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Cover Reveal: My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie

 

From the New York Times bestselling authors of America’s First Daughter comes the epic story of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton—a revolutionary woman who, like her new nation, struggled to define herself in the wake of war, betrayal, and tragedy. Haunting, moving, and beautifully written, Dray and Kamoie used thousands of letters and original sources to tell Eliza’s story as it’s never been told before—not just as the wronged wife at the center of a political sex scandal—but also as a founding mother who shaped an American legacy in her own right.

We’re celebrating Eliza Schuyler Hamilton’s Birthday today and you get the gift! Don’t miss the beautiful cover below and a special giveaway, and don’t forget to pre-order your copy today!

 

 

About My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton (Coming 4.3.2018):

 

Wife, Widow, and Warrior in Alexander Hamilton’s Quest to Form a More Perfect Union

From the New York Times bestselling authors of America’s First Daughter comes the epic story of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton—a revolutionary woman who, like her new nation, struggled to define herself in the wake of war, betrayal, and tragedy. Haunting, moving, and beautifully written, Dray and Kamoie used thousands of letters and original sources to tell Eliza’s story as it’s never been told before—not just as the wronged wife at the center of a political sex scandal—but also as a founding mother who shaped an American legacy in her own right.

A general’s daughter…

Coming of age on the perilous frontier of revolutionary New York, Elizabeth Schuyler champions the fight for independence. And when she meets Alexander Hamilton, Washington’s penniless but passionate aide-de-camp, she’s captivated by the young officer’s charisma and brilliance. They fall in love, despite Hamilton’s bastard birth and the uncertainties of war.

A founding father’s wife…

But the union they create—in their marriage and the new nation—is far from perfect. From glittering inaugural balls to bloody street riots, the Hamiltons are at the center of it all—including the political treachery of America’s first sex scandal, which forces Eliza to struggle through heartbreak and betrayal to find forgiveness.

The last surviving light of the Revolution…

When a duel destroys Eliza’s hard-won peace, the grieving widow fights her husband’s enemies to preserve Alexander’s legacy. But long-buried secrets threaten everything Eliza believes about her marriage and her own legacy. Questioning her tireless devotion to the man and country that have broken her heart, she’s left with one last battle—to understand the flawed man she married and imperfect union he could never have created without her…

 

 

– PREORDER NOW! –

 

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To celebrate Eliza Schuyler Hamilton’s Birthday today, we have a surprise for you! Share the cover of MY DEAR HAMILTON and click on the Rafflecopter below to receive an Exclusive Excerpt!

 

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– ABOUT THE AUTHORS –

 

 

STEPHANIE DRAY

 

New York Times bestselling author, Stephanie Dray is an award-winning, bestselling and two-time RITA award nominated author of historical women’s fiction. Her critically acclaimed series about Cleopatra’s daughter has been translated into eight different languages and won NJRW’s Golden Leaf. As Stephanie Draven, she is a national bestselling author of genre fiction and American-set historical women’s fiction. She is a frequent panelist and presenter at national writing conventions and lives near the nation’s capital. Before she became a novelist, she was a lawyer, a game designer, and a teacher. Now she uses the stories of women in history to inspire the young women of today.

 

– CONNECT WITH STEPHANIE –

 

Stephanie’s Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

 

 

LAURA KAMOIE

 

New York Times bestselling author, Laura Kamoie has always been fascinated by the people, stories, and physical presence of the past, which led her to a lifetime of historical and archaeological study and training. She holds a doctoral degree in early American history from The College of William and Mary, published two non-fiction books on early America, and most recently held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing genre fiction as the New York Times bestselling author, Laura Kaye. Her New York Times bestselling debut historical novel, America’s First Daughter, co-authored with Stephanie Dray, allowed her the exciting opportunity to combine her love of history with her passion for storytelling. Laura lives among the colonial charm of Annapolis, Maryland with her husband and two daughters.

 

– CONNECT WITH LAURA –

 

Laura’s Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter Sign-Up

 

 

Release Week Blitz and Review: America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie

AFD Tour Banner_edited-1

We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Release Week Blitz for Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie’s AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER, a historical fiction novel is published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins, and releasing March 1, 2016! AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER is a compelling, richly researched novel by bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie. Drawing from thousands of letters and original sources, the authors reveal the fascinating, untold story of Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph, Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter.  Patsy was one of the most influential women in American history: not only the progeny of a founding father – and the woman who held his secrets close to her heart – but a key player in the shaping of our nation’s legacy.  And her story is one seldom told, until now.  Make sure you grab your copy today!

