Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Historical Fiction Enticements 6/12

Enjoy our five Historical Fiction synopses. Historical Fiction Enticements is a regular Wednesday feature on this blog.


Like Chaff in the Wind
Anna Belfrage

Matthew Graham committed the mistake of his life when he cut off his brother’s nose – however much he deserved it. In revenge, Luke Graham has Matthew abducted and transported to the Colony of Virginia, there to be sold as indentured labour – a death sentence more or less.

Matthew arrives in Virginia in May of 1661, and any hope he had of finding someone willing to listen to his tale of unlawful abduction is quickly extinguished. If anything Matthew’s insistence that he is an innocent man leads to him being singled out for the heaviest tasks.

Insufficient food, grueling days and the humid heat combine to wear Matthew down. With a sinking feeling he realises no one has ever survived the seven years of service – not on the plantation Suffolk Rose, not under the tender care of the overseer Dominic Jones.

Fortunately for Matthew, he has a remarkable wife, a woman who has no intention of letting her husband suffer and die, and so Alex Graham sets off on a perilous journey to bring her husband home.

Alex is plagued by nightmares in which her Matthew is reduced to a wheezing wreck by his tormentors. She sits in the prow of the ship and prays for a miracle to carry her swiftly to his side, to let her hold him and heal him before it’s too late. Fate, however, has other ideas, and what should have been a two month crossing becomes a yearlong adventure from one side of the Atlantic to the other.

Will she find him in time? And if she does, will she be capable of paying the price required to buy him free?

Like Chaff in the Wind is the second in Anna Belfrage’s time slip series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham.

Amazon US
Amazon UK


Melinda and the Wild West
Linda Weaver Clarke

"Melinda and the Wild West: A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho," is an award-winning novel for Reader Views "Reviewers Choice Award." Debra Gaynor from Reader Views wrote: "From the first page I was captivated by this book. I had to continue reading, rushing to turn the page, I had to see what next adventure would catch up with Melinda. The plot is interesting: mixing history with fiction, adventure with romance. It is a great honor to highly recommend this book to readers of historical fictions and romance. Ms Clarke, this is a piece to be proud of, well done!"

In 1896 Melinda Gamble wants to make a difference in the world. Without hesitation, she accepts a job as a schoolteacher in the small town of Paris, Idaho. She has many challenges such as trying to help a rebellious student, coming face-to-face with a notorious bank robber, a vicious grizzly bear, and finding herself in a terrible blizzard that leaves her clinging to her life. But it's a rugged rancher who challenges Melinda with the one thing for which she was least prepared-love.

Socrates Book Review wrote: "Linda Weaver Clarke has created a beautiful story of love, strength and endurance in this first book of her Bear Lake series. Melinda is a character readers will admire and cheer for. Each character will touch the reader's heart and hold onto it until the very last page and beyond. I loved every minute of this book. Any book that has such memorable characters deserves my Socrates Great Book Alert!"

When a rugged rancher and a determined schoolteacher meet, they tend to butt heads and clash with each encounter, but at the same time there seems to be an underlying interest in one another. In this story, Melinda is trying to help a rebellious student through acceptance and love, and at the same time she is trying to understand her own heart.

Page One Literary Book Review wrote: "Linda Weaver Clarke displays an easy and excellent style of writing, blending adventure/romance/history/humor and courage. Melinda and the Wild West is an instant classic and should put this author on the literary map all over the world."



Tempest in the Tea Room: 
An Ezra Melamed Mystery
Libi Astaire

Jane Austen meets Sherlock Holmes when a crime wave sweeps through 19th-century London's Jewish community and the adventures of wealthy-widower-turned-sleuth Ezra Melamed are recorded for posterity by Miss Rebecca Lyon, a young lady not quite at the marriageable age.

The third volume of the series begins when Mr. Gabriel Taylor, a medical doctor recently arrived from the Continent, rents rooms on Bury Street, London. No one is more delighted than Mrs. Miriam Baer, the London Jewish community’s busiest matchmaker. Not only is Dr. Taylor an eligible young bachelor, but he also has a charming unmarried sister, Miss Elisheva Taylor.

