Reviews

Another Winner!!!

By C. Malito “In The Long Road Home, Nick West has once again created an engaging read. With what I can only imagine is months of research, he weaves his characters’ lives and emotions into the dark days of America’s Civil War. Many little-known facts about the armies are related in a way that keeps the book from being pedantic. A must-read for history lovers!”

September 28, 2017
Dear Nick

I have just finished reading To Light A New Fire. I’m so glad you sent me a copy. Thank you again.

BRAVO!! How wonderful that you were inspired to write this story. As I was reading it, I kept thinking how much more history I would have learned is school if the lessons had been fashioned more along this venue. I also kept thinking how very exciting it must have been for you to go on such a journey of discovery with all the research you did and, most of all, finding factual history of real individuals, places and events.

For many years I have regretted with passion, the fate of the Indians of North America. I never found any arrowheads, but as a child I “played cowboys and Indians” and I was always an Indian. It was thrilling to learn a little more about Florida history and especially something of the Timucua.

Lastly, we are in Ma Eros Hiri. I think of it every single day. For you, it was the perfect time in your life to have written this book. You are fortunate indeed to have a loving, extended family. I will always remember your mother and father with much affection. They were good people. So, your roots are showing.

With love and best regards,
“M”




5.0 out of 5 stars A Family Story with a Great History Lesson, December 1, 2011
By Lynda D. Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is for: The Long Road Home: The death and birth of America (Paperback)

I thought I knew a fair amount about this period of history. I am amazed at how much I learned in reading this great story which follows friends who end up on different sides of this tragic time in our country. I am impressed by how much research the author must have done to provide actual letters, speeches, photographs, etc. which brought this story to life. I felt the pain of loneliness of wives and children left behind while the “menfolk” went off to uncertain destinies. The descriptions of the depression and despair felt by men on both sides of the conflict was moving. You will come away from this book with a greater appreciation of the generation who found themselves on both sides of arguments, some of which continue to this day. Knowing that this story is about real people who survived – and some who did not – made it all the more compelling. Some pages I had tears in my eyes, and some moments gave pure joy in a lighter moment described – like a breakfast of bacon and biscuits! You will never forget the people you meet between the covers of this impressive work of family and national history.




5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read, November 1, 2011
By: M. Jones, Live Oak, Florida
This Review is for: The Long Road Home: The death and birth of America (Paperback)

Nick, I finished The Long Road Home this weekend and truly enjoyed it. Not only did I learn a lot, I found myself looking forward to each new section. I was glad to see that you have already started on the third book in the series!




5.0 out of 5 Stars Excellent Read, November 10, 2011
By Clestia W., Atlanta Georgia
This Review is for: The Long Road Home: The death and birth of America (Paperback)

Just a note to let you know how much I enjoyed reading “The Long Road Home”. You are truly a Great writer and I still can’t believe it’s you writing these books. I am sure your Grandmother and Mother would have been so proud of you. Please let us know when the next book comes out I am looking forward to reading it.




5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read, March 1, 2010
By Rebeca Sue RobisonSee all my reviews(REAL NAME)
This review is from: The Great Southern Circus: THE ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME (Paperback)

Just a note to let you know how much I enjoyed reading “The Long Road Home”. You are truly a Great writer and I still can’t believe it’s you writing these books. I am sure your Grandmother and Mother would have been so proud of you. Please let us know when the next book comes out I am looking forward to reading it.




