Angels and Bandits

Please welcome Brodie Curtis to my blog. Good morning. Shall we get started?

1. Please introduce yourself to those reading this blog post.

First, thank you very much Mary for having me on today! My name is Brodie Curtis and my debut novel, THE FOUR BELLS, came out in 2019 and told the story of Al Weldy reconnecting with his old-flame Maddy Beane, and the two of them reopening old wounds that the Great War had caused. Today I’ll be talking about my second historical novel, ANGELS and BANDITS, which follows up on some loose threads in THE FOUR BELLS to tell the story of two young RAF Spitfire pilots in The Battle of Britain who come from very different stations in life and must overcome their differences to become fighting brothers for the defence of Britain.

I was raised in the Midwest, in a small town not far from the Mississippi River. I was educated as a lawyer and ended the first part of my career in the California corporate tower of a large company.  I left the corporate world to embrace life in Colorado with wife Sue and our then two young sons. Sue and I turned our talents and drive to building a business in Denver. With plenty of hard work that went well, and I began to write.

F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said, “there are no second acts in American lives,” but with the effort I’ve put into my writing I feel I’m closing in on a third act.

2. Has writing always been part of your life and when did you “know” that it was time to start writing your first book?

Until not too many years ago, I hadn’t written much fiction (I’m sticking to my story that countless business letters, memos and documents written in the corporate tower don’t qualify!). My debut novel, THE FOUR BELLS, was set in motion years ago, in a homey lounge, when I heard a gorgeously mournful acoustic version of John McCutcheon’s song about the transcendent Christmas Truce of 1914. It inspired me to research reports on the Truce in contemporaneous writings and non-fiction, and to walk the fields of Flanders. I found that there wasn’t much fictional treatment of the Christmas Truce. At the time, we had pretty much stabilized our business, and looking back, I was meandering about, trying to find an activity that would fill a chunk of time (boy, did I find one in writing!) and decided to have a go at writing a novel on the Truce. It’s funny though, how our characters take us writers down their own road, and the Truce became just one important scene in my story.

3. How difficult was it writing your first book?

Once I decided to move ahead with my book, I sat at my desk for many hours and wrote on my yellow pad with Natalie Merchant, classical mix stations, the Stones and many more keeping me company. I’d written tens of thousands of pages of legal memorandums, business letters, and corporate reports. Surely I could write a novel. Actor, action, subject. No problem.

I cranked out a draft, which I was extremely proud to have delivered to myself. Certainly it was near best seller shape, I thought, and searched the internet for an editor who might tune it up a little bit before it was displayed by the front door at Barnes & Noble.

The feedback wasn’t what I expected, and the most valuable comments were the harshest. ‘It’s all tell—no show. First or third person, even omniscient—just pick a point of view. This thing is filled with meaningless physical gestures and unnecessary movements, summaries and conclusions, and meandering dialogue. Cut the crap out of this three hundred page manuscript and there might be enough for a novella.’

Now, the smart move might have been to toss my pen in the bin and work on my golf game. Instead, I put the pen down, and set about educating myself on the craft of writing and building some skills. For probably half a year, I read writing instructional books and blogs, and did innumerable writing exercises. Viewpoint, voice, the narrative, sourcing, premise, themes, suspense, raising the stakes.

Then I rewrote. I knew I had improved my writing game— but I was still way over my skis. I reached out to the very talented author-editor Sue Millard from the Lake District in the North of England to help me with applying British authenticity to my dialogue and descriptions, naively believing this was all the help my book required.

I thank my lucky stars that Sue took me on and poured herself into THE FOUR BELLS. Without her care, corrections and guidance, there would be no book. Sue has me striving to write with precision (find the perfect word), and with economy (say it the simplest way, and don’t double up on descriptions). More than that, she taught me to write with a plan. Who are your characters? What are they about? Describe them on paper. Recognize that each action triggers a response. Draw out how the actions and responses flow.

