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The City of Palaces
by Michael Nava

Publication Date: September 15, 2020
Amble Press
Hardcover, Paperback, & eBook

Genre: Fiction/Literary/Hispanic & Latino/Historical/Cultural Heritage/Gay

 

 

In the years before the Mexican Revolution, Mexico is ruled by a tiny elite that apes European culture, grows rich from foreign investment, and prizes racial purity. The vast majority of Mexicans, who are native or of mixed native and Spanish blood, are politically powerless and slowly starving to death. Presiding over this corrupt system is Don Porfirio Díaz, the ruthless and inscrutable president of the Republic.

Against this backdrop, The City of Palaces opens in a Mexico City jail with the meeting of Miguel Sarmiento and Alicia Gavilán. Miguel is a principled young doctor, only recently returned from Europe but wracked by guilt for a crime he committed as a medical student ten years earlier. Alicia is the spinster daughter of an aristocratic family. Disfigured by smallpox, she has devoted herself to working with the city’s destitute. This unlikely pair―he a scientist and atheist and she a committed Christian―will marry. Through their eyes and the eyes of their young son, José, readers follow the collapse of the old order and its bloody aftermath.

The City of Palaces is a sweeping novel of interwoven lives: Miguel and Alicia; José, a boy as beautiful and lonely as a child in a fairy tale; the idealistic Francisco Madero, who overthrows Díaz but is nevertheless destroyed by the tyrant’s political system; and Miguel’s cousin Luis, shunned as a “sodomite.” A glittering mosaic of the colonial past and the wealth of the modern age, The City of Palaces is a story of faith and reason, cathedrals and hovels, barefoot street vendors and frock-coated businessmen, grand opera and silent film, presidents and peasants, the living and the dead.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

Awards and Honors for The City of Palaces

• Winner of the International Latino Book Award for Latino Fiction, 2015.
• Commended in the Latino Books into Movies Award for Drama, 2014.
• Runner-up for the International Latino Book Award for Historical Fiction, 2015.
• Short-listed for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Fiction, 2014.

Praise for The City of Palaces

“The characters are so real and the story so compelling.” ―OutSmart

“This tender and unusual love story of two wounded souls caught up in the swelling tide of profound social, political, and cultural changes forms the nucleus of the epic story of an entire nation teetering on the brink of rebellion.” ―Booklist

“A magnificent epic about family, politics, art, revolution, and hope. This is a masterly work of old-fashioned storytelling, rich and spacious and moving, a novel that deserves to be compared to The Leopard, Love in the Time of Cholera, and Doctor Zhivago, but with its own intimacy and grandeur. I fell in love with these people and did not want to say goodbye to them.” ―Christopher Bram, author of Exiles in America

“An extraordinary portrait of one of the most critical periods in Mexico’s history. Nava breathes life into the stories of political, cultural, and social revolutionaries as they navigate change in their country and within themselves. This is a breakthrough novel.” ―Rigoberto González, winner of the 2020 PEN/Voelcker Award

“So compelling is Nava’s writing and storytelling that the reader yearns for more. . . . It’s enjoyable to relish the rich lyrical texture and substance of this new novel, and revel in its many special qualities.” ―Somos en Escrito

“The huge achievement of The City of Palaces―aside from its portrayal of the history and grandeur of Mexico and Mexico City, aside from a story of great beauty and profound humanity―is its powerful integration of a central historical event on our continent into our American consciousness. The City of Palaces is, indeed, a masterwork.” ―Lambda Literary

“From the extraordinary first sentence, I was caught up in the confident and visionary storytelling of Michael Nava’s The City of Palaces. Nava guides us with a remarkably sure hand into this fevered dream of love and history. He has crafted a world as coherent, precise, and compelling as Gabriel García Márquez’s imaginary Macondo in One Hundred Years of Solitude and with the depth politics of the best US–Mexico border fiction that explores the liminal histories of our most wounded frontier.” ―Tim Miller, author of 1001 Beds

About the Author

 

Michael Nava is the author of an acclaimed series of seven crime novels featuring gay, Mexican-American criminal defense lawyer Henry Rios. The Rios novels have won seven Lambda Literary awards and Nava was called by the New York Times, “one of our best.” In 2001, he was awarded the Publishing Triangle’s Bill Whitehead Lifetime Achievement Award in LGBT Literature. A native Californian and the grandson of Mexican immigrants, he divides his time between San Francisco and Palm Springs. You can learn more about him at www.michaelnavawriter.com. You can also follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Nova Praetorian
by N.R. Walker

