The Naturalists: A Historic Novel by C. G. Haberman

The Naturalists: A Historic Novel
(The Hayman Saga) (Volume 1) by C. G. Haberman

Where is Nebraska? The measure lies in locating Chicago and Denver, then calculating the midpoint between the two. There exists land called the Rainwater Basin. To find the remains of the best basins requires a calling, the calling to understand the startling dependency of life. In the heart of the United States the last of the Hayman lineage, Chance Hayman, experiences the nibbling erosion and decimation of this North American keystone. The Naturalist begins in the 1820s with a minister full of desire to serve his God. Reverend Abner Hayman is not the normal German Reformed minister. His ministerial sincerity and verve excites his Pennsylvania congregation. As with many successful men he will gain fame and follow a path fraught with temptation, deception, and loss. His path across the rapidly expanding nation leads him to Illinois. There he loses a son to a calling of his own. John Hayman does not scorn the country know as the Great American Desert. Abner Hayman’s son finds a land that fills his spiritual yearning, a land of grass and marshes that is unyielding, but teems with life and promise. It is this young man, the naturalist, who finds love of life, land, and women who is the taproot for the future Hayman families who fight to save the rainwater basins from extinction.

Book Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Crime, History

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The Naturalists A Historic Novel of the Hayman Family:
Volume 2 by C. G. Haberman

Gripped by a spiritual call, John Hayman found the land of his dreams. The land tested him, but he learned to live with it and survived to foster a land ethic. In the second volume of The Naturalists, the new era of John’s three sons unfolds and they are as diverse as the land. The youngest, Henry, focuses on what his father dreamed about: a peaceful land covered with grass and marshes. As more people settle the area, Henry faces changing land use that gives little thought to the effects. His life is not without personal heartaches and devastating emotional discoveries. Over the first half of the 20th century, he and his youngest son, Jacob, follow the path recorded in journals that have become the focus for future Hayman naturalists. A deep family unrest threatens to forever change the Haymans and the land on which they thrive. Out of this turmoil, Jacob emerges to face the trying task of altering the path that threatens the Rainwater Basin and his family. Will Jacob’s son inherit a tranquil path to the 21st Century?

Book Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Crime, History

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Dobyns Chronicles: A Boy Becomes A Man by Shirley McLain

Dobyns Chronicles: A Boy Becomes A Man by Shirley McLain

‘Dobyns Chronicles’ starts out with a picture of an Indian Territory Map which I especially enjoyed looking at. This story gives the reader a true taste of what life was like in the 1890’s. The setting is in Chickasaw Territory, North East Texas and in Eastern Oklahoma.

Turning the page from this map to chapter one, line one, the reader is struck with “OLD AGE IS hell, but it’s something all of us have to go through” and shortly thereafter another line that reads “You never know what road life will lead you down. Pa told me when I was a little boy, “You just have to take a deep seat and hang on for the ride.” He sure told the truth.”

Vivid story telling with beautiful old lines like “the heavens opened up and let loose with one of those toad soakers” draws the reader into the time period. Truer than life characters that pull at the reader’s heart strings as their lives show the harshness and simplicity of times gone by. Shirley McLain’s characters like Charley have a strong sense of family, friends, community and faith which carries him from youth to being the matriarch of a large family leaving behind an incredible legacy.

Life in the 1890’s is based on survival off the land and animals like the pigs that provided food such as “crackling corn bread out of the fried cracklings”. This story will remind the reader what travel was like in horse draw wagons that took days to complete 85 miles. Days gone by with the children had three sets of clothes, work/pay clothes, school/street clothes and our Sunday best. Old time remedies like mudpacks to keep the mosquitoes off and the use of Indian herbal medicine. A time when death was only an arm’s length away due the circumstances of the times. A story of a young boy who is forced to become a man, a time when wages were $20.00 a month and a time where horses, buggies, trains, trolleys and carpetbags were of importance. Your will read great conversations, family letters and experience home, heart, love and a home birth produces a son that makes one man’s world complete.

Story telling is an art form and Shirley McLain is an artist. If you have any sense of history and/or had grandparents or someone older tell you stories than this book will make your heart skip a beat and your mind to go in places where it hasn’t been in while. This amazing family chronicle brought back memories for me growing up with an older generation that kept me spell bound by their stories. I have often thought as a society we have lost the art of storytelling. Shirley McLain has brought encouragement back to my soul. She did her historical research and has family stories of her own no doubt cleverly woven into this story.

Theodocia McLean endorses Dobyns Chronicles: A Boy Becomes A Man by Shirley McLain as an inspiring historical fiction that will send chills up and down your spine, keep you glued to the pages and remind you of an era gone by that must not be forgotten. Review date September 2014.

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A Secret In Ash Brooke by Dutch Rhudy

A Secret In Ash Brooke by Dutch Rhudy

A small town detective agreed to mentor a local newspaper reporter who wished to enhance his sleuthing hobby. In the process of improving his observational skills, the reporter scrutinized various citizens torso and behavior. As his facial recognition abilities increased, he grew more aware of subtle similarities and differences.

