Historical Fiction & Fantasy Panel In- Person

In-Person Historical Fiction & Fantasy Panel

November 15 @ 7 PM

Anderson's Bookshop Downers Grove
5112 Main St, Downers Grove

 

Join Anderson's Bookshop Downers Grove for a Historical Fiction & Fantasy Panel on Tuesday, November 15 at 7pm! Featuring authors Amanda McCrina (YA, The Silent Unseen), Marina Scott (YA, The Hunger Between Us), Erin Litteken (Adult, The Memory Keeper of Kyiv), Gabriella Saab (Adult, The Last Checkmate), Olesya Salnikova Gilmore (Adult, The Witch and the Tsar), this lively panel discussion will be followed by a signing line. 

Pre-registration is required as space is limited.

 

TICKETS & MORE INFO

 

MORE ABOUT THE BOOKS & AUTHORS: 


THE SILENT UNSEEN by Amanda McCrina
A mesmerizing historical novel of suspense and intrigue about a teenage girl who risks everything to save her missing brother.

Poland, July 1944. Sixteen-year-old Maria is making her way home after years of forced labor in Nazi Germany, only to find her village destroyed and her parents killed in a war between the Polish Resistance and Ukrainian nationalists. To Maria’s shock, the local Resistance unit is commanded by her older brother, Tomek—who she thought was dead. He is now a “Silent Unseen,” a special-operations agent with an audacious plan to resist a new and even more dangerous enemy sweeping in from the East.

When Tomek disappears, Maria is determined to find him, but the only person who might be able to help is a young Ukrainian prisoner and the last person Maria trusts—even as she feels a growing connection to him that she can’t resist.

Tightly woven, relentlessly intense, The Silent Unseen depicts an explosive entanglement of loyalty, lies, and love during wartime, from Amanda McCrina, the acclaimed author of Traitor, a debut hailed by Elizabeth Wein as “Alive with detail and vivid with insight . . . a piercing and bittersweet story.”

About the Author
Amanda McCrina was homeschooled through high school and graduated from the University of West Georgia with a BA in history and political science. For three years, she taught high school English and government at an international school in Madrid, Spain, and is now a bookseller in Franklin, Tennessee. She is the author of Traitor and The Silent Unseen.

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THE HUNGER BETWEEN US by Marina Scott 
For fans of Elizabeth Wein and Ruta Sepetys, an absorbing, fast-paced YA debut novel from Marina Scott about a girl’s determination to survive during the Nazi siege of Leningrad—and to save her best friend from a horrible fate.

There are some lines that should never be crossed—even in a city ruled by hunger. The black market is Liza’s lifeline, where she barters family heirlooms and steals whatever she can get her hands on just for enough food to survive. Morality, after all, has become a fluid thing since the Nazi siege has cut off her city from the rest of the world. Hope for a quick liberation is obliterated as the Soviet government focuses on sustaining the Red Army and not the city, subjecting its people to unimaginable cruelties at the hands of the secret police. When Liza’s best friend Aka proposes that they go to the same bullying officials, rumored to give young women food in exchange for “entertainment,” Liza thinks there surely must be some other way. Then Aka disappears and Liza resolves to rescue her no matter the cost, entangling herself in an increasingly dangerous web with two former classmates, one a policeman, the other forced to live underground.

The Hunger Between Us is an absorbing novel about being trapped with impossible choices and the bonds of love that are tested along dangerous paths.

About the Author
Marina Scott was born and raised behind the Iron Curtain in Vilnius, Lithuania. She graduated from a local university with a Master’s degree in library science, but a short stint in a Soviet library changed her mind about being a librarian in the U.S.S.R. She immigrated to the United States in 2000 and now resides in Salt Lake City. Her books include The Hunger Between Us, Neighbors, and Yearning.


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THE MEMORY KEEPER OF KYIV by Erin Litteken

Perfect for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Beekeeper of Aleppo.

In the 1930s, Stalin's activists marched through the Soviet Union, espousing the greatness of collective farming. It was the first step in creating a man-made famine that, in Ukraine, stole almost 4 million lives. Inspired by the history the world forgot, and the Russian government denies, Erin Litteken reimagines their story. In 1929, Katya is 16 years old, surrounded by family and in love with the boy next door. When Stalin's activists arrive in her village, it's just a few, a little pressure to join the collective. But soon neighbors disappear, those who speak out are never seen again and every new day is uncertain.

Resistance has a price, and as desperate hunger grips the countryside, survival seems more a dream than a possibility. But, even in the darkest times, love beckons.