Publication Date: October 24, 2018
BlueHeart Press
Paperback & eBook; 394 Pages

Genre: Historical Romance/LGBT

 

Quintus Furius Varus is one of the best lanistas in Rome. Tall and strong in build, fearsome in manner, and sharp of wit, he trains the best gladiators bound for the arenas of Rome. When Senator Servius Augendus seeks personal guards, he attends the Ludus Varus for purchase of the very best. He puts to Quintus an offer he cannot refuse, and Quintus finds himself in Neapolis, contracted as a trainer of guards instead of gladiators.

Kaeso Agorix was taken from his homelands of Iberia and delivered to Rome as a slave. Bought by a senator to be trained as a guard, his fate is handed to the man who would train him. Absent free will, Kaeso knows his life is no longer his own, though he soon realises the gods have favoured him when he learns his new master has a kind heart.

Quintus and Kaeso forge a bond that far exceeds the collar at Kaeso’s neck, and together they discover the senator’s move for promotion has an ulterior motive. Thrown into a world of politics and conspiracy, of keeping enemies close, they move against time to save Rome before traitors and the gods themselves see to their end.

And in doing so, see the dawn of the nova praetorian–the new guard–rise.

“Highest marks for bringing to life a time and place not often tackled these days, the tale told with such authenticity it draws you in and holds you in thrall. Add to that mix a devious plot of traitorous political machinations and characters who will not only warm your heart but command your respect. Nova Praetorian is yet another well-crafted, engrossing tale that kept me up half the night, sighing with pleasure even while chewing my fingernails with anxiety. I highly recommend this read.” – Beach Bum Books

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

About the Author

N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things…but likes it even more when they fall in love. She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since…

For more information, please visit N.R. Walker’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, November 26
Passages to the Past

Wednesday, November 28
Pursuing Stacie

Thursday, November 29
Coffee and Ink

Friday, November 30
Hoover Book Reviews

Monday, December 3
CelticLady’s Reviews

Tuesday, December 4
Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, December 5
Donna’s Book Blog

Friday, December 7
Velvet Panic

Monday, December 10
Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Wednesday, December 12
T’s Stuff

Friday, December 14
What Is That Book About

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a $40 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 14th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Nova Praetorian

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Heather Domin on Blog Tour for The Heirs of Fortune, July 11-18

Posted By amy @ 12:53 pm | No Comments

02_The Heirs of FortuneThe Heirs of Fortune (Valerian’s Legion: Book II)
by Heather Domin

Publication Date – Dec 2015 (eBook), Jan 2016 (print)
eBook & Paperback; 282 Pages

Series: Valerian’s Legion
Genre: Historical Romance, M/M Fiction, Action/Adventure

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Six months after the events of Soldier of Raetia, the 24th Legion embarks on a campaign with Rome’s most famous general: Drusus Germanicus, the stepson of Augustus who will stop at nothing to subjugate the north. Dardanus and Valerian, after spending the winter isolated from the outside world, now face the realities of their relationship: while Valerian tries to reconcile public duty and personal feelings, Dardanus struggles with his multiple roles and his admiration for two very different leaders. Drusus’ ambitions will call everything Dardanus and Valerian have chosen into question, until both begin to wonder if love is worth the risk it brings – and what price they will have to pay.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books-a-Million | Chapters | IndieBound | iTunes | Kobo | Lulu | Smashwords

About the Author03_Heather Domin

Heather Domin is the author of the Valerian’s Legion series, set in the early Roman Empire, and Allegiance: A Dublin Novella, set in 1922 Dublin. She has WIPs set in present-day Glasgow and 8th century France. She lives in Florida with her husband and two cats, where she puts her History degree to good use spamming Tumblr with garden pictures and writing about Roman soldiers in love.

For more information please visit Heather Domin’s website and blog. Follow Heather Domin on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Tumblr.

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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Vanda on Blog Tour for Juliana, May 2-31

Posted By amy @ 3:04 pm | No Comments

02_JulianaJuliana (Volume I, 1941-1944)
by Vanda

Publication Date: February 14, 2016
Booktrope Editions
eBook & Paperback; 375 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Contemporary Woman/LGBT

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JULIANA is the story of dreams, the dreams of two women who randomly, inevitably cross paths, of stage stardom and soulful songs amid the deceptions required in a prewar 1941 New York City, where love was presumed to be straight, and destiny was supposed to be written in the stars.

