Linda Lafferty - book author
The daughter of a naval commander, Linda Lafferty attended fourteen different schools growing up, ultimately graduating from the University of Colorado with a master's degree and a PhD in education. Her peripatetic childhood nourished a lifelong love of travel, and she studied abroad in England, France, Mexico, and Spain. Her uncle introduced her to the sport of polo when she was just ten years old, and she enjoys playing to this day. She also competed on the Lancaster University Riding Team in England in stadium jumping, cross country, and dressage. A veteran school educator, she is the author of The Bloodletter's Daughter and The Drowning Guard. She lives in Colorado.
Linda Lafferty is the author of books: The Bloodletter's Daughter: A Novel of Old Bohemia, House of Bathory, The Shepherdess of Siena, The Drowning Guard: A Novel of the Ottoman Empire, The Girl Who Fought Napoleon: A Novel of the Russian Empire, Light in the Shadows: A Novel, Fierce Dreamer: A Novel
In 1606, the city of Prague shines as a golden mecca of art and culture carefully cultivated by Emperor Rudolf II. But the emperor hides an ugly secret: his bastard son, Don Julius, is afflicted with a madness that pushes the young prince to unspeakable depravity. Desperate to stem his son’s growing number of scandals, the emperor exiles Don Julius to a remote corner of Bohemia where the young man is placed in the care of a bloodletter named Pichler. The bloodletter’s task: cure Don Julius of his madness by purging the vicious humors coursing through his veins.
When Pichler brings his daughter Marketa to assist him, she becomes the object of Don Julius’s frenzied --and dangerous-- obsession. To him, she is the embodiment of the women pictured in the Coded Book of Wonder, a priceless manuscript from the imperial library that was the mad prince’s only link to sanity. As the prince descends further into the darkness of his mind, his acts become ever more desperate, as Marketa, both frightened and fascinated, can’t stay away.
Inspired by a real-life murder that threatened to topple the powerful Hapsburg dynasty, The Bloodletter’s Daughter is a dark and richly detailed saga of passion and revenge.
400 years later, echoes of the Countess’s legendary brutality reach Aspen, Colorado. Betsy Path, a psychoanalyst of uncommon intuition, has a breakthrough with sullen teenager Daisy Hart. Together, they are haunted by the past, as they struggle to understand its imprint upon the present. Betsy and her troubled but perceptive patient learn the truth: the curse of the House of Bathory lives still and has the power to do evil even now.
The story, brimming with palace intrigue, memorable characters intimately realized, and a wealth of evocative detail, travels back and forth between the familiar, modern world and a seventeenth-century Eastern Europe brought startlingly to life.
Inspired, the young shepherdess keeps one dream close to her heart: to race in Siena’s Palio. Twenty-six years after Florence captured Siena, Virginia’s defiance will rally the broken spirit of the Senese people and threaten the pernicious reign of the Gran Duca. Bringing alive the rich history of one of Tuscany’s most famed cities, this lush, captivating saga draws an illuminating portrait of one girl with an unbreakable spirit.
The Drowning Guard is the tale of the Ottoman princess, Esma Sultan - one of the most powerful women in Ottoman history and unlike any other woman in the Islamic world. In a gender reversal of Scheherazade in 1001 Arabian Nights, Esma seduces a different Christian lover each night, only to have him drowned in the morning. The Sultaness's true passion burns only for the Christian-born soldier charged with carrying out the brutal nightly death sentence: her drowning guard, Ivan Postivich.
The Drowning Guard explores the riddle of Esma - who is at once a murderer and a champion and liberator of women - and the man who loves her in spite of her horrifying crimes. This textured historical novel, set in the opulence and squalor of Istanbul in 1826, is woven with the complexity and consequences of love.
It’s 1803, and an adolescent Nadya is determined not to follow in her overbearing Ukrainian mother’s footsteps. She’s a horsewoman, not a housewife. When Tsar Paul is assassinated in St. Petersburg and a reluctant and naive Alexander is crowned emperor, Nadya runs away from home and joins the Russian cavalry in the war against Napoleon. Disguised as a boy and riding her spirited stallion, Alcides, Nadya rises in the ranks, even as her father begs the tsar to find his daughter and send her home. Both Nadya and Alexander defy expectations—she as a heroic fighter and him as a spiritual seeker—while the battles of Austerlitz, Friedland, Borodino, and Smolensk rage on.
In a captivating tale that brings Durova’s memoirs to life, from bloody battlefields to glittering palaces, two rebels dare to break free of their expected roles and discover themselves in the process.
In seventeenth-century Rome, an arrogant and reckless artist named Caravaggio drinks and brawls his way through his violent, insatiable life, all while painting some of the world’s greatest religious works of art. But it is his bitter feud with Giovanni Roero, a brutal knight in the Maltese Order of St. John, that is his fatal error.
Now, in the village of Monte Piccolo, a priest claims to have discovered a lost painting by the famed artist in the storage room of an orphanage. Retired professor A. R. Richman believes it’s a delusional dream. But Lucia, a visiting art student, convinces him otherwise and recruits her best friend, Moto, to join in the quest. They think The Judas Kiss is worth investigating. But tracing its provenance back four hundred years could prove to be just as treacherous as the master’s final days.
Richman, Lucia, and Moto begin chasing the mystery, uncovering a blood feud hidden for years that has now spilled into the twenty-first century. As they follow where it leads—down a trail of murder, betrayal, and vengeance—they find a secret history that someone will kill to keep buried.
Born in the bustling artist quarter of Rome, Artemisia, daughter of renowned painter Orazio Gentileschi, is unavoidably drawn into a profession unheard of for women. With an innate grasp of color, light, and composition, and inspired by the mercurial Caravaggio, the fiery Artemisia embraces her calling with a precocious brilliance. But as a young woman, she also finds herself oppressed by a powerful patriarchy, and she is forced to endure emotional and physical abuse at the hands of men.
Until a shattering act of violence unleashes Artemisia’s righteous fury.
Refusing to be silenced and resolved to best men at their own games, Artemisia does what no woman had dared to do before. She fights back.
A bracing historical novel about a woman boldly at odds with her time, Fierce Dreamer explores the fearless determination that would fuel Artemisia Gentileschi’s most courageous works of art and make her independent voice a vital one for our own time.