Sherley A. Williams’ highly acclaimed historical novel details two women’s fierce strength of will and an unlikely bond despite racial barriers in the pre-civil war south
“Having this treasure of a book available again for new and more readers is not only necessary, it is imperative.”—Toni Morrison
In 1829, in Kentucky, a pregnant black woman helped lead an uprising of a group of slaves headed to the market for sale. She was sentenced to death, but her hanging was delayed until after the birth of her baby. In North Carolina in 1830, a white woman living on an isolated farm was reported to have given sanctuary to runaway slaves. In Dessa Rose, Sherley A. Williams asks the question: “What if these two women met?”
From there the story unfolds: two strong women, one black, one white, form a forbidden and ambivalent alliance; a bold scheme is hatched to win freedom; trust is slowly extended and cautiously accepted as the two women unite and discover greater strength together than alone. United by fate but divided by prejudice, these two women are locked in a thrilling battle for freedom, sisterhood, friendship, and love.
The acclaimed author of The King’s Witch continues her epic trilogy of Jacobean England as conspiracy haunts the court of King James.In the court of King James, lady-in-waiting Frances Gorges was suspected of witchcraft for her healing skills. But when her lover was executed for his role in the Gunpowder Plot, she fled for her life—and that of her unborn child. Now Frances is compelled to return to the dissolute and dangerous court to marry Sir Thomas Tyringham, King James’s master of hounds, who has agreed to assume paternity of her son. Meanwhile, whispers of conspiracy continue to echo through the royal palace. Against this perilous backdrop, Frances reunites with her former mistress, the Princess Elizabeth, as well as other less friendly members of the court: Prince Henry, the unscrupulous heir to the crown; Lord Cecil, eager to persecute Frances as a witch; and King James himself, ever more paranoid and cruel towards alleged traitors. But she also discovers a surprising new ally: Sir Walter Raleigh, himself a prisoner in the tower of London. As he makes his intentions known, Frances again finds herself caught in a web of secrets, promises, and plots.
There are many stories with which I bore my greedy visitors but there is one I never shall tell. Although it pleases me to confide this tale to my good friends quill and parchment, I have instructed the stout, dumpling-cheeked widow who sees to the comfort of my house to feed my writings to the flames the moment I breathe my last. I do not doubt that she will obey my order since I have bought her loyalty with gold and soft words, and in any case the woman is unlettered and has little interest in my ramblings. Thus I would have it. I am the last survivor of those who took part in the Plaincourt Manor affair and I have vowed to take that secret to my grave..." The illegitimate child of a penniless knight and a woman of easy virtue, Francis Cranley is abandoned by his mother when his father is killed in battle bravely fighting for the esteemed House of York. Realizing the babe faces certain death without his intervention, the Duke of York decides to repay his dead knight's loyalty by saving the child, taking him in and raising him at Middleham Castle alongside his own children, including the youngest, Richard of Gloucester, to whom he grows particularly attached, displaying an unswerving loyalty from an early age.Capable, quick-witted and handy in a fight, Cranley is chosen by Gloucester to untangle a mystery that arrives at the castle one wintery December morning in the guise of an old soldier on the run. Accused of murdering a child, the man begs Gloucester to help him prove his innocence. Years ago he saved the Duke's life and now he hopes the favour will be returned. Gloucester wants to help, but he cannot be seen to aid a man wanted by the King's justices, since the King is his beloved brother. So he turns to Cranley, who then embarks on a journey that puts his life in mortal danger as he uncovers dark secrets and is pitted against powerful enemies uncomfortably close to the throne.A tale of intrigue, mystery and high drama set against the backdrop of one of the most dramatic episodes in English history, this debut novel from Kathy Martin draws upon her skills as a historian to vividly recreate the landscapes of England that played host to such events.