4. Have you ever wanted to give up and what stopped you?

Truthfully, I never got to the point of giving up on my writing. I can be obsessive to a fault, and just kept trucking along with my yellow pad even when I knew my writing chops needed a lot of work. I noticed my editor started sprinkling in a ‘good’ in the margin comments here and there along her many ‘grrrs’ and ‘OMGs’ and ‘can we stop with—’. That, and some patient and supportive friends who gave me feedback on early drafts that allowed me to believe I was improving my craft turned the tide.  

5. Who is the most supportive of you and your dream to be a writer?

My wife Sue has been tremendously supportive of my writing even long before there was THE FOUR BELLS to hold in her hands and know that something has come from all the time I’ve spent at it. Life is very busy between parenting, business, keeping up a household and one’s many other pursuits. Having a partner and best friend who will support the devotion of time needed to a creative pursuit that probably seemed to her like no more than an endless hobby is truly a treasure.

6. Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Since I’ve begun writing, I’ve gotten into the habit of putting my short take, just a paragraph or two, on paper after I’ve read a book. I consider myself a bit of a connoisseur of world war fiction and have posted more than 100 of my quick takes on books from that genre on my website, under Brodie Curtis’s Takes on War Fiction + Book and Movie Reviews – Brodie Curtis Author. I’ve also posted reviews of historical novels outside the world war fiction genre. Most of these were published in the Historical Novels Review. If one of my takes or reviews sparks your interest, make a search and see if you want to add the title to your reading queue!

7. What is the best advice given to you (book or otherwise), and by whom?

A very wise man who I worked with, who was many years older than me, told me to figure out a way to break free of the corporate tower—and find a career path that ensures I have plenty of time for my family, particularly during the years my young sons are developing at home. Following that advice proved priceless.

8. What is your target audience and what aspect of your writing do you feel targets that audience?

My target audience is the readers of historical fiction, and particularly those who enjoy world war-based fiction. Some great world war fiction titles like The Nightingale and The Alice Network have enjoyed huge success in recent years portraying bonds forged in life and death circumstances between strong female protagonists. A number of other WW novels like The Orphan’s Tale, The Women in the Castle, The Flight Girls and Code Name Verity similarly focus on war-time relationships among female protagonists and have been successful enough to be featured in airport bookstores I’ve passed through. ANGELS and BANDITS is similarly a relationship-based story, but with compelling male protagonists: the story of Eddy Beane’s and Dudley Thane’s intense personal conflict and eventual bond. I have strived to develop my characters with depth and at the same time feature gritty scenes inspired by auto-biographies of Battle of Britain pilots and the Spitfire, the elegant war machine that still captures imaginations, with a dash of romance thrown in.

9. Did the cover evolve the same way, or did you work with someone to make it come together for you?

I believe the cover art for both my books is stunning and sometimes I just hope that the words behind them live up to their visual beauty! I worked with terrifically talented artists on the covers for both of my books, and the process for each of THE FOUR BELLS and ANGELS and BANDITS was similar. The cover artist and I exchanged emails where I laid out my ideas for the images and text. Ultimately, the artist came back with something well beyond what I could have ever conceived! I’ve searched the internet for potential cover artists in the past and I’m truly amazed by all the supremely-talented options out there for authors to choose from.

10. What are you working on now? Can we get a peek, an excerpt?

My third historical novel takes me into the period of Mississippi river Showboats in the years before the American Civil War. Showboats chugged into river towns with people lined on the banks for their arrival, watching the billowing smokestacks and listening to the happy sounds from the calliope. Many of them  boarded the docked vessel for an evening of theatre, song and dance. The Showboat genre has some quite romantic aspects and is very much under-fictionalized in my view. My protagonists are inspired by family lore.

Currently, I am researching away, learning all I can about life on the river during the period, the workings of Mississippi riverboats and the entertainment provided and pleasures taken on showboat excursions. Now that Covid seems to have loosened its grip, I hope to travel along the Big Muddy this year and stop in on museums, historical societies and who knows where all else to unearth photographs and anecdotes that inspire scenes in my new book! So we’re a bit early for an excerpt, but it won’t be long now!

