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Beggars, Cutpurses, Outlaws, oh my - an Editorial Review of "Dream of Courage"

Book Blurb:


Leaving the desolate moors behind, the brothers venture to Leeds with dreams of escaping poverty's clutches and carving their names into the annals of history.

In a world teeming with beggars, cutpurses and outlaws, the Rushworth brothers navigate treacherous paths, facing fear and uncertainty head on. Amidst the backdrop of a ruthless era, where murder and theft weave a web of ominous intrigue, the enigmatic tavern keeper, Smythe, holds their fates in his hands.

A pirate captain, Captain Girlington, steps into their lives, harbouring secrets and a choice between love and the call of the sea. The brutish Jacob Wilding enters the fray, driven by relentless determination to capture Robert Rushworth and claim a perilous reward.

Bound by a curse that threatens to consume them, the Rushworth brothers must confront their inner demons and forge a path back to success.

In a tale where historical fact merges seamlessly with heart-pounding fiction, Dream of Courage unravels a tapestry of suspense, intrigue and human resilience to be experienced...

"Another great work by a very talented author who loves his period works and characters from his great plots. He writes with verve and intent to deliver the imagination something unexpected and greatly appreciated... Brilliant..." Gavin, Readalot Magazine reviewer

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Author Bio:

Paul's novels are authentic and gritty, with twists and turns the reader won't see coming. He paints a realistic image of how peasants would have lived in the 16th and 17th centuries. However, that is only the backdrop to suspenseful and mysterious stories with romantic tones. His novel 'Red Winter Journey' has been nominated for the NSW Premier's Literary Awards (Christina Stead Prize for fiction). His new novel 'Dream of Courage' has been long-listed for the Historical Fiction Club’s Book of the Year Award and will be released in November.

Paul has been a guest on ABC, BBC, and America Tonight with Kate Delaney and regularly features on the Witty Writers Show in the US. The US Times said, 'Modern writers usually don't know what it was like to live in the past, but Rushworth-Brown does this with great skill in his accomplished, atmospheric and thoughtful novels.'

Editorial Review:

Like many citizens of eighteenth-century England, brothers John and Robert Rushworth just want to make their fortune. Jacob Wilding just wants a fortune as well but believes that his path to that fortune will come to fruition by capturing Robert and redeeming a reward that will completely change his life. A colorful cast of characters, adventure at sea, a bit of forbidden love, murder, and mystery make Dream of Courage: Facing Fear Head On by Paul Rushworth-Brown a book that readers won’t be able to put down. Will Jacob cash in on the bounty on Robert’s head or will John and Robert narrowly escape and find their fortunes after all? Expertly written and full of action, Rushworth-Brown has created a fantastic story in Dream of Courage: Facing Fead Head On.

Tommy loved his wife. She was younger, a country rose. Her freckled face and bright persona improved the mood of all who met her. The high cheek bones and fresh, pale skin was flushed with a rosiness from the heat of the fire. When she untied the ties of her wimple she would shake her dark hair loose allowing it to drop down past her shoulders. Her blue eyes glinted with glee.”

One thing that really sets this book apart from others about this time period is the sense of adventure that the story brings. From swashbuckling pirates to treacherous journeys, the Rushworth brothers experience a life that is most likely far more exhilarating than the average citizen of eighteenth-century England.

The evening hung heavy with a sense of impending loss as William stood outside their humble cottage, the crisp air biting at his cheeks. His gaze was fixed on the door, his heart pounding with a mixture of anxiety and hope. Isabel, his beloved wife, had been laboring for hours, and every minute that passed felt like an eternity.”

Rushworth-Brown’s writing is incredibly easy to read and follow. He writes in a way that draws the readers in and provides detailed descriptions and imagery in every paragraph. This allows readers to better picture the places, events, and people that are being referenced within the story in their minds. His use of detail is by far one of the best features of Dream of Courage: Facing Fear Head On. In addition to excellent writing, Rushworth-Brown also includes a lot of action in the story. This keeps the plot moving along nicely and creates excellent pacing. Readers who often find themselves struggling to stay engaged will most likely not find that to be an issue when reading Dream of Courage: Facing Fear Head On.

Robert paced the small chamber, his frustration gnawing at him like a persistent ache. The spoils of their illicit endeavors lay scattered on the worn wooden table—glittering trinkets, jingling coin, and the remnants of their daring escapades. But amidst the stolen treasures, an invisible divide had taken root, threatening to cleave the once unbreakable bond between the twins.”

The author clearly has a passion for history and it is very evident in his writing. He weaves the tales and describes the historical time and setting in a way that readers can visualize what life was like during this time period. One of the things that the author does is include footnotes with information about the items he references for the readers. That author clearly recognizes that many casual historical fiction readers might not possess an in-depth knowledge of particular historical terms or references so he provides that information for them via footnotes addressing everything from the description of food to job descriptions. This is unusual for a fiction book but it was a very nice touch. Readers will appreciate this thorough approach of the author.

With each strike, Will stood tall, his defiance a testament to his strength and resolve. The pain was sharp, but he refused to let it break him. As the whipping stick fell once more, Will's gaze remained steady, a spark of determination flickering within him. He would endure, he would fight, and he would stand strong for his family and the truth they held dear.”

The likely intended audience for this Dream of Courage: Facing Fear Head On are those who enjoy historical fiction and adventure books. It is fast-paced and will be a great choice for readers who often find themselves easily distracted. At close to five hundred pages, readers who are not accustomed to lengthier books might find it to be overwhelming but the pacing and action within the book will help many readers look past the length of the book. The book does appear to be part of a series which will delight readers who love Dream of Courage: Facing Fear Head On.

The fire burned low, its embers casting a faint glow upon their faces as they exchanged silent vows. The journey ahead would not be easy; they were up against powerful forces, entwined in a conspiracy that reached far beyond their understanding. But they were not alone. Their determination, their resilience, and the glimmering sapphire that now rested in their possession, would guide their path.”

A tale of adventure wrapped up with a touch of mystery, Dream of Courage: Facing Fear Head On earns a 4.5 out of five rating. Adventures and history combine to create a book that readers will thoroughly enjoy. It is a great choice for those just dipping their toes into historical fiction.


“Dream of Courage: Facing Fear Head On” by Paul Rushwoth-Brown receives 4.5 stars from The Historical Fiction Company


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