HISTORICAL FICTION

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Wake Not the Hangman
By Deborah Leigh

Fifteen-year-old Thornton Guthrie works his father's land at gunpoint. The year is 1834, and men of the establishment have total control over their kin. Escaping is out of the question. Estranged from his abused mother, Thornton lives in isolation. That changes when Thornton's father buys three slaves, William, Ronan, and Henry. Thornton loathes slavery and realizes that for the first time in fifteen years, his father—and his father's rifle—are outnumbered. Thornton dreams of joining forces with the men to plot an escape, but as the slave-owner's son, he must convince the men he is on their side. He discovers he has something unexpected in common with thirty-six-year-old William and hazards a dangerous initial contact. Thornton's bravery sets in motion an audacious escape plan that, through a deadly turn of events, becomes a race against the clock further complicated by a crafty interloper on Guthrie Farms, Thornton's ill-timed first romance, and the lethal secret of one of the captives.

"...thrilling.... Engaging from the start, Leigh pushes the story forward with exciting  force, particularly with her crisp, clean sentences that shine with  vivid detail.... Heartbreaking, nerve-wracking...a deeply satisfying novel."
    ~  San Francisco Book Review

London, 1883. Actress Lizzie Dixie drowned in the River Thames, so how was she murdered five years later in Highgate Cemetery? Intrepid Fleet Street reporter Penny Green was a friend of Lizzie’s and Scotland Yard needs her help. Does Penny unwittingly hold clues to Lizzie’s mysterious death? Penny must work with Inspector James Blakely to investigate the worlds of theatre, showmen and politicians in search of the truth. But who is following her? And who is sending her threatening letters? Penny is about to discover that Lizzie’s life was more complicated, and dangerous, than she could ever have imagined.


A Bitter Rain
By James D. Shipman

East Prussia, Nazi Germany, 1939. History professor Erik Mueller is a model citizen and a family man. He’s also a decorated sergeant in the Gestapo. Proving his courage on the battlefields of Poland and the Soviet Union, and proud of the German army’s victories across Europe, he embraces what he thinks is the righteousness of the Third Reich’s cause. But his loyalties are soon tested when he crosses paths with his old university friend Trude Bensheim. Forced into unemployment for being Jewish, Trude and her husband start a secret organization to help Jews escape Germany. But when they are betrayed by someone they thought they could trust, their lives hang in the balance. Erik feels responsible for Trude’s capture, and he knows he’s in a position to help them. But when everything he holds dear is at stake, will he save his friends…or himself?


In post-Civil War New York City, sixteen-year-old Aislynn Denehy cannot find a job, she has no place to live and no family to help her. Some might think this is a problem; Aislynn believes it is an opportunity, but she has a lot to learn. No formulaic romance, this well-researched love story depicts life as it truly was for the thousands of women who went west reaching for a new life. Aislynn's journey begins in a New York City tenement and leads her across the frontier to a Utah mining camp where she must cope with the three very different men in her life: smart, solicitous Tim, good-natured, good-guy Johnny and the intense but intriguing Liam Moran. Life in the roughshod camp brings small joys and devastating losses. The novel races through authentic experiences involving historical events until it erupts in an unexpected ending. In today's troubled world, Far Away Home will make you believe no matter how many challenges fate sends your way, the human spirit can triumph.

Enhanced Edition with a bonus introduction to the newly released sequel, Embrace the Wind

A charming Irish bus driver. A group of disparate American tourists. One life changing week. During a routine tour of Ireland, tour guide Conor O’Shea finds himself on a journey of his own through the lives of his hilarious companions as together they navigate both the Irish countryside and the secrets of their individual lives. A Wall Street banker, a divorcee, a musician, a cop, and a professor all enter Ireland with something on their minds, and throughout their journey with Conor as their guide, they each begin to show something of themselves against the spectacular backdrop of Ireland. As colorful and turbulent as the wild Atlantic coast, The Tour offers more than just a look at one of the world’s most beautiful places, but contrasts Ireland’s open skyways and idyllic views against the secret lives of the individual. Witty, informative, and with a touch of romance, The Tour offers a unique look at the lives of others amidst the Emerald Isle.


