Who’s That Indie Author? Eileen Stephenson

Author name: Eileen Stephenson

Genre:  Historical Fiction and History

Books: Tales of Byzantium, Imperial Passions – The Porta Aurea, and Byzantine History in the 11th Century – A Brief Introduction

What’s your story and how did you become a writer? I grew up loving history and stories about far off places, and I had a dream about being a writer, but could not decide what to write about. Eventually, I got into a day job in finance, married and had three daughters before I found my subjects – Anna Dalassena and the Byzantines.

How do you balance your work with other demands? I still have a day job so the time I can devote to writing is limited to nights and weekends (when family needs don’t interfere). I will be leaving the day job this summer and I’m already working on a schedule to increase my productivity.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life:  When I attended my first Historical Novel Society Conference in London in 2012 and realized that I had finally found my people.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  I write about historical people and the events they lived through, so planning is critical. However, you can’t plan everything!

Could you write in a café with people around? No, I can’t even write with music playing. Silence is golden.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it? Not that ambitious!

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now? Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander is my favorite for entertainment, while John Julius Norwich’s A Short History of Byzantium is my favorite for inspiration. I just finished Philippa Gregory’s first novel, Wideacre, so trying to decide on the next book now. 

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader?  I prefer eReaders for fiction and entertainment. Paper of any kind for research material.

Do you think print books will always be around? Yes.

Would you ever read a book on your phone? Only when desperate due to my chronic case of abibliophobia (fear of being without books).

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else? The day job keeps me tethered with an iPhone, so I think that’s what I’ll always use.

How long could you go without checking your phone? Let’s not go into that. I’m working on it.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening? Yes, my daily commute is crazy; I’ve kept my sanity with audiobooks.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform?  I am on Facebook and Twitter and love them both. The people fascinated with Byzantine history are all over the world. Social media has connected me to them and helped me find many of my readers.

Website and social media links:
Website: eileenstephenson.com
Twitter: @Byzyeileen
Facebook: Eileen Stephenson

Awards/special recognition: All of my books have been awarded the Indie/B.R.A.G. gold medallion. Imperial Passions – The Porta Aurea has been recommended by Discovering Diamonds – Independent Reviews of the Best in Historical Fiction. Imperial Passions – The Porta Aurea was a semi-finalist for the Chaucer Book Awards by Chanticleer Book Reviews & Media.


Are you an indie or self-published author?  Do you want to build your author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

Who’s That Indie Author? Matthew Arnold Stern

Author name:  Matthew Arnold Stern

Genre:  Fiction (historical, adult, occupational, alternate history) and non-fiction (public speaking)

Books:  Amiga (fiction 2019), Mastering Table Topics (non-fiction 2015), Doria (fiction 2011), Offline (fiction 2005)

What’s your story and how did you become a writer?  I started writing in high school. I’ve been writing professionally since 1983. I self-published my first novel, Offline, in 2005. Amiga was my first book accepted by a publisher.

How do you balance your work with other demands? By setting limits. It’s easy to overcommit. I’ve learned to schedule, prioritize, and say “no.” My highest priority is health. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to do anything else.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life: There are many, especially times with my family. My most transcendent was in Freiburg, Germany. I visited the Freiburg Münster, the main cathedral built in the Middle Ages. The beauty and antiquity of this building offered me with a powerful spiritual moment.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner? I start with an outline, but once I start writing, all bets are off. My characters develop minds of their own. I have to be willing to change the story so it makes sense for them.

Could you write in a café with people around? Yes. While my wife was in a class, I went to a nearby Starbucks and wrote until her class was over. Because my time is limited, I write wherever and whenever I can.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it? I use Spanish in Amiga, but only in a small amount and very carefully. When you use a second language, you have to get it right and make sure the story makes sense to readers who don’t know that language.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now? I just finished The Blue Rat by Michael Hartnett. It’s a twisty modern noir with social commentary and explorations of parts of New York most don’t get to see.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader?  I’m reading more indie books, which are usually available in Kindle. I get paperback or hardcover for books with photographs and ones I want to refer to later.

