Tag Archives: Historical Fiction

Once in a Blood Moon Reveal

Once in a Blood Moon


Historical Fiction
Date Published: June 11, 2020
Heaven’s Hill Plantation, upriver from Georgetown, South Carolina,1807: Sixteen-year-old Alexandra Degambia is the daughter of a wealthy African-American planter and a social-climbing mother who can pass for white. Balancing on the tightrope between girlhood and the complicated adult world is a treacherous undertaking. One misstep could ruin a young woman’s prospects forever. 


 Alexandra yearns to establish her own place in the world as an accomplished violinist. She assumes her talent and her family’s wealth will pave her way to success—however, her life becomes a nightmare when her mother dies and her father is murdered by bigoted officials eager to seize the plantation for their own. 


 Alexandra and her little brother, Jimi, heirs to Heaven’s Hill, have targets on their backs. They are forced to flee for their lives. 


What the future holds is uncertain. Sometimes fate has its own plans. 

Early Review
KIRKUS REVIEW:
Alexandra is a tenacious heroine who’s easy to root for, and the author elegantly articulates her precarious position between white and black society. Overall, this novel explores issues of equality and personal freedom in thought-provoking ways.
Sharp writing, an original plot, and a strong female protagonist make for an engrossing read.
About the Author

Dorothea Hubble Bonneau is an award-winning author, an optioned screenwriter, and published playwright.

RABT Book Tours & PR

Comments Off on Once in a Blood Moon Reveal

Filed under BOOKS

Baby Snakes Blitz

Baby Snakes banner

 photo Baby Snakes_zpshfgpaszr.jpg

Historical Fiction
Published: October 2019
Publisher: Lulu
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
Winner of the 2019 PINNACLE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD for Literary Fiction.
In turn-of-the-Century Calcutta, Police Medical Examiner, Dr. E.B. Charron, feels protective of Delia, the Bohemian, meddlesome, only legitimate child of the aristocratic Moran family who might be more than merely harmlessly eccentric. An incipient alcoholic widow with a small, poisonous stepson, Delia maintains subversive relationships among the demimonde and infuriates her oddly possessive maid.
Praise for Baby Snakes:
“Baby Snakes is an original take on the Raj, full of wry humor, strong characters, and evocative descriptions that linger. Full-bodied characters and a darkly comedic narrative voice combine in Demarest Campbell’s Baby Snakes, a historical novel in which Brits behave badly under the Raj…Descriptions of people and locales blend dark humor with undercurrents of openhearted empathy and reach near-brilliant concision…”~ Foreword CLARION REVIEW
 
“Campbell’s darkly humorous historical novel follows the iconoclastic life of Cordelia Moran in 19th-century Calcutta. These well-drawn, decidedly British characters spend their steamy days in India in erudite, witty repartee… An elegant examination of the people and mores of a particular time and place in the history of the British Empire; perfect for anglophiles.” ~ KIRKUS REVIEW
“Fans of old-school classics like “Jane Eyre” and “Wuthering Heights” will fall in love with the dream-like prose here…The life cycle of this singular family felt entirely organic and deeply human. A uniquely delightful tale!” ~ Publishers Weekly BOOKLIFE
About the Author

 photo Baby Snakes Author Demarest Campbell_zpslhgkbwb4.jpg

Born in New York City, raised in India and Europe, Demarest Campbell is a middle-aged Anglo-sapiens who was born on the wrong continent. Mostly harmless. She speaks Franglais, Latin, and British English. Both sides of her family have a four-hundred year history in India as tea planters, and shippers, and in the military.
Find the Author Online Using the Following Links:
Purchase Links
 
RABT Book Tours & PR

2 Comments

Filed under BOOKS

Riddled Prophecy Blitz

Riddled Prophecy banner

 photo Riddled Prophecy_zpsap1ucor2.jpg

Historical Fiction, Short Stories
Date Published: March 2019
Publisher: Page Publishing
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
Riddled Prophecy is a fascinating collection of short stories spanning 1200 years. The first five are historical fiction, all based on genealogical information from the author’s ancestors. The next eight are autobiographical and are arranged chronologically. The last one springs from a love of horses.
About the Author

 photo Riddled Prophecy Author L. Marlene Payne_zps36ydkuud.jpg

L. Marlene Payne, MD, is a child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist who retired after forty years of private practice. She is married to John F. Payne, also a psychiatrist, and they have three married children and seven grandchildren. She and her husband live in McLean, Virginia. She had written two other books: Mission Possible and Call Life a Good Gift.
Contact Links
Purchase Links
Amazon  
B&N  




