Blog Tour & Giveaway! The Color of Rain: A Kansas Courtship in Letters by John W. Feist @KeriBarnum @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #Books #HistoricalFiction

Welcome to the blog tour for romantic historical fiction novel, The Colour of Rain: A Kansas Courtship in Letters by author John W. Feist. Read on for details and a chance to win a $25 Amazon e-Gift Card!

The Color of Rain Front Cover FLAT

The Color of Rain

Publication Date: September 1st, 2021

Genre: Historical Fiction/ Romance/ Based on True Events

Publisher: Winter Wheat Press

Separated by a great distance in the 1890s, can a widower and a schoolteacher overcome the obstacles that stand in the way of their love and commitment? John Feist unfolds a true-love story, old-fashioned letter style, in his historical romance novel, The Color of Rain.

Handsome, well-respected local banker, now eligible bachelor, Frank Wilson is nothing less than a hot-ticket item with “the path to [his] home? a pilgrimage for unmarried women bearing casseroles.” He’s not interested in remarriage right away-except for Irene, a schoolteacher living two train connections away. A long-distance courtship commences. The lovers keep to weekly letter-writing since they barely have the chance to see each other, especially when trials and tribulations convolute their individual lives.

“Feist’s rich writing style stitches historical details, providing a seamless flow from letters-writing to narrative sections that capture everyday life’s realities amid unsettling times. A true-love historical romance that will have readers riveted to the page. Highly recommended!” -Chanticleer Reviews, five stars

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Excerpt

Frank could not converse in the carriage Ethan Alton drove behind the green wagon to the railway station for his train home. Frank had brought Allie to the St. Joseph hospital twelve days before she died. Their family doctor had run out of anything meaningful to do or say about whatever it was that put her in bed a week before that. Between visits to her bedside, Frank had talked with the Altons about sickness and mortality until he, too, had run out of meaningful things to say. Today, the Altons did converse but accepted his silence. He looked from one side of the street to the other. A normal day. But the sun-splashed houses, buildings and people he saw were water-colored contrivances not from his world.

The Altons sat with him in the St. Joseph terminal until his train yanked him toward home, toward two sons, their thirty-seven-year-old father now widowed. Their mother would be buried beside two infant siblings in a graveyard which he was later to design as a more formal cemetery. It was now an unshaded patch of hill in the northeastern Kansas town of Horton, founded just ten years before. 

The train crossed the railroad bridge over the Missouri River to the Kansas side and started to speed up its run toward Horton, putting soot into the cloudless sky. The tracks of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway would not pass such a waterway again in their transit of the vast Kansas wheat fields and prairie grasses. But, for the next three hours, Frank’s journey would be only fifty miles across wrinkled hillocks of sorghum, oat and corn fields, and over streams lined with willows and cottonwood trees. Soon farmsteads came into view that he knew by name. He had financed those farmsteads. He was banker to these farmers. Today he saw that his fields of collateral needed rain badly.

Seeing familiar crossroads and steeples brought back thoughts of the girl he fell in love with.  The smile he fell in love with. Allie lived the love commandment. She held a constitutional belief in the goodness of others. She delighted in her encounters with everyone without reservation or exception. Whoever felt her smile felt improved. Frank did so daily. It was not some occasional, wordless expression to signal mood or assent. It was the emblem of her soul.  Her smile was her distinctive song, regular as dawn, constant as breath.

Frank had seen life leave Allie. He had watched the swarm of nurses drift away while he stood stationed at the foot of her bed. A doctor he had never met before declared, unnecessarily, that she had expired. It hurt to hear it. It hurt to smell the still, sultry air. What exactly she died of had not been evident or ever explained. I’ll forever wonder why, he thought. No, please . . . not on the train. He stiffened. His mouth bent downward. He stifled himself. The whistle shrieked.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

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John W. Feist is the American author of a series of political thrillers, “Night Rain, Tokyo” (2018), “Blind Trust” (2019), and “Doubt and Debt” (2021), plus a literary novel, “Diamond Mornings” (eLectio Publishing, 2016). He is semiretired from a career in business law in California and government relations advocacy in Washington, D.C. His work experiences planted the seeds for his thrillers with their lawyer-protagonist, observations of Japanese culture, and high-stakes international business deals.

