TEN TITLES SINCE 1999, ELEVEN LITERARY AWARDS
**Including Latest: Dolet, an historical, nonfiction novel (see below)
ALSO: Three Pfefferkorn mystery novels translated into Spanish by André Csihas, available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble in trade paperback or Amazon’s Kindle and B&N’s Nook: El jesuita y el brujo; El jesuita y la tormenta; El jesuita y La Caridad, or at www.twilighttimesbooks.com.
ALSO: The latest Pfefferkorn mystery, Unrest in Eden, translated into German by Dr. Renate Scharffenberg: Unruhe im Paradies, available at www.amazon.de.
Twilight Times Books, 2015
2016 pinnacle Book Achievement Award
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. One of the university’s finest professors was accused of heresy and burned at the stake. Etienne witnessed the execution, and his revulsion launched him on the path of rebellion that would ultimately doom him. He gave two public lectures in which he attacked the university administrators, the clergy, the city council, and Gascony in general for barbarity far from true Christian behavior. He was imprisoned—accused of fomenting a public disturbance and also of heresy. Released thanks to the intervention of moderates, he fled to Lyon, a city more tolerant of modern ideas and the French center of fine printing (a new art, less than 100 years old). He apprenticed himself to master printer Sebastien Gryphius and afterwards set himself up as an independent printer to King Francis I. He married a printer’s daughter, Louise Giraud and had a son, Claude. His support for those who believed that the Roman Church needed reform from within, and his publication of the Bible in French translation (the Church wanted to keep it in Latin as the sole domain of the clergy) brought him again to the Inquisition’s attention. 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.
The print version of Dolet is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble Bookstores, Brodart, Coutts, Davis-Kidd Booksellers, Emery-Pratt, Follett, Ingram, The Book Despository, The Book House, etc.
Cover art by Tamian Wood.
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Fantasy Novel – Metaphysical Suspense:
Anselm, a Metamorphosis
Twilight Times Books, 2013
2014 Pinnacle Book Achievement Award
2014 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award, Finalist
Christians believe the spirit survives the body. The philosopher René Descartes equated mind and spirit and tried to prove them totally separable from the body. Are they?
Eric Behrens, a cocky young Assistant Professor of English literature, has an affair with an undergraduate, Diana Gregg, the daughter of the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Woodward State University in upstate New York. Her father discovers the affair and has Behrens fired. Behrens blames the world and Diana, curses them and wishes he were someone, anyone, else. He trips, knocks himself out, and wakes up in the body of Anselm, an overweight, middle-aged Benedictine monk with a potentially fatal heart defect. He struggles to survive in an alien environment and in a defective body. Can he “go home again”?
“Anselm: a Metamorphosis is an absolutely delightful romp through very esoteric terrain. On one level, the story of Eric Behrens, an emotionally superficial academic transformed into Father Anselm, carries the reader along as a mystery. We want to know what becomes of him. Weinberg’s story-telling ability is filled with details that make the story a delight to read.
At the very same time, the story asks some age old questions that are answered differently depending on when the questions are asked and who is doing the asking.
Are the body and soul separate? Is the mind the same as the soul? Are good and evil separate, with some of us being good people and evil existing in the “other?”
In this current day and age, with Western psychology focused on integration of mind and body and with a focus on the interrelationship between culture and psyche, the questions can be asked differently.
How is the mind grounded in the body of a person? And, in this story, how can Anselm use his new body to learn about himself?
How are good and evil potentially possible in each of us? Can Anselm use his new- found body and his new found culture, the monastery, to learn more about his own negative aspects? As he does, can he also heal the split between one culture and another for himself?
And, of course, what happens to any of us who only follow our own worst choices?
