Tag Archives: historical fiction

The Sand Pounder – Love and Drama on Horseback in WWII by M. J. Evans (Book Spotlight and Guest Post)

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“The Sand Pounder is one of those rare historical novels with a charm that appeals to both young and old readers.” – Vincent Dublado for Readers’ Favorite 
“M.J. Evans does an excellent job of winding the era’s history and the lesser-known job of the Sand Pounders into a realistic story of a mature teen’s determination to make a difference in her world.” – Diane Donovan for Midwest Book Review
“A gripping YA historical novel packed full of twists, turns and memorable characters. Highly recommended!” – The Wishing Shelf Book Review (UK)
 

 
 
Book Description:
Fearing an invasion by German and Japanese forces during World War II, the U.S. Coast Guard enlisted horsemen to patrol the beaches along the east and west coasts. The unit was called “The Sand Pounders” and they rode their horses up and down the beaches from 1942 to 1944.
In Tillamook, Oregon, a young equestrian decided to join them. There was only one problem…they were only accepting men. That didn’t slow her down.
 
​”The Sand Pounder” is a Young Adult historical fiction set during World War II. ​
 
 
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Meet the Author:
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Award-Winning, Best-Selling author, M.J. Evans grew up in Lake Oswego, Oregon, and graduated from Oregon State University. She spent five years teaching junior high and high school students before retiring to raise her five children. She is a life-long equestrian and enjoys competing in Dressage and riding in the beautiful Colorado Mountains.

 

 

 

 

Hi readers and writers. Whenever I do an author presentation on my books or writing in general, I am ALWAYS asked the question: “Where do you get your ideas for your books?”

That is becoming an increasingly hard question to answer now that I have written twenty-one books. My first books were non-fiction equestrian trail guidebooks for Colorado. I moved to Colorado from Oregon twenty-six years ago and wanted to find out where horse trails were. I went to the bookstore only to discover that there were lots of trail guidebooks…hiking, hiking with your family, hiking with your dog, and on and on. But there were no equestrian trail guidebooks. Equestrians have unique needs when it comes to finding a trail, starting with the parking lot to what kind of “horse hazards” you can expect to encounter. So, I decided to research and write my own. It was so successful, I have now written four of them.

All the rest of my books are fiction. That is where the craziness begins. “Mr. Figgletoes’ Toy Emporium” came to me when I was vacationing in Coeur D’Alene and saw a toy store named “Figpickles’ Toy Emporium.” The name was so fun it got my imagination running on high and the story started taking shape in my head.

My four-book series, “The Centaur Chronicles,” is another fantasy. The entire idea came to me while reading in the Bible. I read the verse in Ephesians that says: “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.” (Eph. 6:14) I started thinking about what powers the breastplate of righteousness might give me and I came up with Mercy, Courage, Integrity and Wisdom…the four stones of light that make up the four books of the series.

“The Sand Pounder – Love and Drama on Horseback in WWII” and “PINTO! Based Upon the True Story of the Longest Horseback Ride in History” are both obscure horse-based stories that I stumbled upon completely by accident while searching for famous horses on the internet. However, in both cases, once I learned about the events described in those books, I couldn’t stop thinking about them. I started researching and soon the stories began to formulate in my mind.

 

My fiction books, whether fantasy, coming of age, or Historical Fiction, all require me to let my imagination have its way so to speak. But that is the fun that comes from being an author!

I hope you will read and enjoy “The Sand Pounder.” If you do, please post a review on Amazon and goodreads and tell a friend about it! Happy Reading!

 

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To Every Page a Turning: One Life’s Journey by Carl Buccellato (Book Spotlight)

 

In this novel, the journey begins in the innocence of America in the 1950s. Traveling through hope, a great cause, disenchantment, hopelessness, discovery, and rebirth, the novel also recounts the travel of a generation as they move through time. As you read the pages of this book, you will discover a man perhaps not unlike yourself, seeking knowledge, peace, and faith. Perhaps you, like he, have traveled through the paradigm shift of the twentieth century both in awe and fear of what lies ahead.

