The best historical fiction anthologies

Why am I passionate about this?

We are the Paper Lantern Writers, an author collective focused on historical fiction of all eras. From Medieval Europe to the Gilded Age (and beyond), in locales around the world, from romantic to tragic and back again, our books will take you on the journeys of a lifetime. There’s a story to be told every where you look and we'd love to be your tour guide. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, and join our Facebook group SHINE.


I wrote...

Book cover of Unlocked: A Paper Lantern Writers Anthology

What is my book about?

In much the same manner as Pandora, each Paper Lantern Writer takes a turn opening an old wooden chest, digging out stories spanning seven centuries. The individuals in these tales—heroes, villains, and in between—are more than people from the past. Whether they are making mayhem, waging war, or quietly holding their families together, their strength and fortitude shines on the page. From the Swinging Seventies to the Middle Ages, these characters gather, keep, and spill the secrets of their souls.

Who knows what treasures will be found when this ancient trunk is finally Unlocked?

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of A Wild Rose

Linda Ulleseit Why did I love this book?

Amazon’s Point in Time series is a unique approach to a collection of stories from seven well-respected historical novelists. Each story is available separately as a $.99 ebook, or on Kindle Unlimited as a free collection. A Wild Rose is one of my favorites because the fabulous Fiona Davis wrote it, and I have to read everything she writes.

By Fiona Davis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Wild Rose as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A troubled concert pianist searches for a new inspiration among the hidden back hallways of Carnegie Hall in bestselling author Fiona Davis’s bold short story of artistic ambition in 1950s New York.

World-renowned pianist Gloria Banderas is at the height of her career when a curious ailment forces her to cancel a sold-out performance at Carnegie Hall. The same day, she befriends one of the many free-spirited artists inhabiting the warren of apartments above the theater. With her career and marriage at a standstill, Gloria moves into an empty studio and convalesces among the poets, photographers, and dancers who eke…


Book cover of Lord John and the Hand of Devils

Linda Ulleseit Why did I love this book?

Diana Gabaldon is a powerhouse in the historical fiction genre. Her Outlander series is one of my absolute favorites. In between the release of books in the main series, I content myself with stories about Lord John, an important but secondary Outlander character. This book includes three stories about Lord John.

By Diana Gabaldon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lord John and the Hand of Devils as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Deftly written, pleasantly concise stories about the ghosts of desire, each with its own discrete merits . . . [Diana] Gabaldon’s strengths are on full display.”—Kirkus Reviews

Diana Gabaldon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the celebrated Outlander series, delivers three mesmerizing tales of war, intrigue, and espionage that feature one of her most popular characters: Lord John Grey.

In Lord John and the Hellfire Club, Lord John glimpses a stranger in the doorway of a gentleman’s club—and is stirred by a desperate entreaty to meet with him in private. It is an impulse that will lead Lord John…


Book cover of Stories from Suffragette City

Linda Ulleseit Why did I love this book?

The stories in this book all take place on the same day in 1915, when over a million women marched in New York for the right to vote. Stories like this appeal to me because so many of the women who worked tirelessly for this achievement are not familiar names. These stories give them a voice. One of my own ancestors was a suffragette. Maybe she was part of this march!

By M.J. Rose (editor), Fiona Davis (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stories from Suffragette City as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Stories From Suffragette City is a collection of short stories from the leading voices in historical fiction that all take place on a single day. The day one million women marched for the right to vote in New York City in 1915. A day filled with a million different stories, and a million different voices longing to be heard. Taken together, these stories from writers at the top of their bestselling game become a chorus, stitching together a portrait of a country looking for a fight, and echo into a resounding force strong enough to break even the most stubborn…


Book cover of Grand Central: Original Stories of Postwar Love and Reunion

Linda Ulleseit Why did I love this book?

This book features stories by different authors who envision the crowds of people passing through Grand Central Station in New York and choose to tell ten stories of people returning from Europe at the end of World War II. It’s a time of upheaval and great change in the world and in their lives. I love when the macrocosm of the world can be distilled down to a single person’s story.

By Melanie Benjamin, Jenna Blum, Amanda Hodgkinson , Pam Jenoff , Sarah Jio , Sarah McCoy , Kristina McMorris , Alyson Richman , Erika Robuck , Karen White

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Grand Central as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ten bestselling authors inspired by New York City's iconic Grand Central Terminal have created their own stories, set on the same day, just after the end of World War II, in a time of hope, uncertainty, change, and renewal….

A war bride awaits the arrival of her GI husband at the platform…A Holocaust survivor works at the Oyster Bar, where a customer reminds him of his late mother…A Hollywood hopeful anticipates her first screen test and a chance at stardom in the Kissing Room…
 
On any particular day, thousands upon thousands of people pass through Grand Central, through the whispering…


Book cover of Dark Side of the Loon: Where History Meets Mystery

Linda Ulleseit Why did I love this book?

These stories are tied to some of Minnesota’s most famous events, back to 1830, and tell stories of fur trappers, pioneers, train robbers, and gangsters. Minnesota is the setting of my upcoming novel. I read novels and stories like this help fix the setting into my mind as I wrote.  

By Sheyna Galyan (editor), Christina Glendenning (editor), Timya Owen (editor)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dark Side of the Loon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

''Minnesota nice'' casts a long shadow. Dark emotions and even darker thoughts seep from these murky depths, harvested by writers whose stories take us down in flames, up in smoke, and leave us helplessly entranced by the haunting call of the loon.

Foreword by Ellen Hart, award-winning author of the Jane Lawless and Sophie Greenway series, and MWA Grand Master.

Stories by Lori L. Lake, Marlene Chabot, Michael Allan Mallory, Carol Huss, Marcia Adair, Natalie Fowler, Barbara Merritt Deese, A.W. Powers, Cheryl Lewis, Christine Husom, Cheryl Ullyot, Karl W. Jorgenson, Marcie Rendon, Sherry Roberts, Midge Bubany, M.E. Bakos, Greg Dahlager,…


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Death on a Shetland Longship: The Shetland Sailing Mysteries

By Marsali Taylor,

Book cover of Death on a Shetland Longship: The Shetland Sailing Mysteries

Marsali Taylor Author Of Death on a Shetland Longship: The Shetland Sailing Mysteries

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Sailor Women’s historian Cat-lover Temporarily limping But determinedly recovering

Marsali's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Liveaboard sailor Cass Lynch thinks her big break has finally arrived when she blags her way into skippering a Viking longship for a Hollywood film. However, this means returning to the Shetland Islands, the place she fled as a teenager. When a corpse unexpectedly appears onboard the longship, she can run from the past no longer: Cass and her family come under intense scrutiny from the disturbingly shrewd Detective Inspector Gavin Macrae.

Even if Cass’s local knowledge and sailing wisdom help to clear the Lynch family of suspicion, they may not be enough to stay ahead of the murderer’s game... and avoid becoming the next victim.

Death on a Shetland Longship: The Shetland Sailing Mysteries

By Marsali Taylor,

What is this book about?

When she wangles the job of skippering a Viking longship for a film, Cass Lynch thinks her big break has finally arrived - even though it means returning home to the Shetland Islands, which she ran away from as a teenager. Then the `accidents' begin - and when a dead woman turns up on the boat's deck, Cass realises that she, her family and her past are under suspicion from the disturbingly shrewd Detective Inspector Macrae. Cass must call on all her local knowledge, the wisdom she didn't realise she'd gained from sailing and her glamorous, French opera singer mother…


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