AMERICAN HISTORICAL NOVELS discussion

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About Author Ann Moore

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message 1: by Martha (last edited Sep 24, 2018 08:31AM) (new)

Martha Conway | 255 comments Mod
September 23, 2018

This week we are lucky to have author Ann Moore, who will be discussing Leaving Ireland (Book 2) and other novels in her "Gracelin O'Malley" Series.

In Leaving Ireland, Gracelin O’Malley leaves her beloved homeland for a new life in America.

Forced to flee Ireland, Gracelin O’Malley boards a coffin ship bound for America, taking her young daughter with her on the arduous transatlantic voyage. In New York, Gracelin struggles to adapt to a strange new world and to the harsh realities of immigrant life in a city teeming with crime, corruption, and anti-Irish prejudice. As she tries to make a life for herself and her daughter, she reunites with her brother, Sean . . . and a man she thought she’d never see again. When her friendship with a runaway slave sweeps her into the volatile abolitionist movement, Gracelin gains entrée to the drawing rooms of the wealthy and powerful. Still, the injustice all around her threatens the future of those she loves, and once again, she must do the unthinkable.

This sweeping novel of the Irish immigrant experience in 1840s America brings a long-ago world to vibrant life and continues a remarkable heroine’s bold, dramatic journey through extraordinary times.

Leaving Ireland (Gracelin O'Malley, #2) by Ann Moore
Leaving Ireland


message 2: by Angela (new)

Angela Sanford | 82 comments I can't believe I have not read these books. I am going to be getting them now.


message 3: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Cox | 122 comments Angela wrote: "I can't believe I have not read these books. I am going to be getting them now."

Hope you enjoy them, Angela!!!


message 4: by Tessa (last edited Aug 26, 2018 09:49AM) (new)

Tessa Floreano (moxiemuse) | 2 comments You will enjoy them, Angela.


message 5: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Artson (barbara_artson) | 21 comments And indeed you should. Michelle Cox is a wonderfully entertaining writer of mysteries. This from a non-reader of mysteries BUT I shall read everything the Michelle writes. Love her characters and writing style.


message 6: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Cox | 122 comments Tessa wrote: "You will enjoy them, Angela."

Aw, thanks, Tessa!!! I really appreciate that!


message 7: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Cox | 122 comments Barbara wrote: "And indeed you should. Michelle Cox is a wonderfully entertaining writer of mysteries. This from a non-reader of mysteries BUT I shall read everything the Michelle writes. Love her characters and w..."

Thanks, Barbara! I really appreciate that! It's funny that you should say that you're not really a mystery reader/fan because (here's a secret...), I'm not either. I was a huge Trixie Belden fan as a kid, but my real love is historical fiction!

And thanks for the comment about the characters - they get more and more complex as the series goes on, if I do say so myself (I just finished the second draft of #5!). And I'm glad my "verbose" style (as my editor calls it) agrees with you!


message 8: by Audrey (new)

Audrey Denecke | 3 comments I've read all three of Michelle Cox's (A Girl Like You; A Ring of Truth; A Promise Given). I love her characters! A Girl Like You was written with Chicago as the setting. I was born in Chicago and we moved to a northern Illinois country when I was three. But many family members (maternal and paternal sides) lived there through most of my young life. So, I delighted in the scenes in Logan Square and at St. Sylvester's Church where a cousin lived and I vacationed. Michelle was so faithful to the neighborhood spirit (although written for the 1930's extended through the 1950's).
I could easily read each new book in a day. But I pace myself so I can enjoy them longer. Can't wait for books 4 & 5.


message 9: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Cox | 122 comments Wow! Thanks so much for sharing, Audrey, and I'm thrilled that you liked the books. Though I wasn't born in Chicago (actually in East Dubuque, Il. - about 4 hours west), I have lived in Chicago for over thirty years and consider myself a "north-sider." So it really makes my heart sing when you say that I've captured the north-side neighborhood spirit in the series! So fun to meet a fan - of Chicago and the books! Keep reading - a lot more happens!!


message 10: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen I loved A Girl Like You and need to start the others in the series.


message 11: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Cox | 122 comments Kathleen wrote: "I loved A Girl Like You and need to start the others in the series."

Thanks, Kathleen!!! I hope you enjoy them!


message 12: by Linda (new)

Linda Bridges (lindajoyb) | 68 comments Michelle wrote: "Barbara wrote: "And indeed you should. Michelle Cox is a wonderfully entertaining writer of mysteries. This from a non-reader of mysteries BUT I shall read everything the Michelle writes. Love her ..."

Ah! Trixie Belden, Honey, Reagan, the horses, and Miss Trask!


message 13: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Cox | 122 comments Linda wrote: "Michelle wrote: "Barbara wrote: "And indeed you should. Michelle Cox is a wonderfully entertaining writer of mysteries. This from a non-reader of mysteries BUT I shall read everything the Michelle ..."

Oh, my, Linda! You made my day!


message 14: by Dyana (new)

Dyana | 189 comments I love mysteries!!!


message 15: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Cox | 122 comments Dyana wrote: "I love mysteries!!!"

Thanks for commenting, Dyana! What are some of your favorites?


message 16: by Dyana (new)

Dyana | 189 comments So many - The Hound of the Baskervllles and Murder on the Orient Express come to mind. I love the name of your book “A Promise Given.” Makes me wonder!!!


message 17: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Cox | 122 comments Dyana wrote: "So many - The Hound of the Baskervllles and Murder on the Orient Express come to mind. I love the name of your book “A Promise Given.” Makes me wonder!!!"

Yes! Love both of those!
Thanks for the compliment about the title of mine. "A Promise Given" is meant to mean various things to various people in the book - just to make it a little more intriguing! If you think you might want to read them, I'd definitely start with book 1, though. Not to be cheeky. But you might win one at the end of the week!


message 18: by Rhonda (new)

Rhonda (grannylovestoread) | 132 comments Can't wait to read this!


message 19: by Martha (new)

Martha Conway | 255 comments Mod
Thanks, Rhonda! It was fun to do all the research around this novel, and I'll be posting later in the week about the trips I took to the Ohio River. Although I'm from Ohio, I'm from the northern part (Cleveland), and I never spent time on the Ohio River as a child. As an adult, I was amazed at how huge it is! It's really like the Mississippi River in terms of size. And beautiful, too.


message 20: by Cherie (new)

Cherie Gravette I simply cannot wait to read The Underground River! It sounds like a must read book that will be life changing. Martha, what was your source of inspiration when writing this book? I imagine it was difficult to write at times.


message 21: by Martha (new)

Martha Conway | 255 comments Mod
Thanks, Cherie! I had several inspirations, but they all began with a character: May Bedloe.

One day my neighbor said to me, almost casually, "Well, you know, my son can't lie." I knew her son, and I thought: Yes it's true, he always goes to great lengths to tell the truth as far as he knows it.

Then I thought: what a great trait for a character! Someone who can't lie. I could imagine all sorts of trouble someone like that might inadvertently get into.

What if a character who can't lie is forced to lie?

And what if a character who can't lie is forced to lie AND to break the law?

And what if the law is an immoral law (i.e., slavery)?

That's when my imagination really got going ....

Thanks for your question!


message 22: by Angela (new)

Angela Sanford | 82 comments Martha, did they actually have "floating Theatres"? I have always been interested in books about slavery and the underground railroad. As I am reading books about slavery, I find myself thinking, what would it have been like to have lived during this period? It would have been very difficult for me because I am kind and respectful to everyone, regardless of skin color.


message 23: by Martha (last edited Sep 11, 2018 10:20AM) (new)

Martha Conway | 255 comments Mod
Angela wrote: "Martha, did they actually have "floating Theatres"? I have always been interested in books about slavery and the underground railroad.

Yes, there were "floating theatres" on the Ohio River and the Mississippi River (and other large rivers, too). These were basically stages built on flatbed barges— a box on a box. In early days they were poled downstream along the river, stopping at towns on one side (the South) or the other (the North) to perform shows for the people who lived there.

Later, the floating theatres were on steamboats. Like the famous "Showboat" of broadway and film.

As far as I know, they were unconnected to the Underground Railroad activity. But I do know that runaway slaves used to hide on boats crossing the river, to get to freedom.

Thanks for your questions!


message 24: by Laurel (new)

Laurel (ldhuber) | 27 comments Looking forward to your posts about trips to the Ohio River!


message 25: by Martha (new)

Martha Conway | 255 comments Mod
Thanks, Laurel! We had some really fun times. I even got my son to ride a steamboat with me. It was great to be on the water because we went at a really, really hot time of year.


message 26: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Cox | 122 comments Your book sounds fascinating, Martha! I've often been tempted to ride on a steamboat on the Mississippi at Dubuque, Ia. which is where my family is from. Definitely have this on my TBR!


message 27: by Martha (new)

Martha Conway | 255 comments Mod
It was fun. We mostly played cards while we steamed along taking in the sights. The Ohio River is a lot tamer now than it was in my characters' day. They've shored it up so that it's the same depth pretty much all year long, but in the past it used to get so dry at certain times of the year that there are instances where people literally could wade across it.


message 28: by Angela (new)

Angela Sanford | 82 comments That is what fascinates me so much about history, for example, as you travel down the Ohio River, just imagine those from the past that have traveled the same way. Professional gamblers, runaway slaves, and a long list of different characters. I can sit for hours and try to imagine what it would have been like during their time period.


message 29: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Sweeney | 53 comments Martha -- love your post from an historical perspective as a writer and a reader. Your book is high on my TBR list. Sounds fascinating!


message 30: by Martha (new)

Martha Conway | 255 comments Mod
Thanks, Ashley! Right back at you. :)


message 31: by Rhonda (new)

Rhonda (grannylovestoread) | 132 comments Sounds good. Can't wait to read! Thanks.


message 32: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Shoop | 33 comments Hi Martha, thank you so very much for having me here this week. I can't wait to have a chance to talk about The Kitchen Mistress and all things historical fiction!
Martha wrote: "September 17, 2018

Kathleen Shoop will be hosting this week; she'll be discussing The Kitchen Mistress (Book 3) and other novels The Letter Series.

1892—Des Moines

Katherine Arthur and her famil..."



message 33: by Martha (new)

Martha Conway | 255 comments Mod
We're looking forward to it, too!


message 34: by Janet (new)

Janet Smith | 1 comments This looks good!


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