Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Read an excerpt from The Adventures of Ruby Pi and the Geometry Girls by Tom Durwood #YAadventure #ScienceGirls #BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @TDurwood @cathiedunn

The Adventures of Ruby Pi and the Geometry Girls
By Tom Durwood

A collection of adventure stories featuring young heroines at turning points in history who use math to solve colossal problems. Smart girls take on buried secrets, villains, tanks, mysteries, codes, and economics to save their people “Stories, mystery and math go well together… a welcome addition.”

(~ Jeannine Atkins, author of “Grasping Mysteries: Girls Who Loved Math”) 

Publication Date: December 22, 2022
Publisher: Empire Studies Press
Page Length: 147
Genre: YA fiction 

Grab a copy HERE!


“These Colorado coaches,” lectured the solicitor, Aynsley, “are a larger, more rugged version of the Kinnear design. Wells Fargo uses them widely.

“This is a Concorde model, if I’m not mistaken,” he added. “Capacious.”

Johnny glared at the talkative lawyer. 

“More useless information,” snorted the militia man, Morgan. He rubbed his bandaged hand sullenly.    

The stagecoach’s constant motion cast a bad mood within its large interior, but it was more than just the motion. The day had turned to dusk. Only an hour further to Folsom. The mountain trail was clear, the horses making good time. 

“Leather-strap suspension,” offered Aynsley to his captive audience, “is what gives the carriage its swinging movemen-- ” 

It happened so fast. 

All in the same moment--   

They heard a thunderous crash, followed by three loud gunshots.

The horses whined their objection in a panic – 

One of the brake levers snapped. 

The stagecoach screeched to a halt.

The stagecoach passengers heard a hard, painful scream from the driver’s seat – 

“I’m hit! I’m hit!”

The stage door flew open and half of the passengers spilled falling out onto the trial – 

“Shut up,” came a woman’s voice. A pause, and then, “Morgan! You there?” 

The passengers stood.  Now they could see that a great, bulky deadfall had been placed across the trail to block the stage. 

Angie and Drew, from the saloon in Silver City, sat astride two horses, guns drawn.

“Hands up! All of you!” proclaimed Drew. “This here’s a robbery!”

He held his pistol on the stage driver, who had his hands up.  Beside him, the rifleman clutched at his arm, where had been shot.

Now Morgan smirked as he trained a gun on Johnny’s stomach.

“What the devil -- ” sputtered Aynsley.

“You- you’re bandits?” demanded the startled Mrs. Aynsley.

“The money belts,” commanded Morgan. “That deed! Now!”

One of the drivers groaned for mercy.   

Angie stopped placing the saddle on the lead horse, turned and shot him 

“Money belts,” spat Drew.  

“But you’re such a nice boy -- ”

“I’ll shoot you, hey,” shouted Drew, trembling. 

“You’ll never get away with it,” warned the lawyer. 

“Easy …” said Johnny.

“Sorry, bub,” Morgan said, half-smiling, to Johnny as he raised the weapon.  “We can’t leave witnesses now, can we?”

Ma yelled ‘No!’ and lunged for the militia man -- 

“Hey. Morgan,” said Casey. 

Morgan turned in time to see Casey’s hand sweep to her side and emerge with a gleaming pistol, one of the Colt Rainmaker’s, nickel-plated and deadly fast.   

In a liquid motion, she raised the Colt and fanned the hammer --  


Three rounds sunk deep into Morgan’s chest, all at once.

Casey swiveled and sent three more rounds slamming into anxious young Drew, jerking him clean from his saddle -- 

With a curse, Angie jammed her spurs into her horse and rode off --  

Casey dropped the Colt and ran to grab the Enfield rifle from the passenger racks. 

She shucked the rifle sheath and ran to the edge of the trail. 

She stood on an outcrop facing northeast. She could see the sweep of the basin and range, to her right, where Angie was escaping -- 

She was galloping unseen, along the high-walled Mogollon limestone.

But there was a break in the wall, very distant … 

It was that opening to which Casey devoted her attention.  

They could hear the horse’s canter, moving away … 

Casey thumbed in three big, heavy cartridges.           

