Book Jacket

 

rank 617
word count 174786
date submitted 15.01.2009
date updated 20.12.2013
genres: Fiction, Thriller, Historical Ficti...
classification: adult
complete

A Bend In The Trail

Raymond Terry

Murder deceit and mayhem come to Florida, America's vacation paradise.

 

In 1863, the USS Albemarle, transporting a shipment of gold to the Mexican government of Benito Juarez, meets with an accident at sea and sinks. After a series of thefts and murders the gold is deposited down a sinkhole in Hardenton, Florida, where it remains for 145 years.

Phil Dreyfus and his sister Lacy, who have purchased part of an old family farm at the Withlacoochee Bend, find the gold while searching for a good well. Before Phil can return the gold to the government, his hired hand kills him and steals the gold while a government satellite watches. The thieves escape, pursued by government 'troubleshooters,' who have their act together, and by two Mafia button men, who don’t.

Stu Forbes, a direct descendant of the Confederate captain who transported the gold and died in the process, picks up the narration and starts connecting the dots. The true goal of the government troubleshooters is recovering a letter from Benito Juarez to Abraham Lincoln that would give the United States a legal claim on Mexico.

 
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tags

adventure, conspiracy, fbi, florida, gold thieves

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76 comments

 

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Kaychristina wrote 221 days ago

Raymond, returning the read (at last!), and I am still reading... this extraordinary piece of history brought to flesh and bone.

I am up to ch.5 at the moment, and have to rest awhile as it's so late. I made some notes alongside my browser as I read over the last couple of nights, so I'll paste them in now --

Ch.1
Washington D.C.
Feb. 1863
Atmospheric opener,and we have Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton (aka *Mars* to the President), is working as a Father de Aquila waits outside for Stanton's ritualistic appearance in his lit window. Aquila, resigned to his fate and to God, readies his Colt Walker gun.
Typo alert --
*Secretary Stanton had an early meeting with General Halleck this morning and he was not looking fore(E)ward to it.* (No *e*... ha.) (I now see you're not concerned about typos... but I noted it, so there.:¬) )

I do like how you've set this scene up, and the way it ends, the words of the priest, the young soldier, is quite something.

Next section in this chapter =
The White House
Smooth link here from Stanton's slightly earlier thoughts, to Chase, the Secretary of the Treasury, arriving at the White House. Again, it's atmosphere is palpable - and a fascinating portrait of how the White House looked, the crowds of soldiers and the fires on the lawn, that frozen mud.

Now we have Chase's thoughts, and what thoughts they are... the currency being *backed by the wind alone...*

Your turns of phrase are astonishing, and written with, I suspect, as much ease as that collapsing cheap tent...
Salmon P. Chase... and dark days ever-present in his dark thoughts, to be sure.
Oh - Typo alert --
"God knows it is cold enough outside." He said as........ Should be "...............outside," he said as he located a free chair..............
Ah, you have a couple of those here - full stops at the end of dialog where there should be a comma... i.e.
"...I only hope it is as well... later today," Chase said ominously (,) as a shadow passed...................
and
"....... and as agreeable as always,(comma)" Desmond Frontwell offered. "It is our...."
A little comb thru for these dialog stops where there should be commas is needed, I think. I know it seems trivial in this monumental, truly wonderful work, but it does jar a bit... slapped wrist. (My wrist, too, for mentioning them.)

I LOVE the piece on Chase's face adorning the currency, and what follows.

Seward... has a way with words!!
I do love Chase's thoughts - his attention wandering *..back to whatever God abandoned Whig mercantile interests Seward was droning on about. This was promising to be a long morning.*

Indeed... and we have the gold shipment nicely set up and there for all us readers to worry about.
***************
Santa Cecilia, Mexico Feb.7 1863
And we have it. I can almost hear that Mexican lament playing.
Santa Cecilia lives and breathes, your conveying the heat rising out of the cold of Washington in the sections above. And that road from Laredo - so close to the Alamo.

The description and history are beautifully written - although I think some might say it's too much information, before we get to the crux of the matter, the ship - *Docked quietly at this stone wharf......"
Personally, I love the atmospheric build-up to *seeing* that ship. I guess you could, if any Editor said as much, portray all this through the eyes of the Lieutenant on his way to meet Juarez, or even Juarez himself in his coach, perhaps greeting the Lieutenant and then settling at his desk. Just a suggestion, and I hope you don't mind it. (I'm also wondering if this section might serve you better as a separate chapter - easily done in Word as 1A, and inserted here. It's also because ch.1 is very long as it stands, and it might help to get more readers here turning the page - less tiring for on-screen reading!!)

I love the portrayal of Benito Juarez himself, the U.S. ship *Albemarle* waiting, the young Lieutenant Haberston charged with carrying a letter for Mr. Lincoln that could change the face of history.

Ch.2
Dry Dock
May 20, 1863
Great Egg Harbor, N.J.
*Quittin' Time*
I think perhaps you lived in those times, Raymond - this is yet another location you've given life to right here on the page.
One of my great-grandfathers was a Master Shipwright - how little I knew!
This fine ship, our friend the *Albemarle*, has your Dock Superintendent Brian Lewes, an *easygoing man in the company of some rough individuals* - even those *steel-eyed bastard* Pinkerton men. Rumors... indeed.
Dale Hawkins, the poor boy of a patsy who's to stay aboard, and Davey Sommers. And a man with a long knife...

