He is just a dude who wishes he lived in Ancient Rome. Angelus is crazy about everything Roman to the point where he named himself based on a Pleb who might have lived during Roman times. He got attached to Roman history at a young age when he was exposed to non-fiction books about the wonders of the Roman Empire. When he’s not writing, he likes to watch YouTube videos and read books about Ancient Rome. Another time period that he’s fascinated with is the bronze age, he plans to do another series set in the mysterious bronze age.
Since he couldn’t afford a time machine, he decided to write a series in the LitRPG genre. He is a huge Caesar 3 fan along with the Age of Empires game series and wanted to combine the two into a novel. For those unfamiliar with the LitRPG genre, it’s basically a book written like an RPG video game to put it simply.
The first book in his series, The Great Centurion: Punic Wars will be coming this fall. It will have city building, land battles, a Roman who becomes an honorable general, naval battles, and even a bit of fun with women in togas.
Blurb for the upcoming book, The Great Centurion: Punic Wars
Release Date: October 16, 2020
A LitRPG set on the Dawn of the Second Punic War. Legions and Elephants are only the beginning!
In the classical age of the Roman Republic, Victor Maximus a young roman is determined to be the next legendary soldier. Through determination and grit, he has impressed his superiors and becomes a great Roman general.
Victor finds himself in the middle of the Second Punic War between Roma (Rome) and Carthage, a period where the elephant riders have become hostile and threaten to break the peace treaty from the First Punic War. He’ll have to quickly hone his skills as a general, gain experience, and improve his abilities.
Victor will have to use the spoils of war to improve his arms and armor, construct forts, manage settlements, and lead his armies to victory while having to tread the borders of the Roman Republic. If he doesn’t succeed, he and his people may find themselves under the foot of a Carthaginian Elephant. Leading armies on land and epic naval battles, Victor will have to juggle everything along with his desire to make some fine female friends. That is despite the lovely women being in enemy lands and having to break the code of ethics set in Rome, by the Senate.
Prepare yourself for a story of the rough life of a Roman general as he becomes, The Great Centurion! This is a LitRPG set in the real world. As Victor will learn, not every battle is winnable, and being a general isn’t always glorious! There is a moderate to high amount of sexual references. This book is set in real life and the consequences are all too real.
She’s been fascinating people since 1948, when Long Island historian Morton Pennypacker first wrote about her.
The problem is, she might never have existed. Not as Pennypacker described her, that is. But I’ll explain.
We know Agent 355 was a real person…specifically, a woman who assisted George Washington’s Culper Spy Ring. Washington’s spymaster, Benjamin Tallmadge, devised a numerical code dictionary for the Culper spies to use when composing their intelligence letters.
And the code number for “lady” was 355.
These days, people often use the words woman and lady interchangeably. But in eighteenth-century parlance, a lady was distinct from a mere woman. Simply put, ladies were women from the upper classes…usually from the landed gentry or urban elites.
And ladies were very carefully brought up. They were educated in the feminine arts and social graces of the time. Not all ladies were wealthy, though; some lived in a state of what one might call “genteel poverty”.
In any case, we know 355 was real because Abraham Woodhull – that is, Samuel Culper, Senior – mentioned her in one of his intelligence letters. He didn’t say whether she was rich or poor or what exactly she did, only that she helped him in some way. Of her existence, this is the only real evidence we have.
But we don’t have any evidence at all when it comes to her actual identity. This is something historians have loved to speculate about.
So…Rose puts forward Anna Smith Strong as 355. She was Woodhull’s neighbor in his hometown of Setauket, on eastern Long Island. On at least a few occasions, she traveled with him on his journeys to and from New York. Because the checkpoint guards were less likely to search men who traveled with their wives, she pretended to be Mrs. Woodhull, and the ruse succeeded.
