New books by HNS members, August 2018
compiled by Sarah Johnson
Congrats to the following authors on their new releases! If you’ve written a historical novel or nonfiction work published (or to be published) in May 2018 or after, please send the following details to me via the HNS contact form, or tweet me @readingthepast, by Oct. 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.
A sequel to The Chalky Sea, Clare Flynn’s The Alien Corn (Cranbrook Press, Jan. 3), set in 1946/7, follows Jim Armstrong and his war bride, Joan, to his farm in Canada, where she must adjust to a new life as he battles with the traumas of his wartime experiences in Italy.
Murder in Belgravia (Mayfair 100 series) by Lynn Brittney (Mirror, Jan.) is set in London, during WW1; a new clandestine detective team is set up, comprising of professional policemen and female amateur detectives.
In Jennifer Delamere’s The Heart’s Appeal (Bethany House, Mar. 6), set in 1881, Julia Bernay comes to London to study medicine, and ends up saving the life of a barrister whose client wants to close down the medical school.
Set in India during the Mutiny, Tony Foot’s A Fortune to India (Chaplin, Mar. 8), the sequel to The Fortunes at War, follows the adventures of Jack Finch of the Rifle Brigade as he plays a cat-and-mouse game with rebels in enemy territory while disguised as a mutineer.
Joseph Pillitteri’s Courage Between Love and Death (Fireship, Mar. 28) is a story involving a strong-willed heroine and the medical care President McKinley received when he was assassinated in 1901 at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, NY.
From the Realm of Time (Amazon, Mar. 29) by Scott Douglas Prill follows a retired Roman Army general and his wife, who seek a peaceful life at the end of the 4th century, but they are drawn into multiple conflicts that complicate achieving such a life.
Mary Sharratt’s Ecstasy (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Apr. 10), finally gives one of the most controversial and complex women of her time the center stage: Alma Schindler Mahler, Klimt’s muse and Mahler’s greatest love, the woman whose life would define and defy an era.
Fate has not yet finished with the first crowned queen of England in M J Porter’s The First Queen of England Part 3 (M J Porter/Amazon, Apr. 12).
Clare Flynn’s The Gamekeeper’s Wife (Cranbrook Press, Apr. 17) is a tale of love across class lines, duty, sacrifice and determination, set in the aftermath of the First World War.
Charlene Newcomb’s Swords of the King, Battle Scars III (indie, May 1), is an epic saga revealing the fighting spirit and impact of war on the knights who serve Richard the Lionheart, the bonds of comradeship – and love – that develop between them, and their personal joys, sorrows and struggles.
The heroine of Wendy Teller’s Becoming Mia (Weyand Associates, May 1) is Mia Brower, a bright but naive young woman who seeks her destiny in the midst of the academic, social, and political challenges of colorful but turbulent 1960s Berkeley, California.
An Orphan’s War (Avon UK, May 3) is the second in Molly Green’s Dr Barnardo’s WW2 series: Maxine Taylor, a young widow, flees from St Thomas’s hospital after a shocking betrayal and returns to Liverpool to become a nurse at the orphanage, not dreaming that one little boy in particular will help heal her own broken heart…not to mention Squadron Leader Crofton Wells.
In Vanessa Couchman’s The Corsican Widow (Vanessa Couchman with Ocelot Press author collective, May 10), taking place while Corsica fights for independence against Genoa in 1755, a prophecy on the eve of Valeria Peretti’s betrothal spells misfortune ahead, but can she escape from her destiny?
Clock Master’s Daughter by Patrice McDonough (CreateSpace, May 12) is set in Paris during the French Revolution when the “City of Light” becomes a city of terrifying darkness, and Sophie, the clock master’s daughter, must devise a plan of rescue as intricate as the inner workings of a clock in a race against time that pits her skills against the blade of “Madame Guillotine.”
The Fourth Son (Book Locker, May 14), Brien Brown’s debut, is set in late 17th- and early 18th-c. France and America, in which a 16-year-old noble, Jean-Marc Bompeau, discovers he is penniless, endures a harrowing ocean crossing, is stranded on a beach in Maine, befriended by natives, captured by British colonists, sold into servitude, and falls in love.
