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Archive for the ‘Historical Fiction’ Category

Friday FreebitsI don’t know about anyone else, but lately the time has been flying by! Here it is Friday again. This week’s Friday Freebit is from Lord Esterleigh’s Daughter, Book 1 of “The Serpent’s Tooth” trilogy. Here Anne encounters Peter Marlowe for a second time, under somewhat inauspicious circumstances. While attempting to sneak away from her father’s hall, she is startled and takes a fall. It’s all Peter’s fault.

“The novel excels in that it introduces a myriad of characters, all of whom leave the reader wanting more. I’ve noticed a lot of comparisons to Jane Austen or rather “the dark side” of Jane Austen. … if anything, I would reference Daniel Defoe or Henry Fielding, though there is little comedy in Anne’s journey. The novel is quite gothic in fact. All in all, Lord Esterleigh’s Daughter  is an interesting read that aptly captures the period in which it is set.” — Caroline Wilson Writes

~*~

“Are you hurt?” He bent toward her.

She flinched away. “No thanks to you, I think I’ve escaped permanent injury.” She turned her eyes on him, a glowering look that held a trace of fear.

The look took him aback. “Forgive me, I was afraid that you—”

Her eyes softened, a rush of color surged in her cheeks. She turned away, as if embarrassed. “Is it your custom to go around sneaking up on people?” She rose gingerly, flexing her left ankle.

“To be quite truthful, it’s not.” He smiled sheepishly and scrambled to his feet. “Is it your custom to go climbing over walls?” He found her shoes in the grass and deferentially offered them to her. “Sensible people would use the gate.”

“Perhaps I’m not sensible!” Without a word of gratitude, she snatched the offering from him and winced as she slipped her left foot into the boot. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I must go.”

~*~

Fischer-Brown_LordEsterleighsDaughter2-200x300

For more information, please click on thee cover.

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Fridays and FreeBits is a regular feature on Ginger Simpson’s blog, Dishin’ It Out. To read more excerpts from some great authors, click here.
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Friday FreebitsWelcome to another edition of Fridays and Freebits. This week’s excerpt from Lord Esterleigh’s Daughter takes place at the end of Chapter Three. Julia, Anne’s mother has died, and Anne, rather than keep her deathbed promise, has attempted to take her own life.

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“…The plot is fast-paced. The characters are well-developed… I recommend this story to those who like gothic fiction, and to those who are interested in aristocratic English society prior to the American Revolution.”
History from a Woman’s Perspective

~*~

The girl stirred. He sat back, wiping away his tears, but she merely shifted her head on the pillow and pulled the blanket to her chin. Again he leaned over her. Early morning light now fell more sharply across her face, weaving patterns of brightness and shadow as the curtains rustled on the draft.

“Oh, my child!” he whispered. “You have every right to disdain me. I cannot begrudge you your feelings. But it will pass. It must! I mean to do right by you. I owe it to you…and to your mother.” He sat back in the chair, as she rolled onto her side, away from him. “There is so much you need to know, so much that only I can tell you. Trust me…just a little…and I will find a way to redeem myself in your eyes.”

It would not be easy. She remained steadfast in her animosity. Nothing could shake her resolve. She had been betrayed. Her world turned upside down.

Day and night he had sat by her side, cradling her in his arms when she cried out, wiping vomit from her chin, bathing her burning face and limbs with cool towels. Clutching her hand in that bleakest hour of the night, he saw in her glazed and dilated eyes that the spark of life had begun to fade. He clutched her against himself, as though to squeeze into her the very force that sustained him. Three days and nights passed before a flicker of light returned.

On the fourth night she asked for water. He poured out a glass from the pitcher on the bedside table and held it to her lips. She focused her eyes at him in the wavering light from the candle stub. She looked hard at him before recognition sent a pained expression over her face. Her eyes darkened, then filled with tears. Then she turned her face to the wall, and she wept.

She would not die. Yet, in that instant, she slipped away as surely as if death had taken her.

~*~

Fischer-Brown_LordEsterleighsDaughter2-200x300

For more information, please click on thee cover.

Fridays and FreeBits is a regular feature on Ginger Simpson’s blog, Dishin’ It Out. To read more excerpts from some great authors, click here.

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Friday FreebitsWelcome once again to Fridays & Freebits. Can you believe it’s August already?

This week’s  excerpt is from Lord Esterleigh’s Daughter, the first book in “The Serpent’s Tooth” trilogy of historical novels. Here you will meet Julia, the mother of the heroine, Anne. I hope you enjoy.

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“Lord Esterleigh’s Daughter is an accessible, fast-paced historical romance with elements of suspense and danger. I liked the heroine immediately…”–Cora Seton Reviews

~*~

Julia Fairfield loved the smell of earth. Warm and damp under her bare feet, it gave off an aroma filled with promise. The spring season always brought a sense of hope, best seen in the renewal of life with all its delicate scent and color, best felt in the touch of sun on her uncovered head, best nurtured in the little sprouts that appeared almost magically overnight in her little patch of garden.

