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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The Great Liquor War by D. M. McGowan

the-great-liquor-war-by-d-m-mcgowenThe year is 1885. Hank James has been in Canada several months panning gold from a stream near Roswell, British Columbia. When he hears a prizefight will be held in town, he attends along with everyone for miles around. With a little help from the fight referee, he wins big betting on the fight. Having realized that the life of a miner isn’t nearly as romantic or rewarding as he expected, and with advice from the policeman who helped him win money on the fight, Hank goes to Farwell to haul freight with pack horses for contractors building the transcontinental railroad.

The railroad’s security, a detachment of North West Mounted Police, have maintained across the West that no liquor be allowed one mile on either side of the rail bed. Provincial authorities disagree. Hank James believes in honoring and repaying his debts, but that doesn’t mean he should be involved in a war between the BC Provincial Police and the North West Mounted.

He and his partners have trouble enough running their freight business, they don’t need to be caught between competing policemen. They are already stuck between Canada’s transcontinental railroad people and the contractors doing the actual construction. While the police are fighting one another, who is looking for criminals, particularly those stealing Hank’s horses? Despite a variety of jobs, D.M. McGowan now works as a commercial driver and lives near Mile “0” of the world-famous Alaska Highway.

His stories bring Canadian history to life. “I believe in seeing morality and societal responsibility rewarded. Too much of today’s fiction seems to lead into the dark instead of the light.”

Book Review

The Great Liquor War by D. M. McGowan is a western pioneering era saga that combines great story telling, true-to-life cowboy experience with US and Canadian history combined with legends from the 1800’s.

The main character Hank James was born in Canada and migrated south into the US with his family after the Civil War. Hank’s father headed towards Oregon in search of a farmstead while protecting his family from raids by outlaws and Indians. They made it as far as Kansas to find that the land was too dry to farm so pushed on to Oregon to find the land was too wet. With Mother Nature as their biggest obstacle and many mouths to feed young Hank James set out on his own. He settled down with his own gold mine claim near Rossland, British Columbia in 1984.

Hank wasn’t afraid of hard work, but he wanted more out of life than to eke out a living on his claim. With tenacity Hank took advantage of the Transcanada Railroad, found some partners and started his own freight business. Life should be good, but where there is industry, technology, commerce and economy, there are criminals.

In all my reviews I quote a passage so readers can get a feel for the authors writing style. I quote from page 37.

“It didn’t take a detective to know that the horse thief had played a little joke on the Provincial Police. Constable Art Hubbard was over six feet tall and probably ten pounds lighter than the one eighty mentioned in the description. Not only was he a long way from round, he was also clean shaven.

I gave Constable Hubbard my story, ending with the recovery of the bay gelding and the description I had from Miller. “An’ the fella called himself Art Hubbard,” I added.

The Constable’s expression didn’t change. He worked his chew around into one cheek and sent a stream of tobacco juice into the waste basket. “Feller with a sense o’ humor,” he noted, and then added. “It’ll be one ‘o Bulldog Kelley’s outfit. They work out o’ some of the illegal saloons t’ be found back in the bush. We catch one or two of ‘em every now an’ then, but we can’t get Kelley, an’ he’s the head o’ the snake. I can think of one or two that might fit your description, but not a one that had a full beard. An’ this fella’s probably shaved by now.”

I wrote out my story, signed it, and returned to work.”

Between the horse thieves, authority over liquor sales and a war between the BC Provincial Police and the North West Mounted Hank is he in over his head? Only time will tell if he makes the right choices and will he win the heart and loyalty of Sharon Dalton?

Saddle up your horse, holster your gun and join a rugged western cast of characters that will take you back to the reality and the legends of the Wild West.

Theodocia McLean endorses The Great Liquor War by D. M. McGowan for the nuggets of history told within a great story of human experience in the Wild West. This review was completed on August 11, 2015.

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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

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Kidnap The Pope by Jack Duarte

In late July 1943, World War II is in full throttle when Italian dictator Benito Mussolini is overthrown. His close friend and long-time admirer, Adolf Hitler, is convinced that Catholic Church and Pope Pius XII are behind the coup and determines to do something about it.

Even though he is himself a catholic, and his physical and mental state are deteriorating, Hitler revives an earlier plot, Operation Pontiff. The plan calls for the Wehrmacht to invade the Vatican and kidnap the Pope.

He selects one of his top Generals, supreme SS Commander of Italy General Karl Wolff to put the plan into effect. Wolff feigns support for the plan but secretly takes actions to postpone its beginning. Other top German officials in Italy become involved along with some high officials of the Vatican itself.

A lone Catholic priest from New Orleans who studied at the Gregorian University and now works for the Vatican becomes a key figure in thwarting the plot’s implementation.

Germany occupies Rome and events and actions become fast and furious as certain factors play out to the novel’s conclusion.

Book Review

If you enjoy reading World War II history, ‘Kidnap The Pope’ by Jack DuArte needs to be in your library. Great writing with intense research has allowed the author to present in an easy to read journal format a scenario that depicts Adolf Hitler’s attempt to invade the Vatican and capture Pope Pius XII. This book is written to the best of the author’s ability from both German and Vatican points of view. The author says, “History is a most sacred gift and should not be distorted in any manner.”

‘Kidnap The Pope’ is book six in Jack DuArte’s World War II series. Although a series, each book stands alone. In this book there are eighteen easy to follow chapters set up in a diary/journal format. The time frame ranges from March 10, 1938 through Sunday, April 30, 1945.

Historical characters include heroes, heroines and adversaries from America, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Russia and the Vatican in particular. At the end of the book, the author offers a detailed list of the characters with their title, location, dates, ages and historical significance.

Each chapter starts with date, location and often the character or characters of importance. For example: August 23, 1939, Cabinet Room, West Wing, The White House, 1800 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, District of Columbia “All right, Mr. President.”

There are so many examples of the author’s style and content that I would love to share with you. The author’s research has allowed him to share letters, memos, wire cables, and other documents that detail historic thoughts and conversations of historical importance. One example is on Friday, September 4, 1939 at the Polish-German border “a Franco-British meeting determined that no major ground or air operations would be undertaken against Germany. Great Britain did indeed send bombers over Germany to drop propaganda leaflets and make reconnaissance of the areas, but no direct contact with the Germany military was ordered.

Adolf Hitler had reached out to Mussolini when he originally planned the assault for August 26, but cancelled the attack when the Italian dictator told him that Italy was not prepared to go to war at that time. Mussolini later assured the German leader of his political backing and the order to attack was rescheduled for September 1st.

Adolf Hitler knew he was taking a big chance when Germany attacked Poland. Many of his generals were not in favor of the move and asked for more time to get the Wehrmacht better equipped for battle. On several occasions prior to the beginning of hostilities, France had insisted that the Poles not mobilize and that factor helped the Germans easily overrun the poorly equipped nation.

The Second World War had officially begun with the appeasement governments of both Britain and France afraid to take more than token steps to prevent Hitler from seizing additional territory. The United States was quick to condemn Germany’s action but President Roosevelt was determined to keep his country out of the conflict.

The world settled back to see what came next to the world stage and in what form.”

Another great example is on Sunday, December 7, 1941 in The President’s Private Study, White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, District of Columbia. “Mr. President, the Japanese have attacked our fleet at Pearl Harbor a few minutes ago. Our first reports indicate hundreds of Japanese fighter-bombers. We already know there is significant damage on Battleship Row. Admiral Stark at the Navy Department is trying to determine the consequences of the attack. All I can tell you is that it is bad, really bad…”

Enjoy reading for the first time or refreshing your memory with historical events like President Roosevelt’s famous speech made on December 8, 1941. “Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

Get into the mind and thoughts of Hitler, many world leaders, dignitaries, and even into the secret world of the Vatican.

