Updated: Dec 18, 2022
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN DE MODE OF LITERATURE (VOLUME V, ISSUE XXVI) | Article Published on: 26th May 2022 | www.demodemagazine.com
1. 'THE HANGING TREE' - BY AUTHOR JAMES WALKER
When an anonymous young woman is found hanging from a tree by her friend, Lady Olivia Courtney, Lady Jane Tremayne, who lives in South Devon not far from the ancient city of Exeter, believes the woman has been murdered and is determined to investigate the crime.
When an inquest is held, as Lady of the Manor, she successfully encourages the coroner to recommend an open verdict to the assembled jury, but the trail of suspicion that she then follows involves a coach seen in the vicinity on the day of the murder, proves to be a perilous one.
She engages the services of her lawyer, Francis Overbury, to identify the owner of the coach and he is also able to provide some additional information, which takes her to the back streets of Exeter where her further enquiries reveal the likely identity of the murdered woman. She then sets about discovering a motive for the crime, which in turn throws up the likelihood of a second murder along with evidence that the owner of the coach is a smuggler. A young woman who has given Jane vital information now disappears so Jane tries to discover her whereabouts but the trail she follows leads to her being kidnapped and taken abroad, where she expects to be sold as a slave to Corsairs in North Africa. She is able to avoid this fate when the ship she’s on runs aground off the coast of Brittany in North West France, and she is then able to return to England only to discover that the man she has married in secret faces a charge of treason. Fresh dangers also await both her and Lady Courtney.
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THE JOURNEY OF AUTHOR JAMES WALKER
James, a retired lawyer, who is a south Londoner by birth, but has lived in Canterbury in East Kent since his early thirties, started writing in his mid to late twenties but didn’t publish his first novel Ellen’s Gold until he was well into his fifties. The novel was based on the true story of a letter that was discovered describing the burial of treasure by retreating French troops in 1813 and was a labour of love with a number of rewrites.
Since then he has gone on to publish another six novels, all but one of which have been historical in nature. The exception was Shamila set in Marseilles and North Africa about a love affair between two students. The girl is a Moslem but her boyfriend isn’t. Her family don’t approve and this has serious consequences for her. A theme running through not only this novel but also Ellen’s Gold, and two other novels My enemy, my love and Aliza, my love has been love across racial and cultural divides.
James has German ancestry and discovering the true identity of his great-grandfather encouraged him to write the novel I think he was George, about a German man living in England before the First World War, who becomes a spy for the Kaiser, not just in England but also the U.S.A. Most recently James has started publishing historical whodunnits set in England in the 1650s. The first of these novels, Ravishment, involves an investigation into a series of rapes culminating in a murder. The second is The Hanging Tree and a third novel in the series, Falling is due to be published soon. Also, James has recently co-written a novel based on the association that the Austrian composer, Franz Lehar had with Adolf Hitler.
Read Author JAMES WALKER's interview with DE MODE & about his upcoming books in the APRIL-MAY-JUNE 2022 GLOBAL ISSUE (LITERATURE).
Download/Order the full issue here.
2. 'THE BLUE TATAR' - BY AUTHOR L.N. GRUER
Everyone has their American dream. Just make sure yours doesn’t turn into a nightmare. In this captivating historical novel, five modern immigrant women—five destinies, linked together by blood and history. From the killing fields in Ukraine to the fire-scorched Hollywood hills, from three-star Micheline restaurants to home kitchens, here comes a multi-generational saga of tragedy and vengeance, love and conflict, loyalty and betrayal, and above all - chasing that elusive American dream. Flora, a Russian zealot and spoiled housewife are married to a successful American businessman. Terrified of getting old and feeling ill at ease in her new homeland, Flora is lost and angry, looking for meaning in infidelity and plastic surgery. Oksana mistreated shopaholic desperately wanting to escape the clutches of her thug of a husband and needing the approval of her own patronizing St. Petersburg family. Naïve, romantic Oksana dreams of designing beautiful women’s shoes. Does she risk too much, having faith in an improbable love?
Gentle people-pleaser Sasha is caught between a homophobic adoptive father and her American born gay son. Happily married to a hard-working Ukrainian man, Sasha worries about doing everything for everyone. Whom will she choose?
The past and present collide as these women deal with it all - caring for ageing parents, managing businesses and careers, struggling to understand their American-born children and not always ideal husbands; and never giving up on the needs of the heart.
