Feisty Deeds: Historical Fictions of Daring Women

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Pub Date Jun 08 2024 | Archive Date Aug 11 2024

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Feisty women spanning six centuries… Even when time periods and geographical locations vary greatly, women’s struggles as they confront adversity are often remarkably universal.

The twenty-three stories in this collection follow ordinary women from the 1470s to the 1960s as they rise to meet life’s challenges. An unhappy housewife in 1950s California gathers the strength to escape an abusive marriage.

When the local men are shipped off to fight in WWI, a young Yorkshire woman joins others to keep a munitions factory at peak operation. As her land and way of life are threatened, a nineteenth century Chickasaw wife and mother digs deep within to rekindle the strength of her ancestors.

A midwife strives to protect mothers from accusations of witchcraft. A nineteenth century English portrait artist possesses a rare, sought after talent that dispatches unwanted relatives.

Foreign invasions, the outbreak of war, rigid domestic authority, strictures of society and religion, the supernatural, love and family bonds all serve as catalysts for the feisty deeds of the women in these tales.

Edited by Carolyn Korsmeyer, Christy Matheson, Elaine Aucoin Schroller, Kay Smith-Blum, and Kimberly Sullivan —

Foreword by Aimie K. Runyan, Author of The School for German Brides, A Bakery in Paris, and Mademoiselle Eiffel 

Release date is Women’s Fiction Day—June 8, 2024.

All proceeds earned from this collection are destined for the WFWA Scholarship Fund, which benefits authors with financial constraints, allowing them access to conferences, writing craft classes, and technology that will enhance their writing careers.

Please spread the word about our collection and help provide support for other women on their author journeys.

Feisty women spanning six centuries… Even when time periods and geographical locations vary greatly, women’s struggles as they confront adversity are often remarkably universal.

The twenty-three...

Advance Praise

“The collection rises marvelously to the task set by the editors: show women who refused to accept the rules imposed upon them and accomplish all they set out to achieve.” —From the Foreword by Aimie K. Runyan, Author of The School for German Brides, A Bakery in Paris, and Mademoiselle Eiffel

“The collection rises marvelously to the task set by the editors: show women who refused to accept the rules imposed upon them and accomplish all they set out to achieve.” —From the Foreword by Aimie...

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ISBN 9798986884448
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Average rating from 33 members

Featured Reviews

A Delectable Blend of Art, Murder, and the Unexpected
Nina Wachsman's "The Deadly Portrait" is a captivating historical suspense novel that weaves together art, murder, and the unexpected. The story follows Nina, a talented portrait artist with a dark secret: her paintings have the power to drain the life force from her subjects. Hired by a wealthy Earl to paint his wife's portrait, Nina finds herself caught in a web of deceit and manipulation as she uncovers the Earl's sinister intentions.
Vivid Descriptions and Intriguing Characters
Wachsman's writing is vivid and descriptive, transporting the reader to the opulent world of 19th-century England. The characters are well-developed and intriguing, particularly Nina, who is both talented and morally ambiguous. The glimpse into the world of Victorian portraiture adds a fascinating layer to the story.
A Gripping Plot with Twists and Turns
The plot of "The Deadly Portrait" is suspenseful and full of twists and turns. The reader is constantly guessing who to trust and what Nina's ultimate fate will be. The ending is both surprising and satisfying, leaving a lasting impression.
A Minor Quibble
While the story is thoroughly enjoyable, there were a few instances where the pacing felt slightly uneven. However, this is a minor quibble and does not detract from the overall quality of the novel.
Highly Recommend
The Deadly Portrait" is a highly recommended read for fans of historical suspense, gothic fiction, and stories with a touch of the supernatural. Nina Wachsman's masterful storytelling and unique premise make this a novel that will stay with you long after you turn the last page.

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I loved everything about this book, I love the title, the cover and the fact that all the proceeds will be donated to the Scholarship Fund of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. This is a book to pick up over and over again and enjoy the inspirational short stories included within. A great gift for all the Feisty Women in your life, #NetGalley #FeistyDeedsHistoricalFictionsofDaringWomen

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I loved this book. Short stories that show the strength of woman. Small acts filled with heart and perservance. Moments in history at the brink of change. An amazing collection of stories.

