Roseanna M. White IS A CHRISTY FINALIST!!!

Roseanne M. White's winner is . Elaine Marie Cooper's winner of a $10 Amazon gift card is Nicole Wetherington. Carrie Fancett Pagels’ winner of choice of ebook or paperback of Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter goes to Deanne Patterson and the White Rose teacup set goest to Lena Nelson Dooley . Angela Couch's winner of Threads of Love e-book is Melissa Henderson and Marguerite Gray is the winner of Mail-Order Revenge print. Denise Weimer's ebook of Redeeming Grace winner is Ashley Penn. Congrats all!!!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Fulling Mills

Fulling Mill
In the beginning of the American Colonies, all cloth was imported from England. England already had a thriving textile industry by the mid-1600s. Some estimates are that 65% of the English economy was derived from its textiles. 

Although the importation of sheep was prohibited - to protect England's textile monopoly - resourceful colonists smuggled them. The hard-working Puritans were producing their own cloth almost as soon as they arrived.

Spinning and weaving is only part of the process of making cloth. Another important step in the process is called "fulling." Cloth straight off the loom is loose and sloppy. The fulling process washed out all the dirt and lanolin, then beat the fabric with wooden mallets (powered by a water wheel) until it shrunk and tightened into a usable bolt of cloth.

Wooden Mallets inside the Fulling Mill
After the cloth was pounded, it was brushed with a teasel head. Teasels are a dried flower head with hook-tipped spines that when brushed across wool fabric, will raise the nap of the fabric. The nap was then cut off with long, narrow shears. Next, the cloth was stretched over a long frame to dry.
Before fulling mills, this process was done by hand, or rather by feet. Stomping on the wet, soapy cloth took hours of labor to produce what the fulling mill could do in half the time with better results.

By the time King William III issued the Wool Act in 1699, our colonial ancestors were already providing cloth for themselves and were exporting the excess to other colonies and ports.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

June Tea Party!!! At The Jefferson Hotel!!!

Welcome to our Colonial Quills Tea Party being held (virtually!) at The Jefferson Hotel, which is located in Richmond, Virginia.

Come on in and have a seat in one of these comfortable chairs! My best friend and my daughter celebrated my book launch of my first colonial novel at the real Jefferson Hotel and it was so much fun that I wanted to share with our Colonial Quills guests!

Look up overhead at the gorgeous stained glass dome of the lobby, over the High Tea area.  The glass is amazing!
The tea is wonderful, including their signature tea which is described as "Christmas in a teacup" and is deliciously spicy!  Or try the yummy green tea or English breakfast tea. All served in your very own silver-plated teapot!  
 The paperback of Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter releases on July 1st from White Rose/Pelican. RT Book Reviews gave this novel a 4 Star rating in their July issue! It is available from Barnes & Noble online and can also be requested from the store (which is handy if you have a discount card with B&N!), from Amazon, directly from Pelican, on Kobo, and Apple.

Giveaway: This beautiful white rose teacup set in its pretty matching box! Winner's choice of paperback or ebook copy of Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter. USA Only.
Canterbury House author of The Georgia Gold Series historical fiction and The Restoration Trilogy romantic suspense Denise Weimer announces the independent Kindle re-release of her first novella ever published, Redeeming Grace. Searching for something she cannot define and breaking under the stress as a rising star at The Metropolitan Opera, Grace Galveston travels to Tallulah Falls, Georgia, for a reprieve. In the summer of 1886, Tallulah Gorge, with its multiple waterfalls, spectacular mountain scenery, and lavish resort hotels, was already known as “The Niagara of the South.” Even amid the crowds and excitement surrounding the attempt of an aerialist to cross the chasm on a high wire, Grace hopes to find peace. Unexpectedly, though, the trip sheds light on the secret pain in her heart. Can the blessing of friendship and the possibility of love with a local minister guide her toward healing? Or will their differences and the call of her life back in New York mean even greater heartbreak?

Giveaway: A free e-book to a tea party participant who leaves a comment here at the blog.

Tallulah Falls Railroad brought tourists to the grand hotels.


Christy Award-Nominated author Roseanna M. White is celebrating the spring release of the second book in the Ladies of the Manor Series from Bethany House, The Reluctant Duchess. Combining a touch of mystery, a dose of intrigue, a blossoming romance, and a tale of healing, The Reluctant Duchess takes readers back to 1912 England and Scotland, where Highland heiress Lady Rowena Kinnaird is desperate to escape the men in her life. But when she accepts the proposal of notorious flirt Brice, the Duke of Nottingham, she fears she's about to fall headlong into more danger than she just ran away from. Read more about The Reluctant Duchess on Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Christian Book | Lifeway

Giveaway: To US addresses, a signed copy of The Reluctant Duchess (or winner's choice of another of Roseanna's novels, if you already have that one). If the winner is international, Roseanna's offering an ebook of any of her biblical novels, A Stray Drop of Blood, A Soft Breath of Wind, or Jewel of Persia.