Theodocia McLean endorses Kidnap The Pope by Jack DuArte as a historical fictional that is illuminated with history and facts that the world will not soon forget. Jack DuArte’s list of best-selling World War II novels include Kidnap The Pope, Malta, Singapore, Spitfire, The Resistance, and The White Mouse. Theodocia McLean purchased and reviewed this book in a Kindle format. This review was completed on February 13, 2016.

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The Resistance by Jack Duarte

The French Resistance is determined to safeguard the masterpieces of the Louvre Museum. With the help of Britain’s SOE, a plan is developed to insure these great paintings’ safety. Nazi Reichsmarschall Herman Goring is actively seeking the paintings to send to Germany.

The rapid fire action starts in Great Britain and moves to France where a fierce showdown with the Vichy Milice proves pivotal to the fascinating story.

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Malta by Jack Duarte

For centuries, the Island of Malta has stood as one of the most sought after places by any nation wishing to control access to the Mediterranean Sea. Its strategic location just off the coast of North Africa allows it control of the sea lanes vital to any passage, either east or west. In early 1942, the Axis powers step up their efforts to secure Malta and thus allow supply efforts to its armies in North Africa.

The Luftwaffe begins a horrendous bombing effort that sees the tiny island bombed incessantly, both day and night. The island’s defenders are short on water, food and practically every other necessary means of survival. After a few weeks, the Germans and their Italian allies have almost complete control over the skies of Malta and the Mediterranean.

The British Admiralty develops a desperate plan to resupply Malta’s depleted air forces with a number of the new Spitfire Mark VI b’s, Britain’s finest fighter. The first Spitfires fly off a British carrier and succeed in reaching their destination only to be bombed into destruction within days. Additional missions involving the United States Navy bring more Spitfires to Malta and slowly the balance of power begins to turn.

This fragile stability is the result of honored British fliers who somehow beat the odds and deliver a series of defeats to the Germans and Italians. Malta is the personal story of a number of these heroes and a glimpse into horrific conditions they faced on a daily basis. Lack of food, water, petrol and ammunition make their jobs even more difficult. The ‘Malta Dog’ is also around to make their plight even more miserable. Malta will keep you glued to its pages from beginning to end. You will identify with British King George VI who awarded the Island of Malta, the George Cross—Great Britain’s highest civilian honor during wartime. The lives and loves of some of these heroic airmen are chronicled within the pages of Malta.

The novel is the much awaited sequel to DuArte’s best-selling Spitfire that chronicled the epic Battle of Britain at the start of World War II.

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Singapore by Jack Duarte

In 1941, the Far East’s great island fortress of Singapore is the key impediment to the Empire of Japan’s plans for domination of the Western Pacific.

The Japanese Imperial Staff makes several important decisions and directs the formation of a special unit to meticulously plan for the invasion of Malaya and the subsequent siege of the fortress of Singapore. Colonel Manasobe Tsuji is assigned as the Staff Officer in Charge of Operations for the 25th Army and sets out to chart and plan the operational aspects of Japanese military forces for the campaign.

Within the bastion of Singapore, the British are content to wait behind their fortress’s huge guns, secure in the knowledge that their island is practically impenetrable. Royal Navy Lieutenant William Elliott is an assigned to the SOE’s secretive Oriental Mission. He has been in Singapore for eight months and has fallen in love with a Malaysian woman, a doctor in Singapore’s General Hospital.

Commander Elliott is temporarily assigned to Brigadier Ivan Simson, one of the few people on the island who realize the extent of the island’s weaknesses. As international events begin to bracket Singapore’s fate in the destiny of world events, Lieutenant Elliott is thrust into a series of movements throughout South East Asia as he tries to alter Singapore’s ultimate fate. When his beloved Pai Lin also gets caught up in the calamity of Singapore’s tragic fate, Elliott must choose between his love for her and duty to his country.

Singapore accurately follows the events of this incredible historical event in its sublime majesty, from beginning to end, at a time when world power and western civilization were both at stake.

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The White Mouse by Jack Duarte

The White Mouse was the name given by the Gestapo to Nancy Wake Fiocca, an Australian woman setting up escape networks from France during WWII. After fleeing to England, The White Mouse joins the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) and returns to occupied France around the time of the Normandy invasion in 1944.

Through sheer determination and with the help of other SOE operatives, she manages to bring together a number of Maquis units in the Auvergne Region to harass and delay German reinforcements attempting to reach Nazi coastal defences.

Aided by an American Army captain on loan to the SOE, the White Mouse finally arranges the escape of a number of Maquis prisoners during a pitched battle. The White Mouse reunited US Army Captain Brian Russell with his French Resistance love that was brought to life in Jack DuArte’s first novel, the best-selling The Resistance.

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Spitfire by Jack Duate

Spitfire is the third installment of Jack DuArte’s World War II Series. The setting is Great Britain in 1940, immediately before and during the epic Battle of Britain. Fighting a superior number of Luftwaffe bombers and fighters, the valiant Royal Air Force wages a desperate air battle to save their country from certain defeat.

Flight Lieutenant Anthony Nelson and his younger brother, Fletcher, are pilots of 54 Squadron Spitfires, the great British fighter plane that is Britain’s only hope for survival. Through a suspenseful series of events, both find they are in love with the same woman. A hair-raising set of circumstances brings Spitfire to a spellbinding conclusion that will keep the reader glued to the final pages.

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Billy Battles by Ronald Yates

Billy Battles is definitely not in Kansas anymore.

As Book 2 of the Finding Billy Battles trilogy opens, Billy is far from his Kansas roots and his improbable journeys are just starting.

The year is 1894 and Billy is aboard the S S China sailing to the inscrutable Far East. Trouble is not far behind. He has met a mysterious and possibly dangerous German Baroness. He has locked horns with malevolent agents of the German government and battled ferocious Chinese and Malay pirates in the South China Sea.

Later, he is embroiled in the bloody anti-French insurgency in Indochina–which quite possibly makes him the first American combatant in a country that eventually will become Vietnam. Then, in the Philippines, he is thrust into the Spanish-American War and the brutal anti-American insurgency that follows. But Billy’s troubles are only beginning.

As the 19th century ends and the 20th century begins, he finds himself entangled with political opportunists, spies, revolutionaries, and an assortment of vindictive and dubious characters of both sexes. How will Billy handle those people and the challenges they present? The answers are just ahead.

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Finding Billy Battles: An Account of Peril, Transgression, and Redemption by Ronald Yates

When a great-grandson inherits two aging trunks and a stack of meticulously detailed journals penned by his great-grandfather, he sets out to fulfill his great-grandfather’s last request: to tell the story of an incredible life replete with adventure, violence, and tragedy. The great-grandfather’s name is Billy Battles–a man often trapped and overwhelmed by circumstances beyond his control.

For much of his 100-year-long life Billy is a man missing and largely unknown to his descendants. His great-grandson is about to change that. As he works his way through the aging journals and the other possessions he finds in the battered trunks he uncovers the truth about his mysterious great-grandfather–a man whose deeds and misdeeds propelled him on an extraordinary and perilous journey from the untamed American West to the inscrutable Far East, Latin America and Europe.

As he flips through the pages of the handwritten journals he learns of Billy’s surprising connections to the Spanish-American War, French Indochina, and revolutions in Mexico and other Latin American countries. But most of all he learns that in finding Billy Battles he has also found a long lost and astonishing link to the past.