Do you think print books will always be around? Absolutely. As a writer, print books make great selling tools. At my events, people pick them up and thumb through them. They may buy the eBook later, but they like to handle a physical book.

Would you ever read a book on your phone? EReaders are like cameras: the best device is the one you have with you. The Kindle is better for reading, but I’ll read a book on my iPhone if I don’t have my Kindle with me.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else? I’m a card-carrying member of the Cult of Mac. I’m Apple everything—iPhone 7, MacBook Pro, and iPads for the family.

How long could you go without checking your phone? It’s a reflex. I can’t go without checking every few minutes because there is always an email or a social media notification. It’s sad, actually.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening? I tried audiobooks, but I can’t multitask when listening. Reading requires my full attention.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform? You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit as maswriter. I’ve built good connections with writing communities on Facebook and Twitter.

Website and social media links:  Visit matthewarnoldstern.com, which has links to my social media and pages on Goodreads and Amazon.

Awards/special recognition:  Distinguished Toastmaster, Distinguished Technical Communications, Moderator of author panels at Indie Author Day and the Anaheim Library.


Are you an indie or self-published author?  Do you want to build your author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

On blogging and menu pages

If you’re interested in seeing what I’ve read since the beginning of Book Club Mom, check out the yearly “Books of…” in the top menu. Here’s a quick run-down of them:


Books of 2013

Book Club Mom was born in 2013. Understanding blogging takes a while and learning how to write proper book reviews takes even longer. So this was the year of figuring it out. But I read a lot in 2013. Classics, new books, Young Adult and several random books. And some terrific 5-star reads, including Gone With the WindThe Giver, To Kill a Mockingbird and Life After Life.


Books of 2014

This year I read a lot of short fiction and re-read some of my favorite children’s books. I also mixed it up with my favorite classics – Jane Eyre, The Great Gatsby, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Lord of the Flies, a wildly popular book of the time, Me Before You, and one of my favorite reads of the year, The Interestings.

And 2014 was also the year when I re-read my all-time favorite book, Youngblood Hawke!


Books of 2015

This year I read a variety of genres, including short fiction, and dipped into some nonfiction. I remember loving The Sound and the Fury when I was in college, but I had a hard time getting through it this time! I re-read one of my favorites, The Grapes of Wrath and read Julius Caesar because one of my kids was reading it in school.

I had never read Slaughterhouse Five and was blown away by it. What a book! And of course, All the Light We Cannot See was an unforgettable story. Some popular books and some fun ones rounded out the year.


Books of 2016

This year I did two things that were different. I started writing articles based on books I’d read for a website. And I got a job in a public library. I did my first summer reading challenge which had me reading different types of books. I also renewed my interest in thrillers and historical fiction. I went on a Hemingway kick and reread A Farewell to Arms, The Old Man and the Sea and read A Moveable Feast for the first time. And this was the year I read some great indie and self-published books, including Eating Bull by Carrie and Calmer Girls by Jennifer Kelland Perry.  Some nonfiction rounded things out, including The Ghost Map, which one of my kids had to read for his freshman seminar in college.


Books of 2017

2017 was a different year because I started to get more into thrillers. It’s fun to mix them in to other types of books. I also started helping out with the Whodunits Mystery Book Club at the library where I work, so I took up mysteries. That’s a genre I hadn’t read much of before and I read some excellent ones like Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter and The Lewis Trilogy, which is set in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. I did our library’s summer reading challenge again and read some different books, like The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and Black Beauty.

I also read two books by my author friends, The Seneca Scourge by Carrie Rubin (don’t read this on an airplane! 😬) and Calmer Secrets by Jennifer Kelland Perry, a great sequel to Calmer Girls.


Books of 2018

2018 was the year I started listening to audiobooks. I’d never tried them and wanted to “hear” what they were all about. Although I still prefer reading books, I found that listening to audiobooks was a fun way to pass the time while I was walking or doing things around the house. I learned, however, not to listen while I was cooking because of a measuring incident while listening to a thriller!