5.0 out of 5 stars Most Accurate Circus Book I Have Read, March 8, 2010
By Joe Amos “Joe Amos”See all my reviews
This review is from: The Great Southern Circus: THE ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME (Paperback)

I have read other circus books and this one seems to more accurately portray circus life as it was in the mid 1800’s. My grandfather’s parents were both in the circus during this period of time. My grandfather told me his aunt was the most famous bare-back rider in the world. His aunt’s name was Miranda Madderra. James Thomas Madderra and Nancy Ann Lawles Madderra were his grandparents. These people are central characters in “The Great Southern Circus”. They have been accurately described in this book. This book was very exciting for me. I think you will enjoy it also.
I know this family, my family, lived through some terrible times during and after the Civil War. Many of them were involved in awful battles. Sherman marched through the Tennessee River Valley burning everything in his path. None of the family ever had slaves or were in favor of slavery, but they joined the Confederate Army when the Yankees invaded their territory.
I had never heard of Nick West before this book, but hope to meet him someday. It seems his father is my third cousin.
Joe Amos




5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful look back, March 8, 2010
By Rachel “Rachel”See all my reviews
This review is from: The Great Southern Circus: THE ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME (Paperback)

I loved this book and can’t wait for Nick West to give us another chapter! It is an easy read and I enjoyed learning how James and Randi fell in love. I had no idea how rough life on the road with a traveling circus was, and “The Great Southern Circus” gives a colorful, passionate insight into the lives of circus-folk. He touches on the racial landscape in the months leading up to the Civil War without allowing it to cloud the story of a budding romance. I would recommend this book to high schoolers and older.




5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Reading, March 8, 2010
By Peggy Krause (Lodi, California) – See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
This review is from: The Great Southern Circus: THE ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME (Paperback)

A delightful and easy read for people who are lucky enough to have circus folks as ancestors. And for the people who enjoy a good love story, this one is a charmer. Set in the middle of the nineteenth century, we get front row seats under the big tent as we watch the ringmaster introduce the Big Show, and watch as the grand performance is about to begin…A very enjoyable book and I’m looking forward to more books from this author.




5.0 out of 5 stars Great historical, regional read!, December 16, 2010
By Norma D. See all my reviews
This review is from: The Great Southern Circus: THE ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME (Paperback)

I loved this book! The historical theme entwined with a touching love story was endearing. I cannot wait for the sequel. I wholeheartedly recommend this book (& it’s sequel when available) as a engrossing and poignant testimony to how much times have changed and how our ancestors endured so many hardships. It is a humbling and accurate portrayal of a life we can only, remotely imagine. Read the book and feel the trials and tribulations our ancestors have endured. Bask in their bonds of family ties and love everlasting (I hope)(the sequel, please!).




5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Southern Circus, March 15, 2010
By Tammy CooperSee all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
This review is from: The Great Southern Circus: THE ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME (Paperback)

After reading The Great Southern Circus , I found it hard to believe that Nick West had not written before. The historical research really opened my eyes to what it must have been like to travel in a circus as the Civil War was approaching. The book left me wanting to know more~ as I reminded myself that this was indeed a “true” story! I so hope he continues to write. It was a great read!!




5.0 out of 5 stars Jessica Cooper, March 15, 2010
By Jessica E. Cooper “jessie cooper”See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
This review is from: The Great Southern Circus: THE ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME (Paperback)

I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on the next book. My grandfather is the author and he is SUCH a talented man! I could not be more thankful to have this family history. But EVERYONE should read this book!</p>




5.0 out of 5 stars Opened My Eyes, October 24, 2010
By CherylSee all my reviews
This review is from: The Great Southern Circus: THE ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME (Paperback)

I started this book yesterday and finished it the same night. I honestly could not put it down. I will admit that I NEVER even thought of a circus during the Civil War Era. How dangerous the times were but what a GREAT adventure and love story. I MUST know more about the characters and what happened to them. I’m awaiting a sequel for SURE!!!




5.0 out of 5 stars a way with words, September 29, 2010
By C. MalitoSee all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
This review is from: The Great Southern Circus: THE ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME (Paperback)

Nick West gives the reader a fascinating peek into circus lives in the mid-1800’s. His book is easy reading, yet his use of words gave me several opportunities to ponder events in the lives of his characters. This book is well-researched and well-written. I anxiously await the next chapter in this saga.




