Doctor Margaret in Delhi by Waheed Rabbani

02_Doctor Margaret in Delhi_Cover

Publication Date: May 5, 2015 /Historical Novels Publishing/ Formats: eBook, Paperback 308 Pages

Series: The Azadi Trilogy Genre: Historical Fiction


Doctor Margaret in Delhi is Book 2 of The Azadi Series and a sequel to, Book 1: Doctor Margaret’s Sea Chest. This historical fiction novel continues with Margaret’s journey from the time she and her Canadian husband participated in the 1854 Crimean War.

Doctor Margaret travels alone to India to be with her parents at the American Presbyterian Mission at Futtehgurh, and then on to her posting at a hospital in Delhi. There she has to not only overcome work pressures, but also deal with her intimidators and intrigues of the Mughals, at the Delhi Red Fort.

Margaret’s tormenter since her childhood, Captain Albert, also joins a British regiment bound for service in India. The Russian, Captain Count Nicholai, whom Margaret had met in Crimea, also arrives in India under the guise of a French physician. The events leading up to the Indian Mutiny/Rebellion that breaks out in 1857 profoundly affect not only Margaret’s life, but also of those who love her and others’ who wish her harm. Also, mixed-up in the bedlam is one of the Delhi King, Shah Zafar’s, Red Fort’s Guards sepoys, Sharif Khan Bhadur, the grandfather of Doctor Wallidad, an American doctor.

The Azadi Series covers the exciting events and turmoil that enflamed India from 1857 to 1947, and led to her independence. Those incidences engulf the characters of this story at that time, and then later their descendant’s lives, again in the 1960s.

Praise for Doctor Margaret in Delhi

“Excellent historical fictional setting, voice and tone. Not my normal reading diet, but your voice is compelling. Overall impression: it seems to be a novel one may settle into and relax for a delightful journey–(Spoiler alert) with a cobra and lots of new Indian vocabulary in store. Interesting bit about Robert Clive and the East India Company. Seems it’s a story that should be told.” – J.T.Bleu

Doctor Margaret in Delhi Available at

Amazon   Smashwords  iTunes

 About the Author

03_Waheed Rabbani

Waheed Rabbani was born in India, close to Delhi, and was introduced to Victorian and other English novels, at a very young age, in his father’s library. Most of the large number of volumes had been purchased by his father at ‘garage sales’ held, by departing British civil service officers, in the last days of the Raj.

Waheed attended St. Patrick’s High School in Karachi, Pakistan. He graduated from Loughborough University, Leicestershire, England, and received a Master’s degree from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. While an engineer by profession, Waheed’s other love is reading and writing English literature, which led him to obtain a Certificate in Creative Writing from McMaster University and start on his fiction writing journey.

Waheed and his wife, Alexandra, are now settled on the shores of Lake Ontario in the historic town of Grimsby. More information is available on his website.

You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Doctor Margaret in Delhi Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 6 Spotlight at Genre Queen

Tuesday, July 7 Review at Book Nerd

Wednesday, July 8 Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Thursday, July 9 Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Friday, July 10 Character Interview at Boom Baby Reviews

Wednesday, July 15 Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book

Thursday, July 16 Review at Just One More Chapter Guest Post & Giveaway at Unshelfish

Friday, July 17 Interview at The Writing Desk

Sunday, July 19 Review at Carole’s Ramblings

Tuesday, July 21 Review at Diana’s Book Reviews

Wednesday, July 22 Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, July 23 Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Tuesday, July 28 Spotlight at Layered Pages

Friday, July 31 Tour Wrap Up & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

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Maud’s Line by Margaret Verble

02_Maud's Line_Cover

Genre: Historical Fiction

A debut novel chronicling the life and loves of a headstrong, earthy, and magnetic heroine

Eastern Oklahoma, 1928. Eighteen-year-old Maud Nail lives with her rogue father and sensitive brother on one of the allotments parceled out by the U.S. Government to the Cherokees when their land was confiscated for Oklahoma’s statehood. Maud’s days are filled with hard work and simple pleasures, but often marked by violence and tragedy, a fact that she accepts with determined practicality. Her prospects for a better life are slim, but when a newcomer with good looks and books rides down her section line, she takes notice. Soon she finds herself facing a series of high-stakes decisions that will determine her future and those of her loved ones.

