New books by HNS members, February 2020

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 November 2019 or after, please send the following details to us via our contact form or tweet @readingthepast by April 7, 2020: author, title, publisher, release date, and a blurb of one sentence or less. Details will appear in May’s magazine. Submissions may be edited for space.

Constance Emmett’s debut novel, Heroine of Her Own Life (Next Chapter, Aug. 29, 2019), offers a powerful story set in early 20th-century Belfast, Northern Ireland, where working class Meg Preston and Lillian Watson forge a lasting love against the tide of society’s intolerance, sectarian violence, and the looming world war that threatens to tear everything apart.

Alistair Forrest’s Roman civil war novel Libertas has been published by Sharpe Books (Sep. 26, 2019), who have also commissioned a series of novellas set in the same period.

Trailing the Hunter by Heidi Eljarbø (independently published, Oct. 21, 2019) tells a story about women facing challenges and their drive to protect during the witch hunt in Norway in 1661.

Fortune’s Child: A Novel of Empress Theodora by James Conroyd Martin (Hussar Quill, Oct. 21, 2019) was described by Kirkus Reviews as “a meticulously researched historical account presented in the form of a thrilling political drama.”

In Mark Turnbull’s Allegiance of Blood (self-published, Oct. 23, 2019), Sir Francis Berkeley strives to protect his wife and family from the brutal effects of the English Civil War, but aside from the struggle between king and parliament, the allegiances of family, friendship and honour entangle him at every turn and prove to be just as bloody.

William Constable is sent from Plymouth to St Malo in France to unravel a tangle of duplicity, which threatens Queen Elizabeth’s reign and an expedition to the New World led by John Hawkins, in A Necessary Killing, the 2nd William Constable Spy Thriller by Paul Walker (Sharpe Books, Oct. 23, 2019).

In Tides of Change by Joan Dunnett (Matador, Oct. 28, 2019), James Lightfoot returns to Edinburgh in 1704 and becomes unwillingly involved in a Jacobite conspiracy.

From the olive groves of Samaria to the bloodied sand of a Roman stadium to the exquisite silks brought from the East, The Silk Merchant of Sychar by Cindy Williams (Rhiza Press, Nov. 10, 2019) weaves colour into the biblical account of the woman at the well.

In Written in their Stars (Falcon Historical, Nov. 13. 2019), the third novel in the Lydiard Chronicles by Elizabeth St.John, three women separated by beliefs and bound by love fight to restore King Charles to his throne, and risk destroying their family if they succeed.

In John M. Cahill’s The Trail of a Traitor, Book 3 of “The Boschloper Saga (W & B Publishers, Nov. 25, 2019), Sean O’Cathail must rescue Megan O’Reilly and bring Jeremy Cox, traitor and kidnapper, to justice on the frontier of 17th-century New York.

In Song of the Nightingale: a tale of two castrati by Marilyn Pemberton (The Conrad Press, Dec. 14, 2019) Philippe is tasked with buying young boys from poor villagers, having them castrated and taking them to Florence to be taught to sing as castrati – and so a set of events is triggered that leads to death, guilt, revenge, love and redemption.

In the first in the new Tempus U Time Travel Series, Jennifer Macaire’s A Crown in Time (Headline, Jan. 16), opening in the far future, a convicted criminal is given a chance at redemption: the Corrector Program at Tempus University is sending Isobel back in time, to the year 1270, to rewrite history by saving the crown of France.

Inspired by real female spies from 1650s England, Killing Beauties by Pete Langman (Unbound, Jan. 23) tells the story of royalist Susan Hyde, whose mission to turn Parliament’s spymaster John Thurloe into her unwitting accomplice can only end in one way.

Based on meticulous research, Wolf by Herbert J. Stern and Alan A. Winter (Skyhorse, Feb. 11) is the story of an amnesiac soldier at the end of the Great War who befriends the blind man next to him in the mental ward of Pasewalk Hospital: Adolf Hitler.

The Queen’s Secret: A Novel of England’s World War II Queen by Karen Harper (William Morrow, May 18) tells the story of the wartime Queen Elizabeth, whom Hitler called “the most dangerous woman in Europe.”

In A Child Lost by Michelle Cox (She Writes, Apr. 28), Book 5 of the Henrietta and Inspector Howard series, when Clive, anxious to distract a depressed Henrietta, begs Sergeant Frank Davis for a case, he is assigned to investigating a seemingly boring affair, a spiritualist woman suspected of robbing people of their valuables – but what begins as an open and shut case becomes more complicated when Henrietta begins to believe the spiritualist’s strange ramblings.

Thomas J. Howley’s Wolf of Clontarf: The Irish, the Vikings and the Foreigners of the World (Moonshine Cove, May 7) based on the Norse sagas and Irish annals, tells the tale of a legendary Gaelic warrior, a young woman spymaster, a Byzantine ambassador and two medieval special operations units that help King Brian Boru throw the Vikings out of Ireland in the fifteen years leading up to the decisive Battle of Clontarf in 1014.

In Liza Nash Taylor’s Etiquette for Runaways (Blackstone, Aug.) set in 1924 and inspired by true events and by Daniel Defoe’s 1722 Moll Flanders, circumstance and impetuous bad decisions derail a young woman’s attempts to escape life in rural Keswick, Virginia and reinvent herself in Jazz Age New York and Paris.


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