Which would you choose: love, or peace in your Kingdom?
In the twilight years of the Hittite Empire (1230s BC), Tudhaliya IV comes to the throne as a usurper’s younger son, determined to rule according to the traditional values of justice and clemency, despite the harder advice of his ambitious mother and his questionably loyal older brothers. When his cousin Kurunta, with whom he was raised as someone dearer than a brother, decides his own claim to the throne is stronger than Tudhaliya’s, the latter must decide whether to apply the brutal pragmatism of his advisors or risk appearing weak, and how to manage to leave his own son an empire that is finally free from civil war. The cost will be the sacrifice of his deepest friendship.
About the Author
N.L. Holmes is the pen name of a professional archaeologist who received her doctorate from Bryn Mawr College. She has excavated in Greece and in Israel, and taught ancient history and humanities at the university level for many years. She has always had a passion for books, and in childhood, she and her cousin (also a writer today) used to write stories for fun.
Returning to England after almost five years in exile, Robin Lewis is arrested and charged with heresy by the dying Queen Mary. As he is escorted to the Tower of London, Robin spins a tale for his captor, revisiting his life under three Tudor monarchs and wondering how he will be judged—not just by the queen, but by the God he stopped serving long ago.
When every moment counts, will his stories last long enough for him to be saved by Mary’s heir, the young Queen Elizabeth?
Other Book in the The Tudor Court Series:
The Tudor Court, Book One
Publisher: Authors 4 Authors Publishing
Published: November 2019
She has the voice of an angel…
But one false note could send her back to her old life of poverty.
After her father sells her to Henry VIII, ten-year-old Bess builds a new life as a royal minstrel, and earns the nickname “the king’s songbird.”
She comes of age in the decadent Tudor court, where the stakes are always high, and where politics, heartbreak, and disease threaten everyone from the king to the lowliest musician.
Her world has only one constant: Tom, her first and dearest friend. But when Bess intrigues with Anne Boleyn and strains against the restrictions of life at court, will she find that constancy has its limits?
You’ll love this richly-detailed historical novel, because we all want to know what goes on “backstairs at the palace.”
Karen Heenan was born and raised in Philadelphia. She fell in love with books and stories before she learned to read and has wanted to write for nearly as long. After far too many years in a cubicle, she set herself free to follow her dreams—which include gardening, sewing, traveling, and of course, lots of writing. She lives in Lansdowne, PA, not far from Philadelphia, with four cats and a very patient husband.
At the height of WWII, Japanese forces occupy the Korean peninsula. Hana and Jina Bak are Korean at heart but divided in their affections for their “new culture.” It would be normal teenage behavior if they weren’t trafficked into being “Comfort Women” for the Japanese military. The girls must learn how to navigate the rules of the comfort station, ally themselves with powerful friends, and resist the temptations many sex slaves succumb to. With a newfound appreciation for sibling relationships and devotion to ones’ family, the girls must decide the best way to get home before they lose their lives, their sanity, and their very souls. In the vein of the Joy Luck Club, Creatures of Comfort imbues the reader with a sense of fate vs. will, good and bad luck, and family ghosts.
About The Author
E.J. Suh is the author’s Historical Fiction pen name. E.J. lives with her big family and rescue pups in Central Texas. She loves all genres of books and people. Originally from Seoul, South Korea, she immigrated to the US at 4 through her uncle’s military sponsorship. She was raised in Las Vegas, Nevada and graduated with a BFA in Film Studies. She loves researching for her books and has a soft spot for juvenile literature and screenplays. When not writing she is a serial entrepreneur and educator.
A promise keeps them apart until WWII threatens to destroy their love forever
Fonzaso Italy, between two wars
Nina Argenta doesn’t want the traditional life of a rural Italian woman. The daughter of a strong-willed midwife, she is determined to define her own destiny. But when her brother emigrates to America, she promises her mother to never leave.
