New books by HNS members, May 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 February 2020 or after, please send the following details to Sarah Johnson via our contact form or @readingthepast by July 7: author, title, publisher, release date, and a blurb of one sentence or less. Details will appear in August’s magazine. Submissions may be edited for space.

Torn apart by Hitler’s youth evacuation program, a young couple must rise above the war and find each other again in Annette Oppenlander’s When They Made Us Leave (Annette Oppenlander, Nov. 15, 2019).

Storm Wrack & Spindrift (Taste Life Twice Publishing, Nov. 21, 2019) is Margaret Pinard’s third novel about the MacLeans of Mull, a dramatic story of survival and rebellion from the backwoods of Nova Scotia to the cities of Scotland, as brother and sister struggle separately for recognition and individual freedom.

In the aftermath of the Irish Easter Rising in 1916, the Clans of destiny seek McCarthy Gold in accordance with their ancient Clans Pact while their nemesis, Boyle, plots to steal the treasure and kill them all in McCarthy Gold (Manzanita Writers Press, Nov. 30, 2019), the fourth novel of Stephen Finlay Archer’s Irish Clans series.

Love Burns, so do witches: Annemarie Schiavi Pedersen’s Celestina’s Burnings (Literary Wanderlust, Jan. 1) is the author’s debut novel.

Lynna Banning’s The Saracen (Amazon, Jan.), set during the Reconquista in medieval Spain, when the power of the Arab kingdom is weakening and the kingdoms of Aragon and Castile fight for the spoils, follows Christian novice Malenda de Balenguer and taifa general Barik ibn Hassam as they find themselves falling in love.

From the walled gardens of antebellum Charleston to the vast prairies of the American West, the Lazare Family Saga continues with a dangerous love affair and a blond Cheyenne Indian in Elizabeth Bell’s Lost Saints (Claire-Voie Books, Jan. 6).

Speaker for the God (indie, Jan. 6) by Henry Millstein is a novel about the prophet Jeremiah, based on contemporary research into the life of ancient Israel.

Set in the precarious early years of the Tudor throne, Joanna Hickson’s latest novel The Lady of the Ravens (Harper Fiction, Jan. 9) narrates the friendship that develops between Henry VII’s queen, Elizabeth of York, and one of her servant-companions, Joan Vaux, a commoner who uses native wit and an unusual education to navigate a court riven by treachery and conspiracy, as the king endeavours to unite his realm following the battles and enmities of the Wars of the Roses.

In The Bridled Tongue by Catherine Meyrick (Courante Publishing, Feb. 1), as England braces for invasion by Spain’s great armada, Alyce Bradley confronts closer dangers from both her own and her husband, privateer Thomas Granville’s pasts with old slanders taking on new life and threatening not only her hopes of love and happiness but her life.

In Carrie Callaghan’s Salt the Snow (CRP/Amberjack, Feb. 4), American journalist Milly Bennett has covered murders in San Francisco, fires in Hawaii, and a civil war in China, but 1930s Moscow presents her greatest challenge yet: when her young Russian husband is arrested by the secret police, Milly tries to get him released, but his arrest reveals both painful secrets about her marriage and hard truths about the Soviet state she has been working to serve.

From Sherri L. Smith, the award-winning author of Flygirl, comes The Blossom and the Firefly (G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin Random House, Feb. 18), a powerful WWII romance between two Japanese teens caught in the cogs of an unwinnable war, perfect for fans of Salt to the Sea, Lovely War, and Code Name Verity.

In Woman in Red – Magdalene Speaks by Krishna Rose (Black Rose Writing, Feb. 20), Mary Magdalene, the most misunderstood woman in history, returns strong and true as the irresistible voice of the banished feminine divine.

Marty Ambrose’s second book in a trilogy, A Shadowed Fate (Severn House, Mar. 3), covers Claire Clairmont’s, the last survivor of the Byron/Shelley circle in 1873 Italy, desperate search for her long-lost daughter while repairing the past with lovers who betrayed her.

In Catherine Kullmann’s new Regency novel, The Potential for Love (Willow Books, Mar. 25), Arabella Malvin finds her choice of husband complicated by unexpected danger and new challenges.

The Rose and the Whip, the debut novel from Jae Hodges (WordCrafts Press, Mar. 25), tells the story of systematic persecution of Quakers by the Puritans in 1660s Massachusetts Bay Colony from the perspective of Lidia Wardell as she is tied to the whipping post and publicly lashed for her single act of protest.

Death and the Dear Doctor by Valerie Fletcher Adolph (Amazon, Mar.) is a light-hearted cosy historical mystery set in 1947 Yorkshire introducing Trudy and Alice who puzzle over discovering the identity of the killer of Alice’s husband, assisted (more-or-less) by the eccentric guests at the Avalon Hotel.

In J. G. Lewis’s The Lost Child: An Ela of Salisbury Medieval Mystery (Stoneheart Press, Mar. 31), when a child of village outcasts disappears from Salisbury, Ela travels to London determined to find her—and to convince King Henry III to make her High Sheriff of Wiltshire.

