Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Neespaugot: Legend of the Indian's Coin by John MugglebeeNeespaugot: Legend of the Indian’s Coin by John Mugglebee

Publisher: Brandt Street Press (May 29, 2017)
Category: Historical Fiction, Native American Fiction, African American Fiction
Tour dates: Sept-Oct, 2017
ISBN: 978-0974260792
Available in Print & ebook, 378 pages

Melba Blue Jay, sixteen, scrambling up a snow-filled mountain path, her knife at a child’s throat. Archie Chung at the helm of the South Pacific Belle, foremast snapped like a toothpick, barreling toward a coral reef. Spindly Lydia Freeman, skin the color of dark ale, feeding tea made of birch bark to an Irish murderess. Zeke Roxxmott teetering at three hundred feet on the five-inch ledge of his penthouse, bent on a flawless destruction.

Adventurers, inextricably linked by a bloodline… and an Indian’s coin.

Where history and imagination meet!

John Mugglebee’s Neespaugot is based on the real-life exploits of his own ancestors.  A sweeping historical saga of his Native American, African American, Scots-Irish, Chinese, Russian Jewish family, it spans three centuries with adventures that keep you turning page after page.  You’ll fall in love with these characters, who stay with you long after you’ve put the book down.

Interview With John Mugglebee

TR: Hi John, welcome to Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus.  Please tell us something about the book that is not in the summary. (About the book, character you particularly enjoyed writing etc.)

JM: Neespaugot, the eponymous fictional city where the story takes place, is an Algonquian word meaning “two waters”, a reference to the city’s twin bays. Hoping to mirror that image, I had originally intended to develop twin themes as well: Transcendence, the idea of generational sacrifice for the benefit of future generations; and Preservation, the challenge of preserving the memory of those who had sacrificed themselves for the rights of others. In the end, my publisher and I decided that each theme would be better served by its own book.  So, while transcendence remains the theme of Neespaugot, a second volume, due out next year and titled The Onion Road Legacy, will be dedicated to the theme of preservation.

It’ll come as no surprise to anyone who has read the book that my favorite characters are women.  Melba Blue Jay, Lydia Freeman, Della Osborne and Ruth Roxxmott embody the nobility of spirit that I like to write about.  Steadfast, selfless and on their own, these strong women confront head-on the obstacles which threaten to severe any hope of transcendence.   

TR: How much time and effort went into your research for the book?

JM: Loads. The story spans 400 years of American history and required a good deal of preliminary reading and referencing to line up dates and events and recreate the sights and sounds of the different historical periods covered in the book.  It was actually a lot of fun to immerse myself in the mores and parlance of the racial and ethnic groups being described, from early colonial times through 19th Century Irish and Chinese immigration.

TR: What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?

JM: Well, this is like being asked to choose your favorite kid.  Nonetheless, I do have a tender spot for the scene in which a very pregnant Kate Coughlin crosses town on foot to deliver a stolen pound of meat to Lydia Freeman. The scene works as a slow motion video of the city: the opulent mansions on Pickworth Point Peninsula, the stretch of land separating the north and south bays; Grover Wharf bustling with ships and foul-mouthed sailors; the historic Sentinel Hill and its Revolutionary-period cannons trained on the Atlantic.  Also, I like the contrast between the nostalgic atmosphere and Kate’s cutthroat scheme to hoodwink Lydia Freeman.

TR: Tell us about your cover. Did you design it yourself?

JM: The cover, a rich tapestry of old photos, was the brilliant idea of my publisher Anita Kulina of Brandt Street Press.  My idea had been to display only the “Indian’s coin”, the artifact engraved with the seal of Massachusetts Bay Colony, which ties the story together and represents its overarching theme of transcendence.  Fortunately, Anita’s vision prevailed.  The snapshots speak volumes about the country’s history of race relations and immigration.  By the way, the seal actually did make it onto the cover – it is the “O” in title.  A final anecdote: when the cover design was finished, the publisher informed me that the hands cupping the photographs belonged to a woman of Italian descent, thus adding another layer to the ethnic tapestry that is Neespaugot.

TR: What kind of message do you try to instill in your writing?

JM: Tolerance, hope and the indomitable human spirit which, as I mentioned, is best typified by strong selfless women.

TR: I always enjoy looking at the names that authors choose to give their characters. Where do you derive the names of your characters? Are they based on real people you knew or now know in real life? How do you create names for your characters?

JM: Generally, I write out a character’s profile before affixing a name, then wait for inspiration while the personality develops.  However, such was not the case with many of Neespaugot’s 19th century characters, whose names I drew from a copy of my own genealogical tree.  The document, stretching back to 1794, was full of names belonging to ancestors I knew nothing about. It was highly rewarding for me to flesh out their respective personas and give them voices.

