I know it’s almost time for the December Gang Roundup, but I really wanted to post at least once this month.
My working schedule has been so crazy and hectic lately that I didn’t manage to do any writing. But I hate to neglect my blog.
So, here it is, a small roundup, and quite a few titles coming out soon set in our favourite era.
I hope you’ll enjoy it.
When studying history, there’s nothing more insidious than giving anything for granted. Things that are so familiar and common for us may lead us to believe that it was always like that.
In truth, the further back we go, the less we can take for granted or assume thing were as they are now. But even for a relatively close time like the 1920s, some things are surprisingly different.
This short article explores how traffic lights evolve, especially in their colour code, during the first half of the 1920s.
A really great article about the Spanish Influenza epidemic of 100 years ago and how it shaped the life of all the following generations.
It was a huge events that spread all over the globe, hitting all populations, changing the bahavious and sometimes the beliefs of many people.
And it sound eerily similar to the Covid-19 pandemic of today.
I really like this collection of 1920s photos. Not many of them, but mostly interesting. I’ve never seen several of them, like this one.
Madame C.J. Walker was one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire. In the 1920s and 1930s, her hair products specific for African American women were extremely popular, but she didn’t just sell her products. She sold a dream and awareness for many women.
So many new stories coming out in the next few weeks. Here are a few of them.
In A Far Off Landby Stephanie Landsem
As the Great Depression hits the Midwest, Minerva Sinclaire runs away to Hollywood, determined to make it big and save the family farm. But beauty and moxie don’t pay the bills in Tinseltown and she’s caught in a downward spiral of poverty, desperation, and compromise. Finally, she’s about to sign with a major studio and make up for it all. Instead, she wakes up next to a dead film star and is on the run for a murder she didn’t commit.
Only two unwilling men—Oscar, a Mexican gardener in danger of deportation, and Max, a too-handsome agent battling his own demons—can help her escape the studio bigshots trying to frame her and corrupt police on the take. But Mina’s quick-thinking and grit can’t save her from herself. Alone, penniless, and carrying a shameful secret, Mina faces the consequences of the heartbreaking choices that brought her to ruin . . . and just might bring her back to where she belongs.
A story about the price of fame, the truth sacrificed on its altar, and the love that brings a prodigal daughter home.
The Radio Operator by Ulla Lenze
Based on a true story, a gripping historical novel about a German immigrant who becomes embroiled in a Nazi spy ring operating in New York City in the early days of World War II.
At the end of the 1930s, Europe is engulfed in war. Though America is far from the fighting, the streets of New York have become a battlefield. Anti-Semitic and racist groups spread hate, while German nationalists celebrate Hitler’s strength and power. Josef Klein, a German immigrant, remains immune to the troubles roiling his adopted city. The multicultural neighborhood of Harlem is his world, a lively place full of sidewalk tables where families enjoy their dinner and friends indulge in games of chess.
Josef’s great passion is the radio. His skill and technical abilities attract the attention of influential men who offer him a job as a shortwave operator. But when Josef begins to understand what they’re doing, it’s too late; he’s already a little cog in the big wheel—part of a Nazi espionage network working in Manhattan. Discovered by American authorities, Josef is detained at Ellis Island, and eventually deported to Germany.
Back in his homeland, fate leads him to his brother Carl’s family, soap merchants in Neuss—where he witnesses the seductive power of the Nazis and the war’s terrible consequences—and finally to South America, where Josef hopes to start over again as José. Eventually, Josef realizes that no matter how far he runs or how hard he tries, there is one indelible truth he cannot escape: How long can you hide from your own past, before it catches up with you?
The Light of Luna Park by Addison Armstrong
New York, 1926. Student nurse Althea Anderson’s heart is near breaking when she witnesses another premature baby die at Bellevue Hospital. When she reads an article detailing the amazing survival rates of babies treated in incubators in an exhibit at Luna Park on Coney Island, it feels like the miracle she has been searching for. But the doctors at Bellevue dismiss Althea and this unconventional medicine, forcing her to make a choice between a baby’s life and the doctors’ wishes that will change everything.
