Announcing Dolen Perkins-Valdez’s Wench Virtual Book Tour January 2010
Join Dolen Perkins-Valdez, author of the historical fiction, Wench (HarperCollins), as she virtually tours the blogosphere in January 2010 on his first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!
About Dolen Perkins-Valdez
Dolen Perkins-Valdez’s fiction and essays The Kenyon Review, African American Review, PMS: PoemMemoirStory, North Carolina Literary Review, Richard Wright Newsletter, and SLI: Studies in Literary Imagination. She is a 2009 finalist for the Robert Olen Butler Fiction Award. A graduate of Harvard and a former University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Dolen splits her time between Seattle and Washington, DC. She is a faculty member of the University of Puget Sound where she teaches Creative Writing. Wench is her first book of fiction. You can visit Dolen Perkins-Valdez’s website at www.dolenperkinsvaldez.com, her blog at www.dolen.blogspot.com or connect with her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dolen.
Situated in the free state of Ohio, Tawawa House offers respite from the summer heat. A beautiful, inviting house surrounded by a dozen private cottages, the resort is favored by wealthy Southern white men who vacation there, accompanied by their enslaved mistresses.
Regular visitors Lizzie, Reenie, and Sweet have forged an enduring friendship. They look forward to their annual reunion and the opportunity it affords them to talk over the changes in their lives and their respective plantations. The subject of freedom is never spoken aloud until the red-maned, spirited Mawu arrives and voices her determination to escape. To run is to leave behind the friends and families trapped at home. For some, it also means tearing the strong emotional and psychological ties that bind them to their masters.
When a fire on the resort sets off a string of tragedies, Lizzie, Reenie, and Sweet soon learn tragic lessons, that triumph and dehumanization are inseparable and that love exists even in the cruelest circumstances as they bear witness to the end of an era.
Excerpt from Chapter 3:
When he was finished, he did not turn her over. She waited for him to start up again. When she heard heavy breathing, she lifted her head.
She slipped from beneath him. The breeze from the open window cooled her face.
She stood up gingerly, so as not to wake him, and went back to clean up the dishes.
Soften the white man. Hmph. Some stew. It occurred to her he had not even noticed her new hairstyle, the careful plaits that had taken Sweet the better part of an afternoon to complete.
When all of the dishes were stacked, she went out and sat on the porch. She thought of her children back at the place, already working and doing chores around the big house. It had begun with pulling weeds in the garden patch, but soon that would amount to something more. Full work days were just over the horizon for her son, the older of the two.
The sound of Drayle’s snores drifted through the window. He would sleep through the night. She observed the windows of the eleven other cottages that curved around the lake. Perhaps in those rooms, stifled with the nighttime heat, the other white men were all sleeping, too. And their slave women, all slumbering in the same dreamland.
A trio of ducks slept on the bank, their heads turned around and tucked under their wings. A nearby creek bubbled, and she let a mosquito whine in her ear until it stung her. She clapped it in her hand and studied the smear of blood in her palm.
Here’s what reviewers have to say!
–Sigrid Nunez, author of The Last of Her Kind and A Feather on the Breath of God
“This elegantly-structured novel, Dolen Perkins-Valdez presents an engrossing subject, shedding much-needed light on the racial intricacies of America’s past.”
–Margaret Cezair-Thompson, author of The Pirate’s Daughter (a #1 Indie Next Pick)
“Perkins-Valdez manages to shed a poetic light on one of the ugliest chapters in American history.”
“Drawing on research about the resort that eventually became the first black college, Wilberforce University, the novel explores the complexities of relationships in slavery and the abiding comfort of women’s friendships.”
“[A] memorable first novel . . . Readers of historical fiction centering on Southern women’s stories like Lalita Tademy’s Cane River or Lee Smith’s On Agate Hill will be moved by the skillful portrayal of Lizzie’s precarious situation and the tragic stories of her fellow slaves.” –Library Journal
“A striking debut intimately limns a Southern slave’s complicated relationship with her master. . . . Compelling and unsentimental.”
“In her debut, Perkins-Valdez eloquently plunges into a dark period of American history . . . Heart-wrenching, intriguing, original and suspenseful, this novel showcases Perkins-Valdez’s ability to bring the unfortunate past to life.”
“A striking story of heart and mind, Wench, captures time and delivers it to us. A superb and outstanding achievement.”