The gripping conclusion to the historical trilogy featuring Stuart-era healer Frances Gorges—from the author of The King’s Witch and The Devil’s Slave. Life has never been quiet for Frances Gorges at the court of King James, but after finding herself at the center of plots and conspiracies for many years both as an accused witch and a secret Catholic, by 1614 Frances hopes to distance herself from the decadence and ruthlessness of the aging and venal monarch. However, when a handsome stranger appears at a courtier’s country estate, he immediately draws the wandering eyes of the King, throwing the established order of the court into upheaval. George Villiers is ambitious and violent, ready to take down whatever—and whoever—stands in his way, including Frances and her husband Sir Thomas Tyringham. New friends and old alliances—from Francis Bacon and Prince Charles to Sir Walter Raleigh—will offer Frances ways to resist the treachery of Villiers, but danger and Catholic plotting always lurks just around the corner, and sometimes from unexpected sources. With her meticulous eye for detail and evocative storytelling, Tracy Borman’s The Fallen Angel is a riveting conclusion to her trilogy set during the first Stuart monarch’s reign. Praise for The Devil’s Slave “Gripping historical fiction with a daring character in Lady Frances.”—New York Journal of Books Praise for The King’s WitchNamed a Best Summer Debut by Library Journal “Vivid . . . Everything you would want to read in a novel, ranging from palatial royals and intrigues to betrayals to a love story.”—Washington Book Review, “Essential Novels for This Summer”
In the acclaimed historian’s debut novel, a lady-in-waiting in the court of King James is caught up in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.England, 1603. Nursing Queen Elizabeth through her last days, court healer Frances Gorges dreams of her parents’ country estate, where she first learned to use the medicinal secrets of flowers and herbs. Frances is happy to stay at home when King James of Scotland succeeds to the throne of England. His court may be shockingly decadent, but his intolerant Puritanism sees witchcraft in many of the old customs—punishable by death. When her ambitious uncle sends Frances back to the royal palace as a nanny to the princess, she is a ready target for the twisted scheming of the Privy Seal, Lord Cecil. As a dark campaign to destroy both King and Parliament gains momentum, Frances is surrounded by danger. She finding happiness only with the King’s precocious daughter, and with Tom Wintour, the one courtier she feels she can trust. But even he has secrets to hide…
The second book in the dramatic and intriguing story about the colonisation of Australia: a country built on blood, passion, and dreams.
Life in the new colony of Australia is tough — tough for those who are free and even tougher for the prisoners. Many succumb to disease and starvation. Many try to escape, but only few succeed, and those who fail are brutally punished.
Yet some, including Jenny Taggart, are determined to make this savage land their own. She is betrayed in friendship and in love, but she never parts with her vision: a future as a free woman.
Rebels and outcasts, they fled halfway across the earth to settle the harsh Australian wastelands. Decades later — ennobled by love and strengthened by tragedy — they had transformed a wilderness into a fertile land. And themselves into The Australians.
A Colorado dentist claims to be the infamous gunman while mentoring a boy, romancing a widow, and protecting his friend from angry bootleggers. Pueblo, Colorado,1932. Bootleggers thrive in a town where the sheriff is on the take and you can kill a man with impunity. In this thrilling narrative, a once-famous outlaw finds himself thrust into the middle of a bootleg war against his will. At stake is nothing less than the life of his best friend and his last chance at true love with the town beauty. But is the legendary gunman who he claims to be, or is he just a retired dentist with a vivid imagination? Peter Meech reimagines the figure of Billy the Kid in a remarkable story told with verve, humor, grit, and grace. Praise for Billy (the Kid) “Like a vintage dime novel, Peter Meech imaginatively engages the reader with a once-upon-a-time version of Billy the Kid’s life and legacy.” —Larry McMurtry, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Lonesome Dove “Some story ideas are so good you just hope the writer doesn’t mess them up, and then there are the ones you read and just wish you’d written them—Billy (the Kid) is both. Peter Meech’s masterful handling of this Western is nothing short of dead on.” —Craig Johnson, New York Times–bestselling author of the Walt Longmire Mysteries “Vividly imagined, cleverly plotted, and superbly written, Peter Meech’s Billy (the Kid) provides definite and exhilarating proof that a new master of the Western—and the novel—just rode into town. What a wonderful and wonder-filled book!” —Christopher Knowlton, author of Cattle Kingdom: The Hidden History of the Cowboy West
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