Alton J. Myers’ Fiction Explores a Dark Period in European History

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“Calico Dance” weaves a sprawling yet clear account of this historic period by sharing a riveting tale of a family’s survival and escape from a war-torn country.

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Hidden in the annals of European history is the crucial Thirty Years’ War between the Catholics and Protestants in Germany during the 1600s. It was a warfare that devastated the entire regions, drastically reduced the population and developed widespread hostilities involving much of Europe—a tremendous occurrence seldom told and taught. For author Alton J. Myers, an event as significant as that war shall always be remembered for it has made a great impact in history. In his book, Calico Dance: Escape to Sweden, he has woven a fictional account about a family in the midst of a war-torn country as they struggle to survive and escape the bloodbath to remind readers of the effects and horrors of a prolonged war.

This tells about the life of a hypothetical family as they face the terrors of the Thirty Years’ War in their own soil. It focuses on the year 1631, soon after the King of Sweden has invaded the German countryside. This family, and particularly their son John, are so impressed by the Protestant king and his army that they become followers, trusting him and his army to protect their Protestant cause. In the German state of Hesse, where they live, uprisings of soldiers and peasants take their toll upon their home and family. Their house is burned and land taken. Thus, they flee their homeland to head north.

In this historical fiction novel, the son joins the Swedish army and becomes a Swedish citizen while still in Germany. His example soon becomes a model for the family, including the two daughters, Karin and Jutte (You’ta), who are wandering nomads, homeless and looking for a peaceful and meaningful solution for their future. In their escape north, this family meets others who are also on the run. It is with sadness they leave Germany, but they gain hope for peace and stability for their family in this new culture and climate as they decide to become Swedes.

Myers has skillfully woven historical events into the lives of a fictional family and gives insight on man’s inhumanity to man during this dark period in European history. Told in a simple manner, this story of hope amidst the tragedies stirs your imagination as you experience the family’s harrowing flight to freedom.

About the Author
Alton J. Myers is a retired minister and teacher who experienced the Detroit riot as a graduate student living there in the summer of 1967. Through his historical fiction Calico Dance, he presents readers another opportunity to explore historical fiction through the events of 1631. The author finds fiction a good way to tell his stories about life and the changes it brings into the lives of people who live the times. He has attended a number of universities, having been a science and mathematics teacher before becoming a minister and an author.

Calico Dance * by Alton J. Myers
Escape to Sweden
Publication Date: April 22, 2008
Trade Paperback; $19.99; 113 pages; 978-1-4134-0922-2
Trade Hardback; $29.99; 113 pages; 978-1-4134-0923-9
eBook; $9.99; 978-1-4535-9508-4

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (610) 915-0294 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879.

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