Category : Historical Fiction

Scars from the Past by Derek Birks

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Scars from the Past is aĀ historical fiction novelĀ by Derek Birks.

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An unwelcome legacy. An impossible love. A relentless enemy.

By 1481, England has been free from civil war for ten years.
The Elder family have found a fragile peace after their part in the bloody struggle for the throne, yet scars from the past remain with them all.

Given time, they might heal, but when did the Elders ever have enough time? Close to home, in Ludlow, trouble is stirring.

Born out of the carnage of the Wars of the Roses, young John Elder is now the heir to his fatherā€™s legacy, but he finds it a poisonous one. Driven from the woman he loves, John abandons his legacy and flees the country to become a mercenary in Flanders.

In his absence, the other members of the Elder family must face a ruthless outlaw family. When the young heir to the throne, Edward, Prince of Wales, is caught up in their bitter struggle, his very life hangs in the balance.

To save a prince, all other lives must be put at risk, but only if the Elders can leave the scars of the past behind them, is there any hope of survival.




A Word from the Author

Author Derek Birks Picture face picture

Scars From The Past is the first in a new Wars of the Roses series featuring the adventures of the Elder family. This new series begins in 1481, ten years after the end of The Last Shroud.

There are a few familiar characters but the central characters, for the most part, are the next generation of Elders. As always, their retainers play key roles and no more so than on this occasion where the core of the book revolves around a tangled love story between John Elder, son of Ned Elder, and Lizzie Holton, the daughter of Nedā€™s steward.

The style and substance of the book continues that of the previous series, Rebels and Brothers. There is plenty of action for readers who like it, but also there is the underlying theme ā€“ as the title suggests – of a family that has been eviscerated by its misfortunes during the wars and is still trying to find its way.

The action is centred in Ludlow where the heir to the throne, Prince Edward, has his household. When this boy of only 12 years of age becomes embroiled in the troubles of the Elder family, it elevates their local struggle against a vicious criminal gang into an affair of state. Very soon the town of Ludlow, sodden from the appallingly wet autumn and winter of 1482, becomes a battlefield.

(Derek Birks, March 2017)

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A Traitor’s Fate by Derek Birks

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A Traitor’s FateĀ 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 lastsā€¦
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 Nedā€™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 Traitorā€™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 Eldersā€™ 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 Elderā€™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.

Nedā€™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 ā€˜heroā€™, but he is not always so heroic. He makes mistakes and people die. In fact it was important to me that, from the readerā€™s perspective, almost on-one is safe in this book ā€“ as in real life.

(Derek Birks, March 2017)

Get It

Amazon USA

Amazon UK

Amazon Canada

Amazon AU

Bookdepository (Free Delivery Worldwide)

Barnes & Noble

Other Books in the Same Series

Rebels & Brothers Series

Book 2 – A Traitor’s Fate

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