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Welcome to the Sunshine Hill Press website!
Home of the Forbes Road / Wend Eckert Series

Historical Novels Forbes Road and Conestoga Winter
By Robert J. Shade

We cordially invite you to join the thousands of readers who have followed frontier marksman and gunsmith Wend Eckert on his journey to manhood and heroism. Read the summaries below to learn about the plotlines of these absorbing, fast-paced historical novels set in the French and Indian War,  Pontiac’s Rebellion, and the tense days before the Revolutionary War. Kirkus Review service says, “Well researched … will appeal to Early America enthusiasts and Revolutionary War buffs. It’s easy to love Wend as much as the women in his life do…” Find out more about the fascinating history which forms the background for this series by clicking on the Historical Context page. Once there you will also see links to the many historical sites which are maintained along the path of the colonial wilderness road which grew into modern Route 30 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Once you’ve done that, to get a printed copy or e-book version of one of the novels, all you have to do is click on the appropriate Buy Now button.

 

Announcement Regarding Forthcoming Books 

 

We appreciate the numerous inquiries regarding the next book in the Forbes Road Series, Lord Dunmore’s Folly.  However, we have found it prudent to delay the publication date of the book until approximately June of 2015.  The salient reason for the delay is the impending publication of recent research on Dunmore’s War that was not available when the draft of the novel was written.  Much of the historical information dated from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s and is frequently contradictory regarding the timeline and detailed actions of historical characters.  Accordingly, we find the delay necessary to ensure that the novel is consistent with more recent data.

However, readers will be glad to learn that, as an interim measure, we expect to release a short novella in February 2015 entitled The Camp Follower Affair which is set against the background of Colonel Henry Bouquet’s 1764 campaign against the Ohio tribes which resulted in the cessation of hostilities in Pontiac’s Rebellion. Mary Fraser is the protagonist and the story foreshadows events which form the plot of Dunmore’s Folly.  The narrative also features many characters from the earlier novels and fills a void in the series which resulted from Wend Eckert’s move to Virginia.  We believe that the readers of Forbes Road and Conestoga Winter will find the story an entertaining and compelling read. Watch for announcements on this website regarding the specific release dates.

 

 Book III of the Forbes Road/Wend Eckert Series is Coming!

 

Book III has the working title of Lord Dunmore’s Folly with a tentative release date of June 2015.  The story is set in 1774 Virginia amid the tensions of the coming outbreak of the Revolutionary War.  Lord Dunmore, the last British governor of Virginia, seizes control of Pittsburgh and then attempts to keep the colonists loyal by leading the militia in a war against the Shawnee and Mingo tribes of the Ohio Country.  A prosperous Wend Eckert has become a respected member of Winchester society.  He and his companions Joshua Baird and Simon Donegal find themselves swept up in the rush of events and recruited to march as part of Major Angus McDonald’s expedition against tribal villages in Ohio.  Wend faces a crisis when he is thrown into contact with old friends and bitter enemies.  Meanwhile, Wend’s wife has become insecure in her love with him and finds herself drawn to a mysterious gentleman of highborn manners who visits Winchester.  In the climax, Wend rides to destroy Richard Grenough, who has aligned himself with the governor.

Lord Dunmore’s Folly also sets the stage for Wend’s participation in the events of 1775-83.  We intend to continue the series through the American Revolution, where Wend will interface with many of the key personalities and events of the war, new fictional characters, and some of his old acquaintances within the British Army.

Keep checking this website for updates.  Even better, send your email address to author@forbesroadbook.com and we’ll put you on our emailing list to provide you with the latest status.

 

Insurrection Sweeps the Border Settlements!

Conestoga Winter CoverConestoga Winter: A Story of Border Vengeance
Book II of the Forbes Road series, available now!
Young gunsmith and sharpshooter Wend Eckert returns to the Pennsylvania border settlements from his service as a scout during Pontiac’s Rebellion. He is determined to take revenge against wealthy Indian trader Richard Grenough and his henchmen — the men who were responsible for the death of his family. But Eckert finds that Ulster-Scot settlers are infuriated by the refusal of the pacifist government in Philadelphia to help defend the border country from rampaging war parties. In frustration, rogue militiamen from Paxton attack the peaceful Conestoga Indians of Lancaster in the belief that they have been providing assistance to the hostiles. Wend suddenly finds himself at odds with friends and neighbors as he tries to save his former school friend, Charlie Sawak, of the Conestoga tribe.
Over the long winter, Wend travels the Cumberland valley to uncover the long tentacles of Grenough’s conspiracy and finds that the trader helped incite the attack on the Conestogas in order to distract attention from his treasonous operations. Wend realizes that he must resort to violence to bring justice to the outlaw trader. Then, in the midst of his private war, the young man finds himself romantically entangled with a woman who is the lover of his greatest enemy.
Finally, on a mountainous, winding stretch of Forbes Road, Wend Eckert and his enemies meet in a climactic battle to the death.