I would like to thank NetGalley for the ARC.

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Feisty Deeds grabbed my senses. The stories reflected practices from the 1400’s through the 1970’s. In a few pages of text for each telling, the characters jumped off the page, the events turned my stomach or had me gripping my e-reader, but at the conclusion of each I recognized the bravery of women who threw their own safety and comfort aside, seeing the immediate need and the consequential changes that were needed for the most basic human experience.

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A collection of thoughtful, empowering stories that will inspire you to be feisty too. Incredible stories from the 1400s through the 1960s. I especially loved The Divine Sense!

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A wonderful collection of stories about, and written by, feisty women. Spanning six centuries, these short glimpses into women's lives and experiences through time are in turns touching, humorous, infuriating, and uplifting. Great read, perfect gift, excellent book club choice.

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What a glorious affirmation of the strength of ordinary women as well as a celebration of women writers. This collection "shows women who refused to accept the rules imposed upon them and accomplish all they set out to achieve." Some of the stories may surprise readers with the obstacles women faced not long ago. In one short story set in the United States, husbands could have their wives committed indefinitely to insane asylums with no medical diagnosis. Many women were locked away because their husbands found their opinions disagreeable or they had simply tired of them and could afford the expenses at the asylum. In another, a battered wife trying to get away from her abusive husband had to lie to the bank to withdraw a small amount of her own money from a joint bank account without her husband's permission. My heart broke for a poor woman with too many children who found herself pregnant again. One of my favorite short stories was "Summer of Love" set in California in 1967, since I am old enough to remember it. It has shocking correlations to the political unrest we are seeing now. Reading this collection introduced me to new writers and I will look for other books they've written a bonus for any avid reader. I loved this book and plan to buy copies for my daughters and friends to remind them of their inherent strengths as women.

My thanks to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for the digital ARC. All opinions and the review are entirely my own.

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As with all collections of short stories some I wanted to continue to read, others I was happy with a snippet but overall I absolutely loved this collection. Tales of women in all kinds of situations but all demonstrating our strength. Highly highly recommend.

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I rarely read collections of short stories by multiple authors. This book is changing that. Feisty Deeds edited by Kimberly Sullivan is a collection of 23 short stories that follow ordinary women from the 1470s to the 1960s as they rise to meet life’s challenges. These stories are purposeful, powerful and inspiring, prompting reflection about what it means to be a woman across these different time periods and how we can dare to be ourselves. Each has a life lesson to share that could spark reflection about our own identities, too. It’s also the perfect opportunity to get to know many authors you might not have encountered yet so you can devour their backlists.

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I received a free e-arc of this book through Netgalley. I have to say that I'm not a big fan of short stories because they usually cut off just as I'm getting interested. These are not the usual, "women heroes" stories that you have likely read before. They have violence, intrigue, murder. In short, they are riveting and I enjoyed them all greatly.

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Thanks to the publisher and editors for providing an advanced reader copy of this collection. •
Ever wonder about the challenges of women throughout the centuries? In Feisty Deeds: Historical Fictions of Daring Women, a group of historical fiction writers come together to provide glimpses into six centuries of women through short stories. Having a variety of authors provides for refreshing writing styles and perspectives. I have my favorites and you' will too. There is something here for everyone! Knowing that any proceeds will go to a scholarship fund for the Women's Fiction Writers Association is a bonus reason for purchasing this book. Will be a great graduation gift!

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Feisty Deeds: Historical Fictions of Daring Women is an anthology of historical fiction short stories written by 23 authors. According to the editors, "Even when time periods and geographical locations vary greatly, women’s struggles as they confront adversity are often remarkably universal. The stories in this collection follow ordinary women from the 1470s to the 1960s as they rise to meet life’s challenges."

