Fiction · Historical Fiction

The Strongman and the Mermaid + Giveaway!

The Strongman and the Mermaid by Kathleen Shoop

Publication Date: February 28, 2019
eBook & Paperback; 573 Pages

Series: The Donora Story Collection (Book 2)
Genre: Historical Fiction/Saga

Myscowa, Poland—1910
Once upon a time in tiny, rural Myscowa, Lukasz Musial competes in feats of strength against his lifelong nemesis to win passage to America. He leaves behind grinding poverty and despair, to seek the clear blue skies, and better life he sees on a postcard. Settled in Donora’s Polish community, Lukasz secures a coveted job in the wire mill, and is matched to marry Donora’s very own Polish princess. Life is set on course. The American Dream is nearly his.

Donora, Pennsylvania—1910
Mary Lancos is no princess. A tall, athletic girl who loves the water, she spends her days keeping house for families in town, digging coal out of a backyard seam and rowing her father across the Monongahela River for work. Mary is dependable, tenacious, and always ready to help when someone needs her. She dreams of a gas-heated home, a bedroom for each of her future children, and good meals on the table each night. To help make that happen Mary attends local dances, waiting for the few men who are taller than her to ask her to dance, hoping one of them is right for her.

An unexpected Christmas Eve visitor brings bad luck, and Lukasz’s world crumbles. Meanwhile, tension grows at the Lancos home when money is short and Mary’s dreams clash with her parents’ old world expectations. Just when Mary and Lukasz are at their lowest, they find themselves under an odd pink moonlit sky and Lukasz rescues Mary from a fall into frigid river water. The attraction between them is sudden and consuming, turning the pair onto an unexpected path. With mounting disapproval from Mary’s parents, and increased pressure on Lukasz, they must decide if love is enough to risk losing everything else that matters.

Available on Amazon


Kathleen Shoop has bejeweled this book with her magnificent imagination and impeccable writing. The Strongman and the Mermaid by Kathleen Shoop is a romance that goes beyond looks and settles deep into the souls of readers. Every so often, a love story comes that your heart can’t let go. One of those love stories, for me, has been Mr. Darcy and Lizzy in Pride and Prejudice. Now Mary and Lukasz in The Strongman and the Mermaid will stay with me for a long time to come. –Ankita Shukla for Readers’ Favorite

The Strongman and the Mermaid by Kathleen Shoop is a gorgeous story, a gripping romance with a strong setting. The plot structure is unusual and it has beautiful twists. I love stories with great characters and a well-developed conflict and I always want to see characters evolve through the conflict. It is something that this author does impeccably well. The narrative is emotionally rich…The writing is cinematic, punctuated by exciting dialogue. The Strongman and the Mermaid will keep you awake through the night. –Romuald Dzemo for Readers’ Favorite

I was hooked from the very start…The Strong Man and the Mermaid is skillfully plotted and written in beautiful prose. The reader is pulled into a fairytale-like world with strong and memorable characters. The love adventure between Mary and Lukasz is one of the key elements that add to the entertaining potential of this narrative. Kathleen Shoop keeps it real and human, succeeding in creating an emotional connection between the reader and the characters.—Ruffina Oserio for Readers’ Favorite

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My ReviewOh Y’all. Are you in for a treat. Not like, cookies-and-milk treat. But more like Tiramisu-while-binge-watching-“This is Us” treat.

My very fave types of stories are the ones that take you on a journey. A story that follows the life of the character, through all of their sorrows, victories and beautiful humanness. Which is precisely what The Strongman and the Mermaid is all about. Except that we don’t follow the life of one character. We follow the lives of two characters, who are irreversibly intertwined.

The novel starts off with (and is narrated by) a grandfather named Patryk, who is hiding in his attic, doing his best to protect a book. (Seriously, aren’t you already hooked? Like, what is in the book, for heaven’s sake?!) He is finally discovered by some family members, and eventually begins to tell them the story of a place called Donora, and the lives of Mary and Lukasz. And their stories, Friends, are literally betwitching. I could not, to save my life, put this novel down. (Y’all think I’m joking. If there was a fire, I would have had to stop-drop-and-roll with my head buried between the pages of this book.)

Kathleen Shoop is wonderfully gifted at transporting her readers to the intricate settings of her novels, and The Strongman and the Mermaid is no exception. It was so easy to sit back and dive into the story, getting to meet Mary and Lukasz personally, and to follow their amazing journey towards each other with a front-row-seat. From Lukasz’ plans to get to America, to Mary’s shock when her path takes an unexpected turn, you simply must get this book. Whether you want a weekend read, something to curl up with in the evening, or a novel to read while cooking (and subsequently burning) your dinner, this is the novel for you.

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About the Author

Bestselling author, Kathleen Shoop, holds a PhD in reading education and has more than 20 years of experience in the classroom. She writes historical fiction, women’s fiction and romance. Shoop’s novels have garnered various awards in the Independent Publisher Book Awards, Eric Hoffer Book Awards, Indie Excellence Awards, Next Generation Indie Book Awards and the San Francisco Book Festival. Kathleen has been featured in USA Today and the Writer’s Guide to 2013. Her work has appeared in The Tribune-Review, four Chicken Soup for the Soul books and Pittsburgh Parent magazine. She lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, May 1
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, May 2
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Feature at Comet Readings

Friday, May 3
Review at Bibliophile Reviews

Saturday, May 4
Feature at Book Addict Rambles

Tuesday, May 7
Excerpt at To Read, or Not to Read
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, May 8
Feature at Donna’s Book Blog

Friday, May 10
Review at View from the Birdhouse
Feature at What Is That Book About
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Monday, May 13
Review at Orange County Readers

Tuesday, May 14
Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Wednesday, May 15
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Thursday, May 16
Interview at Passages to the Past

Monday, May 20
Feature at The Lit Bitch
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Tuesday, May 21
Review at Macsbooks

Wednesday, May 22
Review at Coffee and Ink
Review at Peaceful Pastime
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story
Review at My Reading Chronicles


During the Blog Tour, we will be giving away a copy of The Strongman and the Mermaid and a $50 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on May 22nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is 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 new winner is chosen.

Strongman and Mermaid

2 thoughts on “The Strongman and the Mermaid + Giveaway!

  1. Thank you so much for the incredible review. Nothing better than having my book read and loved♥️


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