New books by Historical Novel Society members, February 2024

We appreciate knowing about our members’ new books!  If you’ve written a historical novel or nonfiction work published (or to be published) in November 2023 or after, send the following details to compiler Sarah Johnson via our contact form by April 7 to be featured here: 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 May 2024 issue of HNR. Submissions may be edited.

Growing up in Queen Victoria’s rules, loving under the shadow of the law: read more in Jane StubbsHis Wife’s Sister (Independently published, June 6, 2023).

Flowers of Evil (WayBack Press, July 2023) by N. L. Holmes, first in the new Hani’s Daughter series, is a cozy mystery set in ancient Egypt.

As Good as a Fire by Sharon O. Lightholder (Albedo Press, Aug. 6, 2023) exposes the American presence in Tsingtao, China when Peg Ryan joins her Marine fighter pilot husband in 1947, lives a complex life in the city with her daughter, befriends others, and discovers the city’s layered complexity; but as Mao’s troops pose a threat, she wonders if her decision to move to China has saved or destroyed her family.

Shining Threads by Joy Bounds (The Book Guild, Aug. 30, 2023) is based on the remarkable life of composer and suffragette Ethel Smyth, who lived at a time when women were not expected to have ambitious dreams.

N. L. Holmes’s The Moon That Fell from Heaven (Red Adept Publishing, Sept. 2023) tells a tale of political intrigue and romance in Bronze Age Ugarit.

Growing up in Havana in the 1750s, José Albañez is drawn into his uncle’s Caribbean smuggling network and must decide where his duty lies, in Fearful Breakers by Janice Sebring (Antimacassar Books, Sept. 27, 2023).

Scott Douglas Prill’s Where the Corn Grows Tallest (Independently published, Sept. 29, 2023) is a murder mystery based in rural Iowa during primarily the fall of 1970, and inspired by a true event.

Offspring of the most notorious love affair in the Middle Ages, Astralabe has been ignored by historians and misrepresented by fiction writers; Brenda M. Cook’s biography Astralabe: The Life and Times of the Son of Heloise and Abelard (Palgrave Macmillan, Oct. 2, 2023) relates the story of the real man making his way through the upheavals of 12th-century Brittany and Burgundy.

Jakob, a simple farmer, is determined to gain justice for his daughter, against the odds, in The Matchstick Boy by Rowena Kinread (Goldcrest Books, Oct. 10, 2023).

At What Cost, Silence? by Karen Lynne Klink (She Writes Press, Oct. 17, 2023), set in East Texas just prior to the American Civil War, is about understanding the costs of silence—when something dire or abusive happens to a person and they feel they can’t speak up.

Fire on the Frontier by Kenneth Kunkel (Valeria Press, Oct. 17, 2023) is a novel of revenge and redemption where a Roman soldier vows vengeance against the barbarians who killed his parents when he was infant; his journey will lead to the Teutoburg Forest where three legions will clash with the tribes of Germania.

Deb StratasThe War Twins of London (Readmore Press, Oct. 26, 2023) throws identical twins Tillie and Maggie Kingston into dangerous war work, as the Blitz rains bombs all around them: can true love prevail when the skies are darkened by war?

While visiting Hastings, historian Maggie Winegarden discovers the diaries of Elizabeth Siddal, Dante Rossetti’s wife, and his sister Christina Rossetti, and wonders what secrets they hold, as told in The Rossetti Diaries, the second historical novel by Kathleen Williams Renk (Bedazzled Ink, Nov. 2., 2023).

The Bottle Conjuror: Book One – Stefan, co-authored by John Kachuba and Jack Gagliardo (Beck and Branch Publishers, Nov. 2023), is an 18th-century historical fantasy set in London.

Medical correspondent Alice Simmons turns defeat into the scoop of her career after an assault ends her journalistic ambitions and forces her work as a nurse at an American Red Cross hospital during 1918, in An American Nurse in Paris – Novels of the Great War, the debut novel of John F. Andrews (Amazon KDP, Nov. 7, 2023).

Alistair Tosh’s new Roman historical novel Warrior (Independently published, Nov. 10, 2023), set in AD 150, is third in the Edge of Empire Series.

