Saturday, May 21, 2022

Book Blitz & #Giveaway ~ The Memory Keeper of Kyiv by Erin Litteken @ErinLitteken ~ Literary Fiction ~ @XpressoTours

The Memory Keeper of Kyiv
Erin Litteken
Publication date: May 16th 2022
Genres: Literary Fiction

Perfect for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Beekeeper of Aleppo.
“A powerfully moving debut . . . Ukraine’s tragic history painfully echoes its current crisis, and on every page the Ukrainian spirit shines out, unbowed, unbent and unbroken. This is a compelling, timely read.” Kate Quinn, author of The Rose Code

About the Book:

In the 1930s, Stalin’s activists marched through the Soviet Union, espousing the greatness of collective farming. It was the first step in creating a man-made famine that, in Ukraine, stole almost 4 million lives. Inspired by the history the world forgot, and the Russian government denies, Erin Litteken reimagines their story.

In 1929, Katya is 16 years old, surrounded by family and in love with the boy next door. When Stalin’s activists arrive in her village, it’s just a few, a little pressure to join the collective. But soon neighbors disappear, those who speak out are never seen again and every new day is uncertain.

Resistance has a price, and as desperate hunger grips the countryside, survival seems more a dream than a possibility. But, even in the darkest times, love beckons.

Seventy years later, a young widow discovers her grandmother’s journal, one that will reveal the long-buried secrets of her family’s haunted past.

This is a story of the resilience of the human spirit, the love that sees us through our darkest hours and the true horror of what happened during the Holodomor.

“I never imagined the release of my novel on a past oppression of the Ukrainian people would coincide with such a parallel tragedy.” Erin Litteken

May we never forget, lest history repeat itself.

A share of proceeds will be donated to DEC’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

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Read an Excerpt:

A sharp click echoed in the room, and everyone froze. The Russian’s cocked pistol pointed at Tato. “Are you resisting orders? If you are, we will have to label you an enemy of the people. We all know what happens to enemies of the people. I could shoot you right now, and nobody would care.”

Katya’s head buzzed. All the anger she’d felt morphed into sheer terror as she stared at her Tato. His beet-red face glistened with sweat and his hands curled slowly into fists, the anger crackling off him like a hungry fire seeking fuel. If someone didn’t intercede, he would be shot for attempting to murder Prokyp with his bare hands.

Mama, too, saw his inner struggle, for she stepped in front of Tato and spoke calmly. “I apologize for my husband’s behavior. He’s overprotective of his daughters. He didn’t mean what he said. We’ll cooperate, I swear it.”

The Russian smirked and lowered his gun. Dropping Alina’s hand, Katya pulled her father into a hug and spoke in his ear. “Please, Tato, there is no harm done, but we can’t lose you. Please.” She felt the tension lessen from his body, but vibrations of anger still throbbed like the veins on his neck.

Prokyp watched the scene with amusement, then sauntered back over to his cohorts, smiling. The Russian turned to him and asked with complete sincerity, “Have you been offended by this man? What would you like to do, Comrade?”

Prokyp glanced at Tato and then at Alina, who was white as a sheet, but holding her head high as Mama had taught them to. Katya’s legs wobbled, so she locked her knees and held her breath as they waited for this fool to decide the fate of their family.

“I suppose I can overlook it this once, as long as he and his family promise to cooperate fully in the future.” His gaze lingered on Alina. “But we shall have to check back here often to make sure they are behaving.”

Another activist pushed into the house with a large sack of wheat balanced on his shoulder. “I found this, and another just like it, hidden in the barn loft.”

Katya’s heart sank. She’d worried the wheat in the barn wasn’t hidden well enough, but Tato thought it safe out of sight beneath the hay.

“You can’t take that!” Tato shouted. “It’s my seed for planting this fall!”

“This will pay your quota. For now.” The Russian Soviet waved a hand dismissively, as if suddenly bored by them. “Come, we must move to the next house.”

The woman cast an apologetic look toward Mama and hurried behind the men as they left. The door swung wildly in their wake, and none of them moved until Tato strode forward and slammed it shut, though not before Katya saw the activists’ cart stacked high with sacks of grain, just like the ones they’d taken from the barn.