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THE JOURNEY OF AUTHOR L.N GRUER
Born and raised in Odesa, Ukraine, (the former Soviet Union), Doctor Larisa N. Gruer is an internationally recognized holistic practitioner, media personality and Instagram entrepreneur. L.N Gruer is her official pen name.
Dr Gruer is a frequent USA national podcast radio guest at iHeartRadio, Books That Make You, Dare to Dream, WKNY-AM New York, and KORE-FM, Washington. Her journey as a published author started while pursuing her advanced university studies, where she wrote award-winning essays, a Master’s thesis, and a PhD dissertation.
The dissertation became her first non-fiction medical book, Beyond PB &J. How mineral deficiencies can play havoc with children’s health.
'The Blue Tatar', her debut historical novel about modern immigrant women was an Amazon bestseller. The book has also been featured at the Frankfurt Book Fair, as well as in global lifestyle magazines. Only one year later, L.N completed 'Revenge of Alpha Centauri', the first instalment of a new cosy paranormal mystery series. Currently, she is busy researching and outlining the sequel to the Blue Tatar, the Red Mongol, which will further take a deep dive into the Russian-Ukrainian conflict as expressed by the trials and tribulations of her heroines.
When not looking after her patients or writing, L.N can be found at her piano, gardening, or playing baseball with her two grandchildren. Dr Gruer lives with her husband and adorable Maltese, Pasha, in California and Texas.
Read Author L. N. GRUER's interview with DE MODE & about her upcoming books in the APRIL-MAY-JUNE 2022 GLOBAL ISSUE (LITERATURE).
Download/Order the full issue here.
3. 'MY FRIEND MUGSY' - BY AUTHOR NATHANIEL G. SUTTON
A Hidden Gem! Such a great and easy read. The author has an exquisite ability to place you in the scenes while you become enthralled in each page and chapter. I was able to finish this in one sitting and am definitely looking forward to seeing more from this author. Highly recommend! - Shady Garden
A great read. This book was a great read about a good friend that I knew to have someone touch your heart so much that you write a book about them is nothing but love and the author (Nathaniel Sutton) has been touched by God to write a book like this God bless you, my brother. - Kevin J martin
Interesting Philosophical Read. The book reads like a series of parables. A philosophical approach to teach the reader life lessons through the author's personal experiences with the main character. You are taken into unexpected areas of New Jersey and schooled in street survival, friendship, death and family. - Richard G Christie
I like the book all the reading was put in knowledge of a good friend Mugsy and I hope there are other books to come. Good job WAYNE. - Thomas Byers
This story has a heart. It is told in such a way that it makes you feel like you really know the subject personally. There are many anecdotes to make you smile and wisdom acquired from a lifetime to ponder. An enjoyable read. - Bernadette
If you grew up in a city you can relate to, if not you will have a better sense of the experience. This book is difficult to STOP reading, each adventure pulls you in. Loved it. - Peg
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THE JOURNEY OF AUTHOR NATHANIEL G. SUTTON
One day Gawayne asked God what his purpose was in life? The next morning, he woke up hearing this voice and words, there is no such thing as the past, and there is such thing as the future. There is only now, and right now, "you are one of the world's talented artists and writers”, So Gtaalwenatyende started painting because he felt he was too young to have anything of importance to write about. However, as his life moved on, he met amazing people along the way that really forced him to share the experience they had with the world. After Gawayne's best friend passed away, he was hurt. He knew the best way to honour his friend was to write about him, their friendship, and their adventures. After he wrote the book "My Friend Mugsy" and published it, it was such a heavyweight lifted off Gawayne to share all the good times with the world was amazing.
He also wrote about his German Shepherd dog Charlie, who was a show dog and his best friend. "The Adventures of Charles in Charge." is a book about a family of German Shepherd dogs that lives in the woods.
When Gawayne's father passed away, he was so hurt he wanted to honour his father by writing something about him. The most memorable and valuable thing his father ever taught him was how to attract women. He wrote "How to Pick up Any Girl in 13 Steps" to honour his father and shared that with the world. Gawayne says, "the process works for both men and women." Gawayne hopes his Art and Books will continue to be enjoyed for many years to come.
Read Author NATHANIEL G. SUTTON's interview with DE MODE & about his upcoming books in the APRIL-MAY-JUNE 2022 GLOBAL ISSUE (LITERATURE).
Download/Order the full issue here.
