New books by Historical Novel Society members, August 2020
The HNS congratulates all of our author members on their new releases! If you’ve written a historical novel or nonfiction work published (or to be published) in May 2020 or after, please send the following details via our contact form or to @readingthepast by October 7: author, title, publisher, release date, and a blurb of one sentence or less. Details will appear in November’s magazine. Submissions may be edited for space.
Awarded two silver medals for Best First Book, Fiction and Best Cover, Fiction by the Independent Book Publishers Association (2020), J. A. Nelson‘s A Man of Honor, or Horatio’s Confessions tells how a lonely commoner’s oath to tell his friend’s true story launches his journey through war, love, and dishonor to create the legend of Hamlet (Quill Point Press, Dec. 9, 2019).
Remembered by Yvonne Battle-Felton (Blackstone, Feb. 4) is a story of haunting, legacy, mothering, loss, and a journey of a mother’s painful path to lead her dying son home.
In ninth-century Norway, when a king’s daughter spurns a powerful warlord, he rains hellfire on her family, and to take vengeance, she must become his queen; Johanna Wittenberg’s The Norse Queen, Book 1 in The Norsewomen series (Shellback Studio, Feb. 11) is based on the life of the semi-legendary Queen Asa, who ruled her kingdom for twenty years.
In The Enemy We Don’t Know: A Homefront Mystery, Book 1 by Liz Milliron (Level Best Books/Historia Imprint, Feb. 11), Betty Ahern wants to be a P.I. just like Sam Spade.
Summer of the Three Pagodas by Jean Moran (Head of Zeus, Feb.) is an exotic saga set in post WW2 Hong Kong and the eruption of a new war in Korea.
Downton Abbey meets Agatha Christie in Betrayal at Ravenwick, Book 1 in the Fiona Figg Mystery series (Level Best Books, Historia Imprint, Mar. 10) by Kelly Oliver.
August 1914: the Cheshire Regiment is ordered to resist at all costs as the German Army advances, in Luke Under Fire: Caught Behind Enemy Lines by D. C. Reep and E. A. Allen (Amazon, Mar. 16).
Vienna’s tumultuous years from its 1934 civil war to independence from post-war occupation are brought to life through the three main characters of Irene Wittig’s All That Lingers (KindleDirect, Mar. 22).
Tom Roberts‘s Lost Scrolls of Archimedes (Raven Cliffs Publishing, Mar. 18) is the adventure tale of a young scholar, armed with hidden knowledge and power, who attempts to stop Rome’s march to empire.
Spencer Busch and Valentine L. Spawr’s Not Till Then Can the World Know: Replacement Companies of the Fourteenth Iowa Infantry in the Trans-Mississippi (self-published, Mar. 28) centers on Spawr’s 1863 camp diary and the battles his regiment fought in 1864.
Frances Lyda Whitaker, born in 1900, and her seven sisters grew up desperately poor in the blight of industrial Bradford, Yorkshire, the daughters of a blind piano tuner and their Mormon convert mother; in the 1980s, Ann Chamberlin interviewed her grandmother and the six surviving sisters for Clogs and Shawls: Mormons, Moorlands, and the Search for Zion (Univ. of Utah Press, Apr. 1), weaving first-person narratives with lively family history.
A Home on Wilder Shores (Page Publishing, Apr.) by Susan Posey follows the fascinating adventures of two Welsh sisters in 1750s Wales and the wilds of the American frontier, as they overcome the dangers and prejudices of the era to become women of substance and purpose.
An anonymous caricaturist inflames the London gossips in Barbara Monajem’s Lady Rosamund and the Poison Pen: A Rosie and McBrae Regency Mystery, Book 1 (Level Best Books, Historia Imprint, Apr. 21).
Wayward Son: Lineage Series, Book Four by Michael Paul Hurd (Lineage Independent Publishing/Barnes & Noble Press, Apr. 23) covers a slave-owning family’s migration from Virginia to Missouri during the mid-1800s and the troubles brought on the family by its patriarch and his bad business and personal decisions. Book Three, Iniquity and Retribution (2nd ed., Apr. 20) tells the story of a young man whose mental health suffered from his involvement in the untimely death of his father and the effects of that death on his adult life in the early 20th century.
In The Unicorn in the Mirror – The Third Sargent/Paget Mystery by Mary F. Burns (Word by Word Publishing, Apr. 27), it’s Paris in the spring of 1881, where amateur sleuths John Singer Sargent and Violet Paget take on their third mystery when a friend is murdered at the Musee de Cluny, and they trace the history of a medieval tapestry that may hold a clue to the crime.
The Crocodile Makes No Sound by N.L. Holmes (WayBack Press, May) is the second in a series of mysteries/political thrillers set in Akhenaten’s Egypt. In The Singer and Her Song by the same author (WayBack Press, May), a famous Mitannian singer finds herself a refugee and must sacrifice to preserve her family.