“Eleven hundred meters … ” said Johnny. 

Johnny held the rangefinder like binoculars.

He counted off a sequence of numbers. 

Casey scribbled the calculations. 

Distance … curvature  … target point … origin point

Now she watched through the Enfield’s telescopic sight, following the horse-and-rider trajectory, as she imagined it.  

John called out a second sequence of numbers, distance in meters.  

“Twenty …” said Johnny. 

“Fifteen,,, ten .. five …”

The Enfield let go a sharp crack -- 

The firearm echoed in the great solemn quiet along the southern section of the Mogollons …

Angie’s body slumped and fell from the saddle. 

What we see are objects in refracted light. A thing itself does not change, just the ways in which we experience it.  It is the light which changes.   

A blue moon looks blue because of shifts in light, the suspended volcano dust in the air. The way that light refracts can make everything look new, and not as we thought it to be.   

It alters how things appear to us, does the immense cloud of fine dust and ash from the Krakatoa Volcano, supplemented by forest fires in Sweden and Canada. When the quality of the air changes, so does the quality of light. On a Blue Moon night, the thing itself does not change, just the ways we experience it. 

Casey turned to Ma. 

“Why don’t you take the money back to Mister Torgeson, Ma?”

She indicated the currency that had spilled from the lawyer’s satchel onto the trail, when Johnny had shot Morgan.  

“Back to Silver City.”  

Ma looked long and still at her daughter.

“I’m sure he’d appreciate it,” said Casey. 

She slung the Enfield over her shoulder, like it had always been there, like it belonged attached to her.   

“Johnny and me can run the clinic in Folsom. Then we’ll head straight for Albuquerque. 

“You come join us, soon as you can.”  

The horses fell quiet. A silence vast and deep seemed to descend, all along the southeastern section of the Mogollon Rim. The little grouping around the stagecoach listened, as though they could all feel, or somehow hear, the rotation of the earth.

No man or woman could put an adjective to the look that appeared on Ma’s face. It was sad and accepting, almost relieved and almost embarrassed, and several more emotions as well, all at the same time.

“And so the child,” intoned Aynsley, “is father to the man.” 

“What, are you the effing chorus now?” Johnny raised his pistol to shoot the lawyer. “You two-faced shill -- ”

“No! Please!” Mrs. Aynsley began to cry --   

“They were robbing us, too,” she reminded Johnny.

Now Mrs. Aysnley’s cry turned into a scream, a hideous, feral sound, for such a cultured woman -- 

Johnny lowered the gun. “Just as soon,” he murmured. 

“All right, Case,” said Ma. “All good.” 

Ma’s face had gone white. She gripped the hem of her skirt tightly   

“You two …take …” Ma choked. “Ah! Me! Take good care, Johnny --”

“The Fort Stanton stage should be by here in an hour or so,” said Casey. “That about right, Whip?” she called to the driver. 

“Yup,” came the reply.

Casey looked out over the basin lowlands. She closed eyes, for a moment.

“I don’t know what we’ll find in Albuquerque,” Casey said to her brother as she swung into the saddle of the horse Drew had been riding.  

“But we got a real-life deed to some damn thing.” 

“We got two hundred bucks.”

She patted the horse’s neck.

“And we can make an honest living fixin’ guns.”

“We should be all right,” Johnny nodded.   

He finished cinching the saddle of the lead stage horse and checked the horse’s underbelly. The bay was ready to trade all this gunplay and confusion among the humans for an open run along a clear path.   

“Let’s light a shuck -- “

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

Website – The Math Girls
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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Read an interview with A.E. Bennett, author of Yours and Mine #HistoricalRomance #Historical @aebennettwrites @XpressoTours

Yours and Mine
By A.E. Bennett

She told a lie. He confirmed it. Now they’re secretly betrothed against their families’ wishes…

Lady Octavia Dorchester is the most desired young lady in the Realm. Now that she has twenty years behind her, society has deemed her ready to marry. Although she’s not enthusiastic, she promises to act like a proper lady and look for a good husband—just like her powerful father Lord Roman Dorchester wants.

