Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Exciting Blog Tours and Book Spotlights in February 2023 #HistoricalFiction #BlogTour #BookSpotlight @cathiedunn


💘 Hello again, lovely Coffee Pot Book Club followers! 💘

February is the month of Valentine’s Day and Carnival. A time for romance and celebrations, in masked disguise. And, of course, a time for reading, to recover from those strenuous shenanigans...

So here at The Coffee Pot Book Club, you’ll discover wonderful novels by award-winning and bestselling authors! 📚

Just click on the banners to find our exciting Blog Tours and Book Spotlights for February 2023.

In addition to the Blog Tours listed below, I’ll be adding our fascinating Book Spotlights & Guest Posts we have scheduled throughout the month.

Happy reading, wherever you are! 💖

Thank you from the Coffee Pot Book Club team! 💟

Fancy becoming a Blog Tour Host 
and taking part in our exciting historical fiction tours?

We are currently looking for active book bloggers who read & review historical fiction, historical mystery & historical romance.

Click on the banner and get in touch today!

Check out Glen Craney's fabulous novel – The Yanks are Starving #Historical Fiction #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub @glencraney @cathiedunn

The Yanks are Starving

A Novel of the Bonus Army

by Glen Craney

Publication Date: January, 2014
Publisher: Brigid's Fire Press
Pages: 561
Genre: Historical Fiction

Two armies. One flag. No honor.

The most shocking day in American history.

Former political journalist Glen Craney brings to life the little-known story of the Bonus March of 1932, which culminates in a bloody clash between homeless World War I veterans and U.S. Army regulars on the streets of Washington, D.C.

Mired in the Great Depression and on the brink of revolution, the nation holds its collective breath as a rail-riding hobo named Walter Waters leads 40,000 destitute men and their families to the steps of the U.S. Capitol on a desperate quest for economic justice.

This timely epic evokes the historical novels of Jeff Sharra as it sweeps across three decades following eight Americans who survive the fighting in France and come together fourteen years later to determine the fate of a country threatened by communism and fascism.

From the Boxer Rebellion in China to the Plain of West Point, from the persecution of conscientious objectors to the horrors of the Marne, from the Hoovervilles of the heartland to the pitiful Anacostia encampment, here is an unforgettable portrayal of the political intrigue and government betrayal that ignited the only violent conflict between two American armies.


Foreword Magazine Book-of-the-Year Finalist
Chaucer Award Book-of-the-Year Finalist
indieBRAG Medallion Honoree

Praise for The Yanks are Starving:

"[A] wonderful source of historical fact wrapped in a compelling novel."
~ Historical Novel Society Reviews

"[A] vivid picture of not only men being deprived of their veterans' rights, but of their human rights as well.…Craney performs a valuable service by chronicling it in this admirable book."
~ Military Writers Society of America

The lieutenant sighed at the vast and varied lunacies produced by the
human race. He told the other recruits, “Commander Waters here is going tell
us how he fought in the Great War of His Imagination.” Then, he asked the
man, “Who’d you square off against? Hannibal or Napoleon?”

Waters didn’t wait to blink. “Mac.”

One of the recruits yelled out, “General McClellan?”

Waters spun on the lippy Okie. “There’s only one Mac, da-da-damn it!
And you know who he is!”

Motioning the recruits to silence, the lieutenant shammed an interest. “You
fought MacArthur. You fight for the Germans, did you, Herr Dubya-Dubya?”

The veteran’s eyes filmed over, and he turned a woebegone gaze toward the
railroad tracks in the distance. “Nah, I led the best American army that ever
took the field. Worst thing about this c-c-country is it ain’t got no memory for
the important things that happen to it.”

Baffled by the cryptic lament, the lieutenant glanced across the field and saw
several drill squads looking over to see what all the commotion was about. He
decided he’d better cut this little charade short before word started spreading
downwind that he had lost control of his station. “Listen, Mr. Waters, or
whoever you are. I’m going to have to order you to run along now. Or I’ll have
to call the mental hospital in town and—”

“I’ll prove it.”

The lieutenant, now really annoyed, set his hands on his hips. “You’re
going to prove to me that you fought General Douglas MacArthur with an
American army? How exactly do you plan to do that?”