In Daniel Greene’s Northern Blood (Rune Publishing LLC, Mar. 31), book 3 in the Northern Wolf Series and set during the US Civil War, Wolf embarks on a dangerous mission behind enemy lines to set J. E. B. Stuart, the Knight of the Golden Spurs, off-kilter and force him on to the battlefield.

Christine Bell’s debut novel No Small Shame (Ventura Press, Apr. 1), set during the years spanning WWI, is the story of a young Catholic immigrant torn between love and duty at a time when there were high expectations but little agency for women.

The Silken Rose by Carol McGrath (Headline Group, Apr. 2) is biographical fiction about Ailenor of Provence, cultured and intelligent, who is only thirteen when she marries Henry III of England; aware of the desperate importance of providing heirs to secure the throne from those who would snatch it away, she is ruthless in her dealings with Henry’s barons.

Mercies of the Fallen, the second book in Eileen Charbonneau‘s American Civil War Brides series (BWL, Apr.), features plantation heiress Ursula Kingsley, who is content with her secluded life in a convent until the bloodiest day of the Civil War brings blinded Irish immigrant Union soldier Rowan Buckley into her life.

Gilbert Lewthwaite’s The Sweetest Deal of the American Revolution (PublishNation, Apr. 23) delves into the American enterprise, British stoicism and French self-interest behind what literally was the sweetest deal – the extraordinary exchange of the entire 1782 sugar harvest of the tropical island of St. Kitts for the freedom of a captured American privateer, Stewart Dean – as the revolution that began with the Boston Tea Party ended with a decisive fight over the Caribbean sugar bowl.

In Ken Czech’s The Tsar’s Locket (Fireship Press, April 30), Tsar Ivan the Terrible craves an English bride and disgraced sea captain Julian Blunt is tasked by Queen Elizabeth with carrying a top-secret betrothal locket to Russia.

Based on an unexplored slice of World War II history, Exile Music by Jennifer Steil (Viking, May 5) is the captivating story of a young Jewish girl whose family flees refined and urbane Vienna for safe harbor in the mountains of Bolivia.

Edgar Allan Poe and C. Auguste Dupin, in Karen Lee Street’s Edgar Allan Poe and the Empire of the Dead (Pegasus/US and Point Blank/UK, May 5), are lured into a deadly cat and mouse chase through the notorious streets and tunnels of 1849 Paris by the criminal who ruined the Dupin family in a mystery involving alchemy, mesmerism and magic, the shadows of the past and the endurance of love.

The Talking Drum by Lisa Braxton (Inanna Publications, May 30) is about three young couples in the early 1970s and how they’re affected when plans are underway for an urban redevelopment project to take over an immigrant neighborhood with the goal of gentrification.

Alice Poon’s Tales of Ming Courtesans (Earnshaw Books, Jun. 1) is a heart-rending account of three ill-fated but spirited 17th-century courtesans’ gritty fight for survival, dignity and hope, steeped in the late-Ming era’s arts and culture scene.

Former HNR reviews editor Tracey Warr’s Conquest: The Anarchy (Impress, Jun.2), third in her gripping Conquest trilogy about the 12th-century Welsh princess Nest ferch Rhys, opens in the year 1121, as Nest becomes embroiled in the Welsh resistance against the Norman occupation of her family lands; she pays a visit to England’s King Henry, hoping to secure a life away from her unwanted husband, the Norman constable of Cardigan Castle.

In Gilded Dreams: The Journey to Suffrage (Magnum Opus/Next Chapter Publishing, Jun. 16), the sequel to her international bestselling Gilded Summers, Donna Russo Morin has penned the triumphs and the tribulations of the last eight years of the suffrage movement, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of American women gaining the right to vote.

Taken captive, abandoned on the prairie, left for dead…their paths diverge, but the five women who survive the attack on the Lake Shetek settlement share a determination to live; each emerges more powerful than she imagined herself to be (based on historical events) in Pamela Nowak’s Never Let Go: Survival of the Lake Shetek Women (Five Star Frontier Fiction, Jul. 22).

In The Aloha Spirit by Linda Ulleseit (She Writes Press, Aug. 18), married at sixteen and the mother of two by nineteen, Dolores’s quest to find the aloha spirit within herself—and to escape the abuse of her alcoholic husband—leads her to flee Hawaii after the bombing of Pearl Harbor for California, where she seeks to make a new life for herself.. but her past isn’t so easily left behind.

In A Feigned Madness, Tonya Mitchell’s debut novel (Cynren Press, Oct. 6), in order to be hired by a leading newspaper in 1887 New York City, a young woman goes undercover in an insane asylum to expose its atrocities.

Tara Lynn Masih‘s collaborative novelette, The Bitter Kind, written with Irish author James Claffey (Cervena Barva Press, Oct), deftly alternates between Stela, the daughter of a ship’s captain, burdened by her family secrets, and Brandy, a Chippewa orphan, haunted by ghost wolves and spirits.


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