Thursday, September 10, 2020

Under a Full Moon by Alice Kay Hill - Book Tour


Alice Kay Hill

True Crime

UNDER A FULL MOON: The Last Lynching in Kansas tells of the tragic
abduction and death of an eight-year-old girl at the hands of a repeat
offender in 1932. This crime stands apart as the last mob lynching in
Kansas. Based on true events, this account takes a deep dive into the
psycho-social complexities of pioneer times and their impact on this
particular crime and the justice meted out to the perpetrator.

Beginning in the year 1881, and written in a chronological narrative
non-fiction format, author Alice Kay Hill vividly weaves the stories of
the victims and the families involved. She reveals how mental and
physical abuse, social isolation, privations of homesteading, strong
dreams and even stronger personalities all factored into the criminal
and his crimes.

Spanning the years of settlement to the beginnings of the Dust Bowl,
historic events are lived as daily news by the seven families whose
lives become intertwined. Historically accurate and written with an
intimate knowledge of the area, UNDER A FULL MOON is as personal as a
family diary, as vivid as a photo album found in an attic trunk, and
will remain with the reader long after the book is closed.

Amazon →


Their son Addison Alanson (A.A.) is born on a spring day in 1889. Children are one crop that can be counted on. Drought, grasshoppers, late freezes and early frosts might take out fields and gardens, but the babies are persistent in their regular arrival. Mary is thirty-eight years old.

In rural homes a girl is trained for motherhood and learns the basics of house management through helping to raise younger siblings. Typically, not long after puberty, she will be married and delivering or nursing babies without let up for most of her life. Often her first daughters have children before she herself is done.

Mary gazes into her squalling newborn’s face and knows that his life can be taken in a moment. Though she would never know the numbers, she was clearly aware of childhood mortality. In 1870, two years after her marriage to Alanson and while they were living in Nebraska, 114 deaths occurred in their county. Nearly 100 of those were children, most less than five years of age.

Cholera infantum had taken their little boy, John. Mary would never forget his extreme distress as vomiting and diarrhea drained his life so quickly, his feverish lips cracking like parchment, his skin becoming translucent until she could trace his veins and see his heart thumping below his heaving chest.

Not long after John was buried a near neighbor lost her not quite one-year-old when he choked on a piece of seed corn. The frantic mother carried his lifeless body from home to home while screaming for someone to save her purple faced child. Anything and everything could happen to these defenseless babies. As she puts Addison Alanson to her breast Mary shivers, teeth chattering from childbirth strain and fatigue without hope or expectation of relief.





1. What would you consider to be your Kryptonite as an author?
Interruptions when I have just gotten into the ‘writing zone’. Door closed equals DO NOT DISTURB!
2. Favorite childhood memory involving books?Stretched out in a hammock under old elms with a cooling breeze washing over my bare feet, a book in hand, and a kitten on my tummy.
2. What’s one movie you like recommending to others?The Night Clerk
4. Have you ever met anyone famous?While running the Aberdeen Steakhouse and Pub in the 1907 Shirley Opera House I started a live music venue for independent singer/songwriters and musicians. For five years we hosted traveling performers from across the country as well as from other countries. Two that stood out were Michael Martin Murphey and Al Petteway, a Grammy Award winner.

5. What is the first book that made you cry?The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
6. How do you select the names of your characters?In UNDER A FULL MOON The Last Lynching in Kansas, nearly all the characters were based on real people, so finding names was a non-issue. However, finding their personalities took a great deal of time.
7. What book do you wish you had written?The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
8. Tell us 10 fun facts about yourself! a. I was born in Paris, France to a military family.
b. I am passionate about growing quality food and have been involved with that for most of my adult life. This may have stemmed from living in France and eating superbly prepared foods from an early age! I also love flower gardens and I’m sure I was imprinted by the Palace of Versailles.
c. I have designed and built alternate high tunnels for growing vegetables and fruits in extreme climates and wrote an instructional manual called GROW TOPLESS A Modified High Tunnel Design for Headache Free Extended-Season Gardening.
d. I have seen ghosts.
e. My husband and I went through bankruptcy in 1984 with the farm crisis of the 80s and we lost our farm and home. I took advantage of the resulting farm assistance programs to become a Registered Nurse as a displaced farm worker. I received my degree in two years and had money in a savings account to boot!
f. I worked in our rural hospital, the nursing home in our hometown, was an assistant director at another nursing home, and finished out as the school nurse for an educational cooperative. While in that role I worked in the towns of Rexford, Selden, Colby, Atwood, and Brewster which are all featured in my book.
g. I have a congenital tremor that makes people think I am nervous. That was a difficulty I had to overcome as a nurse starting IVs and giving shots.
h. I am a rescuer of animals, old buildings, farmsteads, and children in trouble.
i. I grow an extensive garden and preserve enough food to feed us through the winter.
j. I have milked cows and made cheese, yogurt, and butter, raised heritage breed pigs, been an organic wheat farmer, and am working on getting a locally grown food market started in my ‘new’ hometown of Luray, KS.
9. If you could live in any time period, what would it be and why?I would like to live in a time when the human species has evolved to our potential rather than devolving as we seem to be doing now. We have so many gifts, so many talents, so much to give, but as a species we are brutal, inhumane, conscienceless.
10. What is your favorite genre to read?I read nearly anything except romance, politics, and military history.



Alice Kay Hill is passionate about her Kansas heritage. She has
published in Hobby Farms magazine and written an instruction manual
title GROW TOPLESS: A Modified High Tunnel Design for Headache Free
Extended-Season Gardening which is available on Amazon. UNDER A FULL
MOON: The Last Lynching in Kansas is her first narrative non-fiction

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