To me, Feisty Deeds is like a box of chocolates - but without the calories. It gives readers a sampling of stories from a wide range of authors - those new to their career and those far more seasoned. If you love historical fiction - you'll love this anthology. The same is true if you love women's fiction.

For those who aren't sure that historical fiction is their genre, then this is the perfect way to read a wide variety of stories across six centuries and a variety of circumstances such as storms, murder, and war. Plus, you'll get the chance to discover these 23 authors: Debra Borchert, Teri M. Brown, Julie Mayerson Brown, Elisabeth Carson-Williams, Valerie Chalker, Joan Fernandez, Kim Gottlieb-Walker, Beth Anne Hill, Dawn W. Hogan, Carolyn Korsmeyer, Della Leavitt, Raquel Y. Levitt, Christy Matheson, Barbara Buckley Ristine, Suzanne Samuels, Julia María Schiavone Camacho, Elaine Aucoin Schroller, Kay Smith-Blum, Kimberly Sullivan, Ashley E. Sweeney, Nina Wachsman, Patty W. Warren, and Marie W. Watts

Finally, all proceeds of this book go to a WFWA scholarship to help women fulfill their dreams to become authors. Definitely put this on your TBR shelf!

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A variety of short stories about the strengths of women.
Affirming, inspiring and empowering, what stood out for me was the range: time periods, contexts, themes, moods.
There is a story for everyone in this book. The stories nested under Defying Domestic Authority were particularly interesting.

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I really enjoyed the historical fiction element in this book, it had everything that I was hoping for from this type of book. The concept was great and that this was written from different authors that I had never heard of. It worked as a collection and was glad I got to read this.

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The title and premise caught my eye and all i can say was the stories included did not disappoint! A few i wish had been longer (down side of short stories) but over all a must read for any fellow history bookworm. !

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This is a well-written collection of short stories by nearly two dozen historical authors. The book contains a wide range of time periods from hundreds of years ago to the not so distant past. Each story was an interesting, enjoyable and often thought-provoking tale of women's strength and fortitude against the constraints of the times in which they lived.

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this is a collection of short stories by lots of historical authors. Loved the book, you could finish one story in an afternoon.

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What a delightful compilation of short stories! I enjoyed every single one of them. The wide array of timelines and story settings made for interesting reading. What stood out most to me was the daring nature of the women featured as story protagonists. If only women ruled the world...

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FEISTY DEEDS is a fun collection of short stories all focused on women defying the norms of society. You’ll read about a Victorian artist who “paints” people, a handmaiden risking death to save the knight she loves, a daring camerawoman who risks life and limb to capture a peace protest turned violent, and more. I enjoyed jumping from historical period to historical period.

What I loved about this book was the fact that none of the stories ran longer than 3000 words (approximately 10-12 pages). For people who are continually interrupted by calls for food and popsicles, it means they can pick up and put down the book without losing track of the storyline. 

Best of all, the proceeds for this book go to the Women’s Fiction Association Scholarship Fund which helps writers facing economic hardships continue working at their craft.

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From the 1400s through to the 1960s, this is a wonderful collection about women’s strength, fortitude and grit throughout the ages. Every story breathes life into a new female who faces a challenge in a different time and place.

With a great theme and message, this collection is also a great way to discover new female authors and hear their voices.

I love how I can dip in and out of this, and get swept away. I’m not normally a short story reader but the themes and the writing in this anthology may have changed my mind.

A really strong and important book for a really great cause.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

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This anthology is a must for readers of short stories, historical fiction and women's fiction.

I love that each author in this wide-ranging collection has created a unique interpretation of "feistiness" to match each story's heroine that accurately reflects her era, circumstances and geographical location.

In ways large and small, women have always struggled to confront challenges. The inspirational and thoughtful stories within these pages take the reader on a fascinating journey across time and around the globe. A highly recommended read - even more so since all proceeds go to support a scholarship fund for aspiring women's fiction authors with financial constraints. This collection makes the perfect gift for the inspiring women and girls in your life.

