The summer is waning and I have not written a word in weeks. Real life takes precedence sometimes. On the positive side, I have found time to read and there are talented writers out there producing quality books. Like this historical series by RRBC author Ron Yates. Here’s my review for the first book in the Finding Billy Battles Trilogy:
5***** I really enjoyed this story. Just the idea that someone is left with a trunk full of memorabilia, journals and a manuscript describing a great grandfather’s life is so intriguing. And so begins the recount of the life of Billy Battles. This is historical fiction the way I like to read it. Set in the late 19th century, it’s a train ride across America. I know very little about this time period and it was a real pleasure to learn something about it in such an entertaining way. I’m looking forward to continuing with the series.
About the book: When a great-grandson inherits two aging trunks and a stack of meticulously detailed journals penned by his great-grandfather, he sets out to fulfill his great-grandfather’s last request: to tell the story of an incredible life replete with adventure, violence, and tragedy. The great-grandfather’s name is Billy Battles–a man often trapped and overwhelmed by circumstances beyond his control.
For much of his 100-year-long life Billy is a man missing and largely unknown to his descendants. His great-grandson is about to change that. As he works his way through the aging journals and the other possessions he finds in the battered trunks he uncovers the truth about his mysterious great-grandfather–a man whose deeds and misdeeds propelled him on an extraordinary and perilous journey from the untamed American West to the inscrutable Far East, Latin America and Europe.
As he flips through the pages of the handwritten journals he learns of Billy’s surprising connections to the Spanish-American War, French Indochina, and revolutions in Mexico and other Latin American countries. But most of all he learns that in finding Billy Battles he has also found a long lost and astonishing link to the past.
About the author: Ronald E. Yates is an award-winning author of historical fiction and action/adventure novels, including the popular and award-winning Finding Billy Battles trilogy. His extraordinarily accurate books have captivated fans from around the world who applaud his ability to blend fact and fiction.
Ron is a former award-winning foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and Professor Emeritus of Journalism at the University of Illinois where he was also the Dean of the College of Media.
His book, “The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles,” is the second in his Finding Billy Battles trilogy of novels and was published in June 2016. It has won multiple awards, including the 2017 KCT International Literary Award, the 2016 New Apple Literary Award in the Action/Adventure category and First Place in the 2016 Chanticleer International Book Awards in the Literary Category. It was also a finalist for the Diamond Book Award in the United Kingdom. The first book in the trilogy, “Finding Billy Battles,” was published in 2014 and was a finalist for a Laramie Award.
Book 3 of the trilogy, “The Lost Years of Billy Battles,” was published in June 2018.
Ron has been a presenting author at the Kansas Book Festival and the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, among other venues. He is also the author of The Kikkoman Chronicles: A Global Company with A Japanese Soul, published by McGraw-Hill. Other books include Aboard the Tokyo Express: A Foreign Correspondent’s Journey through Japan, a collection of columns translated into Japanese, as well as three journalism textbooks: The Journalist’s Handbook, International Reporting and Foreign Correspondents, and Business and Financial Reporting in a Global Economy.
Before leaving the world of professional journalism where he toiled 25 years, Ron lived and worked in Japan, Southeast Asia, and both Central and South America where he covered several history-making events including the fall of South Vietnam and Cambodia; the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing; and wars and revolutions in Afghanistan, the Philippines, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, among other places.
Ron’s work as a war correspondent resulted in several awards, including the Inter-American Press Association’s Tom Wallace Award for coverage of Central and South America; the Peter Lisagor Award from the Society of Professional Journalists; three Edward Scott Beck Awards for International Reporting, and three Pulitzer nominations.
He is a proud graduate of the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas.
He writes a blog entitled “ForeignCorrespondent” that can be found at: http://ronaldyatesbooks.com/category/foreign-correspondent
His Website and authors pages can be found at: http://ronaldyatesbooks.com