Lily Fairchild details the life of a young woman through the challenges of her youth and her quest to have a family of her own. What was the inspiration for the setup to this intriguing story?
My purpose in creating Lily was to follow an extraordinary pioneer woman through the various phases of her long life.
Lily’s character is refreshing, she is blunt and many times quite curt as she proves her point. What were some driving ideals behind her character?
The ideals behind Lily are here fortitude in the face of adversity, the insight that comes with embracing challenges, and the pervasiveness of love in her life.
The story takes place in 1850’s Ontario. Why did you choose this time and place for your story?
The book is set in the 1850s and beyond because I have always been interested in the history of my birthplace (Point Edward, Ontario) and the tumultuous historical events that impinged upon it and its citizens.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
My fiction writing days are over (after 22 novels) and I now keep myself occupied writing poetry abut Point Edward and my upbringing there.
Lily Fairchild follows the life of a pioneer woman, born in the backwoods of Lambton County in 1840, throughout her long life, ending in 2019. During that time, she is witness to historical events that impinge on her life: the Underground Railroad, the coming of the railways, the discovery of oil, the Fenian raids, the first and second Riel Rebellions, the construction of the tunnel under the St Clair River, the Great War, and the flu pandemic of 1919. Lily struggles against the forces of history and the small tragedies besetting a nineteenth-century woman and, against the odds, bearing children, marrying three times and taking part in the founding of the village of Point Edward and its steady growth as a port and railhead. Hers is a heroic story.
Mandarin Ducks continues to follow Li in 1630’s China as he continues to learn about his heritage and seeks to marry but is thwarted by politics between families. What were some themes you wanted to carry over from the first book and what were some new themes you wanted to explore?
The continuous thread throughout the whole series is Li Bing’s progress through the career trajectory of civil service scholar/administrators. At the same time, I want to provide readers with a glimpse into various aspects of Chinese culture and everyday life. The various subplots are meant to punctuate the contrast between the ideal and the real.
As with the first book, I found this story to be both educational and entertaining. Was it your intention to write stories this way or did this happen organically while writing?
I definitely set out to provide both education and entertainment in the series. In a sense, I’m documenting my own voyage of discovery, as I learn about the history and culture of a country about which outsiders know very little, and which is often misrepresented in Western depictions.
You stated in a previous interview that you taught and traveled through China. What were some of your stand out moments from your time in the country?
You are continually confronted by the contrast between the old and the new. One minute you can be standing in ruins that are thousands of years old and the next minute you can be traveling 300 km/hr on a high speed train. Another interesting aspect is the way in which the people reflect the unitary identity of being Chinese, while at the same time strongly identifying with the culture, food, language, and traditions of their own region or ethnic group. There are many Chinas within China.
This is book two in your Kaifeng Chronicles. Where does book three, Grand Canal, pick up?
Book three takes place on the Grand Canal, as Li Bing travels north to Beijing to write the metropolitan examinations.
In late autumn 1630, Li Bing prepares to depart for Beijing to write the metropolitan examinations. Before he goes, he learns more about his heritage from his maternal grandfather and hopes to marry his childhood sweetheart Xiaoyun. However, political intrigue between his father and hers has the potential to derail more than just his marriage.
Lily says she has “no upbringing,” and she insists she isn’t cultured, refined, or very civilized for that matter. She is quick to list her faults and shortcomings and lacks a certain amount of self confidence that frustrates those who know her best. From the loss of family members to the reluctant discovery of her own true love, she survives battle after battle on her own two feet. As a young woman striving to make her way in Ontario in the 1850s, Lily begins to realize that the bonds she holds most dear are those that will last a lifetime.
Lily Fairchild, by Don Gutteridge, details the life of a young woman through the challenges of her youth and simple roots into adulthood and the quest to have a family of her own. Gutteridge’s main character, Lily, is an amazing woman indeed. The author has developed within her a wide spectrum of characteristics into which he delves in much depth.
Lily Fairchild is a work of historical fiction which includes numerous aspects of the day and time. From the time of Lily’s youth, Gutteridge pulls readers into one event after another by describing real and relevant historical events and the ways in which they impact Lily’s life and that of her family and friends. Throughout the book, Gutteridge peppers his plot with enough historically accurate facts to keep fans of historical fiction satisfied and engaged while keeping Lily’s experiences in perspective.
