GIVEAWAY WINNER: LINDA (winner has been emailed)
I have to say that I'm somewhat puzzled by the mixed reviews this book has received. One reviewer on Goodreads gave it a very low rating due to spelling errors and its being poorly produced...having read only 6 pages in. Really? In my case, I must rule on the side of the more favorable reviews. I found myself captivated early on by Peacock's portrayal of the era. I really felt as if I was present in the story. However, it's when we arrive at the seagoing portion of the story where Peacock really hits her stride. A very interesting and often disturbing look at what life must have been like on the ships of the 18th century. No thank you, I say!
In all, the story of the three boys...Jemmy, Edward and Louis...makes for very interesting historical fiction. This being the first book in a planned series, I'm looking forward to reading the next installment. A promising debut for this author.
Note: I really took to heart something the author said in her acknowledgements, "And last, to my mother, who longed for, but never lived to see this day." Thank you, Ms. Peacock. I have been talking about writing my book for years (I have actually started it) and it is something my mom has dreamed for. You have inspired me to get moving. I want my mom to be around when my book is finally published.
About the book:
Publication Date: March 1, 2012 | Fireship Press | 352p
August 1789. The Rights of Man. Liberty. Equality. Idealism. Patriotism.
A new age dawns.
And yet, old hostilities persist: England and Spain are on the brink of war. France, allied by treaty with Spain, readies her warships. Three youths--the son of an English carpenter, the son of a naval captain, an the son of a French court tailor--meet in London, a chance encounter that entwines their lives thereafter. The English boys find themselves on the same frigate bound for the Caribbean. The Frenchman sails to Trinidad, where he meets an even more zealous Spanish revolutionary. As diplomats in Europe race to avoid conflict, war threatens to erupt in the Caribbean, with the three youths pitted against each other.
Will the dawn of the boys' young manhood remain bright with hope? Or will it become tainted with their countrymen's spilt blood?
Praise for A Tainted Dawn
"As America is born, the superpowers of Europe clash with one another for power and territory. A Tainted Dawn is a historical novel set at the end of the eighteenth century, as the powers of Europe head off to war. Following youths of these nations as they find their way through their lives and the conflict, A Tainted Dawn creates a riveting setting with plenty of twists and turns that should prove difficult to put down, very much recommended." - The Midwest Book Review
"Barbara Peacock has a masterful knowledge of both nautical lore and the history and politics of the age. Her characters are sympathetic, and they come alive though her writing. She deftly captures the spirit of this fascinating and critical time, both its positive and negative aspects. Her characters inhabit a world that is squalid, gritty , and dangerous, but not without hope." - Robin E. Levin, The Death of Carthage
About the Author:
B. N. Peacock’s love of history started in childhood, hearing stories of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire from her immigrant grandparents. They related accounts handed down from their grandparents about battlefields so drenched in blood that grass cut there afterwards oozed red liquid. Such tales entranced her. These references probably dated to the time of the Napoleonic Wars. No wonder she was drawn to this time period.
In addition to history, she showed an equally early proclivity for writing, winning an honorable mention in a national READ magazine contest for short stories. The story was about history, of course, namely the battle of Bunker Hill as seen from the perspective of a British war correspondent.
The passion for writing and history continued throughout high school and undergraduate studies. She was active in her high school newspaper, eventually becoming its editor-in-chief. After graduation, she majored in Classical Studies (Greek and Latin) at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. In her junior year, life took one of those peculiar turns which sidetrack one. A year abroad studying at Queen Mary College, University of London in England led to the discovery of another passion, travel. She returned and finished her degree at F&M, but now was lured from her previous interests in history and writing.
Her work continues on Book Two in The Great War series, tentatively to be called Army of Citizens, with new trips planned to England, France and Belgium.
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GIVEAWAY: I have one copy of A Tainted Dawn for one winner! Open internationally. To enter, leave a comment below telling me what is your favorite historical fiction novel. Be sure to leave your email address so I can contact the winner. Last day to enter will be Friday, March 8 at 11:59pm CST. Good luck!