Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Night of the Eleventh Sun by Steven BurgauerNight of the Eleventh Sun by Steven Burgauer

Thanks to the author, Steven Burgauer, I am giving away two print copies of Night of the Eleventh Sun by Steven Burgauer.

Description of Night of the Eleventh Sun by Steven Burgauer

The fossil record is unclear.
Did Neanderthal speak?
Did he laugh, have music, feel love?
Did he interact with Homo sapiens or get killed by him in mortal combat or get pushed to extinction on less marginal lands?
This book answers some of those questions in a carefully researched fictional setting.
Now meet Strong Arms, leader of the clan.

Predator species have spite hardwired into their behavior.
Killing the competition before it grows up is always a good genetic strategy for any meat-eater.
Now, take one that’s smart, adaptive, and a consummate tool-user, and you have the makings for a conflict of monumental proportions.
It’s man versus Neanderthal in the mountains of Iberia. Only one will survive.
You may be surprised by which.

Praise for Night of the Eleventh Sun by Steven Burgauer

“A marvelous blend of fact and fiction.  Much more could be said of this excellent piece of historical fiction, but suffice to say, it roundly deserves five stars for its unique ability to entertain as well as inform.  You will never look upon the cavemen in museum dioramas in quite the same way again.  Indeed, Burgauer’s vivid portrayal of day-to-day life back then — complete with bouts of anxiety, somnambulism, and even eroticism — make this novel breathe with an uncannily contemporary touch of reality.” — Publishers Daily Reviews

“A powerful, entertaining and thought-provoking novel, The Night of the Eleventh Sun, is a clear indication of Burgauer’s ability to bring a distinctive voice to multiple genres.  Deserving of a broad readership it is highly recommended.”  — BookViral

“ . . . a fascinating tale that takes readers deep into the prehistoric ages.  Steven Burgauer has a way of breathing life onto his pages.  His characters are three-dimensional.  Clans and their order of living, eating, as well as relationships were stunning.  I felt every emotion.” — Urban Book Reviews, Danielle Urban

About Steven BurgauerNight of the Eleventh Sun by Steven Burgauer

Avid hiker, Eagle Scout, and founder of a mutual fund, Steven Burgauer resides in Florida. A graduate of Illinois State University and the New York Institute of Finance, Steve writes science fiction and historic fiction. A member of the Society of Midland Authors, Steven is included in The Dictionary of Midwestern Literature, Volume 2: Dimensions of the Midwestern Literary Imagination and the ALA’s Librarian’s Guide to Cyborgs, Aliens, and Sorcerers by Derek M. Buker.

His work has been reviewed in many places, including LOCUS, the EUREKA LITERARY MAGAZINE, PUBLISHERS DAILY REVIEWS, MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW, THE BOOK REVIEWERS, BOOKVIRAL, and PROMETHEUS, the journal of the Libertarian Futurist Society. Science Fiction Chronicle (June 2001) says of his The Railguns of Luna: Steven Burgauer writes old style science fiction in which heroes and villains are easily identified, the action is fast and furious, and the plot twists and turns uncontrollably . . . This is action adventure written straight-forwardly and not meant to be heavily literary or provide pithy commentary on the state of humanity.

When Steven lived in Illinois, the State of Illinois Library included him in a select group of authors invited to the state’s Authors’ Day. He has often been a speaker and panel member at public library events and science-fiction conventions all across the country.

Giveaway of Night of the Eleventh Sun by Steven Burgauer

This giveaway is open to Canada, Australia, the U.S, and the UK. only and ends on February 17, 2017 midnight pacific time.  Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly RingMunich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring

Publisher: Whole Sky Books (November 14, 2015)
Category: Historical Fiction,  WWII, Germany, Family Saga
Tour date: Feb 1-Mar 31, 2017
ISBN: 978-0996546980
Available in Print & ebook, 356 pages

The Munich Girl

Description of Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring

The Munich Girl: A novel of the legacies that outlast war.