Most of Lily’s life is fraught with tragedy, but the author provides moments of levity to lighten the overall mood. Lily’s first experience with the clergy is quite a sight to behold. When she questions the reverend and riles him with doubts and requests for clarification, the reader is left smiling at the reverend’s frustration. This is also one of the first scenes in which Lily proves her own intelligence and demonstrates her wit.
Gutteridge has given Lily a wide range of challenges that would completely wreck most people–not the least of which is an untimely and unplanned pregnancy which places her in quite the social predicament. Her brief encounter with royalty led to one of her most heart wrenching ordeals and, in some ways, brought Lily closer to her extended family.
Sophie, a vibrant character in her own right and one of my favorites in the book, is as lovable as she is brash. From her first encounter with Lily during childbirth, Sophie endears herself to readers as much as she does to Lily. Sophie’s storyline is timely and poignant and captures readers’ hearts as they watch her face the battle of domestic violence.
Gutteridge’s novel takes readers on a fascinating journey of ups and downs as Lily grows, faces the aftermath of each of her battles, and proves herself more than worthy of being called a heroine. As a work of historical fiction, Lily Fairchild is a real masterpiece.
Pages: 628 | ASIN: B07SW1N5NS
The Works Online Bookstore: featuring the Scots-English editions, Consuming Fire, and much, much more.
GEORGE MACDONALD (1824-1905), forerunner of the Inklings–Scottish minister, poet, novelist, and imaginative seer– was one of the most beloved Victorian authors throughout Great Britain and the U.S. in the 19th century. He wrote some 50 volumes of novels, poetry, short stories, fantasy, sermons, and essays. His influential body of work placed him alongside his era’s great men of letters and his following was vast. Two decades after his death, his books were pivotal in leading C.S. Lewis to Christianity. He thus became the foundational member of Wheaton’s Wade Center “Seven.”
SCOTLAND’S FORGOTTEN HEROINE…
Daughter of The Chief of Clan Farquharson, young Anne was the envy of her peers… until she made the mistake of marrying for love!
The man she married was Angus Mackintosh – 22nd Chief of Clan Mackintosh and one of the most powerful men in the Scottish Highlands. At first, Anne was blissfully happy. But the year was 1745 and Bonnie Prince Charlie was about to step off a boat on the west coast of Scotland and plunge the nation into war.
Angus Mackintosh was a serving officer with the British Army and joined the brutal ranks of troops hunting the young prince down. To her horror, Anne realised she would have to choose between her husband and her country.
She raised a regiment of 500 men and joined the prince. This young woman, with little experience of combat, led her men into battle against regiments of the British Army led by “Butcher” Cumberland. As her clansmen fought their way through the fog at Dornoch, “Colonel” Anne Mackintosh was suddenly reunited with her husband… but not in the way she wanted.
Everything Anne did, during her hectic life, was for love. She married for love and then she picked up the broadsword for love. This novel follows her adventures through the chaotic events of the last Jacobite Rebellion on a sometimes heroic, sometimes tragic, journey that led her clansmen into clouds of sulphurous gunsmoke at The Battle of Culloden with bullets coming thick as the rain falling from the dark skies.
Swordpoint is a thrilling action adventure novel set against the chaos of the French Revolution. Why did you choose this time and place for your novel?
French Revolution and Napoleonic era always held a special fascination for me since I was a young and impressionable teenager. The French revolutionary period is unique, because it came as a result of people seeking social justice through extreme means and was largely an act of desperation against the over privileged French aristocracy. It was a time of great changes and political turmoil, where ancient royal institution was shaken and then toppled by the will of the common man. It was a phenomenon that shaped the history of the modern Europe and provided the background for this novel.
I enjoyed Vidocq’s character progression and overall development. What were some ideas that were important for you to capture in his character?
Vidocq is the main protagonist in this story and there were several important ideas in presenting him to the readers as a man of intelligence and action. The first idea in shaping his character came from reading his biography, because unlike many fictional characters he really existed. A man in trouble with the law who learns the hard way what it means to be an honest man is a strong idea and it shows in Vidocq’s actions as he navigates though obstacles in his turbulent life on his way to freedom and good reputation. The second idea in shaping his character came from his own decision
in changing his life using his experience as a master criminal to catch other criminals. What can be more exciting than an outlaw trying to catch other outlaws?
