Thursday, August 17, 2017

New Book Release: The Last Suttee

Please join me in congratulating Madhu Bazaz Wangu on the publication of her new novel, The Last Suttee! I had the privilege of assisting Madhu with a copyedit of this heart-wrenching, inspiring story of one woman's crusade to end female ritual suicide in rural India, and I also designed the cover. Here's the book description:

Kumud Kuthiyala has worked hard to put her early life in Blue Town behind her. As director of an all-girl orphanage in metropolitan Ambayu, she has become a warrior for women’s education and equal rights. With the help of her love, Dr. Shekhar Roy, she is vigilant in protecting her charges from outdated customs that victimize girls and women. Despite her many successes, her past still haunts her.

A shocking phone call from an anonymous caller turns Kumud’s world upside down. A young bride from Blue Town has decided to commit suttee.  Kumud has no choice but to return to the town and somehow stop this heinous crime, disguised as a ritual. 

Driven by a desperate need to end the barbaric ritual that has scarred her for life, Kumud leaves Shekhar and the girls behind and travels to the town of her youth, a place where superstition and prejudice abound. There she is forced to confront the stubborn mindset that a widow is more valuable dead than alive, and the past she believed she’d left behind.

Can she convince the town that their centuries-old tradition is cruel and savage? Can she change the minds of the people and the Five Elders before it’s too late? 

The Last Suttee is available in ebook format (print edition coming soon) on Amazon, and you can add it to your shelves on Goodreads. Madhu has published several nonfiction books on Hinduism and Buddhism, and she is the founder of the Mindful Writers Group. Visit Madhu's website for the scoop on all of her books and check out some of her gorgeous artwork.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

New Book Release: The Kitchen Mistress

Please join me in congratulating Kathleen Shoop on her newest release, The Kitchen Mistress, Book Three in the Letter Series! I had the pleasure of working with Kathie on a copyedit of this gripping tale of a young woman's efforts to keep her family together in late 19th century Des Moines, and I designed the cover! Here's the book description:

For every woman who’s had to choose between the secrets that protect her and the people she loves the most…

1892—Des Moines

Katherine Arthur and her family are back, and it’s time to collect the money Mrs. Mellet left them in her will. The tidy sum will allow the family peace of mind and a future that’s stable and fulfilling. But when things don’t go exactly as planned, Katherine steps up to do more than her share. Hired as a kitchen mistress, her intuition (with the help of a mysterious recipe book), cooking prowess, and work ethic make her the perfect partner for the enigmatic, wealthy woman next door. Then Aleksey Zurchenko arrives.

Violet Pendergrass is a well-heeled, progressive woman with half a fortune in one hand and a plan for enduring prosperity in the other. Resourceful, shrewd, and tough, Violet doesn’t realize her one and only weakness leaves her vulnerable as she attempts to solidify her independence. She sees unparalleled value in Katherine’s gifts and does her best to keep the girl close, to keep her true work secret from her mother and the world.

Katherine’s loyalties to her mother and Violet grow strained, and soon her commitment to both frays even further as her feelings for Aleksey grow. Katherine must decide if pursuing her work with the formidable Violet and protecting her family are more important than following love. Can she do it all? Love, hope, joy, secrets buried in walls and hearts; all are threatened by those who claim to care about the Arthurs. Can Katherine separate what’s right and true from what it takes to survive? Are they even different things?

The Kitchen Mistress is available now in ebook and print editions on AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Smashwords. Add them to your shelves on Goodreads, and check out Kathie's website for the scoop on all of her books and her blog posts about writing and historical research.

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Friday, August 11, 2017

Thursday, August 10, 2017

NEW HNS Feature: Elizabeth Fremantle’s The Girl in the Glass Tower Explores the Invisibility of Women in History

Elizabeth Fremantle, the critically acclaimed author of Queen's Gambit, Sisters of Treason, and Watch the Lady, is celebrating the paperback release of her most recent novel, The Girl in the Glass Tower, and I recently had the chance to ask her a few questions on behalf of the Historical Novel Society.