Lord Gerald Verte has been painfully shy his entire life. He’s never been comfortable in society and lives in the shadow of his older brother, the imposing Lord Tristian Verte. Despite his desires to remain indoors and away from people, he promises his older brother that he won’t shame the family name, no matter how much his anxiety threatens to overwhelm him.

After sharing a dance at a ball held in Octavia’s honor, both she and Gerald know what no one else believes—it’s love at first sight.
When their respective family members object to the match, Octavia lies about their betrothal and Gerald corroborates her story. Raising the ire of both Lords Dorchester and Verte, Octavia and Gerald are torn apart and kept from one another until tragedy strikes.

This high-heat romance with a guaranteed HEA is a prequel to Gathering of the Four: Book One of the Serrulata Saga but can be read as a standalone.

Publication date: December 21st 2021
Genres: Adult, Historical, Historical Romance, Romance 

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Grab a copy HERE!


Writing Interview questions.

Why did you choose to write your book in this era?

The main book in my series, Gathering of the Four, takes place more than two thousand years in the future, when the Hale-Bopp comet is set to return. When the comet initially appeared back in 1997, I was a teenager and pretty obsessed, so I wrote a short story about the comet giving a young girl powers. Fast forward a few decades and the first book of The Serrulata Saga was drafted. One of my critique partners made a comment about loving Octavia and Gerald and wanting to know more about them, and thus this prequel was born.

Did you find researching this era particularly difficult? What was the hardest thing to find out, and did you come across anything particularly surprising?

Well, this is the best part about writing in the far future, I think. Within a few minor constraints, I was pretty much able to make up what I wanted. In any world - whether based on reality or completely made up - there have to be rules, but I think the farther into the future you go, the more flexibility you have. So, I was able to create this Regency-esque story with nuclear power towers in the background. It was really fun mashing romance and scifi together like that. 

Can you share something about the book that isn’t covered in the blurb?

Oooo I don’t want to give too much away and this is a novella so it’s short but I can tell you that Gerald’s experiences with anxiety mimic some of mine. It’s hard being judged by those around you!

If you had to describe your protagonist(s), in three words, what would those three words be and why?

I will admit this is hard because I have to think back to young Octavia and Gerald… and not the age they are now. (I am starting to work on Book Three of the series, which is twenty-five years after Yours and Mine.)

Octavia: strong, willful, arrogant

Gerald: reserved, nervous, compromising

I think these words would best describe how each of these two are at the beginning of Yours and Mine, but if you read my other books, you’ll see not all of these adjectives apply currently.

What was the most challenging part about writing your book?

Keeping track of where everyone was at the time of Yours and Mine so that it aligns with where they are during Gathering of the Four and the sequel, Test of the Four

(Try and say that three times fast - haha.)

Was there anything that you edited out of this book that would have drastically affected the story, should it be left in?

No. I wrote this soon after releasing Gathering of the Four, so the overall story was still very fresh in my mind. And it was always intended to be a novella, so I had the length in mind from the beginning. 

What are you currently working on?

Whew! Lots! I’m putting the finishing touches on my second Serrulata Saga romance, Second Glance. I’ve also sent my third romance out for feedback from my critique partners. This spring, I’m going to start drafting my first horror novella, which will also be in The Serrulata Saga world. Gonna plug my newsletter here, since that’s the easiest way to keep up with everything I have going on (including sales & giveaways). 

What would you tell an aspiring author who had some doubts about their writing abilities?

Find folks you can trust to bounce ideas off of. The initial draft of my first book was an absolute disaster and I wouldn’t have been able to publish had I not had critique partners who were firm but kind. 

Personal Interview questions.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I enjoy running 5k’s. I also love trying new foods, wine, and beer. 

What did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was very young, a veterinarian. I’ve always loved animals, but then I got to biology… 

What’s for dinner tonight? What would you rather be eating?

If it didn’t affect my waistline and wallet, I’d eat at a new restaurant every night. Alas, I’m not wealthy so I have to settle for the veggie casserole in the fridge.

Either or!

