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Keeping it Kosher (lite)

As some of you may know, I set out to write Celestial Persuasion when I came across this painting of Mariquita Sanchez de Thompson. This scene depicts the moment when the Argentine national anthem was sung for the very first time.

The image of ladies and gentlemen in Regency attire was far from what I had expected to find in colonial Argentina. To tell the truth, I would have expected full crinoline skirts and impressive peinetas, such as we find in the satirical work of Cesar Hipolito Bacle.

By delving into the aftermath of the May Revolution of 1810, I discovered that the aristocracy of Buenos Aires was more inclined to follow the fashion trends of Paris or even London. The influence coming from across the pond was not to be denied!

I began connecting the dots and weaved a tale that included English noblemen and naval officers, along with the liberator of Spanish America: Jose de San Martin. Establishing a friendship in between Jane Austen’s Captain Wentworth and my own fictional character, Jonathan Isaacs, was the next step in the process.

Next, I began looking to incorporate that bit of yiddishkeit that is so crucial to my work. For example, I wanted to ensure that the Jewish holidays mentioned throughout the novel occurred in accordance to the Hebrew calendar. In the prologue, Abigail Isaacs writes to her brother, describing their father’s passing—just prior to his favorite holiday: Pesach (Passover).

I must assume that you have not received my news from home, and knowing how you are impatient with all but the essentials, allow me to put it to you in words so familiar they could be your own: our dear papa died on March 26th on the eve of Rosh Chodesh—sadly a little more than a week before his favorite holiday. He had been looking forward to leading the Passover seder this year; but then again, he had been unwell for several months and refused to change his habits.

Rosh Chodesh is mentioned several times throughout the novel, as are other holidays, such as the High Holy Days and Chanukah. I suppose I could have picked any date when these events “usually” occur; but it was important to be accurate, particularly when it came to a certain battle that took place on February 3, 1813. Hopefully, the following snippet helps to explain…

“San Martín plans to engage with a Spanish royalist force in one month’s time,” he muttered beneath his breath. “When do you expect to travel to witness your monumental natural event?”

She grimaced at the small sound emitting from her lips. “I must be in residence at the beginning of the month, though I do not believe it is any of your concern.” Rethinking her statement, Abigail’s voice grew with enthusiasm. “Mr. Gabay!” she exclaimed, “has he chosen the exact date?”

“You cannot imagine that I would share that information, Miss Isaacs.”

Vehemently she shook her head. “I care not for your confidences, at least for the reasons you may suspect. I only ask that you heed me, sir. I must be in Rosario for Rosh Chodesh. There will be a new moon on the first of February. The night’s sky will be sufficiently darkened to allow for maximum visibility of galactic activity. Do you understand my meaning?”

The Battle of San Lorenzo was a turning point for the rebels fighting the Spanish crown. If I wanted to showcase the event in my story—and have it coincide with Rosh Chodesh—it had to be… kosher. I knew I had to get it right! First, I researched the status of the moon phase in February 1813. I found that information here and here. Then, I checked to see if the Gregorian calendar aligned with the Hebrew calendar. I found that here and here. It worked out!

Throughout the story, we follow Abigail as she celebrates Shabbat and Havdalah. Granted, her family is no longer as pious as when her mother lived. Nevertheless, when Abigail is called to London to meet Lord Fife, she ensures to take her ritual items. And when she and Mrs. Frankel find themselves aboard a frigate sailing across the Atlantic, I made sure to incorporate an every day nautical item into a pivotal scene.

Wrapping up warmly in her darkest cape, Abigail reached for the lantern perched above the dresser. It was the same lantern she and Mrs. Frankel had been instructed to use for the Sabbath, for it came equipped with a sliding shutter to darken the room without extinguishing the candle. Abigail smiled, recalling the cabin boy’s shock at their request to kindle the Shabbos candles whilst aboard the ship. He had gone on for nearly a quarter of an hour outlining the hazards and noting the fire stations that equipped every passageway in the event of a crisis...

Abigail had been correct in her estimation. The men were gallivanting en masse at the forecastle and she could remain in peace to the aft. She allowed herself to be guided by the lantern’s light but closed the shutter when she reached her chosen destination and waited for her eyes to grow accustomed to the darkness. In truth, it was a perfect night for stargazing as they had just entered into the new moon phase. Without the moonlight, the galaxy’s core was visible in all its splendor, and Abigail stood immobile in awe of the spectacle before her.

