About the Book:
An out-of-place American is discovering that a fishing hamlet in El Salvador just might be his own slice of paradise. But, the simplicity and beauty of village life is just one thread of a beautifully woven story of a people, a place, and a time in Las Palomitas: The Little Doves by Laura S. Valenti [October 5, 2021, 2Nimble]. The complicated machinations of government and high society in Central America in 1980 provide an intricate backdrop for this story inspired by true events both in the author’s own life and world history.
Las Palomitas is the tale of a student who stumbled into a peaceful life on a Salvadoran beach as a civil war brews and his life collides with that of a woman with a past more byzantine and deadly than his own. In falling in love with the recently returned local, he finds comfort and inspiration. As the war takes hold, they struggle to save one another and the village and people they love.
“While this story is written about the struggles between the US and its Latin American neighbors forty years ago, conflict is still ongoing and we’re no closer to a satisfactory conclusion,” Valenti says. “This story illuminates how government policies and procedures impact the lives of the people involved.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laura L. Valenti is a freelance journalist and author, former resident of El Salvador and volunteer aid worker in several Central American countries. Las Palomitas: The Little Doves is borne of her passion for the people of El Salvador and the Latin culture that has permeated her entire life. After returning to America she embraced another small paradise, living, learning and writing about the people of the Ozarks including seven popular regional novels. She and her husband Warren raised four children and have several grandsons and remain sequestered in the Ozark hills in yet another delightful fishing sanctuary.
Connect with Laura L. Valenti at LauraLValenti.com and Facebook.com/Laura-L-Valenti-163573670396473.
Las Palomitas: The Little Doves will be available at Amazon, Bookshop.org, and wherever books are sold.
Welcome, dear readers! I am very excited to be hosting a Book Blast for Author Julieta Almeida Rodrigues! Her latest book, Eleonora and Joseph: Passion, Tragedy, and Revolution in the Age of Enlightenment, sounds like a fascinating read and I bet it would make for a fabulous movie! I hope you enjoy learning more about the book! Don't forget to enter the giveaway to win an eBook!
Eleonora and Joseph: Passion, Tragedy, and Revolution in the Age of Enlightenment by Julieta Almeida Rodrigues
Publication Date: July 21, 2020
New Academia Publishing/The Spring
Paperback & eBook; 198 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/Biographical
The novel opens with aristocratic Eleonora Fonseca Pimentel pleading with the High Court of Naples to be beheaded instead of hanged like a criminal. One of the leading revolutionaries of her time, Eleonora contributed to the establishment of the Neapolitan Republic, based on the ideals of the French Revolution. Imprisoned in 1799 after the return of the Bourbon Monarchy - due to her work as editor-in-chief of Il Monitore Napoletano - and while waiting to be sentenced, she writes a memoir. Here, she discusses not only her revolutionary enthusiasm, but also the adolescent lover who abandoned her, Joseph Correia da Serra.
While visiting Monticello many years later, Joseph discovers Eleonora's manuscript in Thomas Jefferson's library. Now retired, Jefferson is committed to founding the University of Virginia and entices Correia with a position in the institution, once it opens. As the two philosophes explore Eleonora's writing through the lens of their own lives, achievements, and follies, they share many intimate secrets.
Told from Eleonora and Joseph's alternating points of view, the interwoven first-person narratives follow the characters from the elegant salons of Naples to the halls of Monticello, from the streets of European capitals such as Lisbon, London, and Paris to the cultured new world of Philadelphia and the chic soirées in Washington.
Eleonora and Joseph were both prominent figures of the Southern European Enlightenment. Together with Thomas Jefferson, they formed part of The Republic of Letters, a formidable network of thinkers who radically influenced the intellectual world in which they lived - and which we still inhabit today.