When childhood friend Pietro Pante briefly returns to their mountain town, passion between them ignites while Mussolini forces political tensions to rise. Just as their romance deepens, Pietro must leave again for work in the coal mines of America. Nina is torn between joining him and her commitment to Italy and her mother.
As Mussolini’s fascists throw the country into chaos and Hitler’s Nazis terrorise their town, each day becomes a struggle to survive greater atrocities. A future with Pietro seems impossible when they lose contact and Nina’s dreams of a life together are threatened by Nazi occupation and an enemy she must face alone…
A gripping historical fiction novel, based on a true story and heartbreaking real events.
Spanning over two decades, Under the Light of the Italian Moon is an epic, emotional and triumphant tale of one woman’s incredible resilience during the rise of fascism and Italy’s collapse into WWII.
On the day of the Festa dell’Uva the weather was blustery, and the tents of the merchants whipped and shook. No one wanted to cancel, but the conditions were less than ideal. It seemed it would rain any moment. Nina looked out the window, cursing her luck. The door to the house opened, and Corrado entered along with a gust of wind.
“Bundle up! The festa is still on. Even if we have to huddle under blankets, we won’t be cancelling!” he announced. Everyone let out a cheer and grabbed their scarves and coats. Nina tied her chignon tight to avoid the wind making a mess of her hair. Vante, Aurora, Evira, and little Luigia tied blankets over their shoulders like capes as they marched to the piazza where the festivities would begin.
In the Piazza Primo Novembre, the Fonzasini huddled next to each other on either side, leaving space for the parade. Nina scanned the crowd for her friends and Pietro. To her surprise, Onorina grabbed her arm and shouted at her, “Come with me!”
Nina allowed herself to be pulled across the piazza towards a section of the crowd where Onorina’s friends stood, anticipating the celebration, next to a row of young men in linen pants and wool caps. To Nina’s nervous pleasure, Pietro was with them.
“Squeeze in!” yelled Toni Bianchi, a wilful and brawny young man who had spent time abroad in Canada, come back to fight in the Great War and returned to find his father had died of the Spanish flu. He pulled the two girls next to him with Onorina on his side, forcing Nina between her sister and Pietro.
“Hello there,” Pietro said, jostling as the crowd pushed and pulled to get the best view of the parade. The wind tossed his curls. “You weren’t at the festa in Frassenè!” he nearly shouted, and she didn’t have time to respond to him as the crowd cheered. Each cart rolling by celebrated winemaking and depicted a different step in the process. The first cart came through the crowd, adorned with twisted grapevines covering every surface, and one of Onorina’s old classmates, Bettina Napoli, waved from the carriage with a wreath of vines on her head. She was supposed to wear a Roman goddess costume, but with the cold and wind, whatever she wore was hidden beneath a coat. The girl held tight to her crown to keep it from blowing away.
The crowd shoved forward and tightened, pushing Nina against Pietro on the right and her sister on her left. To her secret delight, the pressure of the crowd on Onorina’s side was rising, and she had the distinct impression Toni was instigating it, pushing closer to her sister, and forcing her into Pietro. She could feel Pietro’s warm body under many layers, and they laughed, cheering as each cart went past. Pietro’s hand brushed against hers, sending an electric current through her belly. As the carriage drove by with old men and small children stomping on grapes in a vat, the skies opened, and a light rain fell, flying about in the wind. Someone lifted a large blanket behind and above the group and Nina found herself squeezed underneath it, protected from the rain with Pietro. It was oddly intimate despite the entire population of Fonzaso and surrounding villages gathered around them. They laughed and shook their heads, unable to hear anything through the shouting crowd, accordion music, and roaring wind. They cheered along, laughing at the absurdity of the entire situation and the thrill of being close until someone released a corner of the blanket and the wind ripped it away. The group screamed in surprise as the rain drenched them.
Pietro’s hair was soaked, his damp curls stuck to his forehead as chaos started around them, everyone running for cover from the storm. Nina imagined her hair must look wild, most of her chignon loose. The organisers announced the Alpini band would play in the Corsos’ barn.
