Category : Young Adult

Brief Candles by Pamela Jean Horter-Moore

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Brief Candles

by Pamela Jean Horter-Moore


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In 1483, twelve year old Edward V ascended the throne as King of England, following the sudden death of his father. Edward IV had reigned for twenty years, bringing England the stability and prosperity that had eluded it during the early years of those tumultuous times popularly known as the Wars of the Roses.
Although there were more periods of peace than the popular name would suggest, the Wars were the final dispute over succession by the colorful and dynamic Plantagenet dynasty, which had ruled England for three hundred years and whose history was marked by family conflict. The Wars of the Roses themselves were a struggle between the families of Lancaster and York, cousins descended from Edward III.

Under the leadership of Edward IV, York was victorious, but the legacy of the Plantagenets would not die. Edward had made a love match with Elizabeth Woodville, the daughter of English gentry, an ambitious woman with many relatives. This and other efforts by Edward to rule as a King on his own did not please his cousin and mentor, Richard Neville, nor his younger brothers, the treacherous George, Duke of Clarence and Richard, Duke of Gloucester. In time, Edward was forced to destroy his Neville cousin and to execute his brother George, who never ceased to conspire against him. For the remainder of Edward’s reign, Richard of Gloucester bided his time, eager for revenge against Edward’s queen and her family.

This was the history that young Edward V inherited in 1483, as the old wounds within the Yorkist family were reopened. He himself was too young to have experienced or participated in these conflicts, but it was he who suffered for them, ultimately losing his crown and his life in the power struggle between him and his Woodville kin and his uncle Richard of Gloucester.

My book centers upon Edward V as he is locked in bitter contest with his uncle to defend his friends and himself from the avalanche of events that will eventually end in death for him and his younger brother, the legendary “Princes in the Tower.” Responsible for their safety, if not for their murders, Richard assumes the crown as Richard III, loses the confidence of the Yorkist loyalists and likewise loses his life on Bosworth field. Thus, the Plantagenet dynasty is destroyed and, from it, the Tudor dynasty is born.

The struggle between Edward and Richard is a recounting of themes that occur time after time in literature and history. The royal youth is disinherited by an usurping uncle and must either regain his crown or lose his life. The Wheel of Fortune relentlessly turns, lifting some up and dashing others down, disregarding youth and innocence in its turning. In a world of men, power brings about corruption and destruction, and no one who seeks it is safe.

A Word from the Author

Author Pamela Horter pictureWhen I first published my historical novel “Brief Candles” in 1983, it was the culmination of a twenty-year passion for that period of English history known as the Wars of the Roses.

My interest in the Wars of the Roses began when I was 12 years old. I had been leafing through old encyclopedias looking for a timeframe in which to set the short story I was writing.

When I encountered 12-year old King Edward V, I felt an immediate affinity for him and his tragic story. He lost his father, his loved ones, his crown and his life, along with that of his little brother Richard, Duke of York, in the darkness of the Tower of London.

As the years went by, I continued my enthusiasm for the time period and for the strange landscape of late fifteenth-century England. I understood the complex politics that divided the royal Houses of York and Lancaster and the colorful individuals who participated in this struggle between cousins for the throne of England.

I came to respect and admire King Edward IV, who won his throne on the battlefield at the age of 18 and who went on to reign over an England that was once more made stable and prosperous.

What happened after his death at age 40 is a matter that continues to provoke controversy and passion.

“Brief Candles” is Edward V’s story. After the death of his father, power politics interfered with his peaceful succession. His uncle Richard of Gloucester moved ruthlessly to undercut and destroy his supporters, overthrowing the young king and taking his place as Richard III. The uncrowned Edward V and his brother Richard of York disappeared in the Tower of London.

This was a violent and controversial period of English history, and I have dedicated a great deal of my life trying to understand it. “Brief Candles” is a true story of youthful innocence exposed to the brutal realities of power-lust and party rivalry.

(Pamela Jean Horter-Moore, October 2017)

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The Du Lac Princess by Mary Anne Yarde

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The Du Lac Princess is the third book of  The Du Lac Chronicles – a Historical fantasy/Young Adult novel by Mary Anne Yarde

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War is coming…

The ink has dried on Amandine’s death warrant. Her crime? She is a du Lac.

All that stands in the way of a grisly death on a pyre is the King of Brittany. However, King Philippe is a fickle friend, and if her death is profitable to him, then she has no doubt that he would light the pyre himself.

Alan, the only man Amandine trusts, has a secret and must make an impossible choice, which could have far-reaching consequences — not only for Amandine, but for the whole of Briton.

A Word from the Author

Author Mary Anne YardeAs a child, I adored the legends of King Arthur and his Knights. I grew up near Glastonbury, England, where the story of King Arthur is woven into the very land itself. Many times I have witnessed Glastonbury Tor rise from the Fata Morgana — the mist — and every time I see it I am enthralled. It is so easy to believe the stories of Arthur when set against such a backdrop.

After Arthur’s tragic death the story comes to a sudden halt. No more is heard of Arthur’s famous knights, and all we are left with is a whispered promise, that when Briton is in peril, Arthur and his Knights will ride again.

Let me take you on a journey back to 6th Century Briton and together we can go on an adventure to find those Knights.

The Knights Code of Chivalry, which High King Arthur and Lancelot du Lac wrote, has been thrown on the rubbish heap. It is every man for himself. But amongst the chaos, there is one woman who refuses to bow down to tyrants. Lady Amandine du Lac was mistakenly left behind by her kin during the uprising against King Budic du Lac. Now she faces a life of scorn and ridicule because she so happened to be on the losing side. But Amandine has an inner strength that even she was unaware of. No matter what they do to her, no matter what they say, she will remain loyal to her kin and to the man she loved with her whole heart.

(Mary Anne Yarde, October 2017)

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Other Books in the Same Series

The Du Lac Chronicles

Book 1 – The Du Lac Chronicles

The Du Lac Chronicles by Mary Anne Yarde

Novella – The Pitchfork Rebellion

Cover The Pitchfork Rebellion - the du lac chronicles novella by Mary Anne Yarde

Book 2 – The Du Lac Devil

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Lola the Buhund and the Empty Sky by Elbot Carman

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Lola the Buhund and the Empty Sky is a fantasy story for children and young adults by Elbot Carman.

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What if the Sun, Moon, and Stars vanished from the sky?

Fifteen years ago that’s exactly what happened in the dying world of Lumea. Daily life in the surviving country of Prithvi is harsh and unforgiving for a reclusive carpenter and his farm dog, Lola. Born into darkness, Lola has never known anything else. But when she encounters three strangers in need, she’s pushed into an irrevocable quest for the truth—to uncover the world’s light, never having witnessed its existence herself. Joined by her human, a musician, and a rooster, the journey is filled with evil spirits, monsters, and the soldiers of a cruel and selfish monarch.

Will her hope and perseverance be enough to face these obstacles? Lola’s fate—and the world’s—depends on it.

A Word from the Author

Author Elbot Carman PictureRejected by her mother as a pup, Lola is raised by a reclusive carpenter a decade and a half into one of her world’s most trying times. The world of Lumea went dark thirteen years before her birth – the sun, moon, and stars vanishing from the sky without a trace. In a harsh and inhospitable environment, it seems only the country of Prithvi has managed to survive in the Darkness.

Never knowing what the world was before, Lola and her human are thrust into a journey to uncover where the world’s light has gone.

(Elbot Carman, September 2017)


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