Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Blog Tour Spotlight + Giveaway: Remember Me by Mario Escobar


Remember Me: A Spanish Civil War Novel by Mario Escobar

Publication Date: September 15, 2020
Thomas Nelson
Paperback & eBook; 384 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

Amid the shadows of war, one family faces an impossible choice that will change their lives forever.

Madrid, 1934. Though the Spanish Civil War has not yet begun, the streets of Madrid have become dangerous for thirteen-year-old Marco Alcalde and his younger sisters, Isabel and Ana. When Marco’s parents align themselves against General Franco and his fascist regime, they have no inkling that their ideals will endanger them and everyone they love—nor do they predict the violence that is to come.

When the Mexican government promises protection to the imperiled children of Spain, the Alcaldes do what they believe is best: send their children, unaccompanied, across the ocean to the city of Morelia—a place they’ve never seen or imagined. Marco promises to look after his sisters in Mexico until their family can be reunited in Spain, but what ensues is a harrowing journey and a series of heartbreaking events. As the growing children work to care for themselves and each other, they feel their sense of home, family, and identity slipping further and further away. And as their memories of Spain fade and the news from abroad grows more grim, they begin to wonder if they will ever see their parents again or the glittering streets of the home they once loved.

Based upon the true stories of the Children of Morelia, Mario Escobar’s Remember Me—now available for the first time in English—explores the agony of war and paints a poignant portrait of one family’s sacrificial love and endurance.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

About the Author

Mario Escobar Golderos has a degree in History, with an advanced studies diploma in Modern History. He has written numerous books and articles about the Inquisition, the Protestant Reformation, and religious sects. He is the executive director of an NGO and directs the magazine Nueva historia para el debate, in addition to being a contributing columnist in various publications. Passionate about history and its mysteries, Escobar has delved into the depths of church history, the different sectarian groups that have struggled therein, and the discovery and colonization of the Americas. He specializes in the lives of unorthodox Spaniards and Americans.


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Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, September 15 Review at Nursebookie Review at WTF Are You Reading? Wednesday, September 16 Review at Amy's Booket List Feature at Let Them Read Books Friday, September 18 Review at 100 Pages a Day Saturday, September 19 Feature at The Green Mockingbird Monday, September 21 Feature at The Lit Bitch Feature at I'm All About Books Wednesday, September 23 Review at Passages to the Past Friday, September 25 Review at View from the Birdhouse Saturday, September 26 Feature at Bookworlder Sunday, September 27 Review at Reading is My Remedy Monday, September 28 Review at Hallie Reads Tuesday, September 29 Feature at What Is That Book About

Monday, September 14, 2020

Blog Tour Q&A + Giveaway with Mitchell James Kaplan, Author of Into the Unbounded Night

Please join me in welcoming Mitchell James Kaplan to Let Them Read Books! Mitchell is touring the blogosphere with his new historical novel, Into the Unbounded Night, and I recently had the chance to ask him a few questions about researching and writing this story. Read on and enter to win a copy of Into the Unbounded Night!

When her village in Albion is sacked by the Roman general Vespasian, young Aislin is left without home and family. Determined to exact revenge, she travels to Rome, a sprawling city of wealth, decadence, and power. A “barbarian” in a “civilized” world, Aislin struggles to comprehend Roman ways. From a precarious hand-to-mouth existence on the streets, she becomes the mistress of a wealthy senator, but their child Faolan is born with a disability that renders him unworthy of life in the eyes of his father and other Romans.

Imprisoned for her efforts to topple the Roman regime, Aislin learns of an alternate philosophy from her cellmate, the Judean known today as the Apostle St. Paul. As the capital burns in the Great Fire of 64 AD, he bequeaths to her a mission that will take her to Jerusalem. There, Yohanan, son of Zakkai, has been striving to preserve the tradition of Hillel against the Zealots who advocate for a war of independence. Responding to the Judeans’ revolt, the Romans—again under the leadership of Vespasian—besiege Jerusalem, destroying the Second Temple and with it, the brand of Judean monotheism it represents. Yohanan takes on the mission of preserving what can be preserved, and of re-inventing what must be reinvented.