“Are you coming?” Pietro shouted to Onorina and Nina over the madness in the piazza and the intensifying rain.
“We’ll see you there!” Onorina called in response, pulling Nina again with her.
“What was that about?” asked Nina when they found cover under an umbrella someone handed them.
“What was what about? It’s a festa! Have fun, sorellina! Your life is too serious!” Her sister was in an exceptionally good mood, even though her waves were damp and would soon frizz. They were the first into the Corso barn as the Alpini band started, and the accordions hummed.
The exhilaration of the cold and the extraordinary situation of the festival took away any inhibition Nina had of being first to dance, and she and Onorina bounced to the music as soon as they entered. Onorina was an excellent dancer, and they both swung their hips, dipping and spinning with the music. Nina finally felt free. She twirled under the timber roof, giving in to an abandon she hadn’t felt since childhood, since before the awful days of the war took it away.
A flood of people soon joined, swaying, and waltzing around them. Nina’s cheeks hurt from smiling, and she danced with everyone. The temperature rose in the barn, making the air muggy with the earthy smell of rain and hay. Where was Pietro? The men passed bottles of wine and raised them to allow the liquid down their throats, swigging, and handing it on. Her father appeared and lifted her around, then swung her sister. Vante and her little sisters stamped past, clapping their hands, and twirling as the music played. It reminded her of the weddings she’d attended when she was small before the war. Everyone wanted to dance with her then, and she never wanted to leave the floor. Women swished their skirts, men slapped their thighs and when the Alpini band played ‘QuelMazzolin di Fiori’, a cheer went up for the favourite song. Nina spotted Pietro through the boisterous crowd, but as he was about to break through, a young man with red hair swung her away. “Hey, Pampo!” someone shouted at him and gave him a wink as he swung Nina on the dance floor. She wanted to get away, annoyed at his awful dancing and even worse timing. She watched as Pietro found Onorina and gave her a twirl, both of them swaying to the music. Nina tried to move away from the redhead, but the barn was too packed with bodies, and he swung her again. This time, she lost her balance and, with two steps, trying to catch her footing, fell into the crowd.
“Whoa there,” a low voice hummed in her ear as strong arms wrapped around her, catching her from her fall.
“I remember you telling me you could dance,” Pietro said, smirking at her in a kidding manner while he pulled her into his arms.
“Don’t blame me. A girl has to have the right partner,” she quipped back, surprised by her own words and immediately taking in the heady scent of his cologne: wood and spice mellowed by dried rain.
‘La Monella’ played, and Pietro put his hand on Nina’s lower back, guiding her in an easy waltz to the quick tune. No one had ever held her in such a way; his palm was firm on her lower back, possessive, as though sending a message to everyone in the room. He was smooth on his feet, confident. They spun around in the packed space until the other dancers parted enough to allow them to travel. As the pace of the song picked up, Pietro became animated; he raised his eyebrows dipping her, and teasing with his movements. Nina liked how he moved. He was smooth but didn’t take himself seriously, and it was exhilarating to be twirled around in his arms. His hair had dried into a wild flop covering his left eye. She resisted the urge to push it back for him.
“Did you learn to dance like this in America?” she asked, as he spun her and then pulled her back close to him.
“I’ve learnt a lot of things in America.” He leaned towards her and changed the subject. “Do you ever go to the movies?” he asked. When he spoke to her, he had to get close to her ear so she could hear him over the band. She felt the heat from his breath on her neck.
“Sì. In Feltre and we’re meant to get a small picture house behind the church soon. I especially love American films!”
Pietro grinned at her, searching her face as if memorising her features. “Why weren’t you at the last festa? I saw everyone else in your family but not you. Onorina was the star of the night.”