About John MugglebeeNeespaugot: Legend of the Indian's Coin by John Mugglebee

John Mugglebee is a racial and ethnic jigsaw puzzle. His heritage, in chronological order, includes Native American, African American, Scots-Irish, Chinese and Russian Jew. John has said there were two major factors that shaped him as a person and a writer. One was “Being colored but not knowing which color.”

The other was upheaval. Born in Massachusetts, at age eleven he was uprooted to Southern California in the midst of the ’60s race riots. Growing up, John was told family stories that had been passed down for generations.  Neespaugot is loosely based on those stories.

He currently lives in the South of France, where he heads a language laboratory for French Civil Aviation. John graduated from Dartmouth and earned a master’s in creative writing from Colorado State University. His previous novel, Renaissance in Provence, was published in 2004.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/john.mugglebee
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MugglebeeJohn

Buy Neespaugot: Legend of the Indian’s Coin by John Mugglebee


Giveaway Neespaugot: Legend of the Indian’s Coin by John Mugglebee

This giveaway is for the choice of a print or ebook copy of the book.  Print is open to the U.S. only and ebook is open worldwide.  This giveaway ends on October 31, 2017 at midnight pacific time.  Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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Follow Neespaugot: Legend of the Indian’s Coin by John Mugglebee Tour

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Sept 12 Interview  & Giveaway

A Holland Reads Sept 13 Review & Guest Post

Penny Amazon Reviewer Sept 14 Review

Between the Beats Sept 15 Review & Excerpt

My Reading Journeys Sept 18 Review, Excerpt,  & Giveaway

The Page Turner Sept 19 Review, Excerpt,  & Guest Post

BookAunt Amazon Reviewer Sept 20 Review

Lisa’s Writopia Sept 26 Review & Guest Post

Dolores Amazon Reviewer Oct 5 Review

Sheila’s Guests and Reviews Oct 11 Review & Guest Post

JBronder Book Reviews Oct 25 Review

Room Wihtout Books is Empty Oct 30 Review  

*This schedule is subject to change

Neespaugot: Legend of the Indian's Coin by John Mugglebee


Book Tour and Giveaway, with Guest Post: Khanh Ha

Posted by Teddyrose@1 on January 7, 2013
Posted in Guest AuthorMy Past Giveaways  | 6 Comments

Please give a warm welcome to my guest today, Khanh, author of Flesh.

The Great American Novel

Today I read a fellow author’s post on this subject. She wondered if the desire to write ‘The Great American Novel’ has been superseded by the desire to write the next million-dollar bestseller. She asked, ‘Is Anyone Really Writing the Great American Novel?’
What makes a novel great? Frankly, a novel can be set in any locale, real, or imaginary like the Yoknapatawpha County from which William Faulkner created his fictional worlds. Even more frankly, to be great a novel has to be literary. I never know any great novels in the genre of Sci-Fi, Romance, YA, or that sort. Do you? Why literary? 
Because literary fiction deals with characterization more deeply, more intensely. Not to mention the power of its descriptions of moods, scenes, and human characterization. Don’t yawn! Read The Sound and The Fury, especially the first two chapters on Benjy and Quentin, where human minds verging on insanity were skillfully wrought to the point of surrealism. Read Paris Trout by Pete Dexter. I don’t know about you but I felt a tingling in my spine just following this Trout character around. If you’re taken over by such a villain in a novel, like Trout, or Lester Ballard in Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God, then that novel must be literary.
But I don’t think any writer would intend to write ‘The Great American Novel’ when he conceives the thought of writing. Any writer who says ‘I want to write the great such and such novel’ is illusionary. A novel that can successfully examine human flaws and humiliation and racial bigotry usually transcends any locale it’s set in and becomes a global recognition in the literary world. It could be set in Pago-Pago as in Rain by W. Somerset Maugham, or in a small Cajun community in Louisiana as in A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines, but these works rise above their locales to become classics.
But don’t concern yourself with such a lofty ambition to write ‘The Great American Novel.’ Every day when you sit down to write, try to stay true to yourself.
Also keep this verity in mind: ‘Most live writers do not exist. Their fame is created by critics who always need a genius of the season, someone they understand completely and feel safe in praising, but when these fabricated geniuses are dead they will not exist.’— Ernest Hemingway

And if you still obsess about writing a classic, be merciless on yourself as if you have just been told by a demon: ‘I have to write to be happy whether I get paid for it or not. But it is a hell of a disease to be born with. I like to do it. Which is even worse. That makes it from a disease into a vice. Then I want to do it better than anybody has ever done it which makes it into an obsession. An obsession is terrible. Hope you haven’t got any. That’s the only one I’ve got left.’— Ernest Hemingway


So, do I want to write ‘The Great American Novel?’ No. Just write!
Thanks Khanh! Please be sure to read my review of Flesh, also posted today!

About Khanh Ha:

Khanh Ha was born in Hue, the former capital of Vietnam.  During his teen years he began writing short stories which won him several awards in the Vietnamese adolescent magazines.  He graduated from Ohio University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism.  He is at work on a new novel.