The past may not be done with us. What secrets is a portrait of Eva Braun hiding?

Anna Dahlberg grew up eating dinner under her father’s war-trophy portrait of Eva Braun. Fifty years after the war, she discovers what he never did—that her mother and Hitler’s mistress were friends.

Plunged into the world of the “ordinary” Munich girl who was her mother’s confidante—and a tyrant’s lover—Anna uncovers long-buried secrets and unknown reaches of her heart, to reveal the enduring power of love in the legacies that always outlast war.

Fiction Finalist in 2016 Eric Hoffer Book Awards

Praise for Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring

“I was drawn in by Phyllis Ring’s economical and expressive language. Then the story took over! Protagonist Anna Dahlberg must face the emotional fallout from a traumatic plane crash, while simultaneously uncovering the first clues in a shocking generational mystery involving key players in the Third Reich. Everything’s complicated by a new romance that may help her overcome the past and find her true inner strength. But is it real? Love can manifest itself in enigmatic–and unexpected–ways.”- Elizabeth Sims, author and contributing editor at Writer’s Digestmagazine

“… fresh perspective of German women at opposing ends of the warring spectrum … a beautiful story of enduring friendship and the lengths people will go to for love.”- The Stellar Review

“So persuasive is this novel that, before I could believe it was in fact a piece of fiction, I contacted the author and asked where she did her research and where she came up with the idea.”-Leslie Handler, The Philadelphia Inquirer

“This book weaves real life with fiction beautifully and makes you want to know more about the cast of characters. This is a book that you may have a hard time remembering it is fiction as you turn the pages. That’s how well the author brings her characters to life. This book was stunning. I highly recommend it to anyone that loves this time period.”-A Chick Who Reads

“The Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring is an elegant historical fiction novel of Eva Braun. Besides being Adolph Hitler’s mistress (and short-lived wife) little is known about this woman in history.  Peggy’s diary entries were applied seamlessly blending past with the present. I yearned to enter the streets of 1940s Germany and discover the meaning behind a simple portrait and view the forging of an unlikely friendship. Phyllis Edgerly Ring has written a superbly researched novel of a historical figure whose’ story is impeccably told.”-Whitney, First Impression Reviews

Interview With Phyllis Edgerly Ring

Thanks so much for this opportunity, Teddy.

Which character do you love to hate?

Hitler’s not actually a character in the novel, though he’s a part of the story, of course, and is the most-likely-to-be-hated. A rather detestable character is the protagonist’s (Anna’s) husband, Lowell. I was told at one point that perhaps I needed to give him more “human” aspects. For me, however, he represents that kind of blindly insistent narcissism that actually is more inclined to reject such redeeming qualities in itself. Yup, Lowell is reprehensible, one reader’s word for his maddening arrogance.

Please tell us something about the book that is not in the summary.

Beyond being a story in which Hitler’s mistress (later wife) is a character, this story revolves around the inner bargains women make with themselves in order to help others achieve happiness or satisfaction — often by denying themselves those very things. Another theme is the secrets we keep, and what we hope to gain by doing so, and the degree of control we believe we have in life, and what sort of price we’re willing to pay for it. A paradox that the story underscores is that often, while others (in this case, men) appear to have overt control, people – the women in this story — often make use of what looks like compliance in order to employ more secretive kinds of control, behind the scenes.

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

I read more than 100 books about the time period in Germany and about Eva Braun’s life. I watched the films she had made, and spent many hours reviewing hundreds of her photographs. Eventually, I made two trips to the U.S. National Archives to see photo albums of hers that were confiscated by the Allies after the war. I also spent time in various locales in Germany that are a part of the story. In all that time I spent looking at Braun’s photographs and films, I became familiar with the interiors and exteriors of many of the novel’s settings as they would have appeared during the 1930s and ’40s. One fun element of research for me is a growing collection of vintage postcards I’ve found that show such scenes from the story as they appeared during that era.