Comfort’s Rebellion by E. Jax Willoughby (QsynQ Publishing, Nov. 12, 2023) portrays the early life of America’s first genderfluid preacher, the Public Universal Friend, as they struggle to save New Englanders from the wages of sin before the impending End Times, unless accusations of blasphemy crush their mission.

At the end of WW2, a wanna-be teen actress stuck on a small farm in Tennessee is assaulted by an escaped Nazi POW from a nearby camp, forcing her to choose between Motherhood or Hollywood; read more in The Farm by Randy O’Brien (Addison & Highsmith, Nov. 21, 2023).

In Remnants (Nov. 28, 2023), sequel to Pete Sheild’s debut, Bad Medicine, protagonist Jimmy Marino is struggling in his relationship with his girlfriend, Sarah, in 1977, and remnants of his past—including the life-threatening pursuit of the Thomas Jefferson Peace Medal with his grandfather and the disappearance of two crooked lawmen—ignite a spiritual journey.

Amsterdam Ascendant: A Novel of Rebellion, Faith, and Daring Enterprise that Launch a Golden Age by Judith W. Richards (Aries Books, Nov. 30, 2023) is a gripping action-adventure story set in the turbulent latter 1500s and is Book One of the Van der Voort Family Saga.

In Jason Zeitler’s debut novel The Half-Caste (Polyphony Press, Dec. 2023), two friends, who first meet in London, fight against the evils of fascism and imperialism in 1930s England and Ceylon.

Will Somers, Henry VIII’s court jester, is back in the second outing of the King’s Fool Mysteries, The Twilight Queen by Jeri Westerson (Severn House, Jan. 2), when a dead man is discovered in Queen Anne Boleyn’s private quarters and it’s up to Will to solve the crime and keep the queen safe from conspiracies designed to bring her down.

In Louis Mie and the Trial of Hautefaye by L.M. Twist (Books and Hooves Publishing, LLC), in the turbulent aftermath of Napoleon III’s fall, lawyer Louis Mie grapples with the conflicting forces of justice, love, and personal ambition as he defends a murderer in a high-stakes political trial that threatens to shatter his life and marriage.

The true story of the mixed race, bisexual mystic who became a bishop’s murderous obsession explodes the wiki-fable of Hypatia of Alexandria in Hypatia: In Her Own Words by Lukman Clark (Six Sticks Productions, Jan. 18).

The Queen of War is Book 6 in The Norsewomen Series by Johanna Wittenberg (Shellback Studio, Jan. 31).

In Locked in Silence by Natalie Zellat Dyen (Black Rose Writing, Feb. 1), it’s 1848 when a young woman accused of murdering her baby is sentenced to four years of solitary confinement in Philadelphia’s notorious Eastern State Penitentiary, where the unremitting silence and isolation take a toll on her sanity and leave her struggling after her release to reassemble the fragments of her broken life.

In Edward McSweegans The Fever Hut (Fireship Press, Feb. 21), epidemic yellow fever threatens national ambitions and individual lives as Duncan Cleary, a young army doctor, works with Walter Reed to find a cure—and fame—during the last days of the 19th century.

The Loose Thread by Liz Harris (Heywood Press, Feb. 27), first in a trilogy of standalone novels about the Hammond sisters, takes place in 1938, as Rose Hammond married and moved to Jersey; in the middle of June, 1940, the British Government cut the Channel Islands loose from its protection, and at the end of June, the Germans moved in and occupied Jersey for 5 years.

In Eric Foster‘s Becoming St. Patrick – His Mission (Matador, Feb. 28), sequel to His Slavery, Patrick defies the pagan Druids and builds Christian churches, incurring deadly retaliation culminating in an epic, bloody battle; this page-turning story sees Patrick elevated to patron saint of Ireland.

Susan Higginbotham‘s The Queen of the Platform (Onslow Press, Mar. 12) tells the story of the indomitable nineteenth-century feminist Ernestine Rose, whose fearless advocacy helped bring about the rights women enjoy today.

One lie changes a family’s path for generations—and finally brings them back to an Ireland changed beyond recognition in The Keeper of Secrets by Maria McDonald (Bloodhound Books UK, Mar. 26).

1584: an unsuspecting girl is plucked from an orphanage on the orders of the Medici family with the promise of a dowry and a husband; only when it is too late is she told how she must earn them, in The Maiden of Florence by Katherine Mezzacappa (Fairlight Books, Apr. 18).


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