How many minutes had transpired, she could not say for certain. She felt tears trickle down her cheeks, but she could not be bothered to wipe them away. How she longed to share the moment with Jonathan! Not to scribble down the longitude and latitude of their location. Not to calculate or measure, but simply to stand and observe the immensity of it all and to understand her place in the universe. Her tears had dried where they had fallen, but with the wind picking up, she could once again feel bits of salt water on her cheeks as the waves began to swell. It was not until she heard the men shouting and witnessed the crew running hither and thither that Abigail was obliged to return to her room.

She retraced her footsteps to find the ladder once more. The descent, she hoped, would prove to be easier; but as she stepped down off the last rung, the wind and waves combined and exerted such a force on the ship that Abigail lost her balance. With flailing hands she attempted to seize hold of something that would steady her feet; but the action cost her dearly, for the lantern slipped from her grasp and the candle was extinguished. She crept along the passageway, holding on to the walls, helpless in the dark, until the ship pitched suddenly and she felt herself tumble forward.

As my outline began unfolding, I found that I quite liked the town of Exeter for the Isaacs family. The obvious problem was that I knew next to nothing about Devonshire as it related to Jews. Imagine my delight when I came across the wealth of information located here and here. Actually, there are pages and pages of data relating to the Jewish history in this particular county. I not only discovered the location of Exeter’s synagogue, but its officiant as well. Naturally, I had to showcase Abigail’s relationship with her rabbi and her place of worship.

In addition, this map created by Braun & Hogenberg in 1617 helped me visualize the Isaacs hometown.

Approaching the mile mark, she passed St. Thomas’s chapel and the many farms that dotted Byrd’s Lane. Abigail was flooded with bittersweet memories and recalled walking toward the synagogue, her small hand held by her mother, while Jonathan raced ahead and her father followed behind at a leisurely pace. They would meet friends along the way, and the adults would catch up on the weekly gossip before entering the house of worship. Ezekiel and Kitty Jacobs, her parents’ closest friends, had been amongst the founders of the synagogue, for they applied to St. Mary Arches Church to lease the ground for its erection. Whenever Jonathan would complain of the rabbi’s lengthy sermons, Mr. Jacobs would tell the story of the synagogue’s consecration.

Lastly, I wanted my story to lay the foundation for the establishment of the Jewish Colonization Association. Headed by financier and renown philanthropist, Baron Maurice von Hirsch and his wife, Baroness Clara, this organization was created decades after Argentina’s declared independence. However, had it not been for such forward thinking individuals such Wilhelm Loewenthal, a Romanian doctor conducting research in the area, Rabbi Zadoc Kahn, Chief Rabbi of Paris, or my fictional Lieutenant Gabay with his pipe dreams, who is to say if the seeds of change would have come to fruition.

The Battle of San Lorenzo took place in 1813 in the province of Santa Fe. A little over 70 years later, a group of Jews escaping pogroms and persecution in Imperial Russia settled in a town about three hours away from that battlefield. They named their new home Kiryat Moshe, or Town of Moses, to honor Maurice Hirsch. The land agent, who may or may not have been of French origin, registered the name to his own liking and the town became known as Moisés Ville. The inhabitants, these so-called Jewish gauchos, were the first to create a Jewish agricultural colony in Argentina. Of course, my characters had no notion of what was to come, but they had hope.

Captain Wentworth, my last piece of news may be the greatest surprise of all. Mr. Gabay and I shall not reside in Buenos Aires for long. When the fight for independence has been won, my Mr. Gabay—who never intended to make the military his career—will resign his commission. We shall repair to my father’s property in Rosario, where I will be at liberty to continue my research and Mr. Gabay will begin his work in helping the Jewish communities of the Russian Empire. Santa Fe is a wide and open land. Refugees of all faiths and backgrounds may surely make this place their new homeland and dwell in peace without persecution. Praise God, everything does indeed happen for a reason.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed the post!

Until next time,

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The Patrician Ladies of Buenos Aires Society~ Damas Patricias

It was May 30, 1812, when fourteen women of Buenos Aires’ elite society gathered for a fund raising event. A collection was taken in support of the ragtag criollo army fighting against the Spanish crown. Each women —listed below—financed one pistol each. Obviously, it was not nearly enough to battle the Spaniards; but they inspired other women to do their part by crafting uniforms and eventually, as the story goes, stitching together the first Argentine flag.