11. Any last words before we wrap things up?

I’m very much a work in progress as a writer. It’s said to take ten years to become proficient at a trade or a craft and I believe I’m closing in! A big help on my writing journey is feedback from readers. I’ve received feedback that inspired me on and helped me write better scenes in my stories. Honestly, it’s cool and sometimes moving when someone sees one of my scenes from a different perspective than I had when I wrote it. I hope some of you who are reading When Angels Fly reach out to me about ANGELS and BANDITS or THE FOUR BELLS or for that matter about any of the takes and reviews I’ve posted on my website. Cheers! Brodie.

Media Kit

Book Title: Angels and Bandits

Author: Brodie Curtis

Publication Date: 15th May 2022

Publisher: Westy Vistas

Page Length: 357 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Twitter Handles: @BrodieCurtis4 @maryanneyarde

Instagram Handles: @curtisauthor @coffeepotbookclub

Hashtags: #HistoricalFiction #WWII #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub

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The Battle of Britain rages and two young RAF pilots from very different stations in life must somehow find common ground—and stay alive.

On the eve of World War II, working-class Eddy Beane is a flight instructor in London. He successfully completes dangerous espionage missions for Air Commodore Keith Park and takes on society-girl June Stephenson as a student. Her ex-fiancé, Dudley Thane, is also a flyer, but upper-class and Cambridge-educated. When the German Luftwaffe attacks England in 1940, Eddy and Dudley end up serving in the same Spitfire squadron. Aerial combat is intense, and both men show their skills and courage, but can they set aside jealousy and class differences to become fighting brothers for the defence of Britain?

Buy Links:

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Author Bio:

Brodie Curtis

Raised in the Midwest, Brodie Curtis was educated as a lawyer and left the corporate world to embrace life in Colorado with his wife and two sons.

Curtis is the author of THE FOUR BELLS, a novel of The Great War, which is the product of extensive historical research, including long walks through the fields of Flanders, where much of the book’s action is set. His second novel, ANGELS AND BANDITS, takes his protagonists into The Battle of Britain. Curtis is currently working on a novel set on a Mississippi Riverboat prior to the Civil War.

A lover of history, particularly American history and the World Wars, Curtis reviews historical fiction for the Historical Novels Review and more than 100 of his published reviews and short takes on historical novels can be found on his website.

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This entry was posted on June 3, 2022. 2 Comments

Apollo’s Raven

Book Title: Apollo’s Raven
Series: (Curse of Clansmen and Kings, Book 1)
Author: Linnea Tanner
Publication Date: 20th January 2020 (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Apollo Raven Publisher, LLC
Page Length: 394 Pages
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Twitter Handles: @linneatanner @maryanneyarde
Instagram Handles: @linneatanner @coffeepotbookclub
Hashtags: #HistoricalFantasy #HistoricalFiction #AncientRome #AncientBritannia #ApollosRaven #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub
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Apollo’s Raven
(Curse of Clansmen and Kings, Book 1)
By Linnea Tanner

Narrated by Kristin James


A Celtic warrior princess is torn between her forbidden love for the enemy and duty to her people.

AWARD-WINNING APOLLO’S RAVEN sweeps you into an epic Celtic tale of for-bidden love, mythological adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britan-nia. In 24 AD British kings hand-picked by Rome to rule are fighting each other for power. King Amren’s former queen, a powerful Druid, has cast a curse that Blood Wolf and the Raven will rise and destroy him. The king’s daughter, Catrin, learns to her dismay that she is the Raven and her banished half-brother is Blood Wolf. Trained as a warrior, Catrin must find a way to break the curse, but she is torn between her forbidden love for her father’s enemy, Marcellus, and loyalty to her people. She must summon the magic of the Ancient Druids to alter the dark prophecy that threatens the fates of everyone in her kingdom.

Will Catrin overcome and eradicate the ancient curse. Will she be able to embrace her forbidden love for Marcellus? Will she cease the war between Blood Wolf and King Amren and save her kingdom?

