Tag Archives: Historical Fiction

The Captive Boy – My Review

Genre:  Historical Fiction
Date of Publication: December 20, 2015
Number of Pages: 170
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Colonel Mac McKenna’s Fourth Cavalry recaptures white captive August Shiltz from the Comanche, only to find August is determined to return to the Indians. McKenna attempts to civilize August to nineteenth-century American standards and becomes the boy’s foster father. But when August kills another boy in a fight, McKenna rejects him, and August escapes from Fort Richards (Texas). When war with the Comanche breaks out, McKenna discovers August is a war leader – and his greatest enemy.



“THE CAPTIVE BOY by Julia Robb is a story told in a unique way – through journal entries by several different characters and a novel within the novel. Robb is masterful in her depiction of each character, bringing to life an intriguing tale of the Old West.”
 Writer’s Digest competition judge

“It will capture you and keep you engaged from the beginning all the way through the end and also give you insights into the difficulties faced by those who fought on both sides of the Indian Wars in Texas after the Civil War. Buy this book. You will not be disappointed.”
— Steve Mathisen

“Ms. Robb’s research is evident on every page. Without becoming bogged down in detail, she employs just enough of it to paint an accurate picture of a dangerous and unforgiving time.”

— Samuel L. Robinson





The Captive Boy – My Review

“The morning began with a clear blue sky and cool wind, with meadowlarks soaring from the long grass on slightly rolling prairie with wildflowers of all colors covering the land.”

First, I’ve taken several graduate level anthropology classes and I’ve read historical books on Native Americans and basically how our ancestors conquered them and drove them to reservations. Most accounts are not pretty.

Second, The Captive Boy could really be one of those nonfiction historical books relating a brief segment of time during the 1800s when the Indian wars were occurring.

Third, wow – the ending I never saw coming!

The Captive Boy is told and written with the voice of a newspaper reporter, Joe Grant, along with other historical journal entries. This unique storytelling gives this book life with a fresh voice. The story recounts how the army saved one German boy from the Comanche and how hatred over a bison calf drove a wedge between the boy and the man who tried his best to save him.

The dialogue-driven book places readers into the hardships of early life for men serving in the army while they were fighting the Indians. The journal excerpts from the camp doctor are very revealing and probably hold some truth to what it was like for doctors of that era to treat wounded men. Plus, it left me wondering if only doctors still employed natural treatments like the use of prickly pear, instead of chemicals, maybe our world and our health might be better.

Author, Julia Robb, realistically incorporates what the Llano Estacado looked like before ranching, farming, and settlement became the norm in the region. The grasses were so tall that they could indeed disguise horses and men alike. There were reports that the Llano Estacado had one of the largest prairie dog towns in the U.S. numbering into the millions, alongside bison, or how it seems the wind is always blowing on the Llano.

It took us an entire day to pass one prairie dog town. So many prairie dogs lived in this town we heard a hum while we passed, like the hum of a human city.

Robb created a near realistic journey into the world of betrayal, hope, love, war, and friendship centered around a captive boy named August. She ended the book perfectly – with an ending I never saw coming or imagined. My only wish – was seeing the actual drawings so often referenced by Grant. It would’ve made the story much more in-depth and meaningful.

Thanks, Julia for a fantastic read.


Julia grew up on the lower Great Plains of Texas, eventually became a reporter, and lived in every corner of the Lone Star State, from the Rio Grande to the East Texas swamps. She couldn’t shake images and experiences and began writing them down.

A priest once disappeared on the Mexican border and that inspired parts of Saint of the Burning Heart. She discovered a hypnotic seducer, who she turned into Ray Cortez, the bad guy in Del Norte. Reading about child Comanche captives and their fates made her want to write about a cavalry colonel who attempts to heal a rescued boy, and that turned into The Captive Boy. Finally, what happens to a man who is in love with another man, in a time and place where the only answer is death? That became Scalp Mountain.
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Harmon General – Cover Reveal Blitz

Misfits and Millionaires #2 
Genre: Historical Fiction / WWII / Spies 
Expected Date of Publication: June 16, 2018

Number of Pages: 330

ABOUT THE BOOK: Harmon General is book two in the WWII historical fiction series entitled Misfits and Millionaires—set in Longview, Texas. The novel picks up about two months after the storyline in The Big Inch ended.
Familiar characters and locations get a shot of adrenaline from the biological hazard espionage going on at the U.S. Army’s new medical hospital treating diseased and wounded soldiers—a 156-acre pop campus created as part of a master plan to place U.S. Army hospitals around Texas specializing in long-term wound care for WWII soldiers. The Office of Strategic Services has one of its best agents in place as a nurse at Harmon General—Sgt. Emmie Tesco—and she’s soon up to her blood pressure cuff in intrigues at the hospital campus, particularly the mission to stop a culprit code-named “Dr. Death” who is accused of skewing the malaria test protocols being established at Harmon so that no one will notice him preparing to sell the malaria research to the enemies of the Allies. Heroes and villains circulate in Longview from the post at Harmon General, and Emmie ropes Lane Mercer into helping manage the overload of responsibilities. Readers of The Big Inch will better understand what drives Emmie Tesco and why poking at old wounds can be a messy affair. The backstory of Lane Mercer and her first husband gets a brutal airing too, and stakes grow dangerous for Lane and Zeke Hayes as the plans they’d wanted for their wedding are upended by well-meaning, Aunt Edith.



“The war that changed the world brought the world to East Texas through Harmon General, a significant US Army hospital that treated thousands of wounded soldiers in Longview.  In Harmon General, we meet again Lane Mercer, a World War II heroine, and we enjoy again how the drama of her secret service to the nation and her complicated personal relationships pull us into the vast impact of the world war.”
— Dale Lunsford, Ph.D., President, LeTourneau University


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kimberly Fish started writing professionally with the birth of her second child and the purchase of a home computer. Having found this dubious outlet, she then entered and won The Writer’s League of Texas manuscript contest which fed her on-going fascination with story crafting. 

She has since published in magazines, newspapers, and online formats and in January 2017, released the first novel in the Misfits and Millionaires series set during the World War II years in Longview, Texas—The Big Inch. Her second book, Comfort Plans, was published later that same year.

She lives with her family in East Texas.



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