It’s 1941 and Alice “Al” Huffman comes from the potato fields of Long Island with her beau, her best girlfriend and her girlfriend’s beau to make it on the Broadway stage only to find she has no talent. On the kids’ first day in New York City, they meet Maxwell P. Hartwell III, a failed nightclub owner and Broadway producer, who, according to Al, looks a little like Clark Gable. He invites them to a nightclub where Al hears Juliana, the glamorous, perpetually-on-the-brink-of stardom singer, for the first time. Al is instantly drawn to her and seeks her out. Juliana is a sexual risk-taker who easily reels in the mesmerized Al.

Al is increasingly pulled into a secret gay underworld of men who wear dresses and women who smoke cigars, while her childhood friends continue in their “normal” lives. Al glides easily between the two worlds until these worlds begin to collide.

Cameo appearances are made by Walter Liverace, Ethel Merman, Tallulah Bankhead and others.

Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | Barnes & Noble

Praise

“… captures the fear, excitement, and eroticism of a young lesbian’s awakening in the the 1940s.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Vanda creates a historical novel about a time period in which we know very little about queerness—WWII… Vanda’s narratives, prowess of timely language and setting and character development lend a poignant message: to be queer was to be anti-American.— July Westhale, Lambda Literary Review

“Juliana is the opening act in a series of stories that will cover, discover and recover LGBT history…. Vanda’s clean-shave style in Juliana amplifies the creative ways in which lesbians and gays in the 1940s compartmentalized their identities like meals at an automat…..I can’t wait for the next edition of yestergays’ news to come out” — Alison Fradkin, Curve Magazine

“Spell-binding, entrancing. A gay underworld with the sights and sounds of a lost New York.” — Lisa E. Davis, author of Under the Mink

About the Author03_Vanda

Vanda’s novel, Juliana (Vol. 1, 1941-1944) to be released in February by Booktrope Editions is about LGBT life in 1940s New York City. This novel is the first of a series of novels about the same characters living through successive decades of LGBT history.

As a playwright Vanda has received numerous honors, among them an Edward Albee Fellowship. Her play, Vile Affections, published by Original Works was a finalist for a National Lambda Award. Her play, Patient HM, which later became The Forgetting Curve, won the Pride Stage and Screen’s Women’s Playwriting Award and another play, Why’d Ya Make Me Wear This, Joe, won Celebration Theater’s (where Naked Boys Singing originated) Best New LGBT Play. Vile Affections played at the New York International Fringe Festival to sell-out audiences and was published by Original Works in 2008. The Forgetting Curve was produced in Boston in September 2014 and the producer has plans to bring it to New York.

Vanda’s non-fiction story, “Jack,” was published in Prairie Schooner in Summer 2011 and another non-fiction piece, “Roger: Lost Between Philosophies,” which appears Pentimento was selected by New Millennium Writings for Honorable Mention from a submission pool of 1,300. Other short prose pieces have been or will be published in Sinister Wisdom, The Outrider Review and The Grub Street On-Line Journal.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, May 2
Kick Off & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, May 4
Spotlight at I Heart Reading

Monday, May 9
Review at Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne

Tuesday, May 10
Review at Book Nerd

Friday, May 13
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Monday, May 16
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Monday, May 30
Review at SJ2B House of Books

Tuesday, May 31
Blog Tour Wrap Up at Passages to the Past

Giveaway

To enter to win a paperback copy of Juliana by Vanda please enter the giveaway via the GLEAM form below. Two copies are up for grabs!

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on May 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Juliana

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02_Oliver & Jack_CoverOliver & Jack At Lodgings in Lyme (Fagin’s Boy, Book 2)
by Christina E. Pilz

Publication Date: June 14, 2015
Blue Rain Press
eBook & Paperback; 450 Pages

Genre: Historical/LGBT/M/M Romance

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An ex-apprentice and his street thief companion flee the dangers of Victorian London and the threat of the hangman’s noose in search of family and the promise of a better life.