 

 

 

 

Each man who journeys through life must travel through its season and ultimate lessons. For some, the journey is brief, and their life’s light is fleeting. They are like rockets that flare to the heavens, glowing brightly only to go black in the next instant. Still others travel what seem to be an abbreviated journey, missing some of life’s seasons, never knowing the agony or the ecstasy of what they have missed. But some live each season, taste each tear, relish each sunrise, and brace themselves against each burst of wind. They have traveled life’s highways and finally joined the many pieces of themselves into the whole person they were born to be.

When a man is clearing old files out from his garage, he comes across a folder containing an old manuscript he wrote twenty years previously as part of his recovery therapy. It had served as a catharsis for him to help transition old painful issues from his past. He was still a young man when he wrote the words, and as a senior in his seventies, he begins to reflect on his life s journey. As he reads the old papers, many memories come flooding back. He begins to find that our lives are like pages turning from one place in our lives to another, each unique, holding treasures and pains of its own, and each a window to growth, learning, and acceptance of who we are and who we were born to be.

 

 

 

For all things there is a season, a time to laugh and a time to cry, a time for planting and a time for harvesting, a time for making war and a time for peace, a time to live and a time to die. Ecclesiastes 3:1–8

Each man who journeys through life must travel through its seasons and ultimate lessons. For some, the journey is brief, their life’s light is fleeting. They are like rockets that flare to the heavens glowing brightly only to go black in the next instance. Still others travel what seems to be an abbreviated journey, missing some of life’s seasons, never knowing the agony or the ecstasy of what they have missed. But some, some live each season, taste each tear, relish in each sunrise, brace themselves against each burst of wind. They have traveled life’s highways and finally joined the many pieces of themselves into the whole person they were born to be.

Nietzsche has written, “That which does not destroy us makes us stronger.” This journey begins in the innocence of America in the 1950s, and travels through hope, a great cause, disenchantment, hopelessness, discovery, and rebirth. It is the travel of a generation.

And a man who was uniquely part of that generation.

Overcoming, survival, and success. It finally centers on the one day in 2019 when he must reflect upon his lifetime and must come to terms with who he is today. He must acknowledge he has kept himself apart from his surroundings and buried his feelings deep inside.

 


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Meet the Author:


Carl Buccellato was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1942, and is of Italian-American descent. Throughout his career and travels, Carl has met a broad array of different people. Some, down on their luck, some at the pinnacle of their careers and personal lives. Many of the people and their stories left a mark on Carl’s heart and mind. It is from some of these encounters that Carl has drawn inspiration for a few of the fictitious characters in this novel. Today, Carl resides in Coral Springs, Florida, with his wife Mary Ellen. She is an award-winning multimedia artist and speaker. Together, Carl and Mary Ellen love traveling the globe and looking for new inspiration for their gifts and talents given to them by their loving God.

connect with the author: website ~ facebook  ~ youtubegoodreads

 

 

 

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The Wisdom of the Flock: Franklin and Mesmer in Paris by Steve M. Gnatz (Book Spotlight / Guest Post)

Content Rating: PG-13. There is mild (romantic) sexual content and very mild profanity.

 
 
1776: Benjamin Franklin sails to Paris, carrying a copy of the Declaration of Independence, freshly signed. His charge: gain the support of France for the unfolding American Revolution. Yet Paris is a city of distractions. Ben’s lover, Marianne Davies, will soon arrive, and he yearns to rekindle his affair with the beautiful musician.

Dr. Franz Mesmer has plans for Marianne too. He has taken Parisian nobility by storm with his discovery of magnétisme animale, a mysterious force claimed to heal the sick. Marianne’s ability to channel Mesmer’s phenomena is key to his success.

A skeptical King Louis XVI appoints Ben to head a commission investigating the astonishing magnétisme animale. By nature, Ben requires proof. Can he scientifically prove that it does not exist? Mesmer will stop at nothing to protect his profitable claim.

The Wisdom of The Flock explores the conflict between science and mysticism in a time rife with revolution, love, spies, and passion.

 
 

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Were Benjamin Franklin and Marianne Davies really lovers?

