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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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.

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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

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Giveaway Rules

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– 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⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Kado: Lost Treasure of the Kadohadacho by E. Russell Braziel

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Eighteen-year-old Tom Murrell could never understand his father’s dreams of carving a new life out of the wilderness. He wanted to do something else with his life besides spend it behind a plow, but with the family moving to the Red River in Arkansaw Territory, he was stuck.
Everything changes for Tom when he witnesses the death of Tiatesun, spiritual leader of the Kadohadacho tribe, and is drawn into a raging conflict between the Kado and their arch enemies, a renegade band of Osage.
His new friends Mattie and James say there is no alternative. They must use a cryptic map, drawn in a bible by Tiatesun in his own blood before he died, to find this place called Na-Da-cah-ah. Only then can Tom be sure that his family and friends will be safe.
But it is a race against time—a race against Wey Chutta’s Osage. Dangers are everywhere. The only chance to save his family is for Tom, Mattie, and James to join with six Kado warriors, make sense from the many clues they uncover on their quest, and discover the real Na-Da-cah-ah.

REVIEW

When I was asked to review this book I was intrigued by a couple of things; namely the locale/time frame, and the native inhabitants of that locale/time frame. Both items were new reading territory for me; the Red River area of Arkansas and the Caddo Indians. The author has geared this exciting tale towards the Young Adult age group, a genre I don’t usually read, but I found it to be well written, well researched, and certainly a book that will not only entertain, but also educate. The characters are strong; they have to be given the uncertainty, and almost constant danger that comes with a frontier existence. Kado also gives the reader a glimpse of a centuries old culture coming to grips with the reality of a new age disruption of their traditions, and their very existence as a people. A page turning adventure awaits you.

4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Across the Great Divide: Book 1 The Clouds of War by Michael Ross

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Lexington, Kentucky, 1859. After saving John Hunt Morgan from a puma attack, fifteen-year-old farm boy Will Crump joins Hunt’s militia, the Lexington Rifles. Morgan mentors Will and enrolls him in the local university, where he hopes to study law. As tensions rise between the North and South, Will is torn between his loyalty to Morgan and his love for his family. Will’s father, sisters, and sweetheart follow the Union, while Morgan and Will commit to the South. As part of Morgan’s band, Will participates in ambushes and unconventional warfare until his first real battle at Shiloh. He fights bravely, but increasingly questions what the war is accomplishing, and whether his devotion to honor has led him astray. And where is God in all this killing?

Will’s sister Albinia, friend of the Clay family, becomes increasingly aware of the plight of the slaves. When she finds Luther, a slave she knows, trying to escape, she must decide between her conscience, and her friends. She becomes involved in the Underground Railroad, helping slaves to freedom – but will it cost her love and her freedom?

Will’s other sister, Julia, is approaching spinster status and despairs of ever meeting a man who can give her more than life on a farm until she meets Hiram Johannsen, a son of immigrants who owns a steamship company. They marry and she makes a new life in the North. When Hiram answers the call to fight for the North, Julia runs the steamboat company in her husband’s absence and uses her boats to help Albinia ferry escaped slaves to freedom. Her business relations put her in the perfect position to spy for the North. When the Confederates capture her, will she survive?

Luther is one of the first slaves Albinia helps flee the South after his master cruelly abuses his mother and sister. He escapes with his family, and when war breaks out, he fights for the North as an auxiliary of the Third Ohio Cavalry, alongside Julia’s husband, Hiram, and against Morgan and Will. Luther has to confront the demons of his past, an abusive master, and a slave catcher that kills his little sister. Will the desire for revenge destroy him?

Throughout the war, Will is forced to examine and question everything he believes in—his faith in God, his love for his family, his loyalty to Morgan, and his worth as a human being.

Will and his family must somehow mend the torn fabric of relationships to find peace, and reach Across the Great Divide.

REVIEW

An emotionally charged tale reflecting the divisive times of The Civil War. With the ‘neutral’ state of Kentucky as the backdrop, the author paints a vivid picture of life and issues confronting his characters. The issues involved are meticulously described – slavery, states rights, the North as invaders, the Underground Railroad – a story told from the perspective of the people who are faced with impossible decisions and see their lives ripped apart by the storm of war.  Strong characters, a steady flowing narrative, and intriguing story lines following the Crump family and associates make this a definite page turning tale.

4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

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Michael Ross is a lover of history and great stories. He’s a retired software engineer turned author, with three children, and five grandchildren, living in Newton, Kansas with his wife of 39 years. Michael graduated from Rice University and Portland State University. He was born in Lubbock, Texas, and still loves Texas. He’s written short stories and technical articles in the past. “Across the Great Divide: Book 1 The Clouds of War” is his first novel.

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Wanders Far-An Unlikely Hero’s Journey by David Fitz-Gerald

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Wanders Far lived in dangerous times and was faced with one difficult challenge after another. He was a skinny, quiet boy who was raised on the banks of a tributary of New York State’s Mohawk River, hundreds of years before colonists arrived. One lifetime was not enough for Wanders Far’s old soul.

From a very young age, his wanderlust compelled him down one path after another. No village could contain him.

He was happy living a simple life in the physical world during challenging times. The spirit world had other plans.

A wise, enigmatic shaman mentored Wanders Far and helped him cultivate the supernatural visions that haunted him. His guide could only help him so far.

He set out to become a runner, carrying important messages across the lands of his people and their enemies. He ended up fulfilling a much greater destiny than he ever imagined.

REVIEW

The Iroquois Confederacy – comprised of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, and Seneca tribes was just one example of the sophisticated governments and societies practiced by these so-called savage peoples who had called the “New World” home for thousands of years. In Wanders Far the author has created an intriguing look at a time and place prior to the European ‘discovery’, and settlement. A coming of age tale of an enigmatic, and precocious boy, who plays an important role in the founding of the confederacy of the tribes, Wanders Far is also a well researched look at the cultures and history of the tribes living in what is now upstate New York. An enjoyable page turner, Wanders Far (the young man) takes the reader on his spiritual journey to discover the Path he must follow to fulfill his destiny.  4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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About the Author

After a chaotic day as a business person, Dave enjoys getting lost in the settings he imagines and spending time with the characters he creates. Writing historical fiction is like making paintings of the past. He loves to weave fact and fiction together, stirring in action, adventure, romance, and a heavy dose of the supernatural with the hope of transporting the reader to another time and place. He is an Adirondack 46-er, which means he has hiked all of the highest peaks in New York State, so it should not be surprising when Dave attempts to glorify hikers as swashbuckling superheroes in his writing.

Wanders Far—An Unlikely Hero’s Journey is the first in a series of books in the Adirondack Spirit Series.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 2
Review at Historical Fiction Reviews

Thursday, September 5
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Monday, September 9
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Tuesday, September 10
Interview at Jathan & Heather

Monday, September 16
Review & Interview at Jorie Loves A Story

Friday, September 20
Feature at Coffee and Ink

Monday, September 23
Review at Nursebookie

Wednesday, September 25
Review & Excerpt at Just Another Reader

Friday, September 27
Review at Red Headed Book Lady

Monday, September 30
Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Friday, October 4
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Wednesday, October 9
Excerpt at Maiden of the Pages

Monday, October 14
Guest Post at Passages to the Past

Thursday, October 17
Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Monday, October 21
Review at Jessica Belmont
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Saturday, October 26
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, October 28
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews