Category : Adventure

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

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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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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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Ring Around the Rosy by W. B. Cushman

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Ring Around the Rosy is a  Dystopian YA adventure by W. B. Cushman.

 

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The sun has broken through the inevitable hole in the Earth’s atmosphere, and the only survivors are those underground during the event. Seven young people, led by a girl in a wheelchair, her nerdy high school attendant, and a boy with Down Syndrome, meet in the ruins of a private school in their hometown of Marion, Massachusetts. One finds a portable radio in a ruined basement, and the group hears the plea of the one station still broadcasting. “Please come to Rockport.” So begins a journey across the length of the state, in hopes of finding the one parent who may still be alive.




A Word from the Author

Author Buddy Cushman pictureRosy is in her wheelchair, Matt is her nerdy attendant for the summer, Home Slice has Down Syndrome. They are underground in an aquarium when the sun burns through the Earth’s atmosphere and cooks the entire, 24-hour rolling planet. They make their way to the burned surface, miraculously find a way to keep Rosy’s chair charged and, after discovering their families and homes and everything they knew is gone, find their way to the ruins of a school in their hometown of Marion, Massachusetts. There they meet up with four younger boys, and when one of them discovers a still working portable radio in the ruins of a basement the group scans the dial and finds just one station still broadcasting – WANN in Rockport. That leads the group of seven on a journey across the state, and along the way they are joined by a family hiding in the underground Tube, and later, an alcoholic scientist who has given up on life. It’s just possible, they all come to believe, that one parent remains alive – in Rockport. This is a story of hope in a seemingly hopeless world, and faith – faith in each other, and , eventually, faith in miracles.

(W. B. Cushman, January 2017)

 

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