Carrie Fancett Pagels' "The Substitute Bride" in O' Little Town of Christmas collection is a 2016 Published MAGGIE AWARD FINALIST in Romance Novellas!!!

Tea Party winners: Roseanna M. White, Denise Weimer's print copy of Widow goes to Andrea Stephens, Debra E. Marvin's winners for Ebook collection are Cheryl Baranski and Rachel Koppendrayer, Carrie Fancett Pagels' ebook collection goes to Joan Arning and paperback to Connie, Gina Welborn's winner is Regina Fujitani, Gabrielle Meyer's paperback copy of A Mother in the Making is Teri Geist DiVincenzo

Friday, September 23, 2016

September New Release Tea Party - A European Tour

Salisbury Cathedral, Salisbury, England

St. Michael's Mount, Marazion, England

Join us for high tea here in the countryside of the Cotswolds as we begin our European Tour!  Tea with cream and sugar, scones with clotted cream, and all manner of cookies! (Don't get too full, we have a few more stops!)
Cotswolds, England

Amid the Unforgettable Cotswolds,
the Final Grasp for the Fire Eyes Diamonds
Could Threaten Them All

Lady Ella Myerston can always find a reason to smile--even if it's just in hope that tomorrow will be better than today. All her life everyone has tried to protect her from the realities of the world, but Ella knows very well the danger that has haunted her brother and their friend, and she won't wait for it to strike again. She intends to take action . . . and if that happens to involve an adventurous trip to the Cotswolds, then so much the better.

Lord Cayton has already broken two hearts, including that of his first wife, who died before he could convince himself to love her. Now he's determined to live a better life. But that proves complicated when old friends arrive on the scene and try to threaten him into a life of crime. He does his best to remove the intriguing Lady Ella from danger, but the stubborn girl won't budge. How else can he redeem himself, though, but by saving her--and his daughter--from those dangerous people who seem ready to destroy them all? 

Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two small children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to make their way into her novels…to offset her real life, which is blessedly boring. You can learn more about her and her stories at

Roseanna is SO excited that the final story in the Ladies of the Manor series is out in the world, and to celebrate, she's offering a US resident a choice of any book in the series, or an international winner a choice of any of her e-books! 

NEXT Stop on our European Tour!!!
Cathedral Ceiling, Amalfi, Italy

The Colosseum, Rome, Italy

Don your beautiful colonial travel clothes for your European tour as we sail on to Italy!

What sights we'll see!

And we have more releases from our Colonial Quills contributors!

Have some Italian espresso, cream cake, and a sliver of ricotta cheesecake!

The Restoration Trilogy: 

When Jennifer Rushmore accepts a brooding bachelor’s job offer to act as coordinator for the restoration of his family’s historic doctor’s house (White), apothecary (Widow) and log cabin (Witch) in a rural Georgia community, little does she know it’s her own heart that will undergo the greatest renovation. Three stories. Three centuries. Three lessons on the healing of the heart. And one buried mystery that threatens their redemption.

Widow, Book Two: 

Jennifer Rushmore has overseen the restoration of Michael Johnson's ancestors’ doctor’s house long enough to work through their initial differences. Now the apothecary shop discloses a heart-breaking tale circa 1870 Georgia, shaking loose Jennifer’s own carefully suppressed past. She fears that when Michael sees beyond her façade, her tentative steps toward trust and love may disintegrate into rubble. On her journey to forgiveness, Jennifer draws on her new faith and friendships, even as the mysterious accidents clouding her first preservation job escalate into imminent danger.

Denise Weimer:

... holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. A former magazine writer, she is the author of The Georgia Gold Series (historical romance), The Restoration Trilogy, and several romantic novellas. Denise is a wife and swim mom of two daughters who always pauses for old houses, coffee and chocolate!

In honor of the September release of Widow, Denise is giving away one print copy to a visitor who comments on the blog today.


What's a European tour without a little visit to a German castle? Strong German coffee, coffee cake, and strudel are all served up at this stop!


