Tag Archives: Historical Fiction

#BlogTour – The Copper Witch by Jessica Dall – #HistFic #AmReading

It was getting dark by the time they turned to head home, and the festival was not winding down in the slightest. A large stack of wood had just finished being stacked and it seemed a row of bonfires was imminent. Adela checked over her shoulder, seeing bits of glowing in the distance. Who knew how long the festival would continue down in the valley.

“We should have left earlier.” Thomas stepped around a puddle. “We’re liable to step into a sinkhole at this rate.”

“You seem perfectly agile.” Adela smiled. “If anyone is going to get themselves stuck in mud it will be me. Luckily I’d have you to rescue me.”

“You’re so sure I would be able?” He smiled, helping her step around a puddle.

“I have complete faith,” she said. “I feel incredibly safe with you, Thomas. I’m sure the worst that would happen is that I’d lose a shoe to the mud.”

He laughed. “And I would do my best to even save that.”

“Shoes are replaceable,” she said. “Much more so than people. I’d prefer you forget my shoe and focus on me.”

“It would be impossible not to.”

She slowed, looking at him.

“What?” He frowned.

“You are probably the sweetest man I have ever had the pleasure to meet, Thomas. That or the man most skilled in flattery that I have ever met.”

“I’m not one to flatter when there’s no backing for it,” he said.

“You see?” She smiled. “I’m surprised I haven’t seen more women throwing themselves at you.”

“I believe your cousin frightens them away,” he mumbled.

“She can be a very frightening woman,” Adela answered, whether or not he was looking for one.

He cleared his throat. “Not that it seems to assuage you any.”

“Well, there’s not much she can do to me, Thomas,” Adela said. “Worse comes to worst, I’m sent back to Penrith. She can hardly excommunicate me.”

He caught her hand, turning to face her.

She looked up at him, eyes wide. “Is something wrong, Thomas?”

He looked at her.

She blinked. “What?”

He took her hand and held it in between both of his. “You are the most remarkable woman I have ever met, Miss Tilden.”

“Thank you,” she said with an easy smile. “But you’ve only known me a few days.”

“It feels much longer.”

“In a good way, I hope.”

“In the best of ways,” he said.

With not much else to say, she smiled.

He didn’t move to talk, didn’t move at all, just stood there holding her hand.

thecopperwitch

Adela Tilden has always been more ambitious than her station in life might allow. A minor nobleman’s daughter on a failing barony, Adela’s prospects seem dire outside of marrying well-off. When Adela catches the eye of the crown prince, Edward, however, well-off doesn’t seem to be a problem. Thrown into a world of politics and intrigue, Adela might have found all the excitement she ever wanted—if she can manage to leave her past behind.

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Genre – Alternate Historical Fiction

Rating – PG-13

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Connect with Jessica Dall on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://jessicadall.com/

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#BlogTour – Holderby’s Landing #Historical #Fiction by J. D. Ferguson

The glower leaves his face, and with the help of the drink, Philby manages a lopsided sneer for a smile. She may have given in too easily, and that would normally leave him suspicious, but he does not want confrontation but acquisition; and that he has. So be it. “Good, dearest, very good, then. I will make all travel arrangements. Shall we say three days hence? Good, good. I hear that Doctor Bent has an interest with their church. Perhaps he intends to be there also? I shall send him a note to the fact that you are going and he may wish to accompany. Traveling alone is so fraught with danger for…”

At the mention of Doctor Regis Bent, Leah allows her husband’s contrived monologue to fade into the background and the smiling countenance of the good doctor to capture her thoughts. It is with no small amount of self control, that Leah allows such day-dreaming without any outward sign of her quickly arousing state showing in her calm demeanor. Just the idea of traveling with Regis Bent leaves her almost breathless and with a pleasant but inconvenient warmth growing in her lower abdomen and between her legs. Out of the corner of her eye she watches her husband draining his glass with a relish. The room is getting much too warm, and her position much too uncomfortable. She rises from the chair and moves to the door, “Well, husband, I know you are busy, and if I am to leave in the next several days, I have much to do also. I had best be about my business.” She acts as if to leave then turns back in afterthought, “You may ask Doctor Bent if he intends to travel to the fundraiser, but, I dare say, he is much too busy to be worried about accompanying me and my schedule. Leave the poor man to his work and I will take care of myself, thank you.” She stands at the door with calm indifference.

“My dear, Doctor Bent has no greater concern than the tasks I might request of him. If I ask, he had best find time. You leave him to me.”

With her thin smile in answer, Leah passes through the doorway, down the hallway to the back stairs, and ascends to her room on the second floor. She holds herself steady until the door is safely closed and locked behind her, before allowing herself an immodest shiver of delight. She quickly pulls her dress away and moves to the basin on the night stand. She daintily splashes water to her face with cupped hands. She wets a washcloth and sponges her hot body around her underclothes. It is then she notices the wetness between her legs, and with a shaky incredulity at her lust, reaches down with the wet cloth to wipe away her desire.

