Friday, August 23, 2013

Goodreads Giveaway of Castles, Customs, and Kings!

You can enter a Goodreads giveaway of Castles, Customs, and Kings: True Tales of English Historical Fiction Authors. It runs till September 23rd, the release date.

The book is an anthology of blog posts from the first year of the English Historical Fiction Authors blog. Truth can indeed be stranger than fiction!

This book keeps a person’s attention. Each “chapter” is a page or two long, so it is wonderful for reading in short sittings. It would be a great waiting room book, lobby or break-room book, or a book to be read on public transportation. These essays from different time periods would also help to interest high school students in history.

 Please visit the Goodreads page to enter.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Historical Fiction Enticements 8/14

Sown in Tears
Beverly Magid

The place is Russia, the time, 1905. The country has lost the war with Japan, the peasants are frustrated with their poverty, soldiers are on the brink of mutiny, and the government, in order to distract the citizens, scapegoats the Jews, blaming them for all the country’s ills.

Inflamed by the lies, peasants attack the Jewish community where Leah Peretz and her family live. After a brutal assault on her husband, Leah has to survive and protect her two young children. But her life is complicated by the unexpected attentions of Ivan Vaselik, the Russian captain-in-charge, who is drawn to Leah, despite a long-held antipathy towards Jews.

Leah is conflicted by her growing feelings for Vaselik, while at the same Yaakov, the young peddler tries to bring her into the clandestine workers’ movement, which aims to change the lives of Russia’s workers.

Leah is a woman at the crossroads of her life, conflicted by emotions she never before experienced, in a community which is religiously constrained, as her journey is played out against the background of Russia’s growing revolutionary fever.

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Heyerwood: A Novel
Lauren Gilbert 

Control and authority… two words that did NOT apply to women like Catherine.

After her father sold her into a sham marriage, Catherine unexpectedly found herself in charge of her own life. After years of living alone and isolated in the country, she was the sole heir to an ancient estate, a title, and wealth beyond her wildest dreams.

Suddenly, she was discovered by relations of whom she had never heard but who were more than willing to help her with her inheritance, and she became engulfed in responsibilities for which she was not prepared. After years of isolation, she now had the means and the opportunity to do what she wanted. But what did she want? A man?

Between her father and her late husband, inviting another man into her life did not appear that attractive an option, until she made the acquaintance of more than one eligible gentleman. What else could she do with her life? Rediscovering old friends and finding new ones, Catherine discovers herself. A novel of choice and change, manners and growth, HEYERWOOD: A Novel follows a woman’s coming into her own as she learns to navigate Society alone and manage unexpected power.

Available in print and e-formats.

Amazon US
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Barnes & Noble


A Vow to Keep
Book I of The Vengeance Trilogy
Lana Williams

Set in Medieval England, A Vow To Keep is the story of Sir Royce de Bremont, a bold knight set on vengeance, determined to reclaim his birthright. Capturing Lady Alyna is merely one step on his path of thwarting his traitorous uncle’s plans. He never expected her to capture his heart.

Lady Alyna has no desire to be a pawn in the knight’s game. She wishes only to find a safe place to raise her son, a boy gifted his second sight. Her son’s growing ability seems both a blessing and a curse as she tries to determine whom she can trust.

Royce’s traitorous uncle plays the game by his own rules, no matter the cost. And he has no intention of losing.

The beautiful lady and her precocious son make Royce long for a family of his own, yet until he reclaims his birthright, he has little to offer them. Alyna soon realizes this bold knight has captured her heart but fears she’s merely part of his plan for revenge. As passions rise, Royce is forced to choose between vengeance and love.