RABT Book Tours & PR

3 Comments

Filed under BOOKS

Defenders of the Texas Frontier – Blitz

Defenders of the Texas Frontier banner

Defenders of the Texas Frontier cover
Historical Fiction
Date Published: April 2019
Publisher: iUniverse
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
It was 1837 when John Coffey (Jack) Hays, only nineteen years old, arrived in Texas. He was too late to join the fight for Texas Independence but joined the ranging company of Deaf Smith and started his long history of defending Texans from raids by Comanche bands and Mexican bandits. By the time, he was twenty-three he was a captain of the Texas Rangers, known throughout Texas as a fearless fighter and a leader whose men would follow him anywhere, under any circumstances. Amongst his lieutenants were Samuel H. Walker, Ben McCulloch and William (Bigfoot) Wallace each of whom became leaders of Texas Ranger companies, and forged their own legends in Texas history.
Hays, more than any other man, symbolized the Texas Rangers during the era of the Texas Republic. During the Mexican War, Colonel Hays’ Rangers scouted, defended U.S. supply and communication lines from attacks by Mexican guerrillas, and fought with regular units of the U.S. Army. They earned a significant reputation for bravery and success.
Hays’ Rangers were almost always outnumbered in their battles with Comanche and Mexicans, but more than held their own because they had early access to the revolver. Hays made certain every one of the men under his command was a skilled marksman with the revolver and their other weapons. This novel tells the story of Hays’ life, loves, and the sense of honor and responsibility that motivated him to embrace hardship and danger.
 