“With Wench, Dolen Perkins-Valdez establishes herself as a remarkable storyteller. Through unforgettable characters and luscious prose, the past is able to breathe and live on these pages. Perkins-Valdez establishes herself as a powerful new voice in fiction.” –Tayari Jones, author of Leaving Atlanta and The Untelling
“A finely wrought story that explores the emotional lives of four slave women caught in the web of the peculiar institution.”
Wench Tour Schedule
Monday, January 4
Interviewed at Blogcritics
Tuesday, January 5
Guest blogging at The Book Connection
Wednesday, January 6
Interviewed at Examiner
Thursday, January 7
Interviewed at The Hot Author Report
Friday, January 8
Book reviewed at Jen’s Bookshelf
Monday, January 11
Interviewed at Personovelty
Tuesday, January 12
Interviewed at Working Writers
Wednesday, January 13
Book reviewed at Must Read Faster
Thursday, January 14
Guest blogging at Paperback Writer
Friday, January 15
Book reviewed at Gothic Asylum Reviews
Monday, January 18
Book reviewed at Paranormal Book Lovers
Tuesday, January 19
Interviewed at Beyond the Books
Wednesday, January 20
Book reviewed at A Few More Pages
Thursday, January 21
Interviewed and book giveaway at The Writer’s Life
Friday, January 22
Book reviewed at The Bibliophile Book Blog
Monday, January 25
Interview l Chat l Book Giveaway at Pump Up Your Book
Tuesday, January 26
Book reviewed or guest blogging at Thoughts in Progress
Wednesday, January 27
Book reviewed or guest blogging at Thoughts in Progress
Thursday, January 28
Book reviewed at Down Under Views
Dolen Perkins-Valdez’s WENCH VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR ‘10 will officially begin on January 4 and end on January 29. If you would like to review this book, contact Dorothy Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org before Dec. 30. Thank you!
Editor’s Note: Dolen Perkins-Valdez’s tour is not taking anymore requests for blog hosts/reviewers. If you’d like to see what other books we have available for review, click on the “for reviewers” tab at the top right. Thank you!
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What Our Clients Have to Say…
--Christa Allan, author of WALKING ON BROKEN GLASS
"...This has been an awesome experience!!!"
--Dolen Perkins-Valdez, author of WRENCH
"I love touring with PUYB. Dorothy and gang are the tippy top!"
--Kim Smith, author of BURIED ANGEL
"...I've really enjoyed working with you these past 2 months. Your encouraging comments and always funny upbeat personality has been the highlight of each and every day we prepared for this tour. I'll be sad when it's all over. :( I highly recommend you to any author looking for an online publicist."
--Victoria Simcox, author of THE MAGIC WARBLE
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"The world of publishing has changed so dramatically that it’s imperative to go where people are reading and talking about books and buying them – which is online. Dorothy Thompson came highly recommended and she has been great!"
--Gary Morgenstein, author of JESSE'S GIRL
"This tour has been wonderful as was the first – I hope you are booked solid for August. Your presentational data is so well done and professionally presented – you truly represent us so individually and in the best light. I hope all of your clients really understand and appreciate what you provide and what it takes to bring it all together. You personalize each person (client) and really extend yourself in every way. And you are so honest and basically very up-front in fulfilling all of your activities. As I always say, “You are such a sweetheart!”"
--Angus Munro, author of FULL HOUSE - BUT EMPTY
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This is the best book promotion expenditure I’ve made in terms of return on investment. I highly recommend Pump Up Your Book Promotion.
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"This past month has been just amazing. Thank you so much for all you did to get the word out there…I loved your emails, always sprinkled with good humor and good sense…
I look forward to VBTing with you again in October for Breast Cancer Awareness month."
--Linda Merlino, author of BELLY OF THE WHALE
"The tour’s going really well – my amazon book sales are up and the blog postings are storming up the google search pages..."
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--Tony Robles, author of JOEY GONZALEZ, GREAT AMERICAN
"My publisher just told me that JANEOLOGY is going back for a second printing. That means sales are going strong! I’m sure much of this has to do with my blog tour. Woo hoo!
I’m having fun and I guess you can’t ask for more than that!"
--Karen Harrington, author of JANEOLOGY
“I am really enjoying my experience with Pump Up Your Book Promotion. The people are wonderful to work with, and my name and my book title – well they are popping up everywhere on the web.”
–HBF Teacher, NO TEACHERS LEFT BEHIND
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