 

 

 

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE 

 iBOOKS | KOBO 

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– ABOUT –

In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.

Americas First Daughter - coverFrom her earliest days, Patsy Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate, protector, and constant companion in the wake of her mother’s death, traveling with him when he becomes American minister to France.

It is in Paris, at the glittering court and among the first tumultuous days of revolution, that fifteen-year-old Patsy learns about her father’s troubling liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age. Meanwhile, Patsy has fallen in love—with her father’s protégé William Short, a staunch abolitionist and ambitious diplomat. Torn between love, principles, and the bonds of family, Patsy questions whether she can choose a life as William’s wife and still be a devoted daughter.

Her choice will follow her in the years to come, to Virginia farmland, Monticello, and even the White House. And as scandal, tragedy, and poverty threaten her family, Patsy must decide how much she will sacrifice to protect her father’s reputation, in the process defining not just his political legacy, but that of the nation he founded.

 

– EXCERPT –

 

It was my haste that made me stumble halfway down the stairs. Only a wild, wrenching grasp at the carved wooden rail saved me from a broken neck. Alas, the heavy fall of my feet echoed up the staircase and drew my father from his rooms.

“Patsy?” he called, peering over the bannister.

I froze, breathless, my belly roiling with shock and anger and revulsion. I ought to have pretended that I didn’t hear him say my name. I ought to have hurried on, leaving him with only the sight of my back. I ought never to have looked up at him over my shoulder.

But I did look up.

There on the landing my father loomed tall, a tendril of his ginger hair having come loose from its ribbon, his shirt worn without its neck cloth, the stark white linen setting off more vividly the red flush that crept up his throat. Was it shame for his behavior with Sally or . . . ardor?

On the heels of giving witness to his behavior, the thought was so excruciatingly horrifying that heat swept over me, leaving me to wish I’d burn away to dust.

“Are you hurt?” Papa asked, hoarsely.

I couldn’t reply, my mouth too filled with the bitter taste of bile. Finally, I forced a shake of my head.

He glanced back to the door, then back at me, his hand half-covering his mouth. “Were—were you at my door just now?”

“No,” I whispered, as much as I could manage under my suffocating breathlessness. And how dare he ask if I’d been at his door when neither of us could bear the honest answer? Even if Papa didn’t know what I’d seen, he knew what he’d done.

He ought to have been downstairs with us, reacquainting himself with the little daughter who still didn’t remember him. He ought to have been sipping cider with the young man who fancied me, giving his permission to court. He ought to have been doing a hundred other things. Instead, he was preying upon my dead mother’s enslaved half-sister—and the wrongness of it filled my voice with a defiant rage.

“No, I wasn’t at your door.” I held his gaze, letting him see what he would.

My father paused on the precipice, clearing his throat, absently smearing the corner of his lips with one thumb. “Well—well. . .did you need something?” As if my needs were at the forefront of his thoughts.

My fingers curled into fists as a lie came to me suddenly, and sullenly. “I was coming up to fetch my prayer book.” Surely he knew it was a lie, but I didn’t care. If he challenged me, I’d lie again, without even the decency of dropping my eyes. I’d lie because between a father and a daughter, what I’d witnessed was unspeakable. And I’d learned from the man who responded with silence to my letters about politics or adultery or the liberation of slaves. . . .

Papa never spoke on any subject he didn’t want to.

Neither would I.

“Are you certain you weren’t hurt,” Papa finally murmured, “ . . . on the stairs?”

Rage burned inside me so hotly I thought it possible that my handprint might be seared upon the railing. I bobbed my head, grasped my skirt, and took two steps down before my father called to me again.

“Patsy?”

I couldn’t face him, so I merely stopped, my chest heaving with the effort to restrain myself from taking flight. “What?

A heavy silence descended. One filled with pregnant emotion. I feared he might be so unwise as to attempt to explain himself, to justify or confess his villainous lapse in judgment, but when he finally spoke, it was only to ask, “What of your prayer book?”

Swallowing hard, I forced words out despite the pain. “I’ve reconsidered my need of it. I’m not as apt as some people to forget what it says.”

 

 

– REVIEW –

 

“ . . .  my whole life has been, in some sense, a song that could never be sung without you. There is almost nothing I’ve ever been that I could’ve been without my dear and beloved daughter, the cherished companion of my early life, and nurse of my old age.”

