Category: Adult Fiction (18 +), 333 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Content Rating: R. My book is rated R because of foul language, rape, infanticide, and homicide.
July 1854, Colleton District, South Carolina
A half-dozen years before Abe Lincoln’s inauguration, comes another collision between European immigrants and African abductees that does not end well.
By 1854, the Tiffany family had enslaved over 300 Africans for more than a century on the 1,100-acre slave labor camp that they called the Tiffany Plantation. The Tiffanys were the largest rice producer in South Carolina’s Colleton District. While the toil of enslaved Africans earned untold riches for the Tiffanys, the Africans endured violence inflicted to force increased rice production and profits followed by the indignity of the bodies of loved ones being stolen from their graves and delivered to a medical school.
Determined to put a stop to robberies of African graves was Posey, an eighty-four-year-old man whose ancestors came from the shores of the Bigh of Biafra, now known as Nigeria. It was Posey’s expert river-irrigation skills that made Tiffany crops successful.
More conflict arose when James, the new general manager at Tiffany, realized that Posey’s expertise would be essential for the success of a plantation he planned to gain with ill-gotten money and slave mortgage-backed securities. All the while, the widow Ella, an enslaved nurse-midwife, sought to realize her dream of marrying widower Posey. Matters grew worse when Posey thwarted James’ first attempt to force his attention on Penny, a comely young enslaved wife and mother.
Rich with history and a cast of unforgettable characters, Two Rivers is a sweeping saga of two peoples, European immigrants and African abductees. Together, they experience courtships, infanticide, homicide, rape, rebellions, revenge, sabotage, storms, high-stakes gambling, grave-robbing, counterfeiting, and more.
“De troubles Posey be sees” in Two Rivers reminds one of Southern Gothic storytelling.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Content Rating: R.
First Dark is a coming-of-age story, an epic adventure, and a compelling examination of the primary feelings that drive human nature – hate, hope, desire, love, loss, grief, revenge, and forgiveness – as seen by Apache, black, Mexican, and white young adults during and shortly after America’s Uncivil War.
The San Francisco Review described Bob Rogers as a rising author who takes readers back to life and times in the early years of the Civil War, blending a brilliant mix of historic persons with his fictional characters. Celebrating the sesquicentennial year of the famed Buffalo Soldiers, Bob Rogers delivers his most ambitious work yet–a novel that spans their first generation–from Charleston and Vicksburg to Appomattox and desert Apache battlefields.
First came dark days that beset Isaac Rice’s epic journey–America’s wars to settle the “Negro and Indian problems.”
First Dark: A Buffalo Soldier’s Story–Sesquicentennial Edition (with a foreword by General (Ret) Lloyd “Fig” Newton) is an historically correct action novel that follows Isaac Rice, the Tenth Cavalry, and the women who love him. His nineteenth century saga begins in Charleston and contributes to the story of how twenty-first century America came to be. Telling Isaac’s story, Rogers surrounds a host of diverse fictional characters with an impressive nonfiction cast, including historic political, military, religious figures, and entrepreneurs of that era.
Subsequent volumes follow Isaac’s descendants, ordinary nineteenth and twentieth century working people, into and out of calamities–recessions, panics, droughts, world wars, a depression, natural disasters, and the division of people by race, class, and caste. The view through their eyes serves to enhance twenty-first century readers’ understanding of “how things got this way” in America.
Isaac Rice, a teenager on a South Carolina rice plantation, traveling alone, follows a treacherous waterborne route filled with incredible hardships and danger to escape from slavery. Too young to be a soldier, the Union Army hires him to shovel coal on a gunboat. Thus begins Isaac’s westward journey, in which he encounters storms, stampeding buffalo, and the hate of zealous patriots whose causes are antithetical to the nation he is sworn to defend. Undaunted, he pursues respect and dignity on an odyssey from the middle of the Civil War in South Carolina’s Low Country and the Mississippi Heartland, to the Indian Wars on the Great Plains and deserts of Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico.
Isaac’s is an epic tale of young North Americans coming of age amid the violence of the U.S. Civil War, Indian Wars, Reconstruction, and spillover bloodshed from a Mexican Revolution. Telling Isaac’s story required extensive research of 19th and 20th century books, official documents, and letters, plus multiple visits to relevant geographic locations over a period of twenty years.
A memorable set of characters revolve around Isaac–a Confederate guerilla, a black female activist in a Mississippi Constitutional Convention, a Mescalero Apache warrior, a white Union cavalry sergeant, and a Mexican nurse–who raise their voices and bare their souls as the world they seek constantly changes, bringing tragedy to their lives and danger for Isaac.
Bob Rogers is the author of the historical novels First Dark and The Laced Chameleon, which earned critical acclaim from Kirkus Reviews, San Francisco Review, and Baltimore Examiner. Bob is a meticulous researcher, known to spend extra time, magnifying glass in hand, deciphering 18th and 19th-century handwriting for “just the facts, ma’am.” Bob, a former U.S. Army captain and combat leader during the Vietnam War in Troop A, 1/10 Cavalry, finds his topographic experiences useful in field research. If not closeted in libraries or museums, you are likely to find him walking centuries-old rice fields, battlefields, or in a canoe following the river trails of his characters.
He studied at South Carolina State University and the University of Maryland.
Bob tends his flowers, okra, and tomato plants in Mérida, Yucatán, México.