Trigger Warnings:
Sex, Violence, Sacrificial Rituals


Excerpt 3: Chapter 7 Roman Hostage

24 AD, Southeast Britannia

Marcellus braced himself for terse negotiations as he followed his father into an open chamber at the right of the elevated thrones. Inside the room was a pentagram-engraved table that had been set with a flagon of wine, goblets, and plates piled high with cheese, bread, and dried meats. The windowless chamber had no circulation and smelled musty from moss growing in the cracks of the gray wall.

Now appearing calmer, King Amren sat his bulk down first in a massive chair nearest the opening. Marcellus had been told that Amren was an ignorant savage, but the king spoke Latin as eloquently as any Roman.

Marcellus seated himself on one side of his father, Lucius, while Decimus was on the other. Unlike the calm demeanor of the king, his father’s jaw clenched with obvious irritation. He could never read Decimus, who wore a permanent grimace on his fissured face.

Queen Rhiannon and her eldest daughter sat on each side of the king. Undoubtedly, these tall women were the equals to their male counterparts. The queen was intriguing, contrary, in Marcellus’s mind, to Lucius’s apparent disdain for her. She exuded confidence by the way she held her head high. Though she had remained quiet during the tense discourse, the king frequently looked to her as though seeking direction.

Catrin was last to enter the chamber. Marcellus was intrigued by how divergent her features were compared to her oldest sister. Vala was uglier than a Molossian guard dog with her square chin and pronounced overbite. She kept her mouth shut like a muzzled hound.

Though Catrin’s face was finely chiseled, she was precocious, risking her father’s wrath by blurting out the words that saved his life.

Marcellus noted the commander, Trystan, and the wolf sorceress taking their places be-hind the king’s ornate chair. She acted strangely, sniffing the air like a dog on a hunt. Depending on the wavering torch flame, the color of her eyes changed from brown-speckled green to shiny amber. Catching a waft of foul odor from the direction of the sorceress, Marcellus scrunched his nose. Brownish tissue still clung to her dress, proba-bly as a result of disemboweling the ram.

Trystan worried Marcellus the most. The snarl on this warrior’s face left no doubt he wanted to spill Roman blood; his hand looked too busy on the dagger’s thumb rise.

The meeting chamber darkened when Catrin drew a curtain, partitioning off the room from the receiving chamber. Adjusting his eyes to the dimmer light, Marcellus could see Catrin gazing at him. Her turquoise eyes shone like beacons as though beckoning him to explore her mysterious shores. Though everyone else in the room had pincer scowls, she gave him a demur smile. His heart quickened.

Sweet Venus above, she is beautiful!

Marcellus smiled at Catrin, but becoming aware of the king’s glare on him, he swiveled his eyes to his father crunching on an apple. He grimaced in disgust as his father spat out what looked like a half-eaten worm. Marcellus rubbed his lips with a couple of his fingers to hide his amused smirk. His father wiped his mouth and leveled his dark eyes at the king.

“Why is your youngest daughter here?” asked Lucius.

The king’s face hardened. “Apollo delivered his message through her. Do you want to risk your god’s wrath by not having her stay?”

Marcellus could tell by the disdain on his father’s face that he wanted to throw Catrin out. Decimus wisely shook his head, warning him not to confront the king.

“So be it,” Lucius grunted. He pushed the flagon across the table toward the queen, as if she were a lowly servant. “Pour me some wine.”

“Pour your own,” the queen barked.

An abrupt move behind the king’s chair caught Marcellus’s eye. He flinched when he saw Trystan draw his dagger. Staring at the queen, the warrior’s face flushed as red as a flame. She blazed back, shaking her head.

Alarmed by the sudden show of hostility, Marcellus gripped the table and prepared himself to lunge at the warrior if he made any untoward move.

Decimus also seemed to wake up to the danger; he placed a hand on his gladius.

King Amren regarded Decimus, then turned to Trystan and barked some Celtic orders. The wolf sorceress gripped Trystan by the arm and swatted the curtain back for the two of them to leave.
Marcellus leaned back in his chair to mark the king’s next actions. Amren picked up the flagon and smiled at his wife. “Let me do the honors.” He filled the goblets, handed one to each person, and offered a toast: “To Apollo.”