Kindle loc. 9472 of 10199

Indeed, the above sentiment of an aged and dying Thomas Jefferson to his daughter, Pasty (Martha) Jefferson Randolph is the driving force behind Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie’s debut historical novel, America’s First Daughter.

Historical fiction, when done well, is to this reader, like an exquisite meal — layered chapters in lieu of courses, but both leaving the participant nurtured, entertained, and perhaps, wanting for a bit more. Authors Dray and Kamoie do not disappoint.

After Jefferson’s death, his daughter, Patsy undertakes the cataloging of her father’s papers. As she encounters certain letters, Patsy’s reflections take the reader back to that time, recounting her life as the daughter of one of America’s founding fathers.

Authors Dray and Kamoie, skillfully utilize the letters as devices, carefully constructing Patsy’s character as she lives her life, each chapter revealing more detail of this extraordinary woman.

Divided into three parts, Patsy takes us back to her childhood in Part One — Dutiful Daughter. One vivid memory is that of fleeing the British, who are determined to capture the then Governor of Virginia, her father. Patsy recalls a hasty retreat from Monticello with her mother — a weakened and ill Martha  — along with her younger sister, Polly. It’s a riveting passage that reminds one how very fragile is the nature of both country and life.

Upon the death of her mother, Martha, is it upon the young Patsy to bear witness to the depth of her father’s grief, and it can be said with a bit of certainty that, without Patsy’s stalwart presence in the years after her mother’s death, Thomas Jefferson would not have survived. Even as acting Minister to France, be it in the ballrooms or salons of Paris, or back home in his beloved Monticello, it is Patsy that Jefferson looks upon as his anchor.

Part Two – Founding Mother, recounts Patsy’s years as the wife of Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr.

A handsome and dashing Virginia plantation owner, Randolph sweeps Patsy off her feet — a feat, if you will, considering Patsy’s heart lies elsewhere. Her first and true love, Jefferson’s assistant William Short, is sent on assignment after her father determines Short isn’t suitor material for his beloved daughter.  However, Jefferson does approve of Randolph and agreeably gives Patsy to him in marriage.

After reading Dray and Kamoie’s account of the Jefferson-Randolph marriage, one wonders why Patsy married at all.  Suffice to say, Patsy was a dutiful and caring wife who gave Randolph twelve children, raising eleven (losing one daughter in infancy). Patsy’s thoughts continually duel between her duty as wife to Tom, and her place beside her father — so much so that many years later, Tom (rightfully) charges Patsy —

“Your father is your true worry.  No one can ever shine so brightly in your eyes. He’s always your first concern.”

Kindle Loc 8748 of 10199

Part Three — Mistress of Monticello, details Patsy’s life upon her return to Monticello with Tom (now a drunkard and financial failure) and their children. Also chronicled are the final years of her father’s life. Patsy comes to terms with her failed marriage, her father’s love for Sally Hemmings, Jefferson’s death and its implications, and, ultimately, herself.

Throughout America’s First Daughter, one is struck with the absolute sense of place and duty that permeates Patsy’s being.  She is acutely aware that she has the power to shape history, not only through her influence on her father, but with the weight of power she has inherited simply by being the daughter of Thomas Jefferson.  In a society that regards women as property, Patsy deftly maneuvers herself into a male-only society that welcomes her regard.

The crafting of Patsy’s character is subtle and on point — she is neither shallow nor a martyr, nor is she imperious. Rather, Patsy is a study in reserve. By any measure, Patsy is the Amazon/Angel that William Short christened her to be. Case in point  — it is only upon the death of her father that Patsy allows herself to feel the full measure of grief over the death of her mother, Martha — forty-four years earlier.

Authors Dray and Kamoie succeed in embroidering Patsy’s narrative in rich but not overwhelming detail. Thomas Jefferson is given his full measure as the brilliant co-founder of a nation, but truthfully characterized as a man with feet of clay. The secondary characters all have their purpose — no one is extraneous, and their behaviors fit the mindset of the times. This reader found passages to be gripping at times, heartbreaking and infuriating at others. Dray and Kamoie rightfully expose slavery as the sin of this nation. Sally Hemmings is written with a grace and strength of character equal only to Patsy’s. The decline of Thomas Randolph is documented in such a way that the reader recognizes the unavoidable tragedy but is still compelled to witness his descent. William Short, the man of Patsy’s heart, appears and disappears throughout the story and seems to be written as the voice of her conscience. This reader found the story of their romance to be simply another example of Patsy’s sacrifices for the good of her father and country.