The tension, with this twist, is palpable.

Aha... revelations. The struggle of War then as now, and you've made it breathtakingly real.

Ch.3
Aboard... what fascinating, ordered mayhem, what an utter shame. And more revelations.
The gold... and our Lieutenant Haberston himself.
This has left me breathless.

Ch.4
Follow the gold... that yellow metal God, as Nokomis, the scout, thinks - rightly so, I reckon. Not a bad plan of his own, either.
And oh, Dilly... and what will become of that oilskin packet of papers?
The papers... the future of America in his hands, for so little time.

From the atmospheric beginning, through the vibrant colors of Mexico and heart-stopping dirty dealings at the docks, the thrilling ride aboard our noble ship, the Albemarle, to the swamplands of the Hata Coochee and the exhausted Confederate Camp, down to those elusive documents and the thoughts of Seminole scout, Nokomis as to that yellow metal God... this is one great heck of a story.

Wonderful, masterful. And awaiting a place on my shelf loaded with white-metal stars.

From Kay
(The Fortune Of Annacara)

EMDelaney wrote 952 days ago

A BEND IN THE TRAIL by Raymond Terry


If only I could write like Raymond Terry. This book should be one of the first ones we see when we enter Barnes & Noble. Pure and Simple!!!

Engaging is an understatement, thrilling merely a down-payment on what to expect from this wonderful piece of 'literary' Historical Fiction. Lengthy, yes, but worth the time. One of my last thoughts upon finishing this book (and it is posted in its entirety) is that I wish I could read more. I really enjoyed the time I spent with this wonderful novel.

Terry gives defintion to narrative in a way I've seldom seem. While he falls perfectly in line with the golden rule of letting his characters 'show' you his story, he constantly feeds us the perfect balance of narrative that compliments it at every turn. No detail is left to question as he moves this powerful tale along at a clip that is evenly paced and exciting.

Scene depiction is painted neatly with every stroke of the 'words' brush in this novel. How this book could have sat un-noticed on this site for two years is completely beyond me, except that I know what a humble man the author is, one to spend his time participating in short story threads, helping others with their craft (as he has me) and doing the things that epitomize what an Authonomy member should be doing.

RT is a true wordsmith. There are places in this work when one will wonder how he is not one of the most noticed writers there is. I surely did and wonder still, the memory of these fine chapters still repeating themselves in my memory. Rather it be the horror felt by character Millie Barnes in CH36 when she wakes up in the trunk of the car or the superior display of his knowledge of weaponry as shown in CH46, this author brings everything to the game. I've no doubt Ludlow would not be able to put this novel down and if you are a true lover of past-paced thrilling action, you won't be able to either.

Folks...this is 'How to write a great novel 101' right here! Strong characters drive this story while intuitive and crafty narrative compliment the show. I call it a show because that is exactly what it is, literary theatre.

If / when you read this book, notice how RT sets his scenes in perfect time to lead his story. He picks 'perfect' places to change pace, cut chapters and introduce new elements of the plot. This is an art a writer must possess, he being an expert at it.

In chapter 2, when RT is establishing the past input into the story, he describes a ship of the times so vividly you'll think you are on it. Each description of sounds, sights and shipboard life is described in great detail. One would literally wonder if the man was not a re-incarnated version of one of the characters he describes. It's freaking awesome!

RT is an historian. There simply is no way a person can have this much in-depth knowledge of life in the past without having indulged in great study. It is this element that allows him to comfortably go where authors sometime tip-toe, able to almost 'dance' his pen through the scenes with a confidence that is displayed often. I got the feel that I was reading Robert Louis Stevenson when he described the ship of the 1860's that carrie dthe gold.

6 stars for this book. It not only is publishable, it should be picked up right now and made such. There is nothing to critisize in these 170K words. Sure...a comma, maybe(?) Frankly, I didn't notice as I was too busy digesting this wonderful story...each and every word.

Cheers for Raymond Terry. Great book!



FRAN MACILVEY wrote 952 days ago

Dear Raymond

You must be a very patient man. Your first comment was posted over 1000 days ago and you are still here. Wow. Though the mammoth length of your text will probably count against it - how many people have the time or the inclination to read "War and Peace" after all? - your story, plot and your writing have everything to commend them. Top notch writing, detail that convinces and realistically drawn characterisations that delve very nicely into the deviousness of politics. The only suggestion I might make is that a thorough edit might be helpful, but then, you probably know that.

I admire your writing. I will be reading more of it in the coming days. A rich, rewarding and informative book.

All the best

Fran Macilvey, "Trapped" :-)

zap wrote 1508 days ago

hi Raymond,
I have read a few chapters and will endeavour to read the lot, as this story is opening up a whole new world. Superb writing skills. A variety of great characters. The changing Pow's allow for a broad overview of the situation. The adjectives are well chosen to provide the 'feel' of space and time. Not a book for people without a fair amount of reading time on their hands, as this develops slowly.
Some of the landscape descriptions are so poetic, I had to read very slowly and savour the sentiment, so much so that Beaudelaire even sprang to mind. (That's meant as a huge compliment.)
As for the fighting and soldiering aspects you obviously know your stuff and dip right into every corner to make it accessible for the reader. Looking forward to the plot unfolding. On shelf.