After the toast, everyone around the table seemed to relax. The king initiated the conver-sation by amiably asking Lucius, “How was your journey?”

Lucius stared at his goblet of wine for a moment and said brusquely, “The brackish air on the sea voyage made my stomach roil. I had to ruminate on spoiled meat before swallowing it down again.”

Amren’s stare froze on the senator as he took a bite of cheese.

After a couple of sips, Lucius set his goblet down with a bang. “Enough of the pleasantries! Let me get to the point. I do not want to belabor the terms for arranging a private meeting between you and Cunobelin. Know this! I will not accept the condition that my son stays as hostage to assure your safety during the talks,” he said, leaning back into his chair and staring at Amren, “unless you also offer someone of equal value for me to hold as hostage.”

“Whom do you propose?” asked Amren with a grated voice.

Lucius took another sip of wine and smiled. “I want your youngest daughter.”

The king gulped the wine in his mouth and slammed his goblet on the table. “No … never.”

“Then who?”

As Marcellus regarded Catrin, the air seemed to suck out of the room and the chamber darkened. He could see fear in her big beautiful eyes. Though he should not care about what happened to her, he could not bear the thought of sex-hungry soldiers harming her at the camp. The chamber fell into a deadly silence.

No movement.


Vala then slowly scuffed her chair back, stood, and pointed to herself. Though she spoke with a strong accent, her message was clear. “As firstborn daughter and king’s champion, I will do it.”

Challenged to do likewise, Marcellus impulsively stood up and blurted, “I also agree to stay here as a hostage. And let that be an end to this bickering.” He puffed out his chest with pride until he turned to his father, who was ready to pounce on him as he mouthed: You imbecile!

Buy Links:

Apollo’s Raven:
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Series Links:

Apollo’s Raven (Book 1):
Dagger’s Destiny (Book 2):
Amulet’s Rapture (Book 3):

Author Bio:

Award-winning author, Linnea Tanner, weaves Celtic tales of love, magical adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia. Since childhood, she has passionately read about ancient civilizations and mythology. Of particular interest are the enigmatic Celts, who were reputed as fierce warriors and mystical Druids.

Linnea has extensively researched ancient and medieval history, mythology, and archaeology and has traveled to sites described within each of her books in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series. Books released in her series include Apollo’s Raven (Book 1), Dag-ger’s Destiny (Book 2), and Amulet’s Rapture (Book 3). Skull’s Vengeance (Book 4 Curse of Clansmen and Kings) is anticipated to be released in late October 2022.

A Colorado native, Linnea attended the University of Colorado and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry. She lives in Fort Collins with her husband and has two children and six grandchildren.

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This entry was posted on June 2, 2022. 4 Comments

Milo Learns Mindfulness #kidlit

Book Link

From Amazon: Milo Learns Mindfulness, is the third academic coloring book in the series. It serves as an interactive, noninvasive academic workbook on the mindful concept. It is designed to be used as a guided instruction tool or independent learning- educator approved for ages 7- 12. Included are academic application of mindfulness practices, coloring page affirmations, engaging vocabulary, journal prompts and much more. The Milo the Doodle Cat series books are one of a kind in children’s books publishing. Each book consists of unique adventures coupled with vocabulary words and discussion questions. The pages are left uncolored so that children may color them, immersing their individual creativity with the story. From the beginning, the Milo the Doodle Cat series doubles up creativity and learning in one space. Using her education background and experience with art therapy, April chose to create a unique stance with these children’s books.

My Review: Milo is a Doodle Cat and his friend Lex tore up his favorite toy – a ball of yarn by accident. Milo yelled at Lex and Mr. Owl heard the commotion. Mr. Owl got Milo and Lex to learn about taking responsibility for both actions and reactions. This book is more than my previous words as it goes more in depth on thoughts and feelings and mire. Children can color with crayon or colored pencils all of the drawings in this book and kids are encouraged to answer questions, draw their own doodles, and write down their own thoughts and feelings. Five shiny gold stars.