Praise"Rodrigues' writing is beautiful, and she brings the historical characters to life. The novel is told in alternating chapters, interspersing the conversations between Joseph and Jefferson at Monticello with Eleonora's memoir, which Joseph is reading. The scenes at Monticello are fascinating, with Joseph and Jefferson discussing a wide range of topics, including slavery, revolution, and science. Rodrigues makes the reader sympathize with the protagonists, and the book left me wanting to read more, especially about Eleonora." - HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY REVIEW
"Eleonora and Joseph is a passionate novel of love and revolution. In 1799, Eleonora Pimentel stands before the High Court of the Kingdom of Naples. She has been accused of treason. During her trial, Eleonora pens a memoir, giving details of the life events that led up to her arrest. Eleonora's life was revolutionary in thought, word, and deed.Julieta Almeida Rodrigues' Portuguese roots shine brightly in this romantic historical novel. The narrative is fictional, yet full of historical accuracy." - READERS' FAVORITE REVIEW
"The complex, contradictory characterizations and historical details of the Enlightenment era are skillfully handled and clarified in straightforward but descriptive prose that will satisfy both academic and non-academic readers. The most interesting player of all is Eleonora, a "martyr of liberty" whose illustrious life ends tragically at the gallows in 1799 with some of her fellow revolutionaries in Naples." - THE US REVIEW OF BOOKS REVIEW
"Julieta Almeida Rodrigues brings these colorful historical figures to life and marries their worlds in a narrative that is vividly written, capturing not just their lives, but an era on the cusp of unprecedented social, political, and cultural change. As Thomas Jefferson plays a key role in creating the circumstances which bring Eleonora's journal - and its revelations - to new life years after its creation, readers receive a satisfying contrast of European and American environments that embraces and explores moral, ethical, and social conundrums alike." - MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW, Donovan's Literary Services
"Brimming with pathos and rich in character, this is a knockout... Lush and electrifying, Rodrigues's vibrant tale about love, morality, and duty is a searing depiction of the Enlightenment. Rodrigues's intelligent writing brings the era alive while revealing the complexity of her vividly drawn characters. By turns luminous and tragic, the novel will ensnare readers from the first few lines and lingers in the memory long after they turn the last page." - THE PRAIRIES BOOK REVIEW
"Eleonora and Joseph is my best read of the year so far. It's rich in history, character, and flair. The story is told with a genuineness that prods the heart. It evokes profound questions that linger behind long after you turn the last page. Considering these factors and the impeccable editing, I rate it four out of four stars. Julieta's work holds so much history, passion and utter brilliance within its pages that I would recommend it to anyone interested in history." - ONLINEBOOKCLUB REVIEW
"This book allows the reader into the inner workings of this radical time where many opposing ideals were fought and died for. It is refreshing as a lover of historical fiction to read an original story like Eleonora and Joseph that brings to life important historical characters and events from a fresh new angle and lens." - NEW PAGES, Stephanie Renee dos Santos
About the Author
Julieta Almeida Rodrigues is a writer, professor, scholar, and interpreter. Eleonora and Joseph: Passion, Tragedy, and Revolution in the Age of Enlightenment (New Academia Publishing) is her debut novel. Born and raised in Portugal, Rodrigues earned a PhD at Columbia University, where the renowned Margaret Mead was her dissertation sponsor. Rodrigues is the author of two collections of short fiction, The Rogue and Other Portuguese Stories and On the Way to Red Square (both also by New Academia Publishing). The latter is a fictionalized account of her life in the diplomatic circles of Moscow in the 1980s. She also published a narrative work about Sintra, Portugal, titled Hora Crepuscular/ Drawing Dusk/La Hora Crepuscular (Agir, Execução Gráfica). She is a member of the Pen Club of Portugal, the Fulbright Commission Team of Evaluators in Portugal (2014 Prize for International Cooperation, the Prince of Asturias Foundation), and of CLEPUL (Center for Lusophone and European Literatures and Cultures), Faculty of Humanities, the University of Lisbon. She has taught at the University of Lisbon and at Georgetown University, and has been a Visiting Scholar at the New School (twice). She has spoken at the Foreign Service Institute, U.S. Department of State, The Chawton House Library in the United Kingdom, The International Conference on the Short Story, The American Portuguese Studies Association, and the Historical Writers of America, among other institutions and cultural societies. She is a member of the Steering Committee of the Historical Novel Society New York City Chapter and co-managed its Guest Speaker Program at the Jefferson Market Library from 2016 to 2020. She divides her time between Manhattan and Sintra, Portugal.
For more information, visit Julieta Almeida Rodrigues' website.
Book Blast ScheduleMonday, October 4
Passages to the Past
Tuesday, October 5
Cover Lover Book Review
Wednesday, October 6
Books, Ramblings, and Tea
Thursday, October 7
Bonnie Reads and Writes
Friday, October 8
100 Pages a Day
Saturday, October 9
Tuesday, October 12
A Darn Good Read
Wednesday, October 13
Thursday, October 14
Reading is My Remedy
Friday, October 15
Michelle the PA Loves to Read
Saturday, October 16
The Cozy Book Blog
Monday, October 18
The Book Junkie Reads
Wednesday, October 20
I'm Into Books
Thursday, October 21
Carole Rae's Random Ramblings
GiveawayEnter to win an eBook of Eleonora and Joseph: Passion, Tragedy, and Revolution in the Age of Enlightenment by Julieta Almeida Rodrigues!
