Deeply moving and illuminating, Trouble the Water reveals the little-known real-life story of Robert Smalls. Born enslaved before the Civil War, Smalls witnesses great privilege and immense suffering alongside his owner's daughter and the dangerous son of a firebrand secessionist. When he's only twelve, he's put to work in Charleston, where he loads ships and learns to pilot a cotton steamer. When the war erupts and his cotton steamer becomes a confederate warship, Robert attempts a harrowing escape to freedom for himself and the people he loves.
Winner Fiction: Multicultural 2021 Best Book Awards
Finalist Fiction: Historical 2021 Best Book Awards
Pennsylvania, 1971: Graham Davidson is a young man with survivor’s guilt after the death of three siblings.
Estranged from his father and seeking a direction in his life, Graham learns about vision quests from a Crow Indian. He secures seasonal employment in Yellowstone National Park and embarks on a spiritual journey.
Wyoming Territory, 1871: Under a full moon at a sacred thermal area, Graham finds himself in Yellowstone a century earlier - one year before it was established as a national park. He joins the Hayden Expedition which was commissioned to explore the region.
Although a military escort provides protection for the explorers, the cavalry’s notorious lieutenant threatens Graham. His perilous journey through the future park is marred by a horrific tragedy in a geyser basin, a grizzly bear attack, and an encounter with hostile Blackfeet Indians.
Inspired by True Crimes. A black man was murdered in my hometown in the 1920s, and my Great-great-grandfather allowed him to be buried on our farm.
When Danny Jackson says the “N-word” on his fifth birthday his granny tells him their family doesn’t use that word, though Danny’s learned it from his father. There’s a mysterious grave in their woods and all he’s ever heard it called was “the N-word Grave.” Thus begins a family saga and coming of age story, as an Appalachian grandmother tries to change her family’s worldview regarding race relations.
But can Danny overcome a cruel, abusive rural Appalachian upbringing steeped in racism; and, will he help a black man solve the decades-old murder of the back man’s Great-grandfather?
Fred went from having it all-the girl, the car, the mansion-to being on the street. After being taken in by a kindly priest, he is diagnosed with cancer and begins to question what's left for him to live for. Nearly falling off the wagon, he is shocked and inspired while watching a modern-day Secret Santa on a TV news broadcast in the bar. Soon he begins to emulate the real Saint by secretly giving to those in need. Along the way he teams up with a band of "misfit-toy" compatriots who each question what life has in store for them. Fred's story parallels the historic Saint Nikolas of Myra.
Told in first person, we learn of then Nicholas's friendship with an avowed pagan, the loss of his parents at an early age, and his being taken in by an ordained uncle. We follow his life and rise in an outlawed Church, the hardships and fears he had to endure, the communities he created, and his eventual service to the emperor, Constantine. Woven together like a fine tapestry, Fred and Nikolas's stories inspire everyone to remember that the best ways to live are through kindness, community, and good deeds-showing that the more things change the more they stay the same.
Hired to investigate the murder of an 84-year-old widow, P.I. Joe Coopersmith hits one dead end after another in his search for leads. With few clues and no suspects, he nearly gives up, until he uncovers a connection to a bizarre plot to kill the descendants of Irish soldiers who fought for Mexico during the Mexican-American War. Known as San Patricios, they belonged to the St. Patrick’s Battalion, an elite Mexican unit composed mostly of Irish Immigrants. When someone threatens Coopersmith’s life, he knows he’s on the right track. Undeterred, he digs deeper into the plot, soon learning the identity of the man behind it and his warped motive for the cold-blooded murder of the elderly widow.
In the third installment of the international award-winning series by John Layne comes a story that reunites the justice-seeking duo of Luxton Danner and Wes Payne for their toughest test yet.