“I’m sure she was,” Nina frowned, a chill going through her at the mention of her sister. “I had to help my mother. Babies don’t plan around events,” she said, breathless and annoyed the conversation had headed again in Onorina’s direction. How many times had men tried to get information about her sister through her? Was Pietro the same?
“You want to be a midwife, too?” It was a serious question to ask in the middle of a dance floor, but his brown eyes made her want to share her thoughts with him.
“I want to matter to the world,” she admitted. “My mother has figured out how to do that.” He spun her again, then looked at her seriously.
“You do and you will,” he said. Un colpo di fulmine. The lightning bolt returned as his words sunk into her like she had been waiting to hear them all her life.
The song changed again and, this time, Corrado appeared, took Nina in his arms, and spun her around the barn. Losing sight of Pietro, she was tossed away again as Corrado seized her mother for a rare dance. She kept moving to the music as Pampo came up once more; this time she shook her head at him, unwilling to let him have her hand. He stayed nearby anyway, gesticulating towards her. For a moment, she thought she saw Pietro frowning on the other side of the barn as the annoying ragazzo danced at her. Nina smiled awkwardly, feeling uncomfortable, not wanting to be rude but miserable about the change in circumstances. Pampo grabbed her wrist and twisted her roughly again. This time, she stepped with intention away from him and inched into a corner of the barn where observers sat on stacks of hay. She searched the space until a flash of burgundy drew her attention. On the other side of the barn, there was Onorina, again in the arms of Pietro. He had her sister’s scarf tied around his neck and was making the same animated faces at Onorina he had made at her. Nina felt the blood drain from her face, and her urge to dance died, replaced by the desire to escape. Her siren of a sister could enchant any man; and why shouldn’t he fall in love with her? Hours before, it seemed like Onorina was steering Pietro her way, but, as she batted her eyes and grasped onto the ends of her scarf around his neck, it was clear she was interested, too. Nina wove her way through the crowd to the exit, pushing away tears with the palms of her hands, and ran up the moonlit stones of the Via Calzen and home to her bed.
About the Author
Jennifer Anton is an American/Italian dual citizen born in Joliet, Illinois and now lives between London and Lake Como, Italy. A proud advocate for women’s rights and equality, she hopes to rescue women’s stories from history, starting with her Italian family.
In 2006, after the birth of her daughter, Jennifer suffered a life-threatening post-partum cardiomyopathy, and soon after, her Italian grandmother died. This tumultuous year strengthened her desire to capture the stories of her female Italian ancestors.
In 2012, she moved with her family to Milan, Italy and Chicago Parent Magazine published her article, It’s In the Journey, chronicling the benefits of travelling the world with children. Later, she moved to London where she has held leadership positions in brand marketing with companies including ABInbev, Revlon, Shiseido and Tory Burch.
Jennifer is a graduate of Illinois State University where she was a Chi Omega and holds a master’s degree from DePaul University in Chicago.
Under the Light of the Italian Moon is her first novel, based on the lives of her Italian grandmother and great grandmothers during the rise of fascism and World War II.
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We hold these truths to be self-evident…not all men are created equal.
In 1814, James Woodman lives in Washington, DC, as a free black man who owns a business. As a member of the District militia, James fights to save the Constitution from destruction by the British and joins the battle at Fort McHenry, where he witnesses the flag flying over the ramparts.
Fifteen years later, James’s story continues at his farm in Gettysburg. Here, James will again fight for freedom, this time for those attempting to escape via the Underground Railroad. But the slave hunters are savvy, and soon James’s entire family is in danger of kidnapping and death. Faced with brutality and injustice, James embarks upon the battle of his life. Can he help others gain freedom even while his own is in jeopardy?
Journey is the raw, haunting tale of one man’s determination to defend his freedom and offers a powerful parallel with the present day.
About The Author
After wandering the world as a free lance pilot for thirty years I found myself in Budapest where my wife ran a radio network for an American company and I played Blues guitar in clubs around town, raised the kids and wrote. Back in the US now with my wife in the Charlotte area, still writing and playing guitar.