Hiram’s Honor by Max R. Terman

This deeply moving story describes Union soldier Hiram Terman’s experiences during the American Civil War. Hiram joins the 82nd Ohio Regiment in 1862, where he meets two men, Seth and Isaiah, and they become fast friends. As they leave for the first march, they are excited but apprehensive about what lies ahead.

Hiram, Seth, and Isaiah face many challenges as they march from battle to battle and camp to camp. At the battle of Gettysburg, Hiram, his friends, and hundreds of soldiers are taken prisoner by the Confederates and sent to Belle Island. Death is a real possibility in the prison, so they quickly learn how to survive under the most vile conditions. Hiram is eventually transferred to Andersonville and other camps as well.

The misery of the prison camps is heart-breaking and many of the men perish. This story highlights one soldier’s admirable strength, courage, and perseverance to withstand the horrors of war, and the author does a wonderful job of describing this. The book is well-written and the character building is excellent. Max Terman offers the reader a realistic and detailed account of the battles and what camp life was like for the soldiers. I felt as if I were there witnessing first-hand what they were going through. I was also pleasantly surprised to discover the author is a descendant of Hiram, which made the story all the more interesting to read. I highly recommend this book to readers who are interested in this period of time in U.S. history.

Stephanie

You also may see my review on HNS: http://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/hirams-honor/

Interview with Author Paula Lofting




1. Tell us about your book “Sons of the Wolf”.
Sons of the Wolf is the first in a planned series of books about the Norman Conquest of England. The first book shows what life was like in England in the 12 years leading up to the Battle of Hastings seen through the eyes of King’s thegn, Wulfhere and his family. Their lives interweave with those of historical characters such as Harold Godwinson and King Edward the Confessor. Wulfhere’s family is caught up in a blood feud with the neighbouring landowner, Helghi, and when his wilful daughter Freyda forms a relationship with Helghi’s son against her parent’s will, Harold, Wulfhere’s Lord, forces Wulfhere to agree to a betrothal between Freyda and the boy to end the feud between their families. Wulfhere reluctantly agrees but is unable to accept the idea that his daughter will be married to the son of his great enemy. He and Helghi’s hatred for one another has run deep for many years and he is determined to find a way to extricate himself from this alliance without compromising his honour and relationship with his Lord.

2. Who or What inspired you to become an author?

I have always wanted to write, as soon as I could hold a pen I think. I got most of my inspiration as a kid from great authors like Rosemary Sutcliffe who wrote The Eagle of The Ninth and Leon Garfield who wrote Smith and Black Jack. I loved those books. I loved the history concept and the fact that you could really get into another world, one so different from your own. Later I got side tracked in life and didn’t feel that I had what it takes to write a book. Then as I got older, I found the books by Sharon Penman so inspiring that I started imagining my own stories in my head.

3. What are your goals as a writer?

To finish my Sons of the Wolf series , the second book is completed but needs a good edit. Also I want to finish a book I have been working on , a thriller called Killing the Sandman and I’d love to write a book for my Grandad set in the first World War.

4. What dreams have been realised as a result of your writing?

When I first started writing Sons of the Wolf, I had never thought I would see it published until a couple of friends read the first chapters and suggested I go for it. It’s been my dream now for about 6 years to have it published which it will be in August. That would be a dream come true for me.

5. What books have most influenced your life?

I would probably say the books that made big impressions on me were: The Sun in Spleandour and The Reckoning by Penman. With the Reckoning, I was so moved by the story of the Welsh Princes and the oppression meted out to the Welsh people as a result of English domination. The story of Ellen de Montfort and Llywellyn touched me also very deeply.

6. What is your favourite Quote?  

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill.

7. What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

Make sure as you write each chapter, you keep a record of what has happened and highlight salient points. Doing this really helped me with the flow and consistency and time frame. Also I kept a file on each character, documenting their descriptions and ages. Finally, ensure that you learn about Pont of View and not to Head Hop, a complete nono in the writing world.

A little about Paula: Lives inWest Sussex, United Kingdom .Mother of 3, psychiatric nurse, author of Sons of the Wolf and damn funny woman! Seek not evil Seek not to gain but Seek only to give and live just in the day.

Website: http://paulalofting-sonsofthewolf.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/synopsis-to-sons-of-wolf.html

Paula, thank you so much for this lovely interview! It was an honor!


Stephanie

Interview with Author Steena Holmes

 
 
1. Please tell us about your book Finding Emma and what lead you to write about this subject?
 
I was sitting on my couch and watching my children play on our front lawn when my youngest disappeared from sight. I waited a few seconds for her to reappear … and it was during those seconds that Emma’s story played out in my head – literally. I knew I wanted to write a story that would touch every mother’s heart. I love tear-jerker, heart gripping type stories that I don’t want to put down – and I wanted Emma’s story to be like that as well.

 
2. Who or what inspired you to become an author?
 
My husband! He knew that there was this ‘deep’ longing inside of me to write, but I was too afraid to. I knew nothing about writing – but that didn’t matter. He encouraged me to face my fear of the unknown – and once I did – once I started to jot down ideas and then type them out on the computer, it was amazing. The words wouldn’t stop!

 
3. What is your next book project?
 
I am currently writing Emma’s Secret – I’ve had so much reader interaction, discussions and input for this story – I can’t wait till it’s released!

 
4. What are your goals as a writer?
 
To write full time! I have children and I want to show them that it is possible to listen to your heart, follow your dreams and see them be successful!

5. What books have most influenced your life?

 
Too many to count. I love the Secret Key – have you read it? You should! I cried so hard.

 
6. What is your favorite Quote?
 
In the end, all things succumb to the passions of your heart. It’s true!

 
7. What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
 
Write. Just write. Don’t worry about the ‘rules’ or the ‘techniques’ or even what other people are doing. Just write your heart story. Let it pour out of you until you can say it’s done. Then do your homework. Take courses on writing craft, read books in your genre, read writing books, find some beta readers who are not family/friends and who will be honest with you. But first – just write! Everything else will fall into place. It’s what I did with my first book – I just wrote – and then I won a publishing contest! If I can do it – so can you!
 

Author of the new heart wrenching story “Finding Emma”, Steena is a woman who believes that ‘in the end, everything succumbs…to the passions of your heart’. Steena’s life revolves around her family, friends and fiction.
She took those passions and made them a dream come true by pouring her heart into each of her stories.
Her newest release – FINDING EMMA is a heart-wrenching story of when devotion borders on obsession, a mother must choose between her family and finding her missing daughter.
Reviews for Steena Holmes:
“Finding Emma is a heartbreaking story of a mother’s journey of hope…captured by the emotion and depth of the characters from the beginning.”
“FINDING EMMA may be the most heart-wrenching and heart-warming book I have ever read…Tense, emotional and realistic it will ring your emotions dry.”

Steena Holmes
In the end all things succumb to the passions of your heart.
Please visit me at: www.steenaholmes.com
 
Come join the conversation on my Facebook Page:

Thank you so much for this interview Steena! I’m delighted!

 
Stephanie
 
 

Sugar Crash by Elena Aitken

This is a story of a women name Darci whose daughter Taylor is diagnosed with diabetes. Darci is a single mother who works hard to provide her daughter with a good life and the reality of her daughter’s illness is hard for her to come to grips with. Taylor is a soccer player and she and her mother struggle with a women-once a friend-not accepting Taylor’s illness and wants her to step down from the team.

It’s truly amazing the prejudices and fear people have over diabetes. This story gives you a clear picture of what a person and their family goes through living with this disease.

Stephanie