Hunting Teddy Roosevelt by James A. Ross

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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. In 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 James Pierpont 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. Roosevelt narrowly escapes the killer’s traps while leading two hundred and sixty-four men on foot through the savannas, jungles, and semi-deserts of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Congo, and Sudan.

REVIEW

Everything I’ve read or heard about Teddy Roosevelt paints him as a larger than life, irrepressible force of nature. In Hunting Teddy Roosevelt, the author adds to that persona a man of honor, loyalty, and compassion. It is a taut, exciting thriller of a tale full of wonderful episodes on the African plains and in the steamy, critter filled jungles. The main plot is an assassination attempt on Teddy setup by three of the most powerful men in American industry – mightily put out at Roosevelt for his trust-busting activities, and to make sure that Teddy doesn’t run for President again, they want him to not return from his self imposed ‘exile’ from American politics. I fell in love with the varied array of characters the author has placed around his ebullient protagonist…the meddlesome, fiercely determined Hearst newspaper journalist; his devoted, yet flawed son; a city bred assassin completely out of his element on an African safari; unscrupulous captains of industry; Boers, and Sudanese bandits… An easy flowing narrative for the most part, even with the numerous action scenes of hunts and skirmishes with bandits, the author had me stop and gasp occasionally, e.g. stalking a leopard in the dark…that scene is a fine example of the detailed description, and sudden pulse pounding action that permeates the pages of this breathtaking tale. So, my fellow readers, put on your slouch hat, make yourself comfortable and prepare to be entertained in a Bully fashion.  5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A Little Rebellion Is a Good Thing: Troubles at Traymore College by Duncan L. Clarke

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When David Pritchard is hired to teach political science at a remote women’s college in 1969, he anticipates a quiet year before moving on to bigger things. However, it soon becomes apparent that all is not well at Traymore College. President Barton and his administration curtail basic academic freedoms, harass tenured professors, and impose tight constraints on students’ personal lives. Appalled, David engages in intimate alliances with sympathetic faculty and several members of student leadership to stand up to the school’s administration. Together, they aim to ignite the press and spark far-reaching legal action. But Barton will not go down without a fight.

EARLY PRAISE

“Tremendous. The book is a hoot!”
Edward D. Jervey, Professor Emeritus of History, Radford University
[While Ed — who is 90 years old —  didn’t know it until well after the book was written, “his” character is a significant actor in the story]
“Dr. Clarke has rendered an accurate description of relationship dynamics at play in an anachronistic institution trying to futilely isolate itself from turbulent forces of 1960s America. The smooth flowing prose makes this book a pleasure to read while gaining historical perspective on changes unleashed then that are still affecting America today.”
Dr. William Rosolowsky, DVM
[Dr. Rosolowsky is a veterinarian. Xena, a German shepherd, is a major character is the story]

 

About Duncan L. Clarke

Duncan L. Clarke is Professor Emeritus of International Relations and former Director of the United States Foreign Policy Field at American University’s School of International Service, Washington, D.C. He was Visiting Professor of Politics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Professor of National Security at the National War College. He served in the intelligence community and authored numerous articles and five books on U.S. defense and foreign policy. Clarke lived and taught in Washington, D.C., for many years before moving to the Central Coast of California. He earned his BA at Clark University, JD at Cornell University, and PhD at the University of Virginia. A Little Rebellion Is a Good Thing was inspired by his experience as a faculty member in 1969-1970 at Radford College, which was then a public women’s college in Southwest Virginia. Clarke is writing a second novel titled, Murder on the Appalachian Trail: A Love Story. He has twice hiked the entire Appalachian Trail. 
To learn more about the book visit https://dlclarke.com/

Why Write A Little Rebellion Is a Good Thing?

For fifty-years I’ve considered writing a novel about my experience as a young professor at what was then Radford College in Radford, Virginia. Like others of my age, I’ve lost many who were dear to me, but no time was more traumatic than Academic Year 1969-1970 when I found myself at this rural public women’s college.

