New books by Historical Novel Society members, August 2023

Congrats to our author members on these new releases!  If you’ve written a historical novel or nonfiction work published (or to be published) in May 2023 or after, please send the following details to Sarah Johnson  via our contact form or at @readingthepast by October 7: author, title, publisher, release date, and a blurb of one sentence or less. Space is limited, so concise blurbs are appreciated. Details will appear in the November 2023 issue of HNR. Submissions may be edited.

In The Winds of Autumn by Susan Rounds (Swancourt Press, Dec. 7, 2022), haunted by memories of war and her late sister, a young wealthy woman yearns to bring happiness home again, but when a bold Union officer suddenly beguiles her into marrying him, his dark past threatens everything she holds dear, even the railroad magnate whose love she found too late.

L.M. Jorden’s Belladonna, Bitter Conduct (Solis Mundi, Jan.), has the fearless Dr. Josephine Reva, Homeopath MD, a first woman doctor in Brooklyn, following murderous fascist-leaning opera stars on a 1935 transatlantic crossing; Josephine must hurry to solve these Belladonna crimes with deeper roots, before the ship docks in Mussolini’s Italy and it’s too late.

In A Heart Purloined by Lisa M. Lane (Grousable Books, Feb. 14), taking place in 1880 England, a lady’s companion with a compulsion for truth and a man with a mysterious past work together to find stolen family objects.

In Cecily Van Cleave’s Yewspring (Independently published, Feb. 28), set in early 1800s England, Clara Eastwood must decide which of her loyalties—to her family, their estate Yewspring, her interest in botany, and her own happiness—will decide her future in the wake of an unexpected death.

As told in High Bridge by Michael Miller (Koehler Books, Mar. 23), in upstate New York in the mid-19th century, one Erie Canal village shapes the lives of the future suffragist Matilda Joslyn Gage and US president, Grover Cleveland; can they collaborate to clear a Black man accused of murder?

In Fried Chicken Castañeda by Suzanne Stauffer (Self-published, Mar. 24), in June 1929, Prudence Bates escapes her bourgeois life by heading west and finds bootleggers, murder, and romance at the Hotel Castañeda in Las Vegas, New Mexico.

1969-’71 – Women’s rights, reproductive rights, bitter envy, and long-held secrets all wind around an heirloom emerald necklace with secrets of its own, in The Emerald Necklace by Linda Rosen (Black Rose Writing, May 11).

When Dominique Rousseau loses his international fur trade company in court, he has only a license to trade with the Pottawatomi of northcentral Indiana with which to regain his fortune—and find his dream girl, in Furs and Fevers by Lynn MacKaben Brown (Austin Macauley Publishers, May 28).

Brock’s Spirit by Tom Taylor (Hancock and Dean, June 6) continues the coming-of-age story for young Lieutenant Jonathan Westlake, Upper Canada’s first secret agent in the War of 1812.

In Brenda Murphy’s When Light Breaks Through: A Salem Witch Trials Story (Bricktop Hill, June 15), Ann Putnam plays a central role in the trials that devastate Salem Village and bitterly divide its people, but after Joseph Green, in love and eager to marry, takes on the ministry and begins healing the village, they work together on an appeal that might finally unite their community.

Siberia 1581: Umey, a young outcast woman of Samoyed and Russian blood, finds herself enmeshed in a struggle for survival when Cossacks invade her homeland in Ken Czech’s Kiss of Frost and Flame (Fireship Press, June 22).

Behind the timeless tale you know is the captivating story you never heard: A. D. Rhine‘s Horses of Fire (Dutton, July 25) is a sweeping epic in which Troy’s strong, yet misunderstood women take center stage in the most famous war in history.

In Skye Alexander’s The Goddess of Shipwrecked Sailors (Level Best/Historia, Aug.), set at Christmas 1925, Jazz singer Lizzie Crane has high hopes when the heir to a shipping fortune hires her to perform at a prestigious event––until police discover a body near her cousin’s tavern and Lizzie becomes a pawn in a deadly game between her cousin and her employer over a mysterious lady.

In a race across Nazi-occupied Italy, two women—a German photographer and an American stenographer—hunt for priceless masterpieces looted from the Florentine art collections in Laura Morelli’s The Last Masterpiece (William Morrow, Aug. 1).

In The Husband Criteria—A Regency Novel (Willow Books, Aug.), Catherine Kullmann’s light-hearted and entertaining look behind the scenes of the London Season, set in 1817, cousins Cynthia, Chloe and Ann seek to discover their suitors’ true character when all their encounters must be confined to the highly ritualised round of balls, parties and drives in the park.

In Nancy Bilyeau’s The Orchid Hour (Lume Books, Aug. 10), Zia De Luca’s life is about to be shattered: having lost her husband to The Great War, she lives with her in-laws in Little Italy and works at the public library. But when a quiet poetry-lover is murdered outside the library, the police investigation focuses on Zia.

The Butterfly Cage (Prism Light Press, Aug. 17) is the latest book in the Delafield & Malloy mystery series by Trish MacEnulty and set in 1913 New York City.

A dual-timeline novella set in both modern-day and ancient Pompeii, Pompeii Fire by Sharon E. Cathcart (Independently published, Aug. 24) is the story of how Suetonius keeps his promise of eternal devotion to his beloved Drusilla.

In Kate Parker’s Deadly Manor (JDP Press, Aug. 25), in autumn 1940, when a soldier injured in the Fall of France and his wife visit a country house for a weekend’s recuperation to escape the Blitz, they didn’t expect it to come with murder.

Barrow-in-Furness, 1933: Trained up for service, Molly Dubber is sent from her ‘Cottage Home’ for pauper orphans to work at ramshackle Lindal Hall, despite the owner’s reputation for not keeping servants, and finds herself with some unexpected attention – as well as an unwelcome visitor from the tragedy of her past.  Read more in The Maid of Lindal Hall by Katherine Mezzacappa, writing as Katie Hutton (Zaffre, Aug. 30).

Trish MacEnulty’s Cinnamon Girl (Livingston Press, Sept. 15), a YA historical set in 1970, shows a world of anti-war activists, draft resisters, and feminists as seen through the eyes of a 15-year-old girl.

As WWI rages, there are evils—both living and dead—that only a witch can see in The Witch’s Lens (47North/Amazon Publishing, Oct. 1), a spellbinding novel by Luanne G. Smith, the Amazon Charts and Washington Post bestselling author of The Raven Spell.

Red Clay, Running Waters by Leslie K Simmons (Koehler Books, Dec. 19) follows the dramatic lives of John Ridge, a Cherokee dedicated to his people’s cause, and his White wife Sarah, a woman devoted to his search for justice during the 1830s Indian Removal crisis.

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