A Mother in the Making, by Gabrielle Meyer

Matchmaking with a Mission  
Practical, steady, levelheaded: all qualities single father Dr. John Orton expects in both a governess and a wife. But his children's temporary governess Miss Marjorie Maren seems set on finding him an impractical woman to love…despite his plans of marrying solely for convenience. Nothing could be more exasperating to the handsome widower—except his increasing interest in Marjorie. 

Vivacious and fun-loving: that's the kind of bride the reserved doctor needs. Before Marjorie leaves to pursue her acting dreams, she intends to match him with a suitable wife candidate. Yet growing affection for her four charges and their dashing father has awakened a new hope—that she might be his perfect bride. But can she convince her employer to take a chance on love and claim real happiness before it slips away?

Gabrielle Meyer lives in central Minnesota on the banks of the Mississippi River with her husband and four children. As an employee of the Minnesota Historical Society, she fell in love with the rich history of her state and enjoys writing fictional stories inspired by real people and events. Gabrielle's first Love Inspired Historical, A Mother in the Making, released in September 2016. Her next story, A Family Arrangement, releases in December and her next novella, First Comes Love, releases in December with the Seven Brides for Seven Texans novella collection from Barbour. Gabrielle can be found on her website where she writes about her passion for history, Minnesota, and her faith.

Gabrielle is offering a copy of A Mother in the Making to one blog visitor today.


A European tour isn't complete without visiting the alps for a little yodel le he hooo! Whether you're in Germany's Black Forest or Italy's Defereggen Mountains or Scotland's Cairngorms, you can find a grand view to enjoy a spot of tea. Across the Atlantic, the mighty Rocky Mountains play the perfect host for the holidays. 

Meet nine couples who find that Christmas is the perfect time for climbing to the heights of romance. Watch as their faith and courage propel them through challenges that come with mountain winters to cozy fireside celebrations that lead to lasting proclamations of love.

Mountain Christmas Brides featuring "All Ye Faithful" by Gina Welborn

"All Ye Faithful" by Gina Welborn
(Novella was previously released in A Cascades Christmas)

Every week for the last two years, E.V. Renier has petitioned the local brewery magnate for permission to marry his daughter. Despite receiving a sound rejection each time, E.V. continues in hope of proving the faithfulness of his character. Heiress Larkin Whitworth has no idea of the quiet yet charming sawmiller’s devotion. Not until awful rumors about her rip through the town. As the annual Christmas soiree approaches, Larkin fears E.V.’s love might not be as strong as the shameful truth she’s trying to hide.

Gina Welborn is the author of ten inspirational romances, including "All's Fair," in the ECPA-bestselling Lassoed by Marriage Romance Collection. She serves on the ACFW Foundation Board. A lifetime member of the National Corvette Museum, she helped form the Southwest Oklahoma Corvette Club. Gina lives with her husband, three of their five children, several rabbits and guinea pigs, and a dog that doesn't realize rabbits and pigs are edible. Visit her online:

Leave a comment on the blog and you may win a copy of Mountain Christmas Brides (print or Ebook)


On to beautiful France! In July, Carrie Fancett Pagels' Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter (Pelican/White Rose) release in paperback. Her novel, given a starred review by RT Book Reviews was partially set in 18th century France.)  Don some French silk pumps and come have tea in France with us! We have chocolates, fine lemon tarts, café au last, and hazelnut torte for you here at our final stop on the European tour!

Longchamps Palace Fountain, Marsailles, France
The O' Little Town of Christmas/O' Christmas Town Collection has released from Forget Me Not Romances. This ebook set includes Carrie's Maggie Award Finalist 2016 Romance Novella "The Substitute Bride" and Debra E. Marvin's "Desert Duet."

Debra is giving away two boxed sets (Ebooks) and a truckload of snow come next February. Delivery to Arizona preferable! (and she'll need a place to stay before heading back home.)

Please let her know in the comments if you'd like to receive this set of six Christmas novellas! Follow Debra on her Amazon author page to learn about upcoming releases! 

Carrie is giving away an ebook boxed set of O' Little Town of Christmas collection and another winner will receive a paperback copy of The Substitute Bride. You must be a follower on this blog either on Blogger or on Facebook (click here) and indicate "CFP CQ" in your comment to enter for these prizes. 

