Tuesday, August 30, 2016

New Releases 8/30/16

You can support The Update by clicking the banner to your right or the links below if you are purchasing through Amazon!

Hardcovers

High Stakes: A Wild Cards novel edited by George R.R. Martin and Melinda M. Snodgrass

Perfect for old fans and new readers alike, High Stakes (Wild Cards) delves deeper into the world of aces, jokers, and the hard-boiled men and women of the Fort Freak police precinct in a pulpy, page-turning novel of superheroics and Lovecraftian horror.

After the concluding events of Lowball, Officer Francis Black of Fort Freak, vigilante joker Marcus "The Infamous Black Tongue" Morgan, and ace thief Mollie "Tesseract" Steunenberg get stuck in Talas, Kazakhstan. There, the coldblooded Baba Yaga forces jokers into an illegal fighting ring, but her hidden agenda is much darker: her fighters' deaths serve to placate a vicious monster from another dimension. When the last line of defense against this world weakens, all hell breaks loose, literally....

The Committee in New York sends a team of aces to investigate. One by one, each falls victim to evil forces--including the dark impulses within themselves. Only the perseverance of the most unlikely of heroes has a chance of saving the world before utter chaos erupts on Earth.

Edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin, High Stakes features the writing talents of Melinda M. Snodgrass, John Jos. Miller, David Anthony Durham, Caroline Spector, Stephen Leigh, and Ian Tregillis.

Paperbacks

Eagle in Exile: The Clash of Eagles Trilogy Book II by Alan Smale

Perfect for fans of Bernard Cornwell, Steve Berry, Naomi Novik, and Harry Turtledove, Alan Smale’s gripping alternate history series imagines a world in which the Roman Empire has survived long enough to invade North America in 1218. Now the stunning story carries hero Gaius Marcellinus deeper into the culture of an extraordinary people—whose humanity, bravery, love, and ingenuity forever change his life and destiny.

In A.D. 1218, Praetor Gaius Marcellinus is ordered to conquer North America and turning it into a Roman province. But outside the walls of the great city of Cahokia, his legion is destroyed outright; Marcellinus is the only one spared. In the months and years that follow, Marcellinus comes to see North America as his home and the Cahokians as his kin. He vows to defend these proud people from any threat, Roman or native.

After successfully repelling an invasion by the fearsome Iroqua tribes, Marcellinus realizes that a weak and fractured North America won’t stand a chance against the returning Roman army. Worse, rival factions from within threaten to tear Cahokia apart just when it needs to be most united and strong. Marcellinus is determined to save the civilization that has come to mean more to him than the empire he once served. But to survive the swords of Roma, he first must avert another Iroqua attack and bring Cahokia together. Only with the hearts and souls of a nation at his back can Marcellinus hope to know triumph.

Germanica by Robert Conroy

Best-selling alternate history master Robert Conroy returns to World War II, this time for a dangerous last stand of the Nazis in the heart of the Alps.

GERMANICA, ÜBER ALLES!

Deep in the heart of Europe's Alps in the redoubt called Germanica, Nazi propaganda master Josef Goebbels and a battalion of Nazi zealots hold out against a frantic final Allied push to end World War II. With Churchill losing his election, De Gaulle consolidating his rule over a newly liberated France, and Stalin asserting his own nefarious land-grab in Eastern Germany, only America, led by its untried new president Harry Truman, remains to face the toughest of Nazi warriors as they hunker down for a bitter fight to the last man.

Goebbels knows that if he can hold out just a bit longer, the war weary of the Western nations will back away from unconditional surrender for Germany, and he and his zealots can remain in power—never to answer for their war crimes, and able to prepare for the moment when their hateful Nazi ideology is ready once again to rise from its alpine grave and strike at the heart of humanity!

But there are Americans and a few stalwart Europeans just as determined to put a final stake in the Nazi heart. It is now up to heroes in the making such as newly minted O.S.S. operative Ernie Janek, commando Captain Scott Tanner, and formerly enslaved Czech "Jew" Lena Bobek, to bring down the dark Nazi menace growing like a cancer in the mountainous heart of the continent.

E-Books

FAB: The Fifth Angel by Mark Gillespie

John Lennon Is Writing Songs Again. He's Also The World's Most Wanted Man

1995
John Lennon. Whereabouts unknown.

The former Beatle and US Presidential candidate - who took the world to the brink of nuclear war in 1988 - has disappeared, seemingly off the face of the earth.