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Finding Billy Battles by Ronald Yates

When a great-grandson inherits two aging trunks and a stack of meticulously detailed journals penned by his great-grandfather, he sets out to fulfill his great-grandfather’s last request: to tell the story of an incredible life replete with adventure, violence, and tragedy. The great-grandfather’s name is Billy Battles–a man often trapped and overwhelmed by circumstances beyond his control.

For much of his 100-year-long life Billy is a man missing and largely unknown to his descendants. His great-grandson is about to change that. As he works his way through the aging journals and the other possessions he finds in the battered trunks he uncovers the truth about his mysterious great-grandfather–a man whose deeds and misdeeds propelled him on an extraordinary and perilous journey from the untamed American West to the inscrutable Far East, Latin America and Europe.

As he flips through the pages of the handwritten journals he learns of Billy’s surprising connections to the Spanish-American War, French Indochina, and revolutions in Mexico and other Latin American countries. But most of all he learns that in finding Billy Battles he has also found a long lost and astonishing link to the past.

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Still Wilde In Outlaw River (The Outlaw River Wilde Volume 2) by Mike Walters

Nine long months have passed since I read The Outlaw River Wilde (Volume One) by Mike Walters. Settling back to read Still Wilde in Outlaw River (Volume 2) it was comforting to be able to quickly immerse back into the story line.

Author Mike Walters will draw you into the story with descriptive writing, well developed characters that seem like old friends and you will turn every page with the desire to learn more about the circumstances surrounding the small Oregon Town of Outlaw River. The author’s ability to draw on the Native American culture, especially the Klamath Tribes makes the story line more credible.

It is hard to share a quote with you without spoiling the story, so I have decided to share a perspective from Mitch’s wife Mabey. I quote:

“The Rabbit Moon looked majestic as it highlighted the towering pines standing tall and firm. Mabey was hungry and emotionally shaken. Physically she felt decent but not great like she was used to. Her hands and a tender ankle were her biggest concerns at the moment. She knew resting a bit more would put her in a better state mentally. Mabey held out hope a break would also help her gain insight as to which direction to go. She hunkered down among some thick ferns in a bed of pine needles. Lying on her side, she made a pillow of her slightly swollen and sore hands. She was cold, but not shivering, and knew sleep would give her body the needed strength to recover.

Then her head reflexively raised off her hands. The noise coming down the road started as a low growl, and as it got closer, the vibrations in the earth confirmed something was coming.”

If you love fast paced drama, a good love story, humor, rough language, and a supernatural mystery that will take you out of this world, this duology is a must read. I highly recommend you read The Outlaw River Wilde first. Better yet, purchase The Outlaw River Wilde and Still Wilde in Outlaw River from Amazon and get ready for the ride of your life.

I sincerely hope that Author Mike Walters will bring us another series not far in the distant future.

Theodocia McLean endorses Still Wilde in Outlaw River (The Outlaw River Wilde-Volume 2) by Mike Walters. I purchased and reviewed this book from Kindle format. This review was completed on July 2, 2016.

Genre: Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Romance, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

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Assimilation: An Axe of Iron Novel by J. A. Hunsinger

Third Book In An Axe of Iron Series

Assimilation will wet the appetite of the fans that have developed a fascination with the plight of the Greenland Viking settlers in the first two novels of the series, The Settlers and Confrontation.

The twists and turns of this continuing tale will engage the reader from the outset as the tall, fair-skinned invaders, knowing it is their key to survival, gradually assimilate with the savage natives of the pre-historical land that will become the Hudson Bay and Great Lakes regions of Canada and the US.

In a scenario ordained by the gods, this assimilation process has a thin chance of success through the forced involvement of two of the Viking settlers with tribes of natives that are habitual enemies of one another. Against overwhelming odds that can have but one successful outcome for the settlers, daily life becomes a balancing act where one word, one gesture, one innocent mistake, can spell disaster in this hostile setting.

Book Review: Assimilation is the final novel in the Axe of Iron series by J. A. Hunsinger. The author asks that you read or reread the ‘Historical Perspective’ that is located in ‘The Settlers’ which is the first volume in this series. The author’s research into the historical time frame and authentic pre-historical Indian names is irrefutable. The ‘Historical Perspective’ goes into the whole concept of the Norse sagas. Even though each book stands alone, as a reader who has enjoyed the entire series, I encourage you to purchase all three books.

As the author states in his book’s description, the first two books in this series (The Settlers and Confrontation) “dealt with the plight of the Greenland Viking settlers”.

Assimilation begins with a map showing where the settlements are and opens with two Naskapi warriors hidden from view, surveying the river valley below. The saga continues with descriptive writing that puts you the reader on the ground experiencing the mysteries of the Viking period. Smell the earth and lush dense forests, travel the routes carved out of the land by natives and take up residence in the villages and experience the hardships of this pre-historical land that we now call the Hudson Bay and the Great Lakes of Canada and the US.

Eavesdrop on Nipishish and Ingerd as they lay in each other’s arms, engaged in whispered conversation like couples do.

Join warriors in their canoes as they glide in the chill of pre-dawn morning heading toward the Haudenosaunee Village.

Stand at the rail of a Viking ship called Steed of the Sea and feel the motion of the sea as the ship heads towards a distant beach.

After the storm, the Norse society dries out and attends to the damage that Njord and Thor (the gods of weather) have forced upon them. Catch a glimpse of the smoke that curls into the calm skies over the cook fires where fish, meat and stew aroma awaits the barley bread and other leftovers that will nourish the community and reward the daily chores.

Reconnect with the characters that you have come to know like Halfdan, his dog Fang, Tostig, and experience the council meetings where men discuss their destiny, when in reality it is the gods like the “mighty Thor” who have the final say.

Strong women who cook and weave on looms by the light of seal oil lamps, teach their girls to spin fibers of wool into skeins of thread, care for the children and their men with tenderness in a world where both beauty and harshness intertwine. Communities where communication and yes even gossip are the norm, and where the outsider might find rest if assimilation is acquired.

Drumbeats of war are as common as the moon rising over the snow, so too are the tracks of snowshoes where the trappers are as important as the warriors for a civilization that exists within a fine balance between preservation and extinction. Here is a quote: “Nipishish, Kejo, and Lothar returned to their village as quickly as possible after the parley with Nesatin. Word spread faster than normal through the Nitassinan that the Anishinabeg had rejected Sachem’s peace offering regarding the people of Haldansfjord.”

I invite you to read Assimilation and discover for yourself where the legend of the Death Wind came from and what it meant for the earliest American colonies. Enjoy the detailed glossary at the end of this book which will help you understand the authentic names and terms used in this book series.

Let me take this moment to thank Author J. A. Hunsinger for his time, research and engaging storytelling that has made An Axe of Iron series possible. I sincerely hope that he will continue to write as some storytellers have one story to tell, others have infinite stories that need to be told and preserved for generations to come. The Axe of Iron novels are one of those series that time will not forget.

Theodocia McLean endorses Assimilation: An Axe of Iron Novel by J. A. Hunsinger. Assimilation is book three in the fictional historical accounting of exploration and settlement of Vinland (North America). I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format on October 1, 2016.

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Confrontation: An Axe of Iron Novel by J.A. Hunsinger

Second Book In An Axe of Iron Series

In Confrontation, two calamitous events occur that pave the way for the hostile beginnings of an assimilation process between the Greenland Norse settlers and the natives of Vinland. The first mixing of cultures occurs when a woman of the Northmen, Thora, and Deskaheh the Haudenosaunee, marry. This union, accepted enthusiastically by the Northmen, opens a window into the native mind.

