The Curse of Conchobar

by David Fitz-Gerald

Book Title: The Curse of Conchobar―A Prequel to the Adirondack Spirit Series

Series: The Adirondack Spirit Series

Author: David Fitz-Gerald

Publication Date: 20th January 2021

Publisher: Outskirts Press

Page Length: 171 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Twitter Handle: @AuthorDAVIDFG @maryanneyarde

Instagram Handles: @AuthorDAVIDFITZGERALD @coffeepotbookclub

Hashtags: #HistoricalFiction #AdirondackSpiritSeries #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub Tour Schedule Page:


Banished by one tribe. Condemned by another. Will an outcast’s supernatural strengths be enough to keep him alive?

549 AD. Raised by monks, Conchobar is committed to a life of obedience and peace. But when his fishing vessel is blown off-course, the young man’s relief over surviving the sea’s storms is swamped by the terrors of harsh new shores. And after capture by violent natives puts him at death’s door, he’s stunned when he develops strange telepathic abilities.

Learning his new family’s language through the mind of his mentor, Conchobar soon falls for the war chief’s ferocious daughter. But when she trains him to follow in her path as a fighter, he’s horrified when his uncanny misfortune twists reality, causing more disastrous deaths and making him a pariah.

Can Conchobar defeat the darkness painting his steps with blood?

The Curse of Conchobar is the richly detailed prequel to the mystical Adirondack Spirit Series of historical fiction. If you like inspiring heroes, unsettling powers, and lasting legacies, then you’ll love David Fitz-Gerald’s captivating tale.

Buy The Curse of Conchobar to break free from the fates today!

Trigger Warnings:



Inspiring Conchobar

by David Fitz-Gerald

I like to write fiction that is grounded in history and soars with the spirits. I use that phrase like a mission statement. My Adirondack Spirit Series is an epic, multi-generational family saga. Each book stands alone. What they have in common are ancestry, the Adirondack Mountains of New York State, natural history, and supernatural tendencies that just seem to run in the family. The common ancestry includes the Native American people that inhabited New York state before colonization.

When I finished writing Wanders Far, I immediately began writing a book with the same characters, set a few years later. About twenty thousand words into that project, I found I was more drawn to the backstory, so I set that project aside. The backstory was one of an ancient ancestor who left a legacy in stone. When I finished writing She Sees Ghosts, I returned to the story I left behind. I felt a compulsion to breathe life into this ancient mason.

The Curse of Conchobar is part of the Adirondack Spirit Series, but despite its supernatural elements, this book is, first and foremost, a work of historical fiction. I took an elective class called The Novel as History when I was in high school, a long time ago. I loved that class, and I think it was my only “A” that year. Many years later, that inspiration has become a passion for writing historical fiction.

Maybe I’m gullible or highly open to suggestion. If there is a case to be made, I’m likely to believe. I am happy to entertain the possibilities, whether it’s the Loch Ness Monster, aliens, Bigfoot, portals, ESP, or ghosts. In The Curse of Conchobar, you’ll find a character that discovers he possesses a myriad of uncanny abilities. This book is linked to its series mates by notions of reincarnation.

I find that the older I get, the more I believe in the possibility of supernatural phenomena. Perhaps it stems back to the belief that I saw a ghost―the ghost of my grandfather. He visited me in the 1980s, and I haven’t stopped thinking about that encounter after all of these years. It was just a moment. I don’t think he was expecting me to be in his study. It was a very peaceful visitation, yet it scared me to the core. I’m still not sure I’m open to being visited by spirits now, but I am always intrigued by supernatural and paranormal possibilities. Who says these concepts can’t stand alongside proven historical facts?

Some years ago, I read the book, Flipside: A Tourist’s Guide on How to Navigate the Afterlife, by Richard Martini. The inspiration behind what happens to the characters in my books after they die, comes from this book. I chose to make my character a mason, inspired by the world’s enduring megalithic structures and earthworks, and I think those symbolize that same sort of timelessness.

The Curse of Conchobar is the story of a young orphan, raised by monks at Skellig Michael off the coast of Ireland. One morning he paddled a small boat into the ocean to go fishing when a sudden storm blew him out to sea. It is a miracle that he survived and washed ashore in a distant land, near the mouth of The Hudson River. What happens next is the opening scene in my book.

I love it when I’m working on a story. Usually, the inspiration for characters and storylines comes to me as I’m lying awake, getting ready to fall asleep. I often email myself, so I won’t forget when I wake up. As a writer, I always like to have a story percolating in my head. I think readers feel the same way. We always want to have a book that we’re in the process of reading.

This book is my first attempt to write in the first person, and in the present tense. Now I’m hooked. I have never felt closer to a character or the action of the story in my imagination.