Having inherited from his mother, an Equity actor, a love of drama and literature, Feist has appeared on Washington, D.C.-area stages, and provided live audio descriptions of theatre and opera performances for The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He holds a BA in philosophy from the University of Kansas and a JD from Stanford Law School. Feist lives in Falls Church, Virginia. He has two sons and two grandchildren who live in California.

John W. Feist

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Book Tour Schedule

September 27th

R&R Book Tours (Kick-Off) http://rrbooktours.com

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Coffee + Book = Happiness (Spotlight) https://bookscoffeehappiness.com/

September 28th

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com/

The Faerie Review (Spotlight) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

September 29th

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.com/

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com

Stine Writing (Spotlight)  https://christinebialczak.com/

September 30th

Bonnie Reads and Writes (Spotlight) https://bonniereadsandwrites.wordpress.com

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

@fle_d (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/fle_d

October 1st

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Review) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/

Bunny’s Reviews (Spotlight) https://bookwormbunnyreviews.blogspot.com/

@lshadowlyn (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/lshadowlyn/

 

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Blog Tour: The Wars Between Us by J.A. Boulet @love_walk_life @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours

Welcome to the blog tour for The Wars Between US by J.A. Boulet. Read on for an excerpt and a chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card!

EBOOK - J A Boulet b03The Wars Between Us (The Olason Chronicles)

Publication Date: June 18th, 2021

Genre: Historical Fiction/ Historical Romance

Meet Zachary Olason, a bad boy struggling on the brink of alcoholism. During the Great Depression, Zack loses himself and spirals into nights of debauchery, riots and drunkenness. His twin brother, Adam, thinks lowly of him as his entire family struggles to help him.

But Zack is determined to make a mess of his life.

Until he meets a beautiful petite woman, half Cree and part British, who helps him to grow into a better version of himself.

Then just as he thinks life is getting better, he sinks to the bottom of hell. Will he survive from his own self-destruction?

The only way he sees out is to join the Canadian Navy.

The Battle of the Atlantic will either teach him or break him.

THE WARS BETWEEN US

With action packed adrenaline and steamy love scenes, The Wars Between Us will keep you gripped to your seat on a ride of addiction, unwavering love and the fight to stay alive during WWII.

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Chapter One

The fields were dry, so dry in fact, that swirls of dirt and sand kicked up in the winds making it difficult to see. The terrible drought had devastated most of the fields and ruined many farming families. Zack was upset that everyone was struggling, even the people who still had family and properties. Many people were becoming destitute. His half-sister, Annabella, and her farming family were hit hard. They were barely surviving, but they somehow managed to grow their own vegetables for food, using the chickens for eggs and fish for dinner. Gimli was still enduring throughout the Depression, with the fishing industry holding things precariously together.

“Get those fishing rods ready, son,” Nath instructed as he lowered the anchor in the middle of the lake. The boat bobbed lazily in the waves as they prepared to fish for the day.

It was early morning. Zack picked up the rods and opened the bait box. He looked up and caught his father’s eye. His dad had aged so much in the last year. He could see it in the way Nathan moved with a slower, more deliberate task in everything he did. His father used to take him and his twin brother into the bush, running, hunting and laughing when they were younger. Now, the only energy Nathan had left was to fish. Zack loved fishing with his dad and absorbed every minute of it, but he was concerned. His dad meant everything to him.

Zack baited the lines and waited until Nath had dropped the anchor securely with a splash in the deep water. He handed Nath the baited rod and turned his attention to the remaining rod, flipping the slippery tiny fish onto the hook.

He smiled at his dad and flung his rod out into the lake, as Nath did the same. The sun would be rising soon over the watery horizon. It was still very early; the skies were just beginning to turn a lighter blue on one side. The west side was still a darker blue of night. It was so strange to Zack how that always seemed so lopsided. Daylight on one side and the night slowly slipping away on the other.

“When is this depression going to end, Pabbi?” Zack asked, using the endearing Icelandic term for father.

“I don’t know, Zack,” Nath replied, gazing over the lake. “I wish I had a crystal ball sometimes. I could see into the future and make better choices.”

“I think you’ve made pretty good choices,” Zack replied, his blue eyes reflecting the lake’s colour.

“Yes, for some things,” Nath said thoughtfully, thinking of his beautiful young wife, Maria. She was his angel. Maria had helped him to love again. Together they had birthed two strong sons, both of whom had their mother’s bright blonde hair. The boys had inherited his piercing blue eyes and his tall build. He felt blessed every single day for Maria and his family. Nathan couldn’t imagine his life without them.