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

I’m forever grateful to designer Marina Kirsch for the cover of The Munich Girl. The image of Eva Braun there echoes that of the portrait of Braun that is a key part of the novel’s story. The image is from the very first photo of herself that Braun gave (at age 17) to her much-older, now-infamous lover. The background behind her on the book’s cover is one of my favourite places in Germany. While it doesn’t happen to be Munich, it evokes the atmosphere of many of the settings in the story.

What are you currently working on?

My current project is a memoir-style reflection about where this novel has led me. Nothing about it is what I would ever have imagined or predicted on my writing path, and there are experiences I’ve had in the course of this book’s coming together that I’m probably never going to be able to understand, let alone explain. One of the most personally stunning was a phone call I received while I was doing research in Germany that neither the person on the other end nor I had initiated – twice in a row! She was someone with whom I was glad to connect in relation to my research, and she had a delightfully philosophical view about “connections” being made in such a way. She told me: “Well, isn’t this interesting? I always pay extra attention when the unexpected like this happens. I think it’s much more than coincidence.” The process of how this novel came together would prove her right over and over again.

I’m also working on historical fiction set in late 19th-century New England.

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?

I must admit that it’s hard for me to choose one. In this story based on a woman’s secret friendship with Hitler’s mistress, I suppose it’s the scene in which the character, Peggy, finds out that the mystery woman who died alongside Hitler was her friend, Eva Braun. And she never knew that Hitler was the man Eva loved. (In part because Braun had to keep this role in his life an invisible secret.) This scene of Peggy’s discoveries about Eva after her death called for a potent yet unusual mixture of heartbreak and outrage. The scene is set in a church, and I was pulled irresistibly into a big, empty one in Germany the day before I wrote it. I’ve sometimes felt that the scene was sown for me, right there in that cold, echoing space, because it was like a memory as I drafted it down early the next morning.

I always enjoy looking at the names that authors choose to give their characters. How do you create names for your characters?

In a way that’s still hard to explain, characters always assert their own names. It’s as if I’m listening, eavesdropping, and overhear their names

Coincidentally (or not) the three most domineering men in the story turn out to have different names that mean the same thing: “wolf.” Hitler (Adolf), Anna’s husband, Lowell, and her father, Rod. This completely surprised me, as “wolf” was an alter-ego name Hitler often used, with a rather sinister edge. I had no idea until all three of these characters already had these names that this was the case. It was a rather startling discovery. The character of Peggy, who befriends Eva Braun, shares my mother’s name, plus a few elements of my mother’s British wartime experience. And the protagonist Anna, Peggy’s daughter, though she has a simple, common-sounding name, actually has a key to her mother’s relationship with Eva hidden in her name, something that is eventually revealed in the story.

Is there a question that you would have liked me or another blogger to ask but didn’t?

I just want to mention that one of my greatest privileges is hearing from readers with their thoughts and reflections about The Munich Girl. They can contact me at info[at]phyllisring[dot]com. Thanks very much again for this interview, Teddy.

About Phyllis Edgerly RingMunich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring

Author Phyllis Edgerly Ring lives in New England and returns as often as she can to her childhood home in Germany. Her years there left her with a deep desire to understand the experience of Germans during the Second World War. She has studied plant sciences and ecology, worked as a nurse, been a magazine writer and editor, taught English to kindergartners in China, and served as program director at a Baha’i conference center in Maine.

She is also author of the novel, Snow Fence Road, and the inspirational nonfiction, Life at First Sight: Finding the Divine in the Details. Her book for children, Jamila Does Not Want a Bat in Her House, is scheduled for release by Bellwood Press in early 2017.