Tea or coffee: Coffee

Hot or cold: Hot 

Movie or book: Book 

Morning person or Night owl: Morning person when it comes to the day job; Night owl when it comes to writing

City or country: City 

Social Media or book: Book

Paperback or ebook: ebook, but only because we don’t have room in our apartment for physical books

A.E. Bennett (she/her) lives in Washington, D.C. She is originally from North Carolina.

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Read an excerpt from Blindsided (The Forgotten Daughter, #1) by Marguerite Ashton #Thriller #YoungAdult #Mystery @msashton_writer @XpressoTours

(The Forgotten Daughter, #1)
By Marguerite Ashton

Diagnosed with depression, Lexi Archer prefers to continue outpatient treatment. But someone else has other plans.

BlindSided tells the story of Lexi Archer, an eighteen-year-old woman who wakes up in a hospital bed, handcuffed to the rail, and realizes she doesn’t remember what happened the night before.

After being released from the hospital, Lexi’s transferred to the Milwaukee County Jail, where she’s informed about her pending charges for first-degree murder.

Intent on proving she’s innocent, Lexi places a phone call to her stepsister asking for her help. As Lexi gets closer to the truth, she unravels ugly secrets about her dead mother that will change her life forever.

Publication date: July 13th 2020
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult 

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Grab a copy HERE!


No one has suffered through the life I’m living. Right?

Am I the only one out there who feels like she’s being strangled? I’ve been told that they’re severe panic attacks. But in some instances, it feels like it’s more than that. I’m not sure. Maybe no one knows what I’m feeling first-hand. The worst is when my heart races, pounding against my chest. The continued rapid heartbeat, and there’s nothing I can do to slow it down.

Suddenly, I feel like I can’t breathe. Then, when I try to talk during this moment, my words become stilted as I gasp for air. Heat consumes me. Panic takes over as sweat collects under my arms, soaking my shirt. Who can raise their hand and say that they’ve been forced to change a shirt more than once a day in order to look presentable?

Only me?

If there are others, I’ll be glad to know that I’m not alone. I’m not happy that others are suffering. Just that there may be other people my age who understand. Others won’t ridicule me for being different.

I can’t tell you how many times people have told me to stop stressing. “Or, if you truly have faith, you’ll be fine. Well, both are annoying to hear. Even back then, during biblical times, you can’t tell me that others didn’t suffer the same afflictions that I have. Otherwise, the passages in the bible about anxiety, money worries, and guilt wouldn’t be included.”

“Who’s to say that what I’ve endured won’t last me for years to come? It wasn’t long ago that my school counselor told me to find a way to learn to trust. To believe so that I can live a more normal life. No amount of lectures will move me to suddenly live or make an adjustment to turn my life around as if my past can be erased. Flashbacks are something I deal with every day.

Am I wrong for thinking this way? Will my thoughts place me in the category of being a narcissist? I’ve been told I’m more like my dead mother than I want to admit. Something I was reminded of by my maternal aunt last week.

“My sister,” said Aunt Tammy, closing the hood on her dream car. The Excalibur. It was a cherry red nineteen-eighty-one roadster. “She was always the unstable one. Mean spirited. She knew bible verses better than me. The difference was she never applied them to her way of living. That’s what made her dangerous. Envy, greed, and anger corrupted Shanta’s way of thinking. She couldn’t let go of what happened to us when we were kids.”

When Marguerite Ashton was in her twenties, she took up acting but realized she preferred to work behind the camera, writing crime fiction. A few years later, she married an IT Geek and settled down with her role as wife, mom, and writer!

Her blog, Criminal Lines: Settled Writer Past 40 is her outlet while building dollhouses and plotting out her next book.

Marguerite lives in Wisconsin and enjoys RVing.

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Monday, January 30, 2023

Read an excerpt from ROSALIND: DNA’s Invisible Woman by Jessie Mills #rosalindfranklin #invisiblewomen #BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @byjessiemills @cathiedunn

ROSALIND: DNA’s Invisible Woman
By Jessie Mills

'A luminous, pin-sharp portrait of a true trailblazer. Mills's writing simply glows.' Zoƫ 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. 

Publication Date: 15 March 2022 (print), 18 February 2022 (digital)
Publisher: Ingram Spark/Alpha Helix Publishing
Page Length: 310 pages
Genre: Historical fiction / narrative non-fiction

Grab a copy HERE!


