historical fiction

The Brittle Land Historical Fiction Book 3 Extract

The story so far.

Magda Asparov travels to America on the Titanic for an arranged marriage to a corrupt American businessman, Matthew Turner III. When the Titanic hits an iceberg on the crossing from Britain to America, Magda is saved. But in the trauma of the sinking, Magda is knocked unconscious. When she awakes in the Captain’s cabin of her rescue ship, The Lady Jane, Magda has no idea who she is, her memory of herself prior to the Titanic tragedy has been wiped.

Magda is renamed Maggie by the rescue ship’s captain, Richard Blackmore, and on arrival in New York Blackmore takes her under his wing. The couple fall in love.

But lurking in the background is Matthew Turner, and his henchman, the deadly killer William Harker, who is searching for news of Magda.

Eventually, Magda’s memory is restored, and she is kidnapped by Harker. Turner is astounded when it turns out Magda is with child.

Eventually, under some duress, Magda weds Turner and the couple make a new home with a new business in Alaska. But Richard Blackmore is hot on their trail.

The Brittle Sea historical fiction novel review:

“I’m impressed at the way the author switches the characters from Magda to Maggie. And the dialogues he uses are realistic. Tom Kane is, no doubt, a very good storyteller.”


Maggie’s Trauma – Historical Fiction

Magda took a long sip of bourbon and savoured the warmth of the liquid, the subtle fieriness of the smooth liquor as she allowed it to slowly roll around her mouth, before swallowing.

She looked over at the still body on the couch. Blood was congealed on the lacerations across her husband’s chest and face.

“You look a mess, boy.” To her surprise the man groaned, weekly. “Better get a doctor out to you, I suppose. Jake!

The shout echoed through the stillness of the cannery and was rewarded by the shuffling of feet as a small man came scurrying into the room, still putting clothes on as he entered.

“Did I wake you up?” Magda asked, sarcastically.

“No, Ma’am.” If nothing else, Jake, Magda’s manservant come gopher, knew the right words to say at the appropriate times.

“Good. I need you to go and fetch that doctor we use from the town.”

“Doctor Ryan?”

“Yes, the good looking young man. Get him up here and let him take a look at that,” Magda said, pointing to Turner’s now silent and still form. “See what he can do, I’m going to have another bourbon. I’ll be in my office.”

Magda heard Jake leaving the building as she shut the door to her office. She placed the bottle of bourbon and her glass clumsily on her desktop, unslung the rifle from her shoulder and put it in the corner stand. Splashing more of the brown liquid into her glass Magda sat down heavily in her leather chair. She took a long gulp of the spirit put the glass down and leaned back, her chair’s leather creaking. It had been a traumatic evening. But she felt there was the closing of a door, a finality to the evening. Why that would be so she wasn’t sure. Her husband had repeatedly told her  who had kidnapped her, kept her hostage for his own pleasure. Yet, that had never rung quite true.

Magda sighed, took another sip of bourbon and placed the glass on her desk. She leaned back and closed her eyes.


It was the soft sound of her own gentle snoring that made her sit up and look around. She recognised nothing. The office, the desk, the bottle of bourbon and the chair she sat in. Even her clothing was alien to her.

A knock on the office door startled her. The door opened and a little man looked around the door. “The doctor is here, Ma’am. He’s with your husband.”

She stared at him, open mouth working but no words coming out.

“Are you okay, Ma’am?”

“Who… who are you? Where am I?”


Maggie looked around the unfamiliar surroundings and back at the small man framed in the doorway. “Where’s Richard?”

The small man entered the room fully and took slow steps toward his employer, stopping at the large desk. “Are you feeling okay, Ma’am?”

Maggie shook her head. “I remember a doctor, somewhere hot… I’m so confused.”

Another man entered the room, one of the Chinese guards Magda had made carry Turner into the cannery. He took one look at Jake and sneered with contempt.

Jake took the look for what it meant and sidled out of the room.

The guard was carrying a rucksack and he dropped it at the side of the desk close to where Maggie sat. “Wan’ us to find body?” The man’s Chinese accent was thick, and it reminded Maggie of someone. “Mr. Lee? Are you Mr. Lee from The Lady Jane?” But even as she asked the question Maggie realised this man stood before her was too young to be Mr. Lee.

The man ignored the question and repeated his own question. “Wan’ us to find him?”

“Him? I don’t… who do you men? Find who?”

The man’s expression changed to one of confusion. “You shoo’ ‘im.” He pointed to the rifle in the corner of the room.

Maggie looked at the gun, and then it dawned on her. She had shot somebody, a man… but why and who was the man?

Copyright © Tom Kane 2020

1st Draft of my latest Historical Fiction novel The Brittle Land, Book 2 in the Brittle Saga Trilogy. Estimated publication date January 2021.

Read a sample of book 1 below

Reviews for The Brittle Sea – Historical Fiction Novel

“The pace is brisk, punctuated with a quick succession of events, over a course of a few years and keeps the reader engaged.”

“It’s difficult to find the words to describe how it feels to read a book that sucks you into its story line and holds you captive until the end.”

“It’s got romance with insta-love. It’s got murder and mystery. It is told from different points of views which I enjoy in a book because you get more depth. This is book one of three and it’s an outstanding start.”

“I love books set in the early 1900’s and when I saw this was set around the sinking of The Titanic I couldn’t wait to read it. It certainly lived up to my expectations.”

“I’m impressed at the way the author switches the characters from Magda to Maggie. And the dialogues he uses are realistic. Tom Kane is, no doubt, a very good storyteller.”

“An absolutely incredible book by Tom Kane. It’s a must read. I was blown away by the incredible writing and story.”

“From the gripping first scene The Brittle Sea becomes and stays, a fast paced page turner. I couldn’t wait to get to the next chapter and now I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.”

The Brittle Saga is an historical fiction saga running from 1911 through to post World War 2. Book 1 available now on paperback and eBook and on Kindle Unlimited/Amazon Prime.

Kindle: http://mybook.to/BrittleSea-eBook
Paperback: http://mybook.to/BrittleSeaPaperback

Cover art for the three books in The Brittle Saga Trilogy historical fiction novels.

historical fiction

historical fiction

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