Zack shuffled on the boat, trying to get comfortable. “Pabbi, I’m seventeen, and I was thinking about joining one of those unemployment labour camps. It would help everyone out if I got a job. Then the strain on you and mom would be less. You wouldn’t have to struggle to feed me anymore. The food has become so sparse, and I don’t want to become a burden on you. I’m young and strong; the camps will feed and house me.”

Nath looked across at his young son, his heart skipping a beat. “Please don’t,” he said. “Those camps are terrible. Deplorable working conditions and even rumoured to have a communist group. I don’t want you getting all messed up with that. We have enough food.”

Zack grinned lopsidedly and accepted his father’s words, although he wasn’t sure that he would listen to his father’s decision. He wanted to travel and experience his life, but Zack felt trapped by the Great Depression. It was like every door he tried to open was locked, and every door that miraculously opened had nothing behind it. He was feeling frustrated and reckless. Zack wanted to make something of his life. He yearned to show people that he was a man and that he had worth.

“Things will get better soon,” Nath said. “They created the Bank of Canada just this past March. The government is changing in a good way, son. You can still work at the fishery with Mike and your cousins.”

“Yeah, you’re right,” Zack said, slumping into the boat. He’d be stuck out here forever, he thought.

Zack closed the door quietly and stepped out onto the wood porch gingerly. He tried not to awake anyone, keeping his departure secret. He had written a short note for his mom and dad, telling them he was off to find some work and not to worry.

It was June 18, 1935. Zack felt uneasy about going against his father’s wishes. He didn’t want his dad to fuss. Zack always had a staunch spirit and felt spurred into action when presented with life’s problems; he simply couldn’t sit by and do nothing. He was once called rebellious by his mother. But it was not entirely true. Zack yearned to do the right thing and felt that without action, there would never be change.

He would come back home when the depression was over. It would save precious food for his momma and his Pabbi.

They would thank him one day.

Zack stepped quietly onto the sand and walked towards the train tracks. He didn’t know where he was going, but Zack knew what he was looking for. He wanted a life he could call his own.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

AuthorPic3B

J.A. Boulet is the passionate author of The Olason Chronicles, a historical saga of war, courage, love and strength. Her newest novel The Wars Between Us Book 3 is scheduled for release June 18, 2021 on Amazon. J. A. Boulet was born and raised in Western Canada as a first generation Canadian from European descent. Her father enlisted with the Hungarian military and fought bravely during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, changing sides to stand up for what he believed in. He was granted asylum in Canada and built his family here.

J.A. Boulet was born many years later, raised with strong morals and values, which she stands behind, to this day. She started writing poetry at the age of five and progressed to short stories and novels. She has a keen interest in settlers, healing, family bonds and military history. J. A. Boulet writes with a spine-tingling realism like none other, grabbing your emotions and refusing to let go. The Olason Chronicles is the series you’ve been waiting for. Watch for the final book (4) in the series, being scheduled for a 2022 release.

Follow her on TwitterInstagramYouTube and Reddit.

JA Boulet

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Blog Tour Schedule

Aug 9th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

B is for Book Review (Interview) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Books, Rambling & Tea (Spotlight) https://booksramblingsandtea.com/

Aug 10th

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Guest Post) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Nesie’s Place (Guest Post) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

J Bronder Reviews (Spotlight)  https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

Aug 11th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Read & Rated (Spotlight) https://readandrated.com/

Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Review) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/

Aug 12th

 @lianne_the_bibliophile (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/lianne_the_bibliophile/

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.com/

The Cozy Pages (Spotlight) http://thecozypages.wordpress.com/

August 13th

Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com

Cocktails & Fairytales (Spotlight) https://www.facebook.com/CocktailsFairytales

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Blog Tour: The Girl in the Triangle by Joyana Peters @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #HistoryFiction

Welcome to the tour for The Girl in the Triangle by Joyana Peters! Read on for details and a chance to win a signed copy of the book!

Triangle-CoverPick

The Girl in the Triangle

Publication Date: July 12th, 2021

Genre: Historical Fiction

When your dreams finally seem to be coming true, it’s hard to trust them.

It’s been four years since seventeen-year-old Ruth set eyes on her fiance. After surviving near-starvation, revolution and a long trip across the stormy ocean, she can’t help but wonder: Will Abraham still love her? Or has America changed him?