For all the people of this land the way is rocky and fraught with danger at every turn, but the acceptance and friendship that develops between the Northmen and the Naskapi, another native tribe, over an affair of honor, the eventual acceptance of a young boy of the Northmen by his Haudenosaunee captors, and a scenario that seems ordained by the will of the gods, makes it all begin to fall into place, as it must for the Northmen to survive.

Will this developing relationship allow the Northmen to remain in the homeland of the Naskapi, or are they doomed to failure? The settlers must deal with that question on a daily basis.

Standing in their way are uncounted numbers of indigenous peoples, the pre-historical ancestors of the contemporary Cree (Naskapi), Ojibwa (Anishinabeg), and Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) Indians. From the outset, the warriors of these various tribes violently resisted the incursion of the tall, pale-skinned invaders. The overwhelming numbers of the native peoples in Vinland hold the fate of the Northmen in their hands. The success or failure of the settlement at Halfdansfjord hangs in the balance.

Book Review: This character driven, action packed historical fiction saga continues from ‘The Settlers: An Axe Of Iron Novel’ where 163 Greenlanders and 152 Icelanders (including men, women and children) set sail with horses, cows, pigs, chickens, dogs, cats, equipment ( tents and parts to horse drawn carts) and supplies to explore areas of what they call Vinland (North America).

Confrontation – An Axe Of Iron Novel cover with the Viking battle axe reflecting warriors gives us the first clue regarding the brutal facts of survival and desperate measures taken by men to protect their women, children and settlement with blood sweat and tears. Author J. A. Hunsinger has provided an in-depth ‘Glossary of Norse Terms’ and ‘Native Terms’ to help readers understand the people and culture.

Settling into a new land will prove challenging when the indigenous tribes who have a distaste for any fair skinned men due to those who cheated them in trade, abused them and killed their tribesmen in the past. Apart from expected interaction with the variety of native cultures, life in the new settlement is forced into daily and seasonal routines out of necessity.

Halfdan Ingolfsson and Gudbjartur Einarsson (his second in command) walk the settlement commons overseeing the duties pertaining to survival like the grueling process of filling the Kiln (furnace) with dry birch wood, burning the wood until only charcoal is left and then storing this precious commodity under the shed roof to be used for heat and cooking during the harsh winter months.

Children in the settlement (especially the boys) had to earn their place in their family and settlement by moving from boyhood into manhood by demonstrating skills taught and mirrored to them by their fathers, brothers, cousins and other men around them. Skills like hunting which was the core of survival. Unfortunately dangers exist when dealing with wild animals like a Bull Moose protecting his territory, cow and calf. Death can be mercifully quick and brutal. The burial ceremony, reverence for even the youngest hunter/warrior, tradition and spirituality (Gods Will) play a role for the dead and those who remain.

Seasons marked by the moon predict work, trade, play, marriage and birth. I quote Bjorn “as a pleasant smile curved his lips”. “Yes, it is time I thought of a mate. Another long winter comes and company in my bed would be welcome. Perhaps this is the one (as he recalls the tall blonde woman)”.

Confrontation is inevitable, warriors’ attack, prisoners taken, injuries sustained, spoils of battles and questions about their ability to live in peace brings us to the anticipation of the third book in An Axe Of Iron Series titled “Assimilation”.

A. Hunsinger’s series ‘An Axe Of Iron’ has been exhaustively researched and parallel the actually events as close as a historical fiction can. I recommend this series to both men and women and suggest that the series be placed on a high school/college reading list.

This reviewer is looking forward to ‘Assimilation – An Axe Of Iron Novel’ which is the third book in the series.

Theodocia McLean endorses Confrontation: An Axe of Iron Novel by J.A. Hunsinger’s book two in the fictional historical accounting of exploration and settlement of Vinland (North America). Review on October 20, 2014.

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A. Hunsinger’s Websites:
http://www.vinlandpublishing.com/
http://www.vinlandpublishing.com/reviews/
http://www.vinlandpublishing.com/order/
http://www.vinlandpublishing.com/articles/
http://www.vinlandpublishing.com/blog/
http://www.vinlandpublishing.com/contact/

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The Settlers: An Axe of Iron Novel by J. A. Hunsinger

First Book In The Axe Of Iron Series

The Settlers: Axe of Iron is a tale of survival, strife, love, and the quest for a new home in the face of hostile opposition. Conditions of manifest destiny propel a large contingent of Norse Greenlanders from relative security into an odyssey of exploration and settlement out over the unknown waters of the North Atlantic, to a North America of one thousand years ago, to a land they called Vinland. The chieftain, Halfdan Ingolfsson and his second-in-command, Gudbjartur Einarsson, spend a winter gathering 315 men, women, and children from the two Norse settlements on the southwestern coast of Greenland.

Early in the spring of A.D. 1008, the company sets sail aboard six large cargo ships. Five days into the voyage, in the strait between Helluland and Markland, present day Hudson Strait, a gale holds the flotilla in its grip for four long and arduous days. Halfdan decides to seek shelter in a protected bay, so they can rest, repair the storm damage, and replenish food stores lost in the storm.

During the following weeks, the settlers reap a harvest of fish and game that is the best in living memory. When hunters discover a sheltered fjord, Halfdan orders a move. Tornit hunters from far to the north venture south to hunt, and the Northmen strike up a friendship with them. The Tornit tell the newcomers much about the local area and describe coastal waters far to the south.

It is this thought-provoking insight into the geography of this new land and the dawning realization that the storm god, Njord, seems to have led his people to this place, that cause Halfdan to revise his thinking and propose a new plan to Gudbjartur and the council of ship’s captains: sail south before choosing where to build their settlement.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Book Review: The Viking ship called ‘Steed of the Sea’ sailing in the cold dark waters in the foreground of tall glaciers under a foreboding sky on the cover is just the beginning.

Whether you sat under the history lessons of Columbus discovering America or are more adventurous in your approach to history and have a yearning to know who was here when Columbus arrived and where did they come from, ‘The Settlers’ is a tale that should be on a mandatory reading list in all schools in order to provoke thought and discussion on native North America in the latter half of the tenth century. Scholars can’t agree but this tale offers a new perspective about America’s indigenous people, how they viewed explorers, handled settlers and coexisted on a bountiful body of land with all its beauty and treacherous environment.

It is important to read the ‘Author’s Note’, ‘Historical Perspective’ and the ‘Glossary Of Norse Terms’ provided by the author to educate the reader. In the Author’s Note you will meet Gudbjartur Einarsson who is an Icelander, a Northman or Norseman who is second in command under Halfdan Ingolfsson. Chapter one unfolds six wooden ships carrying 163 Greenlanders and 152 Icelanders (including men, women and children) set sail with horses, cows, pigs, chickens, dogs, cats, equipment ( tents and parts to horse drawn carts) and supplies to explore areas of what they call Vinland (North America).

Exhaustive research, realistic characters garbed in functional layers residing in a true to life story line that allows the reader to experience the sea voyage and land exploration with exquisite writing that creates a sense of being present in the story even when this first book in ‘An Axe Of Iron Novel’ series has been closed on a night stand.

Here’s a few of my favorite quotes from the book:

“He whistled tunelessly to himself, the notes blown away on the wind. His eyes darted over the sea ahead and aloft at the trim of the sail and rigging. The heart of the ship pulsed through the soles of his feet, vibrated up through the steering oar and the palms of his hands, an inaudible hum that told him all was well in his world.”

