Spotlight & Excerpt: Far Beyond Woman Suffrage + Giveaway

far beyond woman suffrage

Far Beyond Woman Suffrage

The Prices of the Vote, #1
David McCracken
Genre: Alternative History
Date of Publication:  8/25/21
ISBN: 979-8464929616
ASIN: B09DPSTN35
Number of pages: 104
Word Count: 32,514
Cover Artist: PixelStudio
 
“It isn’t just about women in long skirts finally voting!”
 
It isn’t just about women in long skirts finally voting. The racists and the rich know that, and the politicians worry.
 
Mercy Martin has an inside view as the battle for woman suffrage nears a climax, but she encounters many puzzles.
 
So many women and Southern states oppose votes for women.  
 
So many people are afraid it would bring on free love, abandonment of family, economic catastrophe, or communism.
 
So many suffragists are willing to abandon black women voters.
 
From an innocent teen to a young adult, Mercy has a central role in the campaign. She advances from confinement in a suffragist jail cell to the national campaign for the suffrage amendment. She campaigns around Tennessee, ending at the capitol for the explosive climax in the last state that might ratify the amendment and grant the vote to women. 
 
Why should something so clearly right be so hard, and why were some bitter compromises made? Mercy is right in the middle, relied on by key players. Along the way, she acquires a husband, a baby, and better parents than she was born with.
 
This is an intimate view via alternative historical fiction, as accurate as it can be and as thoughtful and moving as it must be. In this first novella of a series, Mercy jumps into the campaign for woman suffrage and prepares for a vital role in the coming decades. She’ll continue on into the wider civil rights struggle growing out of woman suffrage. 
 

Excerpt

Anita and I have taken a circuit northwest from Knoxville and back around to the northeast. We’re canvassing as many legislators and their key supporters as we can track down. Finding them is the tricky part. Sometimes we go as far as the road goes and finish the journey to an isolated farmstead on foot, with our dresses trailing in the dust. We’ve been drenched by rainstorms, chased by watchdogs, and even had to change a flat tire, which isn’t that easy in a long dress, but we find our men.

Some seem to be avoiding us, like Representative Cletus Jacobs. He keeps barely visible off in his woodlot. We mark him as a “no.” Senator Phil Gridley graciously, really graciously, says we are communists betraying our gender, our state, and the country. Fortunately, the next two are warm and positive. However, Sen. Billy Broadus says he is nervous the women’s vote will support that anti-American League of Nations. He seems mollified when we point out it would first have to go through a vote in the U.S. Senate, where it is sure to fail.

“Anita,” I ask, back in the car, “why is there such a fear of communism here?”

“Well, with the recent Russian Revolution and the widespread unrest in European countries after the war, people are nervous, especially people with property. You may not realize that Communism seemed on the verge of sweeping across Europe after the war, with uprisings all over. I guess women are considered softies who might vote communists in or go easy on them. Maybe they’re especially sensitive in the South on the loss of property since their human property, slaves, were ‘taken’ at the end of the Civil War.”

“I guess big business is hyping the fear for their own purposes, against labor unions.”

“You’ve got it, Honey!  That started before the Russian Revolution, as a way to smear and foil labor unions.”

“I don’t guess we could ever reach people so concerned about communism, however they got concerned!”

“ ’Not bloody likely,’ to use a term  Alice Paul picked up from a friend over from England. (The shocking phrase was uttered by Eliza Dolittle in George Bernard Shaw’s new hit play, Pygmalion. Alice loves throwing  it out.)”

Driving east from Livingston, on a dim overcast day, we have a scare. Three white-robed riders and horses are moving into position as if to stand astride the road and block our path. Behind us, we see three more horsemen trotting out of a grove we had just passed and following us.  We look at each other and gulp. It doesn’t look good, even if their robes look rather shabby. A lonely road doesn’t seem ideal for a twilight chat with six mounted Klansmen. Luckily, they hadn’t reckoned how fast our Blue Knight moves or how well Anita can handle it. Just as the ones in front are getting into position, Anita swerves far over onto the left edge of the road and races onward. The nearest horse nervously dances back, then rears and throws his rider as we roar around them.

“I thought the Klan was dead,” I say.

 “Apparently, that Birth of a Nation propaganda film of a few years back is reviving them. Next, they’ll burn a cross.”

 “Well, they’re eating your dust. Great driving!”

“I hope we’ve seen the last of them. How’d they know where we were?”

I think and respond, “Was Senator Broadus actually less friendly than he seemed?”

