|Town crier at Old Fort Western.|
Jim Phelan, Kennebec Journal.
Please have a seat in the parlour of the great house and partake of some liberty tea.
The 18th century New York frontier bred courage in those who survived its perils. Willa Obenchain has courage to spare. Returning to her white parents' abandoned homestead after twelve years of Indian captivity, Willa believes a solitary life is the only way she'll never lose again what's twice been lost: her family, and her heart. As she begins the backbreaking work of reviving her farm, Willa's determined isolation is threatened. First by injured botanist Neil MacGregor, found unconscious on her land, and also by her Mohawk clan brother Joseph Tames-His-Horse, a man who cannot give up the woman he calls Burning Sky. Willa is a woman caught between two worlds and the residents of the nearby frontier village, still reeling from a bloody revolutionary war, are reluctant to welcome her home. As tensions rise, challenging her shielded heart, Willa must find a new courage--the courage to again risk embracing the blessings the Almighty wants to bestow, and answer the question, "am I brave enough to love again?"
A note from Lori:
I have a tendency to write from the point of view of characters who hail from cultures, backgrounds, nationalities and races other than my own. I’m not Mohawk, or Scottish, or a botanist, slave, warrior, farmer, mother or man, yet to tell the story of Burning Sky I had to get inside the hearts and minds of each of these sorts of people—these sorts of people who lived over two hundred years ago. It’s a good thing God granted us empathy, imagination, and the ability to educate ourselves about what we don’t know, or haven’t directly experienced. In my case, I relied on primary sources (journals and letters of the time), dozens of secondary sources by historians, and people I know who’ve lived some of those experiences and have insights I lacked. Being tenacious in research is a challenge. It’s also one of the joys of writing historical fiction. The more I discover about the fascinating 18th century, the more I’m convinced there are stories enough left to tell to keep me busy for decades to come. Read the first two chapters of Burning Sky, visit the book’s Pinterest Board, listen to a podcast interview about the story, and more at my website.
Lori is giving away a copy of Burning Sky and, inspired by character Neil MacGregor (physician, botanist, and member of the American Philosophical Society), a set of Nature’s Pharmacy Deck, History and Uses of 50 Healing Plants from The New York Botanical Gardens (both to one commenter).
Honour Metcalf’s quilting needlework is admired by a wealthy customer of the Boston Mantua-maker for whom she works. In need of increasing her earnings, she agrees to create an elaborate white work bridal quilt for the dowager’s niece. A beautiful design emerges as she carefully stitches the intricate patterns and she begins to dream of fashioning a wedding quilt of her own.
When Honour is falsely accused of thievery and finds herself in a perilous position, merchant tailor Joshua Sutton comes to her aid. As he risks his relationships, reputation, and livelihood to prove her innocence, the two discover a grander plan.
A few years ago, when I visited CACW/Colonial Quills founder, Carrie Fancett Pagels, I was waiting to hear back on my submission for Pattern for Romance. I enjoyed a fantastic trip to Colonial Williamsburg where I saw some quilts, similar to the ones featured in my novel and learned about the trades of mantua-making and tailoring. How exciting it was to come home and learn I had a contract for this novel in Abingdon's Quilts of Love series. The colonial setting is the earliest of all the Quilts of Love books as is the whole-cloth quilt I featured which I based on an extant 18th century New England quilt. I lived near Boston most of my life and worked there, too, so it was a pleasure writing about this historic setting. You can learn more about my research at carlagade.com and Pinterest story board.
Carla is giving away a copy of Pattern for Romance along with a thimble such as the tailors and mantua-makers from my novel would have used in colonial times.
Giveaways: Please leave a comment responding to the question below along with your email address to be eligible for our giveaways of Lori's book "Burning Sky" and beautiful Nature's Pharmacy deck or Carla's book "A Pattern for Romance" and thimble. We're also giving away a package of heritage loose tea from Colonial Williamsburg so one lucky reader can brew a cuppa ye olde fashioned way! (USA winners only this time!)
If you could go back in time and relive one historical moment (famously documented or not) during the 18th century Colonial, Revolutionary, or Early Federal period, what would it be? And if you’d like to, please tell us why.