Maud’s Line is accessible, sensuous, and vivid. It will sit on the bookshelf alongside novels by Jim Harrison, Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie, and other beloved chroniclers of the American West and its people.



“Maud is refreshingly open and honest about her own sexuality though conscious of her place as a woman in a sexist society, always careful not to insult the intelligence or manhood of her male friends and relations. Verble writes in a simple style that matches the hardscrabble setting and plainspoken characters. Verble, herself a member of the Cherokee Nation, tells a compelling story peopled with flawed yet sympathetic characters, sharing insights into Cherokee society on the parcels of land allotted to them after the Trail of Tears.” —Kirkus

“Writing as though Daniel Woodrell nods over one shoulder and the spirit of Willa Cather over the other, Margaret Verble gives us Maud, a gun-toting, book-loving, dream-chasing young woman whose often agonizing dilemmas can only be countered by sheer strength of heart.” —Malcolm Brooks, author of Painted Horses

“I want to live with Maud in a little farm in a little valley under the shadow of a mountain wall. Maud’s Line is an absolutely wonderful novel and Margaret Verble can drop you from great heights and still easily pick you up. I will read anything she writes, with enthusiasm.” —Jim Harrison, author of Dalva, Legends of the Fall, and The Big Seven

“Margaret Verble gives us a gorgeous window onto the Cherokee world in Oklahoma, 1927. Verble’s voice is utterly authentic, tender and funny, vivid and smart, and she creates a living community – the Nail family, Maud herself, her father, Mustard, and brother, Lovely, and the brothers Blue and Early, the quiet, tender-mouthed mare Leaf, and the big landscape of the bottoms – the land given to the Cherokees after the Trail of Tears. Beyond the allotments, it opens up into the wild, which is more or less what Verble does with this narrative. A wonderful debut novel.” —Roxana Robinson, author of Sparta


03_Margaret Verble

MARGARET VERBLE, an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, has set her novel on her family’s allotment land. She currently lives in Lexington, Kentucky, and Old Windsor, England.


Monday, July 13 Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, July 14 Guest Post at Mina’s Bookshelf Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Wednesday, July 15 Review at A Book Geek

Thursday, July 16 Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog

Friday, July 17 Excerpt & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Review Plus More

Saturday, July 18 Review at Queen of All She Reads

Monday, July 20 Review at Book Nerd

Tuesday, July 21 Guest Post at Just One More Chapter

Wednesday, July 22 Interview & Excerpt at The Old Shelter Excerpt & Giveaway at CelticLady’s Reviews

Thursday, July 23 Review & Giveaway at Unshelfish Spotlight at Layered Pages

Friday, July 24 Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

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Interview with Matthew Harffy


Matthew Harffy lived in Northumberland as a child and the area had a great impact on him. The rugged terrain, ruined castles and rocky coastline made it easy to imagine the past. Decades later, a documentary about Northumbria’s Golden Age sowed the kernel of an idea for a series of historical fiction novels. The first of them is the action-packed tale of vengeance and coming of age, THE SERPENT SWORD.

Matthew has worked in the IT industry, where he spent all day writing and editing, just not the words that most interested him. Prior to that he worked in Spain as an English teacher and translator. He has co-authored seven published academic articles, ranging in topic from the ecological impact of mining to the construction of a marble pipe organ.

Matthew lives in Wiltshire, England, with his wife and their two daughters.

When not writing, or spending time with his family, Matthew sings in a band called Rock Dog.

Hello, Matthew! Thank you for chatting with me today about your book, The Serpent Sword. First tell me where in your home do you like to write and what is your process?

When at home writing, I do most writing at a desk in the spare bedroom, but I have written parts of my first two novels in trains, airplanes, airports, hotels, school halls, cars, libraries, my living room, the kitchen, a holiday flat in Cornwall, and probably other places I have forgotten.