Waters puffed out his sunken consumptive chest to display two threaded
military ribbons pinned to his breast pocket. “If I demonstrate my bona fides
on the matter, will you let me t-t-take the oath?”

His first plan having backfired, the lieutenant reluctantly decided that letting
the man blather his two cents’ worth was probably the only way to get rid
of him now. “You got five minutes before lunch call. Make it fast.”

The other recruits moaned, forced to stay out in the cold even longer now.

The sniggering ensign piled more logs onto the fire in the oil drum.

Waters commandeered the chair behind the desk and placed it in front
of the fire. Flicking away the butt of his last Lucky Strike coffin nail, he sat
down and reached into his pocket for a plug of tobacco. He stuffed the chaw
into his cheek and, satisfied at last with his preparations, waved the recruits
forward. “Come on closer, maggots. I ain’t g-g-gonna strip the gears in my
throat educating your ignorance.”

As the grousing recruits stepped in around him, Waters began singing the
tune that had always helped calm the hitch in his words, an old big-band
number by that top-hatted medicine man of jazz, Ted Lewis:

“There’s a new day coming,
As sure as you’re born,
A new day coming,
Start tootin’ your horn,
The cobbler’ll shoe, the baker’ll bake,
When the brewer brews, folks,
We’ll all get a break.
There’s a new day coming,
Coming soon.”

Glen Craney

GLEN CRANEY is an author, screenwriter, journalist, and lawyer. 

A graduate of Indiana University Law School and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, he is the recipient of the Nicholl Fellowship Prize from the Academy of Motion Pictures and the Chaucer and Laramie First-Place Awards for historical fiction. 

He is also a four-time indieBRAG Medallion winner, a Military Writers Society of America Gold Medalist, a four-time Foreword Magazine Book-of-the-Year Award Finalist, and an Historical Novel Society Reviews Editor's Choice honoree. 

He lives in Malibu and has served as the president of the Southern California Chapter of the HNS.

Connect with Glen:

Website • Twitter • Facebook • BookBub

Monday, January 30, 2023

Check out Jessie Mills’ fabulous novel – Rosalind #HistoricalFiction #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub @Byjessiemills @cathiedunn

Rosalind: DNA’s Invisible Woman

by Jessie Mills

Publication Date: February 18th, 2022
Publisher: Ingram Spark/Alpha Helix Publishing
Pages: 310
Genre: Historical Fiction / Narrative Non-Fiction

’A luminous, pin-sharp portrait of a true trailblazer. Mills's writing simply glows.’
~Zoë Howe, Author, Artist and RLF Writing Fellow at Newnham College, University of Cambridge

Rosalind: DNA’s Invisible Woman tells the true story of the woman who discovered the structure of DNA, whose work was co-opted by three men who won a Nobel prize for the discovery.

Her story is one of hope, perseverance, love and betrayal.

Driven by her faith in science, Rosalind Franklin persisted with her education in the face of formidable obstacles, including the de-reservation of women from war science.

In Norway at the start of World War II, her place at Cambridge's first women's college was thrown into jeopardy.

A decade later, she fled Paris upon the news that the research director at the State Chemicals Lab was having an affair. They continued to write to each other in secret.

Rosalind knew when embarking on science, a gentleman's profession, that the odds would be stacked against a woman's success. But she did not foresee that her pay would later be cut on account of her age and gender, that she would be burned by the plagiarism rife among her male contemporaries or face her own battle with cancer.

When she took a research post at King’s College London, the head of the physics department switched her subject to DNA at the last minute.

She was tasked with discovering its structure using X-ray crystallography. Could she become the first scientist to map the DNA molecule and would the discovery ultimately be worth it?

When two researchers at Cambridge University, her alma mater, built a three-chain model of DNA weeks after seeing her lecture, she knew that it was wrong.

Scientists at each of the three labs competing in the race to find DNA’s structure had guessed that the molecule had three chains. Her evidence proved them wrong. But would anybody listen?

This is the story of DNA that you won't find in the history books...

The woman behind science's greatest discovery has been variously referred to as 'an obsessive woman', 'difficult', and 'the dark lady of DNA'. Why was she called these names, and were they justified?

