Posts Tagged ‘Historical fiction’

Alice and the Assassin

by R.J. Koreto

on Tour April 1-30, 2018

Synopsis:

Alice and the Assassin by R.J. Koreto

In 1902 New York, Alice Roosevelt, the bright, passionate, and wildly unconventional daughter of newly sworn-in President Theodore Roosevelt, is placed under the supervision of Secret Service Agent Joseph St. Clair, ex-cowboy and veteran of the Rough Riders. St. Clair quickly learns that half his job is helping Alice roll cigarettes and escorting her to bookies, but matters grow even more difficult when Alice takes it upon herself to investigate a recent political killing–the assassination of former president William McKinley.

Concerned for her father’s safety, Alice seeks explanations for the many unanswered questions about the avowed anarchist responsible for McKinley’s death. In her quest, Alice drags St. Clair from grim Bowery bars to the elegant parlors of New York’s ruling class, from the haunts of the Chinese secret societies to the magnificent new University Club. Meanwhile, St. Clair has to come to terms with his hard and violent past, as Alice struggles with her growing feelings for him.

Book Details:

Genre: Historical Mystery
Published by: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: April 11th 2017
Number of Pages: 280
ISBN: 1683311124 (ISBN13: 9781683311126)
Series: Alice Roosevelt Mystery #1

Get Your Own Copy of Alice and the Assassin on Amazon & Barnes & Noble & add it to your Goodreads list!!

Read an excerpt:

I had a nice little runabout parked around the corner, and Alice certainly enjoyed it. It belonged to the Roosevelt family, but I was the only one who drove it. Still, the thing about driving a car is that you can’t easily get to your gun, and I didn’t like the look of the downtown crowds, so I removed it from its holster and placed it on the seat between us.

“Don’t touch it,” I said.

“I wasn’t going to,” said Alice.

“Yes, you were.”

I had learned something the first time I had met her. I was sent to meet Mr. Wilkie, the Secret Service director, in the White House, and we met on the top floor. He was there, shaking his head and cleaning his glasses with his handkerchief. “Mr. St. Clair, welcome to Washington. Your charge is on the roof smoking a cigarette. The staircase is right behind me. Best of luck.” He put his glasses back on, shook my hand, and left.

It had taken me about five minutes to pluck the badly rolled cigarette out of Alice’s mouth, flick it over the edge of the building, and then talk her down.

“Any chance we could come to some sort of a working relationship?” I had asked. She had looked me up and down.

“A small one,” she had said. “You were one of the Rough Riders, with my father on San Juan Hill, weren’t you?” I nodded. “Let’s see if you can show me how to properly roll a cigarette. Cowboys know these things, I’ve heard.”

“Maybe I can help—if you can learn when and where to smoke them,” I had responded.

So things had rolled along like that for a while, and then one day in New York, some man who looked a little odd wanted—rather forcefully—to make Alice’s acquaintance on Fifth Avenue, and it took me all of three seconds to tie him into a knot on the sidewalk while we waited for the police.

“That was very impressive, Mr. St. Clair,” she had said, and I don’t think her eyes could’ve gotten any bigger. “I believe that was the most exciting thing I’ve ever seen.” She looked at me differently from then on, and things went a little more smoothly after that. Not perfect, but better.

Anyway, that afternoon I pulled into traffic. It was one of those damp winter days, not too cold. Workingmen were heading home, and women were still making a few last purchases from peddlers before everyone packed up for the day.

“Can we stop at a little barbershop off of Houston?” she asked. I ran my hand over my chin. “Is that a hint I need a shave?” I’m used to doing it myself.

“Don’t be an idiot,” she said, with a grin. “That’s where my bookie has set up shop. I’ve had a very good week.”

***

Excerpt from Alice and the Assassin by R.J. Koreto. Copyright © 2018 by R.J. Koreto. Reproduced with permission from R.J. Koreto. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

R.J. Koreto

R.J. Koreto has been fascinated by turn-of-the-century New York ever since listening to his grandfather’s stories as a boy.

