We are pleased to announce another fun Book Bingo (The Heart of History): A Virtual Adventure! If you are already familiar with our popular Southern California series that features NovelNetwork® authors, you will understand why we receive so many requests to expand the program nationwide. Pivoting to virtual events has made this not only possible, but offers up fun opportunities for exciting partnerships, participation by more of our over 150 book club favorite authors, and space to accommodate many more readers!
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to take a deep dive into the heart of history! This free event features presentations by book club favorite authors: Bryn Turnbull, Lucy Sanna, Florence Reiss Kraut, Howard Jay Smith, Loretta Ellsworth, and Kathi Diamant, an interactive virtual game of bingo, and fun prizes. All you have to do is show up (and why not invite your book club friends and fellow readers to join in as well) to learn about these great new reads!
While this event is free, your purchase of a book(s) below (to be shipped to you within the U.S.) provides much-needed support to these authors whose book tours and events have been canceled due to COVID-19.
Your Adventure includes a book discussion with all six authors, an interactive virtual game of Book Bingo, Q&A, prizes, and the opportunity to meet the authors via Zoom. Books may be ordered below for shipping within the U.S. and will include a signed bookplate. See below for registration information.
Bryn Turnbull is a writer of historical fiction. Equipped with a Master of Letters in Creative Writing from the University of St. Andrews and a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from McGill University, Bryn, who resides in Toronto, writes books intended to drive readers to similar levels of distraction – to transport them into different eras and different worlds.
Her novel, The Last Grand Duchess, takes readers behind palace walls to see the end of Imperial Russia through the eyes of Olga Nikolaevna Romanov, the first daughter of the last tsar
Grand Duchess Olga Romanov comes of age amid a shifting tide for the great dynasties of Europe. But even as unrest simmers in the capital, Olga is content to live within the confines of the sheltered life her parents have built for her and her three sisters: hiding from the world on account of their mother’s ill health, their brother Alexei’s secret affliction, and rising controversy over Father Grigori Rasputin, the priest on whom the tsarina has come to rely. Olga’s only escape from the seclusion of Alexander Palace comes from the grand tea parties her aunt hosts amid the shadow court of Saint Petersburg—a world of opulent ballrooms, scandalous flirtation, and whispered conversation.
But as war approaches, the palaces of Russia are transformed. Olga and her sisters trade their gowns for nursing habits, assisting in surgeries and tending to the wounded bodies and minds of Russia’s military officers. As troubling rumors about her parents trickle in from the front, Olga dares to hope that a budding romance might survive whatever the future may hold. But when tensions run high and supplies run low, the controversy over Rasputin grows into fiery protest, and calls for revolution threaten to end three hundred years of Romanov rule.
To schedule a book club visit with Bryn or any of our authors on NovelNetwork:
Lucy Sanna, novelist and science writer, has found success in venues ranging from novels and short stories to feature science articles and personal growth books. With an education in English literature, a nose for research, and a passion for sensual detail, Lucy easily moves through time, place, and voice, bringing both creative fancy and authenticity to her work.
The Cherry Harvest is a memorable coming-of-age story and love story, laced with suspense, which explores a hidden side of the home front during World War II, when German POWs were put to work in a Wisconsin farm community . . . with dark and unexpected consequences.
The war has taken a toll on the Christiansen family. With food rationed and money scarce, Charlotte struggles to keep her family well-fed. Her teenage daughter, Kate, raises rabbits to earn money for college and dreams of becoming a writer. Her husband, Thomas, struggles to keep the farm going while their son, and most of the other local men, are fighting in Europe.
When their upcoming cherry harvest is threatened, strong-willed Charlotte helps persuade local authorities to allow German war prisoners from a nearby camp to pick the fruit.
But when Thomas befriends one of the prisoners, a teacher named Karl, and invites him to tutor Kate, the implications of Charlotte’s decision become apparent—especially when she finds herself unexpectedly drawn to Karl. So busy are they with the prisoners that Charlotte and Thomas fail to see that Kate is becoming a young woman, with dreams and temptations of her own—including a secret romance with the son of a wealthy, war-profiteering senator. And when their beloved Ben returns home, bitter and injured, bearing an intense hatred of Germans, Charlotte’s secrets threaten to explode their world.
To schedule a book club visit with Lucy or any of our authors on NovelNetwork:
Florence Reiss Kraut is a native New Yorker, raised and educated in New York City. She holds a BA in English and a master’s in social work. She worked for thirty years as a clinician, a family therapist, and CEO of a family service agency while writing stories and essays for publication. Then she retired to devote herself to writing and traveling widely. She has published personal essays for the New York Times and her fiction has appeared in journals such as The Evening Street Press, SNReview, The Westchester Review and others.
Her novel, How to Make a Life, is an engaging and heartfelt portrayal of intergenerational trauma and hope.
