July 12, 2022

What Do You Know About America's Nursing School and A Female Grifter?


Amanda Skenandore said, "I’m lucky. I come from a family of diehard scientists—the kind who tell jokes about irrational numbers and use the Vulcan salute instead of waving goodbye. But there was always room in our house for the arts too. My sisters—one a conservation biologist, the other an astrophysicist—paint and play the flute. My father, a physicist, is also a movie buff. My mother, a mathematician, dabbles in everything from theater to stained glass. Me, I’m an infection prevention nurse. But first and foremost I’m a writer. Even when my pen is still, my mind is aflight with stories.

"I’m lucky. I come from a family of readers. Books filled our shelves and trips to the library were routine. Even though I struggled with dyslexia and was slow to learn, my parents insisted I not give up. Now, I don’t read fast but I read often and wide—fantasy, scifi, paranormal romance, YA, literary, and of course, historical fiction.

"I’m lucky. I married a man of great character and enduring flexibility. When I told him at thirty I wanted to quit my job and try to be a author, he said go for it. When I’d gone five years without selling a book or finding an agent, he said try a little longer."

Amanda is a historical fiction writer and registered nurse. Her first novel, Between Earth and Sky, won the American Library Association’s Reading List Award for Best Historical Fiction. She grew up in the Colorado Rockies. but now lives in Las Vegas with her husband and their pet turtle Lenore.

Amanda's newest book, The Nurses's Secret releases June 28.
A Thrilling Historical Novel of the Dark Side of Gilded Age New York City. 

It's about a fascinating historical novel based on the little-known story of America’s first nursing school, as a young female grifter in 1880s New York evades the police by conning her way into Bellevue Hospital’s training school for nurses…

Based on Florence Nightingale’s nursing principles, Bellevue is the first school of its kind in the country. Where once nurses were assumed to be ignorant and unskilled, Bellevue prizes discipline, intellect, and moral character, and only young women of good breeding need apply. At first, Una balks at her prim classmates and the doctors’ endless commands. Yet life on the streets has prepared her for the horrors of injury and disease found on the wards, and she slowly gains friendship and self-respect.

Just as she finds her footing, Una’s suspicions about a patient’s death put her at risk of exposure, and will force her to choose between her instinct for self-preservation, and exposing her identity in order to save others.

Amanda Skenandore brings her medical expertise to a page-turning story that explores the evolution of modern nursing—including the grisly realities of nineteenth-century medicine—as seen through the eyes of an intriguing and dynamic heroine.

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