As a Man Saveth (Heal Your World)

From Amazon: The latest advance in attaining success offers a revolutionary discovery by fully taking over the reins of what you think, feel and take action to break free from an unpleasant life that is wreaking havoc in your finances, relationships and self-esteem. As A Man Saveth (Heal Your World) by Laban T. M’mbololo, Esq. will envision a more invigorating life in your mind, empower and equip you through conditioning your belief system by tapping into the unimaginable potentialities of your mind to consistently say, do the right things at the right time and in the right way and that will make you accomplish twenty times more than what the average person would.

My Review: This book is about how one would best build their personal wealth for now and in the future. Different models are given and examples. I find that I already follow many of the different thoughts to build a safe financial future. Aside from savings and having a revocable trust, we spend from our checking account only. We have a mix of 401K’s, I run my own company and under that company I have different branches. Those include, but are not limited to an online art gallery, more than 30 books in print with many of them best-selling and award-winning. I use multiple online and brick and mortar businesses in which I sell. My successful blog receives numerous hits each day, I host book tours, I have IPO stock and crypto amounts from more than one type, plus stock bought from major businesses. That is a partial list. The key point is, once you have your main job in a secure manner, branch out, not with a second job, but a side business that runs with little involvement. I’m set up so that money earned under my company is directly channeled to my revocable trust. You can do a similar set up using your strengths.

Hunting For Light #Fantasy

From Amazon: Book 1 of a Trilogy! After a fateful dangerous night, a young anthropologist awakens traditional powers deep within for uniting a society and destroying an ancient, menacing evil. What would you do if you found out the balance of good and evil depended on your ability to make one simple choice? Kate Murphy, a headstrong, thirty-year-old, Midwestern anthropologist, is thrust into an unexpected reality where the balance of good and evil are dependent upon her abilities and decisions. After an attack that leaves her feeling out of control and helpless, she’s forced to reforge her identity, embracing the power within to unite an ancient society bound for protecting mankind. However, the ever-present evil, preventing her from this goal, has been relentlessly stalking her family-line for centuries, forcing her to dig into her family history. After a bit of research, unexpected advice from her childhood priest, and a series of unexplainable happenings, Kate finds herself challenged with some daunting tasks: become a warrior, heal a broken world, and unite a diverse group gifted with similar abilities — all while juggling a job, love-life, family, and friendships. Join Kate in her unexpected epic adventure!

My Review: I found this story to be rather interesting in how the elements of Catholicism, good white light, darkness, love, pure hearts, powers befitting a part fantasy story, romance, evil, and trust meshed and fought for the win of good over evil. I give this story five stars for how it is blended and twisted. It does need to be edited. Trigger Alert: The F word is used throughout. I was okay with this but I know some readers do not.

Unlike Any Other

Book Title: Unlike Any Other

Author: Edward Londergan

Publication Date: 1st March, 2022

Publisher: White River Press

Page Length: 270 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Twitter Handle: @edlondergan @maryanneyarde

Instagram Handles: @edlonderganauthor @coffeepotbookclub

Hashtags: #HistoricalFiction #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub

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Book Title and Author Name:

Unlike Any Other

By Edward Londergan


The Story of An 18th Century Woman from A Prominent New England Family Who Went from A Life of Privilege to The Gallows

Bathsheba Spooner was the daughter of Timothy Ruggles, a general in the French and Indian War, president of the Stamp Act Congress, Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, and a leading loyalist in Massachusetts during the Revolutionary War; the epitome of upper class.

Like her father, Bathsheba was smart, strong-willed, and a staunch British loyalist. Forced to marry a man she did not love, Bathsheba withstood her husband’s abuse for years until a young Continental soldier entered her life. But when this well-heeled mother of three small children discovered she was pregnant with the soldier’s child, her thoughts quickly turned to murder.

Based on a true story, the events that follow Bathsheba’s life, her decisions, and her ultimate demise will show readers that Bathsheba Spooner was, in fact, Unlike Any Other . . .


The next morning, after everyone else was seated, the four of us were led in. The room smelled less of the human odor unavoidable in large gatherings of people sitting for an extended time. And it was filled again. Justice Cushing did not order the bailiff to close the doors; people streamed outside, down the steps, and into the street where hundreds more had gathered.

