Tuesday 15 November 2022

Check out Liz Harris' fabulous #NewRelease - In a Far Place #HistoricalFiction @lizharrisauthor

In a Far Place

By Liz Harris

Publication Date: 15th November 2022
Publisher: Heywood Press
Page Length: 378 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction / Romance

How much would you give up to follow your dreams?

Birmingham, 1967

When trainee doctor Peter meets beautiful student nurse Claire, an instant connection hits them both like a physical force. But beneath his obvious love for Claire and his vocation for medicine, Peter has a fierce longing for adventure, born out of his lonely childhood in Ladakh. It's a longing he can barely admit to himself.

In a devious attempt to come between the pair, Peter’s friend Alex lends him an article about the Flying Doctors of Australia.

From this simple action come stark, thrilling and heart-breaking consequences for all three of them.

This novel is FREE to read with #KindleUnlimited subscription.

Liz Harris

Born in London, Liz Harris graduated from university with a Law degree, and then moved to California, where she led a varied life, from waitressing on Sunset Strip to working as secretary to the CEO of a large Japanese trading company.

 A few years later, she returned to London and completed a degree in English, after which she taught secondary school pupils, first in Berkshire, and then in Cheshire.

In addition to the nine novels she’s had published, she’s had several short stories in anthologies and magazines. 
Liz now lives in Oxfordshire. An active member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Historical Novel Society, her interests are travel, the theatre, cinema, reading and cryptic crosswords. To find out more about Liz, visit her website at: http://www.lizharrisauthor.com you can also connect with Liz on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram

Friday 14 October 2022

Her Castilian Heart by Anna Belfrage #AwardWinning #HistoricalFiction @abelfrageauthor


Her Castilian Heart
By Anna Belfrage

Blood is not always thicker than water…

At times a common bloodline is something of a curse—or so Robert FitzStephan discovers when he realises his half-brother, Eustace de Lamont, wants to kill him. 
A murderous and greedy brother isn’t Robert’s only challenge.  He and his wife, Noor, also have to handle their infected relationship with a mightily displeased Queen Eleanor—all because of their mysterious little foundling whom they refuse to abandon or allow the queen to lock away. 

Eustace is persistent. When Robert’s life hangs in the balance, it falls to Noor to do whatever it takes to rip them free from the toothy jaws of fate. Noor may be a woman, but weak she is not, and in her chest beats a heart as brave and ferocious as that of a lioness. But will her courage be enough to see the safe?

Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, she became a financial professional with two absorbing interests: history and writing. Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy which is set in 14th century England.  

Anna has also published The Wanderer, a fast-paced contemporary romantic suspense trilogy with paranormal and time-slip ingredients. 

Her Castilian Heart is the third in her “Castilian” series, a stand-alone sequel to her September 2020 release, His Castilian Hawk. Set against the complications of Edward I’s invasion of Wales, His Castilian Hawk is a story of loyalty, integrity—and love. In the second instalment, The Castilian Pomegranate, we travel with the protagonists to the complex political world of medieval Spain. This latest release finds our protagonists back in England—not necessarily any safer than the wilds of Spain!

Anna has also authored The Whirlpools of Time in which she returns to the world of time travel. Join Duncan and the somewhat reluctant time-traveller Erin on their adventures through the Scottish Highlands just as the first Jacobite rebellion is about to explode! 

All of Anna’s books have been awarded the IndieBRAG Medallion, she has several Historical Novel Society Editor’s Choices, and one of her books won the HNS Indie Award in 2015. She is also the proud recipient of various Reader’s Favorite medals as well as having won various Gold, Silver and Bronze Coffee Pot Book Club awards.