My process is as follows: I come up with some key historical events that will form the backbone for my novels. I then look to find more personal stories that my characters can live within the context of those historical events. One of the advantages of writing about the seventh century is that not a huge amount is known about the day to day life of people. Large brush strokes of the history have survived, but the stories of the individuals are lost in time. This is what makes the Dark Ages such an apt name. The details are hidden in the shadows of time. Making it possible for me to write pretty much anything, as long as it fits within the framework of what we know and it has the ring of authenticity about it.

I map out a high level synopsis based on the ideas I have around the real history and how my characters will interact with events. I then break down that synopsis into very rough chapters. Then each of those chapters I break down into scenes. This is not all done up front, but as I get to a chapter, when I have a better grasp of what I need to propel the story along. I try to keep each scene from the point of view of one character, but sometimes I break this rule.

When I sit down to write, I usually only have an hour, or perhaps two, and I’m often not sitting at my desk at home. I may be on a gym bench, while my daughters do their Tae Kwon-Do class. Or sitting in the car, waiting for my youngest to finish her tap dancing class. Or in the local Library, while she is doing her brass band practice.

So, given the time constraints, I really need to focus. I put headphones on. Playlist set to Classical. And I quickly read what I wrote in the last session. I will make a few minor tweaks as I go. Fixing typos, or repetition. That kind of thing. But I don’t allow myself to get bogged down.

I then leap into the next scene. I try to complete a scene at one sitting and I think this gives my writing good pace. Sometimes though, that is not possible. When time is running out, I jot down some notes for me to pick it up at the next sitting.

If I come across anything that I do not know. A type of tree. Some historical detail. The name of a king. Or a place name. Anything at all that would require me to stop and investigate. I add a note in [square brackets], like that. When I finish the first draft, the next thing I do, after doing a victory dance and drinking lots of beer, is search for all the square brackets and fill in the blanks.

I write chronologically, so, although I know there are some great scenes coming later, I have to get through the rest of the scenes to get there. I think this also helps make sure the story hangs together. When I get to the pivotal scenes, I know all the details that have gone before, so it is easier to write and the scenes are richer for the extra detail.

I try to write about three thousand words a week. Often I manage a few more, but rarely do I get more than four thousand down. So somewhere between eight and nine months to complete the first draft. And then a couple of months of edits before sending out to test readers for their feedback.

Tell me a little about your story, The Serpent Sword.

The Serpent Sword follows the story of, Beobrand, a young man from Cantware (modern-day Kent) who travels to the northern kingdom of Bernicia (modern-day Northumberland). There he finds himself embroiled in the ongoing conflict between the Angelfolc (the Angles) led by King Edwin, and the Waelisc (the native Britons) and other tribes of Seaxons (Saxons). He witnesses terrible atrocities and is buffeted by events until he finds his path as a warrior who can help to bring justice to the land. In essence it is a tale of coming-of-age and revenge.

The Serpent Sword Cover

What fascinates you the most about the seventh century?

The seventh century is fascinating because it is a melting pot of religions and peoples. Christianity is resurging in Britain and the native Britons are in the final throes of their fight against the Anglo-Saxons, who they perceive as invaders from across the sea. This backdrop of turmoil, coupled with a scarcity of hard historical facts, makes it a time ripe for a novelist.

There are people-I’m sure-who are reading this interview and have never heard of Northumbria. Could you please talk a little about that and where it was located and what the area is called now?

The Northumbria I am writing about is made up of two kingdoms, Deira and Bernicia. Deira is more or less equivalent to modern-day Yorkshire, and Bernicia is to the north of that and is roughly modern-day Northumberland and some of the south of what is now Scotland. Deira and Bernicia were unified in the early 7th century. At the time of The Serpent Sword, the royal families of Deira and Bernicia are still vying for control in a series of bloody wars. I have used Northumbria, and not Northumberland, so as not to be confused with the modern county of the same name. The name comes from being the land north of the river Humber.

What is one of the challenges Beobrand faces?