In Of Darkness and Light (Amazon, May 12), the first book in Heidi Eljarbo’s new historical mystery series, about a young art historian facing a tough choice in German-occupied Norway, once Soli finds her courage, there’s no turning back: her personal life is turned upside-down with danger, lies, spying, and an incredible discovery.
Reading Mrs. Dalloway by Mary F. Burns (Word by Word Publishing, May 13) is literary and personal commentary on Woolf’s justly famous novel; this extended essay journeys with Clarissa Dalloway hour by hour through her day, illuminating and enlarging the text for new and veteran readers.
In Iva: The True Story Of Tokyo Rose by Mike Weedall (Luminare Press, May 17), trapped in Japan after Pearl Harbor, Japanese American Iva Toguri is forced to participate in Radio Tokyo broadcasts; despite refusing to broadcast propaganda, after the war Iva is falsely identified as Tokyo Rose and prosecuted for treason in a trial that rivets America.
Rowman & Littlefield’s imprint McBooks Press has re-released Robert N. Macomber’s first novel in his Honor Series, At the Edge of Honor (May); read how the adventures of Peter Wake began. Onward & Upward!
As a colossal statue takes shape in Renaissance Florence, the lives of a master sculptor and a struggling painter become stunningly intertwined in Laura Morelli’s The Giant: A Novel of Michelangelo’s David (The Scriptorium, May 31).
Without Warning: The Saga of Gettysburg, A Reluctant Union Hero, and the Men He Inspired, by Terry C. Pierce (Heart Ally Books, Jun. 1) is a compelling, historically accurate novel that weaves together the stories of Union General George Meade and his key subordinates and forever changes our vision of the Battle of Gettysburg.
Tim Walker’s Arthur Rex Brittonum (TimWalkerWrites, Jun. 1), the latest in the A Light in the Dark Ages series, is the story of a real, historical Arthur, a 6th-century Briton leader, freed from the polish and romance of the Camelot legend.
In At Love’s Command by Karen Witemeyer (Bethany House, Jun. 2), Hanger’s Horsemen defend the innocent and obtain justice for the oppressed, but when a rustler’s bullet leaves one of them at death’s door, they’re the ones in need of saving.
Suzanne Linfoot joins an ENSA swing band and finds herself in war-torn Malta singing to the troops who adore her, but her heart belongs to a naval officer serving at sea, and she wonders whether they will ever meet again, in Molly Green’s A Sister’s Song (Avon, Jun. 25).
In Garrett Pearson’s The Brood at Trasimene, Book III of the Lions and the Wolf series (Morepork Publishing, Jul.), set in 217 BC as the second Punic war between Carthage and Rome continues with the bloody battle at Lake Trasimene, Baldor Targa, captain of a Carthaginian cavalry unit, faces his would-be Roman nemesis Cornelius Scipio in battle, whilst contending with robbery and murder within his own ranks.
In Mark E. Fisher’s The Slaves of Autumn (Extraordinary Tales Publishing, Jul. 1), set in A.D. 408, an Irish clan leader steals Anwyn from her Welsh home to barbarian Ireland in a raid intended to save the clan, but her betrothed, a Roman patrician’s son, vows to bring her back.
In book two of the Norsewomen series by Johanna Wittenberg, The Falcon Queen (Shellback Studio, Jul. 10), Asa has won her father’s kingdom, but can she defend it against the powerful warlords who want to claim it?
Fair as a Star by Mimi Matthews (Perfectly Proper Press, Jul. 14) is a Victorian tale of love and longing set in a quaint English village.
The Copper Road (Ocoee Publishing, Jul. 26), second in Richard Buxton’s Shire’s Union series set during the American Civil War, follows on from Whirligig, which was shortlisted for the 2017 Rubery International Book Awards.
The Hanged Man by Andrée Rushton (The Book Guild, Aug. 28) is set in southwest France both in the present day and during the 20th century, and explores a beautiful holiday home with a devastating secret.
The Night Portrait: A Novel of WWII and Da Vinci’s Italy by Laura Morelli (William Morrow, Sept. 8) is an exciting, dual-timeline historical novel about the creation of one of Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous paintings, Portrait of a Lady with an Ermine, and the woman who fought to save it from Nazi destruction during World War II.
In A Most English Princess by Clare McHugh (William Morrow, Sept. 22), Victoria, Princess Royal, the eldest child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who married the Crown Prince of Prussia and was the mother of the Kaiser, battles with Bismarck for the soul of the newly unified German nation.
The Boy King by Janet Wertman (Amazon, Sept. 30), the final installment in her Seymour Saga trilogy, reveals the tragic story of Edward VI – who ascends to the throne of England at the age of nine, and quickly learns that he cannot trust anyone, even himself.