"An extraordinary tale of medieval love." Barnes and Noble Review

“A fun, enchanting read” Amazon Review

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Finishing School
David Bruce

 “Finishing School” is a novel intended to tell a truly representative story about a veteran WWII RAF bomber pilot leading a rookie crew through their last few weeks training at a Lancaster Finishing School, where they were trained to fly the Lancaster bomber. It is a story that has not been told before, either factually or in fiction, and the aim has been to make the tale as realistic as possible. The story is woven closely into the real events of March, 1944, and the technicalities involved in flying and fighting the Lancaster are treated in a highly realistic, but readable, way.

It is March 1944, and Flight Lieutenant Hugh MacKay is returning to operations after a long gap caused by severe injuries sustained in a crash the previous year. MacKay has an outlook as bleak as the war-torn skies over Germany and takes a very businesslike approach to getting his new crew up to the mark. During training, he meets June, a WAAF Flight Officer who appears to be taking an interest in him; an interest of which he is initially sceptical, but which leads him to accept a few days leave with her and her fighter pilot brother at the house of their aunt and uncle. During his leave, he becomes emotionally closer to June, but his imminent posting to an operational squadron causes him to fight shy of making any kind of meaningful commitment.

MacKay and his crew join their new squadron and spend the first few days getting settled in. MacKay’s reputation as a brilliant pilot is such that, rather than making him take a trial operational run with an existing crew as a second pilot, the squadron commander allows him and his new crew to participate in the next operation. That operation is the notorious attempted bombing of Nuremberg on the night of the 30th of March, during which nearly one hundred RAF bombers were shot down. For MacKay, it is the ultimate test of his qualities as a commander, and that, if he survives, a different personal destiny may await him.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Historical Fiction Enticements 8/7

The Circle of Ceridwen
Octavia Randolph

How far would you go for your best friend? Would your risk your life to ensure her safety? Place yourself in danger to protect what is most precious to her?

Remember the courage you had at fifteen. Remember the need that drove you to make your own way.

Now step back over a thousand years. It is the year 871, when England was Angle-Land. Of seven Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, five have fallen to the invading Vikings.

Across this war-torn landscape travels fifteen year old Ceridwen, now thrust into the lives of the conquerors. Driven from the priory in which she was raised, she is discovered by the warriors accompanying young Ælfwyn, daughter of a Saxon lord, sold against her will in marriage as part of a peace treaty with a marauding Viking war chief. Their destination is the captured fortress of Four Stones, a ruin holding glittering treasure. There Ælfwyn must keep her vow and wed Yrling - and Ceridwen must do all she can to support her new friend in the rebuilding of the ravaged village and great hall.

But living with the enemy affords Ceridwen unusual freedoms - and unlooked-for conflicts. Amongst them she explores again her own heathen past, and learns to judge each man on his own merits. Yrling's nephews Sidroc and Toki, both formidable warriors yet as different as night and day, compete to win Ceridwen for their own.

As the threat of full-scale war escalates, a midnight party of furtive Danes delivers someone to Four Stones who destroys the girls' hopes of peace and contentment. Now Ceridwen must summon all her courage - a courage which will be sorely tested as she defies both Saxon and Dane and undertakes an extraordinary adventure to save a man she has never met.

The first book of The Circle of Ceridwen Trilogy, the historical adventure saga enjoyed by thousands of readers in over 125 nations. With illustrations by Marta Roselló.

Young women with courage. Swords with names. Vikings with tattoos. Warfare. Passion. Survival. Sheep. And Other Good Things...

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The Last Seal
Richard Denning

Gunpowder and Sorcery in 1666

On the eve of the Great Fire of London, Benjamin, a truant schoolboy and Freya, a thief orphaned during the plague, blunder into a struggle between rival secret societies. Whilst evading its deadly agents they discover that the Liberati serve a powerful demon which was trapped under London by their opponents - the Presidium - who created arcane seals round the city which the Liberati aim to destroy when they start the fire at Pudding Lane. The fire destroys seal after seal, each releasing horrific servants of the demon which drive the fire onwards.

