Books by Dr. Florence Byham Weinberg
An Award-Winning Historical Writer with Imagination
Descriptions of artwork: the half-profile is a sketch of the young Pfefferkorn in "Sonora Moonlight"; the dark frontal view is Pfefferkorn after 8 years of imprisonment and "questioning" in Spain from "The Storks of La Caridad." The sketch with hands clasped is the elder Pfefferkorn in "Unrest in Eden."
Read Dr. Weinberg's blog on "Sleuthing for Ignaz," an account of her travels in Europe to search for Pfefferkorn's actual whereabouts and history.
For signed copies of all books, please email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to view the scholarly book collection.
The Historical Novels
BEFORE THE ALAMO, A TEJANA'S STORY
What happened in Texas before the Alamo?
We see the events through the eyes of a young woman who lived them.
Emilia Altamirano, half Otomí Indian, half pure Spanish, is born in 1814, the year after the Battle of the Medina River, where her father fought as an officer in the Mexican Royalist Army. She grows up in Bexar de San Antonio unacknowledged by her father, raised by her Otomí Indian mother, and “adopted” as an unofficial ward by José Antonio Navarro, hero of the Texas fight for independence from Mexico. She learns to read, write, and acts as a page for the Ayuntamiento (City Council). She learns nursing during a cholera epidemic and later tends the wounded on both sides during and after the Battle of the Alamo. She survives, but as a Tejana, Spanish-speaking, and a loyal citizen of Mexico, she faces an uncertain future.
Of particular note:
This historical novel stresses the importance of the Battle of the Medina River, which happend prior to the Alamo, and is something that has been in the news in Texas lately. The history of Texas in the nineteenth century, in large part determined by that nearly forgotten battle, is brought to life through the eyes of the protagonist, Emilia. The book concludes in 1848, two years after Texas became a state in the United States of America.
Look for the book by title at Amazon, under author or title at Barnes & Noble and your favorite bookstores.
Seven Cities of Mud
*Twilight Times Books, 2008
*2008 New Mexico Book Award Finalist in Historical Fiction
Poli, a widowed Pueblo woman from Puaray on the Río Grande, is wooed by aggressive, sadistic Mákta.
Franciscan Fray Agustín wheedles permission to mount an expedition to evangelize the Pueblo Indians of the Río Grande. He recruits two priests, Friars Francisco and Juan, and nine soldiers, commanded by Captain Chamuscado. This is the second expedition up the river after Coronado's. The small party arrives near Puaray and persuades Poli to guide them. Two men fall in love with her: Fray Francisco and Cantor, the Indian interpreter. The soldiers mutiny, turning the expedition into a gold-and-silver hunt. The priests become prisoners. Mákta begins a relentless pursuit: Poli has spurned him for these outlanders; he will have his revenge. Fray Juan starts back to Mexico to denounce the captain to the authorities but is mysteriously killed. The party ranges eastward to the Pecos where they hunt buffalo and westward to Zuñi, but winter weather drives them back to Puaray. The captain decides to return to Mexico; the Franciscans stay. Mákta returns to Puaray with explosive results.
Apache Lance, Franciscan Cross
Historical Novel: Romance
*WILLA Literary Award Finalist, 2006
*2007 New Mexico Book Award Finalist in two categories:
(a) Best Historical Fiction and (b) Best Book on the Southwest
In the year 1731, three Franciscan missions are struggling to establish themselves on the San Antonio River despite Apache raids. A young missionary, Fray Marcos, and an Apache woman warrior, Ahuila, fall in love. They must work out their fate in the face of cultural conflicts and prejudices. "Apache Lance, Franciscan Cross" explores a crucial time in San Antonio history, featuring courageous settlers, missionaries, Indian converts and fierce Apache attacks. The story will appeal to history buffs, especially Southwesterners. Plot is fast moving with powerful emotions, action, love interest, suspense, accurate background and landscape.
Twilight Times Books, 2008
*2009 Eric Hoffer Award Finalist for Excellence in Independent Publishing
*First book in the Pfefferkorn quartet
Sonora, 1761-62: Father Ygnacio Pfefferkorn, SJ, suffering from acute malaria, is transferred to a new mission, Guevavi in present-day Arizona. Healed by a Pima medicine man: Jevho, and his half-Pima, half-Irish nurse-assistant Patricia O'Meara, he becomes obsessed with converting Jevho to Christianity. A grisly murder by beheading and crucifixion is discovered near the mission, and Ygnacio sets about solving the crime, fearing his mission Indians will be blamed. Suspects abound in the small Irish ranching community and among Jevho's people. Ygnacio risks his life in pursuit of the murderer, whom he finally apprehends. Patricia, in love with both the priest and Jevho, must choose between cultures, native or European. Meanwhile, Ygnacio builds up the mission but fails to recognize Jevho's influence drawing the people back to their native practices. In the end, the priest is removed from his post, suspected of being too close to Jevho and of committing heresy in accepting native practices into his liturgy, but he will be reassigned to another mission, where he will again weave together the native and European cultures.