A ruthless land baron with visions of turning a quiet settlement into a raucous boomtown besieges the peaceful town of Canyon Creek. Gilford Knox set his sights on devouring every inch of land in and near Canyon Creek, employing threats and violent tactics to force out vulnerable ranchers, farmers, and proprietors. Soon, Knox held businesses occupy half the town as he pressures the remaining proprietors to sell or suffer the consequences.
When Knox builds a rowdy saloon, mercantile, hotel, and bawdy house, an old friend summons Danner and Payne, who bring their gunslinging brand of justice to quell Knox and his renegades. Joined by a quartet of former Buffalo Soldiers, a gun-toting farm girl, and a mysterious young gunfighter, Danner and Payne set out to do what they do best, defend Canyon Creek or die trying.
SPINNAKER is a thrilling tale of romance, weaving fiction, and fact in an intriguing mystery, adding drama and suspense while intertwining espionage within the characters' lives. Chapter after chapter you will join in on incredible and bizarre events and follow a passionate love affair along with grim details of murder and revenge.
As the story unfolds in 1943 war-torn Germany, the plot takes many unexpected turns with unpredictable suspense. Joyful surprises with unparalleled sadness and glorified fulfillment await, coupled with bone chilling and harrowing twists.
A squadron of B17 bombers are dispatched to participate in the first American bombing raid into war-torn Germany. Twenty-one-year-old Karl Schellenberg is piloting the lead scout aircraft ahead of the initial wave. His mission is to keep a lookout for the Luftwaffe's counterattack. A strange phenomenon of light in the night sky causes him to become disoriented. His aircraft suffers catastrophic mechanical failure. Karl ejects and deploys his parachute. Moments later, his parachute fails, he plummets helplessly to the ground.
Lynden Hoover is on the brink of a new beginning with a fast-growing tech company, but he first needs to confront the traumas of his past. At age eleven Lynden found a surrogate father in the form of a hobo riding a train, the Tramp, who abused and discarded Lynden. The memory of the Tramp has haunted Lynden's life, ruining his relationships. Now Lynden makes a snap decision, leaping into an open boxcar to find the Tramp and somehow punish him.
There Lynden meets The Duke, a hobo who calls America’s landscape his home. He’s “Profesh” and clings to an honor code quickly fading into the past. The Duke has his own secrets, fleeing from the merciless Short Arm, a one-time friend who now wants The Duke dead. The Duke reluctantly agrees to teach Lynden how to be a Professional hobo, all while trying to stay ahead of the relentless Short Arm.
When WWII ends, Bruce Duncan, a battlefront surgeon, returns home to a small town in Pennsylvania with plans of opening a general practice, fly fishing in his spare time, and forgetting the past. But the ravages of his war aren’t over. Haunted by images of soldiers he tried to save, his own near-death experiences, and the love he lost, Bruce has little respite before new battles grip him. His brother, a decorated fighter pilot, is sinking fast and rebels against Bruce’s attempts to help him. A former friend begins waging a vicious campaign to stop Bruce from uncovering the dangers that could shutter a local industry. And amid all this turmoil, he must decide between the slim prospect of reuniting with his former love—an Englishwoman who chose her family over him—and an ill-fated attraction to a trail-blazing woman doctor.
A gripping account of survival in America's earliest settlement, Jamestown, Virginia.
Virginia, 1622. Powhatan warriors prepare war paint from the sacred juice of the bloodroot plant, but Nehiegh, The English son-in-law of Chief Ochawintan has sworn never to kill again. He must leave before the massacre.
England 1609. Matthew did not trust his friend, Richard's stories of Paradise in the Jamestown settlement, but nothing could have equipped him for the violence and privation that awaited him in this savage land.
Set during the 13th century, Edge of Armageddon isthe stirring climax in the Brotherhood of the Mamluks trilogy. The story brings together characters from Books 1 and 2: Duyal, the enslaved nomad boy who rose to command a reconnaissance unit; Leander, the French soldier who abandoned the Crusades to join the devout Islamic warriors he admired; and Baybars, a Kipchak from the Eurasian steppe who is now the charismatic leader of the elite Bahri Mamluks of Egypt.