I read some excellent nonfiction this year, including Killers of the Flower Moon, Educated and Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. And I continued to enjoy several of my blogging/writing friends’ books, including The Bone Curse by Carrie Rubin, The Storyteller Speaks by Annika Perry, Second Chance Romance by Jill Weatherholt and Death in a Mudflat by Noelle Granger.


Books of 2019

2019 was a great reading year. I listened to more audiobooks, read mysteries for work, and talked more with my work friends about what books were hot, which led to me reading (and listening to) Long Way Down and What If? and reading Lab Girl and The Beneficiary. I read a few debut books that became really hot during the year, The Silent Patient and Miracle Creek.

Several 5-star reads included In Cold Blood, Less and Where the Crawdads Sing.


Books of 2020

Just getting started!


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Book Review: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

A Gentleman in Moscow
by
Amor Towles

Rating:

In 1922, Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov appears before Russia’s Emergency Committee of the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs. It’s all because of a 1913 revolutionary poem published in Rostov’s name, deeming him a threat to the country. Instead of execution or a trip to Siberia, the Committee orders the Count to serve the rest of his days under house arrest at the famous Metropol Hotel in Moscow, where the new Bolshevik regime has taken over the second floor.

Rostov has lived in luxury at the hotel for four years, but his new chambers are in the hotel’s crowded attic and he must abandon most of his belongings. And so begins the Count’s new life within the walls of the hotel.

Rostov may be accustomed to riches, but that hasn’t made him soft. He knows that “if a man does not master his circumstances then he is bound to be mastered by them.”

In a terrific story that spans over thirty years, Rostov redefines his “citizenship” at the hotel, which is the center of Russian history, culture, politics and international travel. And just as the Metropol is the hub of activity, the Count becomes central to many relationships, both personal and political.

From a charming nine-year-old girl, Nina, to a moody chef, an exacting maître d’, a seamstress, a famous actress, politicians, businessmen, an old friend and many others, these relationships expose Rostov to the country’s great social and political upheaval and the Western world’s reaction to it. Insulated from hardship and persecution, the Count may just be “the luckiest man in all of Russia.”

In 1938, Nina returns to the hotel and asks Rostov a great favor, and this is when the Count’s life’s purpose begins. Story lines and relationships take on new meanings as Rostov, now an older man, plans for the future.

I loved every word of this book because it includes all the things I value in a great story: historical setting, passage of time, strong relationships, loss, big themes, and an interconnected plot that comes together by equal amounts of planning and chance.

What a feat for Towles to create such a relatable character as Rostov. Although the Count’s aristocratic life has made him into one man, it’s his ability to adapt and his empathy for people that makes him so endearing. Towles mixes that in with a proper man’s honor, a sentimental soft spot and adventuresome wile, making Rostov’s character one I will think about for years to come.

I highly recommend A Gentleman in Moscow. I was a little late to the party in reading it, but I’m in good company. It made Bill Gates’s top reads of 2019 (see the list here and read his Goodreads review here).

Have you read A Gentleman in Moscow? What did you think?

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BC Mom’s Author Update: Kevin Brennan announces publication of new political thriller: Eternity Began Tomorrow

Welcome to Book Club Mom’s Author Update. Open to all authors who want to share news with readers. I recently caught up with Kevin Brennan, who has news about his new political thriller, Eternity Began Tomorrow. Here’s what Kevin has to say:


After taking three years away from indie publishing to query agents on some literary fiction I had in my vault, I decided to write a new novel for the indie market. With climate change in the news nearly every day, and Greta Thunberg storming the nation, a political thriller surrounding the climate-change debate and our current political condition is the result: Eternity Began Tomorrow.

