Fire Along the Sky

Fire along the SkyThe year is 1812 and Hannah Bonner has returned to her family’s mountain cabin in Paradise. But Nathaniel and Elizabeth Bonner can see that Hannah is not the same woman as when she left. For their daughter has come home without her husband and without her son…and with a story of loss and tragedy that she can’t bear to tell. Yet as Hannah resumes her duties as a gifted healer among the sick and needy, she finds that she is also slowly healing herself. Little does she realize that she is about to be called away to face her greatest challenge ever.

As autumn approaches, news of the latest conflict with Britain finds the young men of Paradise—including eighteen-year-old Daniel Bonner—eager to take up arms. Against their better judgment, Nathaniel and Elizabeth must let him go, just as they must let his twin sister Lily, a stubborn beauty, pursue her independence in Montreal. But on the eve of the War of 1812, an unexpected guest arrives from Scotland: It is the Bonners’ distant cousin, the newly widowed Jennet Scott of Carryckcastle. Far from home, Lily and Jennet will each learn the price of pursuing their dreams and the possibility of true love.

But it’s Hannah herself who must risk everything once more—this time to save Daniel, who’s been taken prisoner by the British. As the distant thunder of war threatens Paradise, Hannah may learn to live—and maybe love—again in one final act of courage, duty, and sacrifice.

Questions that pop up:

Fire Along The Sky – it’s a book title written by
Robert Moss. Are you staying with that title? and I”m curious to know about Queen of Swords – is that part of the Wilderness Series? and Is It? or Is It not at this point?
love your series, of course…….


As I suspect these questions will come up again, I thought I’d answer here.

First, the title of the new book (number four in the series) was changed from Thunder at Twilight to Fire Along the Sky. This decision was not totally my own; Bantam has final say on titles. And yes, the title FAtS has been used before, by Robert Moss.

By law a title can’t be copyrighted, and so they are often reused. According to the U.S. Copyright Office:

Names, titles, and short phrases or expressions are not subject to copyright protection. Even if a name, title, or short phrase is novel or distinctive or if it lends itself to a play on words, it cannot be protected by copyright. The Copyright Office cannot register claims to exclusive rights in brief combinations of words such as:
= Names of products or services
= Names of businesses, organizations, or groups (including the name of a group of performers)
= Names of pseudonyms of individuals (including pen name or stage name)
= Titles of works
= Catchwords, catchphrases, mottoes, slogans, or short advertising expressions

Could you put out a novel called Gone with the Wind? Sure, if you can get your publisher to go along with it. How about Catch-22 or Pride and Prejudice? Yup, you can go right ahead. Is it a good idea? That’s another question.

Confused? Well, copyright law is confusing, especially when you toss in trademark issues. Of course, my titles aren’t copyrighted, either. In March of 2003 a new novel by Rosanne Bittner — Into the Wilderness — was released by Tor Books. In contrast, Moss’s novel called Fire Along the Sky has been out of print for quite a long time. As you know if you read this blog, it wasn’t my first choice for a title, but I do like it, and I’m very comfortable with it at this point.

And yes, the next novel in the series, the fifth one, is called Queen of Swords. It’s the one I’m working on now, and coincidentally, I leave tomorrow morning for New Orleans to do some research and attend the re-enactment of the Battle of New Orleans, which is the centerpiece of the novel.