The civil liberties of students and faculty were systematically and cruelly violated by the longest serving college president in the state, something I learned only after arriving on campus.

I had just passed my PhD orals at the University of Virginia and, in 1966, I’d received my law degree for Cornell University. Because of my involvement in law suits against the college, demonstrations, public speeches, etc., I was at the center of a “rebellion” against an authoritarian administration. The personal costs were great: the experience almost ended my academic career, and my life was threatened. But the president left office, academic and personal freedoms were implemented, and the college evolved into the coeducational Radford University which today has 11,000 students.

One of several reasons the book had to be presented as fiction is that I was a twenty-seven-year old unmarried male in a sea of 4,000 single women. I allied closely, sometimes very closely, with key student leaders to effectuate change.

Why write this book? Because it’s a damn good story, and sometimes fiction is truth. Few others are better positioned to tell the story. Moreover, it is always appropriate to remind ourselves that our freedoms are secure only when women and men are prepared to fight for them.

Product details

  • Paperback: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Belle Isle Books (August 5, 2020)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1951565878
  • ISBN-13: 978-1951565879

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The Arlington Orders by Elliot Mason

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Elliot writes, “In the dying days of the Civil War, an assassination attempt is made on Confederate president Jefferson Davis. Faced with this ongoing threat, the decision is made to evacuate the Southern capital of Richmond, Virginia. Everything must be moved, including the Confederacy’s substantial gold and silver reserves, which must be kept out of Union hands. Thus, a covert plan is devised to transfer it to a secret location. However, during the move, the treasure vanishes without a trace.

One hundred and fifty years later, two historians, Des Cook and Madison Callum, stumble upon clues that could solve one of the war’s greatest mysteries while leading them to the richest and most significant find in American history. But others are searching for it too and will do anything to obtain it.

Now, Des and Madison find themselves entangled in a race that, if they fail to win, would not only result in their deaths but also change the very future of the country.”

REVIEW

A savvy mystery/treasure hunt/thriller – yes, that what The Arlington Orders is, my fellow readers. The long lost Confederate gold spirited away from Richmond before it fell is being hunted by a diverse group of people for a variety of reasons…not all of them altruistic. The story is well paced, and filled with twists and turns in the plot. The characters are well written; interesting and imbued with believable emotional responses and motives for their actions. Page turning suspense sprinkled with edge of the seat action, The Arlington Orders keeps the reader engaged and entertained. You could compare it to National Treasure, but with a villain who is even nastier than Sean Bean. 😎                                        4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Man of War: Book #4 The Rebels and Redcoats Saga Prequel (The Rebels and Redcoats Saga #4) by T.J. London

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Facebook tags: @tj.london.9615 @hfvbt 

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July 1755

War is brewing between England and France. Impressed into the Royal Navy, Lieutenant Merrick, against all odds, advanced through the ranks to become an officer–but he is not a gentleman. A man with a tainted past from a traitorous family, cast down by King George–a stain no man can remove.

Merrick’s thrust into the role of captain, when the HMS Boudica is attacked by pirates off the coast of Nova Scotia. On a captured enemy vessel he discovers a King’s ransom in treasure and a woman chained in the hold from passenger ship that mysteriously disappeared at sea.

Beautiful, defiant, and hell bent on revenge, India makes a deal with Merrick to uncover the pirates’ scheme, promising him everything he desires: fortune, glory, and the chance to bring honor back to the McKesson name.

Now, they race against time to uncover a plot that links those in the highest ranks of the British aristocracy, to a failed rebellion that is once again trying to topple the monarchy and place an old pretender on the throne. But all that glitters is not gold as passions stir and an impossible love blooms, threatening to undermine all Merrick and India have done to protect their King and a country on the brink of war.

