Tag Archives: Historical Fiction

J.F. Collen

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Jane Frances Collen has spent the last umpteen years practicing as a lawyer – but don’t hold that against her! She has made a career of protecting Intellectual Property, but at heart always wanted to be writing novels instead of legal briefs. She has written award-winning children’s books, “The Enjella® Adventure Series,” using fantasy as a vehicle for discussing the real world problems of children. She has tried to use her talent for storytelling for good instead of evil.

But her real love is history. One of her many hobbies is traveling to historical sites around the world and reading the biographies of the people who affected these places. Her books depict modern dilemmas in historical settings, with a touch of humor. Since only one of her parents had a sense of humor, however, Jane feels she is only half as funny as she should be.

Much to her husband’s dismay, they still live in New York.
 

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Watch for the second book in the “Journey of Cornelia Rose” series of historical/women’s fiction novels, Walk Away West, to release on 14 September 2020.
 
Pack up and leave her home? Never see the broad Hudson River, which flows both ways past her sitting room window, again? Eschew the glories of New York City and the wonders of the 1850s modern technology, and head out to unknown territory in the Wild West?

Cornelia Rose—armed with her midwifery training, as well as literature and history knowledge, thanks to older brothers’ education and books—embraces the opportunities that life in the metropolis of New York provides.

In love and happily married to Obadiah Wright, her life is a fairytale of abundance. Surrounded by her family, the couple establishes a home and enjoys the entertainment, society, and technological marvels that make life in the 1850s so easy. Adventure finds her, whether she is touring New York City’s first World’s Fair, or a passenger on a disastrous steamboat ride.

Her life takes an unexpected turn with Obadiah’s decision to heed the call of the West. As his wife, she has no choice but to leave her home, family, and the comforts of civilization, and join him in accepting his opportunity to become circuit judge in Utah Territory. In spite of her endless hours of research, nothing prepares Cornelia for the arduous walk from the packet boat on the Erie Canal toward the Wild West.
 
And watch for the third book in the “Journey of Cornelia Rose” series of historical/women’s fiction novels, Pioneer Passge, to release in late 2020 or early 2021.
 
Cornelia Rose thought leaving the comforts of home and her family would be the greatest challenge she would ever have to face.

Life on the Oregon Trail is full of more deprivations, difficulties, and challenges than Cornelia ever imagined, in spite of her research and preparations for the rough road ahead. She summons all her resourcefulness to combat the hardships leading them to her greatest unknown. What will be waiting for them in the Great Salt Lake City, and who is that silent brooding man who seems so familiar on the wagon train with them?

Pam Laughlin

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SEPTEMBER 24, 2018: We welcome our newest author to the Evolved Publishing Team.
 
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Yup, I was one of those kids. Call me an avid reader or a book nerd, but my head was buried in books as I walked down the halls. The librarian knew me by first name and favorite genre, and I thought the March sisters were way cooler than the girls in school. Things haven’t changed much. I still love the way a great book can transport me to a different place and time, and I continue to bond with imaginary characters and fantastic stories.

I was born and raised in New Jersey but don’t hold that against me. Believe it or not, New Jersey has some beautiful spots and I’m lucky enough to live in one of them with a pack load of males (my husband, 3 sons and 2 Havenese furry boys). I’ve been a writer most of my life, starting in 3rd grade when my short story won the school writing competition. It was about a family that lived in a freckle, so I guess I’ve suffered from FPP (fantasy prone personality) from an early age. Thank God!

I’ve written for over thirty years, mostly non-fiction technical pieces on how to use systems and equipment that most users threw away and opted to figure out on their own. I’ve worked as a staff reporter for my local paper, The Breeze, covering the Bridgewater/ Raritan, NJ area with a specialty in human interest stories. I was also the Creative Editor for the online monthly publication, DoJo Digest, and wrote “From a Mother’s Point of View” and “Hot Tips” columns.

My short story, Combat Paper, was published in Folio Oak Literary Magazine and won the Writer’s Village University short story contest. Other work has appeared in Edify Publications, Blink Ink, City Kidz World Magazine, and blogs galore. The Soul of the Elephant is my first full-length historical novel. I hope to transport readers to a magical and mystical world (even if for just a little while) jampacked with mahouts, spirit animals, wonderworkers, and adventure.

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COMING MAY 2019: Soul of the Elephant (The Kind Mahout – Book 1):

When fifteen-year-old Hemit breaks family tradition by learning the mysterious soother’s gentler ways of training elephants, he unleashes his own mystical powers—powers his parents have tried to conceal, and which are capable of destroying his entire family.

South India, 1870s. At the family elephant camp, Hemit’s father insists on quashing their elephants’ spirits to gain complete domination, but Hemit believes the relationship between an elephant and mahout should be based on trust and love, not fear. When he stands up for the elephants, he and his father clash with devastating consequences.

Hemit ignores his father’s warnings about the mysterious elephant trainer rumored to use black magic to soothe rogue elephants. In secret, he befriends the elusive mystical, and learns the secret language and ways of the pachyderms. When he unleashes his own mystical powers to mend the broken soul of an abused elephant, a magical bond among healer, boy, and elephant develops.

Will his father embrace his son’s newly roused abilities, or try to quash his spirit, too?

Reflections on Johnny Appleseed Day by Author Gregg Sapp

A Blast from the Past!

Did you know that September 23rd is Johnny Appleseed Day? (Neither did we.) We’ve learned a lot about this extraordinary real-life character in the last couple of years, thanks to the amazing work of author Gregg Sapp, who drops by here to share some thoughts on this occasion.

It happens to come shortly on the heels of us learning that Fresh News Straight from Heaven was honored with the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award – Best Novel – Summer 2018 (1 of only 3 honored in that category), making this the truly perfect time to learn about this amazing character (and a great book).
 