However, not long after the brother and sister have arrived, tragedy strikes. First, Miss Harriet Franks—a young lady from a respected family in the community—comes down with a serious stomach ailment. Next, children living at the community’s orphanage, where Dr. Taylor has been appointed the resident doctor, are stricken. Then one of Dr. Taylor’s fashionable patients, Lady Marblehead, becomes deathly ill—and a wild rumor begins to circulate: Dr. Taylor is poisoning his patients!

That rumor is fueled by the disappearance of a priceless pearl bracelet from Lady Marblehead’s jewelry box, as well as the astonishing discovery that the brother and sister receive mysterious late-night visits from a Jewish Old Clothes Man whose secretive ways suggest that he just might have a second and even less respectable profession, that of a grave robber.

Is Mr. Taylor truly an unscrupulous physician who is engaging in illicit medical research? Or is he an innocent man who has unknowingly stumbled into some dark, nefarious plot?

An increasingly hysterical community turns to Mr. Ezra Melamed to investigate the case. But will it be too late for the littlest victim, a frail orphan boy who is already more than half-way to death’s door?

Amazon US
Amazon UK


The Cross and the Dragon
Kim Rendfeld

A tale of love amid the wars and blood feuds of Charlemagne’s reign.

Francia, 773: When Alda first beheld Count Ganelon, she thought he was the handsomest man in the realm. And then he opened his mouth. His insults, his ill treatment of his servants, have rendered any desire she had for him to ashes. Instead, Alda yearns for Hruodland, King Charles’s nephew and Ganelon’s rival, a warrior who protects her when Ganelon threatens to strike her, a man who values a woman’s intelligence.

Yet as a member of the royal family, Hruodland seems out of reach, and her brother, Count Alfihar, wants her to marry Ganelon for his land and wealth. Knowing she will receive a good dowry, Alda is desperate to get out the arrangement and even considers taking the veil on the strict cloister on Nonnenwerth, a Rhine island near her home.

Fortunately for Alda, time is on her side, and her brother starts to become annoyed with her suitor, always asking about Drachenhaus, Alda and Alfihar’s birthplace, as if it were his inheritance. When Alfihar’s good friend Hruodland expresses an interest in Alda, her family likes what he has to offer better, and he and Alda are betrothed, much to Alda’s joy. Furious, Ganelon promises revenge.

778: Alda and Hruodland are happily married but frustrated by their lack of children. Alda worries Hruodland will set her aside, and she has never forgotten Ganelon’s vow of vengeance. Yet the jilted suitor’s malice is nothing compared to Alda’s premonition of disaster for her beloved, battle-scarred husband.

Although the army invading Hispania is the largest ever and King Charles has never lost a war, Alda cannot shake her anxiety. Determined to keep Hruodland from harm, even if it exposes her to danger, Alda gives him her charmed dragon amulet.

Is its magic enough to keep Alda’s worst fears from coming true - and protect her from Ganelon?

Inspired by legend and painstakingly researched, The Cross and the Dragon is a story of tenderness, sacrifice, lies, and revenge.

“…a pleasure to dive in to…” - Publishers Weekly (manuscript review, 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition quarterfinalist)

Links to Buy from Various Vendors
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble


Lily of the Nile
Stephanie Dray

Heiress of one empire and prisoner of another, it is up to the daughter of Cleopatra to save her brothers and reclaim what is rightfully hers.
To Isis worshippers, Princess Selene and her twin brother Helios embody the divine celestial pair who will bring about a Golden Age. But when Selene's parents are vanquished by Rome, her auspicious birth becomes a curse.

Trapped in an empire that reviles her heritage and suspects her faith, the young messianic princess struggles for survival in a Roman court of intrigue. She can't hide the hieroglyphics that carve themselves into her hands, nor can she stop the emperor from using her powers for his own ends. But faced with a new and ruthless Caesar who is obsessed with having a Cleopatra of his very own, Selene is determined to resurrect her mother's dreams.

Can she succeed where her mother failed? And what will it cost her in a political game where the only rule is win-or die?

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble 
Book Depository

Please return next week and find your next favorite book!

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