“I wondered why he spent so long in idle chatter before he let us go,” offers Anita.


 
About the Author:

David McCracken became a political activist when the Supreme Court ruled against school segregation. Fellow students joined him in urging the school board in Winchester, KY, to integrate immediately. He campaigned for a Democratic governor and joined the ACLU before he graduated from the University of Kentucky. After debating at U.K., he got a degree in economics and a job with the U.S.  Department of Commerce.

When his daughters approached school age, he became increasingly concerned with how he wanted them schooled. Researching that, he decided teaching was what he really wanted to do. He got a master’s degree in elementary education at Murray State University. He taught for several years, until the fact that his girls qualified for reduced-price lunches based on his salary got to him. Ronald Reagan’s anti-government policies prevented him from returning to government work, so he took programming courses and shifted careers again. Programming was like being paid to solve puzzles all day, but teaching eventually drew him back until retirement.

For many years of this time, he was working intermittently at a novel that became Fly Twice Backward: Fresh Starts in Times of Troubles. This concerned his waking on his twelfth birthday, trying to figure out what had happened, following his new opportunities, and ultimately outliving an evil president resembling Donald Trump. After thirty-six years, David finally published it as an interactive alt-history Kindle novel. He soon started Far Beyond Woman Suffrage: The Prices of the Vote, an alt-history novelette dealing with the campaign for woman suffrage. He finished this piece in just ten months. At 81, he is bold(?) enough to plan this as the first of a six-volume set dealing with the far-reaching results and implications of woman suffrage. His completed novels and another in the works are presented for discussion on a new website, DoFancifulFlights.com David now lives with his third wife, stepdaughter, and step-grandson near Winchester, VA. He has a son from his second marriage, six grandchildren, and two stepchildren. And a funny black dog with four white feet.

 

https://dofancifulflights.com


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Spotlight, Feature & Excerpt: Eva’s Homecoming + Giveaway

Eva's Homecoming Banner

Eva’s Homecoming

Heartland Fae, #1
by Celia Breslin
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Celia Breslin 
Date of Publication: February 2022 
ISBN: 9798201153793
Number of pages: 79 
Word Count: 21K 
Cover Artist: VWZDesigns 
 
A curse stole her away. Can true love lead her home?
 
After several years away for school and work, Eva O’Reilly is finally home. The West coast was fine, but her heart belongs to the Heartland and the town she grew up in. Sadly, with her mother’s sudden passing and no other living relatives, Eva is alone. And hurting.
 
Angus of the Tuatha Dé Danaan is elated his one true love has finally returned, and he’s determined to win her heart all over again. There are just two problems: she can’t see him or remember the Fae folk even exist.
 
As Eva mourns, Angus fights to dispel the veil keeping them apart. With the aid of a gang of flower fairies and the kindly elderly Wiccan next door, these cursed lovers may well receive a second chance at their happily forever after…
 
Currently appears in the anthology Flip The Trope: Romance Gone Wild
 
Novella Release February 2022

 

Anthology
available at Books to Read

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Excerpt

Angus stood in the center of the garden, throat tight and burning, a huge gulp of air trapped in his lungs.

 

Around him, a dozen diminutive flower fairies cavorted among the flora, chortling with glee. “She’s here, she’s here, our Eva is here!”

His gaze targeted the back door, body taut as he awaited his first glimpse of the female he loved. The only one he would ever love. Mo chroí, my heart. My heart walks the world, outside my body. “Come back to me.”

His voice was barely audible above the incessant chatter of the flower fairies. “We sang to her. She heard us! She liked it.”

“Hush,” he commanded, and they fell silent, vibrating with gleeful anticipation.

Seven years without her. The longest, loneliest bloody years of his basically eternal existence…

[…]

Eva stared out at the yard with haunted, brown eyes. Dark circles like the ones she’d sported months ago at the wake and funeral marred the perfection of her milky skin. He wanted to lay gentle kisses on her eyelids, nip the tip of her nose with its light dusting of freckles, lave her lips with his tongue then push it between those perfect lips…

“See me, Eva,” he whispered.

“See us,” Rosina echoed.

Eva cocked her head and touched her ear as if in response to their words. The incessant giggling of the flower fairies ceased, an expectant hush falling over the garden.

Though consumed with sorrow, Eva surveyed the yard with appreciation. Angus and the flower fairies had been tending to the yard and garden since she’d left. There was little to be done in the winter months but in the Fall, they’d trimmed and raked, then planted, pruned, and watered in Spring and Summer. Jasmine, lavender, and other blooming plants scented the air, and he watched his female take a deep breath.