Here’s the jacket blurb:

When Molly “Blazes” Bolan, a young hotshot reporter for an online news outlet, is assigned the biggest story of her career, she’s eager to run with it. Her subject, John Truthing, has built a cultish organization called “Eternity Began Tomorrow” to fight climate change, and it’s starting to snowball big time. As Blazes digs in, she’s both impressed and disturbed by Truthing, a charismatic eco-warrior with revolutionary ideas. Disturbed because his followers are mainly millennials, all hooked on a drug called Chillax and so devoted they would jump off a cliff if he asked it of them. Fact by fact, Blazes uncovers the truth about Chillax, the truth about its maker, Lebensraum Enterprises of Liechtenstein, and the truth about Truthing himself. And just as Molly’s own brother, Rory, gets recruited into the group, Truthing announces his run for president in 2020 as an independent. Blazes knows that the final story in her EBT series could destroy his movement, but she’s torn. The cause is worthy. The stakes are high. And the election of 2020 could decide the fate of life on earth. If Trump wins reelection, it’s all over.

A provocative exploration of society, politics, and human nature in an era of conflict and mistrust, Eternity Began Tomorrow shows us that the truth is never easy to confront and the political is always personal.

One awesome benefit of being an indie author is that we can write and publish our books in a super-timely manner, so EBT, as I like to call it, is actually set in today’s world, i.e., right now. It starts in October 2019 and takes us through the summer of 2020, when—as you might predict—all hell is likely to break loose.

I don’t expect the events in EBT to actually take place, but the book offers plenty of food for thought in this crazy political climate. The world is getting hotter, and so is our own national scene.

Eternity Began Tomorrow is an Amazon exclusive, available right now as an eBook, for $0.99, with a paperback to come in 2020. Check it out here.

In addition to Eternity Began Tomorrow, Kevin is the author of five previous books: Parts Unknown, Yesterday Road, Occasional Soulmates, Town Father, and Fascination. Learn more here.

Be sure to check out Kevin’s WordPress blog, What the Hell. You can also find him on Facebook @kevinbrennanbooks, on Twitter @kevinbrennan520 and on Goodreads.


For information about Book Club Mom’s Author Update,
email bvitelli2009@gmail.com.

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Book Club Mom’s November recap

Well Thanksgiving week threw me for a blogging loop and, while I did read a book during that time, I didn’t get on my blog much!

But I had a good November, so here’s a rundown in case you missed anything:


Just three books this month, but sometimes that’s how it goes.

Back of Beyond by C. J. Box – we read this for my mystery book club at the library where I work. Our whole group gave it high ratings. C. J. Box writes a lot of books and he knows what he’s doing!

Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben – I like Harlan Coben’s books, but this one was a little disappointing. Still, I’m sure I’ll read more by him.

Less by Andrew Sean Greer – By far one of the best books I’ve read all year. Less won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2017. I highly recommend it.


BC Mom’s Author Update:
Author Roberta Eaton Cheadle announces
publication of Through the Nethergate

BC Mom’s Author Update is open to all authors who have news to share.
Email me at bvitelli2009@gmail.com for more information.

I introduced two indie authors this month, Cage Dunn and Chloe Helton. Be sure to visit these posts and say hello:

Who’s That Indie Author? Cage Dunn
Who’s That Indie Author? Chloe Helton

If you are a self-published or indie author and would like to be profiled on Book Club Mom,
email me at bvitelli2009@gmail.com and I’ll send you a template.

I love thinking about book trends and here’s one I discovered:

Books with commanding titles – a new trend?


Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. Here are the top 20 on my list:

Book Club Mom’s top 20 historical fiction books


Source: brainsonfire.com

I’m always thinking about blogging and the news that Instagram has been considering permanently doing away with “likes” got me talking. I’m not an Instagrammer, and I don’t care much about Facebook, but I think WordPress bloggers want to see the likes.

Blog views and other obsessions – followers, views, likes and comments


Images: Pixabay

We all make grammar mistakes, so it’s good to review some of the rules:

Grammar check – past tenses of dream, learn, dive,
loan and lend – what are they?


Just a sentimental memory as we gear up for the holidays:

Thanksgiving Memories When You’re Small


And this post got a lot of discussion. Most of you think the classic editor is the way to go. Someday we will all have to move to the new WordPress block editor. Despite the negative comments, I’m still considering the switch.

