Ronald E Yates

Literature & Fiction

Author Profile

Ronald E Yates

Ronald E. Yates is an award-winning author of historical fiction and action/adventure novels, including the popular and highly-acclaimed Finding Billy Battles trilogy. His extraordinarily accurate books have captivated fans around the world who applaud his ability to blend fact and fiction. Ron is a former foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and Professor Emeritus of Journalism at the University of Illinois where he was also the Dean of the College of Media. His award-winning book, "The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles," is the second in his Finding Billy Battles trilogy of novels and was published in June 2016. The first book in the trilogy, "Finding Billy Battles," was published in 2014. Book #3 of the trilogy (The Lost Years of Billy Battles) has an intended publication date of May 2018. As a professional journalist, Ron lived and worked in Japan, Southeast Asia, and both Central and South America where he covered several history-making events including the fall of South Vietnam and Cambodia; the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing; and wars and revolutions in Afghanistan, the Philippines, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, among other places.

Books

Ronald E Yates

The Lost Years of Billy Battles

Literature & Fiction

Where in the world is Billy Battles? As Book Three of the Finding Billy Battles trilogy begins we know where Billy is. He is in Chicago with his wife, the former Baroness Katharina von Schreiber living a sedate and comfortable life after years of adventure and tragedy. That changes with a single telephone call that yanks Billy and Katharina back into a life of turmoil and peril. Persuaded by a powerful old friend to go undercover for the U.S. government the two find themselves in Mexico during the height of the violent 1910-1920 revolution. There they encounter assorted German spies, Mexican revolutionaries, devious political operatives, and other malefactors. Caught in the middle of the 1914 American invasion of Veracruz, they must find a way out while keeping their real identities secret. After managing to extract themselves from danger, disaster strikes. It is a tragedy Billy is all too familiar with and one that will send him plummeting into a painful abyss of despair and agony. Consequently, Billy vanishes leaving family and friends to wonder what happened to him. Where is he? Is he dead or alive? What provoked his disappearance? In Book 3 of the Finding Billy Battles Trilogy, those questions are answered, and the mystery behind Billy’s disappearance is finally revealed.

Book Bubbles from The Lost Years of Billy Battles

Who is Ted Sayles?

Ted Sayles, Billy's great-grandson, inherits Billy's journals, letters, and other items in two aging trunks. Following his great-grandfather's last wishes, Ted tells Billy's amazing story in three books that make up the Finding Billy Battles trilogy.

What did Ambrose Bierce say?

Billy and Katharina have agreed to work as spies for General Frederick Funston, commander of the U.S. Army's Southern Command in San Antonio, Texas. Their mission is to infiltrate the nest of German spies and political operatives who populate the Mexican city of Veracruz--a mecca in 1914 of intrigue as Europe is poised on the cusp of WW I. It is an assignment fraught with danger. Will they succeed? Find out when The Lost Years of Billy Battles hits book stores and Amazon on May 29--the final book in the Finding Billy Battles Trilogy.

About Book 3 in the trilogy

Book 3 in the Finding Billy Battles Trilogy was published June 6, 2018. Here is a little taste of what you will find in it. The year is 1914. Billy Battles and his wife Katharina have had their share of adventures and tragedy during the previous two decades. But, for the past few years life has been quiet and serene and the two have gotten used to it. That is about to change. In Chapter One we learn that Billy and Katharina are about to accept a dodgy assignment from an old and powerful friend. Unbeknownst to them, it is a covert mission that will sweep them up in a tumultuous whirlwind of disorder and mayhem that brings them face to face with Imperial German spies, Mexican revolutionaries, Gulf of Mexico pirates, and other assorted miscreants. After managing to extract themselves from danger, disaster strikes. It is a tragedy Billy is all too familiar with and one that will send him plummeting into a painful abyss of despair and agony. Subsequently, Billy vanishes leaving family and friends to wonder what happened to him. Where is he? Is he dead or alive? What provoked his disappearance? In Book 3 of the Finding Billy Battles Trilogy, those questions are answered, and the mystery behind Billy’s disappearance is finally revealed.

Ronald E Yates

Finding Billy Battles: An Account of Peril, Transgression, and Redemption

Literature & Fiction

A link to the past no one could ever imagine. When a great-grandson inherits two aging trunks and a stack of meticulously detailed journals penned by his great-grandfather, he sets out to fulfill his great-grandfather's last request: to tell the story of an incredible life replete with adventure, violence, and tragedy. The great-grandfather's name is Billy Battles--a man often trapped and overwhelmed by circumstances beyond his control. For much of his 100-year-long life, Billy is a man missing and mostly unknown to his descendants. His great-grandson is about to change that. As he works his way through the aging journals and the other possessions he finds in the battered trunks he uncovers the truth about his mysterious great-grandfather--a man whose deeds and misdeeds propelled him on an extraordinary and perilous journey from the untamed American West to the inscrutable Far East, Latin America and Europe. But most of all he learns that in finding Billy Battles he has also discovered a long lost and astonishing link to the past.

Book Bubbles from Finding Billy Battles: An Account of Peril, Transgression, and Redemption

Billy Battles introduces himself.

