Willows: The Creole

Willows: The Creole
The Arceneauxs have a long history of falling victim to circumstance, but heir to the family home, one woman is determined the legacy will end with her. Embroiled in the fleecing of New York’s bridge funds, she is offered a new life in New Orleans, but what she finds is an abandoned house, a fractured family, and an oppressed people. Determined, she confronts the challenges head on, but soon realizes change is not something needed only for her, but for many.

In the decades before the Civil War, Louisiana was the most advanced in the rights of people of color—Africans and Indians—and women, including the right to vote. Marriage between races was legal, and mulatto, quarteronne, and octoroon children were recognized by their white fathers and often became business and landowners through gifts or the wills of patriarchs.

The Civil War brought change—any black lineage became cause for discrimination—and many blacks were relegated to occupations not unlike those of their ancestors. The women’s rights movement lost momentum as well, and it was only through the sheer will of women such as Stanton and Anthony, that organizations were formed and the voices of women would come to be heard.

Willows Plantation, still worked by the descendants of the slaves who built it, becomes the anchor to affect change and in a historical fiction story spanning five generations, author Cyndie Shaffstall, takes you on a journey through abolition and suffrage. A Voodoo priestess, a French artist, the first woman presidential candidate, and the world’s fair shed light on issues and provide opportunities for a better life for the entire family. $0.99 on Kindle.

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The Hard Road Home

The Hard Road Home
The Civil War has arrived in idyllic but poor Louisiana. Riley, a young man in his twenties, is a land owner with a wife and a child on the way. He wants nothing more in life than to work his land and provide for his family. But when soldiers show up on his property one day, they bring enlistment papers. Riley’s been drafted and must leave everything behind to fight for the South.

Riley and his fellow soldiers endure hardship and battles against the North in their efforts to win freedom for the South. But when Vicksburg ends up a devastating loss for the South, Riley’s own personal war is just beginning. Captive, then paroled, Riley is released with only one directive: find your own way home.
Now, on foot and in unfamiliar territory, he must make his way back to his wife and child before they’re taken from him for good. $2.99 on Kindle.

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Breaking TWIG

Breaking TWIG
Set in rural Georgia in the 1960s, BREAKING TWIG is a coming-of-age novel about Becky (Twig) Cooper, a young woman trying to survive the physical and emotional abuse of her mother, Helen, a beautiful, calculating woman who can, with a mere look, send the meanest cur in Sugardale, Georgia running for its life.

Not even Twig’s vivid imagination, keen wit, and dark sense of humor is enough to help her survive the escalating assaults of Helen and a new stepbrother, but help comes from an unexpected source–Frank, her stepfather. Sometimes, having one person who loves and believes in you is all a girl needs to keep hope alive.

Often raw and irreverent and sprinkled with all the Southern flavoring found in a good bowl of chicken and dumplings, BREAKING TWIG, is about finding love where we least expect it, destroying lives with easy lies, and realizing each of us determine our own truth. $0.99 on Kindle.

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Imaginary Lines


Kyle Conway is about to make a breakthrough for Conway Brothers Construction Co.—a long sought after opportunity for a major real estate score. His wife and two boys will prosper, his brother-partner will do the same. And the Conways are delighted that friend and business colleague, Mauricio Solares, will have the chance to rise higher in society than other Mexican immigrants trying to realize the American Dream. But all is not what it seems… ($0.99 on Kindle)
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Then Like the Blind Man

then like a blind man

“Every once in awhile, you read a book in which every element fits together so perfectly that you just sit back in awe at the skill of the storyteller. Then Like the Blind Man is one of these books.” —The San Francisco Book Review. $1.99 on Kindle.

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The Moonlight Palace

monlight-palace-kindle-first

Agnes Hussein is seventeen, a descendant of the sultan of Singapore, and the last surviving member of her immediate family. In the historical fiction novel, “The Moonlight Palace,” Agnes transforms from teenager to woman  while trying to save the crumbling Kampong Glam palace, a once-opulent villa given to her family in exchange for giving Singapore to the British. Shop Now.

The Last Stoic

the-last-stoic

The Last Stoic is a historical fiction that takes place in two parallel settings: ancient Rome and modern America. The story unfolds with the same characters but the setting alternates between ancient and modern, the similarities between the two time periods are so strong. The main character gets imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit and through the writings of Marcus Aurelius, learns what it means to be a Stoic and how to survive and thrive in an unjust world. Shop now.

The Ways of Mud and Bone

the-ways-of-mud-and-boneIn the summer of 1918, as the Great War rages in Europe, nineteen-year-old Meryl Goodson’s 
small-town life is shattered when her cousin Nora’s fiancé is killed in France.

The tragedy causes a rift in the community between those for the war and those against it. As local tensions rise, Meryl begins her service with an overseas relief unit. Caught up in her own brutal day-to-day struggle in war-weary France, she is unaware of how far matters have deteriorated at home. The truth leaves her broken and grieving. Is the world she once knew gone forever? Or can the friendships she’s made help Meryl find the strength to begin again? 

A bit like LITTLE WOMEN meets ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT, THE WAYS OF MUD AND BONE is a uniquely American book about the war to end all wars.

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The Reading Lessons

the-reading-lessonsMississippi 1920: Nine year old servant, Hadley Crump, finds himself drawn into a secret world when he is invited to join wealthy Lucinda Browning’s dirty book club. No one suspects that the bi-racial son of the cook is anything more to Lucinda than a charitable obligation, but behind closed doors, O! she doth teach the torches to burn bright.

What begins as a breathless investigation into the more juicy parts of literature quickly becomes a consuming and life-long habit for two people who would not otherwise be left alone together. As lynchings erupt across the South and the serving staff is slowly cut to make way for new mechanical household conveniences, Hadley begins to understand how dangerous and precarious his situation is. 

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Mrs. Tuesday’s Departure

mrs-tuesdays-departureSECOND EDITION – FULLY REVISED AND EDITED!

A heart-wrenching historical novel spanning seventy years, two continents, and a an imagined story that holds the power to create a safe future for a young girl. This page-turning family saga soars to a breathtaking ending that redefines the meaning of love. 

When Natalie and Anna, sisters and life-long rivals, hide an abandoned child from the Nazis, their struggle re-opens a star-crossed love triangle, threatening their safety and testing the bonds of their loyalty. 

Hungary’s fragile alliance with Germany insured that Natalie, a best selling children’s book author, and her family would be safe as World War Two raged through Europe. The Holocaust that has only been whispered about until now becomes a terrible reality for every Jewish family or those who hide Jews. 

Beautiful but troubled Anna, a poet and university professor is losing her tenuous hold on reality, re-igniting a dangerous sibling rivalry that began in childhood. 

The streets of Budapest echo with the pounding boots of Nazi soldiers. Danger creeps to the doorstep where the sisters’ disintegrating relationship threatens to expose the child they are trying to protect. In one night, Anna’s rash behavior destroys their carefully made plans of escape, and Natalie is presented with a desperate choice. 

Interwoven with Natalie and Anna’s story, is Mila’s. The abandoned child whose future Natalie lovingly imagines in a story about an old woman named Mrs. Tuesday. 

Mrs. Tuesday’s Departure is an inspirational historical novel spanning two generations and exploring the un-breakable bonds of sisters.

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