***This book contains violence and graphic depictions of war***

REVIEW

What we have here, my fellow readers, is a shining example of what a prequel should be. All the bits mentioned in the first three books of the series that hinted at the recent past, are brought forth with all guns firing, striking a mizzen mast hit on the reader’s heart. If I were to describe the book in one word – passion. The passion of a crew’s loyalty to their ship and captain…the passion of a man’s political leanings…the passion of brothers torn asunder by hatred…the passion of brothers torn asunder by war…the passion of lust and love. Yes, my peeps and fellow travelers, the author has created some very passionate people and events, none more so than the mysterious India/Caroline. Headstrong, and determined, she had me, on the one hand, rooting for her cunning, while on the other hand, yelling at her to listen to Merrick for once. Enjoyable, entertaining, and enlightening on all things McKesson/Carlisle….and the emergence of the future evils of DeLancie, and Celeste….step aboard Merrick’s Queen, The HMS Boudica; adventure awaits.  5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

About the Author

T.J. London is a rebel, liberal, lover, fighter, diehard punk, and pharmacist-turned-author who loves history. As an author her goal is to fill in the gaps, writing stories about missing history, those little places that are so interesting yet sadly forgotten. Her favorite time periods to write in are first and foremost the American Revolutionary War, the French Revolution, the French and Indian War, the Russian Revolution and the Victorian Era. Her passions are traveling, writing, reading, barre, and sharing a glass of wine with her friends, while she collects experiences in this drama called life. She is a native of Metropolitan Detroit (but secretly dreams of being a Londoner) and resides there with her husband Fred and her beloved cat and writing partner Mickey.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, April 27
Guest Post at A Darn Good Read

Tuesday, April 28
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Wednesday, April 29
Excerpt at Donna’s Book Blog

Thursday, April 30
Interview at The Book Junkie Reads

Friday, May 1
Review at Books, Writings, and More

Saturday, May 2
Feature at Just One More Chapter

Monday, May 4
Review at History + Fiction + Adirondack Spirit

Tuesday, May 5
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Wednesday, May 6
Feature at I’m All About Books

Thursday, May 7
Guest Post at Curling up by the Fire

Friday, May 8
Review at Hoover Book Reviews

Saturday, May 9
Feature at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, May 11
Review at andreajanel_reads

Wednesday, May 13
Feature at What Is That Book About

Thursday, May 14
Excerpt at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Friday, May 15
Review at Passages to the Past

Giveaway

To enter to win an amazing prize pack from T.J. London, please complete the Gleam form below!

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on May 15th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

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The King’s Beast: A Mystery of the American Revolution (Duncan McCallum #6) by Eliot Pattison

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When Duncan McCallum is asked by Benjamin Franklin to retrieve an astonishing cache of fossils from the Kentucky wilderness, his excitement as a naturalist blinds him to his treacherous path. But as murderers stalk him Duncan discovers that the fossils of this American incognitum are not nearly as mysterious as the political intrigue driving his mission. The Sons of Liberty insist, without explaining why, that the only way to keep the king from pursuing a bloody war with America is for Duncan to secretly deliver the fossils to Franklin in London.  His journey becomes a nightmare of deceit and violence as he seeks the cryptic link between the bones and the king. Every layer that Duncan peels away invites new treachery by those obsessed with crushing American dissent. With each attempt on his life, Duncan
questions the meaning of the liberty he and the Sons seek. His last desperate hope for survival, and the rescue of his aged native friend Conawago—imprisoned in Bedlam—requires the help of freed slaves, an aristocratic maiden, a band of street urchins, and the gods of his tribal allies.

