Posts Tagged Historical Fiction
Sister of Mine: A Novel
by Sabra Waldfogel
Genre: Historical Fiction/African-American
1.99 at time of posting! Kindle Unlimited!
When two Union soldiers stumble onto a plantation in northern Georgia on a warm May day in 1864, the last thing they expect is to see the Union flag flying high—or to be greeted by a group of freed slaves and their Jewish mistress. Little do they know that this place has an unusual history.
Twelve years prior, Adelaide Mannheim—daughter of Mordecai, the only Jewish planter in the county—was given her own maid, a young slave named Rachel. The two became friends, and soon they discovered a secret: Mordecai was Rachel’s father, too.
As the country moved toward war, Adelaide and Rachel struggled to navigate their newfound sisterhood—from love and resentment to betrayal and, ultimately, forgiveness.
Now, facing these Union soldiers as General Sherman advances nearer, their bond is put to the ultimate test. Will the plantation be spared? Or will everything they’ve lived for be lost?
Revised edition: Previously published as Slave and Sister, this edition of Sister of Mine: A Novel includes editorial revisions.
Grab a cuppa and pull up a chair as author Angela Barton stops in for a chat on Nesie’s Place. We’ll hear about her special anniversary gift, meet her two writing companions and learn about the bittersweet inspiration and research that drove her latest release, Arlette’s Story.
FD: Welcome, Angela! Before we get to Angela, the author, many visitors to Nesie’s Place are avid readers, So, tell us your favorite genre to read?
AB: Romantic fiction with a strong story and historical fiction. (19th or 20th century)
FD: Do you venture into other genres other than your preferred?
AB: Definitely. The book I’m reading at the moment doesn’t fall into either of those genres.
FD: And what are you reading now?
FD: These Dividing Walls by Fran Cooper. It’s a story about the separate lives of people living in an apartment building in a forgotten corner of Paris.
FD: I’m a coffeeholic, shock of shocks, but what’s your favorite beverage to read with?
AB: Always a cup of tea, preferably with chocolate biscuits to hand.
FD: How long have you been writing, Angela?
AB: I’ve been novel writing for eleven years but dabbling for decades!
FD: Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?
AB: Hybrid. I’m published by Choc-Lit’s new imprint called Ruby Fiction.
FD: Choose a team – Pantser or Plotter?
AB: I’m a plotster! I have an idea for a story and generally, know how I’ll want it to end. I plan what I think will be a strong starting point and what characters I’ll need to tell that story for me. Then I generally sit at my MacBook and the characters begin to boss me around and tell me what to write.
FD: LOL! Gotta love those bossy characters! How long did it take you to write your first book?
AB: It took six months to write but another year to edit, re-write sections and polish.
FD: Editing! The bane of an author’s existence! LOL! Angela, what’s your favorite genre to write or do you only write in one genre?
AB: Although my debut novel is historical romantic fiction, I’ve also written two books in the genre of contemporary romantic women’s fiction. I do like to include hard-hitting issues though, such as obsessive compulsions, a life-threatening illness, miscarriage, fraud and crime (shoplifting) caused by grief. I’m halfway through my fourth novel which is another WW2 historical romance.
FD: Do you have any advice for new authors?
AB: Always have your completed manuscript assessed by a professional body before submitting to an agent or publisher. I used the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s, New Writers’ Scheme. I can’t praise them highly enough and I have no doubt that their suggestions turned my fish soup of a novel into a seafood bouillabaisse that was worthy of publication.
FD: Where do you get the most writing done?
AB: My husband built me an insulated garden writing room for a special wedding anniversary and that’s where I wrote my three novels
– in the company of my two spaniels, Harlyn and Brook.
FD: Wow, what a beautiful place to write! *Waves to Harlyn and Brook*
FD: Angela, are you totally addicted to social media or could you live without it??
AB: Now that my book is to be published, an addiction is growing!
FD: Tell us what inspired you to write Arlette’s Story.
AB: My inspiration for writing Arlette’s Story came while visiting Oradour-sur-Glane’s museum and martyred village in France. On 10th June 1944, this once thriving and beautiful small town was visited by two hundred Germans who set about murdering, looting and destroying. The village stands as a memorial to those who died that day, exactly as it was left seventy-four years ago – as if frozen in time. I was so moved while walking around the crumbling village. I could see inside houses where the metal remains of everyday life lay littered amongst the debris. Bed frames, log burners, ovens, Singer sewing machines, children’s toys, picture frames, and bicycles. Objects that fill our own homes today. I felt compelled to help keep the memory of what happened alive in some small way, so I vowed to myself that I would tell the story from a survivor’s viewpoint.
I thoroughly enjoyed researching Arlette’s Story. I’d regularly become deeply absorbed in a huge factual tome and lose a whole day! I was fascinated reading about Vichy, The Resistance, the demarcation line, sabotage against the Germans etc.
FD: Would you share a short excerpt with us?
AB: Of course!
Kommandant Steiner reached inside his desk drawer and brought out another packet of cigarettes. He tapped the packet onto the palm of his hand before sliding a cigarette out of it.
‘Maybe we could come to an arrangement.’
Arlette frowned. ‘I don’t understand.’
He placed the slim cigarette between his lips and lit it, squinting as the grey smoke swirled into his eyes. He blew a long trail towards the ceiling. ‘We’re adults. We’re both alone in difficult times. Perhaps one favour could be repaid by another.’ He stared at her, once again drawing deeply on his cigarette but this time opening his mouth to let the cloud of silver smoke linger around his lips. Before it had time to escape into the room, he sucked it back over his tongue, inhaling it deep into his lungs.
A muscle twitched beneath his right eye.
FD: Ok, I don’t like him already, and now I’m definitely looking forward to this read! Thanks for the excerpt, Angela, and many thanks for stopping by Nesie’s Place today.
AB: Thank you so much for this interview/blog post. Without bloggers like you, we would be at a great disadvantage. Huge thanks!
Scroll down and get your copy of Arlette’s Story today and remember to leave a review for Angela. It only takes a few words to make an author’s day!
UK visitors, don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Angela is giving away a beautiful notebook to one lucky random winner!
One woman’s struggle to fight back against the enemy in order to protect the ones she loves.
When Arlette Blaise sees a German plane fly over the family farm in 1940, she’s comforted by the fact that the occupying forces are far away in the north of the country. Surely the war will not reach her family in the idyllic French countryside near to the small town of Oradour-sur-Glane?
But then Saul Epstein, a young Jewish man driven from his home by the Nazis, arrives at the farm and Arlette begins to realize that her peaceful existence might be gone for good …
Angela Barton was born in London and grew up in Nottingham. She is married with three grown-up children. Passionate about writing both contemporary and historical fiction, Angela loves researching for her books and is an avid reader. Having signed publishing contracts for three of her completed novels with Ruby Fiction, Angela is excited to be working alongside such a friendly and supportive publishing team. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and Nottingham Writers’ Studio.
Having recently moved to France, Angela (alongside her husband, Paul) is now a lavender farmer, creating products from the oil that’s distilled. Angela says she’s looking forward to spending more time writing in the company of her two spaniels while sitting on her veranda overlooking the breath-taking countryside of Charente.
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Win a beautiful notebook (UK Only!
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will pass to the giveaway organizer and used only for the fulfillment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.
Aly, Michelangelo’s Son
by Peter Cane
Genre: Historical Fiction/African
2.99 at time of posting! Kindle Unlimited!
You will not find a book more startling in its revelations, or more dramatic in its exposure of the lies and crimes hidden for centuries by the rich and powerful. At the heart of the story is a boy born after a brief affair between the young Michelangelo and an African slave girl: his name is Aly, and he recounts his amazing tale as an old man while looking back for the meaning of his life, and awaiting the assassins who would eventually take it.
He tells how the Princes did not die in the Tower, and how the ex-king married the daughter of a lady whose face is still known to us all. He tells how Columbus stole the fame of discovery from his two captains, who visited the Americas three years before him. He tells of the horrors he saw unleashed upon the people of the Caribbean, and how in consequence he dedicated his life to resisting Spain’s plan to make the world its slave. We glimpse him helping his father paint the frescos in the Sistine Chapel, and listen as he discovers the horrific blueprint hidden in the backdrop of the Mona Lisa. He tells of seducing the most powerful woman in Europe, and of killing tyrants both famous and evil. Older, he falls in love with a young princess, fathers a child by her, then puts her – the Virgin Queen – on the throne. Never forgetting Spain, he next masterminds the theft of vast hoards of Spanish silver and gold, treasure for Elizabeth to build a navy able to save England from any Spanish Armada.
It is a tale that not only takes our breath away, but one to change how we see the world around us. It exposes how ‘truth’ is created to deceive, how fairy tales can be transformed into ‘history’, and how words mask ‘reality’. It is a book for those who do not fear their most basic ideas being challenged, but more importantly, it is a book for the 21st Century, when all we hold dear is in peril from avaricious billionaires, and the corrupt and twisted politicians that work for them.
by Danielle Van Alst
Genre: Historical Fiction
2.99 at time of posting!
What lengths would you go to for love?
