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  • Writer's pictureTammy Pasterick



The spring season is a popular time for book festivals, and this year, the city of Pittsburgh is hosting its very first one! The Greater Pittsburgh Festival of Books (GPFB) will be held this Saturday, May 14th at various locations around Pittsburgh. If you've never heard of this festival, check out the description from the event's website below.

"The Greater Pittsburgh Festival of Books (GPFB) showcases Pittsburgh’s historic, vital role on the national and international literary stage. Readers, writers, booksellers, publishers, critics, educators, and neighbors will connect with, learn from, and support each other. With free, diverse programming featuring nationally recognized authors (many living in Western Pennsylvania), and across age, genre, and background, the Festival will celebrate the joys of literacy."

I will discuss my novel, Beneath the Veil of Smoke and Ash, and share what it was like to be an immigrant in Western Pennsylvania at the turn of the twentieth century. I'll also share how my research into my family's history took me on a wild adventure and turned me into an author. If you love local history and have an interest in genealogy, you'll definitely want to attend this event. Feel free to stick around after the talk to meet me and buy a signed copy of my book.

My talk will be held at 3:30 pm at Duolingo at 125 S. Beatty Street, Pittsburgh. Mary Jane Kuffner Hirt, author of The Mount Washington Transit Tunnel Disaster, will be discussing her book as well. For a complete list of the festival's events, please visit the GPFB website at


In my last post in March, I promised an update on the awards my book has received. Beneath the Veil of Smoke and Ash did exceptionally well in the prestigious Eric Hoffer Book Awards. If you've never heard of Eric Hoffer or the awards honoring this great American philosopher, keep reading. The following is from the organizaiton's website:

"The Eric Hoffer Book Award honors the memory of the great American philosopher Eric Hoffer by highlighting salient writing, as well as the independent spirit of small publishers. Since its inception, the Hoffer has become one of the largest international book awards for small, academic, and independent presses."

In a competition against thousands of independently published books, Beneath the Veil of Smoke and Ash received the following distinctions:

Grand Prize Finalist

First Horizon Award Finalist (award given to debut authors)

Montaigne Medal Finalist (award given to the most thought-provoking books)

Honorable Mention in Historical Fiction

My book also received a Silver Medal from the 2022 IPPY Awards for Best Regional Fiction - Mid-Atlantic.

Beneath the Veil of Smoke and Ash is a finalist for the Goethe Award given by the Chanticleer International Book Awards. Winners will be announced in June. My book was also a finalist in the ScreenCraft Cinematic Book Competition. ScreenCraft is currently pitching my book to film agents.


I now have 124 reviews on my Amazon page. If you've read my book and haven't yet left a review, I would be so very grateful if you would do it now. I'd love to get to 150 reviews by the end of the week! Leaving a review on Amazon and Goodreads is the highest compliment you can pay an author, especially since reviews have become the most important factor in getting authors exposure in the highly competitive world of book publishing. And don’t worry … your review can be as short as one sentence. No book reports necessary!


I'm absolutely thrilled with the wonderful reviews and awards my book has received in the past several months, and there are still a few competitions that have not yet announced their winners. Keep your fingers crossed for me! I hope to see some of you at the Pittsburgh Festival of Books. I have a fascinating and fun presentation planned for you. Until then, here's a glimpse of where I've been spending a lot of time this spring.

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2 Kommentare

12. Mai 2022

Congratulations for all the rewards. Your book was captivating. It really hit home for me.

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14. Mai 2022
Antwort an

Thank you so much! ☺️ Glad you enjoyed the book.

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