Ultimately, it is the character of Patsy, not her father, that lingers curiously in the mind. Credit Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie in crafting an excellent story based upon a fascinating woman. America’s First Daughter will leave the reader with a sense of insight into the mind, heart and life of the most remarkable Patsy Jefferson Randolph.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*An ARC of this story was received by William Morrow in exchange for an honest review.*

 

America's First Daughter - RWB teaser 2

 

Advanced praise for AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER —

“America’s First Daughter brings a turbulent era to vivid life. All the conflicts and complexities of the Early Republic are mirrored in Patsy’s story. It’s breathlessly exciting and heartbreaking by turns-a personal and political page-turner.” (Donna Thorland, author of The Turncoat)

“Painstakingly researched, beautifully hewn, compulsively readable — this enlightening literary journey takes us from Monticello to revolutionary Paris to the Jefferson White House, revealing remarkable historical details, dark family secrets, and bringing to life the colorful cast of characters who conceived of our new nation. A must read.” (Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental Empress)

 

 

 

– ABOUT THE AUTHORS –

 

About Stephanie Dray:

DrayAuthorPhotoSTEPHANIE DRAY is an award-winning, bestselling and two-time RITA award nominated author of historical women’s fiction. Her critically acclaimed series about Cleopatra’s daughter has been translated into eight different languages and won NJRW’s Golden Leaf. As Stephanie Draven, she is a national bestselling author of genre fiction and American-set historical women’s fiction. She is a frequent panelist and presenter at national writing conventions and lives near the nation’s capital. Before she became a novelist, she was a lawyer, a game designer, and a teacher. Now she uses the stories of women in history to inspire the young women of today.

 

 

 

Website | Newsletter | Facebook |Twitter 

 AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER Website

 

 

About Laura Kamoie:

IMG_3248LAURA KAMOIE has always been fascinated by the people, stories, and physical presence of the past, which led her to a lifetime of historical and archaeological study and training. She holds a doctoral degree in early American history from The College of William and Mary, published two non-fiction books on early America, and most recently held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing genre fiction as the New York Times bestselling author of over twenty books, Laura Kaye. Her debut historical novel, America’s First Daughter, co-authored with Stephanie Dray, allowed her the exciting opportunity to combine her love of history with her passion for storytelling. Laura lives among the colonial charm of Annapolis, Maryland with her husband and two daughters.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook |Twitter 

 AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER Website

 

 

America's First Daughter - Available Now 2

 

 

– RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY –

 

 

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER —

AFD10Things8_edited-1

 

AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER

by

STEPHANIE DRAY and LAURA KAMOIE

 

About AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER —

IMG_3246In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.

From her earliest days, Patsy Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate, protector, and constant companion in the wake of her mother’s death, traveling with him when he becomes American minister to France.

It is in Paris, at the glittering court and among the first tumultuous days of revolution, that fifteen-year-old Patsy learns about her father’s troubling liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age. Meanwhile, Patsy has fallen in love—with her father’s protégé William Short, a staunch abolitionist and ambitious diplomat. Torn between love, principles, and the bonds of family, Patsy questions whether she can choose a life as William’s wife and still be a devoted daughter.

Her choice will follow her in the years to come, to Virginia farmland, Monticello, and even the White House. And as scandal, tragedy, and poverty threaten her family, Patsy must decide how much she will sacrifice to protect her father’s reputation, in the process defining not just his political legacy, but that of the nation he founded.

 

– PURCHASE LINKS  –

 

AMAZON  BARNES and NOBLE  iBOOKS  KOBO

 

56346-goodreads 

 

– ABOUT THE AUTHORS –

 

About Stephanie Dray:

DrayAuthorPhotoSTEPHANIE DRAY is an award-winning, bestselling and two-time RITA award nominated author of historical women’s fiction. Her critically acclaimed series about Cleopatra’s daughter has been translated into eight different languages and won NJRW’s Golden Leaf. As Stephanie Draven, she is a national bestselling author of genre fiction and American-set historical women’s fiction. She is a frequent panelist and presenter at national writing conventions and lives near the nation’s capital. Before she became a novelist, she was a lawyer, a game designer, and a teacher. Now she uses the stories of women in history to inspire the young women of today.

 

 

Website | Newsletter | Facebook |Twitter 

 AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER Website

 

About Laura Kamoie:

IMG_3248LAURA KAMOIE has always been fascinated by the people, stories, and physical presence of the past, which led her to a lifetime of historical and archaeological study and training. She holds a doctoral degree in early American history from The College of William and Mary, published two non-fiction books on early America, and most recently held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing genre fiction as the New York Times bestselling author of over twenty books, Laura Kaye. Her debut historical novel, America’s First Daughter, co-authored with Stephanie Dray, allowed her the exciting opportunity to combine her love of history with her passion for storytelling. Laura lives among the colonial charm of Annapolis, Maryland with her husband and two daughters.