Weinberg’s incredibly sophisticated and detailed use of literature, languages and psychology, in addition to her story-telling skill, create a fun story with much depth as well.” ~ Susan E. Barrett, Ph.D. Psychotherapist
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Historical Novels – Romance:
Apache Lance, Franciscan Cross
Twilight Times Books, 2005
WILLA Literary Award Finalist, 2006
2007 New Mexico Book Award Finalist in two categories: Best Historical Fiction and 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. The story explores a crucial time in San Antonio history, featuring courageous settlers, missionaries, Indian converts and fierce Apache attacks..
“Apache Lance, Franciscan Cross is a riveting novel of historical fiction about a Franciscan Friar, Fray Marcos, and an Apache woman warrior, Ahuila…. If you like historical novels, you will love Apache Lance, Franciscan Cross. But even more, if you appreciate a fine historical novel built on absolutely faultless research, Apache Lance, Franciscan Cross will draw you in as surely as a hummingbird is drawn to its blossom. This is a fine example of the genre, one of the best of its kind.”
— The Midwest Book Review (Read the full review on Amazon.)
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Seven Cities of Mud
Twilight Times Books, 2008
2008 New Mexico Book Award Finalist in Historical Fiction
Two radically different cultures, 16th-century Spanish and ancient Pueblo Indian, collide. Franciscan Fray Agustín Rodriguez leads an expedition to evangelize the Pueblo Indians of the Río Grande. The group totals thirty-one people: three Franciscans, nine soldiers and nineteen servants. The Franciscans persuade Poli, a widowed Pueblo woman, to be their guide. She consents in order to escape a forced marriage to a warrior she suspects of having murdered her husband. The soldiers mutiny, taking charge and making prisoners of the Franciscans. The expedition becomes a gold and silver hunt. Conflicts and passions explode: love and faith oppose anger, brutality, hatred, lust, greed and ambition, with tragic consequences.
See also my scholarly article about the expedition under the title, “History or Mostly Myth? Caveat lector! Discrepancies In Scholarly Accounts of the Chamuscado Expedition, 1581-1582.” This article, delivered at the Historical Society of New Mexico, might whet your appetite.
“To read Florence B. Weinberg’s book “Seven Cities of Mud” is to step back in time to a place in history few of us know or understand. This magnificent, historical novel by one of the best writers in her genre should be on everyone’s book list. I often found myself going back into it several times during the day. Each time I found something new to absorb…. Seven Cities of Mud is a tale woven of brightly colored threads of profound historical fact mixed with fiction. The ultimate prize? A blanket to keep you warm on a cold night while you lose yourself in this wonderfully choreographed read.”
–Janet K. Brennan, aka J. B. Stillwater, is a writer and poet, author of Harriet Murphy: a Little Bit of Something, released 2009.
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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. He risks his life repeatedly and struggles with his feelings for Patricia and his desire to convert the mysterious and powerful shaman, ultimately succeeding in solving the crime.
Father Ygnacio Pfefferkorn, SJ (click image for a larger copy)“Sonora Moonlight is an apt title. In moonlight, things are only partly visible, a perfect metaphor for a good mystery. But also, the soft hues of the night bring our innermost thoughts and feelings to the surface, especially those thoughts and feelings we try so hard to repress. Perhaps this is the greatest strength of Weinberg’s book. In Pfefferkorn, she has not created a priest or a detective, but a man, one who finds himself disturbingly drawn to a young Irish woman, Patricia O’Meara, and to a Pima medicine man, Jehvo. Furthermore, Pfefferkorn’s meditations provide interesting insights about a man who is deeply honest when trying to understand his community, his faith, and himself…”
–- Reviewed by Diana Lopez, author of Confetti Girl
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Twilight Times Books, 2009
2010 Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist in Historical Fiction
2010 New Mexico Book Award Winner in Historical Fiction and Finalist in Mystery/Suspense
Second book in the Pfefferkorn quartet
Sonora, 1766-69: Threatening clouds gather in Europe as political, commercial and clerical powers conspire to destroy the all-too-successful Jesuit order. In New Spain, José de Gálvez, King Carlos III’s Inspector General, seeks evidence of Jesuit corruption. At Mission Ures in Sonora, the captain of a team of soldiers sent to inspect Jesuit Missionary Andrés Michel’s books is murdered. The missionary, accused of murder, calls Ygnacio Pfefferkorn, SJ, to investigate. Ygnacio meets beautiful widow Beatriz Urrutia, seeks out a succession of suspects, nearly losing his life when a hostile Apache tribe threatens torture and death. King Carlos’ order to expel all Jesuits from Spain and her colonies cuts short his search; missionary work ends as the Jesuits are marched across Mexico to end in Spanish prison.