The reporter soon became intrigued with an exceptional physical likeness between two young women. Each portray different cultures, and appear nothing alike in manner of dress, or in their separate lifestyles. The reporter, convinced they must be twins, maintained a constant vigil on his suspects.

He befriended one of these ladies to learn more about her. All attempts at justifying to himself she was a twin, proved futile. Subtle comments among her friends and family, confirmed she had only one sibling, an older brother.
These facts led our sleuth-hound reporter, to believe these two women were one in the same person.

Turning his attention from the proper lady, with her strict religious upbringing; to the one of questionable moral values. His observations only invited confusion and generated unanswered questions. Each time his suspicions exposed another clue, a positive clarification negated the probability.

Their timetables overlapped, and one person cannot possibly be in two places at the same time. Or can they?
Certain his assumptions are correct, our reporter continued his quest to learn the truth.

Log Line: How can she be in two places at the same time?

Tag Line: Never take anyone at face value.

Genre: Fiction, Cozy, Mystery & Detective, Historical

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Book Review: If you enjoy mystery, detective fiction with a little history thrown in, ‘A Secret In Ash Brooke’ should be your next read.

The small town setting depicts both the advantages and disadvantages of communities where people know each other intimately.

I especially liked the small mill town setting where men went off to war and some returned. Where women left the security of their homes (changing women’s roles forever) to help in the war efforts and hold their communities together.

Sometimes it takes another perspective to not only notice but unravel secrets that loom large but that are dismissed by ordinary life. Dutch Rhudy’s characters are well suited for the mystery that unfolds in Ash Brooke.

Theodocia McLean endorses A Secret In Ash Brooke by Dutch Rhudy. This review was completed in July 2014.

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Sprig of Broom by Susan Whitfield

Author Susan Whitfield’s exquisite storytelling will escort you back to medieval European history to the grand LeMans Cathedrale on June 10, 1127 where Henry Beauclerc, King of England and Duke of Normandy, gives his daughter Empress Matilda Maud Alice in betrothal to Sir Geoffrey V Plantagenet, Knight of the Order of the Bath and Count of Anjou, son of Fulk V, King of Jerusalem.

Fourteen year old Count Geoffrey finds himself in the bedchamber of his lady wife Matilda who had been married before and encounters a rigid, irritable woman who preys on his youthful innocence.

The count throws himself into his royal duties for the sake of the kingdom while the King insists on offspring and sends a young maid servant named Annique to teach him the fine art of love.

As reviewer it is my pleasure to whet your appetite with this quote from Count Geoffrey.

“The first day of winter roared in with a strong cold wind whipping trees and bushes and tents and merchant stands in town. Pastured horses ran briskly with tails high, some tagging others as they romped. I was thankful to have fine shelter and plenty of firewood, although more would be needed to keep fires burning throughout the castle before winter ended. Castle stores were filled with harvested crops, among them corn meal and flour, dried apples and other fruits, lard and herbs. Meats from hunts hung in smoke. We would fare better than most of the country’s people until planting season returned in spring.

Darkness crept in early and lingered long. The moon often hid itself from us. Loneliness accompanied me to my bed chamber at night. I found myself staying up late to play chess or throw darts alone or with anyone willing to pass time with me.

Daily jousting and warlike games of hunting amused me and kept me occupied away from Matilda and tempered thought of Annique. Some nights were spent besting fellow knights at chess or checkers. I welcomed distance and time spent with other knights outside dark cold castle walls when time allowed. I lost myself in preparing strategies to outwit the older and more experienced knights. My horse, Warrior,—the color of a cloud whitened by sun—was powerful and easily held me even in full armor.”

Let me tell you a funny story. Late last night, my husband and I were lying in bed talking before going to sleep and I started telling him the story, Sprig of Broom. I started at the beginning and was telling him all about it. Half way through my re-telling the story, he stopped me and said, “WAIT” don’t tell me the end, let’s watch it together. I laughed and told him he would have to wait to see Sprig of Broom in movie format because for now it is Susan Whitfield’s historical fiction book. This is a testament to Susan’s great writing skills.

I invite you to relive the story of Count Geoffrey (later known as Geoffrey the Handsome) and step into his shoes as fate will determine if his lady wife Matilda will assume the throne upon her father’s death. Walk the royal Castle halls, smell the stench of common places, cross the English Channel, and observe a proud father as he swaddles his offspring with no knowledge of how history will write about the Plantagenet Kings of England.

Theodocia McLean endorses Sprig Of Broom by Susan Whitfield as a historical fiction woven with threads of history and story telling that draw the reader back to a harsh and mystical time in medieval European history where Kings, Queens, Emperors and Empresses rule, where Dukes, Duchess, Knights, Counts, Princes and Princesses are born and history is written. Sprig of Broom needs to be shared in movie format someday. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on September 23, 2015.