Thursday 13 October 2022

The Last Crystal by Frances Schoonmaker #AwardWinning #HistoricalFantasy @fgschoonmaker


The Last Crystal
By Frances Schoonmaker

When they board the L.A. bound Santa Fe Chief in Kansas City, the Harrison kids have never heard of the Last Crystal or the magic surrounding it. Worried about their father, who has been injured in World War II, they dread a summer with their boring, old Uncle James. But before the train is half way to L.A., J.D., Mary Carol, Robert, and Grace have crossed paths with a Nazi spy and one of the four has been kidnapped. Then, without warning, they find themselves off the train, drawn into a quest for the Crystal. To get home again, they must cross two thousand miles of wilderness and find the Crystal, with nothing to guide them but their wits, each other, and an old map that only the youngest can read.


My first published work was a mystery that appeared as a serial in the high school paper. It was complete with an astonishing number of bodies and a fireplace with sconces, one of which was the key to a secret passage. What can I say? I came across it recently and had a good laugh.

I taught in elementary school for a dozen-plus years before becoming a professor at Teachers, College, Columbia University. So you'll see a couple of my scholarly books in my list. People often ask why I decided to write for kids after being a professor. I haven't thought of it as a big change. My whole professional life has been devoted to children and their education. This is another way or supporting them. But I confess, I didn't quite leave the scholar behind. It was a real challenge to write a fantasy set in particular periods in history. My background in historical research was a great help as I explored new work on the Great Westward Expansion, World Wars I and II, and the Chumash people who settled along the Pacific Coast of Southern California.

Wednesday 12 October 2022

Over the Broad Earth: A Novel from the Saga of Fallen by J.L. Feuerstack #AwardWinning #HistoricalFantasy @JLFeuerstack


Over the Broad Earth: A Novel from the Saga of Fallen

By J.L. Feuerstack

Over the Broad Earth presents a sweeping fantasy tale of the eternal struggle between Angels and Demons. This imaginative tale tracks the continuing contest of two Celestial brothers, God and Satan, who, by ancient decree, can only unleash their sibling rivalry when human beings engage in combat.

The citizens of both Heaven and Hell endure all the emotions and circumstances of the humans they routinely inhabit, love, valor, passion, treachery, bravery, and heartache. Readers will follow the exploits of two of the greatest “eternal” warriors of the ages: Lord Zinc II (Heaven) and Schizophrenia "Schitz" Incenderos Nervosa (Hell). The rivals battle one another throughout history from the struggle between the Babylonians and Assyrians in the desert through and beyond the teeming jungles of Southeast Asia.

Along the way, these intrepid fighters interact with a host of characters (Moses, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, and more), friends, fiends, and lovers. Displaying the same traits of compassion and selfishness known to all of Creation, Schitz and Zinc lead their soldiers – and try to stay alive

Tuesday 11 October 2022

A Woman of Noble Wit by Rosemary Griggs #AwardWinning #HistoricalRomance @RAGriggsauthor

 A Woman of Noble Wit

By Rosemary Griggs

Few women of her time lived to see their name in print. But Katherine was no ordinary woman. She was Sir Walter Raleigh’s mother. This is her story.

Set against the turbulent background of a Devon rocked by the religious and social changes that shaped Tudor England; a Devon of privateers and pirates; a Devon riven by rebellions and plots, A Woman of Noble Wit tells how Katherine became the woman who would inspire her famous sons to follow their dreams. It is Tudor history seen though a woman’s eyes.

As the daughter of a gentry family with close connections to the glittering court of King Henry VIII, Katherine’s duty is clear. She must put aside her dreams and accept the husband chosen for her. Still a girl, she starts a new life at Greenway Court, overlooking the River Dart, relieved that her husband is not the ageing monster of her nightmares. She settles into the life of a dutiful wife and mother until a chance shipboard encounter with a handsome privateer, turns her world upside down.…..

Years later a courageous act will set Katherine’s name in print and her youngest son will fly high.

Amazon UK • Amazon US • Amazon CA • Amazon AU • Barnes and Noble • Waterstones • iBooks • WHSmith • Foyles

Rosemary Griggs

Rosemary Griggs is a retired Whitehall Senior Civil Servant with a lifelong passion for history. She is now a speaker on Devon’s sixteenth century history and costume. She leads heritage tours at Dartington Hall, has made regular costumed appearances at National Trust houses and helps local museums bring history to life.

