Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Historical Fiction Enticements 5/1

Wednesdays, life permitting, I will be hosting a variety of historical fiction book synopsis. I hope to introduce you histfic lovers to many authors and their novels from a variety of areas and eras. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
SALT REDUX: Sequel to Salt Bride 
Lucinda Brant


Jane and Salt—four years of Happily Ever After
Sir Antony Templestowe—four years of Exile
Lady Caroline—four years of Heartache
Diana St. John—four years plotting Revenge

The time has come... How does a brother cope with life knowing his sister is a murderess? How can a nobleman have the life he has always wanted when a lurking evil consumes his thoughts and haunts his dreams? What will it take for good to triumph over evil?

For readers who enjoyed Salt Bride: A Georgian Historical Romance, the story continues…

5 stars from Readers' Favorite and a Night Owl Reviews 5 star Top Pick

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Of Honest Fame
M.M. Bennetts

Gambler, gaoler, soldier, sailor, smuggler, spyman, traitor, thief
A battle of wits against the brutal forces of Napoleon’s tyranny over Europe

On a summer night in 1812, a boy sets fire to a house in Paris before escaping over the rooftops. Carrying vital intelligence about Napoleon’s Russian campaign, he heads for England.  But landing in Kent, he is beaten almost to death.

The Foreign Secretary, Lord Castlereagh, is desperate for the boy’s information.  He is even more desperate, however, to track down the boy’s assailant – a sadistic French agent who knows far too much about Castlereagh’s intelligence network.

Captain George Shuster is a veteran of the Peninsula, an aide-de-camp to Wellington, now recalled from the continent and struggling to adjust to civilian life.  Thomas Jesuadon is a dissolute, living on the fringes of society, but with an unrivalled knowledge of the seamy underside of the capital.  Setting out to trace the boy’s attacker, they journey from the slums of London to the Scottish coast, following a trail of havoc, betrayal, official incompetence and murder.  It takes an unlikely encounter with a frightened young woman to give them the breakthrough that will turn the hunter into the hunted.

Meanwhile, the boy travels the breadth of Europe in the wake of the Grande Armée, witnessing at first hand the ruination they leave behind and the awful price of Napoleon’s ambition.

This companion to M.M. Bennetts’s brilliant debut, is a gripping account of deception, daring and determination, of intelligence and guile pitted against brutality.  Bennetts brings to vivid life the harrowing devastation wrought on the civilian populations of Europe by Napoleon’s men, and the grit, courage and tenacity of those who stood against them.

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David William Wilkin

Hermione knew that there were not many opportunities for a great marriage when one lived exclusively in the country. In Cornwall near the mines. 

Even when the daughter of a Baronet, if you didn't go to Town, the chances to make a noteworthy match was difficult, if one were to choose a word to describe it.

Yet, Hermione was content. She admired her father, Sir Lawrence, greatly, and even should she make a match that was not of the first, second, or even the third circle of the Ton, but one that would allow her to stay in Scorrier or Redruth near her father, she would be happy.

Yes, there were troubles. Aside from the war with the Tyrant that waged, the upstart Tadcaster's, led by a patriarch who once had worked as but a miner for Sir Lawrence seemed to threaten the Merwyn's with ruin nearly on a daily basis. The income from Sir Lawrence's holdings also diminished, and Hermione's younger step-sister campaigned for a season in London even should it mean the ruination of their father's pocketbook.

Yet Cornwall was far from the troubles of the kingdom and the world. Hermione was sure that she could find a simple life here in the barrenness of the county. That was, she thought so until Samuel Lynchhammer arrived. A man whose past was obscured, mysterious would be too cliche. A man who instantly took to the labour of aiding her father to right his fortunes and thwart the Tadcaster's. A man who might disrupt all her careful, quiet plans.

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Silent Trauma
Judith Barrow

MEG MATTHEWS’ daughter, LISA is diagnosed with a cancer of the cervix, at the age of eighteen. Not able to face having a hysterectomy she commits suicide.

When pregnant with Lisa, Meg was prescribed the drug Stilboestrol by her doctor, as were thousands of women in the mid twentieth century in the belief that it prevented miscarriages, It didn’t. But it did cause both the cancer and internal abnormalities in the reproductive structures of the daughters. 

Meg spends years trying to expose the drug. Then she tells Lisa's story to the local radio station.

Having suffered a fourth miscarriage, RACHEL CONWAY hears the interview and contacts Meg. Exposed to the drug in utero she despairs of having children. She confides in her friend, JACKIE DUFFY, who is shocked. She also has been affected by Stilboestrol having had endometriosis since puberty. She has never told anyone. 

Jackie has a destructive relationship with her mother, MARY, who refuses to accept that the drug caused the problems. Her rejection of Jackie stems from guilt and her homophobic revulsion of Jackie's relationship with HAZEL, an older possessive woman.

Rachel discovers that her husband STEPHEN is having an affair and his lover gives birth to a son. Two months after he leaves her she realises she is pregnant again. This time she carries the child, a girl, to term.

Like Meg's daughter, Lisa, AVRIL BREEN, a writer, developed cancer in her late teens. She underwent a hysterectomy and vaginectomy after which her fiancé called off their wedding. Unwilling to form another close relationship Avril isolated herself in a cottage in the Pennines. She hears about Meg's interview through relatives in Wales and contacts her, consequently becoming friends with Rachel and Jackie. 

Each woman's story interacts throughout the novel and is underlined by the main theme of the drug.
As the friendships grow we follow the women's lives and their determination to make public the devastating results of the drug. Avril persuades them to collaborate in writing a play about it.

The story ends as the curtain rises.

Their stories are fiction - the drug real.

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