“Wind driven rain stung exposed skin like bees protecting their hive.”

“Several kettles of whale blubber boiled over individual fires on the beach to render the valuable oil. The thick, rich oil, skimmed of the connective tissue – the crunchy fried meat and curled pieces of skin were a delicacy-had many uses. It was a valuable food source, preservative, and lamp fuel.”

After the journey across treacherous seas land was a welcome sight with all of its wild game like “Grunting herds of Reindeer” not to mention the predators like wolves and bears. Women and children scour rocky cliffs for seabird eggs to add to their food supply giving the kids some stress relieving egg throwing activity.

Unforeseen and inevitable injuries, herbal treatments, Viking burial ceremony amidst deep held Christian beliefs.

Attraction and a “bed of soft, furry skins nestled in the scrub brush, well protected from the north wind’. Passion, “eyes smoldered with lust” hands explore, tongues probe, “locked bodies swayed in the throes of passion”.

Hunting and cooking for survival, sewing for protective covering, animal pelts and jewelry making for trade commodity. The best and the worst of human nature revealed in a hostile new world.

Now heading into the reading of ‘Confrontation: An Axe Of Iron Novel’ book two of the series gives clarity as to the sequence of history, characters and events that readers should follow in order to understand and digest the fiction history which is laid out in great detail, humanity and historical correlation regarding much debated events.

Theodocia McLean endorses The Settlers – An Axe of Iron Novel book one in the fictional historical accounting of exploration and settlement of Vinland (North America). Review date October 18, 2014.

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A. Hunsinger’s Websites:
http://www.vinlandpublishing.com/
http://www.vinlandpublishing.com/reviews/
http://www.vinlandpublishing.com/order/
http://www.vinlandpublishing.com/articles/
http://www.vinlandpublishing.com/blog/
http://www.vinlandpublishing.com/contact/

Vinland Publishing Purchase Link
Amazon Author’s Page
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Partners by D. M. McGowen

partners-by-d-m-mcgowenThomas Brash is trying to escape but knows he never will. Pursuing him is the memory of the family he lost to cholera. Perhaps he believes that traveling alone in a wild, dangerous land will end all his memories; there is no doubt he wishes to be alone. Whatever his intentions the appearance of Frank Clement and the circumstances of that meeting upset those plans. Brash views Clement as an uneducated child who requires fatherly protection and guidance. Clement views Brash as a tenderfoot and cannot understand how anyone who knows so little could live so long. These two loners are joined by others and they all become partners. Having achieved relative sanctuary and surrounded by civilization their wilderness past comes back to haunt them.

Genre: Historical Fiction, Western with a focus on Canada.

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Harrington Manor by Ronald M. James

harrington-manor-by-ronald-m-jamesHarrington Manor is set in circa 1923, Orange County, CA.

It’s about the very rich, and their now grown siblings who want to control a very lucrative orange grove.

Some will revert to murder to get control, sell it and move to Manhattan to live the life of then debunk English aristocracy.

Many places, events, clothes styles and people who were alive at the time are part of the story. So is the budding Hollywood movie crowd.

Everything is in place for the killer(s) until the mail doesn’t arrive on time. Panic takes place, the matriarch murdered, however a LAPD homicide detective, Sidney Snipes, ruffles the gathered clan so much that the truth is revealed; all to a stupid unconscious mistake.

All of the words used in Harrington Manor were in vogue during and before the 1920’s.

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Past Lives by Chantal Bellehumeur

Have you ever had a dream that is so vivid that it feels real; so real, that when you wake up from that dream you’re confused about your surroundings and wonder what’s going on?

Shortly after being jolted awake and orienting herself, the dreams (more like nightmares most of the time) always start to feel like faint memories to Sandra; not a memory of the dreams themselves, but of her own life.

The dreams all being set in different time periods when she wasn’t even born yet, Sandra wonders if they could be memories of her past lives.

Travel through many dark times of England, from the medieval era to Victorian days, as well as Canada during both World Wars.

In this fictional story, you will learn a bit of history along with the different human and ghost lives Sandra is sure she had.

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Land Without Evil by Matthew J. Pallamary

A timeless message to our universal soul, Land Without Evil is the story of the Guarani people of South America and their quest to maintain their culture during the European onslaught of the 1700s.

Shamanism, historical conflict, coming of age, and a touching love story drive this impeccably researched novel.

“Bravo…More!” Ray Bradbury,author of Fahrenheit 451

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Last Witness by Glen Carter

A mysterious letter has reached retired FBI agent Frank Malloy.

A letter bearing a name from a lifetime ago, from a woman who claims she saw what really happened on the day John F. Kennedy died in Dallas.

Many were there to film the president, but Helena Storozhenko snapped a photo on November 22, 1963, that would have changed everything. Then she vanished. Until now.

From her death bed in Odessa, the Babushka Lady provides a piece of evidence that will send Malloy and network television host Jack Doyle on a desperate search for the truth.

Odessa has summoned Malloy and finally reveals what she witnessed in Dealey Plaza. Malloy and Doyle need each other to solve a decades-old mystery, and to stop an assassin who is driven by the same evil which changed the world so tragically – so long ago.

It all comes down to one place, one time, and one bullet as they race to prevent history from repeating itself – more than fifty years after a president was brutally slain – and Helena Storozhenko was The Last Witness.

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Pavlov’s House: A Russian Soldier’s Tale Of Love And War by D. L. Clark

Germany ruthlessly invades Russia during WW II, killing and capturing millions of soldiers in a matter of days.

During this brutal invasion, countless untold stories of heroics unfold across Mother Russia.

Follow the lives of three Russian war heroes as Russia struggles to repel the Nazis. In the battle for Stalingrad, a common Russian soldier leads his platoon of men in the defense of an apartment building, withstanding daily attacks over the course of several weeks.

A nurse on the battlefield repeatedly risks her own life as she strives to save scores of wounded soldiers, her inner strength and personal sacrifices inspirational to those around her.

Despite overwhelming odds, a young tank commander continues to counter the assaults of pursuing German forces while retreating across the Russian homeland.

He eventually masterminds a brilliant ambush that destroys a large contingent of enemy tanks. And throughout Pavlov’s House is woven the reminder of the personal sacrifices people make during times of war.

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Harrington Manor by Ronald M. James

A murderer stalks the orange groves of 1923 Southern California. Detective Sidney Snipes is called to the Harrington Manor when retired Colonel Peter Wescott Harrington is found slumped over his desk by his family. Snipes entrusts the sensational new crime fighting technology–Fingerprint Analysis to find a fierce fiend.

Just when he though he had the murderer cornered, a neighbor discovers a shallow grave in the orange groves; an unsolved missing person’s cold case files. A case that has haunted the Orange County Sheriff’s Department for three years. The evidence in the missing person’s case rumples Snipes proficient sleuthing skills as the leads take him in circles. Then to add to the muddying discord, another Harrington turns up dead, apparently murdered in his sleep.

But when a sinister child’s Jack-in-the-box, seemingly from the grim reaper himself, materializes on the Colonel’s desk, the detective is bedeviled more than he cares to admit. Nevertheless, Snipes had enough moxie to send fingerprints to every city where his suspects had ever lived. The leads take Snipes in a direction he never saw coming. Within days, he’s shocked to his eyebrows by the results; the identity of the murderer befuddles his mind. Alas, the oldest Harrington son, Shep, supposed wife, had a mock wedding to him in Manhattan, New York, and their plan was to kill the whole Harrington clan for their wealth.