Blog: http://phyllisedgerlyring.wordpress.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PhyllisEdgerlyRing?ref=hl
Twitter: http:// www.twitter.com/phyllisring

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Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring Giveaway

This giveaway is for the choice of one Print or ebook.  Print is open to Canada & the U.S. only however, ebook is open worldwide.  This giveaway ends on March 31, 2017 at midnight pacific. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.
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Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring

Fire by Night by Teresa MessineoFire by Night by Teresa Messineo

Although I do read other book genres, historical fiction is my favorite.  World War II is my top favorite and I tend to read a lot, both fiction and non-fiction.  When I heard about ‘Fire By Night’ at a webinar with the publisher, I knew I had to read it.

Fire By Night is a bit different than many WWII books out there.  Its focus is on two American Military nurses that served near two different war fronts.  Jo and Kay are from two very different parts of the U.S.  Jo is from Brooklyn and Kay from a small town.  However, in training they become fast friend and hope to serve together.  That does not happen.  Kay is sent to the Pacific and attends party after party and soaks in the sun.  Jo is sent to France and is jealous that her friend is having so much fun. 

The fun does not last for Kay.  Once Pearl Harbour is bombed, the “endless” parties cease and the war with Japan begins.  Kay’s story starts in the Japanese POW camp in Manila that she is now in.  Jo’s unit is moving out because their make shift hospital is now part of the front.  However, not everyone can move out at once and Jo is left to tend 6 badly wounded soldiers alone with just one elderly doctor.  They know the trucks will be back for them soon but then here there was an attack and the road has a big hole in it and the trucks can’t get through.  Soon the doctor dies and Jo is left on her own to tend to the men.

Told in turns, we join Jo and Kay during their terrifying ordeals and there aftermath. I connected with both Jo and Kay and rooted for them to survive.  Both are strong female and heroic characters!  This is Teresa Messineo’s first novel but you wouldn’t know that from reading it.  She has a strong command in character development, prose, and a sense of time and place.  With each chapter, I was instantly transported from Manila to France smoothly.  I felt like I was both places, experiencing what Kay and Jo were experiencing.  I hope that Ms. Messineo continues writing because I would love to read more by her!  I highly recommend ‘Fire by Night’.  It really has something for everyone; war, survival, terror, and even a bit of romance.

5/5 WWII fiction at it’s finest!

I received the ebook galley for Edelweiss for my honest review.

About Teresa MessineoFire by Night by Teresa Messineo

Teresa Messineo is an outspoken woman whose passionate social interest and positions have been featured in a special documentary, a World War II photo shoot and photographic notice in the New York Times – click on the link to read one such article, page 14: http://www.desales.edu/docs/default-source/desales-university-magazine/fall-20131eea1ec6cd0568828f7cff0000a3869d.pdf?sfvrsn=2

Teresa was alternatively schooled until her Freshman year, after which she transferred to a conventional high school. An honor student there, she earned a full scholarship to DeSales University where she ultimately won the Ross Baker Award for Excellence in Writing, that university’s highest honor for writing. She graduated with a BA in English in 1994, with minors in Biology and Theology, and earned her ICCE and LIBSS while teaching at Pennsylvania’s premier birthing center. Teresa passes on her love of learning through home schooling, even as she keeps an eye on medical missionary work for herself after she finishes educating her own kids. Teresa combines her love of medicine and writing in The Fire by Night.

Teresa is highly motivated about social justice and sticking up for the underdog. She volunteers at a food bank and is a ‘volunteer actor’ at her local hospital during disaster drills. She is the mother of four children, whom she has exclusively home schooled (her eldest son earned a scholarship to her own alma mater). Teresa’s other interests include swing dancing, travel, studying Italian, performing in a Philippine dance troupe, playing Irish Tenor Banjo in a Celtic band, and personal fitness – she swims in her YMCA’s 100 Mile Club (2014 marked her first year swimming the IronMan distance), takes Tabata class and competes in several obstacle mud runs each year. A voracious reader (she has read 2,397 books since completing college) and lifetime learner, Teresa’s motto is, ‘We learn from our mistakes.’