Benjamin Franklin was sent to France in 1776 at the outset of my book The Wisdom of the Flock to help secure the aid of the French in the American Revolution against the British.

But prior to the beginning of the book, Franklin had spent most of the past 20 years (1757-1775) in London, away from his wife Deborah. Ostensibly, this was because she had a strong aversion to sea travel and would not follow him across the Atlantic Ocean. Deborah, in fact, passed away in late 1774 at home in Philadelphia while Ben was still in London.

Franklin was, of course, famous as a ladies’ man. Historians have often wondered if he was up to any hanky-panky during those nearly 20 years in London.

In 1761, Franklin attended a concert in London. There Ben observed a lovely young musician named Marianne Davies performing on the musical glasses. Despite how beautifully she played, she appeared to be in constant pain from the activity. Franklin conceived of an instrument with glass bowls attached to a rod at their center and bathed in a tub of water. The rod was turned by a treadle mechanism, keeping the turning bowls moistened. The musician could then gently apply her finger to the appropriate bowl to produce the note she wanted – resulting in music without any pain. He named his invention a glass armonica and had the first one made for Marianne Davies. It has been suggested that this was an extravagant gift for the gentleman to give the lady.

In 1767, a young Philadelphia artist named Charles Willson Peale showed up unannounced at Franklin’s lodgings on Craven Street. While waiting to see the great man, Peale apparently observed (and sketched) Franklin with a paramour in the next room through an ajar door.

https://twonerdyhistorygirls.blogspot.com/2018/05/a-scandalous-sketch-of-benjamin.html

Some authors have suggested that the woman pictured might have been Franklin’s landlady Margaret Stevenson’s daughter Polly – but I believe this to be unlikely. While Polly would have been about the same age as Marianne Davies, and both women were much younger than Franklin, he generally considered Polly as a “surrogate daughter”. It seems unlikely that they would be openly engaged in such activity in her mother’s house.

There are very few, if any, established pictures of Marianne Davies – see my blog post on this issue here: https://stevegnatz.com/2020/10/why-are-there-no-pictures-of-marianne-davies/

There is not much help from the written historical record in terms of letters between Marianne Davies and Franklin. In The Wisdom of the Flock, I imagined that they had agreed to burn their private letters to each other – in order to solve this dilemma. It is historical fiction, after all! The only two letters known to exist in the real world are those that Marianne wrote in 1783 complaining that Franklin no longer seemed interested in protecting her “franchise” to play the glass armonica. Of course, in The Wisdom of the Flock, this is explained by Ben’s love interest having waned – and other actions on Marianne’s part that I will not reveal here so as not to spoil it for you.

I hope that you will enjoy the story of Benjamin Franklin and Marianne Davies love affair in The Wisdom of the Flock, even if it only represents the fictional part of historical fiction.

 

 

Meet the Author:

Steve Gnatz is a writer, physician, bicyclist, photographer, traveler, and aspiring ukulele player. The son of a history professor and a nurse, it seems that both medicine and history are in his blood. Writing historical fiction came naturally. An undergraduate degree in biology was complemented by a minor in classics. After completing medical school, he embarked on an academic medical career specializing in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. There was little time for writing during those years, other than research papers and a technical primer on electromyography. Now retired from the practice of medicine, he devotes himself to the craft of fiction. The history of science is of particular interest, but also the dynamics of human relationships. People want to be good scientists, but sometimes human nature gets in the way. That makes for interesting stories. When not writing or traveling, he enjoys restoring Italian racing bicycles at home in Chicago with his wife and daughters.

connect with the author:  website ~ facebook ~ goodreads

 

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A Crown in Time by Jennifer Macaire (Book Showcase)

Introducing TEMPUS U, the brand new time-slip series from Jennifer Macaire. From the far future to the distant past, A CROWN IN TIME is the perfect, action-packed read for fans of Jodi Taylor.
 
Since it was perfected in 2900, time travel has been reserved for an elite, highly trained few. However, on certain occasions, a Corrector is needed to rectify a mistake in the past.
Do your job well, and you’ll go down in history. Fail, and you will be erased from Time . . .