‘Doctor Franklin, welcome.’

I clasp my hand over my mouth, not expecting anyone to have heard my profaning. Professor Randall is standing in the lit entrance at the top of a flight of steps. After several seconds of looking around to see where the voice was coming from, I make out his silhouette. He is shorter than I remember from our first meeting a year ago, at least now that I’m in inch-high brogues. He is wearing tortoiseshell glasses that frame his ovate forehead, with a colourful polka dot bow tie fastening his shirt collar, and a fresh flower positioned carefully in his buttonhole. He’s smiling, but his eyes curve down slightly at each corner, as though they have been etched by past disappointments.

The turnstile scrapes against the floor as I push it open. With hands still in his pockets, the Professor nods at me, inviting me in to follow his lead. Inside the university building, the steps appear to be made of stone, possibly limestone or granite, but they’re polished to the same high sheen as the marble statues on either side of the hallway.

‘As I said in my letter Dr Franklin, it’s more important while you’re with us that you investigate biological fibres than solutions.’

The Professor’s Lancashire drawl is unmistakable.

‘I received your letter, Professor,’ I reply, hesitantly.

‘There’s no need to fret,’ he says. ‘I’ve reassigned you to deoxyribonucleic acid.’

‘But the fellowship committee enlisted me to study solutions.’

‘That may be so, but you’re needed here. We’ve made some fascinating progress with DNA.’

The ceilings in the main corridor of the university are vertiginous, as if they were designed to angle the students’ ambitions north of their navels. The plaster is intersected by wrought-iron chandeliers midway between each buttress. Tall cabinets line either side of the corridor. They are sparsely filled with leather-bound books. On closer inspection, they aren’t encyclopaedias, but a collection of handwritten minutes from the Senate. The hallowed names of science’s great and good are engraved in the alabaster walls in an enclave off the main hallway. I search among the names for Florence Nightingale.

‘There’s something you should know,’ I finally confess.

‘I know everything there is to know about your work at the Coal Board and diffraction studies in Paris. The fellowship committee was very thorough, and Charles said good things about you,’ the Professor replies.

‘You should know, Professor, that I’m ignorant about anything…biological.’ I stutter, looking down at my shoes.

Convinced that I have failed at the first hurdle, a chemist in a world of botany and flora, and at pains not to disappoint my friend, the Professor has to know my doubts, in case he later finds me to be a fraud. Crystalline coal is a different substance entirely from organic specimens.

Professor Randall stops and sighs. He turns to me, wearily, without lifting his hands from his pockets.

‘The trouble is, Dr Franklin, biologists are ignorant about physics. They have none of the rigour that physicists have.’

‘Look,’ the Professor adds, lowering his voice.

He nods when someone passes us in the corridor, in a bid not to let anyone hear what he’s going to say next.

‘They laugh at us you know,’ he says.

‘Who, Professor?’

‘The old guard. They’ve got no imagination at the Medical Research Council.’

He pauses.

To the rest of the world, the Professor’s department is a spectator sport, a big tent full of different disciplines. He’s assembled an eccentric melange of biologists, chemists and physicists. There are four biologists, two chemists, scores of biological and physical technicians, and two dozen graduates. It’s a laughing-stock to the older scientists. They call it ‘Randall’s Circus’.

‘What I’m doing here is a new type of physics,’ the Professor continues. ‘I call it biophysics. It’s a mix of biology and physics, and it’s the only way that we can get a handle on DNA’s structure. If we can do that, then perhaps one day we will understand the genetic code.’

‘Surely nucleic acid’s too simple to be of any importance in the scheme of life,’ I say.

The Professor starts to hum to himself and walks on ahead.

‘I suggest you read the work of Oswald Avery at the Rockefeller.’

‘Do you mean his Frankenstein experiment?’ I reply, scrambling to keep up with him.

‘Precisely,’ he says.

Before I left London for Paris, the periodicals had said that when Nobel nominee Oswald Avery mixed a denatured specimen of pneumonia with DNA, he resurrected the dead virus. The mice immediately dropped dead in his lab. Everyone was comparing him to Dr Frankenstein.

