Category Archives: THE AUTHOR ROOST

Under the Light of the Italian Moon by Jennifer Anton – BLOG TOUR and GUEST POST

Today’s guest post is written by Jennifer Anton, the historical fiction author of Under the Light of the Italian Moon. I’d like to welcome Jennifer to the blog today and wish her much success on her blog tour. For additional stops on this tour, please scroll to the bottom and see information.

Jennifer Anton on How Mussolini’s Fascism Impacted Women

Since 2006, when I started researching my grandmother’s life in Italy, I’ve come to learn a lot about life for girls and women under il Duce. Life was not easy living under a dictator, yet we rarely hear about history from a women’s point of view. Instead, we hear about great battles, war hero soldiers, millions dying while men vie for power and other men race with guns and bombs to stop them. While the women suffer, outside of the decision making of heads of state, watching their children starve and attempting to hold families together. Such was the case for the women of Italy and the focus of my debut novel, Under the Light of the Italian Moon

When I was born, an article in a local paper featured my birth and the advancements in 1977 technology vs. my great-great grandmother’s experience in rural northern Italy. Adelasia Dalla Santa Argenta was a professionally trained midwife, known as La Capitana. She was a bold woman willing to risk a bullet during WWI to aid in the birth of a child. A story lingers in the town of Fonzaso about a doctor coming to get her in the middle of the night. He asked her if she had her gun. She replied, “I don’t need a gun. I have my cross.” She knew she couldn’t trust men, but she could trust her faith. 

Poster of il Duce’s local fascists in the town of Fonzaso, Italy

As a practicing midwife in the interwar years, the policies of il Duce would have directly impacted her trade. ONMI (L’Opera nazionale maternità e infanzia) which launched in 1925, would have been seen as a positive government investment in the health of women and children. A midwife would have welcomed it. But she wouldn’t have wanted the control that came along with the benefits. Mussolini was famous for his 1927 Ascension Day speech, where he made it clear that an Italian woman’s job was to provide babies for Italy. Population increases would mean an expansion of his empire and military. A woman’s body became a vessel for the state. 

Photo of Fonzaso (rights given by Giovanni Battista)

Nina Argenta and Adelasia Dalla Santa Argenta

Women were discouraged from working outside their homes and families. Abortion was banned. Contraceptive education was made illegal; even explaining natural birth control methods was against the law. But il Duce’s Battle for Births never saw its intended outcome. Mussolini couldn’t control everything inside the homes, in the bedrooms of the women he called on to provide the babies. Midwives had a level of control and influence even he could not penetrate.

Mussolini convinced the masses with a crowd-drawing bravado. He used violence via his black shirts, who visited naysayers with forced castor oil cocktails until they cramped into submission. He discredited the press in order to rise to control. “Il Duce ha sempre ragione.” Il Duce is always right. Women watched husbands leave for war, held the home front as towns were bombed and Nazi’s occupied with violent atrocities. 

All of my female ancestors dealt first hand with Mussolini’s masochistic reign. They survived two World Wars and with a strength not of guns or brute force, but of resilience and a fierce will to survive with their families. These women are unsung heroes, and they should not be forgotten. 

Book Title: Under the Light of the Italian Moon

Author: Jennifer Anton

Publication Date: 8th March 2021

Publisher: Amsterdam Publishers

Page Length: 394 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Biographical Fiction

BOOK BLURB

A promise keeps them apart until WW2 threatens to destroy their love forever

Fonzaso Italy, between two wars

Nina Argenta doesn’t want the traditional life of a rural Italian woman. The daughter of a strong-willed midwife, she is determined to define her own destiny. But when her brother emigrates to America, she promises her mother to never leave.

When childhood friend Pietro Pante briefly returns to their mountain town, passion between them ignites while Mussolini forces political tensions to rise. Just as their romance deepens, Pietro must leave again for work in the coal mines of America. Nina is torn between joining him and her commitment to Italy and her mother.

As Mussolini’s fascists throw the country into chaos and Hitler’s Nazis terrorise their town, each day becomes a struggle to survive greater atrocities. A future with Pietro seems impossible when they lose contact and Nina’s dreams of a life together are threatened by Nazi occupation and an enemy she must face alone…

A gripping historical fiction novel, based on a true story and heartbreaking real events.

