Friday, April 3, 2015

The Judith Redline Coopey Tour

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Please join Judith Redline Coopey as she tours the blogosphere with HF Virtual Book Tours for four of her historical novels, The Furnace, Looking for Jane, Waterproof: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood, and Redfield Farm: A Novel of the Underground Railroad, from March 16-April 6.

The Furnace (Juniata Iron Trilogy, #1)

01_The FurnacePublication Date: October 1, 2014
Fox Hollow Press
Formats: eBook & Paperback
Pages: 336
Series: Volume One, Juniata Iron Trilogy
Genre: Historical Fiction

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Elinor Bratton, young, beautiful, and privileged is pregnant and cast aside by her lover, the wealthy and spoiled scion of a eastern Pennsylvania family. As a result she is forced by her father into an arranged marriage to a man she barely knows. Adam MacPhail, a common iron worker whose only wish is to become an iron master agrees to the match as a means of realizing his dream. Ellie’s father, Stephen Bratton, well to do, well connected and determined to save his daughter’s reputation, orchestrates the union -- not as Ellie would have it, but as he sees fit. So begins a marriage in a time when a woman had no voice, no rights, no say in matters directly pertaining to her. Ellie, exiled to the wilderness of western Pennsylvania with a man she would not have considered three months before, declares her intention to make Adam’s life miserable and make her father pay for his high-handed disregard for her rights. Adam, unschooled in dealing with women, chooses to focus his energy and attention on turning a down and out iron furnace into a profitable, well-ordered producer. Through the first half of the nineteenth century, the couple struggle to establish a life, disentangle an ill-conceived marriage, and make a success of a derelict furnace through the ups and downs of an unpredictable industry. Volume One of The Juniata Iron Trilogy, The Furnace chronicles Ellie and Adam’s efforts to find a balance and build an enterprise worthy of Pennsylvania’s iron industry, producing Juniata Iron, the finest in the world.

Looking for Jane

02_Looking for JanePublication Date: December 21, 2012
Fox Hollow Press
Formats: ebook & Paperback
Pages: 238
Genre: Historical Fiction

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“The nuns use this as their measuring stick: who your people are. Well, what if you don’t have no people? Or any you know of? What then? Are you doomed?” This is the nagging question of fifteen-year-old Nell’s life. Born with a cleft palate and left a foundling on the doorstep of a convent, she yearns to know her mother, whose name, she knows, was Jane.

When the Mother Superior tries to pawn her off to a mean looking farmer and his beaten down wife, Nell opts for the only alternative she can see: she runs away. A chance encounter with a dime novel exhorting the exploits of Calamity Jane, heroine of the west, gives Nell the purpose of her life: to find Calamity Jane, who Nell is convinced is her mother.

Her quest takes her down rivers, up rivers and across the Badlands to Deadwood, South Dakota and introduces her to Soot, a big, lovable black dog, and Jeremy Chatterfield, a handsome young Englishman who isn’t particular about how he makes his way, as long as he doesn't have to work for it. Together they trek across the country meeting characters as wonderful and bizarre as the adventure they seek, learning about themselves and the world along the way.


I had a hard time getting into this novel at first. I will confess it seems like a whole lot of nothing for the first half, as the heroine gets in a stolen boat and begins a journey down a river, picking up some awful characters as she goes. It seems without a real plot, as though the story just changes direction with the river, which could be what the author intended, and just didn't appeal to me.

I became very frustrated with the heroine. For girl so very smart--she seems right through the pastor and the fools following him--she's very dumb when it comes to Jeremy. She complains about him; he isn't treating her right; he's inviting bad people into their boat/lives, and yet even when she has a chance, she doesn't just row away and leave him there, and she was pretty much already surviving on her own, so I wasn't buying that excuse. And as Jeremy kept popping up, I kept getting more aggravated.

But I really appreciated one thing: Everyone keeps trying to convince Nell that if she gets her face/roof-of-mouth problem "fixed", she'll have less hardship, 'cause folks will no longer look at her and think she's dumb or treat her bad because she's "ugly". Nell refuses/questions this, says she's happy with herself the way she is and changing her face may change her. I appreciated this. After all, she's not the one with the problem; it's others, so why should she change?

But in conclusion, I was very bored with this story. It gets sidetracked from the main, finding Calamity Jane, plot too often.

Waterproof: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood

03_WaterproofPublication Date: May 1, 2012
Fox Hollow Press
Formats: ebook & Paperback
Pages: 266
Genre: Historical Fiction

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Fifty years after an earthen dam broke and sent a thirty foot wall of raging destruction down on the city of Johnstown, PA, Pamela McRae looks back on the tragedy with new perspective.

When the flood hit, it wiped out Pam’s fondest hopes, taking her fiancĂ© and her brother’s lives and her mother’s sanity, and within a year her father walked away, leaving his daughter—now the sole support of her mother—to cope with poverty and loneliness.

The arrival of Katya, a poor Hungarian girl running away from an arranged marriage, finally gives Pam the chance she needs to get back into the world; Katya can care for her mother, and Pam can go to work for the Johnstown Clarion as a society reporter.

Then Davy Hughes, Pam’s fiancĂ© before the flood, reappears and, instead of being the answer to her prayers, further complicates her life. Someone is seeking revenge on the owners of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, the Pittsburgh millionaires who owned the failed dam, and Pam is afraid Davy has something to do with it.

Redfield Farm: A Novel of the Underground Railroad

04_Redfield FarmPublication Date: April 2, 2010
Formats: ebook & Paperback
Pages: 280
Genre: Historical Fiction

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Ann Redfield is destined to follow her brother Jesse through life – two years behind him – all the way. Jesse is a conductor on the Underground Railroad, and Ann follows him there as well.

Quakers filled with a conviction as hard as Pennsylvania limestone that slavery is an abomination to be resisted with any means available, the Redfield brother and sister lie, sneak, masquerade and defy their way past would-be enforcers of the hated Fugitive Slave Law.

Their activities inevitably lead to complicated relationships when Jesse returns from a run with a deadly fever, accompanied by a fugitive, Josiah, who is also sick and close to death. Ann nurses both back to health. But precious time is lost, and Josiah, too weak for winter travel, stays on at Redfield Farm. Ann becomes his teacher, friend and confidant. When grave disappointment disrupts her life, Ann turns to Josiah for comfort, and comfort leads to intimacy. The result, both poignant and inspiring, leads to a life long devotion to one another and their cause.

About the Author

05_Judith Redline Coopey
Judith Redline Coopey, born in Altoona, PA holds degrees from the Pennsylvania State University and Arizona State University. A passion for history inherited from her father drives her writing and a love for Pennsylvania sustains it. Her first book, Redfield Farm was the story of the Underground Railroad in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. The second, Waterproof, tells how the 1889 Johnstown Flood nearly destroyed a whole city and one young woman’s life. Looking For Jane is a quest for love and family in the 1890s brought to life through the eyes of Nell, a young girl convinced that Calamity Jane is her mother. Her most recent work, The Furnace: Volume One of the Juniata Iron Trilogy, is set on an iron plantation near where she grew up and tells the story of an ill conceived marriage of convenience as it plays out over a lifetime. As a teacher, writer and student of history, Ms Coopey finds her inspiration in the rich history of her native state and in stories of the lives of those who have gone before.

For more information please visit Judith Redline Coopey's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

1 comment:

  1. I have to recommend reading The Underground Railroad (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel.
    I finished reading it today, and I think its a very interesting book to read.

    I ordered mine from Amazon and I got it in only 2 days.
    Here is the link for the book on Amazon: