Category: Author Interview

Blog Book Tour | “Repentance” by Andrew Lam One part medical drama, one part war drama – this is a uniquely told realistic look into how a father and son come to terms of their disconnection.

Posted Wednesday, 15 May, 2019 by jorielov , , 4 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring. It has been a wicked fantastical journey into the heart of the historic past, wherein I’ve been blessed truly by discovering new timescapes, new living realities of the persons who once lived (ie. Biographical Historical Fiction) inasmuch as itched my healthy appetite for Cosy Historical Mysteries! If there is a #HistRom out there it is generally a beloved favourite and I love soaking into a wicked wonderful work of Historical Fiction where you feel the beauty of the historic world, the depth of the characters and the joyfulness in which the historical novelists brought everything to light in such a lovingly diverse palette of portraiture of the eras we become time travellers through their stories.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of “Repentance” direct from the publisher Tiny Fox Press in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I was drawn towards “Repentance”:

As you know, I love reading a heap of Historical Fiction throughout the year – I’ve had to pull back from reading certain kinds of war dramas these past several years, ever since I read Citadel and found myself unable to ‘let go’ of the haunting story of what happened during that period of the war after I concluded my readings of it. It was a firm reminder that we all have limitations in our readerly lives and it also, encouraged me to seek out the writers who are writing human interest stories set during the war generation as much as the stories on the homefront or the after effects of war in the ensuing years following the end of WWII.

I have previously read a Historical drama set round the internment of the Japanese in America during WWII – it opened my eyes to what they went through but also, how I hadn’t learnt nearly enough in school to see a fuller picture of what was going on during the forties and how there are hidden pockets of information kept just out of reach until we find a writer who can bridge the past to the present – re-affirming a lost generation’s truth and instilling us with a memory of the past which bears reckoning to acknowledge in the present. This first story I read was called “How Much Do You Love Me?” by Paul Mark Tag – it is keenly insightful and I loved how he paced the revelations of what is disclosed. You truly feel jettisoned back to a time where Japanese were dealing with the impossible and where the mindset in America was not as it is today..

This is the second novel I’ve found highlighting this hidden history and I was thankful it also lead me to discovering a new #IndiePub at the same time! I am always overjoyed whenever I find a new publisher in the Indie side of publishing as I love championing Independent Press & Publishers who are publishing the stories which might have become overlooked by larger publishers of the same genre(s) of interest.

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Blog Book Tour | “Repentance” by Andrew Lam One part medical drama, one part war drama – this is a uniquely told realistic look into how a father and son come to terms of their disconnection.Repentance
by Andrew Lam
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

France, October 1944. A Japanese American war hero has a secret.

A secret so awful he’d rather die than tell anyone–one so entwined with the brave act that made him a hero that he’s determined never to speak of the war. Ever.

Decades later his son, Daniel Tokunaga, a world-famous cardiac surgeon, is perplexed when the U.S. government comes calling, wanting to know about his father’s service with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team during WWII. Something terrible happened while his father was fighting the Germans in France, and the Department of Defense won’t stop its investigation until it’s determined exactly who did what.

Wanting answers of his own, Daniel upends his life to find out what his father did on a small, obscure hilltop half a world away. As his quest for the truth unravels his family’s catastrophic past, the only thing for certain is that nothing–his life, career, and family–can ever be the same again.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781946501127

Also by this author: Repentance Interview (Andrew Lam)

Genres: Historical Fiction, War Drama


Published by Tiny Fox Press

on 1st May, 2019

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 297

Published By: Tiny Fox Press (@TinyFoxPress)

Formats Available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

About Andrew Lam

Andrew Lam

Andrew Lam, M.D., is the award-winning author of Repentance, Two Sons of China, and Saving Sight. His writing has appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post. Born in Philadelphia and raised in central Illinois, he graduated summa cum laude in history from Yale University, where he studied military history and U.S.-East Asian relations. He then attended medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, followed by specialty training to become a retinal surgeon. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and resides in western Massachusetts with his wife and four children.

His newest book is Repentance, a historical novel and riveting family drama entwined with the history of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a group of Japanese American soldiers who fought valiantly in Europe during WWII while many of their families were incarcerated in camps like Manzanar at home. The 442nd became the most decorated unit in U.S. military history.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Wednesday, 15 May, 2019 by jorielov in 20th Century, Author Interview, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Content Note, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, The World Wars, Vulgarity in Literature

Author Interview | Learning about Nellie Bly and the vision Kate Braithwaite had of her life as shared with us through her novel “The Girl Puzzle”

Posted Monday, 6 May, 2019 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Conversations with the Bookish badge created by Jorie in Canva

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts,

When I originally signed on for this blog tour, I had confused it with another tour – I had a lot on my mind at the time and for whichever reason, I had two of the titles confused for each other. When the novel arrived by Post, I was quite surprised and then, a bit worried – could I handle reading the story or would it be a bit much for me? Over the past years I’ve been blogging my readerly life – there are some stories which I have had a bonefide interest in reading but had learnt the harder truth that some stories out there are just not my cuppa tea or they are a bit outside the scope of what I regularly read – to where something inside them has affected me.