The jury deliberated for forty minutes. We stood at the railing, watching and waiting, as the justices talked amongst themselves. Mr. Paine and Mr. Lincoln sat at the attorneys table, each scribbling notes and talking to the clerk now and then. I tried to catch Mr. Lincolns eye but he didnt look my way.

Finally, the bailiff came into the room and spoke in a low tone to Justice Cushing. The justices sat imposingly in the chairs, their full authority on display. When the jury was brought into the room and seated, Cushing looked at them.

Have you determined a verdict?”

We have, chief justice.”

Give the verdict to the bailiff.”

My heart was hammering in my chest as the piece of paper that would determine my future was handed by the foreman to the bailiff who delivered it to Cushing. The room was silent, the air eager with anticipation. I could feel the intense excitement flowing through the crowd.

Cushing read the verdict to himself, and then motioned for the other justices to move to a separate room to decide our sentence. They returned in less than ten minutes. Cushing looked at the bailiff, who motioned to the four of us.

Defendants all rise,” the bailiff said.

We stood at the bar facing the justices.

Cushing sat magisterially, the paper folded in his hands.

James Buchanan, William Brooks, and Ezra Ross, you are hereby found guilty of the murder of Joshua Spooner. Bathsheba Spooner, you are hereby found guilty of being an accessory to the murder of Joshua Spooner. The four of you are hereby sentenced to be hanged by the neck until your bodies are dead. Your execution date will be determined by the Council of the State of Massachusetts Bay. This trial is concluded.”

I hung my head, and my shoulders quivered as I began to cry, but it was only a moment before I regained my composure.

Brooks pounded on the bar, presumably angry at the judgment; Ezra stared blankly, as if in disbelief; Buchanan showed no emotion whatsoever.

Justice is done!” someone yelled to the crowd outside.

A loud cheer went up from the people assembled in front of the courthouse.

If I could only undo all that I have done,” I whispered.

When the sheriff and his men took us outside, the crowd went silent. They watched us with an unnerving intensity. Ezra was in the lead followed by Buchanan and Brooks. I was last. The air was still; the only sound was a single loud Caw!” from a large raven sitting on the meetinghouse roof.    

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Author Bio:

Ed Londergan is the author of the award-winning books The DevilsElbow and The Long Journey Home. Having researched American history for many years, he is a frequent speaker with a focus on colonial Massachusetts. A graduate of Holy Cross, he lives in Warren, Massachusetts.

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This entry was posted on May 20, 2022. 2 Comments


So I did a thing over early spring of 2022. I donated three full boxes of books for children in Trinidad! The kids were still masking and Covid-19 has yet to become endemic, but I helped to brighten the kids’ lives and help with literacy. Honestly – knowing I made a difference is my personal satisfaction.

The Complexities of Love #LGBTQ

From Amazon: Mark Cooney grows up aware that there is something different about him and hopes that his parents will never find out. Mark’s best friend Dave disappeared when he was thirteen and returned ten years later. Mark became more and more vulnerable as they got closer. It came with a price. Tormented by his inner demons and refusing to be controlled by anyone, Dave reveals a secret that he has kept since childhood, which leads to a terrible misunderstanding that will have grave consequences for Mark and his family. The Complexities of Love is a coming-of-age story about Mark as he confronts the truth about his family and his identity. All he yearns for is for Dave to return his love, but will that happen, or will he find someone else?

My Review: This is a must read book for those inclined to read about events and social/personal situations of the LGBT community. I related with the main characters homelife as mine was abusive. As a teenager, he had normal fears and anxiety that teens do compounded by not being a heterosexual person. Kids can be and are cruel. No one knows anything about another person, no matter how close a sibling or friend, because if you haven’t LIVED it, you will NOT know it. Free. Perfect ending.