Another candidate for 355 – though less likely, in my view – has been Woodhull’s sister, Mary Underhill. She lived in New York with her husband, where they ran a boardinghouse. Because Woodhull stayed there whenever he went to New York, Mary probably knew her brother was spying. Whether she ever helped him in his spying, though, is something we cannot know.
A more intriguing candidate for 355 is Robert Townsend’s sister, Sally. Morton Pennypacker strongly believed Sally shared important information with Robert – Culper, Junior – which he then passed on to George Washington.
Since then, the theory that Sally Townsend was a spy has been a popular one, though it appears Pennypacker never thought to identify her as the “lady” from Woodhull’s letter. Historian Paul R. Misencik, in Sally Townsend, George Washington’s Teenage Spy, explains why he believes Sally may have been 355.
The thing is, Sally would have had to be acquainted with Abraham Woodhull in order to be that lady. Perhaps they were acquainted, though there doesn’t seem to be any proof of that. And even if they did meet, it’s hard to say whether they knew each other well enough for the level of trust required to spy together.
So, as I do in the cases of Anna Strong and Mary Underhill, I have my doubts about Sally Townsend being 355.
Then who was she?
Woodhull’s word choice is key, as is the fact that he addressed all his intelligence letters to Benjamin Tallmadge, who later decoded them. In the letter I mentioned above, he told Tallmadge that “by the assistance of a 355 [lady] of my acquaintance, [I] shall be able to outwit them all.” Below is a caption of the sentence from that very same letter, written August 15, 1779:
From the George Washington Papers. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
But Tallmadge, like Woodhull, was a Setauket native. He was close to Woodhull’s age, and they grew up together. And his connection to Anna Strong was as close as Woodhull’s, if not closer. His widowed father, the Reverend Benjamin Tallmadge, married Zipporah Strong on January 3, 1770. And Zipporah was the sister of Selah Strong, Anna’s husband.
Therefore, it seems strange that Woodhull, in addressing Tallmadge, would refer to Mrs. Strong as “a lady of my acquaintance [emphasis added].” That would infer that Woodhull knew her, and that Tallmadge did not.
But with Anna Strong, that couldn’t have been the case. Otherwise, he’d have written “a lady of our acquaintance” or “a lady we know.” Wouldn’t he?
Of course, Woodhull did know Mary Underhill much better, as she was his sister, and I’m sure Tallmadge knew her, too. But a close relative, with whom one grew up, is no mere “acquaintance.” So Mary Underhill was also probably not the mysterious unnamed lady.
Now it is very likely that Tallmadge never met Sally Townsend. And again, we don’t know for sure whether Woodhull ever met her or not. Even if he did, the odds are high that Robert Townsend would not have permitted Woodhull to stop off in Oyster Bay to glean secrets from his little sister.
That doesn’t mean Robert himself never gleaned a secret or two from Sally. But whether he did or not, the way Woodhull wrote the above sentence makes it sound as though he received direct assistance from this lady. That wouldn’t have been the case if Robert gathered the information from Sally and then shared it second-hand – and verbally – with Woodhull afterwards.
Like I said, the clue seems to lie in Woodhull’s word choice.
So…who, then, was 355?
This is a subject I will be returning to in the future!
Article by S. E. Morgan – Historical fiction author
In the decades after the Romans left British shores, the old gods vied with the new Christian religion. Saints were named, often when they founded a new churches. Missions sent from Christian kingdoms such as Brycheiniog, deep in the Welsh mountains.
Dwynwen was daughter of the Welsh ruler Brychan Brycheiniog. She was one of a reputed 24 children, although other versions suggest 24 daughters and 24 sons! They lived in Garth Madron, (Talgarth, near Brecon) in the 5th century. Brychan reared a highly educated and godly brood, all his children studied under an elderly blind priest, Drichan, in Glandwr near Builth Wells.
Her legend was first documented in the 12th century, and her church was an important pilgrimage site in the Middle Ages but presumably there was an oral history reaching back long before that. She was revered in Wales until the Protestant Reformation, when Henry VIII’s English church discouraged the veneration of saints. Her name and the legend were largely forgotten until Victorian times when a cross was erected near her church, with another more ornate version in 1903.