Holderbyslanding

When Justin Thorne, coddled student and heir apparent to Sylvan Springs Plantation, is forced to find his heritage, his manhood, and his destiny, in the space of one brief spring, all hell breaks loose on the banks of the Ohio River. His Virginia of 1836 is a time of transition and enormous growth. Northern industrial might and southern aristocracy, abolitionist movements and slave cultures, collide in turmoil and lay bare the raw needs and desires of those intrepid spirits confronting the frontiers of the antebellum South. Coming of age is an expected result of time and circumstance. It happens to all who live so long, but to each within the dictates of their own lives. The process is on-going and ever dynamic. Every person is a precious product resulting from the effects of nature and nurture. One’s ancestry, culture, and environment collude in myriad ways to make us; all as different as each life’s story, and as singular as snowflakes. This theme is played out over-and-over throughout the world and throughout history, in millions of places like Holderby’s Landing; as similar and as different as each human is to the other. Holderby’s Landing is a single glimpse in time at the coming of age of a land, a community, and a few determined souls thrown together in love, strife and chance. What they make of the time, the opportunities and themselves is the story told and the living breath of this book.

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Genre – Historical Fiction

Rating – PG-13

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Website www.jdferguson.net

Jesse James & the Secret Legend of Captain Coytus by @AlexMueck #excerpt

Chapter 64

“Do I get a pay raise?” asked the Captain.

“Huh?” said Aberdeen as he lay in bed.

Jimmy spoon-fed him spotted dick, which seemed all the more funny with the picture the Captain took of Aberdeen, Jimmy, and Miss Mosley.

“You told me you never sold more than fifty papers in a week. The paper came out yesterday. We sold all forty original copies, printed one hundred more, and they’re all gone. Your circulation is up like an erection.”

Aberdeen jerked his side to side and moaned. “How? Most of this town is so broke they can’t even afford a deformed slave.”

The Captain leaned against the wall. “The credit goes to you, sir. At first I was mad you changed my questions and found your revisions to be silly with all due respect, but you insisted.”

Aberdeen’s head levitated from the pillow. “This better be one of your jokes.”

He waved the charge away with his hand. “Sir, you sold more papers on Saturday than any newspaper in the state. I am attributing the success to you. If you want me to take all the credit, then yes, you should give me a raise.”

“What questions?”

He pulled a sheet from his pocket. “Ninety-eight percent of the voters said Moses was right to lead his people from slavery.”

“Why would I even care to ask something so ridiculous?”

“Beats me. My question was, ‘Holy Moses, did you know God threatened to kill Moses’s son because the boy hadn’t yet been circumcised?’ I always wondered why a bit of skin mattered so much to God and wanted to know if others did as well. You took my idea and went on a different tangent.”

“What else did I ask?”

“Fifty-eight percent of voters believe there was no difference between black or white chess pieces.”

“Of course there’s no difference, despite what 42 percent of the mental midgets say.”

“I originally asked about the difference between white and black women’s chests, but you refined the question to the game of chess.”

Aberdeen frowned and waved him to continue.

“The public was evenly split on whether a white wolf was better than a black wolf.”

Aberdeen rolled his eyes. “Please tell me this is a joke. The question is doggone dumb.”

“My original question asked men if they liked a blonde girl with black fur—a wolf in sheep’s clothing?”

Jimmy suppressed a grin and fumbled the spoon, and spotted dick spilled onto the bed sheet.

The Captain said, “Sixty-seven percent believe blonde-haired people are superior to those with dark hair. The original was, ‘Do men prefer blondes?’”

Aberdeen wagged a finger. “I warned you about pulling my leg.”

He pushed off the wall and playfully tugged at Aberdeen’s leg. “That’s pulling your leg, but all joshing aside, these questions were yours, sir. Right, Jimmy?”

Aberdeen fixed his gaze upon Jimmy, who tried to look busy and oblivious to the conversation.

“Jimmy, you know how I feel about liars. Well?”

“Master, I will do every chore you ask, but you know better than to ask my opinion.”

“Of course I don’t want your opinion, boy,” scolded Aberdeen. “I want verification, not a viewpoint.”

“Master, please do not sell me to a less gracious master than you, but what this man says is true. You said lots of things that did not make sense.”

Aberdeen gazed at his slave crossly, but the larger man didn’t flinch. Then he looked back to the Captain. “What else did we ask?”

“You loved the next question and did not change it at all. Fifty-one percent said they liked the French better than the Negroes.”

Aberdeen’s lips curled, and he tapped his chin. “That is a good question.”

“The next question, a conundrum you claimed to ponder. Forty percent said the raped, mixed-race baby should be a slave. Seven percent said the child should be a free citizen, however 53 percent liked your idea about part-time slavery.”

“I have never pondered such nonsense in my life,” declared Aberdeen with disdain.

The Captain folded his hands in prayer. “My honor stands on General Stonewall Jackson’s grave.”

