Monday, August 18, 2014

Historical Fiction Enticements 8/19

Along with introducing several newer historical novels, I would like to announce that Castles, Customs, and Kings: True Tales by English Historical Fiction Authors will be available in Audiobook format hopefully in November. Aaaaand! We are working on Volume II.


Bronze and Stones
Paul Burnette

2300 BCE, Hanavel struggles to escape a group of slavers abducting her from her home in Bretanye. Mate Aiman searches for her, finding clues, crossing the Sea Neck into Britain.

He eventually finds the Keepers of the Stone Circle. While Aiman describes his wife and what he knows or suspects of the kidnappers for the Keepers, Ulen studies the stranger again. His brown hair is braided and hangs down his back almost to his waist. . . . Even squatting, he looks ready to fend off any attack. In fact, Ulen sees that the warrior’s body is positioned so that he can see all of the Keepers as well as the leader.

The leader gestured again, this time toward the pack at the feet of the warrior.

“And here?”

Aiman placed his hand on the skin bag and left it there for a moment. Then he took the bag up in one hand, loosening the leather thong that held its mouth closed. Ulen also felt – with every one of the villagers – the impulse to look at the various gold-hued objects that fell from the bag to the ground. He had seen copper jewelry several times and gold a few. These – there were two knives, several pins, bracelets, an armband, more – they were another metal, gold in coloring, but not as deep a tone.

Several of the others had drawn their breath in sharply. But the warrior did not seem to notice, instead drawing his own knife and holding it out toward the leader in the palm of his hand. “Here, try mine.”

The Keepers will not let Aiman take his new metal-smithing skills away, so he sends new friend Ulen to search for Hanavel. At Beltane, Lammas, and Samhain festivals, Tellers stand on their clan’s Telling stone sharing the ancient stories of love, betrayal, trickery, and fate that resonate in their listeners’ lives.

While Hanavel suffers life as a slave to a rival clan’s chieftain, seeking opportunity to escape, the youth Ulen finds his own place adventuring among the ancient peoples who inhabited what we now call the United Kingdom, but which they know simply as the Land.

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7 five-star reviews, 1 four-star.


The Portuguese Affair
Ann Swinfen

The year after defeating the Spanish Armada, England retaliates. The expedition to Portugal sets out to destroy what remains of Spain’s Atlantic fleet, drive the Spanish out of Portugal, put the claimant Dom Antonio of Aviz on the throne, and seize the Azores.

But from the time the English fleet, led by Drake and Norreys, reaches Plymouth, things start to go wrong. Christoval Alvarez, sent to carry out two missions by Walsingham, has a more important private plan in mind. Are any members of the family still alive? And what will become of the disaster-ridden expedition?


His Majesty's Confidential Agent 
Tom Williams

The war against Napoleon brought horror, death and destruction to countries across the world. For a young man anxious to improve his position in the world, though, it brought opportunity.

James Burke comes from a poor Irish background. Joining the army offers him a way of escape. Glory in battle might allow him to achieve his ambition to rise in society. But when his linguistic skills are noticed and he is plucked from the infantry to become a spy, James' hopes of advancement are crushed. Spying is no business for a gentleman. And when a mission to Buenos Aires means disguising himself as a merchant in leather goods, he feels he has hit a new low.

His mission, though, means fighting alongside men who see the collapse of the old order giving them a chance to break free of Spanish colonial rule. He falls in love with the country – and with the beautiful Ana.

urke tries to forward British interests, while keeping faith with the rebels. He gains the trust of the rebels, who plot with him to put the British in charge of Buenos Aires. Once their army is established there, though, the British renege on the promises they made to the rebels who helped them. When the people rise against the invaders, Burke is caught in the middle. Captured by revolutionaries and disowned by the British, he becomes a pawn in the three way fight between Britain, Spain and South American patriots. For once, he has more at stake than his own ambition. How can he honour the pledges he has made to his friends and his country and still stay alive?

Based on true events and meticulously researched, His Majesty's Confidential Agent follows James Burke from the jungle of Haiti through the courts of Spain and Brazil until, back in Buenos Aires, he is forced to risk everything to fight for the girl he loves.

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The Bitter Trade
Piers Alexander

In 1688, torn by rebellions, England lives under the threat of a Dutch invasion. Redheaded Calumny Spinks is the lowliest man in an Essex backwater: half-French and still unapprenticed at seventeen, yet he dreams of wealth and title. When his father’s violent past resurfaces, Cal’s desperation leads him to become a coffee racketeer. He has just three months to pay off a blackmailer and save his father’s life - but his ambition and talent for mimicry pull him into a conspiracy against the King himself. Cal’s journey takes him from the tough life of Huguenot silk weavers to the vicious intrigues at Court. As the illicit trader Benjamin de Corvis and his controlling daughter Emilia pull him into their plots, and his lover Violet Fintry is threatened by impending war, Cal is forced to choose between his conscience and his dream of becoming Mister Calumny Spinks.

$0.99 through Tuesday 8/19

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Gang Warfare
Peter St. John

Have you ever been blamed for something you didn't do?

Have you ever been caught up in a minor incident that grew into a major conflict?

An orphan, evacuated from the World War II bombing of London, comes to live with his pious aunt in an English village. A bag of sweets is knocked out of his hand in the school playground. This trivial incident has devastating consequences.

The villagers become increasingly quarrelsome. The tension reaches a climax at a fund-raising fete to buy a Spitfire aircraft. This ends in a riotous fight which causes the funds collected for the Spitfire to be last seen floating gently down the river in the twilight and a barrel.

Although this book follows-on from the previous ‘Gang Territory’, it can stand as a complete story in its own right.



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