You highlight some important historical moments in the French Revolution. What kind of research did you undertake for this novel to get things right?
To be perfectly honest, I initially considered this writing project as too ambitious for me. I have never written a historical fiction novel before, and the desire to make it happen overcame my feelings of fear and doubt. My research was very thorough and it had to be right, because in order to convey the true historical setting of the period, I had to find out everything I could about French Revolution, the early reign of Napoleon, mannerisms, customs, speech, weapons and provide correct dates and the descriptions for every real historical event. It was time consuming, at times exhausting, but ultimately very enjoyable experience.
What is the next novel that you are writing and when will it be available?
I am currently working on a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel which is in the first draft stage. It involves humanity in its relationship with an artificial intelligence after an apocalyptic event that alters human evolution on a planetary scale. The novel should be available in about a year’s time give or take a few months for the final polishing. I enjoy writing very much and hope to produce many interesting novels.
David Crane’s historical novel, Swordpoint, transports the reader to late 18th-century France, a country gripped with the chaos, blood, and terror of the French Revolution. The novel will entertain you with its realistic settings, interesting historical references, passionate love affairs, duels, battles, betrayals, and narrow escapes.
Eugene Francois Vidocq was a thief, an adventurer, and a duelist who searched for his place in life with wit, sword, and passionate love affairs. Hunted by the police agents of revolutionary France and later the agents of Napoleon, he is forced to make the most important decision in his life to survive and become a man of respect. To achieve that, he must transform himself into a new man, an outlaw hunting the outlaws in the name of justice. The road to salvation is hard, but for a man like Vidocq, failure is not an option.
These eight stories readers journey to yesteryear with issues as fresh as tomorrow’s headlines. Written by Legacy Storyteller, Pete Peterson, and published by Pallamary Publishing.
In “An Old-fashioned Fourth” we meet Hamus Zanderhook, badly scarred by the House fire that ate Baby Sister and turned Pap into a cinder. Hamus’ passion when he picks up his banjo, “is that folks will want to dance and be happy.” We follow him through the Missouri Ozarks of late 1930’s from steamy honkytonks to a Hooverville where street urchins beg for food and forgotten families struggle to survive – a haunting vision of today’s political crisis.
“In Winner Take All,” 44-year-old, bare-knuckle champion Ryman Call, fights for something more important than money.
In “The Food Thief” neglected Jeremy Holt steals to feed a hunger that food alone won’t satisfy, while older sister Josephine returns from St. Louis, with ruby earrings and necklace and a terrifying tale to tell.
In “Summer Slave” orphan Art Carr starts what he hopes is his last year as a unpaid laborer on a Missouri farm. When he rescues beautiful Fatima from drowning, a new take on forgiveness, love, and redemption questions old values.
In ‘Rivers to Cross” San Francisco native Samantha climbs hills and wades rivers to visit her father’s remote grave – a father she’s never met, killed in Vietnam who begs her forgiveness from his lonely grave.
In “Rules for Dying” the flag go up each morning at Rosecrans National Cemetery as Mike and his uncover secrets in graves of deceased veterans and a mysterious young widow shows that loyalty and compassion open doors to a new life.
“After Midnight” the title story, provides a ring side seat at a bare-fist fight between the black champ and the indomitable Ryman Call. Defense plant workers skip meals to see this battle, drink beer, eat fried chicken and watch the blood flow. Hamus faces his greatest fear and Ryman faces death, the outcome determined by a .38 caliber pistol.
This collection of stories is gentle as a punch in the gut, as subtle as a slug of morning bourbon. Some enthrall, some educate. All entertain, revealing an America of the past that opens windows on the struggles of today.
Coming Summer 2019
Posted in book trailer
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The Love of Gods is a genre-crossing novel with elements of romance, supernatural, and mystery as well. Did you start writing with this in mind, or did this happen organically as you were writing?
Actually, I initially was trying to write a mystery with a hint of a simmering romance which I hoped would span several books, but I discovered pretty early on that I am a romance writer and not a mystery writer. So, I tossed my first draft and started over.
