The Accidental Suffragist by Galia Gichon

The Accidental Suffragist, by Galia Gichon, is a Women’s Historical Fiction novel. It was released on June 1, 2021, published by Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing.

“Gichon reminds us of the grave sacrifices so many women made more than a century ago and the debt of gratitude we owe them today as we see Kamala Harris’s ascent to Vice President.–Alisyn Camerota, CNN Anchor and Author of “Amanda Wakes Up”

Synopsis:

It’s 1912, and protagonist Helen Fox is a factory worker living in New York’s tenements. When tragedy strikes in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, Helen is seduced by the Suffragist cause and is soon immersed, working alongside famous activists.

As Helen’s involvement with the cause deepens, she encounters myriad sources of tension that test her perseverance: estrangement from her husband, who is blindsided by his wife’s sudden activism; ostracization by neighbors; unease at working side by side with wealthier suffragettes; and worry about her children as she leaves them to picket the White House in Washington.

The narrative spans World War One and concludes with the triumph of 1919. In a time when the obstacles for women, from any background, were insurmountable, Helen discovers her voice as an independent woman and dreams of equality in a male-dominated society.

Excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

January 1911. New York City. Lower East Side

HELEN FOX WALKED UP to her building, dodging wayward neighborhood boys chasing a stray dog, grabbing the last few moments of daylight. Before stepping over the onion peels and picked-over chicken carcasses on the sidewalk, she wrinkled her nose as a carted horse dropped manure in front of the building; she then hastened her way up the stairs. Pausing in the foyer, she raised her arms over her head to stretch her back from being hunched over a sewing machine all day at her job at McKee Button Factory. The closing bell still clanged in her ears. Nearly thirty years old, she wore a high-necked shirt tucked into a simple brown cotton skirt. She sighed as she saw the dust coating her clothing.

As she eased down the tight dark hallway, she almost didn’t stop at the mailboxes, giving them just her usual cursory glance. Then a bright white envelope in the slot marked with their apartment number caught her eye. Surprised, she reached for it, examined “Fox Family” written in swooping calligraphy. The return address was unfamiliar. She stood for a long moment just looking at the envelope. Feeling the weight of the paper in her hands, she started to get excited—something she didn’t feel very often. Something good was in this envelope. She looked over at the other mailboxes. Had her neighbors received one as well? No, but there was another envelope in her box. Two pieces of mail! This one was a bill and Helen’s heart sank. She knew that the doctor’s visit for Eleanor a few weeks ago would come back to haunt her. Putting both envelopes in her skirt pocket, she’d deal with them later. She could savor the heavy envelope later when the children were asleep. Her four chil- dren—Abigail, 12, Walter, 10, Claudia, 8 and Eleanor, 4—were waiting upstairs for her to start supper before her husband, Albert, came home. After climbing the stairs, she hesitated at the front door, stood straight, and tucked in the long brunette hairs that had fallen loose. Worry lines prematurely settled in her forehead and around her mouth.

“Hello Mama,” Abigail, her eldest, said and kissed Helen on the cheek as she entered the main area of their two-room apartment. The sofa sat in the center, doubling as Helen and Albert’s bed at night, with a small kitchen set against the wall by the window facing the street. Shelves holding plates and teacups hung above the limited counter. The only other furni- ture in the main room was a square wooden table with four mismatched chairs. The one bedroom, separated by a faded cream curtain with small flowers, had a bed where the children slept and a pine four-drawer dresser that held all the family’s clothing.

“How was your day?” Abigail asked.

Helen thought about the foreman at her factory, at the end of the day, who stood by the door, holding it open with his dirty gray boot, dangling a set of keys from his fingertips, grin- ning, and saying, “See you in the morning, ladies.” They’d been locked in the factory all day.

“Good, good, had a nice chat with Iris on the way home,” she said, squaring her shoulders, stroking the back of her neck, then walking over to a basin in the kitchen where she cleaned her hands to get the dirt out from under her fingernails. They didn’t need to know.

Abigail went back to the counter and resumed chopping celery for the supper stew.

“Ouch!” she cried out.

“What?” Helen rushed over. She grabbed Abigail’s arm and saw the blood.

“It’s ok. Just a nick,” Abigail reassured, covering the wound with the cloth from the counter.

“You must be more careful. That girl last week at the factory, you remember I told you? The one who cut off her finger. She still isn’t back to work. I heard she has an infection.” Helen fingered the doctor bill in her skirt pocket.

“Yes, Mama.”

Helen composed herself and focused on Claudia and Eleanor; her eyes gleamed and mouth curved into a smile as she saw Claudia chopping potatoes for the stew and Eleanor, in the middle of the kitchen covered in black dust. She was pitching in, gathering coal from the storage area to heat their rooms. Helen walked over to her and patted her dress creating a black swirl.

“Let’s get you cleaned up little one.” Then she scooped her up in her arms, not caring that the dust was getting all over her as well.

