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Posted in Austen Reviews

review: Lost in Austen

Lost in Austen: Create Your Own Jane Austen Adventure by Emma Campbell Webster A note beforehand: although released a year previously, this book has nothing to do with the 2008 TV Mini Series titled Lost in Austen (of which I knew nothing about until I Googled for a book image.) Book Description: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a young Austen heroine must be in want of a husband, and you are no exception. Your name: Elizabeth Bennet. Your mission: to marry both prudently and for love, avoiding family scandal. Equipped with only your sharp wit, natural good sense, and tolerable beauty, you must navigate your way through a variety of decisions that will determine your own romantic (and financial) fate. Ever wonder what…

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Posted in 18th Century Guest Post

guest post: Google and the Death of the Historical Novel

Please welcome author Philip K. Allan today with his take on the pros and cons of writing in the digital age. Don’t get me wrong, I love Google. As a writer of historical novels, it is the search engine that I have open on my PC as I work, ready to be dipped into to check a fact or study an image. It once provided me with a moment of pure serendipity. I needed to find some plants native to Barbados to add colour to a scene on a sugar plantation. Through Google I learnt of the Cannonball Tree, which fitted perfectly into a passage of dialogue that included some naval officers. The following day my wife and I took our daughters to visit Kew…

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Posted in 20th Century Children's Books Non-Fiction Reviews

review: The Secret Kingdom

The Secret Kingdom: Nek Chand, a Changing India, and a Hidden World of Art by Barb Rosenstock, Illustrated by Claire A. Nivola This story follows a boy named Nek Chand as he grows up in the village of Barian Kalan in the Punjab region of what is now Pakistan. He had an ideal childhood, learning his people’s history and legends through the work and festivities of every season. When the Hindu people were expelled from the land, they traveled to India, where a disenchanted Nek hated the drab industrial landscape. Feeling nostalgic for his childhood dreams, he began building his own secret kingdom in the jungle outskirts. Years pass, and when his project is discovered, both the government and the people weigh in on the…

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Posted in 14th Century Audiobooks Author Guest Post Giveaways

guest post & audiobook giveaway: The Master of Verona

Please welcome author David Blixt, who has a brand new audio version of his book The Master of Verona on its 10th anniversary. The eBook version is also only $1.99 across platforms today (December 11th)! I’m one of “those” authors. The ones you have to discover for yourself, through a friend, or a comment, (or a blog!). There’s no big push, no publicity engine. And my books aren’t for everyone. I’m an author with a marvelously devoted group of readers, who is yet unknown to the public at large. And I’m entirely good with that. My favorite authors are “those authors”. As a kid, I was in a comic book store asking when the next Myth Adventures comic was coming out. The guy behind the…

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Posted in 18th Century Children's Books Reviews

review: Mesmerized

Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved the Mystery That Baffled All of France by Mara Rockliff, Illustrated by Iacopo Bruno During the American Revolution, an elderly Benjamin Franklin is recruited to journey across the Atlantic Ocean to meet with the King and Queen of France to request funds for the war against their mutual enemy, the British. Ben, a world renowned inventor, arrives to find Paris feverishly seeking out a man called Dr. Mesmer, who was said to be able to cure all ills with a magic wand. After their state business is completed, King Louis asks Ben to discover whether this newfangled alternative to medicine is genuine or the work of a charlatan. Determined to assuage his own curiosity, Ben uses his “Scientific Method” to…

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Posted in 20th Century Author Guest Post WWII

guest post & giveaway: The Circumstantial Enemy: The Truth Behind the Fiction

Please welcome author John R. Bell today with a guest post about his WWII novel, The Circumstantial Enemy, and one copy of the book up for grabs! “If you don’t write it, Grandad’s story will be lost forever,” My daughter said. I’ll never forget the yearning in her eyes. That was 17 years ago. Grandad was 80 at the time. He’s now 97. The family had heard his war stories over and over again. Fascinating tales of trials and tribulations. As a young Yugoslav air force pilot, he was coerced onto the wrong side of WWII with the German invasion of 1941. They dispatched him to the Russian front – from there to surveillance over the Adriatic Sea where he would parachute into the frigid…