Her shoulders seemed to lose some tension as she took in the neatly trimmed yard and carefully curated garden. “It’s perfect,” she said.

Angus’s heart swelled with pride at a job well done only to stutter in agony when her lovely brown eyes lingered on the central spot where he stood yet looked right through him.

“No. No, no, no,” he whispered. See me this time, Eva. Let the curse be gone.

Mrs. Murphy joined Eva near the door. “He tended it for you. From the moment you went off to school.”

“What?” Eva scanned the yard, then returned her attention to the spot where he stood surrounded by the flower fairies, all of them quivering with excitement.

“The garden, girl. He looked after it for you.”

Lines formed in Eva’s forehead, and her attention shifted to Mrs. Murphy. “I don’t understand, who did?”

He bowed his head and rubbed his brow. Each time she returns she still cannot See. My fault. All of this. Mine.


Celia’s 2021 Halloween Viewing Picks
My family watches (and binge-watches!) paranormal shows year-round, but especially during Halloween month. Here are our top ten recommendations for Halloween this year.

 

* Ash vs. Evil Dead: a comedy horror series with the fabulous Bruce Campbell as Ash, our hero with a chainsaw arm.

 

* Castle Rock: Stephen King fans, check out this super creepy psychological horror series.

 

* Daybreak:  A fun, comedy adventure set in a post-apocalyptic world with teens battling zombies.

 

* The Expanse: a science fiction series that’s both crime drama and political thriller, with war tension, a missing person, and a shocking conspiracy.

 

* The Haunting of Bly Manor: wonderfully creepy gothic horror, ghost story set in a gorgeous, scary mansion.

 

* The Irregulars: A supernatural crime drama set in Victorian London, with a band of misfits, Dr. Watson, Sherlock Holmes, and assorted troublesome, supernatural beings.

 

* Locke and Key: spooky fantasy series in which three siblings deal with magical reality-warping keys, demons, and superpowers.

 

* Stranger Things: outstanding science-fiction horror with spunky kids, secret government antics, and creepy creatures.

 

* The Umbrella Academy: fantastic fantasy adventure series in which seven adopted siblings with superpowers deal with family drama, time travel, and saving the world.

 

* The Witcher: don’t miss the adventures of Geralt, our sexy, handsome, and fierce monster hunter as he navigates a dark fantasy world fraught with peril.

 

Happy viewing!

About the Author:

 
Celia lives in California with her husband, daughter, and two feisty cats. She writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance, and has a particular fondness for werewolves, vampires, and the Fae. When not writing, you’ll find Celia exercising, reading a good book, hanging with her family, or indulging her addiction to fantasy TV shows and movies.

 

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Spotlight & Excerpt – Jasper: The Beginning + Giveaway

Haunted Halloween Spooktacular 2021

Jasper: The Beginning

Eileen Sheehan
Genre: Paranormal Romance Thriller
Publisher: Earth Wise Books
Date of Publication: June 29, 2021
ISBN: 979-8527979565
ASIN: B097XFT4VT
Number of pages: 162
Word Count: 55,511
 
Taking a shortcut through a dark and remote alley on Halloween night proved to be a life changing decision of research scientist, Jasper Greene.
 
Bitten by a zombie and brutally attacked by a group of werewolves, he was left for dead only to be discovered and rescued by a vampire king who took him home to heal. 
 
Delighted to discover that Jasper’s research was on genetics with a focus on elongating life (for which he often used himself as a test subject due to lack of money), the vampire king assigned him the task of shifting the vampire DNA so that it was less obvious what they were when in the company of humans. 
 
With his assistant, Lila, in tow he was provided a lab and set to work. With toxins from werewolves and zombies mingling with the vampire blood he was provided during his healing time, Jasper struggled to adjust to his new body while he did his best to accommodate the vampires until the opportunity to escape presented itself. But, where does a man who has vampire, werewolf and zombie traits go?
 
The Beginning, is book 1 of the Jasper series.
 

Amazon      BN     Kobo     Apple     Smashwords


 

… Even though he’d drawn blood, it wasn’t the zombie character who pummeled him to the ground. He was still trying to piece it together, but he was certain that the beating came from another source. Two. No, three men.

They came out of nowhere in wolf-like costumes and sliced off the head of the zombie dressed character with a large sword while Jasper was struggling to be free of him.  