Just who is William Fitzroy Raglan Battles? Here, Billy introduces himself, warts and all. As he often says, he is "acknowledging the corn" about his life and some of his more egregious transgressions. "I have killed people," he says. And thus begins Billy's mind-boggling life story, one bursting with peril, adventure, love, and love lost.

About the Prologue

The prologue tells how Billy Battles meets his Great-Grandson, Ted Sayles, and how Ted eventually tells Billy's incredible story using his old journals, letters, photos, and other paraphernalia that he inherits. At the time of the meeting Billy is 98 and Ted is just 12. As a boy of 12, the last thing he wants to be doing is sitting on the veranda of an old soldiers’ home listening to an old man yatter on about his life. Over time, Ted’s attitude changes because the stories he hears are unbelievably thrilling and captivating. But what he hears is only the tip of the iceberg. Ted won’t learn all there is to know about his amazing Great-Grandfather until decades later when he finally inherits the 13 journals Billy bequeaths him. His challenge then is to shape and fashion those journals and other materials into a compelling story. Ted produces a three volume trilogy that reveals Billy’s amazing 100-year-long life of peril, transgression and redemption.

About Book 1

In Book 1 we meet two very important people in the Finding Billy Battles trilogy. First, there is Billy himself and second, there is Ted Sayles, Billy's great-grandson who uses Billy's extensive collection of journals, letters, photographs, and even a few old tape recordings, to tell his great-grandfather’s amazing story. The journals Ted inherits provide a link to the past no one could ever imagine. After reading inherits the meticulously detailed journals penned by his great-grandfather, Ted sets out to fulfill his great-grandfather's last request: to tell the story of an incredible life replete with adventure, violence, and tragedy. For much of his 100-year-long life Billy Battles is a man missing and largely unknown to his descendants. His great-grandson is about to change that. As he works his way through the aging journals and the other possessions he finds in two battered trunks he uncovers the truth about his mysterious great-grandfather—a man whose deeds and misdeeds propelled him on an extraordinary and perilous journey from the untamed American West to the inscrutable Far East, Latin America and Europe. But most of all he learns that in finding Billy Battles he has also found a long lost and astonishing link to the past.

The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles

Literature & Fiction

Billy Battles is definitely not in Kansas anymore. As Book 2 of the Finding Billy Battles trilogy opens, Billy is far from his Kansas roots—and his improbable journeys are just beginning. He is aboard an ocean liner sailing to the Mysterious East (Japan, Hong Kong, French Indochina, and the Philippines), among other places. The year is 1894 and aboard the S S China Billy meets a mysterious, dazzling, and possibly dangerous German Baroness, locked horns with malevolent agents of the German government, and battled ferocious Chinese and Malay pirates in the South China Sea. Later, he is inadvertently embroiled in the bloody anti-French insurgency in Indochina–which quite possibly makes him the first American combatant in a country that eventually will become Vietnam. Later, in the Philippines, he is thrust into the Spanish-American War and the anti-American insurgency that follows. But Billy’s troubles are just beginning. As the 19th century ends and the 20th century begins, he finds himself in Mexico and Europe entangled with political opportunists, spies, revolutionaries and an assortment of malicious characters of both sexes. How will Billy handle these people and the challenges they present?

Book Bubbles from The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles

Katharina confesses

Aboard the SS China, Billy meets the mysterious German Baroness von Schreiber. She seems aloof and even caustic, so Billy avoids her for the next few days. Then one night there is knock at his cabin door. It is the baroness. She asks him to join her on the deck. At first Billy is hesitant, but he agrees. It is a decision that will change his life in ways he could never have imagined.

Intro to Book Two

The year is 1894 and aboard the S S China Billy has decided to keep his distance from the mysterious Baroness Katharina von Schreiber, whom he met the first night at sea at the Captain's table. She seemed haughty and cold. But first impressions can be misleading. Billy is about to learn a lot more about the Baroness and the two of them will find themselves driven closer by a mysterious and malevolent fellow passenger who is up to no good. Book 2 of the trilogy finds Billy entangled in one misadventure after another—most not of his own doing. In French Indochina he is embroiled in the native uprising against their French masters. In the Philippines he is pulled into the U.S. war against the Spanish and eventually against Filipino nationalists and insurgents who are demanding that American troops leave. While all of this is happening Billy and Katharina find themselves growing closer and closer—even as time and distance would seem to dictate otherwise.

About Book 2

The year is 1894 and aboard the S S China Billy has decided to keep his distance from the mysterious Baroness Katharina von Schreiber, whom he met the first night at sea at the Captain's table. She seemed haughty and cold. But first impressions can be misleading. Billy is about to learn a lot more about the Baroness and the two of them will find themselves driven closer by a mysterious and malevolent fellow passenger who is up to no good. Book 2 of the trilogy finds Billy entangled in one misadventure after another—most not of his own doing. In French Indochina he is embroiled in the native uprising against their French masters. In the Philippines he is pulled into the U.S. war against the Spanish and eventually against Filipino nationalists and insurgents who are demanding that American troops leave. While all of this is happening Billy and Katharina find themselves growing closer and closer—even as time and distance would seem to dictate otherwise

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