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Susan Whitfield’s Published Books

Logan Hunter Mystery Series
Genesis Beach (A Logan Hunter Mystery Book 1)
Just North of Luck (Logan Hunter Mystery Book 2)
Hell Swamp (Logan Hunter Mystery Book 3)
Sin Creek (Logan Hunter Mystery Book 4)
Sticking Point (Logan Hunter Mystery Book 5)

Historical Fiction Novel
Sprig of Broom by Susan Whitfield

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Women’s Fiction
Slightly Cracked

Cookbooks, Food & Wine
Killer Recipes

Contact Information
Susan Whitfield’s Professional Website
http://www.susanwhitfieldonline.com/

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Sons Of The Sphinx by Cheryl Carpinello

Travel to ancient Egypt through the eyes of a tenth grader named Rosa as she uses her special gifts in an attempt to bring honor to King Tutankhamen’s family. Rosa is an ordinary teen who struggles to fit in with her peers, however she must also come to term with the gift that her grandmother bestowed on her.

As it turns out, Rosa’s gift allows her to not only to hear and speak to dead people, but actually travel back to ancient Egypt. Without warning King Tut appears to Rosa in her bedroom asking for help finding the spirit of his long, lost, love Hesena.

Rosa has to fight unimaginable fears in order to travel back 3,000 years, deal with a hostile environment, and an evil Pharaoh, not to mention tomb robbers in order to connect with the spirit of Hesena all with the hopes of righting the wrongs of this ancient past.

Young Rosa has a heart of gold and the courage of a champion along with a sweet innocent inner self that inspires a touch of romantic feeling for her spirit guide. I quote a passage from the book to show the author’s unique writing style and ability to connect with young people:

“Tut, you were rich beyond anything I can imagine. It’s so unreal.” I walk around behind the shrine. “You were one of the richest pharaohs in Egypt.”

He looks at me and frowns. I see something in his eyes, briefly, that mirrors the disappointment in my dad’s eyes the day the cops brought me home. I ditched school after one of those talking ghost episodes. They picked me up at the shopping mall an hour before school was out. An hour! I have all the luck. I cough as my throat tickles in an irritating way.

“Roosa.” He sweeps his arm through the air. All this is here, with me, now, dead.”

‘Sons Of The Sphinx’ is a fast paced, historically accurate time travel adventure that will enlighten and engage the hearts and minds of readers from pre-teen to adult. Author Cheryl Carpinello has not only researched ancient Egypt, but travelled there herself. This book details the Eighteenth Dynasty (1550-1295 BC) and includes a map of Ancient Egypt. There is a glossary of Egyptian Gods, People, Places and Terms which is most beneficial.

Theodocia McLean endorses ‘Sons Of The Sphinx’ by Cheryl Carpinello for the historical accuracies, adventurous journey to ancient Egypt with teen tenacity and paranormal contributions. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle. The review was completed on April 28, 2015.

Genre: Teen & Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Ancient Civilizations, Children’s, Literature & Fiction

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Blue Water Woman by Ken Farmer

She’s F.M. Miller, former Deputy US Marshal turned bounty hunter—she doesn’t backwater to any man.
Fiona Mae and her partner, Deputy US Marshal Brushy Bill Roberts are on a suspense filled encounter peppered with old west Indian mysticism, shapeshifters, Spanish gold, and outlaws on the scout in Blue Water Woman.

In a country and lifestyle normally reserved for men, Fiona Miller is a special breed of woman. She’s rattlesnake fast, an expert shot…with either hand…can ride anything with hair on it and doesn’t tolerate injustice or rudeness anywhere or from anyone.
Who is she after now? Who is the Blue Water Woman?

Genre: History-Americas-United States-19th Century-Old West, Literature & Fiction, Westerns, Science Fiction, Horror

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The Parthian (Parthian Chronicles Book 1) by Peter Darman

When Rome transgresses upon his father’s domain that lays between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, Pacorus, a prince of the Parthian Empire, is sent to exact revenge. After a string of victories Pacorus and his men are captured in Cappadocia, clapped in chains and sent to Italy to live out the rest of their days as slaves. But fate intervenes and Pacorus and his companions are saved from a living hell by a renegade gladiator named Spartacus. In gratitude, Pacorus agrees to help Spartacus build his army as Rome musters its legions to crush the slave uprising. And so begins an epic adventure of glory and savagery played out across the length and breadth of Italy, as Spartacus defeats the armies of Rome and Pacorus leads his horsemen to victory after victory. But will Pacorous and the slave army escape from Italy, and will he win the love of the fierce and proud Gallia before the most powerful man in Rome, Marcus Licinius Crassus, takes the field against Spartacus?

A map of the Parthian Empire at the time of Pacorus (the 1st Century BC) can be found on the maps page of my website: www.peterdarman.com

“Darman has researched this novel extremely well, as one would expect with his military non-fiction background. This detail is meshed with great story telling which flows along with great gusto. Less for the fact that this book is about a Parthian rather than a Roman, I would describe it as a ‘Roman Sharpe’. Darman’s style is similar to and as good as Bernard Cornwell’s, one of my favourite authors.”

British Army Rumour Service review, June 2011

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