Tuesday, December 30, 2014

REVIEWS--historical novels of the 17th century

Reviews by Christy K Robinson

This review is from: Rebel Puritan (A Scandalous Life Book 1) by Jo Ann Butler

Before the Founding Fathers, the Founding Great-Grandparents:
In recent political chatter, Americans have heard much about the Founding Fathers and what they "must have meant" in their books, tracts, and personal letters about liberties and civil rights. For many of those contemporary speakers, the buzzwords are just hot air, not serious research into the characters and real-life situations of the Founding Fathers.

News flash: America's Founding Fathers came from a place of restriction, oppression and punishment, against which their parents and grandparents struggled to overcome. They lived with the poison fruit of a religio-political (church-state) coalition, which is ALWAYS a terrible environment, and a place where spying on and reporting on one's neighbor was encouraged. They were third- and fourth-generation descendants of the pioneers of the 1630s Great Migration from Great Britain to America, those who laid their lives and fortunes on the altar for principles' sake. They knew, first-, second-, and third-hand, what they were fighting for. They didn't need buzzwords and talking points.

Rebel Puritan (A Scandalous Life Book 1) is the first installment of a biographical-fiction trilogy on Herodias Long, a child bride who emigrated to Massachusetts Bay Colony with her husband. Herodias was the ancestor (by DNA or by her influence) of the Founding Fathers.

The author, a genealogist, archaeologist, and researcher, has brought to life not only a young woman who eventually became the ancestor of countless thousands, but the surroundings, culture, and senses of 17th-century England and New England. Herodias Long survived a bubonic plague epidemic, domestic abuse, extreme conditions in the Little Ice Age, hard physical labor, and repeated childbirth, which was a significant cause of death in that era.

The author tells the story engagingly, in clear prose, so it makes for a quick read, as other reviewers have noted. She blends facts and "probables" into a biographical novel you'll remember for a long time.

This review is from: The ReputedWife (A Scandalous Life Book 2) by Jo Ann Butler
 Shame on me, for waiting more than a year and half to review this EXCELLENT book. I gave it a five-star rating in Goodreads, and thought my work was done.

The Reputed Wife is not only a thrilling story of real people in early-colonial Rhode Island, but because it's written by antiquarian/archaeologist/genealogist Jo Ann Butler, it accurately depicts the culture and scenery of the mid-17th-century. I would certainly add "writer/author" to those descriptors, because Butler's prose are clean and clear, and draw the reader into the picture effortlessly. (Well, effortlessly on your part--good writing is hard work.)

As I said in my review of Butler's first book in the trilogy, Rebel Puritan (A Scandalous Life Book 1), the story is about Herodias Long, who survived many situations that would traumatize people of our day. Out of that strength, Herodias finds the wherewithal to take her infant daughter and a teenage helper, and walk through wilderness to the Massachusetts town where she'd once lived, and commit civil disobedience by speaking against the governor and ruling magistrates and ministers, in defense of the Quakers who were being tortured and imprisoned. For that sedition (there was no freedom of speech, religion, or assembly), and particularly for being a woman reviling men, she and the teenage girl were stripped nude to the waist and whipped 10 stripes with a three-knot leather whip. That's not a few welts like you might have gotten on your backside as a naughty child. These were huge wounds that left hideous scars for life. Herodias knew it beforehand.

Even at 400 pages, The Reputed Wife is a fast read because it's so well-written, and it's suitable for teens through adults, men and women.

Hie thyself to the "buy-now" button for the ebook, or even better, go to the Rebel Puritan website and get the paperback. (When reading history and historical fiction, books win over Kindle because you can go to either end instantly, for references, maps, and other resources.)

This review is from: The Traitor’s Wife/The Wolves of Andover: A Novel by Kathleen Kent
 I've read both of Kent's books about Salem "witch" Martha Carrier, and greatly admired her writing style, descriptive powers, and suspenseful plots. In a timeline of the 17th century, The Heretic's Daughter: A Novel is actually the sequel to her other book, Traitor's Wife/Wolves of Andover (same book, different titles), which tells the young-adult life of Martha Carrier.

Though the author is a descendant of Martha Carrier, that doesn't mean she was born with the historical research implanted in her brain, and you'll see that Kent has successfully married research with excellent storytelling.

Kathleen Kent's novels are magical without being occultic. I was particularly struck at the use of imagery and symbolism, which were properly subtle rather than sensational. Read them both!

Suitable for teens through adults.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Ghost of Christmas Future

Ghost of Christmas Future
Perfect Passive

Ghost of Christmas Future
Perfect Subjunctive

Santa says,  

There, I feel better now.