After Oliver Twist commits murder to protect Jack Dawkins (The Artful Dodger), both must flee London’s familiar but dangerous environs for safety elsewhere. Together they travel to Lyme Regis in the hopes of finding Oliver’s family. Along the way, Jack becomes gravely ill and Oliver is forced to perform manual labor to pay for the doctor’s bills.

While Oliver struggles to balance his need for respectability with his growing love for Jack, Jack becomes disenchanted with the staid nature of village life and his inability to practice his trade. But in spite of their personal struggles, and in the face of dire circumstances, they discover the depth of their love for each other.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | ITUNES | KOBO

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR03_Christina E. Pilz

Christina was born in Waco, Texas in 1962. After living on a variety of air force bases, in 1972 her Dad retired and the family moved to Boulder, Colorado. There amidst the clear, dry air of the high plains, as the moss started to grow beneath her feet, her love for historical fiction began with a classroom reading of Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

She attended a variety of community colleges (Tacoma Community College) and state universities (UNC-Greeley, CU-Boulder, CU-Denver), and finally found her career in technical writing, which, between layoffs, she has been doing for 18 years. During that time, her love for historical fiction and old-fashioned objects, ideas, and eras has never waned.

In addition to writing, her interests include road trips around the U.S. and frequent flights to England, where she eats fish and chips, drinks hard cider, and listens to the voices in the pub around her. She also loves coffee shops, mountain sunsets, prairie storms, and the smell of lavender. She is a staunch supporter of the Oxford comma.

WEBSITE | BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | PINTEREST

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, September 28
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, September 29
Review at Bibliotica
Spotlight at I Heart Reading

Wednesday, September 30
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Friday, October 1
Spotlight at Book Nerd

Monday, October 5
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Tuesday, October 6
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Friday, October 9
Spotlight at History Undressed

Tuesday, October 13
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, October 14
Review at Broken Teepee

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01_Sword of the Gladiatrix CoverPublication Date: May 2015
Publisher: Raggedy Moon Books
Formats: Trade paperback and eBook
ISBN: 978-0692386491
Pages: 260pp

Genre: Historical/Adventure/Romance/LGBT

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Two women. Two swords. One victor.

An action-packed tale that exposes the brutal underside of Imperial Rome, Sword of the Gladiatrix brings to life unforgettable characters and exotic settings. From the far edges of the Empire, two women come to battle on the hot sands of the arena in Nero’s Rome: Afra, scout and beast master to the Queen of Kush; and Cinnia, warrior-bard and companion to Queen Boudica of the British Iceni. Enslaved, forced to fight for their lives and the Romans’ pleasure; they seek to replace lost friendship, love, and family in each other’s arms. But the Roman arena offers only two futures: the Gate of Life for the victors or the Gate of Death for the losers.

Praise for Faith’s first book: Selene of Alexandria

“A promising new historical novelist [with] the gift for wonderfully researched, vividly evoked, good old-fashioned storytelling.”—Historical Novel Society

“I am blown away and enthralled with the work of this author.”—BookPleasures.com

“Does what historical fiction does best—weaves historical fact, real-life historical figures, and attention to detail with page-turning, plot-driven fiction.”—The Copperfield Review

Sword of the Gladiatrix Available At

Amazon (US, UK, Canada)
Barnes & Noble
CreateSpace (print only)
iBooks (ebook only)
Kobo (ebook only)
Smashwords (ebook only–all formats)

About the Author02_Faith L. Justice_Author

FAITH L. JUSTICE writes award-winning novels, short stories, and articles in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has appeared in Salon.com, Writer’s Digest, The Copperfield Review, the Circles in the Hair anthology, and many more. She is a frequent contributor to Strange Horizons, Associate Editor for Space and Time Magazine, and co-founded a writer’s workshop many more years ago than she likes to admit. For fun, she digs in the dirt—her garden and various archaeological sites.

For more information visit Faith L. Justice’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Sword of the Gladiatrix Blog Tour

Monday, June 29
Guest Post at The Writing Desk

Tuesday, June 30
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, July 1
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Thursday, July 2
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Friday, July 3
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Saturday, July 4
Guest Post at I Heart Reading

Monday, July 6
Review at Book Nerd

Tuesday, July 7
Interview & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, July 8
Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, July 9
Review at Genre Queen
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Guest Post & Giveaway at Unshelfish

Friday, July 10
Review at Bookramblings
Review at Boom Baby Reviews

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