  1. Tomasa de la Quintana
  2. María de los Remedios de Escalada
  3. María de las Nieves de Escalada
  4. María Eugenia de Escalada de Demaría
  5. María de la Quintana
  6. María Sánchez de Thompson
  7. Carmen de la Quintanilla de Alvear
  8. Ramona Esquivel y Aldao
  9. Petrona Bernardina Cordero
  10. Rufina de Orma
  11. Isabel Calvimontes de Agrelo
  12. Magdalena de Castro de Herrero
  13. Ángela Castelli de Irgazábal
  14. María de la Encarnación Andonaégui de Valdepares.

My new novel, Celestial Persuasion, unfolds in the Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata at the cusp of Argentina’s independence. After a series of astonishing events, the protagonist, Abigail Isaacs, finds herself in Buenos Aires. Here she writes to Captain Wentworth…

I received a missive this morning, presented by a liveried servant. It was an invitation from a Mr. and Mrs. Martin Thompson for Tuesday next. You can well imagine my astonishment, Captain Wentworth, as we are so newly arrived that I have not yet regained the use of my land legs. I have not a clue who these good people might be, or how they came to know of my arrival in the city. It was Mrs. Tavares who supplied the necessary information and assured me that I might respond to the invitation without compunction. It was all due to Lord Fife and his connections with society. I imagined the Thompsons were fellow compatriots, perhaps an elderly couple from Sussex or Bath. Imagine my astonishment when Mrs. Tavares explained the truth of the matter. Mrs. Thompson, in fact, is María Josepha Petrona de Todos los Santos Sánchez de Velasco y Trillo. The articulation of the lady’s name alone was quite an undertaking! It practically encompassed my daily Spanish lesson in its entirety. Mrs. Tavares was only too happy to impart her knowledge. To begin with, much to my relief, the lady is simply known as Mariquita Sanchez de Thompson. She is the daughter of a distinguished family of Río de la Plata, with an impressive lineage tracing back to Spain and Portugal. She married Martin Jacobo Thompson and the pair have become the toast of the town.

Mrs. Tavares’s countenance upon seeing the invitation was quite telling. I have never witnessed such excitement. It would seem that an invitation to Mrs. Thompson’s salon is paramount to taking tea with one of the patronesses of Almacks! One must understand, these social gatherings include some of the most renowned citizens of the Viceroyalty. I am to expect an introduction to compatriots and locals, aristocrats and artisans. If I am to trust in my housekeeper’s accounting, Mrs. Thompson is an extraordinary example of female ingenuity. She is known as a great advocate for the new republic. Mrs. Tavares assures me that a more fervent patriot cannot be found among those who support the cause. Not only did the lady donate three ounces of gold to the coffers, she lends her domestic skills for the sewing of uniforms.

In short, Captain Wentworth, I am undone at the thought of attending Mrs. Thompson’s salon. I fear I lack the talent of conversing easily with strangers; although you may believe that an odd statement after I have, after all, rambled on for two pages complete. Your close ties with Jonathan, and your own insistence, have made you less a stranger and more a relative.

I hope you enjoyed the excerpt! You can find Celestial Persuasion on Amazon in both digital and paperback formats. Happy reading!

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Today’s the day!

It seemed like the day would never arrive, but here we are! I am excited and nervous and hopeful and, well…excited! I can’t wait for you to read my latest book and tell me your thoughts.

A Jewish Regency Romance Set Against the Backdrop of Argentina’s Struggle for Independence.

Celestial Persuasion is now available on Amazon in both digital and paperback format. This has been a labor of love and inspiration, but now the real work begins. I’m an independent author, which means I need your help to spread the word. Please tell your friends! Share my posts on your social media. Are you on Goodreads? You can help me by adding the book to your “Want to Read” shelf. Actually, you could take it a step further and create a new shelf and call it “Jewish Regency Romance” or “Jewish Historical Fiction.” Vote for the book in the Listopia section. There are many great categories from which to choose, like this one, or this one or this one ! If you don’t know how to add or vote for the book, ASK ME! I’m only too happy to help. 🙂 Last, but not least, read the book! Leave a rating or a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or on your blog. The momentum created by your input is priceless. It helps me engage with other readers and brings my work out into the forefront—protecting me from those nasty algorithms!

Caroline Herschel was the perfect role model for my protagonist, Abigail Isaacs. Her extraordinary contributions to Astronomy were certainly an inspiration, but Caroline had two other interesting attributes. One was her Jewish heritage, the other was her relationship with her brother, William. The similarity with Abigail and her brother, Jonathan was bashert: It was meant to be.