Dan Morales’s debut The Scouts of St. Michael: Operation Archangel (Elm Grove Publishing, May 22) is set in 1940 England and tells the story of six orphan boy scouts who find themselves conscripted by British Intelligence for a covert mission deep inside Nazi Germany.
In R. S. Rowland’s Portrait of a Bitter Spy (CreateSpace, May 26), Josefa, a ruthless, seductive spy, is serving Germany in the Great War when she finally reunites with Captain Fleming Hughes, the young student she’d met in the happy summer of 1913, who is also serving his country in MI5.
In Frances McNamara’s Death at the Selig Studios, Book 7 of the Emily Cabot Mysteries (Allium Press of Chicago, May 29), set in 1909, Emily is drawn into a murder at a silent film studio in Chicago.
Marty Ambrose’s Claire’s Last Secret (Severn House, May 31/UK; Sept. 1/US) is a historical mystery told by Claire Clairmont, the last survivor of the Byron/Shelley circle; she is living out her final years in 1873 Florence, Italy, but finds herself caught up in a tragic death that takes her back to the “haunted summer” of 1816 to discover the identity of her old enemy.
J. Lynn Else’s YA adventure novel Descendants of Avalon (Inklings, May 25) follows four teens who unknowingly tip the balance of power in the magical realm of Avalon and end up on a quest to prevent an evil wizard from taking over both worlds.
Charlotte Betts’ The Palace of Lost Dreams (Piatkus, May 31) is set in 1798, as the French and the British battle for control over India’s riches, and Beatrice travels from Hampshire to Hyderabad to live with her brother and his Indian wife’s extended family in a dilapidated palace famed for the theft of a fabled diamond.
In her sequel, Taming the Twisted 2, Reconstructing Rain (Wordsy Woman Press, Jun. 3), author Jodie Toohey helps Alice Sinkey, Abigail’s sister in the first Taming the Twisted, tell her story of putting her family back together during the aftermath of the American Civil War and the tornado that killed her parents.
In A Woman’s Lot (SilverWood, Jun. 4), Book 2 of The Meonbridge Chronicles, Carolyn Hughes’s series set in 14th-c. rural England, women are still seeking to play a greater part following the social devastation wrought by the Black Death, but some men abhor them as the weak and treacherous “daughters of Eve” and are intent on keeping them in their place.
Clues abound, as do suspects, none with a provable alibi, in Kenn Grimes’s Paint the Librarian Dead (Cozy Cat Press, Jun. 10), the third book in the Booker Falls Mystery series, set in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula in the 1920s.
Set in 12th-century Rhineland, P.K. Adams’ The Greenest Branch, a Novel of Germany’s First Female Physician (Amazon/Iron Knight, Jun. 18) tells the true story of Hildegard of Bingen, who, enclosed in a convent at a young age, defies the Church hierarchy to fulfill her dream of becoming a physician.
Shortlisted for the 2016 HNS New Novel Prize, Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott’s debut novel Swan Song (Hutchinson, Jun. 14), about the line between gossip and slander, self-creation and self-preservation, is the tragic story of the literary icon of his age, Truman Capote, and the beautiful, wealthy, vulnerable women he called his Swans.
Caroline of Kumasi by Priscilla G. Watkins (Amazon, Jun. 25) is the story of a young cane field slave in the 19th-century Danish West Indies who learns she can buy her freedom; despite objections by friends and betrayal by lovers and owners, Caroline is willing to do anything including inciting riot to gain emancipation.
The Fifth Sun by Wendy Lozano (Citrine, June 29) is the story of an Aztec warrior sworn to chastity and a young courtesan who find they need each other to survive as Cortes and his Spanish soldiers tear their world apart.
Olivia Hunter’s visions of the past lives of two individuals, contemporaries who lived over two thousand years ago, result in the apparent accidental or self-inflicted deaths of those with whom she shares them, in Kenn Grimes’s religious conspiracy thriller, Ancestors (Enigma House Press, Jun. 30).
