Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace
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Friday, July 4, 2014

Fourth of July Read: For Love & Liberty by Alyssa Cole

Please welcome to History Undressed, guest author Alyssa Cole! She's here to celebrate July 4th with us! Enjoy!

I’ve spent the majority of my life living on what was the major staging ground for perhaps the most important war in America’s history: the American Revolution. The names in our Social Studies books were familiar from local maps and road signage: Paulus Hook, Trenton, Brooklyn, Saratoga. In junior high, our class trip was a visit to Philadelphia, where we took pictures of the cracked Liberty Bell on 35-mm film (Zack Morris was the only student with a cellular phone back then, much less a digital camera) and learned about Benjamin Franklin. My class was made up of a truly diverse group of students, but all of the historical figures we learned about had one thing in common: they were white. The only people who looked like us were the slaves and Native Americans used as decoration in the backgrounds of portraits.

Not seeing any reflection of myself in this aspect of history led to a kind of disconnectwhile I still enjoyed learning about the war, Independence Day was more about hamburgers and hot dogs than historical reflection. I mean, people like me weren’t a part of that America…or were we? As an adult, freed from a curriculum that tries to squeeze hundreds of years into digestible tidbits and isn’t overly concerned with diversity, I discovered a newfound love of history and realized how wrong I was. Because I’m a romance writer, I was fascinated by what else could have been happening for the many different types of people who lived during the Revolutionary War, but whose stories were never told. The men and women who chose to partake in the war must have been fighting for something; they must have had hope for something better, just as our Founding Fathers did.

A few other writers felt the same way, and we joined together to write For Love & Liberty: Untold Love stories of the American Revolution. The stories are set in New York during the Revolution and follow the paths of four very different couple who all seek love, as well as freedom, during the uncertain time before America finally gained its independence.

This July 4th will certainly be more than fireworks and fun for me. It will be a remembrance of the people, all of the people, who worked to make sure that America was indeed the land of the free.
About For Love & Liberty

FOR LOVE & LIBERTY: Untold Love Stories of the American Revolution is an anthology that looks at historical romance through a more colorful lens. Four romance authors have come together to present tales of passion and patriotism that reveal the truly diverse threads that run through the tapestry of American history.

In BE NOT AFRAID by Alyssa Cole, a black Patriot captured by the British falls in love with a headstrong runaway determined to leave the colonies...while a wounded British soldier discovers the healing power of love in the arms of a gentle native woman in A SWEET SURRENDER by Lena Hart...in REBELS AT HEART by Kate McMurray, two men must make hard choices if they are to stay together when war arrives on the shores of their home in New York City...at last, in HOME by Stacey Agdern, a young Jewish couple must decide what can hold them together before war and geography tear them apart.



About Alyssa Cole


Alyssa Cole is a Brooklyn-based science editor, pop culture nerd, and romance junkie. She is the author of the romantic suspense novel, Eagle's Heart, and the erotic short Sweet to the Taste. She has recently begun to dabble in historical romance; her first short, a Revolutionary War romance, can be found in the anthology For Love & Liberty. In addition to writing, she hosts a romance book club and teaches romance writing at the Jefferson Market Library in NYC. When she's not busy traveling and learning French, she can be found watching cat videos on the Internet with her real life romance hero.



Happy 4th of July!!!

How about a little crash course in US History???


Monday, June 23, 2014

The Cook's Temptation by Joyce Wayne

About The Cook's Temptation

Publication Date: February 1, 2014
Mosaic Press
Formats: Ebook, Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction

Joyce Wayne brings to life the complexities of Victorian life, first in County Devon and then in London’s East End. The ‘big picture’ is about one woman’s life, class conflict, religious intolerance, suspicion and betrayal. The central figure is Cordelia, a strong-minded Jewish woman who is caught between her desire to be true to herself and her need to be accepted by English society.Cordelia Tilley is the daughter of a Jewish mother and an Anglican father. Her mother has groomed her for a life in English society while her father, a tough publican, has shown no tolerance for his wife’s social climbing or the conceits of their perspicacious daughter. Cordelia’s mother dies from typhoid fever, she tries to run the family ‘s establishment, she falls prey to a local industrialist, she gives birth to a son, she is tormented by her husband and his family. Finally, she is rescued by suffragette friends and sets off to start a new life in London.The Cook’s Temptation is about a woman who is unpredictable, both strong and weak willed, both kind and heinous, victim and criminal. It is a genuine Victorian saga, full of detail, twists and turns, memorable scenes, full of drama and pathos.

Praise for The Cook’s Temptation

“Joyce Wayne’s debut novel, The Cook’s Temptation, has the stately bearing of a nineteenth century novel – the mercilessness of Thomas Hardy, the black allegory of Nathaniel Hawthorne, the tense marriages of George Eliot. It is a story of how people become what you blame them for being.” – Ian Williams, poet and fiction writer, short listed for the 2012 Griffin Poetry Prize

About the Author

Joyce Wayne has an MA in English literature, has taught journalism at Sheridan College, Oakville, Ontario, for twenty-five years, and lives in Toronto, Ontario. She was a winner of the Diaspora Dialogues contest for fiction and the Fiona Mee Award for literary journalism. She is the co writer of the documentary film So Far From Home (2010), a film about refugee journalists persecuted for their political views, and various of her other works have been published in Parchment, Golden Horseshoe Anthology, Canadian Voices, and TOK6.