Defenders of the Texas Frontier tablet
 
 
Excerpt
 
Chapter 1
My name is John Caperton. I have known and been a friend of Jack Hays since we were young boys teaching ourselves how to hunt and fish and live rough in the forests of Tennessee. I am six months younger than Jack. I followed him, and now I leave a record of his story.
            We arrived in Nacogdoches thirsty and decided to have a beer. Jack stood at the end of the ten-foot bar sipping at the mug of beer he held in his left hand. I was leaning against the far wall, no more than six or seven feet away. Jack was then nineteen, but he appeared to be maybe fourteen or fifteen years old. He’s still slight and is an inch or two shorter than most of the men in any room. His complexion is fair, his nose slightly aquiline. His mouth is firm with thin lips. His chin is square. His beard struggled to be noticed. He didn’t move his head, but his deep-set hazel eyes moved continuously, taking in everyone and everything in the room.
All the men in the room, with the exception of the bartender, were dressed roughly. Their wool pants were baggy and dirty with constant use, their shirts dirty and frayed at their collars and cuffs. The men’s coats were a variety of styles, including some uniform coats from 1812. Almost all the men wore wide leather belts with one or two pistols jammed in between belt and coat. Some held rifles. Most had large knives in sheaths hanging from their belts. All wore battered hats of indeterminate style and age.
Jack was also wearing wool pants, but his were less baggy. The collar of his homespun shirt was stained but not frayed, and his coat was a heavy wool with a tight weave. His hat was beaver felt, the crown crushed flat, the brim drooping. He had two pistols jammed in his wide belt, the heavy grips facing each other. His bowie knife resided in a sheath close to his right hand. A Tennessee long rifle was slung by a leather strap over his left shoulder.
The continuous murmur of men in quiet conversation pervaded the cramped room. Occasionally, the sound of chairs and boots scraping on the wide-plank pinewood floor penetrated the hum. The floor planks, apparently nailed down while green, were twisted. Men often stumbled while making their way to the bar, not always the result of having imbibed too much alcohol. Every time a newcomer entered the room, there was a shout of greeting. Adding to the ambiance was the sharp sound of playing cards slapped with enthusiasm onto the three rickety tables crowding the space. All the sounds were punctuated by the noise of shot glasses and beer mugs set down on the bar and tables. Chunks of thick, sticky Nacogdoches mud dried in the warm closeness of the room and fell in clumps from the boots of the men who were in the bar longest. This was all accompanied by the stench of stale beer, rough whiskey, cigar smoke, and the stink, rising like steam, from the filthy clothing of unwashed males.
Jack watched as some men left and others arrived, crowding past one another through the narrow doorway. The single room of the rough board cabin that served as the bar filled as more men crowded in.
“Shut the damn door!” someone yelled.
It was late April 1836. Wind and rain pounded the town of Nacogdoches in the new Republic of Texas.
The door crashed open again, and a very large man pushed through. This time nobody shouted a greeting. He shoved men aside to claim a place at the bar.
“Whiskey, damn it, George,” he shouted at the harried bartender, who, after glancing to identify the speaker, stopped pouring beer into the three mugs he held in one hand. He set the mugs down and poured a shot of whiskey, sliding it through the spilled beer lubricating the bar top.
The big man took up the glass, turned to survey the room, and then drank the cheap whiskey in a gulp. He returned the shot glass to the bar without turning.
“Hit me again, and keep them coming, George. Don’t just stand there with your thumb up your ass.”
I leaned in toward the man standing next to me and whispered, “Who is that guy?”
“The local bully,” he whispered back. “Before long, he’ll taunt somebody and wave one of those fists in his victim’s face.”
 I noticed all the men in the bar did their best to avoid looking at him, except for Jack, who didn’t take his eyes from the huge fellow.
The man standing next to me whispered again. “I noticed you came in with that young man at the bar. If he’s your friend, you best tell him not to do anything to provoke. After a couple shots of that rotgut, Big Al will try to pick a fight with someone, and if that youngster doesn’t stop staring at him, he’ll be the one.”