The Whiskey Sea
By Ann Howard Creel

Motherless and destitute, Frieda Hope is determined to make a better life for herself and her sister, Bea. The girls are taken in by a kindly fisherman named Silver, and Frieda begins to feel at home on the water. When Silver sells his fishing boat to WWI veteran Sam Hicks, thinking Sam would be a fine husband for Frieda, she’s outraged. But Frieda manages to talk Sam into teaching her to repair boat engines instead, so she has a trade of her own and won’t have to marry. Frieda quickly discovers that a mechanic’s wages won’t support Bea and Silver, and is lured into a money-making team of rumrunners supplying alcohol to New York City speakeasies. Speeding into dangerous waters to transport illegal liquor, Frieda gets swept up in the lucrative, risky work—and swept off her feet by a handsome Ivy Leaguer who’s in it just for fun. As danger mounts and her own feelings threaten to drown her, can Frieda find her way back to solid ground—and to a love that will sustain her?

"The Whiskey Sea is an entertaining look at the free-wheeling whiskey runner’s world through the eyes of a tough, resourceful young woman. Ms. Creel presents her readers with a fast-paced, vivid adventure..."
    ~  Historical Novel Society

"No land. No father. No brother. No son." When his father is murdered and his brother betrays him to steal his birthright as Jarl of Grenner, Ulfrik Ormsson finds himself adrift on a sea of vengeance and corruption. Aided only by a beautiful slave, a smiling warrior, and a group of blood-lusting berserkers, he must wrest back his homelands by force and face the most difficult decision of all to even the scales of justice and honor.


France, 1940. The German army has marched into Paris. Three siblings, three very different people leading very different lives, find themselves face to face with new occupants of their city, and none of them can guess what the occupation has in store for them, and how it will change their lives once and for all. Giselle Legrand, a renowned novelist and a socialite, encounters an unannounced guest in her apartment – a newly arrived chief of the Gestapo, Sturmbannführer Dr. Karl Wünsche, who is intended to billet there and who soon starts making rather unwelcome changes in Giselle’s lifestyle. Kamille Blanchard, a new widow of the war left alone with a small daughter, is dreading the approaching army. However, she never expected that she could find love in the arms of an officer, who appears at her door as soon as the German army marches in. Marcel Legrand, a former history student and a deserter, fearing the capture by the Germans has no other choice than ask for the help from the ones he used to fear and avoid – the mysterious communists, who call for an uprising and freeing their country from the Nazi plague.
Soon, the fates of all three siblings will become intertwined in a dangerous knot, all of them, fighting for the same goal: a liberated France.


In war torn London, 1941, fourteen-year-old Ruth Goldberg and her two younger siblings, Gabi and Hannah, survive the terrifying bombing of their family home. They believe their parents are dead, their bodies buried underneath the burnt remains – but unbeknownst to them, their father, Joe, survives and is taken to hospital with amnesia. Four years on, Ruth stumbles across a newspaper photo of a celebrated pianist and is struck by the resemblance to her father. Desperate for evidence she sends him a letter, and as the pianist’s dormant memories emerge, his past unravels, revealing his true identity – as her beloved father, Joe. Ruth sets out to meet him, only to find herself plunged into an aristocratic world of sinister dark secrets. Can she help him escape and find a way to stay alive?


Love in Exile
By Ayşe Kulin

Sabahat, a beautiful young Muslim woman, is known in her family for her intelligence, drive, and stubbornness. She convinces her parents to let her pursue her education, rare for young Turkish women in the 1920s. But no one—least of all Sabahat herself—expects that in the course of her studies she will fall for a handsome Armenian student named Aram. After precious moments alone together, their love begins to blossom. Try as she might to simplify her life and move on, Sabahat has no choice but to follow her heart’s desire. But Aram is Christian, and neither family approves. With only hope to guide their way, they defy age-old traditions, cross into dangerous territory, and risk everything to find their way back to each other.

The bestselling author of Last Train to Istanbul returns with a tale of love defying all boundaries.

When Elizabeth Morton's father asks her to travel to the other side of the world to marry a complete stranger, she thinks he's lost his mind. It's 1920 and a woman has rights. But her choices are removed when she is raped by her brother-in-law and thrown out of her own home by her sister. When Michael Winterbourne wakes with a hangover after his engagement celebrations, he is about to be the cause of a terrible tragedy that will destroy his family, turn his life upside down and catapult him into leaving England. Elizabeth, born into a prosperous family, and Michael, a miner, come from different worlds. They would never have met but the SS Historic, bound for Sydney, is a ship with only one class. Falling in love should have been the end to all their troubles. But fate and the mysterious Jack Kidd make sure it's only the beginning.