In his day job, he works as a business and financial journalist. Over the years, he’s been a magazine writer and editor, website manager, PR consultant, book author, and seaman in the U.S. Merchant Marine. He’s a graduate of Vassar College, and like Alice Roosevelt, he was born and raised in New York.

He is the author of the Lady Frances Ffolkes and Alice Roosevelt mysteries. He has been published in both Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. He also published a book on practice management for financial professionals.

With his wife and daughters, he divides his time between Rockland County, N.Y., and Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

Catch Up With R.J. Koreto On his Website, Goodreads Page, Twitter @RJKoreto, & on Facebook @ ladyfrancesffolkes!

 

Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for R.J. Koreto. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift card. The giveaway begins on April 1, 2018 and runs through May 1, 2018. Void where prohibited.

CLICK HERE for the Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Ten Facts about the Legendary Women of World History You Probably Did Not Know

By Laurel A. Rockefeller

  1. Catherine de Valois was a few days shy of her fourteenth birthday when King Henry V of England defeated her father at the Battle of Agincourt.

Shakespeare makes her appear much older at the time in large part because in the play, the Treaty of Troyes appears to happen very soon after Agincourt.  In truth there is a 4 ½ year gap between those two events during which Catherine grows up –and grows up hating King Henry. When she finally marries him on 2 June 1420 she is 18 ½ years old and wise to the workings of royal courts.

  1. Queen Mary Stuart of Scotland was a battered wife.

Though she was queen sovereign of Scotland, the Church made the rules for marriage and divorce which she could not override.  Therefore, the only solution for Mary was to ally herself with enemies of Lord Darnley willing to murder him on her behalf. These allies ultimately proved untrustworthy and Mary eventually lost both her throne and later her head for it.

  1. Queen Elizabeth Tudor was a “virgin” in the sense that she never married.

The word “virgin” originally had nothing to do with vaginal sex, but meant “a free woman, one not betrothed, not bound to, not possessed by any man” (See https://professorwhatif.wordpress.com/2008/08/07/what-if-we-used-the-word-%E2%80%98virgin-in-accordance-with-its-original-meaning/). Therefore, a woman might be sexually active, yet still considered a virgin.

  1. Unlike her cousin Mary, Elizabeth refused to become the property of any man.

“I will have one mistress here and no master,” Queen Elizabeth famously replied to her Parliament in 1566 when her authority was challenged. Therefore, when we call Elizabeth Tudor “the Virgin Queen” what we actually mean is that she was sovereign in her own right, unconstrained by the men in both her personal and political life. Not even Queen Victoria had so much freedom.

  1. Empress Wu Zetian of China allowed a more or less free press during her reign.

In a time where criticizing the emperor was a crime punishable by death, Wu permitted her subjects a great deal of latitude to praise or criticize her as they desired. This allowed scholarship, culture, technology, and the arts to thrive under Wu’s reign. In addition, she abolished the traditional rule by the wealthy elites and replaced it with the Civil Service Exam system which was open to all men, regardless of wealth or class, empowering the poorest of the poor to earn their way into well-paying government jobs when aided by scholarships.  No wonder rich oligarchs hated her!

  1. Empress Matilda was pregnant when her father, King Henry I of England died.

Overlooked by most historians, Matilda was pregnant with her son William when her father died on 1 December 1135.

  1. Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd ap Cyan was related to Empress Matilda of England by marriage.

When Gwenllian married Gruffydd ap Rhys of Deheubarth in 1215 she became sister-in-law to Princess Nest ferch Rhys, one of King Henry of England’s many lovers. Nest gave birth to King Henry’s bastard son Henry Fitzhenry within weeks of Matilda’s own birth on 7 February 1102. This made Gwenllian sister-in-law to the mother of one of Matilda’s many half-brothers.

  1. Under Welsh Law, Prince Henry Fitzhenry of Deheubarth was an heir to his father, King Henry I of England.

Welsh Common Law recognized the legitimacy of all children, regardless of their parents’ marital status at birth, as equal heirs to their parents. Had King Henry of England accepted Welsh inheritance rules, he could have easily named Henry Fitzhenry as heir to the English throne. In theory this could have prevented the nineteen year war between Stephen de Blois and Henry’s sole surviving legitimate child, Empress Matilda of England.