4. 'THE PASSAGE OF CONQUEST' - BY AUTHOR T. D. KUCHEL
In the year 1959, eighteen-year-old Giselle joins her uncle’s sixtieth birthday celebration aboard his new sailing ship, which he discovered unmanned in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Found onboard was a strange artefact that is accidentally activated during the night, sending the ship into a violent storm. From the lifeboat, Giselle, and her uncle’s first mate, Nickolas watch the ship go down before landing on a deserted beach.
As they begin to uncover remnants of an ancient civilisation, they learn that they have travelled to a parallel world and that the island was veiled four hundred years ago to prevent an ancient evil from escaping.
As the mystery of the island’s history unfolds, Giselle is drawn into a desperate quest for a key
that will enable safe passage home aboard the galleon before it is used to unleash death and destruction throughout time and space.
This is the tale of a strong, independent woman who just did not know it yet. Flickering with drama, romance and suspense, this powerful, unique tale will be highly enjoyed by readers of all ages.
The Passage of Conquest can be purchased from all leading online booksellers in both paperback and eBook, ordered through any bookstore, or purchased directly from the author at tdkuchel.com.
Those who order from the website will receive a gift and receive the package personally wrapped by the author. Chapter one is also available as a free download from tdkuchel.com
LINK TO BUY 'THE PASSAGE OF CONQUEST' BOOK IN INDIA - CLICK HERE
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If the TV series ‘LOST’ floated your boat (novel related pun intended) you are going to love The Passage of Conquest! With parallel worlds, time switches, weird beasts and mysterious happenings, the compulsive-viewing vibe of LOST is faithfully recreated between the gorgeous covers of this novel. - Leonie Kelsall (Best-selling Australian Author).
T.D. Kuchel wraps time travel and hidden magic together so well. There wasn’t as much angst as in other YA novels I’ve recently read (a fact I'm quite grateful for), and there is a subtle romance that builds without making it the main focus of the plot. Overall, a fun fast-paced read, and one that I can easily recommend! - Caffein and legends.
Fast-paced, and action-packed! As soon as the storm hit the galleon, I could not put the book down! As a reader I felt like a detective alongside Giselle and Nickolas, trying to grasp the enigma behind this mysterious cloaked island and the threatening creatures that dwell there. The time-travelling aspect of the story was one of my favourite elements. - Thais – Book blogger from @tata.lifespages
NAME OF AN UPCOMING BOOK
Currently untitled book two of, The Passage of Conquest, trilogy.
THE JOURNEY OF AUTHOR T.D. KUCHEL
Though a keen interest in writing had been present at a young age, T. D. Kuchel proclaims that The Passage of Conquest did not come from the intention to produce a novel. Instead, it is the product of a moment’s inspiration.
With the former passion latent in mind, T. D. Kuchel boarded a plane for Hamilton Island in April 2010 with his girlfriend of four months and an engagement ring in his pocket.
The following evening, whilst sailing through the Whitsunday Islands during sunset, he gazed deeply into the swirl below and found himself imagining – “What if somebody fell off the yacht into one of the whirlpools and it transport them to another world ...?”
This was not a common practice for Kuchel. However, he had been reading more than usual and had been struggling to find a book of interest. Unintentionally, he began compiling mental notes of what he desired to read.
As the week developed, T. D. Kuchel and his fiancé hiked and sailed every conceivable location in the Whitsundays. Upon returning home, Kuchel’s mind was stimulated with an accumulating plot. “To be inspired to write again was empowering,” he says. “I feel I truly found myself and whom I once aspired to be. As children, we dream and should be encouraged to dream. As an adult, I have found that happiness lies in realising our childhood dreams.”
Over the following months, T. D. Kuchel worked on the plot no matter where he was, filling his pockets with notes of paper before writing it all into countless notebooks. “The plot just kept building in my mind and I had to get it out,” he says.
The result is a fascinating adventure that has captured every possible interest, from time travel and parallel worlds to lost civilisations and immortality, yet remarkably remains attached to the real world.
“I think due to my fondness for period dramas,” T. D. Kuchel says, “or perhaps it’s maturity, but I do prefer a story with a good balance of reality and fiction these days. Because if a story can make readers believe, or wish the fantasy elements are real, they are far more likely to capture our imagination.
Read Author T.D. KUCHEL interview with DE MODE & about his upcoming books in the APRIL-MAY-JUNE 2022 GLOBAL ISSUE (LITERATURE).
Download/Order the full issue here.