Nowhere’s as full of change as 1909 New York. From moving pictures to daring clothes to the ultra-modern Triangle Shirtwaist Factory where she gets a job, everything exhilarates Ruth. When the New World even seems to rejuvenate her bond with Abraham, she is filled with hope for their prospects and the future of their war-torn families.

But when she makes friends and joins the labor movement—fighting for rights of the mostly female workers against the powerful factory owners—something happens she never expected. She realizes she might be the one America is changing. And she just might be leaving Abraham behind.

The Girl in the Triangle is an immigration story that will appeal to fans of Brooklyn by Colm Toibin and The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani. It questions what it means to be an American, and what is the true meaning of strength.

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Excerpt

He stood outside the dressing room with his arms crossed. “I was starting to fear I’d need to send in a search party.”

“I’m sorry,” Ruth said. “I met the sister of one of your friends.”

“Chayele,” Abraham chuckled. “That explains it. That girl could talk the hind legs off a donkey.”

He steered her to the line for the stairs and gestured for her to open her bag to be examined. “They fear people stealing scraps for sewing at home.”

Ruth held her bag open wide as the guard poked through. Eventually he nodded, and they exited through the door to the stairs.

“Chayele seemed really nice. She introduced me to her friends as well. She said you were good friends with her brother?”

“Yankel,” Abraham nodded. “He’s good folk. He took me under his wing when I got here. Makes me get out and have some fun from time to time.”

Ruth pondered that for a moment and considered Chayele’s painted face. “She’s not a—what do you call it? Floopsy, is she?”

Abraham laughed. “No, Chayele’s not a floozy, though she might be the center of any party. She’s just been here awhile and has embraced America.”

“America encourages painted faces?”

Abraham tilted his head and thought before answering. “America encourages fun, at least in your free time. Not like in Russia where you just go to work and come home.”

“How do you spend your free time?”

Abraham turned to face her with a twinkle in his eye. “All kinds of ways. Seeing performers singing in shows, going to the circus, heading out to Luna Park.”

“What’s Luna Park?”

“An amusement park in West Brighton Beach. You can ride a roller coaster and see recreations of villages from all over the world—it’s amazing. I’ll take you one weekend.”

Ruth mulled over this new word, weekend. She had no clue what a roller coaster was, but it sounded exciting. Everything Abraham mentioned was foreign and strange. They’d sung as a family around the piano or even in the street with neighbors on holidays. But shows? Performers? These were novel ideas.

Abraham glanced over at her with a mischievous smile. “Still love running?”

Ruth smiled.

“Race you home!” he shouted and took off ahead.

“You gonif! You still cheat!” she shouted and took off after him.

His laughter floated back to her as she ran. The cityscape flew by as she weaved in and out of people on the sidewalk, some shouting insults in response. They rolled right off Ruth. Her exhaustion evaporated, the caress of cool air on her face sweeping away her lethargy. She dug deep to run faster, her competitive instincts kicking in. She’d never felt so happy and free. 

Available on Amazon

About the Author

6W9A6939-RT

Growing up in New York, she always loved exploring the city, particularly the Lower East Side. This led to her discovery of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and the stories it holds.

She currently lives in Northern Virginia where she takes in the sights of DC with her two kids and husband.

Joyana Peters | Facebook | Instagram

Click the link below for a chance to win a signed copy of the book!
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TheGirlintheTriangle copy

Book Tour Schedule

August 2nd

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Jennifer Mitchell, Bibliolater (Spotlight) https://www.jennifermitchellbooks.com

 @lianne_the_bibliophile (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/lianne_the_bibliophile/

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

@disneyallthe_way (Review) https://www.instagram.com/disneyallthe_way/

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

August 3rd

Kristin’s Novel Café (Spotlight) https://knovelcafe.wordpress.com/

Books, Teacup & Reviews (Spotlight) https://booksteacupreviews.com/

Books, Rambling & Tea (Spotlight) https://booksramblingsandtea.com/

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.com/

Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com

@swimming.in.books (Review) https://www.instagram.com/swimming.in.books/

August 4th

@loveleighreading (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/loveleighreading/

Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

B is for Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

 @bookloverleah (Review) https://www.instagram.com/bookloverleah/

@addictedtobooks86 (Review) https://www.instagram.com/addictedtobooks86/

August 5th

@happily_undignified (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/happily_undignified/

Read & Rated (Spotlight) https://readandrated.com/

Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Spotlight) http://bansheeirishhorrorblog.com/

August 6th

@better_0ff_read (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/BETTER_0FF_READ/

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Spotlight) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/

On the Shelf Reviews (Spotlight) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

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Book Release Blitz: The Girl in the Triangle by Joyana Peters @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #HistoricalFiction

Congratulations to author Joyana Peters on the release of her romantic historical fiction, The Girl in the Triangle!