In practice, however, making the half-Welsh Henry Fitzhenry (grandson to King Rhys ap Tewdwr of Deheubarth and nephew by marriage to Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd) would have presented its own political problems. The Church in England fiercely opposed the Welsh legal system because it secularized many domains the Church controlled or attempted to control and provided greater civil liberties to women than the Church considered appropriate. Given the number of senior clergy members in the Witan (German: Witenagemot), it is therefore highly unlikely the Witan would have permitted any of Henry I’s many bastard children to assume the throne which is why Stephen de Blois and Empress Matilda of England were the only two viable candidates for the English throne.

  1. Hypatia of Alexandria was sixty at the time of her murder.

Though the film “Agora” depicts the events of Hypatia’s life happening close together, in reality they happened over a span of decades.  Hypatia was 30 when Theophilus became Patriarch of Alexandria, 36 when the Caesareum and the Temple of Serapis were destroyed by Theophilus and converted into churches, and 50 when her father died in 405. Orestes likewise did not convert to Christianity until after Hypatia’s 50th birthday. With her age adding to her reputation for wisdom, can it be any wonder Hypatia became Enemy Number One in the eyes of Alexandria’s most radical Christians?

  1. Hypatia’s murder ended Alexandria’s golden age.

Not surprisingly, Hypatia’s murder had a chilling effect on Alexandria’s intellectual community.  With its most precious institutions and books destroyed by Patriarchs Theophilus and Cyril and its surviving intellectuals fleeing the city for safer parts of the Eastern and Western Roman Empires, Alexandria became a tiny shadow of its former self under Christian control. In the end, Christian zealots won the immediate war but destroyed the city in the process.


Born, raised, and educated in Lincoln, Nebraska USA Laurel A. Rockefeller
is author of over twenty books published and self-published since
August, 2012 and in languages ranging from Welsh to Spanish to
Chinese and everything in between. A dedicated scholar and
biographical historian, Ms. Rockefeller is passionate about education
and improving history literacy worldwide.

With her lyrical writing style, Laurel’s books are as beautiful to read as
they are informative.
In her spare time, Laurel enjoys spending time with her cockatiels,
attending living history activities, travelling to historic places in
both the United States and United Kingdom, and watching classic
motion pictures and classic television series.
One winner each week
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Follow the tour HERE
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Book Details:

Book Title: The Company Files: 1. The Good Man by Gabriel Valjan
Category: Adult Fiction, 251 pages
Genre: Thriller, Historical Fiction, Crime Fiction, Espionage
Publisher: Winter Goose Publishing
Release date: December 2017
Tour dates: Feb 12 to March 2, 2018
Content Rating: PG + M (No bad language but there is an attempted rape scene, and some violence.)

Book Description:

In 1948, Vienna was divided among four powers: France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Jack Marshall had served with Walker during the war, and now, working together for The Company, they are tasked to do the inconceivable. Could former Nazis really be recruited to assist the U.S. in the atomic race? As their team moves forward, they quickly discover they are not the only ones looking for these men. And the others in the search may just have the objective of murder.

In this tale of historical noir, of corruption and deceit, no one is who they say they are. Who is The Good Man in a world where an enemy may be a friend, an ally may be the enemy, and governments deny everything?

To read reviews, please visit Gabriel Valjan’s Page on iRead Book Tours.

 

Buy the Book:

 

 

 

Meet the Author:

 

Gabriel Valjan is the author of The Roma Series from Winter Goose Publishing. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where he enjoys the local restaurants, and his two cats, Squeak and Squawk, keep him honest to the story on the screen.
Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest

411 on Books, Authors, and Publishing News Interview with Gabriel Valjan

 

Which was the hardest character to write? The easiest?