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Instagram

Monday 10 October 2022

Sea of Shadows (Sea and Stone Chronicles, Book 2) by Amy Maroney #AwardWinning #HistoricalRomance @wilaroney

 Sea of Shadows 

(Sea and Stone Chronicles, Book 2)

By Amy Maroney

1459. A gifted woman artist. A ruthless Scottish privateer. And an audacious plan that throws them together—with dangerous consequences. 

No one on the Greek island of Rhodes suspects Anica is responsible for her Venetian father’s exquisite portraits, least of all her wealthy fiancĂ©. But her father’s vision is failing, and with every passing day it’s more difficult to conceal the truth. 

When their secret is discovered by a powerful knight of the Order of St. John, Anica must act quickly to salvage her father’s honor and her own future. Desperate, she enlists the help of a fierce Scottish privateer named Drummond. Together, they craft a daring plan to restore her father’s sight. 

There’s only one problem—she never imagined falling in love with her accomplice.

Before their plan can unfold, a shocking scandal involving the knights puts Anica’s entire family at risk. Her only hope is to turn to Drummond once again, defying her parents, her betrothed, even the Grand Master of the Knights himself. But can she survive the consequences? 

With this captivating tale of passion, courage, and loyalty, Amy Maroney brings a lost, dazzling world to vivid life.

Sea of Shadows is Book 2 in a series of stand-alone historical novels packed with adventure and romance.

Amy Maroney studied English Literature at Boston University and worked for many years as a writer and editor of nonfiction. She lives in Oregon, U.S.A. with her family. When she’s not diving down research rabbit holes, she enjoys hiking, dancing, traveling, and reading. Amy is the author of The Miramonde Series, an award-winning historical fiction trilogy about a Renaissance-era female artist and the modern-day scholar on her trail. Her new historical suspense/romance series, Sea and Stone Chronicles, is set in medieval Rhodes and Cyprus.

Sunday 9 October 2022

Finding Jane by Elizabeth Conte #AwardWinning #TimeTravel


Finding Jane

By Elizabeth Conte 

Pride and Prejudice meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, this tale of love, honor, and even scandal will test the course of destiny for two souls in search of each other, if only time wasn’t between them.

A business trip from the crowed streets of Los Angeles to the countryside of England was supposed to be a reprieve for Jane Reynolds. She needed a break from congested commutes, endless workdays, and mostly, to stop crying from a broken heart. But her first night out in the bustling streets of London, and an encounter with a young man only reinforce that life and love are just illusions, no matter how far she travels.

Taking refuge in a bookstore, Jane meets a psychic who tells her she is unique, born under the black moon, giving her a magnetic energy that will send her on a faraway journey. It is only the next day, when she unwittingly steps into a strange vibrational pull and is found naked in a 19th century field that the psychic’s words find meaning.

But nothing good can come from disrupting a time and place you don't belong–unless you are Jane.

Caught in the past, Jane becomes an interloper in the lives of the people she meets. Especially to Henry Eaton, the handsome landowner who takes her in and finds himself drawn to the woman who has brought a renewed sense of vivacity to his family, his home, and even his own harrowed heart.

As the characters weave their lives together through friendships, flirtation, and intrigue, Jane and Henry test the course of destiny in their search for love.

Ultimately, Jane must fall into the past to find love in the future.

Elizabeth Conte is a writer of novels, poetry, and short stories. She is a native Californian where she lives with her husband and her almost out-of-the-house college kids. When she isn’t writing, you will find her in her garden, walking her dog, Winston-the only one who will sit and listen to her reading out loud, or mixing up a cocktail. Her love for writing is only equal to her love of gardening. 