Sign up for Carrie's newsletter by emailing her at (put "newsletter" in subject line) for a chance to win your choice of seven of her ebooks or three of her paperback books that are already in print. 
Be sure to join the Quillers over at our mid-day Facebook party (click here) which will be Friday, September 23rd, 2016 from 12 noon until 3 PM Eastern time! You'll get to visit with the authors during their half hour slots. We'll have some more prizes for our guests over there, too, and we'd love to see some of your recipes for the countries we visited on our Grand European Tour!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Louis XVI of France and the American Revolution

Louis XVI at the age of 20
Joseph Duplessis, 1776 
I’m currently working on The Return, Book 2 of my Northkill Amish Series, co-authored with BobHostetler. It publishes in April next year, and as soon as it’s off my desk, I’m going to get back to my American Patriot Series. In Book 6, Refiner’s Fire, my heroine, Elizabeth Howard, is in danger, and in Jonathan Carleton’s absence, his uncle, le comte de Caledonne, takes her to France for safety. Caledonne is an admiral in the French navy; an intimate of the French king, Louis XVI; and a master of spies, which will give me an opportunity offer readers a glimpse into the machinations of the 18th century French court. In my next post we’re going to take a look at the American commissioners to France during the Revolution and the intrigues surrounding them, but first, Louis!

He was born Louis-Auguste on August 23, 1754, in the Palace of Versailles, the second son and one of 7 children of Louis, the dauphin of France, and Marie-Josèphe of Saxony, the daughter of Frederick Augustus II, Prince-Elector of Saxony and King of Poland. Louis-Auguste’s grandparents were Louis XV and Maria Leszczyńska. At birth Louis-Auguste received the title Duc de Berry.

His parents favored his handsome older brother, Louis, duc de Bourgogne, who unfortunately died in 1761 at the age of nine, rather than their second son. Louis-Auguste was very shy, but he was fit and healthy and enjoying hunting with his grandfather and rough-and-tumble play with his brothers. He excelled as a student as well, with Latin, history, geography, and astronomy his favorite subjects. He also became fluent in Italian and English. As a young child he developed an interest in locksmithing, and this became a hobby as he grew older.

In 1765 Louis-Auguste’s father died of tuberculosis. Since his older brother had died several years earlier, this made eleven-year-old Louis-Auguste the new dauphin. Two years later his mother also died from tuberculosis, leaving him and his brothers and sisters orphans whose care and education were supervised by royal tutors.

Marie Antoinette and Her Children
Marie Louise Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, 1787
Louis-Auguste was only fifteen when he married 14-year-old Habsburg Archduchess Maria Antonia, better known by the French form of her name: Marie Antoinette, in May 1770. She was his second cousin once removed, the youngest daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor Francis I and Empress Maria Theresa, a formidable force of nature who may have influenced her daughter’s indifferent response, “Let them eat cake,” many years later when she was informed that the French peasants had no bread and were starving. The two young people had met only two days before their wedding and were almost total strangers. That, along with his shyness and both their youth and inexperience, was problem enough. It didn’t help that the French public was hostile to this union. After all, France’s alliance with Austria had drawn the country into the disastrous Seven Years’War that ended in defeat at the hands of the British in both Europe and North America, the loss of Canada and France’s Caribbean colonies, and a massive national debt.

Louis XVI of France
Antoine-François Callet, 1789
The young couple’s relationship was strained during the first years of their marriage, as one might expect. In fact, it wasn’t until 1777 that their union was consummated, and in the fishbowl of a royal court, rumors were bound to fly. They certainly did, including the claim that Louis-Auguste was incapable of sexual relations. His cold behavior toward Marie in public fueled the gossip but was evidently due to his fear that she would attempt to manipulate him in favor of Austrian interests. They overcame these obstacles over time, however, and eventually had four children together.