In Elizabeth Fremantle’s fourth novel, The Girl in the Glass Tower, she departs the world of the Tudors to illuminate the life of Arbella Stuart, the tragic heir to Queen Elizabeth I. Thanks to her famous cousins, Arbella is often overlooked these days, yet that was not always the case. Several attempts to exploit her as a political pawn during a time ripe with plots and treason led to Arbella being closely watched and sequestered for most of her life.

“It is precisely because Arbella is so little known that I wanted to shed light on her story,” Fremantle explains. “In some ways my aim was for The Girl in the Glass Tower to work as a companion piece to my earlier novel, Sisters of Treason, as Arbella’s story so strongly echoes that of Lady Katherine Grey, though the two women had such different characters. Both figures encapsulate the challenges of women born close to the throne and the ways in which such a fate was more curse than blessing, something that has long fascinated me.”

Indeed, Arbella’s life as a virtual prisoner may look nothing like the lifestyle that comes to mind when one typically considers royalty, a contrast that Fremantle wanted to illustrate. “Culturally speaking, we have this idea of the privilege of royal blood as always bringing with it immense good fortune; this is what stimulates the pervasive desire of little girls to become princesses. Arbella’s story seemed to me like a dark fairy tale that turns that idea on its head.”

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Best I've Come Across Round-up

In a perfect world, this blog would be full of writing and editing tips, research assistance, and all other kinds of good stuff you'd expect an editor to come up with. But the truth is, between editing and cover design gigs and maintaining my first love, my book review blog, I'm just too busy to devote as much time as I'd like to this blog. But I am pretty good at finding resources, tips, and fun stuff and passing them along to my followers on Twitter and Facebook. So I thought I'd compile the best of what I come across on the world wide web every once in a while in a recap post for this blog. Here's the latest:

6 Tips for Creating Believable Characters That Win Over Readers

Why You Should Read About Writing

Improve Your Writing: Become a Demanding Self-Editor

The Power of Writing Contests: Create Your Own Luck

What’s the Best Time to Publish Your Book?

Narrative Structure: What It Is and How To Use It

Sensory Language IS the Detail in Your Writing

Why You Should Have the Tenacity of a Weed as a Writer

Monday, August 7, 2017

New Book Release: The Seas Come Still

Please join me in congratulating J.P. Jamin on the re-release of his debut historical fantasy novel, The Seas Come Still. I had the pleasure of helping J.P. with a copyedit of this lush and lyrical tale of dual timelines connecting the ancient world, a mystical tradition of women, and the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century. Here's the book description:

A young slave on a Bronze-Age raiding ship fights to survive the Santorini eruption, and to understand the heart of Hibya, his beautiful Minoan rescuer. Amid the turbulence of the Revolutionary era, wounded English naval officer Sebastian "Selkie" Singer flees justice, desperately trying to explain the reasons in letters to the baby girl left behind.

What mysterious thread binds their stories? 

An epic historical novel of mystic discovery. Woven across three thousand years, from the fall of Minoan Atlantis to the dawn of the Age of Reason, The Seas Come Still invites you into the hearts of a closely-guarded sisterhood, separated by millennia, but linked by a code of love and service older than faith itself. The ignorant call them witches, mermaids, or worse, as they struggle to protect secrets older than history, and a lifestyle pressed nearly to extinction. 

A vivid and passionate imagination of the catastrophe that brought down the kingdoms of the Bronze Age, the chaos that gave birth to religions, and the astounding secrets of Minoan navigation and science. From the palaces of Canaan to the windswept coasts of western Ireland; ancient Turkey to the mountainous Basque region of Spain, The Seas Come Still takes you on an unstoppable journey across culture and language, conflict and healing, fact and fable. 

The Seas Come Still is available now on Amazon in ebook and print format (and at the time of this post, the Kindle edition is on sale for 99-cents!). Add it to your shelves on Goodreads, and visit J.P.'s blog for historical tidbits, recipes, and book reviews.