Blogging with the new WordPress Editor – are you using the blocks?

That was my month – how was yours?

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Book Club Mom’s top 20 historical fiction books

Image: Pixabay

Historical fiction is one of my favorite reading genres, and I know I’m not alone! Here’s a list of my top 20 historical fiction books:

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr


The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent


Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier


The Hours Count by Jillian Cantor
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck


Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman
Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan


Mary Coin by Marisa Silver
Refugee by Alan Gratz
The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy


Some definitions of historical fiction state that the book needs to be set 25-50 years prior to when it is published and that most of the novel’s concept and background should be based on the author’s research of the time period. There is some debate over certain books, like To Kill a Mockingbird, which was published 24 years after the time period and The Grapes of Wrath, in which the characters represent “nameless thousands.” I have always considered both historical fiction. What do you think? Are there any books on my list that don’t fit the definition? Check out the links below for further discussion.

bookriot.com
study.com on To Kill a Mockingbird
study.com on The Grapes of Wrath
wikipedia.org
What is historical fiction and does it have to be totally accurate?

What are your favorite historical fiction books?

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Who’s That Indie Author? Chloe Helton

Author name:  Chloe Helton

Genre:  Historical fiction

BooksThe Red Pearl, Culpa, Sanguis (and more)

What’s your story and how did you become a writer?  At age 10, my first novel about Queen Elizabeth I was published on Wattpad and became popular after it was featured. Since then, I’ve written five additional historical novels from various time periods – the Civil War, the Revolutionary War, and a duet about Ancient Rome.

How do you balance your work with other demands?  I also work full-time in real estate. I get up early before work every morning to write, and on nights and weekends. I’ve found that small, consistent steps can work wonders – so the fact that I write every day, even if it’s not always a lot, allows me to finish things quickly.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life:  I sat in the front row of a Paul McCartney concert!

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  Both. I usually “pants” the first draft and then use it as a basis to plot the second draft. It can be difficult to plot without having a sense of the character’s voice, which is why I usually wing it the first time to get into the character before using the second draft as an opportunity to lock in the structure of the story.

Could you write in a café with people around?  That’s how I do it every morning! My local Peet’s knows to put extra whipped cream on my drink.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it?  Not much, but I’ll throw in words. For example, my characters in Culpa and Sanguis would have spoken Latin, so I peppered their speech with some Latin words when appropriate.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now?  Mm! Right now, I’m reading The Alchemy of Noise by a fellow indie author Lorraine Devon Wilke. Normally, I stick with historical fiction: Philippa Gregory, Kate Quinn, and Michelle Moran were the ones who got me started, so anything by them is a favorite.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader?  Kindle. I spent a lot of money on Kindle books.

Do you think print books will always be around?  Yes.

Would you ever read a book on your phone?  I have done so – I prefer a Kindle because, even though I can see the book fine on my phone, it just feels wrong somehow. I try to use my phone only for texts and calls as much as possible, and not use it as a “smartphone.” It’s difficult!

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else?  Android. I’ve had a few Android phones in a row now and I prefer them.

How long could you go without checking your phone?  I often shove my phone to the bottom of my purse and won’t check it for several hours. My friends love it when they’re trying to get a hold of me.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening?  Yes! Podcasts, too. Usually while driving, because I do a fair amount of driving for work.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform?  I love my email newsletter! (You can join it on my website). But blogs have been a great source of attention. Goodreads and Bookbub are also great.

Website and social media links:
Book and newsletter sign-up: chloeheltonbooks.com
Facebook: @chloeheltonbooks
Twitter: @heltonbooks


Are you an indie or self-published author?  Do you want to build your author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

Refugee by Alan Gratz

Refugee
by
Alan Gratz

Rating:

I don’t know where to begin in gushing about this Young Adult historical novel about three refugee children, caught in different periods of conflict, who flee their countries in search of safety and a better life.

