Historical Fiction

All posts in the Historical Fiction category


Published December 8, 2019 by rochellewisoff

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in SAMMI’S COMMENT SECTION.

136 words? That’s 36 more words than required in Friday Fictioneers. Naturally I’m compelled to share a flash fiction. Couple that with the fact that I read on Google this morning that this is the anniversary of the lady’s birth. Happy 155th Birthday, Camille Claudel!

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 136


         “It’s wrong for a girl to dirty her fingers in the mud.” Mère chided little Camille. “It’s against nature.”

          Auguste stroked his thick beard. “You are a wonderfully talented sculptor, Camille. Quite a talent indeed. I shall make you my apprentice—take your gift to new heights.”

            The nineteen year-old flushed. She couldn’t believe the great Rodin should consider her work worthy of his time.

            Now her mother would eat her words.

            Auguste pressed his lips against Camille’s neck. “You are as beautiful as you are gifted.”           

            She melted into his arms. “Mon cher professeur I love you.”

            “Alas I cannot leave my Rose.”   

            Mère fumed. “I always knew you’d bring us shame.”

            Camille left Auguste’s studio. Her work became her barricade against pain.

            One critic described her as “A revolt against nature: a woman genius.”

To know more CLICK


Published December 1, 2019 by rochellewisoff

The Greenwood district was a thriving African-American community with luxury shops, restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, jewelry and clothing stores, movie theaters, barbershops and salons, a library, pool halls, nightclubs and offices for doctors, lawyers and dentists. It had its own school system, post office, a savings and loan bank, hospital, and bus and taxi service

This is an unusual prompt today because it’s focused on a specific time and place, and as such is sort of an experiment. We at Pegman encourage you to look into this mostly-forgotten tragedy and write something about it, but as always you can write anything about Tulsa that strikes your fancy.”


Thanks to Josh and Karen for hosting the Pegman Challenge. I couldn’t very well resist a challenge that includes history. My heart goes out to the people of Greenwood. I dream of a day we can appreciate each other’s differences instead of trying to snuff them out. 

The aftermath. 35 city blocks were razed to the ground.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150


I knew nothing of the so-called race riot that took over 300 lives in our district of Greenwood until 1996 when the Today Show ran a story. After seeing it on television, my 80-year-old grandfather agreed to let me interview him for a school report.

            “You must understand,” he squeezed my hand, “my memories are those of a five-year-old.”

            I poised my pen over my notepad. “Go on, Poppy.”

            His faded gaze looked past me. “Four men ran toward the house with guns and lighted torches. Bam! My daddy fell.” A tear streamed down a crevice of Poppy’s leathered cheek.

            “Mama yelled to us kids, ‘get up under the bed.’ Which we did. My sister clapped her hand over my mouth when one of the men tromped on my finger. I can still feel it. They set fire to the curtains. Life as we knew it went up in smoke.”

29 November 2019

Published November 27, 2019 by rochellewisoff

Like us on Facebook 

Happy Anniversary to Jan Fields, my first husband for 48 years as of November 28!

The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit.




Genre: Historical Fiction circa late 1800’s

Word Count: 100


“Dear Lord, we thank you for the bounty we are about to receive…for the Pilgrims and their faith…the first Thanksgiving…”

Folding her hands, ten-year-old Wawatseka renamed Victoria by her teachers, shut her eyes while Reverend Prichard droned on.

Grandfather’s stories wafted through her mind—a distant memory. “They feasted after each massacre of our people.”

Wawatseka’s ears ached for Mother’s songs and Father’s drumbeats.  Detesting white gravy and mashed potatoes, Wawatseka longed for savory corn stew.

Thick fingers thumped her head. “Victoria! We’ve finished grace. What do you say?”

She glared at the reverend and, through clenched teeth, whispered, “Amen.”

22 November 2019

Published November 20, 2019 by rochellewisoff

Like us on Facebook 

The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit.

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll


Before beginning my rather somber story, I have some happy news. My WIP entitled “What the Heart Wants” is under contract with agent Diane Nine of Nine Speakers, Inc. To read more about it click here

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100


Dedrick intertwined his fingers with Levin’s long slender ones and stared at the ragged nails worn down by hauling stones from the quarry. Dedrick remembered winter nights when those elegant hands, never meant for such cruel labor, prepared succulent meals that would delight a king.

