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Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – The Girl from Saint Petersburg (with a giveaway & excerpt!)

Welcome the the book tour for Joyana Peters’ latest historical fiction novel, The Girl from Saint Petersburg. The prequel to award-winning novel, The Girl in the Triangle. Read on for more info and a fantastic giveaway!

Petersburg Cover

The Girl From Saint Petersburg (An Industrial Historical Fiction Series Book 1)

Publication Date: July 25th, 2022

Genre: Historical Fiction

Sacrifice, Starvation and Survival.

What will she do to stay alive? Russia, 1905: Thirteen-year-old Ruth dreams of growing up to marry the boy next door and living peacefully ever after. But when he and her father are forced to flee to America after the Bloody Sunday Massacre, Ruth and the other female members of the family are left behind amid the violence and chaos of revolutionary Russia. Overcoming violence and hunger with a strength she never knew she possessed, Ruth resolves to do what it takes to keep her mother and sister alive—whether it be work, beg or steal. Then she lands herself in a predicament that threatens to put her own neck in a noose. This time she may not be able to keep them all safe, at least not without sacrificing their love for her and all that makes life worth living. In this prequel to the award-winning novel, The Girl in the Triangle, author, Joyana Peters, portrays a tight-knit family fighting to endure at a precarious and crucial time in Jewish history. Join the countless readers who can’t get enough of Ruth and her story.

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Excerpt

Ruth woke to banging on the front door. Half-asleep, she blinked against the morning light. Ester shifted on the pillow next to her. “What’s happening?” “I don’t know, Bird.” Ruth patted her head. “Stay here. I’ll find out.” Ruth tiptoed out of the bedroom and toward the front door. Her mother was crouched on the floor and peering over the window sill. Her eyes were puffy and red. “What are you doing?” “Shh!” Momme tugged Ruth down beside her. “Don’t let them see you.” “Don’t let who see us? Where’s Tatty? Why were you crying?” Ruth glanced around. Momme clenched Ruth’s wrist. “I need you to listen. They’ll break in soon. And they will interrogate and hurt me. You need to be brave.” “Interrogate you? I don’t understand. Where are Tatty and Jeremiah?” “Tatty left for America last night, but we can’t tell them that.” Ruth shivered. Her father gone to America without saying good-bye? “Why? Did Jeremiah go too?” An odd blankness came over her mother’s eyes. She seemed about to answer when an axe crashed through the door. “Stay in the bed. Cover yourselves to hide and don’t leave Ester.” Momme pushed Ruth toward the bedroom. Ruth scrambled to her feet and ran. She looked over her shoulder to see her mother dusting herself off. As the door gave way and the czar’s soldiers invaded the house, her mother’s lips moved in silent prayer. Ruth found her sister hiding under the covers and held a finger to her lips as she crawled beside her. Ester nodded, suddenly appearing older than her ten years. As the men’s voices rose in the next room, Ruth wrapped her arms around Ester and they lay trembling. There was a slap followed by a muffled sob. Ester cried out. Ruth clapped her hand over Ester’s mouth, but heavy boots stomped toward them and the covers were soon ripped away. Two soldiers glared down from either side of the bed. They grabbed the girls with rough hands. “Ruth!” Ester screamed. “She’s a child!” Ruth begged. “Please, leave her be.” The soldiers ignored her and dragged the two girls from the house. The street was in chaos. There were more soldiers, and families shivering in their bed clothes. Why was this happening? The soldier flung her onto the ground, knocking the wind out of her. She scrambled toward Ester, but a soldier stepped between them. “Please, don’t hurt us, sir!” “That depends on your mother. If she tells us what we want to know, we won’t need to.” Ruth tried to squash her instinct to reach for her sister, and instead forced herself to look for her mother. And there she was—standing with her chin high, in the middle of four soldiers. Ruth could see a dark splotch on her face. Was it blood? But she remained straight and tall. She wasn’t even crying. Ruth was amazed by her mother’s control. How did she manage to appear so unaffected? A soldier with a drooping mustache stepped close to Momme. “Where are they?” he growled. “I told you, I don’t know,” she replied. “I don’t believe you.” He cracked her on the back of the head with the butt of his rifle and kicked her in the stomach. “Try again. Where are they?” Momme crumpled forward, coughing. “I don’t know.” “This is pointless. Grab the girl.” He gestured toward Ester. The soldier standing near Ester grabbed her. Ester thrashed in his arms. “No!” Momme lurched forward. “She doesn’t know anything and neither do I. They never returned home.” “But they were in the square yesterday?” the droopy mustache soldier asked. “Yes.” “What was that? I can’t hear you.” He cupped his ear. “Yes, they were there,” Momme’s voice rang out louder. Ruth closed her eyes at Momme’s words. This was about Abraham and Jeremiah and wherever they’d gone yesterday. What trouble had they gotten themselves into? The soldier leaned into Momme’s face. “And the meetings?” Momme turned away. He popped her in the forehead with his rifle butt so hard she flew backwards. “Answer me!” A shriek pierced the air. Ruth saw a man being pulled out of his house. His wife reached for him, but the soldiers held her back. They forced the man to his knees and a soldier held a pistol to the back of his head. A shot rang out. The man slumped forward. Ruth looked to her mother’s horror-stricken face. Droopy Mustache grabbed Momme by the hair. “Perhaps––now you see how serious we are, drabke?” Momme moved her head up and down. “They never came home. They must be among the dead.” “And the meetings?” “They attended them,” she croaked. “But if they’re dead, what does it matter?” He studied Momme. Finally, he turned to the other soldiers. “Search the house again.”

Available for Purchase Here!

About the Author

Joyana Peters Headshot 2

Growing up in New York, she always loved exploring the city, particularly the Lower East Side. This led to her discovery of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and the stories it holds.

She currently lives in Northern Virginia where she takes in the sights of DC with her two kids and husband.

Joyana Peters | Facebook | Instagram

My Review

Atmospheric and evocative historic fiction.

Life in Saint Petersburg for Ruth is fairly ordinary – playing cards with her brother and betrothed, arguing amicably over their cheating – until one day, they’re no longer around. With her father, they have had to leave Russia since the czar’s rules have made life very difficult for Jews.
Waiting what seems like forever to hear of their arrival in New York is not easy, and soldiers seem more than willing to abuse the women to find out where the menfolk are. Things gets harder still especially when friends and neighbours also decide to leave before the very real possibility of being “relocated” to The Pale of Settlement.
For a few long, arduous years Ruth, her mother and sister muddle on with what little they have – selling what they can bear to part with and working for a meagre income to put food on the table.
But when Ester falls seriously ill, Ruth has to act quickly. and it is that act that subsequently obliges the three women to leave their homeland. How they do that is fraught with danger, but go they must.

I’m looking forward to following the rest of their journey in The Girl in the Triangle.

Giveaway

We are giving away 2 signed copies for winners in the US and 2 e-Books for international winners! Click below to enter.

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