I am grateful for your support and your interest. Please continue to watch this blog for future posts and interesting tidbits.

With love,

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Blog Tour~ Day Three…but, different

I’m going back to revisit Day Three of the Blog Tour…you know, the day that didn’t go as planned. I am a believer that everything happens for a reason, so I am going to try something different. ¡Espero que les guste!

As you have read, Celestial Persuasion takes place during Argentina’s Regency period. I thought it would be nice to translate, and share, one of my Blog Tour entries with our Spanish-speaking Janeite friends. And so, without further ado, here is Day One presented in Spanish.

Hola Mirta y bienvenidos a My Jane Austen Book Club! Como de costumbre, pregunto ¿cuándo fue tu primer encuentro con Jane Austen”?

¡Hola María Grazia! Te agradezco tu bienvenida. ¡He estado esperando este día! Para responder a tu pregunta, tengo que volver a la clase de literatura inglesa de la Sra. Malm en la escuela secundaria. Estaba en el noveno grado cuando leímos Orgullo y Prejuicio. Era una ávida lectora de novelas en ese momento, pero si la memoria no me falla, me tomó varios años apreciar su genio y convertirme en una verdadera fanática de Jane.

Felicitaciones por el lanzamiento de Celestial Persuasion. ¿Descubriste algo notable sobre los personajes de Persuasión de Jane Austen mientras escribías tu libro?

De hecho, lo hice, pero comenzó cuando estaba escribiendo mi novela anterior, The Meyersons of Meryton y tenía que ver más con la ambientación, que con los propios personajes. Tuve que crear una solución para disciplinar al Sr. Wickham, ¡ese sin vergüenza! Lo que descubrí no solo me proporcionó una alternativa de transportation a Australia, sino que me abrió los ojos a una historia que hubiese aprendido, si hubiera sido educada en mi tierra natal de Argentina.

A ver si me puedo explicar. En general, aquellos de nosotros que leemos Austen y disfrutamos de historias de la regencia estamos bien versados en las Guerras Napoleónicas. Es casi imposible recoger una novela centrada en esa época y no encontrar algo relacionado con ese conflicto. Fue parte de la vida de Austen; ¡impactó a toda Europa! Pero mientras Napoleón causaba estragos y marchaba por todo el continente, había otros que se concentraban en el Nuevo Mundo. Mi investigación me llevó por el proverbial agujero del conejo y aterricé a los pies de Lord Duff, el cuarto conde de Fife. Me enteré del patrocinio de Lord Fife de José de San Martín. Descubrí las conexiones entre los ingleses y el Virreinato del Río de la Plata. Entre las historias de oficiales navales, monarcas desterrados, y damas vestidas de regencia, comencé a formular una idea. Las piezas estaban allí sobre la mesa, esperando a ser ensambladas como un gran rompecabezas. Fue el capitán Wentworth quien lo pudo unir para mi y así fue que desarrollé mi cuento.

Debido a que las guerras napoleónicas y la lucha por la independencia del Virreinato ocurrieron en el mismo período, pude tejer una historia en torno a mi protagonista, Abigail Isaacs—una joven que se encuentra en una situación desesperada—y el buen capitán del HMS Laconia. Al igual que el trabajo de Austen, una parte de la historia es epistolar. La correspondencia entre Abigail y el capitán Wentworth habría sido bastante escandalosa en circunstancias normales. Pero, la narrativa exige la comunicación; y al final de mi novela, el escenario está preparado para que Anne Elliot y el capitán comiencen su camino —tal como Jane Austen lo imaginó.

2. ¿Cuál es la conexión entre Persuasión de Austen y tu Celestial Persuasion?

Quise que mi libro sea una precuela; pero en orden para presentarlo como tal, necesitaba comprender plenamente el estado de Frederick Wentworth antes de su puesto en el HMS Asp. Y de hecho, leí Persuasión devuelta. Al mismo tiempo—mientras tropezaba por ese agujero de conejo que mencioné en la pregunta anterior—descubrí a una fascinante mujer que ustedes conocen bien: Mariquita Sánchez. Descubrí que su historia de amor con Jacob Thompson era similar a la de Anne Elliot y su capitán. Tanto las opciones de Mariquita como las de Anne fueron rechazadas por sus familias. En ambos casos, las familias afirmaron que oficiales navales pobres y jóvenes — desconocidos y sin experiencia— no eran candidatos para sus hijas. Donde Anne y Mariquita difieren es en su manera de reaccionar. Anne se dejó convencer de retirarse de su apego. Si lo hizo por el bien del capitán o por el de ella, es una pregunta que muchos lectores todavía debaten. Mariquita, en cambio, luchó por su elección y le costó caro. Mi protagonista, Abigail Isaacs, también se encuentra en aguas turbulentas y se le pide que tome una decisión que le altera la vida. No tiene ni amante ni familia que la convenza de una manera o otra. Abigail es una mujer sola; y siendo una criatura racional, ella hace su elección basada en los hechos tal como se presentan.