Spanning over two decades, Under the Light of the Italian Moon is an epic, emotional and triumphant tale of one woman’s incredible resilience during the rise of fascism and Italy’s collapse into WWII.

Buy Links:

Amazon: getbook.at/JAnton

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/3n1nDqC​ 

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/under-the-light-of-the-italian-moon/jennifer-anton//9789493231009

Bookshop.org (U.S. only): https://bit.ly/3ofS39T

I am Books Boston: https://bit.ly/2Z0mWUO

Author Bio

Jennifer Anton is an American/Italian dual citizen born in Joliet, Illinois and now lives between London and Lake Como, Italy. A proud advocate for women’s rights and equality, she hopes to rescue women’s stories from history, starting with her Italian family.

Social Media Links

Website: www.boldwomanwriting.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/boldwomanwrites

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jenniferantonauthorpage

Instagram: www.instagram.com/boldwomanwriting

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/janton1468/_created/

Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jennifer-anton

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Jennifer-Anton/e/B08RL6HBDN%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2XsHt3F

Youtube: https://bit.ly/3i9XvZA

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Thank you for stopping by today, Jennifer, and I wish you well on your blog tour!!

D. K. Marley

The Hist Fic Chickie

FEATURED SPOTLIGHT – Liz St. John – author of The Lydiard Chronicles

In conjunction with the Author Takeover at The Historical Fiction Club, I’d like to welcome to the blog today, Elizabeth St. John, the author of the fabulous Lydiard Chronicles.

If you would like to join the author takeover on May 10th, please visit The Historical Fiction Club, join the group and the discussion!! Also, you might get the chance to win some prizes!!

Elizabeth St. John spends her time between California, England, and the past. An acclaimed author, historian, and genealogist, she has tracked down family papers and residences from Lydiard Park and Nottingham Castle to Richmond Palace and the Tower of London to inspire her novels. Although the family sold a few country homes along the way (it’s hard to keep a good castle going these days), Elizabeth’s family still occupy them– in the form of portraits, memoirs, and gardens that carry their legacy. And the occasional ghost. But that’s a different story.

Having spent a significant part of her life with her seventeenth-century family while writing The Lydiard Chronicles trilogy and Counterpoint series, Elizabeth St. John is now discovering new family stories with her fifteenth-century namesake Elysabeth St.John Scrope, and her half-sister, Margaret Beaufort.

Here is a list of her books to buy!!

My Interview with Antoine Vanner, Historical Fiction Author of the “Dawlish Chronicles”

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-gcyx4-1021e19

I am privileged to host today’s guest, Antoine Vanner, the historical fiction author of nine books in the “Dawlish Chronicles” – Antoine Vanner found himself flattered when nautical novelist Joan Druett described him as the “The Tom Clancy of historic naval fiction”, and I must say, I was quite humbled with this interview. 

To purchase Mr Vanner’s books, please visit here: ANTOINE VANNER’S AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

or visit his website at: Antoine Vanner’s Website

My Interview with Laura Vosika, Historical Time Travel Author of “The Blue Bell Trilogy”

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-j3vym-1021e00

Today’s episode is with Laura Vosika, the author of the historical time travel novels set in Scotland, “The Blue Bell Trilogy”.

To purchase Laura’s books, please visit here: LAURA VOSIKA’S AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Sunday Times Bestselling Author, Anne O’Brien, Stops by on Her Blog Tour for “The Queen’s Rival”

I am thrilled to welcome to the blog today, Anne O’Brien, the historical fiction author of the newly released “The Queen’s Rival”, as well a vast catalogue of books ranging in settings, from the War of the Roses all the way to the Regency era.

I had the privilege of reviewing Anne’s book, which is later on in this post. If you want to jump ahead, click HERE.

AUTHOR BIO

Sunday Times Bestselling author Anne O’Brien was born in West Yorkshire. After gaining a BA Honours degree in History at Manchester University and a Master’s in Education at Hull, she lived in East Yorkshire for many years as a teacher of history.