The novel introduces us to Esel, a respected bowmaker in her nomadic tribe who is seized, enslaved, and sold to a wealthy arms merchant in Syria. Overhearing her master plotting against Baybars, a nephew she has not seen since his adolescence, Esel risks her life to flee Damascus and warn Baybars of the coming betrayal.
Set in 1884, Hell on the Border tells the story of Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves at the peak of his historic career. Famous for being a crack shot as well as for his nonviolent tendencies, Reeves uses his African American race to his strategic advantage. Along with a tramp or cowboy disguise, Reeves appears so nonthreatening that he often positions himself close enough to the outlaws he is pursuing to arrest them without bloodshed.
After a series of heroic feats of capturing and killing infamous outlaws--most notably Jim Webb--and an introduction to Belle Starr, Reeves finds himself in the Fort Smith jail, charged with murder. This second book in the Bass Reeves Trilogy investigates what really happened when Reeves made the greatest mistake of his life on the heels of his greatest achievements.
In rural western Pennsylvania in 1857, the pressing matters of the day—slavery, abolition, states’ rights and bleeding Kansas—can seem faraway and irrelevant. In fact, the issue of most concern to a few of the doctors in Hartsgrove is the illegality of the use of human cadavers for medical dissection, an inconvenience which forces them to their own, criminal devices—the digging up, or “resurrection,” of a specimen on their own. In the nearby Negro settlement of Little Brier, meanwhile, current concerns have taken on a more immediate aspect, as several of the free Blacks there have become involved in the Underground Railroad. When the most active among them, a bootmaker by the name of Fudge Van Pelt, dies under mysterious circumstances and his body just happens to be the one resurrected by the doctors, the lives of the two communities begin to merge in strange and dangerous ways. When a young, white school mistress is found hanged, and a little girl’s body is missing from her grave, the mysteries only deepen.
A Ukrainian rebel. Three generations of women bearing the consequences. A journey that changes everything.
When Ivanna opens the door to uniformed officers, her tranquil life is torn to pieces - leaving behind a broken woman who must learn to endure cold, starvation, and the memories of a man who died in the quintessential act of betrayal. Using her thrift, ingenuity, and a bit of luck, she finds a way to survive in Soviet Ukraine, along with her daughter, Yevtsye. But the question remains, will she be strong enough to withstand her daughter’s deceit and the eventual downfall of the nation she has devoted her life to? Or will the memories of her late husband act as a shadow haunting everyone and everything she loves, including Ionna, the granddaughter that never knew him?
Thomas Broune is a Reformer and childhood friend of the young queen, Mary Stuart. When Mary embarks on a new life in her estranged homeland of Scotland, Thomas is there to greet her and offer his renewed friendship. But the long-time friends grow closer, and Thomas realizes his innocent friendship has grown into something more. Yet he is a man of the cloth. Mary is the queen of the Scots. Both of them have obligations of an overwhelming magnitude; he to his conscience and she to her throne.
An unlikely trio of retirees try to solve a man’s death, his strange will, and the 250-year-old colonial period mystery of the controversial and long-vanished First American Declaration of Independence, actions which–if successful–will change United States history. That is, if they don’t die trying.
t’s modern day in the New South City of Charlotte, North Carolina, when three retirees at the Independence Retirement Community, a/k/a The Indie, team up to solve two mysteries related to the death of a 96-year-old resident. Why was his manuscript about the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence missing when they found his body? And why did his handwritten will dated the day he died disinherit his beloved granddaughter (his only heir), and leave his $50 million fortune to Sue Ellen Parker, the most despised resident at the Indie?
In 1882, Charles "Gunner" Morgan, 17, shipped out from New Orleans as a 3rd class apprentice seaman, Navy No. 817. Becoming a Navy team baseball player, he knew the "greats" in American baseball. In 1898, he led the dive team pulling bodies from the USS Maine disaster, reported to President Theodore Roosevelt (then assistant secretary of the Navy), and became "The Man Who Started the Spanish-American War."
