Messenger

It is 1424. France and England have been fighting for more than a hundred years, and Jehanne D’Arc experiences her first saintly vision. Even her parents think she’s delirious—until her next vision allows them to save the village. From a small town to the besieged city of Orleans and on to the cathedral of Reims, Joan follows her faith and leads the French to victory after victory. But not everyone believes in the divine voices she hears. Some call her a heretic and want her burned at the stake.

A Rose for the Anzac Boys

The story starts in 1915. Midge Macpherson is at school in England, having been sent there from New Zealand after her father’s death. Her brothers are both serving in the war; her younger brother was last heard of at the Gallipoli campaign earlier that year. Her cousins are serving in the British army. Keen to ‘do their bit’ for the war effort, Midge and her school friends, Ethel and Anne, start up a canteen behind the front in France. Anne, daughter of English aristocracy, can’t wait to escape her inevitable future of being married off to someone ‘suitable’, and Ethel, a Yorkshire lass, six foot tall and built like a rugby player, isn’t exactly debutante material.

As the war goes on, the girls start to see the consequences of the ‘noble cause’ they’re supporting, graphically illustrated by letters from Midge’s brother Dougie, her aunt Lallie (who is running a hospital ward in Alexandria), and a couple of Australians also serving on the front, Gordon Marks and Harry Harrison. Midge, resourceful for her years, is ‘borrowed’ by the ambulance service, thus witnessing at close hand the carnage of the battlefields, and hearing the stories of those who come back. She sings songs to the dying, learns to tolerate hit-and-miss anaesthesia and twelve-hour shifts, and meets some remarkable people. She accepts a birthday gift of a drawing, done by a blinded soldier, of a vase of roses. And, on her return to New Zealand, discovers that her world has changed, and she must seek out her future in Australia.

Shadow

Shadow lives in the forest… It goes forth at night to prowl around the fires. It even likes to mingle with the dancers… Shadow… It waves with the grasses, curls up at the foot of trees… But in the African experience Shadow is much more. The village storytellers and shamans of an Africa that is passing into memory called forth for the poet Blaise Cendrars an eerie image, shifting between the beliefs of the present and the spirits of the past. Shadow… It does not cry out, it has no voice… It can cast a spell over you… It follows man everywhere, even to war… Marcia Brown’s stunning illustrations in collage, inspired by her travels in Africa, evoke the atmosphere and drama of a life now haunted, now enchanted by Shadow.

Sovay

It’s England, 1783. When the rich and beautiful Sovay isn’t sitting for portraits, she’s donning a man’s cloak and robbing travelers—in broad daylight. But in a time when political allegiances between France and England are strained, a rogue bandit is not the only thing travelers fear. Spies abound, and rumors of sedition can quickly lead to disappearances. So when Sovay lifts the wallet of one of England’s most powerful and dangerous men, it’s not just her own identity she must hide, but that of her father. A dazzling historical saga in which the roles of thieves and gentry, good and bad, and men and women are interchanged to riveting effect.

A Cat Royal Adventure: Den of Thieves

TRAITORS, CAPTIVES, AND A PEOPLE’S REVOLUTION  The third volume of the CAT ROYAL ADVENTURE series takes readers to Paris on a covert mission. The Theater Royal is closed for renovations, so Mr. Sheridan commissions Cat to act as his spy in revolutionary Paris. Disguised as a ballerina, Cat joins the revolution, only to find that it is up to her to save her friends when they are captured as traitors. Like the previous two books in the series, The Diamond of Drury Lane and Cat Among the PigeonsDen of Thieves is filled with disguises, danger, drama, and, most of all, the irrepressible Cat Royal.