Friday, November 28, 2014

I've started writing my fifth book

UPDATE: The book was published September 23, 2015. 
and is available with my other books at http://bit.ly/RobinsonAuthor 
It has unanimous five-star reviews from satisfied readers. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ride the TITLE WAVE into the 17th century

Books by Eve LaPlante, David Teems, Francis Bremer,
John Fox, and Nathaniel Philbrick,
fascinating nonfiction set in the 17th century.
by Christy K Robinson

 There’s a vast crowd of enthusiasts reading and discussing everything medieval and renaissance. But time didn’t stop with Elizabeth I’s death in 1603, and start up again at the Regency. Are you looking for the rest of the story? This is the century that brought you William Shakespeare's greatest works, the science of Bacon and Descartes and Newton, the astronomers like Kepler, the musicians Lanier and Purcell, Dr. William Harvey who discovered blood circulation, the great artists Vermeer and Rembrandt, Roger Williams and separation of church and state, the invention of the barometer and pendulum clock and steam pump and air pump, the Inquisition dispersing Protestants and Jewish refugees to Europe and America, the Great Migration to the Americas, the birth of secular democracy, Leeuwenhoek's microscope that showed bacteria and spermatazoa for the first time, and all the ideas and heresies that germinated between 1600 and 1700, the beginning of the Early Modern Period. It was a starkly different period than the medieval, renaissance, and Tudor periods it followed.

King James (he commissioned the 1611 Bible that's still the favorite version 400 years on), his son King Charles I (the only English king to be executed), and grandsons Charles II and James II kept the drama level high and dangerous in the seventeenth century. Their marriages and lovers, births and deaths, political intrigues, religious conflicts, witch hunts, and wars marked the beginning of our modern period. Their aristocrats and politicians, tradesmen, midwives, ministers, writers, musicians, scientists, and artists changed the world.

This is a list of authors who have the 17th century covered, from Shakespeare and midwife forensic investigators to barber surgeons, Charles II’s mistresses, men and women who founded American democracy, servants and highway robbers, people who gave their lives for their principles or just because they were falsely accused as witches. In these books you’ll find sumptuous gowns and high society, educated women, poverty, prostitutes, and massacres, childbirth and plague, castles and manors, cathedrals and meetinghouses—even a vampire.

Our ninth or tenth great-grandparents knew these people—or were these people, metaphorically speaking. (Well, probably not the vampire—but everyone else!) Discover what their lives were like, and how their lives formed who you are. Many of the book characters from the 17th century are based on facts, events, and real people. You'll see parallels in economics and politics between then and now. The authors, in addition to their literary skills, have spent months and years in research to get the 17th century world “just right,” so you’ll get your history veggies in a delicious brownie.
Ride the wave of the time-space continuum into the 17th century with these award-winning and highly-rated authors. The images you see are a small sample of what's available from this talented group! Click the highlighted author’s name to open a new tab.
Anna Belfrage Time-slip (then and now) love and war.
Jo Ann Butler — From England to New England: survival, love, and a dynasty.
Susanna Calkins — Murder mysteries set in 1660s London. 
Francine Howarth — Heroines, swashbuckling romance.
Judith James — Rakes and rogues of the Restoration.
Marci Jefferson — Royal Stuarts in Restoration England.
Elizabeth Kales French Huguenot survival of Inquisition.
Juliet Haines Mofford — True crime of New England, pirates.
Mary Novik — Rev. John Donne and daughter.
Donald Michael Platt Spanish Inquisition cloak and dagger.
Katherine Pym — London in the 1660s.

Diane Rapaport — Colonial New England true crime.
Peni Jo Renner — Salem witch trials.
Christy K Robinson — British founders of American democracy and rights.
Anita Seymour  Royalists and rebels in English Civil War.

Mary Sharratt — Witches (healers) of Pendle Hill, 1612.
Alison Stuart — Time-slip war romance, ghosts.
Deborah Swift — Servant girls running for lives, highwaywoman.
Ann Swinfen — Farmers fighting to keep land, chronicles of Portuguese physician.
Sam Thomas — Midwife solves murders in city of York.
Suzy Witten — Salem witch trials.
Andrea Zuvich — Vampire in Stuart reign, Duke of Monmouth and mistress.

Introduction and illustrated table by Christy K Robinson. You're welcome to share this page in your blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Shortened URL: bit.ly/1xAUir1

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Editornado is a published author

You, your friends, and loved ones should have an under-Christmas-tree stash like this! Do you enjoy early-colonial history? Would you like to know more about the roots of America, going back to Britain? 
 Click the following highlighted, colored links to go to the book pages on Amazon.com. The books and e-books are available worldwide in all Amazon stores. If you'd like to order 10 or more copies, signed by the author, for gift-giving, please use the contact form to message the author, at http://www.christykrobinson.com/contact.html

If you're in Facebook, join the Mary Dyer Reading Club group and discuss!  Ratings and 5/5-star reviews for these books are HERE (click to open a new tab)

These books tell the personal story of the beginning of democracy and civil liberties in North America. The exciting narrative unfolds through the eyes of Mary and William Dyer, Anne Hutchinson, Governor John Winthrop, and Sir Henry Vane. The events and people were real, the conversations are fiction. You'll be overwhelmed by the scope of this major work. The books run between 330 and 390 pages, and are described by readers as "chewy," so they're well worth the money. Other books about Mary Dyer that have been on the market over the last 20 years are outdated and obsolete. Here, you'll find the author has incorporated new research in primary documents discovered in New England and British archives.