A terminally ill heiress trying to make the most of what little time she has left and a suave mobster on the run from the executioners electric chair, meet and fall in love on a trans-pacific crossing from San Francisco to Tokyo, each without knowing the other’s tragic secret. Little do they know, they are each journeying toward their doomed fate while cheerfully masquerading under ballroom lights, breezy late-night dinners, cocktails conversations, and a whirlwind shore excursion in Hawaii. Along the way, they encounter a cast of characters who help bring them together and who seek to drive them apart. Communicating their innermost thoughts and desires through letters slipped under each other’s cabin door, their bond becomes deeper than anything that they have ever known. The clock is ticking… they have weeks to find happiness in each other’s arms.
WW2 has been declared. A strange find on the beach gives Mary Rosie the chance to fulfil her dreams and contribute to her country, but all is not what she imagined.
After witnessing the first bomb to be dropped on mainland Britain, Mary watches her friends leave to join the forces and longs to be with them, but is held back by loyalty to her widowed mother.
France has capitulated. Johnny Allan’s regiment has been annihilated by German troops north of Paris. Johnny has to find a way to get home and to the girl who no longer waits for him.
Leisel is a German Jew who lost her family to the Nazis and has to make her way in Britain, a strange new country, while harbouring a desire for revenge.
Their lives become entangled in a way that no one could have envisaged.
A story about war, family ties, love, loyalty and loss.
WW2 Johnny Allan’s platoon have been fighting in France. This is a scene from the first time they engaged with the enemy.
The remaining men dug in and waited for the attack to stop. It seemed to last forever. Every now and then, Johnny touched the pocket where he kept Mary’s photograph and, in a whispering,, shaking voice he chanted the Lord’s Prayer.
After it was over and silence reigned, the men slowly emerged to inspect the carnage. All their trucks had been hit and damaged beyond repair if not destroyed totally.
‘We’ll withdraw to the Brussels-Charleroi Canal,’ said the sergeant major. ‘Now fall in.’ Clutching their weapons, the men regrouped and waited silently.
With no transport, they had to march. They passed bands of civilian refugees with their possessions laden on carts of all shapes and sizes, old horses pulling farm carts, dogs pulling dog carts, bicycles piled high with possessions, adults carrying loads on their backs, children plodding along behind them. Old people, labouring under heavy, anonymous bundles, often collapsed on the road and had to be loaded onto a cart among remains of a once happy life. The lines of pathetic humanity seemed to go on for miles. A Persian cat, grooming its coat, sat in an armchair, part of a mish-mash of possessions piled on a cart. Something about that cat, its act of normality, released something in Johnny and silent tears began to trickle down his cheeks.
In order to avoid the stream of human misery, the company had to break ranks and march in single file, often being stopped by a desperate refugee pleading for help the soldiers were unable to give. They filled the roads, mile after mile.
Eventually the sergeant ordered the men to take to the fields to avoid them. They had no sooner left the road than the now familiar drone of enemy planes filled the sky like a swarm of bees. The planes swooped low. The refugees ran for the ditches. The planes opened fire. From the safety of their hiding places, the soldiers watched in horrifying fascination. Horses, carts and bodies were blown sky high. Women, children and old men thrown up in the air, falling back down in pieces.
Once the planes had gone, the soldiers ran back across the field to offer what help they could, but apart from shooting badly wounded animals there was little they could do. They could not offer the wounded first aid or food. They had nothing themselves. A horse lay screaming by the side of the road, his stomach torn open, his entrails lying in the dust. It was then that Johnny’s numb horror disintegrated and his gorge rose.
A cold anger worse than before, now seethed within him. All those people, hungry and tired with fear on their faces, fleeing the enemy, shot down for no reason, unless it was simple sport.
‘What kind of mentality do these people have,’ shouted Johnny, tears growing cold on his skin. ‘Why did they need to shoot innocent people? Children, old men and women?’
‘It’s not just propaganda, the stuff we heard back home. This is pure murder,’ said Matt Wilson, who served with him.
A baby still wrapped in its dead mother’s arms started crying. Johnny picked it up. He felt the small body squirm against him, the mouth opening like a baby bird as it searched for food.
‘Leave it,’ said Matt. ‘There’s nothing we can do.’
‘I can’t just leave it.’ He looked around desperately for someone who would take the child, but all he saw were the seriously wounded, broken bodies and pieces of limbs.
A few survivors clambered out of the ditch. A young woman stared at the scene before her, her face vacant with shock. She turned slowly until she saw Johnny. The first thing he noticed was the amazing colour of her eyes. They were so pale, like water to which one drop of blue ink had been added.
‘Can’t you help us? Where are your planes?’ She spoke perfect English.