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So many great stories to unpack in this fascinating historical fiction journey! The offerings span through centuries, featuring women who stand up for themselves in a multitude of challenges, from a painter with a “special” talent to a browbeaten wife extricating from a violent relationship. I highly recommend this read, overflowing with tales of perseverance and feisty attitude. Not to mention, the proceeds go to a worthy cause, providing scholarships through the Women's Fiction Writers Association.

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Feisty Deeds: Historical Fictions of Daring Women gave me 23 different stories that lifted me up, tore my heart out, and made me cheer. From six centuries and various countries, the women fought for their right to survive, to love, and to choose their futures. Each story wove a delicate path forward to the resolution of their tale, bringing nursemaids, immigrants seeking freedom, munitions factory workers in dangerous situations, college filmmakers, wives, socialites, poor women and wealthy women all into focus of a universal truth. These stories bring to the light the long history of regulating women to the background or erasing them from history. They show with eloquent words that feisty women have existed and changed the path of history, all in well-told fictional stories. One collection you don’t want to miss. 5 Feisty Stars!

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23 stories of women from 1470 to 1970. A great collection full of a wealth of information and history. I would vote it best book of the year.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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This anthology provides vignettes of women who were courageous and defiant of the role of women in their times. How inspiring to read these short stories. This book would be great for bookclubs or as a gift to a young woman specifically. I enjoyed getting to know these characters and will definitely be buying copies for friends.

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I'm not one for short stories as a rule. I prefer to "get into" a book. That has changed! I really enjoyed this series of stories and wish that some of them were made into full length books. There are so many great stories and authors in this compilation that I have a whole new series of authors to look at and enjoy!

Plus this is a great little addition when you just need something to read in a doctors office, as it let's you get to the end of the story before your appointment time.
I loved this book and would recommend it over and over again.

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To me, this anthology is like a treasure chest brimming with sparkling stories about extraordinary women confronting and overcoming bounds of society, conscience, politics, and locales. What would you do in any of the situations these feisty women find themselves in? Can you imagine yourself in 15th century Italy or Portugal? Scrabbling to survive in new lands? Flying in WWII or hopping a bus to make a new life?

In this collection you’ll find jewels to marvel over and set your imagination soaring. And, like a treasure chest, you will discover priceless stories to read again and again and authors who might very well become your new favorites.

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Feisty Deeds is a collection of historical fiction short stories (23 by 23 authors) that span several centuries and locations. Each story features a brave woman that will push the boundaries that society has placed upon her to help pave the way for a change in a woman's role. You will meet an amazing group of women---an artist, a luthier, a student camerawoman, a pilot, a midwife, etc.

I am looking forward to upcoming books by each of these authors.

Thank you NetGalley for the eARC.

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While I typically don’t read short stories because I prefer more depth and breadth, Feisty Deeds: Historical Fictions of Daring Women left me WOWed! Written by rising female authors, this anthology of 23 stories spans centuries, continents, and challenging circumstances. From the birthing room to the battlefield, and settings in between, these stories celebrate the resiliency of women of all walks of life when faced with formidable situations and ethical or moral decisions to rise above and live outside societal expectations.

If I was still teaching in the classroom, I’d be relying on Feisty Deeds as a touchstone book to teach the craft of writing. There’s nothing short on the beauty of the language and skill of storytelling in this book!

I can’t wait to dive further into these female authors’ other published works as the book includes lists them after each short story. For example, I’m looking forward to reading the upcoming family saga written by Marie Watts. She had me at “midwife” in her story “Monster”.

Since each story is approximately 10 pages long, it’s the perfect book to dip in and out of for the busy person – perfect to keep in the purse or messenger bag, on the coffee table or night stand, or in the car for easy quick breaks throughout the day. Feisty Deeds will also most certainly become my “go to” gift for the women in my life!

And as if that isn’t enough, all proceeds from the sale of this wonderful book go to the Women’s Fiction Writers Association scholarship fund! Feisty Deeds: Historical Fictions of Daring Women is the total package!

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me the ARC and the opportunity to review this book. All opinions expressed above are mine alone.

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