Frank Vogel is the FBI agent who let Lennon slip through his fingers back in '88. Now working as a small-time bounty hunter, Vogel has spent the last seven years following up countless Lennon sightings all over the world, but with little success.

One day, Vogel receives a tip from across the Atlantic. There’s a rumour going around that John Lennon - the world’s most wanted man - is writing songs again.

Vogel travels to the UK where he encounters The Angelicas. Known to their fans as 'the Angels’ - the band’s meteoric rise to stardom is largely credited to an anonymous songwriting collaborator, known only as the 'Fifth Angel’.

But who is the 'Fifth Angel’? Can it really be John Lennon? And if Vogel manages to track the ex-Beatle down, will revenge lead to redemption?

To readers, authors and publishers...

Is your story going to be published in time for the next New Releases? Contact us at ahwupdate at gmail dot com.  We are looking for works of alternate history, counterfactual history, steampunk, historical fantasy, time travel or anything that warps history beyond our understanding.

* * *

Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update, a blogger for Amazing Stories, a volunteer interviewer for SFFWorld and a Sidewise Awards for Alternate History judge. When not exploring alternate timelines he enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana and prepares for the day when travel between parallel universes becomes a reality. You can follow him on FacebookTwitterTumblr and YouTube. Learn how you can support his alternate history projects on Patreon.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Map Monday: Europe in 1792 by Rebecca Stirling

I didn't plan this. Seriously, I did not plan to feature a another map by Rebecca Stirling set in the same timeline. It just sort of happened, so don't yell at me. Anywho, here is the map:
This is "Europe in 1792" by the aforementioned Rebecca Stirling and it is from her timeline, "The Faraway Kingdom" (which I still haven't read yet). Personally I wished I had a better name to give this map. One that more captures the alternate reality that it represents, rather than the unimaginative "continent in year" title I had to give it. For all I know, Rebecca does have a good name for it, but I couldn't find it.

Back to the map: its great. It looks like a map I would have seen in a history textbook. I like the super Romania and the Crimean Khanate that is still around (in our timeline it would cease to exist in 1783). Also, I would like to learn more about the "United Protectorate", but I guess I would need to read the timeline to do that. In summary, its an awesome map by an awesome alternate cartographer, who I think may be the first person to have back to back appearances on Map Monday (although I am too lazy to check if that statement is true).

Honorable mentions this week go out to "Socialist Federal Republics of the Danube" by Nihht, "Red Skies" by Rvbomally and Zombie Russia (the 'Ruswamp') by theSuricateProject.

* * *

Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update, a blogger for Amazing Stories, a volunteer interviewer for SFFWorld and a Sidewise Awards for Alternate History judge. When not exploring alternate timelines he enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana and prepares for the day when travel between parallel universes becomes a reality. You can follow him on FacebookTwitterTumblr and YouTube. Learn how you can support his alternate history projects on Patreon.

Weekly Update #245! More on Let's Read

Editor's Note

Ugh, I had a rough week. A combination of working a couple nights, a financial emergency and one painful headache later meant I had little time to actually commit to working on anything, especially my next video. It also didn't help that the sudden interest in the "alt-right" has led to many people on Twitter confusing the movement with, you guessed it, alternate history. Sigh, I may have to address that issue eventually.

Highlights from last week included Map Monday: Carolina and Friends 1800 by Rebecca Stirling, which was actually liked by the official Library of Virginia Twitter account, so that's cool. Plus there was Rewriting the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake by Beth Cato, which was another great guest post. I hope to have more like it from a variety of alternate historians in the near future. Also people seem to have enjoyed Alkebu-lan 1260 AH or: What If Africa Was Never Colonized? so if you haven't watched it already, go check it out.

And now the news...

More on Let's Read
In case you missed it, last week I posted a short video discussing a new series suggested to me by CountPeter on AlternateHistory.com that I am calling: Let's Read.

Here’s how it works: if you are a writer (aspiring or otherwise) who wants to draw attention to your alternate history, you can submit an excerpt of it to me and I will read it on my channel and include sound effects and music for atmosphere. It’s a great way to promote your alternate history by introducing potential readers to stories they may have overlooked.

