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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Prophet and the Witch Blog Tour + Giveaway


The Prophet and the Witch
by James W. George

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GENRE: Historical Fiction

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BLURB:




Puritans. Quakers. Pirates. Mohawks. Witches. And a brutal war…

If you thought New England was dull in the 1670s, get ready for a history lesson.

In the critically acclaimed “My Father’s Kingdom,” debut author James W. George transported his readers to 1671 New England, and the world of Reverend Israel Brewster. It was a world of faith, virtue, and love, but it was also a world of treachery, hatred, and murder.

Four years later, Brewster is a disgraced outcast, residing in Providence and working as a humble cooper. Despite his best efforts, war could not be averted, and now, “King Philip’s War” has begun.

The rebellion is led by Metacomet, known as “King Philip” to the English colonists. He is the tormented son of the great Massasoit, and leader of the Wampanoag nation. Once the most reliable of Plymouth Colony’s allies, they are now the bitterest of enemies. Meanwhile, Metacomet’s mysterious counselor, Linto, despises this war and will do anything to end the bloodshed.

Meticulously researched, “The Prophet and the Witch” is a tale of hope and brotherhood in the face of evil and violence. It features the remarkable cast of fictional and historical characters from book one, including Josiah Winslow, Linto, Increase Mather, Constance Wilder, and Jeremiah Barron. Additionally, new characters such as America’s first ranger, Captain Benjamin Church, bring this chapter of history to life like never before.

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Excerpt 

It was a glorious sign from the Almighty.  Of that, there could be no doubt.

This was certainly the opinion of Major William Bradford, and few seemed inclined to question the holy assessment of the good major and his magnificent pedigree.  The fact that the garrison commander, the aged and venerated James Cudworth, enthusiastically concurred with his famous underling should have eliminated any debate amongst the Puritan faithful.   

Bradford, however, would take no chances, and he zealously reinforced his initial assessment.  “The will of the Lord, my brothers.  The will of the Lord has clearly been made manifest in the night sky.  Our cause is just, and our army is righteous.”

The Reverend John Miles felt obliged to speak, perhaps since it was his own Swansea home currently being used as a military garrison.  “Yea, verily, hear the word of the Lord, recited for the holy soldiers of the Lord.  It is certainly written in the Book of Joel, the sun and the moon will be darkened, and the stars shall no longer shine.  And was not the death of the vile and wicked King Herod sanctified by an eclipse of the moon?  Certainly, Metacomet is a vile enemy of our Lord and given to evil ways, just as King Herod.  Metacomet, this odious King Philip, will indeed pay for his treason.”

Most of the Puritan militia garrisoned in Swansea solemnly bowed their heads.  Some were troubled by the sight of a lunar eclipse on this balmy June night.  The more learned among them recalled their history, and knew that a partially-eclipsed moon, in accordance with prophecy, rose above Constantinople in 1453.  Seven days later, the magnificent city fell to the heathen.

There were also dim mutterings about the Peloponnesian War more than a thousand years ago.  Evidently, a lunar eclipse so greatly troubled the Athenians that their war vessels sat shamefully idle in the harbor.  Ultimately, their enemy exploited their fear and indecision, and destroyed the fleet.   

Others were certain they witnessed the image of a human scalp within the eclipse.  Was it the scalp of an Indian, or an Englishman?  Was there even a scalp to be seen, or was it a witchcraft-induced hallucination?  The quiet ruminations within the garrison were increasingly unsettling.

The sullen deliberations continued, and their confident martial zeal was slowly eroding.  Bradford could discern the consternation among his troops, and he continued his exhortation.  “The savages have committed a grave sin, and the Lord has made His displeasure clear with His handiwork in the night sky.  Be brave, and be of good cheer, for certainly the holy Book of Judges commands us to…”

“Pig titties.”

Never before had one hundred devout Puritan men of high character witnessed such blasphemy in the face of both holy and civil authority.  Major Bradford was the second-in-command of the expedition, and the respected son of the deceased and revered Governor William Bradford.  Major Bradford, as usual, demonstrated a cautious temperament in the face of adversity.