‘Now is it biblical, Dr Franklin? Or is it science?

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.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Check out Captain of Second Chances (Sisterhood of Secrets, Book 6) by Jennifer Monroe #HistoricalRomance #RegencyRomance @RABTBookTours

Captain of Second Chances
(Sisterhood of Secrets, Book 6)
By Jennifer Monroe

In this sweet Regency romance by USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Monroe, a young woman fights for a second chance with a former captain who is haunted by his past. 

A Captain lost at sea

After a devastating shipwreck kills several of his crewmen, Captain Luke Bannerman has sworn off all aspects of his former life—including Miss Ruth Lockhart, the flaming-haired beauty he once loved. Now working for the Bow Street Runners, Luke is sent to the small village of Chatsworth to investigate a decades-old murder in-volving the headmistress of the very school Ruth attends. Although he has a duty to fulfill, the old feelings he has shut away resurface, mak-ing him reconsider what he has cast off…

Her love will bring him home

Miss Ruth Lockhart once dreamed of marrying Captain Bannermann and sailing the high seas. But a heartbreaking letter brought that dream to a crashing end. When the handsome Luke unexpectantly reappears, Ruth finds the strong and gentle man gone, replaced by one who is broken and lost. Although her heart yearns for a second chance, Ruth knows the cost of having her captain returned to her may prove to be more than she can pay. 

Only the truth will calm a storm of secrets…

Suspecting a second chance is on the horizon, Ruth aids Luke in the search for the truth. But as the investigation unfolds, Ruth realizes her own secrets may be the very thing that will keep them apart.

As for Luke, he must decide which man he wants to be—the brave captain Ruth once knew or the Bow Street Runner who uncovers an unsettling truth that could ruin their chance at happiness…

Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Clean & Wholesome
Date Published: January 26, 2023

Grab a copy HERE!


Sisterhood of Secrets Series

#1 Duke of Madness

#2 Baron of Rake Street

#3 Marquess of Magic

#4 Earl of Deception

#5 Knight of Destiny

#6 Captain of Second Chances


USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Monroe writes Regency romances you can’t resist. Her stories are filled with first loves and second chances, dashing dukes, and strong heroines. Each turn of the page promises an adventure in love and many late nights of reading.

With over twenty books published, her nine-part series, The Secrets of Scarlett Hall, which tells the stories of the Lambert Children, remain a favorite with her readers.

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Check out the cover of Thorns at Sunrise by Janeen Ippolito #YoungAdult #FairyTales #Fantasy @JaneenIppolito @XpressoTours

Thorns at Sunrise
By Janeen Ippolito

A young queen. Her imaginary friend. A kingdom on the verge of death.

She believes she’s crazy.

Queen Usilea has a secret–and he lives in her mind. Ever since she was six years old, her imaginary friend has been her closest companion, and her arranged marriage has been a great dread. When she learns her betrothed and the royal family have suddenly died, she feels obligated to attend the funeral in the foreign land of Absteph–and perhaps learn more behind their mysterious passing.

He only wants the truth.

Petar endures great pain to protect those he does not remember. His only solace is a shadowy woman who he loves–even though she denies that he exists. When a terrible tragedy occurs in his kingdom, that mysterious woman is his only hope of bringing justice to light. For the cage that imprisons him grows harsher every day, and he is losing the fight.

But there are thorns at sunrise.

Brought together on the barest thread of reality, Usilea and Petar must discover what really happened to the royal family. But Petar’s time is running out. Soon not even a Mender like Usilea will be able to save him.

This YA romance features a gender-swapped Sleeping Beauty in an original fantasy world on the brink of doom.

