Under the Knout by Cora Buhlert

Russia during the reign of Catherine the Great: The sisters Natasha and Irina had been born serfs, property to the wealthy lords, destined to be worked to death on the fields. Yet Natasha and Irina had been lucky, for their talent at dancing caught the eye of the powerful Countess Rashkova, who made the girls part of her personal ballet company, to dance for the delectation of the wealthy and the powerful.
But life is dangerous in the ballet company of the Countess Rashkova, for even the slightest misstep is punished most harshly. And so Natasha and Irina find themselves thrown into a rat-infested cell deep beneath the elegant Palais Rashkov in St. Petersburg. But the dungeon is only the beginning, for the sadistic Countess Rashkova and her pet, the torturer Dimitri, are about to subject Natasha and Irina to the knout, that fiendish Russian whip whose caress was once considered a death sentence. Continue reading

Of Carrion Feathers by Katherine Pym

It is London 1662, and plots abound against the king. Oliver Prior, haunted by the death of his sister when still a child, enters the world of espionage. Beatrice Short’s goal is to go on stage, but she must work as a servant. While cleaning, she finds ciphers and invisible script. After the king’s undersecretary finds her snooping, he blackmails her into going undercover as a spy.

While Oliver and Beatrice bond to discover the backbone of insidious schemes to kill the king, they learn who runs the plots. He is man steeped in hate, and he must be put down. Continue reading

They Met at Shiloh by Phillip Bryant

Pittsburg Landing was a place at peace—one that never expected to be the site for one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. Peace is shattered as Confederate and Federal troops meet on the fields and farms surrounding a tiny Methodist church. In the midst of death and destruction, friendships form as four soldiers struggle to survive the battle.

Forced to leave his position as minister, Phillip Pearson knows his life is in danger, but not just from the Confederates. The Harper family, incensed at Pearson’s refusal to bury a philandering son, has a vendetta against him that is played out on the battlefield.

Demoted from his command by a West Point graduate, Capt.Michael Greirson is forced to choose between ambition and duty.

When a bumbling youth becomes his shadow, Private Robert Mitchell gains an unlikely friend—something that has been missing from his life. Afraid to trust, he is forced to confront those fears and depend on others in the heat of battle.

War is an adventure to Private Stephen Murdoch and his best friend, William Banks. For months they dream of the glory of war before volunteering together. On the eve of battle, they sense something momentous is about to happen. Their idealistic views fade in the blood of their fallen comrades. Continue reading

Seraglio by Cora Buhlert

The peaceful life of sisters Naira and Margarid is shattered when their Armenian village is raided and their family slaughtered. Sold into slavery, the sisters are separated. Naira eventually ends up in the harem of the mighty Sultan Abdul Selim, ruler of the vast Ottoman Empire. Here, even the slightest hint of disobedience is punished with utmost severity, as the sadistic head eunuch assures her. And indeed the torments that await a disobedient slave in the Sultan’s harem are manifold. But with her sister in mortal danger, Naira is willing to face even death and worse to regain her freedom and save Margarid’s life. Continue reading

Fair Weather by Barbara Gaskell Denvil

The girl is frightened. Molly cannot see the man, but his voice, barely more than a whisper, seems sinister.

Ever since childhood, Molly has been haunted. The place of her involuntary visions is dark and its people are troubled by hunger and poverty. This is the distant past – England of a thousand years ago, medieval shadows during the reign of King John.

But it is murder within her own modern life which changes everything. Molly is drawn into the police investigation, and pulled between past and present, each now as disturbing as the other, she becomes confused. Her personality splits.

Then an identical murder in the distant haunted past of her dreams joins the two worlds in equal danger. Molly passes between. Now she travels time but is followed by some horror which kills and mutilates at will. She has opened the door to evil and the man, his voice the rustle of dead leaves, is always there. Yet Molly discovers far more than fear and misery. She discovers a whole new life, and a love she could never have imagined. Now she no longer wants to return – but she must. Continue reading

Ghost of the North by Fahid Hussain

A young man, Yashua is sent by his grandfather to join a mercenary group in the Taifa Kingdoms and learn under a Sufi Master. After learning the ways of the mystic warrior, he is joined by a thief, a giant and a little princess that go on a quest to find a Ring and save a Kingdom.