Read on for details and a chance to win a signed copy of the book!

Triangle-CoverPickThe Girl in the Triangle

Publication Date: July 12th, 2021

Genre: Historical Fiction

When your dreams finally seem to be coming true, it’s hard to trust them.

It’s been four years since seventeen-year-old Ruth set eyes on her fiance. After surviving near-starvation, revolution and a long trip across the stormy ocean, she can’t help but wonder: Will Abraham still love her? Or has America changed him?

Nowhere’s as full of change as 1909 New York. From moving pictures to daring clothes to the ultra-modern Triangle Shirtwaist Factory where she gets a job, everything exhilarates Ruth. When the New World even seems to rejuvenate her bond with Abraham, she is filled with hope for their prospects and the future of their war-torn families.

But when she makes friends and joins the labor movement—fighting for rights of the mostly female workers against the powerful factory owners—something happens she never expected. She realizes she might be the one America is changing. And she just might be leaving Abraham behind.

The Girl in the Triangle is an immigration story that will appeal to fans of Brooklyn by Colm Toibin and The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani. It questions what it means to be an American, and what is the true meaning of strength.

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

He stood outside the dressing room with his arms crossed. “I was starting to fear I’d need to send in a search party.”

“I’m sorry,” Ruth said. “I met the sister of one of your friends.”

“Chayele,” Abraham chuckled. “That explains it. That girl could talk the hind legs off a donkey.”

He steered her to the line for the stairs and gestured for her to open her bag to be examined. “They fear people stealing scraps for sewing at home.”

Ruth held her bag open wide as the guard poked through. Eventually he nodded, and they exited through the door to the stairs.

“Chayele seemed really nice. She introduced me to her friends as well. She said you were good friends with her brother?”

“Yankel,” Abraham nodded. “He’s good folk. He took me under his wing when I got here. Makes me get out and have some fun from time to time.”

Ruth pondered that for a moment and considered Chayele’s painted face. “She’s not a—what do you call it? Floopsy, is she?”

Abraham laughed. “No, Chayele’s not a floozy, though she might be the center of any party. She’s just been here awhile and has embraced America.”

“America encourages painted faces?”

Abraham tilted his head and thought before answering. “America encourages fun, at least in your free time. Not like in Russia where you just go to work and come home.”

“How do you spend your free time?”

Abraham turned to face her with a twinkle in his eye. “All kinds of ways. Seeing performers singing in shows, going to the circus, heading out to Luna Park.”

“What’s Luna Park?”

“An amusement park in West Brighton Beach. You can ride a roller coaster and see recreations of villages from all over the world—it’s amazing. I’ll take you one weekend.”

Ruth mulled over this new word, weekend. She had no clue what a roller coaster was, but it sounded exciting. Everything Abraham mentioned was foreign and strange. They’d sung as a family around the piano or even in the street with neighbors on holidays. But shows? Performers? These were novel ideas.

Abraham glanced over at her with a mischievous smile. “Still love running?”

Ruth smiled.

“Race you home!” he shouted and took off ahead.

“You gonif! You still cheat!” she shouted and took off after him.

His laughter floated back to her as she ran. The cityscape flew by as she weaved in and out of people on the sidewalk, some shouting insults in response. They rolled right off Ruth. Her exhaustion evaporated, the caress of cool air on her face sweeping away her lethargy. She dug deep to run faster, her competitive instincts kicking in. She’d never felt so happy and free. 

Available on Amazon

International Giveaway: Click the link below for a chance to win a signed copy of the book. Giveaway will be open until July 16th!

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About the Author

6W9A6939-RT

Growing up in New York, she always loved exploring the city, particularly the Lower East Side. This led to her discovery of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and the stories it holds.

She currently lives in Northern Virginia where she takes in the sights of DC with her two kids and husband.