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The O’Deirg Legacy by Richard Sutton

This is immersive, transporting reading with an authentic period voice for a perfect Irish Summer destination.

An Irish family struggles to keep their sheep farm, beginning with The Red Gate, set in Co. Mayo in 1911 and continuing with The Gatekeepers, ten years later, at the beginning of the Irish Civil War.

When Finn brings up a hand full of mud after falling into a pasture sinkhole, their peaceful lives begin to unravel. Inside is a cannily worked antique bronze bead. It leads them to discover an ancient hall and its legacy hidden below their sheep.

Inside are secrets their family has been charged with preserving and protecting for more than a thousand years. Their legacy holds them to the land and despite the odds, they endure and prosper, finding new strengths and unexpected alliances. Lucky for them, ancient Pre-Celtic Earth-Magic abounds throughout, but no wizards or dragons.

This is a special Kindle bundle combining brand new editions of the first two books of the series into one volume at a very special price.

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The Gift: Book One: Voyages by Richard Sutton

48 BCE: While Rome’s cruel cohorts set the torch to Alexandria’s quays and trading vessels, a thoroughly unexpected group of conspirators; a wizened astronomer, a young librarian, an sand-blown camel driver and a scribe, creep out of the city with a priceless hoard of ancient knowledge.

They believe their mission is to save the secrets hidden within for the future and mankind’s ultimate salvation.

But what do they actually know of the objects in their care?

What neither of the younger conspirators knows yet, is that they are part of a plan already in motion involving deceit, sleight of hand and distraction.

They are serving unknown masters and the star-gazer leading them onward has little light to shed on the coming voyage across the sea or their ultimate destination.

Gifts lie waiting aboard their first galley bound North, that will change them forever.

Whether the truth of their conspiracy will be revealed, remains to be seen.

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The Treasure Of Gwenlais: The Rienfield Chronicles Book 1 by M. T. Magee

The Treasure of Gwenlais 2015 Silver Medal Winner of Ireland’s Drunken Druid Award
Finalist for IAN Book of the Year Award 2016 for First Novel On Sept.1st 2016 I received the Finalist Award for Readers’ Favorite Book Awards Voted #1 On Listopia’s Best Fantasy Romance (not urban).

Princess Laurel of Gwenlais finds herself tragically and quickly thrust into a world of danger, so unlike the idyllic and sheltered life she has known. These dangers from an unknown enemy, also unexpectedly throw her into the arms of Caleb, the warrior Prince of Heathwin, the nearby kingdom in which Gwenlais has a tense alliance with. The more refined people of Gwenlais, find their neighbors and protectors of the West necessary, but consider them uncouth and sometimes barbaric. The long and bloody feud between Heathwin and the mysterious, frightening, and misunderstood race of beings called the Rabkins, had finally reached an uneasy truce, by the hard fought and diligent efforts of Prince Caleb. This fragile agreement was soon shattered by an attack from outside, that threaten both kingdoms of Gwenlais and Heathwin. Laurel and Caleb find themselves not only fighting for the peace and existence of their kingdoms, but fighting for their new found love that is imperiled at every turn from a nameless enemy, and their own people as well. Laurel follows her calling, by beginning her training in the ancient healing arts of the Ollams. She soon finds that her skills may be needed to heal more than just the physical wounds of others, but also the wounds of the heart, long put upon by the people of both she and Caleb’s kingdoms by the mistrust and bigotries of either side. As they draw closer together, they discover just how far this unknown enemy has gone to tear them apart from within. They must together, find a way to rise above old and long standing prejudices, and form a much stronger alliance in order to fight against the new enemy from outside of their borders, that threatens their very survival.

This is the epic world of Rienfield. A domain filled with beauty, danger, amazing races and cultures. You will find the love and strong ties of family. As well as romance, humor, adventure and tragedy, while the people and beings of Rienfield, search for peace and truth in their way of life.

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The New York Saga: The Digital Boxed Set by Diana Rubino

Three Complete Novels

From Here to Fourteenth Street
It’s 1894 on New York’s Lower East Side. Irish cop Tom McGlory and Italian immigrant Vita Caputo fall in love despite their different upbringings. Vita goes from sweatshop laborer to respected bank clerk to reformer, helping elect a mayor to beat the Tammany machine. While Tom works undercover to help Ted Roosevelt purge police corruption, Vita’s father arranges a marriage between her and a man she despises. When Tom’s cousin is murdered, Vita’s father and brother languish in jail, charged with the crime. Can Vita and Tom’s love survive poverty, hatred, and corruption?

Bootleg Broadway
It’s 1932. Prohibition rages, the Depression ravages, and Billy McGlory comes of age whether he wants to or not. Musical and adventurous, Billy dreams of having his own ritzy supper club and big band. On the eve of his marriage to the pregnant Prudence, the shifty “businessman” Rosario Ingovito offers him all that and more. Fame, fortune, his own Broadway musical—it’s all his for the taking, despite Pru’s opposition to Rosie’s ventures.
Meanwhile, Pru’s artistic career gains momentum and their child is born. Can anything go wrong for Billy? Only when he gets in way over his head does he stop to wonder how his business partner really makes his millions, but by then it’s far too late…

The End of Camelot
November 22, 1963: The assassination of a president devastates America. But a phone call brings even more tragic news to Vikki Ward—her TV reporter husband was found dead in his Dallas hotel room that morning.

Finding his notes, Vikki realizes her husband was embroiled in the plot to kill JFK—but his mission was to prevent it. When the Dallas police rule his death accidental, Vikki vows to find out who was behind the murders of JFK and her husband. With the help of her father and godfather, she sets out to uncover the truth.

Aldobrandi Po, the bodyguard hired to protect Vikki, falls in love with her almost as soon as he sets eyes on her. But he’s engaged to be married, and she’s still mourning her husband. Can they ever hope to find happiness in the wake of all this tragedy?

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Children Of The Chieftain: Betrayed by Michael E. Wills

When the town of Birka is raided by the most fearsome of Vikings, the Jomsviking, many of the people are captured.

A group of orphans are forced to take action and lead their friends in a desperate attempt to rescue the captives.

But not all of their allies are as loyal as they should be.

The brave children are betrayed and find themselves in grave danger of captivity and risk being sold into slavery.

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The Last Jump: A Novel of World War II by John E. Nevola

The Last Jump is a story of discovery as a modern day journalist explores the military experience of his father in World War II. Aware of the existence of a long lost family secret, our protagonist enlists the aid of four aging World War II veterans who knew his father. When he finds out they know about the secret and have sworn an oath never to reveal it, he begins the difficult task of carefully cajoling the information from men he considers to be true heroes. His odyssey takes him back in time to a country vexed with racial and gender issues but united as never before or since.

After the last veteran passes away, his hopes are dashed but one reaches from beyond the grave to identify the only other living person who who knows the secret and he races against death to reach her. A shocking conclusion awaits him, if only he can get there in time!

This book resonates with veterans of all wars and their sons and daughters. Active military and patriotic supporters of our Armed Forces also love this book, especially fans of Band of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan.

A historical fiction book requires significant research to understand the personalities of the famous participants and the location of various units and the timeframe in which the action is taking place. The challenge is to seamlessly place the fictional characters in historically accurate situations and venues to tell the story. As such, it took 4 years to write this book and a year to edit it.