REVIEW

A rousing tale of that politically turbulent period between The French & Indian War, and The Revolutionary War. Replete with characters who draw the reader into the drama; finely honed to reflect the time and place, full of the respective cultures they portray. The temerity of the British aristocracy; their seeming never ending condescending attitude to any colonial, even transplanted Englishmen, is on full display in this quest for dominance over anything that happens in the colonies. A secret mission for Ben Franklin sets Duncan on a emotionally charged road to unravel the mysteries thrust at him in often violent fashion. Loaded with the spiritual beliefs of the Native tribes, The King’s Beast is also a detailed and well researched lesson on the cultures which had survived centuries before being “discovered”, and the insurmountable odds against their continued existence.  Among the historical characters given life by the author, Franklin shines as a somewhat absent-minded, eccentric genius. His naivete is a refreshing look at a complicated man, though it does create more problems for Duncan to sort out. One of the main plots is the locating and rescuing the aged Nipmuc elder, Conawago. The difference in spiritual beliefs is highlighted in this quote from a young frontiersman, Daniel Boone, “”The tribes talk about the spirits in the trees and the gods in the forest.” Boone looked upward as he spoke, into the limbs of the aged tree. “I heard a preacher once tell a warrior friend of mine that such talk is sacrilege, that there’s no room in the Bible for such things. My friend said that’s because the men who wrote his Bible lived in the desert” It is this spiritual void that Conawago has become entrapped and provides a most thrilling escape – a fitting example of the page turning effect this book has on the reader. This was my first venture into the Duncan McCallum tales, it won’t be my last.

5⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Brothers and Kings: Episodes 1 – 3 (Conquistadors #1-3) by Dennis Santaniello

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Sardina, a young and idealistic Spanish soldier, accounts his violent and vicious past and his role in the Conquest of the Inca Empire. But when he meets a reluctant Inca King named Manco, he slowly realizes the truth of his hellish reality; a reality of power, greed, and madness.

Set in the dense jungles of 1530’s Peru, this story is about man’s struggle to find his place in a brutal yet mysterious world.

“CONQUISTADORS” is a book trilogy that explores the Spanish conquest of the New World from the years of 1527-1542. The genre is Historical Epic, and the storytelling is wide in scope with various characters and events unfolding within spans of years. The story is told from a truly dualistic point of view, from both perspectives of the Spanish and the Natives.

Each story in the trilogy depicts a different Spanish expedition, but in the end, this is Sardina’s story. We follow Sardina through the jungles of Peru, to the vast Arizona deserts, to the Mississippi River; seeing his transformation from a young idealistic soldier to harden veteran, and later to a self-realized individual.

Thematically, all stories are about the sacred vs. the profane, and each story follows a certain pattern: conquest, obsession, and madness. Other aspects are also explored: including religion, (of both the natives and the Spaniards), the realms of power, violence, cruelty, and the angst of those trying to find meaning.

REVIEW

While the depiction of the Pizzaro/Almagro expedition to enrich the Crown, and themselves, at the expense, and fate, of the Inca Empire in Peru provides the impetus to this fascinating tale, it is the introspection of the characters, especially Sardina, that glues the reader to the pages. The human frailty of power seeking greed is powerfully portrayed leaving open the very hearts and souls of the victims of that most hideous human frailty. The jungle, however, is loath to give up it’s secrets – the mythical/magical El Dorado – the price for the gold they crave is a high one indeed. A page turner awaits, my fellow readers.  4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Great War Won: A Power of Recognized Superiority by James Emerson Loyd

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1918: The Great War, as it was already known, had reached an inflection point. The course of the war and the future of European civilization now rested on one decision: Would Germany, having prevailed in the east against a Russia crumbling into revolution and chaos, now attempt to crush her British and French enemies in one last desperate offensive before the emergent American Army arrived in its overwhelming force? Or could a small band of patriotic Germans led by a General and a Crown Prince use high position and influence to persuade their unyielding leadership to simply declare victory and withdraw homeward, leaving their opponents to justify a continuing and increasingly senseless slaughter?

Who Desires Peace…, the first book in the Great War Won trilogy, chronicled the schemes and adventures of the conspirators laying the foundations for their peace offensive. Book Two, …Should Prepare for War, began with the unleashing of Germany’s armies as peace talks with Bolshevist Russia fail. Several calls for a peaceful resolution to the war prove inconclusive, including an intrepid mission to meet face-to-face with the American General Black Jack Pershing. Finally, the tenuous state of inaction along the Western Front was shattered by first, an unexpected offensive, then a fierce German counterattack stopped only by the courage and vigor of the new American Expeditionary Force at Chateau Thierry and Belleau Wood.