Throughout Into the Unbounded Night, Aislin’s, Faolan’s, Vespasian’s, and Yohanan’s lives intertwine in unexpected ways that shed light on colonization and its discontents, the relative values of dominant and tyrannized cultures, and the holiness of life itself—even the weakest of lives.

Hi Mitchell! Thank you so much for stopping by Let Them Read Books!
What inspired you to write Into the Unbounded Night?

I wasn’t particularly thinking about writing a novel set in the first century. Nor did I decide to do so prior to undertaking the research. I simply became fascinated with the period. The characters emerged from the world I was exploring.
What kind of sources did you use as you were researching the time period?
Any and all sources. Of course, I read lots of books. I went to Roman sites in the UK, Italy, Israel, and Turkey. Questions arise in your mind, and then questions beget other questions. Why did the Romans feel it was necessary to destroy the Temple of Jerusalem? What were the underlying differences (cultural, ideological, political)? Why did Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism diverge in the first century? etc. It’s like you’re trying to fit together the pieces of a puzzle.
Did you learn anything in your research that surprised you?
Everything I learned surprised me. I hope I managed to convey some of that wonderment in INTO THE UNBOUNDED NIGHT.
What were the most rewarding and challenging aspects of writing this story?
The most rewarding thing, for me, is learning from my characters. I find their stories so fascinating, enriching, and moving. 

What I find most challenging, when writing any novel, is to get outside of it, back into the so-called real world, where I try to spend as little time as possible. (But honestly, I don't think it's more real than the so-called fictional worlds.)
What do you hope readers take away from the story?
That we can learn a lot from these people: how they perceived the universe; what mattered to them; what mistakes they made; and maybe, what mistakes we’re making.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Guest Post by Kate Lord Brown, Author of Silent Music

Please join me in welcoming Kate Lord Brown to Let Them Read Books! Kate is celebrating the release of her newest novel, Silent Music, and I'm so happy to have her here today with a guest post about the various mediums she used when researching her story. Read on, and then head over to Amazon and snag yourself a FREE ebook copy of Silent Music before August 29th!

Three marriages, two weddings, one affair which threatens them all. Is it ever too late for happily ever after?

A woman in 1960s New York struggles to place duty before passion, when her son's wedding plans throw the limitation of her marriage and apparently perfect life into the spotlight. 

1939 HONG KONG. Ballet dancer Tess is seventeen. She is unsure about marrying naval officer Kit, but she is pregnant and feels she has no choice but to go ahead with the marriage. 

1961 MANHATTAN. Ballet teacher Tess leads a seemingly idyllic, gilded Upper East life with her husband in their penthouse overlooking Central Park. But Kit asks for a divorce the night before their son announces his marriage. Just as her son's life is beginning, it feels like her youthful dreams and potential have come to nothing. Kit tells Tess they must pretend everything is normal until after Bobby's wedding. But can Tess play the part of a lifetime - that of a good wife?

"Jam packed with all the complexities that come with falling in and out of love." Netgalley

"A woman in the 60’s finding her feet in a world that wants to keep her in a neat little box. A timely read about how women have been pushing against those tight boundaries for generations" Netgalley

"A beautifully written tale about a repressed wife who longs to follow her dreams. Achingly sad at times but wonderfully joyous at others. Twists and turns throughout the whole story kept me hooked until the very last page." Netgalley

Researching Silent Music

by Kate Lord Brown

For each new book, I start a secret Pinterest board to corral all my research - there are about ten of them, hidden away on my profile at the moment. This is the latest public board for my most recent novel, Silent Music: My background is in the visual arts, so I tend to think and write cinematically. I'm known for writing epic twin-timeline historical fiction, and in the early days when you have all these glittering ideas and characters clamouring for attention, spread over a century, it really helps to start pinning down some visual anchors. Before writing each day, scrolling through the images gathered so far helps you key into your story. 

