Tag Archives: Historical Romance

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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Iron Heart by Gini Rifkin (Book Showcase)

Who wrote Beowulf? Perhaps we’ll never know. Or did it happen this way….?

England: circa. 879 A.D. In the time of King Alfred the Great

With the heart of a warrior and the soul of a poet, Faran Kilbraun travels far from home in search of the sword and shield of his ancestors. Protecting the ancient relics was his responsibility. Now, to regain his honor, he must recover the stolen artifacts and battle a life-long enemy.

Following the accidental death of her cruel husband, Leanora Wrenn is wrongly accused of his murder. Forced into exile, a small north shore island becomes her place of refuge, exoneration her only hope.

When Faran discovers Leanora’s remote sanctuary, both their lives are changed forever. Destined to become comrades-in-arms, they fight side by side. Ending up in one another’s arms, will they find redemption and love?

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~~ Excerpt~~

    Leanora tapped her foot with impatience. Would the sun never set?

    Thank goodness, the autumnal equinox would soon be upon them. After Mabon, the hours of brightness, stretching into forever, would wane even more to her advantage. Until then, wait she must, for it was no longer safe to venture out

along the shoreline in the light of day.

    Of late, there had been an increase in the number of ships passing by. And although no one had yet to come ashore on her tiny isle, they might if they saw her. Like silent demons, the wretched ships appeared without warning. Their wickedly graceful, serpentine prows gliding out of the sea mist—mighty beasts, unstoppable and terrifying in their splendor.

   At the very sight of them her heart raced with fear, and it did not calm again until the ships were reduced to harmless blurs upon the horizon. Yes, it was safer to wait until nightfall.

   As darkness subdued even the memory of the sun, she grabbed up a large basket and drew aside the ragged piece of cloth hanging across the cottage door. She liked to think of her habitat as a cottage, although in truth she knew it only merited to be

called a hut. Woven of sticks and branches, it listed in the direction of the prevailing winds.

   She had lived in a real house once. A home of timbered halls carved from towering oaks. Woven tapestries warmed the walls, but those who dwelled within had been wrapped in cold cruelty.

   Thank the Lord those days were over. She was safe now. Was it worth the price of living like a peasant, with threadbare clothes and no well-tended hearth? She had to believe it was so.

   Turning her back on her thoughts and the hut, she stepped through the doorway. The sand, still warm from the day’s heat, comforted her bare feet, and threading her way between the huge boulders, she glanced at the troubled night sky. The stars refused to shine, and high-riding clouds obliterated the full moon. There would be no helpful illumination to guide her to the nets along the shore.

No matter, she knew the way by heart, and the use of a torch might attract more than moths in her direction.

   At the breakers, she paused and listened to the ocean’s never ending song. Tonight the tune seemed filled with lament. There was no gurgle of happiness

where the waves lapped at the rocks, and no sigh of contentment as the receding waters rushed back to the sea.

   Perhaps the elements regretted their earlier behavior of today when the wind had terrified the air and the waves had battered the island. For a moment she had feared for her life, but the storm had soon passed. Like people, the wind and the

water were fickle and not to be trusted. Yet on occasion, the sea could be benevolent, and she gave thanks for the fish and crab it provided. Together

with foraged berries and the eggs from the chickens, her meals were healthy and varied. Not grand fare, but good enough for now.

    Angling to the left, she abandoned the shelter of the rocks and headed across the slope of open beach. A sharp wind teased her ankles, buffeting her from

behind. It felt as if another storm approached. Or did the cold herald more than a change in weather?

    In answer to her unspoken question, she tripped over something where nothing should be. Her skirt tangled about her legs, and she pitched headfirst over the unexpected obstacle. The basket flew from her grasp as she landed with a thud in the sand. A cross between a growl and a groan came from the mound that had caused her fall.

    On hands and knees she scurried to one side. Then leaning forward, she peered through the darkness trying to determine what lay before her. Was it a scaly monstrous thing from the sea? Or worse yet, a human? Instinctively she unsheathed the long-bladed dagger hanging at her waist.

    The thing groaned again, and uttered several words in a language unknown to her. Holy Savior, it was a man. She prayed he had not been sent to find her. Her mouth went dry, her throat constricted. She tightened her grip on the hilt

of the knife. “I will kill you before I let you take me back,” she threatened, not caring if he understood her Saxon words.