Thus is set the stage for the final showdown between America and Germany in this Book Three, A Power of Recognized Superiority, opening with a devious scheme to disrupt the Allied rear with a flood of influenza-stricken prisoners and a distaff Fifth Column subversion by the radical Rosa Luxemburg and her unlikely comrade Estelle Vandenberg culminating in their arrest and imprisonment and an audacious rescue. Then Pershing’s American Expeditionary Force enters large-scale combat for the first time in the Saint-Mihiel salient and then the Meuse-Argonne sector. As the latter offensive slogs on bloodily, Germany begins to falter, then crumble, but her foes find themselves in desperate straits of their own as morale, manpower and a continuing slaughter take their toll.

Finally, an unexpected rapprochement brings the War to End All Wars to a fitful end, each power reckoning the loss of young men and treasure as their peoples ask themselves, Why?

REVIEW

So ends this fascinating, character driven, fictional rendered trilogy of “The War to End All Wars”. I cannot express enough about the cast of characters the author has either created, or the historical personages he imbued with such realism that one cannot help but think that this was what really happened. The depth of research done to pull together the various major parties involved; Lloyd George, Clemenceau, Black Jack Pershing, Woodrow Wilson, a young version of George Patton (I confess to hearing George C. Scott’s voice when Patton speaks 😊), etc; and in my mind the never at a loss for words Winston Churchill. I am not an expert on WW1, but I’m pretty sure that the author managed to touch upon every aspect of the doings of 1918; e.g. the influenza outbreak, the rise of the Bolsheviks, the rise of America as a super power, the effects on the German people, resulting in multiple plot lines which are seamlessly woven together in a captivating, page turning epic. My only real regret is that it took me three years to read the trilogy; not the author’s fault by any means, but because I have managed to acquire a huge to be read pile due to my humble, yet seemingly popular reviews. So, my fellow readers, it is without hesitation that I highly recommend The Great War Won in its entirety. 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Primitive Passions (The Boschloper Saga #1) by John M. Cahill

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When Sean O’Cathail deserted in New York Harbor in 1681, it was not to become a boschloper. He jumped ship to save his own skin. Getting into the fur trading business was just where he landed. As an Irish refuge hiding out in a Dutch colony now controlled by the English, Sean found he had a knack for diplomacy as he negotiated between the colonists and their Iroquois neighbors. This skill also helped with his love life, torn between courting a servant in town, while sleeping with an Indian lass when in the wilderness.

As the French and their Indian allies encroach ever farther into their territory. Sean’s diplomatric skills will be put to the test. Then, he learns more than a few pelts are at stake!

REVIEW

As an author who writes historical fiction of early America, I was fascinated with this truly enjoyable tale. Leading my interest is the author’s descriptions of the lives of the Iroquois tribes that made up The Five Nations. It is evident that Mr. Cahill has done his homework regarding the ‘savages’, but also in the telling of the nature of the fur trade and its impact on the colonies as well as England and France. A strong mix of history and historical characters with a plot line with surprises and believable fictional characters make Primitive Passions a definite pleasure to read. So, dear readers, take a journey to America’s beginnings, to a time when the beaver pelt trade made or broke men, and drove nations to war. 4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Prairie Grass by Joan Soggie

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Gabby Mackenzie knows little and cares less about prairie people or their history. She sees her assignment to interview a hundred-year-old settler as nothing more than a bump in her hazy career path.

But as she gets to know old Mr. Tollerud and the land that has been his home, she finds herself drawn into the interwoven stories of the settlers, the Metis, and the First Nations who came before them. And her own life changes.

Review: Residential school survivor and life-long educator Dr. Cecil King says of Prairie Grass “a dynamic piece of work … Yes, it is a good read.”