Noises came from the street and Abigail stood by the grimy window, observing children standing on a stranded horse cart watching a game of stickball while drying laundry flapped over them on a clothesline between two buildings. They tightly clutched baskets filled with items foraged from the streets. None of them looked as if they had bathed in weeks; dirt smudged on foreheads, shirts untucked, uncombed hair.

Albert burst into the apartment, “I got a few more guys to come to our next meeting. It’s a great start.” The children all crowded around him by the front door, eager to hear his update.

“Papa, Joe at school said you spoke to his father,” Walter said.

“Did he say he was going?”

“Don’t know. He said he didn’t want any trouble. Are you in trouble?”

“Nah. Not at all.”

“Please tell me the owners don’t know yet what you’re doing. If you lose your job … the can in the closet has even fewer coins,” Helen stated. For weeks now, Albert had been coming home late from attending union meetings at his factory job and was now furtively organizing a group.

“Stop your worrying, Helen. We’ll be fine. Change is coming and we can’t stop it!” he bellowed, taking off his boots, durable workwear coat, and flat cap. He had hazel eyes from his English ancestors, a full head of chestnut hair that he slicked back with pomade every morning and still stood lean and tall even though he spent countless hours hunched daily over heavy machines in the garment factory.

 


Praise:

“The Accidental Suffragist is the so-timely story of the sacrifices one mother makes – to her family, her safety, and her previous identity – when called by a cause and stirred to act.  Through the telling of this factory worker’s experience, Gichon reminds us of the grave sacrifices so many women made more than a century ago and the debt of gratitude we owe them today as we see Kamala Harris’s ascent to Vice President.  My teenage daughters snatched this book from my hands before I could even finish.” –Alisyn Camerota, CNN Anchor and Author of “Amanda Wakes Up”

“With its captivating heroine and rich historical details, The Accidental Suffragist is a novel that both enlightens and enthralls. A must-read for those interested (and we all should be!) in the fight waged by brave American women determined to secure their right to vote.” –Nina Sankovitch, Author and Historian

“The Accidental Suffragist is an entertaining, meticulously researched novel about the struggles and eventual triumphs of the Suffragist cause in the early twentieth century. Within this fascinating historical context, Gichon also explores the challenge and compromise inherent to working motherhood, a topic equally relevant today as it was then.” –Heather Frimmer, M.D., Physician and Author “Better to Trust”

“Many women wish the world was a kinder, fairer place for them, some women make it so. Gichon, like her heroines, moves through the world fueled by love and a sense of justice, the result is a richly detailed and studiously researched novel that will bring hope to your heart.” –Lorea Canales, Author of “Becoming Marta”


About the Author:

Widely quoted in The New York Times and more, Galia Gichon spent nearly ten years writing financial research for top investment banks before launching Down-to-Earth Finance, a top personal financial advising firm in New York.

Galia is the author of My Money Matters, a personal finance book which received notable press from the New York Times, TODAY Show, CNN, Newsweek, Real Simple and more. Galia Gichon consistently leads seminars for Barnard College where she has taught for 13 years, and other organizations. She is an avid angel investor focusing on women-led and impact startups and actively counsels startups through accelerators.

Readers can connect with Galia on Instagram, Twitter, and Goodreads. To learn more, go to: https://www.galiagichonauthor.com

Teko Bernard Announces the Upcoming Release of His New Children’s Chapter Book ‘Bronson Beaver Builds a Robot’

Teko Bernard announced the upcoming release of his new children’s chapter book Bronson Beaver Builds a Robot. 

Bronson Beaver Builds a Robot will be released on April 17, 2021, published by Tabron Publishing.

The story is about an inventive and industrious 13-year-old beaver named Bronson who attempts to build a robot to do his chores, so he and his two best friends can play in a video game competition to get the money they need to build their dream workshop.

It’s a slim and fast-paced chapter book created to instill in young readers a spirit of creativity and invention, inspire outdoor exploration in nature, and increase their interest in STEM. It will also teach the importance of honesty, responsibility, hard work, and friendship in a fun way.

This book is designed for boys and girls ages 7-12 who enjoy fast-paced stories with short, action-filled chapters. It’s the right choice for kids who like books about animals, nature, technology, and robots. ​It’s perfect for reluctant readers and newly independent readers who are looking for more challenging stories.

Synopsis:

Bronson Beaver is a 13-year old master builder and aspiring inventor who has been rigidly groomed since birth to work hard and someday take over his family’s historic wilderness resort lodge. But for the first time in his life, Bronson attempts to ditch hard work. He decides to secretly build a robot to do his chores before his family’s annual pancake festival event. So he can instead play in a high-stakes video game tournament with his fellow-inventor friends Myron Mink and Franny Fox. With the hope of winning its large cash prize so they can finally build their dream workshop. But, when his robot’s wires get crossed, it unwittingly creates more work and trouble for Bronson and threatens to ruin his family’s big event and any chance of making his dream a reality. It will require a lot of help from his friends and family to overcome the robot’s damages, save the event, and keep their hopes and dreams alive. In the end, Bronson ultimately learns the importance of honesty, responsibility, hard work, and friendship.