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Monday, July 31, 2017

New Cover Design: The Beauty Doctor

Please join me in congratulating Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard on the publication of her debut historical novel, The Beauty Doctor! I had the pleasure of designing the cover. Here's the book description:

In the spring of 1907, Abigail Platford finds herself unexpectedly adrift in New York City. Penniless and full of self-doubt, she has abandoned her dream of someday attending medical school and becoming a doctor like her late father. Instead, she takes a minor position in the office of Dr. Franklin Rome, hoping at least to maintain contact with the world of medicine that fascinates her. She soon learns that the handsome and sophisticated Dr. Rome is one of a rare new breed of so-called beauty doctors who chisel noses, pin back ears, trim eyelids and inject wrinkles with paraffin. At first skeptical, she begins to open her mind, and then her heart, to Dr. Rome. But when his partnership with an eccentric collector of human oddities raises troubling questions, Abigail becomes ensnared in a web of treachery that challenges her most cherished beliefs about a doctor’s sacred duty and threatens to destroy all she loves.

The Beauty Doctor is available now in ebook and print format on AmazonBarnes & Noble, and iBooks. Add it to your shelves on Goodreads, and check out Elizabeth's website for more info on her books and her Style & Substance blog.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

New Book Release: The Wind in the Embers

Please join me in congratulating Malcolm David Logan on the publication of his debut historical novel, The Wind in the Embers, Book One in the Amulet Series! I had the privilege of helping Malcolm with a copyedit of this gripping tale of one of the Roman Empire's most fascinating women, Galla Placidia. Here's the book description:

Discovering the truth about your mother’s sordid past can be troubling. If you’re the new Emperor of Rome, it can be downright terrifying.

Rome’s ruling Augusta is rumored to be weak. It is said that she is under the thumb of her powerful master of soldiers, Aetius. But few know the real Galla Placidia, a cunning and ruthless adversary capable of holding together a crumbling Empire long enough to hand it off to her son.

Placidius is on his way to Constantinople, where he will emerge from behind his mother’s twelve-year regency to assume his full power as emperor. En route, he comes into possession of a letter allegedly written by her. It lays out the incredible true story of her life, from her kidnapping by a barbarian king, through the scandal that drove her into exile, to her tempestuous romance with a dashing yet power-hungry rogue whose presence has complicated both their lives.

Now Galla Placidia wants to prepare her son for the trials ahead, but Placidius is suspicious. Is the letter real, or is someone trying to manipulate him? Only time will tell, and, as they draw closer to Constantinople, murder and treachery ensue. Is his mother the woman he thinks she is, or is she someone else altogether?

The Wind in the Embers is available now in paperback on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Add it to your shelves on Goodreads, and check out Malcolm's website for more info on the Amulet series!

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Friday, July 14, 2017

New Book Release: Publish and Perish

Please join me in congratulating Anna Castle on the newest installment in her Francis Bacon mystery series, Publish and Perish! I had the pleasure of helping Anna with a copyedit, and I designed the cover. If you're a fan of historical mysteries with a touch of humor and tongue-in-cheekiness along with fun and memorable characters, this series is for you! Here's the book description:

It’s 1589 and England is embroiled in a furious pamphlet war between an impudent Puritan calling himself Martin Marprelate and London’s wittiest writers. The archbishop wants Martin to hang. The Privy Council wants the tumult to end. But nobody knows who Martin is or where he’s hiding his illegal press.

Then two writers are strangled, mistaken for Thomas Nashe, the pamphleteer who is hot on Martin’s trail. Francis Bacon is tasked with stopping the murders — and catching Martin, while he’s about it. But the more he learns, the more he fears Martin may be someone dangerously close to home.

Can Bacon and his band of intelligencers stop the strangler before another writer dies, without stepping on Martin’s possibly very important toes?

Publish and Perish is available now in print and ebook formats on AmazonBarnes & Noble, and iTunes. Add it to your shelves on Goodreads, and check out Anna's website, where she blogs about her research and writing historical fiction set in England.

**Right now you can download a copy of the first book in the series, Murder by Misrule, for free on AmazonBarnes & Noble, and iTunes!**

Need an editor or cover designer?
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