‘We’ve no transport, barely enough food for ourselves.’ Johnny handed the baby to her. ‘Where are you going?’
‘We’re trying to get to the coast. They say there are boats that will take us out of Europe to the Middle East. I have friends who have settled in Syria. But before we get there I am afraid that, even if the Germans don’t kill us, we’ll die of hunger. All we have is hope and that’s fading fast. Every town we come to has already been destroyed.’ She looked down at the whimpering child in her arms. ‘I’m afraid he’ll die soon. We’ve no milk for him. We’ve nothing for ourselves. The first wave of the German Army destroyed everything they couldn’t eat. Crops are rotting on ground covered by abandoned corpses of men and animals. France is a land of the dead.’
Johnny could hardly bear the despair on her face.
‘Private Allan,’ fall in,’ shouted his sergeant.
‘What’s your name?’ he asked quickly.
‘I won’t forget you. You speak good English.’
‘I am English.’
Surprised, he opened his mouth to reply, but she had turned away.
‘Come on,’ Matt grabbed his arm. ‘We need to move.’
Together, the regiment began to march again.
Three days later, with very little sleep, they were still marching. They marched until their feet were blistered and stinging; they marched past forests where all the trees were uprooted blasted and dead; they marched past many more bands of starving refugees, all trying to reach the coast where they hoped to find boats that would take them to safety.
Johnny discovered that despite blistered feet and empty stomachs it was possible for men to fall asleep while marching. The only time they woke up was when they bumped into the man in front or the man behind bumped into them. At times he imagined he’d died. He envisaged an army of dead men, still marching on, because that was what they had been ordered to do.
Catherine Byrne always wanted to be a writer. She began at the age of eight by drawing comic strips with added dialogue and later, as a teenager, graduated to poetry. Her professional life however, took a very different path. She first studied glass engraving with Caithness Glass where she worked for fourteen years. During that time she also worked as a foster parent. After the birth of her youngest child she changed direction, studying and becoming a chiropodist with her own private practice. At the same time she did all the administration work for her husband’s two businesses, and this continued until the death of her husband in 2005. However she still maintained her love of writing, and has had several short stories published in women’s magazines. Her main ambition was to write novels and she has now retired in order to write full time.
Born and brought up until the age of nine on the Island of Stroma, she heard many stories from her grandparents about the island life of a different generation. Her family moved to the mainland at a time when the island was being depopulated, although it took another ten years before the last family left.
An interest in geology, history and her strong ties to island life have influenced her choice of genre for her novels.
Since first attending the AGM of the Scottish Association of Writers in 1999, Catherine has won several prizes, commendations and has been short-listed both for short stories and chapters of her novels. In 2009, she won second prize in the general novel category for ‘Follow The Dove’
In 2016 The Road to Nowhere won second prize in the Barbara Hammond competition for Best Self-Published novel. The follow up, Isa’s Daughter won 1st prize in the same competition the following year.
Although the books follow the fortunes of the same family, they are all stand-alone.
The fifth book in the Raumsey series is Mary Rosie’s War.
Catherine Byrne lives in Wick, Caithness.
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1st Prize – all 4 of Catherine Byrne’s previous books in paperback.
6 x Runners Up Prizes – Print copy of Broken Horizon (UK Only)
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries only. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organizer and used only for fulfillment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.
The Silent Woman: A gripping Historical Fiction Full of Drama
by Terry Lynn Thomas
Genre: Historical Fiction/Thriller/British
99¢ at time of posting!
Would you sell your secrets?
Catherine Carlisle is trapped in a loveless marriage and the threat of World War Two is looming. She sees no way out… that is until a trusted friend asks her to switch her husband’s papers in a desperate bid to confuse the Germans.
Soon Catherine finds herself caught up in a deadly mixture of espionage and murder. Someone is selling secrets to the other side, and the evidence seems to point right at her.
Can she clear her name before it’s too late?
by Lan Samantha Chang
Genre: Historical Fiction/Psychological/Saga/Chinese
2.99 at time of posting! LIMITED TIME ONLY!
Spanning seven decades and set in China and America against a backdrop of political chaos and social upheaval, this arresting debut novel tells a timeless story of familial devotion undermined by deceit and passion and rebuilt by memory.
In 1931, abandoned after their mother’s suicide, the young Junan and her sister, Yinan, make a pact never to leave each other. The two girls are inseparable—until Junan enters into an arranged marriage and finds herself falling in love with her soldier husband. When the Japanese invade China, Junan and her husband are separated. Unable to follow him to the wartime capital, Junan makes the fateful decision to send her sister after him. Inheritance traces the echo of betrayal through generations and explores the elusive nature of trust.