Friday, December 22, 2023

Season's Greetings from The Coffee Pot Book Club

* Relax, read, and be happy! * 

We’re wishing all Friends of the Coffee Pot Book Club a Merry Christmas, Glad Yuletide, Joyful Holidays – and a very happy & healthy New Year!

* We are now on holiday until January 8th, 2024. *

Next year, we have big plans for promoting authors of historical fiction and non-fiction. Watch this space for news!

See you in the New Year...

Love & light,

Cathie, Mary Anne, Ellie, and Jen đź’ť

The Queen's Scribe (Sea and Stone Chronicles) by Amy Maroney #AwardWinning #HistoricalFiction

The Queen's Scribe

by Amy Maroney

A broken promise. A bitter conflict.

And a woman’s elusive chance to love or die.

1458. Young Frenchwoman Estelle de Montavon sails to Cyprus imagining a bright future as tutor to a princess. Instead, she is betrayed by those she loves most—and forced into a dangerous new world of scheming courtiers, vicious power struggles, and the terrifying threat of war.

Determined to flee, Estelle enlists the help of an attractive and mysterious falconer. But on the eve of her escape, fortune’s wheel turns again. She gains entry to Queen Charlotta’s inner circle as a trusted scribe and interpreter, fighting her way to dizzying heights of influence. 

Enemies old and new rise from the shadows as Estelle navigates a royal game of cat and mouse between the queen and her powerful half-brother, who wants the throne for himself.

When war comes to the island, Estelle faces a brutal reckoning for her loyalty to the queen. Will the impossible choice looming ahead be her doom—or her salvation? 

With this richly-told story of courage, loyalty, and the sustaining power of love, Amy Maroney brings a mesmerizing and forgotten world to vivid life. The Queen’s Scribe is a stand-alone novel in the Sea and Stone Chronicles collection.


"This is a high-stakes adventure moving rapidly from one event to another in a time of great upheaval."
~ Historical Novel Society Review

"Unique and captivating, The Queen's Scribe is an exquisite historical adventure that has you turning the pages well into the night. It's a story that stays with you, and I, for one, would love to read more of Estelle's adventures..."
~ Ruins & Reading

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Blog Tour: Anywhere But Schuylkill by Michael Dunn

Join The Coffee Pot Book Club on tour with…

Anywhere but Schuylkill

The Great Upheaval Trilogy

by Michael Dunn

January 31st - March 20th, 2024

Publication Date: September 25th, 2023
Publisher: Historium Press
Pages: 301
Genre: Historical Fiction

In 1877, twenty Irish coal miners hanged for a terrorist conspiracy that never occurred.

Anywhere But Schuylkill is the story of one who escaped, Mike Doyle, a teenager trying to keep his family alive during the worst depression the nation has ever faced. Banks and railroads are going under.

Children are dying of hunger. The Reading Railroad has slashed wages and hired Pinkerton spies to infiltrate the miners’ union. And there is a sectarian war between rival gangs.

But none of this compares with the threat at home.

Praise for Anywhere but Schuylkill:

"In the tradition of Upton Sinclair and Jack London, Michael Dunn gives us a gritty portrait of working-class life and activism during one of the most violent eras in U.S. labor history.  Anywhere but Schuylkill is a social novel built out of passion and the textures of historical research. It is both a tale of 1870s labor unrest and a tale for the inequalities and injustices of the twenty-first century."

~ Russ Castronovo, author of Beautiful Democracy and Propaganda 1776.

"Michael Dunn has created the characters that bring the 19th Century's Mine Wars to life for today's readers. Anywhere but Schuylkill will remind readers of John Sayles and Tillie Olsen and the best in the long tradition of labor literature."

~ James Tracy, co-author of Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels, and Black Power: Interracial Solidarity in 1960s-70s New Left Organizing 

"The Banshees of Inisherin and 1917 are two of the best historical films I've seen in recent years, particularly the cinematography. Yet the visuals Michael Dunn creates in Anywhere But Schuylkill, are richer, more vivid, more imaginative, and more haunting and indelible than what I recall in those brilliant films. It's like the author transports himself to each scene and brings to life each physical detail, each expression, each emotion, and each word of dialogue with the care of a Renaissance painter."

~ David Aretha, award-winning author of Malala Yousafzai and the Girls of Pakistan, and Martin Luther King Jr. and the 1963 March on Washington. 

Buy Link:

Universal Buy Link

Michael Dunn

Michael Dunn writes Working-Class Fiction from the Not So Gilded Age. Anywhere But Schuylkill is the first in his Great Upheaval trilogy.

A lifelong union activist, he has always been drawn to stories of the past, particularly those of regular working people, struggling to make a better life for themselves and their families. Stories most people do not know, or have forgotten, because history is written by the victors, the robber barons and plutocrats, not the workers and immigrants. Yet their stories are among the most compelling in America. They resonate today because they are the stories of our own ancestors, because their passions and desires, struggles and tragedies, were so similar to our own.