Today she has sold over 700,000 copies of her books medieval history novels in the UK and internationally. She lives with her husband in an eighteenth-century timber-framed cottage in the depths of the Welsh Marches in Herefordshire. The area provides endless inspiration for her novels which breathe life into the forgotten women of medieval history.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Website: https://www.anneobrienbooks.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anne_obrien

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anneobrienbooks/?ref=bookmarks

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anne-o-brien-89668a45/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/thisisanneobrie/_saved/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Anne-OBrien/e/B001HD1NHI

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51111864-the-queen-s-rival?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=MIYPBpVMFH&rank=1News Letter sign up: https://www.anneobrienbooks.com/

BOOK BLURB

The Queen’s Rival by Anne O’Brien

Book Title: The Queen’s Rival

Author: Anne O’Brien

Publication Date: 15th April 2021(paperback) September 2020 (Hardback and ebook)

Publisher: HarperCollins

Page Length: 531 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

England, 1459. 

One family united by blood. Torn apart by war…

The Wars of the Roses storm through the country, and Cecily Neville, Duchess of York, plots to topple the weak-minded King Henry VI from the throne.

But when the Yorkists are defeated at the battle of Ludford Bridge, Cecily’s family flee and abandon her to face a marauding Lancastrian army on her own.

Stripped of her lands and imprisoned in Tonbridge Castle, the Duchess begins to spin a web of deceit. One that will eventually lead to treason, to the fall of King Henry VI, and to her eldest son being crowned King Edward IV.

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Queens-Rival-Anne-OBrien/dp/0008225532

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Queens-Rival-Anne-OBrien/dp/0008225532

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Queens-Rival-Anne-OBrien/dp/0008225532

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Queens-Rival-Anne-OBrien/dp/0008225508

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-queens-rival-anne-obrien/1137842630

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-queens-rival/anne-obrien/9780008225544

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-queen-s-rival-the-sunday-times-bestselling-author-returns-with-a-gripping-historical-romance

Audio: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Queens-Rival-Audiobook/0008225524

Blackwells: https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/The-Queens-Rival-by-Anne-OBrien-author/9780008225544

WHSmith: https://www.whsmith.co.uk/products/the-queens-rival/anne-obrien/hardback/9780008225544.html

REVIEW

I received a copy of The Queen’s Rival on Netgalley for an honest review.

First and foremost, I applaud Anne O’Brien for tackling this topic, that of the War of the Roses, from the unique viewpoint of Cecily Neville, the Duchess of York, and I give her even more credit for presenting this book in the format that she chose. I must say, I have never read a historical novel done in this way and I was astounded at the perfection in which we are offered an insight into the minds of so many involved in this history. To be honest, I wasn’t sure at first that I was going to like reading letter entries from one character to another, a story being told this way, but after the first few, I was hooked. I think this is a remarkable way to get into a character’s mind, after all, what can be more intimate than a letter from one person to another. And then, with the smattering of news reports from the England’s Chronicle to round out the storyline and the personal messages of recipes betwixt sisters (Cecily, Anne, and Katharine), well, I think this was genius.
The story starts from the Duke of York’s rebellion against Henry VI, and his fleeing to Ireland, leaving his wife, Cecily, and their three youngest children at Ludlow Castle to face the forces of Lancaster. All told in letter form as she writes to her sisters, Anne, Duchess of Buckingham, and Katherine, Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, as well as other letters dispersed throughout between many other characters (Marguerite, Queen of England; Richard, Duke of York; etc.) From that development, we learn a great deal about Cecily’s mind set as she maneuvers her children, her sons, in an attempt to bring her husband’s wishes about in securing the throne of England under their rightful Yorkist claim.
Through this intimate way of communication, you truly delve deep into hearts and minds, and feel the passion of Cecily, not only for the royal blood she possesses but her love for her husband and her children, as well as her passionate dislikes.
I think the only thing that confused me a bit about the book is the title – “The Queen’s Rival” – Although I understood, I suppose, that Cecily was the rival of Queen Marguerite, and then eventually, in some respect, the rival as Queen Mother to her son’s wife after he became King; however, the title did not imbue, to me, what the story was truly about, that is, this brave and strong woman, Cecily, Duchess of York. Again, perhaps it was just my thoughts but that being said, the title did not at all distract from the brilliance of the story. I loved the depth and incredible research and the daring approach that Anne O’Brien took in retelling this tale in a very unique form. I highly recommend this book and give it five stars!!