Joyana Peters | Facebook | Instagram

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Mini Book Tour & Giveaway: The Search by Tiffani Velez @tiffanibvelez @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #HistoricalFiction #Books (May 24 – 28) Genre: Historical Fiction/ Romance

Welcome to the tour for The Search: A Dust Bowl Romance by Tiffani Velez! Check out this brand new historial romance and enter for a chance to win a $25 Amazon e-Gift Card!

thesearchbookcoverThe Search

Publication Date: March 2021

Genre: Historical Fiction/ 20th Century/ Romance

The Great Depression and Dust Bowl have destroyed Melinda’s home, her community, and her family, leaving her alone in a world of aimless refugees. Just when she thinks there’s nothing else left in life to fight for, a stranger seeks shelter in her schoolhouse on the most violent storm of the decade. Jake is running from the memories of another life, using his assignment with the National Relief Administration to keep him distracted from the realities of anti-Semitism in 1930s America. As he documents the life of migrants on the road to a better life in California, and makes Melinda his focus, the horizon brightens. Together, Melinda and Jake start to piece their lives back together. But when they push against the odds, betrayal and trauma threaten to separate them forever. Will they find each other again, or are they lost to the violence of migrant camps and their own desperation? From the author of All This Time, comes the debut historical romance, The Search: A Dust Bowl Love Story. Velez weaves a romantic thriller into a classic American tale about love, loss, and redemption.

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Excerpt

Chapter One

Melinda

…Just as I headed towards my desk, the front door burst open, slamming against the wall. A stranger stood in the doorway, tall and over six feet. His coal-black hair was covered in dust. Or what I thought might be coal-black hair was covered in dust. He was head to toe, nearly invisible underneath the soot. I don’t know if I could have recognized him even if I knew who he was.

“Ma’am—” He bent over and wheezed, grasping at any bit of clean air he could find. “Ma’am,” he repeated and fell against one of the desks. I climbed over his large frame and pushed hard against the raging wind to shut and latch the door again. I had to drop all the coats and lunch pails. “Lord have mercy!” I couldn’t help screaming at the sight of him.

“Help,” he pleaded, reaching a filthy hand up to me.

If he weren’t dressed in decent wool trousers and a leather jacket, I would have thought him possibly a hobo off the Santa Fe line that crisscrossed through these parts twice a week. But he had to be some sort of salesman or something. I didn’t have the time to study him further or assess his peculiar image on the floor of my schoolhouse.

“Just a minute,” I said, scooping the jackets and pails back up and rushing them into the supply closet, where I hastily dealt them out. I didn’t know who this man was, so I wouldn’t let him inside our storm shelter, but I wouldn’t let him die out there in the classroom on my watch either.

 I grabbed one of the tin mugs I kept in the closet for coffee, back when we still had enough fuel to heat the woodstove. It had once been my favorite early morning activity. I would heat the percolator and pour myself a cup of hot, musky coffee before the students arrived. But even coffee was a dream these days. The Depression and the Dust Bowl had robbed us of nearly everything. For some of us, even our lives. I feared this was where we might all be headed right now, and my one consolation was that, at least, the children were with someone who loved them as much as their desperate mothers did. And I knew their mothers were all thinking this very same thing now, hiding in closets and bathrooms in their homes, far from their babies—the only thing they had left in the world.

I gave the man a drink of water, which he gulped down like a hungry animal. “More, please?” “Okay, but just one cup more. I need the rest for the children. We don’t know how long we’ll be hunkered down in here.” The storm howled like a banshee as it scraped against the red clay earth of Oklahoma. This man was a stranger. I didn’t want him too close to the children.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

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Tiffani Velez has been a freelance writer since 1996. Her work has appeared in The Feminine Collective, Toe Good Poetry, Yahoo! News, and many more places. Her novels have been featured in the Annual Conference of Jewish Librarians, The New York Book Festival, and The Big Thrill Magazine and all have been bestsellers in their Amazon categories. The Search is her fifth book and fourth novel. She lives in Pennsylvania with her family.

Tiffani Velez

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Book Release: She’s the One Who Gets in Fights by S. R. Cronin @cinnabar01 @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #Books

Happy publication day to S.R. Cronin! Check out this brand new Historical Fantasy, She’s the One Who Gets in Fights and enter for a chance to win a $30 Amazon e-gift card!