 

Website | Newsletter | Facebook |Twitter 

 AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER Website

InkSlinger Blogger Final

 

Release Blitz: My Wounded Soldier

MWS Release Banner

My Wounded Soldier – Book Two: Fight for Love

by Diane Munier

BOOK2COVER11539727_1455431521445017_316562846_o

 – Synopsis –

Tom Tanner has taken on a family. He lived through the war, but becoming a lover and pa to two small children may be the role that breaks him. This is the story of a man’s slow rise from black sheep to patriarch. 1866 is a time of learning to carry on in the aftermath of civil war. Tom is ready to heal, ready to take over Addie’s farm and make it a grand place. He has money from reupping in the war and reward money for bringing a few notorious outlaws. Can Addie’s love help him settle and become an outstanding man like his pa? It’s the only fight worth making– a fight for love.

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Publication Date: August 8, 2015

Genre: Historical Western Romance

Cover Designer: Bookstylings

 – Purchase Links –

Amazon

US – http://tiny.cc/ibtz0x

UK – http://tiny.cc/actz0x

CA – http://tiny.cc/3ctz0x

 – Excerpt –

She told me of her mother then.  Greta.  She took in washing. And brought men home. And my wife, a slight girl scrubbing on the board.  That’s what I felt in her hands.  So sweetly shaped, so brined to the work.  A lady almost, but not in her marrow.  There, the laundry girl, the dirty laundry girl.  And the men.  Her learning to stand, given a knife by the neighbor woman. “Protect yourself,” the woman said. “No one else will.” And so she did, too young, too scared, too soon.

Like Johnny.  He got took to the dark and it stabbed the tender in him and the dark came in.

I sat up and held her to me, stroking her hair while she told me.  I felt so many things with her, the fear, yes, the joy, teaser 1yes.  The old wounds, yes.  The new wonder of it, yes.  The mother, and back more.  The girl, yes.  The little broken one, yes.  No man to ever rise up, and if he did, she met him with just herself and her brave eyes.

“Lass,” I said, but only once.  I did not wish to let the pump run dry, for her words gifted me an understanding I had lacked.

I would be the pa to her sometimes.  I knew that now.  She wouldn’t want it much, but sometimes she would, almost like Johnny, me going back in her, me angry for her, saying what she knew and didn’t get a chance to rail about.  Letting her know I was here now.  I was here.

It was a part of it for us.  There was this little one in there still holding that knife, sometimes at me, yes that’s what I saw.  That knife she used and left in a man who tried to take her in an alley. That’s when she met him—her husband. She went in his store after the attack. He was kind. But God…he was weak.

But that’s how he got in.  He wiped her face, but he was no hero.  She made him feel, and then he couldn’t find it in himself to love her.  She was something he hadn’t seen…too alive…too much of everything.

“I am not him,” I told her, and oh I was not.  The dark had its hands around my throat time and time, but it did not finish me.  I was just a man, but I stood tall.  Like it or don’t, I did the hard thing.

“I am Tom Tanner, your man,” I said, “the good of him, the ugly, too.  But I am not Richard Varn.  I have my own sins, but I do not carry the sins of another.  Nor will I,” I said, not sure what I meant by this speech, but I said it with force.

 – Other Books in the Series –

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My Wounded Soldier – Book One: Fight For Glory

by Diane Munier

 – Synopsis –

Wounded Soldier, Book One: Fight for Glory, is my newest offering on Amazon. This is the saga of Tom Tanner and his reluctant love for Addie Varner.

After he mustered out of the Twenty-Seventh, Tom never expected to follow the boys home to Illinois. Having failed to protect his older brother Garrett, Tom planned to take his wounds out west where a man could get lost under the endless sky. But his father prevailed on him to come home and comfort his grieving mother.

Tom had nearly filled his obligation when the neighbor boy came running and calling his name as he worked in the field. Johnny was the boy that looked like his mother, Mrs. Varn. Tom had seen the woman at meeting. She rattled him some for he’d not had a woman, just that one time and he’d been liquored up and taking a dare and were he to have one, she was not hardship to look at. But Johnny was calling for him. Tom knew the sounds of war. The country was rife with veterans, some looking for trouble instead of home. What Tom finds at the Varner’s farm offers him a new kind of battle, a new kind of glory trail.