Angela K Couch is celebrating the release of her novella, Mail-Order Revenge. This story is available for a limited time in a box set with three other historical romance novellas.

Elizabeth Landvick knows of one man to blame for her family’s loss of fortune and her parents’ deaths. Now, she will stop at nothing to take her revenge and recover their wealth. Even travel across the country to marry the man’s son.

With his focus his sprawling Arizona ranch, Axel Forsberg has little time for wooing a woman, so when his father finds him a bride from the east, he trusts he won’t regret the convenience. Until horses go missing, barns burn to the ground, a range war begins…and he loses his heart. 

Giveaway: to a North American address, a print copy of Mail-Order Revenge, and (to anyone) a ebook copy of Threads of Love. 
Angela K Couch on Amazon and Goodreads

Elaine Marie Cooper is celebrating the re-release of the all new Promise of Deer Run, published by CrossRiver Media!

Back Cover Blurb:

The year is 1790.

The American Revolution is long since over, yet the battles still live in the hearts of the survivors.

One young veteran is haunted by the painful memories of war. He still awaits a father who has never returned from battle and feels the sting of betrayal from a former love. He withdraws into his own world, clinging to one hope: Perhaps his father still lives.

Only one person in Deer Run seems to understand him: Nineteen-year-old Sarah Thomsen, who feels a kinship with the loner veteran. She senses the wounds in his spirit as much as she struggles to bury her own traumatic memories of war. And the veteran’s search for his father touches a chord of empathy in Sarah, as she feels the loss of a father she never knew.

While the couple begins to find hope in a mutual affection, others determine to destroy it. Slander and misunderstandings ignite a fire of doubt and mistrust, destroying whatever faith they had in each other.

Can two souls longing for healing and trust love again? Can faith—and a family—be restored?

Author Bio:

Award winning author Elaine Marie Cooper is the author of Fields of the Fatherless, Bethany’s Calendar and the historical trilogy called the Deer Run Saga. Her passions are her family, her faith in Christ, and the history of the American Revolution. She grew up in Massachusetts, the setting for many of her historical novels.

Her upcoming releases include Saratoga Letters (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, October 2016) and Legacy of Deer Run (CrossRiver Media, Dec, 2016)

 Elaine will be offering a $10 Amazon Gift card to one lucky winner. Be blessed!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Georgia #RevWar Heroines Trilogy: Hannah Clark

2 – Hannah Harrington Clark

Hannah Harrington Clark (b. 1737) moved with her husband Elijah Clark from North Carolina to the Ceded Lands (or “Distressed Territories,” according to missionary evangelists) of Georgia in the fall of 1773. Described as a “large, muscular” woman, Hannah, then the mother of several young children, was known to be quiet but efficient and authoritative. 

Reconstructed Clark cabin at Elijah Clark State Park, Lincolnton

The family settled on Red Lick Creek, a fork of Long Creek. The fort they established became known as Clark’s Camp or Clark’s Station, and the creek Clark’s Creek. Clark called it “Woburn.” Wild grapes, oats, cane and peavines flourished in forests burned off annually by Creek Indians, streams teemed with shad and trout, and flocks of wild pigeons could take two days to pass over. Yet the area that became Wilkes County in 1777 seethed with unrest against the Indians as well as British Loyalists. Clark became a leader of Wilkes County militia serving every three months from November 1776 to June 1780, leaving Hannah to guard the home front during a time backwoods atrocities rivaled those depicted by the Mel Gibson movie “The Patriot.”

Hannah was not one to be cowed by British reprisals. One winter she sewed a dozen fine, frilled-bosom shirts for Elijah, only to have a maid reveal their smokehouse hiding spot. Hannah didn’t forget the shirt incident. After Elijah was wounded in the first siege of Augusta, she rode fifty miles with twins in her saddle to his camp. As her house burned at the hands of Tories, British soldiers accosted her and tried to take the only item she saved, a quilt made by her daughters. She refused to give it up even when the Tories wounded her horse. 

Colonel Elijah Clark
Although Hannah followed her husband’s troops in the eleven-day, 1780 civilian exodus to safety on North Carolina’s Watauga River, she returned to Georgia with him before war’s end. Hannah was said to be with Col. Clark when the British surrendered at the second siege of Augusta. She lived to see her son John, who had fought alongside his father, twice become governor of Georgia.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Myths about Captain John Smith, Leader of Jamestown

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Captain John Smith was an explorer who led the first permanent English settlement in North America, Jamestown. He was a larger than life man who captured the imagination of historians and school children alike. His life was full of adventure and intrigue, but the facts most people know about John Smith are myths and legends instead of facts.