In this savage saga of love, war, lust, and magic set in the tenth century, young Sigrid is destined to be the mother of the king of the Nordic lands that would become Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and England. A devout believer in the old Nordic gods, Sigrid is visited regularly in her dreams by the goddess Freya, who whispers to her of the future. Though Sigrid is beautiful, rich, arrogant, and matchlessly clever, her uncanny ability to foresee the future and manipulate the present guides her through dangerous politics as a bloody war between Vikings and Christians rages on. Sigrid’s father wants her to marry Erik, a local king, to secure the peace between the Goths and the Swedes. Thinking she is doing Freya’s will, she accepts the marriage offer, only to find that her destiny lies not with Erik but with Sweyn, a warrior who dreams of dethroning Harald Bluetooth, the legendary ruler of Denmark. Will Sigrid sacrifice her will for the greatest Viking kingdom of all time, or will she follow her heart at the risk of losing everything?

"Hildebrandt’s meticulously crafted world and three-dimensional characters coalesce to form an absorbing read.... It will satisfy Game of Thrones fans with its spellbinding, well-paced narrative involving rich mythology and political intrigue."
    ~  Historical Novel Society

At the height of the Golden Age of Piracy, a young woman from London vows bloody revenge against the ruthless pirates who have murdered her husband and taken her captive. Katherine Lindsay, the pampered young wife of a wealthy ship captain, has left her leisurely life in London to accompany her husband to America. So far their journey has been uneventful, even boring. But when pirates suddenly storm the ship to plunder her husband's riches, Katherine is one of the treasures they steal, sparking a bloody chain of events that will alter the course of piracy in the Caribbean forever. Pirate lovers will find no shortage of treachery, cutlass duels, ship battles, buried treasure and much, much more.


Whisper of the Moon Moth
By Lindsay Jayne Ashford

For nineteen-year-old Estelle Thompson, going to the cinema is more than a way to pass the time…it’s a way out. In 1931 in Calcutta, Anglo-Indian girls like Estelle are considered half-breeds, shunned by both English and Indian society. Her only escape is through the silver screen, where she can forget the world around her. When Estelle catches the eye of a dashing American heir with connections to a major motion-picture studio, he also captures her heart. Soon, Estelle has a one-way ticket to London and a recommendation for a screen test. To get to the top, she must keep her Indian heritage concealed—and so begins her new identity as movie goddess Merle Oberon. But just as her dreams are poised to come true, she discovers that her own family is keeping a much more shocking secret from her—one that changes everything she’s believed about her past.


The Great Passage
By Shion Miura

Inspired as a boy by the multiple meanings to be found for a single word in the dictionary, Kohei Araki is devoted to the notion that a dictionary is a boat to carry us across the sea of words. But after thirty-seven years creating them at Gembu Books, it’s time for him to retire and find his replacement. He discovers a kindred spirit in Mitsuya Majime—a young, disheveled square peg with a penchant for collecting antiquarian books and a background in linguistics—whom he swipes from his company’s sales department. Led by his new mentor and joined by an energetic, if reluctant, new recruit and an elder linguistics scholar, Majime is tasked with a career-defining accomplishment: completing The Great Passage, a comprehensive 2,900-page tome of the Japanese language. On his journey, Majime discovers friendship, romance, and an incredible dedication to his work, inspired by the bond that connects us all: words.

"Swirling with witty enchantment, The Great Passage proves to be, well, utterly great. Readers should be advised to get ready to sigh with delighted satisfaction and awe-inspiring admiration."
    ~  Booklist

The heroine of this powerful novel, often considered James’s greatest work, is the spirited young American Isabel Archer. Blessed by nature and fortune, she journeys to Europe to seek the full realization of her potential—or in modern terms, “to find herself”—but what awaits her there may prove to be her undoing. During her journey, wooers vie for her attentions, including an English aristocrat, a perfect American gentleman, and a sensitive expatriate. But it is only after the ingenue falls prey to the schemes of an infinitely sophisticated older woman that her life takes on its true form. With its brilliant interplay of tensions and characters, The Portrait of a Lady is a timeless and essential American novel.