Cader_Idris wrote 1788 days ago

Hi RT,

Very intriguing pitch and impressive scope for a story. You know your subject well and have obviously put a great deal of time into researching and laying this out. The suggestions I have are really more general than specific. One thing to keep in mind with HF is that those who have a particular interest in the time period and events will relish in all the details concerning the politics and military actions. In order to reach an even wider audience though, consider taking out a number of those details. This will allow the plotline to become more of a focus and the characters to take center stage. Also, think about combining or eliminating some secondary or minor characters. Each time a new POV is introduced, there is a period of adjustment for the reader; so enough dramatis personae to give the story the necessary depth, but not so many that the reader has a hard time engaging.

I think it's far easier to pare down than fill in (I cut out at least 30K of my last WIP *after* removing nearly 15 later chapters to use in a sequel). Placing this on my shelf for a bit, as I think you have an excellent start to a gripping and rich work.

All my best,
Gemi

Slings 'n' Arrows wrote 160 days ago

Really enjoying this so far, a proper ripping yarn. Up to chapter 5 now. The historical detail is fantastic as everyone has commented and each new chapter has the scene set very evocatively; the sights and sounds of the shipyard, the heat and menace of the 'gator infested swamps. I think the pacing of the story is excellent and I like the way the plot twists are delivered very suddenly; shocking the reader as the story takes a new direction - the first we know of the plot to steal the gold being underway is the sight of the lieutenant with a knife in his back. The frequent switches of POV work well too. Dilly is particularly well written and I love the way that you spell words the way he would say them when he is just thinking to himself. Cracking stuff - love it.

Chris 1 wrote 180 days ago

A very intricate, well-detailed look at the machinations of government at war in the opening chapter portraying the rivalries and jealousies in the offices of power.

Yoiu must have done a hell of a lot of research for this and it doesn't overpower the narrative or the characters, there's just the right amount of detail to pull the reader into their characters and motives.

Political intrigue intrudes with a mission to provide funding to the Mexican politicians to resist the infiltration of the French-installed puppet Maximilian that may provide a foothold for the return of an imperialist European enclave that may present a threat to the Union already embroiled in a bloody internal civil war.

Then we move closer to the pending action in the dock yards where the ship is being built that will take the financial aid to Mexico and there are Confederate saboteurs bent on crippling the ship as it is soon to set sail introducing an element of tension.

This is an excellent premise for a story and held my interest. You've obviously invested a lot of time, knowledge and passion in your subject, a cut above a lot of historical dramas.

On my shelf and five stars.

Kaychristina wrote 221 days ago

Raymond, returning the read (at last!), and I am still reading... this extraordinary piece of history brought to flesh and bone.

I am up to ch.5 at the moment, and have to rest awhile as it's so late. I made some notes alongside my browser as I read over the last couple of nights, so I'll paste them in now --

Ch.1
Washington D.C.
Feb. 1863
Atmospheric opener,and we have Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton (aka *Mars* to the President), is working as a Father de Aquila waits outside for Stanton's ritualistic appearance in his lit window. Aquila, resigned to his fate and to God, readies his Colt Walker gun.
Typo alert --
*Secretary Stanton had an early meeting with General Halleck this morning and he was not looking fore(E)ward to it.* (No *e*... ha.) (I now see you're not concerned about typos... but I noted it, so there.:¬) )

I do like how you've set this scene up, and the way it ends, the words of the priest, the young soldier, is quite something.

Next section in this chapter =
The White House
Smooth link here from Stanton's slightly earlier thoughts, to Chase, the Secretary of the Treasury, arriving at the White House. Again, it's atmosphere is palpable - and a fascinating portrait of how the White House looked, the crowds of soldiers and the fires on the lawn, that frozen mud.

Now we have Chase's thoughts, and what thoughts they are... the currency being *backed by the wind alone...*

Your turns of phrase are astonishing, and written with, I suspect, as much ease as that collapsing cheap tent...
Salmon P. Chase... and dark days ever-present in his dark thoughts, to be sure.
Oh - Typo alert --
"God knows it is cold enough outside." He said as........ Should be "...............outside," he said as he located a free chair..............
Ah, you have a couple of those here - full stops at the end of dialog where there should be a comma... i.e.
"...I only hope it is as well... later today," Chase said ominously (,) as a shadow passed...................
and
"....... and as agreeable as always,(comma)" Desmond Frontwell offered. "It is our...."
A little comb thru for these dialog stops where there should be commas is needed, I think. I know it seems trivial in this monumental, truly wonderful work, but it does jar a bit... slapped wrist. (My wrist, too, for mentioning them.)

I LOVE the piece on Chase's face adorning the currency, and what follows.

Seward... has a way with words!!
I do love Chase's thoughts - his attention wandering *..back to whatever God abandoned Whig mercantile interests Seward was droning on about. This was promising to be a long morning.*

Indeed... and we have the gold shipment nicely set up and there for all us readers to worry about.
***************
Santa Cecilia, Mexico Feb.7 1863
And we have it. I can almost hear that Mexican lament playing.
Santa Cecilia lives and breathes, your conveying the heat rising out of the cold of Washington in the sections above. And that road from Laredo - so close to the Alamo.