As part of the research, we met and talked to numerous World War II veterans. They are almost universally humble, modest and appreciative of the gratitude so generously expressed by many, in both America and Europe, so late in their lives. So, come and join the adventure as we take a trip through a time in this country when everyone pulled together to achieve the improbable victory against the forces of evil. Learn what it was like to live in and fight for America in the dark days of World War II and enjoy a rousing war story and an elusive mystery. We have much to learn from that generation. The Last Jump teaches us some of it. And keeping their memory alive is something they earned.

Some proceeds from the sales of The Last Jump are donated to assist families of the fallen.

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The Making Of Jake McTavish by D. M. McGowan

the-making-of-jake-mctavish-by-d-m-mcgowanIn the west of the 1890s, Jake’s wife is raped and murdered, an image from which he attempts to escape and hide. When two thieves try to take what little he has left, Jake realizes he must face the past and solve his wife’s murder to truly escape the images in his head. But to find the killer, he discovers even more surprises …

Jake McTavish left his home in central Canada when he was in his Winnipeg, feeding cattle south of Fort Garry, and shooting wolves on the prairies, he starts his own cattle operation in the foothills of the western mountains. Then he meets his life-long partner, Anna.

Jake and Anna were married three years when it all came crashing down. He came home to find his beautiful wife raped and murdered. In an attempt to escape the vision of his butchered wife and all that he lost, Jake runs deep into the mountains, where he spends three years trapping and panning gold.

When two outlaws attempt to rob him and leave him for dead, Jake finally comes out of the stupor he has lived in and begins to fight back. First he deals with the two thugs. Next he returns to his homestead to find his wife’s killer. Solving a murder after several years is no easy task, especially when it includes surprises he didn’t want to find.

After a variety of work experiences, D. M. McGowan has now returned to work as a commercial driver and lives near Mile “0” of the world-famous Alaska Highway. His books bring Canadian history to life. This is his fourth published book. Publisher’s website: http://sbprabooks.com/davidmmcgowan

Genre: Historical Fiction, Western with a focus on Canada.

Book Review

The Making of Jake McTavish by D. M. McGowan is an 1800’s western pioneering era saga that combines exceptional story telling with an historical tale told by Peace Country pioneer John Brown.

Well-developed characters and true to life settings with descriptive writing put the reader into the story. The main character Jake McTavish stands alone in his empty cabin with his thoughts that he voiced to his blue tick hound, “Maybe I’ll just have t’shoot somebody. That way the government will have t’ feed us ‘til they punch my ticket and bury me.”

Life had been especially hard since the murder of his wife. For the fourth year he must continue his Peace River trek in British Columbia (1898) to take the furs that he had collected by canoe down to Ft. St John. This is an important ritual as Jake trades bails of skins for cash to pay for supplies and to repair equipment heading into the new season. Times were hard enough without the ambush that knocked him out cold and took most of everything that he had in his camp.

Just 11 years ago “in the spring of 1887 Jake became a wealthy saddle tramp. He only had fourteen Canadian dollars, two U.S. dollars and eighty six cents, but he was rich in other goods. He had four horses, a fine, double rigged saddle, a short barrelled Colt pistol, a Colt Navy .36 and a Winchester rifle. He also had a serviceable pack saddle, bed roll, enough food to last a month and the pack covered with two tarps.”

By 1889 Jake had spent two years with the Cambridge Cattle Company and had accumulated some money. With a deep yearning for something more and the passing of the Canadian Homestead Act, Jake chose three hundred and twenty isolated acres in the foothills north of the Rocky Mountains. In the fall of 1891 with 15 yearlings to sell he met Anna Porenski. When she married him he no longer felt driven, because he had it all. Anna was raised on a farm, so ranch life came easy to her and she enjoyed gardening. The only thing missing are children for fate has refused to grant Jake and wife Anna a baby. To end such dreams Anna is murdered and the responding Mounted Policeman comes close to accusing Jake.”

Travel with Jake McTavish on a journey to find Anna’s killer or killers.

Theodocia McLean endorses The Making of Jake McTavish by D. M. McGowan for the author’s incredible story telling of Jake McTavish. I invite you to also read: The Great Liquor War, Homesteader: Finding Sharon and Partners. D. M. McGowan tells us that Cattle Business is coming soon. I purchased and reviewed this book in a Kindle format. This review was completed on December 20, 2015.

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Flynn (The Nations Book 8) by Ken Farmer

Deputy US Marshals Fiona Mae Miller and Brushy Bill Roberts hunt the mysterious Gentleman Bandit. Who is he? Who is Flynn? Does Marshal Fiona Miller meet her match?

A spacecraft crashes near Aurora, Texas, April 17, 1897. The townspeople give the pilot a Christian burial in the local cemetery…but was there a survivor?

The sheriff of Jack County, Texas, is somehow involved with Fiona, the Gentleman Bandit and the crash at Aurora. Find out in the third Lady Law novel in the Nations series…FLYNN.

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The Undertaker: Masquerade by Carmel McMurdo

A young woman in Edinburgh Scotland, Kate Grainger, takes over her father’s undertaking business in 1858.

She is willing to go to great lengths in her quest to become a doctor at a time when women are forbidden from studying medicine.

She seeks out a mysterious man to help her achieve her goal.

She thinks she knows his secret – but does she?

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Baudelaire’s Revenge: A Novel by Bob Van Laerhoven

As the social and political turbulence of the Franco-Prussian War roils the city, workers starve to death while aristocrats seek refuge in orgies and seances. The Parisians are trapped like rats in their beautiful city but a series of gruesome murders captures their fascination and distracts them from the realities of war.

The killer leaves lines from the recently deceased Charles Baudelaire s controversial anthology Les Fleurs du Mal on each corpse, written in the poet s exact handwriting. Commissioner Lefevre, a lover of poetry and a veteran of the Algerian war, is on the case, and his investigation is a thrilling, intoxicating journey into the sinister side of human nature, bringing to mind the brooding and tense atmosphere of Patrick Susskind sPerfume. Did Baudelaire rise from the grave?

Did he truly die in the first place? The plot dramatically appears to extend as far as the court of the Emperor Napoleon III. A vivid, intelligent, and intense historical crime novel that offers up some shocking revelations about sexual mores in 19th century France, this superb mystery illuminates the shadow life of one of the greatest names in poetry. ”

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Behind The Mask by Marianne Petit

Author Marianne Petit mixes true life experiences with fiction to create a suspenseful tale of intrigue and romance set in the early days of war-torn France.

In 1940’s Paris, both rich and poor are thrust together, a mixed society struggling to survive. American born Yvette Matikunas, one of the privileged few, goes underground with a deathbed promise to her grandfather that has her roaming the streets of France with a dangerous message. She quickly learns that no one is who they seem to be and trust is a thing of the past.

Injured in battle while trying to save the life of one of his men, Colonial André Rinaldo is disillusioned by a shell-shocked country and a weak government. Persuaded to go underground and unite his fellow compatriots by forming resistance groups, he meets a beautiful blonde, whose determination to free France from foreign dictatorship is as strong as his.

In the middle of espionage and clandestine rendezvous, they form a partnership that deepens under the ever-present threat of arrest. But with America’s interest in the war building in the background all Americans are ordered to leave.

Will Yvette return to the States, or will André persuade her to stay and fight for love?

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The Shanghai Circle (Chinese Circles Book 1) by Tony Henderson

In 1936, the rise of communism in China and the threat of an invasion by Japan, means taipan, Charles Guest, assisted by his daughter, Davina, must steer the family trading house through tumultuous times.

Heir to the Sung Triad society, Joseph Cheung, learns the ways of the triad where vice and violence dominate Shanghai’s criminal world, while Irina, a young and beautiful stateless Russian woman, falls into the triad’s clutches and fights to escape.