Apart from staying alive and in one piece, which is a pretty tough challenge for him, Beobrand’s main challenge is growing into a man he is happy to be. He is haunted by the memory of his overbearing and violent father, and when he finds that he has a natural ability with a sword and can kill easily, he struggles to harness that skill for good. He doesn’t make all the right decisions, but he does find a woman along the way who believes in him and gives him something to fight for. In fact, what he really battles with is fulfilling the potential that others seem to see in him.

I’ve read a little about King Edwin before and I’m interested in your portrayal of him. Does he play a big part in the story?

He plays an important part in the early section of the book. He is an extremely important character, being the first Christian king of Northumbria and the driving force of the Deiran dynasty that unifies the two kingdoms of Deira and Bernicia. Without giving away any spoilers, in the second part of the novel, Beobrand’s journey takes him away from Edwin, but the king’s presence overshadows later events.

I’m really fascinated with the shift of powers during this period your story is written in. You have the religions of the Britons and the Anglo-Saxons. Then the battles between different Kings. Will you talk about the differences between these two groups of people-the Britons and Angle-Saxons?

It is a fascinating time. I see it as being like the American Wild West. You have the invaders who have come from the east bringing superior fighting techniques, armour and weaponry. They bring their own religion and way of life and they push the natives of the land further and further west, creating a frontier land that must have been just as dangerous as North America in the middle of the nineteenth century. In this analogy, if the Anglo-Saxons are the “cowboys” and the Britons are the Native Americans, I have focused more on the story from the perspective of the incoming cowboys.

Any other historical significances to your story?

The Serpent Sword deals with the battle of Hatfield Chase, which is significant in the power shifts of the time in Britain. I also touch on the emergence of Christian monks coming down from Ireland, through the island of Iona. In the second book in the series, we see the settlement of Lindisfarne, the Holy Island on the north-eastern coast of England and other significant battles that are recorded in the known histories of the time, such as the Venerable Bede and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Around these events, I weave the more personal story of Beobrand and his friends (and enemies).

Who designed your book cover?

I did and I’m very happy with how it turned out. I put it together using only free software (GIMP, LightZone, Inkscape). It features an original photo of authentic period war gear. The photo was taken by the owner of the gear, the talented, Matt Bunker, from the living history group Wulfheodenas.

What are you working on next?

I’ve already completed the sequel, THE CROSS AND THE CURSE. I’m now working on book 3 of the Bernicia Chronicles. I also have an idea for a prequel novella or perhaps novel, but that is just in the planning stage and has been set aside at this time.

Do you stick with just genre?

So far!

If you were to pick another genre, what are you most likely to write about? Or have you ever thought about it?

I would love to write a western. I used to love Louis L’Amour, and I’m a huge fan of Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove. I love western movies too, and would really get a kick out of bringing the hard vision I have of the American West into a novel. Plus it would be a great excuse for a trip to states like Texas, Arizona and Colorado!

I have also started toying with the idea of writing a book with my wife. It would be set in Victorian times and be a crime thriller, with a twist.

So many ideas, not enough hours in the day or days in the year!

Author Linkds:




Odin’s Child by Bruce Macbain

odin's child book cover

Publication Date: May 26, 2015

Blank Slate Press

Formats: eBook, Trade Paperback Pages: 400

Genre: Historical Fiction

Driven from the flaming ruin of his Iceland farmhouse, young Odd Tangle-Hair, the only survivor of a feud in which his family is slaughtered, steals a ship, rounds up a rag-tag crew and embarks on the Viking life. He swears one day to return, rich and powerful enough to take vengeance on his enemies. But how far off that day seems!

His father, Black Thorvald, had once been a chieftain in Iceland. But in the year 1000, when the country adopted Christianity, Thorvald denounced the new faith and shut himself up in his hall, shunning the world and shunned by it. Odd fears that the worm of cowardice that unmanned his father has infected him too. He has inherited from Thorvald a shock of black hair, a gift for poetry, and an allegiance to Odin, god of battles and magic. But Odd is heir to darker traits as well—a hint of madness and a temper which will sometimes cost him dearly.