The giveaway is open to US addresses only and ends on October 21st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Eleonora and Joseph
Nissa was not the kind of girl who put up with shit from anyone. Pushing her way through the crowded tube platform and toward the green-tiled tunnel leading to the stairs —and shoving aside a morphie begging for change—she wished the ancient escalators still worked. Not that much in London had worked since the Anti-Monarchy riots in 2040, the year of her birth—the riots where her parents had died doing nothing more than trying to make their way home to her and her grandmother.
Nana had been gone for twelve years now, leaving Nissa alone in the flat in Camden Town, next to what was left of Regent’s Park, but she was used to it. Being on her own since the age of seventeen had taught her to be independent, street-smart, and savvy about the rough world she lived in. She knew how to walk through a dark neighborhood without getting mugged, knew what to do about it if it did happen. She went where she liked, slept with whomever she liked, then kicked him out the next day without looking back. She was used to being entirely without connections, and that was exactly how she wanted things.
And being on her own meant there was no one to miss her if things went the way she hoped they would tonight.
Using her elbows and the occasional stomp of her stiletto-heeled boots, she finally got to the stairs, her legs pumping as she moved toward the small halo of dark sky above. Careful to keep a watchful eye on the others around her, she gripped her stunstick in her hand in case anyone tried anything. These dense crowds were even more dangerous than walking down a dark, empty street alone. Not that she would usually be so foolish, armed or not.
She was always armed.
Smacking away a groping hand just as she reached the top of the stairs, she turned her head and caught sight of a cocky grin on a handsome face—a pretty enough blond boy with a wicked gleam in his cool, grey eyes.
“Sorry, love.” He winked at her, giving her a quick nod as she moved away.
He really was pretty, and perhaps on a different night she would have encouraged him, but she’d had her fill of beautiful boys. Tonight she had much more in mind, and it had taken her too damn long to get this invitation for her to risk screwing it up over a common beautiful boy.
The damp air hit her as she pushed her way outside into the cold night, stepping over a pile of broken concrete.
“So much for the joys of the New Democracy,” she muttered under her breath.
There was never anyone around to clean up the streets after a bombing, and you had to watch your step everywhere you went, other than in the most exclusive neighborhoods. But Nissa never went to such places.
She moved down the block, into the heart of the old theatre district that now housed nightclubs, pubs and cafés, shops selling leather goods, personal protection devices, and sex toys. Jagged bolts of neon light reflected in puddles in the street, making glowing pools of eerie watercolor. Noise came from every direction—the low rumble of voices, the rattle of an engine as a car, heavy with armor, passed by, the scratchy cry of a street player’s guitar somewhere, and in the distance, the shrill of sirens that seemed to be ever-present in London. She could smell the damp as it worked its way through her worn wool pea coat and into her bones, along with the scents of wet cement, smoke, the acrid smell of unwashed humanity, and the press of too damn many people.
Walking faster, she passed a group of morphies huddled in a doorway, a woman passed out in their midst as they muttered over her, passing a pipe around with shaking hands and glazed eyes. One called out to her, asking for money. She turned her head, moving faster. As if she’d be fool enough to take out her purse in Soho at night.
Anyway, she had someplace important to be, and she didn’t want to be late.
Someplace crucial—the place she’d dreamed of for years.
She turned the corner onto Shaftesbury Avenue, and there it was.
The old Palace Theatre stood like an elegant fortress of red brick and arched windows, surrounded by high, intricate, iron gates to keep the rabble out. Nissa pulled in a breath, ignoring the London stench.
She was here, at the most exclusive vampire club in London. The most exclusive sex club. There was a Midnight Playground in nearly every major city in Europe: Berlin, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Amsterdam, Prague. These places were nearly impossible to get into—for humans, anyway—and they never accepted anyone over thirty into their membership. At twenty-nine, Nissa was close to being excluded forever, but she’d managed it, finally. Or her friend Ilana had managed it for her.
She moved in, tucking her stunstick into the pocket of her coat and clipping it into its harness, then flipping open the hidden pocket that held her identification and invitation as she approached the gates. The bouncers were a pair of hulking, bald figures in black leather trench coats, arms crossed over massive chests.