I have been writing this story for fifteen years. In its various forms it has garnered attention in literary contests and with a number of writerly folks. But stuck in ‘bridesmaid,’ mode it has never really walked the aisle. Until now. I hope you give it a spin and maybe fall in love.

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Publication Date: July 4, 2015

Genre: Historical Western Romance

 – Purchase Links –

Amazon

(FREE Kindle Unlimited)

US – http://tiny.cc/kmuz0x

UK – http://tiny.cc/2muz0x

CA – http://tiny.cc/inuz0x

– Meet Diane Munier –

Living comfortably in the heart of America with the people I love. I live an extroverted life, but I’m a genuine introvert. An urban kid, I spent much of my youth running in various 61cY5VyD7NL._UX250_neighborhood establishments. There I met many colorful characters and I learned to love them and be fascinated by them. My love of story comes from them. I learned to sit on a bar stool or a kitchen chair or in a pew and hear story. Hear the voices telling story. See the mouths move and the hands clutching glasses or cigarettes. See and hear the laughter. There is no greater honor than to hear someone’s story. If you feel that way about the tales I tell…what more could I ask.

 – Stalker Links – 

Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

 – Giveaway –

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: My Wounded Soldier: Book Two: Fight for Love by Diane Munier

My Wounded Soldier: Book Two: Fight for Love

by

Diane Munier

– SUMMARY –

51mNH5WdFqL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Tom Tanner has taken on a family. He lived through the war, but becoming a lover and pa to two small children may be the role that breaks him. This is the story of a man’s slow rise from black sheep to patriarch. 1866 is a time of learning to carry on in the aftermath of civil war. Tom is ready to heal, ready to take over Addie’s farm and make it a grand place. He has money from reupping in the war and reward money for bringing a few notorious outlaws. Can Addie’s love help him settle and become an outstanding man like his pa? It’s the only fight worth making– a fight for love.

She told me of her mother then.  Greta.  She took in washing. And brought men home. And my wife, a slight girl scrubbing on the board.  That’s what I felt in her hands.  So sweetly shaped, so brined to the work.  A lady almost, but not in her marrow.  There, the laundry girl, the dirty laundry girl.  And the men.  Her learning to stand, given a knife by the neighbor woman. “Protect yourself,” the woman said. “No one else will.” And so she did, too young, too scared, too soon.

Like Johnny.  He got took to the dark and it stabbed the tender in him and the dark came in.

I sat up and held her to me, stroking her hair while she told me.  I felt so many things with her, the fear, yes, the joy, yes.  The old wounds, yes.  The new wonder of it, yes.  The mother, and back more.  The girl, yes.  The little broken one, yes.  No man to ever rise up, and if he did, she met him with just herself and her brave eyes.

“Lass,” I said, but only once.  I did not wish to let the pump run dry, for her words gifted me an understanding I had lacked.

I would be the pa to her sometimes.  I knew that now.  She wouldn’t want it much, but sometimes she would, almost like Johnny, me going back in her, me angry for her, saying what she knew and didn’t get a chance to rail about.  Letting her know I was here now.  I was here.

It was a part of it for us.  There was this little one in there still holding that knife, sometimes at me, yes that’s what I saw.  That knife she used and left in a man who tried to take her in an alley. That’s when she met him—her husband. She went in his store after the attack. He was kind. But God…he was weak.

But that’s how he got in.  He wiped her face, but he was no hero.  She made him feel, and then he couldn’t find it in himself to love her.  She was something he hadn’t seen…too alive…too much of everything.

“I am not him,” I told her, and oh I was not.  The dark had its hands around my throat time and time, but it did not finish me.  I was just a man, but I stood tall.  Like it or don’t, I did the hard thing.

“I am Tom Tanner, your man,” I said, “the good of him, the ugly, too.  But I am not Richard Varn.  I have my own sins, but I do not carry the sins of another.  Nor will I,” I said, not sure what I meant by this speech, but I said it with force.

– REVIEW –

“You say hero. No. Not a devil. Not a hero. Not God. Just a man. Addie helped me see it. Just a man. But a man who has to carry some things he’s learned to understand” (p. 11)

And so continues Tom Tanner’s redemptive journey in the concluding novel of Diane Munier’s masterful saga, My Wounded Soldier: Book Two: Fight for Love.  

