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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Free Thursday! Historical Fiction

What would you do with $50.00? 
Enter the Free Kindle Fiction $50.00 Amazon Gift-card give-away today!  Get entries for following us on Twitter and Facebook as well as daily entries for sharing the news. Check out the details HERE      
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Now on to the books . . .

 The Kommandant's Mistress by Alexandria Constantinova Szeman

Powerful and provocative, haunting and disturbing, lyrical yet profoundly unsettling, The Kommandant's Mistress portrays the complex power struggle between the Kommandant of a Nazi Concentration Camp and the Jewish inmate he forces to become his "mistress". In this mesmerizing depiction of sexual subjugation, in which the conventional labels of "torturer" and "victim" obscure the unexpected realities of those positions, a young woman must survive the horrors of her daily servitude inside the Kommandant's office while struggling with the moral obligation to aid others in the Camp. Aware of virtually every secret of the Kommandant's professional and personal life, the woman bears witness to the grotesque reality of the camp even as she memorizes the intimate details of a man fighting his own tortured existence. After the war, their "relationship" in the Camp proves inescapable, as the past they share pursues them both, culminating in an encounter that is as shocking and disturbing as it is inevitable. 

This Revised & Expanded, 20th Anniversary Edition contains new material: the author's original "story" and "poem" which formed the inspiration for the book; a Chapter-by-Chapter Scene Index; Discussion Questions for teachers, students, and book groups; and a preface which reveals the writing and original publishing history of the novel as well as an explanation of the author's name-change. Awards Winner of The University of Rochester's Janet Heidinger Kafka Award for "the outstanding book of prose fiction written by an American woman" (1994) Selected as one of The New York Times Book Review's "Top 100 Books of 1993" Winner of The Talmadge McKinney Award for Research Excellence (Central State University OH), 1993 

Select Reviews "A fictional work of tortured brilliance and power ... Devastating ... Riveting ... Remarkable." Patrick McGrath, New York Times Book Review 

 "Szeman's uncompromising realism and superb use of stream-of-consciousness technique make this a chilling study of evil, erotic obsession, and the will to survive." Publishers Weekly (*review, denoting a work of exceptional worth & merit) 

 "Daring ... Intoxicating ... Addictive." The New Yorker "Szeman has created a novel that announces her arrival as a major talent." Geoffrey Stokes, Boston Sunday Globe 

 "Szeman never shrinks from the terrible truths of her dark theme ... By choosing such a disturbing subject, and treating it in original and uncompromising ways, Szeman has added her voice to this essential literature of recent history." Hilma Wolitzer, New York Newsday 

 "Riveting ... A stunning achievement." Andy Solomon, San Francisco Chronicle 

"A novel of considerable power. Szeman's sense of character, place, and history is unerring, and her mastery of her narrative strategy is remarkable." Emily Wright, Atlanta Journal Constitution 

Dangerous Secret by Renee Goudeau


In 1922, a time when Jim Crow and its offshoot, the One-Drop Law, are at their height, a dangerous secret from the past rises like a cottonmouth to strike in the present. In Lake Badin, Louisiana, Odette Montagne Grandpierre discovers just how dangerous the secret is. Threatened with blackmail for her “one drop” of black blood, faced with losing her lifelong identify, being stigmatized as a member of a disdained race and stripped of her civil rights, she decides her only way out is to murder her tormentor. But she can’t follow through with it. When her niece by marriage, Giselle Richards O'Connell, discovers the blackmail and the jeopardy in which it places Odette, she takes up the cudgels in Odette’s defense. Using her weekly newspaper column Giselle tries to fight fire with fire—never dreaming that she, herself, will be caught in the firestorm she creates.

Child of War by Mary Ann Sullivan


Thirteen-year old Maeve grapples with feelings of revenge when her beloved little brother is shot and killed by British soldiers in Northern Ireland. When she discovers an arsenal in the basement of a church, she steals a machine gun and plans to take action. The New York Times Book Review called Child of War, “an earnest first novel.” (March 17, 1985 Sunday issue)