In the 60’s a student introduced the idea of sending cards on her saint’s day, which was celebrated since the 15th Century on the 25th of January. Her legend predates Shakespeare and the story of the Sleeping Beauty tales by many centuries, and possibly because of the long oral history has several version.
Dwynwen fell in love with Maelon Dafodrill, a handsome prince, who returned her love, but her father would not allow the match. In many accounts, rejected Maelon either rapes or attempts to rape her. In other versions she is simply distraught because they were not allowed to marry and hopes to forget him. Broken-hearted Dwynwen runs into the forest and prays for help. An angel appears and gives her a sweet potion which turns Maelon into block of ice. Dwynwen prays again for assistance and is granted three wishes; that Maelon is revived, that she never has to marry, and that true lovers are rewarded and looked after. She retreats to the beautiful little Island off the coast on Anglesey, Ynys Llanddwyn and establishes a sanctuary amidst ‘dwarf bramble and briar rose’ beside a holy well. Pilgrimages to visit that well were made by women wanting the saint’s blessing. Whether their request would be granted was supposed to be determined by watching the direction the fish swam in her holy well.
I have based my new novel, “The King over the Sea”, around Maelon her rejected lover. Dwynwen and Maelwyn Succus, better known as St Patrick, in all probability, also lived around this time in Wales. No one knows quite who this young man Mealon was, which gave me plenty of scope for my tale, which aims to be an exciting page-turner. (Free on Kindle Unlimited).
Bio: After many years working in mental health and latterly as a civil servant, I have taken time to indulge in my passions of walking, Wales and writing. I am working to combine all three, in historical novels set in Wales. Occasional potter, photographer and painter, my aim is to develop parts of my brain little used until now – while I still have the chance.
The Monster Within, The Monster Without. The Rebirth of Miss Francene Stedman
Blurb– When bodies start turning up in Whitechapel, Miss Steen returns to London with Lord Cartwright and the Countess of Harlow as her chaperone to solve the murders. Little does she realize she will be introduced to the last person she wants to meet — and hunting down the murderers proves a lot more difficult than they had anticipated.
This book is part of the Tragic Characters in Classic Lit series.
Excerpt Offered another cup of tea told me this interview, which was more of an inquisition, was not finished. Not that I was complaining since I greatly enjoyed improving on my story. It was false but excellent practice for the future, if needed. From behind me I heard the French doors open.
I sensed a man was approaching because the breeze carried his masculine scent to me, which I did not recognize. The walking stopped. My hostess lifted her head slightly giving the newcomer a smile of pleasure.
“I was wondering if or when you would make your presence known to us. Miss Steen, may I introduce you to my son, Lord Cartwright.”
When the countess said “Lord” at first the word did not register in my mind. In London I was acquainted with a Mr. Cartwright, but he was far from being a peer.
“You must have met him as he is employed by Sir William Morse as a Runner from Bow Street.”
I set the bone china teacup and saucer on the glass tabletop, then clinched my fists in anger as I turned in my chair to see if this man was who I knew. He is. Except now he wore a dark brown jacket with matching vest. Covering his legs were buckskin riding britches tucked into well-worn riding boots. A perfectly tied cravat in a coachman’s knot circled his neck, which I was sorely tempted to wrap my fingers around and strangle him. Even more annoying was the wisp of raven black hair hanging down over his forehead. He stood in front of me with a slight smirk on his lips.
That behavior caused me to almost lose what little politeness I had left in me. When he gave me a slight bow then reached for my hand, I lost my temper completely.
“Miss Steen, this is indeed a pleasure,” he spoke.
His words were pleasant but behind them I was sure he was laughing at me for having fooled him all these years.
