Wednesday, January 29, 2014


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A riveting historical novel about Peggy Shippen Arnold, the cunning wife of Benedict Arnold and mastermind behind America’s most infamous act of treason.
Everyone knows Benedict Arnold—the infamous Revolutionary War General who betrayed America and fled to the British as history’s most notorious turncoat. Many know Arnold’s co-conspirator, Major John AndrĂ©, who was apprehended with Arnold’s documents in his boots and hanged at the orders of General George Washington. But few know of the integral third character in the plot; a charming and cunning young woman, who not only contributed to the betrayal but orchestrated it.
Socialite Peggy Shippen is half Benedict Arnold’s age when she seduces the war hero during his stint as Military Commander of Philadelphia. Blinded by his young bride’s beauty and wit, Arnold does not realize that she harbors a secret: loyalty to the British. Nor does he know that she hides a past romance with the handsome British spy John AndrĂ©. Peggy watches as her husband, crippled from battle wounds and in debt from years of service to the colonies, grows ever more disillusioned with his hero, Washington, and the American cause. Together with her former lover and her disaffected husband, Peggy hatches the plot to deliver West Point to the British and, in exchange, win fame and fortune for herself and Arnold.
Told from the perspective of Peggy’s maid, whose faith in the new nation inspires her to intervene in her mistress’s affairs even when it could cost her everything, The Traitor’s Wife brings these infamous figures to life, illuminating the sordid details and the love triangle that nearly destroyed the American fight for freedom.

About Allison Pataki

ALLISON PATAKI grew up in upstate New York, in the same neighborhood where Benedict and Peggy Arnold once lived. Allison attended Yale University, where she graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor's Degree in English. While at Yale, Allison received Distinction in the Major from the English department and served as a campus reporter and news anchor for the student-run campus television program, YTV News.
The daughter of former New York State Governor George E. Pataki, Allison was inspired to write The Traitor’s Wife: A Novel of Benedict Arnold and the Plan to Betray America based on the rich Revolutionary War history of her hometown in New York State’s Hudson Highlands.
Allison spent several years writing for television and digital news outlets prior to transitioning to fiction. The Traitor’s Wife: A Novel of Benedict Arnold and the Plan to Betray America is Allison’s first novel.
Allison lives in Chicago with her husband.

Teaser: Small Excerpt from cliff-hanger passage

It was a staggering sight. Her mistress and Arnold, sitting opposite each other in the crowded, bubbly tub. Peggy, her breasts swollen from the pregnancy, swabbed warm, soapy water on her husband’s scruffy neck and cheeks. He looked terrible—exhausted and cold, and as if he hadn’t had a shave in weeks, but he seemed to be thawing under his wife’s tender ministrations.

“Now, my darling husband, you must tell me how the court-martial went.”

Clara poured the first bucket of steaming water over the tub, grateful for the heavy cover of the foamy, wildflower-scented bubbles.

“Oh, Peggy. My sweet Peggy. It was insufferable. The whole thing.” Arnold waved his hands in defeat, splashing the sudsy water over the surface of the tub. “My leg ached after the journey. And to see Washington’s face, Peggy. He looked at me, limping around, with such pity. It was just mortifying.”

“So, what did he say?” Peggy picked up a sponge and began scrubbing her husband’s thick arms.

“Well, first of all, Reed—for all his delaying and posturing, claiming he had damning evidence that would prove my corruption—the fool had absolutely no one to testify. And no proof,” Arnold growled, pulling on the hairs of his beard.

“As we knew would be the case.” Peggy ran her soapy fingers through the thick graying hairs on her husband’s chest. “So they cleared your name?” She spoke slowly, languidly, as if to calm her husband’s ire.

“On the contrary, my lady.” Arnold’s fist pounded the water again, this time splashing Clara’s petticoat as she stood there, refilling the tub water. “They threw out all the charges but three. That . . . court”—Arnold could not hide the thick contempt in his voice—“found me guilty of making a personal gain from selling private goods, using the public wagons for my personal use, and . . .” His voice trailed off.

“And?” Peggy prodded, her jaw clenched tightly. 

“Favoring loyalists.” 

Peggy nodded her head, absentmindedly weaving her finger through a loose curl. After a long pause, she asked, “The penalty?” 

“Negligible. A light reprimand from Washington. But the in- dignity was enough to cause me to hate Reed and the entire Continental Congress forever; I might as well have been tarred and feathered. And by my own countrymen.” 

“It’s not right.” Peggy looked fixedly toward the steamy windows. “It’s just not right. A reprimand from Washington, ha! You know how I feel about that tobacco planter.”

“I know, Peg, I know,” Arnold conceded. “But he is still our commander. And if I know Washington, he will refrain from issuing any reprimand. He will state publicly that he has, but he will not. He’s an honorable man, even if no one else is, and he knows that all I have left to me are my character and good name. He did seem to sympathize with me throughout the entirety of the trial.”

“Well, even so. You might think Washington has honor. But that damned Continental Congress. I’m guessing that they said nothing about reimbursing for you the thousands they still owe you?”