5.0 out of 5 stars Ancestry comes alive for me!, April 14, 2010
By Judy McCombs “Loves Labs”(Aledo, TX USA) – See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: The Great Southern Circus: THE ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME (Paperback)

In researching my Madderra ancestors I found Nick West as a fellow researcher. When I learned he had written the story of James Thomas (J T) and Nancy Ann Lawless Madderra I immediately bought the book. The story was riveting and explained so much in such an enjoyable style that I could not put the book down!! The main love story is about the eldest daughter Miranda – and what a love story it is!! My great-grandmother was her little sister, Virginia, but to “meet” the rest of the siblings and Great-Greats has been such a wonderful treat for me. They come alive for me. To know the life of the circus in that era is fascinating!! It is amazing – the hardships and difficulties, and the sheer entertainment of circus life of their time! And what an adventure for them all! Relative or not, it is a beautiful book and can be enjoyed by all ages…I did not want it to end but to continue on and on and on. Thank you Nick West!! You have done a great job!! Continued success with the next volumes! And hurry up!!!




5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable, June 18, 2011
By Dana R. BerrySee all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
This review is from:The Great Southern Circus (Hardcover)

The Great Southern Circus was most enjoyable from cover to cover. All of the characters seem very familiar and immediately accessible. Looking forward very much to the sequel. Having family who lived in Georgia and Florida during this time period, it provided a window into their world that was most enjoyable!




3.0 out of 5 stars Less accurate than the author implies, March 30, 2011
By Bob Dodson(Reno, NV) – See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: The Great Southern Circus: THE ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME (Paperback)

I am a descendant of the Orton family. So like the author Nick West, I too was told many circus stories while growing up. I enjoyed reading the book but I believe Mr. West on his next book, should either remove his statement at the end, declaring the stories are true or take fewer liberties with the facts.

It’s still a good read. Just realize it’s more fiction than fact.




5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Southern Circus, January 15, 2011
By Connie HowardSee all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: The Great Southern Circus: THE ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME (Paperback)

This is one of the most interesting books about the Circus and life as it was during the 19th Century. I could not put the book down once I read the first sentense. Mr. West is a very talented writer, giving us a beautiful love story along with lessons in life. I have known this family for a long time; heard stories about life, moving to Florida, trials and disappointments and I am looking forward to the sequel with much anticipation. My hope is that Mr. West will continue to write for our enjoyment!




5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Southern Circus, March 19, 2010
By Janet AilstockSee all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
This review is from: The Great Southern Circus: THE ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME (Paperback)

The Great Southern Circus is not only about circus folk in the 19th century in the southern United States. It also portrays the culture of the south and the character of our southern ancestors. Nick West captures the language and culture of the times, but most of all the fortitude, passion and creativeness of that generation. We are all so lucky to have have Nick share with us their fears, hopes and dreams. I am looking forward to reading the sequel. Great Book.

  • The Great Southern Circus

    In the early summer of 1859, an Alabama farm boy named James Johnston had no idea that his life was about to change forever. The clouds of civil war were gathering when he met Miranda “Randi” Madderra, a beautiful young bareback rider with a small traveling circus

  • The Long Road Home

    The Long Road Home” is a personal story of the lives of James Johnston and Miranda Madderra, the characters you met in “The Great Southern Circus”. This time you will follow their emotional journey through the dark years of the American Civil War.It is a story of hope, despair, joy, heartache, bitter division and reconciliation on a personal level for friends divided by war.

  • The Sandspur Special

    From the author of The Great Southern Circus and The Long Road Home comes the highly anticipated sequel... Snakes, haints, and gators lie in wait for the Simmons family when they move south to north-central Florida in 1917.The family faces an uncertain and frightening future in this strange new land long before paved roads, electricity or indoor plumbing.

The Great Southern Circus

The First Book in the Long Road South Series....

The Long Road Home

The Second Book in The Long Road South Series....

The Sandspur Special

The Third and final Book in The Long Road South Series....

To Light a New Fire

The Book in To Light a New Fire Series....