            Levin’s hoarse voice brought him back to Auschwitz. “Dedrick, I—”

            Dedrick pressed his finger against Levin’s chapped lips. “Save your strength.”

            Bruises marred Levin’s flawless complexion. One long-lashed eye had swollen shut. He reached out and touched the pink triangle on Dedrick’s striped uniform. “You must know…”

            Kissing Levin’s palm, Dedrick whispered, “I do.”

For more on this lesser known atrocity CLICK HERE


Published November 18, 2019 by rochellewisoff

“Our life together
Is so precious together
We have grown, we have grown
Although our love still is special
Let’s take a chance and fly away somewhere

Starting over (over and over and over)”

~~John Lennon

 My writing journey began  about 15 years ago with my historical fiction Please Say Kaddish for Me. Once I finished the manuscript all I had to do was find a publisher and watch it rise to the New York Times Best Sellers list. Right?

Oh if only it had been that easy. The truth is I had so much to learn. Each time I went to a writing workshop or critique group, I realized changes needed to be made, whether it was too much passive voice, too many gerunds or word repetition.

After years of writing and rewriting, I pitched to a few agents until one fell in love with my novel. Contract signed, the wait began. Three years later W & B Publishers took on my novel and its sequels. Click here for more info on those books. 

Two years ago (maybe three?) I went to work on a new historical novel I titled What the Heart Wants. Once I felt the manuscript was complete I sent it to my beta readers who took me to task on typos and made wonderful suggestions.

Since I don’t feel self-publishing is a viable option for me, my next step was the daunting task of finding an agent to represent it. The group I belong to, Ozarks Writers League, brought in some agents to hear pitches at the September conference. Since I wasn’t able to attend, I sent a packet to one of them through a fellow OWL member. Thank you, Ronda.

I have to *kvell a bit here. The September conference is when awards are given for the annual writing contest. “What the Heart Wants” took first place in the Unpublished Manuscript category. As my British friends would say, “I’m chuffed to bits.”

By mid-October I’d not heard back from the agent. Mind you, I wasn’t stressing over it.

One morning I saw my friend, award winning author and fellow military wife Kathleen M. Rodgers on Facebook. It occurred to me we hadn’t chatted in ages so I asked in a PM if she had time for a call.

Kathleen and me a few years ago at an OWL conference. The bonding was immediate. 😀

As usually happens when authors chat we talked about our current works in progress. When I told her about mine, she thought it sounded like a worthy story and suggested I email her agent, Diane Nine. Kathleen said she’d email her as well to tell her to expect to hear from me.

Before I had a chance to write, Kathleen informed me Diane agreed to take a look at my work. Diane also requested a book proposal along with the manuscript. You think writing a novel is tough? Try writing a book proposal which includes short summary, full synopsis, chapter by chapter summary, author bio etc. etc. I’m not really *kvetching. It was a learning experience that I kind of enjoyed.

The Author-Illustrator in her natural habitat.

After spending nearly a week on the proposal and having it proofread, I sent it to Diane along with the manuscript on 19 October. A mere ten days later I received an email from her saying she enjoyed the manuscript and asked me to give her a call the following Monday. I nearly fell off my elliptical trainer. (That’s what I get for reading emails on my phone while working out. It’s simply not possible to jump up and down at the same time.)

Monday, 4 November, came complete with a tummy full of butterflies. But they all flew away when she answered the phone with, “I loved your manuscript or we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

The conversation lasted close to two hours and left me with a silly grin on my face.

The contract is signed and the waiting begins. It feels just like starting over.

*kvell – Yiddish for “I’m bursting at the seams so I have to shout it to the world.” 

*kvetching – Yiddish for “Oy, this is so awful, you shouldn’t ask.” 


When I made the announcement on Facebook author, beta reader and friend, Lonnie Whitaker posted this:

“I was privileged to read an early draft and can report it is solid, engaging, and in many ways transcends genres. It’s historical, gritty, romantic, with a hint of mystery. No doubt we will see it in print soon. Congratulations, Rochelle.”


Short Summary –What the Heart Wants

For Asher, growing up as a Jew in Ukraine in the 1800’s, life is a minefield. Eastern Europe is a hotbed of violence and antisemitism. He blames God for the murder of his young bride and the slaughter of his father. All hope is gone.  