She nodded to them. “I have an invitation.”
Holding it out, she pinched the heavy velum between her fingers, running her fingertips over the raised lettering and the embossed Celtic dragon’s head logo that matched the design in the center of the towering iron gates of the club.
One of the bouncers held his beefy hand out. “Let’s have a look.”
Nissa narrowed her eyes, looking for the telltale tinge of pink in the skin. Human. She supposed a vampire wouldn’t have to work as a gate bouncer. Vampires were an elite society—revered, feared. Desired.
She shivered even thinking about it, thinking about them. About the inherent sense of power that radiated from the few she’d ever come upon.
“Identification,” one of the enormous men demanded, and she handed it over. He glanced at the other man, holding out the invitation for him to peruse, as well as her ID.
“Is there a problem?” she asked, her heart thundering.
Both men turned to her. One held her identification up to the lamp mounted on the gate, then gave a sharp jerk of his chin. “You’re in, girl.”
Her heart lurched as the gate opened, and she stepped through and into another world altogether.
Immediately, the air seemed to clear of the ever-present London gloom, even to smell better, which was impossible, of course. But she was there, through the gate and walking up to the heavy iron doors, her boot heels ringing in her ears.
She was asked for her ID once more at the doors by another leather-clad bouncer, then she was ushered through, into a dark foyer lit only by red neon lights. There, an exquisite young woman in a short, tight leather dress palmed her identification card and silently helped her out of her coat, turning to take it away.
“Wait.” Nissa reached out and grabbed the girl’s shoulder. “Where are you taking my things?”
“You won’t need them here—everything you could ever need is inside. Everything, and things you’ve never imagined. Don’t worry, you’ll have your belongings back when you leave. If you do.”
About the Book
Author: W.B.J. Williams
The Hunt for a Unicorn.The belief in unicorns as magical creatures is one that is rooted deeply in human history. They are featured in myths, legends, and folk tales from multiple cultures across the globe. In this volume, W.B.J. Williams, the author of the historical unicorn-themed fantasy "The Garden at the Roof of the World", takes us on a journey through time to the dawn of civilization, for a fascinating take on the unicorn and its origins. Step into the worlds of magic, science, mythology, and the arts on your very own hunt for a unicorn.
W. B. J. Williams holds advanced degrees in anthropology and archeology. He is an avid historian, mystic, poet, and author who manages an information security program at a prominent New England start-up. He is noted for his bad puns, and willingness to argue from any perspective. He is endured by his beloved wife and two daughters, and lives in Sharon Massachusetts. When he is not at home or at his computer, he can often be found haunting the various used bookstores of Boston.
Giveawaya Rafflecopter giveaway
The Captain’s Kidnapped Bride debuts October 1 at the discount price of 99c on Kindle (regular price $7.99)
About the BookTitle: The Captain’s Kidnapped Bride Author: Abby Rice Genre: Historical Romance The last thing Hetty Pritchard ever wanted was a husband. Until a joke-gone-wrong lands her aboard an unfamiliar schooner headed for Jamaica -- with the Captain himself snoring in the bunk beside her. Now a ruined woman, Hetty has no choice but to accept the grouchy mariner’s reluctant solution: a temporary fake “marriage.” Purely for show, of course. And if navigating a ship-full of men, pulling off a fake relationship with a total stranger, and making her way back home weren’t troubles enough? Add in troubling wisps of ‘second sight.’ And an unexpected simmering attraction to her new, fake husband. A stand-alone sweet historical with touches of the paranormal, and a heart-tugging HEA ending.
Author BioAdventure really ought to be my middle name. I’ve ridden cross-country on a motorcycle; crewed on a real-life square-rigged ship; built and rehabbed houses/apartments; and helped seek justice for crime victims as a District Attorney. Nonfiction is where I cut my writing teeth, in over 200 magazine stories. (As you probably guessed, natural health was one of my fave topics!) That led me into books. Take a peek at those and my rollicking history blog on www.Clairitage.com. These days when I’m not dreaming up new stories about heroines, health, or history, I’m lending a hand to my garden-crazy husband, or scanning 1860s newspapers for bits of forgotten gossip. Hope you’ll give Abby Rice a quick ‘like’ on Facebook! And follow me on Goodreads (under my non-pen name, Karen Dustman). I love hearing from readers! If you’d like to connect, drop me an email at: AbbyRiceRomance@gmail.com
LinksWebsite: Website Get the book on Amazon