 Mary Dyer Illuminated  (The Dyers #1)
by Christy K Robinson.
Fiction based closely on detailed research of actual events. FIVE-STAR historical fiction about Mary and William Dyer, 1629-1651. 

Paperback, 390 pages. $19.99 (Amazon discounts this price) 
Kindle edition  Amazon price $7.99    
Amazon UK book or Kindle 


Mary Dyer: For Such a Time as This (The Dyers #2)
by Christy K Robinson
Historical/biographical fiction about Mary and William Dyer, 1651-1660, with an epilogue that spans another 50 years to include their associates and their children.
Fiction based closely on detailed research of actual events.
Paperback, 330 pages.  $19.99 (Amazon discounts this price)
Kindle edition Amazon price $7.99 
The Dyers of London, Boston, & Newport  (The Dyers #3)
by Christy K Robinson
Nonfiction, illustrated. The research and recent discoveries behind the novels. The Dyers is a lively nonfiction account of background color, culture, short stories, personality sketches, food, medicine, interests, recreation, cosmic events, and all the "stuff" that made up the world of William and Mary Dyer in the 1600s. More than 70 chapters, and all-new, exclusive content found nowhere else! 
Kindle edition Amazon price $6.99 
Paperback edition now available! 320 pages, $12 (Amazon discounts this price)

Synopses: Mary Barrett Dyer, 1611-1660, was comely, dignified, admired for her intellect, and known in the court of King Charles. But how did she become infamous in England and America as a heretic who gave birth to a monster? Were she and her mentor/friend Anne Marbury Hutchinson responsible for curses falling on colonial New England in the form of great earthquakes, signs in the heavens, and plagues? What possessed the ultra-righteous Governor John Winthrop to exhume her baby before one hundred gawkers, revile her in his books, and try to annex Rhode Island to get its exiles back under Boston’s control? In Mary Dyer Illuminated, follow William and Mary Dyer from the plague streets and royal courts of London to the wilderness of America where they co-founded the first democracy of the New World 135 years before the Declaration of Independence. They were only getting started. In the second of two volumes, Mary Dyer: For Such a Time as This, the Dyers return to war-torn England and their lifelong association with Sir Henry Vane, and lay a foundation for liberty that resonates in the 21st century. Why did beautiful, wealthy Mary Dyer deliberately give up her six children, husband, and privileged lifestyle to suffer prison and death on the gallows? The two novels are compelling, provocative, and brilliantly written, blending historical fact and fiction to produce a thoroughly beautiful work you won't want to put down. The author has reconstructed a forgotten world by researching the culture, religions, and politics of England and America, personal relationships, enemies, and even the events of nature, to discover who they were.  

From Dyer descendant, minister, and international magazine editor Dr. Ken Horn:
I belong to a religious tradition that values the contributions of women. The weekly magazine I edited for nearly eighteen years published an annual women's edition and many other articles about women—both clergy and lay—who excelled in ministry and community service. Many women have followed Mary’s grand example, mostly on a far smaller scale. Few have had such lasting influence.
I discovered that my ancestry includes two of the most influential Christian women in American history: Mary Dyer and Mary’s friend and mentor Anne Marbury Hutchinson, who made her own significant contribution.
This Dyer blog has provided a rich source of reliable information about my ancestor Mary. I also discovered another rich, and enjoyable, source. I took Christy Robinson's novels about Mary Barrett Dyer with me on a recent international trip and devoured them both. Mary Dyer Illuminated and Mary Dyer: For Such a Time as This were both page-turners for me.
I seldom read fiction, but Christy’s writing is presented on a framework of reliable, detailed history, so there is abundant information to be gleaned … and in an entertaining way. I felt the time I invested in these books was well worthwhile. Christy’s compelling narrative greatly aided in making Mary a real person to me. These are fascinating books that deserve a much-expanded exposure. They are simply outstanding, a feast for lovers of history and good writing
***** (rated five stars) “Mary Barrett Dyer is one of very few 17th-century women who are remembered today. She is usually described as a Quaker hanged in the cause of religious freedom, but genealogists and historians know there is much more to her. Christy K Robinson brings the Dyers to vivid life for the rest of us, weaving superb fiction with what is known into a penetrating novel. Robinson’s research is flawless, and her engaging characters invite you into their brilliantly imagined world. Brava!” – Jo Ann Butler, author of Rebel Puritan trilogy.    

More 5-star reviews:  http://marybarrettdyer.blogspot.com/2013/11/reviews-for-mary-dyer-illuminated.html  

Key words: Mary Barrett Dyer, Anne Hutchinson, John Winthrop, civil disobedience, Great Migration, 17th century, William Dyre, Boston, Rhode Island, England, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster, Reverend John Cotton, religious liberty, church-state relations, Quaker, Puritan, oppression, colonial America

Friday, October 31, 2014

We editors can't be too careful

I needed this gear for a novel I edited once. Oy. Really sweated my paycheck on that one.