Coyote weather is the feral, hungry season, when everything is drought-stricken and ready to catch fire.
It's 1967 and the world is going to hell in a hand basket.
The country is forcibly sending its young men to fight in a deeply unpopular war.
African Americans have had enough of Jim Crow.
Women have had enough of a lot of things.
And over it all looms the politics of the Cold War and the real possibility of a nuclear war.
In the face of the Vietnam War and a culture violently remaking itself, Jerry has stubbornly made no plans for the future because he doesn't think that, in the shadow of Vietnam, the Cold War and atomic bomb drills, there is going to be one. Ellen is determined to have a plan, because nothing else seems capable of keeping the world from tilting. And the Ghost, who isn't exactly dead, just wants to go home to a place that won't let him in, the small California town where they all grew up.
Coyote Weather is a spectacular re-creation of a lost but essential time in our history—California, the '60s, Viet Nam—nobody has ever captured it more accurately or written it with more understanding—from several different perspectives. A must read. Bravo!
— Lee Smith, author of Guests on Earth
This splendid novel describes the Vietnam generation's feelings about the war in Southeast Asia, the draft, relationships, the counterculture, psychedelia, women's issues, commitments, sexual tensions, and the looming uncertainty of where we were headed as individuals and a country. It's a trip, with all that and more combined in an artful, beautifully written journey.
— John Ketwig, author of …and a hard rain fell: A G.I.'s True Story of the War in Vietnam
A wonderful historical novel, filled with love, doubt, courage, defiance, war and peace, a desire to belong. The characters feel at once familiar and new, ordinary and complex, and so marvelously alive. A treasure of a book.
—Kristina Gorcheva-Newberry, author of The Orchard
The Vietnam War rages through Amanda Cockrell's masterful novel, Coyote Weather, a story about young love in an impossible, chaotic, fear-driven time. A poignant, compassionate, and suspenseful read, I couldn't put it down.
— Elizabeth Poliner, author of As Close to Us as Breathing
The Borderlands series
Book I: Shadow of the Eagle
Book II: Empire's Edge
"I only need one word to describe this stunning novel: masterful"
Anthony Riches, author of The Empire series
"A haunting, historical epic"
Gordon Doherty, author of Sons of Rome
"...will surely become a real fan favourite for years to come. It's a riveting, rich, and rewarding novel that every historical fiction lover needs to read."
Steven A. McKay, author of The Druid
EARLY SUMMER, 838 ab urbe condita, from the founding of the City, in the fourth year of the Emperor Domitian
The men from Hibernia were a bright ring around Tuathal where he sat in the great chair by the hearth. And where had that chair come from, Faustus wondered. It was just enough like a throne to make a statement.
Cassan, the youngest of the three, wore enough gold to sink a small boat and a woolen cloak of bright red and green like a parrot. His pale hair fell over his shoulders as he leaned forward. Fiachra was older, no less showily dressed, with a formidable dark mustache and bright blue cloak over a scarlet shirt. Finmall was brown-haired and lanky, with a lazy way of moving that made Faustus think of Galerius, in Isca Silurum with the Second Legion Augusta where theoretically Faustus should be also. The assignment to help Tuathal Techtmar train his motley war band to retake his father's throne in Hibernia was strictly unofficial.
Finmall was doing the talking. All three of them spoke British with a soft overlay of the tongue of the island they called Inis Fáil and the Romans Hibernia. "Eochaid Ainchenn of Laigin will come to your banner when you land."
"What surety of that?" Tuathal asked. He was tall and lankier than Finmall now, some seven years since Faustus had first met him as a boy of fourteen with his father's sword and a singleminded purpose. His dark hair was bound with a gold fillet, and he sat at ease in the great carved chair, his boots to the fire. It was summer but the coastal villages of the Epidii were chill at night when a sea mist rolled over them like a cold blanket.
"His word, and because Laigin is in your path to Elim mac Conrach and Eochaid does not find Elim mac Conrach worth Laigin's blood," Finmall said. "Not anymore."
Tuathal nodded. He and Faustus were both inclined to take Finmall's assessment as truth. Finmall and Cassan and Fiachra had been Fíachu Finnolach's men before Elim Mac Conrach of Ulaid had usurped the throne by murder, which as far as Faustus could tell seemed to be the way that the high kingship generally changed hands. It was at any rate the way that Tuathal's father Fíachu had acquired it from the king of Ulaid who had succeeded Tuathal's grandfather. The lesser kings of Ulaid, Laigin, Connacht, and An Mhumhain were bound to the High King only so long as he could hold the throne, and clan ties counted for more than political ones. Fiachra, Cassan and Finmall, lordless after Elim's victory, had attached themselves instead to the merchants who traded across the water to Britain and Gaul and whose caravans were tempting targets, supplemented by raids on those who declined their services. They had had twenty-one years to go where the merchants went, which was everywhere, and to listen.
The Centurions quartet
The Border Wolves
Volume 4 in The Centurions series
"For anybody who loves fiction about Imperial Rome in the far reaches of Britain, Amanda Cockrell has the finest sense of history, character, and narrative I've seen since Rosemary Sutcliff, and that's saying something."
- Delia Sherman, Mythopoeic Award-winning author of The Porcelain Dove
"A thrilling, exciting Roman adventure in the tradition of Rosemary Sutcliff's Eagle of the Ninth"
- Alex Gough, author of Emperor's Sword
Volume 1 in The Centurions series
Brothers and rivals in the Legions of first century Rome
Volume 2 in The Centurions series
"...an engrossing, funny, informative book...this series is virtually flawless. Correus Appius Julianus and his brother Flavius become men in the course of their battles to conquer wild, superstitious Britain in the first century A.D. The author is sympathetic to both the beleaguered Britons and the well organized Roman conquerors. There's a feel of real life, including the grit and fear, in the brothers' adventures and in the concomitant maturing of Ygerna, a scared thirteen-year-old when first captured by the Romans, who becomes a true princess as she learns to mediate between the old ways and the new. The supporting cast is lively and varied. The Mt. Vesuvius explosion that buried Pompeii adds historical realism. ..pays serious attention to emotional causality, gaining its effects from genuine feelings rather than stereotyped responses."
