Historical Fiction

The Italian Renaissance:
General market historical fiction

  • Death Of The Master Builder: Love, Envy, and The Struggle To Raise The Greatest Cathedral Of The Italian Renaissance.

Ancient, Celtic Ireland:
Christian historical fiction with an emphasis on action adventure

A Stand-Alone Prequel:
  • The Slaves Of Autumn: A Tale of Stolen Love in Ancient, Celtic Ireland
A Two-Book Series:
  • The Bonfires Of Beltane: Following St. Patrick Across Ancient, Celtic Ireland
  • The Medallion: An Epic Quest in A.D. 486

DEATH OF THE MASTER BUILDER

Love, Envy, and the Struggle to Raise the Greatest Cathedral of the Italian Renaissance

In 1469 Tuscany, when Dario Rossi, a hedonistic city ruler, sees a vision of himself writhing in eternal flames, he is shaken to his core.

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Desperate to avoid damnation, Dario pleads with Amadeo, a righteous builder, to absolve his sins by constructing the world’s largest cathedral. But Amadeo has heard the rumors—the women streaming nightly through the palazzo, the murders, and the disappearances. How he longs to build such a monument to God! Though it will consume a lifetime, he agrees to the task.

But as Dario watches the pious builder direct his artisans and the walls rise, the contrast between the two rankles. For Dario is a slave to pleasure, debauchery, and power. When his disgust at the man’s virtue finally boils over, he schemes treachery and plots the builder’s moral downfall.

A chance meeting throws Amadeo with the beautiful, fun-loving Simona, and he’s enchanted. Though she declares her love and pursues him, he clings desperately to a vow of chastity.

As the work proceeds, Naples declares war, and Dario runs out of money. When Amadeo’s unpaid workers fear invasion and flee the city, he gives in to despair. Then the cardinal begins an Inquisition against heretics, and friends warn the builder to stop questioning Church doctrine.

Will Amadeo avoid Simona’s advances, Dario’s temptations, and the coming Inquisition? Will he finish his great work before he dies? Or will Dario undo everything?

This epic novel of historical fiction is Mark’s first book for a general market.

The Slaves Of Autumn

A Tale Of Stolen Love In Ancient, Celtic Ireland

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In A.D. 408, an Irish king desperate to save his clan raids the Welsh coast for slaves and plunder. But when he steals Anwyn across the sea, a Roman patrician’s son embarks on an impossible quest to bring her back.

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Macrath will do anything to save his clan, a people cursed after the red wolf appeared to him three years ago. When he returns from a disastrous raid, he pleads with Athairne, an outcast druid, for help. Athairne receives a vision from the Great Light that conflicts with one from Dagda, the traditional god of their Celtic people. But Macrath rejects the vision. He breaks an age-old taboo. He raids the shores of distant Britannia.

Anwyn’s a spunky lass looking forward to her marriage with Quintus, a Roman patrician’s son. But when the men of her family’s Welsh villa leave to seek help from the departing Roman legions, Macrath’s raiders steal her into slavery across the sea. Gradually, as Macrath shows her kindness and she realizes she’ll never see home again, she develops feelings for her captor.

When a distraught Quintus discovers his love has been stolen, he sets sail with men and weapons. He’s a skilled swordsman, but no one has ever returned from Hibernia, a wild and untamed land ruled by treacherous druids, powerful kings, and warring clans. They live and they die by the sword. They kill or enslave foreigners. And they sacrifice to pagan gods. Yet he vows to bring her back.

From the shadows comes the red wolf. Half again as large as any earthly carnivore, is it a supernatural creature as some claim? Macrath blames it for cursing his clan. Having tasted the blood of men, it now stalks both Macrath and Quintus.

Against such obstacles, how can Quintus ever find his betrothed? Even then, will he have to win her back? Will the Great Light save Macrath’s clan? Or will the red wolf undo everything?