When it came to sorting out how to read about Nellie Bly – my first instinct was to think this might be too much for me as when I read “Emmy Nation” I found myself having issues getting through some of the harder points within the story-line as much as I generally have noticed plots surrounding asylums are ones which are a bit much for me to handle as they tend to dig into areas I might not personally feel motivated to explore.

Despite having a bad week with my Spring allergies which led-in to a migraine as I had a side effect to the new allergy medicine I was taking – I did attempt to read “The Girl Puzzle” which is how this interview was inspired to be shared with my readers. I was hoping to get further along than where I had left off for the questions I pitched to the author in this conversation – however, my head has been crushing me and the allergies – unfortunately are quite severe at the moment to where I haven’t had the chance to give this story the attention it deserved. I wasn’t sure if I could finish the story as it were but I had wanted to progress a bit more into the story – as one thing I observed about how it was written is how well in-tune Ms Braithwaite was with Nellie and how she understand the people she surrounded herself with in life. I found Bly to be a complicated woman but one whom understood herself well and kept her circle of acquaintances to those of whom would understand her best. I believed Braithwaite might have actually tapped into a truer voice of whom Bly had been as she had lived her life similar to how Fowler gave us “Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald”.

I hope as you read through this interview, you’ll have a better scope of understanding this infamous woman from History but with the sensibility Braithwaite instilled into her story. She truly loves writing Historicals and breathing new life and awareness into the people she is exploring through her own vision of their lives.

Be sure to brew your favourite cuppa, sit in a comfy chair and enjoy where the conversation leads! If your a reader of Historical novels with a penchant for Biographical Historical Fiction (as much as I am) I hope this conversation might encourage you to pick up this novel.

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Author Interview | Learning about Nellie Bly and the vision Kate Braithwaite had of her life as shared with us through her novel “The Girl Puzzle”The Girl Puzzle Interview (Kate Braithwaite)
by Kate Braithwaite

Her published story is well known. But did she tell the whole truth about her ten days in the madhouse?

Down to her last dime and offered the chance of a job of a lifetime at The New York World, twenty-three-year old Elizabeth Cochrane agrees to get herself admitted to Blackwell’s Island Lunatic Asylum and report on conditions from the inside. But what happened to her poor friend, Tilly Mayard? Was there more to her high praise of Dr Frank Ingram than everyone knew?

Thirty years later, Elizabeth, known as Nellie Bly, is no longer a celebrated trailblazer and the toast of Newspaper Row. Instead, she lives in a suite in the Hotel McAlpin, writes a column for The New York Journal and runs an informal adoption agency for the city’s orphans.

Beatrice Alexander is her secretary, fascinated by Miss Bly and her causes and crusades. Asked to type up a manuscript revisiting her employer’s experiences in the asylum in 1887, Beatrice believes she’s been given the key to understanding one of the most innovative and daring figures of the age.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781798936382

Genres: Historical Fiction, War Drama


Published by Crooked Cat Books

on 5th May, 2019

Published By: Crooked Cat Books (@crookedcatbooks)

Formats Available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

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How did you approach digging into the truer history and legacy of Nellie Bly after so much has been disclosed on her behalf? How did you find a new voice to bring her life into our purview which would give us a better insight into who she was and what had motivated her personally as well as professionally?

Braithwaite responds: My starting point for getting to know Nellie Bly was with her own writing. I bought and a copy of Ten Days in a Madhouse and read it in one sitting. In some ways it was a let-down – I think I was expecting great drama, but Nellie was a newspaper reporter, tasked with setting out facts. She didn’t dwell on how the experience felt to her at all, but that was the aspect that really intrigued me. After all, she was only 23 years old in 1887. So I kept reading about her.

I read Brooke Kroeger’s excellent biography and Matthew Goodman’s wonderful book about Nellie and Elisabeth Bisland racing around the world. From Kroeger’s biography I was able to source articles from Nellie’s life after her great initial success and that gave me a whole new perspective on her story. Although there is a very public record of her work, she was very private and didn’t keep diaries or write volumes of deeply personal letters. For a novelist, that can be mean opportunity. It’s often the gaps in the record where you explore the most. That said, I kept rigidly to her biography, while trying to convey my idea of who she must have been as a person. Read More

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Posted Monday, 6 May, 2019 by jorielov in Author Interview, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

#PubDay Author Interview | Discovering a new voice in war drama [Andrew Lam] and a lovely new #IndiePub in the process (Tiny Fox Press) – “Repentance” celebrates its #bookbirthday, today!