Jack kept his place at the bar and continued to gaze at the bully.
The big man quickly consumed three more shots of whiskey and then suddenly shoved the man standing next to him. “Back off, shithead. Don’t crowd me, or I’ll beat the crap out of you.”
The man backed away, gulped what was left of the beer in his hand, put the mug down on a table, and ran from the bar.
The bully smiled, pleased with the reaction he forced. Then he noticed Jack looking at him. “What you smilin’ about, twerp?” he shouted, pushing past three men to stand very close to Jack.
I left my place at the wall to move closer.
The bully was a full head taller and at least ninety pounds heavier than Jack. His broad shoulders tapered into a thick neck. Although I was three feet away, I could smell his rotted teeth. Jack did not back away from the stench. The bully clenched his fists.
“Wipe that smile off your face, shithead, or would you rather I wipe it off for you?” The bully raised his right fist and waved it in front of Jack’s face. “I said to wipe off that smile, or I’ll wipe it off for you.”
Jack continued to smile while gently placing his mug on the bar. The bully pulled back his fist. The pistol on Jack’s left side was in his right hand. The fist started forward, a cap exploded, and the coat over the big man’s heart burst into flames. He fell straight back, stiff as a felled tree. He was dead when the back of his head hit the floor, pushing his hat over his still snarling face.
Jack pushed his pistol back through his belt and then swept his eyes around the room. “Anybody think that man was not about to hit me?” he asked.
One man pushed his chair back from the table where he sat. The feet of the chair screeched and then caught on a twisted board. The man stood, pushing the chair over backward.
“That son of a bitch beat me near to death three weeks ago, and others in this room have suffered at those fists. Thanks, young man. We are well rid of that scum.”
Several other men in the room voiced their agreement.
“Is there a lawman in this town?” asked Jack. “I suppose I’m in deep shit for killing this man, but I wasn’t going to allow him to hit me.”
“It was self-defense. We all saw it,” said the man as he extricated his feet from the turned-over chair on the floor.
The door slammed open, hitting the wall on the hinge side. A gray-haired man with a four-day-old beard, his potbelly hanging over his gun belt, entered with a pistol in his hand and a badge pinned to his coat.
“I heard a shot. What the hell has Big Al Cranston done now?”
Jack motioned at the body on the floor with his chin. “Is that Cranston?”
One of the men in the room spoke up. “It was completely justified, Sheriff. Couldn’t expect the young man to wait until that asshole hit him. I want to buy our hero a drink.”
I finally found my voice. “I can verify that man on the floor was about to hit him, sir.”
Several men shouted at the bartender to pour Jack a drink.
Jack waved a hand in the air. “Thanks, gents. I’ve had all the alcohol I need. Maybe another time. We’re just passing through.” He grabbed my right arm above the elbow. “Believe we’ll be on our way, unless there is something else, Sheriff.”
“I’ll need you and your friend to come to my office and sign a statement, young man. You too, Sam, and anyone else who agrees Big Al was asking for it. I’ll have to file a report with the judge whenever he comes around again. What’s your name, youngster?”
“John Coffee Hays, sir,” Jack answered.
“Any relation to Harmond Hays of Tennessee?”
“Yes, sir. He’s my daddy.”
“How’s he doing?”
“He and my ma both died of the cholera about four years ago.”
“Sorry to hear that. I served with him in 1812 under General Jackson. Didn’t one of your uncles marry Andrew Jackson’s sister?”
“Yes, sir. She’s my great-aunt Cage, my ma’s side.”
“Well, boys, the tree this lad sprouted from is one tough giant of the US of A. Let me shake your hand, John Coffee Hays. Nobody in this town is likely to weep over the loss of Big Al. Some of you boys haul his carcass out of here. Leave him on the porch of my office until I can order a coffin, but wrap him up in a tarp first. No sense in spreading his blood all over town. George, looks like you’ll have a mess to clean up.”
The bartender replied. “He rarely paid for what he consumed, so no great loss. A bucket of water sloshed on the floor will get most of it. The rest will just mix with the dirt.”
As we followed the sheriff to his office, Jack whispered, “So that’s how it feels to kill a man. Glad I didn’t take the time to think about what I was doing. Just a reflex. Still, I’m glad I’m not in trouble. Wonder if Big Al has family who will mourn him?”
*****