    He made no response in sound or movement.

    What should she do? Drive the knife swiftly into his heart, instinct urged.   

     Weapon at the ready, she awkwardly crawled forward on both knees and one

free hand. She was glad for the darkness hiding his features. A faceless enemy was so much easier to hate and deliver unto God.

     Drawing closer, she realized the man lay upon his stomach. In ire, she jammed the knife into its rawhide case. Reaching across his broad shoulders, she gripped the remnant of his tunic, and using her body as a counterweight, leaned backward. The stranger rolled toward her. She scrambled out of the way as he settled onto his back. A rush of air escaped his mouth.

     “Thank you,” he whispered, through lips that sounded stiff and parched. This time the words he uttered were in Saxon English. He may be the master of two languages, but he was a fool to thank her for helping him.

     She knelt once more at his side, and again took up the blade. Like a pagan priestess about to perform a sacrifice, she raised the knife high overhead and tensed for the downward thrust. Then the horrible truth of what she was about to do hit her full force and her resolve faltered.

    The moon broke through the clouds casting an ethereal brightness upon the man’s face and chest. He gazed up at her with an expression as startled and questioning as a child’s.

   She swallowed hard, shocked by the manner of brutality that had come so easily to her. The pain and suffering she had seen and endured did not give her free reign to become as merciless and savage as her tormentors. Still, she must protect herself.

    Leanora glared down at the man. His straight nose and the planes of his cheeks were highlighted by moon-glow, and the same celestial light turned his shoulder-length hair into a mantle of silver. Her gaze drifted lower.

    He labored for each breath, and through the rips in his tunic a wet glittering iridescence reflected off his powerful chest and well-muscled abdomen. The

arm rings he wore and the scars that he bore proclaimed him a warrior, a man who had faced many enemies, a man who had won the day.

    Captivated by these thoughts, she remained unmoving. The rough pebbles dug into her knees, and her arms ached from holding the knife on high. A decision must be made. But she was more familiar with taking orders than making far-reaching

resolutions.

    “Half the treasure will be yours,” the man croaked, “if you let me live.”

     Treasure? There were not enough riches in the world to prompt her to risk her freedom.

She brought the knife down with all her might, burying it to the hilt in the sand beside the stranger’s right ear. “You owe me your life, warrior.”

     She spat out the words like bitter fruit tart upon her tongue. The man’s eyelids drooped, and his head lolled to one side.

    Leanora rocked back on her haunches. Then she began to shake, not out of dread for what she had almost done, but out of fear for what she had not been able to do.

     Desperately she prayed her compassion would not also prove to be her undoing.

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Gini Rifkin’s books follow characters who are courageous and passionate about life, and when they meet, sparks fly while danger often threatens. Her settings include the American West, Medieval and Victorian England, and contemporary fantasy. When not writing, Gini has the privilege of caring for her rescue animals including ducks, geese, goats, rabbits, donkeys, and cats. Her writing keeps her hungry to learn new things, and she considers family and friends her most treasured of gifts. So step back in time or into the future, where adventurous romance is waiting just for you.

 

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Trapper’s Moon by Gini Rifkin (Book Review)

As a free trapper, mountain man Kade McCauley is wary of the Hudson Bay Company. Their form of vengeance against those who are not part of the company can be deadly. When he and his partner are attacked, he fights back, only to discover one of his shots struck an innocent. A woman who touches his soul, and he will do anything to keep her safe.
 
While searching for her Native American tribe, Blind Deer crosses paths with Kade—with near fatal results. Once she is patched up, she decides it is safer to travel with him than alone Their uneasy alliance turns to genuine caring, but Blind Deer’s past gets in the way, and she must choose between love or old obligations.
 
But nothing in life is carved in stone except the mountains, and those formidable peaks have been known to change the course of a man’s life—or a woman’s.
 
 
 
 

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)

Throughout history, there’s been hate, violence, racism, and death. You can’t point your finger at any period in time and not find it. However, even in the darkest of times, there is light. No entire race, religion, culture is 100% evil. It’s not 100% good either. 

Life is about balance. 

In Trapper’s Moon, Gini demonstrated how vile a human or group of humans could be. She also focused and reinforced the goodness in people. How different races can live in harmony. How love and compassion can and should triumph over hate and violence. 