Había muchas similitudes entre la época de la regencia argentina y la de la obra de Austen, y no pude evitar unir las historias. Creé una conexión entre el capitán Wentworth y el hermano de mi protagonista. Es esta amistad la que obliga al capitán a entrar en la vida de Abigail Isaacs y pone a ambos en una nueva trayectoria.

3. ¿Hubo alguna escena que te gusto escribir particularmente?

¡Esta es una pregunta difícil! ¡No quisiera arruinar la lectura para tu audiencia! Solo diré que mi escena favorita fue muy satisfactoria de escribir. Sentí que la voz de Abigail sobresaltó más fuerte y más allá de cualquier cosa que había imaginado originalmente. Me conmovió la escena a mí misma, como si la estuviera observando como un extraño. Espero que también sea la favorita de un lector.

Otra escena involucraba la inclusión de una leyenda guaraní. Necesitaba inspiración para algún diálogo entre el teniente Gabay y Yasitata, una sirvienta guaraní. Pensé que tendría que pasar horas investigando en internet sobre esta cultura indígena, pero tuve suerte. O tal vez, me conmovió un ángel que vigila a los autores con bloque de escritor—¡no estoy del todo segura! Sólo voy a decir esto: Fue una gran satisfacción poder incluir esta fábula en el libro.

4. ¿Tienes una novela favorita de Austen? ¿Quiénes son tu heroína y héroe favorito?

Por mucho que disfruté Orgullo y Prejuicio—y he visto la adaptación cinematográfica de 1995 una y otra vez—Persuasión me conquistó. El crecimiento que vemos en Anne y el capitán Wentworth es poderoso, la constancia de su amor es conmovedora. Escribí sobre estos atributos en otro de mis libros: Destiny by Design~ Leah’s Journey. Si bien esta novela no es un verdadero “J.A.F.F.”, el libro fue definitivamente inspirado por Austen; y la transformación de Anne en Persuasión se discute con gran fervor entre mis dos protagonistas. Me encantó la determinación y amabilidad de Anne y su fuerza templada. Me encantó que el capitán Wentworth, aunque se sintió traicionado y mal utilizado, nunca amó a otra mujer.

5. ¿Cómo te ha inspirado Jane Austen?

Su Realismo me inspiró. Su afán por mostrar la vida tal y como la veía me inspiró. Austen, como sabemos, escribió sobre su mundo y su entorno. Aunque era ingeniosa y un poco sarcástica, nos trajo temas profundos para considerar y apreciar. Por supuesto, había historias de amor, pero en esencia, Austen nos permitió mirar a un mundo diferente, una cultura diferente. Con mi herencia cultural y mi origen étnico, seguir los pasos de Jane Austen me da una plataforma para compartir mis pasiones por la Judaica y mis raíces argentinas, con la ficción histórica. Desde luego, no pretendo tener su genio; su estilo e ingenio son legendarios. Sólo siento que ella abrió la puerta para los demás quienes tenemos historias para compartir, en un estilo propio…como Austen solía decir.

6. Contame más sobre tu investigación para Celestial Persuasion. ¿Qué te atrajo a esta historia en particular?

Supongo que mi radar de inmigrante atrae palabras que otros podrían no notar. Por ejemplo, si estoy leyendo, o viendo una película, y palabras como “el argentino” o “la pampa“ aparecen de repente, ¡me siento inmediatamente atraída! Aunque se suele mencionar de pasada, autores de la Regencia y las épocas victoriana han aludido a menudo a la participación inglesa en el Virreinato del Río de la Plata. En la miniserie de la BBC de la novela de Edith Wharton, The Buccaneers, el actor Greg Wise (también conocido como Willoughby) interpreta el papel de Guy Thwarte, un joven que se va a construir ferrocarriles en Argentina. En la miniserie de 2004 de Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, el Sr. Bell deja a Margaret Hale un legado antes de zarpar a la tierra de las pampas. Así que ya ven: sólo quería seguir el ejemplo que se puso delante de mí.