Twilight Times Books, 2009
*2010 Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist in Historical Fiction
*2010 New Mexico Book Award Winner in Historical Fiction
*Finalist in Mystery/Suspense
*Second book in the Pfefferkorn quartet
Sonora Wind portrays the actual historical and political conspiracy to destroy a too-powerful branch of the Catholic Church, the Jesuit order. The murder of a military inspector entails a lengthy chase across wild Sonoran country, a long-distance love affair between the Jesuit missionary priest-detective, Ygnacio Pfefferkorn and the widow Beatriz Urrutia, and the ultimate expulsion and imprisonment of the Jesuits from Sonora.
The Storks of La Caridad
Twilight Times Books, 2004
*2011 Global e-Book Award Nominee
*Third book in the Pfefferkorn quartet
Father Ygnacio Pfefferkorn, a missionary stationed in northwestern Mexico, is expelled with all Jesuits in 1767. After eight years of prison, he is incarcerated in La Caridad Monastery near Ciudad Rodrigo, Spain, and befriended by Brother Eugenio, scribe, Father Plácido, choirmaster, and Father Leopoldo, instructor of boys.
La Caridad is locked in conflict with the bishop of Ciudad Rodrigo to determine jurisdiction over Robledillo, a rich parish. Two murders are committed and an ancient charter, granting the monastery perpetual jurisdiction over neighboring lands and villages, is stolen. The abbot recruits his prisoner, Ygnacio, to solve the murders and recover the charter.
Ygnacio suspects Leopoldo, whose sister Clara is attracted to Ygnacio, although he resists his own attraction. After Ignaz suffers an attack of malaria and barely avoids a bloodletting by Leopoldo's family physician, he recovers enough to confront Leopoldo, a meeting that ends in a near-fatal struggle. But has he found the real murderer?
Unrest In Eden
Twilight Times Books, 2011
*2013 NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Award
*2012 Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist in Historical Fiction
*Fourth book in the Pfefferkorn quartet
Father Ignaz Pfefferkorn, ex-S.J., released in January 1778, and destitute after ten years of Spanish imprisonment, begs his way across France to his home in the Rhineland. He arrives in Unkel-on-the Rhine to find factional strife and ultimately murder in his hoped-for paradise.
He is recruited to solve the crime, aided by unlikely helpers: a wealthy Cologne socialite and a head smuggler. He succeeds, only to find himself caught in the crossfire of the French Revolutionary Army’s invasion of his homeland.
This book is also available in German:
*Non-FictionWinner: NABE Pinnacle Book
Achievement Award, 2016
Etienne Dolet (1509-1546), the son of a cloth-seller in Orléans, France, showed great promise as a child. His father paid to have him educated by the eminent humanist, Nicolas Bérault, a specialist in Marcus Tullius Cicero’s thought and writing. Etienne mastered Latin, became a fine scholar of Cicero, and went on to study with Simon Villanovanus at the University of Padua in Italy. After his master’s death, he worked for a time as secretary to Bishop Jean de Langeac in Venice and Limoges, after which he went to the University of Toulouse to study law. The Lutheran reform movement had gained traction in France, and the Gallican branch of the Church of Rome reacted violently. In Toulouse, the Inquisition was particularly active. Fellow printers were jealous of his success and furious that he took the part of the print-shop workers in their quest for higher wages. They framed him by sending two boxes of heretical books to Paris, boldly labeled with his name. The Inquisition seized him, tried him, condemned him and burned him at the stake on his 37th birthday.
Anselm a Metamorphosis / Fantasy Novel
*Winner: NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Award, 2014
*Finalist: New Mexico-Arizona Book Award, 2014
Anselm: A Metamorphosis by Florence Byham Weinberg plays upon an ancient longing as well as ancient fears. What is it like, it asks, to wake up as another person, unrecognizable even to those closest to one, being in all but one way wholly new to oneself? That one way is an abiding sense of self-identity. In a fascinating tour de force, this novel follows the sudden change in the identity of a carefree young English professor into a middle-aged priest by exploring many layers of his consciousness... A fantasy? Of course. Unreality? No. Instead of removing himself and becoming another, the searching protagonist of Anselm achieves a sense of his true identity that had been closed to him before.
