historical fiction

Plaint for Provence : 1152 in Les Baux

Plaint for Provence : 1152 in Les Baux
Title: Plaint for Provence : 1152 in Les Baux
Author:
Publisher:
Published: November 29, 2015
Author's Twitter: @writerjeangill.
Summoned to the court of Les Baux, Estela and her lover, Dragonetz, are embroiled in two rival claims for power as their feuding liege lords gather in Provence. Although Estela is reluctant to leave her idyll with her young child Musca, and her pursuit of Arabic medicine, she welcomes the chance to show her musical skills and to support Dragonetz, who must use his swordsmanship to play peacemaker. Both of them must face their own personal demons as the storm-clouds gather over Provence. . In this third volume of the Troubadours Quartet, Jean Gill, the ‘master of historical intrigue’, continues to weave the gripping adventures of Dragonetz and Estela seamlessly into real historical events. Medieval France comes alive in all its facets, from healing with leeches to training a goshawk.

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September Sky

September Sky
Title: September Sky
Published: January 1, 2015
Author's Twitter: @johnheldt
San Francisco reporter Chuck Townsend and his college-dropout son, Justin, take a cruise to Mexico in 2016, where they meet a mysterious lecturer who touts the possibilities of time travel. Within days, they find themselves in 1900, intent on preventing a distant uncle from being hanged for a crime he did not commit.   When unemployed San Francisco reporter Chuck Townsend and his college-dropout son, Justin, take a cruise to Mexico in 2016, each hopes to rebuild a relationship after years of estrangement. But they find more than common ground aboard the ship. They meet a mysterious lecturer who touts the possibilities of time travel. Within days, Chuck and Justin find themselves in 1900, riding a train to Texas, intent on preventing a distant uncle from being hanged for a crime he did not commit. Their quick trip to Galveston, however, becomes long and complicated when they wrangle with business rivals and fall for two beautiful librarians on the eve of a hurricane that will destroy the city. Filled with humor, history, romance, and heartbreak, September Sky follows two directionless souls on the adventure of a lifetime as they try to make peace with the past, find new purpose, and grapple with the knowledge of things to come.

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The Mirror

The Mirror
Title: The Mirror
Published: March 1, 2014
Author's Twitter: @johnheldt
On September 11, 2020, Ginny and Katie Smith celebrate their nineteenth birthday at a country fair near Seattle. Ignoring the warnings of a fortune-teller, they enter a house of mirrors and exit in May 1964. Armed with the knowledge they need to return to their time, they try to make the most of what they believe will be a four-month vacation. But their sixties adventure becomes complicated when they meet a revered great-grandmother and fall in love with local boys. In The Mirror, the continuation of The Mine and The Show, the sisters find happiness and heartbreak as they confront unexpected challenges and gut-wrenching choices in the age of civil rights, the Beatles, and Vietnam.

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The Dry Lands

The Dry Lands
Title: The Dry Lands
Publisher:
Published: May 13, 2012
Author's Twitter: @simonjtownley
3,000 years BCE, in Africa’s Rift Valley: isolated by a changing climate, hemmed in by arid wasteland, a prehistoric tribe fights for survival. A prehistoric tribe fights for survival Isolated by a changing climate, hemmed in by arid wasteland, a band of prehistoric humans faces extinction. There are too many mouths to feed – the tribes have grown too large, they’ve hunted too fiercely and the animals are gone. The waterholes are dry, the rains don’t come. Their world has changed, and they need a way out. As the young men of the Koriba go in search of a new home, Temfe, the chief’s son, must learn to lead his clansmen before they betray him. To survive in a harsh world, surrounded by enemies he must gather new allies, discover new weapons and learn new ways of seeing the world. In the African rift valley, 43,000 years BCE, a spark of consciousness flares into life. The dawn of human culture, the fire that will reshape the world.

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Bloodie Bones

Bloodie Bones
Title: Bloodie Bones
Publisher:
Published: May 11, 2015
Author's Twitter: @LucienneWrite
In 1796 Bow Street Runner and amateur pugilist Dan Foster is sent to Somerset to infiltrate a poaching gang suspected of murdering Lord Oldfield’s gamekeeper, Josh Castle. Dan has walked into a volatile situation: the locals are up in arms against Lord Oldfield for enclosing Barcombe Forest and depriving them of their rights to gather fuel and food. Against a background of vandalism, arson and riot, Dan discovers that there were others with a grudge against Josh. However, Lord Oldfield orders him to arrest the poachers. When Dan learns that Josh had a claim to the Oldfield estate his suspicions focus on Lord Oldfield. Before he can confront him, rioters attack Oldfield Hall protesting against the arrests. During the fight, Dan finds himself at the mercy of the local doctor and realises that he and Josh were rivals in love. Dan narrowly escapes death and arrests the murderer: Doctor Russell.  