Saturday 8 October 2022

Shake Loose the Border (Thunder on the Moor, Book 3) by Andrea Matthews #AwardWinning #TimeTravel @AMatthewsAuthor


Shake Loose the Border 

(Thunder on the Moor, Book 3)

By Andrea Matthews

With Will and Maggie’s wedding just a week away, the last thing they need to stumble upon is Johnnie Hetherington’s dead body tied to a tree, especially one that’s so close to their cottage. Recognizing it as a sure sign that Johnnie has betrayed the family once too often, Sergeant Richie Carnaby gathers Will and his family together for questioning, though it seems obvious only a fool would kill a man on his own land. Then who did murder the rogue, and why?

Feeling confident it wasn’t any of the Fosters, Richie allows Will and Maggie’s wedding to proceed, but the couple has barely exchanged vows when the Armstrongs attack in force. Geordie is determined to rescue his niece from the clutches of Will Foster, whether she wants to go or not. And if he happens to make her a widow in the process, so be it. Will senses the danger and implores Dylan to get Maggie away to safety, no matter where — or when — that may be.

Though Maggie protests, Will assures her he will follow as soon as he is able. Yet how can that be possible when Dylan whisks her back to the twentieth century? Sharing her fears about Will, and unable to forget his own love, Annie, Dylan attempts to return to the past one last time despite his growing concerns over the disintegrating amulet stone. But will he make it in time to rescue Will, or will the villainous Ian Rutherford, who has already killed in cold blood once, win the ultimate battle and see Will and Maggie separated forever?

Andrea Matthews is the pseudonym for Inez Foster, a historian and librarian who loves to read and write and search around for her roots, genealogical speaking. She has a BA in History and an MLS in Library Science, and enjoys the research almost as much as she does writing the story. In fact, many of her ideas come to her while doing casual research or digging into her family history. She is the author of the Thunder on the Moor series set on the 16th century Anglo-Scottish Border, and the Cross of Ciaran series, where a fifteen hundred year old Celt finds himself in the twentieth century. Andrea is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Long Island Romance Writers, and the Historical Novel Society.

Social Media Links:

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Friday 7 October 2022

Clement: The Templar’s Treasure (Clement, Book 3) by Craig R. Hipkins #AwardWinning #YoungAdult #HistoricalFiction @CraigHipkins


Clement: The Templar’s Treasure

(Clement, Book 3)

By Craig R. Hipkins

Clement & Dagena return for another action packed adventure. From the cold and dreary shores of Greenland to the fabled land of Vinland. The legendary treasure of the Knights Templar awaits.

Amazon UK • Amazon US • Amazon CA • Amazon AU

Craig R. Hipkins grew up in Hubbardston Massachusetts. He is the author of medieval and gothic fiction. His novel, Adalbert is the sequel to Astrolabe written by his late twin brother Jay S. Hipkins (1968-2018) He is an avid long-distance runner and enjoys astronomy in his spare time.

Social Media Links:

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Thursday 6 October 2022

Muskets and Minuets by Lindsey S. Fera #AwardWinning #YoungAdult #HistoricalFiction @AuthorLinzFera


Muskets and Minuets 

By Lindsey S. Fera

Love. Politics. War.

Amidst mounting tensions between the British crown and the American colonists of Boston, Annalisa Howlett struggles with her identity and purpose as a woman. Rather than concern herself with proper womanly duties, like learning to dance a minuet or chasing after the eligible and charming Jack Perkins, Annalisa prefers the company of her brother, George, and her beloved musket, Bixby. She intends to join the rebellion, but as complications in her personal life intensify, and the colonies inch closer to war with England, everything Annalisa thought about her world and womanhood are transformed forever.

Join Annalisa on her journey to discover what it truly means to be a woman in the 18th century, all set against the backdrop of some of the most pivotal moments in American history.

A born and bred New Englander, Lindsey hails from the North Shore of Boston. A member of the Topsfield Historical Society and the Historical Novel Society, she forged her love for writing with her intrigue for colonial America by writing her debut novel, Muskets and Minuets. When she's not attending historical reenactments or spouting off facts about Boston, she's nursing patients back to health in the ICU.

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Wednesday 5 October 2022

The Ghost Rider by Ellen Read #AwardWinning #Supernatural #HistoricalFiction @ellenreadauthor


The Ghost Rider

By Ellen Read

Has Catherine Lacey been kidnapped by human hands or has the ghost of Lacey Hall ridden away with her?