Debido a que me crié en los Estados Unidos, mi comprensión de la lucha argentina por la independencia era bastante deficiente. Pasé algún tiempo investigando la historia de la influencia de Inglaterra en el nacimiento de la República Argentina. Además, tuve que estudiar temas como la astronomía y la astrología en forma muy básicas, pero desde la perspectiva hebraica. Debido a que Abigail Isaacs “estudió los cielos”—al igual que su heroína, Caroline Herschel—quería que las fechas hebraicas correlacionaran con las actividades celestiales en y alrededor de 1812. El calendario hebreo está basado en la luna y, por lo tanto, difiere del calendario gregoriano. Tuve la suerte de incluir datos históricos y fiestas judías en la novela, y hacer que coincidan con lo que estaba sucediendo en los cielos. Esto fue particularmente importante en el capítulo que enfoca a la famosa batalla de San Lorenzo.

7. Mencionas temas que no se encuentran generalmente en una novela de Regencia: Argentina, Caroline Herschel y los temas judíos. ¿Cómo llegó a escribir sobre tales temas y el lector necesita tener una comprensión del judaísmo para disfrutar de tu libro?

¡Gran pregunta! Espero poder representar el judaísmo de Abigail Isaacs y Raphael Gabay al igual que los personajes anglicanos de Austen. Su fe forma parte de lo que son; está ahí, en el fondo…simplemente añade otra dimensión. Escribir sobre personajes y temas judíos es importante para mí, porque lo que nos han dado autores como Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dickens e incluso Heyer, no me agrada. Las caricaturas de los judíos codiciosos, malvados y de nariz grande es una parodia y debe ser impugnada. Del otro lado, hay una multitud de material de lectura que trata de la historia trágica del Holocausto. Esto es como debe ser. Deberíamos saber, y nunca olvidar lo que sucedió durante ese reinado de terror; el judaísmo es una religión que aprecia la vida. ¡Hay mucho más en nuestra historia que la tragedia y el dolor! Y es por eso que escribo ficción histórica judía ambientada en la Regencia y la época victoriana.

Sobre el tema de Argentina: ¡la respuesta es igual de sencilla! Como inmigrante, mi experiencia fue como dice la canción: No soy de aquí, ni soy de allá. Descendiente de rusos, Judía, nacida en Argentina, pero fanática de mi país adoptivo…me llevó casi toda mi vida (ya pronto cumplo 60) aceptar quien soy, cuales son mis raíces. Batallé en contra de un complejo de identidad. ¡Pero ya no más! Mi primer libro: With Love, The Argentina Family, una especie de autobiografía, fue terapéutico y abrió la puerta a otras oportunidades y formas de pensar. No pretendo que mi trabajo sea académico; ¡no está destinado a serlo! Espero que les resulte leve y entretenido… e incluso ilustrativo.

En cuanto a por qué elegí a Caroline Herschel: Estaba buscando un modelo o héroe para mi protagonista, pero descubrí que había pocas mujeres matemáticas y científicas a principios de 1800. Descubrí a Sara Guppy, Mary Edwards y Mary Somerville y quedé completamente impresionada con sus logros. Luego me encontré con Caroline Lucretia Herschel. Sus extraordinarias contribuciones al mundo de la ciencia y la astronomía fueron sin duda una inspiración, pero ella tenía otros dos atributos interesantes que me llamaron la atención. Una era su herencia judía y la otra era su relación con su hermano, William. La relación con Abigail y su hermano, Jonathan Isaacs, fue bashert: Estaba destinado a ser.

8. ¿Por qué los lectores de Austen deberían obtener una copia de tu Celestial Persuasion? ¿Cómo los invitarías a hacerlo?

¡Gracias por preguntarme! Sabemos que hay una gran cantidad de variaciones de Austen disponibles para una audiencia mundial. Creo que es significativo que el trabajo de Austen continúe inspirando a un grupo diverso. Se nos han presentado interpretaciones modernas, historias de viajes en el tiempo, y narrativas que se centran en cualquier número de etnias y culturas. Esto habla de nuestra sed de nuevas y tentadoras tramas y temas austenescos. Celestial Persuasion no cambia a nuestros queridos personajes, pero llevará al lector en un viaje fuera de Inglaterra. Conocerás nuevas personas y culturas, y con suerte, te enamorarás de otra pareja cruzada por las estrellas.