Jasper’s first thought was that he’d stumbled into a gang war zone of some type.  Gang battles were nothing to take lightly.  Although death was often a result of such battles, beheading wasn’t something that he’d read about in the news.

Traumatized to the point of being immobilized by what he’d just witnessed, he was unable to fight back when the three men proceeded to tackle him to the ground and pummel his body with fists, rocks, and, finally, a crowbar. It wasn’t until much later that he questioned why they’d left his head intact.

The attackers desire to closely mimic the character of the costumes they wore was both frustrating and shocking.  He could only reason that there was some sort of contest or gang challenge that they were participating in to make them behave with such dedication even while mugging someone.  If memory served him right, he was clawed and bitten by one of them as well.  

Left broken and barely holding onto life, he felt certain that he wouldn’t survive more than a few hours.  The possibility of someone of strong moral character stumbling upon him in that dingy alley and calling for medical help was bleak. If by some miracle someone did come along to rescue him in time, he’d definitely have to get tested for diseases that could have entered his bloodstream via

these wounds.

He grew weaker and weaker as he faded in and out of consciousness. Whenever his mind got coherent enough to realize his situation, he was surprised to discover that he was still able to inhale life giving air.  He shouldn’t have survived such a brutal attack.  Yet, the searing pain that coursed through every inch of his body told him that he’d done just that.  

The question was… for how much longer?

Summoning enough strength to move his hand to his pants pocket, he was surprised to discover that his money was still there. He could feel that the designer watch that he’d purchased to replace the watch he’d inherited from his grandfather and had been stolen in a mugging while in his early twenties had also been left on his wrist.  Things weren’t making sense. Getting drunk and, then, acting in character and attacking in such a way was one thing, but since when did robbers beat a man to mere inches from his life and then not rob him?  Then, were they really robbers?  They’d beheaded a man, after all.


The Curse of the Werewolf 

The werewolf originated in the times of ancient Greece when their gods reigned supreme.  During one fateful festivity, Lycaon, the son of Pelasgus, was in need of a meat to serve.  Too lazy to go hunting for wild game or to slaughter a lamb, he served the Greek god, Zeus (who was the ruler of the sky and of all gods and mankind), a meal made from the remains of a sacrificed boy. This severely enraged Zeus. As punishment, the angered god turned Lycaon and his sons into wolves. They were to be looked upon by the rest of humanity as something to abhor.

Zeus’ lover Selene (who was the goddess of the moon) took pity on Lycoan’s family.  She felt it unfair to make them pay for a sin that they had no part of.  After much effort, she convinced Zeus to shorten the curse and allow them to enjoy humanity until they were of age to wed and breed.  (This age, at that time, was their early teens when their hormones took over and a girl became a woman and a boy became a man).  Instead of the curse being a constant, it would activate only during the hours of the full moon. All other times they were allowed to be human.

Although she campaigned for the pain that was involved in the shift to be eliminated, she was only able to have it become lessened over time.

As for humanity’s viewpoint on the werewolf, she was able to do nothing to change it.

As centuries passed, new gods came into play and Zeus’ power faded enough to allow certain branches of Lycaon’s bloodline to  breed out the curse enough so that it often skipped generations. In some, it would afflict only one or two per generation.  In others, it remained dormant unless they were exposed to a werewolf’s venom or scratch.

Because humanity abhorred and hunted them, they kept to themselves and hidden as best as they could.  This meant that many with a dormant werewolf curse in their genes never encountered a werewolf.  They had the good fortune to go through life never knowing their true selves.

Those who were less fortunate and encountered a werewolf had the curse awaken in them.  As did those of a generation that followed one that was skipped, leaving them without others nearby to aid them in their shift.

Such is the curse of the werewolf.


About the Author:

 Eileen Sheehan primarily writes hot, steamy romances (mostly New Adult) with a sexy male and strong female. A few are steamier than others (see their description). The majority of her novels are paranormal, but some are just plain novels about people in love (contemporary or historical with the author name of Ailene Frances). ALL of her stories have a bit of naughtiness, some excitement, a few thrills, and maybe a touch of mystery mixed in with sometimes naughty, sometimes sweet lovin’. She strives to write a novel length that will allow the busy woman to be able to sit down in an evening or two and be taken on a romantic journey without having a week go by before she gets to the end of the story.
 
An incurable romantic, she has a love affair with at least one of her characters… one book at a time. She hopes the same thing happens to you.
 
 


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