This message should be embraced and utilized in our everyday lives. 

We can’t allow history to repeat itself. We all have the power to love, or at least tolerate one another. 

Trapper’s Moon was a historical story, but I genuinely believe it’s message pertains to the here and now. 

 

Heart rating system:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)
Score: ❤❤❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
About Gini Rifkin…

Gini Rifkin’s books follow characters who are courageous and passionate about life, and when they meet, sparks fly while danger often threatens. Her settings include the American West, Medieval and Victorian England, and contemporary fantasy. When not writing, Gini has the privilege of caring for her rescue animals including ducks, geese, goats, rabbits, donkeys, and cats. Her writing keeps her hungry to learn new things, and she considers family and friends her most treasured of gifts. So step back in time or into the future, where adventurous romance is waiting just for you.

 

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Trapper’s Moon by Gini Rifkin (Book Showcase)

As a free trapper, mountain man Kade McCauley is wary of the Hudson Bay Company. Their form of vengeance against those who are not part of the company can be deadly. When he and his partner are attacked, he fights back, only to discover one of his shots struck an innocent. A woman who touches his soul, and he will do anything to keep her safe.
 
While searching for her Native American tribe, Blind Deer crosses paths with Kade—with near fatal results. Once she is patched up, she decides it is safer to travel with him than alone Their uneasy alliance turns to genuine caring, but Blind Deer’s past gets in the way, and she must choose between love or old obligations.
 
But nothing in life is carved in stone except the mountains, and those formidable peaks have been known to change the course of a man’s life—or a woman’s.
 
 
 
 
 
Where was Blind Deer? The water bucket and rifle were missing. Probably gone down to the stream. She had been at his side since the accident. He remembered hearing her voice and the stories she had told. He remembered fighting to come back to her. She had been his warmth and light. Her spirit his only sanctuary in the fearful world he’d roamed alone.
 
Opening the cabin door, he stood in the sun, soaking up the healing rays as he awaited her return, a vision to fill his eyes and heart. Instead, an Indian brave materialized before him.
 
The solitary man stood several yards away, clothed only in leggings, a loin cloth, and moccasins. The man stared back, formidable and unafraid. The white talons of his bear claw necklace glinted in the sun, reminding Kade of another brave and the eagle claw that had ripped his leg open those many years ago. The man’s face was slashed with red and black paint, adding a terrifying bit of decoration to the already threatening spectacle.
 
Armed with a Missouri war axe, bow, and knife, the solitary figure stood stock still, a painted bag at his feet. The feeling he thought himself invincible radiated from his stance and demeanor, although he made no move to attack.
 
Holy mother of God, what a way to start his first day out of bed. Kade didn’t feel fit to take on a lame rabbit let alone an unexpected Indian. As nonchalantly as possible, he glanced around for Blind Deer. Had this man already found her? Did she lie injured or dead nearby? If she were unharmed, he hoped she had the sense to stay hidden.
 
“Easy, friend.” Kade straightened to his full height and tried not to weave about. “We weren’t expecting company.” He fought to keep the man in focus. “But you’re welcome. We’ve always lived in peace, wishing no harm to anyone, and expecting none to ourselves.”
 
The stranger’s reply came first in Indian, and then in French. Unfamiliar with either language, Kade didn’t understand the man’s intent. The silence hanging in the air became increasingly uncomfortable, and Kade’s strength began to dwindle.Just as passing out seemed a possibility, he sighted Blind Deer approaching from behind their uninvited guest.
 
Rifle at her shoulder, she moved silently through the grass. When she was a few paces behind the man, she cocked the gun, and call out. The intruder appeared to recognize the language she spoke. From his topknot to his beaded moccasins, the warrior tensed for action and slowly turned around.
 
Sweat broke out on Kade’s forehead. Blind Deer only had one shot, and he had none. If she missed, they would both be dead before either could make a second move.
 
 
 
 

~~ Customer Reviews ~~

N. N. Light
 
 
 

Darlene Fredette

5 Stars. First, I want to say how beautiful this cover is. Blue is my favourite colour, so this book won me over right away. If I saw this book on a store shelf, I would pick it up to learn more about the story. And the story is truly an enjoyable read. Kade and Blind Deer are the perfect match. Their chemistry is sweet and emotional. Blind Deer’s background is filled with sadness that will pull at your heartstrings. You’ll want her to find her happy-ever-after and Kade fits the role as the endearing rugged hero. The secondary cast is outstanding with Tucket, Maggie, Nikota, and the mischievous Kinnapa and Kintama. Blind Deer’s bother, Nikota could definitely lead a story of his own. The historical aspect is very interesting. The added romance, bits of humour, drama, and tension makes this story a page-turning hit. Reviewed for Still Moments Magazine. 