Louis-Auguste’s grandfather died in 1774 on the eve of the American Revolution, and at the age of 19 Louis succeeded to the throne—and to the disastrous baggage of the French and Indian War. For Vergennes, the French foreign secretary, the Americans’ fight for independence offered an opportunity for France to humiliate their long-standing enemy and recover the territory they’d lost during the Seven Years’ War. Louis was persuaded to secretly send supplies, ammunition, and guns to the rebels, and in early 1778 he signed a formal Treaty of Alliance with the United States. Later that year France was once again at war with Britain, with Spain and the Netherlands soon joining in an anti-British coalition.

Washington and Rochambeau giving last orders before battle
Auguste Crowder, 1836
At first the French dragged their feet when it came to actually giving the Americans military aide. But finally in 1780 France sent large land and naval forces under Rochambeau and de Grasse, which arrived in North America in July 1780. Then in October 1781 a French naval blockade forced Cornwallis’s army to surrender at Yorktown. Lord North’s government fell as soon as news of this disaster reached London, and Great Britain was left no choice but to sue for peace. Although France delayed the end of the war into 1783, hoping to overrun more British colonies in India and the West Indies, in the end they gained little from the 1783 Treaty of Paris except a couple of small colonies.

The war cost France 1,066 million livres, which had to be financed through loans at high interest and later led to more oppressive taxes. Heaped on top of the debt remaining from the French and Indian War, this led to a financial crisis that increased the French people’s resentment of the aristocracy and the absolute monarchy of the French kings. Riots broke out in Paris in 1789, and the storming of the Bastille inaugurated the French Revolution. In June 1791, four months before the constitutional monarchy was declared, the situation was so unstable that Louis fled to Varennes, which gave credit to rumors that he was hoping for a foreign invasion to save his throne. In the eyes of the common people he became a hated symbol of the Ancien Régime’s tyranny.

Louis XVI was arrested and deposed during the insurrection of August 10, 1792. A little over a month later, on September 21, France’s constitutional monarchy was abolished and the First French Republic proclaimed. Louis was tried by the National Convention, found guilty of high treason, and executed by guillotine on January 21, 1793, as French citizen Louis Capet. The name referred to Hugh Capet, the founder of the Capetian dynasty, which the revolutionaries interpreted as Louis’ family name. Louis XVI was the only king of France ever to be executed. His death brought an end to more than a thousand years of French monarchy.

J. M. Hochstetler is the daughter of Mennonite farmers, an author, editor, and publisher, and a lifelong student of history. Her American Patriot Series is the only comprehensive historical fiction series on the American Revolution. Her novel Northkill, Book 1 of the Northkill AmishSeries coauthored with bestselling author Bob Hostetler, won ForeWord Magazine’s 2014 INDYFAB Book of the Year Bronze Award for historical fiction. Book 2, The Return, releases in Spring 2017. One Holy Night, a contemporary retelling of the Christmas story, was the Christian Small Publishers 2009 Book of the Year.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Great Wheel By Pegg Thomas

Restored Great Wheel
The first spinning wheel I ever spun on was a Great Wheel. That was back in 1978 when I was still in high school. I've never forgotten the experience of working on a living legend of history. Also known as a Wool Wheel or a Walking Wheel, it's an amazingly simple machine used to create thread or yarn. 

For years I have scouted around eBay and Craigslist, quietly drooling into my lap, knowing I'd never be able to justify the $300 - $800 to purchase one of these beautiful, functional pieces. Until last month. I saw a photo on Craigslist of a Great Wheel that looked - frankly - too good to be true. Priced at only $85, and located in the same town as Michelle, friend of mine, it was worth a phone call. 

I spoke to an elderly couple who said a friend had put the ad on Craigslist for them and that they didn't have a way to text me any photographs. Hearing this, I was pretty sure the photo in the ad was not the actual wheel for sale. But I called Michelle and she happily agreed to go look at the wheel, take photos with her phone, and text them to me. I called the couple back and told them I'd be purchasing this sight unseen, and asked what the lowest price they'd be willing to take was. I was shocked - and thrilled! - when they said $50. Michelle arranged to meet with them in a couple of days.

I waited on pins and needles.
The Great Wheel as first assembled.