The description and history are beautifully written - although I think some might say it's too much information, before we get to the crux of the matter, the ship - *Docked quietly at this stone wharf......"
Personally, I love the atmospheric build-up to *seeing* that ship. I guess you could, if any Editor said as much, portray all this through the eyes of the Lieutenant on his way to meet Juarez, or even Juarez himself in his coach, perhaps greeting the Lieutenant and then settling at his desk. Just a suggestion, and I hope you don't mind it. (I'm also wondering if this section might serve you better as a separate chapter - easily done in Word as 1A, and inserted here. It's also because ch.1 is very long as it stands, and it might help to get more readers here turning the page - less tiring for on-screen reading!!)

I love the portrayal of Benito Juarez himself, the U.S. ship *Albemarle* waiting, the young Lieutenant Haberston charged with carrying a letter for Mr. Lincoln that could change the face of history.

Ch.2
Dry Dock
May 20, 1863
Great Egg Harbor, N.J.
*Quittin' Time*
I think perhaps you lived in those times, Raymond - this is yet another location you've given life to right here on the page.
One of my great-grandfathers was a Master Shipwright - how little I knew!
This fine ship, our friend the *Albemarle*, has your Dock Superintendent Brian Lewes, an *easygoing man in the company of some rough individuals* - even those *steel-eyed bastard* Pinkerton men. Rumors... indeed.
Dale Hawkins, the poor boy of a patsy who's to stay aboard, and Davey Sommers. And a man with a long knife...

The tension, with this twist, is palpable.

Aha... revelations. The struggle of War then as now, and you've made it breathtakingly real.

Ch.3
Aboard... what fascinating, ordered mayhem, what an utter shame. And more revelations.
The gold... and our Lieutenant Haberston himself.
This has left me breathless.

Ch.4
Follow the gold... that yellow metal God, as Nokomis, the scout, thinks - rightly so, I reckon. Not a bad plan of his own, either.
And oh, Dilly... and what will become of that oilskin packet of papers?
The papers... the future of America in his hands, for so little time.

From the atmospheric beginning, through the vibrant colors of Mexico and heart-stopping dirty dealings at the docks, the thrilling ride aboard our noble ship, the Albemarle, to the swamplands of the Hata Coochee and the exhausted Confederate Camp, down to those elusive documents and the thoughts of Seminole scout, Nokomis as to that yellow metal God... this is one great heck of a story.

Wonderful, masterful. And awaiting a place on my shelf loaded with white-metal stars.

From Kay
(The Fortune Of Annacara)

Laurence Howard wrote 391 days ago

One of the best books on the site! I thrive on history...just had the 'Lincoln' DVD given me which I'm looking forward to seeing. Glad I noticed your book before the end of month. I hope my backing and rating will help lift you nearer to your goal. Well researched executed. A great example of well crafted prose. Eloquent imaginative and intriguing. You deserve every success with 'A Bend in the Trail'.
Backed with pleasure.
Laurence Howard, The Cross of Goa

carol jefferies wrote 398 days ago

Hi Raymond

A Bend in the Trail

There is no doubt that this story, set in Washington DC in 1863, is well-written and well researched.

The opening chapter makes a compelling read with the priest, Father de Aquila, about to shoot dead the President's secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton, even though this means he will have to sacrifice his own life in the process. No motive is clear why he should want to do this. I guess this comes later. The description of the actual shooting is realistic.

There is plenty attention to detail and historical information.

I look forward to reading more.

High stars and good luck with it,

Carol Jefferies
(The Witch of Fleet Street)

LondonFog wrote 418 days ago

HI Raymond, i've been looking over your book for a while, reading little bits, and it's nice to see that it's rising back up the ranks

Tom

hockgtjoa wrote 418 days ago

Hi Ray, If I read this right, the Albemarle was sabotaged and then made two trips round the Horn before sinking near Florida. Wow, what pitch perfect timing. I think the meeting with Chase and Seward might have been livelier reading but the opening chapter about the failed attempt to assassinate Stanton was great. Keep on trucking!

medleyed sounds wrote 440 days ago

Good combination of telling detail and high octane storytelling.

T M Robinson wrote 441 days ago

You write well. Your descriptions are clear.
I feel there are a couple of things working against you.

The book is very long and filled with extraneous settings and characters, which may be historically relevant, but slows the developement of the story, which I'm led to believe starts with the theft of the gold. This doesn't take place until chapter three. If you're prefacing a story with a flashback, the prologue, which agents typically hate, needs to be short and to the point.

You've chopped the chapters into mini-scenes, where you provide historical background with little or no character development. I read to the end of chapter four and couldn't identify a protagonist, although the characters were numerous.

If you want to increase your chances of being published, you'll need to edit the manuscript to something less than 90,000 words. A publisher is reluctant to take on voluminous works by debut authors due to cost. This would allow you to re-structure the book and increase the pacing of the story.

If you plan to self publish or simply write for enjoyment, the length won't be a problem.