Known also as "The Man Behind the Gun" for his shooting prowess, he was among the first enlisted men promoted to officer. He taught the Japanese how to fire the big guns in the Russo-Japanese War. He survived working in Thomas Edison's Navy lab at Key West.
Yet, he found time for love. He met Vivian, the sugar king of Havana's daughter, married and pregnant -- both situations temporary. She became his soul's safe harbor.
Philip Zumwalt is an accomplished musician, poet, and idealist—a dreamer. Fresh out of college in 1940, he takes a job as a music teacher in a small, rural Illinois town. His plan is to teach for a few years hoping to save enough money to finance his dreams: go to Chicago to become a professional musician and get his pilot’s license. These dreams dominate his thoughts until one summer night when he meets Elinor Robinson.
Philip and Elinor’s forbidden romance—and the specter of war hanging over the country—put Philip’s dreams on hold. When he enlists in the Army Air Force, the gifted artist goes on an unpredictable journey of lost innocence. Life and death hang in the balance as he overcomes his fears and spiritual doubts in a desperate effort to survive aerial combat in the maelstrom of the Southwest Pacific Theater. In the end, a single dream remains for Philip: to return home to the woman he loves.
"The Fabian Waltz" is a witty romance set against the backdrop of late Victorian London, where poverty is all but ignored. Playwright George Bernard Shaw's life and work are upended by a challenging woman he cannot win. Shaw and his fellow Fabians fight for social justice and discover love along the way.
George Bernard Shaw, the Don Juan of London's progressive Fabian Society, finds himself attracted to an Irish millionairess: Charlotte Payne-Townshend. Shaw's best friend and fellow Fabian is Sidney Webb, a romantic Cockney intellectual. Webb pursues a beautiful social reformer named Beatrice Potter. Potter put aside the comforts of her upper-class life to go undercover in the city's sweatshops to expose the meager wages and horrid working conditions of the urban poor.
Catherine Williams earns her living shucking oysters in a filthy, mosquito-infested shed, like all Geechee women in Pin Point, Georgia, in 1904. Even though she graduates eighth grade and yearns to escape, none of the men whose children she bears can help her.
Prohibition becomes law, and rum-running gangs invade the deserted sea islands, bribing the sheriff and the mayor of nearby Savannah, who promise unheard-of sums of money to the impoverished Geechees to do their dirty work, and who lure Catherine’s son Willie into the business.
La Rochelle France, 1661. Fierce Protestant Isabelle is desperate to escape persecution by the Catholic King. Isabelle is tortured and harassed, her people forced to convert to the religion that rules the land. She risks her life by helping her fellow Protestants, which is forbidden by the powers of France. She accepts her fate - until she meets a handsome Catholic soldier who makes her question everything.
She fights off an attack by a nobleman, and the only way to save herself is to flee to the colony of Canada as a Daughter of the King. She can have money, protection and a new life - if she adopts the religion she's spent a lifetime fighting. She must leave her homeland and the promises of her past. In the wild land of Canada, Isabelle finds that her search for love and faith has just begun.
Will Sam purge his guilty conscience before it’s too late? Will he atone for his offenses and find solace in the final countdown?
Sam Fox spent his whole life running against the hands of time. He is now racing to set the record straight about secrets he and Hannah, his wife of 65 years, have been harboring from their children and each other.
Hands of Gold, loosely based on real events, follows Sam on a journey that takes him from war-torn Europe at the turn of the 20th century, through the Great Depression and labor union reforms in America. Determined to make a lasting mark in his new homeland, Sam faces many hardships, not the least of which includes contracting tuberculosis, but he refuses to let this deter him from his ambitions. During a seemingly mundane workday, he shields 200 coworkers from a disgruntled gun-wielding employee. His actions saved the lives of many, making his escape from the notorious Auschwitz concentration camp – wherein his family suffered a deadly fate – a destined event.
