Juliana (Volume I, 1941-1944) by Vanda
Publication Date: February 14, 2016
eBook & Paperback; 375 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/Contemporary Woman/LGBT
JULIANA is the story of dreams, the dreams of two women who randomly, inevitably cross paths, of stage stardom and soulful songs amid the deceptions required in a prewar 1941 New York City, where love was presumed to be straight, and destiny was supposed to be written in the stars.
It’s 1941 and Alice “Al” Huffman comes from the potato fields of Long Island with her beau, her best girlfriend and her girlfriend’s beau to make it on the Broadway stage only to find she has no talent. On the kids’ first day in New York City, they meet Maxwell P. Hartwell III, a failed nightclub owner and Broadway producer, who, according to Al, looks a little like Clark Gable. He invites them to a nightclub where Al hears Juliana, the glamorous, perpetually-on-the-brink-of stardom singer, for the first time. Al is instantly drawn to her and seeks her out. Juliana is a sexual risk-taker who easily reels in the mesmerized Al.
Al is increasingly pulled into a secret gay underworld of men who wear dresses and women who smoke cigars, while her childhood friends continue in their “normal” lives. Al glides easily between the two worlds until these worlds begin to collide.
Cameo appearances are made by Walter Liverace, Ethel Merman, Tallulah Bankhead and others.
Praise"… captures the fear, excitement, and eroticism of a young lesbian's awakening in the the 1940s." — Kirkus Reviews
"Vanda creates a historical novel about a time period in which we know very little about queerness—WWII... Vanda's narratives, prowess of timely language and setting and character development lend a poignant message: to be queer was to be anti-American.— July Westhale, Lambda Literary Review
"Juliana is the opening act in a series of stories that will cover, discover and recover LGBT history.... Vanda's clean-shave style in Juliana amplifies the creative ways in which lesbians and gays in the 1940s compartmentalized their identities like meals at an automat.....I can't wait for the next edition of yestergays' news to come out" — Alison Fradkin, Curve Magazine
"Spell-binding, entrancing. A gay underworld with the sights and sounds of a lost New York." — Lisa E. Davis, author of Under the Mink
About the AuthorVanda's novel, Juliana (Vol. 1, 1941-1944) to be released in February by Booktrope Editions is about LGBT life in 1940s New York City. This novel is the first of a series of novels about the same characters living through successive decades of LGBT history.
As a playwright Vanda has received numerous honors, among them an Edward Albee Fellowship. Her play, Vile Affections, published by Original Works was a finalist for a National Lambda Award. Her play, Patient HM, which later became The Forgetting Curve, won the Pride Stage and Screen's Women's Playwriting Award and another play, Why'd Ya Make Me Wear This, Joe, won Celebration Theater's (where Naked Boys Singing originated) Best New LGBT Play. Vile Affections played at the New York International Fringe Festival to sell-out audiences and was published by Original Works in 2008. The Forgetting Curve was produced in Boston in September 2014 and the producer has plans to bring it to New York.
Vanda's non-fiction story, "Jack," was published in Prairie Schooner in Summer 2011 and another non-fiction piece, "Roger: Lost Between Philosophies," which appears Pentimento was selected by New Millennium Writings for Honorable Mention from a submission pool of 1,300. Other short prose pieces have been or will be published in Sinister Wisdom, The Outrider Review and The Grub Street On-Line Journal.
Copy received from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for an honest review
"Juliana" was a beautiful story set in NYC during the 1940's. I'm personally a huge fan of early history of NYC so this was a great read for me. The time period paired off with the great characters in this book made Juliana a engrossing and enlightening read ! Through the adventures of Alice Huffman, Aggie, Danny and Dickie, we are able to experience what life was like for aspiring performers with big dreams. Aside from the professional struggle is the conflicts that they face when they feel a self awakening that they are not ready to deal with. The attitudes of the characters are very reflective of the times and I loved that the author stayed true to the personal development of the characters. I can't wait to see what Vanda has in store for volume II
Blog Tour ScheduleMonday, May 2
Kick Off & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, May 4
Spotlight & Excerpt at I Heart Reading
Monday, May 9
Review at Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne
Tuesday, May 10
Review at Book Nerd
Thursday, May 12
Review at With Her Nose Stuck In A Book
Friday, May 13
Review at CelticLady's Reviews
Monday, May 16
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Tuesday, May 31
Blog Tour Wrap Up at Passages to the Past
GiveawayTo enter to win a copy of Juliana by Vanda please enter the giveaway via the GLEAM form below. Two copies are up for grabs!
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on May 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.