Far Away Bird by Douglas A. BurtonPublication Date: February 6, 2020 Silent Music Press LLC Paperback; 394 Pages Genre: Historical Fiction Inspired by true events, Far Away Bird delves into the complex mind of Byzantine Empress Theodora. This intimate account deftly follows her rise from actress-prostitute in Constantinople’s red-light district to the throne of the Byzantine Empire. Her salacious past has left historians blushing and uncomfortable. Tales of her shamelessness have survived for centuries, and yet her accomplishments as an empress are unparalleled. Theodora goes on to influence sweeping reforms that result in some of the first ever Western laws granting women freedom and protection. More than a millennium before the women’s rights movement, Theodora, alone, took on the world’s greatest superpower and succeeded. Far Away Bird goes where history classrooms fear to tread in hopes that Theodora can finally take her seat among the greatest women in history. Theodora seems impossible–yet her transcendence teaches us that society can’t tell us who we are deep down. Before there was a legendary empress, there was a conflicted young woman from the lower classes. And her name was Theodora.
Grand Prize Winner 2019 Manuscript Contest for historical fiction-Writers’ League of Texas
Bronze Medal for Best Debut Novel in historical fiction-The Coffee Pot Book Club
Gold Medal Book of the Year historical fiction- The Coffee Pot Book Club
About the AuthorDouglas Alan Burton is a speaker, author, and expert storyteller whose work depicts heroic figures and their deeper connection to the human experience. Doug blogs about heroes, heroines, and villains in pop culture with some unexpected and refreshing perspective. He grew up in what he describes as “the heroic boyhood culture of late Generation X” that has gone mainstream around the world. He also shares strategies with fellow writers for writing compelling heroic characters in fiction. Douglas recently began outlining a breakthrough storytelling model that reveals a fascinating “heroine-centric” model for story structure he calls The Heroine’s Labyrinth. He believes a powerful new archetype is emerging for women in fiction. His forthcoming novel, Far Away Bird, which centers on the early life of Byzantine Empress Theodora, won the 2019 Manuscript Content for Historical Fiction from the Writers’ League of Texas and will be published in February of 2020. Follow Doug on Facebook and Twitter and stay in the conversation, and follow his blog at www.douglasaburton.com.
Blog Tour ScheduleMonday, January 27 Review at Passages to the Past Tuesday, January 28 Guest Post at Let Them Read Books Wednesday, January 29 Review at @ya.its.lit Thursday, January 30 Review at Books and Zebras Review at Tales from the Book Dragon Friday, January 31 Interview at Jathan & Heather Monday, February 3 Review at Gwendalyn’s Books Tuesday, February 4 Feature at I’m All About Books Wednesday, February 5 Review at Historical Graffiti Thursday, February 6 Review at A Chick Who Reads Friday, February 7 Review at 100 Pages a Day Sunday, February 9 Review at Reading is My Remedy Monday, February 10 Review at History + Fiction + Adirondack Spirit Tuesday, February 11 Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit Wednesday, February 12 Review at @bookishbellee Thursday, February 13 Feature at Just One More Chapter Friday, February 14 Review at Broken Teepee
GiveawayDuring the Blog Tour, we are giving away two copies of Far Away Bird by Douglas Burton! To enter, please use the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on February 14th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Paperback giveaway is to the US only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen. Far Away Bird https://widget.gleamjs.io/e.js
“So, you see, a girl like you, who’s bold, intelligent, and most of all capable, is a girl of many possibilities. And a girl who can do so many things can be said to do anything, Theodora… no matter how incredible, and others will believe it.”
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: an author that can make me feel so much with their words, with a story they’ve written more than deserves a five star rating. ‘Far Away Bird’ is without a doubt one of my favorite books EVER.
I’m going to be honest, prior to this book I hadn’t heard of Theodora (I’m sure I covered her at some point in World History but I probably didn’t give her a second glance), and although she is a person who actually existed, we do not have first hand knowledge of what she was feeling and went through throughout her life, but I feel like the author does such an amazing job bringing her to life and depicting her in a way that was real and raw.
I don’t know the accuracy of the events and the story depicted in the book, so I don’t know the relevancy to Theodora’s life, but I can speak for myself in explaining why this book holds a special place in my heart.
Theodora is undeniably one of the best characters ever written. The way she is portrayed in this book, from losing her father at a young age, to the way she has to grow up quickly in a society that gives women no rights whatsoever, to paving her way in a ‘shameless’ manner through a society that judges harshly is the best character development I’ve ever seen. One of the most inspiring stories ever written.
The author not only provides an intriguing and captivating narration of Theodora’s life but also captures the essence and atmosphere of the time period so vividly that it felt like I was in the story witnessing the events as they unfolded. He brings to life the Byzantine Empire and all the struggles of mainly Theodora, but also women in general at this time so incredibly well and engages the reader on the most profound and emotional journey. Douglas Burton is a genius, so incredibly talented and I can’t wait to see more of Theodora’s story from him.
A brilliantly crafted, complex, and deeply jarring story of the struggles of a woman in a world that doesn’t allow her freedom and her will to overcome anything. An exquisitely told, moving story about strength and love, the rewards and consequences of standing up for what you believe in. A story that I cannot recommend enough.
Cover art illustration by George Frei