CONTINUE FOLLOWING THE BLOG TOUR

Thank you, Anne, for stopping by The Hist Fic Chickie today and congratulations on your book, I truly enjoyed the read!!

For more info on the blog tour, you can stop by THE COFFEE POT BOOK CLUB to check out the next stop on the tour…. or you can click here:

WENDY J. DUNN’S OFFICIAL BLOG – May 4th

BOOK REVIEW – “A WIDER WORLD” BY KAREN HEENAN

After giving a resounding five stars for Songbird by Karen Heenan, her first book in The Tudor Court Series, I’ve had to take a step back from the next book, A Wider World. While the story continues with one of the characters introduced in Songbird, a young minstrel called Robin, who comes into contact with Bess and Tom through his own servitude to Cardinal Wolsey, I must say that I had a hard time connecting with his character. I was completely lost within the first few chapters as each chapter flip-flopped back and forth in time, from his beginnings back and forth to his current situation as an arrested heretic on his way to the Tower of London. I think it might be a good idea for a person to read Songbird first, and then A Wider World, to get some kind of bearing, which perhaps is what Ms Heenan wants in the first place. After pushing though the story, I came to the conclusion that I just particularly did not like Robin’s character and I think that is the reason that I did not enjoy his story. The opening quote at chapter one is “He that is discontented in one place will seldom be happy in another,” and I think this Ms Heenan portrays this quite well in his story. I want to like the character and enjoy his journey when I read a book, and I did not connect with him at all.

That all being said, Ms Heenan is a gifted writer and does well in her descriptions and immersion in history and revealing to us as readers another world… and in Robin’s case, several worlds as he travels the continent and becomes acquainted with the ‘wider world’. For Ms Heenan’s skill alone in offering a well-told story, another view of Tudor life, I give this book four stars. I received this copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

BOOK REVIEW – “SONGBIRD” BY KAREN HEENAN

What a way to retell a story about King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn!! If you’ve ever wanted to know about the inner workings of the household, told from a servant’s POV, one who was closely linked to the infamous King and his wives, well, this is the book to get. This is the story of Bess Davydd, a young girl bought by Henry VIII to become a minstrel for his court, a songstress whose voice is as a nightingales. During the storyline, you are offered brief glimpses and encounters with the royals (i.e. Henry and Anne) but the story is much more about Bess and her love interests – Tom, another bought minstrel, and Nick, a nobleman. The story is compact, well-developed, and stretches into the depths of emotions separating commoners from the high-born, as well as showing the commonality, the human element. If I have one negative, and perhaps it is only from my POV, I struggled with wrapping my head around her age, of how young she is when she starts to experience “love” and with her sounding like a woman at the age of ten to fourteen. I mean, I get it, I know from my own research into history that girls at that age and in that time period were wives and mothers by the time they were fourteen, even younger, but I did struggle a bit with it. However, my own feelings did not overwhelm the overall story, to which I enjoyed thoroughly. I give this book five stars and will highly recommend to anyone who loves books about the Tudor era.

My Interview with Johanna Wittenberg, Historical Fiction Author of The Norse Queen Series

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-phvcm-1021dde

Today I am joined by historical fiction author, Johanna Wittenberg, the author of the Norse Queen series, including “The Norse Queen”.

To purchase Johanna’s books, please visit here: Johanna Wittenberg’s Amazon Author Page

My Interview with Robert Hart, the author of “Through My Eyes. Again.”

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-5stg3-101650a

Check out this fascinating interview with Robert Hart, the author of “Through My Eyes. Again” a historical time-slip novel set during the days of the Cold War.

To purchase Robert’s book, please visit here: Robert Hart’s Amazon Author Page

My Interview with Mim EichmanN, historical fiction author of “A Sparrow Alone”

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-u7szv-10159a8

Mim has always been captivated by the letters, diaries and journals of late 19th and early 20th Century women, and how so many of these trailblazing women ultimately set the stage for women’s rights. After years of passionate research, she’s now put pen to paper and her historical fiction novels have finally become a reality.  Her debut work “A Sparrow Alone” was published by Living Springs Publishers on April 15, 2020 and the sequel, “Muskrat Ramble” was published on March 23, 2021.

Purchase Mim’s books here: Mim Eichmann’s Amazon Author Page