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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 Press - 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
ISBN: 9781613746868
Availability: Backordered
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
ISBN: 9781613745236
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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 Annie Hansen

Title: Give Me Chocolate #1 A Kelly Clark Mystery

Give Me Chocolate Cover Image
ISBN: 9781937148225
Availability: Backordered
Published: Weaving Dreams Publishing - May 11th, 2013

Authors Discussion & Signing with Catherine Lantz & Dennis Schlagheck

Title: Hawthorne Works: Subject of Behavioral Studies and the Eastland Tragedy

Hawthorne Works (Images of America (Arcadia Publishing)) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781467111355
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Arcadia Publishing (SC) - February 10th, 2014

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. 





Hollywood & African American History from "Roots" to Twelve Years a Slave"

Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore


The Historical Society of Forest Park's

African-American History Month Presentation    

by Board Member

Lawrence Broughton

Hollywood and African-American History

From "Roots" to "Twelve Years a Slave".

February 26, 2014


7:00 PM

Author Discussion & Signing with Renee Rosen

Title: Dollface: A Novel of the Roaring Twenties

Dollface: A Novel of the Roaring Twenties Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451419200
Availability: Backordered
Published: Berkley - November 5th, 2013

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.

Mystery Writers of America Meeting

Guest Speaker: Werner I. Juretzko, a Cold War spy for the United States against the KGB/Stasi. He has wriiten two books on this subject Years Without Hope and Der Ort Des Rotten Terrors (The Red Terror Compound). The latter is in German. You can find out more about the speaker ar .

  Werner I. Juretzko was born into a well-respected merchant
family in 1932. He grew up in a bilingual environment of the German and Polish
languages, the youngest of seven children. His family lived in one of Europe’s
pre-war political hotbeds—the long-disputed area of Upper Silesia where the
first shots of World War II were fired. At the end of World War II, Werner was
a combat-hardened 14-year-old fighting for his survival. He was forced by the
Third Reich into the last-ditch defense lines. He became a Prisoner of War and
was held captive for several months in the Soviet-Czech POW camp located in
Tabor, Czechoslovakia. Atrocities committed by Soviet soldiers on members of
his family created a resolve in Werner to revenge his family’s honor. In 1948,
while serving his apprenticeship in West Germany as a tool & die maker,
Werner was approached by the Organization Gehlen, which was the forerunner of
the modern Amt fuer Verfassungsschutz (known in English as the Office for the
Protection of the Constitution). Werner was asked to infiltrate the Communist
Party in the State of Hessia. His exemplary service led to his recruitment by
the G-2 Intelligence Service of the United States Army. During the heights of
the Cold War, as a G-2 undercover political operative for the US Army
intelligence, Werner conducted authorized undercover espionage missions behind
the Iron Curtain. Werner was apprehended in action in 1955 by the Stasi
(Ministry of State Security). He was tried by Communist authorities and
subsequently sentenced to a 13-year prison term. He was released after 6 years
of incarceration in Communist prisons, most of that time spent in solitary
confinement. After being released in 1961, he decided to settle in the USA.
Werner graduated from the Industrial Engineering College of Chicago in 1972.
After a 25-year career with Signode Steel Company, he retired in 1989 at the
position of Senior Manufacturing Engineer. During the 1970’s Werner served as a
Director on the Executive Board of the German American National Congress
(GANC—the largest organization of Americans of German descent). From 1972 to
1974, he served as President of the Chicago chapter of the GANC and as Editor
of the organization’s monthly publication, Der Deutsch Amerikaner. Werner has
authored numerous historical and politically oriented articles that have been
published in many English, German and Polish publications. He is a member of
AFIO, the Association of Former Intelligence Officers.


Years Without Hope Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780983434887
Availability: Special Order
Published: Crossroad Press - March 19th, 2012

Die Nacht Begann Am Morgen Cover Image
ISBN: 9783837039436
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bod - August 12th, 2009


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