My phone beeped and the photo confirmed my suspicion. The wheel was not the same as the one in the ad. I asked Michelle to see if the wheel turned freely, if the base felt solid, and to take a photo of the spindle. It wasn't assembled correctly, but I could see that all the parts were there.

Michelle bought the wheel and took it home. Then I had to wait a week to make the trip across the state to pick it up. It was like Christmas Eve that whole week. While I'd seen the photos, that can only tell so much about an antique. I still didn't know exactly what I'd bought or if I'd be able to restore it to working condition.

We arrived to pick up the wheel and my heart bobbled for a moment when I saw the gray/brown condition of the wood. But all the pieces were there. Michelle had disassembled it to transport it, since it wouldn't fit into a vehicle otherwise. We put the wheel and the bench in the back of our truck, and the spindle assembly in the back seat. It was an agonizingly long 5 1/2 hour drive home before I could put it all together.

Put it together I did, before falling into bed and dreaming of how to restore this beauty to some semblance of his former glory. I'd spent a great deal of time the past week researching Great Wheels. I knew by the lack of lacquer or shellac, it had most likely been made pre-1850. I sure didn't want to mess this up.

The next morning I cleaned it and applied a beeswax product to the wood. It soaked up more than half of a 16-ounce bottle of the wax. But with each brush of the cloth, a stunningly beautiful wood was exposed. With a few gentle and careful taps of a hammer, I was able to reset the nail heads that had worked up along the face of the wheel. I was thrilled. Even if it never spun, it was gorgeous to look at.
The spindle with a white paper quill attached,
black llama fibers spun into yarn.

The following day amid a flurry of errands I had to run, I stopped into a local craft store and bought a strip of leather to make the bearings the spindle would turn on. They had exactly what I needed. But I had to run more errands, meet with a neighbor, and then a repairman before I could put the final piece of the wheel together. Once the spindle was attached, I made a drive belt out of a piece of thick cotton string, waxed it, and held my breath. 

It took a little tweaking to get the wheel aligned with the spindle and to get the tensions set correctly, but within minutes ... I was spinning! Excited? Yeah, you bet. And thrilled to have salvaged this old wheel for many more years to come.
Debut story releasing in The Pony Express Romance Collection (April 2017) available now for pre-order from Barbour Publishing.

Friday, September 16, 2016

David Brainerd - Colonial Missionary to Native Americans

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

David Brainerd was born in 1718 in Connecticut. His father was in the legislature but died when he was only fourteen. His mother died five years later leaving him an orphan. He inherited a farm in Durham but didn't like farming. On July 12, 1739, David had a salvation experiance he later recorded as an experiance of "unspeakable glory" that prompted in him a "hearty desire to exalt [God], to set him on the throne and to seek first his Kingdom."

Two months later, he enrolled at Yale University. A year later, he was sent home to recover from an illness many believed to be the onset of tuberculosis, the disease that later killed him. When he returned to Yale in 1740, tensions were high. The Great Awakening had broken out, and the faculty considered the exuberance and zeal of the students who were converted in the Awakening to be excessive.

Because of the criticism, Yale initiated a policy that if students questioned the spirituality of the professors, they would be required to give a public confession the first time and expelled the second time. The faculty invited Jonathan Edwards to preach the same day hoping he would side with them. Instead, Edwards called to account the sins of the faculty in preventing the student from wholeheartedly seeking God.

The next term, Brainerd was expelled because it was said that he commented that one of his tutors, Chauncey Whittelsey, "has no more grace than a chair" and that he wondered why the Rector "did not drop down dead' for fining students perceived as over-zealous. He later apologized for the first comment, but denied making the second. Yale refused to reinstate him. Brainerd was mortified for his conduct and regretted it for the rest of his life.

He was licensed to preach by an organization of evangelicals called the New Light. He was not offered and pastorate because of what happened at Yale and decided God had called him to be a missionary to Native Americans. His first missionary endeavor was near Nassau, New York. Later he was assigned to work among the Delaware Indians along the Delaware River. There he start a Native American school and translated the Psalms into the Delaware language. Then he moved to New Jersey where, within a year, he established a church with 130 Native American members. Even though he was reluctant at first to minister to the Indians, after a few years, he refused many offer to leave the mission field and become a pastor, but he refused them all. He wrote in his journal that despite the difficulties, his only desire was to serve God by ministering to Indians.