“This furry family tale will likely become a favorite of young readers, while the positive message should have parents cheering for more.” -US Review of Books

“This fast-paced novel, focusing on a young inventor and his dueling responsibilities, is perfect for middle-grade readers interested in robot fun.” – BookLife Reviews (Publishers Weekly)

“This book is advertised for kids 7-12, and I think it fits just that. With themes of STEM, friendship, responsibility, perseverance, family, and teamwork, it’s one worth checking out.” – Stephen Wolfe, 5th Grade Teacher

Pre-order a copy of Bronson Beaver Builds a Robot by Teko Bernard from Tabron Publishing and get an exclusive signed copy!


Excerpt:

 


About the Author:

Teko Bernard grew up in the midwest on a 5-acre parcel of wide-open land in the countryside, where he spent his days wandering, playing, and discovering things outdoors. He built forts, worked on bikes, and other inventive projects in his family’s workshop just behind their bustling home. This childhood experience, combined with Teko’s lifelong love for nature, and becoming taken by beaver’s inspiring behaviors and unique engineering abilities, ultimately inspired Teko to write this book.

Teko writes middle-grade chapter books for boys and girls ages 7-12. He is the author of Bernard Jones Is Going Places, The Hoop Kid From Elmdale Park, and Elite Squad. Before pursuing his dream to write for young readers, Teko started his professional life as a graphic designer.

Readers can connect with Teko on Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads. To learn more, go to: https://www.tekobernard.com

 

Katerina Canyon Announces the Upcoming Release of Her New Poetry Collection ‘Surviving Home’

Award Winning Poet and Best Selling Author Katerina Canyon has announced the upcoming release of her new poetry book Surviving Home. Surviving Home is a reflection on African American heritage and up-bringing, racism, and abuse. It will be released in December 2021, published by Kelsay Books.

Concisely arresting and challenging the beliefs of family and the fantasies of tradition, the poems in Surviving Home show that home is a place that you endure rather than a place where you are nurtured. With unyielding cadence and unparalleled sadness and warmth, Katerina Canyon contemplates the prejudice and limitations buried in a person’s African American heritage: parents that seem to care for you with one hand and slap you with the other, the secret desires to be released from the daily burdens of life, as well as the surprising ways a child chooses to amuse herself. Finding resilience in the unexpected, this collection tears down the delicate facades of family.


Excerpt:

 

Sojourner

 

Truth is where I found you

In the cusp high over ultraviolet waves

Between your time as a slave and mine

Fighting off the results of bondage.

 

You were a woman who accepted no

Excuses for the lack of rights

For our mothers and daughters,

Demanded more for those who followed.

 

I am a woman who accepts that most

White men are fixed on one idea

As to how the world should be,

And it is on me to change their minds

 

Through words, or actions, but never

Through guns or swords, white bonnet

Wrapped on my head as I push

Away racial insults and profanity.

 

You never forgot to say who a woman

Could be, what a Black woman could do

When we eschewed weakness and misogyny.

No one helped you. You just carved the trail.

 

No one helps me either. That’s what I learned

It means to be a Black woman.

To be strong, to plough, to plant, to raise barns.

That’s what you did. I do that metaphorically.

 

Now, I raise children, plough through journals

With my pen. I always remember to never

Pin my tongue for fear of other’s thoughts

This is the way you walked.

 

I try to get my half measure full,

But I think it is a little less

Difficult for me as it was

For you. Thank you for the

Quarter you earned.

 

It took us a long way, but

Today, the world is still

Turned upside down

And we are working

Hand by hand to

 

Flip it

Right side up

 


Praise:

“A harrowing collection by a Pushcart Prize–nominated poet… The poet balances such bleak, personal scenes with bold political poems: “Sojourner,” for instance, is an empowering ode to a role model who “never forgot to say who a woman / Could be, what a Black woman could do.” … The poet’s language can also be visceral and gripping … An often cathartic and poignant set of poems about endurance and the cycle of abuse.” – Kirkus Reviews


About the Author:

Katerina Canyon is an Award Winning Poet, Best Selling Author, civil rights activist, essayist, and poet. She grew up in Los Angeles and much of her writing reflects that experience.

Her first book of poetry, Changing the Lines, was released in August 2017. This work is a conversation between mother and daughter as they examine what it means to operate within the world as black women.

Katerina Canyon is a 2020 and 2019 Pushcart Prize Nominee. Her stories have been published in The New York TimesThe Huffington Post, and Folks. Her poetry has been published in CatheXis NorthwestThe Esthetic ApostleInto the Void, Black Napkin, and Waxing & Waning. From 2000 to 2003, she served as the Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga. During that time, she started a poetry festival and ran several poetry readings. She has a B.A. in English, International Studies and Creative Writing from Saint Louis University and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

Katerina moved to Seattle three years ago. Her latest book Surviving Home, a collection of poetry, will be released in December 2021 published by Kelsay Books. It is currently available for pre-sale.

Readers can connect with Katerina on Instagram, Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook. To learn more, go to https://www.poetickat.com/ 

To request a review copy of Surviving Home or an interview Katerina Canyon, please contact Kelsey at Book Publicity Services at (805) 807-9027 or Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com