What inspires me most as a writer is the hope of creating something that readers will love. When someone told me that I was her favorite author, I was blown away. Did you ever read a book that you couldn’t get off of your mind, even months after you were done reading it? I want to write books like that.

I think a lot of people rediscovered reading as a cherished pastime activity during the pandemic. As life returns to “normal,” and people recommence their regular activities, I hope they will also continue to enjoy getting lost in fiction. When I think of all the books that have inspired me, it is hard to imagine what I would have missed if I hadn’t read them.

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Author Bio:

David Fitz-Gerald writes fiction that is grounded in history and soars with the spirits. 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.

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The Curse of Conchobar is available for free in exchange for signing up for David’s email list via BookFunnel:

The Cotillion Brigade – Guest Post for Coffee Pot Book Club

(A Novel of the Civil War and the Most Famous Female Militia in American History)

By Glen Craney

Thanks, Paul, for inviting me as a guest on Historical Fiction Reviews.

A fun aspect of writing historical novels is stumbling upon secondary characters who could merit a book of their own.

One such character, for me, is James Edward Hanger.

In my new release, The Cotillion Brigade, I tell the Civil War story of the Nancy Hart Rifles, the most famous female militia in American history. As wounded men were transported south by rail from Atlanta after the bloody battles of 1863 and 1864, Captain Nancy Colquitt Hill Morgan and her militia women in LaGrange, Georgia, took time off from their military drills to serve as nurses in the local hospitals. Among the horrific scenes they encountered was the arrival of the battlefield amputees.

James Hanger was the first recorded Confederate soldier to lose his leg in the war. An eighteen-year-old engineering student, he was eager to accompany his older brothers to the front, and so he left Washington College in Lexington, Virginia. He soon found himself stationed with the Churchville Cavalry, a local militia, near Phillipi, in what is now West Virginia. 

On June 3, cannon thunder awakened Hanger from his bedroll on a farm where he was encamped. Minutes later, he found himself embroiled in the Civil War’s first ground battle.

He dodged canister fire as he ran for a nearby barn to retrieve his horse. As he reached for the reins, a six-pound ball crashed through the boards, rebounded off a post, and struck him below the left knee. With his leg dangling by the skin, he dragged himself to the loft and hid from Union soldiers amid bales of hay. Fortunately, he was found unconscious and carried to a Yankee field hospital, where a surgeon amputated Hanger’s leg seven inches from his hip.

Young Hanger could have been forgiven for having had his fill of being part of several “firsts,” but he survived to be recognized across the world as the first amputee of the war. A lesser man might have spent the rest of his life embittered, but by all accounts, Hanger was a remarkable optimist. Back home in Churchville to recuperate, he holed himself up in an upstairs bedroom. His family thought he was despondent over his peg leg, but to their amazement, he was hard at work devising a way to improve his walking speed.

Three months later, he displayed his invention: the Hanger Limb, a marvel of prosthetics.

“No one can know what such a loss means unless he has suffered a similar catastrophe,” Hanger told admirers. “In the twinkling of an eye, life’s fondest hopes seemed dead. What could the world hold for a maimed, crippled man?”

So astonished and pleased were wounded men and their families with the invention that Hanger earned enough money to open a small factory in Staunton, Virginia. He hired dozens of disabled Confederate soldiers to help him fashion the hinged legs from barrel staves, metal, and straps. Upon receiving a patent from the government in Richmond, he traveled around the South to offer his device to wounded men and civilians. After the war, he took his invention to Europe, where it helped thousands of convalescents during World War One.

Author Bio:

Glen Craney

A graduate of Indiana University School of Law and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Glen Craney practiced trial law before joining the Washington, D.C. press corps to write about national politics and the Iran-contra trial for Congressional Quarterly magazine. In 1996, the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences awarded him the Nicholl Fellowship prize for best new screenwriting. His debut historical novel, The Fire and the Light, was named Best New Fiction by the National Indie Excellence Awards. He is a three-time Finalist/Honorable Mention winner of Foreword Magazine’s Book-of-the-Year and a Chaucer Award winner for Historical Fiction. His books have taken readers to Occitania during the Albigensian Crusade, the Scotland of Robert Bruce, Portugal during the Age of Discovery, the trenches of France during World War I, the battlefields of the Civil War, and the American Hoovervilles of the Great Depression. He lives in Malibu, California.

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


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.


“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

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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My writing has a process?

From the barking mad mind of my friend across The Pond.