Posted Wednesday, 1 May, 2019 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

Conversations with the Bookish badge created by Jorie in Canva

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts,

As you know, I love reading a heap of Historical Fiction throughout the year – I’ve had to pull back from reading certain kinds of war dramas these past several years, ever since I read Citadel and found myself unable to ‘let go’ of the haunting story of what happened during that period of the war after I concluded my readings of it. It was a firm reminder that we all have limitations in our readerly lives and it also, encouraged me to seek out the writers who are writing human interest stories set during the war generation as much as the stories on the homefront or the after effects of war in the ensuing years following the end of WWII.

I have previously read a Historical drama set round the internment of the Japanese in America during WWII – it opened my eyes to what they went through but also, how I hadn’t learnt nearly enough in school to see a fuller picture of what was going on during the forties and how there are hidden pockets of information kept just out of reach until we find a writer who can bridge the past to the present – re-affirming a lost generation’s truth and instilling us with a memory of the past which bears reckoning to acknowledge in the present. This first story I read was called “How Much Do You Love Me?” by Paul Mark Tag – it is keenly insightful and I loved how he paced the revelations of what is disclosed. You truly feel jettisoned back to a time where Japanese were dealing with the impossible and where the mindset in America was not as it is today..

This is the second novel I’ve found highlighting this hidden history and I was thankful it also lead me to discovering a new #IndiePub at the same time! I am always overjoyed whenever I find a new publisher in the Indie side of publishing as I love championing Independent Press & Publishers who are publishing the stories which might have become overlooked by larger publishers of the same genre(s) of interest.

I wanted to have a healthy conversation to begin my journey into “Repentance” inasmuch as the fact, I was blessed with the ability to kick-off the blog tour! As you will soon read – Dr Lam and I openly discuss the key components of his novel alongside his writing process and what motivates him as a Historical novelist. It is a wonderful conversation which roots you into his passion for war dramas but also, highlights how the stories of the people are an illumination of hope and strength for all of us.

Be sure to brew your favourite cuppa, sit in a comfy chair and enjoy where the conversation leads! If your a reader of Historical novels & war dramas, I hope this conversation might encourage you to pick up this novel. Also, how lovely is it the tour begins on “Repentance”‘s #bookbirthday!?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#PubDay Author Interview | Discovering a new voice in war drama [Andrew Lam] and a lovely new #IndiePub in the process (Tiny Fox Press) – “Repentance” celebrates its #bookbirthday, today!Repentance Interview (Andrew Lam)
by Andrew Lam

France, October 1944. A Japanese American war hero has a secret.

A secret so awful he’d rather die than tell anyone–one so entwined with the brave act that made him a hero that he’s determined never to speak of the war. Ever.

Decades later his son, Daniel Tokunaga, a world-famous cardiac surgeon, is perplexed when the U.S. government comes calling, wanting to know about his father’s service with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team during WWII. Something terrible happened while his father was fighting the Germans in France, and the Department of Defense won’t stop its investigation until it’s determined exactly who did what.

Wanting answers of his own, Daniel upends his life to find out what his father did on a small, obscure hilltop half a world away. As his quest for the truth unravels his family’s catastrophic past, the only thing for certain is that nothing–his life, career, and family–can ever be the same again.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781946501127

Also by this author: Repentance

Genres: Historical Fiction, War Drama


Published by Tiny Fox Press

on 1st May, 2019

Published By: Tiny Fox Press (@TinyFoxPress)

Formats Available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

I have a particular interest in reading war dramas – however, I’ve shifted my focus into human interest stories from the war generations and/or stories of the homefront moreso than direct narratives set at war. What interested me most about your novel is how you’ve presented a curious question suspending through a narrative anchoured to WWII. What originally inspired the story behind “Repentance” and what did you hope readers who love reading war dramas would recognize as uniquely different about how you approached writing this story?

Lam responds: Great question. My inspiration for the novel was the amazing true story of WWII’s 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which became the most decorated unit in U.S. military history. The 442nd was a segregated unit of Japanese American soldiers that fought with uncommon valor in Europe while many of them had families unjustly incarcerated in internment camps (like Manzanar) at home. They fought ferociously to prove they were just as loyal as other Americans.

But you’re right, I DID want to do something very different. Because there are already many books and even movies that pay homage to these heroes, I did not want my novel to simply glorify the soldiers and victimize the internees. My goal was to humanize the Japanese American WWII experience. So, instead of writing a novel about a “hero,” I wrote one about a coward. I’ve tried to show how combat can make ordinary men behave in surprising and unexpected ways, some good, some bad, and how the effects of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) can adversely affect veterans and their families for the rest of their lives. I’ve tried to humanize this history, which I hope makes the sacrifices of our WWII heroes even more poignant. Read More

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Posted Wednesday, 1 May, 2019 by jorielov in 20th Century, Author Interview, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, The World Wars