The injured man coughed like he’d inhaled bad tobacco. “At this rate, the general’s grave must have rolled halfway to China.”

“Yeah, maybe the Stonewall name is apropos, and he’s resting against the Great Wall.” His grin did not lessen Aberdeen’s frown. “The next question was also an original. Eighty-four residents answered that the dumbest white man is smarter than the smartest black man.”

This brightened the dimwit. “There’s hope for this town, yet. It all comes down to education. All white men are inherently more intelligent than Negroes. You can train a dog to do a few tricks, but it’s still a canine.”

Jimmy let more of the spotted dick drip.

“The final question was only a light alteration. Since most blacks worship the same God as white folk, I asked if both races are equal in God’s eyes. You simplified that to, ‘Would Jesus be proslavery?’ Eighty-six percent envision Jesus as the sky’s plantation owner, with Negro slaves picking cotton from the clouds.”

Aberdeen nodded. “Like the gentleman I am, Jesus would be a civilized master.”

The spotted dick dribbled downward, again. Plop, plop, plop.

“Speaking of Jesus, your idea about offering a reward to those who expose whites who engage in the sin of interracial sex was a stroke of genius.”

Aberdeen’s right eye dropped. “Doctor Tristan is a quack. He likely drugged me with a toxic tonic.”

“You seemed so keen on this idea, sir. In fact, you insisted.”

“Now that I think about, it is a lovely idea. We’ll publically humiliate the traitors who trespass on decency with perverse bestial acts.”

The rest of the spotted dick came down like a waterfall. “Oh, my God,” Jimmy said. “Sorry, Master. Let me clean this mess up.”

“You bungling buffoon! These sheets were imported from Egypt.”

“Perhaps I’m to blame, sir. With the increased demand for your newspaper, Jimmy had to work overtime to print all the extra copies. So I made your meal today. My apologies; the spotted dick is more flaccid than usual. You like it nice and firm.”

“True. Anything else you want to tell me?”

The Captain stuck his finger in the crease of a dimple. “Oh, yeah. I hope the vase on the mantel was not worth much.”

Aberdeen’s eyes bulged like a wet binding. “What? My grandfather bought that in Florence! The true worth is immeasurable when the sentimental value is calculated. What happened?”

The Captain shrugged with a sheepish grin. “In celebration of our newspaper’s success, I drank a little too much. I became nauseous and panicked with thoughts of fouling the furniture. So—”

“You vomited in my vase? That’s disgusting. Alas, surely Jimmy can wash it out.”

“Yeah, well, it gets worse.”

“Worse?”

“I went to clean the vase myself, when I was suddenly overcome by an emergency urine call.”

“You washed out my grandfather’s vase with piss?”

“I suppose I did. But tragedy struck when my penis got stuck. The fluted top allowed easier entry than exit. When I finally freed willy, I dropped the vase, and it shattered in pieces.”

Aberdeen’s hands found the top of his head as though he held his brain back from shooting like a cannon ball.

“Wait a minute. I’ve dabbled with pottery before and did my best to fix your vase.” He dashed from the room. He heard Aberdeen muttering as he returned with the vase over his head as he entered the bedroom. “See?”

The ceramic was crudely glazed together. Extra clay bonded various fracture points like mountain chains on a topographical map. Candlelight could be seen through small holes left by missing pieces. “I can improve upon this,” he boasted. “When I’m done, it will appear as a work of great antiquity. No one quibbles over the cracks in Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam.”

Aberdeen banged his head up and down on his pillow but stopped to look at the vase again and thrashed about more. He pulled the sheet over his head. “Leave!”

The Captain and Jimmy shared a smile.

“Okay, you need your rest,” the Captain said. “We can discuss my pay raise later.”

The bed sheet rustled furiously like a cadaver returned to life.

JesseJames

““A historical fiction comedy that packs
as much heart as humor.”
—Michael Dadich, award-winning author of The Silver Sphere

When a Harvard history professor receives a thesis paper titled Jesse James and the Secret Legend of Captain Coytus, from Ulysses Hercules Baxter—an underwhelming student—he assumes the paper must be a prank. He has never read such maniacal balderdash in his life. But after he calls a meeting with the student, Professor Gladstone is dismayed when Baxter declares the work is his own. As he takes a very unwilling Professor Gladstone back in time via his thesis, Baxter’s grade hangs in the balance as he attempts to prove his theory.

It is 1864 as philanderer and crusader Captain Coytus embarks on a mission to avenge his father’s death and infiltrates the Confederate Bushwacker posse looking for the man responsible, Jesse Woodson James. Accompanied by the woman of his dreams, Coytus soon finds himself temporarily appointed to be the sheriff of Booneville and commissions his less-than-loyal deputy to help him carry out his plan.

But when tragedy strikes, the Captain is forced to change his immature ways and redefine his lofty mission—more or less.”

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Genre – Humor, Historical Fiction

Rating – R

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