5. 'VICTORIAN GOTHIC (VOL.1)' - BY AUTHOR D. R. MILLER
This remarkable story came to light when an assortment of letters, diary entries, clippings and accompanying paraphernalia were discovered in an attic many years after the events they speak of. The papers tell an extraordinary tale of courage, love, and nightmares, painstakingly pieced together by the enigmatic person who discovered them.
The story begins at a Christmas soiree held by Lord and Lady Bamfry in December 1888. Lord Bamfry hosts the party for professors of University College London every year and among the attendees are Richard Kramer and his good friend Charlie Bent. But during the proceedings, Katherine Kramer falls ill after cutting herself on a strange book. Over the next few weeks, Richard and Charlie try to save her, but her symptoms are so strange, so alarming, that their combined medical knowledge proves to be of little help. Poor Katherine dies giving birth to something horrific and unnatural.
Despite throwing the strange book on the fire, Charlie finds it a few days later in the possession of his vivacious wife, Constance. To Charlie’s despair, she falls ill in similar circumstances. When Constance begins to exhibit some alarming changes in character beyond anyone’s medical understanding, the friends quickly become desperate.
Richard’s brother-in-law, the reverend Robert Morris, recognises the strange book and warns of the dangers that come with it. He recommends consultation with the enigmatic Dr William Westcott, a police coroner and co-founder of the secret society The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
Following that fateful consultation, Richard, Charlie and Constance are plunged deep into an underground world of witchcraft and esoterica, far removed from the science they know and trust.
With the London press wondering whether Jack the Ripper has returned, our heroes must fend off the police whilst launching themselves into a frantic race across London and southern England, a race against time to discover how to save Constance and to avenge Katherine’s untimely death.
Is the sinister Dr Westcott really the man he appears to be? What do these events have to do with the secret hidden in Richard’s ancestry? Is there time to discover the cause of Constance’s illness before it engulfs her?
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NAME OF AN UPCOMING BOOK
Victorian Gothic Volume 3: The Acceptable Face Of Insanity
THE JOURNEY OF AUTHOR D.R. MILLER
D. R. Miller has been writing since the age of five when he would open the storybook at school to the underwater page and write about divers, sharks, submarines and octopi. The rest of his school career really went by in a blur. They were not enjoyable days and he dropped out of university after only a year. From a writer’s point of view, he would say those days did introduce him to one of his all-time favourite novels though: To Kill A Mockingbird. Can anyone argue that Atticus Finch is not one of the greatest characters in literary history?
He became much more serious about writing many years later after his first marriage ended. Some friends wanted to make a short film for their Halloween party and he agreed to write it. The story was called 13 Minutes To Midnight and was essentially a 10-minute house invasion horror with a twist at the end. The key to the writing was to make sure it could be made with no budget, so he wrote the story based in his own home, and then created a script and shot list from the story. The film was so well received that he began a new production every year. Each one became longer, and more ambitious, both in storytelling and production value.
He was soon writing for himself. Fantasy had always attracted him, especially being a big fan of pulp novelists like Robert E. Howard. Over a few years, he had created a new fantasy world discovered in several stories about two siblings: Strom and Brasa. He took inspiration from the likes of Edgar Allan Poe when writing poetry and drew on his love of H. P. Lovecraft, Bram Stoker, Dennis Wheatley and Robert Louis Stevenson when writing horror.
Victorian Gothic came about as a similar short story. When he asked his wife if she would like to know what happens next, she said “absolutely, yes!” and the world of Victorian Gothic was born.
The first two volumes, The Uncanny Death of Katherine Kramer and A Most Perilous Name, have already been published along with A Spurned Woman, a novella that ties into Volume 2 and can be downloaded from the author’s website. He is editing Volume 3, The Acceptable Face Of Insanity at the moment.
Author D. R. Miller's Official website: www.drmillerauthor.co.uk/books/
Read Author D.R. MILLER's interview with DE MODE & about his upcoming books in the APRIL-MAY-JUNE 2022 GLOBAL ISSUE (LITERATURE).
Download/Order the full issue here.
6. 'THE SECRET LIFE OF MARY WHITE' - BY AUTHOR LENAYE MARSTEN
Inspired by a true story from 17th century New England, “The Secret Life of Mary White” follows a young girl who has inherited her grandmother’s gift for healing. She must tread carefully as this rare and misunderstood intuitive ability is seen by the ignorant in the town as linking her to witchcraft and magic and could send her to the gallows. Mary is a practitioner of Physick or a herb woman. In a world rife with suspicion and fear, she must learn to cope with the hatred and intolerance of the masses, enduring formidable odds, triumph, heartbreak, violence, and tragedy. Despite all her efforts, with her life hanging in the balance, only when her nemesis can no longer conceal his own shortcomings does she have a chance. But for how long?