Josef is twelve years old in 1938, living in Berlin, Germany. Hitler is driving Jewish families like his out of the country. To escape, he and his family leave their home and board the St. Louis for Cuba, where they hope to find safety.

Isabel is eleven in Havana, Cuba when her family climbs into a makeshift boat and heads for Miami, Florida. Extreme poverty and dangerous riots have left them no choice. The year is 1994 and Fidel Castro has just announced that anyone who wants to leave is free to go. But will they be welcomed in Miami?

Mahmoud is twelve, living in Aleppo, Syria. It is 2015 and his home has just been destroyed, the result of an ongoing vicious civil war. He and his family take what they can and depart for Turkey, the first of many stops, hoping to make their way to safety in Germany.

In alternating stories, Josef, Isabel and Mahmoud face unpredictable danger and catastrophe as they desperately try to keep their families together. They learn hard lessons on how to choose between being visible and invisible. Each discovers that, by being invisible, they escape many dangers, but miss chances for others to help them. Not knowing when to hide and when to speak out, Mahmoud realizes, “good and bad things happened either way.”

All three children are forced to act as leaders, when family members are hurt or weakened. Gratz describes these heartbreaking transformations in which each understands that they must choose, often quickly, and act on their new-adult instincts in order to save their loved ones.

Although the children are from different times, Gratz has connected their stories through the shared experiences and emotions of leaving their homelands and traveling by boat and foot. Surprise connections make this story even more meaningful.

Refugee was published in 2017 and has gained momentum to be included in many middle and high school curriculums. It is a New York Times Notable Book, an Amazon Best Book of the Year, and both Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year. Although it is a Young Adult book, I highly recommend it for all readers because it shows, for all of us, the importance of understanding the desperate plights that refugees have suffered.

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We Are All Good People Here by Susan Rebecca White

We Are All Good People Here
by
Susan Rebecca White

Rating:

What’s the best way to make things right? From within the system or something more drastic? This story about friendship and social change begins in 1962 when Daniella Gold and Eve Whalen become roommates at Belmont College in Roanoke, Virginia. Eve, a future debutante, is from a wealthy family in Atlanta and at home with the established southern ways. Daniella is half-Jewish and from a middle class family in Washington, D.C. Despite their differences, they become fast friends.

The girls begin their journey down widening paths when they learn about their dormitory maid’s hours and living conditions. Eve, despite having a black maid at home, is appalled and feels she must act immediately. Daniella, a careful thinker, thinks there are better ways to help. This is the first of many moments with surprise results that cause friction in the young women’s friendship.

We Are All Good People Here spans thirty years of ups and downs. Set in Virginia, New York and Atlanta, during a period of protests about racial inequality and the Vietnam War, Eve and Daniella both believe they can make a difference. While Daniella prefers to work through the system, Eve hooks up with groups that are ready to take action, and as time passes, becomes more radical in her beliefs as she aligns with violent revolutionaries.

Chasms widen and are then bridged as Eve and Daniella become mothers. Good times are peppered with tragedy and loss, with new pressures on their friendship. Throughout, White’s characters suffer, rebound and emerge in different ways.

While I enjoyed reading this historical novel, I felt the characters were flat and stereotyped, playing second fiddle to the author’s attempt at including as many historical references as she could. That said, I learned a few new things about this time period. I just felt it could have been better balanced.

I also thought the cover was misleading. I enjoyed the optical illusion and was attracted to the book right away, but I did not see how the image, which seems very modern, related to the story.

We Are All Good People is a fast read and highlights an important period of American history and social change.

Want more reviews? Here’s one reader who loved it and one who felt the same as I did. Check them out!

“An extraordinary book that spans generations, explores momentous times in American history, and gives readers a in-depth look into complex family relationships.” We Are All Good People Here by Susan Rebecca White @SimonSchusterCA #HistoricalFiction #Review #BookBlogger

We Are All Good People Here By Susan Rebecca White Demonstrates Her Spectacular Historical Research… But What Happened To The Story? ARC Review- Released 8/6

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