1951: Stella Wright is falling apart. Her mother has just passed away, she’s forced to quit the teaching job she loves, and her marriage is struggling. Until she discovers a letter that brings into question everything she knew about her mother, and everything she knows about herself.
The Light of Luna Park is a tale of courage and an ode to the sacrificial love of mothers.
The Glory of Their Deeds by Benjamin White-Patarino
It was the war to end all wars…
When Emily Culver’s brother William and his best friend James leave their small Colorado town to fight in France, Emily joins the Red Cross. After all, William isn’t just her brother—he’s her closest friend and confidant, and she won’t sit idly by at home while he risks his life for the Allied cause. And James? After the life-or-death stakes of wartime transform Emily and James’s mutual dislike into romance, she would risk anything to help win the War and bring both him and her brother home in one piece.
At the dawn of a new peace, the ghosts of war haunt them…
Eighteen months later, Emily returns from France alone. The Army marked William missing and presumed dead only a few days before the end of the War, and after James’s letters to her stopped coming, she assumes he has met the same fate. Emily hopes the Army will bring William and James home alive, or at least reveal their final resting place, but the War taught her that hope often leads to heartbreak.
But James is alive, and he returns from the War with a terrible secret. He knows exactly how William met his fate and holds himself responsible for it. Torn between relieving Emily’s anguish at not knowing her brother’s end and sparing her the horror of his last moments, James walks a terrible line between loyalty and betrayal, lies and the truth. As they struggle against the legacy of war and death to rebuild their lives, Emily and James will learn that the greatest battle of all is coming home.
Lost and Found by Liv Rancourt
A dancer who cannot dance and a doctor who cannot heal find in each other the strength to love.
History books will call it The Great War, but for Benjamin Holm, that is a misnomer. The war is a disaster, a calamity, and it leaves Benjamin profoundly wounded, his mind and memory shattered. A year after Armistice, still struggling to regain his mental faculties, he returns to Paris in search of his closest friend, Elias.
Benjamin meets Louis Donadieu, a striking and mysterious dance master. Though Louis is a difficult man to know, he offers to help Benjamin. Together they search the cabarets, salons, and art exhibits in the newly revitalized city on the brink of les années folles (the Crazy Years). Almost despite himself, Benjamin breaches Louis’s defenses, and the two men discover an unexpected passion.
As his memory slowly returns, Benjamin will need every ounce of courage he possesses to recover Elias’s story. He and Louis will need even more than that to lay claim to the love – and the future – they deserve.
Wild Women and the Blues by Denny S. Bryce
Jazz-age Chicago comes to vibrant life in Denny S. Bryce’s evocative novel that links the stories of an ambitious 1920’s chorus girl and a modern-day film student, both coming to grips with loss, forgiveness, and the limitations–and surprises–of love.
“Why would I talk to you about my life? I don’t know you, and even if I did, I don’t tell my story to just any boy with long hair, who probably smokes weed.You wanna hear about me. You gotta tell me something about you. To make this worth my while.”
1925: Chicago is the jazz capital of the world, and the Dreamland Café is the ritziest black-and-tan club in town. Honoree Dalcour is a sharecropper’s daughter, willing to work hard and dance every night on her way to the top. Dreamland offers a path to the good life, socializing with celebrities like Louis Armstrong and filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. But Chicago is also awash in bootleg whiskey, gambling, and gangsters. And a young woman driven by ambition might risk more than she can stand to lose.
2015: Film student Sawyer Hayes arrives at the bedside of 110-year-old Honoree Dalcour, still reeling from a devastating loss that has taken him right to the brink. Sawyer has rested all his hope on this frail but formidable woman, the only living link to the legendary Oscar Micheaux. If he’s right–if she can fill in the blanks in his research, perhaps he can complete his thesis and begin a new chapter in his life. But the links Honoree makes are not ones he’s expecting . . .
Piece by piece, Honoree reveals her past and her secrets, while Sawyer fights tooth and nail to keep his. It’s a story of courage and ambition, hot jazz and illicit passions. And as past meets present, for Honoree, it’s a final chance to be truly heard and seen before it’s too late. No matter the cost . . .