ONE FOR THE BLACKBIRD, ONE FOR THE CROW by Olivia Hawker – GIVEAWAY

From bestselling author, Olivia Hawker, comes an epic novel about the American frontier. Wyoming, 1876. For as long as they have lived on the frontier, the Bemis and Webber families have relied on each other. With no other settlers for miles, it is a matter of survival. 

But when Ernest Bemis finds his wife, Cora, in a compromising situation with their neighbor, he doesn’t think of survival. In one impulsive moment, a man is dead, Ernest is off to prison, and the women left behind are divided by rage and remorse.

Losing her husband to Cora’s indiscretion is another hardship for stoic Nettie Mae. But as a brutal Wyoming winter bears down, Cora and Nettie Mae have no choice but to come together as one family—to share the duties of working the land and raising their children. There’s Nettie Mae’s son, Clyde—no longer a boy, but not yet a man—who must navigate the road to adulthood without a father to guide him, and Cora’s daughter, Beulah, who is as wild and untamable as her prairie home.

Bound by the uncommon threads in their lives and the challenges that lie ahead, Cora and Nettie Mae begin to forge an unexpected sisterhood. But when a love blossoms between Clyde and Beulah, bonds are once again tested, and these two resilient women must finally decide whether they can learn to trust each other—or else risk losing everything they hold dear.

ONE FOR THE BLACKBIRD, ONE FOR THE CROW is an all American saga. It’s the kind of book I don’t find being written much more. It immediately drew me into the American wild west of the 1800’s. Hawker’s descriptions and research are unmatched.

 

Olivia has some interesting thoughts for those thinking about writing historical fiction.

MAKING FICTION FROM FAMILY HISTORY by Olivia Hawker

Authors of historical fiction most often find their inspiration in “big history”—major events that have played out on the world stage, and the important players who have directed and shaped those events. And there’s no doubt that readers love novels about royal courts, wartime spies, and great conquerors. But some of the most compelling stories of the past can be found in unexpected places: among the journals and artifacts of our ancestors, and in the oral histories our loved ones share.

While researching and documenting my family’s history, I’ve come across many gripping stories of survival, heroism, adventure, and love. I’ve turned two of my family’s histories into novels: The Ragged Edge of Night—a Washington Post bestseller about my husband’s grandfather, a humble music teacher in small-town Germany who became a resister against Hitler’s regime—and One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow (Lake Union Publishing; October 2019.) Blackbird tells of the hardships my great-grandparents and their families faced as sheep ranchers on the Wyoming frontier… and shows what can happen when love and hate are forced to live together under one roof.

My great-grandma Beulah was quite a character—a real chatterbox who never even paused for breath. My mom had a very close relationship with her grandparents and often drove my sister and me all the way from Seattle to Eugene, Oregon to visit them. Their house was full of marvelous, strange knick-knacks, and on the bottom of every single item in her house—literally everything—Beulah had affixed little adhesive labels bearing the name of a family member, and sometimes a short note about the provenance of that object. The labels indicated who was to receive that item after Beulah and Clyde (my great-grandpa) both passed away. Those labels were Beulah’s version of a will—an admirably simple system.

Now that I’m all grown up with a home of my own, I treasure the antique dishes Beulah “willed” to me. The faded labels on their undersides tell a family history in their own right. Most prominent is a label that reads: Georgia. Love, Mom in Beulah’s unmistakable handwriting. But next to that label are two others: one bearing Beulah’s name, written by her mother, Cora Bemis, along with the words, Is over 100 yrs old. Another label, also written by Cora, says, Belonged to Gram. Bemis, is old. What a touching treasure—a family heirloom dating back at least to 1866, possibly older, and bearing physical evidence of its being handed down from one woman to another over five generations.

But the labels on the milk-glass bureau dishes aren’t the only ones that tell an interesting story. My mother Cheryl inherited an extra-special object when Beulah died: a hand-carved wooden box decorated with a checkerboard pattern and Beulah’s maiden initials: B. B. On the bottom of the box, on a scrap of yellowed masking tape, Beulah wrote this intriguing message: Daddy carved it while in jail.