Before the fire the Liberati had fought and almost destroyed the Presidium and so Gabriel, the sole remaining member of the Presidium is forced to recruit the two youths along Tobias a doctor - the son of another Presidium member murdered by the Liberati - to try and locate the Last Seal where the demon himself is trapped. The Liberati dog their every footstep and so a desperate race ensues. Meanwhile all of them must evade agents of the King who suspect that they are foreign spies who started the fire, as well as dealing with their own problems and motives.

Freya must overcome her natural self interest, aided by love for “her City” to protect it from the demon. Tobias is bitter, cynical and skeptical of his murdered father’s beliefs and motivated by a desire for revenge that could consume him. Gabriel is afraid his failures led to the death of Tobias’ father and that he will fail again. In the end though success or defeat depends on the school boy Ben who learns he must confront his own guilt over his parent’s death in order to gain the means to destroy the demon.

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Eulogy's Secret
Grace Elliot

Greed, prejudice and a stolen identity
(A Regency Romance)

Eulogy Foster craves to learn more about the mother who died giving her life. With her guardians passing, Eulogy sets off to London in search of her last living relative, a brother, Lord Lucien Devlin. But rather than welcome his estranged sister, Devlin denies their blood tie and throws her onto the streets. A passing stranger, Jack Huntley, gives Eulogy shelter and helps to find an old acquaintance of her mother's, the once great artist Tristan Farrell. But Farrell has fallen on hard times and is a derelict drunk. However, Eulogy's sudden appearance shakes Farrell, reminding him of the woman who once begged for help…and he turned away. Could Eulogy be a second chance to right past wrongs?

Jack Huntley doesn't trust Farrell and keeps a protective eye on Eulogy, but the more he sees of her quiet determination to unearth her mother's story, the deeper he falls in love. This faces Jack with an impasse, a life without her would be empty and worthless, and yet Eulogy is far beneath him on the social scale and marriage is unthinkable…and she refuses to become his mistress.

With Eulogy as his muse Farrell starts to paint again, to critical acclaim. Eulogy's pictures take the ton by storm, Farrell's talent is rediscovered and she is feted by society. Meanwhile Huntley lies to himself that his only interest in Eulogy is as a business investment, whilst he falls deeper in love. But with her reputation on the rise a series of dangerous accidents take place that make Huntley suspect someone wants Eulogy dead. But who… and why? What secret from the past is worth her life and will Huntley realise in time, that nothing matters besides love?

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Edith and the Mysterious Stranger
Linda Weaver Clarke

Intriguing letters... letters that were given much thought... letters written so eloquently... letters that touched Edith's heart! Who had written such letters? This was the last thing Edith had expected in this historical romance novel.

With mysterious letters, cattle rustlers, a spunky woman, Halloween, and young love, there is always something happening. Edith, a nurse, moves to Idaho to care for her cousin Melinda who is having a difficult pregnancy. She has wonderful qualities but never gives a man a second chance because her expectations are so high. However, all that changes when a mysterious stranger starts writing to her. For the first time, she gets to know a man's inner soul before making any harsh judgments. Whoever he is, this man is a mystery and the best thing that has ever happened to her. The question that puzzles her is whether or not he's as wonderful in person as he is in his letters.

Edith used to sing professionally but has now settled down and serves others through her nursing abilities. While visiting her parents in Idaho, she meets two men. Henry, the superintendent of schools, seems to be arrogant, flirtatious, and quite impressed with her talents. Joseph, a farmer and ranch hand, acts completely disinterested in her and unimpressed with her talents. At first, both men get on her nerves until she decides it's about time to not be so judgmental.

"Clarke's passion for her historical subject matter is apparent in the solid writing, which transports the reader back in time effortlessly. Her multi-layered characters are unique individuals who evoke empathy. The experiences, challenges, dialogue, and dress are realistic for the time period and the descriptions are so vivid the reader is more a participant in the events than a page-turner. Edith and the Mysterious Stranger is a highly recommended read. It's a great adventure story with strong values; great for the entire family." --Lisa Haselton, Allbooks Reviews

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