S.J.A. Turney's Books & More

I was invited by the lovely and talented Prue Batten to take part in a writing process blog tour. For any of you who’ve not listened to me blather at great length about Prue before, you might like to check out her work: the fay fantasy Chronicles of Eirie and the medieval Gisborne saga. Her words are like silk. They are like a fine wine. They are beautiful. Check out Prue’s writing process here: Am I Unique?

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The tour requires that I answer several questions, and I find them to be sharp, complex ones on the whole, but we start with the easy one:

1. What am I working on?

And yet even that is far from simple. You see unlike most writers, who are sensible and logical and not clearly barking like me, I am apparently unable to concentrate on one project at a time. My imagination constantly runs…

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A Love Most Dangerous

Another wonderful story from Martin.


Early in April 2013 I sat at the computer wondering what to write. I had just finished the first draft of ‘Blood of Ironside’ and put it away for a rest before I started on the second draft.

I thought I might write a short story. I put my fingers on the keyboard and wrote this:

To be a servant at the court of King Henry is to live with your heart in your mouth. This is so whether you are young or old, male or female. I am young and I am female. So the danger to me is considerable. The danger is the more acute because I am pretty and the Queen is in the last month of her confinement.

I sat back bemused. Who was talking? I knew when the period was, more or less. But I was writing from the point of view of a girl…

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Guest post from Seumas Gallacher

Welcome to the first ever guest post to this ever growing, educational and enlightening blog.  My guest, the first ever by the way, is noted blogger and author Seumas Gallacher.  Welcome Seumas.


Seumas Gallacher…Author Background

Seumas Gallacher was born in the cradle of the Govan shipyards in Glasgow in the so-called ‘bad old days’, which were really the greatest of days, where everybody was a true character of note.

An early career as a trainee banker led to a spell in London, where his pretence to be a missionary converting the English fell on deaf ears.

Escape to the Far East in 1980 opened up access to cultures and societies on a global scale, eventually bringing the realisation that the world is simply one large, extended village.

The lifelong desire to write resulted in THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY, the first in a planned series. Seumas’ sequel novel, VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK was launched in early July 2012. The third, SAVAGE PAYBACK, was released in late 2013 with at least two other books to follow in the same vein. Ebook downloads on his novels exceed 70,000 to date.

Seumas lives in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

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…Authors…why bother doing a Blog?…

…yeez can slice and dice umpteen different approaches to maintaining a Blog… as a writer, the conventional wisdom tell yeez it helps to get yeez ‘presence’… well, I think there’s also as many definitions of ‘presence’ as yeez can think of… this ol’ Jurassic’s been scribbling away at this Blog thing for a coupla years now, and must confess the driving force for maintaining it has gradually changed… initially I knew as much about blogging as I did about Mexican knitting patterns or Persian Hieroglyphics… in pursuit of extending readership reach, the Blog was an addendum to the other SOSYAL NETWURKIN channels I dabble with… Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and LinkedIn… I laptop-tapped maybe twice a week, with no rhythm or purpose, no base, no direction… then a few things started to click, mentally, not just on the Mac… the content, which the cognoscenti will tell yeez is paramount, began to take shape… a regularity of style evolved… the crime thrillers lived in the novels, and that can be pretty heavy-duty violent stuff… and any quill-scraper knows it’s vital to have your ‘Author’s Voice’ in the books… I found the Blog forming into an intrinsically different kind of writing… much like cartoons cater to short-term attention from readers, so also, most Blogs attract the same probable eyeball time… ideally for me, anything between 300 and 400 WURDS is plenty, but that’s not set in stone… the Blog becomes the ‘Author’s Brand’… a brand is by definition recognizable… mine attempts to be the tongue-in-cheek, humorous, reflective flow of consciousness of a comparative newbie… an independent, self-publishing plume-pusher… an old f*rt from a separate career, stumbling through the maze that is the new-fangled reality called the Internet… and somehow coming out the other side, still bewildered, but surviving, hopefully successfully… populating the Blog occasionally are a couple of characters, Mabel, and Matron… Mabel is best described as an almost imaginary presence, somewhat akin to the invisible rabbit, Harvey, that the great actor James Stewart conversed with in the movie of the same name… that allows for ‘asides’ and commentary to flow… Matron is the character who keeps the writer in check occasionally by the administering of a huge syringe loaded with no-one quite knows what, and it’s impossible to tell whether or not she’s also a figment of the writer’s addled brain… the biggest change in the impact the Blog has on me is that it permits me to indulge another kind of writing from the novels, and doing it almost daily dictates a discipline I welcome… it now also connects automatically with all my other SOSYAL NETWURK linkages, hitting a possible 14,000+ readers for every Blog Post… and most importantly… IT’S FUN and I’m LUVVIN IT!

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Amazon Links for SAVAGE PAYBACK