Naturally, I had to know how Beulah’s father ended up in jail, where the only pastime he had, it seemed, was woodcarving. I asked my grandma Georgia to tell me what she knew about the checkerboard box, and the simple family story she recounted became the basis for my One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow.

My two great-grandparents (Beulah and Clyde) grew up on neighboring farms on the Wyoming range, where their families scratched out a living raising sheep and training horses. With few other people in the vicinity, the Webber and Bemis families became close—too close, it seems. An extramarital affair developed between Cora Bemis and Frank Webber (named Substance Webber in my novel—Substance being an older family name which I couldn’t resist using.) As you might expect, discovery of the affair led to hard feelings on both homesteads; animosity persisted even after Mr. Webber died of illness. Shortly after Frank Webber’s death, Ernest Bemis—Beulah’s father—landed in jail for the crime of cheating an apple farmer out of some of his money. He cooled his heels behind bars for two years, which left Cora Bemis and Nettie Mae Webber to run their two neighboring farms with only their children for help. Survival without their husbands was so difficult that Cora and Nettie Mae thought it best to move in together and operate one farm until Ernest was released from jail… a trying prospect at the best of times, but especially difficult considering how much the two women despised each other in the wake of the affair. Their vexation must have only grown when a romance developed between their teenage children, Beulah Bemis and Clyde Webber, who eventually married and became my great-grandparents.

I knew as soon as I heard the story that this could be the premise of a fascinating novel. I set to work at once on Blackbird, though I changed quite a few details to add dramatic tension. I pushed the setting farther back in time, starting the novel in 1876 to isolate my characters more on the Wyoming frontier… and I added a murder to really provide a sense of stakes and afflict my characters with guilt and loss. But the core of Blackbird is a true family story—just as compelling, I believe, as the doings of European royalty or the feats of great military commanders—revealed thanks to a few family heirlooms and some faded stick-on labels.

The past is rich with human drama, but we may miss out on some of the best and most compelling tales unless we tear ourselves away from “big history” now and then, and delve into smaller spaces—searching for the stories hidden in our artifacts, heirlooms, and family trees.

*****

Libbie Hawker writes historical and literary fiction featuring complex characters and rich details of time and place. She is also the author of the runaway bestseller “how-to” guide for writers, Take Off Your Pants! Outline Your Books for Faster, Better Writing.

​When she’s not writing, Libbie can be found in her garden, at her spinning wheel, or hiking the trails of San Juan Island, where she lives with her husband and three naughty cats.

http://www.hawkerbooks.com

Thanks to Kathleen Carter Communications and Lake Union Publishing we have a copy to giveaway. Just tell us about your thought of the American frontier circa: 1800’s.
We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please

QUANTUM by Patricia Cornwell – SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY

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International bestselling author Patricia Cornwell delivers pulse-pounding thrills in a series featuring a brilliant and unusual new heroine, cutting-edge cybertechnology, and stakes that are astronomically high.

On the eve of a top secret space mission, Captain Calli Chase detects a tripped alarm in the tunnels deep below a NASA research center. A NASA pilot, quantum physicist, and cybercrime investigator, Calli knows that a looming blizzard and government shutdown could provide the perfect cover for sabotage, with deadly consequences. As it turns out, the danger is worse than she thought. A spatter of dried blood, a missing security badge, a suspicious suicide—a series of disturbing clues point to Calli’s twin sister, Carme, who’s been MIA for days. Desperate to halt the countdown to disaster and to clear her sister’s name, Captain Chase digs deep into her vast cyber security knowledge and her painful past, probing for answers to her twin’s erratic conduct. As time is running out, she realizes that failure means catastrophe—not just for the space program but for the safety of the whole nation.