Longs désirs (French)
Longs désirs was written in English but was translated into French by Myriam McGinnis and published by Editions lyonnaises d’art et d’histoire in 2002. Louise Labé, 1523-1566, was the daughter of a ropemaker in Lyon, France, who became a wealthy and influential businessman. Educated at an innovative coeducational school, Louise learned Greek and Latin, Italian and Spanish, and learned to play the lute. Thanks to the tutelage of her older brother, Sergeant at Arms of Lyon, she learned knightly skills: riding a war horse, fighting with sword, lance, and crossbow. She participated in jousts disguised as a man—and often won. She also is said to have participated in King Henri II’s siege of Perpignan against the Spanish invader. Later, she married Ennemond Perrin, a ropemaker and heir to her father’s business. He purchased a mansion with a large garden, where Louise held musical and literary gatherings, attended by some of the most prominent writers, poets, and musicians of the time. She is known for her immortal love sonnets, written to an unknown and absent lover.
This novel portrays her life as seen through the eyes of her brother, her beloved, her husband, her friends and enemies, capped by Louise’s memories of her own life. She reaches the peak of fame and respect only to be envied, slandered, and destroyed. Her fate mirrors that of her city, Lyon, which reaches the pinnacle of commercial and cultural success, only to be bombarded in the Wars of Religion, ruined financially, and finally devastated by the plague in which Louise also dies.
El Jesuita y El Brujo (Spanish Edition)
Corre el año 1761. En la misión de Guevavi, Sonora, el padre Ygnacio Pfefferkorn S. J., se enferma de paludismo y es sanado por Yevjo, un poderoso curandero indígena pima, asistido por Patricia O'Meara, una atractiva joven, mitad pima y mitad irlandesa. Se culpa a los indígenas de un espeluznante asesinato. El padre Ygnacio, queriendo proteger a sus conversos y poniendo su vida en peligro, persigue al verdadero asesino, mientras Yevjo permanece envuelto en el misterio. Patricia, enamorada tanto del sacerdote como de Yevjo, tiene que decidir a cuál de los dos seguir. ¡El jesuita y el brujo es una novela genial! Esta fascinante obra de historia e imaginación investiga hechos importantes de la conquista española de América, dentro del marco de los acontecimientos y de lo espiritual. ~ Ralph Freedman, autor de Hermann Hesse: Pilgrim of Crisis y Life of a Poet: Rainer Maria Rilke En la novela El jesuita y el brujo de F. M. Weinberg, el padre Ygnacio debe aclarar un asesinato salvaje mientras sufre los embates de un fuerte paludismo e intenta cumplir con sus responsabilidades en Guevavi, una misión del Siglo XVIII, ubicada en el desierto de Sonora. Para los amantes de la ficción histórica, este libro es de lectura obligada. Weinberg recrea su descripción del pasado con detalles expresivos de la vida de plantas y animales, de misioneros y pioneros, así como de la medicina del nativo americano.
Trade paperback and e-book available at Amazon and from the author email@example.com.
El Jesuita y La Tormenta (Spanish Edition)
Sonora, 1766-67. El padre Ygnacio Pfefferkorn es llamado para investigar, en la misión de Ures, el asesinato de un capitán del ejército, cuya muerte se le atribuye al misionero del lugar. En la investigación intervienen una hermosa viuda, el descubrimiento de un comercio ilícito por parte de un alto funcionario jesuita, la captura de Ygnacio y su inminente muerte por tortura a mano de los apaches. El crimen queda esclarecido durante la expulsión de los jesuitas de Nueva España, en 1767. "La abnegada labor de los jesuitas en el desierto de Sonora, el choque con la cultura ancestral de los nativos de la región y las vicisitudes de unos religiosos, expulsados de la Nueva España en el siglo XVIII, sirven de marco histórico a la investigación sobre un asesinato que lleva a cabo el padre Ygnacio Pfefferkorn. Militares, religiosos, indios, contrabandistas, una fascinante mujer y la sagacidad del padre Ygnacio convierten a El Jesuita y la tormenta en una apasionante novela, por su intriga y por la fiel recreación de un momento histórico de México.
Trade paperback and e-book available at Amazon and from the author firstname.lastname@example.org
El Jesuita y La Caridad (Spanish Edition)
Monasterio de Nuestra Señora de La Caridad, en Ciudad Rodrigo, España, entre los años 1775 y 1776. El padre Ygnacio Pfefferkorn, misionero de Sonora, en el noreste de Nueva España, queda atrapado en las redes de la expulsión de los jesuitas, en 1767. Tras haber sobrevivido ocho años en prisión, es confinado en el monasterio de La Caridad, donde el abad le pide esclarecer dos asesinatos. Arriesgando su propia vida, como prisionero sin protección alguna, lucha para que, finalmente, los homicidas paguen por su delito. "El jesuita y La Caridad es una novela maravillosamente escrita y cuidadosamente investigada. La acción atrae, impresiona y deja perplejos a los lectores mientras que, de forma placentera, les inculca gran cantidad de datos históricos precisos y valiosos. El jesuita y La Caridad representa quizás lo mejor de la escritura histórica de misterio y es, por lo tanto, de lectura obligada.
Trade paperback and e-book available at Amazon and from the author email@example.com.