1879 Sophie, Catherine’s sister, can’t answer that question. Catherine disappeared overnight. Sophie knows that Catherine had fallen in love with the ghost of the first Sir Giles Lacey, who in 1676 had won Lacey Hall in a card game. Not content with his windfall, he reclaimed land from the village to build a lake. The story goes he was murdered for it.

2019 Australian Kate Dalton reads her three times great-grandmother Sophie’s letter and travels to England to discover if Catherine had been murdered, kidnapped or whisked away by a ghost. At first, Kate isn’t welcomed at Lacey Hall, particularly by its owner. She is warned to stay away from Old Widcombe Woods and the dilapidated cottage in its midst. The woods were cursed many years ago. Then Kate sees the ghost rider. The old tale claims that every night he rides up to the house and then disappears into the lake, his destiny sealed for eternity. Kate is determined to see him up close but the present Sir Giles prevents her from going outside to him. At every turn, Kate is foiled.

Then Kate sees a second ghost.

After a series of accidents find Kate with head injuries and more, she starts to wonder if they are mishaps or does someone want to prevent her from discovering what happened to Catherine and, ultimately, from uncovering a mystery that has its seed planted by the first Sir Giles.

Kate doesn’t see the final danger approaching.

Ellen Read is the author of The Dragon Sleeps, The Inca’s Curse and The Amber Trap—historical murder mystery romance novels.

Ellen was born in Queensland, Australia. 

She loves to read fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. She particularly loves history and stories of ancient myths and legends. Authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, Agatha Christie, and Victoria Holt, the latter of whom wrote gothic mystery/romances, have influenced her own work.

Other interests include photography, painting, music and musical theatre, and dance. Ellen was a ballroom dancing teacher for many years and has also worked in Performing Arts administration. 

Tuesday 4 October 2022

The Year We Lived by Virginia Crow #Supernatural #HistoricalFiction @DaysDyingGlory


The Year We Lived
By Virginia Crow

It is 1074, 8 years after the fateful Battle of Hastings. Lord Henry De Bois is determined to find the secret community of Robert, an Anglo-Saxon thane. Despite his fervour, all his attempts are met with failure.

When he captures Robert’s young sister, Edith, events are set in motion, affecting everyone involved. Edith is forced into a terrible world of cruelty and deceit, but finds friendship there too.

Will Robert ever learn why Henry hates him so much? Will Edith’s new-found friendships be enough to save her from De Bois? And who is the mysterious stranger in the reedbed who can disappear at will?

A gripping historical fiction with an astonishing twist!

Virginia Crow

Virginia grew up in Orkney, using the breath-taking scenery to fuel her imagination and the writing fire within her. Her favourite genres to write are fantasy and historical fiction, sometimes mixing the two together such as her newly-published book "Caledon". She enjoys swashbuckling stories such as the Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas and is still waiting for a screen adaption that lives up to the book!

When she's not writing, Virginia is usually to be found teaching music, and obtained her MLitt in "History of the Highlands and Islands" last year. She believes wholeheartedly in the power of music, especially as a tool of inspiration. She also helps out with the John O'Groats Book Festival which is celebrating its 3rd year this April.

She now lives in the far flung corner of Scotland, soaking in inspiration from the rugged cliffs and miles of sandy beaches. She loves cheese, music and films, but hates mushrooms.

Social Media Links:
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Monday 3 October 2022

The Admiral’s Wife by M.K. Tod #AwardWinning #HistoricalFiction @MKTodAuthor

 The Admiral’s Wife 

By M.K. Tod

The lives of two women living in Hong Kong more than a century apart are unexpectedly linked by forbidden love and financial scandal.

In 2016, Patricia Findlay leaves a high-powered career to move to Hong Kong, where she hopes to rekindle the bonds of family and embrace the city of her ancestors. Instead, she is overwhelmed by feelings of displacement and depression. To make matters worse, her father, CEO of the family bank, insists that Patricia’s duty is to produce an heir, even though she has suffered three miscarriages.