Fate carries him and his men to a shamanistic healer in Lapland, to bloody religious strife in Norway, to the lair of a witch in Finland, and finally to the borders of Russia. Here Odd will leave his comrades behind to join the retinue of a Norwegian princeling who is fleeing to the court of Yaroslav, Grand Prince of Rus. New dangers wait for him in that faraway country.

Eager, curious, quick-witted—and sometimes wrong-headed—Odd Tangle-Hair recounts his story with candor, insight, and always an ironic sense of humor.

Odin’s Child Available at

Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Books-a-Million   IndieBound

Praise for Odin’s Child

“Meticulous research and poetic writing make Odin’s Child a multilayered masterpiece…It brings medieval Scandinavia vividly alive. Written with passion, peopled with superbly realized characters, I was gripped from the very first page of this historical novel.” -Carol McGrath, author of The Handfasted Wife and The Swan-Daughter

“[Macbain’s] writing is vivid and compelling, and his understanding of Norse and Icelandic culture and history is woven deftly throughout the tale. The cast of characters is well-fleshed out and Odd makes for a wonderful protagonist. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and I eagerly await its sequel. Highly recommended.” -Historical Novels Review, Editor’s Choice

Excerpt from Chapter 1: The Stallion Fight At Thingholt

On that day in May, as we rode to the stallion fight at Thingholt, my fate showed itself to me. A raven flew low across the sky into the rising sun and the moment I saw it I knew that Odin had spoken to me and that he would give me courage for the thing I had secretly made up my mind to do. Only now, half a century later, do I see what a long text was folded into that swift vision.

The spring of my sixteenth year had come early to the South Quarter of Iceland, with hot-cold days and thunderclouds sweeping up over the mountains. The stallions, smelling the air, trembled and kicked against their stalls. At this season if you stake out a mare where the stallions can smell her, they will fight like berserkers to get at her, and a great one will die before he breaks and runs.

Black Grani was such a one. This was his fourth spring and the time had come to bring him to the South Quarter Thing and fight him. Thorvald, my father, grumbled and held back, but I gave him no peace, until, at last, he flung up an arm, which meant ‘yes’.

Although my brother Gunnar and I had set out early from the farm, the day was far gone before we came in sight of Thingholt plain and heard the distant shouts of men and the whinnying of horses. We left Grani and our mounts at the horse lines and walked across the sparse heath into the holiday crowd. And as we pushed our way through, there were some who knew us. A few old men came up and in low voices asked to be remembered to our father. But one red-faced woman, seeing us, cried, “Jesu!” and dragged her little daughter from our path.

About the Author

03_Bruce Macbain_Author

From boyhood, Bruce Macbain spent his days in reading history and historical fiction. The Greeks and Romans have held a special fascination for him and this led to earning a master’s degree in Classical Studies and a doctorate in Ancient History. Along the way, he also taught English as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Borneo. Later, he taught courses in Greek and Roman civilization at Vanderbilt University and Boston University, and published a few dense scholarly monographs, read by very few. Recently, he has turned to writing fiction, a much more congenial pursuit. He has previously published two historical mysteries set in ancient Rome, Roman Games and its sequel, The Bull Slayer. Now, he has turned his attention to his other favorite folk, the Vikings. Odin’s Child is the first novel of a trilogy, Odd Tangle-Hair’s Saga, which follows our hero—a wanderer, poet and warrior—from his tiny Iceland farm to the Great Palace in Constantinople. It will be published by Blank Slate Press in May, 2015.

Bruce spends his spare time in the kitchen, cooking spicy food.

For more information please visit Bruce Macbain’s website. You can also follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Goodreads.

Odin’s Child Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, June 29 Review at A Book Geek Interview at Shelf Full of Books Spotlight & Giveaway at Unshelfish

Tuesday, June 30 Interview at Brooke Blogs

Wednesday, July 1 Review at Book Nerd

Friday, July 3 Spotlight at Layered Pages Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Monday, July 6 Interview at A Literary Vacation

Tuesday, July 7 Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, July 8 Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Thursday, July 9 Review at Bookramblings

Friday, July 10 Review at Just One More Chapter

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