Now for the giveaway!  Khanh has agreed to offer one lucky winner a print copy of his book.  This giveaway is open to Canada and the U.S. and will end on February 7, 2013.  Please use Rafflecopter to enter.


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Follow the Tour:
So Many Precious Books Jan 7 Interview & Giveaway
Eclectic Books & Movies  Jan 8 Review
Eclectic Books & Movies  Jan 9 Interview
She Treads Softly  Jan 10 Review
Book Lover Stop  Jan 11 Guest Post & Giveaway
Broken Teepee Jan 14 Review
MK McClintock  Jan 15 Interview
Joy Story  Jan 16 Review
From L.A. to LA  Jan 17 Review
Books à la Mode Jan 17 Guest Post & Giveaway
A Book Lover’s Library Jan 22 Review
A Book Lover’s Library Jan 23 Interview & Giveaway
Relentless Reader  Jan 23 Review
Joy Story Jan 25 Guest Post
The Wormhole  Jan 25 Interview
Sweeps 4 Bloggers  Jan 25 Review & Giveaway
Ordinary Girlz Reviews  Jan 28 Review & Giveaway
Cuzinlogic Jan 29 Interview & Giveaway
Belle of the Literati Jan 30 Review
Overflowing Bookshelves  Feb 1  Review
Overflowing Bookshelves   Feb 4 Interview
Gina’s Library  Feb 4 Spotlight/Giveaway
Crossroads  Feb 5 Review
Broken Teepee  Feb 5 Guest post & Giveaway
So Many Precious Books   Feb 6 Review
Book Bird Dog  Feb 6 Guest Post


Copyright 2007-2010: All the posts within this blog were originally posted by Teddy Rose and should not be reproduced without express written permission.

I reviewed The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton and posted a giveaway on October 30th, here.  I adored it.  Today I have the pleasure of having the author, Angela Shelton as my guest.  She is going to share with us what she does when she’s not writing.

Welcome Angela!

Doesn’t every writer just want to write?

Don’t you crawl away into your writer’s cave – or that area you’ve carved out for yourself at the family table – and just write away all day?


I’m sure there are some writers out there who have the privilege of just writing. I read Stephen King’s book On Writing and was so impressed with his writing schedule. He gets up, he writes until a set hour, then he has lunch and spends the rest of the day making calls, running errands and being with his family at night. Then he rises early and gets back to writing.

He obviously does not have a puppy. Or small children.

You Need Experience to Write

I envy Stephen King’s wonderful schedule and I try, oh how I try to emulate it. But the truth is that I don’t write all the time because in order to be inspired to write about fantastical stories like The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton, I have to go out and experience the world.

I hike in the woods and am fascinated by the myriad of mushroom populations. They make me think of little villages and my mind wanders to the small creatures who must have to walk past them in the forest. AND BOOM – there’s a chapter of a book or a moment of dialog between a bug and a horse.

Yes, animals can converse and walking in the woods to “hear” them is extremely helpful.

I let my mind wander – and yes, I totally space out. My husband calls me out on it all the time. “You’re writing, aren’t you?” He asks as I’m staring off into a field of ferns. “What? Oh, yes… I just figured out how Tilda gets out of that predicament. Were you saying something?” He just smiles at me as we continue hiking and says, “No, H Bear, go back to writing.”

Exploring the Writer’s Cave

Going into the writer’s cave for me is literally, looking for caves. We’ve spotted bears in our woods, which leads us to believe there must be a bear cave nearby and yes – that makes all kinds of stories pop into my head.

I talk to people desiring to write all the time who bang their heads against the wall, searching for something to write about or wrestling with an idea and I suggest they go look for a writer’s cave – literally.

Go look for caves. Go explore a mushroom patch (not those kinds of mushrooms!).

It’s amazing what you are inspired to write when you stop thinking about writing.

Bring a Notepad

A writer will always write, right? Yes, usually, but always writing doesn’t necessarily mean sitting at the laptop (I love my Mac) and punching out the great American novel every hour of the day. It doesn’t mean that you’ve got the best blog post idea – every single day!

Always writing for me is always allowing my mind to breathe, the expand and to open to new ideas.

And don’t forget your notepad. Seriously.

I don’t always have the cute little one that fits in my back pocket, but I do have my Iphone – where I have a Notepad app.

When you have your face in your phone, typing away, you may be accused of being a text addict or a twitter junky (follow me!) when in reality you could be writing the best blog post ever, a great chapter in a future book, or outlining the journey of your next hero for your next book.


What am I doing when I’m not writing?

I guess, I’m always writing…

Angela Shelton
author of The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton


Be sure to enter the giveaway for The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton, here!


Copyright 2007-2010: All the posts within this blog were originally posted by Teddy Rose and should not be reproduced without express written permission.