In 1912, when Isabel Taylor moves to Hong Kong with her husband, Henry, and their young daughter, she struggles to find her place in such a different world and to meet the demands of being the admiral’s wife. At a reception hosted by the governor of Hong Kong, she meets Li Tao-Kai, an influential member of the Chinese community and a man she met a decade earlier when he was a student at Cambridge.

As the story unfolds, each woman must consider where her loyalties lie and what she is prepared to risk for love.

M.K. (Mary) Tod’s interest in historical fiction began as a teenager immersed in the stories of Rosemary Sutcliff, Jean Plaidy, and Georgette Heyer. In 2004, her husband’s career took them to Hong Kong where, with no job and few prospects, Mary began what became Unravelled, her first novel. The Admiral’s Wife is her fifth novel.

Mary’s award-winning blog, www.awriterofhistory.com, focuses on reading and writing historical fiction. She’s an active member of the historical fiction community and has conducted five unique reader surveys on topics from readers’ habits and preferences to favorite historical fiction authors. Mary is happily married to her high-school sweetheart. They have two adult children and two delightful grandsons.

Social Media Links:

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Have a sneak-peek between the covers of Thomas Tibor's fabulous novel - Fortunate Son #HistoricalFiction #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub @thomastibor57


Fortunate Son
By Thomas Tibor

A powerful, evocative novel that transports the reader to a tense period in America, Fortunate Son is set on a southern college campus during the turbulent spring of 1970. Reed Lawson, an ROTC cadet, struggles with the absence of his father, a Navy pilot who has been Missing in Action in Vietnam for three years.

While volunteering at a drug crisis center, Reed sets out to win the heart of a feminist co-worker who is grappling with a painful past, and to rescue a troubled teenage girl from self-destruction. In the process, he is forced to confront trauma’s tragic consequences and the fragile, tangled web of human connections.

“Sorry I’m late,” Reed said as Annabel jumped into the Mustang. “How was your weekend?”

“Forget my weekend. Why’d you have to blab about me? Now they think I’m a wacko!”

“I’m sure they don’t. You’re dealing with heavy stuff right now and need some help, that’s all.”

“Forget that shit. Mom dragged me to a doctor last year. He laid some crap on me about having an anxiety disorder. Gave me a bunch of Librium, which just made me sick.”

Flipping down the sun visor, she inspected the dark circles beneath her eyes. “Dammit, forgot the concealer—I’ll look like a corpse all day.”

Reed tried to change the subject. “By the way, have you written any poetry lately?”

“Fuck no. Gonna burn all my notebooks.”

“What! You can’t do that.”

“Who says? Not like anyone’s gonna read that garbage anyway.”

“Wait a minute. You can’t just get rid of creative stuff like that. Besides, it’s really good.”

“Says only you.”

“I don’t get it. I thought you wanted to go to college and become a writer.”
“Another stupid pipe dream.”

Clearly, nothing else he could say was going to make a difference.

That same day—Monday, May 4—Ohio National Guard troops were summoned to restore order at Kent State University. In the confrontation with protesters that ensued, Guardsmen opened fire, killing two students and two bystanders. Nine others were wounded. News of the Kent State killings quickly spread nationwide.

In the crowded TV room, Reed and Adam fixated on the evening broadcast—Guardsmen firing, students screaming. And a photo of a young woman pleading for help, kneeling next to a guy lying on the pavement, his head in a puddle of blood.

Adam raised his voice above the angry clamor. “I guess American citizens are now no safer than the Vietnamese we’re killing.”

The next morning after drill, Reed stood in the ROTC parking lot and spread the newspaper across the Mustang’s hood. According to the front-page article, the Guardsmen had lobbed tear gas at protesters in attempts to break up the rally. Some protesters threw the smoking canisters—along with stones—back at the Guardsmen, who retreated, except for twenty-eight, who suddenly turned and fired into the unarmed crowd. Over sixty rounds in thirteen seconds.

