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Welcome to Day 1 of the “SMOKE ROSE TO HEAVEN” Blog Tour! @SarahAngleton @4WillsPub #RRBC

It is my pleasure to introduce Author, Sarah Angleton to my readers. Sarah writes historical fiction and is a member of Rave Reviews Book Club. Take it away, Sarah!

A Novel Found

About eight years ago I completed my first historical novel. It was the coming of age story of a woman who had come to possess the manuscript at the heart of the Spalding Enigma, a nineteenth-century conspiracy theory which questions the origin of the Book of Mormon.

The theory suggests that rather than translating the scriptural work from an ancient language inscribed on golden plates discovered buried on a hill in rural New York, Joseph Smith, with the aid of another early leader in the Mormon movement, plagiarized it from an unpublished book written by a man named Solomon Spalding and titled Manuscript Found.

But like all good conspiracy theories, this one is missing something. If Manuscript Found did, in fact, exist, then it’s been ironically lost to history.

The theory is fascinating and provides a wonderful backdrop for historical fiction, but perhaps I should have known better because in the course of those eight years my novel also became lost.

Smoke Rose to Heaven, which has now finally become my most recent release, spent five years of its life under contract with a small press that, allegedly due to illness of one of the owners, failed to engage in the business of publishing.

At first, everything was going well. I’d worked with one of the editors on revisions and final editing was well underway, the owner and I had settled on a compromise for the title, and cover art was coming along. I soon had a galley in my hands.

Then the publisher went silent.

Other previously successful authors began to complain that they couldn’t get copies of their books for upcoming events and raised concerns about overdue royalty statements and payments. Editors who had worked with the press for years heard nothing. Calls to the Better Business Bureau and the State Attorney General yielded no results.

Everyone was left scrambling. My book, which had not yet sat on a bookshelf, was for all practical purposes, lost.

Fortunately, my tale of woe has a happy ending. I had already written a companion novel called Gentleman of Misfortune and was able to self-publish that title so that readers so patiently waiting for a book I’d told them was coming would have something to read in the meantime. A little more than a year after that, the end date of my contract arrived and the copyright officially, legally returned to me.

Now at the end of this often incredibly frustrating journey toward publication, I have a novel that I am so excited to share with the world. It’s about a girl and a manuscript that was lost. Of course, if you want to know the ending of that story, you’ll have to read the book.

Book cover for "Smoke Rose to Heaven"

Book Blurb:

New York, 1872.

Diviner Ada Moses is a finder of hidden things and a keeper of secrets. In her possession is a lost manuscript with the power to destroy the faith of tens of thousands of believers.

When a man seeking the truth knocks at her door with a conspiracy theory on his lips and assassins at his heels, she must make a choice.

Spurred by news of a ritualistic murder and the arrival of a package containing the victim’s bloody shirt, Ada must either attempt to vanish with the truth or return the burden she has long borne to the prophet responsible for one of the most successful deceptions in US history.

Protecting someone else’s secret may save Ada’s life, but is that worth forcing her own demons into the light?

Author Bio:

Author photo of Sarah Angleton

SARAH ANGLETON is the author of the historical novels Gentleman of Misfortune and Smoke Rose to Heaven as well as the humour collection Launching Sheep & Other Stories from the Intersection of History and Nonsense. She lives with her husband, two sons, and one loyal dog near St. Louis, where she loves rooting for the Cardinals but doesn’t care for the pizza.


Social Media Links:


Purchase Links:


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To follow along with the rest of Sarah’s tour, please drop in on her 4WillsPub tour page. 

Sarah is giving away 5 e-book copies of SMOKE ROSE TO HEAVEN and all you have to do for a chance to win a copy is to leave a comment below.  
If you’d like to take your book or books on a virtual blog tour, please visit us at and click on the VIRTUAL BLOG TOUR tab.
Thank you for supporting this author’s tour and also the blogger of this post!

Author: John Fioravanti

I'm a retired History teacher (35 years), husband, father of three, grandfather of three. My wife, Anne, and I became business partners in December 2013 and launched our own publishing company, Fiora Books (, to publish my books. We have been married since 1973 and hope our joint business venture will be as successful as our marriage.

38 thoughts on “Welcome to Day 1 of the “SMOKE ROSE TO HEAVEN” Blog Tour! @SarahAngleton @4WillsPub #RRBC”

  1. What a bad experience with that publishing company, Sarah! I’m so glad you waited it out and got it published. I love the background to your story about the lost book. I’m looking forward to this read.

    Thanks for hosting, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! As I’m sure you know, the publishing industry has a steep learning curve and some bad apples, but it’s mostly a wonderful community. I’ve learned some hard lessons, but I know I’m really fortunate it all worked out eventually. Thanks for stopping in!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This novel sounds quite intriguing. I have purchased a copy and will add it to my TBR pile–which is beginning to shrink, finally! Wishing you the very best, Sarah!

    Thanks for showing a wonderful sense of support and hosting Sarah, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jan. It’s been a frustrating few years for sure. I was fortunate actually that this all happened before my book was published. Many authors lost promotion opportunities and/or were left fighting to have books delisted. Not easy to do with a press that has gone silent. I am still striving for traditional publication with future works, but I have learned some painful lessons.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sarah, what an interesting tale! I suppose I will have to read the book to find out more. This has definitely gotten me more interested in the book – the title and the cover had me hooked early on. Can’t wait to read it!

    John, thank you so much for opening Sarah’s tour!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sarah’s book looks like a winner. I never thought I would write historical fiction either, Sarah, but that is exactly what I did with my Finding Billy Battles Trilogy. I am not sure if folks understand what historical fiction is. To me, it’s fiction that takes place in the past–usually 50 or more years in the past. Other than that, I don’t see it as anything different from any other action/adventure, mystery, or thriller story. That’s why I list my trilogy as both the historical fiction AND action/adventure genres. Finally, it is my pleasure to be hosting Sarah and her book on Day 7 of her SMOKE ROSE TO HEAVEN tour!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, yay! Thank you for opening up your blog space for me. Yes, the 50 year rule is the most common I hear. You’re right that it’s not necessarily different. It’s just to some extent dictated by the real history that may influence the story. How much the author chooses to allow the historical facts to dictate the story can have a significant impact on the pacing. Not always, of course, but I think there’s a spectrum. I can see how some readers get turned off by historical fiction if they prefer a fast-paced book and they pick up, say, a biographical historical novel. Life rarely follows a perfect story arc. It’s also true that someone who loves to linger over rich historical detail may not care as much for a typically faster paced thriller set in the past that may not include as much world building, for the sake of quickly ratcheting up tension. There’s a line to walk and, as I’m sure you’ve discovered, each author will walk it differently.


    1. I was addicted to historical fiction as a teen in high school and in university, Yvette. I read just about everything Thomas Costain and Leon Uris wrote. I agree, this book sounds like a winner! Thanks for supporting Sarah!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I’ve always liked historical fiction, but I never really intended to write it. This was a case of an interesting story finding me and kind of demanding to be written. It is a little more plot driven than a lot of historical fiction tends to be because it doesn’t have a huge biographical element. I like to call it historical thriller. It’s not straight-up Dan Brown (whose stories I also really enjoy), but I definitely considered the ways he effectively used religion, tradition, and conspiracy while I was writing. Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 2 people

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