 

The first in an exciting new time-slip series, from the author of the action-packed Time for Alexander series, Jennifer Macaire. A CROWN IN TIME will have you on the edge of your seat from the very first page . . .
 
In the far future, a convicted criminal is given a chance at redemption. The Corrector Program at Tempus University is sending Isobel back in time, to the year 1270, to rewrite history.

Her mission? To save the crown of France.

If she follows the Corrector’s Handbook everything should run smoothly. But soon, Isobel finds herself accompanying a hot-headed young noble on his way to fight the infidel in Tunis: a battle Isobel knows is fated to be lost.

Isobel must fulfil her duty, knowing she can never return to her time, knowing one wrong move can doom the future, or doom her to be burned as a witch . . .

Praise for Jennifer Macaire’s Alexander series:
‘Fascinating . . . jam-packed with adventure and colour.’ Jodi Taylor
 

 
 
 
 
~~Excerpt ~~

 
Jean was already perched on the railing, his feet drumming excitedly on the wood, his eyes glowing. ‘Look!’ he cried, pointing toward shore. ‘The Saracens have arrived!’

In the indistinct light of dawn, I could make out a huge crowd of men and horses milling on the beach. I looked to the right. Another small army was camped on the bluff overlooking the harbour. On the left, tents were scattered across the land, and I could clearly see the glitter of light on the metal spearheads.

My head swam and I gripped the wooden railing until splinters dug into my palms. Unexpectedly, my stomach heaved, and I retched over the side of the ship.

‘Are you all right?’ Jean hopped off his perch and put his arm over my shoulders.

‘It’s just nerves.’ I wiped my mouth with a shaking hand. A shiver of fatigue washed through me, so I sat down on the deck.

‘There’s a whole shipload of sick people,’ said Jean conversationally. ‘They’ve all got swamp fever.’

‘Oh great,’ I said. ‘Malaria. That’s just what we need. I suppose King Louis is going to attack the Saracens?’

‘He’s planning to do that, yes.’ Jean’s face fell. ‘Our ship won’t be fighting, though. We’re going to retreat a way back and keep the king’s ship covered.’

‘That sounds like a sensible idea, don’t you think?’

‘The knights have been getting ready. I can hear the clanging of armour coming over the water. The sound carries well in the early morning. The horses have been kicking the sides of the ships.’

The noise of iron-shod hooves striking the wooden planks was distinct. The knights must be the first ones off. The ship crews, protected from arrows by large wooden panels, manoeuvred the ships backwards towards the beach. The ships carrying the mounted soldiers were simply hollow vessels that the horses surged out of in a tight group down two enormous gangplanks. There were thirteen of these ships, one having sunk on the way to Sardinia.

Our fleet boasted ten of another type of ship, designed for the archers with towers and shields. These, including the king’s own archers on their own special ship, would cover the cavalry’s flanks. The ships holding foot soldiers bobbed around the edges of the battle, searching for an opening to land.

The full force of the king’s army landed that afternoon and drove the Saracens out of the harbour without much trouble. The knights galloped their heavy chargers out of the bowels of the ships onto dry land, the archers rained arrows on the hillside and the foot soldiers charged gamely up the beach.

The Saracens retreated toward Carthage, their fiery horses galloping with their tails held high in the air like flowing flags.

Jean, Charles, and I cheered.
 
‘What happens next?’ asked Charles, his face pink with excitement.

‘We set up camp.’ Jean sounded morose, disappointed to have missed the action.

‘There will be other battles,’ I said, just as gloomily.

‘We’d best get our things in order if we’re leaving the ship,’ said Charles, ever practical.

I looked out over the water, toward the king’s ship floating so close to ours. All the flags waved jauntily in the hot breeze, and the king sat under his awning and waved his thin white hand at the soldiers on shore. His face was serene, joyful with the painless victory. However, it wasn’t a victory, really. The Saracens had simply wanted to see exactly what kind of an army the French king had brought. Now they knew.