As he finished the article, students slowed and leaned out of passing cars to jeer.

“Fuck you, ROTC!”

“Fascist pig!”

Reed stiffened but didn’t bother to respond, then walked into class.

Captain Harwood joined the class that day to discuss the killings. He began by reading excerpts from articles: “According to the Ohio National Guard, the Guardsmen had been forced to shoot after a sniper opened fire against the troops from a nearby rooftop. Others claimed there was no sniper fire . . . the brigadier general commanding the troops admitted students had not been warned that soldiers might fire live rounds . . . a Guardsman always has the option to fire if his life is in danger.”

The captain scanned the room. “So, what do you all think?”

“Seems to me, sir,” a cadet responded, “it was self-defense.”

Reed raised his hand. “Sir, why couldn’t they have just fired warning shots?”

Harwood was about to speak when he was interrupted by shouting from protesters outside: “Down with ROTC!” “ROTC off campus!” “Burn it down!”

He pressed on. “Once weapons are loaded, Guardsmen have a license to fire. These guys were inexperienced, afraid, and poorly trained.”

As another cadet raised his hand, bricks crashed against the classroom windows, cracking a few panes.

Reed dove to the floor and crouched under his desk. Son of a bitch! 

More bricks, glass breaking, and chanting continued until Harwood was able to shepherd the cadets into the hallway amid pounding on the front door.

Sirens wailed in the distance. Campus police soon arrived to clear the front lawn and sidewalk, cordon off the area, and direct the cadets outside.

Reed escaped to his Mustang. It was all too freaking crazy. He drove across the lot, but protesters blocked the exit. Gunning his engine, he envisioned knocking the assholes down like bowling pins. Moments later, the police cleared his path and motioned him through.

Back at the dorm, he ripped off his uniform and rummaged for a clean pair of Levi’s. Adam sat at his desk, furiously scribbling notes.

“Don’t you have class?”

“Walked out,” Adam said.


“Because of what my fascist teacher wrote on the blackboard: Lesson for the Week—He who stands in front of soldiers with rifles should not throw stones.”


“Screw it. I’m not going back.”

“Wait a minute. What about finals next week?”

Adam shoved his notebook aside and stepped toward the door. “Who gives a shit? It’s like that saying, To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men. At some point in life, you gotta take a stand.”

In Political Philosophy class, Reed’s professor was drowned out by shouting from the hallway. “Strike, strike, strike!” 

Several students burst into the classroom.

“They murdered four people!” a girl cried. “How can you sit there like nothing’s going on? Strike!”

“Get lost. We’re trying to study!” a guy yelled.

“They were students, just like you and me!”

As Reed tried to focus, more protesters interrupted the class. Several kids got up and walked out.

The professor stopped writing on the blackboard. “All right, who else wants to leave? If you do, please do so now.”

Should he stay or go? Of course, the killing of the students at Kent State was horrible. Jeffrey Miller wasn’t an activist, just a concerned kid. Sandy Scheuer had been walking to speech therapy class, paying no attention to the surrounding chaos. Allison Krause had put a flower in a Guardsman’s rifle on Sunday. On Monday, she was dead. William Schroeder, age twenty, was in ROTC. Just like me.

Adam’s quote echoed in his head: To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men. Yet what was a strike actually supposed to accomplish?

Reed surrendered to inertia and stayed in class.

Afterward, he drove to the 7-Eleven, yet found no respite from the mayhem. When he walked out, a tearful woman about his mother’s age, wearing a peasant dress, leaned against the Mustang holding a sign: 48,700 Dead Soldiers. Four Dead Students. America—What Are We Doing to Our Children?

Back on campus, a guy shoved a leaflet into his hand: Strike to End the War. Strike to Take Power. Strike to Smash Corporations. Strike to Set Yourself Free!

Reed crumpled and tossed it. Strike for whose power? Smash which corporations? Set yourself free from what exactly?