Excerpts should be no longer than 3500 words. They can be from web originals that are posted on sites like AlternateHistory.com or from published or soon to be published works. Excerpts should be interesting to listen to or, to put it another way, after listening to it a person should want to read the full piece to find out what happens next. If you need help making an excerpt, check out Choosing a Book Excerpt at Indies Unlimited or 5 Tips For Creating A Strong Excerpt From Your Novel Or Memoir at Writer's Relief.

And, of course, excerpts should be alternate histories, but I will accept related genres, like steampunk, historical fantasies, time travel, etc. I also reserve the right to reject any submissions I don’t feel meet the standards of what I am looking for. If you have any other questions or would like to submit an excerpt, send it to ahwupdate at gmail dot com.

And good news everyone! We already got our first submission from Alison Morton, who sent an excerpt of her novel: Perfiditas. Thanks Alison and I look forward to reading more excerpts. If this proves successful I may find guest readers or create entire radio plays. Also Let's Read doesn't have to be a series devoted to just my channel. Anyone and everyone can join in, but don't forget to try The Alternate Historian first.

You Should Also Check Out...
* * *

Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update, a blogger for Amazing Stories, a volunteer interviewer for SFFWorld and a Sidewise Awards for Alternate History judge. When not exploring alternate timelines he enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana and prepares for the day when travel between parallel universes becomes a reality. You can follow him on FacebookTwitterTumblr and YouTube. Learn how you can support his alternate history projects on Patreon.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Flag Friday: Democratic China by JonathanCrumpet

I wondering if anyone considers the existence of a democratic China being one of those what ifs up there with Operation Sea Lion. Something everyone considers ASB, even though aliens, magic nor weird science is present. Nevertheless, that is the subject we are going to talk about on today's Flag Friday:
This is "Democratic China" by Reddit user JonathanCrumpet. Right off the bat, I need to talk about the background. White flags are always hard to feature because they tend to blend into the background of the post. That being said, its still a nice flag to look it. It appears Jon was using the colors of the Flag of the Republic of China (a.k.a. Taiwan), but changed the red background to white. My guess is whatever timeline this democratic China exists in doesn't want to be associated with the red background of the People's Republic.

But what about the timeline? Well there are a few potential points of divergence. Perhaps the Republic of China was more stable in the early 20th century and thus was able to avoid the warlords and other issues. Maybe the Nationalists won the Civil War and eventually evolved into a liberal republic. Of course, this could easily be a flag from a future history, one where the People's Republic finally institutes democracy (perhaps after rising sea waters that devastate Shanghai and other major cities get blamed on the Communist Party).

What timeline do you think this flag belongs in?

* * *

Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update, a blogger for Amazing Stories, a volunteer interviewer for SFFWorld and a Sidewise Awards for Alternate History judge. When not exploring alternate timelines he enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana and prepares for the day when travel between parallel universes becomes a reality. You can follow him on FacebookTwitterTumblr and YouTube. Learn how you can support his alternate history projects on Patreon.

Let's Read: Call for Submissions

We are introducing a new video series called Let’s Read. Get excerpts of your works read and promoted on The Alternate Historian channel. Learn more watching by the below video:
Send submission to: ahwupdate at gmail dot com. If you need help making an excerpt, check out these articles:


* * *

Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update, a blogger for Amazing Stories, a volunteer interviewer for SFFWorld and a Sidewise Awards for Alternate History judge. When not exploring alternate timelines he enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana and prepares for the day when travel between parallel universes becomes a reality. You can follow him on FacebookTwitterTumblr and YouTube. Learn how you can support his alternate history projects on Patreon.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

World War II Was a Team Effort, Deal With It (Part 2)

Guest post by Dale Cozort.
The first part of this looked mostly at the lead-up to Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, with only a few minor incursions into the actual invasion.

How was World War II a team effort in the last half of 1941 and early 1942, after the Germans invaded the Soviet Union? The Soviet Union was certainly doing the vast majority of the ground fighting at this point, with the vast majority of the German panzer divisions and the Luftwaffe committed in the east.

The Germans were in a war of attrition in the east, and even in those early days of the invasion, the Germans lost a horrendous amount of men and material. David Glantz gives a partial list of the men and material the Germans lost from the start of the invasion until November 1942. The Soviets were doing the bulk of the fighting and inflicting the bulk of the loses, while losing men and material at a high multiple of German losses. The Allies were fighting hard too, but their victories and losses seem like side shows in comparison to the huge number of divisions on both sides of the eastern front, the huge number of tanks and planes  produced and destroyed.