About the Author
Dr. David R. Gross has co-edited three multi-authored textbooks and more than one hundred scientific articles. The first, second, and third editions of his single author text, Animal Models in Cardiovascular Research, can be found in most medical libraries. Since retirement, he has published Man Hunt, a historical novel, Animals Don’t Blush, a memoir, Travels with Charlize, a memoir, Succeeding as a Student, a how-to book, and most recently, A Mexican Adventure, a memoir, the sequel to Animals Don’t Blush.
Contact Links
Purchase Links
RABT Book Tours & PR

2 Comments

Filed under BOOKS

The First Village – Blitz

The First Village banner

 photo The First Village_zpsvjhdheun.jpg

Historical Fiction
Date Published: March 2019
Publisher: Vanguard Press
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
An entertaining and lively tale of love and ambition set around the end of the Roman occupation of Britain, AD 383 and the threats it brings to a dependent way of life. A strong backstory is the force of the new state religion, Christianity.
Wales AD 383 is the most remote province of Roman-occupied Britain, colonised for over 300 years. Magnus Maximus, known to the Celts as Macsen Wledig, has grown restless with his role as general of the Roman army in Britannia. His nights are broken by dreams of an impossibly beautiful Welsh maiden. He sets his sights on moving his legions out of Britannia to challenge Gratianus – the emperor of the Western Roman Empire.
Flavius Arcadius is less than enamoured by his general’s plans. The army’s withdrawal will leave his family, neighbours and all of Britannia unprotected and at the mercy of internecine conflict between the local tribes and the even greater threat of pagan invaders from the east. He does, however, have a vision for the future – a fortified villa surrounded by a self-sufficient community – if only he could find a way to stay behind when the legions move.
Flavius starts to plot…
Maximus is sufficiently in thrall to his fantasies to allow Flavius to set out with his two friends and fellow officers, Severus and Caradocus, to seek out, abduct and take this dream girl to him as his bride…
The three soldiers wander through the wilds of Cymru, intent only on delaying their return. To their astonishment, they come across a young woman who is the living image of Maximus’s dream maiden. Flavius and Severus are determined to bring the girl, Elen, to Maximus. Caradocus, however, engineers their escape.
Elen’s beauty is matched by her wit and intelligence; and her courage is demonstrated when she saves them both from capture. Before long, the two runaways are in love. But Caradocus and Elen are going to need more than their wits to survive, when they are being hunted – not just by Flavius and Severus, but by Elen’s father and, for all they know, the full might of the Roman army…
 photo The First Village print front and back_zpsbfid4vhv.jpg
Excerpt
Chapter 39
Deus ex Machina
Sometimes circumstances force your hand, even though you have a general plan for future action. Elen’s conclusion that Villa Arcadius offered the only possible sanctuary was abruptly a stark reality now. She knew with certainty it was time to move—without a moment’s delay. Thank the Lord God, she thought, for Sioned and Meirion—for their loyalty, for their resourcefulness, and for their resilience, for now she needed their help even more than ever.
Although she and Caradocus had begun to establish themselves and were more financially secure, the growing state of chaos in the town had meant many ordinary household goods had been in short supply. Now, when it was necessary to sell the more valuable of their possessions, many other people had the same idea, and there was a glut of second-hand items everyone was trying to off-load to make themselves more mobile. The prices Elen could command for their bits and pieces were much lower than she’d hoped. Still, every nummus helped, silver was silver, and a sturdy horse was worth any price. The family needed reliable mounts, even an extra one for all the personal items they couldn’t bear to part with. Packing and getting ready for the long ride to Venta Silurum and the safety of the Villa Arcadius was frenzied, and the baby needed lots of attention—and entertainment—as well.
“What about Caradocus?” Sioned asked gently, during one awkward pause in all this activity.
“Our priest at the church has said he will take care of him, and would include Macsen, as he always calls him, in his daily prayers. I’m sure he will be well looked after. When we’re safely settled with the baby and all, we might try to come back and make sure.”
Sioned knew what she meant, and the two young women held hands, staring silently out the windows of the now empty house. They looked down to the courtyard where Meirion was busy fussing with the horses’ saddlebags and halters, and across the thatched rooftops and sooty chimneys of the surrounding dwellings. Elen could just make out the church where she and Caradocus had been married, with its rounded stone arches, ill-matching pillars, and red-tiled roof, in need of repair. Like every other Christian church around these parts, it was a hastily converted pagan temple, once dedicated to Jupiter. Caradocus and Elen had been amused by the irony of thinking that slapping a wooden cross on top of the highest arch transformed it into a Christian edifice, but now Elen saw that incongruity as a symbol of confusion—was it still the settlement of a tribe, a Roman frontier town, a legionary headquarters for military raids into Cymru, or a new Christian community? If the latter, why did death seem so omnipresent?
They rode out of the tall gates of the town, the civitas of the Cornovii before the sun had risen over the wide River Sabrina. It was a cool, foggy morning with gusts of a chilly wind and there was no-one around. Even so, Elen could not help looking behind her. Sioned wondered if she was worried about footpads, or fantasizing Caradocus galloping hard to catch up with them.
Fording the river at the first available shallows, Elen let the other two ride on ahead. She stared into the water just beginning to reflect the pale light of the coming dawn. She thought with terror of the rotting body of a would-be assassin, a monk, now wrapped in one of their blankets, along with two heavy stones, all tied up with the same twine that had once bound her husband’s wrists and ankles. He hated to throw away useful things. She shivered, but not from the cold wind that was stirring ripples on the river. She reached into the pocket of her dress and took out a gold coin—the solidus
About the author:

 photo The First Village Author Ian M. Evans_zpspubyfvlr.png

Ian M. Evans is a British-born clinical psychologist who grew up South Africa. After completing a doctorate at King’s College, London, his academic career has taken him to universities in Hawaii, New York, and New Zealand. A Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, his research and practice focused on emotional and family challenges for young people with disabilities. Ian lives with his wife in Honolulu, where their children, grandchildren, and friends love to visit. This is his second novel (following Forgive Me My Trespasses, Archway, 2015).
Contact Links
Purchase Links
Amazon  
B&N  
RABT Book Tours & PR

2 Comments

Filed under BOOKS