Written by journalist and former Wall Street Journal (PRO) editor Jessica Mills Davies, following nearly three years of intensive archival research, the novel aims to give Rosalind Franklin a voice for the first time in history. Her story is the most well-documented account of 'the Matilda effect' and its corollary 'the Matthew Effect', whereby women's contributions to science and other professions are often ignored or misappropriated.

The Exeter Novel Prize-longlisted novel is peppered with copies of original correspondence between her and her contemporaries, illustrating how three men got away with the biggest heist in scientific history.

Extract from ROSALIND: DNA’s INVISIBLE WOMAN, Part XI, chapter 35 (Ecclesiastes | Qōheleth’)

‘Are you pregnant?’ Dr Livingstone asks, taking one look at my stomach.

Her office is bare except for a leather chair. I had been struggling to zip up my skirt since New York. The diners there served fatty breakfasts, pancakes with a choice of maple syrup or jam, and cheese omelettes, in quadruple the usual quantity.

The doctor beckons for me to sit down as I hover at the entrance to her office. I pause. My hands are sweaty and my heart is pounding. She flicks through my notes, which are kept in a brown envelope, waiting for a response.

‘I wish that I was,’ I say, betraying my fears of spinsterhood.

It makes me nervous when doctors ask such personal questions. I didn’t know how many of my parents’ friends attended that same surgery in Hampstead. Even if I was pregnant, would I tell a person behind a desk? As the local doctor, she’s in a position of authority to elicit my most vulnerable secrets. What would she think of me, if I told her that I could be pregnant? Would she think I was a harlot?

‘Are you trying?’ the doctor asks, checking my notes once more.

‘I’m not married.’ The sound of my voice betrays my disappointment.

‘Professor Nixon is very good,’ she says, referring me to see a specialist.

‘What will you say on the referral?’

‘Patient notes are private Ms Franklin.’

‘Please don’t use the word pregnant. I don’t want people to talk.’

‘Do you think you might be?’

‘No, I mean, I came about stomach pains, not pregnancy.’

‘I think you had better leave, Ms Franklin. I’m referring you to see a specialist for your bloating and gastralgia. There’s not much more I can do for you unless there’s anything more you want to tell me.’

It is several weeks before I receive a letter with a date to see Professor Nixon. The gel specimens of the tobacco-mosaic virus are keeping me busy most nights. I need to find a way to reconstitute specimens of the virus and prepare them to be X-rayed. Before my trip abroad we had struggled to get good specimens, as the slides were sticky with RNA. By treating the build-up, we were able to get clearer X-rays.

On examining my stomach, the specialist Dr Nixon immediately advises surgery. He says University College Hospital will operate for free under the National Health Service, which is less than a decade old.

‘Is it really necessary?’ I ask.

‘We won’t know what’s causing your symptoms without investigating further.’

Before surgery, the nurse at the hospital hugs me and tells me not to worry. The next few minutes are a blur.

‘Have you had a surgery before?’ she says as she takes my blood pressure.

Her velvety accent sounds Caribbean.

‘The only serious illness I’ve ever had is jaundice, except for a cold now and then.’

‘When was that?’

‘I was twenty-two.’

‘You’ll be fine,’ she says. ‘Don’t you worry.’

She says it in the way that adults comfort children, with both benevolence and pity. In her palm, she is holding a small mountain of drugs.

‘Three painkillers, one penicillin. Take them.’

The doctor returns shortly afterwards with a form for me to sign.

‘It’s for consent,’ he says.

The form says that if one of my organs is damaged during the operation, the surgeon has permission to repair it.

‘How often does that happen?’ I ask him.

‘Rarely,’ he says.

Another box asks me to consent to my ovaries being removed if necessary. It says there is a chance of death from the operation.

‘This is only meant to be exploratory,’ I say.

The nurse puts her hand on mine and looks at the form with me.

‘They only do what’s needed,’ the doctor says.

He registers my details and explains the procedure. Then he hands me a pillow and sends me to wait outside in a cemented stairway. I feel as though I am holding my block for the gallows. I had signed my life away. Now I am waiting for the inevitable. My whole body, up to my shoulders, is trembling.