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Patricia Cornwell has sold over 100 million books. She sold her first novel, Postmortem, while working as a computer analyst at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Virginia. Postmortem, was the first bona fide forensic thriller. It paved the way for an explosion of entertainment featuring in all things forensic across film, television and literature.

The transition to literary superstar was not easy. At her first signing, held during a lunch break from the morgue, Patricia sold no copies of Postmortem and fielded exactly one question – an elderly woman asked her where she could find the cookbooks

Postmortem would go on to win the Edgar, Creasey, Anthony, and Macavity awards as well as the French Prix du Roman d’Aventure prize – the first book ever to claim all these distinctions in a single year. To date, Cornwell’s books have sold some 100 million copies in thirty-six languages in over 120 countries. She’s authored twenty-nine New York Times bestsellers.

Patricia’s novels center primarily on medical examiner Kay Scarpetta along with her tech-savvy niece Lucy and fellow investigator Pete Marino. Celebrating 25 years, these characters have grown into an international phenomenon, winning Cornwell the Sherlock Award for best detective created by an American author, the Gold Dagger Award, the RBA Thriller Award, and the Medal of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters for her contributions to literary and artistic development.

Patricia’s literary career expands outside the realm of the Kay Scarpetta series – she’s authored a definitive account of Jack the Ripper’s identity, two cookbooks (Food to Die For and Scarpetta’s Winter Table), a children’s book (Life’s Little Fable), and a biography of Ruth Graham. She’s also developed two other series based on Win Garano, an upstart Boston detective, and Andy Brazil, an enterprising Charlotte reporter.

Though Cornwell now lives in Boston, she was born in Miami and grew up in Montreat, North Carolina.  After earning her degree in English from Davidson College in 1979, she began working at the Charlotte Observer, taking whatever stories came her way and rapidly advancing from listing television programs to covering the police beat. Cornwell received widespread attention and praise for her series of articles on prostitution and crime in downtown Charlotte. From the Charlotte Observer, Cornwell moved to a job with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of Virginia – a post she would later bestow upon the fictional Kay Scarpetta. It was during these years that Patricia penned Postmortem and began submitting it to major publishing houses in New York, without initial success.

When not writing from her Boston home, Patricia tirelessly researches cutting-edge forensic technologies to include in her work. Her interests span outside the literary: Patricia co-founded of the Conservation Scientist Chair at the Harvard University Art Museums. She appears as a forensic consultant on CNN and serves as a member of Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital’s National Council, where she advocates for psychiatric research. She’s helped fund the ICU at Cornell’s Animal Hospital, the scientific study of a Confederate submarine, the archaeological excavation of Jamestown, and a variety of law enforcement charities.  Patricia is also committed to funding scholarships and literacy programs. Her advice to aspiring authors: “Start writing. And don’t take no for an answer.”

http://www.patriciacornwell.com

Thanks to Thomas and Mercer we have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us what’s your favorite Patricia Cornwell novel. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please

EVERY THING YOU ARE by Kerry Anne King – Spotlight & Giveaway

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Bestselling author, Kerry Anne King once again has written a lovely novel, EVERYTHING YOU ARE (LakeUnionPublishing), which tells a story about family and music. But also woven into the book are tough issues such as alcoholism, addiction, infidelity, suicide but ultimately forgiveness. And the cover is absolutely beautiful.

One tragic twist of fate destroys Braden Healey’s hands, his musical career, and his family. Now, unable to play, adrift in an alcoholic daze, and with only fragmented memories of his past, Braden wants desperately to escape the darkness of the last eleven years.

When his ex-wife and son are killed in a car accident, Braden returns home, hoping to forge a relationship with his troubled seventeen-year-old daughter, Allie. But how can he hope to rescue her from the curse that seems to shadow his family?

Ophelia “Phee” MacPhee, granddaughter of the eccentric old man who sold Braden his cello, believes the curse is real. She swore an oath to her dying grandfather that she would ensure Braden plays the cello as long as he lives. But he can’t play, and as the shadows deepen and Phee finds herself falling for Braden, she’ll do anything to save him. It will take a miracle of forgiveness and love to bring all three of them back to the healing power of music.