Now married to his beloved Addie, and having taken her two children as his, Tom sets out to build a life worthy of the family blessed upon him.  But the mantle of husband and father does not come easily to Tom. Fueled with a passion once thought lost and driven by a need to construct a life unencumbered by a past that still haunts him, Tom discovers that to succeed in his new life often requires a surrender to the struggle.  Whether it be a jar of pickles thrown at him by his hot-tempered wife, or the subtle disapproval he engenders when sharing a dipper of water with a man of color, Tom recognizes that there will always be lessons to be learned, there will always be actions to be taken, and, at times, there will exist the need for quiet resignation. For Tom, as one wound begins to heal, another makes its presence known. And as his life with his Addie and their children go forward, Tom comes to the understanding that surrendering his heart to the tender mercies of love will not only ease his wounds, but lead to the worthiness he seeks:

“I would never break the chain I had with her. I knew what I was here to do . . . and I pledged to do it the day Johnny come for me in the field. This was my piece of earth.  I intended to inherit it and draw them to me one day . . . and one day . . . and one day . . . for life.  For the rest of it . . . I would serve.

And come the day, I’d lay me down for good and go back into this sweet earth, come that day I wanted them to know . . . I loved them.

This was my Promised Land, my lambs upon it . . . my life.” (p.110)

Exquisitely written, again, breathtaking at times, Munier gifts the reader with an abundance of sacred moments: Tom, tenderly washing his baby, Janey, written as the sacrament that it is.  Addie and Tom — their lovemaking powerfully revealed through quiet, simple words of love — Munier, using words that are so potent and evocative, we feel the need to give the lovers their privacy. We see Tom, holding his ailing father’s hand, igniting the fear every child has at the thought of losing a parent. And as Munier masterfully crafts vivid imagery and sensory experiences through her writing, not only can we envision the Tanner barn rise up to the sky on red cedar beams, but we are there to inhale the scent of the rich, red wood.

As any reader of Diane Munier has come to learn, her table is replete with an abundance of well-crafted and colorful characters. The voice of Tom Tanner rings true, clear, solid. As does Addie’s, as the reader is gifted with glimpses into her mind and heart. The author’s ancillary characters are so well written that we want to join them at the dinner table and break bread with them.

Once again, Diane Munier, through this extraordinary tale of Tom Tanner’s odyssey, has given us the keys to the kingdom. Give you heart over to Munier’s Wounded Soldier and discover the truths in your soul.

* I received an advance copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review *

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

Diane Munier

61cY5VyD7NL._UX250_Living comfortably in the heart of America with the people I love. I live an extroverted life, but I’m a genuine introvert. An urban kid, I spent much of my youth running in various neighborhood establishments. There I met many colorful characters and I learned to love them and be fascinated by them. My love of story comes from them. I learned to sit on a bar stool or a kitchen chair or in a pew and hear story. Hear the voices telling story. See the mouths move and the hands clutching glasses or cigarettes. See and hear the laughter. There is no greater honor than to hear someone’s story. If you feel that way about the tales I tell…what more could I ask.

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Publication Date:  August 8, 2015

ASIN: B010W8NDDK

Available at:

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Diane Munier’s My Wounded Soldier: Book One: Fight for Glory

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All across the country men are drifting home from the war. But when Tom Tanner musters out, he doesn’t plan to go home. He has been working in the brickyard in Springfield trying to save enough money to buy a rig and head west. He’s not expecting his father to show up and plead with him to return to the farm. After the horrible loss of his older brother, Tom doesn’t feel worthy of the family’s company. But his guilt won’t allow him to cause them more pain and so he goes home for one last visit. It’s hard to find normal around the folks. The work of harvest provides the perfect distraction. Once the crops are in he’ll go so far away they’ll never have to look at him again. But his plans are challenged one day. Tom is working in the field when the neighbor boy, Johnny, comes running for help. What Tom finds at the neighbor’s home is a scene right out of the war. But it’s not just about killing. The Missus Addie Varn, is ready to birth. Tom wants to run, and he will come fall, but now he must roll up his sleeves and play midwife.

To celebrate the release of MWS Book 1, those who have given a “Yes” RSVP to Diane’s Facebook event page by midnight of July 3rd will be entered in a drawing to win a copy of ‘My Wounded Soldier Book Two: Fight for Love’ which will be available for Pre-order July 4th. There will be 5 winners.

So on July 4th, celebrate with family and fireworks, start reading My Wounded Soldier Book 1, and stop by this event page to see if you’re a winner and to hear a SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT! Exciting stuff is happening!

Additionally, there will be a Facebook Release Party on June 9th, hosted by Jedigirlsc and Frannie Flower. Please add the three of us as friends on Facebook to keep up with all the news.