Publication date: March 23rd 2023
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult 

Janeen Ippolito believes you should own your unique words—and make them awesome! She’s a multi-published author of bestselling fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. She’s also an experienced book editor and marketing strategist, plus the CEO of Uncommon Universes Press, a publishing company with award-winning books. She hosts the podcast Own Your Unique Words, which helps gutsy fiction authors grow their businesses without burning out. In her spare time, she helps her missionary husband with his youth swordfighting ministry, indulges her foodie ambitions, reads whatever books she feels like, and explores a slew of random hobbies. Her life goals include traveling to Antarctica and riding a camel while wearing a party hat. This extrovert loves to connect, so join her on social media or at janeenippolito.com

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Monday, January 23, 2023

Read an interview with Glen Craney, author of THE YANKS ARE STARVING: A Novel of the Bonus Army #historicalfiction #BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @glencraney @cathiedunn

THE YANKS ARE STARVING: A Novel of the Bonus Army
By Glen Craney

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

Publication Date: January, 2014
Publisher: Brigid’s Fire Press
Page Length: 561
Genre: Historical Fiction

Grab a copy HERE!


Writing Interview questions.

Why did you choose to write your book in this era?

I stumbled upon the story of the Bonus Army more than thirty years ago while working as a political reporter in the nation’s capital for Congressional Quarterly magazine. I saw it first as a movie and wrote the story as a film screenplay. The script received lots of praise from producers, and my late mentor, Harry Essex, a Hollywood screenwriting legend, encouraged me to “shake it out” into a historical novel. The Bonus March is a cautionary tale very timely for current events.

Did you find researching this era particularly difficult? What was the hardest thing to find out, and did you come across anything particularly surprising?

The era of the Great Depression presents unique challenges to the historical novelist. For one, many people during that time tried to alter their hard luck by changing their names. One of my main characters, a rail-riding hobo, changed his name several times. Tracing his steps across the country became quite a quest. In his short memoir, he even got the maiden name of his wife wrong because she too changed her name several times. Another of my main characters was divorced, which was rare in those days. His archives had been scrubbed of personal anecdotes, but I hit gold when I discovered an unpublished manuscript hidden in the archives of his ex-wife.

Can you share something about the book that isn’t covered in the blurb?

Herbert Hoover, the U.S. president during the Bonus March, has gone down in history as uncaring and cold toward the plight of homeless and destitute. Nothing could be further from the truth. He had a big heart and spent much of his personal fortune as an international businessman helping fellow Americans get back home from Europe at the start of World War One. He also prevented millions of Europeans from starving by heading up the Commission for Relief in Belgium.

If you had to describe your protagonist(s), in three words, what would those three words be and why?

My novel features an ensemble cast with eight Americans who endured World War One and came together again in 1932 to play prominent roles in the Bonus March. Collectively, they are idealistic, courageous, and persistent.

What was the most challenging part about writing your book?

Following eight characters through the war and into the Great Depression was an epic endeavor. I considered splitting the book into two novels, but I came to realize that the second half of the story would make little sense without the reader first reading and understanding the experiences of the characters during the war.

Was there anything that you edited out of this book that would have drastically affected the story, should it be left in?

No. I tried painstakingly to honor the historical record. Some aspects and actions of certain characters--such as George Patton and Douglas MacArthur--may surprise and even shock readers, but I was determined to show them as they truly were, warts and all.

What are you currently working on?

My most recent novel is set during the American Civil War and tells the story of the Nancy Harts, the most famous female militia in American history. I’m currently juggling three research projects, all set during the Civil War.

What would you tell an aspiring author who had some doubts about their writing abilities?

First, write only if you cannot stop yourself from writing. Second, don’t allow literary agents to destroy your dreams. Find a fellow writer for a mentor, preferably one older who has been through the publishing wars and will be both honest and supportive.

Personal Interview questions.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Hiking, golf, reading, travel. 

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I grew up in Indiana, where basketball is a religion. Sports consumed my ambitions, but I also loved history and politics. Writing novels was the last thing I ever contemplated.

What’s for dinner tonight? What would you rather be eating?

Whatever’s in the freezer. I’ll never turn down good clam chowder.

What would be a perfect day?

Nothing beats visiting battlefields and castles while listening for ghosts.

What is the best part of your day?

That moment I’m finished with the day’s writing.

Either or!

Tea or coffee: Tea

Hot or cold: Depends on the season--I go both ways.

Movie or book: Book.

Morning person or Night owl: Night owl.

City or country: Scotland

Social Media or book: Book

Paperback or ebook: Paperback

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.

Follow the tour HERE!