Tag Archives: Pennsylvania

Great write up from a judge for Writer’s Digest

Entry Title: Shades of Death

Author: S. Thomas Bailey

Judge Number: 82

Entry Category: Genre Fiction

Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding”. This scale is strictly to provide a point of reference, it is not a cumulative score and does not reflect ranking.

In some cases, you may see special or out of place characters/symbols in your commentary. For example, you may see that a character/symbol replaces an apostrophe, copyright, and other “symbols”. These substitutions occur for various reasons – and are unavoidable. They are often [programming] misinterpretations due to encoding, installed fonts, web based content/sources etc. Since the “content”[data] of the commentary is comprised of data sent from several different computers (programs, fonts etc.,) and from the internet (online entry system), you may at times see an interpretation of what had been an apostrophe, dash, quotation mark etc.

Structure and Organization: 5

Grammar: 5

Production Quality and Cover Design: 5

Plot (if applicable): 5

Character Development (if applicable): 5

Judges Commentary*:

SHADES OF DEATH: THE GAUNTLET RUNNER BOOK II by S. Thomas Bailey is an intriguing story written by a skilled author who really cares about history. Those who enjoy serious yet entertaining historical fiction with epic conflicts that reflect the times would do well to read this novel.

The cover conveys in an excellent manner the situation and setting. Though illustrations are less common than costumed models on most of today’s covers, the artwork is lovely and will attract readers’ attention.

I like that the author includes endorsements on the back cover along with the plot teaser. Inclusion of the web site address also lends a great air of professionalism.

Inside, the layout is impressive and makes the appearance of the pages look more expensive than a book you’d read and then toss. It was great to see even more praises straightaway.

The maps are wonderful. Excellent author photo and bio. I appreciated seeing recommendations for other sources where readers could learn more.

The story is well written and entertaining. I am confident the author knows his topic, cares about it, and has put in more than the requisite research. I could pass this book along to any historian without risk of embarrassment that I had recommended a careless novel.

Great job!

*Commentary may be quoted as: “Judge, Writer’s Digest 21st Annual Self-Published Book Awards”

Great feedback! Please share with your friends and make a note for the fast approaching Holiday Season.
Thanks!

The Gauntlet Runner: A Tale from the French and Indian War

Ohio Valley 1754

The Gauntlet Runner takes place during the outbreak of the French and Indian War engulfing the early American settlers who ventured over the Allegheny Mountains into the rich Ohio Valley region.

This is a period of history that I am extremely passionate about and have extensively researched and enjoyed for years.  The Gauntlet Runner is the first book in the series that will follow the Murray family throughout the conflict and the reader will see how the early settlers struggled to forge a life surrounded by two European powers fighting to secure their dominance in the region.  Added to the conflict is the Eastern Woodland People, who are being pushed aside by the French, the British and the hordes of settlers cascading over the Allegheny Mountains.

The scene is set with the British and the reluctant American Provincial Militia pitted against the French, with their Canadian Militia, and most of the native population deciding to join the best of two evils.

The following is an excerpt from The Gauntlet Runner – A Tale from the French and Indian War:

Maggie watched them through the gun port and saw two Frenchmen join

them from the woods. She knew they were French from the red woolen

caps they wore.  Maggie pulled back from the port when she heard a

loud crack. She looked over at Culp and noticed his rifle smoking from the burnt powder. She immediately looked out and saw one of the closest warriors grabbing his side and writhing in the grass. She promptly fired her rifle and hit the Huron assisting the injured warrior to his feet. The ball struck him in the forehead and he fell back, pulling the injured warrior onto his dead body.

“ … good shot,” Maggie heard Culp say as he shoved his ramrod down the barrel of his rifle.

She stared out the port at the Hurons as they screamed their hideous war cries

toward the small cabin. A couple fired off their muskets at her, but the lead balls lodged into the large timber outer wall above her port. She immediately reloaded as Culp fired off another shot. She watched it hiss wildly over the Hurons’ heads and land in the grass behind them. Maggie took another quick look outside before she readied her long rifle. She had her sights set on another Huron brave until she noticed they had turned their attention to something in the western woods.