‘So you’re a physicist? What are you working on?’ the anaesthetist asks as I’m laying on my back in a hospital bed, upstairs from the registrar.

‘Polio,’ I say.

He asks me to lie down and count backwards from ten while he injects the drugs into my veins. As I count the numbers, the summer sunshine begins to fade away.

I have applied for a grant to fund my investigations into the structure of polio. It is the very last thing on my mind when the anaesthetic starts to take effect. If we could map the structure of the virus, as Dorothy Hodgkin had done with penicillin, it would be possible to make a synthetic vaccine. It hadn’t been done before. A denatured polio specimen was available, but an artificial vaccine would be cheaper. The more people who were immunised, the more effective any vaccine would be. Perhaps one day it would eradicate the most paralysing killer of the age: polio.

The next thing I know, I am being propped up on a hospital bed by two nursing staff.

‘Did they find anything?’ I ask.

Their silence is palpable. From the corner of my eye, I see the nurses turn to each other while they are adjusting the bedding underneath me. There is an almost equal chance of good or bad news, but their reticence is foreboding.

Jessie Mills

Jessica is a journalist and author. She has written for publications such as The Independent, The Wall Street Journal and Business Insider, where she investigated the use of flammable cladding in hospital intensive care units in 2020.

Before that she was a member of the steering committee for Women at Dow Jones, where she spent several years as an editor and led the team that uncovered the misuse of funds at Abraaj.

Her debut novel tells the true story of Rosalind Franklin, the invisible woman behind the discovery of DNA’s double helix. It was longlisted for the Exeter Novel Prize 2020.

Connect with Jessica:

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Check out Tom Durwood's fabulous novel – The Adventures of Ruby Pi and the Math Girls #YAadventure #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub @TDurwood @cathiedunn

The Adventures of
Ruby Pi and the Math Girls

The Math Girls

by Tom Durwood

Publication Date: December 22nd, 2022
Publisher: Empire Studies Press
Page Length: 147 Pages each
Genre: YA Historical Adventure 

T H E   A D V E N T U R E S   O F

Ruby Pi and the
Math Girls

Young adult fiction featuring gambling, bandits, swordplay, probability and Bayes’ Theorem. An English teacher hopes to engage students with colorful STEM adventures.

In this outstanding collection, Tom addresses the chronic problem of our young women dropping out of STEM studies. His stories lend adventure to scientific thinking.

~ Tanzeela Siddique, Math Instructor

Bird Jaguar buries the Codex 

And nobody knows
How cold my toes
How cold my toes are growing.
-- A.A. Milne

From her hiding place, Bird Jaguar squinted at the giant, jagged-toothed barbarian. 
Tillers’ blood dripped crimson from his sword and shield. The barbarian grunted. He looked around, searching the battlefield for Bird Jaguar and her sister and protector, Zac Cul. 
“Come, little Toads!” bellowed the barbarian. “Let the Dark Gods embrace us together!” 
The prophecies did not mention him, noted Bird Jaguar to herself.  
She looked up. Far overhead, a flock of blackbirds split apart and rejoined.
In this year of 8. 17. 14. 12. 11, the Fifth Lord had risen from his slumbers.
The ruination of the High Maya had begun. 

* * *

“Why is he even following us?” Bird Jaguar asked Zac Cul, her older sister. 
Copper bands adorned their upper arms. They were free-women, tillers, valued members of a farming clan.
“I don’t know,” answered Zac Cul. She dried the hilt of her sword in her skirt. “Something about us must irritate him.”
This bloodthirsty, too-tall, too-strong warrior had for some reason tracked the two sisters all the way from the burning City, far from his barbarian cohort. He seemed intent on their deaths.
“You are often irritating,” said Bird Jaguar to her sister.
The Emperor had murdered his own advisors, who foretold dangers that could not be seen, or proven, and then been killed by those same dangers. The throne had fallen. The City was descending into lunacy. It had all been predicted, in the stars (with certain errors), in the detailed celestial charts.  The movement of Venus across the night skies had been insightful. 
The prophecies did not mention him, noted Bird Jaguar to herself.  