Under the gentle warmth of the May sun, amid sweetly scented breezes, Julia hitched her skirts up over her knees, fixing the hem securely in her waistband. Armed with a trowel and a pair of sturdy leather gloves, she wended her way into the plot of young flax.

She knelt, taking care not to trample the fragile grasses, and dug up weeds, one by one, shaking off the clumps of damp red soil clinging to the roots. After so many years, she marveled at how skillful she had become, how quickly she worked. She’d grown strong of limb, her body lean and agile.

Yet there was a time—so long ago—in this selfsame plot of earth on a spring day much like this, when the vastness of the project overwhelmed her. She’d been unprepared. Nothing in her upbringing or experience had provided her with the disposition to endure such a provincial existence. She had found the strength deep inside, where it lay untapped during those years of growing soft and complacent in a world that now seemed little more than a dream.

The same as Joseph. Nothing but a dream. Not even the assurances of spring could resurrect the hope she had sustained during those first hard years at Melbridge. Those years spent waiting. That hope had died long ago. She had let it fade away. But still he remained a part of her, would always be a part of her, just as Anne was a part of them both. And, yes, in her heart she still loved him. She would always love him.

~*~

Cover art by Michelle Lee

For more information, please click on thee cover.

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Fridays and FreeBits is a regular feature on Ginger Simpson’s blog, Dishin’ It Out. To read more excerpts from some great authors, click here.

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Friday FreebitsWhere has the week gone? Welcome back to Fridays and Freebits! This week’s excerpt is again from my historical romance, Winter Fire. The following occurs midway through chapter eight.

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5 Stars “Author Kathy Fischer-Brown has created lifelike characters that live and breathe during the pioneer days of the late 1700’s…. I recommend this book!” — Jacqueline M Piepenhagen

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It was not the murder that had him at odds with himself. She denied having had a hand in it, and perhaps she told the truth. That was not what troubled him. Even if she had killed Rufus, she was not the cold-blooded savage the others would have her be. But as Sparks had said, she provided them with the perfect scapegoat. Under other conditions, perhaps, it might have been different. Had she been one of their own, they might have been willing to admit that there were mitigating circumstances, that she had acted in self-defense. No one could claim that Rufus was a saint.

He had no qualms about taking her away to wait out the storm, even if he became an accessory to her so-called crime. His conscience could abide by that. After all, he acted in the name of justice, to ensure that justice would be served, for he knew that she would never be treated fairly. He wondered if he could make her understand what she was up against.

She was not completely unaware of her situation. She had a tenuous grasp…as far as she could see it, given her upbringing.

That was what lay at the heart of the matter.

She was not of his world. As hard as he tried to overlook this, the obvious kept flying in his face. White as she appeared on the outside, she was as red as they came on the inside. And more, she was stubborn to boot, and not at all the innocent she appeared. Her kiss had proved that. She responded to him like a woman of experience, and that disturbed him three-fold. How in God’s name could he allow himself to become involved with her? With one of them?

But it was too late for second thoughts. Not only had he involved himself deeply, she attracted him now, more strongly than before. Her kiss had left him hungry for more. He needed to exercise discretion lest his desire overpower his reason.

~*~

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To find out more about Winter Fire, please click on the cover.

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Fridays and FreeBits is a regular feature on Ginger Simpson’s blog, Dishin’ It Out. To read more excerpts from some great authors, click here.

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Welcome to Friday FreebitsFreebits Friday! This week’s  excerpt is again from my historical romance, Winter Fire. The following occurs at the end of chapter six.

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“This was my first time reading Kathy-Fischer Brown so I was not sure what to expect. I’m glad that I was pleasantly surprised. I really loved her writing style and the pacing of the story. There was not a dull moment! I loved the hero and heroine. They had a perfect combination of chemistry and mystery.”– Booknerd

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She seemed to sense his misgivings. How could she not? He felt that his face alone had given him away. Had he a glass in view he would have seen what she, no doubt, had seen. How he scrutinized her from afar with a look of uncertainty. There was no smile on his part to echo her smile of welcome. No look of pleasure at seeing her. He had said nothing of the fire she had made, or the appealing smell of the stew filling the room. And in response, the delight fled from her eyes.

“Ethancaine…not…pleased?”

Her voice was softer than a whisper. If not for the movement of her lips, he would not have believed she had spoken at all.

“That’s not it at all. I–” Stunned, Ethan regarded her while the realization slowly overwhelmed his awareness. “Good Lord!” Full understanding struck him with the force of a blow. “You…you speak English!”

She nodded slowly, peering at him from under her thick eyelashes.

“But you…?”

“Is…hard…for me.” Her voice was as strained as her eyes were expressive, her hands grasping at air. The effort to speak and make herself understood commanded all of her concentration. “Agasha-aw…I…try…not forget.”

