Category Archives: Historical Fiction

Chanting the Feminine Down by James C. McCullagh with Roy McCullagh

Reviewed by Chris Phillips

Chanting the Feminine DownOddly enough, when an author subtitles his book it is often more about the author then the book. However, McCullaugh here declares this to be a “Psychological, Religious and Historical Novel,” he is not being disingenuous.

This story is well researched and well documented. It is a tribute to the author’s dedication and abilities in research and correlation of large amounts of data and information. The author provides source references and other interesting information at his website, Chanting the Feminine Down.

Two Journeys Home: A Novel of Eighteenth Century Europe (Derrynane Saga) Book 2 by Kevin O’Connell

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Two Journeys HomeAt a little over six-feet tall, long raven hair, intelligent beyond her years and Irish, all describe the beautiful Eileen O’Connell as she returns to her home in Ireland after spending almost six years in the court of Empress Maria Theresa. Her duties in Austria are as nanny and friend to two of the young princesses, Archduchesses Maria Carolina and Maria Antonia. Part of her task is also to prepare each of them for their royal lives of the future, hopefully queens.

Many years ago, Eileen had been raised in western County Kerry in Ireland. Her family had earned their wealth by investing in illegal commercial maritime trading activities.
After her sixteenth birthday, Eileen’s family had arranged for her to marry a man, over fifty-years her senior. Unsurprisingly, she had hated being his young wife in this arranged situation, but within seven-months of the marriage, she had learned to love and cherish him. His death was a shock to her. The obvious solution for a wealthy young woman of the 1760s in Ireland is to be remarried.

Salk Creek by Lucy Treloar

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Salt CreekMost of us strive for adventure and riches in fulfilling their dreams of the future.

Hester Finch’s grandparents arrived in Australia from England continuing their lives of wealth and status. Unfortunately, for Hester and her siblings, her father has dreams. This was life on her mother’s side of the family who fell in love with a man who was considered beneath her. Yes, he wanted the family to maintain the lifestyle they were accustomed to living.

Having already failed at many prospective investments and opportunities, he decides that the family needs to start over. He chooses a deserted, dry region new Salt Creek in South Australia, uprooting their lives in every aspect with dreams of success and wealth.

Timeless Travels: Tales of Mystery, Intrigue, Humor, and Enchantment by Joseph Rotenberg


Timeless TravelsWho is today’s American Jew? Joseph Rotenberg styles himself as a modern-day maggid (traditional Jewish storyteller), weaving tales from the everyday to the fantastic, each one bringing the reader a slice of the American Jewish experience. Just as Sholem Aleichem did more than a hundred years ago in his famous stories describing Russian Jewish life, these tales inform and entertain by uncovering little-known events and personalities that have impacted the American Jewish world. In the 1950s, the late Harry Golden, in his popular collections Only in America and For Two Cents Plain, introduced Jewish culture to many non-Jewish Americans. Joseph Rotenberg’s work updates that vision to depict the contemporary, modern American Jew who is today increasingly as much at home in the halls of the Ivy League, the corridors of power in Washington, the corporate boardroom, and the theater as he is in the beit midrash and the synagogue. You’ll laugh, cry, and wonder as you travel through Joseph Rotenberg’s incisive and at times laugh-outloud funny collection of tales.

Timeless Travels is a fascinating and thought-provoking account of the experiences and travels of Jewish people throughout history, by the talented author, Joseph Rotenberg. Timeless Travels will appeal to readers of all ages. I highly recommend this page-turning collection of short stories.”

Douglas R. Cobb – Reviewer for Bestsellersworld.com

The Midnight Watch: A Novel of the Titanic and the Californian by David Dyer

Reviewed by Teri Davis

The Midnight Watch“The midnight watch: a time of loneliness, demons, and trances”.

The night the Titanic sunk, April 14th, 1912, was also the same night that the closest ship, the Californian had difficulty itself fighting the constant enclosing ice and avoiding icebergs.

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During the midnight watch on the Californian, a distress call was sent to them by the Titanic. The Californian’s captain, Captain Lord, chose to ignore all communications including lanterns using Morse Code, telegraph communications, and the sight of eight white rockets from the sinking Titanic

The rescued survivors of the Titanic in the rowboats actually could see the Californian in the distance and expected them to save them and those in the frozen ocean.

Fortunately for those in who were rescues, another ship, the Carpathian was further from the Titanic and collected those lucky survivors.
Unfortunately, thousands died in the ocean while hoping the nearby ship; the Carpathian would rescue them quickly.

However, the Carpathian did not come to their aid.

Eventually, communication between Carpathian and the Californian was established with directions for the Californian to search for bodies. For some reason, the Californian found none, of course, the location they supposedly looked was not correct.

The Midnight Watch is based on the investigation both in the United States and England regarding the role of the Carpathian and the choices made by Captain Lord.

Lord’s crew was torn between honesty and loyalty. On shipboard, everyone is expected to follow the captain through all situations even when he is either wrong or lying. For many of the crew, this conflicted with their values of honesty and the rules of the sea with loyalty to their captain.
The Midnight Watch is the fascinating story from various perspectives of the actual historical events. Viewing the disaster from different people in varying roles allows the reader to decide whether or not they agree with the final decisions.

Even with the disastrous event happening more than one-hundred years ago, The Midnight Watch is an investigative mystery into the past

The author, David Dyer, writes what he knows best. Having worked on various types of merchant vessels, and graduating from the Australian Maritime College, he worked as a lawyer at a London legal firm whose parent company represented the Titanic’s owners in 1912. Currently, he is employed as an English literature in Sydney.