The Tillers would find a new home, new soils for their rows of vegetables and grains, in the northern hills. All would proceed, according to the fates. Most of Bird Jaguar’s tribe were already on their way north.

All that was left now was to bury the codex.

* * *

The two girls were trapped in a rocky maze of ravines and caves. Bird Jaguar, a valued scribe, held fast to the codex tablet. It must be hidden, and well-hidden, for future readers.
Since birth, Zac Cul had been the younger girl’s escort and protector.
This cave would do. But this entrance was unprotected.  
The giant would see them --  
“I thought you said you were telling our story,” said Zac Cul, as she glanced over the tablet and its complex pattern of glyphs. 
“These are just numbers.”  
“Our story is hidden behind a scrim of numbers,” replied Bird Jaguar.
Bird Jaguar nodded.          
“Am I in it?” asked Zac Cul.    
“Yes. You are prominent, sister.” 
Losing her patience. Zac Cul shouted and rushed out of their hiding place to engage the giant --  
The barbarian’s eyes widened when he saw her approach -- 
He charged, with his bahlum hatchet raised to strike – 
Seemingly out of nowhere, a soldier came hurtling down the rockface from above, landing with a thud and sweeping the barbarian’s legs out from under him.

Nimbly, the soldier rose, quicker than the clumsy giant. He stabbed the barbarian through the throat before the big man could get his balance. 

The giant roared in pain. Choking, he writhed and swung his limbs violently to and fro … 

But the soldier would not relent.       
“You shouldn’t have followed my girls,” the soldier, Smoking-Frog, told his dying enemy. “You should have stayed with your friends … ”  
Smoking-Frog was the girls’ grandfather.      
The barbarian died there, gurgling, reaching out, far from his home. A grisly death. 
“Let’s go,” urged Smoking-Frog. “Let’s bury this tablet and get out. Blackbirds are on the move.”  Grandfather thought it wise to coordinate with the creatures whenever possible. They know things we don’t, he would say.  

Inside the cave, Bird Jaguar filled in the hollow where she had hidden the codex. 
Our descendants will find this… but not for many cycles.
Bird Jaguar smiled to herself. 
They will need to be clever, if they want to read it … 
Zac Cul called.
“Coming!” said Bird Jaguar.  

Ruby Pi and the Math Girls

Tom Durwood

Tom Durwood is a teacher, writer and editor with an interest in history. Tom most recently taught English Composition and Empire and Literature at Valley Forge Military College, where he won the Teacher of the Year Award five times. Tom has taught Public Speaking and Basic Communications as guest lecturer for the Naval Special Warfare Development Group at the Dam’s Neck Annex of the Naval War College.

Tom’s ebook Empire and Literature matches global works of film and fiction to specific quadrants of empire, finding surprising parallels. Literature, film, art and architecture are viewed against the rise and fall of empire. In a foreword to Empire and Literature, postcolonial scholar Dipesh Chakrabarty of the University of Chicago calls it “imaginative and innovative.” Prof. Chakrabarty writes that “Durwood has given us a thought-provoking introduction to the humanities.” His subsequent book “Kid Lit: An Introduction to Literary Criticism” has been well-reviewed. “My favorite nonfiction book of the year,” writes The Literary Apothecary (Goodreads).

Early reader response to Tom’s historical fiction adventures has been promising. “A true pleasure … the richness of the layers of Tom’s novel is compelling,” writes Fatima Sharrafedine in her foreword to “The Illustrated Boatman’s Daughter.” The Midwest Book Review calls that same adventure “uniformly gripping and educational … pairing action and adventure with social issues.” Adds Prairie Review, “A deeply intriguing, ambitious historical fiction series.”

Tom briefly ran his own children’s book imprint, Calico Books (Contemporary Books, Chicago). Tom’s newspaper column “Shelter” appeared in the North County Times for seven years. Tom earned a Masters in English Literature in San Diego, where he also served as Executive Director of San Diego Habitat for Humanity.

Two of Tom’s books, “Kid Lit” and “The Illustrated Boatman’s Daughter,” were selected “Best of the New” by Julie Sara Porter’s Bookworm  Book Alert

Connect with Tom:

Website – The Math Girls

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Amazon Author Page • Goodreads