Tag-Archive for » Historical Fiction «

My Life Untold: A Review

I was given an ebook copy of this story by the author, S. S. Gee Buro, in return for my review.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe books started off a little slow, but definitely wasn’t boring, recounting the early years of the main character, Magda’s, life. Within a few chapters it had set up relationships and characters that had me in love and I found it very difficult to stop reading and put the book down.

Although the story reads like a typical historical romance, it’s so much more than the average romance novel. The book had plenty of context and plot that filled it out and made me feel like a whole life happened around the story. I couldn’t have asked for more from the plot. There was even a twist that I didn’t see coming.

The ending wasn’t as happy as I’d hoped it would be but I don’t want to spoil the exact ending. It definitely was satisfying and I think it was an accurate portrayal of the aftermath of the events.

All in all one of the best books I’ve read in a while. I’m very glad I got the opportunity to read it.

Storykeeper: A Review

I was gifted a copy of this eBook in return for a review. This is a historical American Indian novel based on some scrolls that were found and translated from the native language.

I studied this area of American history in school and while it was quite a number of years ago now it still made me eager to read this book. I was not let down in the slightest. This was the perfect book to finish off last year with and one of the best books I had the pleasure of reviewing in 2012.

The storytelling structure of the book appealed to my own nature and each different timeline being talked about felt real and fresh. I could imagine every little detail described yet nothing felt over described or dragged out. The balance of narrative and pacing was spot on and over the few days that I read this book I kept finding myself thinking about the characters and being eager to sit back down and delve into their journeys.

I really can’t recommend the book highly enough.

Author Interview: Ric Hofing

My interviewee today is Ric Hofing,

Tell us about your latest project

My latest project is the second novel in the First Sniper War series. This time Erik and Michael find themselves being used as pawns between powerful German army officers and fanatic Bolsheviks who are willing to do anything to achieve their goal of assassinating the Russian Tsar.

Historical fiction can mean a great deal of research. Is the research something you find easy?

When researching my first novel I discovered that I really enjoyed research.  I am fortunate that my local library has a wealth of research material.  With the aid of the internet I was able to discover other great sources of research material, particularly book stores that carry out-of-print books and specialty books.

What inspires you?

Initially I was inspired by friends and family who asked me to write stories or poems for them. As I grew older the challenge of writing a novel appealed to me more and more. As the story grew I felt myself wanting to write more and more.  My friends and family still inspire me, but now there is a huge new audience to write for, and share my work with.

Do you intend to publish any of the stories or poems you wrote early on?

I recently published a collection of short stories on Amazon called “The Groovy Red Camera and other stories”.  This is a collection of 9 short stories that I have written over the years.  I continue to write short stories as ideas come to me and plan to publish other collections in the future.

Which do you prefer, paper books or ebooks and why?

I still prefer paper books, though I am reading more and more on the Kindle. When I travel and use a Kindle I can bring many books; the weight and volume of a Kindle is a small fraction of the three or four paper books I would normally travel with and is an undeniable advantage. However, I still enjoy the feel of paper between my fingers, the smell of a paperback novel, and all the wonderful memories that come along with paper books.  It will be some time before I switch completely over to ebooks, but I can see demand for paper books dwindling slowly as time goes on.

Since you prefer paper books do you also intend to put your own ebooks into paper at some point?

I have recently hired an editor to edit my first novel, which I plan to publish through CreateSpace as a paper back. The success of that endeavour will determine if I continue to publish both ebooks and paper books in the future, but I see ebooks (and ereaders) becoming more and more popular every day. I strongly suspect that ebooks will eventually replace paper books, at least for popular fiction, the way that digital cameras replaced film cameras.

What book do you wish you had written?

I would have to answer this with not a book but a series of books; the Brother Cadfael series, by Ellis Peters.  I started reading these books years ago, quite by chance, after seeing a made for TV movie on A&E channel based on one of the books in the series. After reading the first one I madly read through the remainder.  In fact I have read every one of the books at least twice.  These novels captured me from the first page, and instilled in me a love for the historical mystery, and a desire to write historical novels of my own.

What are you planning on doing next/What else are you up to?

At the moment I am doing research for a new series of novels that will be historical mysteries that take place in second century Rome.  Ancient Rome has been an interest of mine for many years, and I have read a great deal of fiction and non-fiction about this fascinating era in world history.

Do you stick to all the historical events you find out about or do you like to write about completely fictional events?

My novels are primarily fact based, tempered, of course, with artistic license.  Readers of historical novels want to be entertained and, to a certain degree, educated or informed.  There is a very real attraction for many readers (myself included) to immerse themselves in that other time and other world for a little while.