For more information please visit Joyce Wayne’s website. You can also connect with her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads. She is happy to participate in Books Clubs by phone and Skype.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Lost Duchess!!!

Please join author Jenny Barden as she tours the blogopsphere for The Lost Duchess from May 26-June 20. Paperback Publication Date: June 5, 2014



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The Lost DuchessEbury Press Paperback; 448p    


An epic Elizabethan adventure with a thriller pace and a high tension love story that moves from the palaces of England to the savage wilderness of the New World. Emme Fifield has fallen about as far as a gentlewoman can. Once a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth, her only hope of surviving the scandal that threatens to engulf her is to escape England for a fresh start in the new America where nobody has ever heard of the Duchess of Somerset. Emme joins Kit Doonan's rag-tag band of idealists, desperados and misfits bound for Virginia. But such a voyage will be far from easy and Emme finds her attraction to the mysterious Doonan inconvenient to say the least. As for Kit, the handsome mariner has spent years imprisoned by the Spanish, and living as an outlaw with a band of escaped slaves; he has his own inner demons to confront, and his own dark secrets to keep... Ever since Sir Walter Raleigh's settlement in Virginia was abandoned in 1587 its fate has remained a mystery; 'The Lost Duchess' explores what might have happened to the ill-starred 'Lost Colony' of Roanoke.

Buy the Book

Amazon (AUS) Amazon (UK) Book Depository

About the Author

I've had a love of history and adventure ever since an encounter in infancy with a suit of armour at Tamworth Castle. Training as an artist, followed by a career as a city Jenny (Portrait 2)solicitor, did little to help displace my early dream of becoming a knight. A fascination with the Age of Discovery led to travels in South and Central America, and much of the inspiration for my debut came from retracing the footsteps of Francis Drake in Panama. The sequel centres on the first Elizabethan 'lost colony' of early Virginia. I am currently working on an epic adventure during the threat of invasion by the Spanish Armada. My work has appeared in short story collections and anthologies and I've written for non-fiction publications including the Historical Novels Review. I am active in many organisations, having run the 'Get Writing' conferences for several years, and undertaken the co-ordination of the Historical Novel Society’s London Conference 2012. I am a member of that organisation as well as the Historical Writers' Association, the Romantic Nevelists' Association and the Society of Authors. I'll be co-ordinating the RNA's annual conference in 2014. I have four children and now live on a farm in Dorset with my long suffering husband and an ever increasing assortment of animals. I love travelling, art, reading and scrambling up hills and mountains (though I'm not so keen on coming down!).

Author Links

Website Facebook Twitter Jenny Barden's Blog English Historical Fiction Authors Blog

Also by Jenny Barden

Mistress of the SeaAdd to GR ButtonPublication Date: June 20, 2013 Ebury Press Formats: Paperback, Ebook     Mistress Cooksley may be a wealthy merchant's daughter, but she blushes at my words and meets my eyes look for look. Yet I cannot hope to court her without fortune, and a dalliance with a pretty maid will not hinder me from my path. Captain Drake's endeavour might bring me gold, but I, Will Doonan, will have my revenge. The Spaniards captured my brother and have likely tortured and killed him. For God and St George, we'll strike at the dogs and see justice done. I thought I'd left Mistress Cooksley behind to gamble everything and follow Drake, and here she is playing the boy at the ends of the world. She's a fool with a heart as brave as any man's. Yet her presence here could be the ruin of us all...



VISIT THE OTHER TOUR STOPS!

Virtual Tour & Book Blast Schedule

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Behind the Book: IN YOUR ARMS by Merry Farmer

Welcome to History Undressed, guest author, Merry Farmer. She's here today to talk a little about her new book, IN YOUR ARMS.

Of all the novels I’ve written so far and all of the research I’ve done for these novels (and believe me, I’ve done a lot!), by far the most fascinating discoveries I made were when I began researching the lives of Native Americans after the “Cowboys and Indians” era for In Your Arms.  The entire Montana Romance series takes place in a fictitious town in western Montana near the mountains—an area that is rich in Native American history and culture.  I wanted to show as much of that culture as I could within the context of a romance.

What surprised me the most was not how shamefully the Native American population was treated.  I knew that as Americans of European descent moved west they displaced the native peoples, forcing them to live on reservations or to give up their lifestyles completely.  I knew the long, sad story behind the near decimation of that culture.  All of these things are what inspired me to tell Lily’s story in the first place.

What I didn’t realize was how bittersweet the efforts of missionaries and well-meaning but misguided people were.  I knew that I wanted my heroine, Lily, to have been taken from her tribe as a small child and raised in one of the many Indian schools that popped up back east.  I knew a little bit about the Indian schools, but the reasons why they were built, the goals that they had, and the results of their efforts was even more heartening and heartbreaking than I had imagined.