Even before the Soviets encircled the German sixth army at Stalingrad, the Germans had suffered around a million casualties--dead or wounded. They had lost around four thousand planes. That had to have consumed a huge number of pilots who would have otherwise been available to fight the US and British air offensive over Germany. Also, when the Soviets surrounded the sixth army at Stalingrad, they forced the Germans to bring in their "school flights"--partly trained pilots and instructors, along with their equipment--for the airlift. The huge aircraft losses at Stalingrad crippled the German pilot training program as it was just recovering from losses in the airborne invasions of Holland and Crete, cutting into Germany's supply of new pilots at the worst possible time, when the western allies were gearing up for their air offensive over Germany.

So where does the team effort bit come in during this period? What did the Allies contribute? Several things, actually. Not many German divisions were actually fighting the Allies, but a lot of German divisions were tied up guarding against British or American invasion in the west. These were usually not first-rate divisions, but they would have probably done better than the Italian and Romanian divisions on the flanks of Stalingrad, for example.

How many German divisions were tied up in guarding against attacks in the west? A surprising number. Norway alone tied up more Germans than were surrounded at Stalingrad, though the quality and equipment of those troops was by no means comparable. The occupation of France also tied down a large and growing number of German troops. The Mediterranean theater was less of a drain in terms of manpower, at least until the Italian surrender, but the war there required a huge amount of logistics support--scarce oil, scarce air transport, scarce trucks to get fuel across the long stretches of desert from port facilities and railheads. It took far more German resources to support a division at the front line in North Africa than it usually did in the Soviet Union.

Direct British and US supply of tanks and aircraft to the Soviet Union was huge in absolute terms, but not in proportion to Soviet production and much of it came after the Soviet Union had weathered the worst of the German invasion. The Western Allies sent a little over eleven thousand tanks and another couple thousand self-propelled guns--enough  to equip the equivalent of roughly sixty German panzer divisions, as many tanks as the Germans produced in 1943 and two-thirds as many as they produced in 1944.

At the same time, the Soviets produced considerably more T-34s every year after 1941 than they received in total Allied tanks. Lend Lease tanks were well under twenty percent of the total Soviet tank force and many of them were obsolete by eastern front standards. The Western Allies sent over twenty-one thousand planes to the Soviets, and those planes played a somewhat bigger role in the Soviet air battle than the tanks.

If you've researched the Eastern Front, you've probably heard most of that before. What kinds of team effort do most people miss?

1) The elephant in the room: The Western Allies kept Germany from accessing the rest of the world's raw materials. Most of the time that was by naval blockade, but sometimes it was by cornering the supply of vital raw materials in neutral European countries like Portugal and Turkey. Imagine a World War II where the western allies decided to remain neutral in the war between Germany and the Soviet Union. The Germans could buy or barter for Mexican oil as they did before the start of World War II. They could buy iron and nickel and chromium and bauxite and natural rubber from any country in the world willing to sell it to them. All the enormous effort that the Germans put into making ersatz materials could have been used to build tanks and planes and artillery, with the only limit being the German economy's ability to pay for the material.

That's not a trivial limitation, of course. The Germans were always short of hard currency before the war and would have quickly run into limitations after they invaded the Soviet Union. At the same time, they could have imported material to fill in the worst of their gaps.

Granted, a scenario where the west decided to sit out the German/Soviet war isn't likely, but if we're purely trying to figure out relative contributions, the British and American blockade of Germany played a major role in depressing German military production.

2) Throughout the war, the Germans had to look over their shoulders at an approaching avalanche of US men and material. That meant that the Germans knew they had a limited amount of time to defeat the Soviet Union. The Nazi hierarchy reacted to that closing time window by a lot of wishful thinking, seeing victory in the Soviet Union when objectively it wasn't there and they had the resources to know the Soviets weren't beaten. That pattern of wishful  thinking started even before the invasion began, when the Germans produced the munitions and equipment they thought was necessary to beat the Soviet Union, then, before the invasion even started, switched production over to a mix intended to prepare for battle against the US and Britain. It continued through much of the early part of the war, with Hitler holding back tanks and tank engines throughout the summer of 1941 to build up for the coming battle against the Anglo-Americans. Even in 1942, Hitler saw victory after the early summer encirclements and moved key elite units from the eastern front to prepare for the Allies. In the leadup to Stalingrad, he could airlift whole divisions to North Africa and launch a lightning invasion of Vichy France to counter Operation Torch, while leaving sixth army's flanks to be guarded by demonstrably inadequate Romanian and Italian troops, with only threadbare backup from German units that had been bled white and given few, if any replacements.