Seventy years later, a young widow discovers her grandmother's journal, one that will reveal the long-buried secrets of her family's haunted past.

This is a story of the resilience of the human spirit, the love that sees us through our darkest hours and the true horror of what happened during the Holodomor.

May we never forget, lest history repeat itself.

A share of proceeds will be donated to DEC's Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

About the Author:
Erin Litteken (local author!) is a debut novelist with a degree in history and a passion for research. At a young age, she was enthralled by stories of her family’s harrowing experiences in Ukraine before, during and after World War II. She lives in Illinois, USA with her husband and children.

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THE LAST CHECKMATE by Gabriella Saab
A PopSugar Best Book of the Year!

Readers of Heather Morris’s The Tattooist of Auschwitz and watchers of The Queen’s Gambit won’t want to miss this amazing debut set during World War II. A young Polish resistance worker, imprisoned in Auschwitz as a political prisoner, plays chess in exchange for her life, and in doing so fights to bring the man who destroyed her family to justice.

Maria Florkowska is many things: daughter, avid chess player, and, as a member of the Polish underground resistance in Nazi-occupied Warsaw, a young woman brave beyond her years. Captured by the Gestapo, she is imprisoned in Auschwitz, but while her family is sent to their deaths, she is spared. Realizing her ability to play chess, the sadistic camp deputy, Karl Fritzsch, decides to use her as a chess opponent to entertain the camp guards. However, once he tires of exploiting her skills, he has every intention of killing her.

Befriended by a Catholic priest, Maria attempts to overcome her grief, vows to avenge the murder of her family, and plays for her life. For four grueling years, her strategy is simple: Live. Fight. Survive. By cleverly provoking Fritzsch’s volatile nature in front of his superiors, Maria intends to orchestrate his downfall. Only then will she have a chance to evade the fate awaiting her and see him punished for his wickedness.

As she carries out her plan and the war nears its end, she challenges her former nemesis to one final game, certain to end in life or death, in failure or justice. If Maria can bear to face Fritzsch—and her past—one last time. 

About the Author
Gabriella Saab graduated from Mississippi State University with a bachelor of business administration in marketing and now lives in her hometown of Mobile, Alabama, where she works as a barre instructor. While researching The Last Checkmate, she traveled to Warsaw and Auschwitz to dig deeper into the setting and the experiences of those who lived there. The Last Checkmate is her first novel.

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THE WITCH AND THE TSAR by Olesya Salnikova Gilmore

In this stunning debut novel, the maligned and immortal witch of legend known as Baba Yaga will risk all to save her country and her people from Tsar Ivan the Terrible—and the dangerous gods who seek to drive the twisted hearts of men.

As a half-goddess possessing magic, Yaga is used to living on her own, her prior entanglements with mortals having led to heartbreak. She mostly keeps to her hut in the woods, where those in need of healing seek her out, even as they spread rumors about her supposed cruelty and wicked spells. But when her old friend Anastasia—now the wife of the tsar, and suffering from a mysterious illness—arrives in her forest desperate for her protection, Yaga realizes the fate of all of Russia is tied to Anastasia’s. Yaga must step out of the shadows to protect the land she loves.
 
As she travels to Moscow, Yaga witnesses a sixteenth century Russia on the brink of chaos. Tsar Ivan—soon to become Ivan the Terrible—grows more volatile and tyrannical by the day, and Yaga believes the tsaritsa is being poisoned by an unknown enemy. But what Yaga cannot know is that Ivan is being manipulated by powers far older and more fearsome than anyone can imagine.
 
Olesya Salnikova Gilmore weaves a rich tapestry of mythology and Russian history, reclaiming and reinventing the infamous Baba Yaga, and bringing to life a vibrant and tumultuous Russia, where old gods and new tyrants vie for power. This fierce and compelling novel draws from the timeless lore to create a heroine for the modern day, fighting to save her country and those she loves from oppression while also finding her true purpose as a goddess, a witch, and a woman.

About the Author
Olesya Salnikova Gilmore was born in Moscow, Russia, raised in the U.S., and graduated from Pepperdine University with a BA in English/political science, and from Northwestern School of Law with a JD. She practiced litigation at a large law firm for several years before pursuing her dream of becoming an author. She is most happy writing historical fiction and fantasy inspired by Eastern European folklore. She lives in a wooded, lakeside suburb of Chicago with her husband and daughter. The Witch and the Tsar is her debut novel.