******

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Kerry Anne King is the sidekick, alter ego, and touchier-feelier doppelgänger of fantasy and paranormal thriller writer, Kerry Schafer. She is the author of Whisper Me This, a Washington post and Amazon charts bestseller, as well as other works of women’s fiction. Kerry Anne is the proud possessor of a tugboat, a Viking, and forty acres of rocks and trees in the middle of rural northeastern Washington. In addition to writing novels, she is an RN and licensed mental health counselor, a writer mindset coach, and a serious coffee snob. She is kept in line by three cats, a dog, and the aforementioned Viking. Her favorite leisure activities involve reading, yoga, and long walks in the woods.

Check out her podcast, Creativity Quest, and her Write at the Edge writer mindset page.

Thanks to Suzy Approved Book Reviews we have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us what book you’ve read recently that really touched your heart. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please

THE DRAGON LADY by Louisa Treger – SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY

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Historical fiction fans we have something special for you. THE DRAGON LADY is “a daring blend of romance, crime and history.”

Opening with the shooting of Lady Virginia Courtauld in her tranquil garden in 1950s Rhodesia, The Dragon Lady tells Ginie’s extraordinary story, so called for the exotic tattoo snaking up her leg. From the glamorous Italian Riviera before the Great War to the Art Deco glory of Eltham Palace in the thirties, from the secluded Scottish Highlands to sultry, segregated Rhodesia in the fifties, the narrative spans enormous cultural and social change. Lady Virginia Courtauld was a boundary-breaking, extremely colourful and unconventional character who rejected the submissive role women were expected to play.

Ostracised by society for being a foreign divorcée at the time of Edward VIII and Mrs Simpson, Ginie and her second husband Stephen Courtauld leave the confines of post-war Britain to forge a new life in Rhodesia, only to find that being progressive liberals during segregation proves mortally dangerous.

Subtly blending fact and fiction, deeply evocative of time and place in an era of great social change and threaded throughout with intrigue, this novel keeps the reader guessing from the outset who shot the Dragon Lady and why.

*****

Louisa

Born in London, Louisa Treger began her career as a classical violinist. She studied at the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a freelance orchestral player and teacher.

Louisa subsequently turned to literature, gaining a First Class degree and a PhD in English at University College London, where she focused on early twentieth century women’s writing.

Married with three children, she lives in London.

http://www.louisatreger.com

Thanks to Kathleen Carter PR we have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us about the latest historical novel you’ve read. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY USA only please

THE STRANGER INSIDE by Lisa Unger – SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY

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Even good people are drawn to do evil things. In Lisa Unger’s new novel, THE STRANGER INSIDE (ParkRow) we meet an extremely clever murderer.

Twelve-year-old Rain Winter narrowly escaped an abduction while walking to a friend’s house. Her two best friends, Tess and Hank, were not as lucky. Tess never came home, and Hank was held in captivity before managing to escape. Their abductor was sent to prison but years later was released. Then someone delivered real justice—and killed him in cold blood.

Now Rain is living the perfect suburban life, her dark childhood buried deep. She spends her days as a stay-at-home mom, having put aside her career as a hard-hitting journalist to care for her infant daughter. But when another brutal murderer who escaped justice is found dead, Rain is unexpectedly drawn into the case. Eerie similarities to the murder of her friends’ abductor force Rain to revisit memories she’s worked hard to leave behind. Is there a vigilante at work? Who is the next target? Why can’t Rain just let it go?

Introducing one of the most compelling and original killers in crime fiction today, Lisa Unger takes readers deep inside the minds of both perpetrator and victim, blurring the lines between right and wrong, crime and justice, and showing that sometimes people deserve what comes to them.