I could no longer be in his presence. Standing, I gave him my hand across his smirking face. Dashing for the open doors, I escaped him
I barely could make out what he was yelling, not that I cared for he had just made a fool out of me. Rushing out the front door I told the coachman to take me home.
“Now,” I screamed at him, climbing into the carriage.
We had barely arrived at the main road when tears started filling my eyes then rolled down my cheeks. I withdrew a hanky from my reticule and tried to pat my face dry but could not because the waterworks continued to flow unabated. Through hazy eyes I saw the coach was approaching my parent’s house. The carriage barely halted when I thrust open the door, climbed out then raced inside and up to my room, throwing myself on the bed.
Author’s bio- I’ve been an avid reader ever since I was old enough to hold a red leather bound first edition copy of Sir Walter Scott’s The Lady of the Lake in my lap.
So it only seemed natural at some point in my life I take up pen and paper to start writing. Over time my skills slightly improved which I attribute to my English teachers.
My breakthrough came about in the mid 1970’s when I read a historical romance written by Sergeanne Golon, Angelique. This French husband and wife team opened my eyes to the real world of fiction. Stories about romance, beautiful damsels, handsome heroes and plots which kept me hooked. Of course, being a man, I had to keep my reading hidden from others as that wasn’t appropriate reading for men.
With this new found appreciation of the written word I took up other books and devoured them as a starving person would a plate of food. I them attempted to write again. I still wasn’t satisfied so I put it aside for years as other events entered my life.
Finally, in the early years of the new millennium I tried again to write and once again met with limited success. At least now I was able to get past the first page or two. Then, in 2006 a life changing event brought me back to my love, I took a job as a security officer. This allowed me plenty of time to read different genres.
My favorites are regency and murder mystery. As I poured through everyone I could get my hands on I knew this could be something I wanted to do and have been successful.
The path of writing is pocked with rabbit holes. I can remember each and every time the moment before the first fall, the peeking into the darkness, my hands wrapped over the edge and the grass tickling my fingers. There is something there, I would say, I can feel the eyes upon me. And then, without warning, the plunge; free-falling into those subconscious dreams as your fingers lay gently on the keys of your laptop. The miracle of the first line forming, spinning by you as you reach out and grab hold, while the sounds of ticking clocks and whistling teapots whirl in your ears. Sometimes you thud to the ground, that horrible feeling of being lost in a thought and not knowing where you are, the dreaded jabberwocky writer’s block. But you push forward, a small tasty morsel of inspiration settles in your jaw; you shrink down into your story, turn the key in the lock and open the door. What delights fill your eyes as a garden of characters greet you. The persistent flowers wanting to know what kind of writer you are, the intuitive caterpillar not resting until you answer his questions of ‘who,’ ‘what,’ ‘where,’ ‘how,’ and ‘why,’ the childish twins helping you remember things of your youth, those tidbits of memory adding to your tale, adding together a little madness, a little hare-brained concoctions of your own imagination, and “ta-da,” your story forms and weaves until the climax. All the while, the Cheshire cat in your heart smiles and moves you on. The climax stares down at you with an axe in her hand. She is the moment of ultimate revision when your story either collapses or succeeds. All the cards are in your hand. You play the game, you shuffle the stack, rearranging and reinventing until you stand tall over the creation of this dream. All your fears, all your passion, and all your days of winding down wordy paths, now complete and ready for the world. The jabberwocky is slain, your story has grown-up and the white rabbit waits for you a little ways down the trail. So, wake up to dream. Inspiration is right in front of your eyes. Come, follow me; I see another rabbit hole.
Salina Baker is a multiple award winning author and avid student of Colonial America and the American Revolution. Her lifelong passion for history and all things supernatural led her to write historical fantasy. Reading, extensive traveling and graveyard prowling with her husband keep that passion alive. Salina lives in Austin, Texas.
Links to Salina’s blog and American Historical research:
Imagine this: meandering down a corridor in the great Globe Theatre full of relics of the past, all speaking William Shakespeare’s name. But, of course, before that day you had no reason to consider any other name nor had any such thought been presented to you. And then, it happens. You round the corner and before you is a wall that displays the names and faces of five men that could have been the writer of the plays.