Lugos and Keely are interesting and well defined characters. What were some ideas that were important for you to capture in their characters?
Lugos is based on two different Celtic gods which gave me a place to start. I immediately understood who he was, what would be important to him, and a good portion of his backstory from the very beginning. And so from that jumping off point, he became a vivid character in my mind. I wanted him to value his intellect over his brawn. I also him to value humanity over his own kin. As for Keely, her southern sass is based on a waitress I know, and the awful taste in men is a nod to a dear friend of mine. Because Lugos is an immortal, I wanted Keely to have a resilient and courageous nature so that Lugos’s god-ness didn’t overpower the relationship. Even though she’s a mortal, Keely had to be his equal in many ways otherwise the relationship wouldn’t work.
I loved the backstory and world building in this novel. What were some sources of inspiration for you while creating this story?
I spend a lot of my time researching various myths and much of the characters’ backstories are tied to my understanding of those myths. The various gods in The Love of Gods all have their own histories in Celtic mythology and I drew from these. The shifter and witch communities have rich literary traditions that gave me a direction, a roadmap, of how they might respond if the world of the Pale truly existed.
This is book one in The Legends of Pale series. Where will book two take readers and when will it be available?
I’m happy to say that I am hard at work on several books in this series. The Fate of Wolves is the next book and will be out near Christmas this year. I have already finished book three, The Dreams of Demons, and if all goes to plan I’ll release it in spring 2020. I’m currently writing the fourth book, The Souls of Witches and I’m absolutely in love with the main characters. But then, that’s how it is with each book I write.
Lugos had given his word when the world was still young, before he’d endured the wrenching pain of her soul being torn from his. Lifetime after lifetime she’d returned when he’d needed her most, when the apathy of his kind had eaten away at his resolve and his heartfelt vow seemed pointless. One would think he’d be able to protect a single mortal, after all, he was a god. But two long centuries had passed since he’d held her, since he’d been whole. Now, she was back and Lugos had a decision to make; claim the only woman he’d ever loved, or deny his soul’s deepest craving and grant Keely a chance at a peaceful life without the dangers that populated his world. For five years, Lugos had chosen the latter with the hope that the fates might overlook them this time. That was still his plan when the goddess Rhiannon called seeking his help. Lugos should have known better.
Posted in Interviews
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The Literary Titan Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and we are proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.
Gold Award Winners
Silver Award Winners
Posted in Literary Titan Book Award
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If you only read the first few lines of this review, the most important things you should know is that the story being told is both unique and interesting and the writing style is long-winded and full of fascinating detail. The author of this book is clearly adept at delivering a believable scene that has the power to bring readers directly into another world. Readers who read both science-fiction and historical fiction for the sake of reading – that is to say, readers not in any particular hurry to reach the end of the book – will revel in the amount of content delivered in this book.
The plot unfolds over time through the development of three connected story lines, and there is more than enough time for the author to build in strong connections between the story lines that make sense and are believable. The element of time travel is a driving force for the storytelling and it is done with great care. The reader can easily feel when they are exploring Saxon England in the middle of the 11th century and when they are in the present day.
The attention to detail in this book goes beyond what other writers in this genre are able to achieve. The historical accounts throughout the book are rich and the scenes taking place 1000 years ago are clearly laid out. Not only is achieving that level of believability a feat of literary skill, but also displays good historical knowledge. Anyone who reads this book will receive a history lesson, whether they are after one or not.
The detail and depth that Shackleford goes into while taking his readers through this historical fiction/science-fiction novel is something that some might take to be a challenging task but are features that fans of epic fantasy will appreciate. This book is for those who prefer to dig deep and really get into the world of the characters they are reading about. This is, therefore, a book preferred by those who enjoy the journey rather than reaching a destination. Rather fitting, actually, for the type of story that this is.
The character-building is a central focus in the book. While there is not much to make the characters stand out or seem like they are anything other than ordinary individuals put through extra-ordinary situations, Shackleford ensures his readers feel what the characters are going through.
The skill and research that went into creating this story is commendable but not everyone is a fan of meandering prose. While I may be a fan, it will probably take a lot of people by surprise. In either case, this is an exceptional book that I truly enjoyed.
Pages: 431 | ASIN: B07NZ59G8Y
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