Meet the Author:

Erin Litteken is a debut novelist with a degree in history and a passion for research. At a young age, she was enthralled by stories of her family’s harrowing experiences in Ukraine before, during and after World War II. She lives in Illinois, USA with her husband and children.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub


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Book Blitz ~ Her Jailer’s Secrets by Brian F. Smith ~ @RABTBookTours #RABTBookTours #HerJailersSecrets #BrianFSmith #HistoricalFiction

 

Her Jailer’s Secrets 

by Brian F. Smith

A broken family's fight against a brutal justice system 

Historical Fiction, Australian History, Literary Fiction

Date Published: April 2022

Publisher: Tablo Publishing


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About the Book:

In 1786 Elizabeth Fitzgerald, a 26 year old woman, became involved in England's brutal justice system and found herself exiled from her homeland to Botany Bay in the antipodes where she had to endure brutality, near starvation, love and a shipwreck off Norfolk Island with her friend Jane Fitzgerald. She bore twin girls to a marine William Mitchell while on the island and began her own family in this strange new land, as she never expected to ever see her family members, or friends, ever again.

On her return to Sydney she began a new life with another soldier, Thomas Wright, with whom she had another child but was imprisoned again for selling her children's rations to purchase rum where she met a strange cockney woman named Margaret, who was in charge of the prison and who changed her life.

William Mitchell, who returned to England carried out an investigation into who Margaret really was as she had now died, and in doing so came up against Irish rebels who threatened his life but finally gave him a sealed letter as to her true identity, that could not be opened by anyone other than one of the two Fitzgerald women.



About the Author:

Brian F. Smith has always had an interest in writing that became further enhanced with his early career moves which included his service with the Australian Army before joining the Victoria Police Force. He later went on to become the Chief Security Officer at the Loloho Port Site on Bougainville Island in Papua New Guinea. On his return to Australia, he founded the 'Jordan River Journal,' a Hobart, Tasmania suburban newspaper before going to the island's west coast where he founded the ' The Western Herald' another local weekly newspaper. Since his retirement, he has written four books: 'Off The Record", "Convict Connections', 'Witness to a Miracle' and 'Her Jailer's Secrets'. In 2020 he obtained a Diploma in Family History from the University of Tasmania.


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Friday, May 20, 2022

On the Edge by Julia Connors ~ A steamy second-chance romance set in the world of competitive skiing… #Review #SportsRomance #Romance #SecondChanceRomance @WildfireMarket1

Release Date: May 18

A steamy second-chance romance set in the world of competitive skiing…


Once upon a time I had it all: an Olympic gold medal, a career as a professional ski racer, and a happily ever after so close I could almost touch it. Then my perfect life imploded in one tragic weekend.

Five years later I’ve rebuilt my life with the best girlfriends, the perfect new boyfriend, and a new career. Now my ex—the one who wrecked everything five years earlier—is back as the newest member of the National Ski Team and I’m forced to be his physical therapist. 

My days are filled with him. He’s constantly shirtless and sweaty and sexy as sin, and trying to make me fall in love with him again. 

But I built these walls around my heart for a reason—and his presence is threatening to undo everything I've created without him. With the stakes this high and the sexual tension this hot, this could all go so very wrong. 

Or, maybe we’re on the edge of getting everything we ever wanted.

My Review:

On the Edge is a fantastic second chance sports romance. The setting is competitive skiing and my first venture into the particular world. I enjoyed how different the story was from other sports romances. A physical therapist (PT), her dream job, and her ex-boyfriend made for an anxiety laden, chemistry-filled romance.

The book is well-written with smooth dialogue. The events ebb and flow as appropriate and I was captivated by Jackson and Nate. The author did an excellent job with imagery, character development, and prose that that engages the reader, hook, line, and sinker.   The book is filled with chemistry, emotion, and realism. 

I enjoyed this well-thought-out, well-written contemporary sports romance and cannot wait to read more from her.

I was provided a copy of this book to read. 

My Rating:



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Meet Julia Connors:


Julia Connors grew up on the warm and sunny West Coast, but her first decision as an adult was to trade her flip-flops for snow boots and move to Boston. 

She’s been enjoying everything that New England has to offer for over two decades, and now that she’s acclimated to the snowy winters and finally found all the places to get good sushi and tacos, she has zero regrets. 


You can usually find her in front of her computer, but when she stops writing she’s most likely to be found outdoors, preferably with a pair of skis or snowshoes strapped to her feet in winter, or on a paddleboard in the summer. 


To learn more about Julia Connors and her books, please visit here



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