Category Archives: America

guest post: John Nuckel on a Chance Meeting with Teddy Wilson

One of the most important events in American music happened at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 1938. There was a Benny Goodman concert that night. It actually was radical to have Goodman there at all playing his brand of swing music on the stage of such a prestigious venue. The seminal moment came when he brought out his quartet to… Read more »

guest post: Fiction and History in Richard Buxton’s Whirligig – A writer’s choice

I decided to base Whirligig, my novel set in the American Civil War, largely in Tennessee and Georgia. The battles around Chattanooga were interesting to me. I only knew of Chickamauga and the subsequent epic charge up Missionary Ridge in summary, but I liked their relative anonymity when compared to the better known eastern battles of Gettysburg or Sharpsburg. I… Read more »

review: Alexander Hamilton: The Making of America

Alexander Hamilton: The Making of America by Teri Kanefield Alexander Hamilton is much in the news lately, particularly with the Broadway play in such demand, and the current political atmosphere. This young adult biography is approximately 200 pages and includes a birth-to-death account of the life of this extraordinary founding father. It covers many important topics, such as mercantilism, checks… Read more »

review: A Wilder Rose

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A Wilder Rose by Susan Wittig Albert Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie series has been a staple in children’s literature for decades, but how many readers know the truth behind its authorship? In A Wilder Rose, Albert takes readers through the years leading up to the stock market crash and through the Great Depression—the years in which… Read more »

First Line Friday: 3/10/17

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“The mansion on the hill shone like a lighthouse.” ALEX & Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz “1777. Albany, New York. As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New… Read more »

New Year, New Books!

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To kick off 2017, I ordered myself 4 books that have been on my my wishlist. This year I plan on reading more books I choose to read, rather than orphans from my editing work (the majority of the YA books I reviewed last year), or review requests. What better way to start than by anticipating lovely, new books in… Read more »

Audiobook Pick: A Wilder Rose

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A Wilder Rose by Susan Wittig Albert Audiobook narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal book description: “The Little House books, which chronicled the pioneer adventures of Laura Ingalls Wilder, are among the most beloved books in the American literary canon. Lesser known is the secret, concealed for decades, of how they came to be. Now, bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert reimagines… Read more »

review: Country Folklore 1920’s & 1930’s

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Country Folklore 1920’s & 1930’s …and That’s the Way It Was by Louise K. Nelson This gem of a book offers invaluable resources for writers of the Depression Era in the rural areas of the South. Because the author lived through the times, the information is firsthand and authentic, if somewhat simplistic. The repetitive nature of the writing is due… Read more »

review: Mercer Girls

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Mercer Girls by Libbie Hawker In 1864, founder of the University of Washington, Asa Mercer, left the Territory in search of young, single women willing to make the treacherous journey from the East Coast of the United States to the Pacific Northwest. While Mr. Mercer did not hide the fact that honorable women were needed for marriage–the population in Washington… Read more »

Southern Historical Novels by Steven D. Ayres

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Fallow Are the Fields This is an American Civil War novel, about young Steven Jett, his four older brothers, sister, mother and father, living on a small farm near Salt Springs, Georgia, just west of Atlanta in the middle 1800’s. From humble beginnings, this story takes you on a real life adventure, as the great war ravages across the country-side… Read more »

review: Lincoln and His Boys

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Lincoln and His Boys by Rosemary Wells illustrated by P. J. Lynch This children’s chapter book, aimed at ages 8 – 12 years, is an easy read at 96 pages and features beautiful full-page illustrations. It begins in 1859 in the voice of one of Abraham Lincoln’s sons, Willie, who has been allowed to travel with his father on a… Read more »

review: Page from a Tennessee Journal

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Page from a Tennessee Journal by Francine Thomas Howard Tennessee, 1913. Annalaura Wells is struggling to feed her four children after her husband takes their money and leaves without a word. Months pass as the family desperately tries to work their sharecropped tobacco farm. A bad harvest, combined with less hands to work the land bring trouble when the landowner,… Read more »