Set in Constantinople in the dying days of the Ottoman empire, Halide’s Gift is the story of a family with a secret, and a society in turbulent transition. At the heart of Frances Kazan’s beguiling novel are two sisters—one flamboyant and mischievous, the other shy and full of dreams—bound by an extraordinary friendship and torn apart by their love of radically different men. In the tradition of Tracy Chevalier’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, Halide’s Gift is an intimate portrait of a young woman of restrained passions and fiercely independent mind. A vibrant fusion of history and fiction, it tells the story of the legendary Halide Edib, the daughter of Sultan Abdulhamid’s first secretary, whose allegiance to the spiritual and traditional world of her mother and grandmother was destined to collide with the tantalizing promise of freedom.
The Commodore's Daughter by Jaimie Brazil. The cover alone screams STRONG CHICK. Acquired via Netgalley, I plan to read this one soon.
The Golden Dice by Elisabeth Storrs. Spotted on a historical blog I follow. Actually, I found the blog via historical fiction author Lisa J. Yarde's FB feed! After following her link and reading the blurb, I marked this one as well.
Caecilia, a young Roman woman, forsakes her city by marrying the Etruscan Vel Mastarna, exposing herself to the enmity of his people and the hatred of the Romans who consider her a traitoress…
Semni, a reckless Etruscan girl, becomes a servant in the House of Mastarna, embroiling herself in schemes that threaten Caecilia's children and her own chance for romance…
Pinna, a tomb whore, uses blackmail to escape her grim life and gain the attention of Rome's greatest general, choosing between her love for him and her loyalty to another…
Historical Fiction at its best, this second volume in the Tales of Rome series explores the lives of women in war while giving a glimpse into the sexuality, religion, and politics of Roman and Etruscan cultures, two great civilizations of ancient history.
Marilyn's Red Diary by E.Z. Friedel. This was a freebie and though I'm not a huge fan of Marilyn, I'm intrigued enough to read this. Perhaps he portrays her in a more flattering light than many others have.
Joan of Arc by Carl James. Another freebie. Do you for one second think I could not give this a go? It's about one of the most fascinating women in history.
The Rebel Pirate by Donna Thorland. Girl. Pirate. 'Nuff said. Coming in 2014, I spotted this on Edelweiss. It's on my wishlist.
Sarah Ward never set out to break the law. Before Boston became a powder keg, she was poised to escape the stigma of being a notorious pirate’s daughter by wedding Micah Wild, one of Salem’s most successful merchants. Then a Patriot mob destroyed her fortune and Wild played her false by marrying her best friend and smuggling a chest of Rebel gold aboard her family’s ship.
Now branded a pirate herself, Sarah will do what she must to secure her family’s safety and her own future. Even if that means taking part in the cat and mouse game unfolding in Boston Harbor, the desperate naval fight between British and Rebel forces for the materiel of war—and pitting herself against James Sparhawk, the one man she cannot resist.
Having read and enjoyed book one of this series, I've now added book two to my wishlist. You can't go wrong with suffragettes, murder, and a woman doctor. Antidote to Murder by Felicity Young.
In the scorching summer of 1911, London is a hotbed of political activity as women fight for their equality and Germany starts to pose a dangerous threat. But Dody McCleland, England’s first female autopsy surgeon, has more immediate concerns—such as finding out who’s trying to frame her for murder…
A distraught scullery maid appears at Dody’s Women’s Clinic begging for an abortion. It turns out she has a case of lead poisoning, which Dody believes she took to induce a miscarriage. Instead of reporting the girl to the authorities, Dody decides to council her and prescribes an antidote. But days later, the maid is found dead from a bungled criminal abortion—and the coroner receives a series of anonymous letters accusing Dody of the crime.