Either way, I wish you the best of luck

LondonFog wrote 442 days ago

Hi Raymond

I found it very enjoyable, if not a slight bit depressing to read your first chapter, after i had finished it i couldn't wait to comment, and i will simply say this, if i can ever write with the flow, the eloquence and the seemingly effortless skill you do, then who knows where i would be.

But until then, this 20 year old will have to stick to where he is.

Ps. I'd be very greatful if you gave the first couple of chapters of my book a once-over, and any criticism would be greatly welcomed.

Tom

LondonFog wrote 442 days ago

Hi Raymond

I found it very enjoyable, if not a slight bit depressing to read your first chapter, after i had finished it i couldn't wait to comment, and i will simply say this, if i can ever write with the flow, the eloquence and the seemingly effortless skill you do, then who knows where i would be.

But until then, this 20 year old will have to stick to where he is.

Ps. I'd be very greatful if you gave the first couple of chapters of my book a once-over, and any criticism would be greatly welcomed.

Tom

LondonFog wrote 442 days ago

Hi Raymond

I found it very enjoyable, if not a slight bit depressing to read your first chapter, after i had finished it i couldn't wait to comment, and i will simply say this, if i can ever write with the flow, the eloquence and the seemingly effortless skill you do, then who knows where i would be.

But until then, this 20 year old will have to stick to where he is.

Ps. I'd be very greatful if you gave the first couple of chapters of my book a once-over, and any criticism would be greatly welcomed.

Tom

Terri L. Doutrich wrote 456 days ago

Well done! Your vocab is perfection and story line is superb!

smartguy360 wrote 457 days ago

As a history buff I love the concept of weaving real historical events or figures into a novel it reminds of a book I read called sakara

Jane Marple wrote 486 days ago

Raymond, I have just read the first three chapters and am rather impressed with the whole thing. You clearly know your subject matter well, but don't allow the weight of research to get in the way of telling a good story. The pacing is perfect, with a fine mixture of descriptive prose and plot-development-through-dialogue. The piece does need a proof read, as there are a few minor typos and inor grammatical errors, but nothing that gets in the way of the story. I will read on.

Tottie Limejuice wrote 495 days ago

I've only had time to read the beginning of this but it is clearly a well researched and well written piece which draws the reader in from the start. I always love a tale with different threads coming together and this starts out in a tantalising way which makes the reader want to go on and discover all the links and twists of the plot.

MC Storm wrote 503 days ago

I've only managed to read 2 chapters and must say what a captivating story! Your descriptions leave nothing unanswered.I was hooked from the very beginning.
I am by far no expert and am simply pointing out. My only qualm, small as it may be, there are 3 paragraphs in a row that start with Father de Aquila. maybe consider taking the middle one and rewording.
Overall, this story is gripping and very engaging.
I plan on returning to read more!
MC
Exposed

lustrouslook wrote 505 days ago

I hope my complete support is helpful, too.

CMTStibbe wrote 626 days ago

Its not surprising this book is in the top one hundred here at Authonomy. I have been coming back to read chapters when time permits and continue to be enthralled, captured (siezed) by the characters and the pace of this book. A Bend in the Trail is one of the best books on here. Vivid detail, extensive research which is not surprising since Terry clearly loves history, and a crisp writing style that doesn't overwhelm. This is how to write Historical Fiction with just the right amount of information to intrigue a reader and a great story to match.

Still reading, Raymond . . . still captivated.

I wish there were more stars to give.

All the best.

Claire, The Snare of the Fowler.

Abby Vandiver wrote 638 days ago

I think this is a good story. It makes you want to turn the page, but your pitch really draws you in. I love period pieces. I think that you should break up the chapters, it's hard to read when the chapters are long.

Really good story and good job writing.

Abby

Di Manzara wrote 640 days ago


Hello Raymond,

You are a talented storyteller that makes me really jealous. I admire your choice of words, the length of your sentences and paragraphs, and even the spot on use of punctuations. You clearly know what you're doing and you're passionate about it. To master everything about writing and come up with a really intriguing plot is just amazing.

Straight-forward approach, honesty of the narrator, fully-developed characters. This is just great! I hope you do well in the rankings and I wish you all the best. Highly starred!

May I invite you to read and rate my book as well? Thank you in advance for your help!

D
LEO & ROVER: THE PURPLE MARBLE ADVENTURES


Raymond Terry wrote 651 days ago

The conflict in the story is the American Civil War, or...War for The Independence of The Confederacy, as you may prefer. Secretary Stanton was not assassinated, although factions loyal to the reigning Catholic Monarchy in Spain , were very interested in gaining their former ascendance in Mexico. Benito Juarez, had effectively 'nationalized' church holdings and The United States was actively aiding the Juarez government against the European powers. After the death of Lincoln, Napoleon the third, did succeed in placing a Hapsburg, Maximilian, as 'Emperor of Mexico. Needless to say, the plan fell apart.

Hi Raymond,

This is a lot more complex than any war story I've read before. I've read the first chapter, and I want to do some research on the history of Mexico as I read the rest. From what I've gathered so far, this takes place just two years after the Reform War (1858-1861) has ended, so which conflict is going on in the story? Also, I'm wondering - was Father Joachim deAquila gunned down for shouting and shooting at the War department after he assassinated Secretary Stanton? Is that reading the first part right?