Print Version at Publisher’s site  $12.99 With Discount Code CLUDQZMK
Print Version at Amazon  Discounted Price: $13.49
Kindle eBook Version  List Price $4.99

Readers Praise Conestoga Winter:

Five Stars.  “A good, old-fashioned yarn, and you learn a lot of early American history!”

I’ve read both of Robert Shade’s Forbes Roads books, and I found Conestoga Winter a really fine novel.  I know enough about the period to know that Shade has done his research well, but he’s also given us a story that doesn’t have the artificiality of other books in which novelists have tried to stick close to history.  He’s a real story teller, and within  a few pages you’re going to care about his characters, while also getting  some sense of the granularity of American history when the frontier was in Western Pennsylvania.

                                                                                                        Bill Burrows on Amazon

“Five Stars.  A fine sequel to Forbes Road!”

As expected, Robert Shade has writted a fast moving, compelling follow-up to Forbes Road that hardly allows the reader time to put the book down! The story line of Wend Eckert’s adventures following his military stint during the border clashes of Pontiac’s Rebellion along the Pennsylvania/Ohio frontier continues.. I find this a compelling read of a fictitional character woven into the historical fact storyline of this fascinating period of westward expansion of the American Frontier. A 5 Star read for the history buff!

M.J. Wayne on Amazon

J

The Border Country is in Flames!

Forbes Road coverForbes Road: Love, War, and Revenge on the Pennsylvania Frontier
Book I: The Wend Eckert saga begins!
It is 1763: The French and Indian War is over.
But the tribes of the Ohio County are infuriated with their new British rulers, who they believe treat them with contempt, break all their treaties, and have built a string of forts along the Allegheny River and into the Great Lakes region. They are even more disturbed by the waves of European settlers who are swarming over the Allegheny Mountains, clearing land, and threatening the Indians’ very way of life. Spurred on by a mystical prophet named Neolin and a charismatic war captain called Pontiac, the tribes from the Great Lakes to the Ohio unite in bloody rebellion.
Young gunsmith and marksman Wend Eckert, German by birth and Scots-Irish by adoption, marches as a scout with the British Army in an attempt to rescue the dazzling English girl from Philadelphia who was his first love but who was captured four years earlier by a Mingo war chief. Along with veteran scout Joshua Baird, he must help Colonel Henry Bouquet of the Royal Americans guide an expedition along Forbes Road, the rugged wilderness trail which connects Fort Pitt with Eastern Pennsylvania, in a desperate attempt to save hundreds of settlers besieged in the fort.
As the column marches through the hostile forest, Wend is buoyed by the prospect that he will be able to find his girl. But then he encounters an unforeseen obstacle: A romantic distraction in the form of an enchanting Scots lass who is the darling of the 77th Highlanders but has eyes only for the young colonial scout. For the first time in four years, Wend is torn by internal conflict about his future. He increasingly comes under the spell of the highland camp follower who, in her own way, is as irresistible as the elegant girl from Philadelphia.
The war and the youth’s future will hang in the balance near a place called Bushy Run where the pick-up British battalion, formed from three broken regiments, battles a massive force of tribal warriors for control of the Ohio Country.
Somewhere along Forbes Road, the boy becomes a man and the man grows into a legend.

Print Version at Publisher’s site  Discount Price: $14.99.
Enter Publishers Code H94RSDK3 at checkout page.
Print Version at Amazon  Discount Price $16.19.
Kindle eBook Version List Price $ 4.99

Reviewers and Readers Praise Forbes Road:

“Five Stars”
“Great slice of American colonial history. Once started I could not put it down. The author knows his stuff and drags the reader in from page one. Great stuff and thoroughly recommended.”

Craig on Amazon UK

“Five Stars”
“Loved the book!! Couldn’t put it down. Well written, very good historical content makes reading history fun. Can’t wait for Vol 2!!!! Hurry up and write it!!!”

Mike on Amazon

“Superb. . . Was going to save . . . for a vacation.  But once I started to sample the book I couldn’t hold back and had to finish it.   . . .blended the best of both history and story such that I felt as if all of it was real.  I need to know what the future holds for Wend.”

D.R. via email to Forbes Road Website

Buy the print or Kindle edition of Forbes Road now!