Friday, April 3

Guest Post: The Glassblower's Wife by Joanna Campbell Slan

The Glassblower's Wife

Joanna Campbell Slan

Genre: Historical Mystery Short Story
Publisher: Spot On Publishing
Date of Publication: March 20, 2015
Number of pages: 42
Word Count: 12,000

Available at the following retailers:

Advance praise for THE GLASSBLOWER'S WIFE, a long short story ---

"Charmingly told and historically intriguing, this well-imagined and touching tale is one to share with your family and hold in your heart." - Hank Phillippi Ryan, author of THE WRONG GIRL.

"Who knew there were Jewish glassblowers? Joanna Slan knows, and she imagines their lives-and deaths-in a fascinating informative way that brings an unknown part of Jewish history to life."-Steve Lipman, staff writer for The Jewish Week, New York

"Beautifully written historical fiction that really captures the essence of the time period." - Yifat Cestare, Hebrew & Judaic Teacher and Tutor

When Jewish glassmakers and their families flee the powerful Doge of Venice, the cost of their freedom is three hundred and fifty-seven mirrors--the creation of the magnificent Hall of Mirrors in Versailles. But the Doge sends assassins to pick off the artists, one by one. Can Ruth Telfin, the mute wife of the head glassmaker, save her people? This is a 12,000-word short story.
Guest Post: 

Off the Beaten Path in Venice 

By Joanna Campbell Slan

When I travel, I love to "get lost" and go off the beaten path. That's really easy to do in Venice! First of all, it's an island, so you can't go too far. Secondly, around every corner is a visual delight. There are fountains, small religious nooks carved into buildings, churches, and of course, canals.

These especially intrigued my son, Michael. He was eleven when we visited, and the kid never met a critter he didn't like. So when a frog hopped across our path, Michael made a dive for it.

He would have snagged it, too, except that the stones lining the canals are covered with centuries of moss and algae. As I watched in horror—and as my husband yelled, "Stop!" – Michael's feet flew out from under him. Now the canals of Venice are romantic. Gliding along in a gondola is like taking a trip back in time. But you quickly learn that the water hides a secret…it stinks. You can't see to the bottom of the canals. The water is as murky and thick as a mud puddle. The thought of my son going under water turned my feet to lead. I was frozen to the calle, the sidewalk. (It seems like it should be "via," which is Latin, but the Venetians have been doing things their way forever!)

As I watched, my son's feet flew up, out from under him. He came down on the stones with a thump. Slipping, sliding, he skidded toward the water's edge.

The frog hopped in and paddled away.

A clutch of gondoliers had been chatting. Their backs were to the water. But one of them heard our shouts. His black and white striped shirt and red bandana would have made a wonderful snapshot, but I was too busy panicking to grab my camera.

Luckily for all of us, Venetians are used to living near canals. The boatman reached out with one strong arm and scooped up Michael before he hit the waterway.

I recall all that I loved about Venice—and that moment in particular—as I reread my LONG short story, "The Glassblower's Wife." After reading it, I hope that you, too, will want to see the grand efforts of the dix-huit, the eighteen glassblowers who labored to make The Hall of Mirrors such a wondrous feat!


About "The Glassblower’s Wife" – In the late 1600s, the Doge of Venice sent assassins to kill a group of glassblowers who had been enticed by the French to work on the Palace of Versailles. One by one, the Jewish artisans were picked off…leaving the Hall of Mirrors unfinished, until an unlikely heroine stepped forward and performed a miracle. Buy it today for only 99 cents! * 4.8 out of 5 stars rating *

Free offer— If you'd like to learn more about the background of this LONG short story, send an email to:

$50 Amazon Gift Card

Author Bio:
Joanna Campbell Slan is the award-winning author of the Kiki Lowenstein Mysteries (an Agatha Award Finalist) and two other mystery series. Her stories in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series has been read and loved by millions. Her books reviving the classic heroine Jane Eyre have won the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award. In her past life, Joanna was a television talk show host, an adjunct professor of public relations, a sought-after motivational speaker, and a corporate speechwriter. She is married to David Slan, CEO of Steinway Piano Gallery-DC. The Slans make their home on Jupiter Island, Florida.

To connect with the author online:

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads


  1. Oh my gosh. Yeah that is NOT water I'd want to take a dip in. I love the way you travel. So the way I go about it too. We had a great time wandering in Venice a few years back.

    The book looks lovely!

  2. Thanks, Anna! Just so you know, it's actually 12,000-plus words. A very, very LONG short story. A novelette to be exact. (That's in case you're on Jeopardy and the question comes up!) You are so right about the water. Triple-ugh!

  3. congrats to Joanna!!!
    I look forward to this new series from you!!!


Thanks for taking the time to comment.

back to top