 The Slaves Of Autumn is not only a love story set in history, but a tense action adventure, an epic saga that will transport the reader from wealthy Roman villas to the thatch-roofed villages of ancient Celtic Ireland, and its world of deceitful druids, sword-wielding warriors, powerful kings, and early Christians.

One reviewer said, “A really good read that transcends its genre.”

Another said, “I highly recommend this book to everyone and anyone!”

And, “An engaging mix of history and adventure that kept me turning pages longer than I planned every time I picked it up.”

[Note: This is a stand-alone book set thirty years before The Bonfires Of Beltane and seventy-eight years before The Medallion.]

The Slaves Of Autumn

The Bonfires Of Beltane

Following St. Patrick Across Ancient, Celtic Ireland

The second edition with a new cover, simplified dialect, and re-released through Extraordinary Tales Publishing!

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He Knows the Sacrifices Are Wrong

When Taran questions the sacrifices of his clan’s druids, they banish him to the sea, leaving behind his beloved Laurna. Thus begins an epic adventure as he meets St. Patrick, and together they cross ancient, Celtic Ireland, spreading the gospel and fighting the druids’ spiritual darkness. Still, he longs to return to his island home.

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It’s what the clan has always done. Since before anyone can remember, Taran’s Celtic island people have sacrificed children to Crom Cruach, the dread sun god. Yet in his heart he knows it’s wrong. In distant Britain, they worship the One True God, a God who loves. A God so unlike the capricious, evil spirits that darken the souls of his people.

Now Taran’s about to be inducted into his clan’s inner circle. He promised Laurna, his betrothed, that he’d keep quiet about his doubts. But on the night of his ceremony, standing before Crom Cruach, the bent idol of gold, he cannot give allegiance to a lie. He questions the druids’ rule. Then he blames the clan’s miserable fortunes, not on the lack of sacrifices, but on the idol itself. What’s worse, he calls it a demon.

A Storm Darkens the Horizon

Aghast, the druids meet in council, strip him of everything, and order his banishment. Instead of a wedding with Laurna, there will be a tearful parting. As the clan gathers on shore and a storm darkens the horizon, Taran paddles through the waves. But his wee craft was made for the shoreline, not the vast, raging sea. He looks back on his beloved, his people, everything he’s ever known. What has he done?

Thus begins Taran’s adventure in A.D. 432.

Beyond the Sea, an Adventure Awaits

Beyond the sea lies ancient, Celtic Ireland. There wait the Roman evangelist, Patrick, and two kingdoms ruled by powerful kings and their pagan, druid advisors who will do anything to stop their adversaries.

Will Taran find the spiritual truth he so desperately seeks? Will he escape wrathful kings and druid plots? Will he ever be able to return home, rescue his people, and rejoin his beloved Laurna?

This epic novel of Christian historical fiction is packed with high adventure.

The Medallion

An Epic Quest In A.D. 486

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Everyone tells him his sister fell off the cliffs and drowned. But a powerful feeling—is it God?—pulls Ty away from ancient, Celtic Ireland toward barbarian Gaul to search for her. Meanwhile, as the druids again take over the clan back home, his father believes that only Ty can save his people.

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At midnight, Ty flees for the coast with his new friend, Prince Cairell. Ty is attracted to the prince’s mysterious sister, Sorca. Against their warnings, she refuses to be left behind. But Cairell’s brother pursues, planning to kill them all and secure his inheritance to the throne.

The Return of the Druids.

After Ty’s father, Taran, returns home, the druids plan sacrifices to the old gods. Too old to help, Taran knows only Ty can bring the clan back to the truth. But the years pass, and where is Ty?

A Continent in Chaos.

Ahead, the armies of Clovis, king of the Franks, drive the Romans from Gaul. How, amidst such chaos, can Ty learn the truth about his sister or win the heart of Sorca? And what will happen to his clan back home?

Though it’s a sequel, this high adventure novel can be read as a stand-alone book.

The Medallion, a novel by Mark E. Fisher