A kaleidoscope of entrepreneurs, merchants, peasants, criminals and fugitives, provide color, love, rivalry and danger, as fictitious characters are woven into actual events in this extraordinary city.

As the author, Stella Wong, says of Shanghai in the 1930’s, “No city in the Orient, or the world for that matter, could compare with it. At the peak of its spectacular career the swamp-ridden metropolis surely ranked as the most pleasure-mad, rapacious, corrupt, strife-ridden, licentious, squalid and decadent city in the world.”

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Beloved Unmasked (Cherished One Book 1) by Brita Addams

Cherished One: Book One: A Tarnished novel

Born to a spiteful prostitute in Storyville, the red-light district in New Orleans, David comes into the world as Picayune, meaning “of little value,” or, as his mother reminds him, “nothing.” In the early 20th century brothels and clubs, his love of music sustains young Pic until a life-changing meeting places him on the road to respectability, and Pic reinvents himself as David Reid.

As David realizes happiness for the first time, conscription forces his friend and first love, Spencer Webb, into the Great War. While he pursues a law degree, letters from Spence connect David to his hopes for the future. After staggering news at war’s end, David must find a way to move forward. Under the tutelage of his benefactor, David’s career prospers, but specters from Storyville threaten all he’s worked so hard to achieve.

The past holds both pain and love. Will facing it head-on destroy David or give him everything he’s ever dared dream?

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Bullets And Bandages by Robert Saniscalchi

Bullets and Bandages was inspired from the stories of the author’s brother who was a US Army Field Medic with an elite Rescue and Recon Platoon, Vietnam 68-69. Through those stories, the author found the inspiration and was given the unique insight into the Bullets and Bandages of war. Parts of this book are also about the author’s own experiences, and that special time in our history. The trails and victories of Rob and his comrades pull you into a world of survival through willpower, tenacity, and wit. This story is not only an adventurous thriller, but is also a story of love, humanity, and overcoming.

CHAPTER 1- EXCERPT- BULLETS AND BANDAGES Some memories exist because they are etched into one’s mind with fire and anguish of true experience, not by choice. From my tour of duty in Vietnam, I am filled with the experiences that cannot be wiped away. I can recall the events, the names and the faces as if they had been in front of me only a short time ago. To this day, I thank the Lord in my prayers for helping me survive. Sometimes, I dream of the tranquil rice fields or of the hot steamy jungles—– very quite and peaceful. Occasionally, the dreams are of the men that I could not save, and of the ghastly shadows of my enemies. These images are a contradictory and discordant collage of the real horror of war. I have no misgivings about what was done; I was a soldier doing my duty for my country, in a war far away from my home. It was a war where our forces could not fully engage the enemy. The Army could not move on a strategic offensive and take the ground war into Hanoi or Cambodia. I had to learn a new type of warfare or would not have survived. After some time, I began to know the enemy and anticipate his movements. My unit traveled the jungles in platoons of heavy infantry in search of Charlie. Our nerves were constantly on edge. It was a guerrilla war, and I learned to adapt. With a little time, my platoon began to work together. We learned to think like the enemy and use our instincts to fight together as a team. When the enemy would stand and fight, we fought back until they ran. Unfortunately, I knew before long those same troops would try to sneak up on us again. Copyright Robert Saniscalchi 2007

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Behind The Clouds by Jan Selbourne

Caught in the grasp of a cold, empty marriage, Adrian and Gabrielle’s life of wealth and privilege in war torn Belgium is thrust into a nightmare of betrayal, lies and deceit.

As the dark clouds of World War One loom over Europe, a brutal German battalion pursues the couple to prevent their flee for freedom to England.

Surrounded by sympathizers to the German cause and narrowly escaping capture and imminent execution, the desperate couple lean upon one another for survival and discover a rekindling of their love and passion.
As they struggle to survive, the tentacles of treachery and lies reach their safe haven and their love is threatened by a scorned woman who will stop at nothing to see Adrian dead.

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Hell’s Gate by Michael Parker

HELL’S GATE is a historical action adventure set in British East Africa in 1898.

It is inspired by the true events in the British Protectorate when the British government constructed a railway line from Mombassa on the east coast of Africa to the shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda. At the same time the German government was building a line from Zanzibar to Lake Victoria.

History records that the ‘race’ was conceded to the British by the governor of the German Protectorate. Into these facts, Michel Parker has woven a tale of intrigue, violence and conspiracy against a backdrop of the splendour of the Rift Valley and the volcanic landscape that threatens the very existence of the railway line itself. But it isn’t just the forces of nature that need to be fought, but the threat of 10,000 warring Masai led by the evil slave trader, Piet Snyder. Against this menace, Captain Kingsley Webb, commandant of the British East African Rifles is ordered to defend Nairobi railway camp and the two thousand souls who make up this teeming, tented city with just two hundred soldiers under his command.

His love for the beautiful Hannah Bowers is also challenged by the widowed farmer, Reuben Cole who is forced to set out on a quest to find his son, David, kidnapped by Piet Snyder. The explosive mixture of love, conspiracy, treachery and political intrigue are brought together in a beautifully woven tapestry in this compelling tale. Will suit readers who like stories of colonial Africa, the British Empire, railway construction, slavery, action heroes, 19th. century military and romantic intrigue.

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The Ginger Bread House by Jame Richard

Set in a small town during the 1900’s, The Gingerbread House is Historical Literary Fiction grounded in nostalgia, mirth, and true love.

When a journalist comes home from Europe to take over the town newspaper from his sister, he becomes infatuated with the local people and their stories.

From an orphaned young girl to a threatening politician to a mysterious and beautiful woman, each individual has a tale to tell in this anthology of brief yet captivating fictional vignettes, each of which rings all too familiar.

The Gingerbread House is very much like gingerbread itself – just as tasty whether one delves into it a bit at a time or all at once.

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Homesteader: Finding Sharon by D. M. McGowan

homesteader-finding-sharonStaking a claim to a homestead in the rugged, untamed Canadian frontier of the 1880’s was hard enough. But when someone tries to run roughshod over the “nesters,” a man has to take a stand. There is more than bad weather for Hank James to contend with as he rides in search of the land of his dreams and the woman of his heart. Portis Martin, manager of a large cattle company, has no use for the small homesteaders that have begun to pepper the area…and he isn’t afraid of using every dirty trick he knows to run them out. And Portis had been doing a pretty good job of it-until Hank James and his partner arrive on the stage. The dreams of early homesteaders were not always strong enough to see them through adversity, but with Hank James on their side, the people might just find a way of uniting for the common good and building a dream that can endure.

Genre: Historical Fiction, Western with a focus on Canada.

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Lady Law by Ken Farmer

There was one female Deputy US Marshal in the Indian Territory.

Her name was Fiona Mae Miller. The Fort Smith Elevator, in its November 6, 1891, issue described her…as a dashing brunette of charming manners…an expert shot and a superb horsewoman, and brave to the verge of recklessness. Some even went so far as to call her a female Bass Reeves…others just called her…LADY LAW.

She doesn’t backwater for any man… Marshal Miller is on a mission to bring a Cherokee renegade, Cal Mankiller, to justice. She follows his trail of blood to the rugged and mysterious Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma Territory. Will she finally see justice served? Will she welcome Mankiller to his first day in hell? Find out in LADY LAW.

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Queen Of Someday (Stolen Empire Book 1) by Sherry D. Ficklin

Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophie will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost.

Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family—and herself—Sophie vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans.

Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophie will need to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be.

In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme?

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