He looked down, silently shaking his head. “How can we go on, then?”

They sat in brooding silence for several minutes. Eventually, Peggy spoke. “Benny, I know you still feel fidelity to Washington.” She cocked her head. “Because you’re a good and loyal man. But I think Reed and the Pennsylvania Council, along with the whole Continental Congress, are a pack of lying criminals.”

“You’ll hear no argument from me on that score, Peg.”

“You know something, Benny?” Peggy took a long sip of rum. “The British have been offering peace since 1778. That’s two years of fighting that we’ve been forced to endure now, patriots being forced to kill their own brothers. And why?” Peggy leaned in, whispering now. “Because the Continental Congress wants to pro- long this war. All they care about is making a profit off this war. That is why they are coming after you like this—to distract the public. To make you the enemy, so that no one notices how corrupt they are!”

“Peggy.” Arnold looked at his wife, his cheeks rosy now from the warmth of the bath. “I had no idea you were such a little conspirator.”

“Benny, those are the facts, plain and simple.” Peggy spoke with a carefully spun nonchalance, but Clara detected the intensity lurking beneath her words.

Arnold sat opposite Peggy, uttering not a word as he stared at her—at her hair, which was even thicker with curls from the pregnancy, her cheeks flushed from the steam, the ripe and enchanting fullness of her face and figure. Peggy let him gawk, let the silence hang between them, heavy, like the fog of the steamy water.

Tour Schedule

Monday, January 20th - Daily Mayo

Tuesday, January 21st -  Fire & Ice 

Wednesday, January 22nd - Sofia Loves Books 
Thursday, January 23rd - Little Miss Drama Queen
Friday, January 24th - Book - A - Holic 

Monday, January 27th -  The Most Happy Reader
Tuesday, January 28th - Evie Bookish
Wednesday, January 29th - Books Besides My Bed
Thursday, January 30th - Crossroad Reviews
Friday, January 31st -  Reading Reality 

Monday, February 3rd - Curling Up with a Good Book
Tuesday, February 4th - Le Grande Codex 
Wednesday, February 5th - Bewitched Bookworms 
Thursday, February 6th - Supernatural Snark
Friday, February 7th - Rose's Book Corner

Coded Links

Find Allison

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Add the book to your shelf on Goodreads
Pre-order a copy: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Spotlight: Podium Finish by Beth Pond

Podium Finish
Podium Finish
With six months until the Olympic Games, seventeen-year-old Harper’s life is pretty much perfect. She’s fighting for the starting spot on Team USA Women’s Hockey, and for the first time ever, she has a crush on a guy who likes her back. She feels like the luckiest girl in the world, until she runs a risky play at practice and breaks her knee, thereby sentencing herself to six weeks in a cast and possibly ending her Olympic dream before it even starts.
For seventeen-year-old Alex, being anything less than the best is unacceptable. That’s why, after a miserable debut season at the senior level, the former junior national singles champion switches to ice dance. Her skating partner, Ace, is an “all skating all the time” type of guy, which would be fine, if he’d stop keeping secrets about the real reason he and his former partner broke up. Now is not the time for second thoughts, but how can Alex skate her best if she can’t trust her partner…or herself?
As the pressure to make the Olympic team builds, the girls must rely on each other, because if there’s one thing they both know, it’s that the only thing harder than skating to the top is staying there.

Beth Pond author pic 
Author Beth Pond
Beth Pond graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Hendrix College in 2012. In 2013, she taught in South Africa for 9 months as part of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Grant. Pond is currently completing her coursework at the University of British Columbia’s Creative Writing MFA program. Her debut novel, Podium Finish, was released from Astraea Press in November 2013. When she’s not writing, Pond enjoys martial arts (she’s a black belt) and serving as a volunteer coach for her brother’s special needs baseball team.

Praise for Podium Finish
Podium Finish is unlike any other book I have read, period. It is amazing that Ms. Pond could take two very different characters who are pursuing two completely different sports and tie them together as roommates at the Olympic Training Center. ~Crystal, Books are Sanity
This is a great, fun book! This story is really 2 stories in one – bonus!  ~Shelley Walker, Goodreads
This book was truly enjoyable to read. ~Michele, Amazon Review
Podium Finish is one of the best books I have read in a very long time. I couldn’t put it down once I started reading it. ~Ana, Amazon Reviewer


1.     Bugler’s Dream and Olympic Fanfare Medley- Boston Pops Orchestra
2.     Home- Philip Philips
3.     La Bamba- Ritchie Valens
4.     Moonlight Sanata- Beethoven
5.     Fix You- Coldplay
6.     Viva la Vida- Coldplay
7.     100 Percent- Mariah Carey
8.     Timber- Pitbull (feat. Ke$ha)
9.     Wavin’ Flag- K’naan,, and David Guetta)
10.  Don’t Stop Believing- Journey
11.  We are the Champions- Queen
12.  The Star Spangled Banner- Francis Scott Key

Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 2/9/14
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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