Now, Dody has to find out who has framed her for the maid’s murder—or else she’ll be embroiled in a criminal trial. Chief Inspector Pike is working undercover on another case, playing the piano for an exotic dancer who may be spying for the Germans, but when he hears Dody’s in trouble, he insists on lending a hand. But as Pike and Dody are about to discover, she’s not only fighting for her career, but for her life, too…
This one I spotted whilst browsing Amazon for upcoming historicals. It's on my wishlist now. The WWII storyline has nabbed my attention. The All-Girl Filling Station by Fannie Flag.
Feeling like a stranger in her own life, and fearful of confronting her mother with questions, Sookie begins a search for answers that takes her to California, the Midwest, and back in time, to the 1940s, when an irrepressible woman named Fritzi takes on the job of running her family’s filling station. With so many men off to war, it’s up to Fritzi and her enterprising younger sisters to keep it going. Soon truck drivers are changing their routes to fill up at the All-Girl Filling Station. But before long, Fritzi sees an opportunity for an even more groundbreaking adventure when she receives a life-changing invitation from the U.S. military to assist in the war effort. As Sookie learns more and more about Fritzi’s story, she finds herself with new answers to the questions she’s been asking her whole life.
Also spotted on Amazon and on my wishlist: No Place for a Dame by Connie Brockway. May be too romancey (I don't mind romance books, just don't like the romance and sex to be 3/4 of the tale) for me, but I'm going to try it. I like the title and the premise:
A bargain is struck between the stargazing adventuress and society's most sophisticated lord. He will sponsor her as his prodigy, and she will cover for him as he hunts London's darkest warrens for a missing colleague from his shadowy past. But time and again Giles finds his quest compromised by his fierce and unwise attraction to the lovely girl who, though no lady, may well be the one dame to finally unlock the secrets of his heart.
Kindle freebie: Japanese Roses by Theresa Lorella. I confess I've read my fill of Japanese Internment stories, but this has another twist to it: a Japanese-American trapped in Japan during this time.
Japanese Roses tells the story of one Japanese-American family's incredible struggle to survive, caught in the tides of World War II and conflicted by national loyalty, forced to endure unspeakable betrayal and injustice. Spanning the years of the war for the Pacific, Japanese Roses tells the story not only of one family, but of the struggles of all Japanese Americans during a time when they were labeled the enemy both in their own country and the country of their parents. Alternating between the eyes of Maggie, Rose Marie, and Kimiko, the story moves from the streets of Seattle as the bombs are dropped in Pearl Harbor, to the prison camps that lined America's West Coast, to the devastation of Hiroshima as the war drew to a close.
And this is funny...I came across this book while searching for usuable cover art to post on Goodreads for the above book. But this is a MUST GET MY HANDS ON title: Japanese Rose by Rei Kimura. It's about a girl who becomes a kamikaze pilot. Yea, she's on the wrong side, but it sounds like an incredible story.
Women looked on with envy and frustration at their own inadequacies which allowed only men into the program, but did anyone of them really take the daring step of breaking this rule?
"Japanese Rose" is a haunting story of the secret life and love of Sayuri Miyamoto, the woman who DID dare to take on the whole Japanese military to follow her dream of becoming a kamikaze pilot and paid dearly for that dream.
“No one must ever know there was a female kamikaze pilot to dishonor and disgrace the discipline of the Japanese military so from today, you Sayuri Miyamoto are officially dead!”
This book also takes readers on a sad journey through the ravages of war torn Japan seen from the eyes of a young woman who cherished the impossible and forbidden dream of becoming a female kamikaze pilot.
“Who is this? And why do you call me by this name? It hasn’t been used for 60 years!” the crisp irritable voice had changed to a soft, quivering whisper like the moaning of an injured animal and it made Mayumi uncomfortable at her intrusion into someone’s obviously painful past.
With these words, Sayuri Miyamoto finally broke the silence that had been imposed on her for decades. But History will never admit or accept her existence so was she real or a myth born of the feverish imagination of one woman with an unfulfilled dream?