The story takes the reader into Mary’s inner world as the events of her life unfold. She has a special connection with all of nature, plants and animals, that defies most people’s mindset. It transports the reader into an expanded awareness of the interconnectedness of all of life and illustrates the consciousness that flows through all physicality. And in another crucial scene, during Mary’s darkest hour, she discovers true alchemy and healing grace that allows her to pick up the pieces of her life and carry on.
She is a courageous survivor and we follow along with her personal growth. Life was difficult in the early colonial period and the story taps into the edges of the lawlessness, cruelty, and power struggles not all of which are well documented by the surviving record. Composed structurally of two intersecting plots, tension builds to a crescendo as Part 11 comes to a close.
Themes of familial ties, friendship, love, compassion, grief, mortality, courage, resistance and survival fill the narrative. The work is also full of traditional herbal healing remedies and is historically accurate. Most of the characters were real people, albeit re-imagined. This debut novel will transport you back to the 17th century.
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BOOK REVIEWS - by The Prairies Book Review
A poignant exploration of the intricacies of personal growth, courage, and survival... Inspired by a true story from the 17th century Piscataqua region of New England, Marsten's affecting debut follows a woman's attempt to find refuge from her tragic reality. Young Mary White has inherited her grandmother's gift of healing. But with the fearful and ignorant in the town linking her healing craft to witchcraft and magic, Mary needs to tread carefully. Marsten's picture of 17th-century ignorance and cruelty includes disturbing accounts of violence, chauvinism, bigotry, and hatred for the unexplained. The gift of healing that runs in Mary's maternal family helps build a foreboding sense of the inevitable as the Whites are forced to reckon with harsh realities around them, among them the family's displacement, living in constant anxiety and fear, Mary's struggle to come to terms with people's distrust of her healing ability. Told in third-person omniscient voice, each chapter takes readers deep into the heart of Mary's dilemmas as she endures distrust, suspicion, intolerance, disparity, displacement, and violence. As Mary grapples with hatred and narrow-mindedness of people and whether remaining true to her duty as a gifted healer is worth the trouble (or is even possible), the narrative tosses readers through a series of dizzying revelations. The accounts of Mary's reckoning with her family history are poignant, and the details of her healing practices are sharply drawn and rooted in the era. Throughout, Marsten delves into themes of familial ties, friendship, love, compassion, grief, mortality, courage, resistance, and survival. A poignant and meticulously researched story of how a courageous woman coped with the hatred and intolerance of the masses.
THE JOURNEY OF AUTHOR LENAYE MARSTEN
Marsten says her journey began with being read to daily as a small child and subsequently diving into books. Transported into literary worlds that both developed her imagination and became a fertile refuge that could sweeten life immeasurably. Her father was an ivy league poet and fiction writer and she held him on a pedestal. “Writing was his world,” Marsten states, “so I went to school for Fine Art.” Still, her enjoyment of painting in words was always there.
In her early 40’s, the inspiration struck for her first novel. The first two pages of her book, Marsten says, are autobiographical. The novel’s “hook” was her hook and is actually how it all unfolded. “It truly became my passion to tell Mary’s story. To sleuth out the truth by researching every which way imaginable. I sensed it was one of the things that I had agreed to do before I was even born. It went deep.”
She spent the next seven years recreating Mary’s story. “Sometimes I felt like I had one foot in the here and now and my other in the 17th century. It was pretty wild; you begin to question reality.” She put her manuscript down at times, edited it voraciously, joined a local writers group, took a creative writing class at the University of New England through their Women Writer’s program, and finally enrolled in an online class with the UK based Curtis Brown Creative to ready her story for publication.
Sadly, her book was published long after her father’s death, but Marsten says her father had read an early 500-page version and was always supportive and encouraging with her endeavor. She says after her book was finished she chose to self-publish after pouring so much of herself into the work rather than spend time indefinitely looking for a literary agent and traditional publisher. She has learned a lot and as she does not consider herself an avid self-promoter, she will likely go the traditional route with her next book.
Read Author LENAYE MARSTEN's interview with DE MODE & about her upcoming books in the APRIL-MAY-JUNE 2022 GLOBAL ISSUE (LITERATURE).
Download/Order the full issue here.
[ Want more? Check out our list of Best 10 Books to add to your Reading List This Summer]