In America, the home of the free and the brave, Bear Starfire is torn from her family and carried off to boarding school. Her teachers are determined to beat the heathen out of her. The principal lures her into a “special friendship”.   

A few years later, having left Russia, Asher answers the call to “go west, young man” via covered wagon.  When a blizzard delays his journey, Missouri farmers provide refuge. Their adopted daughter, a tall, bronze beauty captures his heart.

Can these two wounded souls from radically different backgrounds find healing in each other’s arms?


15 November 2019

Published November 13, 2019 by rochellewisoff

Like us on Facebook 

The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit. 

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Hop right up and Click the Frog

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100


             Papa belted out prayers with off-key passion. A few small congregations who couldn’t afford real cantors hired him as a ba’al tefillah.

            Shabbos mornings, Natty Birnbaum stood close to him and sang. He’d bask in Papa’s approving smile. It was the only time he ever saw it. 

            When Natty was seven Papa passed away while reading prayers.

            Nearly 100 years later, Birnbaum, better known as George Burns, remembered with a wry smile, “After he sang in one little synagogue, the following synagogue, instead of hiring him, they kept it closed during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.” 

            Natty never forgave God.


Wanna know more? Got 10 minutes? To watch the video CLICK HERE 


Published November 9, 2019 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman goes to Guyana, South America. Your mission is to write up to 150 words inspired by this week’s location. Feel free to use the image supplied with the prompt, or zoom in to Guyana on Google Maps and find your own inspiration. Warning, there are not a lot of photo spheres, but the more you zoom around the more you’ll find.

Once your piece is polished, share it with others at the link up below. You may contribute, poetry, prose, or essay–or whatever the location inspires you to write. Reading and commenting is part of the fun!

click the frog. You know you want to. 

Thanks to Karen and Josh for facilitating this challenge.

The following is an expanded version of a story I posted 4 years ago in Friday Fictioneers. For those of us who remember…let us never forget. 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150


            Like a frightened animal, the girl huddled in the darkest corner of an abandoned shack on the beach. I offered her refuge in my winter home in Bridgetown. After much coaxing she accepted.

            “Where are your parents?” I asked. “Do they know where you are?”

            She fell into my arms, shaking with anguished sobs. “Dead. Everyone’s dead.”

            I embraced her, unable to stem my own tears. “You’re safe now.”

            “He promised us a rainbow family in Paradise,” she whispered the next day over lunch.

            “We saw the bastard on the news. How did you escape?”

            “I told the guard Father wanted flowers for the meeting. I hid under bushes all day, ran all night and then stole a fishing boat. I floated a long time.” She licked her blistered lips.

            “Scorcher today.” My husband burst onto the patio, pitcher in hand. “Kool-Aid anyone?”

            “No, thank you.” She choked. “Not ever.”  



Kelvin M. Knight

FLASHES of inspiration. SHORT deliberations. STORIES for all.

Na'ama Yehuda

Speech Language Pathologist, Writer, Blogger -- musings, anecdotes, stories, quotes, life lessons and growth

Diane's Ponderings

Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Jellico's Writing Nook

A cup of coffee and a quiet morning respite to write

The Ministry of Shrawley Walks

4 Folk, Walking the Dogs


Paula Shablo

Lost Imperfect Found

Self-discovery through self-reflection.

Sarah Potter Writes

Pursued by the Muses of prose and poetry

Sammi Cox

Author Aspiring

Neil MacDonald Author

A writer's journey

Autumn Leaves

For those who enjoy fiction

Native Heritage Project

Documenting the Ancestors

Living In Eternity

If Eternity Is Forever, Am I There Now?

Rereading Jane Eyre

Author Luccia Gray


Catskills Memories, Genealogy, travel and commentary

e.l. dalke: survivor

a journey of fractures, in my own words

Creativity for You

Posts about creativity from Thomas Ward, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Alabama.


a weekly flash fiction prompt inspired by google maps

Lori Ericson, Author

An author's perspective of mystery and more.

Alyssa Davies

You Can Never Be Overdressed or Overeducated

Write already!

Write, write, write...

The Off Key Of Life

Or….Identifying The Harmless Unhinged Among Us.

What's So Funny?

Russell Gayer, author speaker

%d bloggers like this: