Category : Adventure

A Traitor’s Fate by Derek Birks

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A Traitor’s Fate is the second book of the Rebels & Brothers historical fiction series by Derek Birks.

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During the Wars of the Roses, peace never lasts…
It is 1464. Ned Elder and his two sisters, Emma & Eleanor, have won a hard-fought peace and their feud with the Radcliffes seems long over, but one man never accepted the outcome. After three bitter years of waiting to destroy the Elders, a new ally provides him with a fresh opportunity for revenge.

When Ned is summoned to confront a Lancastrian revolt by the new king, Edward of York, he finds his enemies are not just amongst the ranks of the rebels. Branded a traitor by his own commander, the Earl of Warwick, Ned is soon a wanted man in hostile territory and the price on his head only rises when he stumbles upon a royal secret.

Meanwhile, Eleanor and Emma watch over Ned’s pregnant wife, Amelie, with only a small garrison of old men and boys to protect them. The feud may have ended, but the scars run deep for all three women and they must hold their nerve and prepare to defend themselves at any cost.

A condemned man, Ned must find a way to escape his pursuers or else the whole Elder family will be destroyed.



A Word from the Author

Author Derek Birks Picture face picture

In A Traitor’s Fate, the sequel to Feud, I wanted to recapture the essence of the first book without simply repeating what went before. The story of the Elders has moved on three years, but the civil war is not quite over and Ned is obliged to take up his sword again. The focus moves to the north of England where he discovers family roots that he never knew existed.

The events of Feud have taken their toll on the womenfolk, damaged in so many ways, but children have since been born and now the women seek some peace. However, they are unlikely to get it because, if the war is not yet over, nor is the family feud that began all the Elders’ troubles in book 1.

As with all my books, I spent a lot of time researching both the events and the places around which this story takes place. Again it is rooted in accurate history and the story does not ignore the hardships and trials of the lesser men and women: servants and men at arms.

The series continues with Kingdom of Rebels and concludes with The Last Shroud.

(Derek Birks, March 2017)

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Other Books in the Same Series

Rebels & Brothers Series

Book 1 – Feud

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Feud by Derek Birks

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Feud is the first book of the Rebels & Brothers historical fiction series by Derek Birks.

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In 1459 England stands on the brink of chaos. The most powerful nobleman in the land, Richard of York, and the weak king, Henry of Lancaster, prepare to settle their differences on the battlefield. As the rule of law breaks down, old scores are being settled all over England.

For a long time the Elders and the Radcliffes have been, at best, uncomfortable Yorkshire neighbours. Now their feud erupts in a storm of violence as Ned Elder’s father and brother are murdered and his sisters abducted by the Radcliffes.

The young knight is forced to flee from his home. His sister Emma, torn from the quiet solitude of her household, is forced into marriage; while Eleanor, her wild and beautiful younger sister, is condemned to imprisonment in a remote nunnery.

But neither Ned nor his sisters are willing to concede all to the Radcliffes without a fight. The fate of the Elders will hang not just upon Ned’s skill with a sword, but upon the courage of his sisters and the girl he loves.

Amid the carnage and misery of the Wars of the Roses, the bitter struggle for survival is played out to its shocking conclusion.

“From the eye-catching cover to the last page, Feud is an exciting story of survival through personal upheaval during a vicious war, where the outcome is not always certain.” Historical Novel Society.

Feud is the first of a four-book series, entitled Rebels and Brothers, which is set during the Wars of the Roses. The story continues in A Traitor’s Fate.



A Word from the Author

Author Derek Birks Picture face picture

 

Feud is a story of how three young siblings try to cope with the utter annihilation of all they have known and loved during a turbulent time in English history when two warring houses fought over the throne.

In one day Ned Elder, an 18 year old Yorkshire knight, loses everything. He is stunned and can make no sense of it. His father and brother are dead; they should be avenged. His sisters have been abducted, so he should try to rescue them. His lands have been taken, so he should try to win them back, and so on. But how he might actually achieve any of these things, he has no idea. He is on the run with a handful of others, but he knows nothing of the feud with a rival family which has brought about his ruin. He is clutching at plans of action.

Ned’s two sisters, Eleanor and Emma, are chalk and cheese. Eleanor is beautiful, brash and shockingly uncompromising; Emma is a more conventional and reserved fifteenth century girl. Eleanor fights whilst Emma endures, but they are central, not peripheral, characters and their exploits drive the story on as much as their brother.

I wanted Feud to break the historical fiction stereotype. I wanted it to be fast-paced, raw and visceral so that the reader is thrust into the struggle. Ned is a ‘hero’, but he is not always so heroic. He makes mistakes and people die. In fact it was important to me that, from the reader’s perspective, almost on-one is safe in this book – as in real life.

(Derek Birks, March 2017)

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Amazon UK

Amazon Canada

Amazon AU

Bookdepository (Free Delivery Worldwide)

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Other Books in the Same Series

Rebels & Brothers Series

Book 2 – A Traitor’s Fate

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Five Weeks to Jamaica by Doug Oudin

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Five Weeks to Jamaica is an adventure/romance (Literary Fiction) by Doug Oudin.

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Who in this wide and wonderful world has not wanted to say “Screw this!” and venture off to some exotic tropical destination?
Some years ago, four young adventurers from Southern California did just that—and this is their story.

Convinced that they were buying passage aboard a luxury cruise ship bound for Jamaica, Kurt Decker, his girlfriend Madison, his brother Larry, and their friend Marcos had high expectations. Those expectations were dashed the minute they saw the decidedly luxury-impaired motor vessel Explorer in Ensenada, Mexico. Despite numerous red flags, they boarded, and the bizarre odyssey that would forever change their lives began. The odd and eclectic group of passengers with whom they shared the dubious “comforts” of the stately ship of fools became family.

Their 5,780-nautical-mile journey took them along the coast of Mexico and Central America, through the Panama Canal, and across the Gulf of Mexico to Jamaica. The voyage inspired no shortage of laughter, tears, joy, and romance—or drama, excitement, and danger along the way too. But once in Jamaica, a new twist to the adventure developed. They agreed to set sail with a salty Englishman aboard a steel-hulled sailboat bound for Florida, where a vicious tropical storm en route threatened their very lives.

For those who love the sea, and for those who merely wonder about it, Five Weeks to Jamaica is a window into the capriciousness of the ocean and the tumultuous vagaries of human nature.




A Word from the Author

author Doug Oudin pictureDoug Oudin is a man of the sea. For thirty-two years he served as harbormaster on Catalina Island, where he also wrote a weekly article for the Catalina Islander Newspaper. He also wrote for the Log Magazine for a few years, and published his memoir; ‘Between Two Harbors, Reflections of a Catalina Island Harbormaster’.

His experiences on the island, as well as numerous trips on boats cruising to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean prompted him to write his novel, ‘Five Weeks to Jamaica’.
Based very loosely on one of those trips that he took from San Diego to Jamaica in the mid-seventies, this adventure follows four young friends who purchase a five-week cruise upon a so-called 147 ft. ‘luxury yacht’ from San Diego to Jamaica, for a mere $500. From the beginning, it becomes obvious that the yacht is not all it is supposed to be, and the two main characters, Madison and Kurt, nearly abort the journey. But Kurt’s brother Larry persuades them to give it a go, and they somewhat reluctantly agree. They had no idea what might lie ahead.

For the thirty-five passengers that sign on aboard the ill-fated yacht, the cruise holds a multitude of surprises, pleasures, and disappointments. Several people do abort the trip, while the ones that stay share the joys, the troubles, and the misadventures that occur at sea, and in the various ports they visit and explore.

When the yacht does finally reach Jamaica, nearly a month behind schedule, another odd twist to the adventure develops. Madison, Kurt, and Larry elect to stay in Jamaica for a while, immersing themselves in the incredible lifestyle of the Jamaican culture. Eventually they are ‘forced’ to leave, and they agree to join a crusty Englishman on a 47′ sailboat bound for Florida. It soon becomes obvious that the sailing odyssey is rife with problems, and the violent storm that ensues is merely a prelude to the journey’s life-changing conclusion.

For those that love adventure, romance, and discovery, ‘Five Weeks to Jamaica’ will take you there, and beyond. The author’s experience aboard boats, visiting foreign lands, and his background in writing for two publications, help bring this tale to life.

(Doug Oudin, February 2017)

 

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