Some of the biggest myths surrounding Captain John Smith are stories about him and Pocahontas.  Pocahontas was an Indian girl, daughter of Chief Powhatan, who hung around Jamestown. According to legend, she was so in love with John Smith that when her father threatened to kill him, she begged for his life. Some even belief that John Smith and Pocahontas married. John Smith was the first to perpetuate part of this myth. He claimed that when he was captured by Indians, Pocahontas threw herself across his body to save him.

The truth is historians belief John Smith might have exaggerated the story. Soon after the incident happened, he never mentioned Pocahontas' part in the Powhatans releasing him without harm. Over ten years later, Captain Smith told the harrowing tale in a letter to Queen Anne introducing Pocahontas and asking the queen to treat her with dignity. One historian, David A. Price, believes the incident might have happened but suggested Captain Smith was in no real danger. He could have been involved in a ritual that symbolized his death and rebirth as a member of the tribe.

Whatever the case, Pocahontas and Captain Smith were not in love. When Captain Smith was captured, Pocahontas was only ten or eleven years old when it happened. It's also not true that she converted Captain Smith to the Indian religion. After spending years around the settlers at Jamestown, Pocahontas was converted to Christianity and took the name Rebecca. In 1614, she married John Rolfe, a tobacco farmer, and in 1616, she travelled to London with her husband where she died of an unknown virus.

Another myth is that Captain John Smith was highly revered by the other colonists. This also is only partially true. During the voyage to the New World, the colonists for the Virginia Company had papers that were to remain sealed until they reached the new land. Apparently Captain Smith was involved in a mutiny aboard ship, and Captain Christopher Newport and the crew planned to execute him when they landed at Cape Henry. When they did arrive at Cape Henry, the letter was opened, and the colonists found out that the man they were planning to execute was appointed one of the leaders of the new colony. This saved Captain Smith from the gallows.

A year later, Captain Smith became the president of the council. He proved his leadership abilities, saving the colonists from starvation by initiating strict policies including an order, “He that will not work shall not eat." He built the first well in the fort and repaired many of the buildings. Even though his leadership helped to save the colony, not everyone liked Smith. One night, while he was sleeping on the boat, a mysterious gunpowder explosion went off causing him to be injured. Some historians suggest it might have been an attempted assasination.

Another myth is that Captain John Smith lived in Jamestown for the rest of his life. The truth is he arrived in Jamestown in 1607, became president of the council in 1608, and sailed to England because of his injury for the gunpowder explosion in 1609. Captain Smith never returned to Jamestown. He died in 1631 in England at the age of 51.

During his years in England, John Smith encouraged colonization in America by writing accounts of his time there and giving detailed maps of the land. He was a major part of the Jamestown Colony even though he was only there for three years.

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 is a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest.
Her novella A Christmas Promise is available on Amazon. Her novella Resurrection of Hope will be released next month.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Reticule - Purse of Early America

“Oh! I forgot the reticule that Susannah made me. I must have left it on the chest of drawers.”
“Stay here. I shall go find it.” Dan raced back inside and took the steps at a faster-than-usual pace.
Opening the guest room door, Dan scanned the room for the small drawstring purse that Susannah had made for his sister. Smiling, he picked up the silk piece and sniffed it.
The lovely scent of Susannah.

                            From “Legacy of Deer Run,” releasing December 2016

In the 17th and 18 centuries, the word “reticule” was as commonly known as “purse” or “handbag is today. It was simply a small bag tied with a drawstring and attached to a lady’s wrist and was used to carry small personal items like money or a comb. It might be made of silk or brocade, netting material or velvet. It could even be knitted. The only common thread to the reticule was that it was small so as not to inconvenience a lady, say, on a dance floor.

I recently worked on a photo shoot for the cover of Legacy of Deer Run, releasing in December. The lead character in the novel, Susannah Dobbins, always carries a reticule in public, so it seemed appropriate to provide one for the model portraying Susannah. Not owning a reticule myself, I decided to create one.

It was quite easy to make, much to my relief! I attempted to match the colors of the dress and Pashmina shawl rented from the costumer at Living History Farms. I choose a lovely silk-like material with a pattern in purple and brown, along with brown cording for the drawstring.

A pattern online provided a rough idea of the shape to re-create. Then I hand sewed the material together, something that would have been done in 1800. Since we just needed it for a photo shoot, I did not line the bag although it is recommended for regular use. However, it was still strong enough to hold the model’s I Phone and car keys, items you would NOT find in 1800!

The finished result added a sweet detail to the costume that, while not necessary, provided extra color and flavor of the time period. I think Jane Austen might be proud.

Elaine Marie Cooper is the author of Road to Deer Run and Promise of Deer Run (releasing June, 2016). Legacy of Deer Run releases in December. Cooper is also the author of Fields of the Fatherless and Bethany's Calendar. Saratoga Letters releases in October 2016. You can visit her website here