Raymond Terry wrote 651 days ago

The conflict in the story is the American Civil War, or...War for The Independence of The Confederacy, as you may prefer. Secretary Stanton was not assassinated, although factions loyal to the reigning Catholic Monarchy in Spain , were very interested in gaining their former ascendance in Mexico. Benito Juarez, had effectively 'nationalized' church holdings and The United States was actively aiding the Juarez government against the European powers. After the death of Lincoln, Napoleon the third, did succeed in placing a Hapsburg, Maximilian, as 'Emperor of Mexico. Needless to say, the plan fell apart.

Hi Raymond,

This is a lot more complex than any war story I've read before. I've read the first chapter, and I want to do some research on the history of Mexico as I read the rest. From what I've gathered so far, this takes place just two years after the Reform War (1858-1861) has ended, so which conflict is going on in the story? Also, I'm wondering - was Father Joachim deAquila gunned down for shouting and shooting at the War department after he assassinated Secretary Stanton? Is that reading the first part right?

Kestrelraptorial wrote 652 days ago

Hi Raymond,

This is a lot more complex than any war story I've read before. I've read the first chapter, and I want to do some research on the history of Mexico as I read the rest. From what I've gathered so far, this takes place just two years after the Reform War (1858-1861) has ended, so which conflict is going on in the story? Also, I'm wondering - was Father Joachim deAquila gunned down for shouting and shooting at the War department after he assassinated Secretary Stanton? Is that reading the first part right?

fictionguy wrote 719 days ago

Good story telling and plot. There is some problems with sentence on occasion, but overall a good well constructed novel with good narative Five stars.

MrsGray wrote 725 days ago

Terry,

I loved the beginning of this! A great job, overall, of making me feel like I was right there in the midst of D.C. You offer a great hook in the beginning, making the reader anxious to find out why the assassin felt he had to give everything to accomplish his mission.

Your writing is excellent and your characters full.

It is not immediately clear that this is a period piece. I mention it only in case that was not your intention. It does become apparent eventually and I had no qualms then.

I look forward to reading more of this finely crafted piece.

Excellent writing! High stars!

April Gray
The Illuison

R.E. Ader wrote 728 days ago

Very skilfully written, the pace is perfect, the characters well developed. A great example of good fictional writing. Best of luck with this, as it should have already been snapped up by a publisher. High stars

Melissa Writes wrote 780 days ago

Wow, I'm can't believe I left this masterpiece sitting on my list of books to read for so long - this is a muli-layered story with so much depth and a rich appeal. Written with skill and power.
I throroughly enjoyed being swpt along by the tale - the characters are crafted with the loving touch of a dedicated writer - so much hard work has gone into the writing that I will definitely be placing A BEND IN THE TRAIL on my shelf, as soon as I can make some space.
Melissa
Lessons in the Dark

Freese Frame wrote 785 days ago

Wonderful Florida book. I hope this is available online somewhere, I'd like to gift it.

JamesRevoir wrote 786 days ago

Hello Raymond:

What a gripping story! It is clear that there is a lot of passionate research which has gone into its preparation, which is an unspoken given for any work of historical lit. Some of the details of the historical figures might be lost on the uninitiated but the story stands on its own, regardless of how familiar one is with the historical context.

I have given this prolific work six stars and added it to my watchlist.

Blessings to you for wonderful success.

James

Trace Elner wrote 786 days ago

So far as I have read, this is a well thought through thriller with superb narrative that leads the reader. Going to read more, get it finished and then comment some more -can't wait!

Su Dan wrote 787 days ago

you use an effective narrative to relay your very good book...
BACKED...
read SEASONS...

Shelby Z. wrote 818 days ago

What a thrilling opener!
It grabs the readers attention.
I think you could put a little more tension, but that it just a thought.
You really develop this opener really well. I like the way you did it.
Your words flow well.
Nice title.
Good work!

Shelby Z./Driving Winds

P.S. Please take a look at my pirate adventure Driving Winds.

jlbwye wrote 818 days ago

A Bend in the Trail. I've just read Clive Cussler's Lost Empire, and your pitches remind me of it vaguely (ships, Mexico). So I've chosen this one to review.

Ch.1. This promises to be one book I wont want to put down. A strong opening, posing intriguing mystery and action.
History is coming full circle isnt it. ?Economcis and finance is a perrenial problem in any age.
But perhaps the ensuring meeting is a tad slow moving so early on in the book? That's a long-winded speech from Seward, even though the backstory is being described as well.
I like the way you describe the Mexican scenery, and the sinuous paths assembling into wider streets towards the plaza and the church. The picture is well set in my mind's eye.

Ch.2-3. I'm settling comfortable into the leisured pace of undercover work in the docks, now, and learning much. Even the shipwreck is somehow treated in measured, leisurely fashion.

Ch.4. Must leave you and Dilly and dNokamis now, in their pursuit of the yellow metal.

I neednt tell you that you write very well, with a good command of your subject. It has been most interesting.

I wonder what you'll think of my very different book...

Jane (Breath of Africa).