*****

LISA

Lisa Unger is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of seventeen novels. With millions of readers worldwide and novels published in twenty-six languages, Lisa Unger is widely regarded as a master of suspense. In 2019, she received two Edgar Award nominations, an honor held by only a few writers including Ruth Rendell and Agatha Christie. The Edgar-nominated UNDER MY SKIN is also a finalist for the prestigious Hammett Prize. And the original short story THE SLEEP TIGHT MOTEL is a #1 bestselling single.

Unger’s critically acclaimed books have been voted “Best of the Year” or top picks by the Today showGood Morning AmericaEntertainment WeeklyAmazonIndieBound and many others. Her writing has appeared in The New York TimesWall Street JournalNPR, and Travel+Leisure. She lives on the west coast of Florida with her family.

Thanks to Harlequin/Park Row, we have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us about the most recent book you read. Did you love it? Not so much? We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please

LAW and ADDICTION by Mike Papantonio – Spotlight & Giveaway

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MIKE PAPANTONIO PULLS BACK THE CURTAIN ON AMERICA’S DEADLY OPIOID EPIDEMIC IN LAW AND ADDICTION. PAPANTINO’S NEW SPELLBINDING THRILLER  IS ABOUT GREED, CORRUPTION AND THE POWER OF PERSONAL CONVICTION.

One week before his law school graduation, Jake Rutledge is shattered. His fraternal twin, Blake, has died of a drug overdose. When Jake returns to his hometown of Oakley, West Virginia, he discovers that his brother was not the only person hooked on opioid painkillers. The entire region has been ravaged by an epidemic insidiously planned and carried out by one of America’s most powerful pharmaceutical companies.

Still wet behind the ears, Jake is determined to seek justice for all the victims of Big Pharma’s greed. He soon learns that the drug companies’ tentacles reach far and deep. His only hope is to get Nicholas “Deke” Deketomis to help. A partner at one of the country’s most powerful law firms, Deke’s “as tough as a two-dollar steak” and well-known for his winning tactics against corporate wrongdoers. With just enough persistence, Jake coaxes Deke to see Oakley’s devastation firsthand. Overwhelmed, Deke agrees to join forces with Jake.

And that’s when the real heat begins. Death threats, bribes, unlawful property seizure schemes – all are connected to the massive distribution of both legal and illegal drugs. Everyone is impacted, from the highest levels of corporate America to corrupt local officials to their lackeys and hapless victims. The complexity of the schemes is overwhelming.

Working tirelessly, the lawyers begin to uncover the truth. Along the way, Jake falls in love with Anna Fowler, a former homecoming queen who has succumbed to the power of opioids. With his support, she weans herself off the drugs. Hope begins to bloom — when suddenly, Jake disappears. As Deke undertakes a desperate search to find him, questions swirl. Has Jake abandoned Anna and his crusade? Can the case against the evildoers move forward without him? Will Oakley and its residents survive? Law and Addiction is real-life drama at its finest — a book that clears away the darkness page by page, spotlighting a profound truth about our society through expert storytelling.

*****

mikeMike Papantonio is a truth-teller, a crusader who uses fiction to entertain and inform his readers about some of the most pressing issues of our time. In each of his thrillers, from Law And Disorder to Law And Vengeance, and now Law And Addiction, he lays bare the conspiracies and white-collar crimes that hurt ordinary Americans — and that are rarely covered by the national media.

A senior partner of Levin Papantonio, one of the country’s largest plaintiffs’ law firms, Papantonio uses his own cases as springboards for his novels. He has aggressively taken on Big Pharma, tobacco, weapon manufacturer, and the automobile industry, among other bastions of corporate greed.

One of the youngest inductees into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame, Papantonio is also a well- known media presence as host of America’s Lawyer on the RT America television network and co-host of the syndicated radio show Ring of Fire. A skilled musician and athlete, he is based in Pensacola, Florida.

http://www.mikepapantonio.com

Thanks to FSB Associates we have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us what you know about the opioid crisis. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please