My Wounded Soldier Buy Links

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My Wounded Soldier Bio

Diane profile picLiving comfortably in the heart of America with the people I love. I live an extroverted life, but I’m a genuine introvert. An urban kid, I spent much of my youth running in various neighborhood establishments. There I met many colorful characters and I learned to love them and be fascinated by them. My love of story comes from them. I learned to sit on a bar stool or a kitchen chair or in a pew and hear story. Hear the voices telling story. See the mouths move and the hands clutching glasses or cigarettes. See and hear the laughter. There is no greater honor than to hear someone’s story. If you feel that way about the tales I tell…what more could I ask.

My Wounded Soldier Connect

Website: www.dianemunier.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/dianemunierauthor
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/dianemunier
Twitter: www.twitter.com/dianemunier

Review: My Wounded Soldier: Book One: Fight for Glory

My Wounded Soldier: Book One: Fight for Glory

by

Diane Munier

People read books for many reasons — to learn, to be entertained, to find comfort, to find one’s self, to escape.  It is rare that one comes across a book that satisfies so many aspects of reading, but when that book is found, it is to be treasured, to be cherished.  Such is the case with master storyteller Diane Munier’s epic work, My Wounded Solder: Part One: Fight for Glory. 

The first IMG_1828in a two part series, My Wounded Soldier: Part One: Fight for Glory is set in the American Midwest, just after the end of the Civi War.  A bloodied nation begins to mend, its citizens — soldiers and civilians alike — weary, wounded, if not by bullets then by sorrow.  It is against this backdrop that we meet Tom Tanner – an ex-soldier, back to working his family’s farm, wounded in spirit, haunted by his actions on the battlefield, a hero to all but himself.  One morning, he hears the panicked call for help by a young boy at a neighboring farm.  And upon answering that call, Tom finds another bloodied battlefield, the only survivors the young boy and his now-widowed mother, Addie Varn. And it is here that Tom begins his journey of love, self-discovery, confession and redemption.

Written in a prose that is at times breathtaking, Diane Munier takes us into the heart and mind of Tom, struggling with his inner demons as he heads out to reclaim his life, spurred on by his steadfast love for Addie.  In a time when adventure could be found around the next bend, and all a man required was a good horse and a steady aim, Munier keeps the action at an even, but rapid pace, reminiscent of a Larry McMurtry novel. Tanner’s voice is authentic, clear, purposeful  — never wavering as he awakens from the numbness of his soul:

“I realized something, and it was a hard thing, but true all the same. It’s going against my own code made me sick. More than anything I went through in the war, or even today. It’s going against my own code made me sickest of all. I was here to lead and protect, I’d always known it. And when I could not…well I wasn’t God, was I? I had to let myself by. I had to let myself live.”

My Wounded Soldier: Part One: Fight for Glory, page 195 (ARC)

Her settings, ancillary characters, are all believable. And through the words and actions of all of these characters, Munier, once again, reveals to her readers the paths to redemption, the necessity of surrender and the power of love.

The only issue this reader found with this book was its seemingly abrupt ending. It’s not a cliffhanger — there is resolution and one could say that it stands on its own — after all, Tom Tanner is not the sort of character who would shake a handful of clay to the heavens, vowing never to be hungry again.  You decide.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*I was gifted this ARC by the author for an honest review.*

A Must Read –

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Synopsis

Coming of age 1960’s. Hilly keeps her mother’s secrets. But she has some of her own, a love from childhood for the golden boy Danny, the one who no longer sees her. Soon they are tied by more than childhood history. It’s a long dark road toward finding her thunder.

Excerpt copy

It was Danny Boyd. Mary was no less surprised when the Angel Gabriel appeared to announce the pregnancy that changed everything. My heart took off under the hand I’d splayed on my chest. I couldn’t have my senses more assaulted. It wasn’t possible. He stood there, a head taller, his black hair long, longer than I’d ever seen it, and long sideburns. His eyes, green in that tanned face. He had a thin moustache that met these carefully sculpted patches around his beautiful mouth. Rock and roll star. But muscular…I felt faint. Faint from his nearness. My shoulder where he’d tapped me, it throbbed. God, he was a man.

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All of Diane’s available works can be found on her Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/dianemunier

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Living comfortably in the heart of America, a fake extrovert who is genuinely introverted. Lots of good story tellers in my small world, then started first grade. They put me in the middle reading group (probably based on my math scores) and after one class moved me up to group A. That was the conscious beginning of loving story.

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