The white Americans who founded, funded, and ran the Indian schools were coming from a place of genuine charity, thoughtfulness, and good intentions.  They were moved by the plight of the Native Americans and wanted to help them.  The problem was that what they saw as helping them—educating Native American children in European ways, removing all signs of the culture they were born into and making them look like white people, and training them for ‘useful employment in society’—was, in fact, destroying their cultural identity.  It truly was a case of the path to hell being paved with good intentions.

It was bittersweet to learn about what happened to the thousands of children who went through these schools.  Many of them did go on to successful careers in the white man’s world.  Many became teachers, like Lily.  But also like Lily as I have portrayed her, they lost all ties with who they were.  They were turned out into the world in a cultural limbo, no longer fitting in with their past but never completely accepted by the ‘civilized’ world they were trained for.  The result was a generation of people left with huge psychological scars.  Those scars also extended to the older generation, whose children, whose future was taken from them.

It’s heavy stuff for a romance novel!  But at the same time, I was driven to tell this story.  Ultimately, In Your Arms is a story about finding love and finding where you belong when everything has been taken from you.  It is a story about hope and the ability of love to overcome even the most tragic barriers.  It is my deepest hope that I have remembered the young men and women on both sides who endured this painful chapter of our history and that I have done them justice.

In Your Arms is the third full-length novel in Merry Farmer's sweeping, engaging, and extremely historically accurate Montana Romance series. Never one to shy away from difficult or controversial topics while still imbuing her tales with more than a dash of romance and steam, Merry depicts a tale of love, trust, and stubborness against the backdrop of the turn-of-the-century American frontier. "[In Your Arms is] a book that intelligently tackles racial tensions of post-Civil War era...a highly engaging romance between two fiery-spirited individuals...I highly recommend this book to all fans of historical romance." --Mary Chen, Amazon reviewer Get In Your Arms on Amazon, Amazon UK, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks. Add In Your Arms to your Goodreads to-read shelf!

About In Your Arms

In Your Arms Merry FarmerLily Singer has never belonged. Taken from her tribe as a child and raised in a white man’s school, she no longer has a place in either world. Teaching has become her life. When that life is threatened by rumors and prejudice after a string of robberies, she must turn for help to the one man who spells disaster for her carefully ordered existence. Will he save her or steal her heart? Christian Avery, Justice of the Peace, is used to having things his way. Cold Springs is his responsibility, and when its citizens blame the local Indian population for the mysterious robberies, it’s up to him to restore order and maintain calm. The one person who refuses to follow his lead is the beautiful, native-born Lily. Her defiance turns his life upside down. But when town gossip shifts from robberies to romance after a foolish indiscretion, Lily’s job and reputation are on the line. She must choose between the only life she has ever known and the only place she has ever felt at home, in Christian’s arms.

About Merry Farmer

Merry Farmer Merry Farmer lives in suburban Philadelphia with her two cats, Butterfly and Torpedo. She has been writing since she was ten years old and realized one day that she didn't have to wait for the teacher to assign a creative writing project to write something. It was the best day of her life. She then went on to earn not one but two degrees in History so that she would always having something to write about. Today she walks along the cutting edge of Indie Publishing, writing Historical Romance and Women's Sci-Fi. She is also passionate about blogging, knitting, and cricket and is working towards becoming an internationally certified cricket scorer. Find Merry Farmer on her websiteFacebookTwitter, and Amazon Author Page.

Get the book!

In Your Arms is available on AmazonAmazon UKSmashwordsBarnes & Noble, and iBooks. Don't forget to add In Your Arms to your to-read shelf on Goodreads. Connect with Merry Farmer on her websiteFacebookTwitter, and Amazon Author Page.

Curses and Smoke: A Novel of Pompeii by Vicky Alvear Shecter

OUT TODAY!!!


CURSES AND SMOKE: A Novel of Pompeii by Vicky Alvear Shecter!

Publication Date: May 27, 2014
Arthur A. Levine Books
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Genre: YA Historical

When your world blows apart, what will you hold onto?

TAG is a medical slave, doomed to spend his life healing his master's injured gladiators. But his warrior's heart yearns to fight in the gladiator ring himself and earn enough money to win his freedom.

LUCIA is the daughter of Tag's owner, doomed by her father's greed to marry a much older Roman man. But she loves studying the natural world around her home in Pompeii, and lately she's been noticing some odd occurrences in the landscape: small lakes disappearing; a sulfurous smell in the air. . . .

When the two childhood friends reconnect, each with their own longings, they fall passionately in love. But as they plot their escape from the city, a patrician fighter reveals his own plans for them -- to Lucia's father, who imprisons Tag as punishment. Then an earthquake shakes Pompeii, in the first sign of the chaos to come. Will they be able to find each other again before the volcano destroys their whole world?

About the Author

Vicky Alvear Shecter is the author of the young adult novel, CLEOPATRA'S MOON (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, 2011), based on the life of Cleopatra's only daughter. She is also the author of two award-winning biographies for kids on Alexander the Great and Cleopatra. She is a docent at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Antiquities at Emory University in Atlanta.

http://www.vickyalvearshecter.com

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Happy Memorial Day!

Many thanks to all who serve and those who served before you. We are free because of the brave.