 
 
 
 
Jennifer Macaire lives in France with her husband, three children, & various dogs & horses. She loves cooking, eating French chocolate, growing herbs and flowering plants on her balcony, and playing golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St. Peter and Paul high school in St. Thomas and moved to NYC where she modeled for five years for Elite. She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories. 
 

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Kill Tut by Max Wannow (Book Showcase)

Ancient Egyptians, aliens, Neanderthals. Kill Tut is a historical fiction sci-fi novel. For a secret government operation in the near future, a team of three is sent back in time to kidnap King Tutankhamun.

New York, New York: 2041. The American-Egyptian War continues as more Egyptian battalions invade the USA. With the purpose of bringing the war to an end, Operation Golden Ankh is a top-secret Delta Force mission that consists of sending a team of three back in time. Captain Jackson Martindale, Staff Sergeant Laiklyn Ladore, and CIA Officer Dana Villa have seven days to complete the mission in the Eighteenth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt. To successfully complete the mission, the three must coerce King Tutankhamun to travel with them to the future. Forcibly kidnapping the pharaoh would lead to a domino-like disruption in the architecture of time. The three are quick to discover the past deviates from what history books provide. The ancient people of Thebes, Egypt resort to panic when their city is invaded by Neanderthal warriors; but when humanoid aliens with skin made of a malleable gold arrive, the Ancient Egyptians welcome them with open arms.

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Dana asks Mayamenti, “The enemies you speak about in your worship, would that be the Neanderthals?”

“All enemies,” Mayamenti clarifies.

“Those Neanderthals, where did they come from?” Dana asks.

Mayamenti attempts an explanation, “We used to be the people of the world, before the Neanderthals. The Neanderthals wiped us out and destroyed civilization. Then, we come from them to become us to restore civilization.”

Mayamenti’s interpretation conflicts with what Dana’s husband explained about Neanderthals. The way Dana understands it is, Neanderthals and humans have a common ancestor from which they evolved separately. What also confuses Dana, is she understands the Neanderthal species became extinct 36,000 years before 1323 BC. Yet, here they are.

Mope adds, “The Neanderthals lack heru.” The neuromorphic implants in neither Dana nor Jackson’s brain translated the last word into English.

Jackson asks, “What is heru?”

Mope says, “Heru is the power within ourselves that fights our animal selves. To be human, we must have heru. Without heru, we would have chaos like uncivilized animals. It is at our core beliefs as Egyptians to find order through chaos.”

“Do you have any water?” Jackson asks.

“Jackson,” Dana scolds, “that was rude.” She speaks to Mope, “In Hatti, we also have our own form of heru. It is important for us to be civil.”

Jackson returns with, “I just have a headache, and I need water.”

Mayamenti responds, “We have cold beer.” The room is silent for a moment. Then Jackson decides to awkwardly laugh. “You want beer?”

“No water?” Jackson questions.

“Water is unclean,” Mayamenti tells him. “Beer will keep you healthy. Don’t be scared, there is no Turkish morphine in it.”

Jackson knows he needs hydration, “Sure, I’ll have a beer.”

“Come with me,” Mayamenti says. “You too, Dana. You deserve a tour.” Mayamenti takes Jackson and Dana out into the hallway. The walls are made from sun-dried brick. She shows them the bedchamber where their bed has a wood frame. The mattress is made of folded linen and the pillows are made of rock. Mayamenti shows them the bathroom, which has a mirror made of polished brass, a bathtub made of copper, and the toilet is a clay pot filled with sand with a limestone seat situated above. The baby’s nursery is located in the second bedchamber of the home. One of the walls is a painted image of the hippo goddess, Taweret, the protector of women in pregnancy. On the opposite wall is the dwarf god, Bes, the protector from evil. The baby sleeps in a bassinet made of sycamore wood. The kitchen is a shed in the backyard without a roof. In it is a clay oven where a servant bakes bread.

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Max Wannow is an independent absurdist novelist, who describes his work to be thought-provoking and discomforting. Simply put, Max Wannow is not for everybody. Aside from being an independent author, he currently lives in Wisconsin and works as an environmental geologist. 

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