Alexandria, Egypt, 34 BC. Marcus Bassus dreams of a life of intellectual pursuits. Entrusted by his missing mentor with the enigmatic scrolls of Archimedes, he resolves to prove his worth by decoding the complex documents on his own. But when a close friend betrays him and steals one of the scrolls, Marcus vows to prevent its secrets from falling into the corrupt hands of Roman Consul Octavian.
Devastated when the Romans assassinate his father, but aided by the smart and alluring linguist, Electra, Marcus works furiously to recover the lost treasure. And after learning Octavian plans to use the ill-gotten information to construct the ultimate weapon against Antony and Cleopatra, he realizes he is Egypt’s only hope.
Marcus crosses desert sands and turbulent seas in a quest to build a counter-weapon in time to stave off Roman conquest.
The epic saga of Threads West, An American Saga begins in 1854 with the first of five, richly textured, complex generations of unforgettable, multicultural characters. The separate lives of these driven men and independent women are drawn to a common destiny that beckons seductively from the wild and remote flanks of the American West. Swept into the dangerous currents of the far-distant frontier by the mysterious rivers of fate, the power of the land and the American spirit, their journeys are turbulent quests intertwined with romance and adversity, passions and pathos, despair and triumph.
Art history student Darcey Mendes needs a new topic for her thesis in order to graduate, but time is against her. Family debts are pressing. She fears she must give up all hopes of an academic career. Yet, without her degree, would she earn enough to provide for her secret daughter's future? Archie Northwood, rich and from a privileged family, suddenly reappears in her life to offer the chance that could save her--the story of his Brazilian great-grandmother. His ancestor was Modernist painter Ana Eça, who, on the verge of stardom in the 1920s, mysteriously vanished from public view forever. Choosing to unveil Ana's story is a complicated proposition for them both. How will they be able to work together to resolve the decades-old mystery when Darcey cannot allow Archie to guess her secret?
Two women, one ancient Egyptian harem, and the daring decision that changed the course of history.
In the opulent court of Egypt’s tenth dynasty, Princess Hagar has always known her destiny. One day, she will marry the Crown Prince Merikare and become the Great Royal Wife, the most powerful woman in Egypt. But dark dreams afflict Hagar the moment she hears of the latest addition to Pharaoh’s harem: the stunning, iridescent Sumerian, Sarai. Princess Hagar feels a powerful presence around the Sumerian woman. Hagar suspects Sarai has brought black magic into the palace—but what can she do to convince Pharaoh?
The intrigue of Pharaoh’s court pales in comparison to that swirling in the Royal House of Women among the wives, children, and concubines of the king. Sarai’s arrival upsets the already precarious balance. Loyalties divide, and betrayal, jealousy, and tragedy plague the once peaceful household. When a series of disasters befalls Egypt, Hagar must make a daring decision, and the stakes could not be higher. She could lose everything—her position, her power, her family, and even her life.
Avonvale is a compelling historical romance novel that follows a young Irish couple who emigrate to America for different reasons than most who followed that path. The story is set in Northern Ireland in the early 1900s.
The main characters, Tom and Mary, build a life together. Their story traverses across accepted norms, values and stereotypes as they make their way to an American life for themselves, their family and all who cross their path. The saga begins in the midst of family turmoil.
Their engaging journey reaches Avonvale, a prestigious horse breeding and equestrian estate. These indelible protagonists travel through transformative years featuring continuous challenges, successes, heartbreaks, courage and love.
The tension of an ongoing mystery, along with three generations of finely crafted multi-layered characters, invite you to keep turning the pages. Their eternal love triumphs over all.