Kim Padgett-Clarke wrote 841 days ago

I must admit I am not a fan of historical fiction but your LP sounded intriguing so I decided to take a look. Your writing style is very skilful. I have to admire all the research you must have put in to get the facts and the feel of that era just right. I would say this is a book leaning more towards a male readership. I did get a little bogged down in some of the detail in The White House section but as I say, this is probably because I am not a great fan of historical fiction. Someone who is would no doubt find this spot on. I don't know how big this genre is but I would say in that world, you would easily be in the top ten with A Bend In The Trail. Good luck on your way to the ED and finding a publisher with insight.

Kim (Pain)

strachan gordon wrote 856 days ago

Hello Raymond , an ambitious work and one that is very well written , particularly in dealing with well known historical personalities such as Chase and Seward , which puts me in mind of Gore Vidal's 'Lincoln' , it will be iunteresting to see if the latter makes an appearance.Watchlisted and starred.Would you b e able to look at the first ochapter of my novel 'A Buccaneer' which is set amongst Pirates in the 17th century , with best wishes from Strachan Gordon

tojo wrote 863 days ago

After starting at chapter 1 and reading half way through chapter 2. I knew would read all the chapters of this , as they say in film speak "a roller coaster ride" in the three years I have been here on authonomy this book is as good as I have ever read, three days of joyful, by the pants reading, does need a bit of polishing though, the word gold used instead of could, and other words, but did not stop or bother me a jot. Put it on my shelf two days ago, pleased to have it there. 5*****.

Portraits Of A Small Peasant.

GRHWagner wrote 864 days ago

It takes a special voice to breathe life into America’s cold dead past. This author has that voice, and in the opening chapters brings history alive and lively to the reader. But that is only the beginning of a complex story that continues into the present, from the 1860’s to 2012, and spans the far reaches of this continent from Washington D.C., up to the Jersey boatyards, down to Florida Keys, across to Mexico, and out to the wide expanse of the Mojave Desert of California, and entertains with colourful characters from many walks of life and landscapes more diverse than any single artist could manage in one lifetime. However, this author is a master at the enormous undertaking that this convoluted story breathes into the minds of any who dare to follow the trail of gold over the past century. Like a treasure hunt and a scramble to see who can latch hold and keep a hold of the most slipperish find ever rumoured to exist, it changes hands so many times and causes such misfortune to those who touch it, one begins to believe it cursed, as is anyone who touches it. And I am well drawn into this story and ready to begin chapter 18, not even halfway through, yet. Outstanding.

RB Ray wrote 867 days ago


Hi Raymond (Great name)

I've put 'A bend In The Tail' on my watchlist. I have peculiar working hours so, if I don't get back to you in a couple of days don't worry, I will be back.

In the meantime, could you take a look at my 'Motive Irrelevant'? It's a crime thriller with a few twists.
Any comments you have will be more than appreciated.

Regards

RB Ray

California girl wrote 881 days ago

This reminds me a little of Clive Cussler but stands on its own as a historical thriller, better than those Nicholas Cage movies. Super!

ShebaDiva2 wrote 901 days ago

This is so carefully researched and well-written. I knew little of this time period and place before now. Quite a find. I'm grateful for a good read and new knowledge. Fascinating. I could certainly see this published in the U.S but am not certain of its wider appeal.

Willard F. wrote 902 days ago

This was an unexpected joy for me to read. It's right up my alley. Well done and I'll come back to read more.

mick hanson wrote 902 days ago

Did Stanton really bend down to tie his shoelace at that particular moment? If that was the case then so be it, but if not and it is a product of your imagination then it does seem a little out of sync with the caliber of the rest what I have read. The priest who was in an high state nervousness could have just simply missed - sweaty palms - poor marksmanship, the conflict within, unable to hit the side of a barn at 20 paces etc.

This is a wonderfully, patient, rich, and well written book with all characters speaking and behaving the way that you would expect for the period in question. I'm sure that later in the book a fuller picture will emerge concerning the historical context in which all of this happened. After all you cannot have such giant figures of American history being written about at such a crucial time as the American Civil War, without mention of tactics and the wider battlefields not only of politics, but the various campaigns themselves. This is indeed a very big book with great aspirations and I only hope you reach that plateau of contentment and creativity. For my part I can only support what I feel is one of the better books I have stumbled upon around these parts - Mick (A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall)

zanon wrote 903 days ago

I haven't any suggestions except to get ths published! It's a great book.

Raymond Terry wrote 915 days ago

The War Department
Your blend of conflict and action works well to draw the reader in.

The White House
The detailed, intricate information that you weaved into the storyline makes it an interesting read from a historical perspective. Your information about the National Currency Act and the roundup of political adversaries gives depth and credibility to your story.

The implied battle of egos between the different administration officials (Seward and Chase) adds realism to the heightening conflict.

Your element of an international conspiracy adds a new wrinkle to the historical perspective of the Civil War that works to increase the interest level of the reader.

Santa Cecelia, Mexico
I direct you to the section that begins and ends as follows: “You are most kind, Lieutenant, …Godspeed Lieutenant.” This long monologue sounds and has the effect of a speech. I suggest shortening it, or breaking it into sets of exchanges between Juarez and the lieutenant.