The hardest character in The Good Man to write was Sheldon. At face value, he is a complex and flawed individual. He is a suspected vigilante whom no jury would convict. He is twice social outcast in that he is a survivor of Auschwitz but also a Sonderkommando, whom some inmates considered collaborators. I explain in the Afterword that their role in the Nazi death camps was poorly understood and they faced frequent purges. Sheldon is also gay, a Jew, so he  has to endure the additional prejudices of homophobia and anti-Semitism. For added measure, he runs counter to the popular option of claiming Palestine as his homeland. The Good Man briefly addresses Israeli terrorism against the British over the Palestine Question. Finally, Sheldon finds himself as a surrogate father to a young Russian girl, who has not only survived a similar trauma but reminds him of his Russian heritage. Writing about and around the Holocaust, retribution and sticky political situations was a tall order. I wanted to avoid clichés and present a multidimensional character, who is heroic, tragic, and someone who you might want as your friend, and certainly not as your enemy.

What made you write a book about post-war Vienna, and the early days of the CIA?

When I looked around at what was in the field, so to speak, I encountered the Phillip Kerr Bernie Gunther novels, the le Carré Smiley novels, and, for Vienna specifically, the Frank Tallis Max Lieberman mysteries. Kerr’s Gunther walks the streets of Berlin as Hitler comes to power; Smiley is an intelligence officer during the war years into the Cold War; and Max Lieberman predates them all since he is a contemporary of Sigmund Freud. Before becoming acquainted with those three characters, I had begun to think the classic noir spy thriller was dead.

I was drawn to Vienna for two reasons. I see Vienna as the crucible in which the Cold War started. The city was divided into four zones, the American, the British, the French, and the Russian after World War II. There were refugees everywhere. I also chose Vienna because it was a Wild West after the war. Food and medical supplies were in short supply. In addition to the American and European presence, various Israeli street gangs roamed the streets.

How long have you been writing?

I began in 2008 by writing a novel and then in 2009, a short story a week. I think the only genre I have not attempted was romance. I’ve written crime fiction, horror, science fiction, and quote unquote “literary fiction.” The first novel remains unpublished. After spending a year writing all those short stories, I wrote The Good Man, which I had set aside but revised several times by myself and with the help of a line editor, and then with current publisher, Winter Goose Publishing, in 2017. The Good Man was the result of reading classical noir: Hammett and Chandler. The novel had two close calls with two different publishers, but they dropped it because they didn’t want to take a chance on an unknown writer (their words). Some of my short stories had been published and now I wanted to tackle the novel again. I had discovered the Italian writer Andrea Camilleri, author of the Montalbano series, and I was inspired to write the first book in The Roma Series, which was published in 2012.

What genre do you write and why?

I dislike using the word genre because I believe a good story is a good story. If by genre you are thinking of touchstones for expectation, then I would say that my novels are both crime fiction and thrillers. I consider The Good Man historical noir. 1948 Vienna provides a historical context and my characters make bad decisions with the best of intentions.

The 40s was a unique time. I wanted to recreate the atmosphere and politics of postwar Vienna in a way that still feels fresh and new, despite the historical nature of the story.  That period, with its intricately interwoven and constantly shifting loyalties, was unique, and I wanted to make use of it. I wanted to craft a story in which I could show the characters’ loyalties to their own countries, to one another, and yet have their own sense of ethics.

What is the last great book you’ve read?

Jane Goodrich’s The House at Lobster Cove. This was a debut novel that introduced me to a new author and to a historical figure, George Nixon Black (1842-1928), who has all but disappeared into history. Mr. Black was gay, the richest man in Boston at one time, and a talented architect. He designed Kragsyde, a Shingle Style mansion, which was demolished a year after his death, at Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts. Goodrich guides reader’s through a gay and very gentle man’s life through the Civil War and the Gilded Age. I should add that each copy of the book has deckle pages and is handmade.

Latest bio: Gabriel Valjan is the author of the Roma Series and The Company Files from Winter Goose Publishing as well as numerous short stories. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where he enjoys the local restaurants, and his two cats, Squeak and Squawk, keep him honest to the story on the screen.

Website: www.gabrielvaljan.com

Blog: https://gabrielswharf.wordpress.com

Purchase link: Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2COa5HY 

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