3) The Allies filled crucial gaps in the Soviet economy. The Soviets did a miraculous job of moving key industrial plants out of the way of the German advance, but losing territory where nearly half of pre-invasion Soviet industrial activity happened caused important gaps that the Allies filled.

 a) Food. The Ukraine was the breadbasket of the pre-invasion Soviet Union. The Soviets made an enormous effort to get food and farming resources out of threatened territory and to destroy anything they couldn't take with them. They were generally very successful in doing that. Instead of finding rich, exploitable farmland, the Germans often found lands where the grain had been hastily harvested and sent east, along with tractors, farm animals and able-bodied men. All of that effort to remove food supplies complicated the German advance because the Germans had expected to feed their armies by seizing food. To a certain extent they did, but the Soviets made it as difficult as they could, even destroying stocks of food they couldn't get out. This was the Soviet system at its most ruthlessly practical--they were leaving millions of Soviet citizens with little food for the coming winter.

At the same time, no matter how ruthless and efficient the Soviets were, they couldn't take the Ukraine's farmland or climate with them and without the land that they lost to the Germans, the Soviets couldn't feed the population already in unoccupied parts of the Soviet Union, much less the thirty million Soviet citizens that they evacuated in front of the German advance. Using the 1941 harvest and slaughtering livestock could provide a short-term solution, but when those stocks were exhausted, Soviet citizens were going to go hungry and they did, not just in Leningrad but in the rest of the country. When the Soviets released several tens of thousands of Polish prisoners of war to the Allies in 1942, many of them were so malnourished that it took months to get them back in fighting shape. The western Allies protested the condition of the men, but eventually had to concede that they hadn't been fed significantly worse  than Soviet citizen outside the military and vital war industries. There simply wasn't enough food to go around and the Soviet Union was on the edge of starvation.

The western allies, especially the US, had plenty of food and they sent a lot of it to the Soviets. They didn't single-handedly stave off Soviet starvation, but they helped a lot. Enough American food came in to keep a million Soviet soldiers supplied. That helped substantially. If that food hadn't come, the Soviet soldiers would have still been fed, but a lot of Soviets outside the military and defense industry would have died of starvation or malnutrition.

b) Aviation gas: The US, alone of the World War II powers, could mass-produce 100 octane aviation gasoline. That gas gave planes that used it a major edge over planes that didn't. As a result, the US produced the vast majority of Soviet aviation gas, and provided additives to upgrade Soviet oil. At any given design level, US aviation gas allowed US and Soviet planes to fly further and faster than they could have otherwise.

c) Aluminum. The US provided over two thirds of the Soviet aluminum supply, vital to Soviet airplane production and for producing engines for Soviet T34 tanks.

d) Rubber: The Soviets had no native sources of rubber and their synthetic rubber efforts lagged behind those of the US and the Germans. As a result the Soviets were chronically short of rubber. That was a huge potential bottleneck. It was simply impossible to build World War II tanks, trucks and planes without rubber and lots of it. Planes averaged half a ton of rubber, while a tank took a ton. Add in tires for military trucks and airplanes and replacement tires for the trucks that kept the Soviet economy going, and you see the problem. The US sent as much as it could spare, with the amount increasing as the US synthetic rubber industry took off.  In terms of tires alone, US Lend Lease to the Soviets totaled a little under 3.7 million units. That's a lot of vehicles driving a lot of miles.

e) Radios. Radios and other communication equipment were a huge force multiplier. In 1941 and through the summer of 1942, the Soviets didn't have enough of them. As a result, Soviets commanders often lost track of where parts of armies were and what was happening to them, often units as large as whole divisions. Where were they? What was happening to them? Were they still in the fight? Without that information the Soviets simply couldn't fight the kind of fast-moving war that the Germans forced on them. The US and Britain, with their advanced electronics industries, filled that gap. For example, the US sent over 380,000 field telephones and well over thirty five thousand radio stations.

f) Training tanks. A lot of the thousands of Lend Lease tanks never saw frontline service, but they did play a major role on the Eastern Front: training tank crews. The Soviets built their tanks the same way they ran most of the rest of the war--with a ruthless peculiarly Soviet type of rationality. They had plenty of raw materials but not a lot of skilled laborers. Given that combination, they built essentially disposable tanks. If a T-34 was unlikely to survive more than X hours at the front, the Soviets didn't build it to last more than X hours plus a small margin. Automotively, the few that didn't get knocked out by X hours were scrap--ready for a major rebuild at best or for scrap recycling. That approach meant that the Soviet could build a lot more tanks with a given number of person-hours and it didn't usually cost them much, because the tanks were usually knocked out by the Germans before they broke down anyway.

