Book Discussion Group

Author Discussion & Signing with Peter Stark

Title: Astoria: John Jacob Astor & Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire : A Story of Wealth, Ambition & Survival.

 In 1810, John Jacob Astor sent out two advance parties to settle the wild, unclaimed western coast of North America. More than half of his men died violent deaths. The others survived starvation, madness, and greed to shape the destiny of a continent.

At a time when the edge of American settlement barely reached beyond the Appalachian Mountains, two visionaries, President Thomas Jefferson and millionaire John Jacob Astor, foresaw that one day the Pacific would dominate world trade as much as the Atlantic did in their day. Just two years after the Lewis and Clark expedition concluded in 1806, Jefferson and Astor turned their sights westward once again. Thus began one of history's dramatic but largely forgotten turning points in the conquest of the North American continent.

Astoria is the harrowing tale of the quest to settle a Jamestown-like colony on the Pacific coast. Astor set out to establish a global trade network based at the mouth of the Columbia River in what is now Oregon, while Jefferson envisioned a separate democracy on the western coast that would spread eastward to meet the young United States.

Astor backed this ambitious enterprise with the vast for-tune he'd made in the fur trade and in New York real estate since arriving in the United States as a near-penniless immigrant soon after the Revolutionary War. He dispatched two groups of men west: one by sea around the southern tip of South America and one by land over the Rockies. The Overland Party, led by the gentlemanly American businessman Wilson Price Hunt, combined French-Canadian voyageurs, Scottish fur traders, American woodsmen, and an extraordinary Native American woman with two toddlers. The Seagoing Party, sailing aboard the ship Tonquin, likewise was a volatile microcosm of contemporary North America. Under the bitter eye of Captain Jonathan Thorn, a young U.S. naval hero whose unyielding, belligerent nature was better suited to battle than to negotiating cultural differences, the Tonquin made tumultuous progress toward its violent end.

Unfolding from 1810 to 1813, Astoria is a tale of high adventure and incredible hardship, drawing extensively on firsthand accounts of those who made the journey. Though the colony itself would be short-lived, its founders opened provincial American eyes to the remarkable potential of the western coast, discovered the route that became the Oregon Trail, and permanently altered the nation's landscape and global standing.

Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062218292
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Ecco - March 4th, 2014

Author Discussion & Signing with Kathryn Atwood

Kathryn returns with her lastest "Women in History Series" Women Heroes of World War I: 16 Remarkable Resisters, Soldiers, Spies & Medics.

We are holding the signing on the Centennial of the Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914. This started the First World War. 

Women Heroes of World War I: 16 Remarkable Resisters, Soldiers, Spies, and Medics (Women of Action) Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781613746868
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Chicago Review Press - June 1st, 2014

Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue (Women of Action) Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781613745236
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Chicago Review Press - August 1st, 2013

Code Name Pauline: Memoirs of a World War II Special Agent Cover Image
ISBN: 9781613744871
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Chicago Review Press - August 1st, 2013

Author Discussion & Signing with Adam M. Baig

Title: Becoming the Pied Piper of Hamelin

Part fact and part legend. Find out what life was like in the 13th century in the village of Hamelin which is in Saxony in what is now Germany. How did the citizens contend with a vermin invasion? How desparate were they to rid themselves of this investation.? What would they pay to have the rats illiminated? 

Who was the Pied Piper? How did he learn his trade? Why was the price so high for this service?

Certainly, you're sad about the loss of the children, but who would you side with the townspeople or the Pied Piper? Buy it, read it, and listen to the author Adam M. Baig talk about this tale. Then you decide where your sympathies lie. 





Sisters in Crime Meeting

Open Mic: Share Your Writing

Come share your work, published or unpublished, with your Sisters. It’s a great opportunity to hear what everyone’s doing and to share your writing in a fun and supportive environment.

Everyone who wishes to read will get five minutes, and we’ll use a timer.. We recommend that you practice in advance so you don’t get cut off at “and the killer was…!” As a rough starting point, five minutes works out to be about 3 1/2 double-spaced manuscript pages. The week before the event, we will ask you to email us so we can construct the schedule of readers. Depending on the number of readers, we may be able to do brief critiques (if you wish) and if time permits. .. Stay tuned!

Brief business meeting at 11. Light refreshments served. Guests welcome.


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