My short stories tend to be more fictional.  With my short stories I let my imagination wander a bit, artistically speaking, and explore some of the elements of pure story telling.  My primary goal when writing short stories is entertaining the reader.

Here’s The First Sniper on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

Author Interview: Allison Bruning

My featured Author for this slot is Allison Bruning,

Tell us about your latest project.

Currently I am working on book one of the Heritage series called Elsa. Elsa takes place in 1904 Marion, Ohio. The series is loosely based on the life of my great-great grandmother. Franklin Thaddaus Raymond plans to marry Elsa Beatrice Russell but must do so before his fiancee arrives back in Ohio. Elsa doesn’t know Franklin has a fiancee. The young couple must overcome several obstacles including family secrets, medical issues and Franklin’s secret life. Will Elsa ever learn the truth? A truth that could tear her young marriage apart or make it stronger.

I have recently published book one from the Children of the Shawnee series called Calico. Calico tales place in pre-revlotuionary war Kentucky and Ohio. Below is a brief description:

“A man whose heart appears pure shall deceive you. The power he holds over you leads you to evil. You shall denounce the ways of Our Grandmother. Another man comes, whose pure heart beats for you alone, and who has a pure spirit devoted to Our Grandmother. He shall defeats the evil and sets you free.”

A prophecy has been cast against her. In a harsh world deep within the western frontier of Ohio and Kentucky, Calico Marie Turner must learn to survive among the Shawnee and the trust the one man who hates her the most, Chief Little Owl Quick as the Wind.

The Children of the Shawnee series traces the lives of twin sisters, Rose and Calico. Books 1, 3, and 5 tell Calico’s story. Books 2,4,and 6 tell Rose’s side of the story. Calico’s portion takes place with the Shawnee Native Americans and traces the struggles they faced. Rose is raised in France as a Madame Royale, the first princess of the dauphin, Louis Ferdinad de France. She is rasied next to Louis Auguste who eventualy marries Marie Antoinette.

You’ve set a lot of your books in Ohio so far but in the past, is that because of family links or do you have other reasons to favour Ohio as your setting?

I have found much of my fodder for books through my family connections in Ohio. I am a direct descendant from one of the first families that settled in Ohio before it was a state. When I was a child, I was fascinated by the family stories my mother and grandparents use to tell me. I began to conduct genealogical research on my mother’s side of the family when I was nine years old. My research has never ended. I continue to discover new and interesting stories about my family. One of the family stories had provided the inspiration for my new series, Heritage.

What’s your favourite genre to write and what’s your favourite genre to read?

I love to write historical fiction, paranormal and women’s fiction. I tend to read adventure, historical fiction, paranoramal. My speciality is in Native American history and culture.

You like reading Woman’s fiction but don’t like writing it, is there a particular reason?

My novels have always had strong female leads. I do place romance scenes in them but try not to stress them. I do this because I want the focus to be on my heroine’s journey. My female leads often struggle with family or personal issues.  I want my readers to see a situation, whether historical or not, through the eyes of a female. Often history is written from a male’s perspective. I strive to challenge my readers to see history through the female’s point of view. “Calico” is a good example of this. Society has always heard about the Shawnee female captives, how they were mistreated and tried to run away. In Calico, I strive to show my readers not all white women were captives. There are historical records of women who, after they were rescued from captivity, ran back to the Shawnee. Why? Because women who had lived with Shawnee had more freedoms than they did living in 18th or 19th century white society. In “Calico”, Calico is refuses to be rescued by Daniel Boone and his colleague. She tells them she is not a captive. Society also forgets not all white women were captives. The daughters of the French fur traders intermarried with the Shawnee all the time.

Would you still write if there was no financial need to, and if not what would you do instead?

Absolutely. Writing is my passion.

Which do you prefer, paper books or ebooks and why?

Paper books. I love to feel a book in my hand.

What are you planning on doing next/What else are you up to?

I plan to keep on writing. My husband and I are buying a Victorian home that was built in 1882. We plan to renovate it and turn it into a Bed and Breakfast. We also want to open up a bookstore/gift shop.

I am also the executive director of the Kentucky Young Writers Connection. I love teaching children and adults how to express themselves within the written word. The publishing world is changing all around us and I think new authors need to know how to navigate in that world.

Is there some advice you’d like to give other new authors about your journey so far?

Never pay to have your work published and never pay for an agent. If you are writing historical ficiton, get out there and dig deep in your research. Try to see life through the eyes of your character. Not all characters are going to see the same event the same way nor are they gong to react the same.