Celestial Persuasion es definitivamente una novela independiente; y aunque he tratado de emular a Austen, la historia es única y propia. Permítanme terminar con los pensamientos de Austen:

“No podía sentarme seriamente a escribir un romance serio bajo ningún otro motivo que salvar mi vida, si fuera indispensable para mí mantenerlo – nunca relajarme en reírme de mí misma o de otras personas, estoy segura que debería ser colgada antes de haber terminado el primer capítulo. No – Debo mantener mi propio estilo y seguir a mi manera; y aunque nunca vuelva a tener éxito en eso, estoy convencida de que debería fracasar totalmente en cualquier otro.”

Invito a tu audiencia a dar una vuelta alrededor del mundo conmigo. Si las estrellas se alinean, Celestial Persuasion estará disponible en Amazon tanto en formato digital como impreso el 30 de junio de 2021. ¡Espero que disfruten de la lectura! Gracias por invitarme. ¡Fue divertido! Si desean más información sobre cualquiera de mis libros, les invito a visitar mi blog: mirtainestruppauthor.com

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Blog Tour~ Day Four: Diary of an Eccentric

We’re back on track today.

Follow me, won’t you?

Here’s your chance to read an excerpt and enter a giveaway.

Just click on the link !

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Blog Tour~ Day Two: Heidi Slowinski, author & editor

Here we go. Day Two!

You don’t want to miss this next stop!

Follow the link below & let me know what you think.

Heidi Slowinski

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Blog Tour~ First Stop: My Jane Austen Book Club

Today’s the day!

Join the Blog Tour! First stop:

My Jane Austen Book Club

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You’re cordially invited …

According to ancient Judaic tradition, a great miracle occurred in the month of Tamuz. This Hebrew month corresponds to June and July in the Gregorian calendar and begins with Rosh Chodesh on June 9th. I found it fitting to share this bit of information with you, as it relates to my new book: Celestial Persuasion.

Without going deep into the weeds, let me just say that during this season the ancient Israelites were at battle with the five kings of the Emorite Nation (Book of Yehoshua 10:11-14). As the verse unfolds, we read that “great stones” fell from the heavens, and the sun and the moon did not advance in the sky until the Israelites could claim victory. Today, we can assume that an intense meteor or asteroid shower fell upon the particular place; but according to tradition, it was a celestial miracle. I couldn’t resist sharing this with you because it touches upon a recurring theme in my story. Here is a snippet that speaks to fresh starts and new beginnings:


Dinner was completed with no further discussion of wars, revolution, or immigration to far and distant lands. Abigail noted Mrs. Frankel’s silent approval of the elegant meal, which mainly consisted of fish and poultry and various dishes of accompaniment. While they supped, polite conversation regarding the weather in Devonshire was the rule, much to Abigail’s chagrin, but then at last his lordship introduced a new topic, the extraordinary shape of the crescent moon.

“As tonight is Rosh Chodesh, a celebratory occasion of our faith, I beg you apply to Miss Isaacs for commentary,” Mrs. Frankel offered.

“Indeed? I would be glad to hear of it,” the earl replied. “Pray tell.”

“I would not wish to bore you, my lord, with talk of instruments and calculations,” said she, in an attempt to curtail her natural instincts; “however, if you care to learn about the holiday Mrs. Frankel references, I would share Rabbi Nachman’s compelling words on the subject.”

With his lordship’s approval, Abigail continued. “The moon has been a point of great significance since the time of the ancient Israelites. We use its cycles to calculate the months of the year, which differs from the Gregorian calendar based on the sun. Rabbi Nachman suggests that when even the slightest portion of this heavenly body is spotted, that least sighting—that modicum of hope—is sufficient to proclaim a fresh beginning for every one of us. And this evening, as witnessed by the shape of the moon, we celebrate the head of the new month and wish each other peace.”

“That is truly providential,” the earl stated and raised his glass. “Join me in a toast, won’t you? To Jonathan, the best of men, and to new beginnings!”

“To Jonathan,” Abigail repeated and swallowed hard. “And to new beginnings.”

“L’ chaim,” murmured Mrs. Frankel. “To life.”


Dear readers, you are cordially invited to my upcoming Blog Tour. During the week of June 13-18, several bloggers will be reviewing the book or hosting an author’s interview with yours truly.

I hope you join me on this virtual excursion!