With twin-timeline stories you are always looking for ways to let the stories echo one another, so that the narratives talk to one another over the years. Perhaps writers are magpies. Alongside all the textual research needed for historical fiction, I find amassing a lot of visual material allows you to make unexpected connections. In the olden days (as my children say), before the advent of Pinterest, I used to cut and paste scrapbooks and storylines. It's a lot easier now!

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Blog Tour Guest Post by Rachel McMillan, Author of The London Restoration

Please join me in welcoming Rachel McMillan to Let Them Read Books! Rachel is touring the blogosphere with her newest novel, The London Restoration, and I'm thrilled to have her here today with a guest post about endings and beginnings and cinematic themes in her storytelling. Read on and enter to win a paperback copy of The London Restoration!

From author Rachel McMillan comes a richly researched historical romance that takes place in post-World War II London and features a strong female lead.

Determined to save their marriage and the city they love, two people divided by World War II’s secrets rebuild their lives, their love, and their world.

London, Fall 1945. Architectural historian Diana Somerville’s experience as a codebreaker at Bletchley Park and her knowledge of London’s churches intersect in MI6’s pursuit of a Russian agent named Eternity. Diana wants nothing more than to begin again with her husband Brent after their separation during the war, but her signing of the Official Secrets Act keeps him at a distance.

Brent Somerville, professor of theology at King’s College, hopes aiding his wife with her church consultations will help him better understand why she disappeared when he needed her most. But he must find a way to reconcile his traumatic experiences as a stretcher bearer on the European front with her obvious lies about her wartime activities and whereabouts.

Featuring a timeless love story bolstered by flashbacks and the excavation of a priceless Roman artifact, The London Restoration is a richly atmospheric look at post-war London as two people changed by war rebuild amidst the city’s reconstruction.


If my book were one of the movies I love, the credits would roll and the reel would end just as my action is beginning.

For in movies set in war time, the end is always the reunion between the lovers.  A violin score swells and the lighting design frames the embracing couple in sepia.  Somewhere a bird flies and the clouds part and the old war song "We’ll Meet Again" is made manifest.  The heroine is kissed brilliantly senseless by a uniformed soldier whose ardor inspires her left heel to raise off  the ground. 

Fade to black.  The theme overtakes the violin swell and I swallow the last of my wine and bunch the tissue holding the last of my sniffles and snobs.  Love wins.  Love reunites.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Cover Celebration: The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

Y'all know Kate is one of my favorite histfic authors, and I'm so excited to be part of her cover celebration team! You can help spread the word by sharing this post and adding The Rose Code on Goodreads!

by New York Times bestselling author Kate Quinn
(Morrow; on-sale March 9, 2021)

Preorder  |  Add on Goodreads  |  Kate's Newsletter

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Huntress and The Alice Network returns with another heart-stopping World War II story of three female code breakers at Bletchley Park and the spy they must root out after the war is over.

1940. As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes. Vivacious debutante Osla is the girl who has everything—beauty, wealth, and the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses—but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, and puts her fluent German to use as a translator of decoded enemy secrets. Imperious self-made Mab, product of east-end London poverty, works the legendary codebreaking machines as she conceals old wounds and looks for a socially advantageous husband. Both Osla and Mab are quick to see the potential in local village spinster Beth, whose shyness conceals a brilliant facility with puzzles, and soon Beth spreads her wings as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts. But war, loss, and the impossible pressure of secrecy will tear the three apart.

1947. As the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip whips post-war Britain into a fever, three friends-turned-enemies are reunited by a mysterious encrypted letter--the key to which lies buried in the long-ago betrayal that destroyed their friendship and left one of them confined to an asylum. A mysterious traitor has emerged from the shadows of their Bletchley Park past, and now Osla, Mab, and Beth must resurrect their old alliance and crack one last code together. But each petal they remove from the rose code brings danger--and their true enemy--closer...