & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Friday, February 27
Review at With Her Nose Stuck In A Book

Monday, March 2
Character Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, March 3
Review at Book Nerd

Wednesday, March 4
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

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Turnip_Princess_and_Other_Newly_Discovered_Fairy_TalesThanks to Andrea Lam of Viking/Penguin Books, I am giving away one print copy of The Turnip Princess by Franz Xaver Von schönwerth.

Book Description:



With ‘The Turnip Princess’, the holy trinity of fairy tales—the Brothers Grimm, Charles Perrault, and Hans Christian Andersen—becomes a quartet. In the 1850s, Franz Xaver von Schönwerth traversed the forests, lowlands, and mountains of northern Bavaria to record fairy tales, gaining the admiration of even the Brothers Grimm. Most of Schönwerth’s work was lost—until a few years ago, when Erika Eichenseer uncovered thirty boxes of manuscripts in a German municipal archive.

Now, for the first time, Schönwerth’s lost fairy tales are available in English. Violent, dark, and full of action, and upending the relationship between damsels in distress and their dragon-slaying heroes, they bring us closer than ever to the unadorned oral tradition in which fairy tales are rooted, revolutionizing our understanding of a hallowed genre.

About Franz Xaver Von schönwerth:



Franz Xaver Von schönwerth (1810-1886) was born in Amberg, Bavaria. He had a successful career in law and the Bavarian royal court, rising to the post of personal secretary to the Crown Prince Maximilian. In the 1850s he began to explore the culture of the Upper Palatinate region of Bavaria, recording his observations and the stories of the people he interviewed. Eventually he devoted himself full-time to his research and, between 1857 and 1859, published From the Upper Palatinate: Customs and Legends, cataloging the customs and folktales of his homeland in unprecedented detail. This work contained only a fraction of his total research, the rest of which was eventually discovered in an archive, forming an important addition to the canon of classic fairy tales.

About The Editors:



Erika Eichenseer discovered 500 previously unknown fairy tales of Franz Xaver von Schönwerth in the municipal archive of Regensburg, Bavaria, in 2009. In 2010 she published a selection entitled Prinz Rosszwifl [Prince Dung Beetle]. She began her career as a teacher, then worked in the theater for the cultural department of the regional government of East Bavaria. An expert on fairy tales and on puppet theater, she has written numerous books on folk art and customs and has appeared on television, produced radio programs, and performed all over Bavaria as a storyteller. She is co-founder and director of the Schönwerth Society and initiator of the Schönwerth Fairytale Path in Sinzing, near Regensburg, and she wrote the libretto for a musical based on Schönwerth’s “The Flying Chest.” She has been awarded many honors for her services to Bavarian culture.

Photo credit Sanford Kreisberg

Photo credit Sanford Kreisberg

Maria Tatar chairs the program in folklore and mythology at Harvard. She is the author of many acclaimed books on folklore and fairytales, as well as the editor and translator of ‘The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen’, ‘The Annotated Brothers Grimm’, ‘The Classic Fairy Tales: A Norton Critical Edition’, and ‘The Grimm Reader’. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

 

About The Illustrator:



Engelbert Süss is a sculptor, glass-artist, and illustrator who was born in 1949 in eastern Bavaria. He created the bronze statue “King of Dwarfs” for the Schönwerth Fairytale Path in Sinzing, Bavaria.

This giveaway is open to the U.S. only and ends on March 11, 2015.  Please use Rafflecopter to enter.

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