Here are the dates:

Sunday, June 13, 2021~My Jane Austen Book Club

Monday, June 14, 2021~Heidi Slowinski

Wednesday, June 16, 2021~ Diary of an Eccentric

Thursday, June 17, 2021~Faith, Science, Joy, and Jane Austen

Friday, June 18, 2021~Bonnie Reads and Writes

Friday, June 18, 2021~Every Woman Dreams

One last thing before I sign off: The preorder link for the eBook can be found here

Happy Reading!

New Post

Time to Celebrate! Celestial Persuasion: A Jewish Regency Romance

Announcing the arrival of the Pre-order link!

Celestial Persuasion is now available for pre-order HERE

Be the first in line to get your copy!

Purchase the eBook today and receive the content on 6/30/2021.

I’m so excited! I know you are excited, because I have been receiving lovely messages from so many readers. Help me spread the word. Preorder your eBook today and let Amazon do its magic!

Happy reading!


New Post

Celestial Persuasion~ Coming Soon!

Readers of this blog know that I was inspired to write a Jewish historical fiction based on Jane Austen’s Persuasion. I understand some of you have not had the pleasure of reading Austen’s original work or seeing the film adaptations. Never fear! Celestial Persuasion is a stand-alone novel with more than enough to tempt you. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Here are a few early comments from people in the know…

“I’m still shaking my head at how good this was! Even though I knew nothing about the history of this area, I found the story fascinating. The appearance of an Austen character in the story always made me smile.” ~ Jeanne Garrett


“A wonderful and inventive novel that paints a compelling historical tale upon a large canvas background of a culture different from what most are used to seeing in #Austenesque variations. Celestial Persuasion left me contemplating about how destiny is written in the stars.”   ~ Don Jacobson, author of The Bennet Wardrobe series


“Devotees of Austen’s work, who never wanted her stories to end, will enjoy Trupp’s writing, and those who have adored Persuasion, will not be disappointed in what could possibly come after.” ~Sherry V Ostroff, author of Caledonia, Mannahatta and The Lucky One


“From a literary perspective, I love the way Jane Austen’s characters are sewn into the book. While Abigail’s Jewishness is certainly a central focus, I must commend the respect offered to several other faiths throughout the story, emphasizing that which we have in common rather than that which separates us. I loved this book!” ~ Debbie Brown


I hope to entice you with this shortest of snippets. Please enjoy!

With her morning correspondence completed, she was at leisure; however, this was not a pleasant interlude and Abigail dreaded such moments. For it was during these quiet times that the gripping claws of sorrow tore at her heart. She required an occupation, as the stillness of her life had become too much to bear. She quitted the morning room and quietly climbed the stairs to find Jonathan’s bedchamber.

Opening the door, Abigail was met with the familiar scent of old books and leather. Mrs. Frankel had seen to the room being kept tidy. The clean linen upon his bed added to the crispness in the air. Jonathan’s wardrobe contained most of his clothes, as he took only the essentials when he went off to sea. His shelves were lined with an eclectic combination of writings. Books of Kabbalah and astrology were placed side by side with authoritative treatises on astronomy, physics, and physiology. There were novels of the sea that spoke of great battles of yore, and there were books of poetry and psalms. Abigail ran her fingers across their delicate bindings and cried over the senseless loss of such a kind and gentle man. She would have to pack his belongings, as she had done with her father’s things. Some things would be given to charity, clothes and the like, but the books would not be forsaken.

Abigail reached for an ancient tome; it had once belonged to her maternal great-grandfather and had been passed down throughout the generations. Jonathan had shown her this very book when she was yet a child of five years of age and their mother had left their world. The Sefer Yetzirah, Jonathan had explained, was devoted to speculations concerning God’s creation of the world. He had shown her drawings of the constellations that formed the galgal hamazalot, the wheel of the Zodiac, which exerted influence on Man’s traits and tendencies and on the natural course of things. Abigail recalled his gentle voice as he proposed that they study the celestial spheres together and learn of their characteristics. In her innocence, she had asked if their mama had become one of the heavenly formations watching them from above.

“Dearest, you may still speak to Mama,” Jonathan had said. “Ask her to guard you and guide you from her heavenly home. You may look upon the shining stars and imagine one of them is our own mama sending her love to us here on earth. But Avi, the stars and the moon, and all the wondrous celestial creations, are only a manifestation of God’s will. We must always remember to place our faith and trust in our Creator.”

Abigail closed the book and returned it to its rightful place on the shelf. There would be time enough to reminisce in the days to come. She was not compelled to act with much alacrity; her brother’s belongings would remain as he left them, and Abigail did not look back as she closed the door.

Dear readers: the preorder link for the eBook can be found here