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Here's the set-up for Timothy Woods' Grant Me Timely Grace, jut $2.99 on Kindle:
Washington, D.C., June 1863. It is the week before Gettysburg, and the nation's fate hangs in the balance.
Major Russell Johns is being played by puppet-master Gerard Chantier. Transplanted New Orleans businessman and toast of the town, Chantier hosts the city’s most lavish entertainments attended by members of Lincoln’s cabinet and Washington’s elite.
Little do they know Gerard is coordinating an attack with Confederate general JEB Stuart's cavalry to take over the city, kidnap Lincoln and bring victory to the South.
When Russell’s probing brings him in contact with Chantier's daughter, Thérèse, he has to face his most difficult moral choice: manipulating her to get to her father or honoring the one thing that has sustained him through years of battle and loss—his own integrity.
PRAISE OF GRANT ME TIMELY GRACE:
"It is late June, 1863 and the Army of Northern Virginia is north of the Potomac River with elements well into Pennsylvania. Jeb Stuart’s Confederate cavalry is close to the Western approaches of Washington, D.C. but what is their intent? An attack on the city? Needless to say, The Union leadership and their advisers are shaken and desperately searching for ways to counter the threat, or are they?
In Grant Me Timely Grace, Tim Woods weaves an intricate story of deep cover spies, disgraced military men, diplomatic intrigue and lovely Southern belles into a riveting fictional account of Washington before the Battle of Gettysburg.
The novel revolves around Gerard Chantier, an immensely wealthy expatriate widowed Louisianan who has become the confident of the high Union leadership, his beautiful and brilliant daughter Therese, and Gerard’s longtime friend and assistant, James Bayeaux, who he had freed from being a family slave upon inheriting his wealth. Add in a disgraced Union officer searching for redemption, a lethal female Southern sympathizer and a suave British intelligence operative and you have quite a story.
Author Woods has a good command of the Civil War era and moves deftly between actual and fictional events. He speaks of the intricate defense system of Washington, which also had its flaws which play a role in his narrative. The byzantine politics of both the Northern and Southern governments are also well related. A refreshing addition to Civil War fiction is the plot line involving diplomacy and intrigue with the British Empire, a most fascinating what-if.
Grant Me Timely Grace … is highly recommended for those who enjoy historical fiction, especially fiction related to the Gettysburg Campaign.----Ken Williams - TOCWOC - A Civil War Blog.
I am not a history buff, nor have I ever thought I was very interested in historical fiction. I was given Mr. Woods' book to read and I have to say I could barely tear myself away! I read it (on my computer screen, no less) every spare moment I had until I finished, and I was sorry when it ended. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the writing. Rich and descriptive, I could imagine I was watching a movie as I read through each scene. The characters were deep and well developed and became very real to me. This one is a must for any Civil War buff, history buff and really anyone who enjoys engaging and well-written novels; it certainly transcends its genre.
Historical fiction isn't what I generally read so it took most of the first chapter to get over myself and into the characters and setting of the book. From there on I was hooked and found it difficult to put down. Having lived in the South in the 1940's and 50's I saw firsthand the cultural scars from the civil war that still exist today. So I appreciated Tim's historical accuracy of the war and it's brilliant use as a backdrop to a well told story that had my full attention throughout the book. The tapestry of the story is woven around the civil war and the dynamic cast of characters which include soldiers, slaves, spies, war profiteers, wily politicians, and northern ladies of pedigree in full regalia, (that are described in amazing detail). You don't want to miss this gem of a book that has an ending that keeps you thinking.
About the author:
I'm delighted to announce, after a 7+ year journey, the release of my Civil War novel, 'Grant Me Timely Grace.'
The book's title comes from an Edmund Spenser sonnet that thematically speaks to the weariness of war (aren't we all).
In attempting to say something fresh in a Civil War novel, I've woven into the narrative several under-represented topics.
A major character, Gerard Chantier, is a Southern spy; yet, unlike most portraits of Confederates he is not a racist. In fact, the only person he considers a friend is his Black secretary, James Bayeaux.
In addition, this story integrates international dimensions of the war that are woefully under-appreciated by the non-Civil War scholar. Britain and France were one incident away from entering our Civil War for their own geo-political purposes.
I grew up in a New England family, but my mother came from the South. I have ancestors who fought on both sides of the conflict, and The American Civil War was always debated at our table.
I hope my novel has done justice to some of the war's paradoxes and complexities.
As Charles P. Roland so aptly put it, The Civil War is the American Illiad.