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Frontier Justice: Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal

Frontier Justice: Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal
Title: Frontier Justice: Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal
Author:
Publisher:
Published: February 1, 2014
Author's Twitter: @charlieray45
In 1875, Indian Territory, in what is now the state of Oklahoma, was a haven for thieves, swindlers, and murderers, all trying to escape the reach of the law. When President U.S. Grant appointed Judge Isaac Parker judge of the Western District of Arkansas, which included the territory, Parker was intent upon bringing fugitives to justice. He authorized U.S. Marshal James Fagan to hire 200 deputy marshals to help police the 4,500 square mile lawless territory. Among those deputies was Bass Reeves. Born a slave in 1838, Reeves had spent the Civil War as a runaway in Indian Territory, and spoke five tribal languages. He was an expert tracker and an accomplished marksman, and at 6’2” and 180 pounds in an era when the average male height was 5’6”, was an imposing figure. During his 32 year tenure as a deputy marshal, Reeves brought in over 3,000 fugitives. Unable to either read or write, he had someone read warrants to him and memorized every detail – never making a mistake.

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South of Burnt Rocks – West of the Moon

South of Burnt Rocks – West of the Moon
Title: South of Burnt Rocks – West of the Moon
Author:
Published: October 21, 2012
Lavena, the last survivor of Rome's plundering destruction in ancient Spain, must survive to the next sunrise and then try to unite far-flung villages and oust the Roman menace. Based on real events and ancient She-Warriors who fought alongside their men. Mighty Rome plunders everything of value and destroys anything left standing in the beautiful and rich land south of Burnt Rocks. We know it as Spain. Lavena, the last child of the strongest tribal leader in the area, must grow up fast, must choose between marriage to her favorite young man and children, or the life of a She-Warrior fighting side-by-side with the male warriors of her tribe – or even fighting alone. The crush of an invading Roman army forces her choices. Guided by the spirits of the dead, by her father’s favorite dog, and the courage of those with nothing left to lose, she takes a last stand against the Roman menace. Roman scout, Marcus, is ordered to try to find answers to unseen but real threats pestering his Roman army – scouts who never return, dead soldiers, deadly traps in the ground, and slaughtered bullocks. More than any of his masters, Marcus begins to understand the havoc Lavena has wreaked, but deeper yearnings drive him to find her for other reasons, to be with her. Based on actual characters of that time and place, South of Burnt Rocks – West of The Moontells that mostly true story lost to the fog of history.

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The Lupane Legacy

Lupane Legacy, The
A story of international intrigue, of the ghosts of Africa’s history, of tangled family ties, of betrayal, revenge, and redemption, and of two people finding a new start. In 1983 Patrick Khumalo, a five-year-old boy out gathering firewood for his mother in rural Zimbabwe, is the only survivor of one of Robert Mugabe’s notorious Gukurahundi massacres. White Rhodesian settlers who live nearby take the traumatized child in and raise him with their own children. In 2012, Patrick is an archivist for Robert Mugabe’s government. Everyone knows him as the ideal public servant, removed from politics and passion. But Patrick has a secret life, into which he draws Constance, the impulsive, idealistic girl he grew up with, now a classical violinist living in Austria. On the other side of the world, in Washington, D.C., ex-Marine Joshua Denham is trying to find his feet in civilian life as a newly wealthy man with political aspirations. At an Austrian Embassy concert where his cousin Constance is performing, a woman who’s been haunting him for the past year—a private banker he last saw in Kyrgyzstan—sits down at the end of his row. Perhaps he’s found what he was looking for . . . but Devon isn’t quite what she seems. Constance is acting strangely, too. After she leaves abruptly for the airport, Joshua gets a desperate call from her estranged father, Roger: Constance is in trouble. Joshua flies to meet Roger in South Africa, only to find that Roger has his own dark secret. Devon finds herself drawn after them to an abandoned farmhouse in Zimbabwe’s Matabeleland District, and an explosive reckoning with the ghosts of the Rhodesian Bush War. The Lupane Legacy, the first in a series of novels of international suspense and intrigue, is a thriller for the thinking reader, a nuanced exploration of the history of postcolonial Africa as well as of Beltway politics and diplomacy. It’s a story of tangled family ties, of betrayal, revenge, and redemption, and of two people finding their way toward each other, and a new beginning.

Assessed for Awesome Indies