In Kate Braithwaite’s The Road to Newgate (Crooked Cat, Jul. 16), writer Nathaniel Thompson risks career, marriage, friendships, and freedom in his pursuit of Titus Oates, a preacher who has thrown London into uproar by revealing a Popish Plot to kill Charles II.
Set in the 17th-century Venetian Empire, the Barics’ saga comes to a satisfying conclusion in Jillian Bald’s The House of Baric Part Three: Widows and Weddings (Hillwalker, Jul. 22), the last book of the trilogy.
November 1035. King Cnut is dead: this is the subject of M J Porter’s The English Earl (M J Porter/Amazon, Jul. 26).
In Catherine Kullmann’s new Regency novel, A Suggestion of Scandal (Willow Books, Aug. 1), governess Rosa Fancourt’s life and future are suddenly at risk when she surprises two lovers in flagrante delicto; in Sir Julian Loring she finds an unexpected champion, but will he stand by her to the end?
Becoming Belle (GP Putnam, Aug. 7) by Nuala O’Connor is a witty and inherently feminist novel about passion and marriage, set in Victorian London and based on the true story of the unstoppable Belle Bilton, a music hall actress who became an Irish countess.
In Kim Rendfeld’s Queen of the Darkest Hour (indie, Aug. 7), Fastrada must stop stepson Pepin’s conspiracy before it destroys everyone and everything she loves; based on historic events during Charlemagne’s reign, the novel tells a story of family strife endangering an entire country—and the price to save it.
In I Am Mrs. Jesse James (Blank Slate, Aug. 28) debut author Pat Wahler weaves the harrowing tale of Zee Mimms James, a woman torn between her conscience and her love for the most infamous outlaw of the American Civil War era.
In A Spring of Green (Endeavour Media, Sept), Felicity Luckman’s second novel, Nigel Tregellis is filled with ideas of glory as he prepares to fight for his friend the Duke of Monmouth but is quite unprepared for what ultimately happens.
Mimi Matthews’ The Matrimonial Advertisement (Perfectly Proper Press, Sept. 4) is set in England, 1858: When ex-army captain Justin Thornhill places an advertisement for a wife, the mysterious lady who appears on his doorstep isn’t quite what he was expecting.
In Nicole Evelina’s Mistress of Legend (Lawson Gartner, Sept. 16), the final book of the Guinevere’s Tale trilogy, Guinevere does not spend her final days in penance in a convent; rather, she fights for her ancestral homeland against an invasion that threatens both her people and her life.
In the second of E.M. Powell’s new Stanton & Barling medieval murder mysteries, The Monastery Murders (Thomas & Mercer, Sep. 27), the pair are called to investigate the bizarrely horrific murder of a monk in a remote Cistercian abbey.
Paula Butterfield’s La Luministe: Berthe Morisot, Painter of Light (Regal House, Oct), is the story of a woman who battles the art establishment of late 19th c. Paris to help found the Impressionist movement, and of her life-long love for Edouard Manet.
Hakon the Good seized Norway’s throne from their father, Erik Bloodaxe, and now Erik’s brood has come with the Danes to get it back, in Eric Schumacher’s War King (Creativia, Oct. 15).
In Margaret Porter’s Beautiful Invention: A Novel of Hedy Lamarr (Gallica, Oct. 16), Austrian refugee and Hollywood film star Hedy Lamarr responds to WWII atrocities by secretly inventing a new technology for her adopted country’s defense—and unexpectedly changes the world.
Gill Paul’s The Lost Daughter (Headline/UK, Oct. 18; Morrow/US, summer 2019) returns to the Romanovs, about whom she wrote in her bestselling The Secret Wife, this time imagining the fate of Grand Duchess Maria, while a second plot tells of a 1970s Australian woman uncovering the secrets of her past.
The Highlander Who Protected Me, Clan Kendrick 1 (Kensington Zebra, Oct. 30), is first in a new Highland Historical series from USA Today bestselling author Vanessa Kelly.
In Carrie Callaghan’s A Light of Her Own (Amberjack, Nov. 13), set in 17th-century Holland, artist Judith Leyster tries to follow her daring ambitions without losing those she loves.