Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Stanley & Hazel by Jo Schaffer. This tour is being hosted by Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours. I will have a guest post and giveaway today.
Stanley and Hazel by Jo Schaffer
Release Date: May 15, 2018
A great depression has gripped the city of St. Louis in 1934. Stanley, an orphaned newsy, lives in a poor part of town hit especially hard by the economic downturn. One night, Stanley runs into Hazel, a restless debutante in waiting who has begun to question her posh lifestyle in the midst of the suffering she sees. She’s out and about without an escort and against her father’s wishes.
When they discover the body of a girl with her head bashed in by a baseball bat, the very different and separate realities of the two teens inform their decision. Together they will figure out what happened to her and bring those responsible to justice.
But getting involved with each other and digging into the secrets behind this murder earns them some powerful enemies, including a secret group seeking to rid society of all they deem “undesirable.” They’ve put into motion “The Winnowing,” a plan seeking to take over the city and enforce their will.
As Stanley and Hazel’s forbidden feelings for one another grow, their investigation turns deadly. Now, it is up to Stanley and his gang of street kids to stop Hazel from becoming the next victim.
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The world of Stanley and Hazel (guest post)
The 1929 stock market crash caused widespread unemployment and poverty throughout America. By 1934, The Depression had reached its zenith. The resulting hardships pushed racial, social and economic tensions to the breaking point in the city of St. Louis which had long struggled with such issues.
In retaliation to the Great Strike of 1887 and the unrest of the working class, the economic elite in St. Louis held an event that was designed to put the poor and minorities in their place. The Veiled Prophet parade was led by a mysterious veiled figure holding a rifle, who was elected among the ruling elite. He symbolized the power and superiority of the upper class, and served as a warning to the poor to never rise up in rebellion again.
This history of racism and class tension made Depression Era St. Louis, fertile ground for the ideologies of fascism and social Darwinism. These philosophies and attitudes made many of the educated and wealthy elite, sympathetic to the theory of Eugenics, the science of eliminating unfavorable traits and creating a superior human race where those with favorable genes and the “right” pedigree are propagated.
This system of thought was deeply influenced by the growing Nazi party who seized control of Germany in 1934. Many Americans, including Charles Lindbergh and Henry Ford had close ties with the new regime and an underground society of Nazi sympathizers thrived in the United States.
In the midst of this poverty and rising darkness, Hollywood had its heyday. The business of the silver screen thrived while many other businesses struggled. Gangster films, musicals, and screwball comedies, shaped the culture and provided a much needed escape from hopelessness at 15 cents per ticket. Depression films reinstated the American values of individualism, classlessness, and progress. Things Americans desperately wanted to cling to despite the reality they lived in. The glamor of Hollywood influenced the culture and dictated fashion in a time when many people struggled to put food on the table.
I wanted Stanley and Hazel to reflect these divergent elements of life in the 1930s. Life during the Great Depression was a mix of desolation, loss, progress and overcoming. Americans were down but they weren’t out.
About the author:
Jo Schaffer was born and raised in the California Bay Area in a huge, creative family. She is a YA novelist, speaker, writer at Patheos.com, works in film production and is a Taekwondo black belt.
She’s a founding member of Writers Cubed and co-founder of the Teen Author Boot Camp, one of the largest conferences in the nation for youth ages 13-19. She and a crew of local and international bestselling authors present writing workshops to hundreds of attendees at the Utah-based conference as well as hundreds of others worldwide who view the conference online.
Jo loves being involved in anything that promotes literacy and family. She is passionate about community, travel, books, music, healthy eating, classic films and martial arts. Her brain is always spinning new ideas for books and sometimes she even gets around to blogging.
Jo is a mom of 3 strapping sons living in the beautiful mountains of Utah with a neurotic cat named Hero.
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One (1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a digital copy of Stanley and Hazel by Jo Schaffer (INT)
Thank you for stopping by today!
3 thoughts on “Blog Tour for Stanley & Hazel by Jo Schaffer (guest post and giveaway)”
Oooh this one sounds really interesting, I really love the 1920s/1930s time period for historical fiction.
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I hope you get to read it and enjoy it!
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This does sound cool!
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