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Courage Between Love and Death ~ Review with Giveaway

Courage Between Love and Death
By Joseph Pillitteri

Elspeth Shaughnesshey is determined to make the most of her post as a nurse at the Pan American Exposition Hospital. In 1901 there aren't many nursing opportunities for those of Irish heritage and Elspeth needs this job and the potential job that could follow if she does her job well. Her duties have her spending most of her time at the Expo as she, and her fellow nurses, are to be available whenever a need arises day or night.

Elspeth is determined to get a husband, and the richer he is, the better for her family. Having been once hurt she refuses to let her heart again take the lead, now if she could only catch the attention of the doctor she has decided will be her husband.

September brings a special excitement to the Expo - President McKinley is coming and Buffalo is beside itself in anticipation with the honor about to be bestowed upon it. The President's visit makes more work as hospital staff is assigned to be with President and Mrs. McKinley at the various Expo functions and excursions.

But when the nation's unrest makes its presence known the entire nation faces a crisis as does the staff at the hospital at the Pan American Exposition. With the life of the President in crisis, Elspeth is having her crisis at home - one that she has no idea how to fix.

Courage Between Love and Death gives the reader a look into early twentieth-century America, specifically Buffalo, New York. It is interesting to see how much has changed and yet we are still facing the same issues today. Prejudices against certain nationalities, unrest due to class differences, and the struggle to survive from one day to the next. I enjoyed how the relationship between President and Mrs. McKinley is presented and how they care for and look out for the needs of each other.

If you love historical fiction and don't want to read about it through rose-colored glasses I highly recommend this book to you. Life isn't easy and survival isn't a guarantee no matter your class. Do you like to discuss your books in a group setting, well, this one is certainly open for much discussion.

Just a word of warning for those who tend to shy away from books that deal with controversial issues that have a moral element to them - this book does deal with several that could upset your sensitivities.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book through TLC Book Tours with no expectations but that I offer my honest opinion - all thoughts expressed are my own.

About the Book:

Elspeth has recently landed a nursing position at the 1901 Pan American Exposition Hospital in Buffalo, New York. This is a big boon for her, but things are not going as expected. She has to navigate mischievous patients, egotistical doctors, rival nurses, and prejudices. For an Irish girl with a temper, this is no easy feat. Now President McKinley is coming to visit the Expo and everyone is in an uproar. On the home front, her life is no less hectic as she struggles to put food on the table and look out for her younger siblings.
When the unthinkable happens, it is a turning point, not only for the medical industry and our country’s security but for Elspeth personally. With her career and reputation on the line, will she have the courage to overcome the challenges she faces to clear her name and continue to be there for the ones she loves?
“Joseph Pillitteri does a great job of bringing the Exposition and an engaging cast of characters to life in Courage Between Love and Death. Pillitteri spins a fast-paced, entertaining tale, and his medical background is well-utilized in the medical inquest after the bungled abdominal surgery which proved fatal to McKinley. If you love a strong-willed woman who can defend herself against personal and professional prejudice, and for a brief moment win a president’s heart, read Courage Between Love and Death.” -Historical Novel Society
..”.Joseph Pillitteri’s writing is flawless and delightful. The tension builds up very fast and doesn’t slow down until the satisfying conclusion. Courage Between Love and Death is focused, deft, and balanced, and the reader will follow the protagonist through her emotional and psychological turmoil until the very last page. A gripping story with great historical references, it’s an edge of the seat read. Courage Between Love and Death by Joseph Pillitteri is a historical novel that is well-researched and written to great satisfaction.” –Christian Sia, Readers’ Favorite

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes and Noble

About the Author:
While working at Roswell Park Memorial Hospital in Buffalo, NY, Pillitteri became intrigued by the role Dr. Park played in the surgery of President McKinley at the 1901 Pan American Exposition. He shaped facts and fiction together to tell the story.

~ Book Giveaway ~
Be sure to enter for a chance to win a copy of this book.
Open to those with a US mailing address only
Must be 18 years of age to enter.

Joseph Pillitteri’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, January 28th: Jessicamap Reviews and @jessicamap
Wednesday, January 30th: A Holland Reads
Thursday, January 31st: Patricia’s Wisdom
Monday, February 4th: Bookchickdi
Wednesday, February 6th: Amy’s Book-et List
Friday, February 8th: Rockin’ Book Reviews
Monday, February 11th: Broken Teepee
Wednesday, February 13th: Laura’s Reviews
Monday, February 19th: Blooming With Books
Wednesday, February 21st: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Thursday, February 22nd: Lori’s Reading Corner – guest post from Adele Pillitteri


  1. I actually don't have a preference over the two genres as long as both are done well with lots of excellent research.

  2. I really love your comment that really, the core issues never change it's the little nuances about them that are different. That's a good take away. Thanks for being on the tour!

    Sara @ TLC Book Tours


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~ Blooming with Books