REVIEW

I read a lot of historical fiction most of which I seek out from a favorite cadre of authors. Sometimes, however, I get requests out of the blue from authors who have somehow stumbled upon my humble review blog. Joan Soggie is one of those, and her book Prairie Grass was a stunning surprise. It’s one of those books that not only entertained and educated me, it also touched my heart. I was intrigued by the subject matter – a look at the vast western prairies and how they have changed over the thousands of years they’ve been inhabited by a variety of flora, fauna, and men. It coincides to a good degree with my own writing about America’s past in terms of the treatment of the native tribes affected by an expanding nation. I particularly enjoyed the development of the protagonist, Gabby, as she is introduced to subject matter that reaches far beyond the mandate of her research project. The going back and forth between the stories of Eric and of Jean-Jacques captures the readers imagination; draws them into the ever changing landscape, the ever changing values. This was indeed time well spent – I will end with a quote from Gabby (one that mirrors my own thoughts) “I was angry. Angry at an educational system that taught us while maintaining our comfortable ignorance. Angry at my country that touted itself as being fair, open-minded and welcoming while denying most of us its true history. ”  I highly recommend Prairie Grass. 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

About the author

Joan has lived in rural Saskatchewan most of her life. Politics and noisy machines and interruptions annoy her. And although her intentions are good, she gets sidetracked easily. She spends hours just watching swallows swoop or the clouds billow.
The prairie and all its creatures are her inspiration. Her family is her joy.
She and her husband Dennis enjoy travelling and treasure days with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Prairie Grass is her second full length book. The first, Looking for Aiktow, tells stories of life along the Saskatchewan River over the past hundreds of years. Non-fiction or fiction, history and the land are recurring themes in her writing.

The Virgin of the Wind Rose (Christopher Columbus) by Glen Craney

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While investigating the murder of an American missionary in Ethiopia, rookie State Department lawyer Jaqueline Quartermane becomes obsessed with a magical word square found inside an underground church guarding the tomb of the biblical Adam.

Drawn into a web of esoteric intrigue, she and a roguish antiquities thief named Elymas must race an elusive and taunting mastermind to find the one relic needed to resurrect Solomon’s Temple. A trail of cabalistic clues leads them to the catacombs of Rome, the crypt below Chartres Cathedral, a Masonic shaft in Nova Scotia, a Portuguese shipwreck off Sumatra, and the caverns under the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Intertwined with this modern mystery-thriller, a parallel duel is waged:

The year is 1452. One of the most secretive societies in history, Portugal’s Order of Christ, is led by a reclusive visionary, Prince Henry the Navigator. He and his medieval version of NASA merged with the CIA scheme to foil their archenemies, the Inquisitor Torquemada and Queen Isabella of Castile, who plan to bring back Christ for the Last Judgment by ridding the world of Jews, heretics, and unbelievers.

Separated by half a millennium, two conspiracies to usher in the Tribulations promised by the Book of Revelation dovetail in this fast-paced thriller to expose the world’s most explosive secret: The true identity of Christopher Columbus and the explorer’s connection to those now trying to spark the End of Days.

REVIEW

A sprawling tale spanning 500 years, The Virgin of the Wind Rose, is about as exciting as it gets. It is also a very erudite tome…the reader will inevitably have to think about what they just read…the word square, the navigational methods, the zealous religion aspect, etc. The story alternates between the late 15th century – the mysterious Portuguese sea going activities, and modern day where Jaq and Boz are pulled into a conspiracy to usher in The Last Days – The Rapture. Meticulously researched, the author creates a plausible scenario for the activities of the Portuguese sea going visionaries, and the cult like evangelicals. The characters are well written; their thoughts and emotions on full display. I enjoyed the inner debate of Jaq’s Christian beliefs versus her mounting doubts…but even she, a talented, well educated person can blurt out ,”Everyone knows Jesus was a Christian.”…cults will do that even to smart minds.

The Virgin of the Wind Rose is an unusual read. A page turner with a caveat – must slow down a bit to understand the arcane nature of the narrative, but once the pieces of this 500 year old puzzle fall into place, it is a good read..a very good read.   5⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