At Annabel’s high school, tensions ran nearly as high. Kids had commandeered the sidewalk. White-helmeted police officers lined the curb, clenching batons and shielding protesters from passing cars.

“Can you believe it?” Annabel said. “One minute you’re waving some sign, the next minute you’re dead.”

On the way to Jordan’s, traffic was stalled by hundreds of protesters spilling across the road in front of the university’s administration building. When Reed tried to make a U-turn, the police signaled him toward a side street.

Annabel poked her head out the window. “Come on. Let’s park and see what’s going on.”
They walked to the administration building, where a school official stood blocking the front door, trying to calm the crowd.

“I appeal to everyone to use reason. A mob has no reason. Let’s not create a situation that invites the very same violence we all deplore!”

His words were met with a mix of approval and derision.

The next speaker, no older than the students, wore a military fatigue jacket despite the heat and introduced himself as a member of Veterans for Peace. “I experienced enough violence, blood, and death at Khe Sanh for a lifetime. I vowed, never again!”

At the mention of Khe Sanh, Reed glanced at Annabel. She had a faraway look in her eyes. Must be thinking about her father.

The vet continued, “Now that killing is happening here, the time for complacency is over! I’m not a leftist. I’m not a communist. I’m a patriot. I love America.” He concluded by reading from a petition: “We believe in life, not death, love not hate, peace not war. Join us and demand that President Nixon stop this war now!”

Annabel turned away. “I gotta get the hell out of here.”

She remained stone-faced and silent until Reed dropped her off at Jordan’s.

Too agitated to study, Reed parked at the dorm and walked into the student union. On TV, a reporter was asking a middle-aged woman from Kent, Ohio, about the dead students.

“They’re traitors!” she hissed. “They deserve everything they got!”

The news program cut to the streets of Manhattan, where helmeted construction workers hoisting American flags fought antiwar protesters with fists and lead pipes. At least twenty people had been hospitalized. In Seattle, members of a vigilante group ironically called HELP—Help Eliminate Lawless Protest—had also attacked demonstrators.

Reed had had enough and left. Maybe Olivia’s warning of a nation sliding toward another civil war wasn’t off base after all.

When Reed arrived for the free clinic that night, he discovered it had been canceled due to the protests. On the porch, Jordan, Olivia, Meg, and other volunteers were donning red-and-black armbands emblazoned with the number 644,000. Reed now understood it referred to the total estimated casualties so far—soldiers and civilians, both Americans and Vietnamese.

He watched uneasily as Meg distributed white candles. A candlelight vigil march had been planned to honor the Kent State deaths.

Olivia beckoned them to leave, but Jordan lingered and said to Reed, “Are you coming with us?”

He was relieved by her tone—gentle, not accusing. “I don’t know.”

“You realize what’s at stake, don’t you? You can’t stay on the sidelines. Not anymore.”

“Maybe not. But if you’re right and the war is immoral, that means my dad must be a criminal.”

He expected her to argue, but she remained sympathetic. “It’s not for me to judge your father. I’m sure he’s suffering horribly, but what’s happening now all over the country is bigger than one person. Much bigger.”

Reed hesitated, thinking about an argument between Sandy and Mom last fall. Dad had been MIA for two years, but Mom had refused to participate in any protests.

“What if your father really is alive and in prison?” she’d asked. “What if the North Vietnamese saw a newspaper article quoting me as criticizing the government? What if they showed your father a picture of me protesting? It would completely destroy his morale.”

Down the street, Olivia and the others were joining protesters gathering on University Avenue—students and locals, all carrying flickering candles.

What to do? His mother was right, but Jordan was too. He felt his father’s presence—watching, judging—as if they were tethered by a nine-thousand-mile cord. Yet Reed heard no voice in his head, no command, no advice. Nothing…

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A veteran writer and video producer, Thomas Tibor has helped develop training courses focusing on mental health topics. In an earlier life, he worked as a counselor in the psychiatric ward of two big-city hospitals. He grew up in Florida and now lives in Northern Virginia. Fortunate Son is his first novel.

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