Dyer has created an utterly enthralling journey in the Titanic’s disastrous past.

Goodnight from London: A Novel by Jennifer Robson

Reviewed by Laurie Weatherlow

Goodnight from LondonIt is 1940 and there is a war in Europe. Ruby Sutton, a journalist in New York City, is working for The American. After only six months on the job, she is called to her Editor’s office for a meeting. Concern and worry consume her as she waits to speak with Mr. Mitchell. She is however very surprised to be offered a placement as a war correspondent writing for Picture Weekly in London. She accepts the once in a lifetime opportunity, but is apprehensive about her humble upbringing surfacing. Upon her arrival in London she is met by Mr. Bennett; a soldier and a good friend of her new boss Kaz. Ruby easily settles in and enjoys writing for Picture Weekly. She also sends a column home to The American called Dispatches from London. She is extremely talented at humanizing the war and speaking to the families that have been affected by it. There are many endless nights spent in terror in air raid shelters during the Blitz. When Ruby looses everything except her life, she is forced to confront a past she had hoped to leave behind in America. With the kindness of strangers and one very handsome soldier, Ruby begins to heal and starts to move forward.

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I have been struggling to write this review for days now. Not because I disliked the book I loved it, but because it is a classic World War Two love story. It has a strong female character who is independent, self sufficient and very, very likable. A woman you would be honored to have as your friend. There is a man, handsome and mysterious just out of reach. It is rich with bombings, death, air raid shelters and overall destruction at its heart. Sadness and hope spring from its depths. Collusion, lies, condemnation, dissent, love, faith, healing and friendship all abound throughout Goodnight from London. It is a story not to be missed.

The Diary of an Immortal (1945-1959) by David Castello

Reviewed by Suzanne Odom

The Diary of an ImmortalThe story begins during the height of World War II. Twenty-one-year-old U.S. Army combat medic Steven Ronson, describes his weariness of the death that’s all around him. For him it is especially difficult when his company is the first to liberate the Nazi Concentration Camp, Dachau. While exploring the camp along with some other soldiers, they enter the cottage of a commander of the German military. Inside they find a lavishly decorated room with beautiful paintings and fine furniture. Behind one of the paintings, a wall safe is discovered. It contains German cash, jewelry and a large, mahogany box which is given to Steven. Thinking that it may consist of medical instruments, he opens it and finds two envelopes and a sizable stash of bottled pills. Thus begins his dalliance with immortality.

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The letters explain a doctor’s discovery of a formula designed for Adolf Hitler to give him immortality. After seeing so much death, Steven decides to take the pills and develops amazing, superhuman abilities. For one, his body is able to heal itself of any injuries.

Tempting Skies: Book Three, Beyond the Wood Series by Michael Roueche

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Tempting SkiesHow would you like to read your ancestors’ journals about their lives while living through the Civil War? Would you be able to understand the perspectives of both sides?

Just recently in the year 2012, while searching through the attic of a mansion in Lexington, Kentucky, scheduled for demolition, a manuscript and letters revealed the history of this estate beginning in the 1820s. These documents are the foundation of the third book of this trilogy.

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Betsy Richman Henderson Gragg appears to have a charmed life. Born as a privileged daughter of a slave-owner and beautiful, she married a Southern gentleman who fought for the Confederacy. When he dies in battle, who quickly remarries. Fortunately, Betsy finds love again and this time marries a Union soldier, Their love quickly has her carrying their child.

The Flame Bearer (Saxon Tales Book 10) by Bernard Cornwell

Reviewed by Teri Davis

The Flame Bearer“When we are young we yearn for battle. In the firelit halls, we listen to the songs of heroes. Then the day comes when we are ordered to fight with the men, not as children to hold the horses and to scavenge weapons after the battle, but as men. … We are almost men, not quite warriors, and on some fateful day we meet an enemy for the first time, and we hear the chants of battle, the threatening clash of blades on shields, and begin to learn that the poets are wrong and that the proud songs lie.”

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Before the year 1000 A.D., England was a group of tribal kingdoms. Since the Romans left, there was constant fighting over land and religion with little time for peace. The invasions from the Vikings were constant. Throughout the years many of these kingdoms were merged into larger ones through marriages, battles, or treaties. Finally, there is some peace due to a treaty between Sigtryggr, Northumbria’s Viking ruler and AEthelflaed, Mercia’s Saxon queen.

Exiles: A Mystery in Paris (The Daniel Levin Mysteries Book 1) by Lawrence J. Epstein

Reviewed by Timea Barabas

Exiles:  A Mystery in ParisAlthough the title of the novel by Lawrence J. Epstein reads Exiles: A Mystery in Paris, in fact there are several types of mysteries tackled on various levels. The readers are invited to explore these and see beyond the shadow of the murder case which reigns over the plot.

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It all unravels in Paris, 1925 – a period marked by recovery, vitality and hope. It is the hope of a fresh start that pushes Daniel Levin to leave his home and venture into a foreign land to try and accomplish his dream of becoming a writer. While he quickly befriends the right people and receives a lot of help from them, he still has to face a lot of obstacles alone. Some of these are regarding his literary carrier, some even threaten his life.
Soon after his arrival, a murder takes place in his vicinity. The audacity of the crime and the fame of the victim guarantee the headlines. While he begins as merely a keen observer, his status will shift as he will find himself ever more involved in the case. Meanwhile, he is also faced with the mystery of love and its many masks. Levin thus has the opportunity to discover a city like Paris through a woman. As a bonus, the pages of the book are spiced with the appearances of famous characters of the likes of Sylvia Beach, Ernest Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein, all of who are strongly portrayed and bring an extra layer of complexity to the novel.