The Mesilla

Book Title: The Mesilla

Series: The Two Valleys Saga, Book 1

Author: Mary Armstrong

Publication Date: 22nd April 2021

Publisher: Enchanted Writing Company

Page Length: 391 Pages

Genre: Western Historical Fiction

Twitter Handles: @authornotarthur @maryanneyarde

Instagram Handles: @contrarymaryauthor @coffeepotbookclub

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The Mesilla

(The Two Valleys Saga, Book 1)

By Mary Armstrong


At 14 years old, Jesus ‘ChuyPerez Contreras Verazzi Messi is too small and frail to work the land on the family farm near the Rio Bravo in Mexico. The local padres tutoring reveals Jesuss unending curiosity and fertile mind. Noted Las Cruces, New Mexico attorney, and politician Colonel Albert Jennings Fountain, agrees to take his nephew under his wing. Jesus reads lawwith his uncle and shares adventures and adversity with the Fountain family and other historic Mesilla and Tularosa Valley citizens. His coming-of-age story will take you into the wild southwest, a brewing range war, a territory struggling toward statehood, courtroom dramas, and the adventures and adversities of a boys quest for manhood.

*A fictional memoir by Jesus about the ten years leading to the notorious and unsolved Fountain murders.

Buy Links:

Universal Links for the series:

When the Doves Coo (A Prequel to The Two Valleys Saga):

The Mesilla (The Two Valleys Saga, Book 1):

The San Augustin (The Two Valleys Saga, Book 2):

The Mesilla Buy Links:

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Amazon US:

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Amazon AU:

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COAS Books:

Author Bio:

Mary lives in the heart of one of the Two Valleysin Las Cruces New Mexico, with her husband Norman ‘SkipBailey, Jr. and their Cavachon child-dog, Java. In 2017 she wrote the one-act play, It is Blood,which was selected for a performance by the Las Cruces Community Theatre. Whereas the Two Valleys series is a prequel to the notorious and unsolved murders of Albert J. Fountain and his eight-year-old son, It is Blood,is a sequel to those events.

After winning an award for her debut historic fiction novel The Mesilla,” Mary has decided to focus on that genre — at least for the foreseeable future. Her writing is fast-moving, thought-provoking and with just enough wordsmithing to satisfy your artistic hankerings. While her writing has literary merit, she strives to capture the moment — the time and the place — and help you live in that moment.

Before releasing her debut novel, Mary dabbled in creative writing, including a weekly column in the Las Cruces Sun News. Since retiring from a diverse career in various planning and design fields, she has devoted herself more fully to her writing, being a good spouse, serving her dog Java, and slipping away to the golf course when left unchained to the desk.

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This entry was posted on May 18, 2022. 4 Comments

Broken by Ivy Logan #supernatural

From Amazon: Book I of The Breach Chronicles BROKEN BUT NOT LOST
The dark shadow cast by an ancient prophecy shatters an innocent family, but all that is broken is not lost and will rise again. Half-blood sorceress, Talia, had a unique childhood. Instructed in combat skills and trained to escape detection, she was schooled to face an unknown menace. Yet, when her family’s worst nightmare comes to pass, Talia finds her protected life spinning out of control. Everything she believes in, and everyone she loves, is cruelly snatched away. Talia is forced to flee the attentions of a mad king and denied her supernatural legacy. She chooses the path of retribution, devoid of love and friendship, but learns that sometimes love is received even if not sought. Broken is a tale about Talia’s coming of age, reuniting with her family and seeking vengeance. Most of all it chronicles Talia’s rise from the ashes and her journey into finding herself again. Read Talia’s epic saga of love, sacrifice, friendship, and discovering the hero within set against a background of time travel and supernatural forces.

My Review: Wow! What a book! Never have I read any book like this one. Love conquers but it’s not without pain and strife, endurance and perseverance. Add to this mix a place with other fantasy realms and creatures and those who think a woman belongs to him as a crazed king, and the men who love their women, the women who love their men and children, tons of torn sacrifices, magical and real life, dragons and swords, daggers and more, this story is for anyone age 14 up. Despite what I wrote above, this book is a clean story suitable for age 14 and up. I write age 14 but if a 12 year-old has a strong vocabulary, then this story is for them as well. Five gold stars.