When Major Gryffth Hockaday is called to the front lines of the Civil War, his new bride is left to care for her husband’s three-hundred-acre farm and infant son. Placidia, a mere teenager herself living far from her family and completely unprepared to run a farm or raise a child, must endure the darkest days of the war on her own. By the time Major Hockaday returns two years later, Placidia is bound for jail, accused of having borne a child in his absence and murdering it. What really transpired in the two years he was away?
Inspired by a true incident, this saga unfolds with gripping intensity, conjuring the era with uncanny immediacy. Amid the desperation of wartime, Placidia sees the social order of her Southern homeland unravel. As she comes to understand how her own history is linked to one runaway slave, her perspective on race and family are upended. A love story, a story of racial divide, and a story of the South as it fell in the war, The Second Mrs. Hockaday reveals how this generation–and the next–began to see their world anew.
Gutsy Boston P.I. Fina Ludlow returns with a case that puts her faith to the test – in the latest addition to the critically acclaimed series by Ingrid Thoft.
When Ceci Renard hires Ludlow and Associates to sue the hip new church that she believes has brainwashed her daughter, Fina Ludlow is assigned to the case. Covenant Rising Church has all the trappings of a less-than-holy organization: a slick young pastor and his comely wife; fancy houses and luxury cars; and devoted congregants who seem eager to part with their money. Fina wonders if Ceci disapproves of Covenant Rising’s theology or the pastor’s ability to solicit generous donations—until a prominent church member dies unexpectedly. Fina’s investigation requires her to delve into the woman’s life, both in and out of Covenant Rising, and ask a host of difficult questions. Is the pastor leading his flock astray? Did the church have a hand in the death or were there less savory elements in the woman’s life outside the parish?
The case proves to be a complicated morass of misplaced loyalties and questionable motivations, rivaled only by the current state of the Ludlow family. The return of eldest brother Rand sets in motion an explosive showdown that threatens the very fabric that holds the family together, forcing Fina to confront the true meaning of faith.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, and a graduate of Wellesley College, Ingrid Thoft worked as a tech, entertainment and education writer. Her desire to create a believable P.I. character led her to the certificate program in private investigation at the University of Washington. She is author of the critically acclaimed novels Identity, Loyalty, and Brutality.
For fans of Cold Mountain and The Invention of Wings comes a tour de force of historical fiction that follows the epic journey of a slave-turned-Comanche warrior who travels from the brutality of a New Orleans sugar cane plantation to the indomitable frontier of an untamed Texas, searching not only for the woman he loves but so too for his own identity.
“I have been to hangings before, but never my own.“
Sitting in a jail cell on the eve of his hanging, April 1, 1875, freedman Persimmon Persy Wilson wants nothing more than to leave some record of the truth his truth. He may be guilty, but not of what he stands accused: the kidnapping and rape of his former master’s wife.
In 1860, Persy had been sold to Sweetmore, a Louisiana sugar plantation, alongside a striking, light-skinned house slave named Chloe. Their deep and instant connection fueled a love affair and inspired plans to escape their owner, Master Wilson, who claimed Chloe as his concubine. But on the eve of the Union Army s attack on New Orleans, Wilson shot Persy, leaving him for dead, and fled with Chloe and his other slaves to Texas. So began Persy s journey across the frontier, determined to reunite with his lost love. Along the way, he would be captured by the Comanche, his only chance of survival to prove himself fierce and unbreakable enough to become a warrior. His odyssey of warfare, heartbreak, unlikely friendships, and newfound family would change the very core of his identity and teach him the meaning and the price of freedom.
Nancy Peacock is the author of the novels Life Without Water and Home Across the Road, as well as the memoir, A Broom of One’s Own: Words on Writing, Housecleaning, and Life. She currently teaches writing classes and workshops in and around Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband Ben.
Pick Nick: The Political Odyssey of Nick Galifianakis from Immigrant Son to Congressman is a fascinating and intimate political biography of the Congressman Nick Galifianakis who served in the 1960s by historian John Semonche, who is a neighbor of Galifianakis’. It is a fascinating look at Galifianakis’ political career in the context of a changing South. From his origins at his father’s Durham, North Carolina restaurant through his stunning political successes to a final doomed battle for the Senate, Nick Galifianakis mastered the art of politics and showed what was possible – and what was not – in the American South in the 1960’s and 1970’s.
The event that launched the civil rights movement—the 1955 lynching of young Emmett Till—now reexamined by an award-winning author with access to never-before-heard accounts from those involved as well as recently recovered court transcripts from the trial.
In 1955, a fourteen-year-old black boy named Emmett Till, who had come down from Chicago to visit relatives in Mississippi, was murdered by a group of white men. He had gone into a small country store a few days earlier and made flirtatious remarks to a white woman, twenty-one-year-old Carolyn Bryant; Bryant’s husband and brother-in-law were two of Till’s attackers. They were never convicted, but Till’s lynching became one of the most notorious hate crimes in American history. It set off a wave of protests across the country, helped the NAACP gain thousands of members, and inspired famous activists like Rosa Parks to stand up and fight for equal rights for the first time.
Part detective story, part political history, Timothy Tyson’s The Blood of Emmett Till revises the history of the Till case, not only changing the specifics that we thought we knew, but showing how the murder ignited the modern civil rights movement. Tyson uses a wide range of new sources, including the only interview ever given by Carolyn Bryant; the transcript of the murder trial, missing since 1955 and only recovered in 2005; and a recent FBI report on the case. In a time where discussions of race are once again coming to the fore, The Blood of Emmett Till redefines a crucial moment in civil rights history.
Timothy B. Tyson is Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, Visiting Professor of American Christianity and Southern Culture at Duke Divinity School, and adjunct professor of American Studies at the University of North Carolina. He is the author of The Blood of Emmett Till; Blood Done Sign My Name, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, winner of the Southern Book Award for Nonfiction and the Grawemeyer Award in Religion, among others; and Radio Free Dixie: Robert F. Williams and the Roots of Black Power, winner of the James Rawley Prize for best book on race and the Frederick Jackson Turner Prize for best first book in US History from the Organization of American Historians. He serves on the executive board of the North Carolina NAACP.