The plot is complicated and very detailed. Perhaps too detailed. There are so many characters for the reader to keep track of, they would almost need to take notes to know who is doing what. I ran into the same problem with my manuscript. My solution was to simplify. I eliminated the name of some characters so that the reader would not attempt to keep track of them and focused on preventing the plot and subplots from getting bogged down. The problem you face is that if the reader gets lost, bogged down, or can’t keep track of what is happening in the backstory, then they may not proceed to the events introducing the main characters, and more details to keep track of, when you bring them into the present.

I love how authentic the dialogue aboard ship in Chapter Three is.

You established a firm foundation for the modern events you set up. Rarely is this accomplished in such a thorough manner.

The story is very informative as you paint very vivid scenes. Excellent writing but too much detail. Still, six stars and a place on my shelf. I will have to come back to read more.



Thank you so much, jsaul 2003. You have no idea how many characters I have already eliminated from this story. The very nature of what is attempted here demands the service and complicity of a cast that is simply huge. In the present decade, which follows the 1863 segment I have worked hard to clarify relationships but there is no way to kill off additional characters without detriment to the story. I will be providing a character list at the front of the published work so that the rteader will have a reference point going forward.

Again thank you for reading the book. OI assure you that it was fun to write. RT

jsault2003 wrote 916 days ago

The War Department
Your blend of conflict and action works well to draw the reader in.

The White House
The detailed, intricate information that you weaved into the storyline makes it an interesting read from a historical perspective. Your information about the National Currency Act and the roundup of political adversaries gives depth and credibility to your story.

The implied battle of egos between the different administration officials (Seward and Chase) adds realism to the heightening conflict.

Your element of an international conspiracy adds a new wrinkle to the historical perspective of the Civil War that works to increase the interest level of the reader.

Santa Cecelia, Mexico
I direct you to the section that begins and ends as follows: “You are most kind, Lieutenant, …Godspeed Lieutenant.” This long monologue sounds and has the effect of a speech. I suggest shortening it, or breaking it into sets of exchanges between Juarez and the lieutenant.

The plot is complicated and very detailed. Perhaps too detailed. There are so many characters for the reader to keep track of, they would almost need to take notes to know who is doing what. I ran into the same problem with my manuscript. My solution was to simplify. I eliminated the name of some characters so that the reader would not attempt to keep track of them and focused on preventing the plot and subplots from getting bogged down. The problem you face is that if the reader gets lost, bogged down, or can’t keep track of what is happening in the backstory, then they may not proceed to the events introducing the main characters, and more details to keep track of, when you bring them into the present.

I love how authentic the dialogue aboard ship in Chapter Three is.

You established a firm foundation for the modern events you set up. Rarely is this accomplished in such a thorough manner.

The story is very informative as you paint very vivid scenes. Excellent writing but too much detail. Still, six stars and a place on my shelf. I will have to come back to read more.

billysunday wrote 946 days ago

Read the first two chapters in Bend and was blown away. Especially impressed with your opening scene of the Mexcian priest's assassination attempt. Your research is second only to a Civil War historian. And the way you use history as a means of setting up your plot is brilliant. Your style makes it easy to picture this as a movie. Have you read Killing Lincoln? That's on my Christmas list. Did you see that movie about John Wilkes Booth and his gang of conspirators? (Can't think of the title) Many years ago I had to take a history grad class to get my MA. I was upset that Lincoln and the Civil War was the only open class that fit into my time slot. Turned out to be my favorite class. Your book is something I recommend and rate with six stars. This is something I would buy.
Dina of Halo of the Damned and Bad Juju

Wanttobeawriter wrote 947 days ago

A BEND IN THE TRAIL
I thought from your pitch, this story was going to begin in the present and then flashback to the origin of the money. Because I like historical fiction, it was a nice surprise for me to see it begins in 1863 and then goes forward. You’ve obviously done a lot of research to include so many historical characters in the story. Made me believe this really could have happened. Overall, an interesting read. I’m adding this to my shelf. Wanttobeawriter: Who Killed the President?

Cyrus Hood wrote 948 days ago

Raymond, this is a well researched and written work, you clearly understand your subject thoroughly. The tone is brooding and tense and the dialogue crisp. I have only read the first chapter however I will return to your book soon as this is a subject that intrigues me ( the machinations of 19th century American politics are complex and fascinating). I was drawn in from the first sentence - this book will surely make the editor's desk, or I'll eat my hat!

good luck

regards

Cyrus

CMTStibbe wrote 948 days ago

I ask myself, can a good book become a great book and if so, how? Raymond Terry delivers a hair-raising ride in A Bend In The Trail that makes the leap from ‘good’ to ‘astonishing’. This is certainly best-seller material and deserves to be published. Terry is obviously a good writer, and I fear that any other book I read will just not be good enough. If my father was still alive, this would be an excellent present for Christmas. He would tear through it in no time. The delivery in Chapter 1 is first rate, leaving the reader reeling in a pool of shattered glass, and a priest's utterance of two significant words certainly caused a shiver down my spine.

Any reader might wonder if Terry’s research was generated by real-life experience, wrung from stoic determination and humor. There is an undeniable atmosphere about the descriptive prose that lulls me into the scene without effort. Detailed, but not onerous, beautiful without being wordy. The research alone deserves 6 stars. It’s an unputdownable read which will host a bevy of fans in no time. Still reading and in the meantime, shelved. Claire ~ Chasing Pharaohs.

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