“Excuse me?”


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Interview:


What inspired you to write this story?

I’m a lover of history and historical fiction.  When I realized I finally had the time to write my own historical novel, I wanted to choose a relatively obscure topic that the casual reader was not familiar with.  King Philip’s War was a conflict between the Native Americans and the Puritans of New England in the 1670s.  It was one of the greatest tragedies of American history, and too many of us have never even heard of it.

The more I researched the topic, the more fascinated I became.  Fifty years after the first Thanksgiving, relationships between the Puritans and the Wampanoag Indians had deteriorated so badly that the two sides went to war.  What happened?  The prelude to the war was covered in book one, “My Father’s Kingdom,” and book two, “The Prophet and the Witch” depicts the actual war.  Book one included not one, but two mysterious deaths taken from the pages of history.  The story is also an opportunity to explore deeper themes like religion, friendship, duty, and love.

What was your favorite part to write?

That’s a tough one because there has been so much across the two books I’m very proud of.  I’ve written Elizabethan sonnets in book one, and book two has love letters, army marching songs, blasphemous pirates, witchcraft, romance, and insanity-induced nightmares.  I think ultimately my favorite part has been the depictions of Linto, and his confusion about the English and their religion.  It’s fascinating to contemplate how bizarre the English must have seemed to the Native Americans in the seventeenth century.  Throughout the books, he is trying to explain the Bible to his counterparts and they are frequently befuddled.  Additionally, I love writing for the villain, Mister Jeremiah Barron.

What was the hardest part to write?

Chapters twenty-seven and twenty-eight are pretty intense.  I guess one of the strange aspects of writing fiction is the opportunity to create characters that you love, so you can ultimately destroy them.  The end of chapter twenty-eight still makes me choke up a little bit, and I wrote the darn thing,

How did you come up with your characters?
I don’t think there’s any specific process.  Fortunately, this saga is blessed with countless fascinating, non-fictional, historical characters:  Metacomet, Josiah Winslow, Increase Mather, Mary Rowlandson, and Benjamin Church just to name a few.  I try to ensure the non-fictional characters are as accurate as possible.  Additionally, I try to ensure the fictional characters are well-developed, interesting, serve a purpose, and avoid being predictable and stereotypical.


Do you have anything coming up and can you tell us about it?

This is a planned trilogy, and I see book three taking us fifteen years into the future.  Evidently, there was some kind of kerfuffle in Salem in 1692 that got everyone all excited.  Additionally, the audiobook for “The Prophet and the Witch” is currently in production.

I can’t tell you enough about my narrator, Mr. Angus Freathy.  This book has Puritan psalmody, seventeenth century drinking songs, sonnets from Shakespeare, French dialogue, Scottish accents, prayers in Latin, and historically authentic names and places like Wootonekanuske, Canochet, and Menameset, and he does it all.  Extremely well.  It should be out early next year.

Thank you for the opportunity to be with you.  I am extremely proud of this book.  The reviews have been terrific, and I think it has genuine multi-genre appeal.  I think even readers who don’t normally venture into historical fiction will find much to love in “The Prophet and the Witch.”




AUTHOR Bio and Links:



James W. George is a lover of history and historical fiction.  He is a graduate of Boston University and a military veteran.  He is currently residing in Virginia with his wife and children.

He published his critically-acclaimed debut novel, My Father’s Kingdom in January 2017.  The novel described the prelude to King Philip’s War in New England in the 1670s.  The Indie View gave it five stars: “This is high historical drama handled wonderfully…a tale that will fully engage you on every level.”

My Father’s Kingdom is a planned trilogy, and book two, The Prophet and the Witch, was published in September 2017.  This is an epic novel that spans the entire conflict of King Philip’s War, and includes such notable historical figures as Josiah Winslow, Increase Mather, Metacomet, Benjamin Church, and Mary Rowlandson.  The Literary Titan awarded it five stars and a gold medal for October 2017.

The author is looking forward to book three of the trilogy, and he can be found on Goodreads:


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GIVEAWAY 
James W. George will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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