Finalist Fiction: Historical 2021 Best Book Awards
As war overtakes the frontier, Emma’s family farmstead is attacked by Dakota-Sioux warriors; on that same prairie, Oenikika desperately tries to hold on to her calling as a healer and follow the orders of her father, Chief Little Crow. When the war is over and revenge-fueled war trials begin, each young woman is faced with an impossible choice. In a swiftly changing world, both Emma and Oenikika must look deep within and fight for the truth of their convictions—even as horror and injustice unfolds all around them.
Inspired by the true story of the thirty-eight Dakota-Sioux men hanged in Minnesota in 1862—the largest mass execution in US history—Dovetails in Tall Grass is a powerful tale of two young women connected by the fate of one man.
Finalist Fiction: Historical 2021 Best Book Awards
A shameful past. A vow to her dead husband. A sinister plot to destroy all she's come to love.
Spain, 1526. Sister Ernestine is desperate for redemption. Wracked with guilt over having tragically caused her spouse's execution, the newly minted nun arrives at St. Francis Abbey to fulfill a promise to deliver secret documents to the brother of her dead husband. But after discovering she has to wait several months for him to return, she fears being stuck in the middle of a region terrorized by the Inquisition.
Pulled into intrigues of the devout community and its residents, Sister Ernestine discovers a French spy has tracked her down, intent on stealing the plans that would alter the European balance of power. And as her old enemy closes in, she must protect the world-changing information from falling into the wrong hands... and survive the rising threat within the abbey's sacred walls.
Finalist Fiction: Historical 2021 Best Book Awards
“I dreamt of Noah last night. He was going to ask me to marry him …”
A rose-covered grave, seventy-nine letters, and a scribbled note unearth buried emotions and the timeless beauty of first love.
When Caroline Myers discovers a box of letters in her deceased mother’s trunk, she’s captivated by the romance that unfolds between her mother, Emma Rose Walsh, a nineteen-year-old waitress, and Noah Anderson, a handsome young soldier.
Determined to read between the lines, Caroline and her sister, Kate, set out on a search that leads them to the North Carolina foothills and the padlocked gate of the Anderson family cemetery. Will the one who holds the key keep them from unearthing long-buried secrets and fulfilling a request their mother tucked inside the box sixty-four years earlier? Will they find closure—or encounter a surprising revelation that plunges them deeper into the past?
Finalist Fiction: Historical 2021 Best Book Awards
It’s 1909, and Teddy Roosevelt is not only hunting in Africa, he’s being hunted. The safari is a time of discovery, both personal and political. While leading two hundred and sixty-four men on foot through the savannas, jungles, and semi-deserts of East and Central Africa, Roosevelt encounters Sudanese slave traders, Belgian colonial atrocities, and German preparations for war. He reconnects with a childhood sweetheart, Maggie, now a globe-trotting newspaper reporter sent by William Randolph Hearst to chronicle safari adventures and uncover the former president’s future political plans. But J. P. Morgan, the most powerful private citizen of his era, wants Roosevelt out of politics permanently. Afraid that the trust-busting president’s return to power will be disastrous for American business, he plants a killer on the safari staff to arrange a fatal accident. Can Roosevelt’s vision for the future of America, Europe and Africa survive the machinations of his implacable enemy and one the world’s wealthiest men?
Finalist Fiction: Historical 2021 Best Book Awards
A marriage of convenience leads to a life of passion and purpose. A shared vision transforms the American landscape forever.
New York, 1858: Mary, a young widow with three children, agrees to marry her brother-in-law Frederick Law Olmsted, who is acting on his late brother's deathbed plea to "not let Mary suffer." But she craves more than a marriage of convenience and sets out to win her husband's love. Beginning with Central Park in New York City, Mary joins Fred on his quest to create a 'beating green heart' in the center of every urban space.
Over the next 40 years, Fred is inspired to create dozens of city parks, private estates and public spaces with Mary at his side. Based upon real people and true events, this is the story of Mary's journey and personal growth and the challenges inherent in loving a brilliant and ambitious man.