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Posted in 20th Century Reviews

review: The Woman on the Orient Express

The Woman on the Orient Express by Lindsay Jayne Ashford Favorite Quote: “For the train, like life, must go on until it reaches its destination. You might not always like what you see out of the window, but if you pull down the blind, you will miss the beauty as well as the ugliness.” A fictionalized account of author Agatha Christie’s journey to Baghdad and the archaeological dig site at Ur in the late 1920’s, this novel reimagines her relationships with her friend, Katherine Woolley, and her future husband, Max Mallowan, as well as mixing a few invented characters into the narrative. Agatha, still reeling from her first husband’s infidelity and abandonment, decided a change of scenery would put her mind at ease and spark…

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Posted in 17th Century Guest Post

Tony Morgan: Remember, Remember the Gunpowder Plot

A big welcome from Historical-Fiction.com to UK author Tony Morgan as he introduces his novels set in early Seventeenth Century England. It all started with the Gunpowder Plot… Religious tensions, terrorists on the streets of London, conflict with Europe and concerns over increasing levels of government surveillance – does this sound familiar? 1605 was a time more like our own than we usually imagine. Following Queen Elizabeth I’s death in 1603, King James VI of Scotland was crowned King James I of England. Despite his mother Mary Queen of Scot’s Catholicism, James was raised a Protestant. In Scotland and England, he shared his palaces and bed, although the latter less frequently, with his Queen, Anne of Denmark. Anne was the mother of their children and…

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Posted in 20th Century Reviews

review: The Saturday Evening Girls Club

The Saturday Evening Girls Club by Jane Healey Four friends–Caprice, Maria, Ada, and Thea–from Boston’s poverty-stricken North End have been members of The Saturday Evening Girls Club for seven years. This club, which was started by a librarian and supported by a wealthy society lady with connections, helped the lower-class girls find meaningful work and even provided education grants for those inclined to it. The protagonist, Caprice (pronounced Ca-preach-ay on the audio version), had been working at a fancy French millinery for three years, and was very talented at her trade. She wanted to open her own shop in the North End–an idea scoffed at by nearly everyone, especially her Italian immigrant parents, who wanted nothing more than for her to marry a Sicilian man…

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Posted in 13th Century Guest Post

A. E. Chandler on The Scarlet Forest: A Tale of Robin Hood

Historical-FIction.com welcomes author A. E. Chandler with an article on her novel based on the story of Robin Hood, The Scarlet Forest. Fans of the legend shouldn’t miss this retelling! Read on for more details. Chandler: At four years old, I first saw the Disney cartoon movie of Robin Hood, and since then he has been one of my heroes. As a Medieval Studies grad student at the University of Nottingham, I took history and archaeology, as well as Middle English language and literature courses, with the goal of writing a well-rounded dissertation on the social history behind an early to mid-thirteenth century Robin Hood figure. Studying at Nottingham was an amazing opportunity to pick the brains of a number of expert medievalists, gain access…

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Posted in 18th Century American Revolution Reviews Young Adult

review: I Survived: The American Revolution, 1776

I Survived: The American Revolution, 1776 by Lauren Tarshis This is an excellent young adult chapter book covering the Battle of Brooklyn during the Revolutionary War. The main character is eleven-year-old Nate, who escaped from an abusive uncle only to find himself in the midst of an army camp. There, however, he reunites with a friend from his sailing days with his late father, and he becomes a camp aide. He meets George Washington and sees many gruesome and terrible things over the course of several months. One of the first things I noticed is that this story shows young readers bravery through thought and reasoning. When Nate was afraid, he remembered stories his father had told him about a kind pirate, and he rationalized…

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Posted in 11th Century Reviews

review: Godwine Kingmaker

Godwine Kingmaker: Part One of the Great Saxon Earls by Mercedes Rochelle England, 1016. Godwine, a Saxon and son of an erstwhile thegn of Sussex, meets Jarl Ulf, who is lost in the woods after a battle against Edmund Ironside. The Danish nobleman rewards young Godwine for leading him back to his men by taking him under his wing and introducing him to Canute the Great—who is shortly to become King of England. Thus begins the making of Earl Godwine, who is loyal to the succession of Danish rulers during the tumultuous 11th century when the Danes, Saxons, and Normans were fighting over the rule of England. Canute was a fair and popular ruler who brought peace to England, and Godwine flourished under his rule,…

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