The problem though: how do you train tank drivers? Using Soviet tanks meant using a lot of them and leaving them as scrap. Using Lend Lease tanks was the ideal solution. Many of the wouldn't have lasted long on the Eastern Front battle zone, but could be driven a lot longer in training roles.

This is getting long, and we still haven't looked at the impact of the Western Air Offensive. More in a few weeks.

* * *

Dale Cozort is a novelist, editor of Point of Divergence, the alternate history APA, and a long-term Chicago area fan and writer. Check out his websiteblogFacebook and Twitter profiles.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Rewriting the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake

Guest post by Beth Cato.
The pitch line for my new book Breath of Earth is pretty straightforward: "1906 San Francisco with geomancy and not-so-mythological creatures. Spoiler alert: there's an earthquake." I can't hide the fact that the earthquake happens--the date, the setting, and the cover give that away--and I'm fine with that. The cause of the quake is quite different from our reality.

This is a world where the American Civil War ended early due to an alliance between the Union and the steam-powered forces of Japan. In 1906, they are a world power dubbed the Unified Pacific, and in the process of dominating China. Much of their military might arises from geomancy. Geomancers act as a buffer during earthquakes as they pull in energy that otherwise would cause the earth to shake. That energy is then transferred into rare rocks that are used as batteries in everything from airships to flashlights.

San Francisco is a safe place thanks to the presence of the Cordilleran Auxiliary, a boarding school and base of operations for geomancers along the Pacific coast. After a disaster befalls the auxiliary on April 15th, Easter Sunday, the novel builds up suspense leading up to the day and time that the earthquake actually happened: the 18th, at sunrise.

One of the most famous incidents around the real earthquake is the opera Carmen performing on the night of the 17th, with the world-renowned tenor Enrico Caruso as Don Jose. I include the opera, but with a twist. I bring in a performance of a controversial opera, Lincoln, which celebrates the late president's Emancipation Proclamation and his late-life work on behalf of Chinese refugees. Abraham Lincoln lived to a ripe old age in this timeline.

The actual earthquake provided such a wealth of data that it was difficult to decide what to include. Even with the magic twist to the plot, I still use important places such as the epicenter at Mussel Rock and the presence of large cracks in the earth to the north of the Bay. San Francisco itself became a scene of horror, one that is well-chronicled in photographs, journals, and early film work. The earthquake knocked down a wide swath of downtown, and to make things even more devastating, broke both water mains and gas lines. Survivors trying to cook breakfast accidentally caused gas to alight, and firefighters could do little to contain any blazes throughout the peninsula. I incorporated many of these details--with the addition of a blue miasma of escaped energy forming an eerie fog throughout the city.

When it came to the actual feel of the earthquake, I didn't need to rely on books. I'm a native Californian. One of my earliest memories is being three-years-old and in the bathtub when a quake devastated nearby Coalinga. Tremors caused water to splash out of the tub on its own. I felt many more earthquakes as I grew up, included the last major quake to hit the Bay Area in 1989. I lived over two hundred miles away, but the feel, the rumble, was distinct.

It's that personal connection with earthquakes that inspired me to write Breath of Earth and look deeper into the history of my home state. It's my hope that readers will be inspired to read more about the actual earthquake, too. To that end, I include my research bibliography in the back of the book and on my website.

The book may be fantasy, full of magic and incredible creatures, but the foundation is firmly built on actual history, spoilers and all.

More about Breath of Earth: http://www.bethcato.com/breath-of-earth/

Online Research Bibliography: http://www.bethcato.com/breath-of-earth/research-bibliography/

* * *

Beth Cato is the author of the Clockwork Dagger series from Harper Voyager, which includes her Nebula-nominated novella WINGS OF SORROW AND BONE. Her newest novel is BREATH OF EARTH. She’s a Hanford, California native transplanted to the Arizona desert, where she lives with her husband, son, and requisite cat. Follow her at BethCato.com and on Twitter at @BethCato.