In 1746, Brainerd became too sick to continue and stayed at the home of Jonathan Edwards to recover. During that time, he was nursed by Edwards daughter, Jerusha. He and Jerusha fell in love. A year later, he died of tuberculosis at age 29 in 1747. Jerusha died in February, 1748 after contracting his disease. His ministry to Indians in his short life was not his only legacy. His journals and writing were distributed by Jonathan Edwards and became popular during the second Great Awakening.

Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures and writes Christian historical fiction set in America because there are so many adventures in American history. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and was a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest. Her novellas Resurrection of Hope and A Christmas Promise are available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Guest Author Interview: Michelle Griep

September's here! Which means I finally get to introduce you to brand-new colonial fiction read The Captive Heart by Michelle Griep ... and the story that sparked several of my research posts from earlier this year. This beauty releases October 1, and I'll be posting my review next month, but for now I'm so excited to share this special guest interview with the author.

First, the book:

Proper English governess Eleanor Morgan flees to the colonies to escape the wrath of a brute of an employer. When the Charles Town family she’s to work for never arrives to collect her from the dock, she is forced to settle for the only reputable choice remaining to her—marriage to a man she’s never met. Trapper and tracker Samuel Heath is a hardened survivor used to getting his own way by brain or by brawn, and he’s determined to find a mother for his young daughter. But finding a wife proves to be impossible. No upstanding woman wants to marry a murderer.

Thank you so much for being with us today, Michelle! After writing medieval and Viking-age historical, contemporary, and ending up in the Regency era, what got you interested in the colonial time period?

Trappers, actually. I live in the frozen tundra of Minnesota but even here there were voyageurs and trappers that roamed the area. One of my favorite things to do is go to the annual River Rendezvous, a living history reenactment of Natives and trappers and rugged colonists.

What inspired your latest colonial work?

An Anglophile at heart, usually I write stories based in England. But during the Colonial period, lots of British criminals (some truly guilty, others innocent) were transported to America as punishment. Others crossed the ocean as indentured servants, signing away their freedom when they landed in the hopes of creating a better life. I got to wondering what it would be like to have your freedom taken away, and so The Captive Heart was born.

Do you have a favorite colonial place you like to visit and why?

I love the South Carolina backcountry. Stunning scenery. Awesome hiking. And loads of history. It’s hard to choose just one place when there are so many, but I’m going to go with Brattonsville, a living history museum in York County. Besides the setting, I love the historical guides that are stationed at each building. You could seriously spend days here, learning everything from blacksmithing to open fire cooking.

If you care to say, you can tell readers where you live and what colonial places you have in your state or your home state if different.

It’s a little later than the Colonial period, but the North West Company Fur Post (circa 1804) is a fun place to visit. You’ll met French voyageurs, British fur traders and visit an Ojibwe encampment. It’s located just outside of Pine City, Minnesota (about an hour north of Minneapolis/St. Paul).

Do you have a favorite colonial recipe you enjoy and would like to share with readers?

Apple Fritters

Pare some apples and cut them in thin slices, put them in a bowl, with a glass of brandy, some white wine, and quarter of a pound of powdered sugar, a little cinnamon finely powdered and the rind of a lemon grated: let them stand some time, turning them over frequently; beat two eggs very light, add one quarter a pound of flour, a tablespoonful of melted butter, and as much cold water as will make a thin batter; drip the apples on a sieve, mix them with the batter, take one slice with a spoonful of butter to each fritter, fry them quick, of a light brown, drain them well, put them in a dish, sprinkling sugar over each, and glaze them nicely.

About Michelle:  I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I've been writing since I discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write--except for that graffiti phase I went through as teenager.

Michelle's impressive list of titles includes medieval and Viking-age time travel, gothic Regency, and even contemporary. Check her out at!