This is what happened to me. I perused the names with interest and amazement. Like finding a rare antique at a yard sale that someone missed, Christopher Marlowe’s face stared back at me and my heart skipped a beat. How could the world have missed the obvious; how could I? The sparkling little trinket of truth that spoke to me as if his ghost whispered in my ear, “Tell my story. Foul deeds will rise though all the world o’erwhelm them to men’s eyes.”
I suppose I could have chosen any of the men, but something moved me. From the very moment, Marlowe’s allure buried in his mysterious eyes made me know a story lay there hidden, waiting to burst forth. Within a week and endless hours on the internet and at the library, the clues he left behind, the secret little smile in his Cambridge portrait and the knowing glint in his eyes lay before me. The pieces of the puzzle fit together like never before: the treasured words of Christopher Marlowe, the Muse’s Darling, and not the man from Stratford, linked into a beautiful and tragic telling of a man who knew the world. Here was the man who travelled the continent, who knew court life and country travails, politics and provocateurs, religion, science, languages, intrigue, love, betrayal, and exile. All the meaty experience to fill the pages of mighty plays and sonnets.
One of the first things that we are told as writers is, “Write what you know.” The adage cannot have changed since the 16th century. Marlowe wrote what he knew, leaving behind the clues, which were a common and clever tool used by writers of the day. So I ask, why buy a reproduction when you can have the real thing? It’s a lot more fun to dig for authentic Marlovian gold than float along with the crowd picking up synthetic Shakespearean souvenirs.
And if you listen closely, you may hear his voice, as well. “I have a whole school of tongues in this belly of mine, and not a tongue of them all speaks any other word but my name.”
These books sound amazing! And even though Guardian is featured as a Just Hatched book, I will post the link to the first three so you can read them in order.
Book One – Discovery
Book Two – Shameless
Book Three – Treachery
Book Four – Guardian – now available for Pre-order and releasing October 20th.
In the mid-1850s, there were over 30k children living on the streets of New York City. Children as young as four and five who had to lie, cheat, and steal just to survive. Some of the children were true orphans, others were not. Either way, their situation was dire and something had to be done. So, between 1855 and 1929, over 250k children from New York and Boston were sent west on what was later referred to as ‘the orphan trains’ to find new homes. Some of the children went on to have grand lives; others did not. Yet, many in today’s society have never heard of the Placing Out Program.
Sherry’s Orphan Train Saga follows eighteen children that rode the New York orphan trains to find new homes. Each of the eighteen books will focus on one child’s story and take the children to different parts of the country in search of a better life. As was the case with the orphan trains some of the children will find good homes, others will continue their fight for survival. The first six books in the saga follow the children to Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, and Chicago. As the series progresses, Sherry’s Historical Fiction saga will expand to Kentucky, Nebraska and other states to help tell the children’s stories. While the children in Sherry’s books are fictional, the history that surrounds them is real. All of Sherry’s books are available in print (both hard and softcover and on Amazon Kindle. The books are meant to be read in order, starting with Discovery (book one) Shameless (book two), Treachery (book three) Guardian (book four) is now available for preorder in advance of its October 20th release.
Guardian synopsis: Taken from his unwed mother immediately after his birth and sent to a New York Children’s Asylum, Franky never questioned his life of sterile walls, strict discipline, and emotionally distant caregivers. That is, until being selected to ride the orphan trains, where he quickly discovers there is more to life than living in an institution. Taken in by a well-educated judge who is looking to save a wayward boy, the man soon turns Franky into a voracious reader who wishes nothing more than to join the Army he spends so much time reading about. The judge succeeds in teaching Franky there is more to life than violence. That is, until the judge’s past threatens Franky’s very survival. Having vowed never to return to the asylum, Franky decides to take his chances on the streets of Detroit. Working under the protection of his uncle Tobias, street name Mouse, a trusted member of the infamous Purple Gang, he gets a new kind of education, one that isn’t taught in books. Will Franky be able to handle the war raging around him, or will the ugliness of life claim another innocent soul?
Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Sherry was raised in the small town of Fairdale, a suburb of Louisville. Since eloping with her now-retired Navy husband to Tennessee shortly after turning eighteen, Sherry and her Navy husband lived in Kentucky, California, South Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin, Virginia, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania. Living in different areas and meeting new people from vastly different regions has been a unique gift she is grateful for.
Sherry got her start in writing by pledging to write a happy ending to a good friend who was going through some really tough times. The story surprised her by taking over and practically writing itself. What started off as a way to make her friend smile started her on a journey that would forever change her life.
Sherry readily admits to hearing voices, and is convinced that being married to her best friend for thirty-nine years goes a long way in helping her write happily-ever-afters.
Sherry writes children’s books under the name Sherry A. Jones
Sherry is currently working on the fifth book in The Orphan Train Saga. a historical fiction series that revolves around the Orphan Trains. Sherry and her husband have returned to their adopted state of Michigan, to be closer to their children and grandchildren. She spends most of her time writing from her home office and traveling to lecture and book signing events. Sherry greatly enjoys traveling to Libraries, Schools and other venues where she shares her books and gives lectures on the History of The Orphan Trains.
Sherry’s book Discovery (the first in The Orphan Train Saga) has been honored as a finalist in The Book Excellence Awards and has been endorsed by the National Orphan Train Complex.
For lovers of all things Jane Austen, Ms. Everly’s books do not disappoint!! Check out her latest Austenesque adventure!!
Released on September 14, 2020
The series is Miss Mary Investigates. The novel is Death of a Clergyman: A Pride and Prejudice Mystery by Riana Everly.
Blurb: Mary Bennet has always been the quiet sister, the studious and contemplative middle child in a busy family of five. She is not interested in balls and parties, and is only slightly bothered by the arrival of the distant cousin who will one day inherit her father’s estate. But then Mr. Collins is found dead, and Mary’s beloved sister Elizabeth is accused of his murder. Mary knows she must learn whatever she can to prove Elizabeth innocent of this most horrible crime, or her sister might be hanged as a murderess!
Alexander Lyons has made a pleasant life for himself in London, far from his home village in Scotland. He investigates missing documents and unfaithful wives, and earns an honest living. Then one day Mr. Darcy walks into his office, begging him to investigate the murder of Mr. Collins and to prove Elizabeth innocent of the crime. It seems like a straightforward enough case, but Alexander did not count on meeting a rather annoying young woman who seems to be in his way at every turn: Mary Bennet.
As the case grows more and more complicated, Mary and Alexander cannot stop arguing, and discover that each brings new insight into the case. But as they get close to some answers, will they survive the plans of an evildoer in the midst of quiet Meryton?
Riana Everly is the pen name of a South African-born Canadian author. Her first poem was published in the local newspaper when she was six years old, and she has been entranced with the written word ever since. In grade school, she began dabbling with short stories, and later on produced a sizable volume of academic writing, but she never imagined she would be able to write a novel. Then, one day, she decided to give it a try, and to her own surprise, succeeded! She has since melded her love of history and her love of writing to create a series of carefully researched romances.
Riana is influenced by the beautiful writing of Jane Austen and the rich historical tapestry of the early nineteenth-century, as well as by the fascinating history of early Canada, where British, American and colonial cultures met.
Riana grew up near the Canadian Rockies and misses those mountains each day. She now lives with her family in Toronto, and to the amazement of herself more than anyone, finds she rather likes it. When she is not writing, she can often be found playing string quartets with friends, biking around this beautiful province with her husband, trying to improve her photography, thinking about what to make for dinner, and, of course, reading! She can also often be found sneaking chocolate when she thinks no one is looking.