– West Coast Review of Books
The Emperor's Games
Volume 3 in The Centurions series
The Wall at the Edge of the World
"For anybody who loves fiction about Imperial Rome in the far reaches of Britain, Amanda Cockrell has the finest sense of history, character, and narrative I've seen since Rosemary Sutcliffe, and that's saying something."
-- Delia Sherman, winner of the Mythopoeic Award for The Porcelain Dove
"When surgeon Postumus Justinius Corvus performs an act of bravery and gallantry, he is awarded an honour, a promotion, and a reassignment from Syria to his home in Britannia. But this is a bittersweet assignment, as it looks like he will be forced to confront family ghosts and personal emotional conflicts. Transferred to the northern reaches of the province, he is on the frontline of the Eagles – the last Wall between the Empire and the North has been left to rot. A new, capable and practical Governor is commanding, and he's intent on obeying the Emperor. A new wall, from East Coast to West, will happen. And Corvus, only intent on treating casualties, is torn; he's a Briton but he's also Roman. In fact, his family honour is based on being in the Eagles. So which way can he turn?
This novel is a fine mix of story and history, and the author manages to shed light on a period when the Roman Empire flexed its muscles at the edge of the world."
-- Alan Cassady-Bishop, The Historical Novel Society
The Legions of the Mist
"Amanda Cockrell's first novel is more than an auspicious debut; it is an extraordinary achivement. She tells us an abundantly various and exciting tale, based solidly on assimilated historical fact and yet richly innovative, imaginatively speculative wherever it must be so. Ms. Cockrell has chosen, and been chosen by, a haunting era just on the edges of present memory, a place where myths begin. And she has made the most of it."
-- George Garrett
What We Keep Is Not Always What Will Stay
Saints and soldiers and the Untied Church of Dog
"There was a late frost last night and you could hear the wind machines going all over the valley to keep the oranges from freezing. They set up funny echoes sometimes, tricks of the sound waves. I kept thinking I could hear the Underworld doors banging shut behind someone, Jesse maybe. Or maybe just behind all our mistakes."
Fifteen-year-old Angie didn't used to think too much about God - until things started getting weird. Like the statue of St. Felix, her secret confidante, suddenly coming off his plinth and talking back at her. Like Angie's mom, about to bust up her third marriage for no apparent reason. And weirdest of all, Jesse Francis, home from Afghanistan with his leg blown off and expected to fit back in at school. Does any of it make sense or is life - and the deity, who's supposed to have a handle on stuff like this - as mixed up as the bumper sticker Angie sees from the "Untied Church of Dog"?
Against the advice of an increasingly vocal St. Felix (who knows a thing or two about war), Angie finds herself falling for Jesse's allure - a guy who's been through so much more than regular high-school kids. But Jesse is battling some major demons, and as Angie starts losing control of the situation, she has to ask - can one person ever make things right for someone else?
A Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbon book.
“Amanda Cockrell has written a zinger of a novel with serious import—here’s the real human tragedy of the Hollywood blacklist with verve and style. Cockrell’s unerring sense of time and place allows her to present California without cliche, then and now, as she shifts between past and present time. A mesmerizing read.”
-- Lee Smith
“Take an authentic and evocative summoning up of more than half a century of Hollywood history, from the silents to the hard edges of here and now; add on a lively and diverse cast of characters, credible people as surprising and memorable as the pilgrims in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales; mix well with a suspenseful, page-turning story; then season with humor and with style, and you have the enchanting formula for Pomegranate Seed. Amanda Cockrell is a master magician and this novel is a pleasure to read from first to last. See for yourself.”
-- George Garrett
The Horse Catchers Trilogy
"Amanda Cockrell's books are the most satisfying stories about prehistoric people that I have ever read. Like Patrick O'Brien's sea stories, they are funny, humane novels of character and manners, as well as excellent adventures"
-- Ursula K. LeGuin
When the Horses Came
The Trickster's gifts come with a price. A long time ago he gave a new animal to the people of the Southwest, and changed the world.
Children of the Horse, Volume 2
Blue Jay and his sister Dances, descendants of the now-legendary Horse Bringers, travel to the Cities-in-the-West in search of more horses.
The Rain Child, Volume 3
Rain Child, in search of a stray horse, finds instead a magical treasure. The iron pot is the first of four enchanted gifts that Coyote will use to lure Rain Child and her horses north for his own purposes.
The Deer Dancers Trilogy
"A work of mythic beauty"
-- Kathleen O'Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear
Daughter of the Sky
“In our current political climate, what concerns could be more contemporary than these: What is the role of the artist? What good does any individual’s art contribute to the people? What toll does making art exact on the individual? Which changes are the good changes?
“Believe me, she knows how to tell a good story. But lots of writers know how to tell a good story. Knowing, too, how to give texture and meaning to characters as removed in time as these; and knowing how to examine the spiritual world by depicting the physical one—these are rare gifts.”
-- Monty S. Leitch, Roanoke Times
Wind Caller's Children, Volume 2
The coming of Maize
"A novel of magical realism"
-- Ursula K. LeGuin
The Long Walk, Volume 3
Others' Child and Night Hawk roam along the trade trails to the shore of the Endless Water..
By my mother, Marian Cockrell
Now back in print, in an expanded edition with the original illustrations and cover art, and six new chapters.