Gregg Sapp

People often ask me why I wrote a novel about Johnny Appleseed. In reply, I like to ask them to tell me what they know about him.

Some describe him as a scruffy vagabond horticulturist, part mountain man/ part hippie tree-hugger, skipping barefoot through the forest primeval like a woodland nymph with a bag of apple seeds slung over his shoulder, a song on his lips, and a rotten-toothed grin for everybody he met.

Others think of him as a howling, wide eyed lunatic who spat venom preaching an obscure and bizarre brand of evangelical Christianity to everybody within earshot, the kind of person that you’d cross the street to avoid if you saw him approaching on the sidewalk.

Still others recall him fondly from images perpetuated in the many children’s books written about him. They describe him as an unkempt but saintly oddball who was sweet to animals and little children, and spread peace, love, and good neighborly understanding wherever he went, kind of like a hobo Mister Rogers.

All are true, and yet there’s much more to this complex, enigmatic, and downright weird historical person.

My interest in Johnny Appleseed began when I was growing up in central Ohio. There, I was close to many of the places where his legend was born. I liked to imagine that he’d passed through the fields and woods near my home. In seventh grade, for a history assignment to write a short biography of some famous Ohioan, while everybody else wrote about presidents, inventors, entertainers, war heroes, etc., I chose to write about Johnny Appleseed.

To me, the reality of John Chapman (his real name) is much less interesting than the folklore about Johnny Appleseed. The real person was of no particular significance. He didn’t do anything that changed history. But he did represent something important to Americans. Johnny stood apart, a character unlike anybody else, who at the same time appealed to something universal.

Other beloved characters in American history are probably better representatives of some of the qualities attributed to Johnny – his honesty, his pacifism, his faith. But no other beloved characters in American history is weirder. Johnny’s oddities are iconic. The mush pot on the head, the coat made of a potato sack, the sack of seeds on his back: Johnny’s image is a celebration of American eccentricity. He is the American Don Quixote.
That’s why his birthday, September 26th, is nationally recognized as Johnny Appleseed Day.

We need more oddballs, misfits, cranks, crackpots and hare brains like Johnny Appleseed. We admire these people because even though they violate social norms, they are entirely true to themselves. You can’t fake weird.

By writing my novel, “Fresh News Straight from Heaven,” I like to think that I’m keeping that tradition alive. We can all use a little Johnny Appleseed in our lives. It would be appropriate to celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day by giving yourself permission to be a little weird.
 

 
As always, thank you so much for your support. Without you, there would be no us. Feel free to contact us anytime at Admin@EvolvedPub.com.

Teri Fink

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Teri spent her early childhood years in Redondo Beach, California, before her family traded the beaches of the Pacific Coast for the apple orchards of Wenatchee, Washington. Her career has taken her from librarian, to corporate writer, and communications officer before becoming a novelist. Her writing has won literary awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She’s a member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association and Write on the River. Teri and her husband live on beautiful Lake Chelan in central Washington State.
 

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Watch for Teri’s second novel, the literary/women’s fiction, CLOVIS DIG, to release on 1 May 2021.

When a shocking discovery is found among ancient artifacts during an archaeological dig in an orchard, an investigation of a different kind begins. Orchardist Claire Courtney must decide who to trust as she desperately tries to salvage what’s left of her livelihood and her life.

Amidst the beauty of the Wenatchee Valley at the feet of the Cascade Mountains, apple orchardist Claire Courtney struggles to make a living.

When strange and ancient artifacts are discovered beneath her land, Claire wonders whether the ensuing archaeological dig will save her, or be the final blow in her struggle to hang onto her home and livelihood. To make matters worse, conflict between the archaeologists on the dig—Joe Running from the west, and Spencer Grant from the east—threatens the entire project.

This multicultural novel brings together Native Americans, Latinos, and migrant workers from the American South to grapple over ownership of what lies beneath the earth.

Gregg Sapp

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Gregg Sapp, a native Ohioan, is a librarian, academic administrator, and a Pushcart Prize-nominated author. Having written over 60 academic articles and some 300 reviews, Gregg published his first novel, Dollarapalooza (or “The Day Peace Broke Out in Columbus”) in 2011 with Switchgrass Books of Northern Illinois University Press.

Since then, he has published humor, poetry, and short stories in various literary journals, including Defenestration, Imaginaire, Kestrel, Zodiac Review, Marathon Review, and Writing Tomorrow, and he’s been a frequent contributor to Midwestern Gothic. His forthcoming book, Fresh News Straight from Heaven, about the life and folklore of Johnny Appleseed, will be published by Evolved Publishing in 2017.

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Watch for the 4th book in the “Holidazed” series of satirical novels, MURDER BY VALENTINE CANDY, to release in early February 2021.

Oh, the irony! Billionaire ladies’ man Adam Erb is murdered by lethal valentine candy.

On Valentine’s Day, notorious bad boy and right-wing podcaster Adam Erb is found dead in the back of his limousine, his mouth stuffed full of erectile dysfunction pills disguised as candy hearts. Huck Carp, an adversary of Erb’s and a doctoral student in applied sociology, suggests to police that the perpetrator is a severe psychopath. Imagine his surprise when, in front of his would-be girlfriend, they arrest him for the crime.

To prove his innocence, and save his relationship, Huck must utilize all his academic research skills. Aided by friends from his favorite donut shop, he follows the trail of evidence from viral social media hashtags to private performances at the Booti Tooti Gentlemen’s Club, and behind the velvet curtain at the mysterious Society of Enlightened Celibate Savants (SECS). Huck is an intellectual, not a lover, but the deeper he probes, the more he realizes that solving this crime will require him to look into his own heart.