He closed the door and stumbled past her, then lowered himself into a chair at the table. With his gaze fixed on the tabletop, he raked his hands through his hair. “I thought you had gone.”

“Ethancaine…not pleased?” she repeated, her voice low and uncertain.

The way she met his bewildered stare, with a wide-eyed, questioning look, she seemed so totally guileless. Either she was well schooled in the art of deception, or clearly she had no notion of the gravity of her situation. Either she had no moral sense at all, or she was as innocent as she appeared, as innocent as he wished her to be.

~*~

Winter Fire, by Kathy Fischer-Brown

To find out more about Winter Fire, please click on the cover.

Friday FreeBits is a regular feature on Ginger Simpson’s blog, Dishin’ It Out. To read more excerpts from some great authors, click here.

 

 

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Welcome to Friday FreebitsFreebits Friday! This week’s six paragraph excerpt is from my historical romance, Winter Fire. Once again I’ve drawn on Seneca legend in a short flashback, as Zara hides from men from the settlement who have come looking for her at Ethan’s cabin in connection with her uncle’s murder.

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…I can’t say enough how great this story is.It is well plotted and flows so easily that before you know it… You can’t put it down…I “HIGHLY” recommend this book!!” — Amazon.com review

~*~

She could not run for the safety of her mother’s lodge, for the man blocked her way. So she ran away. She ran blindly, swiftly. And he followed. He chased her far, far from the village, into the fields of tall, waving corn and beans and squash by the edge of the forest. There she fell to the ground and could run no more.

Pressed close to the earth, screened all around by the sheltering corn, she heard the man draw close, and then his steps faded away. Too frightened to move, she kept herself still and close to the ground. She had tried not to breathe, not to think for fear that the sounds of her thoughts would give her away. And when she heard the voices of her brothers and men from the village, she saw that the sun had completed its journey across the sky. The day had passed without her being aware.

Okteondon, her oldest brother, laughed as he carried her home on his shoulders. “You were made small by the Jongies,” he said. “Our Jiiwi has a powerful orenda. The Jongies have protected her from harm!”

As relief over the men’s departure coursed through her body, Zara smiled sadly at the thoughts flooding her mind. How she missed her brothers! All but one, Hahjanoh, the youngest, were dead, killed in the terrible war that had already taken many brave young men and destroyed many of their villages. She missed her sisters and her old mother…and Nichus.

But when she thought of Nichus, her-husband-no-longer-her-husband, she felt neither a pang of longing for his closeness nor a great desire to be with him. When she saw his face in her mind, it was not the face of the man she had slept with for the many seasons of their union, nor the man who had provided all the meat and skins her family ever required. It was not the face of a man who prompted a warmth of feeling to envelop her heart and excite her blood and inflame her senses. It had never been that way with him. She missed him as a cherished friend, a brother. Suddenly she realized that there had never been an abundance of passion between them. Not in the way another man’s touch had inspired her to imagine.

Ethancaine… The men from the settlement had called him by name. Ethancaine. Twice he had placed himself between her and danger. Twice now she owed him her life and her gratitude. Ethancaine was the reason she had not run.

~*~

winterfire200x300

To find out more about Winter Fire, please click on the cover.

Friday FreeBits is a regular feature on Ginger Simpson’s blog, Dishin’ It Out. To read more excerpts from some great authors, click here.

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Welcome once again to Friday Freebits Freebits Friday! This week’s six paragraph excerpt is from my historical romance, Winter Fire. In the following six paragraph excerpt, I’ve drawn on the Seneca creation myth for Zara’s dream after Ethan has rescued her from drowning in a half-frozen creek.

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In her dream, she was running. Fast and hard while water drums sounded a fearful pulsing, and turtle shell rattles hissed like snakes. Jeering voices filled the air. The Gagonsa, the False Faces, with their grotesque masks painted black and red, chased her from the village. But when she looked back over her shoulder, blue-coated soldiers pursued her. The Gagonsa and all The People were gone. The village was on fire.

She ran until she could run no farther. Then Nichus, her-husband-no-longer-her-husband, came to her. Nichus led her by the hand to a hole in the earth.

“The witch Jiiwi is no more,” he said gently, and he pushed her over the brink.

Like Iagen’tci, the Sky Woman of legend, she fell. She fell through a dark abyss. And a great white bird came to her.

“Are you afraid?” the bird asked. “Are you afraid of being cast out like this?”

“Yes,” she replied, “I am afraid.”

“You need not be frightened any longer,” the bird said, and it transformed itself into a man who supported her in his arms, and descended with her into the light.

~*~

winterfire200x300

To find out more about Winter Fire, please click on the cover.

Friday FreeBits is a regular feature on Ginger Simpson’s blog, Dishin’ It Out. To read more excerpts from some great authors, click here.

 

 

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