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She’s the One Who Gets in Fights (The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters Books)

Publication Date: May 14th, 2021 🎉

Genre: Historical Fantasy

It’s the 1200’s, and the small realm of Ilari has had peace and prosperity for generations. That doesn’t mean every citizen is happy, however.
Sulphur, the third of seven sisters, is glad the older two have been slow to wed. It’s given her the freedom to train as a fighter, in hopes of fulfilling her lifelong dream of joining Ilari’s army. Then, within a matter of days, both sisters announce plans and now Sulphur is expected to find a man to marry.
Is it Sulphur’s good fortune her homeland is gripped by fear of a pending Mongol invasion? And the army is going door to door encouraging recruits? Sulphur thinks it is. But once she’s forced to kill in a small skirmish, she’s ready to rethink her career decision.
Too bad it’s too late. The invasion is coming, and Ilari needs every good soldier it has.
Once Sulphur learns Ilari’s army has made the strategic decision to not defend certain parts of the realm, including the one where her family lives, she has to re-evaluate her loyalty. Is it with the military she’s always admired? Or is it with her sisters, who are hatching a plan to defend their homeland with magic?
Everywhere she turns, someone is counting on her to fight for what’s right. But what is?

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Excerpt

In early spring, after the last of the snow melted and the mud dried, I told my parents I wished to visit friends I’d made while studying. Then I rode to Pilk to learn more about joining the Svadlu. I knew they had a booth at the largest market there, often staffed by Svadlu officers who’d answer questions. I had a lot of them.

They accepted women, but what were the standards? Were they the same as for the men? Being a Svadlu provided status and a fair amount of pay, so they never wanted for recruits. How many people who tried to join were accepted?

The next day I found the booth. Officers wore cloaks of saffron yellow, but this man boasted a scarlet cape covered in regalia, identifying him as a Mozdol. My nervousness surprised me as I approached him.

“Hello, lass,” he greeted me with warmth. “Let me guess. You’ve got a younger brother who wants to join us but he’s too nervous to come talk to me himself. Am I right?” He seemed pleased. With what? That he induced nervousness in potential recruits?

“Uh, no. Sir. I was hoping to get some information on me joining.”

“You?”

He looked at me more closely. Of course I wore a dress, not my fighting clothes, so I didn’t much look the part, but he squinted at me anyway.

“You’re tall. Well-muscled for a woman and you look to be in good shape. Have you ever held a sword?”

“I’ve been sparring since I was a child.”

That impressed him.

“And I’ll do whatever you need to me to. Answer questions about weapons, engage in fights, perform tests of strength, whatever you need.” I spoke too fast in my eagerness.

“Slow down,” he chuckled. “All that’s good, but actually, none of it matters compared to what I’m going to tell you next.”

He hesitated as if he wasn’t sure how to explain this vital fact to someone as ignorant as me.

“You’re a farmgirl, right?” He looked at my clothes again.

“Yes, sir.”

“Well, the Svadlu are more of a city operation. We do things differently than on the farm.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean being a member of the Svadlu is a pretty good deal. Lots of young people want in.”

“I know. That’s why I’ve worked so hard.”

“And that’s good, but most successful recruits get in because they have a sponsor. You know, someone already in the Svadlu who vouches for them. Um, especially if you’re, well, you know, a woman. Then it helps a great deal if one of us says you’re up to it.”

“But I can prove I’m up to it!”

“I suspect you can.” The look he gave me held respect, but he stayed firm. “A sponsor makes the difference. Why don’t you ask around? Surely your family knows someone who can help you.”

He looked up. Several people stood behind me now, all hoping to talk to him. “If you’ll excuse me …”

I rode back to Vinx dejected. I already knew my family had no contacts in the Svadlu and I had no idea of who I could turn to find some. Why did I have to know someone in order to get in? What stupid kind of way was that to run an army?

Available on Amazon

Will be available through Kobo, Apple, and Barnes & Nobel later this month!

About the Author

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Sherrie Cronin is the author of a collection of six speculative fiction novels known as 46. Ascending and is now in the process of publishing a historical fantasy series called The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters. A quick look at the synopses of her books makes it obvious she is fascinated by people achieving the astonishing by developing abilities they barely knew they had.

She’s made a lot of stops along the way to writing these novels.  She’s lived in seven cities, visited forty-six countries, and worked as a waitress, technical writer, and geophysicist. Now she answers a hot-line. Along the way, she’s lost several cats but acquired a husband who still loves her and three kids who’ve grown up just fine, both despite how eccentric she is.

All her life she has wanted to either tell these kinds of stories or be Chief Science Officer on the Starship Enterprise. She now lives and writes in the mountains of Western North Carolina, where she admits to occasionally checking her phone for a message from Captain Picard, just in case.

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