“Florence Weinberg blends religious and political history in this fast-paced historical mystery novel. Colorful and precise landscape description; a blend of real, historical people and fictional characters, all carefully drawn, and intriguing portrayals of Indians tribes makes Sonora Wind a gripping read.
–Ralph Freedman, author of Hermann Hesse, Prilgrim of Crisis and Life of a Poet: Rainer Maria Rilke.
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The Storks of La Caridad
Twilight Times Books, 2004
2011Global e-Book Award Nominee
Third book in the Pfefferkorn quartet
After ten years of prison, eight in Spain, Fr. Ygnacio Pfefferkorn, SJ, is incarcerated in La Caridad Monastery near Ciudad Rodrigo 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 Ygnacio to solve the murders and recover the charter, exposing him to resentment by the monks and mortal danger from many sides.
“‘La Caridad’ works on two levels. First, it’s a rollicking mystery, full of plot twists based on real events, interesting characters modeled after historical figures and more than its share of red herrings, mostly invented by Weinberg. Second, it’s a scholarly recreation of 18th century from the dress to the architecture to the food, thoroughly researched and seamlessly written. And let’s just say that Weinberg knows her Spanish Inquisition and her colonial Catholicism.”
— Reviewed by Steve Bennett, The San Antonio Express (Read the entire review)
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Unrest In Eden
Twilight Times Books, 2011
2013 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 cross-fire of the French Revolutionary Army’s invasion of his homeland.
“In the fourth volume of the Pfefferkorn Quartet, F. Weinberg portrays Father Ignaz Pfefferkorn’s return to his home town, Unkel-on-the-Rhine. Instead of the anticipated paradise, he finds factional conflict, which ensnares him. Once a mysterious murder is solved, peace returns again to “paradise.” Weinberg’s gripping novel portrays, with historical precision, the cultural, political and spiritual situation in the Rhineland of the 18th-century. For the general reader, especially those with historical interests, this book is highly recommended.”
~Rudolf Vollmer, City Historian, Unkel-am-Rhein
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A BOOK IN FRENCH:
Longs désirs: Louise Labé, Lyonnaise
Lyon, France: Editions Lyonnaises d’Art et d’Histoire, 2002
(Translated by Myriam McGinnis)
La France au 16e siècle : Ces pages évoquent la vie de Louise Labé, Lyonnaise, à travers les voix de ceux qui l’ont connue et qu’elle a touchés par son amitié ou son amour, par son inimitié aussi. Leurs voix, leurs souvenirs ajoutés aux siens constituent aussi un mémorial du destin de Lyon.
“Florence Weinberg reconstructs Lyon’s spiritual, cultural, literary, and economic life with painstaking attention, with gusto, refinement and credibility. We can call this interesting and original book whatever we want: fictional biography, love story, the history of a poetic passion. What is certain is that this novel is captivating, well-constructed, serious, at times brilliant, well-anchored historically in a period rendered with meticulous care, illuminated by characters brimming with life, power and passion. I can attest without fear of contradiction that in publishing this book, Editions Lyonnaises showed both flair and inspiration.”
–Valeriu Stancu, Editor-in-Chief of Cronica, Revista de Cultura, a Romanian literary review, of June, 2004
Read an Excerpt
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The Roman bridge across the Agueda River in Ciudad Rodrigo. Still in daily use.