As with all great stories, the first book of this glorious trilogy ended with many unanswered questions. Will the former Indian Scout Joshua Hotah find his parents? Painfully naïve, does the youthful Priscilla Kimball appreciate that she could succumb to unsolicited debauchery at any time? What are the true intentions of the enigmatic sociopath Csongor Toth? Will the strange partners of business Tseng Longwei and Roshan Kuznetsov ever find their way to Silver City? Now a Lutheran Pastor, Manfred Herrmann has survived the Civil War—but can he survive his own dark nature? And consider the calamitous adventures of Gordania Sinclair, the singular heroine of this tale. Her father never imagined that he was sending his beloved daughter into a world of murder, deception, and peril when he gave her a final hug in Scotland. These and many other questions will be answered. But you are hereby forewarned: this second book will end with an act of unspeakable evil that will test even the most courageous heart.
In 1860 a Scottish lass protects her younger sister from a savage beast on the windswept highlands above Pentland Firth. An Iowa farm boy discovers a dark secret on the gory battlegrounds of Shiloh in 1862. Two years later a Colonel of the Taiping Army retreats in shame after the bloody fall of Nanjing. Born of an English father and a Sioux mother, a U.S. Cavalry Scout fights for his life on the unforgiving plains of western Kansas in 1867. During autumn of the same year, a Russian fur trapper sails from Sitka, Alaska on an American ship bound for San Francisco in a farcical quest for gold. Two years later an enigmatic law student calmly departs Budapest after the brutal murder of a corrupt policeman. In Salt Lake City during the spring of 1871, a young woman a few months shy of fifteen gallops away from her wedding reception to escape an arranged marriage. And after the dawn of the twentieth century, the winsome Muireall Anne Ravenscroft—inspired by the tragic intertwining of these seven lives—will write her definitive history of the American West. But this is only a prelude to the magnificent epic that awaits you….
Toil Under the Sun is a powerful novel of an adopted boy's growth into manhood as a U.S. Marine during the "Forgotten War" in Korea. It is an intricately crafted account of friendship and betrayal...fear and courage...shame and atonement...which in exquisitely written prose explores the hidden rage and abnegation of an adopted child. Many of the great themes of literature and of life are woven into this masterful story: love, honor, respect, courage, guilt, fear, faith, and redemption. And most importantly, the story is guided throughout by the fundamental belief that our lives have meaning far beyond our daily toil under the sun. The author, R. Phillip Ritter, is the son of a Korean War veteran and the father of two beloved sons, one of whom served as a U.S. Marine in Operation Iraqi Freedom. This novel draws considerably from the author's personal experiences-of growing up with a deeply humble father who seldom spoke of his experiences in Korea, and of learning to face the many challenges of parenting two adopted sons. The historical allusions to the Marine defense of Fox Hill in North Korea, a struggle against overwhelming odds, imbues the story with a desperate realism that creates an important backdrop to this insightful exploration of the inner turmoil of an adopted child.
Weaving spellbinding fiction into meticulously researched history, Heart of Abigail tells the harrowing story of bonnie Abigail Sinclair, a young nurse who travels from Edinburgh, Scotland to Alaska in 1899 to work at the St. Ann’s Hospital in Douglas during the height of the great gold mines of Treadwell, 700 Foot, Mexican, and Ready Bullion. Against a backdrop of authentic history, Abigail experiences her first true love, perilous danger, malignant retribution, and ultimate redemption as she confronts the deepest feelings of her own heart. Richly illustrated throughout with historic photographs relevant to the story, Heart of Abigail will imbue the reader with clear and intimate knowledge of the mining history of Juneau, Douglas, and Treadwell within the transparent fabric of a masterful fictional story.