Meanwhile, a Nameless King arises from the North of the Iberian Peninsula, uniting the Christian Kingdoms to conquer Moorish Spain. Continue reading

The Shoemaker’s Son by Gayle Ramage

1807. As a young boy, Brogan O’Malley encounters the strange and enigmatic Darcy on the streets of Edinburgh. Ten years pass and Brogan, now a petty thief, meets her once again and is surprised to see she has not aged one day.

A further ten years on, it’s 1827 and Brogan’s life has taken a turn for the worse. About to become involved with unscrupulous bodysnatchers William Burke and William Hare, the reappearance of the ageless Darcy sees Brogan discover a secret that will change his life forever.
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The Nan Tu by Edward C. Patterson

“We all lived in the shadow of K’ai-feng’s ashes now. No denying it. However safe we felt, the world hung by a silken thread.” So begins the second book of the Southern Swallow series — The Nan Tu (The Southern Migration) and, like the first book, The Academician, it is told by K’u Ko-ling, servant to the Grand Tutor, Li K’ai-men. The Emperor Kao has proclaimed that his court and government will migrate to the south, a progress filled with adventure, intrigue, war and tragedy, thus setting a series of events in play that shaped the Middle Kingdom.

Set on the broad canvas of Sung Dynasty China, The Nan Tu is a tale of love, separation and sacrifice. Yet heroes emerge from the ashes and restoration is within their grasp. From the mountain lairs of bandits to the sweep of the fleet at sea, The Nan Tu will transport you to a world that should have never been forgotten. Still, there are more important things than empires and history. There’s love and destiny — the destiny of Li K’ai-men’s relics and the enlistment of his helpmates to guard over the membrane of time.
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The Academician by Edward C. Patterson

“A bigger fool the world has never known than I — a coarse fellow with no business to clutch a brush and scribble. I only know the scrawl, because my master took pleasure in teaching me between my chores. Not many men are so cursed . . .” Thus begins the tale of Li K’ai-men as told by his faithful, but mischievous servant, K’u Ko-ling — a tale of 12th Century China, where state service meant a life long journey across a landscape of turmoil and bliss. A tale of sacrifice, love, war and duty — a fragile balance between rituals and passions. An epic commitment between two men to define the indefinable in their own world and time. Here begins the legacy of the Jade Owl and its custodian as he holds true to his warrants.

The Academician is the first of four books in the Southern Swallow series, capturing the turbulence of the Sung Dynasty in transition. Spanning the silvery days under the Emperor Hui to the disasters that followed, The Academician is a slice of world events that should never have been forgotten. Still, there are things more important than invasions and empires. The world’s fate rests in the warrants of Li K’ai-men, this young scholar from Gui-lin, called master by his faithful servant, but known as Nan Ya to the world.”

The Academician is a fictional account of a twelfth Century Chinese scholar-official, who readers of The Jade Owl Legacy first encounter in The Third Peregrination. Although this series serves as an historical adjunct to The Jade Owl, it has been in development longer than any work from the author’s pen. The character of Li K’ai-men first came to light over three decades ago in Patterson’s first China-themed work, Vagrant Hollow, a work which, unlike Li, will never come to light. Still, Mr. Patterson’s great desire to novelize a seminal epoch in Chinese History, the founding of the Southern Sung Dynasty, sprang to life even earlier in his Masters’ thesis, “The Restoration of the Southern Sung Dynasty: The Reign of the Emperor Kao-tsung: 1127 – 1167.” While entrenched in this period’s amazing details, Patterson visualized the tug and tussle of events that every Chinese schoolchild knows, but few in the West can fathom. Continue reading