Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Guest Post by Kathy Hepinstall, Author of Sisters of Shiloh

I am so thrilled to have a guest post for you all today, from one of the wonderful writers of Sisters of Shiloh, Kathy Hepinstall! This novel about sisters is written by two sisters and let me just tell you it is phenomenal! My review of the book will post on March 12th and I'll be hosting a giveaway as well, so be sure to come back then. In the meantime, please enjoy this guest post and continue below for more information about the book, the author and the rest of the book tour!

Star crossed lovers:  Josephine and Wesley from Sisters of Shiloh by Kathy Hepinstall
If you thought Bella and Edward had a hard time, you haven’t met the romantic team from Sisters of Shiloh.  Imagine if Bella not only had to contend with Edward’s vampiric physiology, but that she had to dress, act and essentially be a man without tipping off the object of her affection.
Over twelve years ago, my sister, Becky, came to me with an idea: What if we wrote a novel about two sisters who disguise themselves as men and fight in the Civil War?  Believe it or not, there have been over four hundred historical cases of women doing just that.
So we undertook to research what it was like to fight in the war, and then translate this experience to our two fictional heroines.
Kathy and Becky Hepinstall, Authors of Sisters of Shiloh
In Sisters of Shiloh, both sisters go to war.  But Libby is much more wedded to the cause than her older sister, Josephine, whose viewpoints are less extreme.  But Josephine is worried about Libby’s state of mind, and follows her into battle when she decides to avenge the death of her husband, Arden, killed in the battle of Antietam.
In order to disguise themselves as men, the sisters must undertake a complete transformation:  Cutting off their hair, binding their breasts, dressing in men’s clothes, and imitating the voices and gestures of men.
Libby, battle-ready and sliding toward insanity, greets her transformation with grim satisfaction.  But Josephine is appalled.  She never had much luck as far as suitors went, then all the young men went to war.  And now, in the period of her life when she most desires to settle down and raise a family, she must bury all traces of her femininity lest she be discovered.
Enter Wesley, a soldier from Josephine’s unit, who becomes friends with her under her new alter ego, “Joseph.” Wesley finds himself drawn to this “Joseph” in a way that perplexes and even disturbs him.
Josephine is also attracted to Wesley.  Day by day, as dangers and death mount, she falls farther into love with him.  And yet she cannot reveal herself to him, and she spends a great part of the novel suffering this exquisite torture.
If Wesley and Josephine are ever meant to find true love, then something or someone must be betrayed.  Either a sister, a cause, or both.
My sister and I were intrigued with the story of Wesley and Josephine, and we were pulling for them throughout. Of course, we had a funny way of showing it!
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Formats: Hardcover, Ebook
Pages: 256
Genre: Historical Fiction
A best-selling novelist enlists her own sister to bring us the story of two Southern sisters, disguised as men, who join the Confederate Army—one seeking vengeance on the battlefield, the other finding love.

In a war that pitted brother against brother, two sisters choose their own battle. Joseph and Thomas are fresh recruits for the Confederate Army, daring to join the wild fray that has become the seemingly endless Civil War, sharing everything with their fellow soldiers—except the secret that would mean their undoing: they are sisters.

Before the war, Joseph and Thomas were Josephine and Libby. But that bloodiest battle, Antietam, leaves Libby to find her husband, Arden, dead. She vows vengeance, dons Arden’s clothes, and sneaks off to enlist with the Stonewall Brigade, swearing to kill one Yankee for every year of his too-short life. Desperate to protect her grief-crazed sister, Josephine insists on joining her. Surrounded by flying bullets, deprivation, and illness, the sisters are found by other dangers: Libby is hurtling toward madness, haunted and urged on by her husband’s ghost; Josephine is falling in love with a fellow soldier. She lives in fear both of revealing their disguise and of losing her first love before she can make her heart known to him.

In her trademark “vibrant” (Washington Post Book World) and “luscious” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) prose, Kathy Hepinstall joins with her sister Becky to show us the hopes of love and war, the impossible-to-sever bonds of sisterhood, and how what matters most can both hurt us and heal us.

Praise for Sisters of Shiloh

“The Hepinstall sisters provide a fascinating glimpse into Civil War life from an unconventional perspective.” -Kirkus

“The very best historical fiction delivers us into another time and place. In Sisters of Shiloh, Kathy and Becky Hepinstall plunge us so deeply into a complete and vividly rendered world of Civil War battlefields and Confederate campsites, we can smell the gun powder and taste the metallic tinge of fear along with their remarkable heroines.” -Janis Cooke Newman, author of Mary

Buy the Book

Barnes & Noble

About the Authors

Kathy Hepinstall grew up outside of Houston, Texas. Kathy is the best selling author of The House of Gentle Men, The Absence of Nectar and Blue Asylum She is an award-winning creative director and advertising writer. She currently resides in Santa Barbara, California with her husband. Visit Kathy’s Blog.

Becky Hepinstall grew up outside of Houston, Texas. She holds a degree in History from the University of Texas in Austin, and currently resides in Virginia Beach, Virginia with her husband, a Navy pilot, and their four children.

Sisters of Shiloh Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, March 3

Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Review & Giveaway at The Book Binder’s Daughter

Wednesday, March 4

Review at Flashlight Commentary

Thursday, March 5

Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Review & Giveaway at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Friday, March 6

Review & Giveaway at Unshelfish

Saturday, March 7

Review & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court

Monday, March 9

Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, March 10

Guest Post at A Literary Vacation
Review & Interview at Books and Benches
 Spotlight at Layered Pages

Wednesday, March 11

Review at Beth’s Book Nook

Thursday, March 12

Review & Giveaway at A Literary Vacation
Interview & Giveaway at Forever Ashley

Friday, March 13

Review at 100 Pages a Day

Monday, March 16

Guest Post & Giveaway at Mina’s Bookshelf


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