Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Unsinkable Blog Tour

Fifteen years ago, Laurel Handfield was a single woman living in a tiny one bedroom in the suburbs of Philadelphia. She worked a monotonous nine-to-five handling copy equipment leases. One day she decided to get back to what she loved most—writing. She decided to write a novel. But what would it be about?

A month later, she went on vacation to the Bahamas. In true Stella fashion (See Terry McMillian-How Stella Got Her Groove Back) she met a Bahamian. The rest is history, as they say. She came back from vacation, quit her job several months later and moved to Maryland to live with her sister while she wrote her first novel based loosely on how she and her husband first met. She has since moved to the Bahamas where she has lived for thirteen years with her husband, three children and Abigail, the family hamster. She writes full-time. 

Her first upper middle grade novel,

Unsinkable, will be released May 21, 2013 by Simon & Schuster/Strebor Books. Unsinkable gives the day-by-day account of the only black family aboard the doomed Titanic. The prequel novella, A Bond Broken, is an ebook that will be released April 16th for the anniversary of the sinking. Both novels were written in her penname, Nicole Bradshaw. Her first picture book, Cassi da Conch, will be released by Xist Publishing in 2014.

When she’s not writing, she’s sipping piña coladas on the beach. (seriously)

Fifteen-year-old Corinne LaRoche’s life changes one evening when she returns home and witnesses her father being harassed by racist French policemen. That’s it! Her frustrated father decides the family is leaving France and moving back to Canada.

After boarding the beautiful Titanic, Corinne meets Christopher, the Captain’s nephew. Coming from a wealthy British family, Christopher is privileged in every way. He matches perfectly with Sophia, the daughter of a dear family friend he plans to wed.

Unsinkable is the tale of how two teens from seemingly different worlds come together amidst a tragedy that changed thousands of lives forever. They could have never imagined their impending fate as well as the family secrets revealed four days before the sinking. This novel gives a day-by-day account of the doomed voyage as told from a minority perspective.

Buy it here on Amazon or here on B & N

A Taste of Unsinkable

He reached into his trouser pocket and pulled out a tiny leaf. He pinched the stem and held it up to my face, only inches from my nose. “This is for you, ma belle femme.”
“What is it?” I gently took it from his hand.
“It’s a leaf from the tree we sat under,” he said. “Remember?
The first time we met?”
My heart sank. He actually remembered. I reached for the precious memento and held it close to my heart. It was so beautiful, not so much the crumpled-up dried leaf, but rather the symbol of our togetherness. I looked up to thank him, but he was already headed toward the barnyard doors.
“Where are you going?” I asked, pulling away loose strands of hay from my hair. “Please don’t leave.” There was a very quick but uneasy hesitation before he responded,“I have to go to the market for ma mère before it gets too dark. I’ll see you at the schoolhouse tomorrow, yes?” “But—” Before I could protest, he passed through the barn doors and headed down the dirt drive. I looked down at the leaf in my hand. I pulled myself up from the haystack and followed. I peeked out of the double wooden barnyard doors and when he was far enough down the road, I followed, making certain to remain at least ten paces behind as he strolled along the dusty path and toward the market. The
strong winds carried his soft whistle and his strides picked up pace. Dark clouds partially concealed the half moon as thunder roared off in the distance.

Or how about

Upon first inspection, the ship was beautiful. A crystal chandelier with tiny pieces that glistened like diamonds in a midnight sky hung directly above our heads. Everything about this ship was
extravagant. To the left were two glass double doors that looked to be ten feet tall with the words, First Class Dining Area, engraved in gold on the front. To the right, narrow, never-ending corridors
led toward the staterooms. According to the signs, the first hall was for first-class, the second, for second-class. The narrowest of the three halls further off to the right led down a second flight of
stairs. I gathered that to be third-class. “Where is our room?” Astrid asked. “It’s been a long day and
I want to lie down.” Daddy looked down at the ticket in his hand and then nodded toward the three corridors. “I think the rooms are down that way. Why don’t you go find your stateroom and we’ll meet up for dinner.”
Astrid and I looked at each other. I assumed she was thinking the same thing I was. “Find our stateroom?” she finally asked. “We’re not staying together?” Daddy reached into his pocket and pulled out two sets of tickets.“The surprise is, we sold the farm!” he exclaimed. “We’re going
back to Canada with the money from the sale.” Thinking it was some sort of joke, Astrid and I stared at him, waiting for the punch line. But Daddy insisted it was true. The farm had been sold and according to him, at a great price. Astrid jumped and squealed with excitement right there in the hall.
“Oh, Daddy, that’s great! Can I go shopping when we get back to Canada? I saw a lovely dress downtown that would look so good on me, but since we didn’t have the money, I couldn’t buy
it. If they have the same one in Canada, can I please buy it,Daddy, please?”My perception of the situation was slightly different. “But, Daddy,what happened to Momma? I thought that was why she was staying in Cherbourg? If you sold the farm, where will she stay?”“Oh, honey.” With one arm, Daddy pulled me close while securing the other around Astrid. “Let’s not talk about that yet.
Let’s enjoy ourselves. We’re on the Titanic—the greatest ship ever built. This is her maiden voyage. Do you know we’re making history as we speak?” When he saw the look of concern still on my face, his excitement softened. “Corinne, your mother is fine. She can stay with her family for a while.”
"But she hasn’t talked to her family in years.” Daddy sighed. “Once we’re further into the trip, I’ll explain it all to you. I promise.”
The wearisome calmness of his voice did nothing to ease my questions. “I don’t get it,” I challenged. “Why wouldn’t she be here with us, on this trip?” Daddy’s lips tightened. He cocked his head to the side and with his most serious expression, he slowly said, “I told you everything will be explained at the proper time. This is not that time.”On several occasions, I coaxed information out of Daddy with
one or two sugary sweet, Please, Daddys. If he was real stubborn I could give him the wide eyes, but apparently, now was not the time to push. Taking heed to his warning, I kept my mouth shut, but this conversation was definitely not over. "Are we going to sit at the Captain’s table for dinner tonight,
Daddy?” Astrid asked. “That’s only for first-class passengers. We have second-class tickets.”
"Second-class?” Astrid sulked. “But the sale of the farm should have given us enough money for first-class. Why are we stuck in disgusting second-class? We don’t have enough money from the sale?”

About Nicole

•Born and raised in Malvern, PA but has lived in Silver Springs, MD and currently resides in the Bahamas.

•First taste of writing began when she and her older sister used to create plays from Archie comics.

•Wrote a parenting column for The Bahama Buy and Sell, a local newspaper.

•Penname Nicole Bradshaw is her middle name and her mother’s maiden name.

•Chose a penname to differentiate her adult novels from her children’s novels.

•Currently writes children’s stories for an ipad app.

Unsinkable came about one day when she was watching the popular movie, Titanic.
•She wondered if there were any minorities on the ship. After the movie, she googled it and found out about the LaRoche family. From there, she created Unsinkable.

No comments:

Post a Comment