When Michael Dunn is not writing historical fiction, he teaches high school, and writes about labor history and culture.

Author Links:

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Blog Tour: Signatures in Stone: A Bomarzo Mystery by Linda Lappin

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Signatures in Stone

A Bomarzo Mystery

by Linda Lappin

January 24th - 26th, 2024

Publication Date: November 30th, 2023 (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Pleasure Boat Studio
Pages: 290
Genre: Historical Mystery / Art History Mystery

Captivating critics and readers, SIGNATURES IN STONE, was the OVERALL WINNER in the DAPHNE DU MAURIER AWARDS for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense Writing - best mystery of 2013

Rome, Italy - November 2023 - Pleasure Boat Studio is thrilled to announce the release of the second edition of Linda Lappin's celebrated novel, SIGNATURES IN STONE: A BOMARZO MYSTERY. This captivating suspense tale takes readers on a thrilling journey through the enigmatic Monster Park of Bomarzo, also known as the Sacred Wood, an extraordinary Baroque sculpture garden in Italy. With the 500th anniversary of the park's creation, this edition is accompanied by a magnificent new cover and a series of Tarot card illustrations by Santa Fe artist Carolyn Florek.

In SIGNATURES IN STONE, readers are transported to the atmospheric setting of the Monster Park of Bomarzo, a sixteenth-century garden adorned with mythical creatures believed to represent a terrifying journey into the realm of nightmares. Against this backdrop, four travelers find themselves intertwined in a fate-driven Italian holiday. Daphne, a British writer of occult mysteries, her down-on-his-luck aristocratic publisher Nigel, the aspiring artist and American gigolo Clive, and the art historian Professor Finestone, all converge in a dilapidated villa near the park. They are attended by rustic servants who harbor secrets of their own.

Professor Finestone has made a groundbreaking discovery, revealing that the garden was designed by one of Italy's greatest artists as a transformative experience that delves into the shadow side of life. Over the centuries, the park's meanders continue to influence the minds and destinies of those who venture within. As the group explores their heart's desires amidst the haunting sculptures, they become entangled in a web of intrigue and danger. When Daphne, renowned for writing cozy murder tales, becomes the prime suspect in a shocking homicide, she must confront her own darkness and rely on her sleuthing skills to uncover the terrifying truth.

Linda Lappin's gripping tale presents an intriguing exploration of gardens in Renaissance Italy, where they were regarded as tools for altering consciousness and changing destiny. The Monster Park of Bomarzo becomes the backdrop for a "Gothic-in-Wonderland" phantasmagoria, immersing readers in a suspenseful and thrilling journey.

New Edition of Linda Lappin's Award-Winning SIGNATURES IN STONE: A BOMARZO MYSTERY Commemorates the 500th Anniversary of the Monster Park.

Praise for Signatures in Stone:

"Layers of mystery are woven into Linda Lappin's beautifully written and atmospheric historical novel set in Bomarzo, Italy's enigmatic park of stone monsters."

~ Gigi Pandian, author of The Accidental Alchemist.

"Deftly mixing fascinating art history and murder with an exotic atmospheric setting (the Bomarzo garden actually exists), dramatic historical period (1928 fascist Italy), and fully fleshed characters, Lappin (The Etruscan) has written a hallucinatory gothic mystery in which no one is as they appear. Daphne is a most memorable, if a bit unreliable narrator. Readers looking for an intelligent summer mystery will find much to savor here."

~ Wilda Williams, Library Journal 

Buy Link:

Universal Buy Link

Giveaway on TripFiction!

This link will be accessible from January 28th!

Linda Lappin

Linda Lappin, poet, translator, novelist, and travel writer is the prize-winning author of four novels: The Etruscan (Wynkin deWorde, 2004); Katherine’s Wish (Wordcraft, 2008), dealing with the last five years of Katherine Mansfield’s life; Signatures in Stone: A Bomarzo Mystery (Pleasure Boat Studio, 2013, 2023), overall winner of the Daphne Du Maurier award for best mystery novel of 2013; and Loving Modigliani: The Afterlife of Jeanne HĂ©buterne (Serving House Books, 2020), 2021 Daphne Du Maurier award finalist and shortlisted for the 2021 Montaigne Medal for Books of Distinction. 

She is also the author of The Soul of Place: Ideas and Exercises for Conjuring the Genius Loci (Travelers Tales, 2015), winner of a Nautilus Award in the category of creativity in 2015.

A former Fulbright scholar to Italy, she has lived mainly in Rome for over thirty years. She is at work on a second Daphne Dublanc mystery novel, Melusine, set in Bolsena. The second edition of Signatures in Stone (2023) has been issued to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Monster Park.

Author Links:

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Instagram • Bluesky