Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Julia Justiss | History ReFreshed: Hard Truths
Author Guest / May 20, 2020

The devastation of war tests the human spirit to its limits, as individuals struggle to survive in desperate and dangerous circumstances.  With the war we’ve all been fighting the last few months against an invisible enemy, the topic is even more timely.  The following stories enthrall, astound, and invite us to look past the minor irritations and minutiae of our everyday lives and concentrate on what is truly important. This was certainly the case for the women involved in SEVEN DAYS IN MAY by Kim Izzo.  Despite the savage war being fought on the Western Front–and a warning from Germany that any ship crossing the Atlantic puts itself at-risk–New York heiresses Sydney and Brooke Sinclair stick to their plan to sail to England, where Brooke is to marry Edward Thorpe-Tracey.   While Brooke is excited to marry into the aristocracy, independent Sydney is drawn to the suffragette movement. Full of confidence in the future, the girls and Edward board the Lusitania for the seven-day voyage.  Meanwhile in England, Isabel Nelson, after escaping a scandal in Oxford, is grateful to have landed a secretary’s job at the British Admiralty’s mysterious Room 40.  Recognizing her skill at codes and cyphers, she’s soon put…

Julia Justiss | History ReFreshed: Four Fabulous Women for February
Author Guest / February 19, 2020

For your Valentine gift this year, I’m offering up an in-depth fictional look at four fascinating women who defied the rules of their time to live life on their own terms, bringing them fame, notoriety, love, and heartbreak. Moving chronologically, we begin with THAT CHURCHILL WOMAN by Stephanie Barron.  When beautiful, willful, wealthy Jennie Jerome, who grew up in Gilded Age Newport and Second Empire Paris, agrees to marry the son of a duke she’s known for just three days, she’s thrust into the maelstrom of British politics and society. The husband of the new Lady Randolph Churchill is a member of the Marlborough House Set, well-born men seeking political rank and fortune.  As a charming but free-thinking American skeptical of British social rules, Jennie quickly wins both admirers—and enemies.  Mother of one of the twentieth century’s most important men, she works to further her husband’s Parliamentary career while remaining true to herself.  And when, as tragic illness loosens her husband’s grip on sanity, she falls in love with compelling diplomat Count Charles Kinsky, she must decide how much destruction she’s willing to risk to follow her heart. The Churchill story continues with LADY CLEMENTINE by Marie Benedict, which gives…