When Ida and her daughter Bessie flee a catastrophic pogrom in Ukraine for America in 1905, they believe their emigration will ensure that their children and grandchildren will be safe from harm. But choices and decisions made by one generation have ripple effects on those who come later―and in the decades that follow, family secrets, betrayals, and mistakes made in the name of love threaten the survival of the family: Bessie and Abe Weissman’s children struggle with the shattering effects of daughter Ruby’s mental illness, of Jenny’s love affair with her brother-in-law, of the disappearance of Ruby’s daughter as she flees her mother’s legacy, and of the accidental deaths of Irene’s husband and granddaughter.
A sweeping saga that follows three generations from the tenements of Brooklyn through WWII, from Woodstock to India, and from Spain to Israel, How to Make a Life is the story of a family who must learn to accept each other’s differences―or risk cutting ties with the very people who anchor their place in the world.
To schedule a book club visit with Florence or any of our authors on NovelNetwork:
Howard Jay Smith is an award-winning writer from Santa Barbara, California. Beethoven in Love: Opus 139 and Meeting Mozart: From the Secret Diaries of Lorenzo da Ponte are respectively his third and fourth books along with Opening the Doors to Hollywood and John Gardner: an Interview.
He was recently awarded a John E. Profant Foundation for the Arts, Literature Division Scholarship, The James Buckley Excellence in Writing Award. Smith is a former Bread Loaf Scholar & Washington, D.C. Commission for the Arts Fellow, who taught for many years in the UCLA Extension Writers Program and has lectured nationally. His articles and photographs have appeared in the Washington Post, the Beethoven Journal, Horizon, the Journal of the Writers Guild of America, the Ojai Quarterly, and numerous trade publications.
While an executive at the ABC Television, Embassy TV, and Academy Home Entertainment he worked on numerous film television, radio and commercial projects. He serves on the board of directors of the Santa Barbara Symphony and is a member of the American Beethoven Society.
To schedule a book club visit with Howard or any of our authors on NovelNetwork:
Loretta Ellsworth earned a master’s degree in Writing for Children from Hamline University. She’s the author of four young adult novels: The Shrouding Woman, a Rebecca Caudill nominee; In Search of Mockingbird, which won the Midwest Bookseller’s Choice Honor Award, was a Teen’s Top Ten finalist, an IRA Notable, and was named to the New York Library’s List of Books for the Teen Age; In a Heartbeat, which was named a spring Midwest Connection’s Pick and an ALA Notable; and Unforgettable, which was a Kirkus Pick of the Month.
Mesmerizing and romantic, Stars Over Clear Lake transports readers to the Surf Ballroom, where musical acts became legends in the 1940s and which holds the key to one woman’s deepest secret.
Lorraine Kindred’s most cherished memories are of the Surf Ballroom, the place where youth lost themselves to the brassy sounds and magnetic energy of the big band swing, where boys spent their last nights before shipping off to war―and where Lorraine herself was swept away by a star-crossed romance.
Returning to the ballroom for the first time in decades, Lorraine enters a dazzling world she thought long vanished. But as the sparkling past comes to life, so does the fateful encounter that forced her to choose between her heart and her duty all those years ago―and Lorraine must face the secret she’s buried ever since. Along the way, she’ll rediscover herself, her passion, and her capacity for resilience.
To schedule a book club visit with Loretta or any of our authors on NovelNetwork:
Kathi Diamant is an award-winning author, actor, broadcaster and adjunct professor at San Diego State University, where she leads the Kafka Project, the official international search to recover a lost literary treasure, the missing writings of Franz Kafka.
Kathi’s award-winning book, Kafka’s Last Love: The Mystery of Dora Diamant has been reviewed by more than 60 publications and websites, internationally lauded for its original research and revelations into Dora and Kafka’s lives. It has been published in the US, UK, and in translation in Spain, France, Russia, China and Brazil, with excerpts published in literary arts journals and in other books.
Her new book, Heart of the Zoo: How San Diego Zoo Director Chuck Bieler Earned His Stripes, is publishing just in time for Valentine’s Day.
To schedule a book club visit with Kathi or any of our authors on NovelNetwork:
Are you in a book club, library reading group, or is your group of friends, colleagues, family members seeking fabulous authors who are excited and available to meet with you? Then you will be delighted to know that Bryn Turnbull, Lucy Sanna, Florence Reiss Kraut, Howard Jay Smith, Loretta Ellsworth, and Kathi Diamant are all members of our wonderful community of over 150 NovelNetwork authors available to meet with small groups via video chat.
NovelNetwork is the nation’s first and only match(dot)com for authors and book clubs to find each other, so check it out today. Book clubs join for free and gain access to our database of dozens of authors, from NYT and international bestsellers to debut authors, cookbook authors, mystery and non-fiction authors, and representing various regions of the United States, and even Alaska and Hawaii, all of whom want to meet with you!
To schedule a visit with Bryn Turnbull, Lucy Sanna, Florence Reiss Kraut, Howard Jay Smith, Loretta Ellsworth, Kathi Diamant
or any of our authors, join FOR FREE here.