 

 
 
 
 
About Gini Rifkin…

Gini Rifkin’s books follow characters who are courageous and passionate about life, and when they meet, sparks fly while danger often threatens. Her settings include the American West, Medieval and Victorian England, and contemporary fantasy. When not writing, Gini has the privilege of caring for her rescue animals including ducks, geese, goats, rabbits, donkeys, and cats. Her writing keeps her hungry to learn new things, and she considers family and friends her most treasured of gifts. So step back in time or into the future, where adventurous romance is waiting just for you.

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Unscrupulous by Morgan Lee Wylie (Book Review)

Gunfighter Josiah Wyland is tired of meeting his reputation in every town, of seeing his daddy’s blue eyes glaring back at him from the mirror, of knowing he’ll never be loved. 

Seven years ago, he was just a boy, smitten with a girl, wishing for a life like everyone else’s. That was before he shot and killed a man, before he rode with a gang of Arizona Territory’s most indiscriminate villains, and before he ended up in Yuma Prison. 

Now Josiah is a bounty hunter, trying to avoid his father’s fate, still looking for a way to prove himself a better man. He gets his chance when Sheriff Rook Kelly sends Josiah to rescue his wayward bride. 

After her parents’ deaths, sheltered Aimee traded freedom for protection. Desperate to escape the husband she’s come to fear, she discovers her best and only hope is a scarred stranger with a black past, deadly aim, and merciless blue eyes. 

On the run from bandits, the sheriff’s posse, and a vengeful ex-lawman, Josiah and Aimee forge a connection, on a dark night in the desert wilderness, that is jeopardized when they return to civilization—where Josiah’s reputation threatens Aimee’s, where decent folk will never allow an unscrupulous no count to be worthy of a good woman’s love. 

 

Buy the paperback and get the Kindle version FREE with Amazon Matchbook.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

Morgan Lee Wylie, the author, didn’t skimp on the gun battles. In one scene, she had a gang of bandits riding after two men and a little lady, firing at will. In another section, she had characters facing off in a town where the good guys were outnumbered 4 to 1. In this particular standoff, it ended with dead bodies, wounded heroes, and a damsel needing rescued. Basically, everything I believe you’d find in Old West (Wild West) times. Definitely things we’ve witnessed on many a television show or movie focused on this time period.

Morgan also had a few scenes that were of the more intimate nature. Not all of them were laced with love and affection. Just like in present-day time, the Old West (Wild West) had many places and opportunities for men to quench their carnal desires. The only bedroom scene that bothered me was between Evelyn and Silas. I know she didn’t mind if he struck her in the face but I did as a reader. Swatting a butt cheek… I’m okay with that. Striking a face and drawing blood… that’s not my kink at all.

As for the romance portion of the book, Josiah and Aimee weren’t the only couple to fall in love. Actually, I’m not quite sure if they were my favorite pairing at all. There were two other couples that stole the show at times. (Omitting their names on purpose.)

As for the ending, the acronym WTF seems to sum it up perfectly. I couldn’t believe how it ended. This is not the ending I was hoping for and I think many readers will not be pleased by it as well.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤1/2

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Morgan Lee Wylie inherited a love of books from her mom who introduced her to Nancy Drew. She grew up reading everything from comics to classics, including many Star Wars novels.

Morgan first knew she wanted to write after reading The Outsiders in the seventh grade. But it took some more growing up and some life experience before she discovered what she wanted to express with her writing. 

Morgan served in the United States Air Force then used the GI Bill to get her BA in English with Writing Emphasis from Boise State University. One professor noted her penchant for writing about characters that he deemed lowlifes. Years later, Morgan self-published her debut novel, dedicating it to her heroes: the loners, losers, outcasts, and underdogs. 

Morgan Lee Wylie lives in Idaho with her husband, their newborn daughter, two ornery Mustangs, and a rambunctious German Shepherd.

Twitter Link Amazon Author Page Link

 

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